Lovely day here in Oklahoma and a busy one at that. Recording a Ross Report Podcast with Gail Kim later this evening for a future show. With lots to do let's cease burning the daylight....
Birmingham RAW Thoughts....
Solid show...enjoyed the tournament to determine a #1 contender for the IC Title as a tourney is a perfect format for episodic TV. It also gave some much overdue attention to the IC Title which has gotten tepid, at best, and hasn't done much for Big E Langston since he won the title. Hopefully these are all positive steps seen on RAW to reposition the once prized championship.
No stinkers in the tournament and felt that Barrett vs. Ziggler was especially good. Even though the match was 'cold' the two men were fighting for something which anyone watching could understand and relate to. Plus, Barrett has many of the necessary villain traits necessary to be a villain in today's TV Wrestling world that most of his peers don't exhibit.
Simple fact is that if heels don't cheat to gain an unfair advantage and manipulate the rules, of which many have been eliminated or neutered, they are not heels.
The subtle nuances of being a main event level villain in pro wrestling are being either ignored or simply not focused on in today's TV wrestling world. Too many antagonists would rather be 'cool' that to be truly disliked. It has never been harder in my lifetime to be a pro wrestling villain than it is today and that's not a good thing.
For those that think that there is essentially no line that exists between good and evil, I'd suggest that those that share that philosophy are out of touch with reality. Perceived good and evil still exists in our world but don't take my word for it...just watch the news or read the newspaper and that goes for no matter where you live.
RVD returning for another stint in WWE is always a good thing and his match with Alberto Del Rio started the IC Title off nicely.
Not sure why as a fan I should dislike Cesaro and it can't be simply because he's aligned himself with Paul Heyman. Cesaro simply outwrestles people and is damned impressive while doing it. Some of Cesaro's matches down in NXT the last year or so were better than anyone on RAW was having at the time.
Enjoying the work and the potential of the Rusev/Lana duo. Rusev has excellent athleticism and flexibility especially for a 300 pounder. Lana is unique and her Russian accent is new money.
The small amount of mic time that Damien Sandow was provided helped him further establish that he is an annoying, obnoxious antagonist. Simple formula if the talents can pull it off and Sandow can.
Significant heat going off the air on The Shield who were outnumbered and eliminated by a cast of thousands and then decimated by the reunited Evolution. Certainly sets up a nice match at Extreme Rules between Evolution and the Shield.
The Ultimate Warrior Tribute was nicely done by WWE as it is still hard to believe that the controversial performer passed away just a week ago after his triumphant return to WWE at WM30 weekend.
The last time that I was in Birmingham, Alabama was to attend an Oklahoma at Alabama football game and to enjoy Dreamland BBQ before broadcasting RAW in B-Ham and attending Smackdown in Huntsville. Where does the time go?
Seems like TNA is signing their core talents whose contracts are either up or in need of revising. WWE has seemingly made it clear that they have no interest in Impact talents and will instead reply on their Performance Center for their future stars. However, with Jeff Jarrett preparing to launch another promotion it makes sense for TNA to be proactive.
Remember this, and this can't be over thought, the key to any wrestling promotion is talent and television meaning one must have a core of meaningful talent that can 'get over' and relate to the audience and a strong TV presence that the masses can find and on a network where they regularly watch other programming and not just the wrestling show.
Tickets for our first ever Canadian show, RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross are on sale now at ticketmaster.ca for Friday May 9 in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall. VIP Meet and Greet tickets are limited and the M&G with autograph and photo ops will take place before the show. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9 and we will be doing one show only. JR's products will also be available for purchase at our event as well. This is our biggest venue to date but I'm confident that, as usual, the Canadian fans will come through.
Our T Shirt biz is growing at http://prowrestlingtees.com and there are several designs and in all sizes. Worldwide shipping is available for all shirts. Check out the site...looking is FREE.
Grilling season is rapidly approaching and JR's products await with easy, safe and efficient online shopping at wweshop.com, americansoda.co.uk and beyondtheropes.co.uk.
Talked to both Cowboy Bill Watts and Tony Schiavone Monday about coming on future Ross Report Podcasts. We're working on the schedules now. ESPN's Robert Flores goes live on the Ross Report later today. RoFlo is a life long fan who grew up on Paul Boesch's Houston Wrestling and has never missed watching a WrestleMania. It's a great listen and provides a unique prospective from a world class broadcaster especially if any one is interested in that facet of the wrestling biz. You can download my podcasts for free at podcastone.com and via iTunes. I really enjoyed visiting with Robert and think that you will enjoy our conversation.
Thanks for stopping by and always remember that our tomorrow's aren't guaranteed. Embrace your day!