Good of you to drop by here in steamy Norman, Oklahoma. It's been a great week for yours truly on many fronts. Returning to Monday Night Raw was awesome and our business on WWEShop, http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss is growing at a rapid pace and shipping throughout the world. Here we go with some answers to questions we've received lately:
What details do I know about the Stone Cold DVD that is being produced? I know that Steve is really hands on the project and will be involved throughout the production of the entire project, that a WWE camera crew & a producer spend parts of three days at Austin's Broken Skull Ranch in South Texas earlier this week, and that no subjects were 'off limits' as Steve told me he talked about a litany of controversial topics that he had never addressed before on any other DVD including some of an extremely personal nature. I don't know the release date of this multi disc set but it will be after October 25 when the much anticipated HBK-Hitman Rivalry DVD is released but in time for holiday shopping.
Do I think that ROH will adversely affect TNA once ROH begins airing their weekly, syndicated TV show? Likely not. Wrestling fans have proven over time that if multiple brands are compelling enough that they will watch. While my focus is on WWE, I am a fan of the genre and wish success to whoever is earning a living in it.
Is Randy Orton's 'timing' the best ever in the business? Very subjective question that covers way too much ground for me to accurately answer if there even is an accurate answer. Randy does have innate timing but is Mr. RKO's timing better than Randy's Dad Bob Orton, Jr. in his prime? Timing and being throughly comfortable in the ring is a gift for many who seem to have it in their DNA while others have to work diligently to develop that in ring trait.
Is Beef Jerky addictive? Uh, likely not but we think that ours is damn good. It's made the old school way, slow hickory smoked and made with the eye of round. Our manufacturer has been making commercial Beef Jerky for over 40 years and knows his stuff. But is it addictive? Nah but it is 97% Fat Free.
When did Gordon Solie pass away? 11 years ago this week. Gordon was the best in his field and was a huge influence on my career. I wish that he had taken better care of his health so he could still be with us. Too much booze and chain smoking for the talented and unique story teller who had a phenomenal grasp of the English language. One of my most cherished memories was at a CAC function years ago in New Jersey and spending time with Lou Thesz and Gordon Solie at the bar before driving home. And yes, I had a designated driver.
What was Giant Gonzalez like outside the ring? George was a genuinely nice guy. He was usually in a good mood and for me was easy with which to work. Like many wrestlers he was unprepared for his successes and apparently didn't handle his money too well. The 7 foot plus Gonzalez passed away essentially destitute and relegated to a wheel chair.
Can I co-exist working with Michael Cole? Absolutely. I've been around the block once or twice and have partnered with many, many skilled adversarial broadcasters. Any three man announce booth is always in danger of 'over talking' and King, Cole, and myself will have to be aware of such and make sure our focus is on the talent and not on us.
Was Ole Anderson easy to work with in WCW? Not really. Ole was challenging to deal with at times due to his strong, alpha male personality but I have never and will never discount Ole's knowledge of the business or the fact that he was a great in ring talent especially in tag bouts.
Who are the most underrated color commentators that I have worked with over the years? Two come to mind.....Freebird Michael Hayes in UWF and Terry Funk in WCW. Both were big time players.
Is John Cena THAT controversial? Depends on what context with which one is speaking but I'd certainly say that Cena is definitely a polarizing individual. There's no mid ground as it relates to most fans opinion on Cena as they either like him or they don't. As a former head of talent relations, Cena is a dream to work with and has a legit, blue collar work ethic.
Is CM Punk the next Steve Austin? I hope not. I hope that Punk is simply the best CM Punk that he can be. The best for Punk has yet to come in my view. Punk being compared to Austin is inevitable because both are 'defiant' and 'anti establishment' persona's but their in ring styles, body types, etc are distinctly different.
Who's the most underutilized persona in WWE? That's a loaded question. Could be several people, if those people were asked the same question. Zack Ryder fans would say Zack, etc. I might suggest William Regal who has a refined, multiple skill set who can wrestle, talk, manage, train talent and broadcast.
Did I enjoy the Rock-Foley 'I Quit' match that featured all the chair shots to Mick's head? Honestly, at the time I probably did as I was wrapped up in the moment. However, taking the time to look back at it now and knowing what we know today about concussions, I'd say that it wasn't one of my favorite memories and I feel confident that WWE shouldn't and won't go back there ever again.
Can I provide restaurant recommendations to specific cities? Sure but it's much easier for you and quicker to simply go on the Food Network website and see where Diners, Drive In's and Dives plus Man vs. Food have visited as they hit many, many cities and find great, local spots that are always the way to go if one has the info.
Does the Texas Longhorn Network provide UT with a recruiting advantage? Absolutely and especially if the Horn's network carries high school games. Let's be honest, Texas recruits their state amazingly well and generally signs the best rated players in the Lone Star State. However, putting a star prospect's high school team on The Longhorn Network builds a unique relationship with the high schools with which other colleges cannot compete due to the un-level playing field. This is especially true for the Sophomore and Junior players who are still uncommitted.
I'm looking forward to traveling to Indianapolis this week for Monday Night Raw and hope that we have an enthusiastic live audience in the Conseco Fieldhouse. The build to Summer Slam will obviously get serious this Monday night. Can we expect more surprises?
Thanks to all who have visited WWEShop and our page at http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss. Our partnership with WWE is growing and for that we are grateful.
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