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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: The Jim Ross Report on the late, great Bruno Sammartino, interview with Bruce Prichard: the worst guest on the Brother Love Show, the time Andre the Giant scared him, did WCW offer him money to jump ship?

The Jim Ross Report

Release Date: April 18, 2018

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

0:00 – Intro

Jim is back for show number two on Westwood One. His return podcast was #1 on the Apple Sports and Recreation podcast chart for North America, #2 in the UK and #5 in Australia. That is one hell of a debut week. Jim plugs his social media (@jrsbbq on twitter, jimrossbbq on facebook and @jimrossbbq on IG). He also mentions his new email thejimrossreport@gmail.com for submitting questions and comments for the show.

On today’s podcast will be part two of the Bruce Prichard interview talking about Andre The Giant, working with the Undertaker, Kenny Omega and a Vince story. Jim congratulates Bruce and Conrad Thompson for getting their podcast on the WWE On Demand Service ($9.99 a month people…yes…that was a cheap shill).

5:31 – What’s on Jim’s Mind

Jim says the rights fees discussions between Fox and ESPN sharing the UFC brand is a smart idea for the two networks. UFC is a mainstream sport and it would be similar to the NFL who air their games on Fox, CBS and ABC. The UFC would have their product on multiple outlets. Jim says the UFC needs to develop new main eventers which is also applicable to pro wrestling. Both are attraction driven businesses that need stars.

Jim brings up Brock and says Brock would sell PPVs in the UFC even if people are paying to see him get beat. The WWE is also in a rights fee negotiation. Are they going to stay with USA or will they potentially go to Fox? Jim went to dinner with a few Fox executives and they are very interested in the WWE. Jim brings up Brock’s status as a ‘part timer’ and says that’s smart. Jim says Andre The Giant was a part timer and that you don’t want to see these big attractions every week (which I agree with).

Jim brings up Jerry Lawler who had a stroke a few days before Wrestlemania. According to Jerry’s own podcast, he was involved in a sex act with his fiance when he suffered a stroke. He was rushed to the hospital and was fine after 3 days. Jim also sends well wishes to Vader who recently had open heart surgery. Jim tells a quick story about Vader getting lost coming to the back from the ring and ending up under the pyro stage when the pyro went off.

Jim says the Andre The Giant documentary was well done but was hoping for more new information. He did enjoy the interviews with Andre’s family in Paris. Overall he liked the show and had high expectations but had heard many of the interviews before.

Jim brings up Cody Rhodes and says he has reinvented himself into one of the great wrestling villains in the world. He makes every hero a better hero. Any babyface who is over had a great villain and he thinks Cody is that guy. Jim brings up a text from Cody who said his match with Kenny shaped the modern Bullet Club. Cody went back to school to prep for the match with Kenny to add moves and did road work. Jim puts over the Bullet Club and says he’s proud of them for monetizing their efforts and adding to their bottom line. Jim says Cody is going to have a great year and thinks Cody will be back in the WWE somewhere down the line.

Jim will be in Gainesville, Dallas and Denton Texas this weekend to help Jerry Bostic and his Imperial Wrestling Revolution promotion. J.R is not going for the paycheck but rather to be a mentor and lend a hand to a small promotion. There are some good names booked for the cards such as the Von Erich boys, Colt Cabana, MVP, Jake Hager (Jack Swagger)  and actress Jesse Jane. For further information check www.imperialwrestlingrevolution.com.

Another big event this weekend is a big legend show in Fort Wayne, Indiana with a convention and a wrestling card. Mene Gene Okerlund, Tito Santana, Tatanka, Bob Orton Jr and Terri Runnels will be making appearances. There is also a huge legends of pro wrestling event on Saturday Night near Detroit Michigan. Ric Flair, Sting, Mick Foley, Jimmy Hart, Eric Bischoff and the Brooklyn Brawler are slated to make appearances. For further information, check www.legendsofwrestlingdetroit.com.

Finally, J.R will be heading to the UK to do 5 shows. Tickets for the shows go on sale Monday, April 23rd at www.insidetheropes.co.uk.

25:43 – Slobberknocker of The Week

J.R says this was a difficult award to pick because a number of people had great weeks. He came close to naming Paige Slobberknocker of The Week. He says she has IT and while she can’t wrestle anymore, it doesn’t mean she can’t be a star and is still able to make money in the business in her role as Smackdown GM. The Slobberknocker of the week goes to Jeff ‘Nero’ Hardy for becoming U.S champion. Given Jeff’s age, injuries and other factors, J.R hopes Jeff makes the most of his current opportunity. He thought Jeff got one of the biggest pops last Monday on RAW. J.R hired Jeff (and Matt) when he was 16 as enhancement talent. J.R is a huge fan of Jeff and is pulling hard for him.

31:03 – Pet Coon Goofy Award

This week’s award goes to various members of the media. J.R disagrees with the media trying to figure out why Cena and Nikki Bella aren’t engaged. J.R thinks Cena is one of the greatest hires the WWE ever made but whatever happens in his personal life is not his business and it’s not a news story.

