Ross opens today’s show by talking about last Monday’s episode of RAW. He notes that it’s very important to start and end a show strong, and he didn’t like the way RAW went off the air on Monday. Seth Rollins was the victim of a musical interruption causing a distraction and a loss, and Ross thought this made Rollins look stupid.
Ross was critical online of the decision to have Baron Corbin face Kurt Angle in his final match. He notes that Corbin has significant physical upside, but he’s just not there yet. However, his criticism of the match was not a criticism of Corbin or his work ethic. In his view, WWE could have done a better job to honour Kurt Angle on his way out, by choosing a more tenured opponent who is considered more “over” by the audience.
If WWE does indeed go with this match at WrestleMania, he hopes WWE does whatever they can to make it feel special. He’s just not sure they can accomplish that with Corbin as the opponent.
Ross wasn’t overly impressed with Smackdown Live this week as a whole, but loved the Gauntlet Match and the finish of the show, with the ultimate villain, Mr. McMahon, imposing his will on Kofi Kingston yet again. He thinks it’s inevitable that Kingston makes it to WrestleMania eventually, but it’s all about the story now.
Ross thought the Becky Lynch/Charlotte pull apart was fine, but if they were going to have a pull apart he doesn’t think they should have spoken at all before hand. They could have had Kevin Owens do the talking, and then when the two ladies got face to face they could get right to the action. As it was booked, he thought the promo went on a bit too long.
Ross notes that WrestleMania is shaping up to be a lengthy show, and he’s very interested to see how much time gets allotted for each match.
Ross assumes the Battle Royal will take place on the kickoff show, and he has no problem with the match in the sense that it allows a lot of performers to get on the WrestleMania card. He also doesn’t have an issue with Braun Strowman working in that match as it gives him a role on the show and allows him to showcase his physicality.
Ross still thinks the women will close the show but he assumes the recent surge of Kofi Kingston may have WWE officials second guessing themselves. He doesn’t think it’ll be a warmly-received ending to the show if WWE chooses to close with Seth Rollins/Brock Lesnar.
Ross is concerned with WWE’s utilization of Lacey Evans right now. He notes that she needs to be in the ring getting reps, and he hasn’t seen anything that says she’s doing that on live events or in NXT. If she reaches her full potential he thinks she’s going to be a huge star, but she needs to continue her in-ring progression to get there.
Ross welcomes Torri Wilson to the show.
Wilson admits that she was quite surprised when Mark Carano called her and told her she was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. She thought he was just inviting her to go watch the show at first.
Wilson isn’t heavily involved with wrestling at this point in her life. Right now she’s focused on propping people up and making them realize that they can accomplish so much in life, in spite of the challenges they may be facing. Sometime she feels like people settle into their lives and stick to their routines for too long. She’s focused on forging a new path and reinventing herself at this point in her life.
Wilson notes that a lot has changed in WWE’s Women’s division over the years. Back when she was wrestling there wasn’t a whole lot of people showing them the way so a lot of them started doing their own thing. She looks at the way the women are working today and it’s a whole new level. She jokes that the old lady in her wonders if Charlotte will be able to walk when she’s 40.
She informs that when she started to received television time during the attitude era there were some sly remarks made to her by some male performers, out of jealousy and frustration probably, because they were busting their ass and she was just shaking hers. She never really took those comments to heart.
Wilson says she’s been told that there will be changes happening at this year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Apparently they’re hoping to cut the length of the program, but if they are still bringing in people to induct the Hall of Famers, Wilson informs that a female will be inducting her. She also informs that she’ll be writing her own speech.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross for his thoughts on WWE “hot potato booking” their Titles. Ross says that flip-flopping Titles like that is a knee-jerk reaction and it’s lazy creative. It does nothing for the Titles and does very little for the performers fighting for and holding the Titles. Therefore, he’s very against it.
Another listener writes into the show and asks Ross about WWE’s utilization of Sting. Ross says that Sting should have won his debut WrestleMania match. He thinks people wanted to see Sting win in a WWE ring, and it’s unbelievable to him that Sting wasn’t booked to win at ‘Mania.
Ross welcomes Eric Bischoff to the show.
Bischoff informs that he will be doing a live show with Conrad Thompson and Tony Schiavone soon and he’s really looking forward to that.
Bischoff thinks Bruce Prichard returning to WWE in a creative role is a great thing for WWE. There will certainly be chemistry with Vince McMahon from their time working together in years prior, and he thinks this will help the company overall.
Ross says that working for WWE was great for him. He got stock options with the company and that “made him whole”. Bischoff says that he had stock options in Turner Broadcasting as well and became a Millionaire after the AOL merger through those stocks. Ross notes that it’s pretty cool that two non-wrestlers could make such a good living, and still find a way to be working at their age.
Bischoff thinks it’s only a matter of time before the wrestling business moves entirely to streaming services. He notes that the attitude era saw the most people watching the business on television, but he thinks the business is bigger as a whole today.
That sums up today’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!