Ross returns this week with a new podcast on WestwoodOne.

He opens this week’s show by speaking about his thoughts on WrestleMania weekend. He begins by talking about the NXT Takeover event, which he thought was fantastic. He thought the opening ladder match was incredible, and he was a big fan of the NXT Women’s Title match as well. He thought Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler over-delivered based on their limited in-ring experience.

Ross was a big fan of Mauro Ranallo’s commentary work on this show, pointing out that Ranallo had a “great night”. Ross thinks Aleister Black is going to be a big star on the next level, adding that Black’s the real deal. He also loved the Johnny Gargano/Tomasso Ciampa match because those two men played with our emotions and all the fans were invested in it. He called this match, “magic”.


Moving onto the WrestleMania card, Ross informs that he called the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal match at 4:30, and he was back in his hotel room by 5:30. He preferred to relax in his hotel room while watching the show so he could take notes. He notes that the 7-hour runtime was quite long, and it’s hard to keep people’s attention for that length of time.

He thought the opening match for the Intercontinental Championship was terrific, and he thought the three performers engaged the audience early and often. He adds that this was one of the greatest openers for a WrestleMania he’s seen. In terms of the Smackdown Women’s Title Match he notes that Charlotte is a star, and he’s a fan of Asuka as well. He thought these two women had a good physical match and he doesn’t think there’s any shame in one loss for Asuka.

Ross liked Jinder Mahal’s United States Title win. Whether we want to admit it or not, foreign heels are still a thing, and Mahal plays that role perfectly. He adds that the U.S. Title is not hot right now, so whoever won this match was going to have some work to do to rebuild that Title’s credibility. He’s excited to see what Mahal can do with that opportunity.

Ross thought Undertaker and John Cena had a good match after a very unique build. Even when he left the arena that afternoon he still wasn’t sure whether Undertaker was in the building. He says Undertaker is a warhorse and he loves him with all his heart.

If he was booking the tag team match between Daniel Bryan/Shane Mcmahon & Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn, he would have had a bit more shine for Bryan early on because that’s what fans wanted to see. He thought it was a good effort overall in a tough spot since this match had to follow Undertaker/Cena.

Ross says he loved the Styles/Nakamura match but he expected more. He thinks fans were fatigued by this point in the show and this played a part in the overall presentation of the match on television. He loved the heel turn at the end because Nakamura will probably be a better heel in WWE at this point. These guys also have great chemistry so having an extended program will be great in Ross’ opinion.

Ross thinks Braun Strowman is going to be “the guy” in WWE because of the way they’re booking him lately. He points out that WWE is starting to book Strowman as a well-rounded character and they’re putting him in different situations. He urges Strowman to not get comfortable and keep working, and if he does that he’ll be the long term future of WWE. He add that there’s no rush here because Strowman’s only going to get better and better.

Ross thought the mixed tag team match was as good as it possibly could have been. He thought it exceeded lots of people’s expectations including his, and all 4 performers were great. He thought Ronda Rousey had the best in-ring debut he’s seen in the wrestling business in his entire career, and nobody else has even come close. He urges people to stop doubting Rousey now, because she wants to be a success in this business and she’s putting the work in to make it happen.

Ross’ Slobberknocker of the week award goes to Rousey for exceeding expectations. He thought her timing was impeccable during her debut match, and it probably shouldn’t be at this point in her in-ring career. She has a burning desire to be great and she’s an athletic beast, so it doesn’t surprise him that she’s improving at a ridiculous rate.

As for the main event of the show, Ross thought the atmosphere in the building and the spot on the card was tough. He was surprised to see Lesnar win, and was surprised to see the blood as well. He just wishes fans would just try to enjoy the product instead of working so hard to hate it sometimes.

A listener writes into the show and asks Ross if he thinks WWE would ever consider splitting up WrestleMania into a two-day event. This would help all the talents get on the show without having a 7-8 hour event. Ross doesn’t see it happening anytime soon because it would change the event drastically. He also doesn’t think it’s any performer’s right to be guaranteed a match at WrestleMania each year.

Another listener calls into the show and asks Ross if we’ll ever see a referee get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ross does think we’ll see that at some point, but he’s not sure who will be inducted. He points out that there’s no reason why those guys shouldn’t have the opportunity to be inducted because they’re a big part of the action in the ring every night.

Ross welcomes Bruce Prichard to the show.

Ross points out that Prichard has done a great job of reinventing himself, jumping into the podcast business with his extremely popular, “Something to Wrestle With”. Prichard informs that he was out of the wrestling business and had no intention of ever going back, but somehow he got dragged back in. His co-host, Conrad Thompson kept on him to start this podcast and he’s glad he finally caved and agreed to do it.

Prichard informs that working with Vince McMahon during the attitude era was a day-to-day struggle. Some people complained about a lack of long-term planning but Prichard points out that they did plan long-term. Unfortunately, they were so busy and they had to spend all of their time working on the things that needed to happen from day-to-day. McMahon was focused on the moment, and that’s the only way he knew he’d be able to chase down WCW and overtake them again in the ratings war.

Prichard recalls setting up a meeting between Undertaker and McMahon back in the day. McMahon watched a match between Undertaker and Lex Luger in which Undertaker had a dislocated hip so the match sucked. McMahon then cancelled the meeting with Undertaker, saying Luger was the star in that match. Prichard kept on McMahon because he knew there was something special about a big man who could move the way Undertaker moved. Finally McMahon agreed to meet with Undertaker, they hit it off right away, and the rest is history.

That sums up this week’s episode of The Jim Ross Report. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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