The Jim Ross Report
Release Date: June 13, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro
J.R welcomes everyone back for another week of Slobberknocker audio. Don Callis will be on later, talking about a variety of topics.
2:30 – What’s On J.R’s Mind
J.R felt the go home RAW leading into the Money In The Bank PPV was solid and highlighted by some strong in-ring work including the two four way matches. This brings up the question whether or not we’re seeing too many multiple person matches as a whole. He says the oversaturation of three way and four way matches are making them less special. They need to be used less, which will make them mean more.
J.R thought Braun was highlighted well without being forced down our proverbial throats. He improves every week and will have a great role in the future. J.R likes the WWE isn’t rushing Braun. Finn Balor had a good outing on Monday and it will be hard to not elevate him if he continues the roll he’s been on. Kevin Owens had a good night and J.R thinks Bobby Roode needs to be a bad guy.
The women had a great four way match led by the leader of the RAW women, Nattie Neidhart. J.R liked the aggression of Ember Moon and says she’s a keeper.
J.R is curious about the Rollins, Elias rivalry because he wonders how good Elias is bell to bell. If Elias can keep up with Rollins, all the questions about his in-ring work will be answered.
The Rousey, Nia Jax confrontation was well done. Some experts have criticized Ronda’s verbal skills but J.R says this is new to her. J.R thinks she is doing fine and Ronda has already won over J.R due to her athletic background. Her verbal skills have improved but he would have her do more soundbytes for now. He thinks Rousey and Jax will silence many of the critics in their MITB match.
When J.R hears older wrestlers bitch about Ronda Rousey, he thinks it’s based on jealousy and the fact that a lot of men are having a hard time with the women wrestlers taking up so much time on TV. He says it was the same in the territory days when Moolah would bring in women wrestlers to perform some of the men would have to go home which caused the women to have heat.
Nonetheless, it comes down to maximizing one’s minutes on WWE TV time and what talents are brave enough to do to expand their game and not fall into a comfort zone.
Switching over to Smackdown, J.R felt it was another solid go home show. He reiterates that Smackdown is generally better than RAW because it is a two hour show compared to RAW’s three hours.
J.R thought the Daniel Bryan, Shelton Benjamin match was excellent. Their moves and the match made sense and he thinks Benjamin could be utilized better. He admits though, to being biased towards Sheldon. Daniel Bryan is as good as he’s ever been. He’s a serious competitive athlete and Big Cass will be challenged to stay on the same athletic level as Daniel Bryan bell to bell. This is the biggest opportunity that Big Cass has had in WWE and we’ll see what he’s got on Sunday.
J.R was surprised to see Rusev beat Samoa Joe but commends the WWE for giving us a winner. He doesn’t feel that a well structured competitive match merits a non-finish and feels that’s a crutch for promoters. When a promoter can’t come up with a consensus to make all the talents happy, they generally come up with a DQ which J.R says is a cop out (I totally agree with this). J.R says non-finishes leaves many fans with a negative feeling and it’s considered lazy booking.
J.R mentions that one wrestling pundit said Joe wasn’t protected and thinks that’s ridiculous. He goes on to say protecting talents is overrated. The art of performing at a high level in a wrestling match should be enough protection for any skilled performer (HELL YEAH!!). That said, having winners and losers is still imperative but losing doesn’t kill you.
Nakamura and Jeff Hardy had a great show closure. J.R thinks Nakamura is getting back to his New Japan form and he likes the more aggressive style. J.R predicts Nakamura will win the WWE title from AJ this Sunday. AJ would then chase Nakamura for the title which is the perfect roll for AJ. The low blows used by Nakamura will be a vital part of the last man standing match at MITB.
J.R is hearing good reviews of Court Bauer’s MLW Wrestling that airs Friday nights on beIN sports. For more info on this promotion go to www.mlw.com.
CM Punk lost a unanimous decision against Mike Jackson at UFC 225. Dana White has said this is likely CM Punk’s last fight in the UFC and J.R hopes Dana is right. J.R loves Punk’s willingness to try something new but at Punk’s age and skill set, J.R hopes Phil Brooks looks elsewhere for another new challenge. He also doesn’t see Punk ever….eeeeevvvveeeerrrr, being full time for any wrestling company again (and yes, he actually said eeevvveeerrr…..I popped for that). Punk has nothing to prove and doesn’t owe the wrestling fans anything. He has a lot of marketable skills and could be a great broadcaster and there’s still a lot of interest in CM Punk.
