The Jim Ross Report
Release Date: August 1st, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro
Welcome back to another week of Slobberknocker audio with J.R. Coming up on the show is Becky Lynch who will be in a SummerSlam main event level match in a match with Carmella and Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s title. J.R. wonders how Becky likes being considered by some as a side kick which he’ll ask her about later.
1:28 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind?
J.R. starts off with giving condolences to the families of Nikolai Volkoff, Brickhouse Brown and Brian Christopher who all passed away on July 29th. J.R. was in London and Jerry Lawler called him to tell him about Brian however, J.R. missed the call and regrets that.
Nikolai Volkoff (70) was a gentle giant. J.R. met him in the Leroy McGuirk territory where Nikolai was part of the Mongols tag team as Bepo Mongol. J.R. remembers one trip where he drove with the Mongols to Joplin, Missouri to Tulsa. On the way back, they picked up a 6 pack. Nikolai drank 2 beers, got a nice buzz and started playing drums on J.R. And there wasn’t a damn thing Jim could do about it. He was as big, athletic and strong as anyone Jim had ever seen at the time. He was a nice man and a terrific guy.
Brickhouse Brown (57), passed away due to prostate cancer. J.R. wonders if that fact that many wrestlers don’t get medical insurance is the reason they don’t get their prostates checked regularly. Brickhouse Brown was brought into Mid-South as a potential replacement for Junkyard Dog when he left for the WWE. Brickhouse had a lot of personality and charisma however, it didn’t work out. J.R. talks about a story where Bill Watts wanted to speak to Brickhouse before his first TV. They were at a hotel however nobody knew Brown’s real name (Fred Searwright). They ended up asking reception to page Mr. Brickhouse Brown and report to the front desk. J.R. thought this was hilarious and started laughing.
Brian Christopher Lawler (47). He was placed in solitary confinement for a DUI which J.R. doesn’t understand unless it was for his own protection. He was a talented performer and a legit chip off the old block when it came to in-ring skills. J.R. loved calling his matches with the King and hinting Grandmaster Sexay was Lawler’s son. Brian’s funeral is on Friday in Memphis.
Heartfelt condolences to all their families and friends. These men contributed to the business in their own way and all will be missed (Amen).
J.R. had three great days in London for the Comic Con. He also thanks Mark Henry who was recently on the Busted Open radio show. He enjoyed hanging out with Hurricane Helms and his wife. The Nasty Boys, Billy Gunn, Jeff Jarrett, Carly Perez and So-Cal Val were also there.
AXS TV’s coverage of the 2018 G1 Tournament continues this Friday, August 3rd featuring Omega vs Naito and Ibushi vs Zak Sabre Jr. from the first day of the G1.
Thoughts On RAW:
- Big night for Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar who were front and center. J.R. is assuming Reigns and Lesnar will be on last at SummerSlam but if it is the last match of a long night, is that the position you want the Universal Title be in? J.R. also wonders what kind of reaction this match will get from the live audience and if it’s overtly negative, is that the sound you want to go off the air with?
- Ronda Rousey has a main event level match at SummerSlam against Alexa Bliss. Rousey has her first one-on-one match with Alicia Fox this Monday night (August 7th).
- Baron Corbin is evolving nicely. He had a great match with Finn Balor and these two have a lot of upside. We have to remember though, when you have a match with Balor and Corbin, both guys could use a win but as a general rule, you can’t get two guys over. While it has been done it’s very hard to do.
- The women on RAW continue to get prominent positioning and often have some of the better performances of the night on a consistent basis.
Thoughts on Smackdown
- J.R. thought it was the better show than RAW.
- Great start with Becky Lynch and Carmella. Charlotte’s inclusion in the match increases the level of interest for the Smackdown women’s title match at SummerSlam.
- J.R. appreciates Smackdown’s creative for bringing relevance to the tag team scene. A lot of things that happen on Smackdown make sense. The tag team scene is in general need of personal issues to create interest in the teams because the tag team titles (and titles in general) are tepid at best.
