I am happy for the Wild Samoans and for The Original Sheik going into the WWE Hall of Fame. All three are legends and made significant and unique contributions to the wrestling business. The Samoans were an awesome duo I assure you. I was around them a great deal in Mid South Wrestling. No fans wanted to cross Afa or Sika. Eddie Farhat, The Original Sheik was as much a part of the Detroit landscape as the Tigers’ Al Kaline and Chuck Dailey’s Detroit Piston Bad Boys. These pioneers deserve their accolades without question. I am a big believer than we cannot navigate the future without understanding the past. These men were a huge part of the businesses past. Perhaps I have been remiss not discussing the death of Bad News Allan of a week or so ago. I never knew this man, to be able to accurately depict him as seen through my eyes. I may have met him once or twice and don’t remember much about him other than he seemed quiet and everyone knew that he was a bad ass. I know the Harts always seem to speak highly of “Bad News”, which was good enough for me. My condolences certainly go out to his family and friends. I don’t like B.S.’ing my way through your questions and Bad News was not a gentleman that I personally had many interactions with.
For the record, the campus of MIT and Cambridge, Mass is really cool. I will have more on my stay here soon. Now, may I suggest you now call me “Professor J.R.”
As John Wayne would say, we are burning daylight so let’s get right to your comments…
Have I met Dick Beyer? Absolutely. Dick was The Masked Destroyer among other handles and was an awesome in ring talent. Dick is a Syracuse grad who made himself famous in Japan. Dick still has amazing recall of wrestling history and has always been known as a high character, class act who has always represented the business with dignity and professionalism. I loved watching Dick wrestle in his prime on video tape.
Will the Ultimate Warrior ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? Beats me. Not my call, for the record again. Would Warrior even accept if called? Does Warrior deserve the nod? Probably.
I get asked about Brock Lesnar all the time. Jerry Brisco worked hard on recruiting Brock out of the University of Minnesota and I signed him to a WWE contract. Lesnar appeared to be a natural. Physically there was no doubt. But Brock either burned out with all the travel or he simply wasn’t a fan of the genre. Nonetheless, if Lesnar were in the WWE today he could be making HUGE money, but only if his heart was in it. I wish things had worked out differently with Brock, as none of us are getting any younger and for a wrestler, one’s younger years are generally, not always but generally, the best. I call it a lost opportunity for Lesnar and the business.
Please do not believe every word written on every wrestling website. Whoever wrote that The Undertaker was retiring in the summer of 2008 is either making it up or is really, really gullible. I communicate with Taker frequently and that subject has never been discussed. Unless injuries take their toll, Taker will be around in at least a part time role for years to come.
Someone wrote that it seems I don’t like wrestling anymore. Where in the Blue Hell did that one come from? If I did not like wrestling I would not be traveling 51 weeks a year and busting my ample, Oklahoma backside every Monday night on Raw! I am simply not doing this because I “need the money”, even though the money is nice. I love my job, I am a wrestling fan at heart and always will be, and the day I stop working in wrestling is the day you will know I am burned out. However, don’t hold your breath on that one.
We get lots of Scott Hall questions and I have not heard if Scott ever wants to wrestle a full time schedule again, but it is “highly unlikely”. He has a smart wrestling mind though.
Do I mind college football being played at NFL Stadiums? Not really as long as it is a special game and it happens just on occasion. We OU fans are used to neutral sites, as we play Texas every October in Dallas in the old, rundown Cotton Bowl. It is one helluva weekend though!
The Horseman DVD is getting a great deal of attention. I would submit to those worrying about 2 discs vs. 3 to not complain until you have actually seen the DVD. Plus, if this one sells, you know a sequel is forthcoming. There is too much good material about the Horsemen to get it all on one release anyway.
Yes, in the future all WWE PPV’s will feature all three brands. My question is, does that include all three announce teams plus the vaunted Spanish announce team that works every PPV (and does a great job by the way)? Perhaps my travel just increased and I am just not aware of it yet. Hooray.
In my opinion, Vince McMahon did not put the AWA out of business. The AWA put the AWA out of business. The demise of the wrestling territories which were largely owned by former wrestlers with little business savvy outside their own world was because these former wrestlers with strong egos refused to move into the future as far as marketing, long term contracts for the wrestlers, promotion of live events, TV production, etc. Did McMahon help them out the door? Yes, in some cases he did. However so many local promotions could have stayed in business if they had looked in the mirror more often, instead of blaming others for their downfall. The WWE never put the UWF out of business because we stayed ahead of the curve and developed strong promotional partners, strong relationships with our TV affiliates, and were willing to compete using modern technology. McMahon may not be an angel to some people, but bitter old wrestling promoters or fans of those promotions need to peel the onion back one more layer to see what really happened and why so many promotions went belly up. They also quit developing new stars. Does that ring a bell?
