Ah, the glamorous life of a ‘rasslin announcer… Tuesday morning I left the Mohegan Sun at 3:45 a.m. for my trip to Hartford’s Bradley Airport to fly back to OKC via Dallas. A short night to say the least, but I got to watch SportsCenter like 3 times and catch up with LSU’s victory over Ohio State for the National Championship of college football’s most elite division. LSU is tough to beat, essentially at home, and Les Miles’ squad is talented and fast and proved too much for James Laurinaitis’ Buckeyes to handle. Laurinaitis is the son of Road Warrior Animal and the rumors abound that James will declare for the NFL Draft which remains to be seen. My take on that matter is that a kid has to take the big, guaranteed money IF it is there, but there is nothing better than the college experience if the large cash isn’t a guarantee via being a first round draft pick.
I met a bunch of fans after Raw Monday night at the hotel and did my best to sign all their autograph requests and then even took photos and signed some autographs Tuesday morning at 4 a.m. which should invoke some scary images. By the way, the crowd at the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena was hot Monday night – and that certainly helps any TV show, as the Raw fans went above and beyond the call.
Many fans were disappointed that Ric Flair was not on Raw Monday and I don’t know why he wasn’t but I do know that many fans are talking about the Flair retirement scenario wherever I travel. Hopefully “Naitch” will make an appearance next Monday when Raw originates from Mobile, Alabama. From what I can tell it would see that Raw goes full time HD in two weeks.
I received a nice email Tuesday from Bret “The Hitman” Hart, who is relaxing in Hawaii after his exhausting book tour. Bret and I are going to try and hook up one day soon and he has been kind enough to be willing to provide us some “Hitman” gear for our next J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q, which is opening in Moore, Oklahoma in April. I have not spoken to a single individual who has read Bret’s book who hasn’t said that the book wasn’t simply awesome. I can’t wait to read it and the one common denominator regarding the book is that it is honest. Some wrestling books I have read were so bogus it was embarrassing for all involved, even though many of the less than honest and self serving publications still made the author some pretty good bucks.
I read on the internet that both Brooke Hogan and Chyna were being considered for “Dancing With The Stars,” which I found provocative. I sound like CNN’s A.J. Hammer, if that is his real name, as there is no doubt that both ladies would add some spice to the proceedings if one or both came to fruition. Sounds like yet another reality show in the making. Just what the world needs… Speaking of Dancing With The Stars, has any one seen anything of the lovely Stacey Keibler lately? I sure miss the sweetheart’s smile… and her legs!
Does anyone else think that Britney Spears needs to be committed before she leaves her two little boys without a mom? Good grief, when is enough of this foolishness enough? Can someone please say intervention? Britney gets more, albeit negative, pub than anyone in show business. Where are “her people,” but more importantly, where in the hell are her parents?
I don’t know who, but either Roger Clemens—or his former trainer is lying about The Rocket’s alleged steroid and HGH use. I have met Clemens on a handful of occasions, a couple of times at the Cotton Bowl for the OU-Texas football game and in Vegas on Super Bowl weekend a year or two ago, and I like the guy and think he may well be the greatest right handed pitcher of all time. I hope Roger comes through this ordeal intact as I hope Roger is being up front and honest, but these performance enhancing drugs have a more heightened focus on them today than I can ever remember. Bottom line is, just don’t do the damn things. The unfair competitive edge and the vanity that goes along with many of these chemicals needs to be eliminated and the FDA can help this cause especially the HGH issues. So can the American Medical Association. I understand Congress getting involved with these issue, but it is hard for any American citizen to debate the fact that Congress doesn’t have more pressing issues on their plate than this issue. Hopefully Congress can expedite these hearings and develop a plan to solve the problem but using the term “Congress” and “expedite” in the same sentence may be oxymoronic. It sure seems that after the Benoit tragedy and the subsequent publicity that was garnered and has significantly subsided, that many politicians have lessened their desire, or so it seems, to have Congress investigate wrestling.
We are getting ready to launch a new Valentine’s Day offer later this week, so please stay tuned for that. Plus, much to my surprise, the “Big Nuts” marketing campaign is doing really well. I can’t wait to see someone with a “Big Nuts” shirt on at a Raw TV event! We sent some gift buckets out for holiday gifts, including some “Big Nuts” shirts, and they were main event hits. I hope you will consider allowing us to be your source for all your unique gift ideas in our online store that never closes.
Bar-B-Q’ed Feedback time….or let’s get Sauced!
My question is about the troops. Why is it WWE only mentions the American soldiers over there in Iraq? There are troops over there from all over the world, and yet WWE only credits the American troops, which I feel is wrong. WWE should acknowledge the “World” part of their initials more often with respect to this. – Dreamboy3000
The broadcast isn’t meant as a political statement in my view, and acknowledging the American troops from an American based company seems in line. This question borders on the political, and I am not a political guy by choice, inside or out of the wrestling biz. Politics of either ilk addressed are akin to a case of the diarrhea. YES I KNOW THAT POLITICS ARE PREVALENT IN WRESTLING, BUT THAT STILL DOESN’T MEAN I HAVE TO LIKE THEM.
