Thanks for dropping by as it's been a great week and business has definitely picked up! We are staying busy in our store and folks are smart to get their orders in now to avoid any shipping issues going into the holidays. We hope to have the new, J.R.'s Main Event Mustard, a jalapeño honey mustard in stock the first week of January.
I had a great time Monday in Hershey, even though I did not indulge in any chocolate, especially when seeing many old friends, acquaintances, and all the great, WWE TV crew guys and gals that I have worked with over the years.
We all stayed at the 'vintage' Crown Plaza hotel in downtown Harrisburg as I arrived on Sunday evening and left Monday morning. The hotel bar, which was virtually barren of 'outsiders' (No, I'm not talking about Hall and Nash) but civilians, was the meeting place for many of the Legends. Just like in telling fishing stories, the first 'liar' didn't stand a chance.
The call time for every one to be at the arena Monday was 1 p.m. as I understand it which means that many Legends were there over 10 hours which is a long day in anyone's book, young or not so young. However, WWE did have some awesome catering so eating essentially what one wanted and when one wanted it seemed to be in vogue. Nothing soothes the 'savage beast' or weary traveler like plenty of good groceries.
Approximately 15-20 minutes prior to the Legends being brought back out and being introduced to the live audience, I would suggest that most of the Legends were taking a much needed siesta in the Legend's holding area which was stocked with comfortable couches and chairs and was perfect for napping. I walked by prior to going out to call my match and got a chuckle when peaking into the special area and seeing so many famous wrestling folks sound asleep. Hell, it was past many of their bedtimes.
WWE extended every courtesy to the Legends and it certainly seemed like they all had a good time and enjoyed their 'Old School' experience.
Even though I felt that I was a little rusty on commentary, I had a super time working with King and being back at ringside. It's hard to simply walk away from something that's in one's DNA and that has been such a prominent part of one's life for four decades. It had been 13 months since I last called a wrestling bout but after listening to the show after I arrived home on Tuesday it seemed to go o.k. I've never called a perfect bout and likely never will be the goal is always be work diligently to be better the next time than one was the last time. Finding or residing in one's comfort zone is the kiss of death.
Lots of fans have sent me emails and Tweets, @JRsBBQ, regarding Michael Cole's performance during the Swagger-Bryan bout and be assured that Michael was simply doing his job and embellishing upon his new, antagonist persona. There are no issues here I can assure you. If I helped folks dislike Cole's new persona then I accomplished one objective it would seem.
George 'The Animal' Steele conveyed to me the recent experience that he had at an indy show where he inadvertently was the recipient of a moonsault on the floor at ringside. You can see it on You Tube and it's at first, scary as hell but then upon further review it gets pretty damn funny. "The Animal' said it was the first 'bump' that he ever took. Check it out.
Jimmy Snuka wore flip flops even though it was cold and rainy in Harrisburg. Always in character, brudah.
Dusty Rhodes got to see his two sons, Dustin and Cody at the Old School event. Quite the pre-tape, huh? Cody flew from Turkey to Kennedy Airport in NYC to Harrisburg via private aircraft to be a part of that backstage scene. Now THAT'S a long day. Dusty and I were in seats 8 C&D on a small, Delta flight from Harrisburg to Atlanta Tuesday morning flying into a 150 mile per hour headwind. We got to know each other even better and certainly filled up our two, small seats even though they were in the exit row. Dusty is still a great story teller and has so much natural charisma. He's apparently working on a book regarding him growing up in East Austin, Texas which I would love to read. The Dream is also a fan of our Beef Jerky for the record and to make a not so subtle plug for our products. It is the giving season, right?
I bought a copy of Tony Atlas new book, he charged me twenty bucks, but I haven't started reading it yet. He told a fan that it wasn't a book that kids should read. Tony lived in some interesting times and was pushed too hard too soon when he came into the biz. His physical look and ethnicity made him extremely unique during his era of prominence. From what I have seen in scanning the book, Tony holds nothing back in telling his story. 'Atlas' is available on line. I pulled the old, "Got change for a hundred" line on Tony after he wanted $20 for his book and damned if he didn't have it. Seriously, I was happy to pay him for his efforts plus he signed the book for me, too.
Roddy Piper arguably did more in his brief albeit impactful time on Raw to promote the Survivor Series main event of Orton vs. Barrett w/ Cena as the special referee than anyone has done on Raw or elsewhere since the storyline began. Awesome job by Piper who can still be 'money.' Roddy looked better than I have seen him in years and has made some important, life style changes that were evident when speaking with him and subsequently watching him perform. In my opinion, Roddy Piper stole the show Monday at Raw. FYI, Roddy's son Colt is still actively pursuing a career as a MMA fighter of which has my interest. Keep an eye out for Colt Toombs.
