Happy New Year...First Blog of 2012...Mail Bag Open...Order JR's Products at WWEShop.com

Happy New Year everyone and here's hoping that 2012 is your best year ever and is filled with great health and happiness. Let's roll with some mailbag exploration and an opinion...or two. 

These are answers to questions that we have received here in our Q&A section and via Twitter @JRsBBQ.

Top FCW prospects? No names from me. Several have potential. The former ROH and experienced independent guys have a slight edge. They all need to continue to diligently work on fundamentals. slowing down their pace at times, and maintaining a rigorous weight training and conditioning program.

What wrestling schools do I recommend? There are many good one's out there but always ask for a list of their former students that you can speak with personally. Look at a school's track record with placing talents in WWE, etc.

We appreciate all the holiday feedback on the last two, WWE DVD releases including Bret-HBK Rivalry and the Stone Cold DVD. I think that they are two of the best productions that WWE has done in years. Lots of honesty and plenty of steak without an overabundance of sizzle. They were my two, favorite DVD's I've ever worked on in my career. It certainly seems as if many fans got these two DVDS for holiday gifts.

No, Michael Cole is NOT the devil. He's doing a job that he's instructed to do. For the last time, I do not hate Cole nor do I feel compelled to want to wrestle, and I use that term loosely, Cole again. Let's put the spotlight on the talents who were hired to wrestle.  Has Cole ever said things about me that were a little personal or hit too close to home? Sure, but I'm a big boy and can handle it I assure you. 

For the record, in case folks haven't noticed it, the style of broadcasting in WWE has changed drastically over the years and that's not by accident. It is perceived that story telling and that function's ancillary spinoffs are more effective than the old school, traditional, wrestling commentary. 

Will Austin ever wrestle Hulk? Personally, I hope not. If Stone Cold does have one match left in him, it shouldn't be against some one who has been plagued with physical limitations. At one point in time, this would have been THE money match. That ship has sailed....BROTHER. 

Will Brock Lesnar return to WWE full time or part time? For those that know Brock well, the answer to this question is actually quite simple. It's NO. Brock dislikes, putting it mildly, traveling. Plus, he doesn't need the money even though he's smart enough to not turn down a big payday if the lay of the land is to his liking. That's why the UFC thing was good for him because he could earn big money by traveling 2-3 times per year to fight. I could see Brock doing a major, one off WWE appearance ala a Wrestlemania, but not this year, and doing so while not even making the live Raw events that lead into it. I could also see WWE traveling to Brock to shoot vignettes to build whatever match that he might be booked. For fans who think that Lesnar will return to make a significant amount of TV dates only and then only work a handful or so of PPV's, I hate to burst your bubble, but in my opinion that simply isn't happening. 

What, after the success of the Rivalry and Austin DVDS, are WWE's plans on upcoming DVDs? I am not in that loop and don't know what topics are being discussed. One thing to remember, the Rivalry series only works, in my view, when the principles are alive and willing to sit and discuss their experiences with each other. 

We continue to get questions regarding the state of tag team wrestling on a national basis. I don't have the answer but I do know that some talented athletes could benefit by being on full time tag teams and being actively involved in issues that are forwarded on weekly, TV telecasts.

Announcer question...I enjoyed Monsoon and Ventura but always felt like Monsoon was best with Heenan while Ventura fit better with McMahon. I was lucky in my career that I had the opportunity to work with them all. For the record, no one that I ever worked with at the announce table was more talented than Heenan and I've worked with what I consider the best ever.  Lawler, Hayes, Cornette, Heyman, Taz, Dusty, Terry Funk, Bob Caudle, Gordon Solie all brought different styles to the table and it was up to me to adapt to them and to the product that was being presented. That has long been the lead announcer's role in, not only sports entertainment, all TV sports as well.   

Who is being revealed tonight on Raw as a result of the effective, anticipation building promos that have aired the past several weeks? Honestly, I don't know. No one from WWE has said a word to me. That's not a complaint either as I'm still a fan who likes surprises. I obviously have a short list of who I think it likely will be but I want to be surprised. And yes, even if I did know I would NOT tell you and ruin the surprise.

I was asked via Twitter if I thought Steve Austin would be a good fit in WWE creative based on something that was addressed a week or so ago on this matter. I won't write what I perceive that Steve would say regarding this but I don't think that he would ever consider such an opportunity with his career rolling as it is plus he's the kind of guy who likes fewer cooks in the kitchen. 

