There is a great deal of talk about celebrities making appearances on wrestling programs. This really is nothing new as “Celebs” have been appearing on wrestling shows for decades. More often than not in the old days they were seen in the audience or in a publicity photo with a wrestling star. Over the years, former boxers turned celebrities made many, many appearances as special referees or the occasional tag team partner of a wrestler or even being the wrestler’s second and being in the corner during a match. As a rule, I am a proponent of “Celebs” being a part of the presentation. It usually generates increased public relations and media exposure which are good things. Not many main steam media outlets have made it a habit of writing positively about pro wrestling…ever. To get in the papers, on entertainment programs, news broadcasts, etc usually never hurts. I am not condoning David Arquette winning the WCW Title once upon a time but for WCW it got them a great deal of media exposure. But I thought that was taking it TOO far. Kevin Federline’s “victory” over John Cena was Umaga fueled which leads directly to the Cena-Umaga match this Sunday on pay per view from Kansas City. By the way, Federline has a natural gift of being a wrestling antagonist and was professional to work with during the time I have seen him in the WWE. Perhaps K-Fed’s next career will be reviving the wrestling manager’s role in the WWE much like Estrada has embarked upon. Athletes and celebrities can provide a nice boost to a company’s media exposure and public relation efforts when used in an entertaining and feasible fashion which is really a subjective matter. What might be OK to me might be the kiss of death to you or visa versa.
I receive lots of emails regarding my favorite era in wrestling. When did I most enjoy being in the business? Valid question. The late 90s and early 2000s were one of my favorite all time eras which featured Austin, Rock, Taker, HHH, Jericho, DX, Mr. McMahon/Austin rivalry, Foley, HBK (when healthy) among others. One reason is somewhat selfish as many, not all, of the aforementioned athletes were guys I recruited and signed for the WWE. I had a personal attachment to these men and enjoyed all their successes. This period lead many of these talents into making big bucks and has lead to a great quality of life for virtually each and everyone of them. The success these men had also lead to great corporate success which in turn helped facilitate the WWE into becoming a publicly traded company. The nucleus of the WWE talent roster during that period can never be thanked enough for their overall contributions to the WWE and the business in general. There were periods of the 70s and 80s that were really fun, too.
Frustrated fans continue to ask about “storylines” and why certain wrestlers are not wrestling in main events and are seemingly “being held back”. Again, I can no longer influence or care to influence either topic. I do have opinions, no surprise, and thoughts on each matter but I don’t have the access to affect the solutions. Firstly, one of the things that affects storylines is the availability of talent to appear in these on-going sagas. That goes back to what I have talked about before which is, in my opinion, the obvious lack of top talent depth that is available for any wrestling company. New stars must be made and I know that is or should be an important goal of any company. Fans want to see “new”. However, this also presents a “Catch 22” as fans of today are much more discerning and have less patience than in the old days so wrestlers are expected to be “good” on day one. Without the benefit of being able to wrestle for a few years in wrestling territories before being exposed on a global basis, there will seemingly be many more “misses” than “hits” as it relates to new wrestlers making their debuts and competing in ensuing matches early in their careers. How is this problem solved? I am not sure there is a fool proof solution but two suggestions could be to scout, recruit, and sign better pure athletes who are charismatic and competitive and who want to be the best in their field. This means looking for athletes in sports such as football, wrestling, etc. Another suggestion would be to resist bringing these young prospects to the main roster and exposing them on TV too early in their careers. I do think generally it takes a minimum of two years of intense training until most athletes are ready for “prime time” exposure under the current style of doing business. In reality, 5 years in a variety of territories would be closer to sealing the deal than what I have suggested with the 2 year plan. Nonetheless, the business has found itself in a tough and challenging spot as the building of new stars is imperative to the future of any company. An argument can certainly be made that the most important division of any wrestling company is the one that develops new wrestlers. Not to mention the fact that proven pros who have mastered their crafts should be used as effectively as possible in the training of these young men and women. Plus, training lifelong fans seems to work more efficiently than training beautiful bodies with little or no aptitude or awareness of the business.
Several fans have asked about my relationship with the late Gorilla Monsoon. Gorilla was one of the finest men I have ever known inside or outside the business. The wrestling business, not unlike show biz or pro sports, has its fair share of disreputable people working in it whose word means nothing and are ego maniacs. Character and integrity in these entertainment and sports’ genres are valued commodities. Gorilla had great character and his word was as good as gold. When I first came to the WWE from WCW, known as “the enemy”, I was, at times, treated like a leper in the WWE TV facility. Gorilla took me under his wing and from that day forward people who worked in that facility looked at me differently and gave me a chance to build a relationship with them on the merits of how I treated them and my work ethic and not where I used to work, etc. When Gorilla “blessed” you in the WWE it was a major endorsement. The late Lord Alfred Hayes was prone to give me the “cold shoulder” for no real reason until Gorilla had a heart to heart with Alfred who then became one of my most valued friends. Now my favorite place to visit when I am at the WWE in Connecticut is the TV Facility where my best friends work. Gorilla was really old school, even much more so than I, and he frequently disliked the product we were broadcasting. On the taped shows we often times had to voice over we would have to shut it down for a few moments because Gorilla said what was on his mind rather than what was asked of him. He would usually do as instructed but if he simply refused then I would handle the mission. Some of Gorilla’s “promos” about the business and how it was being presented and who was being featured were simply classic. If Gorilla had been in charge of hiring wrestlers during that period there would have been a bunch of familiar names that would not be so familiar because the huge, former amateur wrestler was hard to please and wanted the business to remain almost impossible to get in to. We always ate well, not necessarily healthy, with “The Big Ape” and he had a heart of gold. Gorilla was one of the handful of WWE people who kept in touch with me during my “sabbaticals” from the company. I think of Gorilla, or Gino as he was called, often and he was a great story teller with amazing recall. He was a multi-talented man who could sing, he sang at The Giant Baba’s wedding, and was a great writer. I really loved the big guy, but he was never the same after his son Joey Marella, the former outstanding referee, was killed in an automobile accident. One of my biggest regrets is that his twin grandsons, named Joey and Gino, will never get to know their famous grandfather. Perhaps some day I can make a trip to Jersey and share some stories with them about this great man. One thing I love about WWE 24/7 is that I can still hear Gorilla’s voice which I miss dearly.
Some have asked about Bells palsy. The internet has plenty of info on this affliction but there is still no cure or reason as to why it affects some people. Some doctors feel it is viral and some feel it is stress related. The second time I got it was within 24 hours of finding out about my Mom’s sudden death which speaks to the stress theory. We were in London preparing to broadcast a UK pay per view the next night. After receiving the news, I remained in the UK and did the show but started feeling ill during the broadcast and had my second bout of the illness actually during the show. During the event, I remember holding one side of my face up so I would not sound too horrible and to do the matches justice. My hearing is still sensitive to certain loud tones and, yes, wearing headsets often times is a little challenging but I have gotten used to it by and large. My eyes water profusely when I am tired which is more of an annoyance than anything else. The biggest issue is that the paralysis remains around my mouth which affects my lack of ability to smile as I would like to and makes some words, especially when I am fatigued, challenging to enunciate. The Bells palsy issue has been a source of many emotions for me professionally as it is generally known that “my look” is not TV friendly and that I should feel fortunate to still be on TV with my facial paralysis as it is. The good news for most people who get Bells palsy is that the vast majority of people completely heal from it and few people ever have it twice. I’m just special, I guess, as I have had it two times. It is what it is and I have and will continue to preserve. My issues with Bells palsy pale in comparison to the challenges many others face every day so I continue to count my blessings but if I don’t smile at you don’t take it personally as I would if I could. No one should feel as if they can’t be what they want to be because of an illness or being dealt a bad hand.
After thinking about it more because of the many emails I have received lately, I have indeed worked with MANY broadcast partners over the years and even more than I originally thought. Curt “Mr. Perfect” Henning was another fun guy to work with and had a great sense of humor and thoroughly understood the business. “Perfecto” was often times funnier off camera than on it but the same can be said for other people I have worked with as well. I had fun with Curt who always had a great road story or two to tell and always had the latest “dirt”. He was hilarious and had natural timing. I also enjoyed working with Les Thatcher for the brief time I was affiliated with Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Les is an old school guy who was a talented in ring performer and had been around many territories over the years and had a great working knowledge of what the business was or should be about and could recognize in ring situations naturally and in a timely fashion. Les was more of an analyst than Curt who was more of an entertainer. Both were good in their own unique ways and I can’t say I ever had a bad experience with either man. Good memories.
A couple of emails have caught my attention over the past few days. One from “Sigh” who still wants to know the personal issues as to why Scott Hall last left the WWE after the “plane ride from hell”. Scott was going through a time in his life where being on the road and away from home was not good for him emotionally or physically. It was simply too challenging for him to maintain good health and the trip back on the plane underscored that matter. I always liked Scott and as I have said before he still has one of the sharpest minds in the business and I don’t see why some one isn’t using that resource today. If you need more info on this matter then look elsewhere. I never said this site was going to be the “National Enquirer” or to discuss certain personal issues that I am aware. There may be a place for those stories some day but not today. Many personal issues of which I am aware are simply no one’s business. I will address those types of issues that I choose to address in another forum at another time.
Gerry Hill called me a “complete hack” because he obviously doesn’t like the WWE product, the direction of the biz, or me personally. I don’t know for sure and I am not Dr. Phil to be able to analyze the email. I am not sure why we receive these overtly negative emails as if this is the place where everyone’s wrestling problems can be solved but nonetheless I appreciate Gerry checking us out. Gerry also accused me of “kissing McMahon’s ass” which I did on TV once upon a time but I don’t do it for a living.
Again, I will say that what the internet says about a pending Wrestlemania card has to be considered as fertilizer i.e. manure. I would bet the card is far from etched in stone and one would think it couldn’t be until after the Royal Rumble.
Who’s announcing the Rumble match? Beats the hell out of me, but I hope yours truly is included. It could be all three broadcast teams again which creates the opportunity for chaos and is definitely unpredictable. I would not assume that decision will be made until the week of the event. The 3 team set up has to be a master puppeteer’s ultimate rush.
Eric, I never said anything about WWE writers making “6 figures” as you wrote. Where did that come from? I don’t know what they earn but I assure you they earn every nickle of it. What a thankless job and one I would run from. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t as all of us are great “Monday morning quarterbacks”. In today’s era of information exchange, impatience, and the age of entitlement for many young people, being a creative person in wrestling takes thick skin and restraint. Many think they can do it better without knowing all the issues that have to be addressed far from the eye of a camera.
I enjoy JBL’s broadcasting efforts and he is unique in that he is the only true antagonist broadcasting wrestling these days. Decision makers will probably never put JBL and yours truly together as that is way too many cowboy hats at ringside and two, too many of those dreaded Southern drawls.
Bad blood between Rock and HBK? Neither has ever mentioned it to me. I would not believe internet reports of these “rumors” unless one of the sites has an interview with one of the two individuals or they use quotes from another media source. Is it possible for this feeling to exist between two of the business’ best all time performers? Certainly. Do you think that teammates on NFL teams all like each other and that there is no professional jealousy in those locker rooms? Of course they don’t and I have seen it first hand. If there is “bad blood” I would suggest that it is no big deal and would not prevent the two from having a match if all the stars were aligned. They are both too professional to allow out of control egos to not allow a dream match such as this from happening. Right stage, right time, right place, right cash, and this one wold be great. Will it ever happen. “Highly unlikely” as Gorilla Monsoon used to say.
Faux Razor/Faux Diesel. Why? Well, the originals left for WCW and it was a creative attempt to retaliate it would seem to me. Plus, some within the company felt I would be better suited to be a “bad guy” announcer. That did not seem to work too well either, but I did have fun doing one of the very first reality based in-ring promos ever in the WWE with the introduction of the two, replacement players in Hershey, Pa.
Will Bret Hart be a part of the 10th Anniversary of the Survivor Series in Montreal where the worn out topic of the Montreal “Screw Job” occurred? I can’t confirm who will or who will not be in Montreal, including myself, but I SERIOUSLY doubt if The Hitman is a part of the festivities. I guess one should include “never say never” here but I would damn near swear off Bar-B-Q if this were to happen. Again, “Highly Unlikely”.
I like Ohio State Monday night against Florida but after Boise State’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma, one really never knows. If one is a gambler perhaps the safest route to take is to take the points and the over but that is only for friendly, legal bets. Now I even hear that a Hollywood type is looking to do a movie of the Boise State Cinderella Story which will give me cause to relive the Fiesta Bowl all over again. The emotion that college football creates gives it a slight nod for me personally over the NFL.
I do like New England and Indy this weekend in the NFL but don’t know if Dallas can win at Seattle. It all depends on which Cowboy team shows up. I like Bill Parcells coached teams but the Cowboys seem to have emotionally imploded much like the NY Giants who will most likely lose to Philly this weekend as well. If I had to ID an upset it would be the Cowboys in Seattle.
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That’s it for this time. More to come later in the week.
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Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful birthday wishes. Reaching the “double nickle” today is an accomplishment considering the health issues I have been fortunate enough to overcome especially with my colon cancer scare of 2005. That’s why I never take good health for granted and I hope you don’t either. Our health is truly one of the greatest gifts we can have.
I get lots of emails about legend’s matches and I must say that most legends would not want to be put in a position to have to deliver a match that would be considered close to what they were remembered for. Example, I personally would love to see Ric Flair wrestle Ricky Steamboat on a big stage but I don’t know how younger fans would react to the match and if Ric and the Dragon could replicate, even remotely, some of their classics from the 80s. Expectations for this particular match might be unfairly high but again I would pay money to see these two go at it one more time. And no, I have no idea if this match will ever occur except in the imaginations of many of us. I would not want to see these two greats in a match such as the legend’s battle royal at Wrestlemania a few years ago although it was “entertaining”.
I am all for documenting the past as WWE 24/7 does on many of your cable systems. I am an avid viewer of WWE 24/7 and would be even if I were not a WWE employee. I wish more WWE employees would watch this effort and learn our business’ past. I love the classic material and encourage any young person who wants to get in the business or is just getting started in the business to watch as well. Fundamental skills and the art of physical story telling are still as applicable today as ever and some of the industry’s best talents are featured in their prime on WWE 24/7.
