The Ross Report – Cryptic Messages, RAW, & More

Ryan Clark


From WWE.com

Greetings from under the black, 200X Resistol hat and did you hear that Monday Night RAW is moving to the USA NETWORK this Monday night as WWE Homecoming emanates from Big D! That’s two trips I will make to Dallas next week with the other being the Oklahoma-Texas football game the following Saturday.

It was quite the memorable day for yours truly Monday down in Waco with it being our last RAW on Spike TV and with someone on Spike’s end attempting to censor the remarks that were being said about the move to USA. The person who had the challenge of pushing the “censor button” probably needed a cold beverage after that two-hour, wild car chase. It sure seems like this matter has gotten a lot of play with the media. Was it that big a deal? Maybe I am missing something. It certainly wasn’t surprising on either front. We simply wanted our fans to know where to find us next week which is the exact same M.O. we utilized when we left USA five years ago for The Nashville Network, which morphed into Spike. Would you have done anything differently as it relates to this matter?

How good will HBK-Angle be in a 30-minute environment this Monday on RAW? What an awesome pairing in this WWE Iron Man Match! It will be two of the very best of this generation in the “rubber match” of their rivalry after splitting victories at WrestleMania and Vengeance. Michaels was at the top of his game, while Kurt was still an awesome amateur wrestler. Nonetheless this is going to be super and with 30 minutes to utilize and time, or the lack thereof because of TV restrictions, will not be an issue. This one has “clinic” written all over it from where I’m sitting. Shawn was exceptional the first time I saw him in his first match backing the mid 80s and one could tell that this teen from San Antonio was going to be special. I remember helping recruit Angle for WWE and he adapted from the amateurs to the pros as quickly and seamlessly as anyone I have ever been around in my 30-plus years in the biz. Jack Brisco (from Blackwell, Oklahoma, home of the Maroons) comes to mind when comparing great amateurs to becoming great pros as quickly as Kurt has done.

Would you like for Moolah and Johnnie Mae Young (another Okie by the way) to referee the Bra ‘n Panties match in THEIR bra and panties this Monday night just to hear the ever amorous King and Coach describe what they were seeing? My two, single broadcast colleagues turn nothing down but the covers, so to speak, as my grandpa used to say.

Big Show is a 506-pound, seven-foot tall monster, which makes the South Carolina native and former basketball star simply one helluva BIG man. Show tells me he is attempting to change his diet and eat the right stuff SIX TIMES A DAY and expects to round himself into the best condition he has been in years. As he is currently, who can handle this giant of a man? This athlete could be “the man” if he ever gets pissed and stays that way for any length of time.

Kerwin White has a caddy. What’s next, Chavo?

Benjamin speaks! Benjamin speaks! Shelton Benjamin verbally communicated with everyone Monday Night on RAW. O.K., I’m being a wise ass, but it was good to hear the finest all-around athlete in WWE express himself. In all seriousness, Benjamin vs. “Chavo” White will be an exciting one-on-one match anytime they hook up.

By the grace of the good Lord, let’s hope neither Matt Hardy nor Edge is seriously injured in their Ladder Match this Monday at “Homecoming,” which by the way is a three-hour tour… er broadcast… on the USA NETWORK!! That means the show starts at 8/7 central.

“V Squared”…a large man who wrestles in his equally large PJs and whose partner is a former “adult-film star.” Only in WWE.

If HBK and Angle are going to wrestle for 30 minutes Monday night in Dallas, how long do you think that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Mick Foley will talk in Piper’s Pit? Perhaps the USA NETWORK will allow us more than three hours if we need it. Only kidding. Let’s just hope that the Rowdy One drinks Sanka or herbal tea during the day.

I talked to Stone Cold earlier in the week and he may travel to good, old Norman, Oklahoma, and attend the OU-K-State football game with my family and me this Saturday night. Details are still being developed in that matter, but the Texas Rattlesnake knows he’s always welcome at the Ross Ponderosa. Steve is really ready to get back on RAW and with it emanating from Austin’s home state, only makes it better. Austin was totally full of P & V when we last spoke. I expect much more of the same this Monday night on the USA NETWORK!

Be assured that Triple H is more than ready to return to Monday Night RAW and he and the incomparable “Nature Boy” Ric Flair will make quite the impact if my instincts are correct. The “Cerebral Assassin” is a machine inside the ring and his abilities have been missed over the past several weeks. As long as “The Game” is not kicking my ass again, I say sic ’em!

