Ross opens today’s show by speaking about the passing of former WWE Official, Ed Cohen. He says he’s very grateful that he had the opportunity to work with someone like Cohen, who he calls a great man. He notes that Cohen had bone cancer at the ages of 17, 27 and 37, and Ross believes it was complications from that disease that ultimately took his life a few days ago.
Ross is unsure what the issue is between WWE and Neville. PWInsider reported this week that Neville’s WWE contract has expired, and Ross notes that Neville has gone away quietly without rocking the boat. He points out that whenever someone leaves WWE like that it’s usually about either money or creative, but in either event, whoever signs Neville is going to get a great talent. Ross adds he’s a huge fan of Neville.
It was also reported this past week that Ronda Rousey is interested in extending her WWE contract. Ross assumes that Rousey is having a lot of fun right now and will apparently put off her plans to start a family in order to continue this run. He had a feeling that Rousey was going to make a seamless transition to professional wrestling, even though some were critical of her because she didn’t “pay her dues”, which Ross thought was silly.
Ross says he’s very proud of Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. ALL IN sold out in less than 30 minutes, and the show will now be broadcasted on PPV and the FITE TV app. He points out that guys like Rhodes and the Jackson Brothers will carry professional wrestling into a new era, and he thinks there needs to be more people like them.
Ross thought Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins tore it up on Monday Night Raw this week. He notes that both of them are students of the game, and Rollins has become very consistent with his in-ring delivery. He also says that if he was building a wrestling roster, Kevin Owens would be a name on his list.
Ross thought it was great to see Trish Stratus return to RAW, and he liked her segment with Elias. He notes that Braun Strowman appeared to turn heel at the end of the show, and he’s intrigued to see how that plays out over time. Pairing Strowman with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre could be an interesting approach, and Ross predicts that McIntyre will be WWE Champion in a year or less.
Ross welcomes an editor from PWI to the show to debut this year’s PWI 500 Top 10.
The 2018 top 10 is as follows:
1. Kenny Omega, 2. A.J. Styles, 3. Okada 4. Brock Lesnar, 5. Seth Rollins
6. Braun Strowman, 7. Roman Reigns, 8. Cody, 9. Naito, 10. The Miz
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross about the utilization of the women on WWE’s current roster. Ross points out that the exposure the women are getting now, which is great, make fans want more. It’s unfortunate that someone like Asuka, who he considers to be a money-maker, is sitting on the sidelines right now, but there’s only so much time to make stars each week. He doesn’t think the women are under-booked at this point.
Another listener writes into the show and asks Ross if he thinks WWE should have a Superstar Shakeup every 6 months. Ross understands the need to keep things fresh, but he thinks WWE should be able to do that with creative writing. He doesn’t see any sense in blowing everything up twice a year, when WWE should be focused on creating long-term, entertaining storylines.
Ross welcomes Ric Flair to the show.
Ross and Flair discuss their time working together in the Southern States prior to their days in WCW and WWE. Ross notes that even when he was beginning his commentating career he didn’t want to know the finishes of matches. People ask him all the time if he knew The Undertaker was going to throw Mankind off the top of Hell in A Cell, and he informs that he never knew that was going to take place. He always wanted to react to things naturally as he saw them occurring in front of him.
Flair notes that he texted Ross while watching his 30 for 30 documentary. He was drinking and didn’t like the way Ross and a few other people spoke about him on the documentary. He apologizes to Ross for that, noting that everything Ross said was the truth, and he realizes that now.
Flair informs that he hated time off while he was working as a professional wrestler. He always wanted to be on the road, and that fuelled his destructive tendencies. Luckily he’s in a wonderful place now with a great woman, and Ross thinks this has helped Flair’s health overall.
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!