All Elite Wrestling has announced the signing of Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross to a lucrative three-year contract with the upstart promotion.
The news was revealed on this week’s Road to Double or Nothing series with Ross joining Excalibur, Alex Marvez, Alicia Atout, and Justin Roberts as members of the AEW’s on-air staff. Ross is coming in as a Senior Advisor and will make his debut at Double or Nothing on May 25th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the press release, AEW called it “the most lucrative deal in pro wrestling commentary history.”
Ross’s two-year contract with WWE ended on March 29th, completing an on-and-off relationship with the industry leader that dates to 1993. His latest return occurred in April 2017 where he signed with the company and called the main event of WrestleMania in Orlando between The Undertaker and Roman Reigns.
His role within the company was diminished with assignments few and far between. In 2017, he called the Mae Young Classic and a special from the U.K. In 2018, he was part of the 25th Anniversary of Raw broadcast and his final appearance was on the panel for the kickoff portion of the Greatest Royal Rumble card in Saudi Arabia last April.
When Ross returned to the WWE he was also serving as the voice of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV, a role he was able to maintain until the end of 2018. When his deal was up with AXS, the WWE would not allow Ross to continue and he finished with AXS TV last November.
Ross received his start in 1972 promoting a spot show for Leroy McGuirk, who he later worked for. He began his commentary career in 1984 for Mid-South under his mentor Bill Watts and was one of the key figures involved in the sale of the UWF to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987. Ross worked at WCW until 1993 and then went to the World Wrestling Federation for the first time. He was fired several times only to return and eventually become one of its top executives.
Ross served as the voice of the company from late 1997 through 2009 while also becoming the head of talent relations and helping to assemble a roster that took the company into its second boom period in 1998.
Ross was elected to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1999 and the WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2007.