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Whenever I think of Boston, I always think of the time that I shared a tiny dressing room that had no air conditioning with Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan and a couple of referees as we all used the closet-like space to prepare for our respective duties before a WWE TV event.
It was brutally hot that day in the Northeast and as many sports fans remember the Boston Garden wasn't air conditioned. The locker room, too small for the inhabitants, was stifling hot. Gorilla was large and miserable due to the heat and the fact that he couldn't find his cuff links for his tuxedo shirt not to mention that he was perspiring profusely. Of course , Heenan did not make matters any better. Bobby sat down beside me, in obvious ear shot of Gorilla, and commenced to telling me that Bobby thought he was going to faint due to the heat. He wanted to know that if he did faint due to heat exhaustion or whatever heat related ailment that he was professing to have if I would revive him by giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation.
Before I could answer, 'the Big Ape,' as Heenan often called Monsoon, nailed Heenan righ in the head with one of Gorilla's giant sized shoes and then yelled to the 'Wease' to "SHUT UP AND GET OUT! NO ONE IS GIVING YOU MOUTH TO MOUTH IN THIS ROOM! YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN!" This would have made for some great TV as the two WWE HOFer's had amazing, comedic chemistry even when 'the Big Ape' was angry.
I really embrace those moments when they pop into my mind as I cherish the opportunities to have broadcast an event or two in the historic Boston Garden where Boston Celtics, radio announcer Johnny Most made broadcasting memories that will last a lifetime for many fans of the Celts. Johnny Most was an amazing storyteller who was a 'homer' and I say, why not?
My pal Sean Grande has the distinction of being today's Jversion of ohnny Most as Sean is the radio voice of one of my all time favorite sports franchises, the Boston Celtics.
However, I digress.
For the first time ever, a well worn, often used, pro wrestling cliché, the UFC is emanating one of their Pay Per View broadcasts this Saturday night from Boston.
The Boston crowd should be electric. Any thing less will be disappointing to this viewer. I've broadcast dozens upon dozens of WWE events in Boston over the years and the fans there never disappoint. If the live crowd is hot, then it helps the PPV consumer better able to emotionally invest in the broadcast and isn't that the proverbial bottom line?
If the crowd is hot and the show is produced with the crowd's passion in mind it allows announcers Rogan and Goldberg to be able to lay out occasionally and let us sitting at home enjoy the select moments. No announcer, no matter great they might be, can replicate the enthusiasm of thousands of fans raising hell. Mic 'em and let us hear 'em.
On paper this PPV event looks to be a good one.
BJ Penn will look to rebound from a shocking loss a few months ago along with the loss of Penn's title to Frankie Edgar in the Dubai Disaster for BJ.
Will Penn be content to simply regain his title or does the Hawaiian have a more physically demanding agenda IE nothing but a submission or a knockout will do?
BJ Penn is one of my favorite fighters, without question, so on this one I am not too unbiased. I want Penn to win and win definitively.
However, something tells me that this one isn't a layup. Edgar is a tough, proud guy who wins the title and seemingly gets little respect for doing so. That mindset, if my assumption is accurate, could propel the champion to a successful, first title defense and once again shock the MMA world.
Pride and perceived disrespect are powerful motivators. Of course so is losing one's title. Which emotion runs deeper? We'll find out Saturday night but the Penn-Edgar match could likely be much closer then the odds makers are predicting.
BTW...if Edgar does lose he will have to wait for his rematch as the Maynard-Florian winner would get the next shot at Penn. Now that's some cruel irony right there.
James Toney weighed in Friday at 237 which means he will likely weigh in a croissant or two shy of 245, or more, come fight time.
That could be a big problem. Or perhaps not.
By that I mean that this fight shouldn't go past the first, 5 minute round. Randy Couture, unless he's caught by some out of body, frenzied flurry by Toney's trained fists, should be able to take Toney down quickly and with the little MMA training Toney has had one can expect Randy to submit the former boxing champ.
Couture weighed in at 220, looked great, and one knows Randy is taking this fight seriously as a loss to JMMA newcomer James Toney by 'The Natural' would not be easy to live down for the proud, MMA legend.
I think Toney will be lucky to get to round two. Couture wins quickly and decisively inside 5 minutes.
If Toney does win, I'll ship him a case of each of all our sauces at no charge as I make this somewhat gratuitous sales plug.
Gray Maynard, who was an amateur teammate as WWE's Dolph Ziggler, could have the fight of the night against the talented Kenny Florian. The winner earns a title shot with the Penn-Edgar winner so the stakes are particularly high. Both men are smart, tough and enjoy acts of aggression. This one might have a touch of Slobber Knocker written on it when all is said and done.
Damien Maia is a talented fighter who I enjoy watching battle and is favored to beat Mario Miranda Saturday night. However, insiders think that Maia is in for a much tougher fight than some expect. This sort of conjecture just makes for a more interesting night of combat.
If you watch the PPV, I hope that you enjoy the presentation as will I. During the fight I will be Tweeting throughout so check those out @JRsBBQ.
I've also updated the Q&A Section of our site as of Friday afternoon. Lots of pro wrestling and other questions.
Thanks for stopping by as I'm preparing to catch Friday Night Smackdown on DVR. BTW Friday Night Smackdown will emanate live from OKC's Ford Center when it has it's premier on Syfy on Friday night October 1 which is the night before the Oklahoma vs. Texas college football showdown known as the Red River Rivalry in Big D and two days before the Hell in a Cell PPV in Dallas.