Remembering Gorilla..Legends Roundtable Topics..Ventura..'Death Clutch'..Stock Up w/ JR's for Grilling Season..WWEShop

Happy Saturday...another hot one in Norman, Oklahoma USA....this blog contains things other than 'wrestling' so if reading non wrestling content offends you you might want to divert. Nonetheless, it's a great weekend to order products from us as we will resume  our normal shipping schedule next week. For the record, we can't ship on the weekend as Federal Express Ground doesn't pick up on Saturday or Sunday. Let's grill....

Next week WWE will tape two, Legends Roundtables hosted by Gene Okerlund with a panel consisting of Kevin Nash, JJ Dillon, Michael Hayes, and yours truly.

The first show will air sometime in July which marks the 15th Anniversary of the creation of the nWo. This show will explore the controversial group from all perspectives including how it was formed, successes, failures, its role in the Monday Night War, historic impact, etc.

This is a potentially controversial topic for many within the business and should spawn some spirited opinion/debate. BTW....my comparing the Miami Heat as a modern day nWo got some national play this week from the New York Times to Jim Rome on radio & ESPN.

The other program that will be taped will focus on major, wrestling events held outdoors, under the stars. This topic would include outdoor Wrestlemanias, WWWF at Shea Stadium, AWA in Comiskey Park, WCCW at Texas Stadium and the Cotton Bowl, WCW from Sturgis and spring break locales, etc. This program will air sometime in August. All Legends Roundtables are available on WWE On Demand outlets which we subscribe to here at our house via Cox Cable.   

Looking forward to working with Kevin Nash again on these productions. Kevin is outspoken, smart and has no issue expressing himself which makes for a great addition to the panel. Kevin was being largely ignored in his early days of WCW in Atlanta until the vaunted 'powers that be' discovered that the former Tennessee Vol hoopster was glib and could talk after hearing him on my radio show, "Wrestling with Jim Ross" that aired Sunday nights on AM750 WSB. 

BTW, we will soon have more info on how you can enjoy those vintage radio shows thanks to Dennis Brent whose been working on the project for a long while. 

Back to Nash, Kevin was on the same Michigan high school All State basketball team with another high schooler you might have heard of...Earvin Johnson aka Magic Johnson.  

Saw a video clip of WWE HOF'er, ex-Minnesota Governor, ex-Navy Seal, best selling author, former broadcast partner of mine, and all around skilled B.S.'er on a radio show this week promoting his latest book. 'The Body' looked like a cross between 'Professor Irwin Corey' with the hair thing going on and famed attorney Gerry Spence with Native American type leather jacket that he's been known to wear notwithstanding one, of what has to be a large collection, of Navy Seal T shirts. Jesse is always great for a sound byte or twenty.

Speaking of former WWE broadcasters, today would have been my dear, late friend Gorilla Monsoon's aka Bob Marella 74th birthday.  Gino, another name for 'the big ape' as The Brain used to call him, was one of the most honorable men I ever met in the business. We became great friends when I came from Turner's WCW to WWE in 1993 as Gorilla was the first, true, new friend that I made in WWE after leaving the enemy and coming to live and work in Connecticut.  Gorilla couldn't see well and especially did not feel good about driving at night so I was his 'wheel man' for many evening road trips specifically after TV tapings. The good news in that matter was the Gino knew ALL the great places, especially the good diners, to grab a bite to eat including his fondness for Peanut Butter Pie from Bob Evans. He also would tutor me on the art of playing blackjack but I did not frequent the high roller blackjack room as did Gorilla. He was a 'regular' in many casinos and I can recall several times driving him up to a Connecticut casino for a day of gambling while we waited for our TV shows to be edited so we could voice them over in the audio booth in Stamford.  

I also remember Randy Savage getting extremely angry at me for something minor, at least it was minor in my eyes, and having to do with me, as a TV producer,  including Savage in the Event Center promos when he didn't necessarily want to do them. Macho Man wanted to make this a bigger issue that it was until Monsoon intervened and explained that I was facilitating exposure for Savage which is always good for a performer especially one who was not getting an overabundance of it at the time. Gorilla explained that there was no 'conspiracy theory' and that no one was out to get the ultra talented but at times volatile Macho Man.

Gorilla Monsoon was simply a damn good human being and I think of him daily. He was good to me when he didn't have to be and when it certainly wasn't fashionable. I will always embrace his friendship. He was proud, strong man of character but was never the same after his son and WWE referee Joey Marella was killed in a car accident.  

Tough Enough ends this Monday LIVE on USA and I hope that it returns for a 2nd season but apparently that isn't a done deal as of yet. Personally I think the show is well produced and I really enjoyed the work of Steve Austin, Trish Stratus, Bill DeMott, and Booker T. None of the new wrestling talents, as I have mentioned, jumped off the screen at me but becoming a great, in ring talent is always a work in progress and some prospects will never grasp exactly what it is that they need to do to become a star. I'm a believer that it's a 3-5 year maturation process before most athletes are ready to even think about headlining major events.

BTW Brock Lesnar was an exception as have been a few others over the years but they are small in number. World class athletes with the proper coaching, motivation, and aptitude for the genre are much more likely to become stars than those with average athletic skills IMO.

