Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 71

JR talks to Torrie Wilson 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: 71 (June 24, 2015)
Run Time: 1:30:40
Guest: Torrie Wilson (20:40)

Summary: Jim Ross is on the phone with Idaho native Torrie Wilson, so they open by talking about the time Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. There is some discussion about Wilson’s struggles with eating disorders and how overcoming that led into fitness modeling. Ross gets the facts on how Wilson got into the wrestling business, discusses being around Ric Flair and the contrast in the WCW and WWF locker rooms. Wilson talks about her good friend Stacy Keibler, the challenges of interpersonal relationships inside a wrestling company, kissing Vince McMahon on her first day in WWF, her Playboy gig, Fit Finlay’s positive influence, working with Sable, how she felt about actually wrestling as opposed to her eye candy work and she ends by shooting down Lucha Underground rumors and sticking up for ex-flame Alex Rodriguez.

Quote of the week: “I understand how people feel when they don’t feel good about themselves, I really have compassion for them. And I just want to show people that it can be pretty easy. What I’m getting to is, after all of that crap, now I am so much more relaxed about things, and my diet, you know, clearly I watch what I eat, but I’m not afraid to eat French fries when I go out to eat. And it’s amazing to me than I’m leaner now than I ever was when I was freaking out and I thought about food all the time, and a lot of that has to do with just your attitude about food. When you don’t think you can have something you want it ten times more.”

Why you should listen: Wilson seems like a good soul. She is frank about her struggles with bulimia and anorexia. She has wonderful things to say about many people in wrestling who probably don’t get enough recognition. Her discussion of the Playboy situation is almost entirely about her thought process before and after with little mention of the actual experience, which allows the topic to be illuminating without (on her part) salacious.

Why you should skip it: Dirty old man Jim Ross. To be fair, he could be worse, MUCH worse, but Ross really should be hyper aware of the slippery slope and gone overboard to not give critics an ounce of ammunition. Beyond that, Ross lets his ignorance about eating disorders get in the way of what could have been a really helpful conversation. Everything else is largely glossed over, the end result being listeners might as well just read Wilson’s Wikipedia page. For someone who worked closely with Wilson during her peak fame, Ross drops the ball on delivering worthwhile content.

Final thoughts: I’d really like to hear more from Wilson in the hands of a more skilled, less pervy interviewer. As usual, Ross oversells the quality of the episode because he thinks he did a good job drawing out interesting information. Anyone who is a Wilson fan will enjoy hearing her again, and Ross’ persona doesn’t totally ruin the experience. But ultimately she’s not done proper justice, and that’s frustrating.