Interview: Jim Ross talks Slobberknocker Sessions, WrestleMania, NJPW, and more
On Tuesday afternoon, I had the honour of speaking with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross in a one-on-one interview to promote Slobberknocker Sessions, a special limited Q&A session with JR the Friday of WrestleMania weekend.
In addition to his upcoming show, we discussed several topics including the WWE's hiring of Jeremy Borash, the current talent in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, what it's like in New Orleans on WrestleMania weekend, and much more.
Last week, Jim Ross announced on Twitter that he will host the Slobberknocker Sessions on the Friday, April 6; two days before WrestleMania.
The special engagement is only available to 100 fans, and tickets go on sale this Friday, 23 February on Ticketfly.com at 10 AM CST. For the price of $85 you'll attend the special Q&A session, receive a personally autographed hardcover copy of his autobiography, personally meet JR for a photo opportunity, and receive a bottle of JR's Family Bar-B-Q All Purpose Seasoning.
Since the seasoning is a part of the package, I asked JR what he loves to use it on in particular:
"When I first started using, it was basically on protein, on the grill. Then, I was in a hurry one day and I couldn't find my salt and that stuff for stove top things, like vegetables and things of that nature. So, I used it, and it's just wonderful. It's really an all-purpose seasoning. It's great as a rub and it's great on your vegetables."
When WrestleMania was in Dallas two years ago, I was able to attend JR's show, and it was spectacular. His guest was Rob Van Dam; there was a surprise "crashing of the party" by Hurricane Helms and Jeff Hardy as well.
I would ask JR if there were going to be any guests for the upcoming Slobberknocker Sessions:
"I haven't decided. With only 100 people there I'm thinking it's just me and them. Might have an MC. Jeremy Borash has been working with me as an MC, but you know JB's been out with WWE and I don't know what that allows him to do or not to do and if he's able to do it, and I wouldn't know why he wouldn't be.
JR mentioned that Slobberknocker Sessions will have a different feel and be a different show than the one I attended in Dallas, but JR wanted to do a smaller format to interact with the fans and hear what's on their mind. He loves to hear how he fits in their memory bank.
Since Jeremy Borash was brought up, I then asked JR what his thoughts were on the WWE's hiring of him earlier this year:
"It's another great hire. I can't tell you when WWE has made a cooler hire in any area quite frankly. He's a great get. He can do a lot of things. He doesn't even have to be on camera for example. His value, his worth in character creation and development, the production side, and he's got great product knowledge. He's has an insane work ethic; which I really admire. They hit the gold mine with him. I think he's gonna be focusing on NXT stuff, so that is a great slot for him in my opinion.
We switched gears to New Japan Pro-Wrestling where JR will be on the call live with Josh Barnett at Strong Style Evolved on AXS TV March 25th. I asked him what it meant to be on the call live for this show:
I'm always honored to do work for AXS TV. They've been a great partner of mine for going into the third year working with Josh. I can see much of the New Japan product evolving. I enjoy it, and they tell good stories. They have some great talents in that company that I really enjoy watching. I enjoy the product, but I'm really going to enjoy doing it live.
JR mentioned the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and how he is just a marvel and is not even nearly as good as he is going to be.
I mentioned how one of the hot divisions within New Japan Pro Wrestling is the Junior Heavyweight, and I asked JR if he had a favorite within that division. He mentioned how they have a lot of really good talents in that division, and specifically mentioned Kushida and Will Ospreay.
JR mentioned that the talent performing at a high level creates competition within that grouping in the locker room. It's a perfect climate to grow stars to have this healthy competition.
My final question for JR was regarding New Orleans, and if there was anything that stood out for the city when WrestleMania was here last in 2014:
"It just made me reminisce back to the days of Mid-South Wrestling and UWF as New Orleans was our #1 city. New Orleans fans and fans from that part of the world are so uninhibited. They're proud to be wrestling fans and they are proud to be more traditional wrestling fans. They certainly show their passion and that's all you can ask from a paying customer is to express yourself on how you're feeling right now."
We wrapped up the interview with a reminder that the Slobberknocker Session tickets go on sale this Friday, 23 February and only 100 will be available. Thanks to Jim Ross for taking the time to speak a little pro wrestling!
You can listen to the full interview below:
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