The Jim Ross Report – 7 Star Conversation With Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer
Release Date: November 28, 2018
Running time: 2:07:08
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Show Open
Welcome to another episode of Slobberknocker audio. Today’s guest will be Dave Meltzer.
1:22 – What’s On J.R.’s Mind
- Becky Lynch keeps getting hotter and hotter. She had an outstanding promo with Charlotte, although Charlotte may have gotten the better of that situation. The addition of Asuka to their match has a lot of marquee value and sizzle. J.R. thinks this will be a great match at TLC.
- Asuka is a major star that got lost along the way after WrestleMania. She should be in the mix as a top woman in the WWE.
- Conor McGregor responded to Becky’s tweet saying he would be in her corner if necessary.
- J.R. wants to address the trademarks filed by the Khan family with Dave Meltzer later in the program. It’s never going to happen because a TV deal could not be reached or a TV deal will be finalized and will be big. Feast or Famine.
- Edge’s mom Judy passed away recently. J.R. sends his condolences to his family.
- Daniel Bryan showed that great crowd psychology still works during his match with Brock at Survivor Series.
- J.R. was watching Raw on Monday and was assuming there was going to be a run in or interference which indicates there’s too much interference which is not good. The company has been made famous for building fan favorites but that’s not the focus right now. The babyface machine needs to get back in to business. There needs to be less run ins and more unpredictability.
- Congrats to The Young Bucks. Their merch store at prowrestlingtees.com was number one on Black Friday. They have a great following and are good entrepreneurs. J.R. likes them a lot and they have great chemistry.
- General Motors is announcing they are closing several plants in The States and Canada. Over 14,000 jobs will be lost. Was it really a deal breaker to do this before Christmas? Where is the human emotion? It’s sad this is happening and it’s less honorable to do this before the holidays
- The Ortiz/Liddell 3 fight was a fiasco. Logically, no athletic commission should be sanctioning two men at this stage of life, getting in the ring and scrambling each other’s brains.
- The situation at the Tijuana/San Diego border is sad. Why is tear gas being used on mothers and their children?
- Baker Mayfield may have regretted what he said about Hue Jackson in hindsight. J.R. says let it go.
- There’s some drama happening in the Royal Family. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are moving out of the palace to Frogmore Cottage. There is speculation there is tension between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.
- J.R. had a good time at WrestleCade and got a chance to meet with Bob Caudle. It was good to see an old friend. J.R. never had a better more cooperative broadcast partner with regards to bringing his A-game, low maintenance, easy going and professional.
- J.R. will be at the Oklahoma to watch the Big 12 title game.
- Roman Reigns was on the sidelines for the Georgia game.
- Ohio State upset Michigan.
- Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame are still undefeated.
Around the Wrestling Horn
- Jim Cornette has started his own YouTube channel.
- ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan was hospitalized over Thanksgiving but he’s doing better.
- There will be an 83 Weeks live show on December 15th. Check www.easyelive.com for info.
- This Friday, J.R. and Josh Barnett will be calling the Ishii vs Suzuki RPW Title match on AXS TV.
- Kevin Kelly and Don Callis are getting their New Japan World audio on AXS TV moving forward.
- December 16th will be the TLC PPV. It’s a good card and J.R. likes the addition of Becky/Charlotte/Asuka. Rousey will defend against Nia Jax. J.R. would like to see Nia smile less. He wants her to be more of a heel and a villainess.
- Braun Strowman may not be back on time for TLC. Rushing him back makes no sense. J.R. doesn’t think it’s necessary for Corbin to wrestle Braun at TLC.
- John Cena is coming back which should help shore up some of the babyface roster for a short time.
- Drake Maverick has more attention drawn to him than his tag team which isn’t the way to go. That said, J.R. likes Drake’s upside but you want the money drawn from the AOP. J.R. doesn’t feel the AOP are dominant, they don’t manhandle people and are not overwhelming.
- J.R. has not seen enough of Ambrose’s character development to make a judgement. However, he would like to see more of the brooding, less talking character compared to Ambrose cutting heel promos like everyone else
- The women on Smackdown stole the show. They are bigger stars. Charlotte had her best night on the mic in a long time.
- Becky is a character babyface much like Austin.
- J.R. liked the women’s battle royal and Asuka got to shine.
37:32 – Slobberknocker Of The Week
- Baker Mayfield who had a good game last weekend.
- Dwayne Haskins, QB for Ohio State who had a big time game against Michigan.
- Philip Rivers, QB for the LA Chargers who had a great game against the Arizona Cardinals.
- Alexa Bliss who made a nice transition to an on-screen authority figure on RAW.
This week’s winner is Bill Murdoch who created Headlock on Hunger.
42:09 – Pet Coon Goofy Award
- Undisciplined players in the LSU/Texas A&M game. There was a fight on field and some boorish behavior.
- The creative between Drake Maverick and Bobby Roode. The ‘pee’ angle is not entertaining and makes Roode look bad.
- Hector Perez who had his license revoked for throwing a brick at his opponent in the head.
This week’s winner is the production crew that broadcast the Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson challenge. There were streaming issues which allowed everyone to watch for free.
