Happy Holidays to all and to all those that celebrate Christmas...Merry Christmas and I hope your's is filled with family, friends and great memories. We are officially burning daylight so here we go....
Monday Night RAW thoughts:
Festive, heavily themed Christmas show that was long on sizzle an 'entertainment' content.
As a broadcaster these types of themed shows can be challenging because of produced humor and then transitioning into serious in ring issues and viable wrestling matches.
Good to hear WWE talk of Batista's return on January 20. Dave is a major player and WWE has the opportunity to capitalize on his established reputation and accomplishments. Hopefully, there is a long term, strategic plan for 'The Animal' that has been established.
Big Show...in a diaper...wow. Shades of his sumo match with Akebono.
6 man tag with Rhodes Brothers and Daniel Bryan vs. the Wyatt Family seemingly did what it was supposed to do. Reasons the match worked...there is an established story and the talents had the ring time to tell said story.
No fan favorites are executing better in WWE, IMO, than the Rhodes boys and Bryan.
The Cy Young Award winners getting some TV time with the championship belts was a nice touch. Hopefully this was sent to all the endless, cable networks doing sports.
'Present on a Pole Match'....Hmmm.
Cesaro performed the most underrated, most popular maneuver, (What a Maneuver!) the 'Cesaro Swing' which the fans, seemingly, love for the villain to execute. (What did I just say?)
The last of several multi person matches of the night was good. Great 'rub' for Big E Langston and he seemed to fit into the upper echelon well. Didn't really understand the disqualification conclusion as to how it was executed and explained but a solid main event nonetheless.
Prayers to Bobby Eaton, of the Midnight Express fame, who is presently hospitalized in Arkansas. Bobby has a pacemaker to help address his heart complications and is now having issues with diabetes and other matters. Sad story to be sure. No one who is as nice a guy and who gave so much to the wrestling biz night in and night out as Bobby Eaton deserves this hand he's been dealt...especially at Christmas.
On a recent interview, I mentioned that one of the reasons that I had no interest in going to TNA was that I had no desire in affecting the chemistry of broadcasters Mike Tenay and Taz. Yes, a three man booth would obviously be possible but I'm not a big fan of three man announce teams in pro wrestling, as a rule. Mike and Taz do a great job especially when they are on point calling holds, near falls, etc and keeping a 'sports feel' on the in ring action. They certainly don't need me.
I did enjoy the three man announce team of McMahon, King, and me back in the day. It's good having the boss sitting right next to you as it helps greatly with communication and creative direction. In those days, a quick huddle, so to speak, during commercial breaks was timely and efficient.
With that said and as I've mentioned here before, I see my broadcasting days in pro wrestling aka sports entertainment as history. It's time to do other things that interest me and my style of play by play really doesn't fit in today's genre.
Been busy updating the Q&A section of our website here. Check them out.
Just a tip on the Q&A biz here...please don't write LONG questions, please don't start out by saying, "I've got 4 or 5 questions for you," and, finally, know that I'm not going to engage in any long arguments as everyone's opinion is just as viable as mine.
Enjoyed being on the Paul Finebaum radio show this week talking Sugar Bowl and telling a couple of old, pro wrestling road stories. Paul is a class act and is a great addition to ESPN when it comes to smart broadcasting on college football especially the SEC.
I'd still like to see William Regal associated with "Bad News" Barrett, in some manner, of whose new, TV persona I haven't quite understood as of yet. I applaud Barrett getting some TV time because that's where it all starts and am anxious to see where his creative journey takes him. The talented Brit has a marketable upside, IMO.
Really enjoyed the Glory Sports Kick Boxing event on Spike a few nights ago. I'm going to start watching more and studying the genre thoroughly.
Anxious to watch @UFC on PPV this Saturday night from Vegas. Should be a loud, emotional house. I hope it's mic'ed as such.. Lots of emotional investment on a variety of levels. The Brazilian faction supporting Anderson Silva's quest to regain his title will be significant as that bout will obviously close the show. Question is how will it do in following Rousey vs. Tate? That's somewhat of a rhetorical question and is actually a good problem for @DanaWhite & company to have.
Champ Chris Weidman seems like the forgotten man in this major, PPV equation and it will be interesting to see how he responds to that matter come fight time. If Weidman wins, he becomes substantially more marketable and valuable to @UFC. Silva fans will say that's a big "IF."
Silva is a major draw with or without a title but Weidman perhaps not so much although I'm a big fan of his in ring work. So, obviously, HUGE night/opportunity for Chris Weidman.
Thanks to TUF on @foxsports1, the Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate rivalry has grown and is much akin to an old school, pro wrestling, personal issue feud.
Also, I'm very interested in the Josh Barnett fight which could potentially open the door for Josh to earn some really, big money fights in the heavyweight division while UFC awaits Champion Cain Velasquez to return from shoulder surgery.
Barnett is a catch as catch can styled fighter who has been mentored by former pro wrestling great and a Wigan, England trained Billy Robinson and Josh's unique, submission style is tough to defend. Two more wins should earn Barnett a shot at Cain down the road. Great paydays all.
Remember that tickets for my NYC show, RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross at the Gramercy Theater are on sale now at the Gramercy box office and via ticketmaster.com. I'm doing two shows on Saturday March 1 @GramercyTheater that include Q&A's and Meet & Greet components.
http://www.wweshop.com has some great new JR's packages on their site, as we speak, that are unique, affordable and collectable. They just were added to the website a few hours ago so take a look if you have the time.
For those asking on Twitter @JRsBBQ and on here, I have no idea who to pick as my favorite to win the Royal Rumble. Isn't that a good thing? Obviously, the popular choice may be the returning Batista but that pick may be too obvious. Not being able to definitively call the shot is a good thing in the rasslin creative world.
Thanks for stopping by and come back and see us. Merry Christmas to all!!