Man, Friday Night SmackDown is having its challenges with all the baseball-related preemptions in many cities. That will soon end and hopefully everyone can fully adjust their Friday night viewing habits. I am a loyal Friday Night SmackDown viewer and luckily here in the OKC area we have not suffered with preemptions. Maybe Tazz and I will need to make a friendly wager on the Oklahoma-Nebraska football game later this year. Tazz, from Brooklyn, is an avid Cornhusker fan.

I finally realized that I actually like the “Wild Card” format of baseball and these close races are proof that this system seems to work. The King is living and dying with every inning of the Cleveland Indians as the Tribe attempts to make the playoffs. The Yankees-Red Sox series this weekend could be a proverbial blood letting between two of the greatest rivals in sports.

With all the injuries to the New England Patriots key personnel, if the Pats are back in the Super Bowl this year, Coach Bill Belichick is indeed a motivational and coaching genius.

My Sooners are not dead in the college football world as many naysayers think. Believe me when I tell you that this Saturday night Oklahoma will play their best game of the year versus the Wildcats of K-State (Mr. Curtis Hughes’ alma mater) in their Big 12 opener. I am the eternal optimist and you could not blow me off the Sooner Schooner with a keg of dynamite. Win or lose, just as I am with WWE, I am loyal to my team, perhaps to a fault.

There are lots of Warrior related emails this week as selected by our crack staff at WWE.com so let’s get to them…

Name: Ryan D. Chandler

I guess with age doesn’t always come maturity. I wanted to know what your thoughts were on the Ultimate Warrior’s rude response to the WWE’s invitation for him to appear on Byte This! Do you think he’s just bitter or something else?

I am not a psychologist and I have not personally spoken to Warrior in years, but I assume he has his reasons for not wanting to tell his side of the story in this particular forum. Warrior has always been an individual with strong opinions. Warrior’s legacy in the ring will remain for years to come even though his out-of-ring rants may overshadow his wrestling accomplishments. I would have loved to have heard him express his feelings on Byte This!

Name: Nate Langsford

I just saw “The Longest Yard” the other day and thought it was a great movie. But it brought me to wonder if Kevin Nash would ever return to WWE and I just wanted to know what you think. Thanks.

I guess this is one of those “never say never” deals. I think Kevin is at the stage of his career where he has made big money and saved it (unlike many of Kevin’s peers) and only wants to wrestle part time. WWE is a tough place to work if one only wants to wrestle part time, even though some have successfully done so. I feel the movie business could be Nash’s next significant calling, as it is hard to replicate what Kevin can bring to the table with his size and personality. Kevin is very bright and glib, which I discovered years ago when Kevin would be a frequent guest on “Wrestling w/ Jim Ross” which aired on AM750 WSB in Atlanta in the early 90s. With all that said, Nash could return to WWE in a moment’s notice if he is not obligated elsewhere with other projects. Trust me; stranger things have happened in WWE.

Name: Will Seiler

First off let me thank you for bringing back the Ross Report. Seeing all the Legends and Hall of Famers that are going to be on the Homecoming RAW got me to thinking about Superstars who might find their way to the Hall of Fame. Then I began to wonder about wrestlers who never wrestled in WWE such as Sting. Is there any possibility of a WCW Wing (like Pete Rose in the Celebrity Wing) or a wing for any other organization that WWE has acquired over the years?

I think wrestlers who may have never wrestled in this company should be eligible for the WWE Hall of Fame. Sting definitely deserves consideration and would get my vote if I had one. Sting had a terrific career for WCW and his contributions are respected by his peers. I wish Sting would come back and wrestle a farewell match or something to that affect because I still think Sting is extremely marketable. And he is a good person. Plus, men like Verne Gagne, Dick the Bruiser, The Crusher, The Von Erichs, among SO many others deserve consideration for the WWE Hall of Fame. What about legendary promoters like Sam Muchnick and Paul Boesch who deserve recognition as well? Announcer Gordon Solie never worked for WWE unless it was in a transition period back in the day that slips my mind, but Gordon Solie deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame in my opinion.

