AEW announced back in April that it had signed WWE Hall of Fame Jim Ross to work as commentator and senior advisor for the company on a three-year contract. The news came as a surprise given how many years Ross hd spent under the WWE banner, and on the latest episode of his Grilling JR podcast he explained how Vince McMahon reacted to the decision.
"He was very emotional in that regard, as was I," Ross said, adding that he did not break the news to McMahon face-to-face. "It's hard to explain, he's got a soft heart more often than not but he doesn't want anybody to see it."
He then told a backstage story about a memorable interaction with McMahon.
"I remember one time, I'm walking through the gorilla position, and we had something really good, house was great, everything was wonderful, and we kind of got over the hump, and the 83 week thing was now in the rearview mirror, and I was excited about going out and working, and I said, 'Vince, God damn man, what a night. I bet our dads are really proud of us.' And man, he got tears in his eyes, and he screamed at me, 'God damnit, JR!' He didn't want to hear that, because it touched a nerve, because he's still fighting, and I still think he is, to this day, to still please his Dad, Vincent J. McMahon. And I believe that. But there is nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with sons wanting to emulate their fathers if it's emeritus, if the father is deserving. So yeah, he's got a softer heart.
"But I think, signing me to a two year deal, I signed a two year contract on Friday before WrestleMania  on Sunday, and that was the WrestleMania that I came back as a surprise and helped broadcast the Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns match. That was my assignment, the main event. So that's what he talked about this year, 'Well, if you had stayed around,' I said 'Well, I got a great opportunity and I'm going to take it, it's the best paying job I've ever had.' And we discussed that a little bit and he said, 'Well I can't match that.' 'Well you can match it, you can match it, but you won't match it, and nor would I advise you if I was in my old roll, to match it.' Let him go."
Ross made his commentary debut for AEW back at the Double or Nothing event on May 25.