PARTS UNKNOWN'S TRANSLATION OF THE ROSS REPORT
Oct. 18, 2002
Greetings to everyone from under the dim lights of my office as I waste time at work and decipher Jim Ross' cryptic messages! For those of you still hanging on, this is Parts Unknown's translation of the Ross Report for Oct. 18, 2002.
Ross sez: "As you could probably guess, I really enjoyed my trip to the Cotton Bowl last Saturday to see the Sooners take on the Texas Longhorns. The OU victory against our rivals to the south was as sweet as BBQ sauce. I attended the game with Bradshaw and his buddy, Coach Craig Simmons, along with Mark Henry, and for two of us it was a helluva great day. Craig played for Oklahoma State in the mid 1970s and coached at an Enid, Okla., high school for many years, and he and I were the ones smiling at day's end. That makes it three years in a row for the Sooners over Texas, and I had the privilege of watching the game from the Oklahoma sideline inside the team bench area. The four of us enjoyed a great conversation with Oklahoma assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops Friday night at the Sooners team hotel, where I stayed. My boys have one helluva tough game this Saturday against a very, very good Iowa State team that is nationally ranked and has perhaps the best offensive player in the nation in quarterback Seneca Wallace. This will be like a bowl game for the Cyclones and thank goodness we play them in Norman. I will be happy to settle for a one-point victory in this Big 12 contest. This could be some folks' upset of the week because of last week's very emotional victory and the fact that ISU is playing great football. Another nail biter for yours truly."
He means: "I'm stalling. Everything here in the WWE is going to pot and this Sooner fan just doesn't want to talk about it. From where I sit, it's going to be hard to explain why our 'product' is rapidly spiraling down the toilet, so I'll just stick to college football - it's much less complicated than scripting a watchable wrestling show with the finest roster of superstars in the history of sports entertainment."
Ross sez: "Traveling to Little Rock brings back many fond memories for me, as this was our regular Tuesday night stop in the old territory days when I first got my start in the business, working for the late Leroy McGuirk and Cowboy Bill Watts. We had several memorable nights in the old Barton Coliseum on the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, where many a Razorback would down ample quantities of cold beer and raise hell at the wrestling matches. For a young referee like me, this was a great learning experience in the mid 70s, when folks seemed to take things a little more seriously when their favorite star did not fare as well as expected."
He means: "I miss the good ol' days when we weren't expected to tell good in-ring stories in three minutes. Back in the 70s, we could consistently put out a good product without non-sensical storyline twists and HLA HLA HLA HLA HLA. I want to quit, or cry. If only someone here could figure out how to duplicate the rabid energy of the fans of the 70s, we wouldn't be in this predicament. People used to care. No, they really did."
Ross sez: "Sunday's event will have seven or eight matches, and I expect to see a heavy in-ring presentation. Several of the contests have an excellent chance of being solid wrestling matches and there is no doubt that some will probably be outstanding."
He means: "Please order the event. We realize there is nothing compelling in this PPV and we're just begging you not to turn off the TV. We have no idea how to fix these problems, and all we can deliver right now are "solid wrestling matches." Remember when Raw was must-see TV and you never missed a PPV? Back then, we had more than "solidity" in our matches. We were literally the greatest show on earth and one helluva way to pass the time on Monday night. We don't expect that from this PPV, which has had little sensible buildup."
Ross sez: "The Hell in a Cell for the WWE Title between the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar is a tough one to predict because the cage adds a unique element to the presentation, and Lesnar has never been in one of these matches. Taker has been in many cages and has had some memorable moments in the Hell in a Cell over the years. As a matter of fact, Taker has been in more Cell matches than anyone in WWE. No doubt it will be physical, and it will be a miracle if both men are as healthy when the match is over as when it starts. Referee Tim White was injured seriously in the last Hell in a Cell, back in May, so no one involved in this process is safe. This one could very easily be a bloodbath, considering the structure surrounding the ring is rather unforgiving. It's pretty much a gimme that this match will close the show. Realistically, what else could follow it?"
He means: "We knew nothing would make the fans care about this god-awful match unless we made it a spot-fest bloodbath. I'm worried Lesnar will get hurt and Booger Red's on his last legs. We don't know what else to do with these guys. We're all tired here. Undertaker's a hoss."
