Thanks for stopping by and I hope that where ever you are that it's cooler there than it is here in Oklahoma where the temps topped 100 degrees for the umpteenth day in a row. Nonetheless it's good to be home so let's get to it.
I had a great weekend in the Indianapolis area that included spending some time with our former neighbors here in Norman, Indiana University head football coach Kevin Wilson and his family, on Sunday. Got a nice tour of the IU football facilities, saw their beautiful campus and met some members of the Hoosier football staff. It was a super Sunday reconnecting with old friends and talking a little football in Bloomington. We hope to return for Kevin's Hoosier official home opener against Virginia week two of the season.
It's always a rush to get back in the environment that I am most comfortable and that's the world of WWE on 'game day' aka the day of a live, TV shoot. The energy level is infectious the day of a live show and hard to replicate. It's a significant part of my DNA and I'm happy to be back working on Monday Night Raw.
Before Monday, it had been three years, 2008, since I had broadcast a full, two hour MNR.
Three man announce teams are challenging no matter the talents involved or the product in which they are broadcasting. Now that King, Cole and I have gotten our collective feet wet, things will naturally evolve.
This week we hit San Jose for Raw which is the last MNR prior to Summer Slam in Los Angeles. I expect business to pick up in San Jose in more ways than one.
WWE has big plans for LA including two days of Summer Slam Axxess the weekend of the PPV. Don't forget that if you attend Axxess that you can buy autographed bottles of J.R.'s BBQ Sauce and Beef Jerky at the WWE Merchandise Stand there.
John Cena and CM Punk meet in the Raw main event at Summer Slam to determine the undisputed WWE Champion and I'm anxious to see how they follow the match that they had in Chicago at MITB where Punk won. The Staples Center crowd will be challenged to rise to the occasion as the hometown crowd did for Punk that helped make the MITB match so memorable.
BTW I talked to @steveaustinBSR today and we will be narrating, I think, three bouts that the 'Rattlesnake' has selected for his new DVD. I'm not sure of what bouts that we will be doing but I think that they will all be Wrestlemania bouts. Steve and I will be attempting to provide a very unique perspective to the fans regarding the mindset, strategy, emotions, etc of these big match moments. I'm really looking forward to doing this project and hopefully getting a peek at the rough cut of the DVD which I think is going to be exceptional.
We've gotten many questions over the past week or so......
Why do so many wrestlers 'bash' others on line? Politics exist in all walks of life including Washington DC and the on going debacles there and in wrestling. These grappling gripes, etc aren't new. My first day in a wrestling locker room in 1974 one could easily see different alliances, diverse agendas, rampant jealousy, etc. Things aren't that much different today except that there is a much bigger format for the disgruntled to utilize called the internet.
What do I think of William Regal heading a faction of Europeans? Interesting and like any other idea the success is all in the execution. Regal is a very talented man and if any one could pull off such a matter it would be the Blackpool, England native.
For those that live in the OKC area and have asked for a good BBQ joint to try I'd suggest Ray's Smokehouse in Norman on Lindsey Street just west of the football stadium about a mile or so. My friend Darrell Ray and his family own and run Ray's. Darrell was a great defensive back for OU back in the day as well as for the New York Jets.
Is Mark Henry PG? I'd say absolutely. Aggression can exceed PG, obviously, but I don't recall seeing any thing that the World's Strongest Man has done that has taken physicality 'over the line.' Henry's recent positioning on Smackdown has impressed me as being sound utilization of the veterans skill set.
Do I remember the two out of three fall match in New Orleans between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat? Absolutely! It's a match that I would suggest any true fan examine. It was beautifully executed even while the broadcast was terribly mistimed for TV. My broadcast partner that evening was Terry Funk which brought the total to four, WWE Hall of Famers involved in the presentation. Steamboat winning a fall via submission was a shocker...at least to me it was. Any young wrestler who wants to study the art of the squared circle would be well served to watch this match multiple times.
Can wrestlers under six feet tall be main event stars in today's world. My answer is, without a doubt. Is it more challenging to get recognized or 'discovered' if one doesn't have the desired size? Yes. However dozens of greats did not stand six feet tall including Buddy Rogers, Bruno Sammartino, Dick the Bruiser, Dynamite Kid, and about 100 or more others that one could name. Those men had 'it' and 'it' can't be measured by one's height.
Will Wrestlemania ever be held at Yankee Stadium? Wow...that would be cool but performing outdoors in New York at the end of March might be a little brisk as it relates to the weather. I am not a huge fan of outdoor, mega events simply because of Mother Nature and her unstoppable influences. No, I haven't forgotten that WM28 will be outdoors in Miami on April 1, 2012 which one hopes will be a beautiful, warm, dry South Florida night.
What was Yokozuna like 'behind the scenes?' Ge was a glib, entertaining guy with a quick sense of humor. Yoko had the best timing of any super heavyweight that I've ever seen and before his weight got the better of him the former WWE Champion was uncanny inside the ring for a man of his size. Yokozuna was an amazing 'attraction' who WWE did a masterful job of marketing back in the day. I enjoyed working with the late, Samoan star and wish that he could have controlled his weight issues which lead to his untimely passing.
Does WWE have a 'deal' with ROH? I don't know what type of 'deal' the inquiring person was inferring to but I know of zero 'deals' between the companies. For the record, I wish ROH great success and am anxious to see what type of product that they produce and the stars that they develop.
Will I accept ideas from fans who want to contribute to creative? No. I am not involved in that process and legally there are loads of legal issues in this process. If you want to contribute ideas for BBQ product development or Jerky flavors, then throw them our way.
Will our on line store re-open any time soon. No. We are working exclusively with WWE Shop at this time to distribute all our BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup, Beef Jerky and Main Event Mustard via http://www.wweshop.com/Category.JimRoss. WWEShop efficiently ships orders worldwide as our brand continues to grow with them fulfilling the orders and marketing the family brand. We will likely resume selling personally autographed JR's Cookbooks in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, mailing costs are so ridiculous that these books will likely only be available in the States.
Big week for yours truly as OU Football practice stars this week with the Sooners going EARLY in the mornings due to the crazy heat here. Then it's off to San Jose for Monday Night Raw. Thanks, again, for stopping by and for those of you who are supporting our efforts with our family of products at http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss.