MR. TITO: Review of Jim Ross’s “Business is About to Pick Up” Book of 50 Unforgettable Calls

First and foremost, my best wishes to Jim Ross as he has entered an emergency room this morning for “shortness of breath”. I wish that the physicians quickly finds what’s wrong, resolve it, and give Jim a speedy recovery to continue educating us about wrestling for many years. In my opinion, he is one of the biggest contributors to pro wrestling in history, as his talent relations work not only rebuilt the WWE roster during the mid-to-late 1990s, but created a permanent developmental system for future wrestlers. That’s on top of being one of the best announcers ever.

I just finished his Business is About to Pick Up! book, which was released on May 7th, 2024. I’ve been busy with work, but this book is highly convenient to read because it’s 50 short stories that you can digest in a reasonable amount of time and then pick up later to read. It reminds me so much of Mike Greenberg’s Got Your Number book in which he goes through numbers 1-100 and what it means to a sport. For example, #66 refers to Mario Lemieux, the greatest hockey player ever. For Jim Ross’s new book, he advertises it as “50 years of wrestling in 50 unforgettable calls”. For each of the the 50 calls, Ross adds backstory to a particular event or match and describes his feelings as he’s calling the match while also quoting what he said during those matches as a commentator.

To me, this complements Jim’s first 2 books quite well, Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling from 2017 and Under the Black Hat: My Life in WWE and Beyond from 2021. Both of those books were very detailed about Jim’s life experiences and careers in wrestling, as the first book ended during the late 1990s with his career in WWE and then the 2nd book picks up where it left off, while adding several lookbacks. The new book, Business is About to Pick Up! fills in any gaps that the first and second book may have had, as you cannot possibly tell ever story about matches, events, storylines, or wrestlers within 2 books while also describing your life.

Thus, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that if you’re a pro wrestling fan that you buy all 3 books.

I also STRONGLY RECOMMEND obtaining these books if you’re a wrestler or a wrestling promoter. Especially as a promoter, this is like the Bill Walsh coaching book that many football coaches say is their “bible” to understanding the modern NFL game. Walsh, as you may know, won 3 Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and set-up the team to win 2 more after he retired. Ross knows the blueprint on how to build a successful and very cost-effective wrestling promotion, and he articulates that well in the first 2 books while several stories in the 3rd book validate him as a wrestling genius.

My only real criticism of the first 2 books was a lack of WCW in-depth stories about behind-the-scenes happenings, as there was a lot going on at the time and I personally feel that Jim Ross isn’t a gossip. While many former WCW performers hated Jim Herd’s entire tenure or Bill Watts’s 1992 tenure, Ross was nice to them and always tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. This book does lean heavier on the WWE side for the 50 unforgettable calls, but then again, he called many great matches and moments in the WWE. For many wrestling fans of Jim Ross, they may know his WWE tenure more than his prior ones. That said, his Podcast dives into bigger detail about his WCW tenure and “scratches that itch” so to speak.

However, just because it’s a tad heavier on the WWE moments doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book whatsoever. The many WWE stories told were amazing and adds depth to how great the Attitude Era truly was and how good Jim Ross set the WWE up for the future. Also for Jim, you can see how much he loves particular talents from his WWE tenure, particularly the Undertaker and Steve Austin. He was so proud of those two guys and what they accomplished in their careers. I also think that Ross was just blown away by the many incredible matches he got to call in the WWE.

In addition, I enjoyed Ross’s AEW chapters and it made me appreciate how close he is with his newer co-workers. You can just hear it in Jim Ross’s words how much he appreciates the opportunity to be there and how much the company supports him. The CM Punk vs. Jon Moxley chapter, I felt, was the best of that bunch as he describes his return from cancer, the love shown to him by Excalibur, and then his thoughts on the whole All Out 2022 situation afterward. Instead of taking sides, Ross was diplomatic as he’s “been there, done that” when wrestlers have differences and Ross has resolved many, many issues as discussed in his prior books or on his podcasts. Simply put, just get adults in the same room and talk it out.

I could go chapter by chapter, but I don’t want to spoil the many great stories for potential readers. It’s a great book and I’d say it’s a highly convenient book to read if your attention span is lacking. Rather than giving you a book of 10 long chapters, its a 276 page book with 50 chapters. Thus, you’re getting like 5-6 pages per chapter for easily digestible bite size readings. Perfect wrestling reading material for someone who is constantly interrupted or takes short breaks throughout their workday. Not only that, it’s written and told by one of the greatest minds ever, Jim Ross.

I strongly recommend buying “Business is about to Pick Up!”, but I also recommend buying his other books Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling from 2017 and Under the Black Hat: My Life in WWE and Beyond from 2021. As a wrestling fan, those 3 books together are incredible reads and complement each other quite well. Crazy part is that Jim Ross’s experiences and knowledge on the business could fill many, many books and I’m hopeful that the success of this 3rd book inspires him to put more thoughts on paper for each of us to enjoy.

LAST WORD: I give this book an [ A+ ], obviously. Loaded with great stories that will keep you entertained for the entire time reading it, even if they are in bite sized quantities. My only critique is that I want more stories on his WCW tenure, but I can get those on his Podcast and listen to those often. But I’m an oldschool WCW fan and I just want more, while the many stories on the WWE stuff are great and I shouldn’t complain. Jim Ross hits another homerun on his books and I hope we get more content from him.

Best wishes to you and your health, Mr. Jim Ross. Love ya, pal, as I told you in person when you want to the Steel City Comic Con a few years ago. You’re one of the best contributors to pro wrestling, ever.

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