Thursday, September 10, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 82

Roberts stops by the Ross Report 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: 82 (Sept. 9, 2015)
Run Time: 1:47:10
Guest: Justin Roberts (21:20)

Summary: A few months ago, when they were both in England for a fan convention, Jim Ross sat down with his former WWE colleague Justin Roberts. They reminisce about the WWE travel schedule, then Roberts fills in Ross on his pre-WWE career in Chicago and college years in Arizona. They reminisce about old wrestling TV shows and magazines. Roberts asks Ross about Ole Anderson and his years working WCW years, which somehow transitions into a public-service announcement about sleep apnea. Going back to his beginning, Roberts revisits how he bugged WWE, especially Howard Finkel, for a job, his in-ring tryout and failed Stamford audition, recounts a few false starts and explains how his time with WWE ended. Both men are writing their own books, which is where the interview ended.

Quote of the week: “I’m sitting here like, ‘I’m talking wrestling with Jim Ross.’ And I’ve known you for years. But now all of a sudden it’s transformed back into the Jim Ross that I’ve watched over the years, and I’m having a conversation and, like, interviewing you, which is very surreal, but I’m enjoying this. … I’m finding this to be really cool.”

Why you should listen: If you think you might have sleep apnea, take it from Ross and Roberts and get thee to a sleep clinic. It’s kind of interesting to hear Ross talk about some of his favorite WCW moments, and Roberts’ stories of failing to draw positive attention inside Titan Towers are amusing.

Why you should skip it: If you heard Justin Roberts on Art Of Wrestling many moons ago, take a pass here. Roberts was still employed with WWE at the time, but other than telling Ross he left because WWE didn’t renew his contract, there’s almost no discussion of anything new since the Colt Cabana chat. Roberts’ tone audibly changes about 10 minutes in when he realizes Ross is going to bloviate instead of converse, and while he does regain some enthusiasm at a few points along the way, at least when he wants to fawn over someone he should see as a colleague, it just seems like both guys would rather be doing something else. Also, it seemed like there were more ad breaks than usual.

Final thoughts: If you really want to know about Roberts, wait for the book. Unless he didn’t have anything decent to hold back for print. In that case, skip the book, too. My main advice is to not judge the guy based on this — listen to the AOW spot and then judge all three guys, and realize not everyone is cut out for podcast hosting.