There are few people who have been in the wrestling business longer than Jim Ross. And those who have made it as long as he has (half a century to be exact) probably made enemies or burned bridges. But that’s just not JR.
Slobberknocker is the story of how an Oklahoman farm kid, with a vivid imagination and seemingly unattainable dreams, became “The Voice of Wrestling” to record TV audiences and millions of fans around the world.
Jim opens up about his life as an only child on a working farm, who became obsessed with professional wrestling having first saw it on his grandparent’s TV. Even though the wrestling business was notoriously secretive and wary of “outsiders,” he somehow got a foot in the door to start a historic career, one where he held almost every job in the business―from putting up the ring to calling matches, from driving his blind, drunk boss towards revenge, to consoling two naked 600 pound brothers in the shower room after a rough match.
With all those adventures and responsibilities, he’s also recognized as the man who built and nurtured a once-in-a-generation talent roster that took the WWE to new heights, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, and The Rock to name a few. Readers will finally get the opportunity to hear never-before-told stories about the politics, wackiness, and personalities of all the biggest stars.
But this isn’t just a wrestling story. It’s a story about overcoming adversity and achieving your dreams, as success did not come without significant costs and unforeseen challenges to JR, including multiple bouts of severe facial paralysis called Bell’s Palsy.
Currently the host of the podcast The Ross Report, any fan of wrestling―from the territory days to today―will be enthralled with stories from the road and behind the scenes. Slobberknocker is the first time Ross tells his story―and you don’t want to miss it!
Under the Black Hat
From legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross comes a candid, colorful memoir about the inner workings of the WWE and the personal crises he weathered at the height of his career.
Jim Ross has been the beloved voice of the WWE—and now All-Elite Wrestling—for decades, but there is so much more to the man than fans know. In this follow-up to his 2017 memoir Slobberknocker, Ross shares the story of professional wrestling’s rise from a quirky sideshow to a multi-billion-dollar industry in the 1990s and 2000s.
Under the Black Hat is packed with stories from the height of WWE madness, including Ross’s nurturing of global talents like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and John Cena. It traces the fracture of Ross’s relationship with Vince McMahon, his triumphant return to Wrestlemania 32, and the heartbreaking challenges he suffered behind the scenes, include multiple debilitating bouts of facial paralysis and the sudden, tragic death of his wife, Jan.
For all its larger-than life characters, Ross’s story is endearingly human in scale, turning a gruff but gentle eye to themes of professional ennui, ageism, disability and grief. Told with heart, humor, and unfailing honesty, Under the Black Hat is a gift not only for his many lifelong fans, but the new ones he’s sure to find.