Jim Ross, wearing his signature cowboy hat, looks at the camera for an AEW photo shoot.

Jim Ross always loves a chance to catch up with his friends and former co-workers in the wrestling business, but he is notably absent from this year’s Starrcast lineup.

“Travel has been a problem for me,” JR said on this week’s “Grilling JR” podcast. The WWE Hall of Famer and AEW Commentator has been recovering from skin cancer treatment, announcing the diagnosis in October and then celebrating the news he was cancer-free in December. He still has a wound on his leg from the radiation treatment.

“Anybody that flies understands this — you swell,” JR continued. “Your feet and lower appendages swell on an airplane,” noting that he also has fewer opportunities for direct flights due to residing in Jacksonville, FL and Norman, OK. “So you’re in that pressurized cabin longer.”

While his battle with cancer is over, the wound from the treatment is still in the process of healing. “It’s not healed enough to take the pain away or make it comfortable to do anything,” JR explained, “Hell, walking hurts me. Sitting too long with my feet down below my waist hurts me.” It’s this inability to travel and sit for so long that has caused JR to drop out of the popular wrestling convention.

“I’m saving my travel anxiety and pain to where I’m getting paid,” JR said, referring to his duties on AEW “Dynamite” and AEW “Rampage”.

According to JR, there were monumental plans for the announcer. “I know Ric [Flair] wanted me to call his last match,” JR said, referring to “The Nature Boy’s” last match against a yet-to-be-announced opponent. JR said that Flair and his opponent will be in capable hands. “He’ll have David [Crockett] and Tony [Schiavone] and they’ll do a great job.”

JR also mentioned how much love and respect he has for Flair. “I wish I was gonna be sitting there with ’em,” Ross continued, “but it’s not in the cards this time. We’ll see, I wish it was.”

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