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RECAP AND REVIEW: The Jim Ross Report with Cody Rhodes on if he’ll stay active in NJPW, Bill Watts on trends in wrestling, working with Bruno Sammartino, the wrestler who was fined more than anyone

The Jim Ross Report

Release Date: September 26th, 2018

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

0:00 – Intro

Welcome to another week of Slobberknocker audio with good ole J.R.

1:24 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind

J.R. starts off this week with the Brie Bella/Liv Morgan scenario from Monday night. An errant kick from Brie resulted in a concussion for Liv. It was certainly unwanted however it’s a real part of the game and J.R. is not one of those people throwing Brie under a bus. It’s a team effort in the ring. You can say ‘they need to practise more’ and maybe they do but the referee should have seen the damage done and stopped the match regardless of the creative. That’s a situation where the referee has to understand there is nothing more important in a match than the health of the performers. J.R. thinks that a number of the wrestling media have blown this out of proportion. Pro wrestling is not a ballet show…Lighten up Frances

J.R. sends his condolences to Sean Waltman for the passing of his ex-wife and the mother of his two children after years of battling substance abuse. Another person taken much too young by demons in their lives.

Quick take on Bill Cosby’s sentence….Bill did the crime and now he has to do the time regardless of his age, his ethnicity, his blindness or anything else in his life. It’s an unfortunate situation and it’s likely Bill will die in prison. This is also one of the biggest falls from grace.

J.R. was offered a chance to team up with Sean Wheelock in Las Vegas for the UFC Fight Pass event. Many people (including J.R.) are looking forward to the Quintet Three Submissions grappling tournament. Unfortunately Jim couldn’t do the event. However, UFC called Miesha Tate to call the event with Sean. Date of the event is October 5th and it’s a 5 on 5 concept.

J.R. will be working with Kevin Kelly at ringside NJPW’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Long Beach. It will air live on the New Japan World digital platform and will air October 5 on AXS TV.

Around The Wrestling Horn

  • MLW will be at the Melrose Ballroom October 4th. Check out www.mlw.com for more info.
  • Cody Rhodes will be in the main event against Nick Aldis for the 70th Anniversary Show on October 21st. Tickets available at www.nwa70.com. Jim Cornette and Tony Schiavone will be calling the match
  • The Chris Jericho cruise is rapidly approaching. There are still a few cabins available (but not many). Check www.chrisjerichocruise.com for more details.
  • J.R. will be doing an event for Headlock on Hunger. Check out www.headlockonhunger.org for more details.
  • People have been complaining that the WWE has been using veteran stars for the shows in Australia and Saudi Arabia. The tenured veterans are creating a buzz which draws a crowd. The younger talent should use these opportunities to elevate their games in front of big crowds and steal the show. J.R. says he wouldn’t be surprised if Hulk Hogan made an appearance in Saudi Arabia.
  • Torrie Wilson has a new website launching October 1st. The site is called www.Fittensity.com/ebook.
  • Quick note for football announcers…it’s AD as in All Day not AP as in Adrian Peterson.
  • The Steeler’s defence is not the Steel Curtain it used to be. They will not get to the playoffs if they keep playing undisciplined football.
  • WWE signed Mia Yim who is a tough and classy athlete. She has all the tools and there is no reason she should not be a success. J.R. also liked Carmella’s makeover and enjoyed her part with R-Truth on Smackdown. She has improved her in-ring work and continuous working to improve.
  • Some people took J.R. to task on Twitter when he omitted Tomas Ciampa as one of the best wrestling villains. J.R. says he is one hell of a wrestling villain and loves the fact he is serious about his TV persona and doesn’t break character but the context of the tweet was main roster, not NXT.

Thoughts on RAW

  • It was a solid show and McIntyre/Ziggler vs The Revival was as good as anything on the show. If the tag team division wasn’t so tepid this match would have been better received.
  • The big news unfortunately was the Brie Bella/Liv Morgan incident. He doesn’t condone it but isn’t a hater.

Thoughts on Smackdown

  • The AJ/Joe storyline has become so personal that the WWE title has taken a backseat. That title is the crown jewel and should be protected however it doesn’t seem to be the ultimate prize in this storyline.

25:35 – Slobberknocker Of The Week

Candidates include:

  • Monster Abyss who went into the Impact Wrestling Hall Of Fame. He has been with Impact for 17 years.
  • The Oakland A’s who started the season with the lowest payroll in the league but are flirting with a 100 win season.
  • Tiger Woods who won his 80th PGA tour victory and the first in over 5 years.
  • Patrick Mahomes who continues to play well. He has thrown 13 TDs and 0 INTs.

