Let’s get to some of the things that are on your mind based on your comments to the site.
Johnny Nitro is one of several young , WWE superstars who appear to have a bright future. As I have said in the past, Nitro reminds me of a young Ravishing Rick Rude at times and is an athletic young man. Kenny Dykstra and Lance Cade are two other youngsters who seem to have untapped potential. Kennedy and MVP fit into that catagory too. The talent cupboards are not bare in the WWE but the key will be how well the young competitors refine the mental aspect of their game and mature into the role of a consistent main event level talent and locker room leaders going forward.
The fans of the New Orleans Saints should be optimistic. Coach Sean Payton is one of the brightest minds in the NFL and from what some of our mutual friends have told me Payton has been a brilliant football mind long before sitting under Bill Parcells’ learning tree which did not hurt Payton’s football education. Former OU offensive tackle Jamaal Brown is evolving into an outstanding offensive tackle for New Orleans who had the foresight to draft Reggie Bush last year. Bright days should be a head for the Saints.
From all accounts, Adrian Peterson will be drafted 3rd by the Cleveland Browns, which will make Browns’ fanatic, Jerry Lawler, happy. However, I have a gut feeling that there will be some significant wheeling and dealing in the NFL’s first round on draft day. Houston and Atlanta have already started the dealing but I expect more of that sort of thing to come.
Will the Oklahoma-Texas college football classic stay at the Cotton Bowl? From my perspective, the fans of both schools simply wanted THE GAME to stay in Dallas, but now that Jerry Jones is building “Jerryland” for the Cowboys to play in it would not surprise me to see the Red River Shootout move to the Cowboys’ new home, which will be a first class, state of the art facility, something the historic Cotton Bowl can never become again without rebuilding it. If I were a gambling man, I would bet the OU-UT game moves to the new Cowboy Stadium one day.
Who wins Dela Hoya vs. Mayweather? Tough call. Mayweather is a little younger so that may factor into the decision but Oscar is a big time performer on the biggest stages much like HBK. I sort of like Dela Hoya but Floyd Mayweather is a helluva boxer. I am riding the fence on this one.
Will Steve Austin be headed to the UK soon? I really don’t know, but I would make an educated guess that he will at some point to promote “The Condemned.” Will Stone Cold be a part of the Milan or London Raws in April? I would say it is 50/50 at this time. More likely for London than Milan. That’s all to be determined.
Why doesn’t the WWE perform at the fieldhouse at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana? No one has told me, but, over the years, many universities don’t jump for joy when outside events want to use their facilities. This might be the case with the Irish and their gym. I think a Charlie Weis-Viscera match would be an eye catcher. Not wrestling, but an eating contest.
J.R. in a Diva storyline on TV? Stop the insanity. That would be like feeding strawberries to hogs. But, Mrs. J.R. has seen it all in this whacky biz since we got married in 1993 and would be fine with whatever I had to do. I do think she would resist me getting back the ring again, with which I concur at this stage of the game. I would suggest that I have had my ass kicked more than any broadcaster in the history of the business. I don’t know if I am bragging or complaining or simply stating fact.
I always found the One Man Gang great to work with. George Gray, a South Carolina native who I used to call “The Biggest Gamecock of them all”, was one of the all time great “Big Men” in the business and was brought to Mid South, where he got his break, by Ernie Ladd. General Skandor Akbar managed Gang in the UWF and I am sure taught the big guy a great deal. The fan who met Gang away from the ring and said OMG wasn’t friendly may have caught Gang on a bad day or perhaps OMG was simply staying in his wrestling persona. Plus, if a fan interrupted Gang having a meal that would not be a good thing. OMG is alive a well and working as a prison guard last I heard down in Louisiana.
I don’t think Randy Moss will be traded from the Raiders because it appears Oakland can’t get enough for the sometimes troubled but still talented wide receiver. Moss has physical skills although they are on the decline but his “me first” attitude over the years may bite Moss in the tail pads.
Dark Journey was an excellent valet back in the day who was brought to Bill Watts’ UWF by then booker Dick Slater. As I recall, Journey stayed with the company longer than Slater who did not last as long as he would have liked for the demanding Watts. Dark Journey was a beautiful woman with an exotic look and added a nice albeit unique spark to the UWF presentation along with some other talented women who complimented the physical style of the UWF.
From what I have seen out of OVW, Paul Burchill is still improving and has the chance to be a fine talent much sooner than later. UK’s Burchill has a nice skill set and his continued maturation mentally is the key for him as it is any young talent. I definitely think Burchill is a keeper. (I hope I just didn’t jinx him!)
Our Bar-B-Q Sauces and Jerky are available at Louie’s Westside in Norman and the Jerky at Shortstop convenience stores in Norman as well. Our Bar-B-Q place is still scheduled to be open in mid May at I-35 and Main Street in Norman and we will be located just in front of the 24/7 Super Wal-Mart. Our place will be easy to spot from the interstate.