I am under the impression that the panel of legends will do more round table discussions in the future. I hope I am a part of it as it was a blast to sit around and tell stories about some of wrestling’s most colorful stars with some colorful personalities.
The K-Fed appearance on RAW got the WWE a ton of outside the box publicity which is a nice bonus especially heading into yet another pay per view. Obviously, the culprit in the Cena loss to K-Fed was Umaga who Cena faces on Sunday in K.C. at New Year’s Revolution. I think K-Fed has the potential to make a viable manager if he chose to focus on the art of being one. Hey, someday K-Fed may need the cash, who knows? Having the gift of being easy to dislike is a true blessing for a wrestling villain.
Travis in Boise, I applaud your Broncos and their season. I plan on watching the game today from start to finish. I guess I am a glutton for punishment. Boise should be proud of their team and a 13-0 season does wonders for recruiting. The Sooners only have 7 seniors on their active roster so OU will be good next year even if Adrian Peterson goes to the NFL which is almost a gimme. Plus we have to develop a QB but that is another issue. I am happy for you and I plan on even eating some potatoes later today. Congrats and enjoy the win.
Speaking of Boise State, I have been asked if Tazz was taking shots at me on ECW Tuesday night when he was talking about an “upset” during the tag team match. Tazz and I talk football often when we see each other and I am relatively certain Tazz was provided that info to illustrate “upset” and for others to have a little fun with my “Sooner misery” over the Fiesta Bowl loss. It’s no big deal and I have no issues with Tazz or anyone else over this. By the way, I enjoyed Tazz and Brad Armstrong’s banter on ECW. I hope to hear more of it.
My comments about my many announcing partners seemed to draw some interest from some of you. I can get into that subject in more depth at any time and will certainly include many “announcer stories” if I ever write a book. I had forgotten about working with Terry Taylor years ago, no offense to TT, and as I recall Terry had a nice gift of gab and did a good job on commentary but his heart was in the ring not behind a mic. Also, someone asked about my thoughts on the broadcasting work of the late Lord Alfred Hayes and of Sean Mooney. Alfred was a priceless character more often than not and was a great comedic figure in the WWE back in the day. Many old schoolers will also remember Lord being a great wrestling villain with the ability to cut a scathing promo that was not comedic at all. Mooney, who I did not know well, was solid in his role, had the look the WWE covets, but did not seem to ever truly have his heart in the product which may have been evidenced by his leaving the business sooner than most. That’s my observation of Mooney but again I did not know him well and may be off base with that assessment.
Easy E…I have left the WWE 3 times since 1993 if anyone is keeping score or if it really matters. All were legit but did not kill me or my career. There is no secret that I am not the perfect image the WWE would prefer to see doing Monday Night Raw, but I can only work with what tools I have and the hand I have been dealt. I assure you that if I could have NOT had two bouts of Bells palsy I would not complain, but my Oklahoma drawl will be what it is…me.
The “War Tony” on the first J.R. action figures was an obvious mistake by the manufacturer and not many were made. I think I have one or two of them somewhere in a box.
Blah, Blah miss interpreted my saying I was not creative team material as a negative. I am not forbidden to speak to anyone on the creative team and to the contrary am encouraged to do so. However, Mondays are usually so busy that no one has time to engage in long chit chat unless they are loafing and I don’t see much loafing prior to Monday Night Raw. And yes, I have been involved in creative since the Mid South Wrestling days but I have done my tours of duty in that area and am happy with my role as it is at the present time.
Speaking of Mid South, someone mentioned that Ene Watts wanted $5M for the Mid South library which is news to me. I do not believe that to be true and the number sounds very high. The WWE has attempted to purchase this asset and perhaps will be able to finalize a win/win deal for both parties in the future. Mid South was physical and hard core long before ECW was even an after thought and also launched or enhanced the careers of some of the most prominent names in the business.
Cowboy Bill Watts was a task master, a Vince Lomardi type intimidator, who was a brilliant strategist and produced some awesome one hour, weekly, episodic TV programs back in the day. Cowboy had a gift of being able to keep his finger on the pulse of the ticket buyers i.e. the fans. I have 100s of Cowboy stories that I will get into someday. If any one is interested in Watts’ legacy one should purchase his book, “The Cowboy and the Cross” which I enjoyed a great deal and in which Bill tells some great stories of his life and times. Watts was a wild man in his day and once urinated off his 12th floor balcony of the CNN Center instead of taking the short walk down the hall to the men’s room. Cowboy also enjoyed brutalizing individuals who wanted “tryouts” to be wrestlers. I have seen some amazing in-ring situations after our TV tapings in Shreveport over the years involving the big Cowboy punishing young wannabes to the point they urinated themselves. Good grief, I used urinate twice in the same paragraph. Sorry. Also, to answer another Watts’ question, I seriously doubt if Watts would have booked K-Fed back in the day. Lawler/Kaufman would not have happened in Watts’ territory either, in my opinion.
For the record, when an athlete is injured in a match, one of the first people to know it is the referee. That particular function is an important part of the referee’s job.
I have been asked to comment several times on the whereabouts of Eric Bischoff. I know that Eric has a variety of projects outside wrestling in the works that is keeping him busy. As far as Eric coming back on Raw, I don’t know the status of that matter but it would not surprise me if he did. Eric’s TV persona is easy to dislike which as I have said is a gift for a wrestling antagonist. That is akin to some fans comparing Jonathan Coachman to Mr. McMahon which isn’t really fair. Mr. McMahon is very easy to dislike while Coachman, with years less experience, has to work at it more. I do think Coachman is getting much more comfortable in his role which should lead to bigger and better things for him.
No, not all my memories of Kansas City are bad. Far from it. It is just that when asked of my most memorable experience in K.C. the Owen Hart tragedy will always pop back in my mind. I think most folks can understand that. K.C. is a great town with really good Bar-B-Q and was home base for the great Harley Race for many years. What’s not to like?
Sigh…I ignore ALL the good questions and comments? Not hardly. Just the stupid ones or the ones that have been addressed over and over. For the record, Scott Hall was released per a directive from up top as I did not go into business for myself. I happen to like Scott and think he has one of the brightest minds in the business I have ever been around. However, at that time in his life it was better, in the opinion of many including myself, that Scott did not need to be on the road with the WWE. To go into all the personal details really isn’t the thing to do nor is this the place for that info.
I am not sure what the worst things I have seen on TV wrestling shows are but yours truly being in matches would be on the list. Plus, Robocop from the WCW days, a scaffold match from WCW (not the Midnight Express match vs. the Road Warriors) where, I think, 3 of the 4 guys involved in the match were afraid of heights, and the Kennel from Hell would all be on the list. Seeing a wrestler who wore yellow tights have a bowel explosion, so to speak, on an old LeRoy McGuirk Championship Wrestling show I did in the 70s was quite an experience as well and yes it made air in its entirety. Mr. McGuirk was my color commentator and was totally blind and he could not understand why the studio audience was laughing so much and I couldn’t tell LeRoy on the air for obvious reasons.
Regarding why Howard Finkle isn’t on TV ring announcing is a question for someone else. Fink is the greatest ring announcer ever and can still get the job done as good as he ever could when provided the opportunity. Fink should be the next “announcer” to go into the WWE Hall of Fame.
I have never heard Ted Dibiase speak in a church but certainly will if Teddy is ever in the Oklahoma area. I think that Ted’s calling is his ministry and I am proud of him for following his heart and not making life decisions based on a paycheck. The Million Dollar Man should be Hall of Fame bound some day too. Dibiase is another Mid South alumni.
I am VERY anxious to read the Bret Hart autobiography. I would suspect it will be a thick book if Bret is to tell most of the great stories of his life. Bret is a great storyteller and this book should really be something. I have great respect for Bret and wish I could see him more often.
My advise to beginners in wrestling…...be in great physical shape and don’t look like you workout part time and work full time at the donut shop, respect and understand the history of the business, study video tapes of the greats of the game and attempt to understand what each did individually that made them special, never be late to practice, talk less and listen more, and don’t be afraid to put in extra work. This is a 7 day a week deal at a beginner’s stage of the game.
Someone suggested that the WWE tag titles all be unified. I don’t know if that is a bad idea but I doubt that it would be considered as it goes against the brand seperation the WWE seems committed to. I am not saying it would not work, but it is not likely to happen.
Tim…one of the reasons I don’t answer every email personally when they are addresed on our site is time, or lack thereof. I am the sole provider of creative content for the site. Sometimes I have time to do more on the site but often times I don’t. So it is a time issue. But, Tim, don’t take it personally. I do read all the emails and then, Tim, I try and answer the ones that have not been addressed or that I can provide new info. Thanks for reading our site, Tim, and for bringing up this point so I could clarify it. I am only joking with you but the bottom line is that it is a time issue.
Remember, try and keep your comments short, get right to the point and ask your question and then editorialize if you choose. Those of you reading can also respond to each other if you care to.
Have a great day and thanks to those of you that have become customers. Without customers, we don’t exist. Ah, such is life. Again, thanks for the birthday wishes.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2007 brings each of you great health and happiness.
Here we go as I attempt to address some of your emails.
After broadcasting Raw in Miami on Monday night and getting back to my hotel room, where I celebrated a low key, New Year’s Eve with room service, a diet Pepsi, and cable TV, I got back to the hotel and caught the 4th quarter and the overtime of the Oklahoma loss to Boise State in what many people are saying was one of the greatest college football bowl games ever televised. My congratulations go out to the Boise State team for a great effort and finishing a magical year at 13-0. Heart and effort go a long way in determining one’s success in life and the Bronco’s desire to win the Fiesta Bowl is a testament to that philosophy. Of course I am somewhat heartbroken my Sooners couldn’t pull this one out but I am not a fair weather fan and will be anxiously awaiting the 2007 season for OU which will be highlighted by a home, non league game with the Miami Hurricane in September. Miami has a magnificent football tradition and this game will no doubt get national coverage early in the season in a “must win” game most likely for both squads.
I will always remember the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and will certainly remember where I was when this classic college football game was played. Again, Boise State deserves tremendous credit for their memorable victory. It’s not like I am going to boycott potatoes or stop admiring Boise’s own Torrie Wilson because Boise beat my team either.
People ask me all the time about Ric Flair’s future and that’s a tough one to answer. I think Ric feels he can still be productive in the ring and certainly Flair has a magnificent legacy. My hope is that Ric doesn’t stay “too long” which can tarnish one’s image and usually comes with an injury that will nag the individual for years to come. As long as Ric is healthy I think he should still do what he loves to do and that is to wrestle. Flair is still better than the vast majority of wrestlers I see on TV these days even in his mid 50s. Is there another title run in Ric’s future? My guess would be “probably not” but who knows in today’s marketplace. I never thought K-Fed would beat John Cena either.
I can’t predict a winner of the Royal Rumble but I do know the event in San Antonio is sold out which is always nice. I don’t even know who is going to be in the Rumble and how the entrants will be divided between Raw, Smackdown, and ECW.
I am not up on the Sky censoring Raw issue but I SERIOUSLY doubt if the WWE does the censoring especially for the live broadcast of Raw. I do know there is some editing that goes on but not sure of the process.
Did Brock Lesnar have “potential”. Absolutely and he still does.
I vividly remember the Brian Pillman vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger match in 1992 in which I worked with Jesse Ventura. Liger was amazing and had a great rep and Brian used this match to help put himself on the map. These were not giant athletes but what Pillman and Liger lacked in size, in some folks eyes, they more than made up for in athleticism and action. Any one who thinks a wrestler HAS to be around 6”5” and no less than 275 pounds to be a success simply isn’t paying attention or is completely out of touch.
John Cena still a “white rapper”? I swear I have not looked at John in that light in a long time. The rapper thing seems to have dissipated.
Who would be a great opponent for the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 23? There are many viable ideas but what about Hulk Hogan? Taker has never lost at ‘Mania and is Hulk the legend to pull it off? Remember, this is fantasy booking.
Who are the stars of tomorrow? I don’t know. I don’t watch the amount of tape I used to, nor do I go to the developmental areas and scout talent. If I did, I could answer this question, but answering now would only be guessing. I know the WWE has some bright prospects who will be stars some day if they are allowed to stay down on the farm longer than current trend. Perhaps I will make some trips to Louisville and Atlanta in 2007 and be better able to address the new “stars of tomorrow”.
In regard to stars of tomorrow, I have not seen tape of Seamus O’Shaughnessy from Ireland. He sounds interesting however. If he is anything like Fit Finley I would sign him in a heartbeat.
Cryme Tyme, at the current time, feels more like an entertainment duo than a street fighting, wrestling team. I hope to see JTG and Shad in more matches in the future to be better able to access their in-ring abilities.
Going back to the Kemper Arena in Kansas City as we will this Sunday for New Year’s Revolution always brings back memories to me of Owen Hart’s tragic death there. I sure miss that talented prankster.
Angel I enjoyed your stories of your Mom’s exploits at wrestling events. She sounds like a colorful lady. Maybe she should have gotten into the biz.
Of course I watched WCW when it went head to head with RAW. I usually caught the replay after RAW ended.
I have said on numerous occasions that I think Ricky Steamboat is one of many deserving wrestlers who have earned being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Several people have input into this matter but at the end of the day the Chairman makes the final call.
Interesting email about Al Costello of the Fabulous Kangaroos tag team. The Kangaroos were one of the greatest tag teams ever, I assure you.
I don’t hate TNA’s 6 sided ring but I prefer the old school “squared circle”.
There are laws that have been put in place since 911 that prohibit us from shipping our sauces to the UK. We are hoping to find a distribution source there with an established food distributor.
I agree with a fan that Shane McMahon could have been a standout performer if he had decided to pursue that path from the “get go”. Shane is fearless and obviously has the business in his blood. One never has to worry about the effort one will receive from Shane in any match he is involved. Shane has passion which is the intangible that can make an average talent a great talent.