50:02 – This Week In Wrestling
45 years ago – One year before J.R. got into the wrestling business. December 1st 1973 – WWWF show – Stan Stasiak defeated Pedro Morales for the WWWF Title.
39 years ago – December 4, 1979 – Mid South Wrestling – Bill Watts beat Mike George for the Mid-South North American title. Buck Robley defeated JYD by DQ. Freebirds defeated Charlie Cook and Stan Hansen, Mike Sharpe vs Bob Sweetan ended in a no-contest
38 years ago – Len Denton (The Grappler) beat Killer Karl Kox to retain the Mid-South Mississippi title
27 Years ago – 1991 – Bret Hart retained the IC title defeating Skinner. The main event was Hogan defeating Undertaker to win the WWF title
17 years ago – 2001 – Smackdown Taping – RVD retained the Hardcore title defeating Matt Hardy, Edge/Kane/Big Show defeated the Dudleys/William Regal, Undertaker defeated Bradshaw, Austin/Rock defeated Jericho/Angle and Vince McMahon received a stinkface for Rikishi
12 years ago – December 3rd. 2006 – ECW December to Dismember – Bobby Lashley won the ECW title by defeating the Big Show, RVD, CM Punk, Hardcore Holly and test in an Extreme Elimination Chamber match
The late Ernie Ladd would have been 80, the late Smith Hart would have been 70, the late Lee Marshall would have been 79, Rob Conway (47), Erick Rowan (37), Gene Okerlund (80), Jerry Lawler (69), JBL (52), Rosemary (35), the late Tom Zenk would have been 60, the late Jimmy Del Rey would have been 58, Jushin Liger (54), Jay ‘Christian’ Reso (45), Naomi, the late Klondike Bill would have been 87, Ozzy Osbourne (70), Wolfgang (32), the late Tarzan Tyler would have been 91, Brooke Tessmacher (34) and Hiromu Takahashi (29)
1:08:51 – Mailbag
Send questions, comments and suggestions to email@example.com
Q: Where does Wrestlemania X7 rank for J.R.?
A: It’s one of his favorites if not his favorite PPV he worked on. The Astrodome was a vital part of J.R.’s upbringing watching the Houston Astros and Houston Oilers.
Q: What does J.R. think about the brand split today?
A: It’s a necessary evil. The only thing that’s harmed the presentation of the brand split is that creative get impatient and don’t give talents an opportunity to get over.
Q: What are J.R.’s thoughts on Dean Ambrose’s change of character from an interesting tortured soul to a generic ‘insult the hometown’ heel. His comments on Reigns crossed a line.
A: J.R. agrees about the Reigns’ comment and if he had input on creative, serious illness, race, religion and politics will not make air. You don’t tune into wrestling to hear about those. It’s a waste of time. J.R. liked Ambrose the tortured soul compared to a normal villain in pro wrestling.
Q: Why are the WWE not using Bobby Roode as one of their top villains?
A: J.R. doesn’t know and feels Bobby is underutilized. Bobby needs to maximize his minutes on TV but also needs to find his groove and character. He’s a big time talent and can be doing more.
1:20:07 – Dave Meltzer
J.R. welcomes Dave to the show.
The start off talking about Larry Matysik who passed away this week. Many younger fans may not be aware of the impact Larry had on the business.
Larry was a major influence on Dave when he was 11. Dave subscribed to a mailing list for a newsletter that would describe the upcoming card in St. Louis. Larry wrote the newsletter which would paint a picture that these were the best matches with the best talent.
Larry announced and booked in St. Louis. He worked for Vince for 10 years and wrote several books to keep the St. Louise memory alive. He had terrible physical issues but his mind never went. Larry loved to write but typing became so painful that he could only type for short periods. He was working on a book comparing Sam Mushnik and Vince McMahon. Larry was a fan since the 50s and his father was actually at the Ed Lewis vs. Joe Stecher title unification match.
J.R. was impressed that Sam and Larry would have the booking done in order to get a program out several weeks in advance. Dave says they were always several months ahead in their plans. They ran a very meticulous operations. The would have 3 x 5 index cards of every wrestler that worked in St. Louis as well as the results of all their matches which allowed them to see who beat who. When it came to building a person they wanted to have a world championship match, that wrestler would go on a winning streak. If you were a fan and were watching this streak, you would realize they were building the wrestler.
Larry and Sam were sports guys.
A difference between Sam and Vince is that Vince is a workaholic whereas Sam was laid back who lived a normal life and promoted wrestling as opposed to being 24/7.
J.R. says Sam’s philosophy were similar to Leroy McGirk. Both Sam and Leroy were meticulous. For example, if a bill came in the morning, the payment would go out in the afternoon mail.
In every generation, there are challenging PR issues issues to address regarding the perception of the genre. Leroy would try to stay in good stead with the community. Sam ran with the sports people and sports writers. They all knew Sam so if there was a story on wrestling it was never a negative story compared to other markets. They would say wrestling was entertainment and that Sam was an honest person. Joe Garagiola (who was the host of the Today show and announced baseball) got his first break in broadcasting was as Sam’s first wrestling announcer on Wrestling At The Chase.
