As we reported on Friday, Mister Saint Laurent mentioned on the latest episode of MSL & SULLIVAN that WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross will be replacing Mauro Ranallo as the lead announcer for the New Japan Pro Wrestling Show that airs on AXS TV on Friday night.
"Jim Ross is returning to weekly primetime wrestling," MSL said to co-host Kevin Sullivan. "I can officially confirm, and this is an exclusive for MSL & SULLIVAN, that Jim Ross will be the new announcer on the weekly New Japan show on AXS TV. He will call the action with Josh Barnett. They'll be doing the sessions out in L.A. They'll do a few shows over the course of a day or two. I know that Jim is excited, and I'm happy that we can tell the fans about this."
Ross later denied the report via Twitter.
Ross has posted a new blog entry over at his website where he gives his thoughts on the rumors. He posted the following:
Twitter was abuzz Friday with the rumors that I had signed a contract to become the new play by play voice of AXSTV's New Japan Pro Wrestling broadcast that airs every Friday night on AXSTV. Mauro Ranallo has filled that seat along side of Josh Barnett quite well since the network began airing NJPW events. Mauro has since moved on to become the Smackdown play by play voice and, by the way, has done doing a stellar job the first two weeks of his tenure on the USA Network for WWE. Mauro has recorded NJPW commentary along with Josh Barnett through February.
The bottom line is my camp and AXSTV have had talks over the last couple of months and there is a mutual interest to do business together, but we have yet to finalize our agreement. As of Saturday morning, I was told that the "lawyers are reviewing the revised points on the contract." If we can all get on the same page, of which I am optimistic that we can, then we can get everything signed and move forward to another exciting chapter of my broadcasting career. To be able to get back in the game is something that excites me and to be able to call such a fundamentally sound, athletic presentation like NJPW motivates me.
I think that within the business itself that the news of AXS and our side talking didn't come as a surprise but at the end of the day the story that made the rounds on Friday simply isn't accurate.
You can read the entire blog here.