Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all and a special and heartfelt thanks to all the members of the United States Armed Forces who have and continue to do so much to protect our freedoms as Americans. The USA is an infinitely better place in which to live thanks to all our fighting men and women. Now....some random thoughts....
UFC 130 is tonight on PPV and plans are to watch it in the Ross household. It's not the most provocative UFC card that we've seen but it seems to have significant fire power to make it a good PPV investment. In hindsight, if I had a better idea of my upcoming travel schedule, this would have been a cool weekend to spend in Vegas with the Mrs.
Rampage Jackson is a 5-2 favorite over deaf, MMA fighter Matt Hamill and is obviously the pick of many of the experts. I don't think it will be a layup for the Memphis native and life long fan of Jerry Lawler especially if he comes in either not in top shape or not motivated because Rampage might perceive that Hamill isn't a 'big star.' Hamill is a great story and has the skill set to upset Rampage. We'll see tonight as this one has a knockout or stoppage written all over it.
Perhaps I just missed it but I would have enjoyed seeing what I perceive would be have some entertaining, pre fight banter and hype between the usually talkative Frank Mir and Roy 'Big Country' Nelson whose mullet rivals ESPN hockey expert Barry Melrose pronounced hair style sans the quart of gel.
This heavyweight tilt likely won't go the distance either and if in Vegas I would prop bet a knockout if available.
Hopefully there will be some break through performances on the under card and the announcers will tell us casual fans who the fighters are, why we should emotionally invest in them and why their fights tonight are so professionally and personally important.
I am a major UFC fan as many of you know and I'm told that that many celeb's including Hammer, Vanilla Ice (testing your memory), rapper Lil Jon, funny man David Spade ( Who has a great HBO comedy special now airing), and NFL notables Larry Fitzgerald and Warren Sapp will be attending the event that is a near sell out at this time.
WWE was in Winnipeg, sans native son Chris Jericho, Friday night after a hellacious travel day where all the crew did not make the event due to weather issues. Over 7,000 fans turned out in the 'Peg which was excellent.
Speaking of Jericho, he owes none of us another match if that becomes Chris' decision. @IAmJericho has done plenty in his illustrious career to more than fulfill all our expectations. If Chris decides to return to the ring it will be in WWE and I think that he will but it may not be full time. That's just one guy's, uninformed opinion.
Oklahoma University produced an awesome video tribute to the late, Austin Box, OU's starting MLB who died unexpectedly a few days ago at age 22, and used the same Coldplay music that WWE used for the Randy Savage tribute.
Emailer...Yes we would love to be in Wal Mart or K-Mart or any national grocer chain with our products but getting there is a daunting task. Plus, I'm not going to make any bad business decisions with a major retailer who has all the stroke and the ability to essentially put a small company like ours out of business w/ returns, etc. If the deal was a win/win, we would obviously try it but until then cultivating our on line biz is about all we can say Grace over.
I do know that many retail outlets are missing the boat by not stocking our products.
As a matter of fact, our supplier is having a tough time keeping up with the demand that we have to service all our customers on a timely basis. Nice problem to have so no complaints here as we are thankful that our on line, family biz is doing well. That's a tribute to my wife Jan and her sister Jeanine for doing virtually all the 'grunt work' and keeping our great, home recipes getting into your hands and on your tables.
Twitter question....I don't know what WWE's plans are for Kevin Nash who has a Legend's agreement with WWE and last appeared in the ring at the Royal Rumble. Do I think Kevin can still help as an on air performer? Absolutely. Kevin is a bright man with a high wrestling IQ who still has fuel left in his former Tennessee Volunteer tank.
Been asked what was HBK's condition at WM14 and physically it was virtually debilitating because of HBK's back issues plus Shawn wasn't in the best of places mentally in his life at that time either. Regardless, the HOF'er still went out and had an excellent bout, actually a spectacular bout taking everything into consideration, with Steve Austin. That's the night someone said, "The Austin era has begun!"
Speaking of Austin, @steveaustinBSR did well with Jimmy Fallon on NBC Friday night. Steve visited with me recently about the possibility of starting his own website down the road and selling some exclusive Steve Austin Broken Skull Ranch merchandise.
The Saturday June 18 Strike Force event in Dallas is personally intriguing. It's a short drive, features the heavyweight tournament semi finals plus Gina Carano fighting seems to make for an interesting evening.
Happy to see UFC continue to steer the course w/ Strike Force for the time being but don't think that particular business trend is long term. No way....no how.
Anxiously awaiting my copy of the Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman book 'Death Clutch' and somewhat curious to see how yours truly is depicted by Brock after a less than celebratory departing from WWE while I was an executive w/ the company.
If you haven't checked it out recently, take a peek at http://wweclassics.com which is a 'must have' for any serious wrestling fan. It's affordable and the selection of matches is amazing.
Tweeter follower asked me where I thought Randy Savage got the majority of his in ring influences. Savage was very individualistic but I've always been of the mindset that his costumes and music were somewhat influenced by WWE HOF'er Gorgeous George. Randy was amazingly intense, virtually 24/7, and brought natural athleticism to the squared circle. We never always agreed on a variety of professional matters and had our share of disagreements but never once did i not respect his in ring ability and the fact that he was one of the biggest , pro wrestling stars of all time.
Plus, Savage saved his money which is a rarity for his generation of performers.
BTW and speaking of legends, we are preparing to shoot two more Legends Roundtables in a week or so. Not sure of the complete panel, I think that Michael Hayes, JJ Dillon and myself are 3 of the 4, or the topics. It's one of my favorite things to do especially now that I'm not on the air weekly. Love the atmosphere and the honesty of the panel and am anxious to hear of the subjects, panelists and air dates which are all TBD.
http://www.wweshop.com is doing a fantastic job of shipping our products internationally. Again, this website doesn't and isn't going to be shipping outside the USA anytime soon so if you live outside the USA please check out http://www.wweshop.com and order our goods from there. Business has picked up on that front of which we are grateful.
Was Scottie Pippen sober when he said that LeBron James was already a better player than Michael Jordan? King James is a WWE fan and I still have a signed LeBron James WWE Raw TV script from a Cleveland Raw but the young star still has some rings to win before he's in 'Jordan-Land.'
One of our best new sellers is the Slobber-Knocker Team which is 2 bottles of Chipotle Ketchup and 2 bottles of Main Event Mustard. Somewhere someone's grilled 'dogs and burgers are dying to meet this new 'team.'
I'm told that ESPN's Robert Flores is a wrestling fan and can be followed on Twitter @RoFloSc. That's always good to hear. So is the uber talented Bill Simmons who wrote the great piece on Macho Man's career and death recently on ESPN.com.
Emailer...Why on Earth would you really want to be a 'wrestling writer?' As John McEnroe once screamed to a tennis official, "You CAN'T be serious!" I'm not one to throw water on anyone's dreams but the life of a 'wrestling writer' is often times thankless, tireless, and massively over scrutinized. I know that I couldn't handle it in today's marketplace.
Emailer...One of my biggest regrets in the biz was not being able to call Mick Foley's first WWE title victory as I was battling Bells palsy at the time and was on the sideline.
Twitter....Most fans and aficionados of the wrestling biz do not fully understand the impact of having no wrestling territories of any significance has on today's product. National cable TV is often times very unforgiving to a 'green' talent who are, at times, still 3-5 years away from being ready for the national stage when they debut.
Same goes for announcers who are essentially learning their craft on the fly and in front of a global audience. I was very lucky that I had 19 years experience BEFORE I was fortunate enough to be hired by WWE in 1993.
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Have a great weekend, be safe, enjoy your family and friends, and let's all get to grilling!