Written Podcast Recap: The Jim Ross Report – IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega On His Title Win And The Future Of NJPW

The Jim Ross Report

Release Date: June 27, 2018

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo


0:00 – Intro 

Welcome back to another week of The Jim Ross Report with the man in the black hat, Good ole J.R. He is in Glasgow, Scotland for his UK tour and will be there for the rest of the week. Kenny Omega will be on today’s show for part one of a two-part interview. They’ll be discussing the Dominion event, the Okada match and Jericho’s match with Naito.

4:10 – What’s On J.R’s Mind

Monday Night RAW
• J.R. thought the tribute to Vader was tasteful and well done.
• It appears the WWE is trying to eventually match Lashley with Lesnar. J.R. would enjoy seeing the match but doesn’t like the fact the commentary isn’t putting Bobby in a position he should be in. They are ignoring his MMA record, which could make him a more an imposing figure if the WWE would acknowledge it.
• The Brock Lesnar contract situation is an interesting storyline twist. J.R. isn’t sure when Lesnar’s contract is up but thinks it would be beneficial to have him renewed even if he decides to go for a big money fight in the UFC. He brings up the possibility of Lesnar versus Jon Jones and has heard rumors the payday would be huge. If they can get around their USADA issues, J.R. would love to see this fight. There’s also a question of what would happen with Paul Heyman.
• Finn Balor showed a nice side of his personality during his interaction with Constable Corbin (who J.R. likes). He thinks Balor could be used better.
• J.R. liked the Bayley/Sasha Banks business. He likes the fact these two have a strong personal issue.
• Mojo Rawley’s character is starting to find its way. He reminds J.R. of a young Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He likes Mojo’s upside but has to keep working on his persona. In the territory days, Mojo would have been a ‘Russian heel’.
• Even though the final two matches were great, he didn’t like one ended in a countout and the other ending in a DQ. Excessive use of DQs and countouts water down the effect you’re looking for when a match is over. The Rollins/Ziggler match ending in a DQ was a little bit flat.
• With regards to the Balor/Corbin vs Owens/Strowman match, J.R. thinks there are better ways to do a finish rather than a count out or DQ.

General Notes
• J.R. congratulates Rey Mysterio for being on the cover for the WWE 2K19 video game.
• The New Japan event at the Cow Palace in San Francisco is shaping out to be a great card. Tickets are still available. Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez will be doing a Q&A show the morning of the event.
• AXS TV will be showing the Omega vs. Okada match and Jericho vs. Naito match on the Friday before the show.
• Ring of Honor’s Best In The World PPV is on Friday, June 29th.
• J.R. thinks there will be a live stream for the All In event in September.
• Undertaker is returning to the ring for a match against Triple H in Australia. J.R. would love the opportunity to call that match. Ronda Rousey will be on that card as well.
• Konnan will be coming out of retirement to compete for MLW, as will Kevin Sullivan.
• Impact Wrestling is getting better and they recently renewed Eli Drake’s contract.

37:50 – Slobberknocker Of The Week

Candidates this week:
• J.R. brings up Harry Kane (captain of the England Soccer Team) who scored a hat trick but I’m not entirely sure if he was a candidate.
• J.R. thinks it’s cool that ABC is rebooking the Roseanne show. He applauds ABC for doing this. J.R. will be watching and wants to see how the cast meshes and how they rise to the occasion.

This week’s winner is Stone Cold Steve Austin, arguably the greatest WWE superstar of all time. It was 22 years ago that Austin did his King of the Ring promo and introduced the world to “Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your a**.”

43:10 – Pet Coon Goofy Award

Candidates this week:
• Airport travel. In Chicago he had to take a bus from one terminal to another however, they only had one bus. In the middle of the process, it was the union break time. J.R. ended up having to take another bus to barely make his flight. When he landed at Heathrow in London, which was a nightmare. It took an hour to get through customs because they were short handed.
• The Red Hen in Virginia for refusing to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders because she works for Donald Trump. Even though J.R. is not a fan of Sanders, he feels the Red Hen shouldn’t have been rude to her and should have served her.
• Jameis Winston, starting QB for Tampa Bay, is about to get suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy with regards to an allegation with an Uber driver. J.R. says Jameis needs to grow up and become a man.

This week’s winner goes to Tom Arnold. He’s been claiming he worked with President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen who has allegedly given Tom incriminating tapes of the president.

52:07 – This Week In Wrestling

June 28, 1998 – The historic Hell In A Cell between Undertaker and Mankind at King of the Ring. It’s the most memorable match he ever called. Kane vs. Austin in a First Blood match was also on this card and Ken Shamrock became the King of the Ring by submitting Jeff Jarrett and The Rock.