However, this is not the winner, the winner is the media who criticize the WWE for going to Saudi Arabia without bringing the women and saying the event is a money grab. J.R says Saudi Arabia is working at modernizing their customs and in his opinion, the WWE going to Saudi Arabia is a good step forward for the equality of all genders. It’s a step at bringing western customs to Saudi Arabia and while it’s uncomfortable women aren’t going right now, it may pave the way for female athletes to compete in Saudi Arabia in the future.

J.R says it’s an amazing thing for business to have a 10 year contract with one of the richest countries in the world. It creates another place for talent to work, creates more TV content and is great for publicity. J.R says when the WWE does good publicity, it helps all of wrestling. J.R wishes the women could come to this event but it’s not the right time and the WWE has to play by Saudi Arabia’s rules.

J.R gives his quick opinion on the Superstar Shakedown. He thinks Smackdown did well and feels RAW is still loaded but the gap between them is narrowing. He says the Superstar Shakeup is much ado about nothing until we see who will be wrestling who and the superstars can reset themselves and take advantage of this new opportunity. J.R is curious as to how the talents will change and says they have to continually improve their games. They need to get out of their comfort zone and up their game (Roman Reigns are you listening?). Bottom line, let the Superstar shakeup evolve as we can’t change it or affect it. It’s too early to tell how the Superstar Shakeup is going to pan out.

42:26 – This Week In Wrestling

J.R says one of his most memorable moments was in April 18th, 2005 at MSG. It was a sold out house and J.R was forced into a match against Triple H in a no DQ match main event. J.R was apprehensive and didn’t like being in-ring because he was not good at it. J.R was getting beaten up and was bleeding. Before he was about to get beat, Batista came down to the ring to further his story line with Triple H. J.R says Triple H took care of him however, J.R’s wife Jan was pissed at him because she didn’t know about the blood. J.R beat Triple H that night in the middle of the ring 1-2-3.

50:22 – Bruce Prichard part 2

The start of doing some quick questions…

Q: Did WCW ever make an offer to Bruce to jump ship during the WCW

A: No they did not and Bruce was insulted by that years later (jokingly).

Q: Who was the worst guest on the Brother Love Show

A: Dino Bravo by himself. Dino thought he could talk but you couldn’t understand anything he was saying (his English wasn’t great). Bruce would try to do promos for Dino but Dino would keep interrupting.

Q: During an episode with the Megabucks (Andre The Giant and Ted DiBiase), Bruce tried to pull the microphone away while Andre was talking but Andre wasn’t finished. Bruce looked terrified and Jim asks if that’s a true story

A: It was a true story and Bruce was terrified. Back then, promos weren’t scripted. They had a general idea of what they were going to do and either Bruce or the talent would have the out which would end the interview. During this particular interview, Andre wasn’t doing his out and Bruce thought he was finished. Additionally, while Andre liked Bruce, he did not like Brother Love. Jim brings up Tim White who was Andre’s handler and Tim told him that Andre got tired of people staring at him which is ironic because that’s what he did for a living.

Q: Who was Bruce’s favorite worker to manage?

A: Undertaker.

Q: Jim asks what Bruce thinks about Kenny Omega

A: Bruce doesn’t know if he’s the best but does give Omega credit because people are talking about him. Bruce brings up something Hulk Hogan said to him when people would ask Hogan who was the best worker, him or Ric Flair. Hogan said the guy who makes the most money is the best worker. The fact that Jim is asking Bruce about Kenny Omega speaks to Kenny’s talent to be in the conversation to ask the question. Bruce likes some things that he does and doesn’t like some of the things he does. Bruce says he doesn’t like that Kenny doesn’t sell big moves well which brings up a discussion about selling. Bruce makes a comparison to Hogan who may not have been the greatest worker but was still considered the top guy. J.R says people who didn’t consider him the top guy were most likely old promoters who wanted to keep things status quo.  

J.R brings up a story about a conference call he had with Bill Watts and Fritz Von Erich to discuss moving TV stations from a small independent station to a network affiliate with a dedicated time slot. Even though the move was the right thing to do from a business perspective, Fritz didn’t want to move because he didn’t want things to change (status quo). However, if the idea had been Fritz’s then they would have gone ahead.

Bruce brings up a story about he and Pat Patterson wanting to turn Shawn Michaels babyface. It got to the point where Vince said to never bring that up and said Shawn would never be a babyface in the company. However, after Wrestlemania 11, Vince got in a car with Bruce and asked why he (Vince) was the only one thinking around here and saying they had a babyface on their hands (talking about Shawn Michaels). Because of Vince’s ‘idea’, Bruce and Pat had to re-write all their storylines. J.R says the most powerful tool in pro wrestling is an eraser.

They hot shot a few topics including, J.R describing the sound of a sexual tool, singing Nestle jingles and whether or not J.R was ‘one of them’.

Bruce plugs his social media @bruceprichard and @prichardshow on twitter, Something To Wrestle on Facebook and @prichardshow on Instagram.

J.R asks about Tom Prichard. Tom is outside of Knoxville, Tennessee and working on his real estate license. He’s still involved in the business doing seminars and training. Bruce is biased but he thinks Tom is the best trainer he’s ever seen in the business.

