Hope everyone who celebrates the holiday had a Merry Christmas. Our's was low key, quiet and spent watching 'Christmas with the Duke' on AMC. With that said, we're burning daylight.
The Q&A's have been updated elsewhere here on the site. Some eye rollers got cut as I did not want to embarrass wrestling fans with sound minds by addressing some of the more lame queries.
I gets lots of questions from wannabe wrestlers who have the goal of making it in WWE and other companies. For many who are not collegiate or professional athletes, getting the very best wrestling training that one can is essential. That's not an option. Attending a legit wrestling school who can provide you with a list of former students who have secured tryouts and/or work is important.
Then once one 'graduates' finding work on the indie trail is the next step. Hopefully, that work will attract the attention of WWE or whoever and a tryout or an invitation to a camp is forthcoming.
Every thing that I've mentioned is meaningless if one isn't in the very best cardiovascular shape that they can achieve. When talents are getting ill the first day of drills, for me, that's generally an automatic ticket home. There's no excuse to not come to play in shape. NONE.
Recruiting scholarship athletes and/or former pros, all of who have a bona fide, legit aptitude and interest in the pro wrestling genre, is where I feel any company who wants to grow will look for their next wave of potential stars.
That doesn't mean that no one from the indies gets a shot but that list is relatively short when one considers how many colleges that there are with athletic teams and how many athletes that they produce each year. Those numbers are staggering. Much like the football players who, for one reason or another, don't make an NFL team and then seek to discover their next career. That pool of talent is deep and is refreshed annually.
No one should just hire a jock who has a great look but instead sign athletic individuals who look and move like skilled athletes but who also have, and this is key, an aptitude for the unique genre that sports entertainment/pro wrestling is and has always been.
Unfortunately, nothing is ever going to replace gaining experience working in front of paying customers no matter how large or small the 'house' may be. Today's talents don't have multiple territories in which to learn their craft and that is going to affect the genre adversely over time and actually already is.
In speaking specifically of WWE, that's why the results that are achieved in the WWE Performance Center are as crucial as any phase of business that WWE conducts. Coaching and mentoring are paramount inside those walls and beyond and cannot be or will it ever be a 9-5 gig.
Mentoring is a huge issue with today's young athlete no matter the genre.
I talk to sports coaches regularly and today's young athlete cannot be communicated with or coached like the previous generation of athletes. Many of the core values are still in tact for some but the methodology of communication with this generation of young people is unique to say the least.
The other hard, cold fact regarding a young person making it to the WWE main roster is that the VAST majority who are in training will NOT make the big dance. I never wanted to simply sign and see guys trained who were content to make the main roster. That concept fosters a comfort zone that is unhealthy for all involved. The goal is and should always be to recruit and train athletes who just might headline a WrestleMania event some day. Then, if one falls just short of one's goal, they still have a solid hand who can still contribute significantly and are not merely a space holder.
Recruiting and signing legit, main stream athletes also allows one to do all the much needed due diligence on the individual to find out from their coaches, teachers and advisors just what kind of individual that is being brought into one's company.
I can tell you this and that is that the VAST majority of the time on day two, and sometimes day one, of doing drills in camp, the main stream athletes generally surpasses any one else in the camp with the occasional exception of a truly talented indie wrestler who's been in the business for several years at a comparatively high level.
If you are a wrestling historian or care to do any research, you will see that the wrestling biz has been built using the same model that I've described here for generations. It's tried and true as long as the jocks recruited and trained love the business and have been legit fans for years.
Fans are dying for new attractions on every wrestling TV that airs. These attractions and new stars don't grow on trees and are next to impossible to manufacture. I'm not even sure that they can be manufactured to last over the long haul. It's a combined effort of the athletic, young talents who want to play on the first team IE be a star and the daily coaching and mentoring that they receive. Coaches in the genre can't teach "IT" but they should be able to identify "IT" and at that point heavily invest in the individual.
Another key rule to follow is that some talents find "IT" after engaging in the process but if one hasn't demonstrated such after 12-18 months, then it's time to move on for everyone's benefit.
To have an individual in one's training program for two years makes little sense to me.
That's another reason why all wannabe wrestlers should have a viable, realistic Plan B to fall back on because so many more will NOT make it than will.
Twitter Questions from @JRsBBQ:
If Ronda Rousey gets booed Saturday night at #UFC168 how will she respond? TUF portrayed her as the villains in the Miesha Tate equation but will it matter? Hard to say but I can't see it affecting the fight. It might even piss her off more. One thing about this fight is that if Ronda is too obsessed with dominating Tate, she's more apt to make a mistake that could cost her. I still see Rousey winning but her losing would be a huge money maker for all involved.
Are you going to Vegas for the UFC PPV Saturday? No...watching it from home. Think it will be a helluva show. @UFC will turn it loose for their final show of 2013. Just please mic the audience so the announcers have to push themselves to get over the crowd noise and fight ambiance.
Where are JR's Cookbooks sold? The only place that I know that has them is wweshop.com and their copies are signed. If anyone know other sources to purchase either cookbook we've done, let me know. I'd assume on eBay or perhaps Amazon.
Will Seth Rollins have the hardest time making it in WWE? I don't know why some automatically assume this. Rollins has arguably had more, better matches than any Shield member on TV. I wouldn't sleep on Rollins success if I were a fan.
Are you going to the Sugar Bowl? Oh, hell yeah! Hooking up with both Brad Nessler and Eli Gold while in NOLA. Two great, broadcasting friends.
Can wrestling companies still make money touring? The market is soft and most promotions, including TNA, likely don't make any significant cash touring. WWE has some major holiday events this weekend and if the majority of them doesn't sell out or do near capacity business how can they be considered a success? Touring is expensive as it travel in general which makes promoting live events risky in today's market place. When new talents and storylines get hot the odds of increased success goes up significantly. I'd guess that in 2014, in the USA that it will be WWE out there on the road on a regular basis essentially alone except for sporadic tours from other companies.
WWEShop.com has some really cool, new JR's packages that come with a double signed, autograph card from famous, wrestling artist Rob Schamberger. The signed photo is FREE w/ the purchase of one of the packages which are priced under $10. http://www.wweshop.com.
Tickets for my NYC, RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross are on sale now at the Gramercy Theater Box Office and all ticketmaster.com outlets. Two shows on Saturday March 1 and I can't wait. Great, unfiltered Q&A's, meet and greets available and some fun stories of my 40 year career in the rasslin business.
Follow me on Twitter if you would like @JRsBBQ. We're over 1M strong.