Business Is About to Pick Up!: 50 Years of Wrestling in 50 Unforgettable Calls by Jim Ross

March 18, 2024

A third volume of autobiography is always a challenge, but the gimmick here doesn’t really hit.

As the likes of Mick Foley and Chris Jericho have shown, later chronological volumes usually prove diminishing returns with too short a period to cover. The alternative is a fresh format, something that works well in some cases (Bobby Heenan) and not so well in others (Jericho again).

Here the gimmick is 50 short chapters, each based around an incident in Ross’s career and pegged onto a line of commentary (though in most cases we get multiple occasions.) The big problem is that many of his most important career moments have already been documented in his previous books. What’s left is a combination of chapters making a single point (racial portrayals have progressed in the business), covering less important moments (Jeff Hardy was elevated despite losing to Undertaker) and elements from Ross’s personal life that are sometimes clunkily connected to a match call to fit the format.

It’s the last of these categories where the book most often shines, with genuinely touching insights into Ross losing his wife in a tragic car accident, coping with the adjustment to single life, using work as a creative outlet, and commemorating Brodie Lee.

The problem is that as much as a traditional biographical sequel might not have stretched to a full volume, there’s not really enough fresh or compelling content to justify this book’s approach either. That’s particularly emphasised by the majority of chapters listing a host of cultural and news events that took place in the relevant year, not only coming across as lazy Wikipedia cut-and-paste, but destroying the work done by Ross and his co-writer Paul O’Brien to capture the voice of Ross as if he were telling a story naturally.

There’s certainly enough here to justify your time reading, but it’s tough to recommend it as a must-purchase.

Read on Amazon (Affiliate link.)

(Disclaimer: The publisher provided a review copy.)

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