JR Remembers Matt Borne aka Doink..ESPN.com Project..UK Tour Update..Wife Swap..War Games..JR's @ WWEShop.com
Here's hoping every one is well. Check out http://www.wweshop.com for all the new packages that they have put together with JR's products...just in time for prime time, grilling season. JR's products also make great gifts and no one makes better ketchup or mustard in my, less than humble, opinion. With my arm aching from patting myself on the back.....LET'S GRILL!The passing of Matt Osborne came unusually abruptly to me this past week. I hadn't seen Matt in quite some time and had actually lost touch with him. I knew that he was still working some indy dates and appearing at some autograph shows but our paths had not crossed in years or so it seems. Matt was a truly excellent in ring performer and especially strong with his natural, grappling skills. He learned well in the amateurs in Oregon as the son of legendary pro wrestler Tough Tony Borne. Matt had a good run in the Mid South territory back in the day and was Cowboy Bill Watts kind of guy...legitimately tough and a man whose work was sound and physical. One got what they earned from Matt who was one of the more aggressive talents that passed through the fabled territory back in the day. If someone would have asked me to give them my feedback on an 'evil clown' wrestling character, without seeing it, I would have likely have given that particular persona a thumbs down because of my admitted, old school background. I simply could not fathom anyone pulling off that persona in a way that would allow me to suspend my disbelief and actually invest in the presentation. I was wrong. Matt Osborne aka Matt Bourne did exactly that and he was brilliant in his most famous and well known in ring persona. Doink the Clown's success and notoriety is a testament to Matt's skill and raw talent. Matt made what was presented to him from the creative arm of WWE his own and Matt made it work.Much can be learned by all talents not only of today but of tomorrow as well about that last sentence. Maniac Matt Bourne will always be membered by me as a skilled professional who was old school in so many ways, a fundamentally sound, naturally tough guy who was able to defeat any opponent except the demons that plagued him off and on for many years. RIP Matt Bourne...Maniac Matt...Doink the Clown...Big Josh...Matt Osborne. The Q&A Section of this site has been updated as of Sunday evening. See what made the cut and participate in the Q&A's if you'd like. (It's FREE! :)I'm working on a project with ESPN.com where four of us are 'drafting' an offensive and defensive team comprised of all former Oklahoma Sooners which is the closest I've ever gotten to fantasy football. I can see how fantasy football could be addictive for some. I even made a 'draft board' and did all the research on the former Sooners all the way back prior to the Bud Wilkinson era that began before I was born. Enjoyed watching Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper on ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap Sunday night. The Naitch isn't going to slow down for anyone until he's six feet under which I hope won't be years and years. That's just the way that Ric's wired...for better or for worse. I tend to lean more toward Hot Rod's life style as I keep it low key here in Norman and have never been overly comfortable being what some might perceive as a 'celebrity.' I applaud both WWE HOFers for being braver than me doing the broadcast as I wouldn't have had the courage to be so open with my family on national TV. By and large it was a fun hour of TV on a Sunday night. Hard to believe that it was 15 years ago this past week in Pittsburgh that the Undertaker threw Mankind/Mick Foley off the top of the Hell in a Cell at the King of the Ring PPV. My calls from various aspects of that match have been dubbed into some insane, sports video clips over the years and others seem to pop up on a regular basis. I'm not saying that the Taker-Foley match from 1998 was the 'greatest match that I ever broadcast' (I'm never able to answer that one) but it is without a doubt the most memorable match I ever called. One reason for that is because fans simply won't allow that night to be forgotten. As I've always said that the wrestlers write the music and we announcers simply provide what we feel are the approiate lyrics. Sometimes we get lucky. Many new, wrestling fans are seeing the War Games for the first time now that the collection of Dusty Rhodes' creation is available from WWE on DVD. I'm especially pleased to see my dear, late friend Dr. Death Steve Williams remembered as Doc was a participant in multiple War Games matches. I'd suggest that you give this DVD a look as some of the most famous and infamous stars in the genre appeared at one time or another in this marquis match. Doc military pressing Terry Gordy multiple times in one War Games match still vividly sticks in my mind. Would I like to see WWE return the War Games to PPV? Not really. The old days lent itself more to the aggression and violence elements that the War Games concept needed to be successful. My first ever, Spoken Word Tour of the UK looks as if it will sell out well in advance of the events that are scheduled from August 24-27 in Cardiff, London, Manchester and Glasgow. For ticket info or to buy tickets you can go to http://www.psievents.eventbrite.com/ . VIP tickets include a private meet and greet, autographs and photos. I'm excited to be able to tell my unlikely story of having a near 40 year career in the business plus interacting with the fans in the extended Q&A portion of the show. Plus, it will be my first time to visit Wales and Scotland.Bottom line is that tickets are selling rapidly and if you have an interest in being at one of these intimate shows just, just check out http://www.psievents.eventbrite.com/http://www.americansoda.co.uk will be at each event selling JR's BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup and Main Event Mustard.Are you following me on Twitter @JRsBBQ? I wish that you would. There is a great deal of follow up mostly likely scheduled for Monday Night Raw this week based on what has transpired over the past couple of episodes since Payback on PPV. I am curious to see how several storylines are forwarded.Thanks for stopping by and remember to hit the Q&A section before you leave the site. Boomer Sooner!J.R.