The Jim Ross Report
Release Date: August 22nd, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro (Podcast starts at 1:34. J.R. did a read right at the start)
Welcome back to another week of Slobberknocker audio with J.R. It was a huge weekend for the WWE this weekend and there’s a lot going on in the wrestling world that he’s going to try and talk about. Later on the show, J.R. will be talking to the Young Bucks about the All-In event.
2:39 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
It was a successful weekend in Brooklyn for the WWE and J.R. was able to watch everything from NXT, Summerslam, RAW and Smackdown Live.
- NXT Takeover never fails to deliver which is a lot of pressure. The talent, producers and writers know they deliver and expectations for these events are exceedingly high. That said, the NXT team had a successful presentation on Saturday.
- J.R. thought Mauro Ranallo was as brilliant a ‘point guard’ as anyone could have been, he got the ball to Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson in a timely manner when he needed to. That broadcast was one of the most sound broadcast J.R. has heard in the WWE no matter the brand.
- The show from start to finish was entertaining and J.R. was hooked the entire show.
- The tag match was a great match and a great opener. They got the crowd going and set the table for the rest of the matches. Many fans say they should have less important matches at the beginning and build but as a TV producer type, J.R. likes the concept of starting the show with something big to get the crowd emotionally involved early.
- Ciampa and Gargano had an amazing finish and and amazing match. Their finish was so creative. J.R. thought Gargano was going to win and loved the fact he got ‘snookered’ on the finish.
- J.R. liked the finish of Baszler vs Sane because it was an old school finish he hadn’t seen in years. It was a way that a big, bruising, more powerful villain could lose but not lose credibility in the eyes of the fanbase. One of the things that made this match was that Kane sold, sold sold and when she finally got pissed off, J.R. felt it.
- J.R. really liked Cole and Ricochet and is interested to see how they’ll be used at the next level (and they will be at the next level).
Thoughts on Summerslam
- A.J. Styles vs Samoa Joe match was the best match on the card.
- J.R. loved the presentation where Reigns, Lesnar and Heyman were getting ready for their match and out comes Braun Strowman which was extremely creative. It was a well structure match with a strong story and gave all three of them the chance to do what they do best in their skillset.
- J.R. liked the demon persona of Finn Balor. He doesn’t like promos that focus on how small Balor is. Negative sells don’t work. That said, he doesn’t want to see the demon every week, month or PPV rather when it’s appropriate. J.R. doesn’t want to see the demon next until Wrestlemania (or maybe Royal Rumble).
- Daniel Bryan and Miz was good and they kept issue alive. J.R. thought something was in the baby carriage and was surprised when Maryse pulled out the brass knuckles. J.R. enjoys Mz and Mrs. and says Marjo is a viable character on that show. Miz and Daniel Bryan have great chemistry and a deep rooted story. J.R. expects more stuff from them and feels Miz will become a better in-ring talent working with Daniel Bryan.
- J.R. wasn’t overwhelmed with the Triple Threat Match between Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Carmella but understands why they did it. He also feels Becky should be a babyface and that Charlotte should be a villain.
- J.R. is not usually a fan of DQ finishes unless it fits. With A.J. and Samoa Joe it fit and the personal issue trumped the WWE title. J.R. also feels the WWE title will always be more viable than the Universal title.
Thoughts on RAW
- Strong show because of the finish with the Shield reunion. However, it’s hard to hear a soundtrack of how wonderful it is to see the Shield back together when it’s 3 against 1 in a gang attack. That said, J.R. is a faction guy and likes that the Shield is back together and can see others coming together to combat the Shield. The question is whether they will be good guys or bad guys.
- Triple H’s promo was pretty good and he did a good job of positioning himself and the Undertaker. J.R. was happy to see they used some of his soundbytes in the package.
- The interaction between Ronda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon was a surprise and J.R. can see a role for Shayna Baszler as an ally to Stephanie McMahon to counteract Rousey similar in concept to Vince and Austin. If anyone on the roster can give Rousey a run for her money it’s Baszler.
- J.R. liked the six women tag but there was no story there and had no emotional investment. He liked the heels won to keep some heat.
