J.R. Update...Wednesday...Down For Now...But Not Out

Firstly, I am absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of feedback we have received here on our site regarding my third "Street Fight" with Bells palsy. Your out pouring of support has been amazing and is the best medicine a guy could have. I have had an emotional time reading thru many of the emails that we have received but the tears I have shed have been tears of happiness. Here's the latest....  

I saw my neurologist today in Norman and had a long consultation and some testing. He diagnosed me, as expected with full blown Bells palsy. It is on the right side of my face and has adversely affected my vision in my right eye more than previous bouts. We are concerned about the cornea in my right eye being damaged which is why I am using a ton of artificial tears and having to tape my eye shut at night to sleep along with using a gel in my eye under the eye patch. 

Talk about tough and committed....wife Jan has to not only sleep with me wearing my sleep apnea mask but now I'm wearing an eye patch, to boot.   

I can talk pretty well out of the left side of my mouth, perhaps I should consider a radio career...that was a joke...but my face has drooped some on the right side making me not TV friendly...if I ever was.....that was another joke. 

We have a MRI scheduled for Friday morning to...insert your own joke here....to check out my brain to make sure that there isn't any thing going on that shouldn't be. 

My time line on returning to work is unknown as I write this. I wish it was going to be this Sunday in Pittsburgh as I wanted to be a part of Bragging Rights on PPV. I think it will be a fun and a unique show that will be showcasing some new talents in key bouts. How well they perform is up to them but I hope that they take advantage of their opportunities no matter their roles. It's easy to "get lost" in a 7 man tag, for instance, but it is up to every man in the match to make their presence felt. Quality minutes is just as important as quantity of minutes. 

So, Sunday night I will be at home in Norman watching Bragging Rights on PPV. I don't know the announcer lineup but it "might" be a three man team of Cole, King, and Todd Grisham but that's only an educated guess. It could be something else altogether but obviously Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler will be figured in the mix prominently.

One huge regret this week was not being able to reunite, albeit for one night only, with the King. I hope we get that opportunity again some day. 

The emails/texts that I have received from some of the most prominent names in the biz have been amazing. Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, The Rock, Dusty Rhodes, Gerry Brisco, Taz, Dr. Death, JBL, Ric Flair and so many others too numerous to mention. I just got a text a few minutes ago from OU head football coach Bob Stoops which was inspirational. My friends Sean and John on AM1560 "The Game" which is the top rated sports talk station in Houston and on which I appear every Wednesday at 5 have forwarded me emails from fans who may not like my Sooners but who have reached out to me with their best wishes. 

So the fight continues. I will overcome this challenge just as I have before. My love for the fans and for the business and those that make the wrestling business so much fun to be a part of plus my faith will lead me back to ringside when the time is right and it is meant to be. 

There are so many people that have issues much worse than mine that I use their battles to give me strength. Guys like "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, a man I love, who is battling cancer again, gives me inspiration.

For those fans that think that this is the end for me or the end is near I suggest you rethink your position.  I won't allow your views to adversely affect me because I still love to play the game. I am an old school guy who still loves calling wrestling matches and sitting at ringside soaking up the adrenaline from the fans. 

I firmly and realistically believe that my best days in the wrestling biz are still ahead of me. I'm 57 not 75. I might just become the JoePa of wrestling. O.K. perhaps that's taking it to the extreme.

My face may be sagging, my right eye may be not so good, my tongue is numb, my head aches and my right ear is sensitive to sharp noises but my heart and my soul are stout and my desire to get back in the game has never been stronger.

So, I will do my WWE responsibilities that do not incur traveling to TV and I'll sell a little BBQ while I'm healing. We are working with Oklahoma based Homeland Grocery Stores to put our sauces and ketchup in their stores which I hope to finalize in the next two weeks. Plus, our on line business will get a little more of my attention. I have been told to not allow myself to get too stressed out so I won't be re-watching the OU-Texas football game of last week in the Cotton Bowl.   I was told by my neurologist to go watch the Sooners this week in Lawrence, Kansas and if Mrs. JR gives me a "hall pass" that's where I will be because supporting my team makes me happy....win or lose. Then I will return home in time to enjoy Bragging Rights on pay per view and calling every move in my head.  

