Pro wrestling announcer Jim Ross hospitalized for ‘shortness of the breath’

Jim Ross

Jim Ross, a pro wrestling Hall of Fame announcer whose career has spanned more than four decades, said he was admitted to an Oklahoma hospital on Thursday because of “shortness of the breath.”

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Ross, 72, who currently announces for All Elite Wrestling but made his mark calling matches for WWE, wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his trip to the emergency room of a hospital in Norman was “unexpected.”

On Saturday, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter said that in addition to an increased heart rate, Ross is suffering from the flu. He will not appear at AEW’s pay-per-view event on Sunday.

He is expected to recover and will be released from the hospital within the next few days.

JR” was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 and the NWA Hall of Fame in 2016.

Ross has had health issues before and spoke about his battle with Bell’s Palsy. He was reportedly diagnosed with skin cancer in 2021 and recently had surgery on his right hip to remove a cancerous mass, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Ross began calling pro wrestling matches with the Mid-South Wrestling promotion during the early 1980s. He then moved to World Championship Wrestling, a territory run at the time by the National Wrestling Alliance.

According to his biography on the WWE website, Ross debuted in Vince McMahon’s promotion in 1993 at WrestleMania IX.

Ross was the voice of the WWE during the promotion’s “Attitude Era” of the 1990s and 2000s, notably teaming with former wrestling star Jerry “The King” Lawler.

He also was on the microphone at the May 23, 1999, pay-per-view event in Kansas City, Missouri, when Owen Hart suffered a fatal accident after the shackle on his harness released, sending him crashing from the ceiling to the canvas, the Calgary Herald reported.

The announcer also worked in WWE’s front offices for several years.

Ross has been with AEW since it was formed in 2019, according to Bleacher Report. He provided play-by-play and color commentary. He is no longer a regular announcer for the promotion but continues to call matches for AEW pay-per-view events, the sports news website reported.

In March, Ross announced that he signed a new, one-year contract with AEW, according to Bleacher Report. He added that it could be his final year as an announcer.

In addition to his wrestling work, Ross markets J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q Sauce.

Ross is the author of three books. His latest, “Business is About to Pick Up! 50 Years of Wrestling in 50 Unforgettable Calls,” was released on May 7.

Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling” was published in October 2017, followed by “Under the Black Hat: My Life in the WWE and Beyond” in March 2020.

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