Talent Cuts...Double Smackdown Tapings....POT....Jericho Scorned?....Travis Hafner....NASCAR's Jimmy Johnson....

 Random thoughts on a busy weekend headlined by the nationally hyped Oklahoma-Texas Tech game here in Norman on Saturday night and then on to Boston EARLY Sunday morning for the Survivor Series. so here's what's on my mind today....

I have been trying to write as many fresh blogs as possible the past few weeks which has seen me write at all hours of the day and night. Being at one time a member of WWE corporate one learns to multi task as a means of self survival which is most Likely the same with all big corporations. I read on another website where someone responded to me writing "another blog" but asking the profoundly stupid question, "Doesn't J.R. work?" Pardon me while I roll my eyes.

A fan wrote me and asked if I thought that there would be more talent cuts within the WWE soon and my honest and direct answer is that I don't know. However, if forced to make a prediction I would think yes and that unfortunately, but honestly, it isn't a bad thing to change the bottom and then the middle of the lineup at least annually. Roster "upgrades" was always my goal when I worked in talent relations as it is today. However, the more cooks in the kitchen regarding who goes and who stays makes it more difficult in my opinion. 

The hardest part of the talent relations job for me was giving an individual the bad news that they were being released. I disliked that aspect of the job immensely. Years ago when former or active wrestlers had the responsibility of saying adiós to talents some of those individuals seemed to actually enjoy their power trips and providing bad news. Looking at it in hindsight, most of these men who were in positions of power were bullies at heart with low self esteem. 

My friend Travis Hafner and his wife Amy are traveling down to Norman this weekend to see the Sooners play Texas Tech. Travis is the DH for the Cleveland Indians and his wife surprised him with OU tickets for the "big game" as an anniversary gift. 

Another notable heading to Norman this weekend is Jimmy Johnson of NASCAR fame whose wife is an OU graduate plus Jimmy is friends with OU head coach Bob Stoops. There is a good chance that Jimmy will enjoy some J.R.'s BBQ at some point this weekend.

Rowdy Roddy Piper was featured on my wife's favorite show TMZ this week apparently smoking some pot.  Roddy's reason was essentially medical in nature as in treating his cancer but nonetheless it reminded me of the territory days in the 70's when many wrestlers would smoke pot recreationally on virtually a daily basis which seemed to act as a sedative for some of the higher strung alpha males. As the legend has it, "Hippie" Mike Boyette, who allegedly liked to smoke a joint occasionally, even had marijuana scented air freshener in his vehicle just in case he was pulled over by the police and if they smelled pot Mike would laugh and demonstrate the pot scented, air freshener.  I can remember WAY back in the day when JYD's adoring fans in southern Louisiana would bring Dog grocery sacks full of pot as a show of their admiration.  Ernie Ladd used to talk to JYD all the time about what the Big Cat referred to as "demon week." 

One can expect a fierce effort from Chris Jericho this Sunday at the Survivor Series in Boston when he defends his World's Title against the returning John Cena. So much as been made of John's return, and rightfully so, that it seems as if Jericho is almost the "forgotten man" in this promotional equation. Jericho is a gamer and will be physical and challenging for Cena come Sunday. This will be an intense match and may surprise some fans with its level of physicality. I'm never right with my predictions (announcers never are, are they?) but I would consider taking Jericho and the points Sunday even though the reigning champ is seemingly the underdog going into the match. 

I read where Abdullah the Butcher is retiring and a big event in his honor will be held soon in Puerto Rico for him. If one throughly examines Abby's "run",  it is actually pretty damn amazing for a performer who was somewhat athletically limited but made up for it with a unique look and amazing crowd psychology. Abby was a fearless antagonist who perfected a very straight forward and physical style that, over the years,  endured racism,  the ever changing and fickle territory system, and in ring styles that seemingly morphed on a regular basis to survive for decades, most of the time as a main event star in a wide variety of areas and especially in Japan. I have great respect for Abby's business acumen and his longevity. Years ago when I was a member of one of the volatile WCW "booking committees", Abby gave me a heads up that some on the committee were out to "get me" for their own political gain and to have me replaced on the committee. I appreciated the heads up but in hindsight I wish I had helped my detractors facilitate my booking committee demise as being in that asylum was a bigger pain in the ass than it was worth and all for not one extra dollar. The late Gary Hart always called Abby "Butch" which sticks to me this very day. Congrats Abby on a wonderful career and best of luck with the continued success of your Atlanta area restaurant. 

