Florida Championship Wrestling... Terry Funk... Jake Roberts... Jeff Hardy... Todd Wright... Phil Savage

I would like to tell you about my week, which started Sunday by flying to Detroit then to Tampa on Tuesday then to OKC on Wednesday and doing Monday Night Raw media Thursday and Friday in OKC before catching another flight Saturday to Omaha to prepare for Sunday's Judgment Day PPV and then driving the 180 miles from Nebraska to Kansas City on Monday for Raw...but, I won't because it would come off as "poor me" (Gosh, I miss "The Sopranos") and, quite frankly, I'm healthy and having a great week. I actually like staying busy because, as my Dad used to say, it sure as hell beats picking up rocks and digging post holes.

Tuesday and Wednesday saw yours truly spend a whirlwind couple of days in Florida visiting Florida Championship Wrestling's new facility and observing the WWE Developmental talents wrestle on Tuesday night and do ring work on Wednesday. Both days were positive experiences and the facility in Tampa on Dale Mabry Blvd is going to be state of the art once the construction is completed. In my personal opinion, I don't think the WWE has any aspect of their business that is MORE important than the development of new stars. Problem is, stars don't grow on trees. Athletes either have "it" or they don't and "it" can't be manufactured. As time goes on, we will all see how many of these hard working young kids discover if they have "it" or not. Nonetheless, the WWE has some exciting, young people working diligently to learn their craft in hopes of some day being the main event at Wrestlemania. That's how I look at this process. If one is wanting to make it to the Promised Land of one of the three rosters, with the opportunity to earn big cash, appear on weekly TV and their goal is NOT to want to headline 'Mania, then they need to update their resumes.

The Bottom Line...thanks Stone Cold...is I like what I saw.

WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes looked to be "reborn" since I last saw him on the road and is a tremendous asset to the men and women who aspire to become stars in FCW. Dusty particularly has an eye for "sizzle" which, when added to a fundamentally sound competitor, can become a magical combination.

On Wednesday afternoon I had a great meal with my pal Todd Wright of Sporting News Radio fame at Lee Roy Selmon's BBQ near the airport in Tampa. Great service, super food, and some awesome memorabilia was enjoyed by all. I like eating at the bar in a place like Lee Roy's and watching multiple TVs all with sports on them while eating good "Q" with a cold beverage. If you like sports talk radio check out Todd's show as he is one of the very best in the business and, like us, a wrestling fan.

Since it has been discussed on the Internet in recent days and to make myself clear, The Funks deserve to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as much as any one who currently has that distinction. Dory, Sr was a helluva hand and ran a successful territory out of Amarillo for years. Junior was a wrestling machine and even though he was not blessed with brother Terry's charisma Dory, Jr. was still one of the most prolific and consistent NWA Champions ever. Junior's bouts with the great Jack Brisco are a text book as to how it is done. Terry Funk was one of my all time favorite performers and if I had to list a "dream roster" Terry Funk would damn sure be on it. The Funk Family certainly seems to fit WM25 in Houston when Hall of Fame time rolls around.

Great to see Jeff Hardy, or is it Harvey, back on Monday Night Raw. Arguably, Jeff got as loud and as enthusiastic reception from the Raw fans in Detroit as any one who appeared on the broadcast from where I was sitting. Jeff is a major star waiting to happen and let's hope all the stars are aligned properly to where that story can be told. Many factors go into this evolution to get to the very top of the food chain but none more important than the talent himself. That's not a Jeff Hardy exclusive, but goes for everyone.

John Cena seems to be really pleased to be back full time after completing the filming of his latest movie. John is still a huge fan of the biz and I think he always will be even though he deals with many fans who love to boo the hell out of Cena. I have my standard philosophy on this one, the paying customers should exercise their first amendment rights, as the only thing that matters is that there is an arse every 18 inches. Doing double duty, as Cena did, wrestling and carrying the lead role in an ambitious, action adventure film is something most men could not do or would attempt to do.

I hear that Jake Roberts has been doing well the past few weeks, after completing a treatment program, which is great news. I have known Jake for years, since he was a really young man, and his mind for wrestling and wrestling psychology specifically is a gift. Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder what sort of wrestling manager Jake would make in he were in the right environment with the right talent?

Is it any surprise that most fans I talk to are telling me that the "sleeper match" at Judgment Day is going to be HBK vs. Y2J? I don't consider the match a sleeper at all as these two performers will do all they physically can to steal the show from their peers and that should come as no surprise to any one. Judgment Day, following Backlash just 3 weeks, is challenging. Getting fans excited about "the next PPV" is tough especially when they have received their cable or satellite bill for 'Mania. I do think that Judgment Day has the chance to be a better, pure wrestling PPV than perhaps some think. I am excited about the matches that The King and I will be calling and the competitive nature of having three announce teams at ringside.

My good friend, Phil Savage of the Cleveland Browns, who is arguably the best General Manager in the National Football League, is a huge fan of Monday Night Raw. Phil rarely misses a broadcast and the King and I had a great visit with the Browns' deal maker the last time we were in Cleveland. When J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q #2 opens in about a month in Moore, Oklahoma, there will be some authentic Cleveland Browns' swag on display in the form of an autographed game jersey from current Brown DB and former Sooner Brodney Pool. Keep your eye on Cleveland this year as their team has been upgraded significantly over the past couple of seasons and the drafting of a potentially great tight end in Martin Rucker out of Mizzou might send a message to "potential" all world TE Kellen Winslow, Jr who can be a difference maker. The Browns will score points this year as the onus is on their defense to step up and assert themselves in their division.

For those of you that might want to check out my "Ron Burgundy" outing Friday afternoon log on to www.kfor.com. The nice folks at News Channel 4's 4:30 broadcast will never be the same and, yes, I know I shouldn't quit my day jobs.

Be well and count your blessings. Thanks for checking out our site. Our business in our store has been growing by the week and we thank you for that. Sauce is good...Bar-B-Q Sauce that is....and so is the Chipotle Ketchup and remember that our Jerky is 97% fat free.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

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