Happy New Year everybody and thanks to all who have sent birthday wishes our way. For the record, I was born on January 3, 1952 in Fort Bragg, California. That makes me 56 years of age NOT 63 as was erroneously reported on wwe.com this week and may still be on the Raw site at wwe.com.
The Mrs. And I had a blast spending New year’s Eve in Arizona with the OU team and staff as I flew to the desert from North Carolina on Sunday where we produced the final episode of Monday Night Raw on Saturday December 29. The Fiesta Bowl did not create the results that I wanted, but all the credit in the world has to go to West Virginia University who simply played harder and wanted the game more than my Sooners. Case closed. End of story. I am happy that veteran coach Bill Stewart got the head coach’s job at WVU, as the Mountaineers return a ton of good players who will most likely win the Big East again in 2008.
As always, I remain loyal to my young Oklahoma team as an 11-win season including winning the Big 12 Title isn’t a bad year and of course as my friend The King says, “one can’t grieve forever”. Life goes on and so does work as I leave again Sunday on a flight to Hartford, Ct. which will then take me to the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino where Monday night Raw will go live featuring “Raw Roulette” and hopefully no more Big Dick Johnson interacting with yours truly. I smelled like the town drunk after my suit was drenched in cheap champagne and you can image what it smelled like when I unpacked in a few hours later in Arizona.
While in Arizona I had a nice “sit down” with a cold beverage with Eric Bischoff, who is doing well and staying busy with a variety of projects, many that have great potential and were personally intriguing to me. I can tell you that there are worse places a guy can live than Scottsdale, Arizona!
Now, on to your feedback:
I just received my order of beef jerky! First off I consider myself to be a major fan of jerky. With that said I think that your beef jerky is the best I’ve ever had!
I am not trying to suck up in any way. For the longest time, my favorite was a local brand called Enjoy™ which was made locally in Fontana, Ca.
I had my mother try some of the Championship Original, and she loves it as well. Mind you, she grew up on a farm and used to make her own, she is very picky on the jerky she will eat. She has instructed me to “stock up” on these. I have now tried all 4 flavors and my favorite is the Slobber-Knocker Heat. It dances on my tongue with its array of flavors!
I will be ordering more! Sorry for such a long post, but I am excited to finally have access to REAL JERKY, not that Slim Jim stuff (is that even really meat in those things?)
Thanks Brandon, and I am pleased you like our J.R.’s Beef Jerky, which is one of our very best sellers and is a healthy snack with little fat and no carbs. I invite anyone who hasn’t tried our Jerky to give it a shot.
Great job on the blog as usual. I just wanted to ask you if beef jerky would be good for people like me who prefer their meat juicy and not dry. Also, do you rub barbecue sauce on your nipples when you get excited? Boomer Sooner!
You need professional help I.C., and I suggest you seek it soon.
Just to let you know, I bought the Shawn Michaels DVD and found it to be one of the best out there. I am looking forward to Stone Cold’s DVD, as well as The RAW 15th anniversary DVD. I’ll tell you what I’d love to see, and that would be a DVD of matches Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan called together as they, next to you and The King, were the best announce team in WWE history.
I suppose you also heard a Sooners/Hokies bowl matchup was kiboshed by the BCS committee I would love to see some kind of playoff I really think Hawaii got jobbed. what do you think?.Merry Christmas to you and your family J.R
The Brain and Gorilla were hugely entertaining and two, talented men who I loved to listen to. It only makes sense that some of their funniest and most entertaining stuff will be repurposed as time goes on. I have not heard much about the content of the Austin DVD, but there is a ton of material that could be utilized. Yes, college football needs a playoff system without question and, no, I felt like Hawaii got a great BCS Bowl game vs. Georgia and came out smelling like a lei. I don’t know that Hawaii is as good as Boise State was last year, if that’s what you are getting at. but I am a June Jones fan.
How are you? I was wondering which color commentator would you like to have as a partner, with the exception of The King? I am talking of a dream color commentator that you have never worked with or you have occasionally.
– Cheers. Waja
I will give this some thought and get back to you, oh, in say a year. Seriously, this one requires some serious thought and I am trying to do less serious thinking these days. However, the work I did with Jim Cornette was a ton of fun and he would be great to work with again plus the volatile and oftentimes unpredictable Paul Heyman always kept things interesting to say the least. Michael Hayes was good on the mic too, as fans of our work with the UWF might attest. And I did a lot of WCW PPV’s with the American Dream that were fun. As a reminder only, we are still selling our autographed copies of “J.R.’s Cookbook” and in the cookbook we have a ton of stories about this very subject and others including many top-ten lists about my favorite wrestling teams, broadcasters, cities to visit, cities for catering, etc. Those books are available in our online store.
