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RECAP AND REVIEW: The Jim Ross Report – Josh Barnett looks back at G1 Special and the future of Brock Lesnar, the current tag team wrestler J.R. sees as a future champion, issue with Jonathan Coachman

The Jim Ross Report

Release Date: July 11th, 2018

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

0:00 – Intro

We are back for another week of The Ross Report. Josh Barnett will be on today’s show talking about the G1 Special from San Francisco. They have not talked about this event since Saturday so it will be an interesting conversation. J.R. thanks everyone for their well wishes as he bruised his left ribs, left lung and sternum from the G1 event. This injury caused him to miss travelling to a few events such as North Carolina for Headlock on Hunger (www.headlockonhunger.org) which helps kids who are not getting enough to eat and an appearance for Glenn Jacbos. His doctor has told him no air travel this week.

4:11 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind?

J.R. congratulates Miz and Maryse on their new show called Miz and Mrs. which premieres July 24th on the USA Network. Miz is doing a lot of PR for WWE which he is good at. He is constantly reinventing himself and while J.R. doesn’t think Miz is a great off the hook athlete in a natural sense, he’s a great marketer, entrepreneur and showman and has the courage to do that. J.R. wishes Miz and Maryse the best of luck on the new show.

J.R. got a text from Ric Flair on Wednesday morning. Ric is recovering from a successful colonoscopy bag reversal surgery. J.R. says Ric was in good spirits when he sent the text and sends best wishes to Naitch.

On July 21st, J.R. will be in Dallas for a World Class Revolution event. Tickets are available at www.worldclassprowrestling.com at the Southport Ranch. J.R. will have merchandise on hand. Other stars making an appearance will be the Von Erichs, Angelina Love, MVP, Scott Steiner, Chavo Guerrero and John Hennigan.

MLW is announcing a War Games match concept for their September 6th TV taping at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale. A lot of big things are happening with Court Bauer’s product which J.R. likes and supports. Check out www.mlw.com for more details.

iTV just released a great trailer on their social media about their upcoming reboot. Their TV program starts on July 28th.

A movie about wrestling is coming out on Thursday, July the 12th called 350 days. It’s a one night event that exposes the effect of the lifestyle on wrestlers’ marriage(s), families, physical and mental health. For information on this, check out www.fathomevents.com.

Impact Wrestling is holding their Slammiversary event on Sunday, July 22nd. J.R. says the show is much better to watch and says Don Callis and Scott D’Amore are doing a great job.

J.R. plans to see the Rock’s new movie Skyscraper this weekend and will try to give a movie report next week on the show.

Danny Hodge was involved in a silver alert last weekend as he had driven his car from Perry to Tulsa. Danny should not be driving because he suffers from dementia. J.R. asks that we keep Danny in our thoughts and prayers.

Hiromu Takahashi was severely injured during a botched spot at the San Francisco event at the Cow Palace. J.R.’s concern is with the long term health and safety of the athletes. As someone who has done talent relations, he gets to know not only the wrestlers but their families as well. A lot of the talent only have wrestling as a skill set and some of them are not good at saving money. When they get seriously hurt, it affects so many lives. At the time of this podcast recording, Hiromu is still at the hospital but sitting up and talking. It sounds like he will not need surgery which is great news. J.R. wishes Hiromu the best and hopes he gets back soon.

Jeff Jarrett is looking for a strong outing on the FITE app. He’s doing a one man show in the UK on July 25th.

J.R. plugs his ‘The King And I’ events with Jerry Lawler. Check out www.zanies.com for details.

Thoughts on RAW:

Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre was a ball buster and outstanding wrestling match. J.R. says McIntyre is going to be a future WWE or Universal Champion. He’s the kind of person you can build a brand around and J.R. likes his work ethic and leadership abilities
Mojo Rawley is coming along, he is a big, athletic, rugged and talented bastard.
No Way Jose has got to be more than his Congo line and being a good dancer.
J.R. liked the Roman Reigns/Bobby Lashley pull-apart and thought it was done well. That said, he’s still concerned and curious as to how their styles will mesh at Extreme Rules

Smackdown Live:

J.R. like the Styles/Nakamura match but thought there were too many interruptions and at the wrong time.
Great opportunity for Rusev this Sunday. J.R. is not sure why Rusev is a fan favorite other than he’s likeable. Heels that make J.R. laugh are not villains and Rusev makes him laugh. Rusev has an opportunity to move up into the next level, win, lose or draw.
J.R. likes the role of Paige as the GM. It fits her perfectly and she’s a big addition to SmackDown.
J.R. says SmackDown lately has been the better of the two shows for the last several weeks.
J.R. is proud that Michael Cole is doing a great job as an announcer. Cole does a lot of things better than J.R. did and hopes other announcers take their jobs as seriously as J.R. and Cole did and do.

