Cold, blustery day here in Norman, Oklahoma and I'm pleased that you stopped by for a visit. This is the 4th blog that I've written this week plus all the Q&A's are updated here on the site. Check them out as they won't put you over the fiscal cliff. Kickoff time....
Very excited to be heading to Houston later this weekend for the 20th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw that will be held in Houston which is a sold out event.
Raw was the TV foundation that WWE was built upon and I'm thankful that I was at the right place at the right time to be able to contribute to some of MNR's biggest years. Without question, appearing on Raw live every Monday night for many, many years was huge for my career.
According to the New York Post, Mick Foley is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night April 6 in Madison Square Garden. Being the natural word smith that he is, I'm betting that Mick will steal the show at the speaker's podium. I've heard Mick's stand up comedy act and he's as entertaining on stage as he was becoming the "Hardcore Legend."
While on a dysfunctional committee in WCW, not bragging about that distinction by the way, I lobbied hard to get the man then known as Cactus Jack hired in Atlanta. Mick's uniqueness and tireless work ethic was evident and I felt that he just needed to be cast in the right light with the opponents with who he had some chemistry and the rest would take care of itself. I originally wanted Mick to come to WCW to have an extended rivalry with Sting.
Getting Mick hired in WWE after I became head of Talent Relations was somewhat more challenging but at the end of the day we signed Mick and he, along with Vince McMahon, recreated himself with the Mankind persona. We did a sit down interview where I spoke with Mankind and did it in one take at the WWE TV studios and it turned out to be one of my fondest memories even though I 'suffered' at the hands of the deadly mandible claw. I've since recovered from the hold's after affects and Mick has gone on to headline major PPV's, main event arenas around the world, lose part of an ear, both front teeth, become a multi time, New York Times Best Selling author, standup comedian and tireless volunteer for many amazing charity organizations. Along the way Mick has continued to do what he has always done best and that is to be a loving and supportive father and husband.
Sometimes a talent is hired to bring a positive influence into a locker room that's either dotted with youth or by those who enjoy traveling on the wrong side of the road a little too much. That's one reason that I wanted Mick in our locker room back when we hired him but I also knew that hiring Mick was akin to hiring a kid who grew up in Bronx joining the New York Yankees. Being in WWE was Mick's lifelong, wrestling dream and I'm thankful that I was in a position to help Mick, aka Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy, with the opportunity to accomplish amazing feats while in WWE.
One of my biggest career regrets was being Ill with a Bells palsy attack and not being there to call Mick's first WWE Title win.
Plus, the Foley-HHH rivalry was one of the most intense and memorable wrestling rivalries that I've called in my entire career.
Anxious to see what form that @TheRock and @CMPunk engage one another this Monday in Houston on Raw as they continue to build to what seems to be a potentially lucrative Royal Rumble in Phoenix. The challenge of all great talents, and the truly great one's relish this, is to top what they did last week. Some individuals are born to be main event talents because they love the pressure to excel and to get better with each outing. Some talented guys over the years and likely even on today's WWE roster might not be wired to handle the pressure of being "the top guy."
In an ideal world, one wants to have a roster loaded with "top talents" all of who want to be THE GUY. That scenario is easier to write about than it is to accomplish but that's always the ultimate goal of any smart promotion....don't become one dimensional and keep an open mind when it comes to competition of the coveted top spots.
When Steve Austin was largely pulling the wagon on Raw during large portions of the Attitude Era, Steve knew that there were several, talented men who wanted his "spot." The competitive Rock was among those talents who desired to be 'the man.' That's why I feel certain that this Rock-Punk scenario will be compelling TV for as long as it lasts. Both men are prideful, have defiant confidence, totally believe in themselves and have immense skill. It's a legit competition...just as it should be.
Really enjoyed the latest edition of Friday Night Smackdown with Alberto Del Rio @VivaDelRio winning the World Title from the Big Show. Of course, the addition of Rock and CM Punk along with Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle did not hurt a thing either. Seemed like @JCLayfield and @WWEJoshMathews were on their game as well. One thing about JBL, if one isn't ready to bring their 'A' Game one will be exposed quickly.