Good ol’ J.R.!
Remember the good old days of crazy gimmicks? Do you think the WWE will start using them again? If not, why doesn’t the WWE make each and every superstar DIFFERENT!! Yeah Batista, Triple H, and Bobby Lashley are recognizable but they are all kind of the same character if you know what I mean. They are just B.A.’s with big muscles. Ex. you could have Lashley with his military background as a gimmick or Batista like the “REAL” Ultimate Warrior. What do you think?
– James B.
Too many gimmicks will spoil the “soup” every time. I am not in favor of the wrestling rosters resembling a circus troop.
JR - Why hasn’t the WWE established a secondary title in ECW? Maybe a special title that can change hands on a DQ or count out? Maybe a Television Title that would be defended every week on TV.
– Artez Collins
Don’t know the answer, but why does wrestling need MORE titles?
And, what is the status of Paul Heyman? He is one the best and innovative writers of his day. Is he being used in that way or is he still being paid to sit at home to prevent him from going to TNA?
– Thanks, Artez Collins
Paul is working/writing/creating a variety of entertainment projects, none of which have anything to do with wrestling. I don’t know where the story got started that Heyman was being paid to sit at home, but I don’t think that one hold’s water… in other words I don’t believe that one to be true, but it makes for a nice slice of rasslin’ gossip. However, I will not deny that Happy Heyman isn’t a brilliant mind when it comes to wrestling.
Maybe you can help with a little memory lane WWE history for me. About 20 years back one of the matches that got me hooked was on regular weekly TV, I think SNME. It featured Randy Savage and I think Ricky Steamboat (not sure). However the highlight for me was when Savage hurt his ankle, whether a work or not, he sold it incredibly well. So much so he took his boot off in the middle of the match and continued.
Any ideas on this match e.g. The opponent, whether it was a work or not? I know you were not with WWE then, so am taking a chance on that one. So let me finish by a follow up…
Today many stars do not seem to sell a move too much, at least in my opinion. One gets a slam or so, and after 3 seconds of selling they could be up as if nothing happened. I always enjoyed a match where an opponent works on someone’s body part, and around a story. Bret Hart was great at this as was Steamboat. Today I do not see so much of this. What do you think?
All the best
We don’t see too many Barry Sanders or Jim Browns running the football these days in the NFL either, with the point being that Savage and Steamboat were special talents inside the ring that understood ring psychology and had the physical gifts to execute, were both products of the territory system, and when they arrived in the WWE. they were both experienced and highly skilled performers. Isolating and then debilitating an opponent’s body part still works when it is executed properly, but many young fans had rather watch two wrestlers crash and burn or get caught up in “sick” maneuvers to allow wrestlers to actually wrestle. The lovely “boring” chants are the kiss of death for many wrestles, who then panic and speed things up just to quell the verbal uprising they are experiencing.
Thanks for the many years of entertainment behind the mic that you have provided. I fondly recall the days of Mid-South wrestling and your being a big part of it!
Mid South Wrestling still has many fans and I know that any success I have been lucky enough to attain would not have been possible without having those unique experiences and sitting under Cowboy Bill Watts and Ernie Ladd’s learning tree. Arguably at one point Mid South Wrestling was the best one hour wrestling show on television. I wish we could see more drama, athleticism and reality based issues on today’s wrestling TV shows.
When does the WWE plan on coming back to Oklahoma City? I know we had a power outage during Raw last time, but that doesn’t mean that you can leave us hanging for 1 1/2 years!
“You can leave us hanging…”? Excuse me, Kyle, but when did I get the job of booking buildings for the WWE? I am not involved in that area in any way. The NBA Hornets’ schedule is the biggest reason the WWE hasn’t been back to OKC. I would love for the WWE to come to OKC because it eliminates a plane flight for me. Sources say, that’s internet jargon, that the WWE will return to OKC right after the PPV in June in Dallas. I had forgotten about the power outage.
Hey Mr. Ross:
I have a question for you, if you do not mind answering. While Mr. McMahon and the staff of the WWE brought back many of the former stars (Sunny, Lita, R.V.D. et al), do you think they should have paid a little tribute to some of the past superstars who have moved on from this world (besides Owen Hart). You could have included Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, Eddie Guerrero, and my late friend, Chris “Skip” Candido.
Finally, if Raw comes to the Jersey Shore in the Summer of ‘08, we have a new BBQ joint that just opened up which is really good called JB’s BBQ. (I admit, your store is probably better, but on the east coast, it’s not easy to go to JB’s often.) You will have to try JB’s BBQ. Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy 2008!
