Ross opens today’s show by speaking about UFC 229. He notes that some people are speculating that Conor McGregor might be suspended due to the events that transpired after the fight, and if that’s the case, there’s no better time than now for McGregor to make some appearances for WWE. Ross suggests that WWE do a big stadium show in Ireland with McGregor on the card, because he thinks that would do huge numbers.
Ross notes that Smackdown’s 1000th episode will air next week. It’ll be great to see Evolution return to WWE programming, and it’ll be particularly nice to see Batista and Ric Flair return to the ring. Ross is also happy for Rey Mysterio Jr., who will be returning to WWE full time next week. He thinks this is a win-win situation for both parties involved.
Ross says he doesn’t think it’s hypocritical that WWE does shows in Saudi Arabia while promoting a Women’s Revolution. He notes that women are treated unequally everywhere which is terrible, and that’s something we need to fix as human beings. However, WWE may have a positive role in Saudi Arabia over time, through promoting these shows there.
Moving into his thoughts on RAW, Ross says the current Dean Ambrose/Shield storyline has his interest. He truly believes that the Ambrose character is unhinged, and that makes for great storytelling. Ross also liked the Nikki Bella heel turn on RAW this past week, noting that all parties involved played their part well.
Ross thinks Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley have tremendous upside as a heel duo. He doesn’t think there’s any upside in Lashley as a babyface at this point, adding that booking Lashley as a babyface is “like booking John Wayne as a Nazi”. He doesn’t think it makes any sense to book Lashley as a babyface because he’s a monster, so he’s excited to see how this heel duo progresses over the coming weeks.
As for his thoughts on Smackdown Live, Ross thought Charlotte and Becky Lynch stole the show again. It’s evident to him that both women believe in what they’re doing, and he suspects their upcoming “Last Woman Standing” match will be fabulous.
It was also nice to see Big Show return to the ring this week, adding that it didn’t hurt Big Show to lose in that situation to Randy Orton’s finisher, especially given Show’s current role with the company. Lastly, he’s liked Shelton Benjamin’s work on Smackdown Live over the last couple of weeks, and he finds it hard to believe that creative can’t find something interesting for Benjamin to do in the coming months.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross to name his favourite Royal Rumble. He says out of all the Rumbles he was a part of, 2001 was probably his favourite. Austin returned and won that Rumble, and the entire card was great. He also liked the competitors that were involved in the match, and specifically how it boiled down to the final four involved.
Another listener writes into the show and asks Ross if he thinks Velveteen Dream will win a singles Championship before leaving NXT. Ross says, “probably”, but he’s not sure it even matters. He notes that Dream is going to be a massive star in the industry because he has all the tools, and a tremendous drive to be great as well.
Ross welcomes Matt Hardy to the show.
Hardy informs that he’s so passionate about the wrestling business that he’ll never retire. He will always be involved in the business in one way or another, and he’s sure he’ll be back with WWE at some point in the future, even though it mightn’t be an in-ring role.
He mentions that he’s had talks with WWE regarding a Producer role, and he’s definitely interested in that. He’s sure that a Producer role will probably be in his future at some point further down the road, but he’s also confident that he’ll have an on-air role in WWE whenever he returns.
Hardy recalls his first few times working for WWE. He notes that he and Jeff were paid $250 to make those appearances, and that was more than they were making anywhere else so they were happy to show up to WWE shows and play the role of enhancement talents. He thanks Ross for having their back at that time.
Hardy notes that he’s been wrestling for 26 years now and it’s amazing that his body held up as well as it did, especially considering some of the TLC matches he was in over the years. He hopes that he inspired some people along the way since he was never the biggest or strongest wrestler; he was simply able to entertain. In a world full of high-flyers, Hardy thinks it’s important for performers who can’t work that style to find a way to engage the audience in their own way.
Hardy informs that there will be a Halloween WWE Network Special that focuses on the Broken Hardy Universe. He got the original people from his TNA days to help him put this show together, and he’s very excited about it. He mentions that it’ll air on the Network at the end of the month, and there are plans for more of these specials as well. If the specials go well, there are plans for a full-fledged WWE Network series.
He’s very confident that the WWE Universe will enjoy this special, and he thinks it’ll be the most entertaining piece of fictional programming on the WWE Network.
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!