The KOR Tourney Monday night in Greenville, S.C. certainly had its moments that featured a strong first half of the bracket and a perplexing second half of the tournament bracket. KOR winner William Regal is arguably one of the more underutilized talents in the biz and even though Regal can definitely talk, which all General Managers must obviously be able to do, he adds a valuable element of experience and expertise to any bout in which he is involved. In the immediate future one has to wonder if Regal is likely to continue to be the Raw G.M. or will Regal focus more on his wrestling career now that the U.K. native from Blackpool, England is the reigning King of the Ring?
Howard Stern says he would not vote for a President of the United States that watches wrestling. Seems like a strange thing for Stern to say. Apparently, Stern has a very low opinion of the wrestling business. Now that's irony coming from Stern, who is one of the last guys I thought would have an antiquated, wrestling bias.
I mentioned here last week that I thought it was a sound, promotional idea for the American Presidential candidates to appear on Monday Night Raw in some form, but I will admit that I was shocked when Clinton,Obama , and McCain all recorded messages specifically for the Raw audience. On the eve of the all important Pennsylvania primary, the Democratic hopefuls got the opportunity to be "regular Joe's" as did McCain who looks to have the Republican nomination for President locked up. None of them should quit their day jobs and look for work in 'rasslin, but they all seemed to be good sports in their recorded, cliche laden spiels.
Some wrestling pundits really slammed the "match" between the impersonators posing as Hillary and Barack. I am not sure what folks expectations were for this "contest," but it was, plain and simple, nothing more than a publicity stunt that did garner a great deal of pub the week of a WWE pay per view. The WWE made air on media outlets that would never mention the WWE unless there was a tragedy or a scandal. While the "match" was not my personal cup of tea, it did not last long enough to offend me and I sort of got a kick out of the ovationUmaga received when he came to the ring to put an end to the frivolity.
The added stipulation to the Fatal 4 Way WWE Title bout at Backlash, making it "Elimination Rules," is a good thing in my view. I like the fact that there could technically be three, separate eliminations before one man is left to claim the WWE Title.
If you don't think HBK won't do all he can to "steal the show" Sunday night in Baltimore you might want to think again. The Michaels vs. Batista match has evolved nicely since WM24 and is arguably the most talked about match at Sunday's PPV. Following this one won't be easy.
Joey Styles told me Monday in catering, no jokes please, that he was really enjoying his new gig at www.wwe.com. Joey seemed to be the most relaxed and comfortable that I have seen him since coming to work at the WWE. Joey has already instituted several changes to the WWE website with plenty more on their way. Joe said he was now a "retired announcer" and budding corporate executive. Styles is looking forward to the OKC RAW on June 30, as he considers himself a connoisseur of "Q" after living in Atlanta, and Joey knows his sacue...J.R.'s Bar-B-Q Sauce that is....and is planning on eating at one of our restaurants while he is in town.
J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q got a really nice write up in this month's "Oklahoma Monthly" magazine that featured Oklahoma's best Bar-B-Q joints and we made the list. I write this for two reasons....1. Because I am proud of our Bar-B-Q team and am excited about the direction of our fledgling business and 2. To give those "wrestling fans" who like to bash us for talking about our Bar-B-Q business more cannon fodder.
It is extremely admirable, the effort that the WWE athletes put forth Monday night, especially considering that the vast majority of them just returned Sunday night from their near 2 week, respective international tours and were worn out and suffering from jet lag. I never saw one individual lying on their ass Monday night phoning in their performance. The wrestlers seemed to be the most pleased to eat some American, food as sometimes international catering can be a crap shoot....so to speak.
Speaking of food, and I often do as a rookie restaurateur, Sunday night I had some really nice BBQ in Greenville at "Sticky Fingers" BBQ Restaurant just a couple of blocks from the Hyatt in downtown Greenville. I recommend "Sticky Fingers" BBQ, if they are all as good as my downtown Greenville experience. I appreciate the hospitality that was extended to me there Sunday night.
One of my Oklahoma, redneck buddies saw WWE developmental wrestler Jake Hager's Florida Heavyweight Championship title belt recently, when Jake made a trip back to Norman for a wedding of a mutual friend of ours and my buddy told me he was proud of Jake being the "Florida Highway Champion". Seems as if the title belt must have read, "FloridaHvwt Champion" or something to that affect. Jake is a helluva athlete who came to Oklahoma as a two sport star, a defensive tackle on the football team and a heavyweight wrestler. Jake is from the legendary Danny Hodge's home town, where Dan still lives as a matter of fact, Perry, Oklahoma. Jake has unlimited potential, but as has been discussed here before, potential won't buy the groceries over the long haul. However if the 6'5"-270pounder continues to improve he will provide himself the opportunity to become a prime time player one day. With Dusty Rhodes now in Tampa coaching up these young people especially as it comes to their charisma and personalities those that have "it" will be recognized and facilitated to the WWE when the time is right and hopefully not when said talents are still too green for prime time.
Just for the record....Danny Hodge is the greatest, living wrestler in the world....especially on this website.
Being a part of Fox News really got JBL thrown under Keith Olbermann's MSNBC bus this week. The ongoing issues between MSNBC and Fox news is comparable to the Raw vs. Nitro Monday night wars, with each side taking cheap verbal shots at the other. Ah, the good, old days.
As many of you know, I am a major fan of American, tackle football and this Saturday/Sunday is the Annual NFL Player Draft on ESPN and the NFL Network. I will be traveling Saturday to Baltimore for Backlash, but I will definitely keep up with the proceedings of one of my favorite TV sports events of the entire year. For some reason, I think that there will be some significant trades the first day of this draft, even though the #1 pick which the Miami Dolphins have, looks to be Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long. There could well be plenty ofwheelin' and dealin ' after the first pick of the draft. It is a unique year for the draft, especially with an offensive tackle apparently being the first pick.
The King and I have our travel plans mapped out for this weekend's "run". I arrive in Baltimore the night before the PPV, as usual, while Jerry arrives, as usual, the day of the event. The King is the "wheel man" and we will drive on Monday the 194 miles from Baltimore to East Rutherford, N.J. for a sold out Monday Night Raw. Not that we were invited or offered but....we don't need no stinkinglimos or private planes! This trip is "old school," except for the fact that we aren't driving the entire way Sunday night after Backlash. Our night vision isn't what is used to be and I-95 isn't the place to take any unnecessary risks and that includes stopping at any Roy Rogers eateries, one of the many locales along the way. In the old days, specifically when Ric Flair was running wide open, we would take over an upstairs room atSabatino's Italian Restaurant in Little Italy in Baltimore after Backlash. With no "Naitch " on the road, for yours truly, it will likely be room service and Sports Center on ESPN Sunday night so I can properly be prepared to ride "shotgun" for driver "Jerry Bobby" (Shake and Bake!) for the long car trip to Jersey Monday morning.
Please take a moment to check out our Beef Jerky specials and great deals on all of our sauces in our store. Plus, it looks as if the improvements to our site are near completion and we will soon be able to begin receiving your feedback and questions for our popular Q&As. We appreciate your patience. Be well and another fresh blog is just hours away.