July 1, 2002 – Monday Night RAW – The Undertaker had a ladder match with Jeff Hardy for the Undisputed Heavyweight Title. During the match, J.R. said ‘Climb the ladder kid and make yourself famous’ which is a line that stuck with him.

16 years ago on a non-TV event at MSG, Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan to regain the Undisputed Heavyweight Title.

June 30, 2008 – Monday Night RAW – Edge mocked J.R. and had his Edgeheads escort him out of the ring.

Birthdays: John Heidenreich (46), Johnny Saint (77), Cody Rhodes (33), Alicia Fox (32), Mike Tyson (52), Terry Funk (74), Pam Anderson (51), Scotty 2 Hotty (45), Bret Hart (61) and Charles Robinson (54)

1:06:08 – Mailbag

Send questions and comments to thejimrossreport@gmail.com

Q: What wrestling personality or story would make a compelling TV show or movie?

A: J.R. has the perfect idea and it’s called Slobberknocker, My Life in Wrestling. J.R. does admit to being biased though.

Q: Question comes in about the sound of the ring and what gives it that distinctive sound?

A: The sound of the ring has changed over the years. It’s based on how the ring is built and the acoustics of the building. Each ring has its own personality and sound but you want to make sure any ring is bump friendly.

Q: The person asking the question says there’s too much smiling by babyfaces as they come to the ring.

A: J.R. agrees. Sometimes the entertainment overlaps on the sports side. There should be a balance and the babyfaces’ reaction should fit the situation.

Q: Is the lack of selling in today’s product stressed by the WWE or is this a lost aspect of the business?

A: J.R. can’t speak for the WWE but thinks anyone who is a good wrestling person would encourage their talent to learn how to sell and register.

1;17:03 – Kenny Omega Part 1

J.R. welcomes Kenny Omega to the podcast who is arguably the hottest wrestler in the business. This is Omega’s third visit to J.R.’s podcast. J.R. has been in LA this week, doing voiceovers for AXS. J.R. won’t call Okada/Omega the greatest match he’s ever seen but he can’t recall calling a better match in his career. It will be airing the Friday night before the Cow Palace.

Q: How much thought and extra work did Kenny do for this match?

A: Omega said they had carte blanche to do what they wanted. He wanted to make sure all the variables made sense and could provide a piece of closure to their series of matches. Omega wanted this match to be the last time you’d see this match at least for a long period of time. From a physical standpoint, Omega had been putting on weight as part of a tag team however, for this match, he lost 14 or 15 lbs to make sure he could do a long match.

Q: How did the idea of the match materialize all the way through to Osaka.

A: He was at a show and Gedo told him they were going to do the Okada match. He didn’t just want to do another singles match. He looked at their history and competitiveness as sportsmen. Okada would want to make up for the draw, which led to the no time limit stipulation. For Kenny, he would not want excuses, which led to the best 2 out of 3 falls match. This was only Omega’s second 2 out of 3 falls match and he wanted to challenge his own creativity and give New Japan something new as they hadn’t done that type of match for the IWGP title. This also helps the evolution of NJPW into a worldwide product.

J.R. brings up the point that the business has evolved and fans have much more access to the product. He finds that fans are asking more intelligent questions today than 7 or 8 years ago (as a side note, J.R. went on a few tangents to get to this point and kept changing topics).

Q: Does Kenny still have obligations with ROH?

A: Kenny does work for ROH but takes bookings where they make sense. He won’t take any bookings that don’t move the business forward. He recently did the Supercard Of Honor and will be doing the Jericho Cruise, which ROH is involved with. Kenny gets involved with events like these because they do move the business forward.

Q: J.R. brings up the NJPW’s marketing strategy for the Cow Palace show and feels certain names should have been advertised right out of the gate. He asks what the feel is regarding the Cow Palace Show with the boys?

A: It’s Kenny’s first time there so he is excited for the show. He agrees with J.R. and thought they should have announced something big when tickets went on sale and given more information from the get go. Now that Kenny has seen what is planned, he says this will be a big show.

J.R. is very excited for the show and is coming out a day earlier so he can get a chance to talk to the boys.

J.R. brings up Cody Rhodes who has the same qualities as Omega.

Kenny says they have similar qualities as performers but they have different strengths as well, which will lend itself to an original looking match that will be different from any of the card. Kenny likes working with Cody because Cody has really good facials and selling abilities. Kenny likes working with people who have those abilities. It allows for moments and moves to feel more real and for people to take the stuff in between moves more seriously as well.

J.R. brings up the Jericho and Naito match. Kenny said it was a fun match for him to watch. The knots on the face of Naito and his bloody eyeball was old school like an old NWA show. J.R. is not advocating blood but when it happens organically, it’s an amazing dramatic effect. Kenny says it can bring an entirely new emotion into a match and can also help elevate your own performance. J.R. also brings up that they sold which helps the match because fans will have empathy for the person they support. He thinks a lot of the guys think selling is weakness (which it isn’t).

