Ross opens today’s show by speaking about the way WWE is booking their major stadium shows in Australia and Saudi Arabia. He points out that some people have been critical of WWE for putting so much attention on veteran talents for these shows, but Ross doesn’t agree with that criticism at all. He notes that matches like Triple H vs. Undertaker brings more attention to these shows, and gives young talents a great opportunity to maximize their minutes in front of a larger audience.
He adds that he’s just as excited about the Triple H/Undertaker match than he is about any other match on that card. It’ll also be cool to see Kane and Shawn Michaels involved in that bout. In a similar line of thought, Ross says he’d actually be dissapointed if Hulk Hogan doesn’t return at the Crown Jewel event, given the rumours that have been circulating recently.
Ross takes a moment to praise NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa. He says Ciampa’s a “hell of a heel” who sells beautifully, which is a key skill for heels. He adds that Ciampa’s a big time player who’ll be a big part of WWE’s plans for the years to come.
Moving into his thoughts on RAW, Ross notes that the Tag Team Title match between The Revival and McIntyre/Ziggler was just a good as anything else on the show. He notes that WWE’s tag team division is not real hot right now, and if it was hotter the match would have been received better in his opinion.
Speaking about Brie Bella’s accidental kick to Liv Morgan’s face, Ross notes that professional wrestling isn’t ballet and things can go wrong. He thinks it’s ignorant for people to criticize professional wrestlers when they’ve never stepped in a ring before in their lives.
Moving onto Smackdown Live, Ross notes that the feud between A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe has become so personal that the WWE Title has almost taken a backseat in the feud. The primary goal of both performers at this point seems to be to destroy the other performer and to harm them physically and mentally.
Ross welcomes Cody Rhodes to the show.
Rhodes talks about the upcoming NJPW show that will take place in the United States, as well as his IWGP United States Championship match with Juice Robinson. He points out that this entire card is stacked, and the company as a whole has adapted an “all hands on deck” approach to these big shows. Rhodes says that he and The Young Bucks had that mentality for ALL IN, and ROH and NJPW have seemingly picked up that approach.
Ross says that Okada reminds him of The Rock and he’s unsure why. Perhaps it’s the natural charisma and the “It” factor. He also notes that Okada is 6’3”, similar in height to The Great One. Cody agrees, noting that Okada has all the key factors that make up a Superstar, and that’s a rare mix.
Rhodes admits that his work schedule is pretty hectic these days, but he likes that. If he ever complains about his busy schedule his wife, Brandi, quickly reminds him that this is everything that he ever wanted in life.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross if he thinks WWE will ever add a referee wing to the Hall of Fame. Ross believes that a referee will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at some point, but he doesn’t think they’ll add a separate wing to the Hall for referees. He points out that the first referee inducted could be either of the Hebner brothers, Mike Chioda or Tim White.
Ross welcomes “Cowboy” Bill Watts to the show.
Ross and Watts talk about how much the wrestling business has grown over the years. There is ridiculous money in the business nowadays, and it’s hard for Watts to even grasp. He recalls his college professor telling him that if he ever made $25,000 a year he’d be wealthy, and nowadays that’s chump change for the majority of professional wrestlers.
He also points out that it’s amazing how much content companies like WWE are producing on a weekly basis. It’s hard for him to understand how these companies are able to produce that much television while keeping the content fresh and engaging at the same time.
Ross asks Watts about his experiences working with Bruno Sammartino. Watts points out that Sammartino was a man’s man, and he doesn’t ever recall discussing “snugness” with him. There was never any issue with the way they worked with each other in the ring. Some guys were stiffer than other back in those days, and if a stiff shot wasn’t intentional Watts never had any issue with it.
Ross and Watts will continue their discussion on next week’s show.
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!