It's a perfect, football Saturday here in Norman with clear, blue skies and temps in the mid 60's as I write this and prepare to attend tonight's OU vs. K-State Big 12 Conference tilt which airs at 6 central on Fox Sports Southwest. I will join "my team" on the Sooner sideline for the game so look for the black hat. :)
Another HUGE game in Oklahoma tonight is on ABC with Okie State hosting Texas in Stillwater where they have finally sold every seat available in the newly renovated T. Boone Pickens Stadium in arguably the biggest game, perhaps ever, at the Brisco Brothers alma mater. Dusty Rhodes, noted Longhorn fan, and Gerry Brisco have a friendly wager on this game with "The Dream" laying 20 points and taking his 'Horns. The official spread is 9...not that I would be keeping track of such info.
Sunday will be another "football day" full of key NFL action especially the Vikings vs. the Packers from Lambeau Field as Bret Favre returns with more angst in Green Bay than Larry David would have attending a Catholic Church service based on a recent "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode.
Our on line business has been brisk and my sister in law, who handles our shipping, has remained diligent in getting your orders out via Federal Express within hours of receiving them. We sure appreciate your business. We'll gladly take your order this weekend and ship it Monday.
Don 't forget that our products will make great holiday gifts and for those that read this blog in the OKC/Norman area or any where within driving distance of our place that we are slow, hickory smoking, 14 pound Thanksgiving turkeys this year but you have to sign up for them by dropping by JR's in Norman or calling 405-360-4227 (4BBQ).
Here's some BBQ'ed random thoughts...
I watched Friday night Smackdown via DVR late last night after spending a few hours at JR's Family BBQ in Norman. The Fox Sports Southwest Crew enjoyed our fine, fare Friday night especially my pals Dave Lapham and Jim Knox who comprise 2/3 of the broadcast team that will call the OU-Kansas State Saturday night. It's always fun to talk football and tell a few wrestling stories with the TV folks that visit Norman and that seemingly always come to our joint for dinner.
The Hall of Fame Ribs were a big hit last night as were the home made, Apple, Fried Pies with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sprinkles.
Back to SD, it seemed to me that Todd Grisham and Matt Striker are going to work into being a solid team as they are both fundamentally sound and simply just need time to develop the natural chemistry and the intangibles that come with working with someone over time. Broadcasting wrestling is much more complex these days than many might think simply because of all the agendas that the broadcasters have to address and honor, the story telling of multiple issues, storyline follow up, in show mentions of other products, goods, and services, etc. Plus the pace for many TV wrestling shows necessitates that the voices navigate the waters necessary to help keep the viewers emotionally invested in multiple issues that feel at times non stop.
(After watching lots of TV wrestling since I've been on the IR, my sense is that the many of broadcasts have way too much content for the average guy to follow.)
It also might be interesting to see Todd and Matt develop a little on air rivalry that doesn't take away from the storytelling or become "the story" but that might add a unique element to today's wrestling presentation. This can't be non stop bickering but simply a verbal sparring that underscores contrasting opinions. That's just a personal opinion.
We've updated many of your Q&A's elsewhere here on the site and invite you to send us your questions and comments as while I am off the road I will have more time to address the viable questions that are succinctly asked. Key word...succinct.
Yours truly had a great conversation earlier this week with the Big Show who is spending ample time in the New Orleans area working on a WWE Film that he feels is going to be really funny. Show is a big hearted, funny guy and has natural comedic timing from my personal dealings with him over the years. We laughed about one of his "recruiting trips' to WWE where he came to our home in Norwalk, Connecticut for dinner and ate, let's say, an ample amount of wife Jan's apple butter and hot biscuits. Jerry Brisco and myself were the two guys that courted Show when he was thinking of staying in WCW or coming to WWE. I'm happy that we got our man who has the potential to be a huge, box office, wrestling attraction if he is not over exposed. I think the big guy's movie exposure will provide Show with some unique opportunities over time in the film world.
Got a wonderful text message from HBK that had me tearing on Friday. What a wonderful spirit and heart possessed by HBK who is arguably the greatest in ring performer currently active in the business. He is for my cash. The man Shawn Michaels has evolved into is a credit to his Faith and his family and would be great for young wrestlers to observe closely. Wrestlers, not unlike any other grouping of talented, insecure, and creative types need leadership on a consistent basis. That includes mentoring, hands on handling of issues and the honesty that it takes to build a sound, long term foundation that promotes individual growth which in turn helps build companies. Those that are in a position to manage significant aspects of the biz need to always remember that their most important assets are their talent and how talents are managed, developed and lead is going to determine the long term success of any company, wrestling or other wise.