Happy Holidays to you and yours and this maybe a minor question, but I’m 34 and the classic stuff is what I like the most when it comes to the DVD’s that come out…Whether its Bret Hart’s, The Road Warriors or Ric Flair and The Four Horseman…So my question and I know it’s a mute point, but why didn’t they use the World Class music for The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling… I remember how the theme song used to go… Just wondering why it wasn’t used…Don’t know if you’ve had a chance to watch it… Can’t wait for Raw to get here in VA next month! See you guys soon – Al (From NJ)(Now in VA)
I am not sure, but most likely it was an ownership or music licensing issue. I thought was an excellent look at World Class and that era and enjoyed it very much. COULD THE WCCW DVD HAVE BEEN BETTER, MOST LIKELY, BUT IT TOLD A DAMN GOOD STORY OF ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE ORGANIZATIONS IN WRESTLING HISTORY. YOUNGER WRESTLERS SHOULD LEARN FROM THIS STORY, AMONG OTHER TRAGEDIES THAT HAVE OCCURRED WITHIN THE BIZ.
I just LOVE your new format of answering questions! It is so interesting to read the original question, mistyped and all sometimes, and then read your comment or feedback on it. And yes, football in college and the NFL is very exciting right now. I hope you and your family had a great Christmas!
Johnny in Laredo, TX
Long night at the office for OU, but they are young and they will hopefully learn from the less than stellar experience. Passion can’t be willed or coached, as an athlete/wrestler must have “it’ – or not. OU needs more players with big hearts, lots of passion, and “it”. THE OU COACHES TOOK A BEATING FROM THE MEDIA AND SOME FANS, BUT A GOOD PORTION OF THE BLAME GOES ON THE PLAYERS.
Do they give tours of WWE headquarters? Also could you give us an update on Bobby Heenan? – Philip from Maine
Ask the WWE about their tours or lack thereof, as I don’t know. They are an office building that is not open to the public. I am not sure what you would tour or see, unless it might be the TV facility which works seemingly 24/7. They are like a CBS or a USA Network, in that it’s all offices and studios and nothing really for the public.
I DO KNOW THAT BOBBY HAD ANOTHER SURGERY ON MONDAY WHICH WILL MAKE HIS THIRD OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, BUT I DON’T HAVE AN UPDATE AS TO HOW IT WENT. BOBBY IS UNDERGOING SOME CHALLENGING TIMES, HEALTH WISE. I am attempting to get an update on The Brain, but all our thoughts and prayers in his regard would not hurt. As soon as I have spoken to Bobby’s wife, I will provide accurate info.
First off I hope you had a great Christmas with your family, I watched The 4 Horsemen DVD again last night and again laughed at the promo Arn cut where he said Jim Cornette’s suits looked like something Stevie Wonder would pick out. I also have enjoyed the RAW 15th anniversary DVD immensely especially the whole post-Montreal interview in its entirety, although I wish they had included Ric Flair showing up the night after Survivor’s Series 2001. I am looking forward to Stone Cold’s DVD next year and would love to see a Ricky Steamboat DVD also down the road, as well as maybe a “History Of Wrestling Stables” DVD. God Bless You J.R. – Dan
Thanks, Dan. Wrestling promos were much better when wrestlers were provided bullet points and then went on their own instincts and passion rather than have someone try and script what the wrestlers should say. There is so much great wrestling history in WWE’s archive; it will be very interesting to see the new releases as they are released!
Hey JR, – I am an undertaker fan. I would like to know what would happen to Smackdown once the undertaker retires from the wrestling business? Could anybody fill the void of having a main even superstar like him? – Jasel
No one is irreplaceable – not even The Undertaker. Nonetheless, The Undertaker’s legacy will live forever in the WWE.
Quick question for you: Some friends and I were talking about the extreme popularity of Ron Simmons these days and his one-word gimmick. My question is this: what are your feelings about retired superstars getting the type of screen time that Ron does? Do you think that hurts the younger folks that don’t get a chance to shine in backstage interviews/spots? – Jim
I think that older stars can be effectively used to help create awareness for the younger stars, if it is efficiently presented. If Ron Simmons’ air time for saying “damn” is retarding the growth of younger wrestlers, then something is really wrong. I would like to see the WWE utilize Arn Anderson and Dusty Rhodes in verbal roles as well. That’s just me.
