Ross opens today’s show by commenting on this past week’s episode of RAW. He thought it was a pretty good show, but notes that it was controversial to remove Braun Strowman from the Royal Rumble main event. He thinks this was a booking decision and had little to do with Strowman’s previous elbow injury.
However, he understands that if Strowman wasn’t going to defeat Lesnar, it’s better to have him not suffer another loss on a big stage to Lesnar. In turn, the story we’ve been told with Balor is better than the previous Strowman/Lesnar story, and this will result in a different, and probably better match.
Ross notes that it’s a challenge to sell 40,000 tickets in Phoenix for the Royal Rumble, and he thought it was strange when he heard they were running this show outdoors. However, he understands that WWE are trying to present a WrestleMania-lite show with the Rumble, and he credits them for thinking big picture.
Ross has been underwhelmed with Balor’s presentation on RAW over the last several months, and the Balor we saw on NXT UK Takeover last week is the Balor he wants to see on RAW moving forward. He’s not sure if Balor will defeat Lesnar at the Rumble, especially since the rumoured WrestleMania main event is Lesnar versus Seth Rollins, but this match will help Balor moving forward regardless.
Ross is excited to see how the Women’s Tag Title picture plays out. He notes that the tag team division needs a boost in WWE, and hopefully the women can provide that. He adds that in order to make these titles mean something right out of the gate, they need to be presented in important situations on the show.
Ross hopes that Lio Rush can settle into his managerial role and become less of a comedic character. He thinks Bobby Lashley is going to be a great heel, but he can’t understand why Lashley celebrated like a babyface when he won the Intercontinental Title on Monday.
Ross also watched Smackdown Live on Tuesday and was impressed by a number of things on that show, specifically the match between Rey Mysterio and Andrade. Ross thought these two men took their time and told a great story, and the finish didn’t hurt anyone with Mysterio taking the pin.
Ross notes that the Miz/Shane McMahon storyline reminds him of a buddy cop show. He says that these two guys are having fun now but eventually one of them will turn on the other, and he wonders which one will turn. Ross adds that the Nikki Cross character is interesting but he doesn’t care about her right now because he doesn’t know who she is, and he admits that maybe that’s his fault.
Ross says that he really enjoyed the NXT UK show from Blackpool, England this past week. He loved the vibe and atmosphere of the show, and he loved the effort of all the performers. Some of the highlights of the show in his opinion were the debut of WALTER, the Women’s Title Match, and Finn Balor’s surprise appearance.
Ross welcomes W.O.W. founder, David McLane to the show.
McLane started G.L.O.W. in the 1980’s and now he has a new all-woman wrestling show airing each Friday week on AXS TV. McLane points out that fans want to see the “fun” put back into wrestling and that’s his main goal. He notes that CEO of the L.A. Lakers, Jeanie Buss, is behind this company as well and her goal is to take all the right steps to make sure it’s a legitimate entertainment presentation.
McLane says he eventually sold G.L.O.W in the 80s because the show became to comical for his liking. He’s been sure to keep that in mind during the first season of W.O.W. He notes that Mark Cuban and AXS TV have been involved with this from the ground floor to make sure it has the greatest chance for success.
Ross says that this week’s Moment of Bliss segment might have been the worst television segment he’s ever seen the great Paul Heyman involved in. He didn’t understand the interruption from NXT call-up, Otis, adding that it just made for an uncomfortable situation.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross to discuss Sasha Banks’ current situation. Ross says he’s a big fan of Banks, and he’s happy for her now that she’s in a high profile situation alongside RAW’s Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. He hopes that these two women really take it to each other in the ring at the Rumble, adding that they can always apologize for their stiffness later.
Ross welcomes Tessa Blanchard to the show.
Blanchard will debut on W.O.W. on AXS TV this coming Friday night. She’s very excited about this opportunity, and adds that her goals are constantly changing. Her goals five years ago were much different than her goals now, and although she’s in a different spot now than she would have thought, she’s thrilled with the process.
Blanchard informs that she was the stunt double for the actress playing, “Paige” in the new movie, Fighting With My Family. She says that was a tremendous experience, especially getting into the ring with The Rock and learning from him. She notes that he’s such a down-to-earth, easy-going guy for someone as prominent as he is in the movie business.
She points out that David McLane and Jeanie Buss are very special people and she’s thrilled to be working with them on W.O.W. The production value of the show is incredible and she thinks it’s going to be a big hit. She points out that she’s had to make some tough business decisions over the last couple of years, but money isn’t everything, and surrounding herself with good people is more important to her.
Speaking about AEW, Blanchard points out that Cody is like a brother to her and she’s sure it’s going to be a success. People love change and progress can’t happen without change, so it’s great to see these guys take a leap of faith together. She notes that AEW appears to be gearing up to offer a wide range of in-ring styles and that should help them as well.
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!