RAW Thoughts..UFC..Ref in WWE HOF?..Awesome Kong..2X3 Fall Matches..Great Time to Order from JR's Store.

Thanks to all who emailed us and Tweeted us @JRsBBQ with hundreds of birthday wishes Monday on my 59th B-Day or, as I told Michael Hayes,  it was my best 39th B-day ever! Next...

Stayed home on my B-Day to enjoy Monday Night Raw and the Orange Bowl with my bride. Does that make me sound REALLY old?

MNR felt different tonight with The King not announcing and without the presence of John Cena. It certainly was evident from watching the broadcast from Phoenix that WWE is depending on many of the younger talents to step up and take ownership of main event slots much sooner than later. 

Ironically, my wife and I left Phoenix early Sunday morning just as some of the WWE crew were arriving. We stayed up all night after the Fiesta Bowl and celebrated with OU coaches, staff and friends before taking a 6ish a.m. flight home. Ugh. That won't happen again. I've taken enough 'first flights out' in the past w/o doing it to myself. 

Great start to Raw with Miz vs. Morrison. These are two of the individuals that WWE is counting on to be big time players in the future. They both put forth great effort in the falls count anywhere match for the WWE Title. I enjoyed their hard work and the overall physicality of the contest. 

Both men likely want to be known not only as successful, main eventers, first and foremost, but also tough, physical wrestlers, as well. Each took positive steps forward on that goal.

Miz is establishing that he is a talented, charismatic WWE Champion who can be beaten on any given night. That combo has worked for ages.  

Morrison can wow any discerning fan with his athleticism and his physicality is becoming more prominent in his matches and I like that trait with any wrestler.

Toughness and physicality, when properly executed, sells tickets, PPV's, and merch.

With all that said, the road to established stardom is a long one and both these men are on said journey with miles to go but they both seem to be traveling in the proper direction. 

I enjoyed the cage match to determine a #1 contender and my guess as to who would win it came to fruition. Randy Orton is really beginning to hit his stride as he seems to be easily the most popular WWE performer who has a hint of the 'Attitude Era' in his TV persona. 

Some of the exchanges between Wade Barrett and Sheamus were physical and both men showed intensity and a gear change. Both Barrett and Sheamus have definitive up sides and both fit into the same category with Morrison and Miz as men that WWE needs to get to the next level and to stay there. Again, this is no simple feat and the ascension is a process that takes varying amounts of time depending on the individual along with being at the right place at the right time with all the stars surrounding the process being aligned properly. 

Not sure why Alberto Del Rio was on Raw Monday night but he got a big time presentation and was made to feel special. Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio in a two our or three fall match is going to be right down my alley Friday night on Smackdown. It should be a compelling presentation. 2X3 fall matches were some of my favorites back in the day when I did old school, wrestling play by play. I can still remember a Flair-Steamboat 2X3 fall bout some 20+ years later.

Cole and Mathews work well together but they really had their hands full with a ton of info to disseminate Monday night. That's a tough role for any announcer and it's not fair when fans say that an announcer or announcers 'over talked' a show when there is simply such a volume of info to provide the viewer. It's one of those 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' deals. I speak from experience.  

I'm hoping to attend the Royal Rumble in Boston at the end of January if for nothing else to collect on my apple pie wager from the esteemed Joey Styles. Joe took his UCONN Huskies in the Fiesta Bowl versus the Oklahoma Sooners and, well, you know the rest of the story. 

Nonetheless, we are shipping Joe some Main Event Mustard any way because he is a fan of it and because I have 'people.' After losing the game AND his team's coach, it was the least that I could do. BTW visit www.joeystyles.com.  

Emailer....do I think that a referee will ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? Yes, absolutely. Why not? Referees are among the unsung heroes in the biz and can/should be a viable part of the process of presenting a great wrestling match. 

Did You Know?? We now have over 81,000 Twitter followers! We're always looking for more and hope to hit the magic 100,000 threshold sooner than later. Twitter @JRsBBQ.

Some MMA fans are up in arms about the Maynard-Edgar draw last Saturday night on the most recent UFC PPV. I don't quite understand the angst by some as draws have been a part of the combat culture, both real and 'Memorex,' forever. I understand the 'kissing one's sister' school of thought regarding draws but from what I can determine the judging was consistent throughout the night and many aficionados that I trust said it was too close a fight to call.

It makes common sense to declare a rematch when it's feasible and to 'settle the score.' BTW if the second fight is close, hard fought five rounds then don't be shocked if there is a third fight between Maynard and Edgar down the road. Why not if it makes sense?

The UFC and WWE are similar in that both need new stars with box office appeal, IE selling PPV's, to evolve. This past UFC fight lacked some 'star power' which all events need if one wants to grow their audience outside of their 'die hards.'

UFC has seemingly found another GSP-like positive role model in Brian Stann. Stann's performance against the entertaining and unpredictable Chris Leban was of the break through variety Saturday night. I saw Leban fight in person back in July and he's one of UFC's most entertaining fighters and a guy who I will still pay to watch compete. 

Emailer...I don't know if WWE has signed female star Awesome Kong or not but if they have then I think it is a smart hire. After meeting her at the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC) function a year or so ago in Las Vegas, I  wrote that I thought she would be a nice fit in WWE because Kong  is so unique. If she does sign, I'd bet a case of BBQ sauce that her name changes.

If the Kong rumor is true, and this is just my two cents, I hope that Kong NEVER wrestles a man in WWE.

Looking forward to my next FCW excursion down in Tampa which I expect to be in the middle of the month. Class in session...better bring a note book or head to the house. 