It's hard to examine the Survivor Series main event and not see Wade Barrett, as hard as it may be for some to believe, not leaving Miami as the new WWE Champion Sunday on PPV.
In a recent Q&A, I wanted to attempt to convey how important it is for young talents to make positive and impactful impressions when performing at a pay per view event. No matter the circumstances, an opportunity it an opportunity and they don't come along every day. PT (playing time) comes in all increments and every one involved in the process must take their ops seriously and deliver the goods. I had hoped to make that point during the Swagger-Bryan match but that likely did not come across. Big time players in the NFL know how important, as a rule, Sundays are, and WWE performers must understand the same thing. Sunday is 'payday' and the one day of the week, without fail, that bell to bell in particular one needs to be on their A game. This is w/o exception or excuses.
I think that one of the things that made my cameo on Raw work was the fact that it was a true surprise and wasn't plastered all over the internet in the 'spoilers.' We had an emailer or two that said I was "Matt Haryding" (What ever that is) our customers for not proclaiming that I would be at Raw and that I unscrupulously denied that I was going to be a part of the proceedings multiple times. I do remember not responding to the numerous questions about being at 'Old School' but don't recall incessantly writing that I wouldn't be there. I was questioned that "how can we believe you when you tell us your products are good if you did not tell us you were going to be a surprise guest on Raw?" What?! I think that surprise means surprise and that's what was asked of me by those that pay my salary. Come on, man! :)
The Q&A's are updated again this week as of Thursday lunch time here in Oklahoma, no jokes please as some might perceive that it's always lunch time for yours truly and that would be somewhat accurate, and an interesting question was about the pacing of today's bouts. In general, many wrestlers perform at too fast a pace which doesn't allow for many of the spectacular things that they do execute to be appreciated and absorbed. I'm not advocating holding someone in a headlock for multiple minutes or the time honored reverse chin lock that seemingly never ends, but most of today's in ring performers would be generally well served to slow down just a little to allow what they do to be acknowledged. It's akin to a stand up comedian telling a joke and then starting joke number two before joke number one is processed by the audience and they have a chance to laugh at #1 or not.
The A&E TV special on Hulk Hogan that aired Wednesday night was well produced and told a provocative story. I thought the editing and the general story telling of the one hour show was nicely done. A&E seems to have a real handle on reality shows/documentaries as 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels' is one of my favorite shows on TV. My wife can't understand why I watch 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' on occasion and I honestly can't give her an intelligent answer other than it's light fare and easy to watch. Plus, I find it funny at times as Dog reminds me of several wrestlers that I have known over the years. But I digress.
BTW....Oklahoma native Mae Young told me that she debuted in the biz in 1939 and was pretty definitive about it. She also told me the time that as a kid growing up in in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs that she took on women's legend Mildred Burke, who was close with Promoter Lee Roy McGuirk, and 'woman handled' the powerful and famous Burke which got Johnny Mae noticed by wrestling promoters. I still say that 'Queen of the Ring' by Jeff Leen is one of the best books that I have ever read. It's the story of Mildred Burke and the amazing life that so many involved in the monopoly of promoting women's wrestling lead back in the day. It's like an R rated version of 'League of their Own.' BTW when Johnny Mae saw Mean Gene Monday she nailed him in the bread basket with a stiff right hand just for the helluva it and then laughed. At 89, I think, Mae's still an amazing woman. If she indeed started her career in 1939, then Mae Young has performed in NINE decades. Now that's amazing.
Business has been amazing this week as orders are pouring into our store here on the site. We think that our family recipe, delicious products will make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. If you need a gift for a teacher, friend, business associate, wrestling fan, etc then give us a shot. We have packages starting at under $10. Again, we hope to have the new, JR's Main Event Mustard in stock around December 1.
Busy weekend with the Sooners traveling to Waco to play another dangerous road game this time against Baylor, UFC on PPV Saturday night, and the Survivor Series on PPV on Sunday from Miami, Florida. Our TV and DVR will be working OT.
I have no future WWE gigs planned at the announce table but had a great time Monday night and I'm still very appreciative of so many folks sending us emails and Tweets (@JRsBBQ) regarding my 'drive by' in Hershey. As I said, hooking back up with The King was fun and felt like old times. I don't know if my broadcasting style plays well in today's sports entertainment marketplace but irregardless I appreciate WWE providing me the opportunity to get back on the horse, so to speak, for one more ride.
I am a blessed man and have enjoyed a wonderful week. Now....if the Sooners could just win a road game....