Monday Night Thoughts...Doc's Services Friday at 2:30 p.m....Boise State locks up #2 in the Nation

Busy night with so much on TV that I wanted to watch and discovering that my elaborate 60 inch plasma television's remote control was much smarter than I. Nonetheless we made it through it good shape and I would assume that many hardcore wrestling fans were in BBQ Sauce heaven.  Tonight was the first night that I ever tried watching picture in picture and I needed one more screen but I digress.

Here are some random thoughts that I came away with from a big Monday night of TV viewing. 

The chemistry and magic between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart still exists after all these years. It's another illustration that "personal issues" are the life's blood of the wrestling business. This particular "personal issue" has been simmering for 12 years and I still felt like an emotionally invested fan watching it.

The dialog between HBK and the Hitman sounded so natural that I thought I was eavesdropping on two old rivals' conversation. They were simply being themselves. Their handshake made the night complete for me but remember that I lived through the debacle of '97 and was just a little immersed in it and spent many, many hours "talking wrestlers off the ledge" so to speak for hours after the controversial incident.

The McMahon-Bret confrontation was well done especially planting the seed early and keeping me hooked until the end of the show for the payoff plus adding some spice to the dish in between.

The Mr. McMahon persona is so easy to dislike and the Chairman got the last word and the final act of physicality in the exchange with his longstanding adversary and left me wanting to see more and wondering how Bret will respond next Monday night? Or will he? This issue has new, fresh legs. 

The Legacy/Orton  issue has my interest. Something is bound to give there soon one would assume. As evil as Orton's actions are, he's always going to have a fan base because of Randy's youth, look, demeanor and the fact that defiant young males live vicariously though Mr. RKO.

Still love Kofi Kingston and I assure you that Kofi can and most likely will become a big time star but he has to get back to the edge that he demonstrated several weeks ago in Madison Square Garden.

WWE has done a nice job of making Sheamus a relevant, WWE champion who is making many fans look upon the Irishman as the WWE Champ first and a relative newcomer second. I've written about it dozens of times here and that is that new talents have to get in the main event mix and if they distinguish themselves then the company has done well. If they don't distinguish themselves then one merely provides an opportunity for the next hungry, young guy.

Raw provided some long awaited answers/resolutions and  some unique "hooks" to encourage me to remember to tune in next Monday night when Mike Tyson is the guest host. 

Just my two cents but the longer McMahon can dodge Hitman bullets the better. I can certainly smell something big brewing down the road and I like the aroma. 

The apparent inclusion of Stu Hart being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for 2010 was really cool and certainly deserved. Mr. McMahon isn't the kind of man that would go back on his word regarding this matter, is he?  Stay tuned. 

Quick story, once Stu got bored telling me stories while we were waiting on a tardy Bret to arrive at the Hart home to film some vignettes with Bret and his Dad and Stu took me down in the "dungeon" and demonstrated a few submission holds on me. I was smart enough to tap early and often but he made his points. I made it out alive and without wetting myself or screaming in fear and anguish by using the world's quickest tapping technique. 

WWE acknowledging the passing of my friend Steve "Dr. Death" Williams was a pleasant surprise. Doc's 6 year battle with cancer ended last week and was so grueling and painful to watch. Few men in the business have earned more universal respect for how Doc approached his fight with cancer not to mention how he competed in the ring.  

On a personal level, I want to thank WWE for mentioning Doc's passing Monday night. That meant a great deal to me. BTW Doc's Memorial Service will be held this Friday afternoon at 2:30 in Lakewood, Colorado at the Mile High Church. This is going to be a tough one for me to attend but it is something that I personally have to do.

I still have a hard time believing that big bear of a man named Dr. Death is actually gone.

Damn...I would have loved to have been a part of Raw Monday night as it felt like it had some really special moments we broadcasters love to experience and hopefully make them just a little more memorable.

