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RECAP AND REVIEW: The Jim Ross Report with Matt Hardy on if he has interest in becoming a producer, the advice Michael Hayes gave him, The House of Hardy special, why indy promoters didn’t want to keep booking him and Jeff early in their careers

The Jim Ross Report

Release Date: October 10th, 2018

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

0:00 – Intro

Welcome back to another week of Slobberknocker audio.

1:00 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind

  • J.R. wishes a happy 1 year anniversary to Ryan Barkan and his team at the Pro Wrestling Tees retail store
  • The Chris Jericho Cruise is less than two weeks away. J.R. is looking forward to the cruise and being a fan.
  • J.R. was at the OU/Texas game which was a heartbreaker as Texas hit a last minute field goal to win the game.
  • UFC 229 was not handled well (the aftermath). Some are speculating that Conor McGregor may get suspended. Some people are then asking if Conor would be a good fit at Wrestlemania? Of course he would be. He’s a global star that people love to see win and love to see lose. What may also be an interesting idea is Conor being part of a major outdoor stadium show in Ireland (and this is fantasy booking on J.R.’s part).
  • AXS TV will be airing Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii on Friday. They beat the holy hell out of each other. New Japan just had their King of Pro Wrestling event where Omega retained the IWGP title against Cody and Kota. Tanahashi beat Jaie White which means it will be Omega vs Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom. Chris Jericho made his return to New Japan attacking EVIL from LIJ.

Around the Wrestling Horn

  • MLW returns to the Melrose Ballroom on Wrestlemania week on April 4th and April 5th. Tickets are on sale at www.mlw.com.
  • Impact Wrestling will host their Bound For Glory PPV at the Melrose Ballroom on October 14th. Check out www.impactwrestling.com for tickets. Main event is Austin Aries vs Johnny Impact which should be a tremendous match. Tessa Blanchard will be defending the Knockouts Title against Taya Valkyrie. Overall, it’s a good card.
  • The NWA’s 70th anniversary show is on October 21st at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Check out www.nwa70.com. The main event will be Cody vs Nick Aldis in a rematch for the NWA title. Jazz will defend the women’s championship against Penelope Ford. It will air on the FITE app.
  • Smackdown 1000 will air on October 16th. Batista will be back with Evolution and Rey Mysterio will be back full time
  • J.R. caught the highlights of the Australia show and says it was a solid show. He felt it was more like a house show event. It’s interesting to see that acts like Taker, HHH, Trish, Lita and Kurt are in the mixes of these shows near the top of the card. One reason is because of their name identity and the perception of them being over. J.R. thinks it’s a smart move and if these performers can draw more eyeballs to the scene, it gives more opportunity for the younger talents to be seen by more eyeballs.
  • Without getting into the politics of the situation, the Saudi Arabia show would be a good event for Hulk Hogan to come back and for that audience he would do well.

Thoughts on RAW

  • The Ambrose storyline has J.R.’s interest. He’s a very compelling character.
  • The Ronda/Bellas business was well executed. Some may insist that Rousey and Nikki Bella close the Evolution Show which is not necessarily how J.R. would book it.
  • J.R. liked Angle’s return. His gold costume was obnoxious (which he assumes was the intention) and reflects his gold medal
  • J.R. likes Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush. He feels they have big antagonist upside and zero protagonist upside. They will make great villains.

Thoughts on Smackdown

  • Becky and Charlotte stole the show and have the best executed story in all of WWE. They have raised the bar again for women. Their matches have inherent physicality. They have great athleticism, they lay their stuff in, they believe what they’re doing and now they’re heading to a last woman standing match.
  • Good to see Big Show back. He recently had hip surgery and lost a lot of weight. The finish of that match was right on the money and it didn’t hurt Big Show to lose.
  • Shelton Benjamin has been impressive over the last several weeks. The way he was looking at A.J. Styles scared the sh*t out of J.R. Benjamin was in the same training class with Orton, Rock, Cena and Batista and was arguably the best pure athlete of the entire groups.

