Friday Blog, Undertaker on Smackdown, Paul Bearer & the Possom, NFL Draft, Happy B-Day Kane, Order JR's for Grilling Season
Welcome back to our website and thanks for dropping by as we appreciate the visit. I've updated the Q&A's as of Friday midday and invite you to check out the quick reads while you're here. With that said...we grill. Looking forward to watching Friday Night Smackdown tonight as the Undertaker takes on the Shield's Dean Ambrose. I don't expect to see Taker on TV that much at all in the future but what an opportunity for Ambrose and his teammates to shine with a future Hall of Famer. RIP country music legend George Jones aka "The Voice" who passed away earlier today. In the wrestling world he was known as the late Paul Bearer aka Percy Pringle's all time favorite entertainer. I remember when Percy got to meet "The Possum" after a concert back in the day and Percy told me the story just as a child would about meeting Santa Claus. He remembered what George was wearing, what George said and seemingly every aspect of their brief meeting. I once booked country music talent for a large club in Tulsa called Duke's Country back in the 80's and booked Jones to appear live three, different times....he showed once. Our crowd was light the night that Jones finally made it and we did not have all his money prior to show time. His manager said that George wouldn't go on without his money even though I explained that the legend had become "No Show Jones" on us twice and that the fans were skeptical and did not buy many tickets in advance.. I asked to speak with George and went on his tour bus to explain our dilemma. The former Marine understood, went on and played a great show. For the record, he got all his money before leaving Tulsa and I he and I ended up having a great conversation after the show as I counted out his cash. Yes, cash...no checks please.I remember someone playing a rib on Percy back in the day, late 90's I think, where a new crew member was told to break the news to "Paul Bearer" that George Jones had just passed away. The kid did not know any better and was told that if he gently broke the news to Percy and grieved with him that the veteran would appreciate it and that it would be a great ice breaker/bonding experience. I never heard so many inventive curse words in my entire life that Percy/Paul spewed at the youngster who was the victim of a stiff, wrestling rib. Percy/Paul was that loyal and devoted to George Jones. Hopefully, their paths have crossed again in Heaven. The OKC Thunder losing all star guard Russell Westbrook to minor knee surgery is a tough blow to the team's playoff hopes but stranger things have happened and the Thunder won't tap just yet. OKC isn't obviously as good without Westbrook, but sometimes things like this can bring a team closer and inject a new found sense of urgency in a small, NBA sized roster. Kevin Durant has to become more selfish and take more shots but the cupboards are not bear in OKC...just not as well stocked. Durant must take over. I was asked recently on Twitter who I thought was one of the most underrated athletes in the WWE locker room I mentioned that an argument could be made for more than one but off the top of my head I'd go with @WWEMcGillicutty. The son of the late Curt Hennig is the complete package and is only getting better. Some of his bouts in NXT have been excellent. I like the kid a great deal and hope that he sticks with the goal of achieving his dream to follow in his dad's footsteps and to create his own legacy. When asked if I thought the WWE Saturday Night's Main Event was returning on a regular basis, I don't know but can't we all agree that WWE is producing enough weekly TV? I know that I do. Manti Te'o will obviously get drafted into the NFL but does anyone else think that his 40 time had more to do with him falling from the first round than the whacky, faux girlfriend silliness? Another factor may be that the legend of Norte Dame and the hype that the program receives may have made Te'o a better linebacker than he actually was. I know that has happened at Oklahoma on occasion where a player wasn't quite as good as the school's hype for him.The @Rams and Minnesota Vikings seem to have great first round NFL Drafts from where I was sitting. I follow both teams because of Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson, two former OU stars. Yes...I joked with @LaneJohnson69 about coming to #WWE IF the 'NFL thing' didn't work out. Obviously,. being the 4th overall pick in the draft indicates that the 'NFL thing' is going to work out just fine for the former #Sooners offensive lineman who I consider a great kid and have enjoyed being on the sideline for essentially every game of his OU career. @Eagles fans are going to love the 6'6"-303 pounder who ran a 4.72 forty. Hopefully, some of the great athletes who tryout for the NFL as free agents this summer and who do not make it will find their way on the WWE radar. That's one reason that we are meeting with the NFLPA in a couple of weeks. Notwithstanding creating an opportunity to where some young, former players who have a WWE aptitude and who might want to step in the ring and see how they adapt their legit, athletic skills into becoming a WWE performer. Nice to see that Bones Jones has picked it up in recent weeks in the promotion of this Saturday night's UFC PPV as he defends his light heavyweight title against Chael Sonnen. Like any great, pro wrestling villains and just as Muhammad Ali did back in his heyday, some fans will buy #UFC159 just to see @sonnench get his ass whipped and whipped convincingly by the talented Jon Jones. The mark of any great, sports or sports/entertainment villain is to create so much antagonism and angst that the paying customers will invest their cash to see said bad guy get beaten up and humiliated. Sonnen's long term career is behind a UFC mic as the brand continues to build it's announcer roster just as they are their fighter roster. Just like WWE, UCC will be built for long term success via fighting talent and television and having great story tellers to embellish and enhance great fighters/fights is imperative. Sonnen can tell stories and he can sell product. Chael might evolve into a helluva ringside, color commentator some day if provided that opportunity even though his studio work has been stellar.I'm anxious to see who steps up Saturday night and tries to steal the show and create a name for themselves on the card headlined by Jones vs. Sonnen. Opportunity awaits and I'm curious as to who will capitalize. Must be a slow news day for some to dissect this past Monday's Foley-Ryback segment on Monday Night Raw. I thought Foley's delivery was impassioned and timely. He was the perfect set up man for what transpired. Ryback is refining his verbal skills as he goes which is exactly what guys used to do in the territory days. Every outing for a talent like Ryback is learning experience and if he has some rough edges, in the eyes of some, then so be it. I'd rather see in ring, live or live to tape, rough edges on display than someone routinely reciting a promo exclusively from memory. Was the segment perfect? Nope but what is? Did it better position Ryback in the role that he is being cast? Without question, in my view. Big week in NXT Thursday night at Full Sail University in Orlando/Winter Haven, Florida. Young talents are expected to be better than they were when we taped five, one hour broadcasts prior to WrestleMania 29. If someone claims that they are 'peaking' at this young age because the scenery is getting stale then they are helping themselves out the door. John Cena is set to join us on Thursday May 2. Are you set for grilling season? Take a moment and visit the JR page at http://www.wweshop.com and see all the great deals that await. Our associates in Manchester, England @americansoda has great offers on JR's products that they promptly deliver throughout the UK, Europe and Ireland from their website http://www.americansoda.co.uk. Happy 46th birthday today to Kane who is one of the greatest superstars to ever appear in a WWE ring. The consummate pro who is one of the most intelligent athletes that I've ever known and is a model talent and a future WWE HOFer without question. He's a locker room leader, a voice of reason to many young, immature talents, is one of the greatest big men ever and an overall class act. I saw him for the first time while doing some commentary for Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling when Kane was wrestling under a mask and was known as 'Unabomber.' It did not take long for me to get him a tryout and then to sign him to a WWE contract where he has been ever since. I can't see Kane being any where but in WWE and if I had a vote I'd want the big man to mentor as many young NXT talents as is possible. I have great respect for the former college athlete who has his degree even though he "BBQ'ed" me back in the day. I healed...for the record. You're invited to follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ.I've written many blogs here over the past week and hope that you'll check them out.Boomer Sooner!J.R.