Jim Ross Reflects On Lance Russell’s Legacy, Returning To WrestleMania 33, His Favorite Match To Call

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– WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently spoke with The AV Club to help promote his upcoming book, “Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling,” check out the highlights below:

On returning to WrestleMania 33:

“Oh my goodness, there’s a lot of them. Nothing supplants the feeling of talent—and I use that term loosely on myself—but when you have the opportunity to be introduced and go ringside and work. I would say coming back [for WrestleMania], I signed my contract 48 hours prior to that entrance. It was only a week after Jan got killed. So there were a lot of raw emotions, but nothing was as impactful as that [entrance]. And that was me running from one gig to the next, trying to not break down. And I eventually did when I got home from Orlando. You get adulation in a stadium full of people, and they’re hugging you figuratively, and some literally. And then you get home, you roll your bags in, say, “Honey, I’m home!” and there’s nobody there. That was challenging. But I’m getting a little wind here, little wind there, and this book has been a godsend.”

READ MORE: John Cena Reveals Why He’s Never Faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania

His Thoughts on the legacy of Memphis Wrestling announcing legend Lance Russell, who recently passed away:

“Oh my god. I can try. First of all, make no mistake: He was really important to the success of that entire territory. Jerry Lawler said to me many times that without Lance Russell, there’d be no Jerry Lawler. Lance was challenged with being the host of a no-net, live studio wrestling show every Saturday morning in Memphis. It was wild, wooly, crazy, edgy, and unpredictable, and Lance was the guy who kept the rudder in the water every single week. The ratings that they got for that show were frightening. He was so good at enhancing talent, and he did this for decades and decades. He was just a wonderful and honest guy, and he came across that way on television. He was so believable, so when he thought he feared for Jerry Lawler’s life, you really believe that’s how he felt. He could express angst, fear, trepidation, and the jeopardy on the heroes really well.”

On what’s been his favorite match to call over the last few years:

“There’s so many things that go into matches that make me like them. Obviously, calling Undertaker and Roman Reigns on a grand stage like WrestleMania— there’s nothing even close to that. But I’ve also called three of the [Kazuchika] Okada-[Kenny] Omega matches. I called Omega in Long Beach when he won the U.S. title for New Japan. The live stuff will always trump going into a studio to do voice-overs.”

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