Jim Ross worked as the voice of WWE for over a decade. He was the lead announcer of Monday Night Raw until he was drafted to SmackDown in 2008 but he has now revealed that he was going to be replaced earlier than that.
On a recent edition of Grilling JR, Ross talked about former WWE announcer Todd Grisham. Ross mentioned that Grisham was set to take his place on Raw in 2007 but fan support kept Ross on the show. Here is the quote, courtesy of Wrestling News:
“He was a talented guy. I don’t know that Todd was ever an over the hump, off the page, wrestling fan. He didn’t dislike it. He didn’t disrespect it whatsoever, but I don’t think it was his number one love growing up. He was a soccer guy. Todd’s done real well in MMA and broadcasting fighting. In the fall of 2007, the game plan was as it was explained to him that finally got back to me, was that he was taking J.R’s place on RAW with Lawler in the fall of 2007. That’s what he was counting on.
It would have been more money. More exposure. It was the best role in the company at that time for a broadcaster to have was the lead chair on Monday Night Raw. What prevented that from happening, to Todd’s dismay, was that when I was announced to go in the Hall of Fame in 2007, the crowd in Chicago wouldn’t stop cheering. I think it opened the eyes of Vince a little bit, and Kevin Dunn certainly, that well maybe we are moving J.R. out the door too quick.
Knowing Vince as I did, that was always going to be his goal to replace me in that regard. I don’t know exactly why, but it is what it is. It’s water under the bridge now. But Todd’s done very well. He stays very busy. I catch some of his work sometimes on streaming or on cable. He’s done well. He and I were together a lot. I moved to SmackDown and I was his sidekick which never quite fit well with me, but look, set your ego aside J.R. Go to work and earn your money. That’s what I tried to do.”
Jim Ross and Todd Grisham would end up doing commentary together in 2009 on SmackDown. After Tazz left WWE in April, Grisham became Ross’ commentary partner on SmackDown until Ross suffered a Bells Palsy attack that Autumn.