UPDATE x 13: Jim Ross made comments last week at a Q&A in Scotland that he had no plans to retire and wanted to continue his work in developmental. He said that he would "never" retire and would always be there when WWE needed him. He said the day he retired is the day they would bury him.
As we've been reporting, the "retirement" angle of Ross' departure is WWE trying to spin the story to the media. He was flat out released and basically "forced out" of the company.
What a class act! @JRsBBQ. Wrestling will miss you!
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) September 12, 2013
I'd like to thank @JRsBBQ for 20 years of help,mentoring,friendship and above all unwavering belief in me.
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) September 12, 2013
Congrats on a Hall of Fame career @JRsBBQ ! Been great working with u, and for u, over the years & the ribbing between Texas and Oklahoma!
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) September 12, 2013
Thanks to Jim Ross for all he did for me in the early days of my @wwe career! He believed in me when so many others didn't. @JRsBBQ #respect
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) September 12, 2013
UPDATE x 10: Jim Ross recently posted a new tweet on his official Twitter account confirming that his JRs BBQ products will still be available on the WWE Shop website .......... for now. JR wrote:
"JR's products still available online at http://WWEShop.com & at http://americansoda.co.uk . Nothing's changed & I still appreciate support."
UPDATE x 9: Stephanie McMahon recently posted a tweet on her official Twitter page acknowledging the departure of Jim Ross from WWE. She tweeted:
Thank you for everything @JRsBBQ I've learned so much from you. You will always be the voice of the WWE. #halloffamer
The following are some more Twitter reactions to the news regarding Jim Ross:
Howard Finkel: "I wish nothing but the very best to @JRsBBQ. I've truly enjoyed my professional and personal association with him through the years!"
MVP: "@JRsBBQ Good luck JR. It was a pleasure to listen to you. It was an honor to have worked with you. Be well."
Vickie Guerrero: "@JRsBBQ thank you JR for your friendship! It was an honor to work with you. I wish you the best in your career filled with blessings."
Beth Phoenix: "Thank u @JRsBBQ for doing me the honor of calling my matches & sharing ur wisdom. I was truly one of the lucky ones to b able to work w/ u!!"
Lance Storm: "@JRsBBQ is the greatest announcer to ever call a match IMO. He's made more matches better than any wrestler ever has."
UPDATE x 8: WWE's Jane Geddes sent out a memo (text message & email) to all WWE talent yesterday. The memo pushed the public story that Ross had retired from the company as opposed to having really been released from his contract.
UPDATE x 7: There were some very unhappy people in WWE after the news on Jim Ross' "retirement" (aka firing) broke. Some went on record as saying the stuff on TV has turned to reality. The basic gist of things is that if you represent the company in a bad way, you get fired for it because representing WWE negatively is "bad for business." Many also feel that the blame should be placed solely on Ric Flair and not Jim Ross ... but WWE's mindset is that JR didn't do enough to switch topics and move on when things started going off script. What was Jim supposed to do when Ric got emotional and was talking about the death of his son Reed - cut him off?! The company also feels Ross "wasn't his normal self" during the panel and that is certainty debatable although Ross denies the claims that he was drunk.
........ and for those who have asked or questioned JR's departure, no, it's not a "work" by any means. There are no plans to have him return and get involved in the current storyline. Several top WWE officials (Vince, HHH, Steph, etc.) were legitimately pissed off and have been since SummerSlam. It just took until now for them to do something about it. For what it's worth, Ric Flair has been fired as well but he was never under contract in the first place. A Flair cameo planned for SummerSlam was scrapped and the ambassador role they wanted him...