Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 52

The former ROH Champion was JR's guest this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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: 52 (Feb. 11, 2015)
Run Time: 1:44:17
Guest: Adam Cole (27:44)

Summary: Jim Ross brings on Ring of Honor standout Adam Cole, who starts by explaining his origin as a wrestling fan and how that evolved into training. The conversation then focused on being one’s own agent, the pros and cons of ROH, approach to individual work, Kevin “Owens” Steen’s background and WWE prospects, Cole’s career goals highlights and dream opponents as well as his post-wrestling plans and dealing with concussions.

Quote of the week: Cole: “Each and every thing, like I said, that I’ve done in wrestling, whether it be being in the car, being at the show, seeing the way production is done, listening to the booking teams — I’ve said this before, when I started wrestling training and I started wrestling and I graduated high school, I don’t mean this in that it’s not difficult, but I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life. Because what I do I enjoy just way too much. It doesn’t feel like work to me. If I can stay in the wrestling business for as long as I can, I will feel like I had a very fulfilled and very lucky life.”

Why you should listen: Cole is very well spoken, and it’s nice to have someone on the air with Ross to give a response and context to Ross’ criticisms of ROH. This interview should serve as a fine introduction for anyone who is largely unfamiliar with Cole, and is perfect for anyone fond of the Art Of Wrestling approach to a lesser-known star talking about his lifelong love of wrestling and inviting fans to gain a better understanding of the person behind the character.

Why you should skip it: Ross can’t seem to decide if he’s going to do an interview — the Steve Austin approach of guiding a guest through a series to talking points and laying back to let them expound — or have a Colt Cabana-style conversation, in which host and guest play equal roles. When he opts for the latter, it’s awkward because he and Cole aren’t equals (in terms of their roles and experience) or friends. It doesn’t outright ruin the episode, but at some point you just want to hear what Cole thinks without Ross regurgitating one of his familiar talking points.

Final thoughts: There’s a reasonable chance Ross’ quirks, at least as displayed in this episode, are really only frustrating to the obsessives like myself who never miss a second. This was a fairly enjoyable interview, and that’s coming form someone with very little exposure to Cole or ROH. As is the case with a good episode of Cabana’s show, this talk made me want to learn more about Cole’s career and has me hoping he achieves al his career goals. It’s a nice changeup from Ross’ usual talks with performers whose best days are long behind them, and I appreciate his pursuit of variety.