Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 62

Roode and JR bitch and moan about the wrestling industry this week
Photo Credit: Lee South/
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: 62 (April 22, 2015)
Run Time: 2:06:07
Guest: Bobby Roode (31:45)

Summary: Jim Ross is on the food with two-time TNA champion Bobby Roode this week. They open with Roode recounting some of his nagging injuries and quickly segue into the early days of his career. The rest is a rather straightforward interview, with some of the more significant talking points including fan perception of TNA, ring psychology, the origin of the Beer Money tag team, former TNA talents, Roode’s childhood influences, the pros and cons of a working a taped show, his dream opponents, old school booking and ring work, the Montreal Screwjob and Kurt Angle.

Quote of the week: “Eric (Young) and I, we started out in the business together here in Canada, had our rough times together and our good times together. We’ve come up through TNA, the ranks from Team Canada to where we are now, and if there’s a guy that I trust the most, it’s him. And thankfully for me he’s got a fat ass that can protect me when he drops me on my head. So far so good, knock on wood.”

Why you should listen: Don’t be intimidated by the run time — once you skip past the monologue (always skip the monologue) and account for the 15-minute wrap up and ad blitz at the end, this is actually a fairly concise interview with Roode. Though a TNA lifer, he’s unafraid to both tap in to his childhood WWF fandom (he remembers watching the first WrestleMania at age eight) and his respect for current performers and WWE legends. Further, he’s pragmatic about TNA’s current status and how he balances his own career with the needs and outlook of the company that’s undergirded his successful career.

Why you should skip it: Because no one is paying you a quarter each time Ross or Roode lament another “lost art” aspect of the pro wrestling game. Unlike a lot of his recent interviews, Ross here slips back into some old bad habits, such as leaving the listener feeling that every five minutes he says, “You know what else sucks about wrestling today…” There’s no shock to be had when he asks Roode about Montreal, but if you want to know what Roode thought about Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

Final thoughts: All right, to be fair to Ross, Roode is Canadian and attended the RAW the night after Survivor Series 1997. That part was interesting. But for the rest of the chat both men came across as simply going through the motions of a podcast interview. If you’re fed up with Ross’ rants about selling, booking and how to structure a TV broadcast in 2015, there’s not nearly enough fun stuff from Roode to make the interview worthwhile. I’d much rather hear Roode drop in on a Steve Austin show, and I’d be much more likely to believe Austin is familiar with Roode’s career.