It surprised me to see Jeff Hardy on Spike TV Monday night which I am sure will get some fans talking and critics/pundits asking a great deal of questions. I'm a Jeff Hardy fan and I wish him well. Jeff had a great tenure in WWE and considering that I signed him and his brother Matt to their first WWE contracts I will always consider the Hardy brothers as being special. As Hall of Fame Coach Barry Switzer once told me, "Once you recruit a player you recruit them for life." 

Knowing how much Ric Flair still enjoys wrestling I was not shocked to see Ric on another channel Monday night. The WWE gave Ric the greatest send-off/retirement presentation that I have ever witnessed but nonetheless "Naitch" has wrestling running through his veins and he's going lace 'em up until he simply can't do it any longer. Ric Flair has been my friend for about 30 years and I wish him well in what ever he does in his career. 

Former WWE Champion Kurt Angle, another one of the guys that I signed to their first WWE contract, and A.J. Styles had a truly excellent wrestling match that I got glimpses of Monday night. 

My loyalty is clearly still with WWE but I am sure that Monday night proved to be an exciting one for more objective fans. Let the spin begin on what transpired Monday night. Lord knows in the coming days the  two wrestling shows will be analyzed to death including minute by minute breakdowns...the mistakes that were made...what some genius would have done differently...what should be done next week and so on.    

The end game for me is that the general trend of putting too much content in a show seemingly still exists in today's marketplace. When the announcers have to continually remind me what has already transpired and what is still to come in such an incessant manner because they know that we viewers are on information overload then something is wrong from where I sit nestled in my La-Z-Boy. 

Boise State once again ruled the Fiesta Bowl with a win over undefeated TCU. Many folks in my area of the world felt like TCU would win the game but somehow Chris Peterson gets his BSU team ready to play and can create the David vs. Goliath scenario about as good as any coach I can remember in modern times. Boise State won every game they played this year and should be the #2 rated team in the nation behind who ever wins Thursday night between Texas and Alabama. Tuesday night's Orange Bowl unfortunately feels like an afterthought after Monday night's game and the hype surrounding the BCS Championship game on Thursday. 

Thanks for dropping by and I invite you to spend a minute or two browsing in our store. The Hot BBQ Sauce and the Chipotle Ketchup are rocking out the door and there is a good reason for it...they're really good products...I guarantee it. 

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.   

        

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I watched both as I have to admit, at first, TNA had me, but it got boring and stale, especially seeing, well, the nWo.  I am not surprised at all that Hulkster brought all his buddies into the fold and that was too much for me as it just seemed to be WCW 98 all over again.  I LOVED the AJ/Angle match and it proved to be the highlight of the night on TNA for me.  I am interested in seeing the Hart/McMahon feud pan out. 

I watched both WWE and TNA tonight and I will say this, Hulk Hogan will be the person to distroy TNA. TNA only put on 2 good matches for the whole night and they were the TNA Knockouts tag title match and the TNA Heavyweight title match as for Hogan the show would have been better without him and his friends. Hogan should just give up on wrestling because wrestling has given up on him. No disrespect to the man he did help build up the WWE and WCW but honestly he has never been one to let the younger guys shine. In WCW he hated the fact that he was asked to put over Kidmen and Jarrett and some of the other guys in the back. Hell he even refused to lose to Flair and Flair was behind him coming to WCW. The fact that he refused to lose a rematch with HBK was bull too. I like that I'm seeing younger guys getting pushed now since over the years we haven't seen that. TNA has alot of good young guys that put on stunner matches and I hope Hogan doesn't screw that up. As for RAW I never was really a Bret Hart fan but seeing him make up with Michaels was great because from what I've heard Bret never really liked HBK and to see them hug was cool. I do hope that it was real and not a work because even though Bret has said that he that he didn't respect Shawn, HBK has always said he had respect for Bret and he hated being involved with the "Screwjob". Back to the whole TNA thing doesn't Jeff Hardy still have some kind of likeness deal with WWE and if he does can't he get in alot of trouble. I don't like Hardy being with TNA because he will never have the push he had in the WWE in TNA. When he was in TNA before yeah he got a push but it didn't go far. I don't see Hardy going anywhere in TNA but maybe a X-Division shot nothing more. Also I've heard Hardy was suppose to return to the WWE before Wrestlemania. Honestly I think if Vince really wanted to he could get guys like AJ Styles, The Fallin Angel, Matt Morgan and alot of those young guys from TNA if he really wanted to. Well that's all.

