Raw 1000 Thoughts & a Shameless Plug for JR's Products on the all NEW WWEShop.com site.

Nice being home for one day before leaving for Orlando and Thursday night's taping of NXT at Full Sail University. Let's roll with some random thoughts from Monday Night Raw 1000.

I arrived Sunday night at the Union Station Marriott in St. Louis which was loaded with fans who were seemingly all armed with camera phones. It was amazing the distances many fans traveled to attend Monday's 100th episode of RAW. The hotel y had a Wrestlemania like feel but the staff wasn't quite prepared for the onslaught.

Enjoyed visiting with everyone Sunday night and held down a bar stool with Mean Gene Okerlund and Road Warrior Animal after having dinner with Paul Heyman.

It was surprising to see Alicia Webb aka Ryan Shamrock in St. Louis as she was there doing some charity work with disabled fans. Alicia looked great and is doing some wonderful work with some deserving people. Alica's husband is a professional poker player...cool job.   

Monday we arrived at the arena around 12:30 to begin what would be a long but rewarding day. Catering, with all the tables and chairs, served as the 'Student Union' for the day and was the place that everyone gathered.

The entire day felt like a family reunion of sorts. Lots of stories were shared, family/marital status updated, replaced joints discussed, and plenty of "back in my day" stories. 

Like my Dad used to say when old fishermen gathered to shoot the breeze, "The first liar doesn't have a chance." The next guy's fish is always going to be bigger than whoever preceded him in the 'fish talk.'

Shawn Michaels and his crew from McMillen River Adventures were on hand and we arranged a hunt for Michael Cole and myself to hunt hogs on HBK's Ranch this winter. It will be a tag team hunt and, no, Cole won't be my partner. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that HBK will be stuck with me. More on that later but it should make for a fun TV show. I ain't laying down for anybody in Texas! 

Had a lengthy talk with Mick Foley regarding his ever growing comedy career. It's amazing how many parallels there are with comedy and the wrestling biz especially when strategizing a bout and comparing it to doing standup. 

Harley Race is moving around a little slower but he commanded his table with earned grace and respect. Everyone made their way to his table to pay their respects. It's always great seeing one of my wrestling heroes. I have told the story many times of refereeing a one hour draw between Harley and Dory Funk, Jr back in the day in Tulsa for the NWA Title. One of my career highlights. I made $60.

Quite the selection of Hall of Fame rings in catering.  Loved how some guys ate whatever they wanted while others ate what they wanted others to see them eat.

Everyone was interested in the great work that John Layfield is doing in Bermuda with at risk kids.  John's mountain climbing adventures are going to be memorable when all is said and done. Seeing John and Ron Simmons together brought back many memories for me. Loved the APA and without question JBL can still deliver a tremendous, Clothesline From Hell and Ron never leaves home without a pocket full of "DAMN!"

Mae Young, a fellow Okie, is nothing short of extraordinary for a lady her age. If I had the time and the intellect, I'd spend a few days with Mae with a tape recorder and document some of her classic tales of life on the road in the world of old school wrestling from her gender's perspective. Mae had 'ink' and was smoking cigars before any attitudinal, female, pop star found it to be fashionable or cool. 

Good to see The Rock as he made his rounds to say hello to everyone before preparing for what was obviously a busy and entertaining night. Rock committing to perform in the main event at the 2013 Royal Rumble obviously has Wrestlemania 29 implications or it would seem. 

Ate lunch with the Undertaker and we essentially talked about one thing...the upcoming football season. I suggested that he needed to come to an Oklahoma-Texas game in the Cotton Bowl some day and he quickly corrected me by calling the Red River Rivalry the TEXAS-Oklahoma game. 

It was also great catching up with Brock Lesnar who I hadn't talked to since the night he beat Shane Carwin in a UFC Main Event in Las Vegas. That was one where Brock weathered a fierce storm to submit Carwin in the second round. Lesnar looks great and was beet red from being outdoors doing all the farming that he undertakes. I assume that WWE fans will see much more of the "Next Big Thing" between now and Summerslam when he faces HHH in the main event. You can tell a great deal about a man by not only how they shake one's hand but also by the "feel' of said hand. Lesnar's reminded me of my Dad's hands, large and calloused. 

If I could 'manufacture' a wrestler he likely would resemble Brock Lesnar. Big, strong, fast and nasty. It's hard to fully understand an athlete like Lesnar who is so big and still retains amazing agility and speed. 

Caught up with Lita and Trish and that was really cool. Both are happy and doing well in their post WWE lives. Being happy certainly accounts for a great deal no matter who we are. The two, amazingly popular Divas and I talked about them closing a Raw broadcast which is rarified air for so many talents much less the Divas who saw, at times, significant but often times limited TV time. 

Lita said she felt like she had never left Raw and being in St. Louis Monday felt natural to her. BTW all the yoga that Trish, Lita, and even DDP practice works as all those individuals really looked healthy. 

As a matter of fact, I don't think that I've ever seen Lita look any better. I vividly remember the day that I interviewed Lita in my Stamford, WWE office back in the day and kidded her about her "litte, shoulder tattoo" that I heard she sported. I loved her independence and the fact that she had gone to Mexico, alone, and got valuable in ring experience.

