Jim Ross’ days with WWE appear to be coming to an end. Ross hasn’t been used much by them in the last year or so but he is still under contract.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that Jim Ross will be off the AXS NJPW TV shows from 12/31 to 3/31, which includes Wreslte Kingdom 13.
The story is that WWE made Ross a huge offer to return in 2017 as a way to keep him away from the ITV relaunch of World Of Sport. Ross was already under contract with AXS TV until the end of 2017 so part of the deal with WWE was that he would be allowed to honor the rest of the AXS deal even though WWE considers New Japan Pro Wrestling to be an enemy.
WWE ended up not using Ross much last year but they did use him for the 2017 Mae Young Classic and the 2017 UK tournament and his name was originally announced for the UK TV show that ended up being delayed until this year. Plans changed and Ross did not get the job on the weekly NXT UK TV show. Ross was also not brought in for SmackDown 1000 but they did bring in Jerry “The King” Lawler.
However, Vince McMahon did give Ross the green light to continue with AXS in 2018 so that is why he was able to sign a one-year deal while still being under contract with WWE. Things began to change when WWE declined to allow Ross to sign with Quintet, a tag team Japanese grappling promotion that was launched this year by Kazushi Sakuraba. The promotion airs shows on UFC’s Fight Pass service.
WWE also did not let him sign a new deal for 2019 with AXS. Dave Meltzer reports that the belief is that Ross will likely sign a new deal with AXS when he is contractually able to. His current WWE contract expires on March 31. He added that there is always the chance that he could sign a new deal with WWE if he gets a big offer but the belief is that he will be done with WWE at the end of March when this current two-year deal expires. This means that Ross will not be commentating for Wrestle Kingdom 13 on AXS TV. However, since his WWE deal expires on 3/31, he will be free to do commentate for the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard show on AXS because that show will take place on 4/6.
Ross is working on his second book with Paul O’Brien.
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