AEW announced on Wednesday that it has signed Jim Ross to a three-year contract. In a press release, AEW called the deal “the most lucrative deal in pro wrestling commentary history,” and noted that in addition to working as an announcer, Ross will serve as a senior advisor.
Ross’ first appearance for AEW will be at Double or Nothing on May 25 from Las Vegas.
“I’m moving on in a very positive way to this timely opportunity to be on the ground floor of one of the most exciting moments in the history of pro wrestling,” J.R. said. “I’ve known Tony, Cody, The Young Bucks and Kenny for a long time, and I know they’re going to change the world of pro wrestling. Their roster is already packed with top-level talent and up-and-comers. They’ve got a huge show coming up in May. They’ve brought in game-changing partners like KultureCity. And they’ve got an all-inclusive, welcoming culture like I’ve never seen before. I’m ready to change the world with them.”
Ross’ WWE contract recently expired. According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Oberserver Newsletter, WWE re-signed Ross a few years ago in an attempt to prevent him from working for World of Sport, which was seen as a potential big competitor for WWE in the United Kingdom. WWE never intended to use Ross on television and he still had a desire to work on television as an announcer.
The release said that in his role as an advisor, Ross “work closely with the senior leaders at AEW on their roadmap to shift and reinvent the wrestling landscape.”
“I’ve been part of the wrestling community since I was 7 years old, and there’s no greater thrill than welcoming the voice that I grew up with, Jim Ross, to our AEW family,” said Tony Khan, President of AEW. “We all share a common goal to make this the true golden age, to make this the greatest time ever to be a professional wrestling fan. And, as a business, we also seek to make this a new golden age for the performers and our staff members. Our entire team is thrilled to have Jim onboard and we can’t wait to shake things up together.”
“We’re all excited about having the legendary voice of our childhood come here and help the new generation of talent with his expertise,” added Nick Jackson, EVP at AEW.