Jim Ross, fresh off of his WWE pay-per-view announcing return at WrestleMania 33 on Sunday night, where he called the main event featuring what very well could have been the final in-ring appearance of The Undertaker, who lost to Roman Reigns, spoke with SI.com's "Extra Mustard" blog for an interview. Below are some of the highlights.
On returning to call what may have been The Undertaker's last match ever:
"The Undertaker has been a big part of my professional life since we got him from World Class Championship Wrestling to WCW in 1989. Then, of course, when I was here in WWE as head of the talent relations department, The Undertaker was the captain of the team. He was even bigger in the locker room than he was in the ring, which may be hard for some people to fathom. He was the conscience of the WWE, and Mark Calaway is everything a professional wrestler should aspire to be. He took ownership of his TV persona, in-ring persona, and he knew he had to use his size and athleticism to make himself even more special. He's left pieces of his body all over the world, and I have so much respect for him. I was feeling strong nerves and prominent apprehension because I knew the ramifications of what the match could develop into, and it was very emotional in that regard."
On calling his first Roman Reigns match:
"Nobody gave me any announcer notes, so what you heard me say about Reigns was real. He's a big, athletic, young guy with so much potential. I like him and I don't particularly care if fans think he's a villain or a fan favorite. I believe he's a star – simple as that. I'm not caught up in his creative – I don't care if he's a babyface or a heel. I just like to see big athletic guys that are tough and demonstrate that in the wrestling ring, and I thought he did that well. He took a lot of punishment, he sold well, and he kept fighting."
"He and I had a very good talk before the show tonight, and I was very impressed with his maturity. This kid could be the future of WWE and he certainly will be a locker room leader."
On his new two-year deal with WWE:
"I only signed my agreement on Friday night. WWE and I have not talked about my next assignment. I'm also going to continue to do my work for AXS and New Japan because I have a contract, and WWE was willing to work with me on that. They have faith in me and they gave me back my old jersey."
Check out the complete Jim Ross interview at SI.com.