The best creative types I've worked with since '74 generally had a few common dominators. They went largely with their guts/natural instincts, they planned as far a head as possible, and they always remained focused on the in ring performers to carry the load. Back in the day they also closely monitored what the fans were buying via tickets to live, weekly events. If ticket sales were good, then the creative was good. If there wasn't a butt every 18" then the creative was in need of addressing.    

Yes...we had a really nice holiday season at WWEShop.com with our JR's brand of products. BTW our products aren't seasonal, are super for every day use and certainly make unique gifts for any one. We have a long way to go in building our family line of products but sincerely appreciate everyone's support.   

Enjoyed meeting many fans while in Arizona last week for the Insight Bowl. Lots of nice folks from Iowa who are WWE fans. I must have answered the same question 100 times. What do you think that question was?

It's a very important Raw tonight in Memphis for a variety of reasons. It's the first event of the New Year, the build to the Royal Rumble begins to a certain degree as the Rumble officially kicks off WM28 promotion, a marquis matchup for the WWE Title between two of WWE's most outstanding,  young talents in Punk and Ziggler, the reveal of the mystery person, and follow up on what on how Raw left the air last Monday with Kane's perplexing message to John Cena. Everyone needs to be on top of their game tonight in Memphis.

I expect to set my DVR for a little extra time tonight for Raw and will utilize my picture in picture feature of our TV to keep an eye on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl. I have OSU winning by 7+ if you're wondering. I'm pulling for the alma mater of the legendary Brisco Brothers and only wish that my dear friend and hero Jack Brisco was still alive to see his beloved Cowboys play in their first BCS Bowl Game. 

BTW...no matter who is revealed tonight...there will be a vocal group of fans that will not be pleased. I've been warned on Twitter @JRsBBQ of such unrest. Jeez. 

I finally watched the Lesnar-Overeem fight via DVR as I was in Tempe Friday night while the fight was in progress. It appeared that Brock was not ready mentally and that he seemed tentative to me. This is not a diss on Lesnar as I picked him to win the fight, along with signing him to WWE and will always be in his corner. However if any one can understand what diverticulitis can do to one's body it's me. I had 13" of my large intestine removed and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not reminded of such in some form or another. For one to attempt to fight in the Octagon after such an ordeal was courageous to say the least. Overeem did the obvious and that was to assault the weakened body part, where have we heard that before, with vicious knees. Brock is a warrior and withstood the onslaught as best that he could. But Lesnar could never muster any offense and it seemed that Overeem was simply waiting to pull the trigger. I know that Brock is a proud man and can be stubborn at times but him calling it quits in front of his fans and on live PPV took courage and conviction. It would have been easy to return to Minnesora and simply issue a statement that the former WWE Champion was calling it a day in UFC. None of us have no bigger gifts than our health and Brock made the right call for him considering the hand that he has been dealt. Knowing Lesnar as I do, I'm willing to wager that he is in no financial duress and will have plenty of non fighting options for himself especially as UFC continues to grow. 

Of course, the Lesnar to WWE rumors will persist TFN but I'd be shocked to see Brock Lesnar remotely near a WWE event in 2012. 

Brock Lesnar came to UFC from the sports entertainment world and was vilified before he ever had his first fight. But in only a handful of outings Brock Lesnar became the biggest drawing card in the UFC. Over time, Brock earned the die hard MMA fan's respect but the lesson to be learned, as Muhammad Ali told me years ago, fans love to dislike certain athletes and will pay great money to see said athletes get physically abused and beaten.  Brock Lesnar proved that old school adage to still be applicable today yet he perservered and eventually became a fighter than many UFC fans supported. 

Thanks for the early birthday wishes from those of you that actually keep up with that sort of info. I do appreciate the well wishes and on January 3, 2012 I will turn 60. I'll do the math...I was born 1/3/52 in Fort Bragg, California but was raised in Oklahoma even though I went to the 4th grade in Santa Rosa, California. 

I'm blessed with great health and my story is that 60 is 'the new 40' and I'm sticking with it. I truly believe that my most productive years in the business are still a head of me.

Check out http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss for delicious deals on all our products.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.                

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Comments

Congratulations on your 60th birthday tomorrow! Love reading your blogs, checking your website daily.

I Will be looking forward to your prediction on Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem, for the title. I think it'll be even, they are good in different areas, but JDS seems to be on a roll, and I think he will retain.

