Super Bowl 45 weekend is finally here so let's kick off this cluster of random thoughts...
We still have not scored SB45 tickets as I write this but there's hope. Apparently a handful from WWE are attending or so I hear. My wife is a Pittsburgh girl so we will make every attempt to watch her team, in person, win their 7th Lombardi Trophy...that would be Vince Lombardi not Steve Lombardi.
We finished the last round of THQ voice overs this week for the new, WWE Wrestling All Stars video game that will be released on March 29 in the USA and April 1 in many other territories outside the States. This game allows players to match up the greatest matches that never happened and to create scenarios of which we fans once could only dream. The writers were very familiar with my announcing style and I was allowed to really turn it loose on this game and I hope that it's a hit for all involved. King and I back together again has been long overdue.
I will be with King at a THQ appearance at WM27 Fan AXXESS on Friday night of WM27 week which is the night before HBK is inducted into the WWE HOF. I am slated to also have appearances at AXXESS on Saturday during the day and on Sunday morning. When I get conformation of the exact times I will let every one know and hope to see you in Atlanta.
UFC on PPV this Saturday night on paper looks to be one of the better lineups that UFC has featured in a good while. Lots of star power with three bouts that are of the main event level even though Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort, which should be a major strike fest, is obviously positioned as the headliner. John Jones seems to be 'the' up and coming star in UFC, certainly one of them without question, and his fight with Ryan Bader should be fierce. One question on Jones might be can go deep into a fight and win a decision. Rich Franklin vs. Forrest Griffin could be considered a 'relevance' fight as both veterans need a win to get back in 'the hunt.' Franklin and Griffin have entertained me for years and I'm happy that these two vets get another shot on a UFC PPV and hope that their fight is what they deserve it to be.
Nonetheless if one is a hard core UFC fan or a casual fan of MMA, Saturday night's PPV from Las Vegas should be an excellent show.
Steve Austin is very excited about hosting the new season of Tough Enough. It will be interesting to see how much star power and expertise is put in place when the training staff is announced. My instincts say that Austin will have a strong team to help him with the trainees. This will be a great opportunity for Stone Cold to be Stone Cold and to re-engage his many fans on a weekly TV series of which I have great expectations for and will be watching and DVR'ing every week. I do not know the status of Tough Enough airing outside the USA for those that are asking.
Talked to Jesse White, Big Van Vader's son, recently and he is working hard to earn a look from WWE sometime in the future. Jesse is around 6'1" or so and around 240 pounds and was an outstanding high school football player who has a degree from Oklahoma University. Making it today in the wrestling biz isn't easy and I hope that Jesse is able to facilitate his dream of having a successful career in the squared circle if that's what he truly wants to do.
Recruiting college educated, athletic, charismatic young people to try their hand at sports entertainment is the best route to take in my opinion. Some will make it and most won't but by recruiting these types of individuals one increases their chances of success.
Best wishes go out to former wrestling manager Sir Oliver Humperdink who is apparently battling kidney cancer. Hump was a great mouthpiece in the 70's-80's and we got to know each other way back in the day. Hump's team of the original Hollywood Blondes of Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts was one of the most underrated tag teams I ever saw. Great wrestling villains with a manager that could tell their story and be a factor at ringside. God Bless Hump and keep him in your prayers.
Hopefully Hump will be feeling well enough to join us at the CAC function in Vegas in April. For more info on the wonderful organization, the Cauliflower Alley Club, check out www.caulifloweralleyclub.org.
How egocentric and ill guided is NFL star defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth who recently had a alleged physical altercation with a fellow motorist? Haynesworth seemingly needs professional help in making better decisions or he's going to end up being the moral of a sad story.
Is there a better wrestling villain on TV these days than CM Punk? Arguable question but for my sauce, Punk is right there at the top of the heap with a handful of his peers.
I still like the Steelers to win the Super Bowl and it's not only to keep peace in the family, my lovely wife's a Pittsburgh girl, but Coach Tomlin's guys know how to navigate a big game and have that stifling defense, I know GB does too, but something has to be said of the Steelers recent track record in 'big games.' I still think the best bet on the game is the 'over' which was in the low to mid 40's the last I looked. Even though both teams have superb defenses, I see both teams scoring enough to get the total in the 40's especially on a fast field such as is featured at Cowboys Stadium.
Emailer asked why 'surprises' in pro wrestling are so rare these days. My take is that it's the information age and people do a great deal of talking/texting/emailing notwithstanding that many shows are taped in advance of airings which releases a fair amount of info on which folks run with and report. As a fan, I don't have such a thirst for the 'dirt' and enjoy being surprised. 'Spoilers' are what they are but I generally refrain from reading them so that I can draw my own conclusions to a wrestling, TV show and not be pre-conditioned by what others decree.
