19. Jim Ross Addresses The Criticism Regarding His Commentary Work At The NJPW G1 Special
As we noted before, former IWGP Tag Team Champion Tama Tonga (son of WWF Veteran Haku) took at shot at Jim Ross and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett’s commentary work at the recent NJPW G1 Special in USA. Here’s what Tonga posted on Twitter: “Commentating sucked at the #G1Special..at least Kevin Kelly knows the storylines and OUR F***ING NAMES.” For those who don’t know, a photo surfaced on Twitter which showed that Jim Ross was supplied with a sheet which had photos of NJPW wrestlers along with their names to ensure that the commentary team doesn’t mess up the names of the wrestlers during matches.
During a recent appearance on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross addressed this criticism regarding his commentary work and said the following:
“It is a real ambitious undertaking for the AXS TV folks who do MMA 40 days a year (40 weeks a year on Friday night) or something like that but they had never done pro wrestling. So we had a brand new crew that had no and most essentially no experience whatsoever in pro wrestling. I thought that we rallied together and came through with an excellent effort, the desire and the will to be good was there. I had some flub ups and was asking which one is Jay (of The Briscoe Brothers) and which one is which and God almighty the guy we asked was one of the ringside guys and Josh Barnett and I said which one is which and one of the guys said: ‘Well, (I can’t remember Mark or Jay) doesn’t have any front teeth.’ I said that doesn’t help me unless you are going to be shooting their smile, give me something. I got hammered on social media because I made that mistake and people forget that we are human and we are doing a live television show.
I wish we did not have those errors but I can tell you this. When I saw the Briscoe’s on Sunday I apologized to both of them for screwing that up and I took complete responsibility for it even though I got bad information you know I own it. It is my deal and so I apologized to those guys because I have great respect for their work and I always have so I wish we had not done that. I don’t live this product. Kevin Kelly and Don Callis are there, they live it all the time and they were there in the building doing some stuff but I think that people will see that our second show was much more cleaner and much smoother than was our first show.
I was very and really happy that I had the chance to do two live shows and not in voice overs but actually sitting in the arena, sitting at ringside and being able to do what I enjoy doing more than anything or any other phase of the wrestling business and that is do live commentary.”