Jim Ross has redeemed himself in recent weeks through his work on AEW Dynamite.
Initial forecasts were gloomy; Ross, on AEW's first pay-per-view shows, seemed both lost and unwilling to lose himself in the accelerated in-house style, leaving many to believe that he was done. These criticisms echoed his less-celebrated run on AXS covering New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Happily, in a lovely comeback story, Ross has recaptured the old authority and passion at the most crucial time. He was a revelation on the Dynamite premiere, clicking instantly with his broadcast colleagues and lending the occasion the requisite gravitas. He's still reluctant to let some things go, but, bah gawd, did he sell the intensity of that awesome go-home angle on Wednesday.
But there's a bittersweet note to this redemption story, of course, in that it was incited by the tragic passing of his wife Jan in March 2017. WWE, atoning for years of borderline abuse, allowed him to call the main event of WrestleMania 33 in a touching gesture.
But JR's subsequent stint in the wilderness left him without purpose, and per the latest Grillin' JR podcast (which incidentally has been fire of late), he credits Tony Khan with "saving his life".
"Tony Khan saved my life, I believe that. Because I like getting up now and going somewhere. Every Tuesday morning I’m up at 4 or 5 o’clock at the latest to catch a plane, first flight out, boom I’m going to the city to have our production meeting on Tuesday night and then our show on Wednesday. So I got a direction now and a destination."