Twitter follower @JRsBBQ wanted to know if Dusty Rhodes is interested in getting back into announcing wrestling bouts. I don't know that answer but I know that 'Dream' is a valuable asset in WWE's developmental system and enjoys working with the young talent and not traveling as extensively as he once was required to do. The last three hours of FCW TV that I saw produced in Tampa were excellent.
Speaking of developing young wrestlers, there is absolutely no more important facet of any wrestling organization than the development of young athletic, charismatic performers. The future of the biz depends on the stars of tomorrow. No one has the ability to wave the proverbial magic wand and create a star. It takes time, 3-5 years as a rule, for a competitor to develop their game to the level that one can actually see what their true potential is going to be and how they are going to fare with travel, enduring physical and mental challenges, and what kind of 'team player' they are.
Are there exceptions to the '3-5 year rule?' Obviously, but that's an arguable time line for most.
Emailer...Who invented the 'Coal Miner's Glove Match?' I have no idea. Does any one know the answer to this one? BTW this isn't referring to the voice of WWE Michael Cole's favorite bout.
Chris Jericho's latest book is getting excellent reviews by many that have read it. I'm due to get a copy soon and look forward to reading it. Chris' first book was a compelling read and sets the bar high as it relates to his literary efforts.
The weather has wrecked havoc on Federal Express shipping as we've had three days where Fed X did not service our area. Plus, Fed X does not pick up on the weekend. If anyone is displeased with any aspect of our customer service, etc please email me at Contact Us on the home page of this site and I will address your issues personally. We pledge to always do our best and appreciate the many, many regular customers that we have. We are a small, family run operation and work diligently every day of the week to take good care of you and pride ourselves in our customer service and outstanding products.
Never thought of it specifically but the Homeland Security element for the Super Bowl for fans attending is a nightmare. Friends who are going are telling me some amazing stories of the steps that are deservedly being taken to insure that the game is safe for all involved. We had to turn in important, personal info to merely park near the stadium.
Yep, we have a place to park but no tickets. We're optimists in our house.
If you use our products this weekend for SB45 parties/get togethers please let us know.
Our friends at THQ are looking to use some of our products as premiums for the new WWE All Stars Video game. I'll keep you informed. I hope to be able to get out and make some signings if all the details can be worked out in conjunction with the game.
The Sting stories that have been on line regarding him coming to WWE have taken a life of their own. Will Sting ever come to WWE? Does a 51 year old guy want to engage in an ambitious, road schedule or any schedule? Could a deal be done and all the pieces be put in place before WM27? Is Sting even remotely interested in re-entering the squared circle on any level? I don't know the answers to these questions nor, would I suggest, does anyone but Sting himself. Agreed, any thing is possible but what is feasible, doable, etc are questions that none of us can answer. I have seen Sting once in approximately 15 years and that was for about 5 minutes in Charlotte last year at the annual fan convention. I do know that he is a great human being after being around him for over two decades beginning when he came to work for Bill Watts as one half of the Bladerunner tag team with Warrior. They were known as Sting and Rock as I recall when they began their careers with the large Cowboy. Some of my best memories of calling wrestling bouts involved Sting back in the day in UWF and in WCW.
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The Q&A's are updated here.
When is it that we get enough info on Charlie Sheen's issues? I'm a fan of 'Two and a Half Men' and hope Sheen can put his arms around his obvious problems but I'm tapping on Sheen News overload. Hopefully he's got someone handling his money because nothing lasts forever. Plus, one's health is one greatest asset.
That's the saddest malaise in pro wrestling in my view when successful performers who earned excellent money foolishly throw it away, develop drug and alcohol issues, and never prepare for the end of their respective careers. HBO recently did a great segment on Inside Sports where they profiled several NFL players who have endured the same issues. Pro wrestling doesn't have the franchise on misguided athletes who are so undisciplined that they fail to prepare for life after the game and end up w/ broken marriages, bankruptcies, and health issues.
Educating these individuals when they are young and driving it home that 'this doesn't last forever' is imperative for any organization no matter the genre. Needless to say, there is no fool proof answer to these dilemmas but it has to start with edcuated individuals who have self disciline.
Thanks for the business as we had a really nice January thanks to many of you. Hopefully we can stay rolling through February as we inch close to the official BBQ season of Memorial Day thru Labor Day....that's for beginners as it's always BBQ season in these parts.