Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Release Date: July 27, 2017
Guest: Jim Ross
Recap By: Matthew Wilkinson
- JR reveals his WWE contract is for 40 dates.
- JR expects to work with WWE for the rest of his career.
- JR is signed to a two year deal with WWE.
- JR believes the Mae Young Classic will be great tournament for fans.
- Sam felt the Punjabi Prison is hard for live crowds.
- Sam believes SummerSlam is shaping up strong.
Subjects Covered (with timestamps)
00:00- Sponsor Ads
01:20- Show Introduction
13:36- JR’s WWE Role
20:20-New Japan Long Beach Show
52:00-Death of Jan Ross
57:18-Mae Young Classic
75:40-End of JR Interview
83:02-State of Wrestling-Battleground
Sam kicks off the show saying he is recording this week’s episode in Canada because he has commitments with his show with Jim Norton.
He then introduces his guest this week, Jim Ross, who he says he hasn’t spoken to since WrestleMania weekend. He hasn’t interviewed him in a long time so there is plenty to catch up on.
Sam welcomes Jim to the show and asks how the weekend went at the wrestling Hall of Fame. JR said it is a fun event that is affordable for the fans.
Speaking about the museum, Sam asks what they have which apparently includes old tapes, ring jackets and former Olympian gear (Kurt Angle’s is included I believe).
Sam asks if WWE should have something similar and notes that Triple H seems to be trying to do that, so it could happen at some point.
JR agrees with Sam that they should be the ones to preserve professional wrestling. He thinks Orlando is a perfect location due to the number of tourists that travel there on a regular basis.
He reveals that it has been spoken about, or at least considered, since when he was working with the company, but mentions it would only happen if they were to make a profit. JR thinks it would be a great attraction.
JR’s WWE Role
Sam asks if JR ever thought he would be in this position where he can work for WWE but still take outside bookings. Jim agrees that it is a different deal.
Jim says he doesn’t work for New Japan and doesn’t get paid by them, it is the television station that produces American commentary that pay him and hired him for that role.
He says he is happy he can play out all his contracts and keep his word with people despite returning to WWE. He does admit he doesn’t know how that will go moving forward as it hasn’t been discussed.
JR says he is very happy to be staying busy after his wife was killed. He mentions that the company were very close to her and she wished in her last days that he could go back to WWE, which she described as “home.”
Jim revealed that he is doing 40 dates a year with WWE. He likes his current schedule as both companies are good to him.
New Japan Long Beach Show
JR says some of the issues from the Long Beach show was poor communication. He felt they got a lot of the backlash for it and he only found out his call would be on New Japan World after the fact.
He felt that some of the roster didn’t know all the facts when they began talking about the situation and it created an uncomfortable environment backstage. JR did state he had a lot of fun that weekend.
Jim states it wasn’t anything he hasn’t experienced before as the wrestling business is the way that it is. He said that he went out with New Japan officials and Okada afterwards and there wasn’t a word said.
JR was very glad to do the show and he would be more prepared for it next time. He owned his mistakes and apologized to the talents to their faces and the Briscoes didn’t have an issue.
Sam wonders if that scenario makes him miss the WWE production values and organisation of the company. JR agrees with him. Jim says nobody does television in the arenas better than WWE. He stretches that out to any combat sport on television, including UFC. He says it is difficult to go from WWE to any other company, as it is just easier from a talents perspective.
Sam says he now picks up on the smaller details and felt that the Long Beach venue had issues. JR agreed with and he thinks they will use an arena next time. However, he noted New Japan fans are more interested in the actual wrestling and that delivered.
Sam asked what was it that led to his return to WWE. JR said that it was Vince McMahon’s idea and he believes that The Undertaker had requested that he called the match as well.
Kevin Dunn also played a crucial role in JR’s return and said they have always been close. He then told a nice story about how his wife used to make their spare bedroom up for Kevin’s children.
Jim said that his deal was wrapped up in around five minutes and admitted his wife’s thoughts before her passing weighed heavily on his choice.
Sam is curious how his relationship works with Triple H as he used to be his boss and now the roles have reversed with Hunter being Jim’s boss now. JR said he could always tell Hunter would be a good leader. He was the go to man to deal with any DX problems, and he always had suggestions for other people’s angles as well as his own. He puts over Hunter and said he loves his philosophy and thinks he is the real deal. Sam says it is exciting to see him involved.
Sam moves the topic on to ‘Mania itself and asks what JR thinks about Roman Reigns being the man to retire The Undertaker. JR didn’t have an issue with it. He says he was only told he would call the match 24 hours beforehand.
