Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 37

Ross has Jason Powell on this week
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: The Ross Report
Episode: 37
Run Time: 1:36:55
Guest: Jason Powell

Summary: JR’s guest this week is Jason Powell of After a quick talk about Powell’s background, they spend about 50 minutes going over Hell In A Cell match by match. After a break, they discuss WWE financials, the future of Ring of Honor, TNA and Lucha Underground and the use of authority figure characters. At the end of the talk, Powell becomes the interviewer, asking Ross to explain formulas used to pay WWE wrestlers and a quick look at the future prospects of NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte.

Quote of the week: Ross, discussing Cena vs. Orton: “As the show progressed, I thought the use of the tables was a little bit overdone. Somebody needs to keep a gimmick count of how many tables were used. … Breaking things is the new blood. Because they’re not going to get bloody, so they break things. Like tables.”

Why you should listen: Ross is fairly positive about Hell In A Cell (he gave it a B grade), and he has good things to say about much of the ring work, including both women’s matches. The back half of the show is more interesting, though, especially when Powell turns the tables. JR’s explanation of how money is divided among performers is illuminating, and his thoughts on Charlotte are well taken given his years of experience specifically in the area of talent evaluation and elevation.

Why you should skip it: Hopefully some day Ross realizes the WWE storytelling model is such that you can’t adequately review a pay-per-view on Wednesday without adding the context of the succeeding RAW. There are plenty of parts throughout the show where Ross is inclined to wander into territory he usually covers in his repetitive monologues, such as his take on comedy in wrestling, intergender wrestling and match pace, which might incite listeners who hold opposing views.

Final thoughts: It’s probably a good idea for Ross to do these PPV reviews. The alternative is his thoughts about the shows bleeding into his monologue for several subsequent weeks; concentrating them in one episode and using a guest to provide balance does the listeners a great service — even if that service is allowing folks to skip a week and wait for him to get back to interviews. Powell is a much more experienced interviewer, which really helps the flow and actually keeps Ross in check, a refreshing change of pace from earlier episodes. Nothing they discussed changed my feelings about Hell In A Cell, and I really wish he’d wait to do these interviews until he’s seen Raw, but on balance this was an enjoyable episode.