I hope that many of today's Superstars took the opportunity to interact with the many legends that were backstage Monday. If not, they missed a great learning experience. 

Great exchange with Big Show and a St. Louis Ram, not James Laurinaitis a former Ohio State Buckeye who was at the event to see his Dad, Road Warrior Animal, when Show asked the player if he 'really' went to Penn State. I guess you had to be there. Show is a natural antagonist. 

The list of my old friends that were there goes on and on. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Jim Duggan, Vader, among so many others. The brotherhood that exists between many of these men is so prominent. One can only hope that the young talents develop the same relationships in their careers. 

We all missed Steve Austin not being there but with Steve under going major knee surgery just a few weeks ago and still hobbling around on crutches, it just wasn't in the cards. I can assure you from talking to him on numerous occasions that he wanted to attend but it simply wasn't physically feasible. Steve's knee was in deplorable shape from the years of wear and tear on the football field and in the ring. Flying in an airplane for a few hours isn't the smartest thing a guy can do in that condition especially so soon after surgery and before rehab has commenced. Most fans understand while a handful of jackasses who go into business for themselves don't.

For anyone to truly think that Stone Cold Steve Austin, a man who defined Monday Night Raw during its biggest years, wouldn't want to attend the very broadcast that he helped put on the map is pet coon goofy. 

I loved the perplexing and thought provoking conclusion of Raw if anyone cares. Most times when a broadcast goes off the air with more questions than answers, it's usually is a winner.  

Over six million people watched Raw Monday night. It was far and away the number one show on all of cable TV and the #3 watched program on ALL OF TELEVISION. I thought the graphics and overall look of the show was restaurant quality. My dancing, and I use that term loosely, even made the 1000th show open. 

I told ESPN.com that would have gone to St. Louis even if I had not been booked. I am proud that I got to appear on the 1000th Raw. Hearing Boomer Sooner being played and walking down that ramp was a bucket list moment for me. I enjoyed every moment of the day because there are no guarantees where any of us will be when Raw 2000 rolls around. 

WWEShop.com has an all new look. It's very clean and slick and you can now check out our line of products and packages much easier by hitting this link, http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss. I sincerely appreciate everyone's support of our family brand of condiments and JR's Beef Jerky. They make for great gifts and are superb for every day use in the kitchen or on your grill.  

Follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ as we approach 500,000 followers.

I'll soon be heading to Orlando to tape three, one hour NXT broadcasts this Thursday night at Full Sail University. I'll keep you posted on what I expect will be a great night where the first NXT champion will be crowned. 

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing our site with a friend...better yet..refer a friend  to JR's brand of delicious goods. 

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.      

            

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Hello JR, Raw was great, I loved pretty much every minute of it, well every minute that didn't have Charlie Sheen on.  I got nothing against Sheen but as I said before I don't care for the massive social media thing.  And the part with Lawler and Cole playing with the plushies just had me groaning.  Beyond that it was a great show.  The ending, Punk's turning, completely floored me, I didn't see that coming.  Neither did I foresee AJ becoming the GM, of all possibilities how could they have chosen her?  Still, if there's one thing I can say, she still has to be better than Clown Shoes.  It sounds like they're splitting the Raw/Smackdown GM duties back up, hopefully Teddy gets Smackdown back, but if not I hope the new GM is someone decent.  Great seeing the APA and Lita even if it's just for one day, though Lita still looks like she could stick around for awhile.  The Divas could use the talent if she did.  The return of The Brothers of Destruction vs the Superstars Group was fun, Undertaker looks strange with that mohawk though, and I was half-expecting Kane to blindside him, one final feud between the two seems kind of appropriate to me for some reason.  One thing about the Superstars I didn't like: Drew MacIntyre.  I like Drew, everyone says he's one of the most skilled guys on the roster and was being pushed as a top guy when he came in, why is he being shuffled on Superstars now, what the hell happened?  Perhaps my biggest disappointment of the night was that the New Age Outlaws didn't have a match, they look like they could still go and it would've been fun seeing it.  I missed Austin, he should've been there, but I kinda figured there had to be something big going on that prevented him making it, you'd have to break both his legs to keep him from attending that day.  I hope he gets better soon.  By the way, nice beard, I like it, it makes you look more distinguished.

Last thing, I was seeing on WWE.com the poll asking who should The Rock face for the title at Royal Rumble.  There seemed to be a problem with that poll, they didn't have a None of the Above button.  I respect the Rock, I respect his history, I respect his accomplishments, and at Wrestlemania he showed he could still command the Main Event.  The problem I have is that to me that still doesn't merit a world title shot.  In the 8 or 9 years since he left Rock has wrestled only twice.  To me the title and title shots should be given to full-time wrestlers, to guys who bust their asses to earn it now, not to someone who gets in the ring once every 6 to 8 months and gets it because he did great things 10 years ago.  If Rock wants to be the World Champ then fine, he should be in the ring facing the Jack Swaggers, the Dolph Zigglers, and the Alberto Del Rios.  He doesn't have to wrestle full-time, every other week is good, but he should still earn his place today.   I want to see the Rock I used to see, a fighting champion, not a paper one.

