–Ross on John Cena’s WWE anniversary: “@JohnCena debuted in @WWE 14 years ago today which is a proud moment for yours truly as our talent relations team signed John while he was working with Rick Bassman in Los Angeles at UPW Wresting. I recall flying back from LAX to NYC on a redeye and going straight to the WWE headquarters and going to see Vince McMahon to tell him that we just signed “A Wrestlemania Main Eventer in five years” which would have made it 2006. John debuted at WM in 2004 versus The Big Show so I was close. In 2005, John won the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 21 in a career defining match with JBL. I remember Vince looking at me incredulously as I was an unshaved, red eye flying, wrinkled clothes wearing VP and telling me to “Go home…shower and shave.” I guess I did look a little rugged and my declaration about John Cena was a bit bold to say the least.”
Powell’s POV: That’s quite the bold prediction. I’d like to think that Ross isn’t leaving out stories about making similar statements about dozens of other wrestlers who flamed out quickly! In all seriousness, Cena has been an amazing talent and ambassador for WWE. Love his character or hate his character, Cena has had a tremendous 14-year run and I am curious to see just how much longer he intends to wrestle. He’s found some success outside WWE and his body won’t hold up forever.
–Ross on CM Punk entering UFC 203 as a big underdog: “@CMPunk is the betting underdog for his fight at UFC 203 vs Mickey Gall but hasn’t Phil Brooks been an underdog all his life? I’m not predicting this match just yet but I do believe that Punk will do every thing within his power to put on a great fight that, win or lose, will make fans want want to see him fight again.”
Powell’s POV: I don’t think Punk would have it any other way and I am pleased that UFC didn’t book him against a bum with the goal of giving him a win. If Punk wins, he will earn it. And even if he loses decisively, a case could be made that he lost to a strong, up and coming fighter, meaning he may fare better against another another fighter. Either way, I will be watching on September 10.
–Ross on the WWE Draft: “Love all the amateur sleuths who are also die hard wrestling and who are seemingly scurrying after a litany of rumors to attempt to mine a ‘spoiler’ out of something, anything regarding the WWE Draft. Here’s a ‘spoiler’ for you, no matter who goes where in the Draft, many fans will second guess and criticize the process come hell or high water. That’s a lock and it is simply the social media frenzied world that we live in today. Plus, it will take several months to see how the Draft is shaking out and creating new stars who can move the needle in other words sell tickets, merchandise and create reasons to watch WWE broadcasts.
Powell’s POV: I will defend pro wrestling fans in this case because they are no different than NBA fans analyzing draft that occurred last week or NFL fans in April. In pro sports, it can take a few years to determine whether the draft pick played up to the pick or just didn’t pan out. That doesn’t stop sports fans or the sports media from analyzing the order of the picks and the players who were drafted. I don’t blame people for trying to figure out whether there’s a scoop to be had from future live events pages and things of that nature, but I do take all of that with a grain of salt simply because of the words “card subject to change.”
Other topics include more on John Cena, the ROH Best in the World pay-per-view, the 6:05 Film project, The Ross Report, and more.