The Ross Report
Release Date: January 09, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro
Coming up on the show are John Pollock, formerly of Live Audio Wrestling, talking about his new venture postwrestling.com. Also on the show is Ron Harris. This segues into a story about a TV taping with Jim Barnett, a very hot arena and walking into Dusty Rhodes’ locker room (2:33 into the podcast). Coming back to Ron Harris, they’ll be talking about the new Aro Lucha promotion as Ron is one of the owners.
5:12 – What’s on JRs Mind
J.R starts off with talking about Wrestle Kingdom 12. He and Josh Barnett did voice overs for the show a few hours after it had aired. J.R. says while he knew who won and lost, he did not know the specifics of any match until he did the voiceovers. He says Okada and Naito going on last made sense as it was for the IWGP title, which has a long tradition. It doesn’t make sense to move that match down the card. He also said even though Okada and Naito had to follow a bunch of great matches, they delivered in a big way.
J.R says Omega and Jericho had the most organic feeling and hype going into the match and said it have a Mid-South feel. He continues to say that match delivered. J.R. says if Marty Scurll is the Villain, then Jericho is the Villain PHD. J.R puts over Tanahashi as a great talent and says Jay White is an up and comer. People have said it may be time for Tanahashi to pass the torch but J.R. disagrees. He thinks Jay can build on this match as he thought Jay made a good accounting of himself. One criticism J.R had about White was that early in the match he was working on Tanahashi’s leg but later on moved onto another body part.
J.R. thinks Cody vs. Ibushi went well and Cody did a good job being a heel. All the matches will be re-packaged and run again during the weekly Friday AXS show. J.R commends AXS for trying to get more current with the New Japan product where in the past, J.R. would do voice overs every 6 or 7 weeks but now he’s making monthly trips to make the voice overs more current.
J.R. says there is New Japan live event at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, CA. Tickets are available at www.njpw1972.com. J.R and Josh Barnett will be at ringside.
J.R. tips his cap to the WWE for the Mixed Match Challenge. He says it’s an old style match which was a gimmick match in the past. The matches will be on Facebook watch and the winning team will get $100,000 donated to the charity of their choice from the WWE.
J.R. says that the Women’s Royal Rumble is stealing some of the thunder from the men’s Royal Rumble and commends the WWE for doing this. He says you can accomplish a lot of things and create a number of rivalries with the Royal Rumble. He likes the fact that the rules for the women’s rumble are the same as the men’s rumble.
J.R. plugs his upcoming show with Jeremy Borash in Philadelphia on Royal Rumble Sunday (January 28th) called the Slobberknocker sessions. It will be held at the Diamond Club at Citizens bank ballpark. 100 tickets were put on sale and there are not many left. For price of admission, you get to attend the meet and greet, the Q&A, photo op and a copy of the book, which J.R will sign for you. If you’re interested in tickets, you can find them at ticketfly.com.
The Cauliflower Alley Club is having a big function in Las Vegas from April 29th to May 2nd at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. J.R. will be attending and is looking forward to it.
J.R congratulates Christy Hemme who recently gave birth to quadruplets. Babies and mom are doing well.
J.R plugs his website jrsbbq.com (aka the most loneliest website in the whole wide world) and his various social media (@jrsbbq on twitter and @jimrossbbq on Facebook and Instagram). He thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and says the owner of Podcast One gave him courtside seats for the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Oklahoma Thunder.
31:36 – John Pollock
J.R introduces John and asks how he is. John says it’s cold and there’s lots of snow up in Toronto (I can confirm this). J.R says John is invaluable to him for providing J.R notes for the NJPW product and says he is dependent on them.
J.R asks John to get us up to speed on his new gig. J.R says he used to listen to John’s show (Live Audio Wrestling) on Sunday nights but was stunned when the show was cancelled. John says he had been working with Live Audio Wrestling in the early 2000s and was purchased by the Fight Network, which was a start up network at the time. That led to a full time job at the Fight Network starting in 2005. There were a lot of hardships at the Fight Network and back in March there was a big round of cuts that wiped out the news division and original programming.
Live Audio Wrestling was not touched during those cuts, however, they knew another round was coming and felt they would be part of those cuts (which they were at the end of October).