J.R hasn’t seen the New Dominion show but has read a lot about it and knows the event was extraordinary. J.R and Josh Barnett will be calling the matches for AXS TV this Friday and J.R has avoided watching any of the matches so he doesn’t precondition himself for the call. J.R also announces Kenny Omega will be a guest on the podcast in a couple of weeks. The only critique of the show is that there may have been too many title changes. Generally speaking, the last title change of a card is the one that sticks and the ones earlier in the card may fade in their impact.
ROH has booked a great card for their Best In The World PPV. J.R likes the ROH product and thinks they have a great announce team. J.R read that ROH has a date at MSG in 2019. J.R guesses that because the Barkley is hosting so many events, the Gardens felt ‘left out’. J.R bets that ROH runs the Garden during Wrestlemania week although admits this is total speculation.
J.R wishes Fox sports good luck for their presentation of the World Cup. He is disappointed that the US National team didn’t qualify for the tournament.
J.R wishes Lucha Underground good luck for their upcoming season. You can watch the show on the El Rey network on Wednesday night. He puts over the announce team of Vampiro and Matt Stryker and says they are the perfect fit for that brand.
One point on all wrestling announcing and this is an industry wide issue….Color commentators need to watch their monitors and sense when a near fall situation is imminent and do not talk over them or through them. He also says announcers should refrain from exclamations of ‘did you see that’ or ‘did you hear that’. J.R is guilty of doing this and when he hears his old work he wants to slap himself. The announcer’s job is to get the talent in the ring over, not the announcer.
27:05 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
This week’s candidates:
- All the fathers out there. J.R wishes everyone a Happy Father’s Day
- New Japan for having a successful New Dominion show (which was awesome IMO)
- Kenny Omega for beating arguably the hottest IWGP champion in the history of the company for the title.
- Ronda Rousey who is going into the UFC Hall Of Fame and is having her first singles match ever at MITB
This Slobberknocker of The Week is an easy choice as it’s the third anniversary of when we lost the one and only Dusty Rhodes. J.R was doing some volunteer work with a few charities when he got the call from the WWE telling him that Dusty passed. He and Dusty had a special bond and he brings up the Texas vs. Oklahoma rivalry college football game and how they would call each other during game week. Dusty could talk trash better than anyone. Dusty’s comments during J.R’s WWE Hall Of Fame induction still bring tears to his eyes and he still misses his friend.
34:09 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
This week’s candidates:
- Some of the people who became too obsessed with what Corey Graves tweeted about CM Punk.
- Terrell Owens who says he will not attend the Hall Of Fame ceremony. Based on the Showtime documentary on Mauro Ranallo bipolar battle, maybe Owens has some issues and may need some help. It seems like he’s crying out for help. He doesn’t see how someone who has been crying to get into the Hall of Fame wouldn’t go to the ceremony.
- Julian Edelman who got busted with a performance enhancing substance that they can’t identify. This is unprofessional conduct and he let his team and his family down. Is this the kind of player that the New England Patriots want in their dressing room?
- IHOP which is now known as IHOB which has started a social media war with other burger places such as Wendy’s, Burger King and many others. J.R can now proclaim that the Attitude Era has hit the burger world.
The winner of this week’s Pet Coon Goofy Award are the various news media that cover politics who focused on a crying and emotional Dennis Rodman. Some people are trying to get clicks or rating by saying Rodman has a significant role between the meeting with Trump and Kim Jong Un. The political media is no more honorable than a celebrity news program. Many people think Americans are mildly to severely insane as it relates to our politics.
42:24 – This Week In Wrestling
June 13, 1993 – Bret Hart wins King Of The Ring, Hulk Hogan loses the WWF title to Yokozuna but what J.R remembers about the show was how challenging it was for him to get through the show. He was being produced by Bruce Prichard and he thinks it became a corporate rib on J.R on how he was overproduced.
June 19, 1994 – J.R and his wife were watching that year’s King Of The Ring as J.R was on sabbatical. The announce team was Randy Savage, Gorilla Monsoon and ex-NFL player Art Donovan. The performance was so abysmal J.R was called back to announce Monday Night RAW.