This week’s winner is Baker Mayfield, the starting QB of the Cleveland Browns and led his team to a come from behind victory. They had not won a game in almost two years.

32:26 – Pet Coon Goofy Award

Candidates include:

  • The 20 year old food service worker who was charged with spitting on a pizza intended for customers. Jaylen Curley has been charged with food law violations which is a felony that could land him in jail for 4 years.

The award goes to the competition committee of the NFL for their rules regarding roughing the QB sacks (which is horrible). This is taking away from the enjoyment of the game and this negative publicity is not good.

37:23 – NWA Champion Cody Rhodes

J.R. welcomes Cody to the show. He is currently up in Canada shooting the TV show Arrow. Cody will be in Long Beach for the Fighting Spirit Unleashed event taking on Juice Robinson.

Q: How is Cody balancing all these balls and what does he need to win against Juice?

A: Cody says the main thing is being better at time management. Regarding the NWA championship, he needs to be living and breathing that every day. He is up in Canada filming 7 episodes of Arrow and is around a positive crew. Stephen Amell (star of Arrow) is a friend has been a great motivator. Cody has been managing his time well, getting his lifts in and getting ready. Juice had a great outing at the G1 special and is trending upwards.

J.R. says he will always remember the Jaie White/Juice Robinson match and says Jaie is immensely talented. If J.R. was running a wrestling company, Jaie would be on his short list of people to sign.

Cody says Jaie is incredibly talented and diverse. He can wrestle any type of style and is a good model for the young lion system.

Looking at the card for Sunday is like looking at an All-Star game. It’s a jacked up card. Cody says it’s the best of the best and it’s all hands on deck. If you’re going to offer an alternative to the WWE, you have to have the best of the best on the card.

Q: Do the Japanese talent get as motivated coming to the States and performing compared to the American talent?

A: Cody thinks so and compares it to an American wrestling at the Tokyo Dome. For many of the talent, the focus is no longer their first time wrestling in the States but focus on showing people what all the buzz is all about. It’s always cool to see the Japanese wrestlers and fans travel over the States for these events.

J.R. is looking forward to the Golden Lovers vs Okada/Ishii. Jim is still trying to get his head around the Golden Lovers persona as he is not used to that sort of TV presentation. He loves Omega and Ibushi. Okada continues to evolve and Ishii is a bad dude.

Cody says the Golden Lovers is one of wrestling’s best story. Along with their relationship, it also involves teaming against the top teams in the world and  includes those rare times when they go against each other like the G1. There are so many unique mini directions where this story can go. Cody agrees with J.R. that Okada is great.

Q: Is Cody going to be as active with New Japan now that he is NWA champion?

A: Cody thinks he’ll be just as active. When he won the belt, he picked up whatever NWA bookings there were. Cody likes being in demand and this is what he wanted.

J.R. brings up the NWA 70th anniversary show where Cody will be wrestling Nick Aldis in a rematch for the title. The show will be on the FITE app. Jim Cornette and Tony Schiavone will be calling the match which Cody is excited about. He also says you can’t always do everything your way. You have to leave your comfort zone and learn to trust who you’re working with. Cody says he got a peek at the NWA 70 show and says it will be a card that pleases everyone.

J.R. looks forward to seeing Cody at Long Beach and they sign off.

53:25 – This Week In Wrestling

53 years ago – September 27, 1965 – The WWWF title was stolen out of Bruno Sammartino’s car. As far as we know, that championship has never been recovered

45 years ago – September 30th, 1972 – Shea Stadium – Jack Brisco defeated Mr. Fuji, Fabulous Moolah defeated Debbie Johnson, Gorilla Monsoon defeated Ernie Ladd and Pedro Morales wrestled Bruno Sammartino to a 65 minute draw and ended at kerfew.

41 years ago – MSG – Dusty Rhodes beat WWWF champ ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham by countout.

33 years ago – Sam Houston Coliseum – Ted DiBiase defeated Chavo Guerrero, Butch Reed and Dick Murdoch wrestled to a draw, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan beat El Corsario to earn a cage match with General Skandor Akbar. Duggan then defeated Akbar in that cage match.  

20 years ago – September 27th, 1998 – In Your House – Steve Austin defended the WWF title against Kane and the Undertaker in a three way match. Vince took the belt and didn’t declare a new champ.

20 years ago – September 28th, 1998 – Joe Louis arena – RAW – Stone Cold breaks up the championship ceremony by driving a zamboni into the arena.

September 26th, 1999 – The Kennel from Hell match (nuff said)

October 2nd, 1999 – Rebellion 1999 PPV – Ivory retained the women’s title in a fatal four way that included Torrie Wilson, Jackie Moore and Luna Vachon. In the main event, Triple H retained the world title against the Rock in a cage match.

