Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap
with Guest, Jim Ross
By: Jeff Indelicato
Release Date: March 16, 2018
“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)
- Edge felt that John Cena’s promo calling out the Undertaker was somewhat hokey, and should be treated more seriously.
- Ross took over Talent Relations after J.J. Dillon abruptly left, and originally split some of the role with Bruce Pritchard.
- When hiring wrestlers he looked for character, reliability, and trust, and believed that those were keys to success.
- He advises wrestlers to build a relationship with Vince McMahon in order to succeed in the WWE.
- The series of matches between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat were some of his favorites to call.
“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”
0:00: Show Introduction/Raw Thoughts
22:55: Sponsored Ad
24:45: Interview with Jim Ross
43:00: Time as Head of Talent Relations
1:05:00: Announcing Thoughts
1:37:00: Thanks and Close
“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)
Show Introduction/Raw Thoughts 0:00-22:55
It’s been a week for Edge, as he traveled to Liverpool for a Comic Con, and came home to a sick kid. Christian uses the opportunity to plug his Comic Con appearance in Wales next month.
Looking at Raw, Edge hopes that The Revival can get back on track after being out due to various injuries. They talk about how some injuries can be helpful, as it allows a wrestler time to break away and come back fresh, or can be hurtful, as it derails your momentum. Due to the two injuries sustained, the team has had to start from scratch twice now after debuting on the main roster, but Edge has confidence in them, since they are talented and smart.
Moving to John Cena’s WrestleMania challenge to The Undertaker, Edge felt that the promo was kind of hokey, and that it didn’t work for him. In his mind, this is a promo that should be nothing but serious. He notes that he will watch the promo again, but felt it to be odd for such an iconic match.
Sponsored Ad 22:55-24:45
Interview with Jim Ross 24:45-1:37:00
We then begin our chat with Good Ol’ J.R.. While he was a wrestling fan growing up, he never imagined that he’d get the opportunity to be a part of the business. He began his career in 1974, and accepted an opportunity to work for Cowboy Bill Watts with the feeling that it would just last for a few months. Obviously, those few months turned into several years, and we fans have received the benefit of listening to Ross call some of the greatest matches in history.
Edge & Christian bring up how J.R. was responsible for hiring the both of them, and ask what he looked for when he would bring in new talent. Jim would look at the core values of character, integrity, and passion, but when it came down to it, the biggest traits were reliability & trust. If he could sense those or see them, he believed that there was no way someone like that wouldn’t have made it, unless they were improperly valued. He brings up The Rock, and how confident Dwayne was from the beginning.
The Great One always had a direction, confidence, knew exactly what he wanted, and had a relationship with Vince McMahon. This leads into further discussion about how the best thing that guys can do in the beginning is to have a relationship with Vince. Edge adds, “If Vince doesn’t know who you are, how is he going to be confident enough to invest in you?” Everyone agrees with that sentiment, and acknowledge how that’s not just in the WWE, but in other forms of employment.
Christian remarks how many can be intimidated talking to the Chairman, but that Vince actually enjoys having conversations, and respects that you care enough to talk to him. They close that topic by talking about how he was the perfect foil to Stone Cold Steve Austin on camera.
We then move on to discussing how his time as Head of Talent Relations came to be. When he came back after one of his sabbaticals, there wasn’t a spot for an announcer, so he began helping J.J. Dillon, which included working in Talent Relations. One day, Dillon left the company because he was angry, which left an immediate need for a replacement. Therefore, both he and Bruce Prichard initially partnered together, with the role eventually moving just to J.R.
This leads to a roll call of some of J.R.’s biggest signees, including The Rock, Austin, Mick Foley, The Hardy’s, Kurt Angle, and E & C. They bring up the fact that in just one year, he signed Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Dave Batista, and Shelton Benjamin.
The boys then take the opportunity to promote Ross’ new book, which is now available. He admits that recording the audio was one of the hardest things that he’s ever had to do, since it was shortly after his late wife Jan’s passing. She was the best person that he ever knew. He remembers going to WrestleMania last year, which was also right after Jan’s passing, and while it was good to be around everyone, he returned home and it was the loneliest that he had ever been in his life.
With that said, he’s kept focused and has made it a point to not surround himself with any negativity, and only works on things that he wants to do. He mentions calling matches for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and how unique that job is, because essentially he works for AXS TV, and now NJPW. The bosses there are great, and their instructions for the commentators are to call it like a real sporting event. They don’t want them focused on anything but the match, which includes what’s coming up or promotions for something else. That is very interesting indeed, as it stresses the importance of what is happening in the ring.
The boys then ask Jim who were the wrestlers or matches that made his job the easiest to call. He mentions the Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat series, and how those matches were nothing short of extraordinary. In his mind, he believes that those still rank high in comparisons to the current product, which I would agree with. Edge also concurs, and says that there’s a reason why we still talk about them. Ross adds that he never wanted to know the finish too much, so that he could call it as real as possible. During the 2 out of 3 falls match between the two, Flair submitted, and he didn’t expect it, so his reaction was real, and that type of feeling adds to the product. He talks about how he would find himself getting lost in some of those matches.
Edge stresses how important announcing is to a match, and advised fans to try and watch a match without the sound. You’ll realize how key to the product commentators are. I completely agree, and have found it odd when I’m watching a match where commentary wasn’t recorded.
Announcing may be key, but Jim Ross’ voice is something that has been greatly respected by not only the fans, but the wrestlers themselves. In fact, there were two specific instances where he was requested to call a match when he wasn’t on the road. One was Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker after Jan’s passing, and the other was The Rock vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 15 after his bout with Bell’s palsy. He greatly appreciates his WWE Family, and wishes that he could call another match with not only Jerry Lawler, but Paul Heyman as well. Edge remembers wishing that J.R. would’ve called his WrestleMania 24 main event against The Undertaker, and makes a point that this is not a knock on the commentators, but just an emphasis on how much J.R. has meant to wrestling commentary.
Were there any matches that he didn’t call, but wishes he could have? Ross mentions those featuring Jack Brisco and Dory Funk, Jr., and how strong of a contest they were. In fact, when he talks to people that want to get in the business, he’ll ask them which one of the Brisco/Funk matches they liked the best. So start studying up kids. They talk about how great old school wrestling is, and how much the wrestlers and fans can learn, which they can now find on the WWE Network.
Edge closes out the interview by thanking J.R. and lauding him as the voice of a generation. He takes a moment to tell a quick story about how he had $40K in college debt when he signed with the company, and how as a signing bonus, Ross paid it off. That wasn’t the only instance where Ross took care of the wrestlers. Both E & C remember having a great series of matches with The Hardy’s, and received some nice bonus checks in the mail for their hard work. Ross thanks them as well, and concludes that they were three guys that didn’t have connections, but did alright in the business.
The boys close out the show, and once again thank J.R. They talk about his iconic voice, and how he’s called so many big matches in different eras. They then advise fans to follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.
Jeff’s Take: 9 Kazoos out of 10
Fantastic episode this week. Obviously Mr. Ross is a talented speaker, but he takes it to another level when being interviewed. I remember listening to an interview with him on a local show several years ago, and thinking that I could listen to him chat for hours. Obviously nothing has changed, and I found myself engaged in whatever topic the three covered. Really interesting to get some of his perspectives, and some information on his past. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at email@example.com. See you next week!
About the Author
Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.