Oh, before I go, one question that's been on my mind:  When Austin get's better, do you know if the WWE plans on running another Tough Enough?

 Shameless plug after shamless plug.  It's the JR  way. . .

 

Great article, as always. However, you are completely wrong regarding the Steve Austin issue. Let me first say that I respect you, and your opinions - but perhaps you are biased towards this subject due to the fact that you are a friend of his. From a fan perspective, it was a kick in the ass. I understand he had surgery, however this particular episode was planned for MONTHS. It could have easilly been avoided had he scheduled his operation AFTER this show. RAW is what it is because of Austin. Austin made RAW, and RAW made Austin. Without RAW, Austin wouldn't be where he is at now. With that said, to not have him on the show is ridiculous considering the history he had on the show. You have guys like Doink, Backlund, Vader, and Lita on the show - but not Austin?! Not trying to be disrespectful towards the other talents, but c'mon, you know what I'm saying. I'm sorry - that's just mind blowing to me, and everyone else I spoke to about this. If there was no way in hell that he couldn't have reschuled his operation, there is no excuse why he couldn't have recorded a message for the fans. Sorry, he should have been on this show - be it live, or a recorded message. Almost made this show meanlingless to not have him on this show in some sort of fashion. Sort of like a kick in the ass to the fans that followed his career so closely on RAW. I would love to discuss my opinions further if you'd like to message me JR. About this, and other things on the show from a fan perspective.

 I really enjoyed the show. Loved seeing DX, seeing Road Dog and Billy, loved the look on my kids faces as I chuckled at the Trish/TripleH segment. Trish looked incredible! Awesome that Vader was able to make it. Lita was awesome. Nice to see everyone get some tv time. The Undertaker's new costume was Bad A**. I didn't like the Cena/Punk finish, but the twist by Punk made it work. I missed Shane O' Mac though.  Was great to see you on the broadcast, I like the whiskers :) Take it easy J.R.

My Dad and I were talking about Orton not being there. Rumor has it he's on suspension, which I said stops him from showing up. My Dad argued that he should still be able to show up, just not wrestle. What's your opinion?

Excellent blog, as always! I love hearing about how the people behind the characters are doing and interact with each other. WWE really seems like an excellent organization; it seems more like a family than anything else, and this blog entry solidifies that sentiment.

@Alengels75, I can understand your sentiments, since Stone Cold is my favorite wrestler of all time, but I think we must realize that he doesn't owe us anything. Nor do any of the wrestlers for that matter. They spend over 300 days a year on the road, away from their families, putting their bodies through heck to entertain us, and many end up with serious injuries. Stone Cold is no exception; he went so above and beyond what his job called for, and this is why we all love him so much. He already put in his time, and has already given so much. In the end, he ended up getting very seriously hurt. He is a person, too. After spending all of those years entertaining us, I think it's good that he takes the time to do things for himself now. The knee surgery was needed. I am disappointed that I did not get to see the Rattlesnake, but as a fan, I am much happier knowing that he is rectifying his health issues so that he can live happily. To ask for more seems selfish, at least to me. Note, I am not trying to start a debate, or criticize anyone's views, I am simply respectfully saying that perhaps we should be more appreciative of what he has already done instead of asking for more. :)

For anyone who cares...........................What CM Punk did Monday night was NOT a heel turn.  as a matter of fact , it was a page right out of the STONE COLD and The Rocks book. Actually, it's rare to see anyone "make the save" these days. He doesn't like Cena or the Rock. They are both after his title and have both disrespected him. Allowing Big Show to put a beat down on Cena was the right thing to do. Like I said, right out of Austins playbook. Only Austin would have Stunned all 3 of them. It isn't a heel turn until Punk cuts a promo to that effect, which he may Monday.  Until then quit being sheeple for the PART TIME DWAYNE and John Cena. It's still real to me Damn it !!!!!   Punk is a tweener.....Cena is a tweener.....and Dwayne should quit showing up and confusing people that live in the past. He will NEVER be full time so why waste EVERYONES TIME ????????  Answer: the talent pool is thin and there is no one on the main roster with "Starpower", and the liberal world in which we all live will not allow the WWE to create what it needs to have another Rock or Stone Cold. The closest thing to Rated R they have is Funkasaurettes. Very Hot, but far away from PG.

I didn't understand what Rocky did to deserve a title shot-- he's only had 2 matches in the last year (including just 1 singles match), and 0 matches in the 7 years before that.  Did the crazy new general manager, AJ, grant this right to him?  I'd like to suspend my disbelief and believe that the "sport" of WWE has some kind of consistent rules or logic, but maybe that's asking too much.

The show was great and hopefully the high TV ratings will lead to a sustainable bump.

Good to see Lesnar back; I hope it will not be another 3 months before he appears on TV again.  If Punk is now a bad guy, the next opponent for Lesnar after Helmsley would be Orton, it seems to this fan.  Or maybe Sheamus.

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