Hi,

Another great blog - for the record, I enjoy reading these, and I appreciate the time you put into them.  If you're short on time, you can skip the rest; if you're not, or you're bored, please read on.  I have two thoughts for you: first, when you discussed Cole's character, you mentioned that the spotlight should be on the in-ring performers.  I agree completely - do you have any insight regarding why someone would have the Cole character (and the Laurinaitis character, for that matter) work so hard to take the focus away from the in-ring talent and at times make them seem nearly irrelevant (e.g., when Cole spends substantial time talking about something other than the match in the ring)?  Second, you mentioned how the nature of commentary has changed, and it is perceived that storytelling is more effective than the traditional calling of the matches.  Do you know if WWE has actually done any research to see how they could maximize the effectiveness of the commentary, as well as other aspects of their presentation?  I don't want to sound like a know-it-all (because I'm not, and I don't), but based on my background (I'm a cognitive psychologist), I see that there are many aspects of the programming that, from the standpoint of how memory works, work against people becoming emotionally invested in the characters and remembering the stories in which they are involved.  At any rate, this is probably far more than you want (or have time) to read, so I'll stop my rambling.  Take it easy.

Chris

I would like to refer to a particular section of today's blog:

"For the record, in case folks haven't noticed it, the style of broadcasting in WWE has changed drastically over the years and that's not by accident. It is perceived that story telling and that function's ancillary spinoffs are more effective than the old school, traditional, wrestling commentary."

I have quite a few friends who would disagree with this. However, I do believe some of the newer commentary style needs to be incorporated with its old-school counterpart. The problem with how WWE utilizes its story-telling commentary, especially through Michael Cole's character, is that they overdo that part of the commentary team. It is overbearing to the watcher.

Specifically, with regard to Cole and what he is told to do, does this "heel" commentary seem to go against the Be a Star campaign? I have been wondering this. The comments towards you, Bryan, Lawler, and pretty much every "face" character besides Cena, seem very brash and bully-like. I know the WWE has always had discriminatory commentary (to a point), and there has always been controversy surrounding storylines and character development, but Cole's remarks and the entire Be a Star campaign contradict each other. It makes the company seem almost hypocritical.

I believe many other fans agree with my sentiments.

Happy birthday JR!

I wasn't disappointed with Jericho's return, and it was rather expected (although the music in the final video package tonight seemed to point to Undertaker). What I didn't like was the handling of the return. It was far, far too subtle. I wasn't sure if Jericho was just overplaying the crowd reaction or deliberately heeling on them, and neither was the audience. Both my mother and my wife were totally baffled by it, and it took too much thinking on my end to realize that it was deliberately heelish. Jericho's always been good at stuff like that, but I think this one just flew a bit over the heads of the casual viewers and even many of the "hardcore fans".

J.Ja

Happy 60th Birthday JR!!! Hope your day brings you joy and happiness..

Happy Birthday! Congratulations to the Boomer Sooner on their bowl victory.

Now, Jericho not talking last night made me think he hasn't fully started his contract. Didn't another wrestler do that in recent years? Walked out to the ring but didn't talk.

Kane coming up thru the ring was classic Undertaker. I liked it. How long do you think he was under the ring? Did he come down to the ring when the lights went out for Jericho's entrance?

I won't ask you about the Undertaker? My prediction is he will make his return as one of the Royal Rumble participants.

JR,

I want to wish you a happy and blessed birthday.  Your best days are ahead and I believe God has great things in store for you for many years to come.  I don't know if You are a Christian or not, I pray that you are. But  I am,  my wife and i just started a church this year and it was a great undertaking, we did not know we had all this within us to do.  But God Showed up and gave us strength even in the midst of life's storms.  So I just want to encourage you as you embark in another year of life's journey, with this scripture. 

-- Living Bible
Isaiah 40:30-31

" 30. Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. 31.  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
 

Be encouraged.   And thank you for being the best voice in wrestling to ever call a match.  It is not the same w/o you.

God Bless you and we will keep you in our prayers.

Shelton

JR,

I want to wish you a happy birthday much blessings to you and your family.

Happy Birthday JR. I agree that Austin should not face Hogan at this point in his career. Best time for that to have happened would've been 2002-03 and it couda headlined any ppv then including Mania. As for the WWE Rivalry DVD well i think that should be left as just the Michaels-Hart one with no others...that was perfectly done and the feud had unique circumstances to it. No other could come close to it. As for Jericho's return well i had heard it was supposed to be him since the first Cryptic video aired but i gotta say when the lights went out after awile i was expecting the bells to toll and that it might be Undertaker. Great setup for next weeks Raw to see what Jericho says...

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Just do it!Be yourself,don't put yourself in your visual bag