My wife is taking me to a Steelers playoff game later this month in Pittsburgh. That will be a unique and exciting experience. There's nothing quite like the NFL playoffs. And yes, I now realize that the Steelers can't play the Jets unless they were to meet in the AFC Title game.  By the way it looks, all roads to the Super Bowl seemingly run through New England.    

Congrats to my friend, Coach Greg Roman, on the Stanford Cardinal victory in the Orange Bowl Monday night. Greg is a helluva coach and a long time fan of the wrestling biz.

BTW....one of the Tweets I received on January 3 was from my old broadcast partner Paul 'Happy' Heyman. He's a classic. Paul knows his MMA I can attest to that. Anxious to read the book he penned with Brock Lesnar which is scheduled to be released later this year. 

The King chimed in Monday night w/ birthday wishes. He told me that I need to go see 'True Grit' which he described as the best film that he's seen in a year. That's a big time recommendation as Jerry is an avid movie goer. He sold me on it and I hope to go see what Jerry described as a tribute to The Duke this week. 

Thanks for your biz here in our store on line and we are getting your orders shipped to you, thanks to wife Jan's sister Jeanine's efforts, promptly. Check out the 'Sampler with Mustard' as it has become our #1 seller. We want to earn your business with great products and attentive customer service and promise to do exactly that for as long as we are in business. That I personally guarantee.

'Business is about to pick up!' and you can see why if you visit our store here on our site.

Thanks for dropping by and come back and see us. 

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.         

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Comments

What are your feelings on inducting Jim Johnston into the WWE HOF? Theme music was something that always set WWE above the competition.

Happy B-Day and Happy New Year, JR

I only watched the 1st half of MNR last night, but enjoyed it thoroughly.  Morrison vs The Miz was a great start to the show - much preferable to the talk-fests that often start MNR. 

Cole and Matthews worked well together.  Josh has settled into a smooth, unruffled style that's easy to listen to and gives him room to get excited when appropriate.

If this is the Transition Era of WWE, the next Solid Era should be really special, in my opinion.

 censorship baby. heh

Sometimes I'm in the mood for smarmy remarks and some days not so much. Nice thing about maintaining one's own website is that one can delete what one chooses. This site isn't a democracy nor does it cost anyone a dime to participate so, yes, I will continue to regulate it as I see fit. Heh.

Hey J.R.

I watched the Fiesta Bowl looking for a black hat on the sideline. Congrats to your Sooners, they are a heck of a football team. UConn has something going there too. Too bad they lost their head coach. I really enjoyed the game.

What a great MNR! Miz vs Morrison in a RARE WWE Championship match on TV. And what a match it was!  When I last commented, I said that the Miz needed to win a match outright to give him some legitmacy as champ. That's exactly what he did. Great match on both sides. Morrison keeps looking great as well. Personally, I think Morrison should go with more of a badass persona. His style in the ring is getting more badass, maybe his attitude should too.

And then to close Raw, another RARE match...a triple threat steel cage match to determine the #1 contender. Wow. In your Q&A section I recently asked why there aren't steel cage matches on Raw more often, and a couple of weeks later there is one. I'm on a roll. CM Punk coming out to strip Wade Barrett of his Nexus armband and then send him plumetting off the top of the cage down to the mat was a nice touch. I am a fan of CM Punk. He, like Cena in this respect, seems to really make a connection with the crowd. They have a knack for talking to the crowd that makes it seem like they're talking to each person indivdually.

If I was a betting man, I'd say the championship reign for the Miz comes to an end at the Royal Rumble. Too bad. So that would likely leave Orton vs the Rumble winner at Wrestlemania. Who would be big enough to headline Wrestlemania? Hmm.....

 Damn, JR laying the smack down on my candy ass!

My family and I recently ordered some of the original BBQ sauce, and it is delicious!  We will certainly be ordering again.  I think the mustard is next on the list.

I've been a fan of yours since the 80's, and along with Gordon Solie, you are the best the wrestling business has ever seen.  Thanks!

I am going to respectfully disagree with your comments about if Awesome Kong joins the WWE she shouldn't ever wrestle a man. I personally think the battle of the sexes always makes for a good storyline. In real life, there are some exceptions were certain females can beat males though not the norm, it definitely can and does happen, so in my view there are a few female wrestlers who can make for a good storyline and the Awesome Kong would be one of them, Chyna was another example and so was Nicole Bass. The problem is with the exception of Beth Phoenix, Awesome Kong strength wise overwhelms, with all due respect, most of the other divas especially since there is less emphasis on wrestling. Who other than Beth is going to really stand a logicial chance? Therefore, at some point a mixed match isn't a bad idea. No one is saying it should be Awesome Kong vs The Big Show or anything like that, but there are some male vs female matches that are worthwhile and entertaining. For some reason the WWE never seems to push the females who can really wrestle and have about average strength. Beth was losing way too many matches for a while and I know that when Chyna was around she was too strong to just be competing with the other women. I guess my point is there are exceptions to the rule and as far as the tables thing goes, I would imagine a table is a risk for anyone male or female. You know that when you decide to have a career in wrestling .

Happy belated birthday wishes JR. I was wandering if you thought that with the return of Tough Enough, do you think the contestants on the show who don't win but display talent and promise will be brought up through FCW to replenish the stars that are in the process of being brought up to the main roster? And those who aren't offered a continued developmental deal, are they being asked to sign a non compete clause to avoid situations seen previously with the likes of Matt Morgan and Christy Hemme?

It also seems that WWE is putting a higher emphasis on their womens division at the end of 2010. Do you think that the diva division would benefit from a full time trainer whos job it is to deal specifically with refining their talents and getting them more ring ready, much like the role Finlay played in the past?

 Thanks for all you've done in the business, your voice and insight have been an inspiration.   Katie B.

Sugar, spice, and everything nice.