Name: David G

I live out here in New York City. I’ve heard in one of The Rock’s interviews the he had a little dispute with Vince McMahon about his contract. Is that true? Even though The Rock has been busy with making his movies, do you think he’ll take a break from his movie career and return to the ring?

I spoke to The Rock not that long ago and he was really busy wrapping up one film before heading almost seamlessly to another. I do know The Rock loves the WWE fans and if the timing was right (between movie obligations) The Rock would love the opportunity to step back in the ring for a big match at a major event. It’s a simple matter of a wrestler cultivating another career, quite successfully I might add, and liking that new vocation and sticking with it. Plus, there are less chair shots being a movie star and one doesn’t have to shower with large men on a regular basis.

Name: John

The Ultimate Warrior responded recently regarding the DVD. What are your thoughts on his response? Here’s what he said about you. “Jimmie Ross. For the life of me, I don’t get what your beef (should I say pork?), Jimmie, is with the sane and happy ole’ Warriorman. Of course, I can only imagine that a whole hell of a lot of anal pressure must come with being one of Vince’s top ass-wipes. Yet, still, can I ask — just when did you get to know me well enough to go on and on about me as you seem so fit to do? Can we substantiate some time period, here? Discussions or meetings that were held? Or is this too much to ask? I’m not the only one who’d like to know. Everyone is asking the same question: “Just when did Jim Ross get to know Warrior so well to have these endless opinions about him that he does?” All anyone can think of, largely because it is so apparent across the board throughout the entire DVD, is that, again, envy alone provides you (and everyone else for that matter) with the enlightenment and answers.”

Firstly, let’s clarify that pork is “the other white meat.” Now that important nutritional issues have been addressed, I will endeavor to address your question and Warrior’s rant. I knew Warrior in the Mid South Wrestling territory when he and Sting were the Blade Runners. I worked in WWE when the Warrior had his last tenure here. I remember going to one painfully-long meeting with him and other WWE personnel in Warrior’s gym in Phoenix that is very memorable. I was working in the front office while Warrior wrestled here during his last tenure, so I had many occasions to interact with him. Did I? Yes, from a business perspective. Did I have a personal relationship with Warrior? No. Warrior is a complex, albeit charismatic, individual and I am sorry he feels the way he does about yours truly. However, in an attempt to be totally fair and looking at this DVD from Warrior’s perspective, I would probably feel the same way Warrior does about my comments if the shoe was on the other foot. He could have gotten involved in the DVD project, but chose not to. That was Warrior’s call. Many of us were asked tough questions and we answered them as honestly as we could. The Warrior DVD is a “train wreck” that is hard to take one’s eyes off of. (Gosh, no one has called me “Jimmie” since my mama passed away. For that, I thank Warrior.)

Name: Pedro Silva

I’ve been totally into the whole “Ultimate Warrior/DVD issue.” There are two bonus features on Disc 2. The first is “Ultimate Impressions” in which current WWE Superstars do their best impersonation of Warrior. It is sad to say the least – Benoit foams at the mouth and yells at the top of his voice… Triple H messes his hair all up and pretends to be Warrior shaking the ropes, and Batista ties some bootlaces around his arms and talks to his hands. More insulting, there is a “Warrior Calamities” montage of times when Warrior has made mistakes – slipping over, bloopers during interviews, botched moves, etc… So J.R I would really like to hear your opinion on this because I find it quite offensive that one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time, if not the best in my point of view, has been insulted.

Pedro, I respect your allegiance to the Warrior and would never attempt to dissuade you from supporting whomever you choose. However, this is sports-entertainment and whether we like it or not, everyone involved, just like any other form of sport or entertainment, is fair game and everyone knows that when they sign on. I expect this to be the norm with many WWE DVDs in the future, whereby the fans will see multiple looks and get even more opinions on many of the wrestlers to be featured. We all are not going to agree with all that we see from time to time. I certainly wasn’t overwhelmed by the “Oklahoma” characterization that was done in WCW a few years back, but it did not kill me and I harbor no ill will to those that created and executed “Oklahoma.” I was pissed then but I got over it. That would be my suggestion to you as well.

Name: Shaun

Longtime fan here, I was just wondering who the referee was in the Women’s Championship match to open RAW this week? I didn’t recognize him, and was wondering if he was a permanent replacement for Hebner. I figured you’d give us his name on air (and give our gang here in MN a chance to take a drink during the JR drinking game, eg. referee Tim White is worth two!), but I didn’t hear it once. By the way, keep up the great work!