- J.R. likes the booking for Trish Stratus vs Alexa Bliss at Evolution but feels Trish was undersold and there wasn’t the separation or exclusivity you would give to a Hall Of Famer coming out of retirement to face arguably the best female villain in the entire company.
- J.R. appreciates the WWE is trying to make tag teams mean something but the teams seem to lack depth. J.R. loves the B-Team, New Day, Usos, Bludgeon Brothers (although Rowan is going to be out due to a bicep injury) and the Revival but somewhere along the way, you have to get at least two teams hot who keep winning and gain momentum until they face each other in the ring.
Thoughts on Smackdown
- The thing that stood out to J.R. was the verbage given to Becky Lynch which missed its mark. J.R. thinks there will be adjustments to that and Bubba Dudley told J.R. the WWE sent out something on their website and edited out the traditional things a villain would say. Becky is not a villain. She’s a babyface because people from all walks of life can identify with her. She’s the underdog, she has a great heart and no-one tries harder to be successful than Becky Lynch. She was so into that promo and there was something more meaningful than just playing a good/bad girl.
- J.R. loved A.J. Styles facial expressions while being interviewed by Renee Young. It was clear A.J. (his character) was having a hard time handling what happened at Summerslam. Having Joe choke A.J. out during the interview added some steam to Joe’s persona.
- J.R. thought we saw a side of Jeff Hardy we hadn’t seen against Randy Orton. J.R. expressed his apprehension for Hardy’s bump on the ring apron at Summerslam (which was pretty scary) because he loves Hardy. Hardy has taken some big bumps over his career and he doesn’t want to see Jeff take anymore chances.
- Overall, solid show and it seems to J.R. at times there is more continuity in the Smackdown show compared to RAW.
- J.R. thanks the folks at Zanies in Nashville for hosting his show and got a chance to catch up with Dixie Carter. Conrad Thompson, Jeff Jarrett and Ron Harris who were also there.
- J.R. is in Los Angeles to do 6 AXS TV shows for New Japan’s G1 tournament including the final. He’ll be back in Long Beach on September 30th for an NJPW live show. His broadcast partner Josh Barnett will not be available because he’ll be fighting for the Rizin promotion in Japan against Bob Sapp.
- Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory PPV will be the Melrose Ballroom in NY on Sunday, September 14th. Tickets go on sale on Saturday August 25th.
- The PWI 500 edition will be coming out this month and J.R. will have the editor Dan Murphy on the podcast. Tweet J.R. (@jrsbbq) to let him know who you think should be number one.
- J.R. talks about the WWE’s upcoming event in Melbourne, Australia and thinks the Triple H/Undertaker match will be a psychological clinic.
- MLW has the big War Games match on September 6th. Check them out on BEin sports and www.mlw.com.
- J.R. will be doing voice overs for AXS TV. This Friday night is a double header of NJPW action from the G1 tournament. Matches include Omega/Tonga, Ishii/Goto, Tanahashi/EVIL and Okada/Suzuki which is a match J.R. loves. The G1 climax will be running through September on AXS.
45:49 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
This week’s candidates:
- Roman Reigns who won the WWE Universal Title this weekend
- Ronda Rousey for winning the RAW Women’s title
- Velveteen Dream who J.R. thinks will one day headline Wrestlemania
- The Eagles for breaking the record for all time best selling album
This week’s winner goes to ‘The Queen Of Soul’ Aretha Franklin who recently passed away. J.R. gives his condolences to her family, friends and fans. She was definitely a diva and played her role. When she walked on set, you knew who the boss was.
52:27 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
This week’s candidates:
- Two police officers in Chicago whose picture of them sleeping in a police cruiser went viral.
This week’s winner is Madonna who gave a poor tribute to Aretha Franklin which was somewhat self serving. J.R. thought it was poorly worded and poorly produced. She could have done a much better job honoring Aretha Franklin and wins this week’s Pet Coon Goofy Award.
57:23 – This Week In Wrestling
53 years ago – August 23rd, 1965, MSG – Cowboy Bill Watts defeated Gorilla Monsoon.