Q: J.R. asks who the next big thing is going to be in NJPW

A: Kenny says right off the bat, people are starting to believe in Juice (Robinson). People are starting to get into his character and cheer for him as an underdog. Ishi is another example of a great underdog. People believe he can beat anybody, which makes his matches against anyone really exciting. Another very young talent is Aaron Hanare who is working a Tongan gimmick and has limitless potential. There are a number of young lions who have great athletic backgrounds, couple that with all the work they are getting with the veterans, Kenny is excited for their future. J.R. brings up a young wrestler by the name of Jeff Cobb who Kenny thinks will have an impact very soon.

Kenny brings up the show he’s promoting on June 29th (When Worlds Collide with CEO Gaming). He wanted Jeff Cobb as part of that card. J.R. thinks the show will have some original ideas and is an opportunity to try things ‘off Broadway’ so to speak. Kenny promises the production will be off the charts and hopes this opens up some eyes and people have fun.

Q: When Kenny was growing up in Winnipeg, their main show was AWA. J.R. brings up Vader who was known as the Baby Bull in AWA and asks what Kenny’s memories were.

A: Kenny says you didn’t see huge, monsterous big guys doing drop kicks and moonsaults until Vader or Bam Bam Bigelow. Kenny has a more recent memory of Vader from 2009. He had met Vader for the first time in Japan who had his own promotion at the time. Vader asked Kenny to be in the promotion, which was Kenny’s first Japanese work VISA. It was because of Vader that Kenny was able to work in Japan. Kenny said he was a very nice person and would speak to anyone. Kenny brings up a story where Vader told Kenny he needed to become someone that the Japanese promotions wanted to constantly bring back, not knowing Kenny was already on his third tour in Japan. Kenny has only pleasant memories of him and wishes he could have worked with him more.

Q: What would be the boys description of working with Leon?

A: For a lot of the Japanese talent, Vader is an inspiration to the big men with athletic ability. Everyone still uses his matches as study material and aspire to be that sort of athlete who is hard hitting but can still bump and sell. While there are big men who can do that, Kenny thinks he’s the archetype for that type of athlete. He had a style that could pass as a shoot and when he wanted to do high-risk moves, it added another element to his matches. He had also had a larger than life character and could be intimidating.

J.R. talks about bringing Vader and Hansen to the WCW and felt they could bring a level of physicality and realness to their product. Omega remembers how rough the Vader/Cactus Jack feud was in WCW.

J.R. plugs Kenny’s twitter (@kennyomegamanx).

1:52:24 – Show Wrap

This ends the first part of the Kenny Omega interview. Omega will be defending the IWGP belt at the Cow Palace on July 7th against Cody Rhodes. Next week will be part 2 of the interview covering a number of topics such the championship mentality, his event on June 29th, his schedule, Dave Meltzer’s star ratings and his thoughts on WWE. J.R. goes through some of his 5-star reviews and plugs some of the Westwood One podcasts such as Talk Is Jericho and the Raven Effect. And that’s a wrap. Rating: 8/10

Another solid podcast from J.R. The standard segments of his podcast such as Slobberknocker of the Week and the Pet Coon Goofy Awards are getting better in their presentation. I was also looking forward to the Kenny Omega interview. My one critique about the interview though (and I’ve harped on this before), J.R. at times still talks much about his thoughts and ideas of the business instead of letting Kenny speak. At times, it felt like J.R. was doing more talking than Kenny was. Also, J.R. would start a question on one topic but then change directions mid-question, which sometimes got a little confusing (especially if you have to recap this thing). That said though, I did enjoy the interview and for the most part, the podcast.


0:00 – Intro
4:10  – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
37:50 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
43:10 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
52:07 – This Week In Wrestling
1:06:08 – Mailbag
1:17:03 – Kenny Omega Part 1
1:52:24 – Show Wrap

Writer Bio

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.

1 Comment

  1. Wow. Not sure if it is part of the Bell’s, perhaps a few too many Guinness or what but JR is clearly nuts this week. Tom Arnold is a drug using liar, taking his story on either side is a waste of time just as Tom is a wast of flesh. Nobody likes what happened to the Roseanne show, way too many undercurrents. Roseanne gets stupid, piles on more stupid and adds a topping of stupid letting ABC get rid of a show that they don’t like the politics of. Again, neither side a winner and he should have stayed out of it. And he’s not a fan of Sanders? Good Ol’ JR is clearly crazy as a pet coon this week. All 3 topics should be avoided by everyone, there is no upside to that entire load of BS. Hopefully Jet Lag and the airport troubles got to him.

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