Death of JR’s Wife
Jim says he was honored to call the match, especially if it was The Undertaker’s last ever. He said he was still emotionally hurt as his wife had just died. It hit him hard when he returned home for the first time without her waiting for him or being with him.
JR said he is going through a lot of legal situations regarding Jan’s death and WWE has helped him considerably during that. Jim said it is still a grieving process as little things can become big things, such as hearing a song or special events.
JR said there is no manual to help deal with a situation like this, but noted people have it worse than him in life (This was a very emotional segment that was well handled by both men).
Jim mentioned he has lots to be thankful for and noted he has a two-year contract with WWE and they have already begun talks of extending it; he wants to work for them for life.
He says if a UK show happens he expects he will be involved in that. He is happy doing the Mae Young Classic.
Mae Young Classic
Sam asks how the experience was, as it will have been the first time he has seen a lot of the ladies wrestle and Lita doesn’t have much commentary experience.
JR said that it was excellent due to the emotional investment that everyone made was at varying levels at different timing. He revealed they got to interview every woman without any cameras on and he saw total honesty and a range of emotions.
He felt Lita’s passion pulled her through everything as she cared immensely about the product. He said he fell in love with these talents.
JR thinks that it came out very well and he hopes fans enjoy the product. He says there are a few women to keep an eye out for but didn’t want to single out any. He believes at least 10 deserve to be signed based off the week.
Sam allows JR to promote his podcast and his upcoming events at SummerSlam weekend to wrap up the interview segment of the podcast.
End of Interview
Sam says he loves talking to JR (and you could tell) and could talk to him for hours about wrestling.
Sam claims he is working on events himself for SummerSlam and he wants to get people’s feedback and opinions. He hopes to put on another SummerSam show with an interview and a Q&A, but he wants to do something bigger this year.
He wonders if people would like to see him and a guest or a couple of guests for a SummerSlam pre-show podcast where there would be meet-and-greets and other opportunities.
State of Wrestling
Sam thinks he has noticed a trend of SmackDown putting on great shows after disappointing pay-per-views which isn’t a good habit.
He thought the tag team match was great at Battleground, and he thinks the New Day will use this championship run to evolve into whatever is next for the group. Sam also thought the women’s match was another positive, as it continued telling several stories such as the Tamina/Lana partnership.
Sam enjoyed the Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin match, but felt the finish was not good as there have been a lot lately on Smackdown shows. He then questioned why they didn’t do the finish that they did on Smackdown at Battleground.
He isn’t sure what the intention is for Mike Kanellis and his character. He wonders whether it would have served him well to have gone to NXT for a little bit first.
Sam thought that the Chris Jericho surprise was incredible and gave Jericho props for being old-school and keeping that secret. His gut tells him it was a one-off for Jericho and thinks it helped given they passed the title around a lot lately.
He also believes we will see Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon at SummerSlam. That is the exact same story they did with A.J. and Shane and he doesn’t mind that.
Sam mentions the SummerSlam poster and he brings up the possibility of a triple threat for the WWE Championship with both Nakamura and John Cena involved.
Moving on to the Punjabi Prison, Sam says how difficult it is to see the action due to all the structure. The crowd went from very loud to very quiet during the show.
In terms of the match, he thought the Singh Brothers did a great job. They’ve been excellent in this entire feud. Sam feels Jinder Mahal needs a legitimate win because he hasn’t got one yet.
He thinks Jinder must win some matches so that fans can take him seriously moving into SummerSlam, which is needed with his character.
Sam believes there must be a bigger picture with the Jason Jordan storyline other than him coming to the ring and being a good wrestler and beating people in simple matches.
He thinks the fatal-four-way is a genius decision by WWE as the idea is that Brock Lesnar could easily lose without being pinned, meaning the belt would be opened up. Sam thinks it would be an interesting choice to give the belt to Samoa Joe, though he thinks it will likely be Roman Reigns.
Sam is wondering where Enzo Amore goes after being beaten easily again by Big Cass. He thinks things are looking good heading into SummerSlam and that ends this week’s show.
This week’s show was a tremendous episode with an incredibly engaging conversation with Jim Ross and a good analysis of Battleground and the current run into SummerSlam. The interview segment was the real standout this week in what was a very personal conversation with JR who touched on his wife’s passing in some very heartfelt and emotional moments. Listening to somebody with the knowledge and experience in the industry as JR is always a pleasure and both men did a fantastic job.
About the writer
Matthew Wilkinson is from Bradford, England. He’s been a fan since the late ’90s with the Attitude Era and was then heavily invested again through the rise of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. He can be found on Twitter at @MC_Wilkinson1