I read Lesnar's book, 'Death Clutch,' in approximately two hours. I enjoyed it and think that most wrestling fans will like it as well. Some MMA die hards might not enjoy it as much as WWE fans as it includes UFC content in it but not an overabundance. Brock, who wrote the book with Paul Heyman, was very open and honest about the things that he chose to address in the 210 page book. Lesnar has always been known to be, in addition to being an amazingly gifted athlete, somewhat private which has given many the impression that Lesnar is aloof and moody. Therefore, not many people are 'let in' to Lesnar's world. This book allows more access than fans have ever seen before of the life and feelings of the former NCAA Wrestling Champion, WWE Champion, and UFC Heavyweight Champion.  

'Death Clutch' isn't wrought with too many details of Lesnar's career but I found it a quick, fun, enjoyable read but can also see where some might be left wanting more, as was I. At the end of the day, that's not a bad thing because it certainly keeps the door open for a sequel. My suggestion to you is to read the book and draw your own conclusions. My wife and I both read it and she enjoyed it as well.

After the vocal minority uproar when Christian lost the World Title on Smackdown, I mentioned that I thought that loss would likely position the skilled veteran from Ontario, not talking about Neil Young here, to become more relevant and valuable to WWE. Seems as if that has occurred as Christian, after this week's Smackdown broadcast, is arguably the brand's #1 villain. Of course there will be some who refuse to look at the reality of this matter and the fact that Christian has the opportunity to fill a huge gap and to be in plenty of main events at live events and on TV. Plus, Christian's verbal skills will be better utilized as an antagonist, IMO.  The bottom line is about making money and this certainly positions Christian to have the potential to capitalize on such. 

BTW...to respond to a Twitter follower @JRsBBQ...where we have nearly 158,000 followers....title bouts on TV are only as important as the titles being defended and said bouts are enhanced when the two combatants have an established personal issue. In general, most titles in the business could benefit by being made to mean more. BTW that's nothing new as promoters for generations have strived to make their company's titles mean as much as emotionally possible. 

@BretHart sent us a cool photo on Twitter with him in Hawaii wearing a JR's BBQ T shirt. Very nice of the WWE HOF'er who I really enjoy visiting with and also feel Bret has so much to offer young wrestlers. We had a great albeit short visit in Seattle at the WWE PPV there recently. We still include a FREE T shirt with every case of product sold.

@Kharma wrote a really nice blog that cleared up the misunderstanding that some people had after her compelling, in ring promo on Monday Night Raw. Too many people acted like idiots and indicted me for all sorts of ridiculous things having to do with racism, being a misogynist, etc before knowing the facts. We lost a fair amount of business here on our website because of the matter which is regrettable. 

The Dallas Mavs winning one game of the first two in Miami was huge because the Mavs were going to have to be able to win on the road to win the NBA Title. Now, Dallas knows that they can win in Miami. This series will come down to defense and fundamentals such as free throw shooting. The Heat has the star power but Dallas seems to have a more potentially viable bench. 

If you are reading this and live outside the USA and want to sample our products then order via http://www.wweshop.com. I am told that WWEShop has some great shipping rates that are a significant improvement over what was previously being charged. Please check them out especially if you live in Canada or the United Kingdom. 

Keep those new recipes and ideas flowing on how you uniquely utilize our products. We've gotten some super dip ideas, for the record, using Ranch Dressing mixed with our BBQ Sauces and/or Chipotle Ketchup. I'm going to try mixing our BBQ sauce, Original or Hot, with our Main Event Mustard to try and replicate a 'Carolina style mustard based BBQ Sauce this weekend. 

Thanks for stopping by and for supporting all our efforts. Be well. 

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.    

            

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Comments

RE: Christian.

JR, I respect you a great deal, but I just don't understand why I'm supposed to think that Christian is the bad guy in this situation. Orton took his title five days after he won it, and just last week he cost Christian the match against Mark Henry and Sheamus. Throughout this story arc Orton has consistently screwed Christian over and now I'm supposed to believe that Christian isn't justified for venting his frustrations? Orton's character is not a good person. He does not act like a hero. I can't cheer against Christian because I honestly don't see how he is not the hero in this situation, constantly having to struggle against the odds stacked against him. You might say that he's now the top villain, but he's still my hero, and this story is just confusing me to no end.

Hi J.R.,

   I really enjoyed your memories of Gorilla.  I had to chuckle when you mentioned his fondness of gambling.   It reminded me of an old episode of Prime Time Wrestling filmed on location at the Trump Plaza casino during the lead up to WM IV.  Gorilla hosted the entire episode (with the great Bobby Heenan of course) sitting at a blackjack table, never missing a beat.  He easily kept playing his hands using signals as he talked into the camera, setting up matches, advancing storylines, and dealing with the annoying Weasel Heenan.   I suppose experienced gamblers wouldn't find this overly impressive, but I was amazed at how effortlessly he pulled it all off.

   Can't wait to see the new Legends Roundtables!

Breckenridge

 I got to meet Gorilla Monsoon in front of his house in Willingboro NJ back in the late 70's. My cousin was bragging that he lived around the block from Gorilla Monsoon and of course we didn't believe him.  He took us over to show where Gorilla  lived and as fate would have it, Gorilla was outside mowing his lawn!  My cousin waved and Gorilla came over. "Mr. Morella, my cousins didn't believe you lived here"  We chit chatted and I do remember asking him about Muhammed Ali (youtube it) He left us by saying "kids, get as much education as you can and always respect your parents"  He really was a gentleman. I wish the younger generation knew more about Gorilla as he was a great wrestler  who drew a lot of money whether he was a heel or a babyface. He also had the best wrestling name ever in my opinion.

 Lacy, I would definitely not call Orton a hero, he's more of the anti-hero.  I personally think JR's right, that this will help Christian become more relevant (not to mention the possibility to become more of a complete badass).