The Ross Report
Host: Jim Ross
Guest: Bruce Mitchell of PWTorch.com
Release Date: September 23, 2015
Recap By Thomas M. Grattini, PWTorch Contributor
Top News Items
-Bruce believes the Jimmy Snuka case will indeed see the inside of court room. However, he does not believe he will be found guilty of any wrongdoing.
-Bruce thinks WWE has a real chance on capitalizing off the same same female fanbase that follows Ronda Rousey, with current WWE Divas champion Charlotte Flair.
-Both Bruce and J.R were perplexed when discussing potential WrestleMania opponents for both Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker -assuming that they do not face each other after their rubber match at Hell in a Cell.
Podcast Summary with Time Stamps
3:18-Show intro featuring some light banter, Dusty & Jim Barnett imitations, and a preview of the N.O.C talk and short history of guest Bruce Mitchell.
10:18-Ross throws out a Bruce Mitchell joke, went over his background, and began a discussion about the recent “Mid Atlantic Memories: The Legacy” event, a time period and territory Mitchell heavily put over as arguably the best wrestling ever had to offer at the current time.
16:23-They switched gears onto the first Clash of Champions at The Greensboro Coliseum, with Ross remembering how jacked up and nervous he was at the time. Mitchell recalled that even though it was Horseman/WCW/NWA territory, the building was literally shaking for a WWF/E house show when the glass broke over the building’s speakers when Steve Austin came rushing out during his heyday.
20:00-Ross briefly ran over the old territory days and how today’s fans are completely unaware to this era of wrestlings history with some so ignorant that they consider Ring of Honor or TNA the “territories.”
22:49-They began to discuss Night Of Champions, Bruce believed it set things up nicely down the road. They discussed the evolution of Seth Rollins and how he’s being booked. Ross is in favor of it, while Bruce is of the belief that he is being made to seem less and less important. Ross sees him as a future face – heck, he still works that way even though he’s a heel, right?
Bruce made the observation that in the old territory days when a heel was readying to change to face he would begin wearing different gear, something Seth has begun doing at recent PPVs. He was also booked to defend both of his titles at NOC, which put him in a total babyface spot. They briefly discussed Sting’s injury, which they both agreed could have happened to anyone, but Bruce mentioned that he thinks the bumps The Undertaker and Kurt Angle take are no longer worth the risk.
36:00-Ross asked Mitchell if he had any issues with Sting’s Win/Loss record or people tracking it in WWE? Bruce said sadly, this is an era where wins and loses matter very little.
41:00-Various imitations during some promos.
45:00-More N.O.C talk as both Ross and Mitchell were happy to see Kevin Owens beat Ryback in a good match for the Intercontinental Championship. Ross said if he was booking he would Owens on TV against Cesaro. Mitchell liked the idea but noted they had feuded them several times then seemed to grow lukewarm on the idea for whatever reason. Ross and Mitchell both agreed WWE has to be careful how they book both performers in the future.
48:50-They talked about mic work and how important that is to succeed in the business today. Bruce commented in the past there were always one or two exceptions you could point to, but today its virtually to become a major star without good mic work – are you listening, Roman Regins?
52:00-Ross steered the talk towards Charlotte Flair’s Women’s Championship winning effort against Nikki Bella, who he thinks does not get enough credit for her work. Yes, he did say that! Bruce deftly stated the Divas need to be promoted as women’s athletes first and eye candy second. Bruce also pointed out the Bellas’s popularity stems from a reality TV show, Total Divas, whose audience is much different than Raw. Mitchell also said it needs to be hammered home that these are athletes first, with the importance of matches booked as such.
55:33-Mitchell expanded on his thought by saying he thought WWE could take advantage of Ronda Rousey’s female audience with their booking of Charlotte Flair. Mitchell suggested transitioning from stripper outfits that the 18-34 male demo goes for to tight athletic gear more suitable to the greater female audience.
1:01:24-They continues their discussion about women’s wrestling. J.R greatly put over Gail Kim as a worker, while Bruce thought WWE might eventually go for Awesome Kong and the different look she would bring. Bruce was subtle about it but he mentioned there needs to be some form of turnover when it comes to WWE’s women’s division. “You can’t have a revolution without someone being overthrown.” Great Line!
1:02:20-Ross switched to the Ziggler/Lana-Rusev/Summer Rae mess. If you weren’t aware of this i’ll spoil this for everyone now – Good ‘Ol JR simply hates this booking angle. Bruce wasn’t as aghast but was critical of the storylines lacking logic.
1:05:39-Ross questioned how the New Day are ever supposed to stay over as heels when they are so entertaining and funny? Bruce thinks now is the perfect time to turn them as they are working with two natural heels in the Dudleys. Bruce also thinks every team the New Day works with is in danger of being over-shadowed by their superior charisma and excitement.
1:09:05-J.R wonders aloud how big of a babyface Bray Wyatt could be if the Wyatt Family were to turn on him one day. Bruce took this a step further, saying Wyatt could be one of the great character babyfaces of all-time. They discussed how his intro could be the “new” Undertaker after The Deadman finally retires and how nicely he would fit into that character-driven babyface role that Taker carried for so long. Ross conversely said he believed Roman Reigns would still make a great heel and the obvious program they are setting up with Reigns and Chris Jericho. Bruce thought their confrontation was the best part of the show.
1:16:25-Ross critiques WWE’s announce team – not the announcers, mind you, but the madman screaming into their ears and telling them what to say.
1:17:11-Ross asked Bruce if he thought the Jimmy Snuka case would ever see the inside of a courtroom. Bruce said yes, but he does not believe he will be found guilty. Bruce was just happy the victim’s family would finally find closure. Ross was equally happy Snuka’s family would as well. Interesting.
1:21:00-Talk of Bruce’s school-teaching interrupted by Terry Funk.
1:22:00-J.R. throws out his tired pronouncement that wrestling fans owe it to TNA to buy their product. Bruce says TNA is coming to a sad end and as a fan we don’t owe TNA anything. We should simply tune into Impact and decide if their PPV is worth our money. I’m glad Bruce challenged Ross on his stance.
1:24:15-Ross brought up Ring of Honor, whose product he greatly put over. Except for ROH wrestlers working way too fast for his liking and do not sell, which in turn does not enable them to present their product in the manner they see fit.
1:26 (End Of Show Segment)-They discussed WrestleMania and possible foes for both Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker now that their feud is being blown off presumably at Hell In The Cell. The best names for each man Bruce could come up with were The Rock and John Cena for Lesnar and Taker, respectively. When you consider the alternatives, it is a pretty solid co-feature.
OVERALL SCORE & REVIEW
8/10: You won’t find a more knowledgeable wrestling columnist in the business than Bruce Mitchell. For that reason alone this podcast is a must-listen. I only wish Ross had steered the conversation into more fruitful areas on a few occasions. Also, his curious stance on the Snuka case continues to puzzle me. Still, all that being said, well worth the listen thanks to Mitchell’s acumen.