Final thoughts

  • J.R. has been watching a lot of wrestling and it seems announcers are obsessed with telling background stories and pontificating their opinions while wrestlers are beating the hell out of each other and being physical. It tells J.R. that announcers are taking these bumps for granted. If you’re there to call a fight but you’re not calling a fight, it reeks that it’s a work and J.R. can’t get his head around this situation. Maybe J.R. is too old or too old school but the story is what you see on the monitor. If you’re good enough at what you do, all the background story can be told at the right place and the right time and not when people are fighting. There is so much rhetoric going on and the audio of doesn’t match the video.

34:18 – Slobberknocker Of The Week

Candidates include:

  • Stevie Nicks who was nominated for the 2019 Hall Of Fame (J.R.’s late wife Jan was a huge fan)
  • Isaiah Crow, NJ Jets RB had a career game. He averaged 14.9 yards/carry and rushed for 219 yards
  • LA Ram’s coach Sean McVeigha’s whose Rams are 5-0 so far.
  • Baker Mayfield who got his first win in Cleveland against the Baltimore Ravens
  • WWE deserves congratulations for the Australia Show
  • Lady Gaga whose performance in ‘A Star Is Born’ was really good
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov who choked out Conor McGregor at UFC 229

This week’s winner is Drew Brees who broke the record for the NFL’s all time leading passer.

39:59 – Pet Coon Goofy Award

Nominees include:

  • Atlanta Falcons who are shockingly bad so far with a 1-4 record
  • Denver Broncos’ defence who gave up 520 yards to the Jets and a rookie QB
  • Odell Beckham Jr. who did a taped interview during an ESPN preview show with L’il Wayne. Odell was questioning the offensive play calling and left Eli Manning out to dry.
  • Insane Clown Posse Member Shaggy 2 Dope who stormed the stage during a Limp Biscuit performance and attempted to missile dropkick Fred Durst and missed.
  • The American Political system. The Democrats and Republicans continue their embarrassing us-first-you’re-wrong mentality which is boorish, insecure, unproductive and all about the money. Neither party seems to put the American people first.

This week’s winner is the aftermath of UFC 229. McGregor lost to Khabib but the post match shenanigans were crazy. Dave Meltzer who was at the event and said it was an ugly scene. There’s a question whether or not Khabib will have his Visa privileges taken away. He may also be stripped of the title and possibly suspended for 4 to 6 months. J.R. doesn’t think either of them will be punished for anything major but the question becomes what’s the precedent? Bryan Alvarez felt the same way and said the money will talk louder than anything else.

52:07 – This Week In Wrestling

32 years ago – Cotton Bowl – October 12th, 1986 – Bruiser Brody defeated Abdullah The Butcher in a cage match, Kevin Von Erich defeated Black Bart to win the WCCW Title, Matt Bourne and Buzz Sawyer defended their tag titles against the Dingo Warrior and Steve Simpson.

29 years ago – London Arena – UK Rampage – Hulk Hogan beat Randy Savage to retain the WWF title

20 years ago – October 12th, 1998 – Nassau Coliseum – Monday Night RAW – Ken Shamrock beat X-Pac via submission to win the IC title. The main event was Steve Austin and The Rock vs Kane and The Undertaker. This was also the show where Austin filled McMahon’s corvette with cement.

19 years ago – Georgia Dome – Monday Night RAW – Edge and Christian vs The Hardy Boyz ended in a countout, The Godfather beat Mark Henry in a Ho-Jack match, Steve Austin and J.R. fought Triple H and Chyna. J.R. got his face smashed taking a pedigree from Chyna.

17 years ago – October 14th, 2001 – MSG – J.R. did an intro addressing the 9-11 attacks and honoring the first responders. This was a big honor for J.R. It was a great show with some really great matches including Taker vs Booker T, Kurt Angle vs Williams Regal, X-Pac vs Tajiri, Bradshaw and Farooq vs The Dudley Boyz. The main event was The Rock defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin.

7 years ago – October 10, 2011 – John Laurinaitis who was interim RAW GM fired J.R.

Birthdays:

The late great Dusty Rhodes would have been 73, Taz (51), Ricochet (30), Rodney Mack (48), the late Killer Kowalski would have been 92, Blackjack Lanza (83), the late Nikolai Volkoff would have been 71, Danny Spivey (66), the late Buzz Sawyer (59), Stacy Keibler (39), Raquel Guerrero (28), Tama Tonga (36), Missy Hyatt (55) and Kenny Omega (35)

1:07:00 – Mailbag

Send questions and comments to thejimrossreport@gmail.com.