19 years ago – Summerslam, 1999 – Mankind defeated Stone Cold, Triple H was in a triple threat match with Jesse Ventura as the referee and it was the first time Vince McMahon had ever seen Brock Lesnar.
18 years ago – Summerslam 2000 – Edge and Christian defended the WWE Tag Titles in the first TLC tag title match against the Hardy Boys and the Dudleys. It was an amazing display.
16 years ago – Summerslam 2002 – One of the better PPVs the WWE produced. Shawn Michaels came back after a 4 year hiatus to beat Triple H in an unsanctioned street fight. Brock Lesnar beat the Rock to win his first WWE title and becoming the youngest WWE champion at that time. Rey Mysterio made his WWE PPV debut in an opening match with Kurt Angle.
3 years ago – Summerslam 2015 – Seth Rollins defeated John Cena in a US title vs World title match after Jon Stewart hit Cena with a chair. Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in the main event avenging his Wrestlemania 30 match.
This week’s birthdays:
Apollo Cruise (31), The Usos (33), Paul Ellering (65), the late Sam Muchnick would have been 113, Funaki (50), Vince McMahon (73), Rocky Johnson (74), the late Ivan Koloff would have been 76, the late Bobby Duncam Jr. would have been 51, Jazz (45), The Great Khali (48), Sgt. Slaughter (70), Linda Miles (39) and J.R.’s youngest daughter Amanda will be 36 (or 37).
1:09:16 – Mailbag
Send comments and questions to email@example.com
Q: As cross promotion PPVs are becoming the norm, does J.R. see the WWE ever cross promoting a PPV with another company?
A: Not just no but hell no. J.R. doesn’t think so because they don’t need to and even though you should never say never, he doesn’t see it happening.
Q: When will J.R. fill in the blanks about his time in WCW and the early days of the WWE?
A: J.R. and Paul O’Brien will be starting the sequel to Slobberknocker and those are good suggestions. They are going to pick up with Slobberknocker left off.
Q: Person asking the question loves J.R. and wants to work in more impersonations.
A: Jim does impersonations of Gordon Solie, Terry Funk and Stu Hart.
Q: Outside of Paul Heyman, is there a place for managers in the modern scene?
A: Absolutely. Advocates, managers, agents, whatever the role is called can work if they’re good.
1:15:28 – The Young Bucks
J.R. welcomes who he considers the best tag team in wrestling today, Nick and Matt Jackson, The Young Bucks.
J.R. calls the Bucks a ‘walking mall’ and loves their entrepreneurial spirit.
Q: Have the Bucks always been entrepreneurial in spirit and know they could build a bigger brand than just wrestling?
Nick: Yes, it feels like they’ve been this way the whole time they’ve been in wrestling. Cody says the Bucks are the most old school wrestlers he knows which is funny because Cody has seen a lot of old school wrestlers. They’ve kicked into this in the last 5 years or so.
Matt: They’ve always had the idea of being business guys but at first nobody bought their stuff. He remembers when they started their independent company in 2004, they were selling 5 or 10 tee shirts a show and polaroids. They didn’t want to just rely on their paydays but wanted to make more. Being entrepreneurial is something they’ve always strived to be.
J.R. admires their entrepreneurial spirit and says there is nothing lazy about their presentation. He remembers telling them at a show their game had gotten better. They are now at a pace that most fans can process and have the ability to sell and make people feel it.
Q: Did the Bucks always have the understanding that selling was a huge element to the presentation?
Nick: Yes they did but for the longest time didn’t get the chance to. They would only be given the opening match and would only be given 6 minutes. Selling in that amount of time is tough and they wanted to show more cool moves to the audience. When they started moving up the card and getting more time, they got of an opportunity to sell more.
Matt: They weren’t given the platform to have those types of matches which they actually have been having for years, it’s just that no one has seen them. To get a platform like NJPW and for them to get 20 minutes gives them time to get some emotion out of the match. The Bucks are also constantly trying to evolve and show they are not one-dimensional wrestlers. They can have the ‘car crash, spot-fest’ matches but there was a point when they wanted more. They didn’t want to pigeonhole themselves for their entire careers and wanted to show everybody they have more in their game. It’s been fun and challenging for them to learn how to slow down and let things register. People like to have sympathy for a white-meat babyface who know how to sell which is old school wrestling. The Bucks have been able to take this and dress it up with modern style and it still works.
