If you were wondering why WWE's announcing legend and Hall Of Famer Jim Ross was conspicuous by his absence from the new WWE TV opening video, then Dave Meltzer, the man always in the know, unsurprisingly had the answer on his July 12th Wrestling Observer Radio show with Bryan Alvarez:
Bryan: I guess the big scandal to some people is that they've replaced Jim Ross' voice with Michael Cole. Which actually that's pretty scandalous.
Dave: You know what that's about right? You know the story behind that right?
Bryan: Between Jim Ross being replaced?
Bryan: I don't know.
Dave: OK, erm.
Bryan: I mean is it something I should know?
Dave: Because he did the curtain call on the show and broke kayfabe like Triple H and they couldn't punish Austin and they sure couldn't punish Rock and they sure couldn't punish Goldberg, but they sure as hell could punish Jim Ross.
Bryan: Ah, I see the UFC curtain call.
Jim Ross initially took the huff on Twitter at the snub of not being told about this change in advance, despite being the wrestling executive who is most familiar with Vince McMahon's petty, spiteful, vindictive nature:
While @ gym got messages my voice was removed from Raw show open. If it matters, that's news 2 me. Been nice 2 have been informed. Oh, well
But just four hours later, after he had calmed down and his carny instincts had kicked in, he was putting his trademark happy face spin on the whole deal in another, more well thought out, Twitter post:
No worries about being edited out of WWE signature open. I'm proud of my work & it was time 2 update the open. Let's face it, times change.
Too much has been made of me being edited off the WWE signature open. I was on it for a long time and it was time to update the piece. In a year or so it's likely that the open will be tweaked again and who knows who will be added or omitted?
For me to be replaced by Gorgeous George and Freddie Blassie is absolutely a non issue to me as it relates to those who have contributed to the business in the days of yesteryear. I don't even belong in the same conversation with Gorgeous George or Classy Freddie Blassie.
I do not feel the 'conspiracy theory' concept that others have shared here on the site and look at my relationship with WWE as I have for years. I have no issues with cashing their checks and likewise have no issues in doing my assigned duties. I am pleased that I am not on the road 51 weeks a year but I do look forward to traveling to Kansas City this weekend for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match PPV. I'll also be heading to Tampa next week to visit FCW for a few days beginning on Wednesday. That should be a productive trip as well.
I'm an old school guy with a strong, Oklahoma oriented work ethic and am loyal to my employer no matter who that may be. Plus, I stopped fixating on things that I have no control over long ago.
When told by their doctors that one was 30 days away from dying it puts things like TV time, or a lack thereof, who's doing play by play on a given show, etc and the minutia/politics that can be found in any vocation in its proper place. I thank God every day that I have regained my health and that I am now living a healthier lifestyle that I hope will add years to my life.
I have not felt better mentally or physically in years which is BIG considering where I once was and I have too much to be thankful for to bitch and moan about a sound byte on TV.
While I do sincerely appreciate all the support that I receive and the appreciation for my work over the years, I will say that I'm excited about my future and the various opportunities that I am able to explore under my current professional arrangement. My sound bytes and commentary will live for years to come on DVDs and on such entities as WWEClassics.com and WWE 24/7 On Demand.
For some fans to consider me the "voice of the WWE" is extremedly flattering but I've never thought that I deserved that monicker.
All I can say is the wrestling executive doth protest too much.