If Something is BBQ'ed it can't be RAW...MNR Thoughts...FRESH & FREE

Weather update...it was 80 degrees today in Norman...now the news...

Great crowd in Austin, Texas Monday night for Monday Night Raw (MNR). The crowd was energized throughout the evening which helped make the show sound and feel special. I Tweeted (@JRsBBQ) that Longhorns coach Mack Brown must have given the fans a pep talk prior to going on the air at 8 central which also, & I'm being serious, doesn't hurt. 8 pm vs 9 pm is fan friendly especially for a PG rated TV program.

MNR certainly had its share of moments the night after the TLC PPV. It speaks to the WWE's commitment to come off a solid PPV on Sunday with a stellar Monday night show. It also speaks volumes regarding the athletes/performers mindset and work ethic to forge ahead after a challenging 'night at the office' in Houston where many of their bodies were introduced to tables, ladders and chairs.

The issue that started tonight between John Cena and C.M. Punk has my curiosity. I think that these two will have some stellar bouts when they finally wrestle. Punk is very hungry to re-establish himself as a dominate, singles performer. Punk and Cena can also carry the verbal load of this main event level issue. 

Cena felt like a bigger star than I can recall him feeling in a long time on MNR from Austin as he had a memorable night while figuratively putting Nexus on a milk carton. Cena, love him or not, connects with the ticket buying public better than any one in the biz. End of story.  

Loved the short albeit competitive and well wrestled Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal match. I'm likely too 'old school' but I would have no issues watching these two men compete in a multiple segment match any time. Broadcasters that have the opportunity to call a match such as this should seize the moment because they don't come along as often as they once did.

The evolution of John Morrison continues. As many have pointed out over time and of which I agree, John has some young HBK tendencies/mannerisms but his biggest step, in this fan's eye, is recently demonstrating more physical toughness in the ring. It reminds of when HBK added another layer to his body of work many years ago on PPV against Mick Foley aka Mankind in what was essentially a physical war. Some 'experts' on Twitter feel that Morrison's verbal skills are an issue but I don't.

Morrison should simply be himself and grow into his main event skin and never allow himself to be perceived as disingenuous.

Bottom line is that it takes time and patience for one to move to and subsequently stay at the elite level of any company.

Dolph Ziggler, competing against John Cena, had a Morrison-like night on MNR as well. Reminded me of some bouts that I was a part of on Smackdown a little over a year ago when Ziggler faced Rey Mysterio in a series of contests. The current IC Champion elevated his game then and also distinguished himself tonight against Cena. Ziggler has some Mr. Perfect in ring traits which are a good thing.   

For the record, Vickie Guerrero was instrumental in helping make the entire Cena/Dolph scenario work. I'm personally very proud of Vickie and am pleasantly surprised at how viable her TV persona has become in WWE. I know that her late husband Eddie would have been very proud of her. 

As a matter of fact, IMO, it seems as if Vickie and Michael Cole have more fan angst than the majority of WWE Superstars. It will be interesting to follow the development of both these two, controversial individuals to see how their ever growing TV persona's are monetized by WWE.

Some folks who have emailed and Tweeted us were upset that WWE HOF'er Jerry Lawler pinned the WWE Champion in a 6 man tag match. Wow. Really?

Nonetheless, it was RANDY ORTON who facilitated the pin and it was RANDY ORTON who got a small taste of retribution against the elusive, WWE Champion not to mention setting up a main event Tuesday night on a special, LIVE Smackdown broadcast on the USA Network between RANDY ORTON and the Miz. 

As former New York Jets and Kansas City Chief coach Herm Edwards once said, "Hello!! That's Why We Play The Game." 

Smackdown on USA is going to be a loaded broadcast and will/should earn a solid TV rating on USA for the special Tuesday night airing as opposed to airing this week only on Syfy. Plus, Friday night is Christmas Eve which is obviously not a great night for TV viewership. 

BTW I made an innocuous joke on Twitter Monday night regarding a tongue in cheek "Did You Know?" mentioning that I had sold more BBQ sauce than any other WWE Hall of Fame broadcaster ever. Some folks actually took that attempt at humor seriously. I kid you not. I also asked if that 'fact' made me a Diva after seeing about 50 Snickers commercials during MNR featuring Aretha Franklin...Snickers Diva....BBQ Diva...never mind.   

Come on man and lighten up Francis.

BTW #2 it seemed to me that Booker T was in excellent shape when we spoke on Sunday afternoon in Houston. That statement will likely fuel ample speculation and I'm not saying that Booker wants to or ever will step back in the ring but, as always, one never says never in this biz. With two beautiful twin children just coming into this world, I don't ever see Booker T going back on the road full time. Nonetheless it was great seeing him and his lovely wife Sharmell. Ol Book did quite well in the wife department, much like yours truly, as he 'out punted his coverage.'

Felt bad for Vikings fans Monday night on the 50th Anniversary Celebration of their franchise in their loss to the Bears. The game had an old school feel to it being played at night, outdoors in the dead of winter in Minneapolis. Bret Favre looked old and worn out after being knocked out of the game early. How good might Bret do in the NFL broadcast booth? Favre will be money if he chooses that route just to have something to do while wearing his Wrangler jeans because he sure as heck doesn't need the cash.