Who hit me the hardest in my many unfortunate in-ring experiences? That one is easy...Steve Austin in Oklahoma City a couple of days after Wrestlemania 17 as I remember it. I have been kicked by cows that hurt less.
I totally disagree that HBK should retire. Losing HBK off Raw would be a crippling blow to the flagship brand in my opinion. Shawn Michaels is one of the top 10 wrestlers I have EVER seen.
I have heard that Sabu points to the sky as a tribute to this late uncle, the Original Sheik.
My feelings on Hulk Hogan have not changed in years. I feel Hogan is an icon in the wrestling business who blazed the trail for all that followed him to make a ton of money. Hulk may not have been the best technical wrestler I ever saw but he put butts in seats and made everyone associated with the genre more money. Who else can say that?
I am a HUGE Sopranos fan and after thinking about it for a moment I think Tazz would be excellent in a cameo on the “I wish it were on tomorrow” mob drama on HBO.
Hey, Herman take it easy on the women’s wrestling issue. I don’t know where it is headed but young men do like to look at beautiful young women as a rule. In a perfect world these beauties would be able to wrestle but time will tell. I don’t think women’s wrestling on Raw is going away but I have seen many things occur on Raw I would not have been able to predict.
I love the NwO DVD idea. It would be great to hear candid remarks from the key players in that entity.
The UWF as promoted by Cowboy Bill Watts ever being a part of WWE 24/7 is solely dependant on the owners of that tape library selling the asset for a marketable price. I would love to see the UWF on the 24/7 platform that I am a big fan of. There was a young announcer on that show, I can’t think of his name, that wasn’t bad for an Okie with a Southern drawl.
I will NOT disagree that the Ultimate Warrior doesn’t belong in the WWE Hall of Fame. Warrior does belong. Warrior’s acceptance speech would be “Iron Sheik Classic’.
I do not think that there should be many more new titles added to the WWE brands. I think we are maxed out on titles and less is more. The more titles that there are the more watered down they become.
Who brought out the best in J.R.’s commentary over the years? The King is the easiest to work with. Heyman got my legit ire up more than anyone. Cornette was so intelligent and knew what and what not to say at all times. Heenan made me laugh out loud on air many times. Gorilla was like announcing with your favorite uncle. I loved the man. Michael Hayes was a red hot bad guy who was the equal to Ventura or Piper back in Michael’s heyday and was fun to work with. Ventura was very bright but did not like to prepare which bothered me when it really shouldn’t have. Jesse was really good nonetheless. Randy Savage was a unique broadcaster in that one was never quite sure what Randy was going to say or when he did say something what did it exactly mean. Savage brought energy to the announce table.
Buckeyes or Gators? Helluva game next week for the national title of college football. I have to go with the Buckeyes of Ohio State until someone proves that they can beat the men from Columbus. If Florida wins, is Boise State the national champion?
I am looking forward to being a part of Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit, however with my track record in the WWE who knows for sure if I will make it until April 1, but I think the atmosphere is better in an arena like Madison Square Garden as it keeps the noise within the confines of the ringside area and stimulates all involved better. But it’s Wrestlemania so if you need more than that to get jacked up then you have a serious problem. I have also really enjoyed the stadiums we have done ‘Mania in over the years.
Who is the bigger star, Hulk or Dusty Rhodes? Dusty himself would honestly tell you that the answer to that question is Hulk Hogan. That doesn’t mean Big Dust is a plate full of hash as the charismatic Texan will probably be inducted in the 2007 Hall of Fame if I had to place a bet today.
I think the Dudleys left the WWE over a money issue, but it might have been creative. It will usually be one of the two whenever a wrestler leaves one company for another.
I like dry rubs on my baby back ribs and then I will sometimes, not always, brush a little warm Bar-B-Q Sauce on them just as the ribs are finishing the smoking process. Sounds good doesn’t it?
One of the reasons the shipping costs are high for our sauces is that they come in glass jars which are obviously heavier than plastic. We are addressing that matter. However, we make a premium sauce not the stuff you can buy for a buck 99 at a discount store which is mostly water and vinegar.
My best wishes go out to Konnan during his current health issues.
Rey Mysterio in the ring is a marvel. Simply amazing no matter his size. I disagree with some who felt that Rey is too small to be World’s Heavyweight Champion.
Someone asked if WWE creative read all the emails they received from fans. Beats the hell out of me as I only see the creative team one day a week as a rule and we usually don’t get involved in long chit chat.
We’ll be back later in the week with more. Thanks!
People ask all the time about what DVDs are being produced? I am asked to consult from time to time but the bottom line is this…if it will make money it is a viable candidate for distribution. I do like hearing your ideas nonetheless.
The King is being a “fair weather” commentator? That’s news to me. Not sure what it means exactly. I assume we should be the battling Bickerson’s from start to finish of a show?? That sounds like Heyman and J.R. Is this really THAT important of an issue?
I absolutely keep in contact with Jim Cornette, arguably the greatest manager ever along with Bobby Heenan. JC is one of my oldest friends and one of the most talented individuals ever in the biz. And yes he is VERY high strung and set in his ways. So what?!
Perhaps the best wrestler to never hold a World Title might be Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff or Arn Anderson. All three were big time. There are probably a handful of others that fit into this category too.
Why doesn’t the WWE sign this wrestler or that wrestler? I am not in that loop any longer nor am I asked very often for my opinion so I don’t know. I do know that many guys that fans want the WWE to sign are already under contract to other companies.
Mic skills are definitely a necessity for a wrestler to become a bona fide main eventer and to stay there over the long haul in today’s marketplace. A great talker who can’t wrestle sounds like a manager to me.
I did see the rap song about my ass and thought it was funny. There is a lot of free time out there it would seem. I assume who ever created this piece of “art” is not a J.R. fan. Neither is my ex-wife.
I can only assume that Jesse Ventura’s commentary is missing on some WWE 24/7 elements due to legal issues. Personally, I haven’t missed it until it was brought to my attention.
Do others feel like I have sounded tired the past few weeks? I think I am fine physically. My doctor says I am. Every match can’t be at the main event level or the main event means less. An announcer always has to give himself a place to go when it is nut cutting time, too. Maybe I’m losing it and need to get my resume ready.
I thought Gangrel was going to be a part of ECW but I guess I was wrong. Beats me of his whereabouts.
I have occasionally used real names instead of stage names on live TV but not lately…I don’t think. Human errors do occur.
The Buzz Sawyer vs. Tommy Rich Cage Match in the Omni was a classic bloodbath full of drama and realism. It was great old school wrestling not for the weak at heart. Sawyer was a little insane and ultra talented while Tommy Rich was as loved as any one to ever appear on TBS.
I don’t think Shelton Benjamin is underutilized. If Shelton wants more action then he knows what he needs to do to get noticed and to live up to his potential. I love the kid but being underutilized…no way.
Ron Simmons could very well make his way into the WWE Hall of Fame some day. Nice suggestion and deservedly so…in time.
I loved the War Games and think it could carry a PPV. A War Games DVD would be hot. War Games was a great concept but it eats up so many talents that it depletes the undercard drastically at a time there is little depth.
Our Norman Bar-B-Q eatery will be at I-35 and Main Street where the Krispy Kreme used to reside. We hope to be open in April with store # 1.
Tony Schiavone, as we confirmed earlier this week, is doing radio in north Georgia. Tony made a stab at returning to the WWE a few years ago but apparently it did not work out for him. I wish Tony and his family well. We had a lot of fun together but were pitted against each other by TBS executives who liked to stir the manure. Sadly, we both fell for it for too long.
I love boxing and the greatest heavyweight champion for my money is Muhammad Ali who I once spend 3 days with sharing a suite in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans. Wow. What an experience!
I am not going to rehash the VKM storyline on TNA. It is old news and I have addressed it enough. Same for ECW. The old ECW is not coming back under a WWE umbrella. Don’t kill the messenger but that’s simply my opinion and observation.
The worst moment I have experienced in wrestling was sitting a few feet from Owen Hart when he fell to his death in Kansas City. I still have not watched that event after all these years. Getting news of Brian Pillman’s death was a tough one too. There are significant stories surrounding each of these tragedies that I will write more about some day.
Chris Masters may well be a main event level wrestler some day, but as most young wrestlers, he has some miles to go before that happens in my opinion.
Who would I like to see on RAW? Stone Cold, Hogan, Rock, Jim Cornette, and others that are not likely to return on a regular basis. C.M. Punk and Chris Benoit would be nice full timers though.
I agree there are a ton of wrestling PPVs. I don’t schedule them, I just show up and work when assigned. The consumers will determine if there are too many for sure over the long haul.
I think Booker T would make a great TV personality/commentator when the day comes. That one is an easy one to answer. For the reader, sorry you don’t like my work. I know it isn’t for everybody, but it is too late in the game for me to change significantly. Just use the mute button when J.R. is working.
When celebrities get in the ring they receive training but usually not enough to keep from getting their asses kicked and to be sore for days.
Lex Luger in the WWE Hall of Fame? Excuse me?
Jeff Jarrett in the WWE Hall of Fame? Excuse me?
Mr. McMahon gave me the hat as a part of my persona. I hated it at first but wouldn’t leave home without it now when going to work. As usual, Mr. McMahon proves once again he is MUCH smarter than yours truly.
Bob Backlund has been offered to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the past but has turned in down. Bob deserves to be honored.
OU’s All American wrestler Jake Hager is doing excellent in the WWE developmental program. I just hope Jake is not called up too early in his training. Jake is a keeper nonetheless.
I loved the party atmosphere in the Maritimes and I think I had a little too much fun the last time I was there. I don’t remember for sure. The fans in the Maritimes are great! That I do remember.
Charlie Haas can be as good in the ring as he decides he wants to be. Charlie has every physical tool necessary to be a main event level star.
Do I want to be involved on the creative team? Uh, no thanks.
Still no word on when Harry Smith will debut. 2007 though looks obvious. When and where is anyone’s guess.
Paulie Walnuts of “The Soprano’s” fame was in a Stacker 2 commercial with the Dudleys and/or Trish I think. Someone will know.
Kane and The Undertaker are both in the 6’8” to 6’10” range I would guess. They are each “big enough”.
Jackson you must really like soap operas and the wrestling “dirt”. I can’t even begin to address your request to clear up rumors that are totally “unfounded”. Rule of thumb is that if rumors are unconfirmed and sound too bizarre to be true that they probably are. Don’t believe all the rumors you read much like the evening news.
I don’t see Ric Flair retiring anytime soon unless Mother Nature taps him on the shoulder and health issues force “Naitch” to hang ‘em up. Ric still loves getting into the ring too much to stop on his own….which is either a blessing or a curse.
If you want to be a member of the WWE Creative Team I will say a prayer for you and direct you to the WWE Corporate site where Human Resources has the info you are looking for.
The less info I know about a given show I broadcast the better. I like surprises so I can react like the fan I am. I am not an actor so J.R. acting doesn’t come off too well. Bad acting in wrestling sucks. I am better when I am “real” and natural, I think.
The brand extension is here to stay from the best I can tell.
I would suggest one earn a college degree no matter what area of the business one wants to pursue including being a wrestler.
One more time, Bret The Hitman Hart is physically unable to wrestle again due to issue having to do with a serious stroke he had a few years ago. Trust me, if Bret could wrestle today I would be the first in line to buy a ticket to see him.
Will DX add any new members? I doubt it, but I think it could be intriguing if they did.
The lack of great managers these days is akin to the lack of great wrestlers these days. Quality depth in most areas of the business doesn’t exist. The business has to start developing new people to fill a variety of roles within the biz.
Stone Cold probably will never wrestle again but I fully expect the Texas Rattlesnake to be involved at Wrestlemania 23 in some undetermined role. Perhaps Steve and J.R. will have a sip of Crown Royal at Mania. That would not be a PPV attraction, but it could get damn entertaining.
Some one referred to the Hall of Fame as “my Hall of Fame” as in J.R.’s Hall of Fame. What, are you drunk? Don’t blame me if your favorite hasn’t been inducted.
Yes, I occasionally watch TNA. I am a wrestling fan and watch all the product I can when I have the time. Is that so wrong??
I love the OU-Nebraska football rivalry and wish we played every year. I am not a Billy Callahan fan but I have BIG respect for Tazz’s favorite college team the Cornhuskers.
I am not a Meat Loaf expert as in the musician but I do love my wife’s meat loaf. Foley and Cornette are probably your guys as it relates to Meat Loaf the talented entertainer. I like to see “portly guys” do well for some odd reason.
Edge may well have been the WWE’s MVP in 2006. Edge’s growth into one of the most controversial stars in the WWE is extraordinary. I look for great things for the Ontario native who is a true student of the game and one of my signees back in the day. If I had to bet, I would bet has not had his last “run” with the WWE Title.
Sorry about those shipping costs for the Bar-B-Q Sauce. I will check into it but I don’t think there is much we can do about it. I think it costs about the same to order multiple bottles as it does to order a single bottle for some whacky reason. The feedback we are receiving on the sauces has been awesome. Hopefully we will get in stores some day. We hope to open our first restaurant in April here in Norman, Oklahoma just off I-35. The first of many we hope.
I like factions and groups in wrestling too. Loved the Horsemen, DX, NWO (early days), Hart Foundation, and others including the Nation of Domination…DAMN! I don’t perceive UK wrestlers as “bad guys” but that’s just me. A UK faction might be a viable option down the road though.
I talked to Roddy Piper this morning. Roddy is feeling great and is handling the radiation treatments well. His appetite is good and Hot Rod was in great spirits. He is an amazing guy who is just getting around to watching his own DVD. It was a nice phone call to receive. We old school guys have to stick together as we are wrestling dinosaurs on the endangered species list more often than not. We laughed about that this morning which was good medicine for both of us. Hopefully we will see Roddy on TV when RAW returns to Portland in early 2007 if he feels up to it and I have a feeling Hot Rod will be good to go. Please keep Roddy in your prayers and I will keep you informed of his progress.
I like OU and giving the points in the Fiesta Bowl if you are in an office pool or making a friendly wager with a buddy. I had to get one Fiesta Bowl/OU mention in this blog.
Be well and thanks for checking out our site. Please tell a friend about it and don’t forget to visit our store. Take care and Boomer Sooner!