June 17, 2007 – Kurt Angle wins the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary. The match featured Angle, Samoa Joe, Christina, AJ Styles and Chris Harris. With that type of roster, it begs the question, how in the hell did TNA screw that up?
Austin Aries defeated Tyler Black (aka Seth Rollins) and Jerry Lynn in a three way elimination match at Manhattan Mayhem to win the ROH title.
This week’s birthdays: President George H.W Bush (94), ‘The Mountie’ Jacques Rougeau (58), President Donald Trump (72), Bayley (29), the late Ultimate Warrior would have been 59, Sandman (55), the late Bruiser Brody would have been 72, Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig (82), the father of the late Curt Hennig and grandfather of Curtis Axel and finally the late Wahoo McDaniel would have been 80 years old.
53:54 – Mailbag
As always, send your comments and questions to email@example.com
Q: What is J.R’s favorite memory of Dr. Death Steve Williams
A: One time Williams was working with Brad Armstrong on Mid-South TV. Armstrong threw an elbow and Doc was supposed to duck but he didn’t and got caught above the eye. Williams had to get 107 stitches but still wrestled the next night.
Q: Does J.R think the Undertaker will remain with the WWE once he retires
A: J.R can’t imagine why he wouldn’t. He has a great legacy, great name identity and would be a great ambassador to the WWE and the business in general. The only reason he wouldn’t is if he didn’t want to travel. As Taker’s children get older, he and his wife Michelle McCool may want to focus on that. However, J.R thinks Taker will always be affiliated with the WWE in some shape, form or fashion.
Q: Would the WWE consider owning a big arena with a built in, physical hall of fame and maybe run a PPV or two from there?
A: J.R doesn’t know if they would do that however, he says a physical hall of fame seems feasible.
Q: Why did Don Muraco not make it past the IC title picture.
A: Don Muraco was a big star in a number of territories and was a main event guy. If you’re wondering why he was never made the champion, it could have been a lot of things. He may not have wanted the obligation or maybe promoters didn’t fully trust him. He was in a number of main events throughout his career but if someone of that talent isn’t given the championship, it’s because the decision maker of that entity sees something that doesn’t quite fit. In Don’s case, J.R did not know what it was but ‘Magnificent’ Muraco was a great heel and a great star.
Q: Why isn’t anyone talking about Tomaso Ciampa’s who is having arguably the best heel run in a couple of decades (opinion of person asking).
A: J.R thinks it could be and says Ciampa along with Gargano are good kids. Maybe people aren’t talking about it because a lot of people still don’t have the WWE network which is where you would primary see NXT (for only $9.99 a month you know).
Q: If given the opportunity, would J.R do commentary for the XFL?
A: Hell yeah he would. It’s a ball game, J.R’s a broadcaster and he loves football. That said, he doesn’t think he’s going to get it as football is a young man’s business but he’s not a young man.
Q: Does J.R think WWE will have another major PPV event in the UK at some point similar to the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.
A: J.R can’t say they for sure as he’s not in the loop but he thinks it will happen. It’s too logical but he doesn’t know when.
1:02:17 – Don Callis
J.R welcomes the ubiquitous Don Callis to the podcast because he’s everywhere.
Q: J.R asks how Don is enjoying his new life in wrestling.
A: Don says he’s busier than he’s ever been but he’s having a ball. People say to him he should cut out one of his activities but he’s going to continue grinding.
J.R agrees with Don and says he should keep grinding. The opportunities Don is getting don’t come along all the time and J.R says Don should keep the ball in his hands and run with it.
J.R brings up that a number of hardcore New Japan fans who do not like the AXS TV presentation of the New Japan product. They have also said J.R doesn’t have the balls to talk to Don about the alleged issues at the last New Japan show in Long Beach however, J.R and Don have talked about this face to face and in a professional manner. J.R has great respect for Don and Kevin Kelly. He and Josh are not everyone’s cup of tea because their marching orders from AXS TV is to present the action as a legitimate, mainstream sporting event. Because of that there’s not a lot of banter or inside jokes.
Don says one of the reasons might not appreciate J.R and Josh is because NJPW fans are used to Kevin and him and may question why they would get something different in Josh and J.R when it came to the Long Beach show. Don says it’s different strokes for different folks and says that J.R is his favorite play by play announcer of all time. Don says fans were asking why he and Kevin weren’t doing anything at the show but Don says he was happy to be paid for not doing anything.