I have heard some rumblings of a tag team battle royal at Wrestlemania, but nothing official. It would not surprise me if that match, if it happens, was a Wrestlemania DVD extra. I am not a huge fan of battle royals in general, but that’s just me.
Did Butch Reed ever wrestle in the WWE? Oh, Hell Yeah! Butch went from Watts’ territory if I am not mistaken, to the WWE. Butch was a great opponent for JYD and could cut a promo as well as any one. Butch was also a tough human being and I saw him in a backstage fist fight with Nord the Barbarian many moons ago. Let’s say for the sake of argument the fight was a “draw” and leave it at that. The fight started in OKC in the afternoon and Bill Watts made the two of them finish the fight that night in Tulsa to get it “out of their system”. Bruce Reed was an All American linebacker in Junior College at Northeast Oklahoma A&M for the Golden Norsemen.
The Doghouse… That must be today’s favorite term, who’s in the doghouse? Is Randy Orton in the doghouse? Is Melina in the doghouse? Here’s how I largely perceive that worn out question. If someone is really in the “doghouse” you won’t be seeing them on TV and they damn sure would not be booked at Wrestlemania. Does it matter who resides in the “WWE Doghouse” or is it simply the need to know more “dirt”? People are human and at times we all make mistakes and spend a night or two in the doghouse whether it be at work or at home. I have a suite named after me in “the doghouse”. Plus, there are jealous wrestlers who can’t stand others success. That particular deadly sin is universal and not a wrestling exclusive. Plus some people can be immature children at times, which is also not exclusive to ‘rasslin.
Bruiser Brody was a man who talked me out of quitting the business in the early to mid 70’s because I was traveling 2,000 miles a week in my own vehicle, paying all my own road expenses, trying to support a family and earning approximately $280-$360 per week with zero benefits such as insurance or 401K refereeing and getting physically destroyed in the wild Mid South on a nightly basis. Brody told me that I had a mind for the business and to never give up my dream. I didn’t and things seem to have worked out just fine. Brody was just as intelligent as he was intimidating and talented. Read anything about this man you can get your hands on especially the book his widow Barbara co-wrote.
Will there ever be a Barry Windham DVD? AGAIN, I don’t know. If there is a market for one I am sure that WWE corporate will consider it. That stuff happens in Connecticut – and I am down here in Oklahoma.
So Chris Masters reminds some of you of Lex Luger. Wow, you must not have a lofty opinion of Masters. Nonetheless, I will say that Kennedy reminds me of Stunning Steve Austin. I perceive that to be a good thing.
My favorite Sting moment? There were lots of them in the WCW days but his 45 minute match at Clash #1 is memorable and “made” Sting a star thanks to Ric Flair. Sting and Vader did some great stuff too.
I heard the “rumblings” that if HBK was in attendance last year in Chicago that Bret Hart would not participate at his own Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I am not sure how true that is, but for the sake of argument if it was true, I find it some what silly. I am personally over 1997’s Survivor Series in Montreal, and think it would be healthy for all involved to “let it go”.
Plus, for a superstar, going into the Hall of Fame it is as much about the individual’s family and fans as anything. That’s why I truly regret Bruno Sammartino refusing to be inducted. And by the way, HBK was in the audience last year and Bret did a magnificent job with his speech. Billy Kidman – Yes, I brought him to the WWE. Will he ever return is a question for WWE talent relations. I do feel badly about his divorce from Torrie Wilson however. They always seemed like a nice couple to me. Billy is also a talented wrestler.
I am not aware that I will be making any appearances at Wrestlemania as I have not been assigned any as of this writing. Do you think I am in the “Doghouse”? I love meeting with the fans so hopefully I will be added as a “token selection” to one of the AXXESS events.
I am not aware of how many title runs Flair has had, but it is north of 16 that is for sure and maybe close to 20. Some results have never made the record books. Ric seems happy with the #16 so if he is happy with that number, so am I.
I am still not ready to write my autobiography, but there seems to be interest from some publishers. I may wait until my time on Raw has passed, which I hope will be years from now before I tell my story of a fan’s journey from office gopher to ring crew member to referee to announcer to front office executive and all the stops in between.
Yes, I was a high school and college sports official for almost 20 years and officiated 14 State Championship games in three different sports, football, basketball, and baseball. I loved those days.
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