For those naive enough to read the internet and see Wrestlemania 23 matches listed, please don’t be so gullible as to think the Wrestlemania card has been finalized. It hasn’t. I receive lots of emails regarding a potential Batista vs. Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 23 which, to the best of my knowledge, has NOT been scheduled. Yes, it COULD happen but there is absolutely no guarantee that it will. Whatever you read about Wrestlemania 23 matches right now is pure speculation and guess work.
I heard from the Rock a couple of times over the Christmas Holiday and he was his usual upbeat and positive self. He is excited about the new football coach at Miami, “The U”, and is staying really busy. The Rock still catches RAW when he can and still has the wrestling business in his blood. We don’t talk about “what if” or “will you come back and wrestle” type stuff because I already know Rock would love to perform in front of a live audience if his unreal schedule would allow for it. For those that say the Rock has “turned his back on his fans” I say you are misinformed and not extremely bright.
The Iraq trip is done on a volunteer basis to the best of my knowledge. If a wrestler or his family doesn’t want the wrestler to attend they don’t have to go. There are always more volunteers than space available on the transport plane. The King and I would be proud to attend but we take up space that wrestlers can use and we can do our jobs back in the States as we did for this past Christmas show.
What is it about the VKM/TNA publicity stunt that I can’t seem to communicate to everyone? This is a publicity stunt and creative material for a TV show. I strongly feel the WWE will NEVER respond to this PR ploy. Again, why should they? There will never be a payoff to the fans.
I have no idea if Daniel Rodimer or if Koslov are going to be stars. I hope so. Time will tell as it takes more than a marketable “look” to be a superstar who sells tickets, PPVs, and merchandise. We may not know for a year or two.
I think wrestlers come in a variety of packages and sizes. If any company is only looking for potential wrestlers who are all 6’5”/275 pounds then that company isn’t overly bright in their recruiting efforts.
“Wrestling at the Chase” is an excellent book and a must read for all wrestling fans. I loved it and there was no one better to document one of the most influential markets for U.S. wrestling than Larry Matysik who practically grew up learning from the legendary Sam Muchnick.
My thanks to Chris M for the kind words. My best to a Sooner fan and please say hello to the General, Scandar Akbar, for me. Ak was one of my mentors in my early days in the business and is a wonderful man….for a Longhorn fan.
Will Hall and Nash ever return to the WWE? I always say never say never but this one is highly unlikely. I don’t know if either one want to wrestle even a part time schedule at this stage of their lives and subject their bodies to the grind of working high level matches with the likely WWE superstars they would be pitted against. Plus, Kevin Nash has a wrestling job last I looked.
I know of NO talent that has been “blackballed” from the WWE. I feel that if any wrestler could return to the WWE and help the company that they would be back in action. But remember it takes two to tango and sometimes “legends” don’t want to get back in the ring for a variety of reasons. Health, quality of work, and other commitments often times interfere with a legend returning to action.
There are many viable wrestling schools in business these days. My best advise is to visit them before one commits and to talk to others who have gone through the system. Starting from scratch after the age of 25, unless one is a truly gifted athlete, is a long shot at best. To be a TV announcer one needs general TV announcing experience which usually necessitates a degree and on the job training. Being simply a fan with the gift for gab probably won’t get the job done.
Sabu behind the scenes is quiet and low key.
I would love to see Brian Pillman in the WWE Hall of Fame someday and I think it may well happen in time. Brian is in my personal Hall of Fame for what that’s worth. I think of Brian virtually every day.
I haven’t heard much about D’Lo Brown, a former Maine Blackbear defensive lineman, but wish him well. I always liked and respected D’Lo.
So much Macho Man stuff. One more time….I have no idea IF Savage would want to be in the WWE Hall of Fame or IF Macho Man is physically able to wrestle up to his high standards or IF there is some unwritten code that forbids Savage from being involved with the WWE at this time. If it is meant to be, Randy Savage will be a WWE Hall of Famer. Finally, again, YES Randy is deserving of the honor.
I am not pleased that Deadwood has been cancelled or that I have to wait so long to begin watching new episodes of “The Soprano’s” on HBO. I was a huge Deadwood fan and thought Al Swearengen was one of the great “bad guys” ever on TV.
With my schedule as it is I rarely watch any foreign wrestling. Back when I was managing Talent Relations I did.
Wow…being compared to Chick Hearn is humbling. The voice of the Lakers will live on forever. Thanks but I am a pair of brown shoes at a formal wedding when being compared to a man like Chick Hearn.
American fans still like to boo foreigners for whatever reason. Tradition, being pre-conditioned, a precedent, etc?? Koslov got booed because he did not sound like most Americans but neither do many of us “country boys.”
To the best of my knowledge Harley Race is doing well and his wrestling school in Missouri is a great place to learn the fundamentals of the business. I have the utmost respect for Harley.
If I had to make a guess as to the next tag team to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, and it is simply a guess, I would probably go with The Road Warriors even though they were not a better team than the Rock ‘n Roll Express or The Midnight Express. All three teams were awesome in their day and deserving of any honors that come their way.
You’re asking the wrong “Native American” about a WWE draft in 2007. I don’t know. I do think that changing some faces around is a good thing as a rule.
If I had to bet money whether or not Bret Hart would step back into a WWE to give a “farewell speech”, etc I would bet against it. I don’t see it happening and I think Bret said what he wanted to at the 2006 Hall of Fame Ceremony. Health wise, Bret wrestling again is not an option.
Gordon Solie was my role model as an announcer. However, I developed my own style which I encourage any aspiring announcer to do as well. Don’t be a clone of anyone because the viewers and fans will not accept copy cats as a rule.
I exchange emails with Paul Bearer from time to time and he seems to be doing well back at home in Pensacola. PB is a wonderful man who truly loves the business and has faced many personal health issues he has steadfastly battled over the years.
A Tazz DVD? I would watch it. Maybe some day one will be produced. Tazz was involved in some great stuff in the old ECW. The wrestler Tazz has a chance to get a DVD produced but the WWE doesn’t seem to feel that their announcers are very marketable as a rule.
I do not know who owns the Portland Wrestling library…perhaps the family of late promoter Don Owens. Wrestlemania in the UK sounds good to me. I hope I am around to see it come to fruition.
Our restaurant, “J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q” will open in April 2007 in Norman, Oklahoma near I-35 and Main Street where the Krispy Kreme was located. I will keep everyone apprised of the progress. Work has already started on “gutting” the inside of the 4,000 square foot facility. My wife and sister in law along with yours truly will be there more often than not. I love the thought of visiting with fans who drop in for some great groceries.
Dr. Death has been cancer free now for over two years…a miracle from God. Doc works a couple of weeks each month coaching in the WWE developmental system. Doc looks great at around 260 pounds.
I got an interesting email from some one who suggested that when I leave the WWE that I “leave with my dignity”. No TV skit or verbose remarks from any one will adversely affect my “dignity.” Character and dignity are not for sale nor will mine be compromised. My work in this business since the 70s will either hold up to the fans or it won’t.
How does The King and J.R. prepare for a live RAW? We run through what info we are provided and simply go out and let it flow. We don’t rehearse jokes, etc. We have people in our ears to help us get through a show which can be perceived as a blessing or a curse depending on one’s point of view and individual philosophy. I am the note taker and King is the real talent of the team. We prefer to know less about what is scheduled as we both enjoy being surprised and to be able to react naturally.
I never thought of Kenny Dykstra being compared to Owen Hart as a reader suggested. Maybe so in time. Kenny should be so lucky as to be as good as Owen was. I sure miss Owen I can tell you that.
When I travel in Tennessee I usually travel with The King who knows all the shortcuts and the good eateries. We both love Bar-B-Q and the State of Tennessee has plenty of those including many in Memphis we have frequented including the Cozy Corner (King’s Favorite), Corky’s and Rendezvous. Plus, the folks in Tennessee know how to make wonderful cream gravy for those hot biscuits for breakfast! I have always thought that Knoxville was a great, college town and I have had fun, sometimes too much, in Nashville.
How tall is John Cena? I would guess John stands over 6 feet tall probably around 6’1” or 6’2” if I were guessing.
David wanted to know if I thought the Dr. Heiney skit of October 2005 was an absolute riot? Sure, David, I loved it. It ranks right up there with having 13” of my intestines removed a few days earlier. I might think it would be funnier if I watched it today but when it aired live on RAW I had only been home from the hospital for a few hours so I really don’t remember all the details of the skit or what hilarious things were removed from my rectum.
Favorite color commentators over the years? Notwithstanding the King who is my all time favorite, I really enjoyed working with Jim Cornette, Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Michael Hayes, Paul Heyman, Bob Caudle, and the few times I got to partner with Gordon Solie. I know I am leaving out some deserving commentators but I am quite sure someone will remind me.
New J.R. action figures…..uh, not too likely.
Thanks as always for checking out our store. My family and I personally appreciate you shopping with us.
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and that the majority of you are able to spend quality time with family and friends. In our materialistic world, we often times don’t spend enough time with our loved ones and dear friends which we all realize when they are gone. Don’t hesitate to spend time with people you care for and don’t hesitate to pick up the telephone today or any time during the holiday season to make one phone call to someone special and let them know that they are special. I can assure you that these matters are so much more important than who’s leaving what company, what superstar is unhappy, why isn’t this person getting a “push”, what is the main event for Wrestlemania, etc.
I got a beautiful text message last night from Roddy Piper who seems to be doing well in his battle with cancer. I have the utmost respect for Rowdy Roddy and even through all the controversial periods of his life Roddy was always straight up with me and we never “butted heads” because our relationship was based strictly on honesty and respect. Too many management/wrestler relationships these days are based solely on business and politics which is a fragile way to establish a personal foundation of trust and mutual respect. Bottom line it won’t work over the long haul. Every year managing highly motivated and often times paranoid athletes changes in style and tone but it still will always come back to one being honest and treating people with respect. That’s what I tried to do over the years and I am sure some wrestlers will agree with me on that one and some will disagree as I was the one who hired and fired many wrestlers during my tenure as head of Talent Relations for the WWE. Quite frankly, there were wrestlers who deserved to be cut loose and there were others that did not deserve the pink slip. And no, I won’t get into names on this matter at this time.
Stone Cold is enjoying the holidays with his family down in Edna, Texas. Steve has communicated with me several times over the past few weeks with the exploits of his deer and elk hunting trip in south Texas. For a business that doesn’t allow lasting friendships to foster, I know that I will always have Steve’s friendship to depend upon and visa versa. There are no greater gifts in our lives than family and friends and I have been blessed with both. Steve and I had planned on celebrating New Year’s Eve together with a big party in Phoenix prior to the Fiesta Bowl but those plans changed with the January 1 Raw from Miami. Maybe next year.
We are excited to be opening our first “J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q Restaurant” in Norman, Oklahoma just off I-35 and Main Street hopefully in April 2007. If the first one works we certainly plan on rolling out other locations. Getting the sauces in grocery stores is another matter as the “big boys” have much of the available shelf space spoken for.
Many of you write about the old UWF Wrestling Promotion which featured some great athletes who thrived on physicality. Bill Watts ran his company like a pro sports franchise and therefore was able to get the maximum results of the individuals who wrestled for the “Big Cowboy”. The talent roster of the UWF would match up with most any organization in the world. Losing JYD and Hacksaw Jim Duggan to the WWE was a blow but we worked through it because fans are always interested in NEW stars being developed and featured. Some of wrestling’s most famous names cut their teeth in the UWF in their formative years and took what they learned to the next level, the WWE and WCW, and helped the WWE become the global phenomenon it is today.
I am not sure I am buying PWI’s 8 “equal” World Champions that they recognize. Sounds kind of watered down to me but then again I might be wrong. Just my two cents.
We are asked quite often about our Bar-B-Q business in Toronto and my honest answer is “who knows”? I hope we can grow our business that far north of Oklahoma and I “never say never”. Toronto is one of my favorite cites that’s for sure so why not??
I have been getting a fair amount of emails regarding RVD. I don’t know that RVD has “heat” on him as pronounced as people seem to speculate or if Rob has any “heat” on him at all for not traveling to Baghdad. It is a voluntary trip first of all which doesn’t necessarily make those who don’t go the most popular kid in class. Rob is a unique talent and I hope he stays in the WWE and continues to do well. Again, the final decision as to what RVD does with his future is Rob’s call but this issue isn’t something that a better line of communications wouldn’t solve in my humble opinion.
Is it possible that I could ever do OU Football play by play on radio? I assume it is possible but the voice of OU Football, Bob Barry Sr., is in his 70s and has been the voice of the Sooners since I was a young man. So, bottom line, the job isn’t available and I happen to really like Bob Senior but if the job ever came I would definitely be interested as I could do that and do RAW.
Does Jerry Lawler deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely! The sooner the better. Lawler is not only one of the best wrestlers/talkers ever but also one of the best broadcasters too. Jerry is like a brother to me and I would be honored to see him be inducted sooner than later.
I have no issues with short term contracts for veteran wrestlers and don’t think the WWE does either. The only downside to this arrangement is that it does take a certain length of time to get issues established on TV and just about the time the issue is established the contract is virtually up. It’s a two edged sword but it is all doable.
I have not taken up playing our video games. Do you think I would enjoy it or am I past my video game playing prime?
Brock Lesnar pops up on our screen from time to time about his possible return to the WWE. I don’t know the tenor of how Lesnar left exactly although I know it wasn’t altogether positive. I do think that if Brock had a positive attitude and the WWE did likewise there could be a great partnership there. But it takes two to Tango or to make a relationship, business or personal, work so who really knows? Lesnar is physically and athletically gifted that is for sure but all parties have to be comfortable in the “deal” or these reconciliations will not work.
Kennedy’s work reminds me, as I have mentioned of a young “Stunning” Steve Austin. Kennedy has “it”. Assuming Kennedy stays healthy, physically and mentally, his future is limitless. Someday Kennedy could be one of the most popular superstars in the WWE if my instincts are accurate.