J.R brings up Tony Condello (promoter for the Winnipeg territory who Don booked for) and says Tony almost became a subsidiary of Bill Watts’ Mid-South. Don remembers that Tony was running Bill Watts’ program in Winnipeg which is where Don first heard J.R. Condello was supposed to bring UWF to Winnipeg but made a deal with the Jim Crockett and the house show became NWA. Don loved the way Watts booked that territory and says every booker today could learn something from watching how the Cowboy handled his business. J.R says Watts’ show had symmetry and everything had purpose and a reason.
J.R brings up a story of getting chewed out by Watts for not putting over an underneath talent on the show before he did the favor. Watts said there were no ‘bums’ on his show and that everyone on the show had to be a somebody to a certain degree so that way, the person who won the match beat a ‘somebody’.
Don and Chris Jericho learned a similar lesson from Bulldog Bob Brown. During a promo, Jericho called Brown old and Brown said you could call him old but in the end, ‘when I beat you (and I will be beating you), you just got beat by an old man’. Don never forgot that lesson to always put your opponent over in some form or fashion because it protects both you and your opponent and win or lose, it means more.
Q: J.R asks how often Don goes to Japan
A: It varies but Don’s comfort zone is once a month because he is so busy with Impact. Once a month works really well and it doesn’t overexpose him. He understands that NJPW needs to create as much English content to expand NJPW world but keeping it at once a month keeps it special for Don and for the fans.
J.R wonders how Kevin fell out of favor with the WWE and thought he would be with the company for a long time. When Don was with the WWE, he also thought he would be there for a long time because he could be a wrestler, a manager, a color commentator and a writer. All of a sudden he got let go and didn’t see it coming. He says it’s a good life lesson. J.R agrees that it’s a good lesson and says he wouldn’t change anything in his journey.
Q: Is Don still living in Winnipeg?
A: Don is living in Winnipeg but is in the process of relocating to Toronto as that’s where the head office for Impact and Anthem sports is. However, he’s been on the road so much, he hasn’t had a chance to finalize his relocation. Plus he’s still going to Nashville on a regular basis but once he stops running, he’ll hopefully find a place in Toronto.
J.R says Winnipeg is starting to get a lot more global attention as Kenny Omega has won the IWGP title. Additionally, Chris Jericho and Rosemary are from Winnipeg.
Q: J.R hasn’t watched any of the Dominion footage yet and won’t until he calls it. How was the experience for Don and had he been a part of something that electric?
A: Don says no and brings up his call when Omega pinned Okada. Don has been on this journey with Omega since he was a 16 year old kid. Callis gave Kenny his first break in Winnipeg. Kenny’s uncle, The Golden Sheik, trained Don back in 1989 and Don’s roots with Kenny go back many years. They both have a close relationship and talk about ideas. Don helped put the Omega vs Jericho match at Wrestle Kingdom. Seeing Kenny win the title was a euphoric feeling for Don.
J.R says Omega has evolved so much since the first time he saw Kenny work. He thinks Kenny probably has improved more than anyone in recent times. He’s gone from a charismatic, fundamentally sound jr. heavyweight who is trying to be more. He continues to apply himself and tries not to be in a comfort zone.
Don says everyone knows Omega is a world class athlete but where Kenny has differentiated himself is in his storytelling and psychology which is one of the hardest things to get in this business and a lot of guys still don’t have it today. Kenny has become a master of telling great stories that make sense and makes the comparison with Bret Hart who would do something in the first minute of the match and 20 minutes later would call back to it. Kenny does this but would call back things from a year ago. He has become compelling and revolutionary because he wants to change the business for the better. Don compares him to Prince who is super talented but with a different agenda than everyone else. J.R is looking forward to calling Omega’s match on AXS.
One criticism of the upcoming NJPW show at the Cow Palace is that New Japan did not advertise any of the wrestlers who would be appearing up until a few days ago. He compares this to All In which advertised which wrestlers are going to be on the card. Don says despite how much the wrestling business has evolved, it’s still best big stars are advertised and promoted properly to sell tickets.
Q: J.R asks if it would be difficult for Omega to work for Don at Impact.
A: Don says never say never and one of the things they’re trying to do in Impact is to break some long standing paradigms in professional wrestling such as intellectual property. Impact is working with multiple people and they will also be on the Jericho cruise, meaning there will be Impact and ROH on the same cruise ship ‘working’ together.