– Ronn Daignault
It would not have been a bad thing, but I think perhaps the general feeling was to keep the show on a more positive keel. Reminding viewers of who has passed away over the years might have been a downer to some, but I certainly see your point. I like trying new “Q” joints, so thanks for the suggestion.
Will Elijah Burke become a big star in wwe?
– James /ktg27
My crystal ball is being polished and is out of commission, but that answer is largely up to Elijah “Don’t call me Mildred” Burke.
Hey J.R. Have to say love your work. As a wwe fan from Scotland I know you put house shows on here when you are all touring the U.K.. but live raws or smackdowns are always in England. what are the chances in your opinion of a Raw or Smackdown broadcast coming from Scotland, preferably Edinburgh or Glasgow? We have some decent arenas and several stadiums where it could be held such as Murrayfield or Hampden Park.
– Remo (Scotland)
I see no reason in the future why Scotland could not host a Raw and Smackdown TV event, unless the local arenas are not “TV friendly” as it relates to their facilities.
Hulk Hogan drop’s the “Ohhhh Yeaaahhhh!” every now and then on interviews out of habit and I doubt he even thinks of Savage when he does it. As you have said, I wouldn’t put any stock into it concerning a Hogan/Savage deal any time, plus with Savage being in such a poor way physically, and Vince’s mystery hatred towards him, I think Savage fans have no chance of seeing him in WWE again – lol.
Speaking of Hogan, would you have liked to have seen a Hogan vs. Rick Rude feud over the WWF title in 1990? I think it would have been awesome!
I have stopped trying to analyze the Hulk-Savage relationship, but anyone who thinks that the two of them will have another “run” or one more Wrestlemania main event needs to stop drinking the bong water.
Ric Rude was a BTP (big time player) and “Ravishing” would have brought out the best in the Hulkster if the two had gotten into a long term issue. Rude was also a legit tough dude.
just wondering what you think of the commentary on the wwe shows (raw, smackdown, ecw) these days?
for me i feel it’s not as fun to listen too as it used to be (with all due respect to you guys of course). i mean back in the day when the king was always on heels’ side it was funny and so entertaining with the whole bickering going on between you two. but now i find that commentary is biased (on the “good guys” side) in away especially on raw and sometimes on ecw, but on smackdown i find JBL really funny always arguing with cole.
I think all wrestling commentators can be more unbiased and also engage in timely debate with their partners. Too much bickering takes away from the wrestling at times, and we announcers are often reminded – and have been since I got in the biz – that the show is not about us. Announcers who try to make themselves the centerpiece or focal point of a broadcast usually are unpopular, short termers. Arguing for the sake of arguing like the “Battling Bickerson’s” oftentimes doesn’t work. but the occasional verbal blow up seems to mean more.
JR, Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and New Year. Thanks for continuing to deliver the goods on Monday nights (well, Wednesday nights here in Australia) along with The King. You mentioned Clash Of The Champions I in your last post. I have an old video of that show and it remains top to bottom one of the best wrestling shows I’ve watched. It leads me to a question about one of the old NWA “specialty” matches – War Games. Do you think WWE would ever contemplate doing a War Games match on a PPV?
I like the War Games better than the Elimination Chamber, if it matters. I don’t “hate” the Elimination Chamber, but I do feel that the War Games is a viable and unique presentation. Contemplate… perhaps…pull the trigger… who knows?
I am a big Bruiser Brody fan and I was wondering if you knew if there were any Bruiser Brody matches on the WCCW dvd or if WWE is planning a Brody dvd? I really think if people saw Brody they’d see a lot of current guys or guys they are more familiar with in him Austin, JBL, Mick Foley etc. PS. I really enjoyed the anniversary show.
I looked, and there are two Bruiser Brody matches in the set. I am sure that there is ample Brody product out there that others may be aware of and can let us know, but the WWE does own a fair amount of Brody footage that I am sure will find its way to WWE 24/7 or DVD at some point. I also suggest you read “Brody” which is a great book written by Brody’s widow, Barbara Goodish, and his former St. Louis associate and friend, Larry Matysik. Wrestling had no better pure brawler than Bruiser Brody.
I just wanted to drop a comment on Santino Marella, he might not be the best wrestler on RAW, but he damn sure puts the e in WWE, every little thing he do is just brilliantly funny, all the small details is just pure genius. I know you had to be laughing when he took the stone cold stunner better than anybody and gave a salute in the air, I cried laughing. Happy XMAS and a happy new year. and thanks for a great blog.
I think Marella is a much better wrestler than people perceive, but his comedic skills seem to overshadow his physical skills at this time.