Ross sez: "I expect the Triple H-Kane World Heavyweight Title Match to be an old-school contest, or at least that's what I personally hope it will be. I am sure these two will have a compelling match that conveys a clearly defined story."
He means: "Expect this match to be a boring, long collision of HOSSES that no one cares about. We're trying...really, we are. Too bad the story of this match will be more defined the Kane's history and the Katie Vick angle. I realize there's no chance in hell we can put Kane over HHH, but humor us and believe! Order the PPV!"
Ross sez: "Both tag matches on the pay-per-view have the chance to be very good, especially the SmackDown! contest featuring Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio, which has had the most time to develop its story over the last several weeks. Although Chris Jericho and Christian have been champions for less than a week, their match with Booker T and Goldust might surprise some, as Jericho and Booker have had some physical interaction in recent weeks, which should add some additional interest to this one."
He means: "The tag matches are going to carry this terrible show. The eight most-over guys in the fed, besides RVD, are featured here. Doesn't this make you want to order the PPV?"
Ross sez: "There are two ladies matches on this pay-per-view, which is a first for WWE to the best of my knowledge. Trish Stratus and Victoria have been developing a well-defined rivalry over the past few weeks, and this match should be solid. These two ladies have certainly been physical over the past few RAWs, and I expect more of the same Sunday. Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie will provide its share of sizzle as this issue is still developing after Torrie caught Dawn in the shower with good ol' Al Wilson, Torrie's dad, this week on SmackDown! Yes indeed, that Mr. Wilson is a "randy rascal," isn't he?"
He means: "Stupid filler, but I'm contractually obligated to mention it."
Ross sez: "Rob Van Dam vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair is a real contrast in styles but both men, especially Flair over the many years, seem to always turn it up on PPV, and I am sure that will be the case at No Mercy."
He means: "I don't know how this one will pan out. Could be good, could be bad, but the fans don't care. Honestly, we don't know what to do with either men, but humor us and BUY THE PPV. PLEASE."
Ross sez: "Ticket sales in Little Rock have been challenging, and great seats are still available for the live event in the beautiful ALLTEL Arena. This is WWE's first-ever PPV from Little Rock, and I hope it will be a memorable one for all involved. As always, you can count on this talent roster giving 100 percent effort for our fans, and I know that is what you will receive at No Mercy."
He means: "This looks bad. We realize we aren't giving the fans what they want or they would be buying tickets and ordering the show. Nevertheless, we have no idea what to do, so we'll just hold a steady course with Undertaker and HHH. They are the reliable performers who keep the fans coming back for more."
Ross sez: "It's hard for me to believe that the first Hell in a Cell Match was five years ago this month, October 1997, when a bloody Shawn Michaels, with a giant assist from the debuting Kane, defeated the Undertaker. Michaels needed 18 stitches after that war. Of course, the most famous Hell in a Cell was in June 1998, when Mick "Mankind" Foley was thrown off the top of the Cell by the Undertaker and lived to tell about it ... barely. Mick lost two teeth and sustained internal injuries and a concussion in this tape collectors' treasure. The WWE Title has yet to change hands in a Hell in a Cell, for the record. However, the WWE Title did change hands at a No Mercy when, in 2000, Kurt Angle defeated The Rock. Who knows what this Sunday will bring?"
He means: "I can't believe we've fallen so far in five years. Isn't it amazing how good we used to be? Remember when you used to care about our performers and a Hell in the Cell match was a huge event? Remember when "desire" was more than a promo catchphrase?"
[Miscellaneous injury stuff and appearances]
Ross sez: "Thanks for spending some time here with us this week, and keep your fingers crossed Saturday for my Sooners. I hope you enjoy No Mercy Sunday on pay-per-view and that you will check out RAW on Monday night from Nashville. In the meantime, don't forget to count your blessings."
He means: "PLEASE ORDER THE PPV. PLEASE WATCH RAW. We are getting desperate and are relying on the hardcore fans to stick with us. If you all leave en masse, there's no telling what will happen. But then again, this is a cyclical business and we are just in the down cycle right now. Things will pick back up as we continue to deliver a solid in-ring product. BUY THE SHOW. PLEASE."