JR talks NFLPA, NXT, Axel/Heyman, Austin Podcast, UFC 160, JR's Products Available Online
Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all and a special thanks to all the members of the Armed Forces who have bravely served to protect their respective countries. It takes a special individual to make the sacrifices that so many have made in protecting our freedoms. Now, Let's Grill! Busy week for yours truly and for someone who many that follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ think doesn't even work for the WWE any longer. I flew to Washington , D.C. Tuesday evening and met with the NFLPA on Wednesday morning. It was a productive meeting as the NFLPA group is in contact with literally hundreds of high level athletes who become detached from the NFL and are looking for their next career opportunity. Obviously, not every former football player will fit into WWE Developmental but some will and those that do have a chance to use their God given athleticism and their extroverted personalities to fit into the system and hopefully become WWE stars some day. Over the years, the wrestling business has been dotted with stars who have had a football background including Bronko Nagurski who was a former NWA Champion and is a member of the NFL's inaugural Hall of Fame class. Some critics say that WWE is making a mistake going this route to which I wholeheartedly disagree. We are looking for athletes who have outgoing personalities and who are fans of the genre of sports entertainment and who WANT to become WWE Superstars. Great athletes who don't have any emotional investment in the world of sports entertainment need not apply.The great thing about a former NFL player, no matter their level of league experience, is that we know that we are getting an athlete of a high level and their pedigree and background can be thoroughly checked to make sure that it's a good 'marriage.' There are literally scores of talented, educated young men who have lived their football dreams and are now ready to embark on another career course. If we are successful matching athleticism with the necessary aptitude of a given talent, then WWE and its fanbase wins. Time will tell how this potential arrangement works out for all involved but WWE will continue to look far and wide for potential WWE talents including other sports groups and organizations worldwide, the independent wrestling circuit, and beyond.Thanks to all for their kind wishes during the Oklahoma tornados of last week. We had two within minutes of our home Sunday and Monday and were blessed to not incur any additional damage to our home. The Easter Sunday hail storm did plenty of damage to our place but we aren't complaining considering that many folks just up the road from us about 5 minutes away lost everything that they had.Productive night Thursday in Winter Park, Florida at NXT. Four, one hour shows were put in the can and all were solid efforts. It's obvious that several talents are getting closer and closer to being called up. Seemingly Bray Wyatt is on the cusp of another, great opportunity and I think the 3rd generation athlete has found a perfect TV persona. He's a big man with the rare, second gear and has great acceleration when it's required. Plus, Bray Wyatt has dropped some weight which makes him even quicker and will help his long term health.No NXT talent needs to debut until there is a viable plan for them to enter either RAW or Smackdown. Patience, of which doesn't exist in abundance in our business with talents or fans, must be exercised. Enjoyed traveling to Salt Lake City Friday for HBK Appreciation Night. It was my first non, televised WWE appearance in years. Hopefully, I get to make more in the future. I haven't been able to listen to my appearance on the latest Steve Austin Podcast but I've gotten a great deal of positive feedback on it. Part two airs this Tuesday and @steveaustinBSR will have all the details as the podcasts can be found at ITunes. Steve is a natural in this forum. Really enjoyed UFC160 Saturday night on PPV. Great lineup of fights that looked good on paper and then delivered inside the Octagon from start to finish. Trust me, sometimes booking can look great on paper and then proceed to soil the sheets, as I can personally attest. This was a defining PPV in many ways for several fighters who stepped up to earn more relevance and put themselves "in the hunt" than they were before entering the Octagon last night. The international flavor of the UFC audience in Vegas was impressive as were a few, new production elements. Nice, organic way to get Ronda Rousey on the show in the "Vegas" promo. Amazed that Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg stood so tall after an approximate five hour broadcast where the most important things that they do all day came at the very end of their day. Bravo to both. I'd like to see an occasional pre fight interview on the UFC PPV's and still feel that having a voiceover talent handle the video packages gives Goldberg a break and keeps him more special. There might even be a former fighter whose voice could be utilized for the read. The WWE APP will come in handy Monday night when the Bret Hart Appreciation Day Ceremony will air after RAW from Calgary. I hope all goes well as I have a deep appreciation for @BretHart contributions to our business and respect him greatly as a man and consider the Hitman valued friend. It's amazing the feedback that I have received on Curtis Axel since he aligned himself with Paul Heyman last Monday night on Raw. The feedback as ran the gambit of skepticism, cynicism, to outright joy. All I know is that the young man has been working very hard, he steered the course and never gave up on his dream to become a star in WWE just as his father, Mr. Perfect, did years ago. Old school fans also remember that Larry "The Ax" Hennig was a huge star in the AWA for years as well. I know this...Curtis Axel will do all that he can to elevate to the next level and at the end of the day that's all a talent can do. Even if that means working through creative plans that some fans don't like. Curtis is a big, athletic kid who is tough and who has been aligned with Paul Heyman who can be a tremendous asset to the Perfect son. @HeymanHustle has a skill set that is a lost art in today's genre.Curtis Axel's match quality down in NXT turned heads and helped facilitate the young man's current status. I suggest giving this new, paring of Axel & Heyman a chance before all the fortune tellers and wresstling savants immerse us with what's going to happen in the future. Remember that you can get JR's BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup, Main Event Mustard, All Purpose Seasoning/Dry Rub and Beef Jerky delivered to your front door by visiting http://www.wweshop.com. Now is a great time to stock up on all our products which makes any grilling session that much better. Don't forget Father's Day! Also in Manchester, England you will find JR's at http://www.americansoda.co.uk and they do a great job of taking care of their customers and have some great offers awaiting you. They ship to UK, Ireland and Europe quickly and efficiently. A massive list of Q&A's have been updated elsewhere here on the site with lots of new reading material. Feel free to submit your questions there, too. Thanks for stopping by and I invite you to follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ.Boomer Sooner!J.R.