TNA vs RAW, saw them both.  TNA was sloppy as hell, the talent pool was overcrowded, especially with Hogan's entourage joining, with too much emphasis on aging past-their-prime stars.  Hall, Morley, Waltman, The Nastys, no reason to bring them in, Jeff Hardy, Shannon Moore, Orlando Jordan, even Ric Flair, they still have some life but bringing them all in at once without any preamble just ruins the surprise and dilutes the pool.  And treating Hogan as The Second Coming while continuing to treat Jarrett as just another empoyee needing to be put in his place is just leaving a bad taste in my mouth.  The matches themselves were so-so, the womens tag match was good while Styles vs Angle was worthy of PPV main event (minus the pointless run-in by the mysterious man in black).  Overall the production was farely sloppy and half-assed.  Could've been better.  Raw on the other hand, Vince and the WWE writers have of late been too complacent in their work with stories, gags, and matches being way too predictable (always the danger of being the biggest and only game in town).  But while predictable and unsurprising the production was smooth and well laid out and the matches were entertaining.  And their responce to TNAs challenge (no responce) was the best thing they could do.  I liked Brets return and his confrontation with Shawn was good, and it looks like the war between him and Vince is just getting started.  I'm looking forward to the next salvo.  I wish TNA the best, I really do and I've done so for as long as they've been around, but with Bischoff and Russo and Hogan and trying to restart the Monday Night Wars, I'm predicting their end will be coming very quickly.

I spent the night flipping channels back and forth between the two shows, which brought back a lot of great memories from the 90's. And then I saw the content of the shows, and the memories, yeah not so great. HBK-Hart, of course, was one of those classic moments that come along only so often, but the rest of the show was simply ok, with nothing else really standing out. Randy Orton five minutes of headlocks? Check. Matt Sydal being beaten like he's the second coming of Rey Mysterio? Check. A decent US title contender match? Check. DX ? Check. If they would have added Cena, it would have been the same show we've seen every monday for the past two years.

On TNA, the relics came out to eat up valuable tv time. I mean, really, The Nasty Boys?! Really?! It seemed all of Hogan's buddies came out except, mercifully, Brutus Beefcake or whatever name he's using this week. I did feel a bit like Zodiac when I was watching, however--"Yes! No! Yes! No!' Come on now. The TNA roster from top to bottom may be the finest around right now (and the writing the worst) and they simply don't need all these old guys stinking up the building. And what is Mick Foley doing? It's like he's lost in Cleveland all over again. Just embarrassing. At least the main event was solid.

Anyway, it was a fun night having to flip back and forth like I was in college all over again. Just too bad the shows were iffy. But, then again, I'm hard to please, so I'm sure they were better than I say.

How long will it take for Hogan to ruin TNA? I wasn't a bit impressed with the new TNA. Too many old guys and old storylines being rehashed. Guess I'll stick with WWE even though Vince did fool me one more time.  I actually thought that he was willing to bring closure to the Montreal incident. Still not all that impressed with Sheamus.  Think he has come too far too fast. This time next year he will probably be jobbing to everyone on the roster like Mark Henry is now.

JR...

Just wanted to pass the word to you and others that cared about Doc as much as we did, that we will be producing a Doc Tribute on saturday January 9th in Colorado Springs, CO, The day after his services in Lakewood, CO of which most of us will be attending as well.  Several members of his family as well as friends and folks like Big Van Vader etc. will be attending it, insuring that we give our great friend the send off he deserves.