Some on Twitter @JRsBBQ asking if I think that @TheRock will wrestle on TV prior to challenging @CMPunk for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. 1. I don't know. 2. That would not be the play that I'd play it out. I don't see the logic in Rock having a match prior to the Phoenix Rumble.
Seeing a major title change hands, Smackdown Friday night, on a non PPV was refreshing. @SteveaustinBSR won three WWE Titles on Raw broadcasts while Rock and HHH each won two. You can't convince me that the biggest, TV audience available seeing things such as this didn't help further establish the aforementioned stars.
I'm asked daily who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and my truthful answer is always the same...I don't know. I don't need to know and I enjoy being surprised which apparently many fans now days don't. Attending the event live is one of my favorite events of any kind to enjoy the entire year. This year with it being in Madison Square Garden it will be especially memorable no matter who is inducted.
@JerryLawler, Mean Gene Okerlund and i are doing a special, first time ever, 90 minute Q&A near Milwaukee on Friday February 22 at the Northern Lights Theater. Tickets are on sale at the Northern Lights box office and at Ticketmaster. Tickets start at only $20 but are moving fast.
Big time NFL action this weekend as the pros start bearing down and playing for even more bigger money and fame. Plus, their playoff performances enhance future earnings which is obviously paramount to the vast majority of the players. Guys like Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis have their money, their legacies, and their HOF qualifications fulfilled and want to win a Super Bowl. Hell, everyone wants to win a Super Bowl but my take is that most players want the ring AND the cash that it creates. None of this is an indictment or a crime but simply the way that I perceive today's NFL.
I like Denver in the cold to run their hurry up offense, limit the Ravens defensive substitutions in thin air and win at home. Thought the spread would be more than 8.5 which has me scratching my head as Vegas usually has inside info. (Do they know the game's booker?) Ravens older, fighting war horses will be game but the hurry up, a rested Denver team, playing at home and with Manning at the helm seems too much for a Ravens team with an emotional hangover on a short week with lots of travel.
The key to the Packers-49ers game is Green Bay protecting QB Aaron Rodgers from a nasty, $2 steak tough San Fran pass rush. I like SF at home but not enough to bet a bottle of JR's BBQ Sauce on it. Rodgers gets hot and the Pack win a challenging road game and avenge an early season loss at home to 49ers. But I hang my hat on SF to win a nail biter.
Atlanta should win at home but many are doubting the Falcons toughness and ability to win a high stakes playoff game. That should PO the Dirty Birds but can they handle the Seattle defense and the uncanny abilities of rookie QB @DangRussellWilson? I picked Seattle earlier in the week and will stay with that pick even though the Falcons playing indoors and on turf at home should have the upper hand. I need to see Atlanta win to fully invest in them and I've seen Seattle on the road be successful. My pick is surging Seattle.
Last game of the weekend is Houston at New England. This will be closer than the week 14 ass whipping trip to the woodshed that the Pats laid on the Texans but picking against Tom Brady at home in the playoffs if about as smart as trying to get Paul Heyman to pick up the check at dinner. Pats win in Foxboro but if they don't then the early season Texans are back and thoroughly in the hunt to win the big one. Pats win Sunday.
Our business partners in Manchester, England @americansoda are now fully stocked with JR's products that include, in a package, personally signed, limited edition, trading cards that I've provided them. Every card legit signed by me. Check them out as they ship throughout the UK and Eurpose plus they have our goods in some of their American Candy stores.
Our business at WWESHop.com is growing well thanks to many of your support. visit the site as it changes regularly with a variety of specials at http://www.wweshop.com. Easy online shopping that will get you all our products delivered right to your front door.
Entertaining an offer to come to England to do three, one night stands in London, Manchester and Birmingham that would include some storytelling, motivational elements and an extended Q&A plus an opportunity to do a meet and greet. We might even have American Soda there to have some JR's products on hand. Details to work out but I will keep everyone posted.
Thanks again for stopping by and please let folks know about our website and how to acquire JR's family of products.