I have been deliberating for a few weeks about giving an award to a deserving wrestling legend. This was going to be something different aside from the Hall of Fame as a way to not just honor the past, but also honor a deserving member of wrestling's present. In my opinion, only a few people would fit the mold to be mentioned as the first Eddie Graham Lifetime Achievement award winner. The person I chose has given a good chunk of his life to wrestling and is one of the most well respected members of the wrestling world. The first Eddie Graham Lifetime Achievement award winner is All Elite Wrestling Lead Announcer "Good Ole JR" Jim Ross.
I don't need to retrace the history Jim Ross has had in wrestling as he has been a part of wrestling since 1974 and has had every job imaginable in wrestling. Ross replaced legendary announcer Boyd Pierce in Mid-South Wrestling when Bill Watts wanted to go for a different sound. Ross also helped with booking Mid-South in the later years of the company. In WCW, Ross was on the writing team, helped train new commentators, and was the lead announcer for all WCW programming and PPV basically replacing Bob Caudle who had been in the position for decades prior.
The one place Jim is known for is in WWE where he spent the better part of 25 years from 1993 up until he signed with AEW. Pretty sure his last announcing gig for WWE was Undertaker vs Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. Other than announcing though Ross again helped train commentators, was on the writing team, and actually became head of talent relations for many years. The day the news broke that AEW had signed Jim Ross to be a commentator it was surprise partially due to me thinking he retired, but also that he was actually going to leave WWE.
In my opinion, the generation prior to me had Gordon Solie, Lance Russell, and Bob Caudle as well as so many other great voices. My childhood was blessed to have Jim Ross and Gene Okerlund make so many moments that much more impactful. Jim Ross has given his life to the business he loves and even after all of this time he is still as much in love with pro-wrestling as he was nearly forty years ago when he first started with the "Cowboy." To call Jim Ross a legend would be an understatement as a long time ago he crossed into the arena of "icon." Nobody else was more deserving to be named the first Eddie Graham Lifetime Achievement award winner.
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