Many of you are responding well to our holiday gift offers many with FREE SHIPPING with many orders starting under $20. Check out our cap and shirt combo that include a free, personalized photo and our personally autographed J.R.'s Cookbook. We are also selling a ton of our J.R.'s Original Beef Jerky which is 97% fat free and a great snack. 

No announcer assignments have been made yet for the Survivor Series that I am aware of and all I know that Tazz, the World's Angriest Announcer, and I are doing in Boston is the WWE Title Bout and the Casket Match. I assume that there will be more but that's pure speculation. 

It is my understanding that we are taping two episodes of Friday Night Smackdown in Albany, New York on Tuesday night which might become something that occurs on a more regular basis as a means of being a cost cutting measure. That sure works for me as it means one less week on the road. It is not easy voicing over a pair of shows that total 22 segments of TV but I will trade the extra work for a week at home any time. FYI, I worked until almost 3 a.m. Wednesday night/Thursday morning putting the finishing touches on the commentary for Friday Night Smackdown that airs this Friday night on MyNetworkTV. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting our site. I hope that you will tell a friend about our site and continue to support our efforts in selling our products that we are very proud of and of which we work so hard. This is crunch time for us and if you think we can help with your holiday shopping to some degree we certainly appreciate the opportunity.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.        

  

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I really wish our stick in the mud society would move beyond the old conservative propaganda against marijuana and see the legitimate medicinal benefits it posesses. My own mother was prescribed medicinal marijuana to regain her apetite following a stroke. The variation of medicinal marijuana she received does not make anyone high thus leaving very little potential for abuse.

Marijuana also has legitimate uses as therapy for cancer patients yet is still criminalized because of ludicrously outdated archaic thinking.

I also believe it should be legalized for recreational purposes as well even though I myself do not use it. All this war on drugs has accomplished is 4 decades of throwing good money after bad and overcrowding every prison in America. It has succeeded in making criminals out of ordinarily decent people and destroying the lives of them and their families solely because some politicians still choose to keep their heads up their own rear ends.  

While I apologize if it's against the rules to speak politics here, I am not sorry for holding and believing these views.

 JR....... I am not against roster turn over and releases.  However, the release of Armando Estrada is one that I don't particularly care for.  

First off, the man did the best managing job in 20 years for Umaga.  In my opinion, if it wasn't for Estrada, Umaga would be one of these releases.  Umaga owes a big part of his success to Armando.

Secondly, Armando was getting a lot of crowd reaction as Armando Alejandro Estrada....only to have "Alejandro" dropped.  Then he stopped managing Umaga and it was never stated why.

Third, when he started wrestling on his own there was no build up.  Just baam there is Armando wrestling.  They should have shown vignettes of the GM preparing to wrestle.

Fourth, when he became a wrestler he didn't have much direction.  Then he was facing guys making their debuts like Braden Walker ( I don't think Bret Hart could have made that guy look good). 

I think he has a lot of talent and it was almost like they didn't want him to reach his potential.  

Thanks,

Coach Ken.

Created By Destiny - Bonded By Faith

JR My Darlin !! I hope you know I love ya to pieces BUT I couldn't just let the football game happen this weekend without writing to say GOOOOO TEXASSSSSS but don't feel bad because I'm stuck here in Buckeye country and NEVER root for them - have a great weekend - talk to you soon

i cant wait for the john cena vs chris jerchio match i hope j.r in the king call this match.  j.r is the king when it comes to calling big matches like john cena vs chris jerchio im not saying micheal cole is a bad announcer but big main event matches sound much better when j.r is calling them.

 Haha JR; the ceremony of athletes smoking pot to help relax muscles hasn't died and lives on in michaeld!

:)

I exercise 4-5 times a week and I like to smoke a joint beforehand, it really loosens me up and kills "butterflies" so I can go 100% in the gym.

Some people think I'm crazy; maybe  you can relate haha.

Until next time...

Thanks, J.R., for the forum.

  I have had many friends and acquaintances in the MMA community for the past 10 years.  I'm no athlete by any means, with that said, after just rolling with one of them on the mat  "just for fun", I would have to say that smoking herb should be a REQUIREMENT for any MMA athlete or professional wrestler.
I can't imagine the pain one must go through on a daily basis, I end up feeling like a giant sore for days ... and that's just doing it for 20 minutes once a month! Professional wrestlers have all my respect in the world.