- The Orton/Hardy/Nakamura issue is evolving and still has J.R.’s interest. He really likes Orton’s intensity. Anytime a character can leave you with more questions than answers it’s a better deal for everyone involved
- J.R. loved the Bryan/Miz interaction because it was personal and felt real. This makes J.R want to watch the match even more.
- MLW presents War Games on September the 6th in Fort Lauderdale. Check out www.mlwgo.com for tickets. ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor won the MLW Battle Riot event in New York
- Tickets for ROH’s co-venture with NJPW at MSG during Wrestlemania week go on sale Friday, August 10th. J.R. wonders if it will sell out the Gardens on day one. It would be shocking if they did.
- There will be 3 UK events televised on the Fite app.
- Impact wrestling is a big part of the Chris Jericho cruise. LAX will be going up against The Young Bucks.
- Josh Matthews’ wife Madison Rayne is slated to compete in the Mae Young Classic.
- Mauro Ranallo will be doing the play by play for the Mae Young Classic.
- Nikki Bella and John Cena have called it quits
- J.R. likes Matt Riddle’s work on the indy scene and compared him to Kevin Von Erich. There are a lot of rumors as to where Matt will end up but J.R. says the WWE is the only place for him to go.
29:05 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
- Tommaso Ciampa who is someone a lot of people may have written off. He is a passionate in-ring performer who has earned J.R.’s respect. Ciampa defeated Alistair Black to win the NXT Title.
- Jim Toomey, former Cleveland Indian and Philadelphia Phillies who was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame along with Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell and Trevor Hoffman. Toomey is a class act and a big wrestling fan.
This week’s winner is Paul Heyman who was front and center on RAW getting the SummerSlam main event over to a more interesting and focused level. Nobody can sell a point in a wrestling contest better than Paul Heyman. He’s timely, smart and went above and beyond the call of duty with his performance.
33:13 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
This week’s candidates include:
- Two men and a woman stole a baby shark from the San Antonio aquarium which was all caught on tape. The police tracked down the shark who is happily back in the aquarium. The police have made one arrest and will be charging two more people.
- Jerry Jones has been outspoken in his desire to have Cowboys players stand for the anthem. His son Stephen Jones said players should stand if they want to be a Dallas Cowboy and would be punished if the chose to stay in the locker room during the anthem. However, Jerry Jones backtracked and is now following through on an NFL guideline not to discuss player protests during the national anthem. J.R. understands why African-Americans are protesting but thinks there are better ways to go about this.
This week’s winner is Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh who told former Michigan QB and current UCLA QB Wilton Speight to not eat chicken. When asked why, Harbaugh said it was a nervous bird. Harbaugh thinks some type of sickness injected itself into the human population when they started eating white meat instead of beef and pork.
40:01 – This Week In Wrestling
54 years ago, August 1st, 1964 – MSG – Gorilla Monsoon and Killer Kowalski defeated Bobo Brazil and Billy Watts in the main event.
21 years ago, August 3rd, 1997 – SummerSlam – Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the IC title from Owen Hart but suffered a broken neck during the match. Bret Hart won the WWF Title from the Undertaker when special ref Shawn Michaels hit Taker with a chair. The show opened with a steel cage match with Mankind defeating Triple H
20 years ago, August 3rd, 1998 – Monday Nitro – Rey Mysterio defeated Chris Jericho and 20 years later, both are going strong.
15 years ago, August 4th, 2003 – RAW – Eric Bischoff defeated Shane McMahon in a no DQ match. J.R. remembers it more for the plane ride because he was sitting beside Jim Cornette. Cornette is deathly afraid of flying and when he took his meds to fall asleep, he didn’t take into account they would be on the tarmac for two hours prior to the flight. The meds wore off when they mid-flight and Cornette asked J.R. to sing him a song.
10 years ago – Dave Batista and John Cena teamed up to defeat Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr to win the WWE Tag Titles.
