Thursday, September 24, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 84

Ross and Bruce Mitchell talk about Night of Champions
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: 84 (Sept. 23, 2015)
Run Time: 1:47:12
Guest: Bruce Mitchell (9:04)

Summary: Jim Ross gets on the phone with Pro Wrestling Torch writer Bruce Mitchell. After a quick chat about a new Mid-Atlantic Wrestling documentary, the guys spend a good while discussing Night Of Champions, including the way Seth Rollins is booked, Sting’s injury, the future of Kevin Owens as Intercontinental Champion, the Divas Title change, the weakness of the acting in the Rusev/Dolph Ziggler feud and quick hits on the New Day, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. After a break, they talk about the Jimmy Snuka trial, TNA and ROH and what the future holds for the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.

Quote of the week: “It’s up to the companies, the promotional efforts, the talent and everybody else, to lure that fan into wanting to spend that money. Wrestling’s a business, I don’t think fans owe anything to the wrestling business except, ‘I’m going to get a value for this. I’m going to get more than my money’s worth for this show.’ ”

Why you should listen: Steve Austin didn’t have time to call Wade Keller for a Night Of Champion review earlier in the week, and the Cheap Heat group spent little time with the intricacies of individual matches. So while Ross and Mitchell don’t get hyper specific on spots and creative decisions, they at least pay a bit of attention to the entire card, effectively putting a bow on the last few weeks of WWE stories.

Why you should skip it: The episode is just dreadfully boring. There’s a little bit of Ross drawing the focus to himself instead of letting his guest shine, but really the main drawback is neither guy seems to say much of anything. If either staked out some sort of controversial opinion, at least there could be an emotional response. Instead, what we get is tired, by-the-numbers talking points that do nothing to enhance fans’ understanding or appreciation of the WWE product.

Final thoughts: Sometimes I ask myself why I bothered listening to a certain show. In this case, I wonder why Ross and Mitchell bothered recording. The lack of insight is jarring, the conversation seems just short of obligatory and it’s impossible for me to guess who actually constitutes the target audience. I’d rather hate a Ross Report, this one just leaves me feeling void and vacant.