Orlando, me and JR
I've just met Jim Ross once. Last year in Dallas around Wrestlemania time. I've spoken with him way more over the phone. However, he's had quite the effect on my life these last couple of years.
A few years ago I had no 'in' into professional wrestling. No contacts, no-friends-of-a-friend, no email addresses or long shots. I was just a guy on a small island who had loved professional wrestling his whole life. Then I wrote a novel set in that world. Slowly but surely people in the wrestling business began to endorse Blood Red Turns Dollar Green. Mick Foley was first, then William Regal, Bret Hart, Finn Balor, Becky Lynch and many more. But the one guy that really kicked it all off was Jim Ross.
It was a story of Jim's that sparked the whole idea of setting an organised crime story in the professional wrestling business in the first place. I once read JR tell the story of how he hid in a bathroom stall, back in the day, while all the old timer bosses talked about killing the new kid on the block: Vince McMahon. When I read that story I immediately knew that there was a new world of crime out there that people hadn't really explored; a new place to set the conventional organized crime story. Blood Red Turns Dollar Green was born.
Even after I wrote a full trilogy of Blood Red novels, I had still never met Jim.
Now I'm getting ready to share the stage with him--and his opposite number during the heated Monday Nght Wars, Tony Schiavone. I've been invited by JR because after he read Blood Red Turns Dollar Green he asked me to come aboard and co-write his own autobiography, Slobberknocker...My Life in Wrestling.
The greatest announcer of all time said he liked my writing so much that he wanted me to help tell his story too.
I'm sitting in Orlando right now typing this, looking forward to going before JR's fans and talking about wrestling, WWE, The Monday Night Wars and anything else the people might throw at us. It will be an honor to sit with Jim during the hardest time of his life as he looks to move forward, remember his wife Jan and try to take it "hour by hour" and "have some laughs."
Jim Ross started this journey for me with a story he told. He then read my books sparked by his story. He then asked me to help write his life story, and now share the stage with him as he looks to fight through another personal tragedy.
It will be my honor to be there. Even though it will only be my second time meeting JR, he's had a hell of an effect on my life.