Larry wrote a few books which are available on Amazon. ‘Drawing Heat The Hard Way’ is an interesting philosophical book, ‘Wrestling At The Chase’ is a light-hearted book that tells you how they operated and what it was like working for Sam. He also wrote a book on Bruiser Brody who he was friends with. Bruiser would go on to be a huge start in St. Louis and became close with Larry.
J.R. met with Larry to discuss buying the St. Louis wrestling library. They had a good meeting but they couldn’t close the deal. J.R. wishes he could have gotten the library but Larry knew what he wanted and believed it to have a bigger value than J.R. could offer.
J.R. tries to watch all pro wrestling T.V. shows objectively. It seems that everyone is trying to be a sitcom writer and they’re putting talents in positions they are not best suited (with the exception of New Japan). Dave says wrestling is all entertainment but it should be good. He doesn’t mind occasional comedy but it’s not a comedy show. Most people have outgrown the toilet humor stuff and doing that childish stuff is out of touch with the modern audience. Many of the performers today are very good in the ring who have compelling personalities but the personalities they portray on TV are overly scripted. The wrestlers are not actors. Dave also feels that there is too much talking.
J.R. isn’t against a three hour show but there are things they can add like some 205 content to help get some of those guys over. Raw used to have one or two 205 matches but the decision was made to take them off the main show to make them exclusive to 205 live which hurt them. People don’t know them and regardless of how good you are, if people don’t know you or have an emotional investment in you, it’s hard for them to care about their match.
During long matches on RAW or Smackdown, J.R. doesn’t get lost in the process (suspending disbelief), he is always looking for a run in. The interference component is always prevalent. J.R. felt when bookers used it less frequently, it meant more and was big business. Now it’s the norm and predictable. It takes him out of the game.
Meltzer says he also saw this regularly in the ’80s during the Horsemen era. He was at a live show and Ric Flair was in a Scorpion Deathlock. Instead of the fans thinking the world title could change hands, the fans would look to the entrance looking for a run in. When mentally, you’re thinking when is the run in coming instead of being into the match, that’s when you know you’re using run ins too much.
J.R. also wonders if the creative people feel the logic or lack of logic. For example, apparently Bobby Roode’s robe and music mean more than winning the tag titles. And why would you cut away to a men’s room during a championship match? Dave thought this was ridiculous and made the tag match seem like a comedy match with guys that don’t matter. And when it was over, Bobby Roode looked like a goof which is what you don’t what your babyface to be and made the championship mean like nothing. Also AOP didn’t get heat winning that match and no one wanted to see Roode or Gable come back. He doesn’t think the show recovered from it. It took J.R. out of the show and killed his disbelief.
J.R. doesn’t understand the inability to get a finishing hold over so that when you get hit when the finishing move, it’s a finish. Your goal as an announcer is to tell the finisher you’re done. During the Baron Corbin segment, the announcers are talking about backstory while someone is getting the crap beat out of them which tells J.R. they know it’s a work. He knows they’re doing their job and what they’re told to do but doesn’t understand the philosophy behind it.
Dave says the booking of Ronda in Survivor Series was great. This was the first time she was in a big heat angle but the next night on TV, she came out smiling which was a waste. She could have sold it more. She also wrestled and won so how bad could her injuries be?
J.R. brings up the Khan trademarks and says the two things you need to make a wrestling company are TV and talent. If they don’t get TV, there is no viable wrestling company. J.R. has been rumored to be part of this (as well as Chris Jericho).
Dave was aware of the rumors and had heard about Ross and Jericho. But until a viable media outlet is involved, it’s just talk. Once the trademarks happened, that’s when Dave reported it but at this point, we’re in a holding pattern. If there is a TV deal, we could know who the nucleus of this company would be but there are still a lot of questions. Dave thinks we’ll start hearing more early next year which J.R. agrees with. J.R. thinks it’s either not going to happen because a TV deal can’t be reached or it’s going to be big.
J.R. thanks Dave for being on the show and gives his condolences to Dave on the passing of Larry Matysik. Dave feels he was underutilized after 1984 by the wrestling industry. Both put agree that you don’t have to agree or disagree with everything they say but keep an open mind and learn for yourself. And they sign off.
1:58:47 – Show Wrap
J.R. goes through his 5 star reviews and pushes his appearances. Next week will be part 2 of the Dave Meltzer interview talking about the star rating system, Okada and Omega and the NJPW/ROH event at MSG. He’s also going to be joined by Ian Riccaboni from ROH. And that’s a wrap
Rating – 8/10
This rating is strictly based on the Dave Meltzer interview. Unlike Vince Russo, I like Dave Meltzer and respect his knowledge and opinion. It was great to hear about Larry Matysik who some of today’s fans may not know but was an important part of wrestling history. Overall, this was a podcast that had good info about the past, present and future of pro wrestling. Oh…I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that J.R. does a Blue Chew read. Apparently he tried it and called Tony Schiavone to confirm they were chewables. That aside though, this is a definite recommend.
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to www.pwpodcasts.com. 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.