J.R. brings up family and says they should always be your priority when thinking about your career moves. He brings up Dana (Matt’s wife) who helped organize this interview.
Matt says she does everything for him and is the secret weapon behind the Bucks success. She has helped build their empire literally from their house. Matt says family is their number one priority. Both he and Nick have two young kids and want to make sure they get quality time with them. Their goal is to retire early and spend more time with their families. They want to give their kids a great life. Their contracts are up in 4 months and soon they will have to make a decision on where they go next. The best thing though is that they are in an instance in their careers where everything works and any decision they make will be the right decision.
J.R. agrees they are in the right spot and says any promotion would want to sign the best tag team.
J.R. brings up the Bucks selling injuries and how well they carried that. J.R. said their ability to sell and their direction made it more compelling and fun to call. It allowed J.R. to sell the match even more.
Q: How did the idea of All In come up and who were the individuals in the inner circle?
Nick: It was always Nick, Matt and Cody Rhodes. They kicked around the idea for about 6 months to see if they could do something like that. Someone had asked Dave Meltzer on twitter if ROH could sell out a 10,000 seat arena and he said no. Cody Rhodes saw this, got pretty mad and responded back he thought they could. Cody talked to the Bucks and said let’s put our money where our mouths are and try it.
Matt: Cody had the idea that it only be the three of them. That’s when Matt knew he had something because they were now selling more than just a wrestling show. Matt remembers the chatter when they first started talking about it and it was a 50/50 reaction. 50% said they couldn’t do it and were very loud about it. The even got into Matt’s head a little but the other 50% were rooting for them big time. They could really fail big time or they could put all their chips in (which is why the called the show All In) and live forever. The didn’t want to just sell another wrestling show because every company from the WWE to NJPW to ROH has great wrestling. They wanted to sell a feeling and a movement and allow fans to be a part of a historic moment helping regular guys fill up a 10,000 seat arena. The fact they sold out the show in 30 minutes proves that fans bought into the movement. He hopes this is more than just a wrestling show. At this point, they need to hit a home run which they are confident of doing.
J.R. plans to take a flight from Oklahoma to Chicago after the big football game because he wants to be in the crowd for All In then do some stuff on Sunday for Starrcast.
Q: Do the Bucks have a conclusive feeling about what’s going to close the show?
Nick: So far they feel like they do but you never know and they could change something last minute. They’ve been changing little details and it’s interesting to see who they put on last for a big show. It’s been difficult to do that because a lot of the guys are nervous to do that. Some of the people they’ve asked do not want to be in the main event so they may just end up putting themselves in that slot but it’s not 100% yet.
Matt: There’s a lot of politics and it’s hard to put this card together because of the different companies and egos that don’t want to work with each other. This is probably the 10 or 12th version of the show. Another things is that the G1 tournament just ended which is the most grueling tour for NJPW. A lot of those participants don’t want to be in singles matches for All In. Originally, the Bucks didn’t want to be in the main event but it’s come to a point where the Bucks might be in the main event. As it looks like now, they’ll be doing a dream six man tag to close the show (Ibushi and the Bucks vs Mysterio, Ray Fenix and Bandito).
Q: When the Bucks were younger did they ever think how cool it would be to wrestle Rey Mysterio?
Nick: Rey is his favorite high flyers of all time. They’ve had the opportunity to wrestle Rey a few times which is a mark out moment for Nick.
Matt: Rey is a timeless wrestler. He remembers a couple of exchanges between Rey and Okada and Matt said he looked amazing. Matt can’t wait to wrestle with him or watch when Rey and Ibushi wrestle an exchange against each other. Matt ranks Fenix up there and calls him a younger version of Mysterio. Matt has been watching a lot of his stuff on Impact and has been blown away. Bandito is another guys people don’t know who has had a breakout year. The Bucks have never met him but they needed a third guy for the All In match. They knew they wanted someone from Mexico to be in the match and were blown away by Bandito’s work. Matt is really looking forward to this match and thinks it will blow people away.
