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Publisher's Summary

From legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross, this candid, colorful memoir about the inner workings of the WWE and the personal crises he weathered at the height of his career is “a must-read for wrestling fans” (Charleston Post Courier).

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 the WWE “has been a driving force behind a generation of wrestling fans” (Mark Cuban), and he's not slowing down, having 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 out about not only his long career, which includes nurturing global stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena, but also about his 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 he had never dreamed of, 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.

Not only being one of the greatest wrestlers of the WWE, Ross is also “a master storyteller, and this book is the perfect forum for his forty years’ worth of tales” (Chris Jericho, former WWE champion). 

©2020 Jim Ross (P)2020 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about Under the Black Hat

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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.

3 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!

1 person found this helpful

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Must Listen For WWE Fans

One of the best audio books I have ever listened to. If you grew up like me having Jim Ross as the voice you listened to every Monday night then you need to listen to this. His story and life experiences are so captivating.

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Good Ole JR does it again

Amazing book, I listened to JR call some of the greatest storylines in wrestling history growing up. listening to JR tell about all the backstage dealings, his emotions, his feelings about the business of professional wrestling puts me back to those memories. The stories are great and well told and you can almost picture Taker, Shawn and JR drinking by a small fire after Wrestlemania. JR puts you there. Even at the worst of it when he goes through his day when his love of his life passed. Honestly, I don't know how he got through the chapter. So if you're a wrestling fan or shoot even of you're not and just want to find out about this American Icon, check it out very well worth it.

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Wow

An amazing read or listen. I truly loved hearing JR read to me. The raw emotion in voice made it all so much more personal. Love you Jr!!

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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

2 people found this helpful

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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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-21

Good god almighty!

Incredible listen. Starts right into closing time of the Attitude Era and doesn’t let up. Great stories all interwoven with the tragic death of JR’s wife Jan. Nice one JR

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nathan Penney
  • 08-21-21

A story of man that never gave up

Absolutely loved it.
This book truly is a love story about Jim Ross, his wife Jan, and his mistress: Professional wrestling.
I went through a roller coaster of emotions while reading this. It's Engaging, laugh out loud Funny, Shocking, and few stories actually got me p**sed off at times. And it bought tears to my eyes. This Book has a Huge Heart.

1 person found this helpful

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  • B J Fahey
  • 08-16-21

loved it

I'm a Jr fan this book made me more of jr fan absolutely amazing book

1 person found this helpful

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  • david
  • 08-10-21

awesome

absolutely awesome. a true legend . And an essential listen for any wwe fan

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-02-21

Excellent follow up

JR pulled no punches here. A rollercoaster ride filled with great stories - fun, interesting and occasionally tragic, all delivered with the articulate Oklahoma voice that was the soundtrack to many childhoods.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zac Hazlehurst
  • 07-18-21

Very insightful

Excellent stories. Engaging, emotional and enthusiastically told. An essential book for any pro wrestling fan

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 07-03-21

the voice of my childhood

fascinating hearing the stories, truly heartbreaking chapter 50 JR the voice of wrestling amazing listen

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-26-21

5 stars!

a must for any wrestling fan. JR telling his own story makes this audiobook unmissable

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-24-22

Definite read for all wrestling fans

Loved it start to finish, with an intimate insight into some of the most intriguing and famous backstage situations

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-20-22

What a ride for JR and all of us growing up

What a ride good ol JR’s life has been. The highs and lows all coming out in this book. I was glued for the whole book. We all know the impact he had on our childhoods, would definitely recommend !!

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  • The Pozman
  • 07-09-21

Instantly hooked

My first ever audiobook and I was hooked. Having JR's voice read this book made the listen almost personal, like a super podcast you never wanted to end. I can't speak highly enough of this title. Thanks JR.

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  • George W. Peden
  • 06-27-21

Headlock applied...

If you're part of the "wrasslin' fake" brigade you should step-over- toe- hold on this. It's not for you. However, if you love the blood, pain and you have the ability to suspend your imagination and just enjoy, wait no more. Get this. Ol' JR has lived the life of bumps planned and unplanned and bounced into centre ring with a host of tales tall snd true. along the way on this colourful life, Jim Ross has suffered pain and heartache -- the real kind. He shares the ring, his life, his joys and his tears. I loved it...but then I'm a fan.

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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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  • Stephen
  • 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