Jim Ross: Biggest Takeaways from the Hall of Fame Announcer's Radio Interview
His thoughts on the state of managers and his take on The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak stood out in that conversation.
It is now an annual tradition that when the Boston Celtics play the Thunder in Oklahoma City, Ross joins the Celtics broadcast team for a quarter. There isn't enough time to dive into all things WWE during the game, so Ross and Grande later take their talk to the web.
Ross talked about the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback situation and how OKC has embraced the Thunder. He joked that he thought Vince McMahon owned the NBA. Ross said, "He owns everything else."
For WWE fans, though, it's his discussion of WWE's "playoff" season that is most intriguing, as well as his reflections on Paul Bearer/William Moody's history and life.
The Lack of Managers in Today's WWE
When asked about why there are not many managers in the vein of Paul Bearer today, Ross said, "It's a very unique skill base. And you have to have a genuine feel for being an antagonist."
Ross reminisced about legendary managers Freddie Blassie and The Grand Wizard. Ross said that men like them "learned their trade in other territories."
When WWE started to become the global phenomenon that it is today, it essentially devoured the territory system. While that development has led to a concentration of talent, it doesn't allow for folks to develop in the smaller promotions before jumping to WWE.
WWE creative has not moved away from managers in Ross' opinion; the company just hasn't been able to find them. Ross compared the situation to the NBA's move away from traditional centers.
WWE is willing, but appears to be unable to find folks to fill the role of manager.
In NXT, WWE has a place in which to experiment with and cultivate manager talent . Eventually, we could see developmental feed WWE the next Paul Bearer.
The Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak
Grande called The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania, "the ultimate torch left to be passed."
Ross described the story of Punk and Undertaker as "very compelling."
He talked up Punk's vocal abilities, the contrast in Punk and Taker's styles and how they could both use MMA elements.
In the end, though, the most important question is whether Punk will be the man to end Undertaker's streak.
Ross personally believes, "that Undertaker will never lose at WrestleMania."
When a man with as much knowledge of how WWE works behind the scenes says something like this, it's worth listening to. Ross knows the kind of discussions Vince McMahon and Co. have over a decision like this. If he thinks Undertaker won't lose, that may just be what ends up happening.
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