I would love for the WWE to do an event in the Superdome in New Orleans! I have been there for many a Thanksgiving and Christmas and would want to get their early for the FOOD. The Commanders Palace may be the best eatery I EVER frequented plus I LOVE Dookie Chase’s where I once took Muhammad Ali for dinner and he loved it too. I am not involved with the arena booking or routing but the Superdome would be a great stop for a PPV or a RAW. How about them Saints??
I have had many great guests drop by the various announce table and there are too many to mention. Some names pop up in my head including Jim Cornette, Ric Flair, HHH, Michael Hayes, Dick Murdoch, Dusty Rhodes, among others. This would be a nice chapter to include in a book.
The Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, an OU alum and former multiple time state high school heavyweight wrestling champion might make a helluva WWE Superstar some day. Kelly is only 6 feet tall at 300 plus pounds so he might not fit the “ideal size” the WWE is looking for these days as it relates to height. I do not adhere totally to that “formula” as wrestling greats over the years have come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Kelly Gregg is a stud and the Ravens feature several of my friends from OU on their talented NFL squad.
Ah, the WSB AM750 radio days was so much fun. Every Sunday night at 9 eastern we took calls for an hour and had a blast. I followed the legendary voice of the Georgia Bulldogs Larry Munson who hosted the Georgia Bulldog Coaches Show just before our piece of business. Radio is an avenue I plan on exploring in the future. Kevin Nash, before he became a star, was a regular guest on my show because Big Kev could talk. The promoters found out the same later about the former Tennessee hoops star.
An Arkansas Mid South/UWF fan asked about traveling the “Land of Opportunity” over the years and I can tell you that we always stopped in Conway because they had a “pitch till you win” buffet for something like $5.95 for all one could eat. It was at a hotel along I-40 and was a “must stop” especially when one was making $25-$40 per day refereeing and that includes paying all one’s expenses out of that money plus paying all one’s personal bills such as rent and groceries. I would have passengers in my vehicle like Danny Hodge and Scandor Akbar, until they turned on each other, who paid me 3 cents a mile which was a life saver in those days. Of course, I did all the driving which could be challenging at times but I was young and learning something new every day. My wrestling education was largely founded on the long car trips listening to a succession of veterans discuss the business while I intently listened and rarely participated in the discussions. I also suffered through the weekly Wednesday night live events in Fort Smith at the Jimmy Lott Sports Arena on Towson Avenue which was an old car dealership that had one shower for the entire roster to utilize. Because I was the only Ref on the card my shower came last and the hot water was LONG gone. Some days our payoffs were supplemented by the hot dogs that were not sold that night and I never made more than $40 dollars for a Ft. Smith shot…ever. It’s called paying dues.
I read a great deal about Daniel Rodimer the rookie who has a great “look”. However, I have not seen Rodimer wrestle lately and even though it is great he “looks the part” can he physically and mentally get it done? Dan resembles NY Giant tight end Jeremy Shockey and definitely has potential. “Look” is important but natural talent and the burning desire to be the best is more important in my perspective. I am not saying an out of shape athlete with a great attitude is the tickets as being in great athletic shape is imperative. I just don’t think everyone has to be 6’5” to be star. If everyone is 6”5” then who is “special”. Plus what kind of “motor” does Rodimer and his fellow rookies have? Never discount an athlete’s motor or will to succeed.
Independent wrestlers getting payoffs with drugs is pathetic. Recreational drug use and prescription drug abuse is the kiss of death. That includes wrestling, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, showbiz, etc. It’s a sad state of affairs.
Sports Entertainment is a WWE coined term that we are asked to use on TV and on WWE platforms. I use wrestling here because I am more comfortable with that term because I am old school and that’s what I grew up on.
Small issue but we continue to call John Cena “The Marine” because of the movie and the fact it is still out there producing revenue. It is called marketing and promotion. Plus, I like the hell out of Cena because I know him personally and was in charge of Talent Relations when John was signed. He is one of “my guys”. Shame on me but as legendary Coach Barry Switzer once told me “when you recruit a player and sign him you have recruited him for life.” I agree with that philosophy. Some of you may not be “Cena fans” which is your prerogative but I happen to think the young man is a stud who works his ass off in ways most fans will never hear about. I also think it is “trendy” for some to dis Cena because they perceive it to be cool and edgy. Whatever.
Speaking of Cena, his Subway commercials are excellent. I am not sure if he or any other WWE Superstar will be doing others. I hope so. I also like the “Man Law’ commercials HHH has done for Miller Lite Beer even though Burt Reynolds looks more like a Kenny Rogers-like Martian every time I see him.
I like JBL’s commentary and he is just grading enough on one’s nerves to stimulate the viewers to listen. Calling Helms’ the best kept secret on Smackdown is a good line. Gregory Helms is a talented kid and the cruiserweights, in general, are underutilized in my humble opinion.
Are there communications between the WWE and TNA? Officially, I have no idea. Unofficially, are you serious?! It won’t happen in my life time if I had to make a wager on it.
Will Jeff Jarrett ever return to the WWE? Never say never but that would be a long shot and it would have nothing to do with the manner in which he left. I think Double J is busy these days.
Is Jack Doan still with the WWE? Absolutely and he is making Danville, Illinois famous as one of Raw’s best referees.
I don’t choose to comment on the future management team of the WWE after Mr. McMahon “retires” which will NEVER happen in my opinion. Mr. McMahon will most likely run his company until the day he dies which will probably be when he’s around 100 years old.
Is Heyman really done in the WWE? I will believe it when I see it. I suspect Heyman has yet to miss a paycheck since being removed from ECW. Heyman could be reassigned just as easily as not to another area or he could simply part ways with the company. Time will tell but it won’t be a fatal blow to either party. Heyman has written several screen plays he wants to “pitch” and that may be his “calling”. In any case neither party will need a telethon or a fund raiser when it is all said and done.
I am as anxious to see who gets selected for this years Hall of Fame. My best guesses and they are merely guesses would be Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Ted DiBiase, perhaps Randy Savage if he and the company are willing to cooperate of which I have NO idea, maybe Bob Backlund, a celeb (Aretha Franklin??), a tag team, and a deceased superstar, and maybe another announcer. Hopefully we will have an indication within the next month or so. The ceremony will be in Detroit the night before Wrestlemania. It’s one of my favorite events of the year.
What other sports do I watch on TV? Football and more Football. I have all the OU games saved on my DVR from the 2006 season. I like Boxing, too. I watch Poker. I’m a redneck so I find that Nascar is fun to watch. The MLB playoffs and the NBA playoffs often times make it to my TV screen. I even used to be a fan of the old Roller Derby back in the day of Charlie O’Connell and Ann Cavello.
Who is going to take J.R.’s place at the announce desk when I retire? First of all, slow down, I am not ready to retire nor am I close to retiring. There is still an adequate amount of fuel left in the tank to get the job done or at least that’s my mindset. I have no idea but it will be someone with NO accent, someone YOUNG, and someone who “looks nice” on TV. In other words everything that I am not. The attempts to replace me on RAW have been well documented and it is inevitable as one can’t travel 51 weeks a year for ever nor do I want to but I am not ready to be kicked to the curb just yet. However, if I do, it has been a beautiful career that has exceeded my wildest expectations. I also realize that I am the last of a dying breed of wrestling broadcasters who cut their teeth in the territory system which any successor will not have the luxury of doing. My only hope is that whomever is hired is a bonafide fan and not just a person who says he is a fan to make “points”.
I actually get to be home until New Year’s Eve when I fly to Miami. My Oklahoma coaching friends leave tonight with their families for the Fiesta Bowl to finish preparing for undefeated Boise State. That means I will spend less time at “happy hour” this week and will be able to do more blogs. I look forward to more of your questions. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
Happy Holidays everyone! I wanted to try and do another blog before the grand kids gets here and we shut things down for “family time”.
Yes, for the 100th time, Owen Hart will definitely be in the WWE Hall of Fame some day but I do not know when.
Any one wanting to do play by play for the WWE needs a “reel”. That is a video tape with illustrations of one’s work on it. To come off the street with no experience in broadcasting and to think one might get an audition isn’t going to happen. A college degree and a couple of years broadcasting experience is a must in today’s marketplace.
Commercial breaks during matches are a damn if you do damn if you don’t proposition. I personally don’t like them but I understand why they are there. Commercials pay the bills to a large degree in addition to rights fees. They are here to stay during long TV matches.
I would guess the next announcers to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame will be Howard Finkle and Gordon Solie. I suspect J.R. will be considered right after Izzy Slapowitz.
The decisions to utilize certain arenas and not others is made by a separate department who has a long check list of items that must be in place in order for the WWE to be able to use a particular arena for televised events. Truck parking, ceiling height, backstage space, ability to use pyro, etc. are just a few of the considerations.
There are many young talents that I like in the WWE and out but the one thing I will say that concerns me is their consistency and the fact that many of them are on the lazy side.
What did I think when Mick Foley fell off the Hell in a Cell? I thought Mick had taken his last fall and may have been mortally injured.
I think the WWE has the potential to do good business with WWE Films. Just like any other company, great material equates to great movies. The WWE marketing machine and the loyal fan base globally is something no other company has. I look for the Austin film to be a hit.
Lighten up Francis, I made a joke about having to have security with me if I ever interviewed Randy Savage. Randy is not a psycho or an ax murderer.
I have no idea who owns the watered down NWA name these days. The NWA last meant something in the 80s with Crockett but meant the most when Sam Muchnick out of St. Louis was running the consortium.
Announcing from ringside is 100% better than being back by the stage and pyro where the RAW announcers were once stationed. That placement in my opinion was a joke. I think that Tony Schiavone is doing radio in the Atlanta area but I don’t know that for 100%.
Will Mr. McMahon ever take the time to write a tell all book? Only he has that answer but I would speculate no on the tell all stuff.
I have no idea who will be inducted into the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame but I would provide an educated guess that Dusty Rhodes will be on the list. I hope the list is somewhere between 7-8 inductees.
The chance of a Hogan-Austin match at Wrestlemania 23 is about as likely as ol J.R. become a Texas Longhorn fan and turning my back on the Sooners. That isn’t going to happen and I don’t think this “dream match” will happen either.
Nice to hear Nitro and Melina were nice to some fans at a gym. Pleasantly surprised me. Nice news.
A one off Legends wrestling event might be the scariest concept I have heard this week. Can you imagine the physical shape some of the legends would be in and what kind of matches they would be forced to wrestle? I like selected Legend’s matches but not an entire card.
Why was Chris Kanyon Fired? I have no idea. I was in Oklahoma and not involved whatsoever in talent relations when the dismissal occurred. Why I was dragged into the matter by Kanyon is still puzzling. I always thought Kanyon had an upside and above average abilities. I was not aware Kanyon was gay even though I could have cared less. Kanyon lashing out at me doesn’t give Kanyon’s cause much credence. I wish him well and have no ill feelings toward him.
Marty Janetty is no long in the WWE. Perhaps he will return someday as stranger things have happened over the years. Marty would probably make a nice coach to some of the young wrestlers.
I don’t think the WWE Magazine, which I happen to really like now that it has endured a make over, or any other publication can ever tarnish Kurt Angle’s legacy. A lot of the WWE Magazine’s content is humor based much like J.R. being named WWE Announcer of the Year according, I’m sure, to my critics.
It is doubtful that there will ever be a J.R. playable figure in a video game because it would knock out a deserving wrestler from being in the game and adversely affect their income. I would not be for that. Plus, I can’t wrestle a lick.
Sadly one gets used to a certain amount of blood at ringside after seeing in for over 30 years but it is still disturbing especially in the amount of Flair and HHH recently.
J.R. merchandise in the WWE ShopZone will be a reality right after I lose my Oklahoma drawl, recover fully from Bells palsy, and stop eating Bar-B-Q. In other words, the company’s philosophy is largely that the announcers don’t mean enough to merit merchandise.
Of the tradition WCW guys who have the best chance to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, I would suggest Flair, Benoit, Booker, and Rey. There will be more but those names are nice starting places.
With QB Colt McCoy back and Texas playing down the road from their campus in the Alamo Bowl, I would suggest that the Iowa Hawkeyes will have a tough road to travel. Iowa is better than their record indicates but this should be alike a home game for UT which should give them the edge. Iowa is well coached and produced my friend Bob Stoops who is the head honcho at OU Football.
I have never had any regrets about getting into the wrestling business but it did cost me some football gigs over the years that I regret. I love wrestling but wish I could do both at this stage of my life’s journey. Broadcasting OU Football has always been a dream of mine.
I don’t know when Monty Brown will start in the WWE but I don think Brown would be well served to get into intensive in ring training with some of the WWE best teachers like Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Dean Malenko, Fit Finley, Steve Keirn, etc for a few weeks prior to being exposed on national/worldwide TV. Monty needs some polish to go along with his natural athletic ability and charisma.
I have no clue who owns the USWA footage but I think the King owns a fair amount of it. This deal really got to be a mess when the Jerry Jarrett/Jerry Lawler partnership dissolved. I am partial to my friend the King but can’t say I am as high on Jerry Jarrett which would be natural comparing him to Lawler for me personally. No matter who owns the material it would be great to see on WWE 24/7.
Joey Mercury’s serious injury will not stop the WWE having Ladder Matches. The beloved, extreme, Holy S@#* moment was underscored in this potential career threatening situation.
If one wants to be a wrestling manager, I suggest one enroll in wrestling school in OVW/Louisville. Danny Davis is one of the best teachers around for all phases of the business.
I always liked Kevin Kelly and felt he had potential to become a really good play by play talent in the WWE or where ever he chose. I always respected Kevin’s passion and the fact that KK was a fan first. I wish Kelly had received a better break in his professional career but he has strong faith and that will take him to places the wrestling biz might not have.
I would bet Sunny gets into the Hall of Fame right after yours truly. In other words, let’s not hold out breath on either one of us getting inducted. On a serious note, I always like Sunny and truly hope her life is going well no matter what she may be doing these days. She had a great aptitude for the business.
I do not know the Saturday Night Main Event schedule but I “assume” it will be back in 2007 prior to Wrestlemania 23.
LAX is an entertaining entity primarily because Konnan can really talk. Who is the future of ECW, RVD or C.M. Punk? I would give the slight edge to RVD but only time can tell for sure.