September 29, 2003 – RAW – RVD defeated Christian in a ladder match for the IC title. In a country whipping match, Jim Ross defeated Jonathan Coachman.

Birthdays:

Asuka (37), the late Mountain Fiji (from GLOW) would have been 61, Steve Blackman (55), the late Skandor Akbar would have been 84, Tajiri (48), Stacy ‘The Kat’ Carter (48), Candice LeRae (33), the late Chris Von Erich would have been 49, Candice Michelle (40), Curtis Axel (39), Hector Guerrero (64), the late Waldo Von Erich would have been 84 and finally, the late Yokozuna would have been 52.

1:10:11 – Mailbag

Sent questions and comments to thejimrossreport@gmail.com.

Q: Will the WWE start a referee wing for the Hall Of Fame?

A: J.R. doesn’t know but doesn’t feel there needs to be a separate wing. He does believe there are referees that should be in the hall such as the Hebner Brothers, Mike Chioda or Timmy White.

Q: Why has Nick Aldis never been given a chance in NXT?

A: J.R. doesn’t know if Nick has wanted to go to the NXT. If there is any reason for Nick not going to WWE it will be something other than his skill set, his look or his professionalism. Not everyone wants to be in the WWE.

Q: Had the economy not tanked for Oklahoma in 1987, what would have happened to the UWF? Would they have been part of the Big 3?

A: Hell yeah. They could have put together the talent roster and develop talent but the big question is could they get a national TV presence? But, if talent and TV were strong the UWF would have been in the hunt.

Q: What match made J.R. fall in love with professional wrestling?

A: The most memorable match from J.R.’s childhood were the Kentuckians vs The Assassins. This match scared him but also made him want to learn more about about wrestling.

1:16:40 – ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts

J.R. welcomes Bill to the podcast and starts off with a story about driving to Fort Smith and asking Watts what the most dangerous hold was in wrestling. Bill answered ‘an eraser’ (which J.R. initially thought was code for some wrestling move but he meant the eraser on a pencil as in a booker). Bill says Jim absorbed everything and learned the business.

Next up they talk about some OU Football specifically about the game against Army and the passing of Billy White who was a teammate of Bill when he was on the OU Football team.

Q: Did Bill ever meet the great Tommy McDonald?

A: Yes. He was there when Tommy and Jerry Tubbs raced (all american centre for OU and later played for the Cowboys) and Tubbs tied Tommy. Bill could not believe it.

Q: Did Bill ever believe that a wrestling company (specifically the WWE) would have two separate billion dollar plus deals for rights fees?

A: Bill says the money is astronomical and they would not have understood it back when Bill was in pro wrestling.

Q: J.R. says it’s hard to comprehend the mathematics of entertainment, pro sports and pro wrestling these days. He remembers back in the 80s when the WWE got really hot which trickled down to a bunch of territories. Wrestling became cool again. Does Bill agree with that?

A: Bill thinks it is and says there were several trends. When he got into wrestling in 1962, a guy came up to Bill and questioned why Bill was in the business because the business was in a slump and you couldn’t make more than $25K a year. Back in 1962, if you were making that kind of money annually, you were wealthy. This motivated Bill to want to get into wrestling even more. When wrestling came out of the slump it kept growing and when Bill got into wrestling, they kept building and building. He was the first one to do a golden circle at the Superdome where they charged $100 per seat and would let fans take the chair they sat in home. J.R. was right there with Bill and brought something to the table. If you didn’t bring something to the table or couldn’t add to the discussion you wouldn’t be around long.

J.R. brings up Ernie Ladd who told J.R. ‘don’t come into anything like a cabbage. All head and no rear end’. Bill misses Ernie Ladd and says Ernie was one of the finest humans he ever met. Ernie taught J.R. a lot.

Q: How would Bill approach producing as much live TV as the WWE does. They do 5 hours excluding PPVs 52 weeks a year.

A: When Bill was in the WWE back in the day, the amount of TV then was almost overwhelming. Bill doesn’t watch but he can’t imagine programming that much TV and keeping the quality high.

J.R. agrees that quality control is a problem.

Q: How do you look at preventing gaps in storytelling especially with social media where people can give an immediate reaction.

A: That is a huge problem. If you’ve been there all along it’s not hard to keep continuity. This was something Bill battled with where people would start something then the next day forget it. You can’t just drop something but if you’re there all along and have a long term crew, you won’t lose track of things because they would know what had been done in the past. A good booker could book for about a year before burning out and repeating stuff. This was when it became hard for Bill because he would have to replace the booker but by then he would have developed a friendship and a closeness with the booker.