Been a fan since I was a little kid, when I would get you confused with Gordon Solie. 

Thanks.

Shawn Michaels end The Streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25?

I've no doubt marijuana is still popular today, which makes RVD's release because of it all the more ridiculous, but there you are.

Of course you work hard, Mister Ross.  The road schedule alone must be a nightmare.  Being a good announcer takes talent, and defending McMahon and Levesque on a regular basis would take a lot out of anyone.

"I've no doubt marijuana is still popular today, which makes RVD's release because of it all the more ridiculous, but there you are."

Rob Van Dam was suspended, not released, because cops caught him with pot.  He left WWE by his own decision about 11 months later.

Okay, so he decided to leave after WWE buried him because some cops caught him with pot.  Gee, wonder why.  Thanks for your hair splitting clarification, ChrisH.

Chk out the cool link for some really hot and sizzling wwe news...

http://wwe-scoops.com

"Okay, so he decided to leave after WWE buried him because some cops caught him with pot. Gee, wonder why. Thanks for your hair splitting clarification, ChrisH."
 

Yeah, because when news outlets start reporting that the WWE and ECW champion was pulled over by police and charged with carrying illegal substances, WWE should just continue on like nothing happened.  Perhaps push him harder and wait for him to do it again.

Sigh.  As JR's blog originally pointed out, weed was commonplace in the territory days.  RVD's using it indicates it probably still is.  Shall we discuss Eddie Guerrero, or the fact that Jeff Hardy is challenging for the WWE Championship despite similar issues?  (Though granted, he probably won't win it.)

"Sigh. As JR's blog originally pointed out, weed was commonplace in the territory days. RVD's using it indicates it probably still is. Shall we discuss Eddie Guerrero, or the fact that Jeff Hardy is challenging for the WWE Championship despite similar issues? (Though granted, he probably won't win it.)"
 

His using pot was not an issue as he has openly done so way before he ever came to WWE, even appearing in "High Times" magazine.

He and Sabu were punished for getting busted by the police and being charged with possession of controlled substances.  Within hours, news outlets were reporting the story of the then-current WWE and ECW champion nearly getting arrested for drug possession.  That is why he was punished, not because he likes pot.

JR,

Thanks for keeping the blog active and up to date!

A question about talent.

With the WWE stock so low, I was wondering how much of an effect that this has on talent and the show overall in general?

Are you doing less live dates, events in smaller venues etc...

Thanks in advance.

dss902
420

Hi JR,

You're writing is as interesting and informative as ever, keep it up.

I don't know if this has been asked already or if you have addressed it already but here goes.....

Do you think that with all the talent cuts and the fact that superstars appear on other brands (ie aren't exclusive to Raw, Smackdown or ECW) that the WWE may be moving towards uniting the WWE under one umbrella instead of having instead of the split rosters?
Personally I would love that because I feel that having two world champions (or three if you count ECW) dilutes the status of being champion but thats just my personal opinion. What do you think?

So, ChrisH, by your own logic, he was busted not for using pot, but for getting caught.  That being so, they had no real justification for burying him.  Thank you for proving my point.

"So, ChrisH, by your own logic, he was busted not for using pot, but for getting caught. That being so, they had no real justification for burying him. Thank you for proving my point.:"
 

The police also charged him and Sabu for pills they had with them.

How many guys win matches at WrestleMania and over the the top heel on another brand after giving notice like he did?  He told WWE was leaving, and they started putting him on both ECW and Raw.  He even beat Randy Orton in his final match for no real reason, then they brought him back to squash Santino Marella just for fun.

Not giving him another title rerun was necessary since he was clear in stating he didn't think the whole thing was a big deal and wasn't really upset about being suspended.  WWE's drug policy states that wrestlers can be immediately fired for getting busted by law enforcement, so he actually wasn't punished all the severely.

Okay, so NOW you suddenly "remember" they were also caught with pills, and you also say that RVD "wasn't punished that severely" after previously admitting he had been, and say that he had "given notice" and yet still been given big wins.  This of course ignores WHY RVD would have "given notice" and the fact that he HAD BEEN buried before, according to you, he had given said notice.  So either I'm right because they don't care that he was using drugs, or I'm right because you keep changing your story on what happened and why.