Let me assure you that nothing makes me happier professionally than broadcasting wrestling and being around the product. I love our business and I can assure you that you haven't seen the last of me yet. 

Thanks again for the well wishes and especially the all the prayers. I hope that I can someday help all of you as much as you are helping me. 

God Bless.   



Posted in: 


Hang in there. You are in my thoughts & I can't wait to here you announce again. In the mean time I will enjoy you bbq sauces & ketchup until we see you again. :)

best wishes JR hope to see you back on smackdown soon. you are the best at what you do. JR you are my favorite announcer. wish u well.


You are in everyone in the WWE universe's thoughts. Hangin there, you'll be back before you know it. Miss seeing you on Raw, sorry buddy don't get to see you, unfortunately don't get SmackDown on my cable.  Relax and hang out with Stone Cold!!!

God Bless J.R. 

In our thoughts, Wrestling-Radio.com

Ben Kerin


"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"

J.R. hang in there just remember your Oklahoma bred and no one is tougher than an Okie. After you bodyslam this little thing you'll be ready for the "Ironman Match" at WrestleMania XXVI and I dare for any of the WWE talent to sign on for that match.  Take care (with a little fried okra and barbeque) and the ref will be raising your hand to this championship victory.

Get well soon, JR! You and yours will be in our thoughts and prayers!

Good luck J.R. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Get well soon JR, watching Smackdown will not be the same without you! We know you'll be back better than ever before too long. Can't wait to hear your voice calling matches again, you and Gordon Solie best announcers ever!


JR; Gonna miss ya on Smackdown and Bragging Rights but wishing you all the best and hope your recovery is a good one and can't wait to see you and hear from you again back on Friday nights. Get Well Soon JR!  My prayers and thoughts are with you and with Jan, Take Care!  

It's good to hear you have a positive outlook on this.  Keep it up and don't get down on yourself.   You know you can get through it and come out tougher than before.  Take it easy and get better.  I look forward to seeing you back on tv.  And I mean SEE you.  I don't care what you look like as long as you are safe and sound.  What I care about the most is the well being of people I love and care about and respect and you have earned a ton of respect from me. 

J.r wishig ur family and urself well as we will all miss u calling matches we all want u to get well and hope to see u soon on Smackdown and Hopefully agian on Raw with the King and i will pray for ur health and hope u get well and come back soon we will miss u

tom feiden

a lifetime fan

Hang in there JR.  We all love you and know you're tougher than a 2 dollar steak.  Look forward to hearing your voice booming from the WWE broadcast table when you're ready to return.

Your in my thoughts, JR.  Hope you get back to the announcers table soon.

Maybe I will see you in Lincoln in a few weeks with your "Hall Pass" to watch your Sooners take on my Huskers!

Stay strong my friend!


All the best, to the best...Get well JR, Smackdown won't be the same without ya...


Great to hear you are in good spirits, as well you should be, because your going to be back better then ever, no doubt in my mind. Until then, WWE will have to put in their second string until the heisman makes his return.

We your fans are eagerly awaiting your full recovery and return. We love you and will continue to mention your name in prayer. God bless! - Kilgore

Hope you have a quick and speedy recovery J.R. The WWE wouldn't be the same without you, my thoughts and prayers are with you, brother.

Good 'Ol JR, You are in all of our thoughts and prayers. You can beat this, just as you have twice in the past. You truly are the best in the world at what you do, and not many people can have that said about them. Get well ASAP and I can't wait to see you back on tv!  You can whip belles palsy like a govt mule!