22:13 – Slobberknocker Of The Week

This week’s candidates:
Drew McIntyre who had a great match with Seth Rollins on RAW this past Monday (and it was a great match).
The Reigns/Lashley pull-apart
The Undertaker and Ronda Rousey made appearances at MSG. It was Taker’s first appearance in 8 years.
Fox Sports for their coverage of the World Cup. J.R. plans to watch the finals this weekend. He may not know the nuances but loves the passion of the fans.
Josh Barnett for coming to J.R.’s aid on Saturday night at the G1 Special.
Brock Lesnar for his appearance at UFC 226. J.R. says the Cormier/Lesnar fight will happen and thinks Brock will still be affiliated with WWE.

The Slobberknocker of the week goes to the team that rescued the Thai soccer team who were stuck in a cave. One of the rescuers died trying to help them.

28:56 – Pet Coon Goofy Award

This week’s candidates:
Jonathan Coachman made a somewhat sarcastic remark about J.R. referencing breaking a rib. J.R. doesn’t know what to make of it but can’t imagine why Coach would say something to besmirch him because J.R. has always supported him. If Coach said it on purpose and thought it was going to be funny, it wasn’t.
Michael Rapaport who tried to make a joke about the Thai soccer team who were stuck in the cave and tie them in with disgraced actor Kevin Spacey. The joke made reference to Spacey’s sexual allegations. Very bad taste.
Arizona Cardinal President Michael Bidwell’s endorsement of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh who were high school classmates. J.R. thought it was tacky being political especially because of the ongoing issues with the owner/player unrest with the national anthem controversy.
TSA’s Urn snafu involving A.J. Francis’ deceased mother’s remains. A.J. was flying with his mother’s ashes and when he went to collect his bag, the ashes had been disturbed and were all over his clothes.

This week’s award goes to the ring crew for not interlocking the security rails around the ring during the G1 Event at the Cow Palace. They were free standing and going everywhere. It was inept, dangerous and unnecessary (personally I would have given it to Rapaport or TSA).

34:55 – This Week In Wrestling

38 years ago – July 14th 1980, AWA Superbowl VI – Verne Gagne defeated Nick Bockwinkel to win the AWA title in Comiskey Park, Chicago.

32 years ago – July 12th, 1986 – ‘Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart won a 20 man battle royal at an MSG event for WWE (It actually might have been a 22 man battle Royal).

32 years ago – July 1th, 1986 – Harley Race became the King Of The Ring defeating George ‘The Animal’ Steele, Pedro Morales and Billy Jack Haynes at Sullivan Stadium (which is now Foxboro Stadium).

30 years ago – July 17th, 1988 – Bruiser Brody was murdered in Puerto Rico. He was stabbed in a locker room and died hours later. He was killed by Jose Gonzalez.

26 years ago – July 12th, 1992 – Great American Bash – Big Van Vader defeated Sting to win the WCW title. Also on the card, Terry Gordy and Steve Williams defeated Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes in the finals of the WCW tag team titles.

21 years ago – July 14, 1997 – Dude Love tagged with Stone Cold Steve Austin to win the WWE tag team champions defeating the British Bulldogs and Owen Hart

20 years ago – July 13, 1998 – RAW Is WAR – Kane and Mankind defeated The New Age Outlaws to win the WWE tag titles.

19 years ago – July 12th, 1999 – Monday Nitro – Hulk Hogan defeated Randy Savage to win the WCW Title

14 years ago – July 11th, 2004 – Vengeance PPV – Edge beat Randy Orton to win the IC title.

This week’s birthdays:

Brock Lesnar (41), Sami Zayn (34), Tyson Kidd (38), ‘The Natural’ Butch Reed (64), the late Reginald Lisowski (aka The Crusher) would have been 92, Hurricane Helms (44), Rene Goulet (86), Jake Crist (34), Sean Waltman (46), Bubba Dudley (47), Heath Slater (35), Jesse Ventura (67), Mil Mascaras (76), Bobby Lashley (42), Mike Knox (40), Blue Demon Jr. (52), Lacey Von Erich (32), Daphne (43) and the late Pee Wee Anderson would have been 59.

