Ross opens today’s show by giving an update on his professional future. He says his WWE contract expired last Friday, and on that day a WWE film crew showed up at his house to record an interview for an upcoming Undertaker documentary. The next morning a AEW film crew came to his house and he officially signed his AEW contract.
He was unemployed for just a few hours, and he’s very excited to get started with AEW. He says it’s very important for him to stay in the game at this point in his life. He will be working as a commentator on their shows and will also be working as a Senior Advisor backstage. He points out that he’s seen everything in the wrestling business and thinks he can be a big help to this young company.
Ross knows that he’s not going to be able to do play-by-play commentary forever, but he definitely thinks can do it for the duration of this 3-year contract.
Ross gives his opinion on the recent John Oliver piece. He notes that there was a lot of truth in what Oliver said, but he really didn’t like the generalization of Vince McMahon’s character, and the portrayal of him as someone who doesn’t care about his employees.
Ross notes that the welfare of your talent should always be a priority, and McMahon has always been proactive in his business practices. He notes that all the attention this has caused might usher in some change moving forward.
Ross is really looking forward to watching WrestleMania on Sunday. He thinks the length of the show is going to be a concern, but obviously some within in the company think more content is better. He feels like those performers in the main event matches are going to have to work quite hard to keep the fans invested after they’d just sat there all day.
Ross congratulates Jojo and Bray Wyatt on the announcement that they’ll be having a baby boy. He wishes them the best and hopes that everyone remains healthy and happy.
Ross is still concerned with the decision to have Kurt Angle face Baron Corbin in his retirement match at WrestleMania. Ross thinks Corbin has a lot of potential as an athletic big man, but he doesn’t think the advancement of Corbin’s career should come at the hands of a lacklustre retirement for Angle – one of the greatest to ever step into the ring.
Ross hopes Angle wins and we get to see a nice in-ring celebration featuring Angle’s family and friends, because Angle really deserves a fitting send off.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross what he thinks WWE can do to make their current product better. Ross thinks WWE needs to focus more on long-term storytelling. He also thinks that someone needs to step up, grab the ball, and run with it as a huge star for the company. However, he points out that it’s hard to build stars with 50/50 booking.
Another listener writes into the show and asks Ross if The Steiner Brothers would be in his top 5 tag teams of all time. Ross says it’d be hard to leave them off that list. They weren’t the greatest talkers, so their position on such a list might vary based on how much each individual values promo skills.
A listener asks Ross about his experience working with Randy Savage at the commentary table. Ross says he enjoyed working with Savage but admits that he could be difficult to work with at times. Savage didn’t really trust people so it was hard to get close to him and build chemistry. Ross knew that Savage was a major star, so it was his job to set Savage up on commentary so fans got to hear Savage’s unique takes on matches.
Another listener writes into the show and asks Ross if he thinks WWE will cut back their gimmick PPVs such as TLC. Ross doesn’t think so. He notes that he loves TLC, but he doesn’t need to see a tables match on that show. One TLC match is enough, and with the absence of other similar matches on the card that one match will mean so much more.
A fan asks Ross if he thinks WrestleMania will ever be held in the UK. Ross doesn’t see it happening anytime soon, but thinks the chances of it happening have increased dramatically over the past few years. He notes that the biggest challenge is the time difference since fans love watching shows live, and the show wouldn’t be in primetime for a big portion of their audience in North America.
A listener writes into the show and asks Ross for his opinion on Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania 17. Ross says he didn’t like it. He thought it was ill-timed, unnecessary, and a knee-jerk reaction. He thought WWE could have built up a number of new heels to face Austin but they decided to turn Austin heel instead. He notes that it didn’t work, but you never know if something is going to work or not until you try it.
Another listener asks Ross about his unique cowboy hats. Ross says he gets them custom made from beaver pelts and each hat costs $1000.
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!