John says this is a big change in his career but is also looking forward to this opportunity as he had always wondered what he could do on his own. This led to the creation of postwrestling.com, which is a website, a podcast network and a go to place that John’s fans can go to for their shows and wrestling news. It’s always something John has had in mind but something they couldn’t do while he was still working at the Fight Network. He says since the launch of the site, the response has been very positive. John mentions they also have a Patreon you can find at https://www.patreon.com/POSTwrestling. (Patreon is a way you can subscribe to an artist’s content either by paying a monthly fee or per post). John says they are trying to keep as much of their content free on the website. They have a number of core shows such as a Raw Review and a Smackdown Live review. Additionally, John posts daily news to the site.
J.R. asks John what will make his podcast or site different than others that cover wrestling and MMA. John says that it’s personalities that differentiate your show. He also says there are certain people who are your go to people when it comes to sports or wrestling. He hopes that he has been able to build that type of relationship with his audience and that people will be curious to hear what his opinions will be for a wrestling show.
J.R ask about whether wrestling reporters are supposed to be objectives or provide an opinion. John responds that everyone has a different style when it comes to reporting. He thinks people want more objective news reporting but adds that you have to add opinion and further context to differentiate yourself from other reporters. John believes that you shouldn’t be always negative or always positive.
J.R plugs John’s social media (@iamjohnpollock) and John’s co-host Wai Ting’s (@wai0937).
J.R mentions a number of people he follows who are always negative. John says he wants his audience to feel like they’re listening to a show with two people they can hang out with. He also says people want to hear fair critiques about a product. John adds that some professional wrestlers or MMA Fighters they will lump all the negative comments they see on twitter and assume it’s all the media. John doesn’t think is fair to the media that report on these sports professionally.
J.R asks John about Anthem (47:05 into the podcast) who bought Impact Wrestling. John responds that Anthem was the parent company of The Fight Network, who they purchased in late 2016 which was a weird dynamic for John because he would technically be reporting on his own company (Impact Wrestling). He also made it clear to Anthem that he would still do his job as he saw fit and would not shy away from reporting on Impact Wrestling. He was told by his boss that he should treat Impact the same as he treated any other wrestling company.
He talks about the people on the Impact side and say that hiring, Scott D’Amore and Don Callis was a good move as both have a lot of experience. They have a gigantic task ahead of them starting with bringing back faith that this company can turn things around. There have been so many promises made by TNA/Impact in the past that no amount of lip service will do anymore. The audience is going to have a ‘show me’ mentality. They need to make a compelling case for anyone to dedicate time to watch the product especially with so much wrestling content available.
J.R and John speculate that Scott D’Amore and Don Callis will be in charge of the wrestling side of the business and will be given the freedom to develop their vision. John adds they have to have realistic goals to turn the company around and take baby steps. John says the immediate goal is to get as close to break even as possible because when you’re constantly in the red, your hands are tied. If you can get to break even, then you can start the baby steps. J.R and John talk about the Impact brand, which brings up negative connotations with the audience. It will require a massive culture change from the top down to turn their image around and this won’t happen overnight.
J.R asks if John talks about the WWE creative process. John says yes and that this will always be a discussion point everyone will have. J.R asks what John feels the WWE is doing well right now. John says the WWE has a better sense of talent coming up from NXT and how to use them on the main roster. They’re giving leeway for the top end talent to differentiate themselves through their promos. John adds that there are so many great performers in wrestling and in order to separate yourself, you need to work on your promo skills. John thinks the Raw has been hurt due to injuries but says that you see the best from the company around this time as we head into WrestleMania season.
J.R asks what John thinks about the advancement of women’s wrestling and the women’s Royal Rumble as well as Ronda Rousey. John says if he was booking, he would not have Ronda in the Rumble match but have her in the front row and announce that she is at the Rumble. John continues that Ronda’s first match should be at WrestleMania which Jim agrees with. J.R thinks if she does get involved, she should either not have any physicality or just enough to let people know she shouldn’t be messed with. J.R and John speculate on Ronda’s future and John mentions she is still in the USADA testing pool so she hasn’t completely shut the door on MMA.
J.R thanks John for being on the podcast and says John will be back next week to continue with the podcast. J.R queues up Ron Harris who is coming up next.