I don’t think Stone Cold was disappointed in his book but I am sure he would approach it differently if he were to write one today because of his time and schedule. Steve was very active in the writing of the book as was Dennis Brent and yours truly.
I just received Chris Nowinski’s book and hope to read it soon. Chris is a good young man who should be successful no matter what he decides to do in life. I can always say I once hired a “Harvard Man”.
For someone to compare Kurt Angle to Lex Luger screams of one needing a drug test.
Brad Armstrong has been under contract to the WWE for quite some time. It was nice to see Brad do some commentary on ECW last week. I am anxious to see if there will be more to come. Brad is a funny, witty, knowledgeable guy.
Would I be interested in going back to Talent Relations some day? If it meant leaving Oklahoma, no. I am not a good fit corporately to be honest with you. My presentation skills leave something to be desired as I am too blunt and sometimes too honest for my own good. My philosophy of who the WWE should and should not hire probably doesn’t fit the corporate mind set either.
Bobby Lashley has potential galore. Time will tell if Bobby becomes the consummate student of the game and studies tapes of his predecessors so that Bobby can have the success some of the WWE’s biggest stars have attained.
Both Magnum T.A. and “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer were extraordinary talents but as different personally as night and day. Buzz lived for the moment and was not the most popular guy in the locker room. But what a badass! Great powerslam! Buzz even taught Magnum the basics of the game for a large financial fee. T.A. would have been a Hall of Famer for sure if he had not been involved in the tragic automobile accident just as Terry was reaching his prime.
I am happy for Steve Borden If Steve is happy to be back in the business. Steve is a class act and an even better human being. Whether Steve ever migrates to the WWE is a time will tell matter that really on Steve can address.
I don’t think there will ever be a wrestler’s union because when one gets a group of wrestler’s together they can’t even agree on what to have for lunch much less agree on by-laws, officers, goals, etc. I don’t think it will ever happen.
The lapel pin I wear is an “OU” pin representing Oklahoma University.
Video game voice overs are done in a studio, mine in Oklahoma and King’s in Memphis. We read from a script and have some leeway to ad lib some lines if they fit into the game. It’s a fun job to be a part of.
Mil Mascaras is an ageless wonder who I still have never seen with his mask off. Great physique and high flying were trademarks of this tough business man who was known to be tough to deal with behind the scenes. Terry Taylor is a great guy who is working in TNA. I am happy for Terry who is a student of the game and once worked for me in talent relations in the WWE. I have known Terry since he was a star in Mid South Wrestling.
When Curt Hennig died and the WWE did a 10 bell salute and then followed up the next week with a video tribute it was because of the available time the TV facility had to get the video ready. I sure as hell had nothing to do with a lack of respect for Mr. Perfect I assure you.
Nice to hear from Brandon who was originally from Bixby, Oklahoma but now unfortunately lives in Austin, Texas. Happy Holidays Brandon.
We can debate the theory that “creative has nothing for a wrestler” until the cows come home. If a talent has potential but hasn’t tapped into it yet then the talent needs a serious “sit down” to determine if the talent/wrestler really wants to be in the business and bust their backside to be a star. Sometimes people are released and the true reasons may not be made public to keep from embarrassing the wrestler, too. I have had to cut many wrestlers who had the physical ability but not the mental capacity to be a star and allowed their personal life to drag them down. Plus, some wrestlers just don’t have “it”.
I don’t choose to compare Don West to Mike Tenay. As it relates to wrestling knowledge, product knowledge, etc few compare to Tenay.
If one compares my moaning about working on Jan. 1 to active duty in Iraq there isn’t even an argument or an issue. I will be in Miami on New Year’s Eve safely in my hotel watching some football and then will happily do RAW on Monday and watch the OU game on DVR when I get back to Oklahoma on Tuesday. What are Armed Forces do in the Middle East is genuinely heroic. I have HUGE respect for these soldiers who are fighting a war many of us are still attempting to understand why exactly we are there.
Toby-J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q will open in Norman in April 2007 at the site that formerly housed the Krispy Kreme in front of the Super Wal-Mart just off I-35 and Main. All your Bar-B-Q Dreams will come true soon!
It was nice hearing from Jim Powell. Nice to hear Jimmy is still doing well. Lots of hard working and talented non superstars who have contributed to the business are never given the credit they deserve. Thanks for contacting us Jim and Happy Holidays to a talented in ring wrestler.
HHH behind the scenes is one of the more asked questions I receive. I have yet to have a cross word with HHH since I signed him years ago. He is a genuine student of the game who gets unfair “heat” because of who he married. I don’t think that is fair and I am not saying that to kiss any one’s ass. At my stage of the game my ass kissing days are history. HHH is an old school wrestler that I have great respect for which will not endear me to many of you but someone asked and I feel compelled to be honest.
I have never left the announce position to take a “bathroom break” in over 30 years. But I have work dark pants more often than not “just in case”.
I don’t know this for fact but I would provide you an educated guess that there will be no more members added to DX.
When I think of wrestling in Indianapolis I think of Dick the Bruiser, Wilbur Snyder, and Bobby Heenan among others. Indianapolis was once a hot bed for old school wrestling. Now it’s known for Peyton Manning and the Colts.
In hindsight, and I was as guilty as anyone, the 900# wrestling hotline was largely a scam back in the day. WCW especially was hardline on it being down but it was really a way to earn extra cash for the company. I never made an extra dollar off of it.
I think the mass exodus from the WWE to any other wrestling organization is a little bit of a knee jerk reaction from uninformed people. Will some people leave the WWE when their contracts expire…probably. But that’s not big news is it? The most money to be made in this business that includes several different money streams and worldwide exposure is still with the WWE. Some wrestlers may want a lighter schedule but the cash is still the thing no matter what most people say.
Kenny Dykstra has an unlimited potential. But so did Mookie Wilson…only kidding. Kenny now has a last name and obviously has many physical skills for such a young kid. Hopefully he will not acquire any stupid, bad habits that retard his professional growth and that would put him in the “idiot category” many wrestlers with “potential” have.
My favorite U.S. city to work in is Oklahoma City because I can drive 20 minutes south and sleep in my own bed with Mrs. Ross which I still enjoy for an “old dog”. UK cites like London and Manchester are great as are Canadian cities like Toronto and Montreal but I have had some great times in Vancouver and Calgary too. Same for Tokyo. It’s hard to narrow it down to one international city as each have their own set of exclusive “benefits”.
The Boogeyman is an interesting entertainer but I don’t know yet what sort of wrestler that he will become. Get back to me on this one.
I hope we NEVER see J.R. in another storyline ever again. I don’t like doing it and don’t merit the air time over a deserving wrestler.
I can see where an astute fan could favorably compare Johnny Nitro with a young HBK. I hope Nitro has the burning desire to become the best at what he does as Shawn has.
Bull Nakano was a phenom. She was an extraordinary talent who exuded physicality and amazing ring psychology. I also think she and the King would have made a cute couple.
I really don’t remember why Raven left the WWE. I am sure it was either over his creative positioning or money. It’s usually one of those two matters. Raven is a bright individual who I used to enjoy talking with when we worked together. I wish him great health and peace of mind.
From what I understand Bary Windham will soon be joining the WWE as a producer/coach type person. BW was one helluva hand in his day.
I have heard nothing new on the much discussed Paul Heyman situation. Again it is unfortunate for all involved as Paul has so much to give but some people, me included, are not ideal fits in a corporate environment. Don’t mistake the performance of the 2001 Survivor Series and me hammering Heyman as an indication that I did not or do not “like him”. We were performing plain and simple. If you want to hear some classic battle between the two of us then listen to some of the old WCW tapes when we worked together and fought like cats and dogs. My gut instincts tell me Heyman will be much happier in the future writing screen plays, etc than being involved in a corporate structure he never was apparently designed for.
The U.K. fans are often times more emotional than the U.S. fans because the U.K. fans don’t get to see as much of the product live. Both fans are great and help pay my salary so thanks to you all.
I know so little on the wrestling show that will start soon on MTV I am not a good person to provide an opinion on it. However, never being one to back away from a question, unfortunately, I would have to give their chances of survival as being a long shot. Who will be their stars?
I have heard zilch about a pending Rock DVD but I would buy it. It would work best if Rock had the time to devote to picking out his favorite matches and to be interviewed for it as well. The Rock is one of my all time favorites and one of my greatest, personal hires.
What is the status of ECW? This question is asked virtually every day. I do not have the answer except to say it is a work in progress, it is being re-designed, it will probably take a year or maybe two to get it to where the WWE wants it, Bobby Lashley seemingly is being positioned to be the “face” of the brand if he can handle the load, and that I am willing as a fan of the genre to patiently wait to see how it evolves. I also know that long time ECW fans will most likely never be happy with the new ECW. I also feel that Paul Heyman leaving ECW will not automatically doom the brand which is no knock on Heyman. I watch the brand every week. If it causes consternation to you to watch it don’t do it. It is a TV show, plain and simple.
Happy Holidays everyone and check back with us again soon. I appreciate all those that have bought caps, shirts, books, sauce etc and continue to do so. Without doing some business we can’t maintain our site which I am having a blast doing.
We will be introducing Beef Jerky in mid January which I have been deeply involved with the development of the product and am so proud of how it has turned out.
Be well and take care everybody and enjoy Christmas from Baghdad Monday night on RAW.
I will be addressing several of your emails about a variety of questions and topics in this particular blog. Hopefully, you all understand that I do my utmost best to keep the material here current but there is no physical way I can answer each and every one of your emails. Don’t take it personally. I want this to be a fun site and not one where we try to “change the wrestling world”. I certainly hope that many of you more passionate fans have as much passion in your everyday lives as you seem to have when talking about specific wrestling topics. If so, I applaud you.
Is the WWE coming to my area? I suggest you stay in close contact with wwe.com as they will have the latest scheduling info. I usually don’t know any earlier than you but you can find out by checking there. Again, the rule of thumb is that if the WWE has a TV outlet in your area that you watch regularly the possibility of live events strongly exists. This includes Alberta, Ontario, Australia, North Dakota and all points in between.
For those wanting jobs in creative, there is a procedure one has to follow via WWE Human Resources which can be accessed via the corporate website. I have never been in this loop so I can’t be any help to anyone in this area for the record.
WWE Superstars are independent contractors and their retirement plans must be handled by the individual. I feel badly that some well known, old school wrestlers retire with little assets but everyone knows that the money doesn’t last forever and that planning for retirement is a part of being a responsible adult. As the former head of Talent Relations, I always encouraged the talent to save their money with a professional they could trust and never get themselves into tax trouble. Some listened and are now financially stable while others did not listen and live week to week. It takes two to tango and if an individual doesn’t have the self discipline to save their money they really have no one to blame but themselves. It is akin to having a drug problem. One of the first steps to recovery is admitting one has an issue. These matters start with who one sees in the mirror. Many wrestlers made HUGE money and squandered it just like pro football, baseball, and basketball players and it is sad no matter who the individual is. There has to be a certain amount of personal accountability for an individual’s post wrestling career to be something other than a sad story.
When I talk of an athlete being “consistent” that means, to me, in front of and behind the camera. That means coming to work on time and being physically and mentally ready to be productive. It means never “calling in” a match and always giving 100% effort. Lazy, moody, “dressing room lawyers” are a pain in the backside that should not be rewarded for those traits even though some may have “potential”. Remember, as I have said, do all you can to solve the problem but if that is simply not possible eliminate the problem.
I appreciate all the interest in me writing a book but I still feel that it would be best to write it after I am done with being anyone’s full time employee. Can you handle the truth?
There are definitely exceptions to my tag team rule that single stars are more marketable and draw bigger money over the long term including the Freebird-Von Erich rivalry. But ask any promoter or wrestler and I think the vast majority will agree with my philosophy. I did not invent this concept but it is learned behavior that I have acquired over the past 30 plus years.
Masata Tanaka is certainly talented enough to be on a WWE roster.
I get a great deal of questions as to who my favorite match, favorite wrestler, worst this, best that, type questions. I generally don’t answer those for a reason and that is I have to work with many of these people and I don’t choose to hurt any one’s feelings or create an unnecessary issue with any talent. Some day I will get more specific about these type questions and my last cookbook has some of that in it too. Those cookbooks are autographed and available here on our site.
People have asked me if I “like” Joey Styles. The answer is yes, as a professional and as a person. Joey is a true wrestling fan who loves the business and works hard at his craft. He is a reliable, well prepared professional who is only going to improve with age and more experience as he settles in the WWE approach of broadcasting sports entertainment.
When wrestlers have “behavioral issue” there is always a reason. The reasons may be lame or they may be valid. These individuals’ issues should be addressed and solved or eliminated. Sports entertainment often times breeds paranoia much like one finds in the NFL (T.O.), the NBA (A.I.) or throughout show business. Most professional performers generally operate within some level of paranoia or dysfunction, from my observations.
Over the years I have began looking at wrestler’s entrance/theme music as being more important to their presentation and perception than I once did. I have been privy to meetings with wrestlers with long faces who did not like their entrance music.
Tattoos- I am not a huge fan of them personally but if a wrestler or potential wrestler chooses to go that route I would suggest to not get anything overly “politically incorrect” unless one is able to cover it.
For some reason people are interested in the story of how Jeff Jarrett left the WWE under somewhat an umbrella of controversy. Short version is Jeff’s contract expired the day before a PPV in Cleveland and I was under the impression we had made a verbal agreement and signing the contract was going to be a formality. I took the talent at his word. The talent changed his mind, demanded a large payoff to perform his last match, he was paid, the match took place and we all lived happily ever after. The “blackball” aspect of the story is far fetched and inaccurate as far as I am concerned. I hold no ill will toward Jarrett as he did what he thought he had to do at the time. However, under no circumstance did the expiration date of the contract “fall between the cracks”. I do and did accept responsibility for the snafu and learned some valuable lessons from the experience. It is all water under the bridge now.
If Austin Idol were in his prime today he would be printing money in the WWE.
