— The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Jim Ross will be off the AXS show between the dates 12/31 and 3/31, which would exclude him from the Tokyo Dome show. The reason for this is due to a situation with his existing WWE contract.
— Back in 2017, when WWE was doing everything in their power to try and disrupt the ITV launch of World of Sport, they made Ross a gigantic offer to return and do special events. However, Ross was already under contract to AXS until the end of 2017 and so an exception was made to allow him to honor his existing agreement.
— WWE ended up not even using Ross on TV except for as an announcer for the Mae Young Classic and the UK tournament whereas this year, not only was he not used for the 2018 Mae Young Classic tournament, but he wasn’t even invited to the Smackdown 1000 show (even though Jerry Lawler was).
— WWE allowed JR to work with New Japan on AXS for the duration of 2018 so he signed a one year contract ending December 31. When Ross was offered a spot as an analyst for Quintet – a submission tournament on UFC Fight Pass – WWE wouldn’t allow him to do that and after the MSG show sold out, they also didn’t give their approval for him to sign any other extension with AXS. As a result, JR is unable to do anything for them until his WWE deal officially runs out on 3/31.
— The belief is that Ross will look to re-sign with AXS when he is legally a free agent (on 4/1) but there is always the possibility that WWE will make him another huge offer as a way to prevent him from working with anyone else. That seems unlikely though as Ross doesn’t appear to be in WWE’s plans moving forward.
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