"Okay, so NOW you suddenly "remember" they were also caught with pills, and you also say that RVD "wasn't punished that severely" after previously admitting he had been, and say that he had "given notice" and yet still been given big wins. This of course ignores WHY RVD would have "given notice" and the fact that he HAD BEEN buried before, according to you, he had given said notice. So either I'm right because they don't care that he was using drugs, or I'm right because you keep changing your story on what happened and why."

The pill part is true, though.  Who knows, maybe it was just pot, the police would have let him off with a warning, and WWE would have let him keep one of the titles, pay a small fine, or something similar.

If not putting him right back where he was after getting busted for drugs just weeks after WWE put two world titles on him is being buried, then, okay, he was buried.  I think most people, though, would think it would have been incredibly stupid for WWE to put themselves in a position to get burned again, especially when he had a "whatever" attitude about it.  If he didn't care about being suspended, then the same situation could happen all over again.

Once he came back from his 30-day suspension that WWE gave him when, according their own policy, they could have fired him, he was on TV every week, was made the leader of a popular faction, and won quite often.  If they were trying to bury him, that was an awful way to do it.

Also, didn't he quit because he was burnt out on the schedule and was tired of the travel?  In interviews, he says he would be open to going back to WWE but right now is enjoying no longer traveling constantly.

"The pill part is true, though. Who knows, maybe it was just pot, the police would have let him off with a warning, and WWE would have let him keep one of the titles, pay a small fine, or something similar."

Sorry, make that "maybe IF it was just pot..."

Sigh.  Taking the belts, both of them, at the time of the incident, I can understand.  The follow through, given WWE's own attitude towards drug use, despite their so called "Wellness policy", I can't, and don't.  And despite your best efforts, you haven't explained it. 

"Sigh. Taking the belts, both of them, at the time of the incident, I can understand. The follow through, given WWE's own attitude towards drug use, despite their so called "Wellness policy", I can't, and don't. And despite your best efforts, you haven't explained it. "
 

Rob stated that he didn't think getting busted was that big of a deal and wasn't really uspet about being suspended.  Given that he didn't mind the consequences, he could have easily let himself get busted again.  As a result, WWE didn't put titles on him anymore when he returned.  That way, if he did it again and got arrested or forced to do some jail time, they wouldn't have to suspend or fire a reigning champion.  That's logical.  What would have been illogical is to put a title on Van Dam when he gave no indiction to WWE that he would make sure to not put himself into a position where he could embarrass himself and the company again.

Rob said what he needed to say, what any "punished" wrestler would say if they wanted another title shot.  You cannot seriously use WWE and logic in the same sentence.  Rob is a draw, he paid for his mistake, he performed more than well enough to be champion again.  That is logic.

"Rob said what he needed to say, what any "punished" wrestler would say if they wanted another title shot. You cannot seriously use WWE and logic in the same sentence. Rob is a draw, he paid for his mistake, he performed more than well enough to be champion again. That is logic."
 

Jeff Hardy is getting another chance, but he did the opposite of what RVD did.  He said he screwed up, it was all his fault, and apologized rather than having a "What?  I did something wrong?" attitude about it.  Despite that, WWE is still delaying a Hardy title run with the fear that he'll screw up again.  Van Dam, openly, didn't care and said he wasn't going to change anything, leaving himself wide open to the same thing happening again.

Jeff said "Give me the damned cup, I'll fill it" in a WWE interview.  Challenging, rather than indifferent.  Bad tone to take.

Now, if by some miracle they do actually give Jeff the belt?  Great.  But I'm not holding my breath.

"Jeff said "Give me the damned cup, I'll fill it" in a WWE interview. Challenging, rather than indifferent. Bad tone to take. Now, if by some miracle they do actually give Jeff the belt? Great. But I'm not holding my breath."
 

I think they want to trust him but still have it in the back of their minds how he is one more screw up away from termination.  In some interviews, he has shown regret over his drug use.  If his attitude was, "Yeah, whatever.  I'm not changing", he'd have no hope of ever winning the title and probably wouldn't even have matches with the champ.  With Edge now the champ, though, this might finally be Jeff's time.  We'll see, I guess.

The referee has declared this debate. . .a draw!

Enough, OK?  Neither one's gonna persuade the other.