Ross was very sad to hear about Paige’s injury situation this week. He points out that Paige needs to find a way to move to “Plan B” now, and he thinks she has loads of potential as an entertainer in a variety of fields. Ross thinks Paige could have a lot of success continuing as an on-air personality for WWE, or she could move into television and film because she has a great look.
Ross fantasy books Ronda Rousey debuting in WWE during the Royal Rumble match, which would lead to her challenging Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania. He says under the right circumstances with the right build, he’d have no issue with Charlotte and Rousey headlining WrestleMania. He also shoots down the theory that other women on WWE’s roster might resent Rousey, pointing out that Rousey sells tickets and draws viewership, which means more money for everyone involved.
He says he’s quite excited about travelling to Brooklyn for the 25th anniversary of RAW next Monday night. It was reported that he will be reuniting with Jerry “The King” Lawler for this show, and while nothing has been confirmed to him yet, he has a feeling that he and Lawler will be calling the action at The Manhattan Center.
Ross welcomes Bruce Prichard to the show.
Prichard talks about his highly successful podcast, “Something to Wrestle With”. He points out that when his co-host, Conrad Thompson initially approached him with the idea he was completely against it. Recording a podcast was something he thought he’d never do, but Thompson kept on him and eventually he caved. He’s glad he eventually agreed to it because he’s having a lot of fun with his show.
He and Thompson have started to partner with outside companies and sport leagues, who have a vested interest in the cross over appeal of his show. The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets approached him recently to set up a live show which will take place at The Barclays Center after an upcoming Nets game. Prichard was going to be in Brooklyn during that time anyways for RAW’s 25th anniversary, so they were able to make the event work.
Ross and Prichard talk about their time working at WWE during the attitude era. They point out that Vince McMahon was a steadfast leader at the time, and they tried to take things one day at a time. Ross says it didn’t really feel like they lost the ratings battle to WCW over 80 weeks in a row; everyone’s morale was good and the locker room was very competitive.
Ross recalls having an argument with WCW officials over the Mark Callaway’s potential years before he adopted the “Undertaker” gimmick. Ross always thought Callaway had star power and he was mesmerized by Callaway’s ability to move as a big man.
Prichard had a similar argument with Vince McMahon when they had initial discussions about brining Callaway into WWE. McMahon thought Callaway looked like a “tall red-headed basketball player” and nothing more. McMahon even cancelled one meeting with Callaway, saying he wasn’t interested in him as a potential talent anymore. Eventually Prichard urged McMahon to think twice and they brought Callaway in. The rest is history.
Ross welcomes John Pollock back to the show for part two of his interview.
Pollock doesn’t believe we’ll see Conor McGregor at WrestleMania this year, however, he does suspect that McGregor will make a one off appearance with WWE over the next 3-5 years. McGregor obviously doesn’t need the money but it’s well known that he was a WWE fan growing up, so appearing once or twice in WWE might be a bucket list item for him.
Ross asks Pollock to fantasy book the WWE Title and Universal Title matches for WrestleMania. Pollock predicts that we’ll see Roman Reigns challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. This match has been rumoured for months and WWE certainly appears to be heading in that direction. As far as the WWE Title goes, he thinks WWE might give fans the dream match they’ve been longing for – A.J. Styles versus Nakamura.
Pollock feels that WWE hasn’t really given fans a reason to care about Nakamura yet, and they’ve failed to tell his story. He feels that Nakamura needs to be treated more special and shouldn’t be shown in random backstage segments with other talents on a weekly basis. If you make Nakamura feel special and give fans a reason to care about him, they will respond accordingly.
Pollock believes that Lesnar will re-sign with WWE when his current contract expires, but he also thinks Lesnar will use a potential return to UFC as a negotiation tool. Pollock truly believes that Lesnar loves to fight and he’d probably do it for pennies if the timing was right. Stars are also in extremely short supply for UFC right now, so a return to the octagon isn’t out of the question for Lesnar.
Ross asks Pollock about Vince McMahon’s new venture, Alpha Entertainment. Pollock points out that through investing over $100 Million of his own money, McMahon has proven that he’s very serious about this venture and this might require him to tone down his role in WWE. Pollock thinks most people, McMahon included would be confident in Triple H taking over at the head of WWE, but it’s hard to guess when that time will come.
Pollock asks Ross if he’d be interested in calling football games again if McMahon does indeed start a new football league. Ross says he’d love to call football again, but he’d like to get paid more this time. When he called XFL games with Jerry Lawler they were only paid $1,500 per game.
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!