48:29 – Mailbag

Send questions and comments to thejimrossreport@gmail.com.

Q: If J.R. were still in creative with WWE, would he expand on the heat between Byron Saxton and Corey Graves like they had done between Jim Ross and Michael Cole?

A: J.R. would not actively plan and add any more animosity on the situation. He feels, that schtick no longer works and didn’t think it was great creative when he and Cole were doing it. Commentators are there for one reason….to put over the talent. If your interactions with your broadcast partner abruptly kills that, then you’re not doing a good job. J.R. says backing that off might be better to put more focus on the talent.

Q: In J.R.’s opinion, what would A.J. Styles have to do to make his title run legendary?

A: Stay healthy, monitor and inventory his bump card and not take too many high risk maeonvers. J.R. thinks Styles is the best in-ring worker in today.

Q: Any good restaurants, bars or stories from Boston?

A: J.R.’s most heartfelt memory from Boston is sharing a little dressing room with Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon. He says it was like a surreal comedy act that kept evolving. Heenan would constantly pull small pranks on Gorilla.

Q: What is J.R.’s favorite Gimmick Match?

A: J.R. likes iron man type matches which is why he is looking forward to the Rollins/Seth 30-minute Ironman match at Extreme Rules. He also loves Hell In A Cell but when it was only once a year. He thinks the cell match has been overexposed.

Q: Does J.R. see the WWE having 3 or more person stables again like NWO, Horseman, Evolution or Bullet Club.

A: J.R. says it’s cyclical and thinks this will happen again. He believes factions help get talent to another level if done correctly. There’s enough talent in the WWE that need a bit more shine and personality. This can happen when they are part of a faction. It’s good publicity, good for marketing and they will be doing it more.

Q: What are J.R.’s thoughts on talents like Austin Idol and Bill Dundee. Why did they never make it to the big stage?

A: You have to look long and hard to find more talented in-ring performers, wrestlers, brawlers and promo guys than Idol and Dundee. One of the reasons Dundee may not have made it was due to his size which was not as big a deal in the territories. Austin Idol was a big time player and is one of the top guys ever. J.R. doesn’t have a specific reason…it could have been their ‘southerness’, their size or timing but it definitely wasn’t an issue with their talent.

57:09 – Josh Barnett

J.R. welcomes Josh to the show and thanks Josh for having his back and standing up for J.R when he got knocked down at the G1 Special. Josh says there are instances of some of the performers going rouge and he is not going to sit back and allow he and J.R. be fair game. He’s not just a guy with a suit… he has a background in this and is not a typical announcer.

Q: Overall, what were Josh’s impressions of the show (the G1 Event).

A: Ultimately it was a bit chaotic especially with so much changing between factions and people. There were 5 title matches which had elevated emotions and output. Additionally, the inner turmoil with some of these factions like the Bullet Club was bedlam and looked like an airplane crash.

J.R. says one of the beautiful parts about this gig is that he and Josh sat down to do the shows not knowing who was going to win or any of the details. J.R. likes to stay away from that information so he can react spontaneously and says announcers today are too reliant on being smartened up before the matches. Josh agrees and wants to be in the moment. He wants to see what the athletes are bringing to the table and highlight that. Josh knows what combat is like and knows what’s going through the athletes heads. He wants to bring that kind of understanding to the audience because he’s been in the ring.

Q: People have asked what would happen if Josh had gotten his hands on Jay White. J.R. says he doesn’t know what would have happened but suggests it wouldn’t be pleasant for Jay White.

A: Josh says everything happened so fast that as soon as the table hit, J.R. was gone. People have asked why Josh didn’t try to catch J.R. but he had no chance. Josh says some fans (smarks) think wrestling is one way but are so far away from understanding the reality of what wrestling is. When White suplexed Robinson, there was a lot of force, impact and velocity behind that. Josh felt that he and J.R. were being disrespected during that spot.