J.R. says this is a great card and is a huge Hangman Page fan. He also puts over Omega and Marty Scurll. Scurll and Okada could be an amazing match and it’s one you may not see in New Japan because they don’t normally book heavyweights over jr. heavyweights.
Matt adds they once had a six man tag where Omega and Pentagon Jr had a small exchange which had everyone on their feet. Pentagon has a rare charisma where everyone watches everything he does. Matt says Kenny has shown in the last few years how good he really is and is and can’t wait to see what kind of match Kenny can have with Pentagon.
Q: J.R. is excited the All In event is going to be on the Fite app. That was a big get for them. Was that orchestrated by the Bucks and Cody?
Nick: Yes. They wanted to make the event available for as many eyeballs as possible. The Fite app has done work with a lot of independent promotions so they knew they had to get the Fite people on board.
J.R. got a kick out of the Over the Budget battle royal term and knew exactly what they were getting at. Nick says it’s definitely a shoot because they are over budget. Matt says Cody originally said it was a 15 man battle royal but it’s way over that. It shows the Bucks and Cody are thinking about everybody not just themselves.
J.R. brings up the Bucks’ YouTube channel. He may not be in their demo but he enjoys the process.
Q: How did the idea of their channel come about and how do they find time to do it?
Nick: They started a Youtube channel years ago which didn’t catch on. Three years ago, they decided to do another Youtube channel as more people knew them. It started with the Bucks and Kenny Omega doing bits to make themselves laugh which didn’t catch on initially. He came up with the idea of doing a vlog about their travel then turned into what you see now which is storylines and vlogs. It’s caught on and has helped them big time.
Matt: Once the show started getting really popular, everything changed. At first everyone liked the Bucks as pro wrestlers but through the show, fans have gotten to know the Bucks on a personal level and feel like they know them. As the show grew, the Bucks’ meet and greet lines grew as well as their merch sales. It got to a point where it was fun but was getting repetitive which is when they added storyline elements. It left people wondering what was real and what was fake. Lately, they’ve added some over the top elements to the show. They want people to feel all types of emotions and as the shows have progressed, they’ve created their own platform and have introduced other wrestlers and their friends. They put the show on Sundays or Mondays and all subscribers watch at the same making it their version of Monday Night RAW. Now when people see the Bucks, they usually compliment the show but not necessarily their wrestling matches.
J.R. says the Bucks know who they are and want the audience to know as well. J.R. doesn’t understand why Independent Contractors wouldn’t use social media. That’s lazy and not very bright. J.R. likes the Bucks’ entrepreneurial spirit and how they find the common ground they and their audience can stand on. As long as they can keep their eye on that prize there are no boundaries.
Nick agrees and says don’t rely on promoters or bookers to get over but rather get yourself over. Matt says they all have the same tools and don’t have an advantage over anyone. They just use their tools to the best of their knowledge. They are willing to work on days off and haven’t found anyone that works harder than they do. They don’t stop.
J.R. enjoyed calling the Bucks match at Dominion against Evil and Sanada where they won the IWGP tag belts. He is proud of what the Bucks did and mentions the Bullet Club vs the Alpha Club match on the Jericho cruise.
J.R. thanks the Bucks for being on the podcast and they sign off.
1:58:04 – Show Wrap
J.R. thanks the Young Bucks for being on the show and reiterates they are the best tag team in the world. He goes over some of his five star reviews. Next week, Ric Flair will be on the podcast talking about a number of things including his thoughts on the NWA being defended at All In. They will also be breaking the Number 1 wrestler on the PWI 500. Dan Murphy and the winner of the PWI 500 will be on the show as well. And that’s a wrap.
Rating – 9/10
This was an awesome podcast. The Bucks interview was great and it’s cool to get inside their heads as both wrestlers and entrepreneurs. Also, I enjoyed J.R.’s thoughts on NXT, Summerslam, RAW and Smackdown. Like many, he also agrees that Becky Lynch should be a good girl not a villain. Great podcast…definitely get your ears on this one.
0:00 – Intro
2:39 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
45:49 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
52:27 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
1:09:16 – Mailbag
1:15:28 – The Young Bucks
1:58:04 – 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.