What do you think the chances are of a British born world champion? I was also a fan of the European title, as it gave us a person to support. Do you think it will ever be brought back? I think that a US title alienates everyone outside of the United States. What do you think? – Dan (UK)
A British born world’s champ is probably more likely today than ever before. It all depends on the individual, and personally I could care less where the champion is from, as long as he can carry his share of the water.
i just want tell you that wwe is going ok, but we need see more wrestling then talking and with this vince thing i really wouldn’t like see him on the show alot its about the wrestlers not about the chairman i would like see the rating go up then down. and also i would like see them push jeff hardy more for him to win the title it’s about time we get the new wrestlers too win because like triple h and shawn michaels & etc.. they been in the biz for long time its time change up for once in wwe so what is your opinion about this?
You make things sound so easy and, unfortunately, they are not. There are lots of influences at play and many cooks in the kitchen that affect how matters evolve. When wrestlers are put in a position to be B level actors, at best, or comedians, it oftentimes falls flat. Many people have their own visions for the product. And mine is reality based physicality, spiced with natural verbalizing. OVER THE YEARS WATCHING WRESTLERS ASSUME THE ROLES OF BAD ACTORS IS UNCOMFORTABLE.
Do you feel that the Undertaker gets the respect that he deserves in the ring and not backstage? Why does Vince or creative have Edge defeat the Undertaker, when Edge is by far over-rated when it comes to in-ring ability? – Joshua Howell
I totally disagree that Edge is overrated. ‘Taker is one of the most respected men, and deservedly so, in the entire company.
Hi J.R.! Thanks for answering my earlier question. I think Jillian’s CD is selling because people love, or at least react strongly, to the gimmick. But of course pretty much anything with the WWE name is a guaranteed sell. Have you ever heard Jillian “really” sing, as in not screaming the lyrics? I’m curious as to how good she can be. – Jody L.
I don’t even know if Jillian can “really” sing. Her singing hasn’t occupied many of my thoughts lately, to be honest with you.
I know you don’t have control over talent or where they go, but in your opinion what do you think the possibility of Rey Mysterio going to Raw would be? Many of us feel he’s an amazing talent (as would most agree), but all in all the good possible rivalries on Smackdown available are slim for him now. He has been on the Smackdown roster longer than anyone on it currently, except for maybe The Undertaker. I think the only people of real interest he hasn’t had a rivalry with is Undertaker, Edge and Batista (and all three would be great, but then what?). What are your thoughts, Beefmaster Jim? – D
Rey seems to be staple on Smackdown and I don’t see him moving from there anytime soon, especially with Smackdown appealing to a strong and ever growing Hispanic audience.
I have been a long time fan of the Pro Wrestling Industry and always wanted to be involved. I wanted to be an in ring talent, but due to injuries I have sustained, that dream will never come true. Do you know if the WWE corporate hires people who could work from a different location? since I would not be able to relocate for employment, but would love to work for the WWE. I do have a b.s. in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. Any advice/suggestions you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. – Carl
Contact the WWE Corporate website, Carl, and good luck.
I was wondering what is the best way to break into the writing side of the wrestling biz. Also, at the beginning of the Legend’s Show, there is a clip of a ring collapsing because of there being too many guys in it. Any idea when that occurred?
Thanks and take care. Sean Kilkelly
I would assume that the ring collapsed because there was too much weight in it and the ring wasn’t properly supported. Ring crew snafu. I do not know how the writer’s are hired as that is not my area. Another WWE Corporate website question.
I was looking at the wwe website and noticed on the Royal Rumble page that the title belt Randy Orton has around his shoulder says Triple H on it. I know mistakes are made, but thought it was really weird seeing that, as Triple H has never worn the spinning title. Is this a forecast of things to come in the near future? – . John O’Donnell
Most likely a human error, as HHH is now out of the Rumble.
Hello JR! Hope you had a pleasant and relaxing festive period.
In the spirit of the traditional ‘best of’ lists that crop up at this time of year? I wondered what your best moment of 2007 was? For me the return of Chris Jericho was just about the best, he brought real star quality to Raw that night. – Adam P: Surrey: England
My best moment was being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, hands down.
Couple quick things. First, you say you think the NHL is poorly marketed and promoted. What would you change about it, being the sports buff you are? Hockey is the only team sport I follow and I’m a huge NHL fan. Which segues nicely into my wrestling question, I’m also a huge Stevie Richards fan, and I haven’t seen him since an early September ECW when I was fortunate enough to be in attendance (in Atlanta) for a stellar match involving Richards, Tommy Dreamer, Kevin Thorn and Elijah Burke. What’s up with Stevie and when will he be back? – Godz
I would have to give this ample thought, which I choose not to do at this time, but watching hockey on TV is challenging. I like the game too, but it is not a TV friendly vehicle. Plus I think the league has to develop cross over stars that I can emotionally invest in. Stevie has had some injury issues and is in healing mode.