J.R. says one of the best things Jay White did as a heel was backpedaling from Josh which Josh said made sense and was a good idea if Jay wanted a long and happy careers. Both Jay and Juice looked for J.R. after the show to apologize which J.R. believes was sincere. That said, neither of them didn’t know what they were trying to accomplish during that spot. Josh agrees they were very apologetic and there was no ill will intended. But, Josh was waiting for Jay to ‘give him the office’ and admit they ‘f*cked up’ which is why Josh lost his cool. Additionally, at no point did Josh or J.R. bury the match. Josh did talk to Jay and gave him a lecture of what happened during the incident from Josh’s perspective.

J.R. brings up the fact the security railings were free standing and not interlocked. Josh said that was a gross oversight and mentions the time keeper also got hit in the knee with one of the railing. That could have been very unsafe not just for the talent but the audience as well.

J.R. didn’t realize how badly injured Hiromu Takahashi was. He may still be in the hospital and it doesn’t appear he needs surgery. J.R. says this can be used as a learning experience in terms of next steps.

Q: Can an athlete like Hiromu who is used to that kind of style and pace change?

A: Yes but there is a process involved. As a performer you have to understand what makes you successful and strip that down to its basest elements. You want to capture the essence of what you’re doing that is giving you results and work around that as opposed to working harder and adding bigger moves. There’s also a whole personality element in terms of what wrestlers do beyond the athletic moves. Coming back to the botched spot, Hiroumu had taken that move plenty of times but this time it was poorly executed.

J.R. was shocked that Dragon Lee had three matches the night before the Hiromu match and wonders why you would entertain the thought of doing that before the G1 Special event. Josh says that’s the boys trying to make as much money as they can and understands the mentality but adds that’s where the office needs to step in and say no.

Q: J.R. says the Young Bucks have made a change in their game planning and are now more of a classic babyface team. They are wrestling smarter and selling really well. For J.R.’s money, they are one of the best tag teams in the business and have done a great job at re-inventing themselves.

A: Josh agrees that some time earlier this year, they changed the way they were approaching their matches and creating really good storylines and sticking to it. They were not only doing athletic moves but were using good psychology and continue to deliver some killer stuff right now.

J.R. says they are smart and entrepreneurial which segways to Cody who also has the same qualities. While J.R. didn’t expect Kenny to lose his first title match with Cody, there were times during the match when he thought it could happen.

Josh didn’t expect Kenny to lose either and also didn’t expect anyone to get suplexed off a ladder. The match was spectacular with regards to the high spot elements. Josh wasn’t initially impressed with Cody or Juice’s NJPW debut but they are evolving and have done incredibly well to adjust to the NJPW product. They continue to get better and build better rapports with the fans.

Q: J.R. brings up the territory days and says talents like the Bucks, Kenny Omega or Cody would have no issues finding work. He could see them doing some good booking as their instincts are on point right now which is fun to watch.

A: Josh says they’re a part of this newer generational era using aspects of social media and blending them in with what they are doing in and around the ring. They are also building story elements across multiple promotions.

Q: J.R. brings up the upcoming G1 and asks who Josh’s pick is. J.R. says it’s unpredictable.

A: Josh agrees and says the good part of this isn’t just the individual brackets but what some of the early match ups could be and how they can play out during the tournament.

Q: J.R. brings up New Japan fans who dislike J.R. and Josh on commentary compared to Kevin Kelly and Don Callis.

A: Josh says it’s a small contingent who are the ‘internet, pro wrestling smart mark’ community who have a set way in which they see professional wrestling and how it should be presented and displayed. Josh doesn’t tend to respond but sometimes will get into a conversation with them from time to time. The most common (and weakest) argument tends to be ‘you bury the product’ but they can’t elaborate.

Josh thinks what you’re doing in the ring is what counts. Who you’ve faced, who you’re facing next and who you’ve beaten is important. These fans don’t enjoy or understand the ‘reality combat’ aspect of wrestling. Many people talk about the ‘art’ of wrestling but Josh isn’t into the art…to him it’s a combat sport and he’s not even sure if younger fans know that wrestling was real and is the grandfather of modern MMA. it’s not just about ‘Hulking up’ and gimmicks, but rather it’s based in some reality.

J.R. adds they don’t have the standard announcer/colour guy dynamic. He was told from the very beginning that AXS wanted a sports oriented feel to the commentary. Josh did not sign up to be a gimmick announcer. Josh and J.R love wrestling and have connections to people that touched many eras. Josh references Bobby Heenan as one of the greatest heel announcers ever but he sees himself more as a Gordon Solie type. Others can do the heel/face announcer dynamic but Josh would rather not. It’s the same with his outlook on wrestling. He takes it as more combat reality based and would rather treat it that way then make it hokier than it is.

