It's scorching here in Oklahoma and we picked a dandy time for home improvement projects so this will be a busy week. Happy to be home from my first WWE road trip since last October and to get back into a little sauce, ketchup, beef jerky and cookbook biz. Here's some random thoughts:
It was great seeing old friends at the Fatal 4 Way Sunday. These are crazy days and not overly condusive to long, leisurely discussions but it was a good day nonetheless.
Enjoyed visiting with the various broadcasters in WWE prior to the PPV and hope that I can offer them some help as time goes on at future PPV events.
Honestly, it was tough being at a big event and watching it from the locker room area and not being at ringside wearing a headset. It's not so bad at home in the old, La-Z-Boy but being at the actual site and not seeing any action is challenging for an old warhorse like me. Joey Styles kept me company and I enjoyed watching the majority of the PPV with the voice of ECW Wrestling. There's just a touch of irony in that last sentence one might say.
I had lunch Sunday in catering at the arena with John Cena and it was nice to catch up with John who is a Tweeting a fair amount these days. I Tweeted a great deal over the weekend and you can follow me there at http://twitter.com/JRsBBQ.
Catering is the common meeting area for all the WWE personnel during these PPV and TV days so one can see virtually every one there over the course of a hour or two. I found myself talking to many young talents who generally wanted to know my opinion of their in -ring work and if I had any suggestions for them. I'm hesitant to give too much specific advice as it relates to in ring work so as to not conflict with what these younger talents are being told to do by others who are paid to do this function. Too much advice can be a negative as it's often times confusing. I do enjoy the mentoring aspect of these talents and generally spend more time talking to them about financial planning, long term goals, professionalism, etc.
Helping young talents get better in and out of the ring especially preparing for a challenging and often times short career in the genre are aspects that excite me about my monthly visits to FCW in Tampa.
Thought that Chris Jericho and Even Bourne had two great days of in ring action. Their match at the Fatal 4 Way was my favorite contest on the PPV while their match on Raw Monday night was excellent as well. Jericho is hard to beat in today's business as an all around performer as he certainly seems to me to be at the top of his game. Bourne has a definitive upside, has a unique skill set along with being a bright, professional young man who knows how to conduct himself. Evan Bourne is also the type of young man in which any company should want to invest.
Chris Jericho's new ABC game show debuts Tuesday night at 8 central time. Chris and I had a good visit Sunday night and he is very excited about the potential of the ABC project and felt as if it went well as he shot all 6 episodes last week.
There were fans in the hotel lobby, or so I was told by hotel staff Monday morning, until 3 a.m. and many of them had their children with them. School age children sitting in a hotel lobby until the middle of the night hoping to get an autograph or a photo with a WWE talent. I realize that school is out for the summer but I have a hard time buying into the fact that small kids were sitting in a hotel lobby trying to stay awake when they should have been at home in their own beds. Most of the WWE folks traveled on to Bridgeport after the PPV and some even toward new Hampshire so unfortunately many of the lobby dwelling, autograph seekers had to settle for the King and I who had dinner together there at the Marriott next to the Coliseum. King and I did meet some really nice fans after the PPV and appreciate them caring enough to want a photo or an autograph.
I was asked two questions over and over and had no answer to either. 1. When are you coming back to work on the air? 2. What happened to Daniel Bryan? I felt like Sgt Schultz of the Hogan Hero's TV classic, "I know nothing!!"
Our Facebook site is really growing and you're invited to join. Dennis Brent is fantastic at helping me with that venture and you can participate at http://facebook.dj/jrbbq/.
While you're keeping track of addresses my WWE Blogs are easy to find at http://fans.wwecom/jimrossblog.
I've got to go on line and look at the new, four door Porsche that Pat Patterson just bought. I always enjoy visiting with Pat who is spending the summer in his native Montreal.
For Greg Price's massive, NWA Fan Convention/gathering in August in Charlotte of which I'm going to attend for the first time, we are thinking about bringing some signed bottles of Sauce. How do you think they would sell? If Greg and I get enough positive feedback on this subject we may pull the trigger on it as it's a chore getting every thing signed and then shipped from Oklahoma to North Carolina.
Monday Night Raw was more entertaining to me, as a fan/viewer, than was the Fatal 4 Way PPV. I thought Raw was really a solid outing throughout the two hours. Some have said that I have an ill advised, unhealthy mindset of enjoying seeing Mr. McMahon get physically dissected as he was by the NXT guys as Raw went off the air. (Apparently others in the locker room area felt the same.) Seriously, Raw was a really good show and I especially liked the elements featuring Randy Orton, Miz, Edge, Natalya vs. Tamina (Both have the heritage that I like and are both physical albeit 'green'), the aforementioned Jericho-Bourne match and the addressing of the new, anonymous General Manager (nice idea) along with furthering the TV development of the 7 NXT wrestlers. Pretty loaded night with a great deal of new info and the potential for several plot twists in the upcoming weeks.
I've already been emailed by many fans of this site that they 'KNOW' that I'm the anonymous General Manager and some even gave me a litany of reasons as to why. What, me bitter?!
My PG blog got plenty of feedback of which I'm sure that many of you have read. Bottom line is that I'm not going to debate those that are spending way too much time thinking about WWE's TV rating of PG. I used to fixate and internalize about things that I had zero control over and that mindset did me no favors. I have no issue with the PG rating as I 've stated but even if I didn't I couldn't change a thing. In my opinion, it's all about media and market perception, making big time advertisers happy/comfortable, earning new money from companies that won't invest in edgy TV products, and enhancing the family viewing experience.
We are working on a couple of new projects outside the WWE envelope. Still waiting for a few I's to be dotted and T's crossed. One looks like a slam dunk while the other, which has the potential to be big, is moving along but not near a resolution at this time.
Counting down the days until we head to Las Vegas for the Lesnar-Carwin UFC mega event. What a way to spend the 4th of July weekend. However, I have to mention that Shane Carwin needs a 'how to verbally sell a PPV coach.' After hearing Evans and Rampage rant and rave for several weeks, one can't expect Lesnar and Carwin to continue down that road for the simple reason that Brock and his challenger are athletic adversaries and have no lingering, personal issues with each other like Rashard Evans and Rampage Jackson had/have. With that said, it will be a battle of the bulls when the UFC Heavyweight Title is decided in a fight that has no chance to go 5 rounds in my humble opinion.
Thanks for stopping by and remember that the Q&A's are updated and that our store never closes. Get those orders in and we will get them shipped so that JR's can be a part of your upcoming backyard BBQ's and all your grilling endeavors. So in other words, best of luck on your future, Grilling endeavors.