6 years ago – Triplemania 20 – Impact Wrestling’s Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett lose a hair vs hair match to Electroshock and La Parka. The Impact team was representing Dorian Roldan’s hair while the Triple A team was representing Dorian’s father Joachim Pena. The Impact team lost so Roland cut his father’s hair.
This week’s Birthdays
Harry Smith (33), Devon Dudley (46), El Hijo Del Santos (55), Jim Neidhart (63), Damien Sandow (36), Butterbean (52), Frankie Kazarian (41), Jimmy Valiant (76), the late Dino Bravo would have been 71 and Sable (51)
50:36 – Mailbag
Send questions and comments to email@example.com.
Q: Is the time of the heel announcer over?
A: If a talent is trying to be a heel but it takes them out of their believable tenor or voice and they sound sensationalistic or over the top, it doesn’t play out. Today’s fan are much more educated and have more information. You have to be as sincere as you can possibly can and while you can embellish, it has to be in a tone and tenor that is real. In the traditional sense, the heel announcer disagreeing with everything the play by play person says is redundant, uncreative and uninspired. It’s not going to work.
Q: Will J.R. be doing commentary for New Japan at the Fighting Spirit Unleashed show on September 30th?
A: J.R. has not heard if AXS is going to televise the event. He assumes if AXS is televising it, he should be calling the matches.
Q: Which person in NXT does J.R. see as the next big thing?
A: J.R. loves Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Aleister Black. There are a lot of people and their cupboards are definitely not bare. It’s hard to single out one person that stands out heads and shoulders above everybody else. As fans it’s a good thing as NXT has done a great job at scouting and recruiting talent. You can’t go with Strong or Cole and it’s their time.
Q: Did J.R. umpire baseball?
A: Yes he did for almost 20 years. He went to an umpire school in 1976 and went straight to umpiring a lot of high school games. He enjoyed umpiring and made money doing it.
Q: Does J.R. think a tag team Money In the Bank work?
A: J.R. doesn’t know if it would work right now because there aren’t enough established tag teams to give it legitimacy. He does like the idea of thinking in that direction and likes the thinking of ways to make tag teams more relevant and meaningful. Bottom line, it’s good to be thinking of things that accentuate tag teams but until personal issues are introduced and teams have more continuity, it will be hard to make it work.
59:18 – Becky Lynch
J.R. welcomes Becky to the show. The Smackdown from Tampa was a good show and was a better show than RAW. Becky had a good outing and felt the beginning of the show was good.
Q: How much input does Becky have in her creative in that sort of environment?
A: Becky has more control of tweaking her promos compared to the overall writing of the promo. If she sees something she that doesn’t look right on a promo, she’ll say those aren’t words that Rebecca Quin which would use making it difficult to deliver the promo believably. Becky always wants to sound like she’s just talking as opposed to delivering a speech. She looks at her promos to make sure whatever she’s saying has some depth that people can get behind and wants to use active verbiage. She wants to sound like she’s fighting for something and make sure it’s her own words.
J.R. says many people are leery of structured oratory which has become more closely attached to politics and compares it to ribbing on the square in wrestling. Becky’s promos and her passion delivering the promos caught J.R.’s attention.
J.R. says it’s imperative you believe in your TV persona and there are aspects of your real life personality that we can find on Smackdown. He didn’t foresee the SummerSlam match becoming a triple threat match.
Q: Was Becky surprised when she found out her SummerSlam match was going to be a triple threat?
A: Becky wasn’t too surprised and feels this falls in line with her character. Becky is always ‘almost there’ then another obstacle gets thrown in her way which she has to overcome. Things don’t come easy for her character which she thinks has gotten the fans behind her. Becky always figured something like this was going to happen and that it was never going to be a straight shot.
J.R. says this fits with her persona and represents the journey she is on which the fans have embraced. There’s so much speculation around this situation regarding how this match will turn out. It sets up more questions than answers which makes it fun to be in the wrestling business. Becky has no answers and says it will be surprise to her as well as everybody else.