J.R. brings up the Cormier/Miocic match and did not expect Cormier to knock him out that quickly. This brings up Lesnar who was going to come into the ring and challenge the winner regardless of who won.

Q: How does something like that come about? Is that a Dana White/Brock Lesnar deal? How does something like that get structured? What were Josh’s thoughts on the presentation and was he surprised?

A: Josh wasn’t surprised in the least and is sure the office and Lesnar have been working to make this happen as it’s too much of a money maker to pass up. This goes back to what Josh talked about earlier with regards to the presentation of wrestling. People felt Lesnar being in the Octagon was hokey, goofy and not to be taken seriously which shows people think wrestling is a joke in some ways. Josh is trying to reverse that image with his commentary. Whether this was 100% legit or if this was manufactured, people want to see individuals they are drawn to fight against each other. Boxing does the same sort of thing as well.

Q: Will Brock beat Daniel Cormier?

A: No. Brock is a solid athlete but doesn’t spend time working on his shooting skills which is a beef Josh had with Brock while Brock was associated with Eric Paulson who was Josh’s old coach. In between fights, Brock wasn’t coming down to the gym and trying to get extra work in. Josh felt he wasn’t putting in the time. On the other hand, Cormier has wrestled at a higher level than brock, has been wrestling longer, fighting longer and against better competition. Josh doesn’t see this as a favorable matchup for Brock.

Q: Win, lose or draw, could the UFC get to the Lesnar/Jones fight?

A: Josh doesn’t see it happening and doesn’t think it’s a fight Lesnar really wants. Additionally, it’s too far into the future to speculate. Brock is pretty smart with his business and Josh doesn’t think Brock will be in the UFC long enough for that fight to happen.

Josh and J.R. discuss Brock’s WWE contract and his time in the UFC. Josh argues that the UFC gave Brock the easiest path to get the UFC title but once he fought a tough level competitor in Cain Velasquez that changed. Josh wonders what Brock would have done if he had decided to train more seriously in MMA. That said, he’s still in great shape and could continue pro wrestling longer than 5 years but Josh isn’t sure if he wants to do that.

J.R. says this fight will be a big buyrate and there are many MMA purists who want to see DC beat the ‘pro wrestler’ even though Brock is a former UFC champion. Josh says Brock is a pro wrestler but so is he. When he was in Strikeforce, he would list his style as pro wrestling which they would always change to catch wrestling or MMA. Josh also says Brock’s UFC title reign doesn’t rank up there with others but he did fight and beat people such as Mark Hunt and Shane Carwin. Josh adds being a pro wrestler shouldn’t be a knock which harkens back to people thinking wrestling is fake and hokey. Josh doesn’t want that image with what he does.

Josh is on twitter and instagram @JoshLBarnett. J.R. once again thanks Josh for having his back during the incident at the G1 event and jokes that he was more pissed off about losing his hat. They have the support of New Japan and AXS TV who are looking forward to Josh and J.R. doing more work. Josh says they don’t just want to make New Japan be the best they can but to put pro wrestling in a better light and bring back some legitimacy that people may have traded away.

J.R. thanks Josh for being on the podcast and signs off.

1:41:16 – Show Wrap

J.R. goes through some of his 5 star ratings. They have 999 so far. He plugs a few of the Westwood One podcasts (Keeping It 100, X-Pac 12360). You can find J.R. on twitter (@jrsbbq) and Instagram (@JimRossBBQ). He thanks Josh Barnett for having his back and being his partner and re-iterates they are a unique commentary duo trying to bring a sports-oriented commentary to their product. He pushes his appearances coming up in the UK and thanks the fans for their get well wishes. And that’s a wrap

Review: Not a great podcast but not a bad one either. The ‘What’s On J.R.’s Mind’ segment wasn’t as good as the last few weeks. He kind of regurgitated stuff from previous podcasts, even his views on RAW and SmackDown. That said, I really enjoyed the Josh Barnett interview. I love his perspective and approach to pro wrestling and enjoy his commentary (I don’t get why people don’t like J.R. and Josh). If nothing else, listen to the interview. Rating: 8/10

0:00 – Intro
4:11 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
22:13 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
28:56 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
34:55 – This Week In Wrestling
48:29 – Mailbag
57:09 – Josh Barnett
1:41:16 – 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.

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