Ross opens today’s show speaking about this past weekend’s wrestling shows.
He says he really enjoyed NXT: War Games. Many people have asked him why he didn’t call the War Games match, but he informs that he wasn’t asked. He thought Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream had an incredible match, and he’s really high on both those performers. He also really liked the Kassius Ohno/Lars Sullivan bout, and he thinks Sullivan has the ‘It’ factor.
He liked the NXT Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Almas, but he was shocked and saddened that the finish came as sudden as it did due to McIntyre’s injury. He points out that McIntyre has overcome much more than an upper arm injury in the last couple of years, so he’ll return from this stronger than ever.
He thought Ember Moon shined in the Women’s Title match as she should have, but all the women played their parts well. The War Games match was a unique display in Ross’ opinion and while he didn’t dislike it, he admits that he had to adjust to the new rules. He informs that Roderick Strong and Adam Cole are two of his favourite performers in the world right now.
Ross says he also really enjoyed Survivor Series. He thought this was an excellent effort overall by WWE but he was particularly fond of the A.J. Styles/Brock Lesnar match. Ross says that Styles is a reliable and durable performer, and if he was starting a wrestling promotion right now Styles might be his #1 pick.
He was glad that Asuka was the sole survivor in the women’s 5 on 5 match, and he thinks it’s important that Asuka remains unbeaten, and therefore mysterious. In the men’s match, Ross was happy to see Braun Strowman get the spotlight. WWE has been doing a good job building Strowman, and it’s important that they don’t ‘half-ass’ his booking moving forward.
Ross adds that someone like Strowman might benefit from being seen less on television. Perhaps he should appear on RAW every second or third week instead of every Monday because much like Lesnar, he’s definitely a special attraction.
Ross welcomes Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler to the show.
Ross and Lawler recall driving together in WWE years ago. Ross would smoke in the car at that time and that would to drive Lawler crazy. Ross has apologized to Lawler for that several times now and he’s very glad he quit.
Ross fully expects that he and Lawler will somehow be involved in the 25th anniversary episode of Monday Night RAW in the new year. He has a hard time believing that WWE would have that show without involving both of them.
Speaking about the WWE Network, Ross believes WWE needs to get lucky and have one of their original programs catch fire in order for the Network to really take off. For this reason, he liked the idea of having pre-shows and post-shows because those would be Network exclusive and you wouldn’t be able to see them anywhere else. Lawler points out that WWE must be doing something right because they just had highest earnings quarter ever
Ross informs that he and Lawler will be going on the road in 2018 doing a live Q&A show. They’re both really looking forward to that.
Ross welcomes Dave Bautista to the show for part two of his interview.
Ross asks Bautista about his relationship with Vince McMahon. Bautista says it’s important to develop a relationship with McMahon but he can also smell an ass-kisser. The timing has to be right to really develop a great relationship with McMahon, and he thinks his timing was perfect.
He recalls having heated creative arguments with McMahon and on one occasion McMahon said, “You know what I want to do now? I wanna slap the shit out of you”. There was a mutual respect between them by that point so Bautista could laugh it off, but you can’t push him that much early on without a good relationship because you probably won’t have a job for long.
Bautista says he’s loved Chris Jericho ever since his WCW days and he calls him a “very good man”. Ross recalls bringing Jericho into WWE and offering him an opportunity, but not nearly as much money as WCW’s guaranteed contract was paying him. Bautista says that Jericho knew he’d be a star just based off of his incredible charisma alone, and that’s why he took that chance.
Bautista says he hasn’t talked to Rock recently, but Rock has always been very good to him dating back to his early days in WWE. Rock has given him so much advice over the years, and they both agree that it’d be smart booking for them to do a film together; he thinks they’re both just waiting for the right opportunity. He adds that Rock is just a good, genuine dude who hasn’t let his success get to his head.
Ross asks Bautista if he’d be interested in returning to WWE, even for just a one-off WrestleMania appearance. He says that he didn’t burn that bridge and he’s glad he didn’t, because he’d definitely be interested in a WWE return. His schedule would have to match up with WWE’s, because he wouldn’t want to return just for a one-off.
If he returns he’d want to do a full schedule, which includes house shows. He’s been speaking to Vince McMahon recently, and McMahon knows that he’s very interested in returning for a program with Triple H. He thinks he and Triple H could have a terrific program together and even if he’s a bit rusty, Triple H will carry him in the ring. He thinks Triple H is as good as there’s ever been bell to bell.
That sums up this week’s episode of The Ross Report. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!