J.R. brings up his UK tour and mentions he was in Limerick, Ireland which is where Becky was born. Becky says it’s the only part of the country people still speak Gaelic.
J.R. plugs Becky’s twitter @BeckyLynchWWE and puts over her cheekbones (because he’s a cheekbone guy) and her natural beauty.
Q: How did Becky figure out at 15 she wanted to get into wrestling?
A: Becky watched wrestling while she was growing up. She was a chubby kid and admits to partying too much. She figured she needed to get fit and didn’t just want to go to a conventional gym. She initially wanted to get into something scrappier like kickboxing however, her brother found out about a wrestling school opening in Breaks, Ireland. Becky asked if she could come along. She was the only girl in the class which didn’t even have a ring, only blue mats. For 3 months they wrestled on those mats then they finally got the wrestling ring. She fell in love with it. She wasn’t athletic at all but it gave her a drive to want to work hard at something. She would also do summer camps in England and would go there any chance she got to do shows. She played heel for the first time in a tag match and realized wrestling is what she wanted to do. A few months later, she dropped out of college and moved to Canada to wrestle. She actually taught the first class Kyle O’Reilly was in. Eventually her Visa ran out in Canada and she wasn’t sure what to do or where she would go so she left the business for 7 years.
Q: Becky was a flight attendance for a few years. How was it? Was she a heel or a babyface?
A: Becky was an ultra babyface as an attendant. No matter how mean someone would be, she would be extra nice to make them feel guilty. She remembers one time when a passenger was being so mean to her but she kept being nice and they ended up being best friends on the flight. Becky’s mom was a flight attendance for 30 years but wasn’t for her. During that time she also took some acting classes but realized there would always be scheduling conflicts.
Becky kept a diary her entire life and would write she had unfinished business and wasn’t doing what she wanted to do. When she left wrestling she went to Orlando to do personal training. She called her mom and wanted to give up but her mom said Becky always gave up everything and said Becky needed to see this through. Her mom wouldn’t let her come home which was one of the best things for Becky. From that point Becky promised she was never going to give up and this was a huge lesson for her.
Q: How did Joe Cabray convince Becky to come back to wrestling. 7 years is a long break and J.R. was curious as to how she did it.
A: Becky had finished her acting degree and lived in New York working as a bartender. She had gotten her visa and booked a job on Vikings as a stunt women. She wanted to go back and do some wrestling training to build some confidence and bring that to the stunt work. When she went to the school, Joe said she hadn’t missed a beat and she felt like she was ‘back home’. After the class, they were talking about promos and Joe could see her passion about wrestling and asked if she had ever considered a tryout. Up to that point, Becky had been trying to force another passion onto herself but once he said that, it focused her back towards wrestling to the point she felt there was no way she was not going to make it.
Q: How did Becky contact the WWE?
A: Robbie Brookside. One of the last shows she worked on the independents, Robbie was working on that show and Becky was wrestling Sweet Saraya (Paige’s mom) who had a reputation for being stiff. Becky was able to go toe-to-toe with her and have a good match. When Joe contacted Robbie, Robbie wondered whatever happened to Becky because he thought she had some potential but then she dropped off the face of the planet. Becky couldn’t face wrestling anymore and felt like she had abandoned her family. Even coming back to wrestling, she felt a tremendous guilt being in the WWE as she felt there were people who had worked their entire time to get to the WWE while she walked away from it. She was eventually able to overcome this but this was a huge obstacle for her and had to completely regain her confidence.
J.R. says she’s done a good job of that because she is believable when she’s on TV.
Q: To J.R. says that it seems Charlotte is being booked as the ‘queen of the castle’ while Becky is almost like a sidekick role. Does Becky have any issues with this?