Ah, the old drinking game days. How soon we forget. The referee was Chris Kay who started his career in Louisville. Chris is a fine official and an even better young man. Speaking of referees, former WCW referee Mickie Jay was just hired by WWE and, I think, will be officiating on the Monday Night RAW crew. Mickie is another extremely competent referee. By the way, do you take two drinks when I blurt out “Slobberknocker”?

Name: John

Long time fan of WWE, just wondering will we ever see Chris Jericho again? And what are your thoughts of this Money in the Bank Ladder Match with the loser leaving RAW.

I hope we see Chris Jericho again, John. Chris is a helluva hand and multi talented. I think this sabbatical will be good for him and his young family. Plus, Chris loves music and this break in the action will allow him to focus on his band Fozzy. IF I were a betting man and I do enjoy the occasional game of Texas Hold ‘Em, my money would be on Chris returning to WWE sometime in 2006, but that is just an assumption. And we all know what happens when one assumes.

Name: Josh Vickery

After all these years in the wrestling business, do you wish you could do anything differently? And also, would you recommend getting into the business as an announcer such as yourself?

Josh, I don’t know what I would do differently, but if I went back and walked myself thru my career, I might think of something. I have had a blessed “run” in this business, starting out with Championship Wrestling out of Oklahoma, then Mid South Wrestling, working for Crockett Promotions out of Charlotte, joining TBS and working with WCW, my brief stint in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and coming to WWE in 1993. I have had the opportunity to announce in the old territory days which new announcers will probably never have the opportunity to do. As luck would have it, I have had the chance to call play by play for some of wrestling’s all-time greats. I have been very fortunate in my career and I have remained a fan of the business which can be hard to do when one immerses himself in any job. This business has a shortage of quality on-air talent, much like in ring talent, so I would definitely consider becoming an announcer if I were in your position and was committed to becoming the best. The commentary today is unlike what I started out doing in the early 70s, but I still have a blast being a part of Monday Night RAW and hope to be calling the action for as long as I do not embarrass myself with my work and the honchos at WWE like what they hear. Go for it and good luck!

Name: Ted Nicks

What are your thoughts on the job Eric Bischoff has done for WWE? Also, how is his relationship with Vince McMahon, and did you expect his career to last this long?

Eric has interfaced quite well since arriving from WCW to WWE. He’s perfect for his role as RAW G.M. Has Bischoff had a bump or two in the road since arriving because of lingering issues with wrestlers from WCW, yes. I would describe Bischoff and McMahon’s relationship as a professional one and it seems that both have a great deal of respect for the other, even though they are extremely different people. I probably would have lost the over/under for Eric’s tenure here, but I am happy he has succeeded with the company. Eric’s TV persona is much akin to Paul Heyman’s TV persona… easy to dislike. And that’s a compliment.

Name: Evan Vaugan

I first must say that I have been one of your biggest fans since I watched WWE in my youth. I am a 23 year-old former U.S. Marine who has done semi-pro wrestling with a small troupe in NC. My first question is: With the success and possible title shot for Matt Hardy coming up at WWE’s homecoming, he has never been better. But do you think his brother, Jeff, would ever make a comeback to WWE anytime soon? And the second question is: What can a person like me, who has been watching or been a part of wrestling their entire lives, do to get the proverbial “foot in the door” to the greatest sports-entertainment shows in the business? Thank you for your time in reading this letter and even if you do not respond, may God bless you and yours.

Firstly, thank you for serving our country with the United States Marine Corps who just may be the toughest collection of badasses in the entire world. I have a great deal of respect for both Matt and Jeff Hardy. From humble beginnings, the Hardy Boyz made it to the “big time” and succeeded. It looks as if Matt will go it alone in WWE for the time being, as it appears from my experience that Matt likes the full-time schedule better than younger brother Jeff, but who knows, that could change. Needless to say both Hardys are talented wrestlers and seem destined to make it even bigger wrestling in singles competition but just not both in WWE… at this time. My advice to you is to search out good wrestling schools, check them out thoroughly, and then go for it if that is your calling. OVW in Louisville, Deep South Wrestling in Atlanta and Harley Race’s school in Missouri are all good. Best of luck to you and you just may find some aspects of being in this business as challenging as being a United States Marine.

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