Ross Report for Aug. 25, 2005

It's good to be back in the saddle. I missed doing this column and hope we can address some of your questions as time goes on.

I had a helluva interview a few weeks ago with Jake “the Snake” Roberts for his upcoming DVD. This one is going to be “heavy” to say the very least. Jake opened his life up for all to see and some of his life experiences, as some of you may know, are tragic, perverse, disgusting, and surreal among other ways I could use to describe this extremely talented and brilliant Superstar’s controversial life. We left nothing out of our conversation and addressed EVERY aspect of this man’s life.

Good to see Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase added to the behind-the-scenes staff at WWE. Ted is one of the talents I would require the young prospects to observe in their tape study in their hopes of being on RAW or SmackDown! someday. Ted’s two sons are training to be wrestlers with Harley Race. With Teddy’s genes and Harley’s teaching, I like the boys’ chances.

I expect to see several new faces begin to be incorporated into the mix on both RAW and SmackDown! over the next several weeks.

Good to see Ron Simmons Sunday at SummerSlam in Washington, D.C. Ron is doing public relations work with WWE, as is Harvard grad Chris Nowinski. By the way, speaking of Ron Simmons, who was a former Florida State Seminole football star, isn’t it ridiculous that the NCAA has taken it upon themselves to attempt to ban “derogatory” team nicknames? Being of Native American heritage myself, I am certainly sensitive to the plight Native Americans have faced over the years, but come on! This is just outright horse manure for the almighty NCAA to appoint themselves the conscience of collegiate sports.

I have high hopes that the tag team of Cade and Murdoch will do well once they get rolling on RAW. There is a good deal of potential there between the two young men, and man is the door wide open in the tag team division on RAW and SmackDown! for that matter.

Can you believe that the Big Show legitimately wears a size 23 ring? And his wrist measures 11 inches around? My Sooners could use Show in goal line situations this fall, but I don’t think he has any eligibility left.

Chris Benoit is a true Rabid Wolverine and I expect Benoit to begin to really re-establish his presence on SmackDown! and bring more luster to the United States Championship.

Who’s the next WWE Diva that will pose NUDE in Playboy Magazine? You might be surprised. And it’s not Johnnie Mae Young.

On to your e-mails:

Name: Brian Henley
Is Coach really needed on RAW? You and the King make a great pair with awesome chemistry. I can't wait for the Hawaii show in Oct. Thanks for many great years of awesome wrestling. You're the best!

Brian Henley
US Navy

Thanks, Brian. But what you do with the United States Navy is so much more important than what I do on Monday night’s, it is not even close. That would be like comparing Vanderbilt to your Vols. Is Coach really needed? King and I did the show without him for years, but I prefer to see how the three of us gel as time goes on before passing judgment. We have a great deal of work to do to make the three man booth as good as it needs to be. I can tolerate Coach’s big mouth, but I sure wish we were moved back to ringside.

Name: Ryan Anderson
Hello, Jim. I am a Sooner fan. Also, I am from Westville. I was just wondering what your thoughts on the Bret Hart DVD and WWE are. Go Sooners!

Good to hear from a fellow Westville, Oklahoma Yellowjacket, class of 1970 for yours truly. I had a chance to speak with Bret Hart this week, as he was in Stamford at the same time I was. From the looks of what Bret is personally selecting to be included on this DVD, I think it will be excellent. Bret’s legacy isn’t about one night in November 1997 in Montreal, and this DVD will cover lots of ground. I highly recommend it.

Name: Gaz Mc
Do you feel we will ever see Bret Hart ever again in a WWE ring... be it as part of a farewell speech at the Hall of Fame or at WrestleMania 22?

In the ring as an active competitor…no. However, I do think there is a great chance that he will be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. If he doesn’t go in next year it will be because he did not feel like it was time. He sure as hell deserves to be in there.

Name: Ethan
You have been announcing for WWE for more than a decade, and you have gone through a lot of pay-per-view events. So I've been wondering, which has been your personal favorite?

Tough question. Lots of them come to mind….. WrestleMania IX is memorable because it was my first WWE assignment and was only the biggest event of the year, even though I looked goofier than a pet coon in the toga (Thank God I did not go commando under the toga). WrestleMania X-Seven is a great memory because we sold out the Astrodome in Houston on a card headlined by Stone Cold vs. The Rock, two of my all time favorite wrestlers. I did not care for the ending of their match where Austin jumped the fence, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Name: Ryan
I was wondering if Stone Cold Steve Austin will ever participate in a match again. It would be great to see him back in action. Is his injury as severe as HBK's was when he broke his back and managed to return a few years later?

If I were a betting man and I have been known to engage in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em from time to time, I would say we would absolutely see the Texas Rattlesnake in the ring again. When and against whom is the $64,000 question. WrestleMania 22 in Chicago wouldn’t be a bad place. Until then, Steve is working on his developing movie career in Hollywood and is continuing to train and is in great shape and looks like he could kick some ass about any time he was called upon.

Name: Josh Tapp
Ever since I saw Shelton Benjamin vs. Shawn Michaels on RAW, I have been following Benjamin. He is one of the main reasons I watch RAW (of course the other BIG reason is because of Shawn Michaels). I think Shelton is the future of WWE. In your opinion, how long will it be until he becomes WWE Champion? I hope it’s rather soon. I am anxious to see his star shine.

Athletically speaking, Shelton has every tool he needs in his tool box to be a big timer. Shelton, in my opinion, is lacking in the verbal area and when he gets more comfortable speaking, his star will shine brighter. This comes with repetition and experience. Shelton has a great personality and is fun to talk to backstage. He just needs to be able to express himself verbally in front of the camera as well as he does behind the camera. South Carolina’s greatest three-sport star is obviously very gifted athletically and his time will come perhaps sooner than we think.

Name: Jerrod
How has Coach joining the RAW Announce team affected you personally?

Sleepless nights. Nausea. Constant headaches. Cranky bowel syndrome. Honestly Jerrod, not one bit personally. From a professional standpoint, we all want the broadcast to be good and for the announcing to add to the presentation and not distract from it. We still have some work to do to get our timing down as a three-man team. In my career, I have worked with plenty of announcers that I had a tougher challenge with than working with Johnny Coachman from outside of Topeka, Kansas.

Name: Jim Gorr
I just have one question: When is Trish Stratus coming back?

Not soon enough for me. I know the doctors have released her for physicality. I am under the impression that Trish’s back is much better, and her front isn’t bad either. King volunteered to fly to Toronto and become her physical therapist and personal masseuse but that went over like flatulence in church. I expect to see Trish back on RAW any Monday night now. Stay tuned.

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