Jim, I just wanted to say what a inspiration You've been to me, I'm 15 years old and been a WWE fan since the age of 5. I've grown up hearing you call matches and Your voice is on all the big moments. From watching you getting inducted into the hall of fame from home in 07' or Giving you a standing ovation at WrestleMania 24, I've always been a fan, and It's interesting because before hearing this news I was out to dinner with my family on Monday night ( Before RAW of course!) and was discussing our dream jobs. Mine was different then everyone else's. My dream job was to call a match one day at WrestleMania with Good Ole' JR.  You have truely been a inspiration to me, I hope you get well soon, You and Your family are in my thoughts and prayers, And as you said, Your best work is still ahead of you.

Chris from NC

 Get well soon J.R. Your the best and we wish you a speedy recovery. You are in my thoughts and prayers

 Thank you for the update on your health JR, I've honestly been waiting all day hoping you would post a blog letting us fans know.

  I know you'll be back behind that desk calling some great wrestling action soon. I can't imagine the sport without you actually. Mark my words, the day JR is truely in the sport no more will be a sad day indeed. No one can even hold a candle to you, past present or future.

   Last year, when you were in my nearby city of Spokane, WA you entertained the hell out of me and my wife in your own way. Seeing you in person again was one of the highlights of that night for me. A night that went by far too quickly.

  And I remember meeting you in Sacramento, CA waaay back in 2001 right before Kurt Angles milk truck angle. You came outside with Vince and Michael Hayes and I was honored to meet you very briefly and I still have a photo taken of us on that day and I take care of it proudly.

  There are many of us wrestling fans, who back in the 80s grew up without a father figure and in some ways JR I look up to you in that way. You are one the best people I've ever "known" - and I for one would probably take a bullet for you though you don't know me I would do that for you. 

  I will pray for you. Your heart is strong and you will pull through this hurdle in your life, I know you will and I look forward to the day I get to hear your voice once again calling the action.

  No offense to the WWE product, but your voice - your announcing - calms me and I can't possibly count the times you've put me to sleep at night. Very soothing actually.

  Be well JR. I'll be rooting for your Sooners this weekend sir.

  PS. I am about to become a first time father sometime within the next couple of weeks(our due date is Nov. 7). We're naming him Austin Joseph Gardner. After good old Stonecold, of course and then my 97 year old Grandpa also. Just wanted to share that with you, my far away friend. 

JR -

Hope you have a speedy recovery. I'm a recent fan (just started watching less than a year ago), and just listening to you has been a real education in the business. Can't wait to see you again on Smackdown!


JR-- Two years ago my Grandma woke up with a case of Bells Palsy and because you've been so open and honest with your struggles with this condition my brother and I were far ahead of the curve in understanding Bells and were able to help my family, and especially my Grandma, understand what was happening.

Thanks for keeping us all in the loop-- we're rooting for you... now go beat this thing again! We need you back behind the mic. :)


Ada, OH

You are in my prayers, JR. 

I'm glad to hear that you're getting all the love and support, JR.  You deserve it for being a stand-up guy.

I'm looking forward to hearing you call your next match.  Hopefully Rey Mysterio and John Morrison will give it another go or something equally as exciting for you to get into and give us your well-schooled perspective on.

Until then, take care of yourself and enjoy your Sooners.

Dear JR, your are in my family's thoughts and prayers.  We have watched you since you have been with Mid South Wrestling!  You are the best by far and none can come close to what you do.  Rest up, do what the doctors tell you to do, and come back even stronger.

With Our Love,

Cassandra and Kenneth

Great to hear you doing so well and remaining so positive JR.  As corny as it may sound you have had a profound effect on my life over the years and I wish you nothing but the best.  Selfishly I wish I could continue to hear you on Sunday, but I'm honestly glad you are taking the time to recuperate.  I anxiously await your return to the broadcast table, and even if it takes longer than either of us would like just know that you are loved by many. 

Your positive attitude is inspiring and I hope that that attitude will continue as you heal up.  I've got to say, I've never been an Oklahoma supporter (although their fight song always brings back fond memories of Good Ol' JR), I'll be rooting for the Sooners this Saturday.  Take care, Mr. Ross.