Don points out that Jericho headlined the Tokyo Dome show in Japan (Wrestle Kingdom) which he thought would never happen because Jericho had stated he would never work for anyone but WWE. Don was even sheepish when asking Jericho about doing this match because he knew Chris’ loyalty to WWE. Because of this, Don says you can never say never.
J.R says that some of the old perceptions in pro wrestling need to be closeted as well as some old laws that are out of touch such as legalizing marijuana. This brings up a story about Ernie Ladd and another story about J.R rolling joints while driving a car with his knees.
J.R brings up the Impact show which has a different feel and likes the way they are evolving their roster who are hungry and want to contribute in a big way.
Don says people were initially panicking because of the roster changes in January. However, with people like Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Moose and Tessa Blanchard, he would put his top 8 against anyone’s top 8. One of the things you do is eliminate the stupid stuff that pisses people off and makes them wonder about creative. However this is a process and you can’t turn it around overnight. You have to keep plugging away and doing the right things as well as investing in your talent. If Impact can do those sorts of things and continue being creative, they’ll be fine.
J.R brings up that people are quick to criticize the wrestling product however they do not have the talent to provide a solution. Don brings up social media and says you can’t let good or bad comments get you too high or too low. Have your plan and stick to it. Sometimes you may have to adjust the plan but you can’t buy into social media too much.
J.R says Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan have a nice bond and good chemistry. The challenging part is how do you keep it fresh without overexposing them. He’s a big believer that a wrestler doesn’t need to be on TV every week however the reason that’s changed is because wrestling doesn’t run weekly towns anymore.
Don says if you had told him Eddie and Sami would be their top face and heel, he would have laughed in your face. However, it’s evolved that way as they’ve found another facet of Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan has something. J.R interjects that Sami is easy to dislike. Don says they can hopefully weave storylines between Eddie and Sami similar to Tommy Dreamer and Raven back in the ECW days.
Q: J.R asks about Slammiversary which will be in Toronto on July 22nd.
A: Don confirms it will be at the Rebel Complex. The main event is Moose vs. Austin Aries and they are really pumped. There are still some tickets left. Go to www.impactwrestling.com for details.
Don brings up it’s a good time to be in wrestling and says he’ll be at All In. After the Young Bucks won the IWGP tag titles, they went up to Don and asked him to be commentator at All In. He does not know what he’ll be doing or who he’ll be working with but he’s excited because he loves the Young Bucks and Cody. J.R agrees and loves their entrepreneurial spirit. They both say that the Bucks and Cody would have done well in the territory days. J.R would have been like the Rock N Roll Express while Don says Cody is one of the last true heels in the business and reminds him of the late great Nick Bockwinkel.
J.R and Don talk about Bockwinkel and how great he was as a wrestling heel. Nick also did some great work for the Cauliflower Alley Club and J.R asks if Impact might participate more in the CaC. Don has discussed this with Scott D’Amore and says that would be right up his alley. He learned from the old veterans who helped him get to where he is today and people in the business should be giving back to those guys.
J.R thanks Don for being on the podcast. Don reminds J.R telling him that one day they would call a match together with J.R on play by play and Don on color and they sign off.
1:37:57 – Show Wrap
J.R goes through some of his 5 star reviews, keep sending questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and that is a wrap.
Rating – 8/10
Another good outing for good ole J.R. He had some strong takes about today’s product which I personally really liked. The Don Callis interview was great, although I’ll admit, I’m somewhat biased as I’m a Don Callis fan. This wasn’t much of an interview as much as it was a conversation (which I’m OK with) however, my one critique is that J.R would interject and try to ‘get his s**t in’ (to use wrestling lingo). If J.R had been talking to someone who wasn’t a great interview, I’d be OK with that however, Don is a good talker and can carry his end of the bargain. There were a few times when J.R would jump in as Don was trying to say something (and I’ll admit, that’s a pet peeve of mine in interviews so maybe I’m being ultra nit-picky). That said though, I really enjoyed this podcast.
0:00 – Intro
2:30 – What’s On J.R’s Mind
27:05 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
34:09 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
42:24 – This Week In Wrestling
53:54 – Mailbag
1:02:17 – Don Callis
1:37:57 – Show Wrap
Joe lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and two boys. He’s been a fan for over 40 years and one of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post show podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.