On the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talked about his time spent calling XFL games. Ross also shared some insight into his paycheck every time he called a football game. He also said his schedule became hectic while working 7 days a week.
"There were high hopes for it," Ross said. "The football was so bad. My $15,000 a game that I got paid for doing XFL games did not contribute too badly to that $6.5 million loss. I had a lot more fun than $15,000; I really did. To be able to call football on television was a dream come true for me. I look back, and aside from the losses for the company, that was one of the more fun years of my career.
"It started taking a lot of time, people were doing 2 jobs or more, including myself. I never complained about the work schedule. When the XFL came in, I was on a 7 day a week run officially. I remember doing a game in Chicago, jumping on McMahons plane, and flying to Phoenix to do a pay-per-view the next day. It was very busy, but I loved the pace. It made that adrenaline rush a lot easier."
Ross also talked about the continuing promotion he's been seeing on football Sundays for SmackDown on Fox. He says Fox has clearly held up their end of the bargain in terms of promotion for Friday's show, and said the ratings being low can't be blamed on the network.
"You watch an NFL game now on FOX, they're promoting the hell out of SmackDown," Ross said. "That's unheard of. They've kept their word there promoting the hell out of SmackDown. If SmackDown ratings are not where everybody wants - I don't know that to be the case - then it's not because the show is not being promoted."
Co-host Conrad Thompson asked Ross if the reason Fox continues to promote SmackDown so heavily is because of the amount of money they've spent investing in the brand that they need it to work out. Ross said that's a viable reason why, and it makes sense.
"Fox made a commitment with all that money and part of that commitment was promotional time," Ross said. "Fox is just keeping their end of the deal. Whether the ratings are where they want or not, Fox is maintaining their commitment and I think that's what they should do. They're trying to build a brand. The other side of that equation is the promoter has got to come through with compelling television."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.