It's interesting how the national sports media is subtlety doing their best to make UConn the potential Cinderella story of the year if they can knock off powerful Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl ala Boise State and West Virginia in previous Fiesta Bowls. I got a feeling (Thanks, to the Blacked Eyed Peas) that the Sooners will have a good night on Saturday January 1. All I want for my next B-day is a Sooner, BCS Bowl victory. 

Thanks for your business in our store here on the site. We have had a record setting month of which our family is very appreciative.

The Q&A's on this site are currently updated so check 'em out. 

Be well and Happy Holidays.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.        

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Comments

 I always enjoy reading your blogs.

I agree with you about the features of Curt Hennig in Dolph Ziggler's work and felt that way the first time he did the neck snap.  With the blonde hair the mannerisms, if they didn't give him the Ziggler name, I think it would have been great if they made him a relative of Hennig's and then pair him with Joe when they brought him up from FCW.   I really enjoyed the Regal/Bryan match and enjoyed how they put about 12 minutes of action into their match.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have you at the announce table.  Your work during the Bryan/Swagger match a few weeks ago might have been the best thing to help Bryan with the fans because of the way you called the match.

I think if Vickie was on Raw on a regular basis, they would need more 3 hours shows because of the way the crowd reacts to her.  I thought it was great that John Cena was having fun with the situation and was seen laughing at the way that the crowd would not stop booing Vickie.  I think she is the top heel in the company, followed by The Miz.

Personally, I've really enjoyed RAW and Smackdown more than normal the past few weeks as it seems we're on the cusp of the next set of young main event talent. Seeing guys like, Miz, Morrison, Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi and Swagger getting the time to put on long matches, that the crowd is getting invested into, will help WWE long term. 

As a fan I prefer the slower buildup to main event status for people.  I've always felt that with the longer lead up, that individual has more staying power.  Look how long it took guys like Austin, Triple H, and the Rock to reach main evet level in WWE, once they got there they were set for years. Too many fans want guys to instantly be a main event star and that hurts the business. The Rock and Austin had issues for the I-C title and were able to bring parts of that program into the World title picture.  I see almost the same type of future for Miz and Morrison.

Some fans can be impatient and I think a lot of the internet crowd is anti-WWE, but there are so many talented athletes that are working their way up the ranks.  That doesn't take into account the guys like Cody Rhodes, Drew Mcintyre, and the list can keep going.  The WWE roster is as deep as ever right now and as a fan I'm truly excited. 

One last note, I'm also very excited to see CM punk get back in the game with John Cena, this has the makings of a very fun program.  The way CM Punk spoke last night in a very cerebral way almost had a Jake "the Snake" Roberts feel to his commentary. I'm so excited as the road to Wrestlemania kicks in, this is going to be a fun ride.

I thought the Vickie Guerrero insulting was terrible. You have two good guys taking turns viciously insulting a woman and the crowd cheers because she's a bad guy character?

What a great message to send to the pg kiddies watching - cool kids should bully the fat kid because it's funny and it will make you cool.

Why is it when LayCool was slagging on Mickie James for her weight, LayCool were the "Mean Girls" and Mickie was they sympathetic face and now Cena and Lawler are these great guys for joking on Vickie because they deem here to be fat and ugly and being fat is mock-worthy.

This is the same thing with Morrison, Edge, Christian and the like, all good guys at the time, making fun of Jack Swaggers lisp - what in the hell message is that sending? If somebody has a lisp it's okay to make fun of him because the good guy characters on wwe programming do it for laughs?

Lawler is a joke himself, he regularly rips on Vickie from behind the mic, and during the Slammy's she make one remark about him losing the title (note nothing about his physical appearance) and he goes right into insulting the woman about her physical appearance.

And then when Vickie finally slaps Cena, the super good guy that everybody should love, gets all serious and threatening before Dolph steps between the two.

To me, Dolph should have been the good guy here, protecting a woman from a menacing Cena and defending a victim against a bully.

WWE- Where men bullying woman is cool.

I really enjoyed that Regal/Bryan match on MNR.  Interestingly, ROH had a "scientific" match as part of their iPPV on Saturday.  This match on MNR had a lot in common with ROH's match on Saturday, but managed to have an added emotional element due to Regal's well-established heel persona - great stuff, in my opinion.  I could watch a lot more of these 2 guys, just as I enjoyed all of the Regal/Jericho matches a number of years ago.

Hey J.R.

Another great MNR last night. I'm very intertested to see where the Cena/Punk story line goes. I enjoy watching both Superstars compete, and they are both great on the mic. I agree with you on Cena. No one can connect to the crowd like him. He just ratchets up the intensity. That place was loud last night! Made for great television. I also have to agree with Wrestling Jonze, I don't particularly care for the making fun of Vikie's appearence or Swaggers lisp. Although the jokes can be somewhat funny to an adult, it could definately send the wrong message to the kids.

John Morrison has really stepped up in the ring, but I am one who feels he lacks big time on the mic. I'm by no means an "expert", but I just don't find his promos that believable. And for me, that hurts him as a Superstar. Just my opinion.

The Miz, on the other hand, is great on the mic. The most "must see" Champion in WWE history. And still WWE Champion, The Miz! Each week he continues to bring it. I think he has all the tools in the ring to back it all up too. Very fun to watch the Miz perform.

Dolph Ziggler is another one with pretty much the total package. I can see the Mr. Perfect comparisons. Dolph is putting it all together right now. Last night was a great match against Cena.

Last note...I also enjoyed Daniel Bryan vs William Regal. Maybe the best match of the night. Nothing wrong with seeing more matches like that one.