Hello JR: I had planned on writing you with some wrestling question (Which I can't remember now) today and I was very saddened to hear about your 3rd Bell's palsy attack, I want you to know that even though we have never met and probably never will I have a profound respect and admiration for you and all of your accomplishments I sincerely hope that you will make a full and complete recovery and you as well as your family will be on me and mine's thoughts and prayers today and every day until you beat this once again, Nietszche wrote that "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" so I believe you'll come out of this stronger and better than ever.


Marco A Oropeza (Charger Fan)

Go Bolts!

JR, to steal one of your lines, you are "tougher than a $2 steak" and I have no doubt you are going to overcome yet another challenge. My wife and I are big fans of yours and we will be anxiously awaiting your return to TV when you are ready.

Be well!!!!!

Hey JR- I was so sad to hear about your 3rd bells palsy attack.  Your announcing in WWE is one of the few things I look forward to hearing every week (although I have to watch online instead of on TV because I am deployed in Iraq right now).  I've enjoyed listening to your announcing the whole 20 years of my life, and I can't wait till I get to see you behind the announce table once again, especially since my 7 month old at home can already recognize your voice on the TV (I watched wrestling with him religiously when I was home, now my husband continues in my place).  Heck, the first thing my son ever saw on TV was AM Raw hours after I gave birth!  I wish you a speedy recovery and you continue to be an inspiration to me through all your hardships.  God Bless & Boomer Sooner!


 Just a quick message to wish you a speedy recovery.

 As someone who suffers from a chronic disease, I can sympathize with what you are going through. I wish you all the best in your fight and I long for the day that I can, once again, hear J.R shout "business is about to pick up!"

 As someone else has surely pointed out, to face the challenges you're facing, indeed makes you tougher than a $2.00 steak.

 Sending all my best wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery.

God bless,


So sorry to hear about your latest bout with Bell's Palsy.  You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.  Get well soon, J.R.! 

Dear JR,  I heared about your  recent   3rd bout with Bell's Palsy.  My thoughts and Prayers are with you at this tough time in your life.

You will beat this and come back  strong and healthy. I've been a fan of yours since your days in the UWF. I've watched wrestling for well over 25 yrs and you are with out a doubt the best announcer in the bussiness.

Get well soon you still have many more years of announceing  and great wrestling matches to call.

Get Well Soon J.R. keeping you in my prayers & thoughts can't wait too see you soon on. Smackdown take care of yourself

We'll miss you on Smackdown and can't wait for your return!!  Best to you and your family!!  :)

A little Frenchie who just say to you : good recovery, JR, and all this prayers will save you ! Bless !

Currently being a 22 year old WWE fan and being one since i was 12, hearing your voice every monday night has been automatic. So now, every week when i watch RAW and dont hear your voice, it just won't be the same, but i know you will be there in spirit. I wish you a quick and healthy recovery!

Adam H. 

Chehalis, WA

 J.R., I guess you can add me to the list of people to draw inspiration from. 

In 1985 when I was born, doctors found that I have Spina Bifida. That has caused total paralysis in both legs, along with some, uh, other issues. 

15 years later, I was sitting in church and my face began turning a really ugly shade of blue. Anyone with a medical degree knows full well that turning blue is not a good sign. I was rushed to the hospital, where I coded. I was then diagnosed as being full blown septic. My bladder had ruptured, causing the waste to spill into my bloodstream. I fought it hard, and within 4 weeks I was back at school.

It happened again in 2006. 2 months removed from that septic episode, I was able to start work for a local patio/sunroom builder as a Demonstrations Expert.

Even though today I am unable to work and am on Social Security, I still have determination to get around and do things like go to shows and support WWE.

I hope my story helps in some way. 


Jeremy Moses
Florence, KY 
WWE Fan for 9 years

Get well soon JR, your determination to overcome this obstacle, and your passion and love for the wrestling business that is so evident in your words even after all these years is inspirational. May the best possibe outcome be the case and we'll see you at ringside sooner if not later! 