O.K. for the last time…..the UK is a HUGE marketplace for the WWE and will always be treated as such. With that said it would seem to be inevitable that a MAJOR PPV would originate from the UK some day. When? I DO NOT know. Why? It is not my area of expertise and I find out usually just before the info is released to the public. I don’t need to know any earlier than that.
I don’t endorse too many wrestling schools, OVW in Louisville is a fine one, but I have to assume that Lance Storm would have an excellent school as well. Lance is very intelligent and understands wrestling psychology and fundamentals well. No one should make a decision on a wrestling school without first visiting the school and talking to others that have attended them.
I agree that there is a great deal of “T&A” on wrestling shows these days but that should come as no surprise when the most viewers are younger men. I do not think the end of women’s wrestling is near however.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg at Wrestlemania 20 was an aberration in my opinion and did not represent either talent’s abilities from a wrestling or marketing standpoint. Both had decided to leave the WWE and the fans who knew were vocal in their displeasure as many of the fans took the news personally. Lesnar and Goldberg, on a level playing field, could help any company.
Mike Tyson was awesome to work with from my interactions with him. I will write about Mike some day at length but overall I really enjoyed being around him and he was nothing like many in the media have painted him. I think Mike had too many negative members of his “posse” that did Mike no favors. Mike would be tough to beat in a WWF trivia contest.
Jake Roberts has a fertile, creative wrestling mind. Whether Jake has the inclination or desire to fit into the established environment that is creative is a call only Jake can make. If all the necessary elements were in place, Jake could be an asset in creative or teaching youngsters the fine art of pro wrestling.
There were lots of emails this past week about RVD. I look at RVD as being one of the cornerstones of the new ECW. Rob is a talented and unique performer, obviously. I know Rob has done well financially in the WWE and has earned every penny of his cash. I hope Rob has a long productive future with the WWE but in the end that will be Rob’s call.
I did enjoy hearing Brad Armstrong on ECW Tuesday night. I am not sure where that is headed if any where but it was fun to listen to Brad and Tazz verbally joust.
I would like to see several local wrestling territories open back up to provide a place for more wrestlers to learn their crafts and earn a living. I miss Mid South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, the AWA, World Class and to a lesser degree WCW which is not meant to draw any one’s ire. My opinion was asked and I have simply responded. Bottom line, the more the merrier but it won’t happen due to financial issues, the investment it would take to keep one alive until it established an audience, and the lack of available box office stars who can sell tickets. I personally would not invest in such a venture even though I would love to see them operating.
Of course I still love the business but I don’t embrace the travel it takes to pull it off. The highlight of my professional week is broadcasting RAW but the travel and wear and tear that goes along with it 51 weeks a year is a “bear”. Sometimes a live Raw can be especially challenging which takes away from the “fun” of it but I try not to expose our fans my “bad nights”.
My hat is off to all those involved with Armageddon as it seemed to deliver better than many expected. The Ladder Match and the Inferno Match were better than I had expected they would be. I think it would be fair and accurate for me to suggest that you check out Armageddon if given the opportunity on DVD, etc.
Vince Russo called me a year or two ago and we cleared the air of any issues there might have been. I refuse to live my life immersed in “hate” or overt negativity. Why? Life is simply too short. I have zero ill feelings toward Russo and wish him continued good health and a happy life. Again, this is water under the bridge.
The wrestling media all have their style in “judging” matches or events. I don’t have an opinion on the style, 5 stars, etc, but I pay more attention to who the reviewer is rather than the style in which something is reviewed. At the end of the day it is just someone’s opinion any way. My opinion is no more important than yours.
With the Horseman DVD in production people have asked me my opinion of Ole Anderson. Firstly, the Horseman DVD won’t be as good as it could be without Ole’s input. Secondly, Ole was a brilliant, wrestling mind who was a tough son of a gun and an excellent wrestler. He might never be elected Mr. Congeniality but that job doesn’t pay too well as best I know. Ole was challenging to work for at times but I learned a great deal from him as it relates to the business. I don’t think he likes me much but aside from that I have great respect for him and regard him as one of the best in ring talents I ever saw. His partnership with the late Gene Anderson was awesome. Ole is also not one of those old school wrestlers who got out of the business with no money.
I suggested the WWE do a through story of the Von Erich Family on DVD with Mrs. Adkisson and Kevin Von Erich having the floor to tell their side of their family’s tragic story years ago. It is also a story of success, for the record. The Von Erich’s have a great legacy within the business and it should be memorialized accurately. I expect we will see plenty of World Class content on WWE 24/7.
Just a shout out to Jan Jr. in the USAF stationed in Turkey. Be well and thanks for serving our country.
I would bet money, and I’m not a big gambler, that without question some WCW wrestlers will someday be in the WWE Hall of Fame.
If you are reading where “X” match has been booked for Wrestlemania 23 then I have some beach front property in Oklahoma to sell you. Point is I doubt very seriously that a Wrestlemania card has been finalized but I am sure it will be the best one available and most doable when the card is released. It is Wrestlemania after all.
I am unaware that HBK and Hulk truly have personal issues with each other. I know they respect each other professionally and that is all that matters to me. Whether they exchange Xmas cards isn’t my concern or none of my business. If there is a professional rivalry it will simply join a long list of those that exist today and have always been around since there has been a wrestling business.
Competition is a good thing. Period. On all levels. End of story. Competition takes on a variety of faces but in general it is good for every business.
Good to hear from a fan in Bixby, Oklahoma where I used to live and where I worked for Cowboy Bill Watts who still lives there. I miss the “Freddyburgers”! I too will be pulling for OU in the Fiesta Bowl. Now that’s a shocker, right?!
I think a Legend’s video game, one I suggested years ago prior to the WWE starting its “Legend’s Program” is a viable idea. I would love to watch, for example, The Rock and his father Rocky Johnson take on the Wild Samoans or Stone Cold face Sammartino, etc. The combinations are endless.
Paul Boesch the former wrestler and long time promoter in Houston was a class act. He was fair with the talent and had great, old school wrestling integrity. Paul wanted to and did promote hard hitting, logical pro wrestling at its finest. He was not too keen on me joining him on commentary in the beginning but he came around and we got along fine. I represented a different generation to him and like many old timers he resisted change at times. Just like I do today. Boesh may have had the most famous ears in Houston, maybe the entire business.
I haven’t changed my tune on the ”$1M Challenge”. No, I don’t think the WWE should or ever will acknowledge it. It is a “publicity stunt” designed to get folks talking and to help draw ratings and sell PPVs. Will it? You tell me.
A C.M. Punk vs. Gregory Helms match would be one I would like to see IF they both slowed down a notch and allowed me to absorb their contest.
My old broadcasting partner Bob Caudle is alive and well living in North Carolina and enjoying retirement. Bob was a wonderful man who welcomed me with open arms when I went to work for Crockett’s NWA when many others did not. Bob was not afraid of “losing his spot” and did not operate on “wrestling paranoia”. Bob is a wonderful person.
Matt Hardy underutilzed? That’s a very subjective question. I love Matt and wish him nothing but good health and success. Matt is another talent that would be well served to slow down his in ring style and continue to work hard on perfecting his verbal skills. Matt is a keeper and could work for me on any roster any time. His time will come if it is meant to be. I sure hope so.
I think it will be a year and perhaps longer until we see clearly the direction the new ECW is going to take and the overall style of the brand. It needs to have its own identity that’s for sure. I am simply a fan of the brand and watch it weekly like many of you. I am patient though and anxious to see the direction ECW heads.
Without a doubt Howard Finkle deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame. Fink probably has the best chance of any broadcaster, joining Mean Gene Okerlund, to be the next inductee from that particular category. No one has been more loyal to the WWE over the years than Howard Finkle.
If I had the choice as proposed to me about either going to the Ohio State bowl game for the National Championship or buying a new TV I would attend the game. There are no guarantees when or if the Buckeyes will compete in another National Title game and I hear TV’s are for sale every day.
Will The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania ever be broken? I suppose it could but for some reason I hope not. It depends on the level of competition and Taker’s overall health as the year’s progress.
Savage watch continues. I “know nothing” as Sgt Schultz used to say. That’s a fact. I will stick with my story…Macho Man Savage deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and I am totally unaware of if or why there are personal reasons keeping Randy from being inducted. This will not be the hill I die on.
Don Jardine, aka The Masked Spoiler” was an awesome talent and I was saddened to hear of his passing. I was hoping it wasn’t true. I traveled with Don over 30 years ago and he taught me a great deal about life on the road, saving money, and becoming a good listener. He would always drive his immaculately clean vehicle, no smokers allowed, no booze allowed, and listened to classical music while he espoused the various philosophies of the business and his experiences in different territories. Don was a unique man who was somewhat reclusive at times but highly intelligent with uncanny ring psychology.
I really liked the AWA DVD and plan on watching it again over the holidays. I could easily see a volume two if this one does well. I do recommend this first WWE produced look at the AWA.
I never prepare to call a match projected to be a boring one but if I get the occasional stinker one can only do their best and be careful to not over sell it. I have experienced plenty of these bad matches and have probably contributed to a few myself.
Wrestlers are released for a variety of reasons but the one that stirs the fans the most is when there are no creative plans for someone’s favorite. Personal issues obviously contribute to some releases but not as much as someone’s persona being perceived to have run it’s course creatively.
We accept all thanks here. I don’t want to break my arm patting myself on the back! (Thanks, Gorilla.) Sincerely my thanks for the many kind words we receive here.
An Outback Bowl prediction…..I love JoePa and the Nittany Lions are a talented bunch but I think I have to toss my hat into the Tennessee Volunteer’s ring on this one. Should be a helluva game. I wish I could be there but I am a little bit of a football freak if you haven’t noticed.
Speaking of that, on a side note, no I will not be attending the Fiesta Bowl featuring my beloved Oklahoma Sooners but instead will be in Miami, Florida for the January 1 Raw featuring Cena vs. Federline. Not receiving an off day as requested is not a tragedy. I am not angry. I am disappointed to miss the Sooners’ game but it won’t ruin my day nor will it affect my work. I cash the checks the WWE sends me and I have for a long time so I have no issue doing my job. Would I be happier attending the game on this specific day? Obviously, but I am also very curious to see how the Cena-Federline issue evolves and what is going to happen between a gut and quartered DX and Team Rated RKO.
Also, Monday in D.C. was a real challenge for yours truly especially doing the first 30 minutes of the show alone. Calling a 30 Man Battle Royal solo is tough and it is really a two man job. Nonetheless I did the best I could with it and hope it wasn’t offensive to those “students of the game” who need a seemingly endless supply of info during a broadcast. I enjoyed the 3 hour show overall but could have used a visit to the men’s room about 2 hours and 45 minutes in. The end of the show was powerful and I never knew when we went off the air and kept describing what I was seeing…..very up close. I ruined a nice suit which ended up covered in HHH’s blood but such are the hazards of the job. It could have been worse, it could have been my blood! Doing live TV is always a challenge but some nights are more challenging than others for a variety of reasons and Monday night was one of them. The rating for the 3 hour marathon was really solid so my thanks to all that tuned in.
This week The King and I have the privilege of doing the voice over work for the Christmas Night Raw, A Tribute to the Troops: Christmas in Baghdad which we will do this Friday in Connecticut. I am looking forward to seeing this material as everyone who was a part of it said it is great stuff and an experience they will never forget.
We’ll have more updates this week so check us out. My thanks to all of you who are shopping at our store and have become customers. We can’t stay a float if we can’t sell a few products along the way.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend. It is in the 70s here in Oklahoma which is amazing for this time of the year. I’m headed to Washington D.C. on Sunday to prepare for the big, 3 hour Monday Night Raw. That’s over a 180 minute non bathroom break! Seriously, the show should be a good one because Battle Royals are always unpredictable and the payoff with the winner earning a virtual immediate WWE Title match is intriguing to me.
I wanted to quickly address some of your feedback on a variety of seemingly frequently asked questions or comments.
Regarding pre-mature deaths in wrestling, I feel it is extremely unfair for anyone to blame the WWE for this unfortunate and sad situation. The WWE has a viable wellness program in place which I feel is a great thing. Certainly, one can easily say, “well it is about time”. Well “it’s about time” for our society in general to start making better decisions about their health. WWE alumni, which many were probably alumni for other organizations too, who have prematurely passed away had the opportunity in a large part to make better decisions. Just as in life, pro sports or entertainment, some did, others did not. I have a very unique perspective of this subject and feel that the “woe is him” excuse has been used to the extreme. Wrestlers, just like any other human being, who choose to abuse drugs must understand the potential consequences. The overall monitoring of the athletes general health and well being, however, should be every company’s top concern.
I don’t know what else folks expect me to say about Paul Heyman’s situation. It is unfortunate that things could not work out when talented people can’t “fit” into a particular system. I have always had a positive relationship with Heyman even though we don’t and haven’t always agreed with his approach to certain aspects of the business. He probably would say the same thing. That doesn’t make Paul my mortal enemy either. I think that ECW will eventually develop its own “feel” and identity but I don’t feel ECW will ever have the feel of the South Philly tapings but that’s just one man’s opinion. Plus, to the best of my knowledge Heyman is still a WWE employee.
Dream Matches. The lack of feasible “dream matches” will continue to decrease in relationship with the over all lack of superstar depth and health issues of older superstars. Just think of when the superstars who made a living abusing their bodies are ready for “dream matches” later in their lives. It isn’t going to happen.
Video game talents are generally rotated especially with the middle and the lower end of the roster. Plus, the lead time is so far out that by the time a game is released an unknown or little used wrestler may have become a player.
I know nothing about the Wrestle X Society and have no thoughts on their future but if forced to bet on their survival I would probably go with the “under”.
What to do about unhappy wrestlers? My philosophy was to either solve the problem or eliminate it. I personally would not want anyone on my roster that did not want to be there or who half-assed it. Plus, wrestlers who have the proverbial “issues” either need to seek help and work at being cured for their family’s sake or take their leave. Denial is grounds for saying adios in my old school book.
It is my believe that the 4 Horsemen will never have another match even though I would LOVE to see it. Age and injuries don’t seem to make it feasible. The DVD of the Horsemen will hopefully include all the important parties speaking their mind.
