Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Book Review: Under The Black Hat by Jim Ross

Jim Ross is the voice of professional wrestling — inarguably the greatest play-by-play announcer in the history of “this great sport,” as Tony Schiavone would say. He southern drawl and impassioned delivery defined the Attitude Era, and behind the scenes Jim signed some of the top talent to WWE, including Brock Lesnar, Christian, Chris Jericho, and Becky Lynch. His first book, Slobberknocker, was good but it focused on the earlier years in his life and career in wrestling. His newest memoir, Under The Black Hat, is the one everyone has been waiting for as it provides JR’s thoughts on his time in WWE and beyond.

I opted to listen to the audiobook because, like Slobberknocker, it is narrated by Good Ol’ JR. Hearing him tell his story makes it that much more impactful. It was like having a cup of coffee with an old friend, as he shared his humorous and entertaining tales with me, not to mention wisdom and observations. Hearing all about JR’s time in WWE was wonderful. However, it made me realize just how poorly the company — and especially Vince McMahon — treated JR over the years. It’s a shame, considering how talented he is and how much Jim contributed to the company over his 25 years there. Being a huge fan of IMPACT Wrestling, I was on the edge of my seat listening to JR talk about how TNA tried to sign him when the company was at its apex. This book ends with JR joining AEW, and I’m sure the inevitable third book in the Jim Ross trilogy will cover his current role there in great detail. Until then, Under The Black hat is an exceptional memoir that all wrestling fans need to read — or listen to. It’s easily a five-star classic!

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