JR, I wish you nothing but the best in your recovery! As a long-time fan of yours I have been following you since you were in the old UWF(I used to watch the syndicated show on WTTV 4 Indianapolis, which came on one hour prior to WWF Superstars of Wrestling)and have followed you from WCW to the WWF...who can forget your debut at WrestleMania IX in a toga? Also you called my all-time favorite match from "Over the Edge 1998" between Stone Cold and Dude Love, where the stipulations kept changing and you hilariously said "Since when? Since when? That's not right!". To this day whenever I say "since when?" in my household my wife quotes you from that match. I have followed you through your two previous bouts with Bell's palsy and supported you 110% then as I do now. I sympathize with you because my wife suffers from Cerebral Palsy and it gets her down sometimes but she never lets it keep her down. Sounds like you are taking the same approach. Hang in there JR, and get well soon! Hope to hear you call several more great matches in the years to come, but remember, your health and family should always come first.


Been a fan of yours for so long. I wish you nothing but a speedy recovery as the WWE is never the same without you. Whenever you or The King have been otherwise unable to perform, I have found the WWE lacking. This business is in your soul as you have said and you make it a part of our lives. I do so miss you on RAW and always hope one day you and The King will be reunited, however, first things first. Get well, rest up and come back. I'll be looking forward to your return.

 Razor McBlade of the Clan McBlade

You sound like you are trying to copy the old Paul Burchill gimmick with your eye patch. It was worrying to hear what had happened to you. Do take it easy and listen to your missus because the other half always knows best....Your health comes before anything else including Sooners, your restaurant and WWE. It's absolutely no surprise at all to see how many people care about you both inside and outside the business. I know you will be back.



Being a , shall we say more mature wrestling fan, I grew up watching the Von Erichs and can remember seeing Stone Cold before he was even a wrestler, just the top prospect in Chris Adams School of Wrestling, I have been a fan of yours since the mid south days. I will definitely keep you in my prayers and thoughts. As triumph says in one of their classic songs, "Fight the good fight". I have faith you will have a speedy recovery and be back sitting at ringside calling the matches at smackdown very soon.


I am a firm believer that everything will work itself out in the end... if things have not worked out... then it is not the end...



I am a firm believer that everything will work itself out in the end... if things have not worked out... then it is not the end...


Hi JR,

Hang in there mate. I know you'll win your 3rd battle like the last 2 times before. We all look forward to hearing the play by play master back in action soon.

Get well soon.

Andrew from Australia.

Good luck JR

Like you, I have grown up a wrestling fan.  It is your great match calling that has given me the wrestling education I have today - and for that, I am eternally grateful to you.

I know in my heart you will come back stronger.  Yeah, this fight will be a hell of a slobberknocker but you will win it.


I don't know if you'll read this, I hope you do and I hope this along with everyone else's comments helps you through what is an understandable difficult time.

It's good to see that your spirits seem good and your humour is intact. My favourite thing about your blog is the wit you insert and it regularly has me laughing out loud. As you say, some people "get it" while others "don't".

You are supported because of your honest and strong connection with the Wrestling Community. The outpouring of respect to you every time you write a blog is testament to this. For the idiots that give you grief, I say that JR is a good man who has had some difficult times, more so than most, and he should be respected for the amazing work he does with WWE. It's not just about calling matches, but he does that better than anyone.

Here's hoping that you are better as soon as possible, so I can know that the man I enjoy listening to on Friday nights is in a place where he is OK. Raise a glass for your courage JR.

Tony - UK

Nice to see that Bells can't keep you down.Try and look at the bright side.For instance,with the eye patch, you make a better pirate than Paul Burchill. Get well soon, and I'll be watching for your return to Smackdown. Much love from Ionia,MI.

Best wishes, JR!  You truly are an inspiration to us all!

Dear Mr Ross,

    I have been a fan of yours ever sence you came on the wrestling scene. Please take care of your self and hurry back soon. We in the WWE Universe will be praying for you and you will be in our thoughts.  Enjoy your Sooners and hope they win.             Your fan Natalie