Q: With the Royal Rumble coming up, what is J.R.’s most memorable Royal Rumble that he was part of?

A: 2001 when Austin came back after a hiatus and won the Rumble.

Q: What are the mechanics when an accident like Brie/Liv Morgan happens in the ring?

A: The referee has to be the guy. He has to be the conscience of the match and his responsibility first and foremost is the safety of the performers.

Q: Does J.R. think the Velveteen Dream will win a title before he leaves NXT?

A: Probably. J.R. doesn’t know why he wouldn’t but also doesn’t know why it matters (and he doesn’t mean that to be negative). Dream is going to be a big star as he has all the tools.

Q: What was the crowd like at MSG when Triple H came back after his injury in 2002?

A: J.R. says this is when you lay out as an announcer. There’s nothing an announcer can say that will match what the audience will provide you when they are emotionally invested in a performer or a performance. It sent chills up J.R.’s spine, it made him glad he had the job and that he was still a wrestling fan. He was lucky to experience that.

Q: What are J.R.’s thoughts around NXT brand extension around the globe to develop feeder systems in other countries?

A: It’s a smart move. The ongoing search for the next big thing never ends. You will never have enough stars and fans in general like new quality.

Q: Who did Leroy McGuirk consider a tough or favorite opponent?

A: Danny McShane. Leroy was a shooter and former national champion. Danny McShane didn’t have formal training but was old school tough. Tough guys like Leroy and Danny like working with each other because they didn’t have to worry about being snug.

1:15:09 – Matt Hardy

J.R. welcomes Matt Hardy to the podcast and asks him about the hurricane (Michael). Matt was on the road and had to leave on the Thursday evening because they were shutting down the airports on Friday. His basement (which is 2000 sq feet) was flooded. Thankfully everything will be OK with the house and most importantly, his kids and wife were safe. Matt’s insurance covered some of the damage. Matt and Jeff’s memorabilia and figures were saved by Matt’s wife. One thing that was damaged was a cardboard stand-up of he and Jeff from Wrestlemania 33. In the grand scheme of things, everything will be OK but it will be a long process.

J.R. brings up the fact that he doesn’t plan on retiring and Matt agrees. He may be at a crossroads for his in-ring career but as far as a TV role, he’s sure he’ll be doing something but isn’t sure exactly what. Matt is so passionate about the business that he’ll always be involved in some way. He doesn’t see himself retiring from wrestling.

Q: Have the WWE talked to Matt about a producer role and does that interest Matt?

A: It does interest Matt and is something they’ve talked about and experimented with. It’s possible this could be part of his future when he returns to the WWE. He’s confident he’ll have an on-screen role but a producer role or behind the scenes role is something he’s destined to do although he doesn’t know when that will happen.

Q: What are moments that stand out to Matt from the early days when he first came to WWE?

A: One of the things that stood out was independent promoters telling the Hardys they would stop booking them if they kept losing on TV which would give the perception that the Hardys were losers. Jeff and Matt disagreed and had confidence they were going to succeed. Matt brings up another story involving the group he travelled with which included Joey Abs and Shannon Moore. A promoter they were working for told Matt that if he and Jeff were jobbing on Vince’s TV then they would have to job for that promoter. Matt and Jeff decided to leave as did their travel group and two years later when they made it in the WWF, that promoter couldn’t call them fast enough to apologize.

Matt says there’s a lot of delusion in the business. The wrestlers play larger than life characters and sometimes performers believe 100% what they are and can’t separate fantasy and reality. It’s important as you move forward and advance in the industry that you make sure to keep yourself grounded in reality. For Matt personally, having a family keeps him grounded better than everything else.

J.R. says the Hardys are ‘common’ men. They’re not oversized or D1 athletes. They came up in the Indy territories, wrestling for nothing and people love those stories. Matt agrees and feels they are inspirational and motivational to regular guys and girls. Matt says he’ll never be the best wrestler or the strongest or fastest but if you compare his passion to anyone else’s it will be hard to measure up. He’s succeeded because of his passion and is one of the most passionate wrestlers in the industry.