1:08:50 – Ron Harris
J.R introduces Ron to the podcast and asks about the motivation behind starting a new promotion. Ron says he and his brother Don have been thinking about this project for 5 years. He says the Latino community in the US can watch some Luchadores on WWE or ROH but do not have a true Lucha Libre roster they can get behind like they would in Mexico.
Ron says the Latino population is growing so rapidly that it made sense to create a wrestling company that would service that audience in the United States. J.R says it looks like Ron and Don have surrounded themselves good people and have put together a good team for this venture. Ron talks about his experiences in TNA and how that gave him experience with building a brand from the ground up. He and his team have had discussions about how to service the Latino community, as well as which talent to bring in. J.R brings up Konnan and puts him over as a great hire. When Ron and Don started thinking about creating Lucha company, they asked who they could hire that had written Lucha, wrestled Lucha and that was respected by new talent. Konnan met all those requirements.
J.R says they have some good young talent being led by Rey Mysterio. Ron says there is so much talent out there that are looking for an opportunity. In Lucha, there are some small indies across the country but the only other company is Lucha Underground, who are not a touring company. Aro Lucha plans on having a touring format to give young wrestlers a different outlet in the United States. J.R says building the company around Rey is a great idea but shouldn’t be used every week on TV to keep him fresh. J.R mentions they have hired Vince Russo and asks if they got some backlash from that. Ron says they did get some backlash but says whether your like him or not, you have to look at his numbers and Russo has had a lot of success.
Ron says both Vince and Konan have a lot of experience. Ron says he likes Vince because he thinks outside the box. He likes Konnan, who knows what does and doesn’t work in Lucha style. At the end of the day, the Harris brothers will have the final say. Ron says he welcomes discussion and doesn’t want yes men. Ron goes on to say the even though he liked working at Impact, there was no definitive person who would make decisions. He, adds that Ron, Don and their partner Jason have taken all the good things they’ve learned from the WWE and Impact.
J.R discuss Jason Brown, who is Ron and Don’s partner in Aro Lucha. Originally, they opened opened a production company called Aro Luxe Media (aroluxemedia.com). Through some consulting work with Impact, Jason got familiar with wrestling. Ron and Don ended up funding Impact wrestling for some time but decided not to buy when it went on sale. Once Ron and Jason finished consulting with Impact, they decided the time was right to start up their company.
J.R asks about the commentators however Ron says they haven’t decided on anyone yet. They are currently editing the pilot then will do voice overs after the Christmas break. J.R feels this will be a huge opportunity for a young announcer.
J.R plugs Ron’s Twitter (@ronarolucha) and Aro Lucha (@arolucha). J.R mentions they have a few live events coming up and Ron confirms they will be in Amarillo on Jan 19th and Lubboch on Jan 20th. Ron says he knows there will be a lot of critics but says they have thought this through and asks that people give them a shot. He adds there will be growing pains but has confidence in his team that they will get this thing up and running.
J.R wishes Ron the best of luck this year and they sign off.
1:39:09 – Show Wrap
J.R thanks Ron Harris for being on the podcast and plugs Aro Lucha (www.arolucha.com). J.R mentions the Royal Rumble coming up and talks about his upcoming Slobberknocker Session. He says he has some good guests coming up on the podcast such as Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson. He thanks his team at AXS TV and puts over the Okada/Naito match and says there was a lot of pressure on Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. He thinks Omega and Jericho will have another match and that somewhere along the way there will be a Jericho and Naito match. On next week’s show is Bruce Prichard and part two of John Pollock. And that’s a wrap
Rating – 7/10
This was a solid podcast. I’ll admit to being a little biased towards John Pollock as I had a chance to work with him and think he’s a great guy and very knowledgeable about Pro Wrestling and MMA. I totally recommend his website (postwrestling.com) and give him a follow on Twitter. While I’m not a fan of Lucha, the interview with Ron Harris was good and his story on how Aro Lucha started was interesting.
0:00 – Intro
2:33 – A Jim Barnett Story
5:12 – What’s On JR’s Mind
31:36 – John Pollock
47:05 – JR asks about Anthem
1:08:50 – Ron Harris
1:39:09 – Show Wrap
Joe lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and two boys. He’s been watching wrestling for about 40 years (give or take) but doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, mark, smark or whatever term they use out there. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.