Two of my goals in wrestling are to broadcast HBK and the Undertaker's last bouts which I get the feeling will not be any time soon. There is no reason for either man to contemplate retirement while the money is huge, they can adequately manage their travel schedules and most importantly that they still love what they do. Obviously, their health overrides every thing but both men seem to be holding up well and can do more with less than the vast majority of their peers. As a matter of fact, most wrestlers try to get too much in their bouts which causes a disconnect with many fans because of the break neck pace where maneuvers and situations mean less and less.
The "Nature Boy" Ric Flair called me early Saturday morning from Vegas and I missed the darned call but will talk to "Naitch" later Saturday. We have a great deal of catching up to do as Ric has many irons in the fire and I'm anxious to hear his current game plan. Ric just sent my friend, OU head hoops coach Jeff Capel a cool, autographed photo that I'm hand delivering. Coach Capel grew up in the Carolinas, played point guard and graduated from Duke and became a "Flair Fan" as a teen. Jeff is a cool dude who is building an awesome basketball program at OU even with our man Blake Griffin going to the NBA early.
How cool is it to get communications from Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels within hours of each other with both just checking on how I'm doing? My friends are a true blessing and none of us should ever take our friendships for granted.
Oh, yeah on Thursday Roddy Piper reached out to me as well and I expect that we will talk soon. Love the "Hot Rod" who is still one of the most entertaining people that I know.
Nice selection of the pugilist Ricky Hatton being the guest host of Monday Night Raw in November in Sheffield, England. The boxing version of the "Hit Man" has been a blast to watch fight but I hope that if his health isn't where he wants it that he stays out of the line of fire. Not sure what his status is in that regard these days but Hatton was a joy to watch fight for a long time. What's the over/under that Ricky throws at least one, big punch on Raw in Sheffield?
At this time, my trip to the UK late in November looks doubtful but one never knows when the facial nerves are going to decided to re-generate. I "impatiently" wait.
So it seems that two, Triple Threat bouts for the World and WWE Titles will be the two, main events at this year's WWE Survivor Series. Interesting pairings. Personally, I would like to see these two bouts be made into elimination bouts that get it down to two guys which would throw a different wrinkle into the traditional, Triple Threat bouts and might add enhanced drama when one man is eliminated and the title bouts become 1 on 1. It also seems like the elimination aspect of the Triple Threat bout would add to the "Survivor" theme of the PPV. Just an opinion from a fan who has too much free time on his hands.
I've watched a ton of TV wrestling this week to the point that I think I have almost "over loaded." One certainly gets a different perspective of the genre watching from home without being pre-conditioned via internet spoilers or by actually being on site.
We are getting questions on the Hulk move to TNA and I don't know any more about that matter than many of you. Until things there are more clearly defined regarding Hogan's role, this matter is simply about verbalizing and selling books for the Hulkster. Does any one know 100% for sure what the game plan for TNA is going to be with their new personnel? I don't and it isn't an issue that I need to be aware. However, as a fan of the business and one who believes in thinking positive thoughts, I hope all wrestling entities do well.
Bottom line here is that until results occur in a long term, positive manner everything read or said is posturing and hype. Hype is good in the entertainment biz but at the end of the day results are the only thing that counts. Time will tell on that.
I am much more focused on getting healthy than I am about any thing going on in the wrestling biz these days I can assure one and all. That's not a knock or a mean spirited remark but simply the truth as I need to keep my priorities where they should be and that is regaining my health which I feel improves each day.
Many of your Bells palsy questions can be answered by doing internet searches as there is a ton of info on this unique affliction. It's been around over 200 years and has no known cure or no concrete reason for occurring. That's what gets frustrating. Not enough answers to the questions one wants or thinks that one needs.
I am still staying busy with my non TV, WWE responsibilities and still contributing to the company which is good for me and keeps me busy. I can't say that I miss weekly air travel but I do miss the fans, the atmosphere at the arenas and the wrestlers.
As a matter of fact, I met with some TV people Friday about the March 1 Monday Night Raw event in OKC's Ford Center which will likely be the only WWE date in OKC in 2010.
We even talked about a crazy idea that is NOT (I don't think) going to happen where OKC's Cox Cable rents a motor home/tour bus and we do a contest where I ride from OKC to Phoenix for Wrestlemania 26 with some contest winners ala National Lampoon's "Vacation." That in itself might be a fun "reality show" idea. Any one willing to portray "Aunt Edna" or "Cousin Eddie?"