About 400 at the Gramercy Theater for the early show. Joey Styles and Tommy Dreamer sat next to me in the balcony. ESPN's Robin Lundberg introduced J.R., who came out to Boomer Sooner, of course.
J.R. told childhood stories of being conceived on Route 66 in a pickup truck to getting scared by a snake in an outhouse. He remembers at 10 years old that he made sure to do his chores so he could watch wrestling from Tulsa ran by Bill Watts. His first wrestling memories were watching Grizzly Smith and the Assassins at 10 years old.
Ross met Bill Watts in college and went to work for Leroy McGuirk who was blind. He bought his cigars and whiskey and soon found himself in booking meetings where he gained his education on the business. He had to referee matches, work on the ring crew, and drive wrestlers to make ends meet. He told a great story about Dick Murdoch and a transvestite. Ross moved on to the UWF being bought out by Crockett and shared a classic Ric Flair limo story. He said Ted Turner's associates hated wrestling and had no respect for it.
J.R. moved on to entering the WWF and debuting at WrestleMania 9 in a toga. He talked about getting fired and then his return on Raw with Randy Savage, who he says was the hardest person ever to work with. He regrets putting the business ahead of his first two wives. He remembers the death of his parents coinciding with what event he was working that night. Ross loved telling gross stories of making Gerald Brisco puke with his flatulence and Vince sharting in his pants.
After about an hour, J.R. had a Q&A session. Questions ranged from the Montreal Screwjob to Mid-South memories to current superstars. His top choice of return match to announce would be anyone vs. the Undertaker. He read a limerick from William Regal to close. Awesome show, I could have listened to J.R.'s stories all night.