Just wanted to wish you and the Ross family a Happy Holiday. Try and spend some time with the family, and don’t worry about the BBQ Joint too much, although im sure thats hard to do, as a chef myself, i know. On a side note, I know they try hard and give their all, but that Divas Santas Helpers Match on Raw was just awful wrestling wise until the end when “real” wrestler divas Mickey and Victoria were in there. I know its for the eye candy, witch i did enjoy as much as the King, but there were so many botched moves, and inconsistency. I dont know about you, but i miss matches that went longer than 8 minutes.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think the Divas are there for their athleticism as much as they are for their sex appeal, so the days of The Fabulous Moolah wrestling Vickie Williams is likely to not be replicated in the foreseeable future.
Hey JR! I was at Armageddon. Pretty good PPV. The matches were good, a finish or two didn’t sit that well with me. I was also disappointed with two things, but other than that, I had a great time, it being my first WWE show and all. Sadly, The Great Khali is not “great” when it comes to being in the ring. Unlike big men like Umaga, Mark Henry, and Big Daddy V, he hasn’t improved, and his promos stink due to the fact he doesn’t speak English and he had to use “Arab Bischoff” as I like to call him (due to how he looks). The rest of the matches were solid. I didn’t like how JBL interferred with the WWE Championship match and why didn’t he continue with commentary is beyond me? LOL… I’m not a big fan of starting storylines on PPV’s but, oh well I guess. I was disappointed to see that Ric Flair wasn’t on the card and didn’t make an appearance, as well as “Mr. McMahon” not making an appearance. But I was satisfied overall. Armageddon gets 3.5 out of 5 stars in my book. I was looking to ask YOU a question though, I’ve been meaning to meet yourself and “King” in person, and was wondering if the next time y’all come to Pittsburgh for a show (Raw, PPV) or whatever, if yourself, or yourself and “King”, or yourself and other superstars would do an autograph signing/meet and greet? I love hearing you call Raw each and every Monday alongside your partner “King”! I’m not sucking up, I just love your work.
Thanks for the Armageddon feedback from a live event perspective. When King and I come to Pittsburgh we usually stay at the Marriott across the street from the Mellon Arena or whatever you choose to call it. Perhaps you could bump into us there, as it seems many fans do.
I thought the 15th anniversary show was amazing. I actually enjoyed the battle royal with past Raw Superstars. I thought some of them looked in amazing shape- even better than some of the current superstars (no offense) in particular Steve Blackman, Bob Backlaund, and Bart Gunn. Any chance of a return for these guys???
Beats me. Blackman has a Pennsylvania based business training MMA fighters, etc. and Backlund has varied business interests in Connecticut, but Bart might be a candidate for a return, but that’s pure speculation.
Let’s say WWE wanted to merge all three rosters together again and just end ECW on ScFi. Would the USA network and the CW network be willing to give both Raw & Smackdown three hour shows each week instead of the regular two hours? This way more guys wouldn’t be fired as a result of a brand merger.
Let’s say… highly unlikely. Three hours of first run programming a week for two separate programs would be massive challenge to say the least. Hey, I like BBQ Sauce, but how much is too much?
Any truth to the reports that Sid was backstage at the anniversary show? And if he was, why was he not given at least a cameo? I would think being a former WWE champion, even if it wasn’t during the company’s peak, would be enough to warrant some sort of appearance, don’t you?
– Jaon A
I never laid eyes on Sid if he was there, which leads me to believe that he was not in attendance. But when you see Sid next, give him my best.
Whatever happened to having great male managers like Bobby Heenan. I really think a lot of young wrestlers would benefit by being with them. When Flair does lose a match, I hope he becomes a permanent manager, like he was for evolution. Anyways, I hope Heenan gets better, he will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers. I’m just glad i was able to see him in my lifetime at the Hall of Fame at WM22 weekend. I will never forget the April fools day joke he played on everyone, still makes me laugh to this day when I think about it.
The lack of great managers is in direct correlation to the lack of great wrestlers but perhaps even more so. Superstars evolved and were developed quicker and better when they could learn in a variety of territories and not solely in a developmental system. Plus, talents like Bobby Heenan only come a long once in a lifetime. I find it hard to see the fans booing Ric Flair the manager, just as they don’t want to boo Ric Flair the wrestler. Nonetheless there are many valuable roles for Ric when his wrestler days are over.
We’ll have more feedback and answers in a couple of days. I received a lot of interesting feedback questions over the holidays and I’m getting the answers to you as fast as I can. I am also getting a lot of repeated questions, so feel free to go back and read through some of the older blogs. We’ll be putting up a new FAQ soon answering some of the most commonly asked questions. Also, a few surprises are coming soon, as far as interesting things to see and hear…
That’s all I can say for now, but have a great new year!