A: Becky doesn’t consider herself a sidekick, however, she usually ends up in this position which is bothering to her because she’s a woman on her own. She has been struggling through wrestling since she was 15 and to get any belittlement like being called a sidekick is going to affect you. Becky knows Charlotte is awesome and wants Charlotte to do well and do great things, however, Becky want so to be on that same level and conversation. You never want to be thought of as less than you that because you’re putting your heart and soul into everything you do. You’ll never be happy or content being called a sidekick which is now how she sees herself. However, Becky understands that being the ‘sidekick’ does work for this particular storyline.
J.R. mentions Dusty Rhodes’ last ever tweet was about Becky. The Dream saw back then Becky was special. J.R. always thought Becky had great intangibles that you can’t learn in the performance center. Becky suffered and overcame obstacles in real life which is exactly what this character is. She is basically playing herself on TV.
Q: Have they asked Becky about doing Total Divas
A: When Becky first got on the road there was some conversation but she doesn’t feel it’s in her future. She appreciates what it’s done for the other girls but would rather keep her personal life separate from her wrestling and doesn’t see herself on any sort of reality show.
J.R. respects that Becky has avoided the normally combustible wrestler/wrestler relationship. Over the years you can almost a soap opera on the shenanigans that went on.
Q: Was this something Becky understood when she first got into the business or did it take her some time realize
A: Becky re-iterates she would like to keep her personal life from her professional life. She likes to keep her work life drama free so she can go in, not have any awkwardness or have any fights. She wants to keep everything about the work.
Q: What does Becky do in Marine 6?
A: Becky is the bad guy in this movie. She plays the daughter of a gang lord who has been taken to jail. In order to get him out, Becky kidnaps the daughter of one of the jurors so he’ll hang the jury at her father’s trial. The Marines (Miz and Shawn Michael) stumble upon them and all hell ensues. It was a quick shoot (3 weeks) and was it nice having a schedule and being in only one spot for 3 weeks.
J.R. thanks Becky for being on the show and has enjoyed watching her ‘rebirth’ in the last several weeks. It’s almost like she’s found the formula to get her to the next stage. Becky says there was some stuff in her life she had to break through but once she did, everything felt like it was coming together. She feels like she knows herself better and has much more confidence. She also really loves Smackdown and wants to put everything into it to make it an entertaining show. Thankfully, she has the backing of the writers, producers and management to go and do some great stuff. She feels lucky and wants to see where this current storyline goes.
J.R. thanks Becky for being on the show and plugs her social media (@BeckyLynchWWE) and wishes her the best for SummerSlam.
1:41:18 – Show Wrap
J.R. thanks Becky once again for being on the show. He reviews some of his 5 star reviews, pushes some of the other Westwood One wrestling podcasts, pushes various events such as his King and I Show and All In and that is a wrap.
Rating – 8/10
I thought the normal segments of the show were really good this week especially What’s On J.R.’s mind where he spoke about Nikolai Volkoff, Brickhouse Brown and Brian Christopher. I did notice he told the exact same Brickhouse Brown story this week as he had last week but then again, I listen to his podcast every week so I notice this stuff. Also, this week’s mailbag was interesting as well. Now…the Becky Lynch interview….starting with the positive….Becky is an extremely interesting person with a great story (and that accent doesn’t hurt either). I loved hearing about her journey from getting into wrestling at an early age then leaving then coming back to where she is now. However, (and this is my own opinion)…J.R., over the last few weeks has said he dislikes 3 man booths because, he doesn’t like it when an announcer will try to ‘get their sh*t in’ if they haven’t had a chance to speak. During this interview, it felt like J.R. was trying to do exactly that especially at the beginning of the interview, even to the point of cutting Becky off so he could make his point. That said, I don’t think he was trying to be rude or anything like that but it was annoying as I wanted to hear more Becky and less J.R. The interview also felt awkward at times. Despite that though, this was a pretty good podcast overall.
0:00 – Intro
1:28 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
29:05 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
33:13 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
40:01 – This Week In Wrestling
50:36 – Mailbag
59:18 – Becky Lynch
1:41:18 – Show Wrap
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post show podcasts but until that happens, he’ll keep writing for PW Podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, mark, smark or IWC type. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.