Thursday, May 28, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Ross Report Ep. 67

Ross has the OVW founder and trainer on the show
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: 67 (May 27, 2015)
Run Time: 1:38:13
Guest: Danny Davis (16:10)

Summary: Jim Ross’ guest this week is Danny Davis, the former wrestler best known for his Ohio Valley Wrestling, at one time WWE’s key developmental territory. The conversation starts with a look at Davis’ early days as a wrestler, the forming of The Nightmares tag team, the pros and cons of being a masked heel wrestler and his time working in Memphis. Moving to his current career, Davis looked back on the OVW-WWF relationship, during which Ross was in charge of recruiting new talent. Among the many wrestlers discussed they spend extra time on Shelton Benjamin, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena and CM Punk. Davis explains a bit about the current state of OVW, talks about training Attitude Era women for WWF and how he deals with students who don’t have WWE potential.

Quote of the week: “A lot of guys, they don’t know — when they go through the curtain, they flip that switch on, and they’re who their character is. But then when they come (back) through the curtain, sometimes they forget to turn that switch off. I think it’s important to be able to have that gift where you can turn on that switch to be you’re who you’re supposed to be and turn off that switch when you’re supposed to be the real you.”

Why you should listen: If you loved WWE in the mid-2000s and can’t get enough backstory on the heroes of that time, Davis is a perfect source to mine. Ross does a pretty good job of being the interviewer here and allowing his guest to fully tell his own story, and neither guy is particularly inclined (here, at least) to talk about how much better the game was in their primes. Davis waxes nostalgic about his own time as a hot Memphis heel, but he’s just talking about what made him happy, not implying it was somehow superior to any other era.

Why you should skip it: Davis has been on the Colt Cabana and Steve Austin podcasts. The former was quite fresh. The latter had some new material, but included some verbatim rehashing. In this third spot, at least, he condenses a few stories he knows are stale, but I struggle to think of anything Davis told Ross he hadn’t covered earlier with the other guys — both of whom routinely produce better shows anyway.

Final thoughts: If you haven’t heard a Davis interview before and it’s easier to listen to this than to dig up his Art Of Wrestling appearance, by all means — he’s an important figure in American wrestling history, a good storyteller and a humble veteran. But as far as podcasts goes, he really only plays one note, and it’s not one that must be heard time and again. Once, maybe twice, was plenty. The third time is anything but charming.