Greetings to all and thanks for stopping by our site. The Q&A's elsewhere on the site are updated as of Friday morning here in Oklahoma. Our Ross Report Podcast this week with MMA journalist and life long pro wrestling fan @ArielHelwani is getting amazing feedback. We talk the Montreal Screwjob (Ariel was there), the @TheRock vs @HulkHogan (Ariel was there) at WM18 in Toronto, his thoughts on Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Ronda Rousey, Colin McGregor and much more. Check out this show as it's FREE at podcastone.com and iTunes or you can listen to it right here on the site's home page simply by making one click.
Quick reminder that tickets for our three, RINGSIDE with Jim Ross & Friends shows at the Dallas House of Blues during Wrestlemania Texas weekend are still available at www.ticketmaster.com. I will do two shows on Sat April 2 prior to and after the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which will be held an eight minute walk from the House of Blues at the American Airlines Center. Tickets are really hot for our post Monday Night RAW show on Monday April 4 which starts approximately one hour after RAW goes off the air. HOBDallas is a magnificent venue with plenty of room, great food and beverages and we will also have some JR's products there are well that will be airline friendly for those traveling to Dallas via plane. Remember that each show will be unique as I will have three different surprise guests for each show.
Not surprising to get a succinct, positive text message response from the injured John Cena, the WWE's top star whose availability at Wrestlemania Texas is obviously in doubt. Luckily for WWE, they had not yet pulled the trigger on Cena's Wrestlemania Texas opponent which helps WWE move forward without John. The good news is that once WWE books the WM32 card they can begin establishing their stories that lead to AT&T Stadium on April 3. For those wondering, there is PLENTY of time to get a handful of talents HOT and ready to perform before what I still believe will be over 100,000+ fans. Today's short attention span society that comprise many wrestling fans will participate in a compelling series of stories leading into 'Mania likely more compatibly than previous generations as it relates to a shorter than ideal timeline to build a card.
The cruel irony here would be if this unfortunate situation regarding Cena's shoulder surgery could be that this matter might theoretically end up being a blessing in deep disguise for WWE if new pieces to the creative puzzle are accepted by the fan base.
Bottom Line is that WWE has the time to construct the top 3-4 main event level bouts for WM32 if they book a card that they are comfortable with and include some surprises and new faces in the mix. Fans want bold and new and I hope that WWE takes a calculated risk on some new hands and do what they can to provide the fans with what they seemingly want. Every one is a 'booker' these days, including me, so at times WWE, as well as other wrestling companies, are damned if they do and damned if they don't when it comes to creative.
Who wrestles Taker at WM32 is a question that I'm getting a lot. First of all, I have no idea. Secondly, someone can be made ready between now and April 3 for Taker especially if the opportunity exists to put the Deadman in jeopardy. Perhaps, and this is merely one of many ideas that one can come up with, Luke Harper, with the Wyatt Family, would give the Undertaker a quality match and no matter the outcome Harper would be better because of the booking. I could see the Wyatt Family, lead by Harper , turning on Bray Wyatt, who could then get the 'rub' from Taker to become a long overdue, in my opinion, character baby face.
Roll your eyes all you want but look at how many talents this particular story line would positively affect and the quality of the match itself.
The signing of the four NJPW wrestlers, including Bullet Club members, is essentially a done deal as in 'agreed on the terms in principle' type of thing. The key to this matter now is how will WWE introduce these men as how they are initially presented will go miles into how they are perceived by the fans.
Shinsuke Nakamura is a hugely gifted resource that WWE is getting and has the natural charisma and 'IT Factor" that promotions are always seeking. I hope that age old stereotype of how Japanese wrestlers are presented in America is broken as it relates to this talent who can, by the way, speak English. I sung Nakamura, and others including AJ Styles, Gallows, and Anderson's praises when I returned from broadcasting Wrestle Kingdom 9 last year to WWE honchos. I believe in these four talents and if they are used strategically and if they come in as 'main eventers' WWE may have made themselves four, new main event talents.
Could a Balor Club get created and if so can they be made to be villains? The answer is "absolutely" especially if the proposed Balor Club is friendly with The Authority. Or the Balor Club could be positioned against the Authority to make them bigger fan favorites of which they will likely be if this much talked about matter goes down.
The WWE creative process must not get overrun with too many cooks in the kitchen, book the best Wrestlemania card that they can, and diligently and thoroughly set in place the storylines that will get them to April 3. It's doable and in the process WWE has the chance to create many new storylines, fresh, top stars and original main events that freshen up the product in many ways. It takes conviction. commitment and courage to move in this direction but it is definitely doable.
For many old school booker type folks, this is a creative dream to be able to blow up the current model and create a new feel for the product that could serve the brand for years to come. The cupboards aren't bare but calculated risks have to be taken. Why not?
Enjoyed Mauro Ranallo on his first Smackdown broadcast this week and thought Jerry Lawler's edgier presentation was a positive step for the sound of the show, too. It's fun reading all he Twitter feedback regarding Mauro's work and fans comparing his style to mine as if I were deceased. Mauro's work deserves to stand on its own. He's that good.
For the record, I'm not deceased and neither is my broadcasting career for those keeping score at home. I merely say, "Stay tuned."
Next week is my 100th Ross Report Podcast and my special guest will be @steveaustinBSR and that show drops Tuesday night as always. Slobber Knocker Audio for sure!
Football picks this weekend ...Kansas City, @Steelers, Seattle and 'Skins. I like Clemson +6.5 points and the over, 50.5, on Monday night in Arizona.
Visit www.wweshop.com for JR's delicious products ...fully stocked!
www.prowrestlingtees.com/jimross has our shirts in sizes up to 5X and we ship anywhere in the world.
TNA Impact Wrestling has a PPV tonight that can be seen on the @FlippsTV app. This is a FREE App and it also is a great way to access ROH PPV's. Tonight's PPV is LIVE!
Have a great day!