Ross opens today’s show by discussing last Saturday’s NXT Takeover show. He gives credit to Mauro Ranallo, who had a great night in Ross’ opinion. Ross liked the show as a whole, adding that there wasn’t a bad match on the card. He singles out Johnny Gagano though, who had a fantastic night.
Ross was impressed by Shayna Baszler and Aleister Black as well. Ross notes that Black is a very talented performer who has a great look, and he just hopes that WWE creative understands what they have in him when he gets to the main roster.
Ross will discuss the Royal Rumble with Mike Johnson later in the show, but he says the show was simply, “Too damn long”. There was just too much content to take in during this lengthy show. However, he loved a lot of the matches on the show including Balor/Lesnar and Banks/Rousey.
Ross says he wouldn’t have booked Becky Lynch to tap to Asuka. He points out that there were a lot of different ways to get to where WWE wanted to go creatively without having Lynch tap. Now that Lynch has chosen to face Rousey at WrestleMania, Asuka is basically left at the alter when in reality you’d think Lynch would want retribution against the person who made her tap.
Ross was happy to hear that Jeff Jarrett has been hired as a Producer for WWE. He notes that Jarrett will be a good teacher and coach for WWE talents, and if he’s used in an on-screen role he’ll be good in that role as well.
Ross shares his thoughts on Sam Roberts’ comments regarding Bianca Belair from the Takeover Pre-show. He points out that these comments were most likely scripted, and if they were that’s a great job by WWE because Ross thinks all WWE announcers need to show more personality. If they weren’t scripted, this was a brave move by Roberts.
Ross really liked the Becky Lynch/Ronda Rousey segment on RAW. He notes that the crowd took Rousey off her game during her pre-match promo, but when Lynch came face-to-face with Rousey post-match, Rousey cut a great promo that felt real to Ross.
Ross congratulates Seth Rollins on winning the Men’s Royal Rumble match, setting up a WrestleMania match against Brock Lesnar. Ross predicts that match will go on somewhere in the middle of the show in order to separate it from the main event which will more than likely feature Rousey, Lynch, and Charlotte.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross if announcers continue to commentate over matches when the show goes to commercial. Ross says he can’t speak of WWE’s current policy, but when he worked there he’d take a break during the commercials and just watch the match.
Another listener writes into the show and asks Ross if he enjoyed his time commentating alongside Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler in the early/mid-1990s. Ross says he really enjoyed working in that 3-man booth and he thought they were quite entertaining. He notes that it was easy to work with McMahon as the play-by-play man because he was writing the scripts.
Ross welcomes PWinsider’s Mike Johnson to the show.
Johnson points out that the Rumble crowd was quite silent for the WWE Title match between Daniel Bryan and A.J. Styles. The crowd seemed to be dead after emotionally peaking for the appearance of Lynch in the Women’s Royal Rumble. Ross agrees, noting that this was a tough spot on the card.
Johnson informs that when people ask him which match should main event WrestleMania, he always asks them where the most emotion and best story is, and this year that’s the Rousey/Lynch angle. Anything other than that in the main event position will be a disservice to the WWE Universe in Johnson’s opinion.
Johnson thought the Lynch/Rousey promo on RAW was the best talking segment since CM Punk’s pipebomb. Rousey and Lynch stepped outside the lines of sports entertainment and into a place where two legitimate athletes were in competition with each other.
Speaking about the rise of AEW, Johnson says that promotion has already changed the business without even putting off a show yet. The end goal for most performers has always been to work for WWE, but now there might be another option for talent.
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!