Hey J.R. Thanks for partially answering my question last time, but the wrestling i was referring to was in-ring. So what advice do you have for me? thanks. – Jeffro
Hopefully you have a college degree, first and foremost. Then attend a wrestling school and Danny Davis or Harley Race’s schools are two of the best. Making it as a wrestler is a LONG shot at best, just so you will know.
Hey JR, i have a quick question. Have you heard when Candice Michelle or Gregory Helms will be back in the ring again? – Jordan
Candice is due back in January as I last heard, but Helms is more likely to return in 4-6 months from neck surgery. I HAVE HEARD THAT HELMS IS DOING BETTER. THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF HIS RECOVERY HAVE BEEN CHALLENGING.
Silly question… When calling a match, do you predominantly look at the monitors at your broadcast position, or do you look at the action directly in the ring? It seems (and I may be wrong) that you and your colleagues tend to look at the monitors more often. Is this because of the greater variety of viewing angles available with the monitors? – Jeffrey
I watch the monitors because they show me the same thing that you see at home, and that is what I am paid to describe.
Do you think that one day WWE will produce a Deisel/Kevin Nash set? And where can a city boy like myself pick up some of your famous beef jerky in new york? – Alex Sanchez
Our J.R.’s Beef Jerky is available here on our website, as are all our products, and we usually ship within hours of receiving your order. I would assume that Nash is a lay-up for a DVD some day and deservedly, so especially if the WWE can conduct a thorough sit down interview with him when he is contractually able.
Dear Mr. Ross,
I really enjoy the talk shows you host on WWE on Demand, when there is real debate with such men like Mick Foley or Eric Bischoff. The rest of panel usually sucks up to the WWE. Don’t get me wrong. I love the wwe, but nothing is perfect. I feel maybe the panel should always have Foley and Bischoff. Maybe instead of 4 guests there, it should be 5 or 6 guests. This show brings me a great feeling of the behind the scenes of wrestling. I thank you for providing it to the fans and keep making more please! – OM
Some guys are more willing to be more honest than others who may be perceived to have the old proverbial conflict of interest. It is a tough fence to straddle. BUT IN TODAY’S “I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING” SOCIETY, NOTHING WILL EVER BE ENOUGH.
hey jr, could u tell us fans about ur fav. hbk matches? Maybe a top 5 list, in no particular order? Cheers! – Sid
NOT SURE WHAT EXACT MATCHES, BUT OPPONENTS WOULD INCLUDE BRET HART, MANKIND, VADER, THE UNDERTAKER, HHH, AND THE BRITISH BULLDOG. I actually was entertained by the DX mocking the National segment. DX has done many memorable segments, which makes it difficult to pick one out off the top of my head.
jr – u are the best commentator in the business ever, and I’m honored you are reading my words. my favorite wwf superstars consist of hhh hbk and foley, but do you think jeff hardy will finally live up to his billing as the new Shawn Micheals? and do you think he would truly make a good wwe champion? the fans sure would get behind him. – swift
For any fan to compare Jeff Hardy to HBK isn’t fair to Jeff. HBK has a long body of work that will live for years to come. Jeff needs to put several years of great matches together before he can be compared to Shawn Michaels, in my opinion. However, there is no one hotter than Jeff Hardy in the WWE, as we speak. I hope Jeff’s dreams come true, for sure.
What is the status of Paul Heyman. He is one of the best and innovative writers of his day. Is he being used in that way or is he still being paid to sit at home to prevent him from going to TNA? – Artez collins
I never knew that Heyman was being paid to sit home and to not go to TNA. Whoever said Heyman wanted to go to TNA or if TNA wanted Heyman?? Paul is creating projects for film and TV as I understand it. He called me on January 3 to wish me a happy birthday, but I missed his call.
Why hasn’t the WWE established a secondary title in ECW? Maybe a special title that can change hands on a DQ or count out or a Television Title that would be defended every week on TV. Artez collins
I am for eliminating some of the watered down titles in wrestling—not adding more to them.
Good ol’ J.R.!
Remember the good days of crazy gimmicks? Do you think the WWE will start using them again? If not, why doesn’t the WWE make each and every superstar DIFFERENT!! Yeah Batista, Triple H, and Bobby Lashley are recognizable, but they are all kind of the same character if you know what I mean. They are just B.A.’s with big muscles. Ex. you could have Lashley with his military background as a gimmick or Batista like the “REAL” Ultimate Warrior. What do you think? – James B
Not my cup of tea. I like reality based wrestling when it can be properly executed—and not the over use of “gimmicks,” as you call them. I am not “anti-gimmick” – I’m just not over crazy for the over use of them.
Well, there'll be lots more questions answered in a few days. Thanks for all your feedback. Also thanks for trying items from our online store, which is ALWAYS open. Lots more football this weekend, so that will be fun! Everyone take it easy and drive careful.