WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross was fulfilling his duties of doing play-by-play during the IWGP United States Championship match pitting Jay White against Juice Robinson at the G1 Special in San Francisco. While the opponents were brawling outside, White executing a suplex on Robinson to the guardrail. Unfortunately, for JR, he experienced the brunt of the rail, as it hit him in such a capacity that he was knocked down and had difficulty getting up.
As a result of the spot, color commentator and former UFC star Josh Barnett stood up to defend JR, and walked to the ring, calling out White. Although it could have seemed like this was all a part of the match, Ross made it clear that nothing about this was planned, and Barnett looked like he was ready to fight.
“For the record, the ‘bump’ I took at ringside at [G1 San Francisco] was not a storyline driven matter nor was it discussed,” said Ross. “I think I broke a rib. Couldn’t put my roller bag in the overhead today after a sleepless Saturday night.”
Josh Barnett was the latest guest on The Ross Report to discuss the spot, and Ross also provided an update. Ross stated that he was “kinda propped up,” and bruised his left ribs and left lung, as well as his sternum being “all out of whack.” Ross added that the doctors are worried about him catching pneumonia because of the lung issues. Despite these issues, JR stated that he has “good neighbors and good doctors,” and will be fine.
“I’m not gonna sit back and let this be fair game,” said Barnett. “That’s just not gonna happen. We’ve called matches where we’ve seen announcers get thrown all over the place. This is a different scenario. I’m not just a guy with a suit sitting down. I have a background in this. I was a New Japan pro wrestler, UFC Heavyweight Champion, King of Pancrase. Not your typical announcer.”
White was also criticized for taunting Barnett despite understanding that he was legitimately upset about what happened. As seen during the match, White ran away from Barnett, but it also played to his heel role, which did not give away that it was a shoot.