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From legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross comes a candid, colorful memoir about the inner workings of the WWE and the personal crises he weathered at the height of his career. If you've caught a televised wrestling match anytime in the past THIRTY years, you've probably heard Jim Ross's throaty Oklahoma twang. The beloved longtime announcer of WWE is already an icon to generations of wrestling fans, and he's not slowing down, having just signed on as the announcer of the starry new wrestling venture All Elite Wrestling. In this follow-up to his bestselling memoir Slobberknocker, he dishes about not only his long career, which includes nurturing global stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena, but also about the challenges of aging and disability, his split from collaborator Vince McMahon, and the sudden death of his beloved wife, Jan. The result is a gruff, endearing, and remarkably human-scale portrait, set against the larger-than-life backdrop of professional wrestling. Ross's ascent in WWE mirrors the rise of professional wrestling itself from a DIY sideshow to a billion-dollar business. Under the Black Hat traces all the highs and lows of that wild ride, in which Jim served not only as on-air commentator, but talent manager, payroll master, and even occasional in-ring foil to threats like Paul Triple H Levesque and Undertaker. While his role brought him riches and exposure Jim never dreamed of growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, he chafed against the strictures of a fickle corporate culture and what he saw as a narrow vision of what makes great wrestlers-and great story lines. When suddenly stricken with Bell's palsy, a form of facial paralysis that makes it impossible to smile, he stared down his greatest fear-being cast out of the announcing booth for good. Picking up where Slobberknocker left off and ending on the cusp of a new career in a reimagined industry, Under the Black Hat is the triumphant tale of a country boy who made it to the top, took a few knocks, and stuck around-just where his fans like him.
New York Times bestselling author! Here is the story of how Jim Ross, an Oklahoman farm kid with a vivid imagination and seemingly unattainable dreams, became The Voice of Wrestling to record TV audiences and millions of fans around the world. There are few people who have been in the wrestling business longer than Jim Ross. And those who have made it as long as he has (half a century to be exact) probably made enemies or burned bridges. But that's just not JR. He's recognized as the man who built and nurtured a once-in-a-generation talent roster that took the WWE to new heights, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, and The Rock to name a few. Readers will finally get the opportunity to hear never-before-told stories about the politics, wackiness, and personalities of all the biggest stars. Jim opens up about his life as an only child on a working farm, who became obsessed with professional wrestling having first saw it on his grandparent's TV. Even though the wrestling business was notoriously secretive and wary of outsiders, he somehow got a foot in the door to start a historic career, one where he held almost every job in the business-from putting up the ring to calling matches, from driving his blind, drunk boss towards revenge, to consoling two naked 600 pound brothers in the shower room after a rough match. This isn't just a wrestling story. It's a story about overcoming adversity and achieving your dreams, as success did not come without significant costs and unforeseen challenges to JR, including multiple bouts of severe facial paralysis called Bell's Palsy. Currently the host of the podcast The Ross Report, any fan of wrestling-from the territory days to today-will be enthralled with stories from the road and behind the scenes. Slobberknocker is the first time Ross tells his story-and you don't want to miss it!