Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 65

Taz is Jim Ross' guest this week, and well, you'd be better off watching him wreck the MSP
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: 65 (May 13, 2015)
Run Time: 1:40:05
Guest: Taz (11:44)

Summary: After perhaps his briefest monologue ever, Jim Ross calls “The Human Podcast Machine” Taz. They talk about the podcasting game and Twitter interactions before sharing reflections on the difficulty of broadcasting, then take a look back at WrestleMania 31, some of the angles they worked as ringside announcers and Taz’s memorable WWF debut. Ross asks Taz about Brock Lesnar, his experience with concussions and plans for life after wrestling. Taz recalls how he got his first a chance on an ECW microphone and explains his son’s budding lacrosse career before quick chatter about his waning New York Jets fandom and a little more chatter about the wrestling podcasting scene.

Quote of the week: On his Royal Rumble 2000 match with Kurt Angle: “When I heard it back, the commentary by yourself and Jerry (Lawler), I could hear the commentary, and now after being a broadcaster and all that, I could tell the de-push was happening during the match. I could tell. I could hear it. And I’m not blaming you and Jerry at all, I’m not. I could tell the direction that was given, because I’ve been in your roles. Now, this his hindsight, right? … Not to be negative, because I’m not being negative. I’m being realistic.”

Why you should listen: Taz is conscious of the fact he has his own podcast and tries not to be too repetitive in his chat with Ross. The introspection about his career is welcome, and the revisiting of his WWF debut is given proper time, which is a good choice given it probably remains the most widely memorable moment of his career.

Why you should skip it: Where do I begin? The first hour or so comes off as the verbal equivalent of wet sloppy kisses between Ross and Taz. It’s a coin flip who Taz is most interested in stroking — Ross or himself. When he’s not talking about Ross’ greatness, he’s going to extreme lengths to let us all know just how difficult it is to call a wrestling show. Ross’ sideswipe at Matt Striker seems ill placed, and he dropped the ball twice. First in barely mentioning any aspect of Taz’s notable TNA career, and second when confronted with the “de-push” comments regarding Taz’s WWF debut. Perhaps the awkward silence is intended to convey tacit agreement, but it comes across as Ross wilting under pressure.

Final thoughts: This sucked. Sorry. I try to at least give the silver linings their due, but what a woofer. There’s a reason I don’t listen to Taz’s podcast, and this episode proves I’m not wrong. If you love the guy, good for you and there’s a chance you’ll really enjoy his chat with Ross. But I personally found this so unenjoyable I’m actually looking forward to Mark Madden next week, which is the faintest praise imaginable.