When asked about the training for wrestling prospects, physical drills are imperative, obviously, but equally as important are verbal skill practice and studying the history of the business. If a young prospect isn’t interested in the wonderful history of our business, I would suggest they fine another line of work. We cannot navigate our future without understanding our past. The verbal aspect of this training phase needs to be enhanced in my humble opinion. Our fans expect the performers to be able to verbally communicate and few wrestlers will make it to the Promised Land if they can’t put sentences together. There are exceptions to this rule but by and large….no talkie…no consistent main events.
I have definitely eaten at Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester, N.Y. I was shocked to see an authentic BBQ place in upstate New York. It was damn sure good though.
Regarding Wrestlemania appearances, I can only assume that WWE.com will have a schedule of events as I know WWE superstars will be all over the Detroit area at a variety of locales through out the week. The “Detroit Free Press” is a great promotional partner with the WWE and may also list these appearances. Check out their website too.
Matt Cappotelli is still battling brain cancer. Matt is a strong human being that I admire and respect. The talented young man from Rochester, N.Y. has a warrior’s spirit and has a wonderful relationship with God which I know brings Matt comfort during these challenging times. A prayer from each of you for Matt would be wonderful.
Nice to hear from the nephew of wrestler George South. George was one of the most underrated wrestlers I can ever remember seeing not to mention being a great human being. Another devout Christian, George could hang with the best of them in the ring. It sounds like George has collected some great memorabilia during his tenure in wrestling that would be great items to utilize in helping to decorate our new BBQ place in Norman.
Why doesn’t the great Khali do more promos on TV? At the moment, speaking English isn’t one of the 7’3” 420 pounders strengths. Khali wasn’t hired for his oratory.
Will Sting ever be in the WWE? That’s a question for Sting to answer but stranger things have happened that’s for sure. The WWE has talked to Sting over the years but after he left WCW Sting was not interested in a full time schedule as evidenced by him working part time now. Before it is all said and done for Steve Borden’s wrestling career it would not totally surprise me to see him have a short term run in the WWE. Nonetheless, Steve Borden is a class act and a guy I have known forever in his wrestling career. Sting was put on the map in a big way thanks to the efforts of Ric Flair at the first Class of the Champions.
I do not watch much independent wrestling much these days but I do know that Jim Kettner is an excellent promoter and a fine gentleman who has spearheaded the efforts in ECWA for years. When I was managing talent in the WWE I watched a great deal of indy wrestling but that is not my job these days.
An Owen Hart story…..years ago some irresponsible wrestler had a drug problem, refused help and had to be terminated. It was not a pleasant matter and as the head of talent I was a little stressed prior to going on the air live to broadcast Raw. Owen knocked on my office door at the arena and when he came in he had gone to catering and put powdered sugar from a donut under his nose and came in to the office acting “impaired”. He sat down as if nothing was wrong and started babbling incoherently as if he was in a drug induced stupor. Owen never did drugs and rarely even had a cold beer so I was taken a back but not for long. Owen was simply being Owen and wanted to brighten up my day that had been somewhat stressful until that point. He also “pants me” in the swimming pool of a cruise ship once that was shocking and not so flattering for yours truly but still funny as hell.
What happened to Steve Blackman? He went in for a personality transplant and never returned.
Seriously, I really don’t know but I heard quite some time ago Steve was living in Pennsylvania but I am not sure. Steve was a real tough guy who was a skilled martial artist and whose dry sense of humor always kept everyone on their toes. If any one knows Steve’s whereabouts, let us know.
As best I can tell, HHH is shooting for his WWE return at Summerslam in August. As I have said many times, no one will work harder to return better than they left than “The Game”.
Will the NFL ever come to Oklahoma? I hope not. We have Dallas and K.C. close enough to enjoy the “No Fun League” plus our college football fan base has been build up over time and we take college football very seriously especially here in Norman where the Sooners reside. I am a fan of the NFL but they don’t compare with college football in the Sooner State. Plus the NFL did all they could do to take a large dump on the XFL when we were fighting to get established and to make it. For the record, the powerful NFL much like the Soprano Family won.
Yes we spoke of Lashley’s acceptance last week of taking the Masterlock Challenge as a surprise because no one mentioned it was on wwe.com earlier in the day. That’s what is called a “failure to communicate.”
I have made no plans to attend the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Iowa in July but those plans could change. I will keep everyone posted. It all depends on my WWE travel and how busy we are at J.R.’s Bar-B-Q.
Thanks for all your comments. Plus, thanks so much for buying our sauces and our Beef Jerky. Both products are shipping well and your business is definitely appreciated. We are making some headway to being able to ship abroad. Will our fans outside North American buy sauces and Jerky? Time will tell, but I think so. I know the WWE bought sauce and Jerky to sell at some of their Wrestlemania functions and I will try and find out where, so that those of you who are attending can taste the “real deal.”
We will have another blog soon. Thanks!!