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Publisher's Summary

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 30 years, you've probably heard Jim Ross' 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 best-selling 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' 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.

©2020 Jim Ross (P)2020 Simon & Schuster

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An emotional rollercoaster

I love me some JR. I must listen to any wrestling fan. Glad I purchased this audio book. A huge plus that this book was narrated by the legend himself.

2 people found this helpful

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Love JR, personal accounts.

it's a solid wrestling personality biography. JR pulls back the curtain without revealing too much and burying anyone. I really felt for JR when he explains the torment he was subject to in WWE.

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JR Delivers Again!

Good Ole JR gives insight into a legendary career! Never a dull moment. Was very excited that JIm Ross was the voice for this Audio book. I did not want the book to end!!
Thank you for sharing. We love you!!!

2 people found this helpful

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A must read for any pro wrestling fan

I really enjoyed this one. Probably the best wrestling book I’ve read in years. A must read for any hardcore or casual wrestling fan.

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The best wrestling book ever

this book is amazing it will make you laugh make you angry and even make you cry JR is in my opinion the best there ever has been and this book cemented that for me

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Great

I loved this audio book. It was my first one and I hope any I listen to in the future are as good as this one .

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Great story, Greater Man

This is an amazing book and a great follow up to his first book. There is no one better to tell stories about the wrestling business than the voice of wrestling himself, Good Ol' JR! Thank you JR, I cant wait for the next one! Boomer Sooner!

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Emotional Roller coaster !!

As a lifelong fan this book took me though the highs and lows of my childhood. Laughing and crying through an emotional roller coaster JR called the story of his Life like a 5 star match!!!!

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This book was very well read

JR proved with the reading of this book that he was indeed the voice of WWE.

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Fan freaking tastic

Great read. If you love JR. You will love this! The best book ever no regrets!

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  • theryanwatkins
  • 07-28-20

10/10

10/10 one of the best wrestling books ever. meltzer would give this book 7 stars

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  • Bp1
  • 04-27-21

Bored me to tears

This was after my favourite era in WWF but this story / style of writing bored me to tears

Only lasted few chapters, it was my own fault though, I was never a fan of his commentary either

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-25-21

wonderful

A truly fantastic book which provides a look at JR's career, a history of some major WWE moments, and a look at the psychology of those behind the action we love.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-24-21

Fantastic.

A great book from start to finish. I enjoyed the candid stories and the delivery was very entertaining by JR.

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  • Alan O'Shea
  • 04-13-21

Great audio book

JR telling his own Stories and his experiences what's not to like? It's fun it's sad, it's passionate and uplifting, I couldn't not give this 5 stars.

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  • martin putt
  • 03-23-21

Very interesting Listen

Engaging and informative look at Jim Ross's career in the wrestling business and how he came to be where he was at various points of his career.

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  • Kevin
  • 03-17-21

Great story doesn't miss the bits you want

Clever and interesting and doesn't miss a beat.

Suprising how emotional some bits felt what a life Jr has had

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  • A
  • 03-08-21

Utterly unputdownable

What a moving , interesting, enthusiastic and eye opening listen. Bought straight after Slobberknocker which is also highly recommended for any WWF/WWE fan growing up.
Two of the few books I will definitely listen to again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-08-21

Awesome

Fantastic !!! What a great book and it was made even better by good old JR reading it himself. I would recommend this to anyone.

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  • Nick Rudd
  • 01-10-21

Under The Black Hat

Fascinating story by my favourite commentator of all time. Highly recommended! Buy his other book too for the whole story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-21

incredible

i felt like i was right there with JR. the emotion in his voice and his story needs to be made into a series. incredible.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-13-20

I wish there was another one

JR's first book was the first audio book I had listened to. I then mixed it up a little and came back to his second book a little later. I have to say that I have enjoyed these the most so far.

JR's stories are incredible. He has lived a very interesting life and knows so many characters. I honestly can't see how many other people's stories can live up to this. Some of the situations that JR has found himself in are so unique and whacky, all thanks to the crazy wrestling world he found himself in.

He has been dealt some very difficult cards, but has persevered through it all, and came out the other side an absolute legend. It's inspiring how tough this guy really is.

I'd find it hard to believe that there are any better wrestling books than this. So if you're a fan, do yourself a favour and listen to this.

Thank you JR for sharing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-20

Truely Amazing and Inspiring

I never leave reviews but I always read the reviews before purchasing books.

This was truly amazing, I always wondered about the other side of the wrestling world, and following JR's story and life was brilliant. He goes through so many positives and negatives yet he always seeks to improve himself. I loved every chapter of this book and have since bought his other book. I didn't realise what had happened to his wife, he was very open about it and it was truely heartbreaking.

JR is simply a legend. I have a newfound respect for him and I will never take the criticisms of people the same again who complain about him.

100% worth the read. I hope he does similar with AEW.

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  • Hirone Waretini
  • 08-13-20

A Reason to Get Up and Never Give Up

Mr Ross narrates a love letter to his late wife.

For those that listen and have listened to his broadcasts and podcasts, this is familiar content and in some cases ground well trodden.

However, his portrayal of Vince McMahon backstage and his view of the inner workings of his former boss and the organisation were revealing to day the least.

When he quoted McMahon as saying, "We're the same," he maybe didn't realise the accuracy. Both men constantly trying to prove themselves to their doubters and detractors, both seeking the approval of their late fathers but more importantly both trying to outrun shadows from their past.

You become emotionally tied to Mr Ross and you feel with each word the all consuming love for his wife. It was a privilege to be allowed in.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-20

Amazing listen!

This book was so informative, interesting and at time, absolutely heart wrenching. The backstage stories are fun to listen to and the story of Jan’s passing is absolutely heartbreaking. Thank you Jim for this book, kept me entertained on quite a few drives and nights where I couldn’t sleep

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-29-20

A First

I really Never leave reviews ever. But JR kills it on this. But Excellent book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-20

Touching

Hearing Jr speak with such passion and raw emotion about his wife brought me to tears