Happy Tuesday! Big day today as around 5 pm Pacific time my first Ross Report Podcast will be available at podcastone.com. I will be tweeting more on this @JRsBBQ as the day goes on. Here's a quick blog on a variety of topics....
Monday Night RAW thoughts from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy:
Overall....a solid night of in ring action. More action...less talk...good.
Good seeing all the Chamber talents in action as the PPV is essentially a one match affair and building all the intrigue and exposing the talents in a good way is imperative to get fans to invest in the PPV.
Old axiom: when a fan favorite says that it's not about winning or losing but about inflicting pain on his opponent that usually doesn't bode well for said fan favorite.
Roman Reigns winning with his spear over Mark Henry was big...no pun intended. If I had to pick an early favorite to either be the WWE World Champion at WM31 or to win the title there, it would be Reigns. How Roman Reigns is 'built' going forward is imperative to the long term success of WWE as it relates to constructing the next, major, WWE superstar.
Ambrose played the smarmy, opportunistic villain role extremely well. There is big money in Dean Ambrose. Ambrose still reminds me of a cross between Roddy Piper and Brian Pillman. That's high praise by the way.
For those wondering, I've always been high on Seth Rollins.
I'm predicting that Swagger and Big E will have a better match than some skeptics think this Sunday on PPV. Much depends on how they are prepared and "coached up."
Loved the Cena vs. Cesaro match. One of the best matches that Cena has had in a while. Cesaro is on the cusp of breaking through. Got lots of feedback on why Cesaro did not win and certainly, as it is almost always, an argument can be made on the topic of who wins and who loses. With great commentary, the loser can come out of a great presentation better than when going into the match. I thought Cesaro was made whole after Cena pulled one out in the bottom of the 9th that could have gone either way.
For many it was a good night of exposure: Daniel Bryan, who just a few weeks ago was being eulogized by many of his fans, the Shield, who had multiple 'moments' throughout the broadcast, Cesaro, who is so good just ring the bell and watch him demonstrate the art form of in ring wrestling, The Wyatt's, who are rapidly evolving as stars and who, along with the Shield, have the opportunity to turn even more heads coming up on PPV.
I like what seems like a little less talk and more action on these three hour RAW broadcasts. When one adds in 15 commercial breaks, the viewer gets ample talk and info that can, at times, be disconcerting.
It's also good to see that WWE is developing some new, fan favorites IE Reigns, Bryan, Big E, Cesaro (seemingly) and Cody Rhodes. Could that mean that Sheamus, Ambrose and Rollins, Swagger, Rusev, and others are being groomed for key, villian roles?
How ever it shakes out is generally a good thing as it creates 'new' match-ups IE marriages and I'd rather see 'new' than not. Even if the 'new' fails after being given ample time to evolve, 'new' still produces a fresh presentation which is imperative for any company that produces so much weekly TV.
In other words, the 'cast' has to expand and it looks like that's the direction that WWE is traveling.
The key to all this speculation is how competitive the talents will be in assuming main event ownership and elbowing, so to speak, their way into the line at a more lucrative pay window.
Last I looked the TV wrestling biz did not award individuals for being most congenial or the employee most likely to succeed.
The way WWE went off the air Monday night with multiple individuals fighting was reminiscent of the old days and felt like an exciting way to end the long night and build to a PPV.
Question of the day....are TV wrestling villains who make the fans laugh because of the talent's actions or words really villains?
RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross shows are coming up soon in NYC at the Gramercy Theater on Saturday March 1 with shows at 4 and 8 pm. Tickets are available at the box office and via http://www.ticketmaster.com. Each show has VIP tickets for a meet and greet with yours truly. We will be doing a No Holds Barred Q&A at each show as well. All ages are permitted in the NYC shows.
RINGSIDE plays the House of Blues in the historic French Quarter in New Orleans on Thursday April 3 with two shows at 6:30 and 9:30 pm. Tickets are also on sale at the box office and via ticketmaster.com. Due to liquor laws the @HOBNOLA shows will be for those 18 and over.
Nice piece on FSU's Ron Simmons on RAW and I'm proud to have been there when Ron defeated Vader to become the first, black World Champion. Special night in Baltimore for Ron and I was lucky to be there to call it.
Interesting side note when FSU played Oklahoma in back to back Orange Bowls Ron was the Noles starting nose tackle and Steve 'Dr Death' Williams was his opposition at offensive guard.
@steveaustinBSR has a great interview/conversation with @JohnCena available at podcastone.com. Highly recommend that you check it out.
http://www.wweshop.com has some awesome, JR's packages on their website all on one easy to navigate page.
Remember to download the all new Ross Report at podcast.com and ITunes starting officially Wednesday if not just a little earlier. I need your help to make this new project successful.
Q&A's updated here.