I love those 3 a.m. central time wake-up calls, to make an early morning flight back to Oklahoma, after broadcasting Monday Night Raw. Monday nights, getting 2-4 hours of sleep, are the "dark underbelly of wrestling". :) As amazing as it might sound, there were a handful of fans still hanging out in the lobby of the Crown Plaza Hotel in Albany Tuesday morning, EARLY, when I was checking out. That's either dedication or insanity.
I received 3 phone calls from Ric Flair last week checking to see how I was feeling. Ric called me once from St. Bart's, St. Martin, or Saint something, while there decompressing from the emotional Wrestlemania weekend. Ric Flair is a true, long time friend and those phone calls meant a great deal to me. One always remembers who calls when times are the toughest and who puts one on "ignore". Ric had a great time Sunday in New Orleans as a guest of the NBA Hornets' owner GeorgeShinn for Sunday's Hornets-Warriors game. There are lots of Flair fans in the NBA, including the Spurs' Tim Duncan and former great player and current broadcaster, Charles Barkley. I already miss seeing Ric on TV, but I am happy that he is done inside the ropes at age 59.
Speaking of Wrestlemania and the next night's Raw in Orlando, the Raw from Albany had huge shoes to fill and a tough act to follow, Monday night. Following Flair has never been easy...just ask many of the biz's biggest stars.
It is nice to see some of the tag teams on Raw get a cup of coffee on the broadcast. Hopefully something meaningful will come of the duos' enhanced exposure. Hopefully, we will even here some of them verbalize in the near future.
Good to see Chris Jericho bring his IC Title belt to the ring with him for the Highlight Reel. Jericho is the Intercontinental Champion, you know. That was a helluva segment.
HBK/Batista was the highlight of last week's Smackdown and damned if they didn't steal the show Monday night, in the eyes of many. TheMichaels-Batista match at Backlash may be the most intriguing match of the PPV.
Is William Regal making his match versus Randy Orton Monday night a WWE Title match? Another question, why wouldn't Regal pull that trigger?
Hall of Fame thoughts...it was great to see MLB great, Wade Boggs in Orlando and without question Wade can drink more beer than any baseball player alive...INDEED! It's also not new news that the WWE is talking about acquiring a building for the WWE Hall of Fame. I expect that to be soon, within a couple of years, but the big question is where? It wouldn't surprise me whatsoever to see it erected in Stamford, CT, where the WWE HQ is located. Nonetheless, count on it happening, as we have been saying here for quite some time. Also, I strongly suggest that the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony be held on Friday night next year and NOT on Saturday night. I would have few, if any, official functions for the talents to be involved with on Saturday night, which is obviously the night before WM25. Can you say curfew boys and girls?
Casual discussions have taken place about J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q a presence at Wrestlemania 25 in Houston. No details have been finalized, but that's a goal we would like to accomplish in 2009 and our "Q" people met about it on Tuesday. This would hopefully be in conjunction with the WWE, naturally, but if not, we still would like to have our Bar-B-Q trailer in Houston and serve sandwiches and sell merchandise during WM25 week.
Ken Shamrock made a surprise appearance backstage Monday night at Raw. Ken was in the area doing some promotional work in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and dropped by to say hello and reconnect with the WWE. I told Ken I watched his last MMA fight that emanated from the UK and he smiled and said "that fight was a joke". I told him we all have the occasional bad day at the office. Ken's loss in the UK could prove to be financially costly to him, as it relates to future fights. Ken discussed the potential of being involved in a reality show and said a fight with his brother Frank was definitely on the radar screen, but that if the fight came off that it would not be held in California. Ken having his persona essentially rehabilitated, and focusing on "family" and fighting on the possible reality show, would help create a demand for this brotherly battle. Ken looked much leaner than when I last saw him in the WWE, but in great shape, nonetheless. Ken really evolved in the WWE over his time in the company, that included yours truly fining him a week's pay once upon a time for missing a booking after having a little too much fun, oversleeping and not making his flight to, I think, ElPaso . I found Ken easy to work with, as long as one was direct and honest with him, which is the way business should be conducted. This is only a personal observation, but if I were Ken or his "people" I would be looking at ending my active fighting career much sooner than later. No one wants to have their porch light start flickering, if you know what I mean.
I am looking forward to the trip to London, which sees me arrive there on Sunday morning non stop from Dallas, which is a better connection than I get on some domestic flights. The King doesn't arrive until Monday morning, but you can bet that his Clark Kent/Superman curl will be in place by show time, Monday evening. Jerry is still recovering from hisalma mater losing to Kansas in the NCAA National Championship of College hoops. (Hey, KU Coach Bill Self, take the big cash and head to Oklahoma State.) The WWE fans in the UK are really extraordinary and Monday's Raw from London should be an exciting atmosphere. The UK fans seem to always create some unique signs, which are fun for us to read during the commercial breaks.
If our construction crew finishes our second restaurant on time, we plan on hosting a big party at our new Moore, Oklahoma store after Monday Night Raw in OKC on June 30. Several WWE personalities have indicated that they will attend and of course, you're invited as well. I will keep you apprised of the event that is still on the drawing board. Remember that tickets for the OKC RAW go on sale on Saturday May 17. We have some really cool and interesting memorabilia to display in store #2 including a game worn jersey from everyXFL team.
My thanks to the many well wishers who have reached out to me since my brief and thankfully uneventful hospital visit last week. I am feeling much better, but I am thankful I am a wrestling broadcaster and not a bareback bronc rider. Ouch.
Thanks for reading and stopping by our site. We are still hard at work improving the site and encourage you to check out our Q&A section which we try and update regularly. Plus, as always, our online store is open 24/7 and we thank you for your business and remember that we ship worldwide.