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Jim Ross confirms return to announcing for NJPW on AXS

Jim Ross

WWE Hall-of-Famer, longtime broadcaster, and podcast host Jim Ross confirmed Tuesday with Fox Sports that he will be returning to the broadcast booth for the newest NJPW on AXS TV season, starting on Friday, March 4th. 

Ross replaces Mauro Ranallo, who recently started with WWE and is now the lead voice of Smackdown. Color commentator, past NJPW competitor, and UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett will remain on the team.

Ross told Fox that he will head to Los Angeles between 8-10 times a year to do his play-by-play for two-day sessions where they will record six shows at a time, beginning with action from Wrestling Dontaku 2015. The duo will also call matches from the 2015 New Japan Cup, Invasion Attack, HINOKUNI, Best of the Super Juniors 22, Dominion 7.5, G1 Climax 25 and more.

This isn't Ross' first time calling NJPW action as he and Matt Striker were the American announce team for Wrestle Kingdom 9 in 2015.

The longtime voice of RAW with Jerry Lawler, Ross returned to WWE several times over the years for Smackdown, NXT, and spot shows through his "retirement" from the company in 2014. He tried his hand at boxing for Fox Sports One, as well as MMA with the Battlegrounds tournament PPV alongside Chael Sonnen.