J.R. says that a lot of the younger crop of wrestlers tend to give up more easily. Matt says you have to scratch, claw and dig to make it. There are so many wrestlers who are great athletes but the younger generation don’t know how easy they have it. For guys like Matt and Jeff who are of normal stature, it was a battle to achieve success and you won’t get there if you’re not passionate about this. Matt has been wrestling for 26 years that it’s a miracle his body has held up as well as it has especially when you take into account the TLC and hardcore matches. Everything about the business from the physical to the mental is taxing that you have to love it to keep doing it.

The Hardys came into the industry in 1994. From when they started to 2018 it’s been a 180 degree change in the industry which includes the mentality of the performers and the way performers work. Part of that is is due to the internet and so much information being available. Once performers keep pushing the athleticism, the audience crave a certain level of sensationalism. It’s a different audience. Matt’s opinion is that if you’re someone who can’t do flashy moves, you have to learn what you have to do to engage the fans and entertainment which is the goal.

Q: Does Matt remember when his first PPV was?

A: Their debut was on the breakdown show which was September or October of 1998. Their first PPV was Full Loaded (he thinks).

Q: Michael Hayes helped the Hardys

A: Immensely. Michael is a larger than life personality. A lot of people poke fun of MIchael because of what he wears and the fanny pack but he was also instrumental in helping the Hardys get to the next level. One of the first pieces of advice Mike said was despite all the athletic moves they could do, the audience wanted see if they could really whup someone’s a**. You need to make the people in the front row believe that if they were in a fight with you they would be scared of getting beat up. That really resonated with Matt and he started incorporating that mindset into his arsenal. J.R. says Michael is a good example of someone who came up in Southern pro wrestling. He learned psychology and had a gift for feeling an audience. Matt says Michael was the agent for the Ultimate Deletion match. Michael suggested a few things but said it was not his forte. Matt disagreed and said it was Michael’s forte because it was storytelling. When it comes to putting together a story for a match or a fight, Michael is one of the best in the world.

J.R. was pleasantly surprised Matt got the clearance to do the Ultimate Deletion match. J.R. felt the production values of that segment were amazing. Matt says he will always thank Vince for the opportunity even though he (Vince) didn’t understand the concept (and still doesn’t). One of Matt’s goals was to bring that character to the WWE.

Matt says he has a special coming up on the WWE network called The House Of Hardy. Creatively it was done by Matt Hardy, Jeremy Borash and Jimmy Long who were the original crew for the Broken character in TNA. They are going to do a couple of these and if becomes successful, it will become a full WWE network series. Matt says if you tune in and watch this special, he believes it will be ‘unreal’ entertaining from the beginning to the end. He feels this will be the most entertaining non-wrestling show on the network.

This is the first part of the interview and Matt will be back next week. They’ll be talking about Matt’s thoughts on the Attitude Era guys coming back lately and how it influences the locker room. They’ll also talk about Hardy’s Halloween special.

1:46:29 – Show Wrap

J.R. goes through some of his 5 star reviews, plugs the Westwood One Podcast apps and some of the other wrestling podcasts, send emails and comments to thejimrossreport@gmail.com. He thanks everyone for tuning in and that’s a wrap.

Rating – 8/10

Another good show from J.R, especially the Matt Hardy interview. I’ll admit, I got used to listening to Hardy in his Broken/Woken character so listening to this was a little strange at first because he did it as ‘normal’ Matt Hardy which I wasn’t used to. That said though, it was a great interview and I’m really looking forward to part two next week. As for the other segments of the show, I noticed that J.R. pushed many of the things he has been pushing over the last few weeks such as the MLW card at the Melrose Ballroom, Bound For Glory, NWA 70 etc. I know he’s trying to help promote events but it does get a little tired every week. SKOTW and PCG were what it was but oddly enough, I really enjoyed this week’s mailbag. If you don’t have time to listen to this podcast, you can’t go wrong with the Mailbag segment and the Matt Hardy Interview.

Timestamps: 
0:00 – Intro
1:00  – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
34:18 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
39:59 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
52:07 – This Week In Wrestling
1:07:00 – Mailbag
1:15:09 – Matt Hardy
1:46:29 – 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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