For the 1000th time, if one wants to be a writer for the WWE the channels are thru the WWE Human Resources department. Check out WWE.com’s corporate website.
There are a ton of questions about Macho Man Randy Savage being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. AGAIN, I do not know if Randy will be inducted this year or ever. I DO think Macho Man deserves induction. I am unaware if a personal issue exists between Savage and the WWE because I don’t talk to either about it. If I had a vote in the HOF proceedings, Savage would get my vote.
In ring psychology. I will someday write more about my personal preferences of in ring psychology. It could take up an entire chapter of a book. It is a very involved matter that has to do with personal philosophies, common sense, fundamental skills, the basics of wrestling, knowing one’s role, and listening to the audience. It also has to do with natural instincts which many are born with but most are not.
I get asked all the time on what the greatest match I ever saw was. I will probably never be able to answer that one conclusively. I like so many matches that I have been a part of over the years it is impossible to narrow it down to only one or a small handful. When or if I do write a book, I will be able to go back and watch many of my favorites and then more accurately write about them.
We had several questions recently about comedy wrestling. I am not 100% sure exactly what comedy wrestling is. I do think comedy has its place on a wrestling show when it is organic but many wrestlers don’t have natural comedic timing. Bad acting or failed attempts at comedy adversely affects a wrestling show. It is all in the execution.
The Rock. I love the guy. Rock is an amazing performer who does have great comedic and dramatic timing and is a natural athlete. I DO NOT know if the Rock will ever be in a WWE ring again. That is a question for the Rock and the WWE to address. If I were Rock I probably would have had my last match to be honest with you. The risk of injury would seem to great for me to want to risk a viable movie career for.
Some commented on JBL’s edginess. JBL is paid to be controversial. He is paid to get people talking. Obviously that aspect of JBL’s presentation is working. I like for the color commentator to be edgy and have an attitude. JBL has a high intellect and knows how to P.O. fans. That’s a nice trait to have.
People asked me about the reported New Japan meetings with the WWE. I know what I read on wwe.com. That’s it. I wasn’t there as I live in Oklahoma now and am rarely in the corporate office. I would not read much into except for a nice publicity plug for New Japan back in their homeland. More than likely the meeting was nothing more than a photo op and a news item.
Some asked to comment on my thoughts on “Death Matches”. When used sparingly and when used as a vehicle to settle a long standing personal issue, they work. To have one on more shows than not is not my idea of smart booking.
Why isn’t so and so getting a “push”? Please stop the madness. This process is a two way street. Sometimes talents are under valued which can happen in any creative process. The talent themselves usually have a much to do with their lack of “push” than anyone. The “I’ll work hard when I get my push” line of thinking is a sore spot with me. That’s not how the world works.
Daniel- Good Luck in the Air Force and thanks for your service. I am very familiar with Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in OKC. I am an investor there. Luv the chicken fried steak!
It annoys me that some fans feel that Umaga is a “rip off” of Samoa Joe. I don’t see it. Joe talks Umaga doesn’t for just one example. Plus, who’s ripping off who and if so what the hell? Samoan wrestlers such as Peter Miavia, Afa and Sika, etc might have something to say about Polynesian athletes copying them. When it comes right down to it who isn’t a copy to some degree of some one from the past in one form or another. There are a few exceptions but most wrestlers have role models they copy things from which is smart.
Jack K asked who I would like to see on RAW from one of the other two WWE brands. Probably Benoit and Punk. The Undertaker is essentially untouchable.
Steve T- One of the great battles I have ever waged is versus the English language. I will observe my over use of the word “literal” just for you.
Mia asked about the “Kiss My ASS Club” and no it wasn’t a highlight of my career nor did I volunteer for the duty. But…it did not kill me and I assume some were entertained by it.
Phoenix, your 12 year old brother should not be lifting weights without adult supervision. Plus his school work is much more important at his age than his physical preparation to become a WWE Superstar. It is great however than he has a goal.
J.R.’s Super Bowl prediction?? For Jason, the Giants have as good a chance as anyone it seems in the NFC but the Bears “D” will be tough to deal with come playoff time. The ‘Jints really need to beat Philly this week. I do think the Super Bowl winner will come from the AFC.
Paul in Muncie-Tell Trish we all miss her. And try to look her in the eyes when you talk to her.
Dave- I have a great repore with Michael Cole. Michael is one of the hardest working and perhaps most under appreciated individuals I know in the biz.
Shona- good to hear from you and I look forward to seeing you again next season for the Sooner Football games. Thanks for checking out our site. Boomer Sooner!
Yes, Eric, the Mid South and World Class had a working relationship as the two owners were friends and business partners, speaking of Bill Watts and Fritz Von Erich. Who Alabama hires is a big question but the sooner the better for recruiting to better catch up with Auburn which is what got Shula fired. I like Sylvester Croom but that is old school and he has a job at Mississippi State. The Bear still casts a long shadow. The Arkansas issue sounds like there are some spoiled, blue chip players with overbearing parents who just need to shut up and allow the kids to play the game.
T. Adams- I would rather not make a wager on the Fiesta Bowl but I wish your Boise State team the best of luck. Let me assure you that the Sooners will take this game MOST seriously as they should against an undefeated, talented and well coached team. I will be working in Miami but my DVR will be recording the game for my viewing upon my return on January 2.
Farris- 24 is not too old to be discovered as a wrestler but you are really burning daylight if you haven’t started training and wrestling on indy shows by now. The chances are slim but one never knows. I will not be the person to tell you not to pursue your dreams but you need to get after it.
Tony talked about tag teams and the perception that the WWE split up all their good teams. From my experience over the years that has been the rule with every promotion I have worked for. Tag teams don’t seem to sell the tickets over the long haul that a hot, single star does who is involved in a personal issue. The shelf life for most tag teams since the 80s has been shorter than in previous generations. And I like tag team matches. The Rock ‘N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express were some of the greatest matches of any kind in any promotion I have ever witnessed.
Lugi- Thanks for checking us out from Italy and I am not scheduled to be on the tour in April. But don’t let that affect getting your tickets early for what I am sure will be a fun event. Italy is a wonderful market for the WWE with passionate fans. I would love to bring my Italian wife there some day and spend a couple of weeks.
Jonny-I think the business in general has too many stipulated matches and with too many non traditional elements. I like them when used judiciously but not on a weekly basis. Overuse or overexposure lessens the marketability of these stips or presentations.
Norman- If you are waiting for the ECW brand to become exactly or close to what it used to be, I suggest you not hold your breath. No disrespect to you or any other ECW fanatic but the old days aren’t coming back but new days and a fresh approach seem to be on the horizon. It takes time to build a brand and in a year or two we can all see what shape the new ECW has taken.
Thanks for checking us out and I hope you will do some shopping from our store. We are selling lots of signed merchandise and sauces. My sincere thanks to those of you that have become customers.
Larry- My educated guess is that the Masterlock will be broken some day.
Tyler- Royalties are paid via a formula contractually agreed upon with the wrestlers and the WWE. Just as in pro sports and other forms of entertainment, the stars are paid more than the others. Obviously, the goal is to become a main eventer and stay there.
Georgie- There will always be room for the JBLs and the Jesse Venturas of the world. I could see a trend in the future where the color commentators become more attitudinal.
Joe Fish- “Gutless” J.R. not only allowed your poorly crafted email to be posted but I am responding to it as well. If the current ECW product causes you so much angst I suggest you not watch it. Your email screams that you are seeking attention. I feel for you. Finally, your comments about the late Eddie Guerrero were tasteless and uncalled for.
Voodoo Crap Mafia- I have always felt that Roaddog and Billy Gunn were talented individuals. The entertainment business is about getting noticed and that seems to be what they are attempting to do.
Victor- I am happy you like the “Legends” show on WWE 24/7 and it is a blast being a part of it. I hope we continue doing them.
Joey- Never count out Ric Flair for another title reign. Never say never. However, I would doubt that we will ever see the original 4 Horsemen wrestle again. Time catches up to us all.
Alan- You asked about what I thought of Kane and I told you. Whether Kane has a “long title reign” is a separate question I am not able to answer. My guess would be “why not”?
Von Ghoul- Hang on to that old trading card as it may be worth 50 cents or so some day. I hope you get that Chipotle Bar-B-Q Sauce for Christmas too.
Dan E- Regarding the “War” challenge you spoke of, I seriously doubt if it will ever go any farther than it currently is. Again, it is all about publicity and to get folks talking. I don’t know what value that particular issue would have for the WWE. Just my opinion.
Patrick- I am not aware of the regulations set forth by the Missouri State Athletic Commission. To improve your play by play…practice…often. Listen to various play by play people’s work and then develop your own style. Good Luck.
Bethany- I have gambled at the Mohegan Sun on several occasions but I never left with much of their cash. This trip was no exception.
Peter Tan/Malaysia- The WWE has signed Monty Brown and Monty seems like an extremely athletic and charismatic individual. How well Monty responds in a new system will indicate how successful he will be. I like Monty’s chances from what I have seen of him thus far.
Walker- We always appreciate new visitors to our site. Thanks for checking it out and come back often.
Steve- Good luck on the screen writing. I hope the 30 man Battle Royal doesn’t take away from the Royal Rumble. I never thought of it in that way. Interesting perspective.
Brandon J- I assume DX will be around as long as they remain popular. Could be a long time.
John- The Horsemen DVD should really be a good one. There is so much great material it will probably take multiple discs to get it done properly.
JSP- Thanks, I won’t let the “idiots” get to me. I am not the “enemy” and honestly I don’t think anyone is. Sports entertainment is about entertaining people and some efforts are simply going to be better than others. I love the Chipotle Ketchup too and it makes a great steak sauce.
Kevin- My brief “run” as a bad guy that you are enjoying on WWE 24/7 was a unique experience for me. I don’t know if it really worked but it was a change of pace for me nonetheless. I think I got to do one of the first if not the first “attitudinal” in ring interviews from Hershey, Pa.
Greg/Wales- I don’t know of any Wrestlemania 23 matches but someone utilizing a ladder would not surprise me. Time will tell. Stay tuned.
Dee- I agree with you regarding your thoughts about John Cena. Because I hired John and know him so well I realize I am not the most unbiased individual when it comes to discussing John. I just know he has a great heart and loads of character and works as hard as anyone I have ever been around. I think it is fine if fans don’t all like John but to make it personal regarding someone they don’t know other than from watching TV is, I agree, annoying. John is still young and improves every week.
The Gav- One never knows about Sid Eudy and his future plans except for Sid. I really don’t know if Sid would want to wrestle full time again. If Sid was healthy and motivated I am sure he could contribute to any organization.
Craig/UK- I think Samoa Joe is a talented young man who has a great future in the business if he can stay healthy. I don’t know him personally but he seems to work hard in the ring which I appreciate.
Steve- My “presentation skills” have gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion. I am working on them nonetheless. Sometimes I am too blunt for my own good.
Tim B.- Mike Tenay is an excellent broadcaster who is extremely knowledgeable. He’s also a great person.
Brandon- Yes, I would like to write a book someday when I am no longer affiliated with any organization. Indeed this is a busy time of the year for all of us. My chances of getting into the WWE Hall of Fame are perhaps slightly better than yours. There are far too many more deserving individuals than yours truly.
Dan K.- I would assume that a Mr. Perfect DVD will be produced in the future. There are some great “Perfect” stories out there.
Dave- I would suggest that there are too many wrestling pay per views in general but the market will determine if my opinion is right or wrong.
Kam- Vancouver is a great city and one of the most beautiful places I have traveled. I don’t know the future of holding a WWE PPV there but it certainly would not surprise me. Canadian fans in general are awesome.
James- I plan on going to Phoenix for the pre-game festivities but will most likely be on a plane on December 31 on my way to Miami for the January 1 Raw. John Laurinaitis has a “thankless” job. It is one of the most challenging positions in the business and one can never make everyone happy. John is a good family man and works hard. Many independent wrestlers need to slow down a little and better understand in-ring psychology. I have seen some indy matches that just did not make sense but more often than not the wrestlers were trying but perhaps they need better guidance and coaching. These individuals hearts are in the right place from what I can tell.
Dylan-OVW in Louisville has an outstanding wrestling school. Danny Davis is an excellent teacher.
Jason- I really enjoy doing radio, I certainly have the face for it, and think a national radio show about wrestling could work. Doing radio with the WWE was fun but it killed my social, Saturday nights!
Tommy- The first Clash of Champions was a great experience and broke some new ground on TBS. Ric Flair put Sting on the map at that first Clash.
Chance Ryan- Good luck on your career. Being in this business isn’t easy and more don’t make it than do. I hope you are one of the fortunate ones. The Sooners will have their hands full with Boise State without a doubt.
JRH-Enjoy Armageddon this Sunday in Richmond. The old Coliseum has a great wrestling history. One of my first TV assignments for the Crockett promotion in the 80s was in that arena.
Debra- I too am glad your soldiers are home safe and sound. Stone Cold visits our site so he will see your best holiday wishes.
Sweet Daddy Bugg- Chris Benoit has the ability to beat any of the champions recognized on any brand. That’s where my money would be placed.
Clayton- A Sooner fan in Michigan….that’s a great combination. Notre Dame fans are passionate but that isn’t a bad thing.
Wills- I feel your frustrations. Wrestling can be like the Oklahoma weather. If one doesn’t like it today it will probably be different tomorrow.
Doug- I don’t think too many deserving people are being passed up for the Hall of Fame. It is just that there are so many deserving people and only a handful can go in each year. I agree that Curt Hennig is a deserving candidate and will most likely go in sooner than later.
Kyle Lucas- I guess you know more about my ability to affect change in the WWE than I do. I read your RAW feedback and I am sorry you did not like the show. I don’t share your point of view but I respect your opinions.
Robert- In my opinion the WWE isn’t going to work with a company they don’t own. Another company’s publicity stunt probably will never be acknowledged.
Brendan- I have not seen any of Teddy Hart’s work recently but no one I know ever thought Teddy did not have talent. Working a few TV shows with Gordon Solie was a real blessing for me.
Mike- I would love to see the Fiesta Bowl but that’s not how it’s going to be. I will be there in spirit.