On August 15th, 2009 Steve retired in our ring and to this day and beyond it was the greatest honor we've received. His kindness, jovial blue humor, and friendship are forever to be missed, and the times he gave us over the past two years in our promotion are never to be forgotten.

We have one more special night for Doc, and I truly hope everyone who held this man in as high of regards as we do can witness what promises to be an emotional night.

I can be reached at: brandonbishopacw@msn.com
Or check out www.asylumwrestling.com for more info.

Below are links to his retirement night in ACW. It's a night none of us in attendance will ever forget. Nor will you after watching it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49xP9AWnIVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDj72xqRhcM

J.R.--

Instead of offering my condolences for "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, I thought I would share a good memory of him. It was 1985, if I remember correctly as the Bladerunners were on the card that night. The guys were performing in Locust Grove, OK of all place on the high school football field. We were getting ready to turn into the parking lot, when the parking liasons, if you will, stopped us, so another car could pull in. In the front passenger's side was "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. I went crazy (not literally) because he was my favorite wrestler at the time. Anyway, he gave a us a "thumbs up" as he was turning in. That night, he and Ted DiBiase were in the main event against "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilber and Dick Murdoch, again, if memory serves me correctly. I still use the "thumbs up" to this day. (My god!! Shades of Jim Duggan and Steve Williams!! If I may use one of your phrases). Consequently, it was a memory my grandmother and I shared when she was in the final stages of her lung cancer. She was a huge wrestling fan also, but her long time favorite was "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. To know that Doc is gone is terribly sad. My family have been fans of his for so long, we feel like we've lost one of our own. I wish you the very best during this tumultuous time, and I certainly hope your battle with this third bout of Bells Palsy is going great. Wrestling for me just isn't the same without Good Ol' J.R. on the mic. I've had to watch some old UWF DVDs to get the feel once again...and I forgot how good of a commentating team you and Michael P.S. Hayes were at the time. Thanks for everything!!

A long time loyal fan,

Bud

RIP Dr. Death!!!

loved seeing bret on monday. do we really need another nwo reunion

Hey, JR - I completely agree with you about Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels being TV Gold together.  Shawn Michaels has the widest emotional range of any wrestling performer that I've ever seen - he can be hilarious/falling down funny when he's in that mode and he can make you ache when he wants to.  Bret Hart never struck me as a great talker in his hey-day, but he had an energy and power last night that made his encounter with Shawn brilliant - and the WWE was smart enough to just present it with lots of silence and space and a confidence that these 2 men would make something worth watching - which they certainly did!

I would contrast that with TNA who remind me of a Saturday Night Live skit about some gimmicky food place that couldn't stop at mashed potatoes with melted cheese, but had to put bacon, hot dogs, cheeze whiz, whipped cream and everything else imaginable on top of that.  If it was such an achievement to have Hulk Hogan on TNA live, then why did they have to muck it up with every other wrestling name that has been off television for at least a month?  Too too much - so much that it was boring!

J.R., being a fan of wrestling in general, I am also an objective viewer, so I am able to watch both shows without any particular bias. Aside from indy shows, I feel that both WWE and TNA provide things which meet my wrestling needs in that my loyalty to WWE rests with my favorite wrestlers there, but I've found myself drawn to the style of TNA--it's various types of matches in particular. The match between A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle was no surprise (in that I expected what they gave) but I found myself blown away by a match in a way which I have not been in a little while. As for the various returns that occured, it's neither here nor there to me (except for Sting) because I watch it for the younger guys as I do the WWE. I really hope that TNA will give WWE some good competition because I believe it can bring out the best in both companies in forcing them to step up their game. I've read/heard a lot of people down TNA but it has it's merits which are worth the benefit of the doubt and I've found that whichever one I watch is based on what style I want to see. Basically I like 'em both.

Do you tivo? With that you wouldn't have to flip back and forth between shows.

For me I rarely watch a show live. Even if I'm home, I'll wait like 15 minutes, then watch it so I can fast forward through the commercials.

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