J.R says he’s enjoyed having Bruce on the show and is glad that Bruce’s family is doing well. Bruce tells a story about his daughter wrestling and being coached in between matches by Gerry Brisco and Kurt Angle.

J.R and Bruce get into a quick discussion about legendary promoter Jim Barnett. He was a genius and way ahead of his time. They also talk about the time, he had sex with a prostitute to keep the front up (he was gay) and got an STD. 

J.R says thanks to Bruce for coming on the show and wishes him the best and they sign off.

Next week, Conrad Thompson will be on the podcast for the first time, talking about his Mount Rushmore of Wrestling and his relationship with Ric Flair. J.R says Conrad has become a quite the wrestling personality and  is like Cody who has taken an opportunity and is magnifying it and making it better.

1:16:32 – Mailbag

J.R got some good feedback about the mailbag section. If you’d like to submit a question or comment for Jim, email thejimrossreport@gmail.com.

Q: If presented correctly with good storytelling, would a persona like the Undertaker could be used by another performer.

J.R says he has never seen that work before except maybe in the 60s or 70s in the territories for some masked wrestlers. One of the famous failures happened when Jimmy Snuka left WWF and another performer by the name of Siva Afi who looked similar to Jimmy but people felt they were trying too hard to replace Jimmy. Cowboy Bill Watts also tried to replace Junkyard Dog but that never worked either. Bottom line, J.R doesn’t think it would work and the only person who could be the Undertaker is the Undertaker.

Q: What are some cool or crazy stories that happened in Tulsa?

J.R brings up a story about a fight between John Nord and Butch Reed that happened in Oklahoma City. They did a good number on each other and both had swollen faces. Afterwards, they had to drive to Tulsa for a TV Taping and Cowboy Bill Watts asked what happened. J.R told him they got into a fight and Watts wanted to know who won. J.R said they had stopped the fight because both guys might have killed each other. Watts said he wanted to see both of them and said to them to finish the fight. Because both were beat up, they didn’t feel like engaging again.

Q: When Jerry Lawler came back in 2001 why did he come back as a babyface and what version of the King do you prefer, heel or babyface?

J.R says anytime your partner can have an opposing point of view, it’s better for the play by play person. That said, Jerry always had controversial opinions even as a babyface so it didn’t matter to J.R if Jerry was a heel or babyface. J.R considered Jerry the star of their team while J.R played the straight man.

J.R once again says you can send questions to thejimrossreport@gmail.com. He got a number of questions about Court Bauer’s Major League Wrestling that will be debuting Friday night on BN Sports. J.R is happy that more opportunities are being created for work and that guys like Court and his team have work and are trying to live their dream in the business. Tony Schiavone will also be there doing play by play.

Q: What advice would you give for someone to get into play by play or a ring announcer in the WWE?

J.R says he would currently have a hard time getting into wrestling on TV as look is important to be on TV. Additionally, the public likes youth and pretty women. J.R says work on your game and get all the experience you can even if for free. Practice and reps are key and do not give up your journey.

J.R appreciates everyone subscribing to the podcast and enjoys working with the Westwood One team. He asks that people leave 5 star ratings for him. He continues working with AXS TV and J.R is currently in L.A to record shows for AXS to build momentum for the upcoming NJPW event in July at the Cow Palace. J.R plugs his book Slobberknocker which is available in various formats and locations. J.R re-iterates he’ll be in Texas for International Wrestling Revolution.

Before closing, J.R brings up the death of Bruno Sammartino and was shocked by it. The last time J.R saw Bruno, he looked like a million bucks and was still training. J.R says Bruno was one of the true great men in American history. J.R says no wrestler in the future will have the tenure on top with the championship than Bruno did. Bruno was one of the nicest men J.R has ever known. J.R talks about the relationship between Bill Watts and Bruno and how Bruno gave Bill the rub. J.R gives his best to the fans and family of Bruno Sammartino and says he will be missed. The world lost one of the greatest of all time.

1:33:19 – Show Wrap

J.R says that is it for the week. Tune in next week for Conrad Thompson. J.R thanks everyone and that is a wrap.

Rating – 7/10

Another OK podcast from J.R. I’ll admit, I cannot get into this podcast compared to his old Ross Report prior to his hiatus. At times, this podcast meandered and I found it hard to pay attention and stay focused. That said, Bruce Prichard was (and is always) a great guest. The interview section with him was entertaining and informative. Also, I can’t say I entirely agree with both Slobberknocker of the Week but I am in no way a Jeff Hardy fan so I’m completely biased. Also, J.R had an interesting take on the Saudi Arabia card and the fact there are no women on the card. Without getting too political, I don’t agree with it but can also understand why.  All in all, a solid (if not flashy) podcast.

Timestamps

0:00 – Intro
5:31 – What’s On Jim’s Mind
25:43 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
31:03 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
42:26 – This Week In History
50:22 – Bruce Prichard Part 2
1:16:32 – Mailbag
1:33:19 – Show Wrap

Writer Bio

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.  He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.

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