Bill brings up Tom Landry who coached the Dallas Cowboys. Bill thought he was cold and calculating but Don Chandelier who was a friend of Landry said Tom was the opposite. He would get so close to his players he would sometimes give them another season or two when they should have been gone. Bill can understand this because it was a painful thing to give up on someone who had really been productive for you.

If the locker room situation got out of hand, Bill would get rid of the person causing the issue. Bill didn’t tolerate long term locker room lawyers. That wasn’t in the best interest of everybody that was there.

Q: When Bill would fine wrestlers, what did he do with the money? Did it go to charity or back in his pocket?

A: Bill finds that question funny but says fine money would go back into the company coffers. One guy who was fined more than anyone was Buddy Landell. The fines were not given for frivolous reasons. Everyone knew the rules and the policies, for example, be at the venue an hour before the first bell. Buddy would accept the fines and not get down about getting fines. He would work hard and eventually, Bill would bonus the money he paid back to him. If a person’s attitude was good and he worked hard, Bill would usually bonus any fines back to the person. If the person’s attitude wasn’t good and they didn’t work hard, they would eventually get fired. Bill also says if the wrestler’s got into a fight, even though he didn’t want them to, he would fire a wrestler if they lost.

Q: Bill got a big break working with Bruno

A: Bill headlined MSG probably 5 times and Bruno was involved in those in some form. Bruno himself headlined MSG 187 times which nobody has ever done. When Bill got to New York, he hit it off with Bruno and Bruno took Bill under his wing. One time, Bill was upset with his payoff and was going to give his notice to go back to Oklahoma. Bruno talked to Bill and talked him out of leaving. Bruno’s word was good, he was a straight shooter and a tremendous guy.

Q: Did Bill have any trepidation or apprehension working snug with Bruno?

A: Bill doesn’t remember discussing working snug with Bruno or if that was even an issue. Bruno was a man’s man. Bill brings his first time he worked with Johnny Valentine who was very snug. Bill though Johnny was taking liberties with some forearms so Bill took him down and rubbed his face in the mat. Valentine didn’t do anything back but still hit Bill with the same types of forearms and Bill realized that was Valentine’s way. Fritz Von Erich was the same way. Bottom line, some guys were stiffer than others but on the whole, that’s the way it was. If someone was out of line where maybe someone was going to doublecross you had better be ready to go.

Q: With so much information available on social media, there is a fine line between babyfaces and heels. Some even claim there is no such thing anymore. How hard does Bill perceive it to write a show when you don’t have heels and babyfaces?

A: One thing you find, the longer someone is a heel, the fans will start respecting the heel. Bill brings up Dusty who was hot in Florida. Bill was the top heel and Dusty was the top babyface. This was a period when Florida wrestling was hot. Bill put Dusty over clean in the middle of the ring however Bill didn’t leave but continued to sell in the ring. When Gerry Brisco came out for the next match, Bill picked a fight with him and got his butt whipped. Then Don Morocco came out and did the same thing. Dusty came out saying Bill was going to kill his heat but Bill said they were about to have a riot because Bill had just gotten his butt whipped but was still in the ring. It wasn’t about getting beat but how you got beat.

Jim says he learned from the best and has had a wonderful run since 1974. He has no regrets and is living a happy and healthy life. Bill asks J.R. to give him a call so they can catch up and tells Jim he loves him. J.R. thanks him and they sign off.

1:49:40 – Show Wrap

J.R. once again thanks Bill for being on the show and next week will be part 2 of this interview. He is Jim’s mentor and he loves Bill. He is grateful for the knowledge Bill shared with him freely which is why he had a 40 year career. Jim goes through some of his 5 star reviews, puts over the Westwood One wrestling podcasts, mentions the upcoming Long Beach show for New Japan and that’s a wrap.

Rating – 8/10

This was a good podcast. I love listening to Cody Rhodes talk about wrestling and his approach to the NWA title as he has an ‘old school’ mentality even though he is a ‘new school’ wrestler (although I’m guessing that growing up around Dusty Rhodes and that era has a lot to do with that). Cowboy is definitely old school mentality but still has some really good insights about the wrestling business. In both cases, you can also feel the genuine respect and love J.R. has for both of these individuals which makes the interviews that much more enjoyable. And I’m definitely looking forward to the 2nd part of the Bill Watts interview.

Timestamps

0:00 – Intro
1:24  – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
25:35 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
32:26 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
37:23 – NWA Champ Cody Rhodes
53:25 – This Week In Wrestling
1:10:11 – Mailbox
1:16:40 – ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts
1:49:40 – Show Wrap

About Joe: 

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.

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