Draft Thoughts...Another Von Erich to Enter the Ring??...Steamboat to put tights back on?? WGN..

Interesting week. WWE Draft. The debut of WWE Superstars on WGN America. Poorly timed O.J. references. An upcoming trip to London, England. So here we go with a little of this and a little of that.  

First the Draft. No huge surprises as any one who did not think that Monday Night Raw wasn't going to be enhanced more than any other brand simply wasn't paying attention. Raw is the #1 TV priority of WWE and rightfully so as it delivers the biggest audience in the longest standing time slot on the best medium to sell pay per views, cable TV. Raw will have John Cena, HHH, Batista, HBK, and MVP at their disposal to feature as fan favorites. That's five deep, at worst, plus perhaps an unknown will "break through."  One can also assume that Raw will get the "pick of the litter" from FCW whenever that may be. It will also be interesting to see how impactful Mr. Kennedy is when he debuts on Raw after fully healing from shoulder surgery which should be in the next month or so. If Kennedy "hits" as he is likely to do then Monday Night Raw gets even stronger. Santino Marella has surprisingly  become one of the most popular individuals on Raw which doesn't hurt the Monday night staple either as far as entertainment content is concerned. I DVR Raw every week but always try and make a point of watching the show live if at all possible. I feel all WWE announcers should watch all the shows but that's just one man's opinion. 

Smackdown did well retaining The Undertaker, Jeff Hardy, Edge and Umaga while adding Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Kane, and perhaps the Smackdown sleeper Draft pick in John Morrison. I also like having Shelton Benjamin, Dolph Ziggler, Curt Hawkins, Ricky Ortiz (no towels please unless they feature JR's BBQ), Charlie Haas and Mike Knox on Friday nights. Opportunity is knocking and it will be fun to see who truly wants to step up and grab the proverbial brass ring and become a perennial main eventer from these newcomers and from the other holdovers. If all the pieces fall into place, I can easily see several of the young Smackdown talents becoming big time players in WWE much Sooner than later. I like the overall level of athleticism of the SD roster.   

ECW has a smaller roster but they also only do one hour of TV per week which is about 42 minutes of content for Sci Fi. I could theoretically see some of WWE's promising prospects making ECW their first WWE address over the next few months. I love watching fresh faces compete as I think most fans enjoy seeing "new" to a large degree. Who's to say that ECW can't be a surprise laden broadcast every week especially if we start seeing some newcomers on Tuesday night. I don't know the plans but it seems to like that concept might be logical. 

Obviously, it's easy for one to second guess the Draft selections but I choose to see how it all plays out between now and WM26. I also realize that I look at the Draft with a somewhat different perspective than many casual fans. The rosters will never be balanced or have parity nor should they be. I think that after Backlash that we will begin to see how things start to shake out for all three shows. So from my part of the world, I feel that the Draft was, from top to bottom, solid and will provide some potentially, outstanding talents with a chance to turn heads and become new, main event stars of which the biz seriously needs. 

The Q&A section of the website has been updated since I returned Wednesday from Knoxville.  BTW Knoxville was a friendly and beautiful place and of course is the home of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. I was hoping to see Vols Women's Hoops Coach Pat Summit in the Khali Kiss Cam but that didn't happen.  It was good seeing Mark Canterbury (Henry Godwin) and a wrestler than I had not seen in over 20 years, Ron Sexton who's now a Country Deputy, at the Tuesday night event. BTW Mark's son is 6'8"-320 and will graduate from Carson-Newman University this December after playing his senior year for the football team where he starts at offensive tackle. He's a massive young man that could well venture to WWE if his NFL aspirations don't materialize. 

We've been receiving many inquiries as to whether Ricky Steamboat will be doing any more wrestling for WWE in the future. Let me first say that I do not know but my opinion is that it isn't too likely other than a perhaps a "one off" match somewhere down the road.  Again, I thought Ricky's performance in Houston at Raw was so memorable, especially the post match, notwithstanding his efforts at WM25 which were amazing. Man, the sons of Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair have massive shadows of which to step out of which won't be easy. 

The first match on the first episode of WWE Superstars on WGN America will feature The Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy in Taker's first bout since WM25. Todd Grisham and I had the privilege of calling the first bout on the new show which will mean nothing in a few hours other than it might be the answer to an obscure trivia question some day. Christian faces Finlay while Shane McMahon takes on Cody Rhodes, if you will. All three brands will be featured weekly and each brand's announcers will call their respective bouts. 

Grisham and I called our match Monday night in Atlanta before the 3 hour Draft which meant we sat at ringside for approximately 3 1/2 hours which was personally bladder challenging. 

Other Q&A's include questions about Kevin Von Erich who now lives in Hawaii and is farming there. KVE says he loves it and Kevin told me he is doing what he always wanted to do and that is farm. Kevin's son Ross, who really reminds me of Ross', late uncle Kerry, might be the next Von Erich to give wrestling a shot but that is only speculation based on what Kevin has told me about Ross' love of the business and his athletic abilities. Time will tell as Ross is still just a kid.

Did You Know?  (Gotcha).....that you can purchase a spiffy, black trucker's cap that is autographed by your favorite Okie 'rasslin announcer by simply stopping by our on line store. We have several items on sale and we have no issues shipping caps, T Shirts, and cookbooks any where in the world. 

This week's Friday Night Smackdown is one of the most in-ring wrestling heavy broadcasts that we have had in quite some time. It was really fun to be a part of and for those that like less talk and more action this show has it.

I'm headed to London Sunday arriving there Monday morning for the Tuesday night taping of Friday Night Smackdown and ECW at the O2 Arena. 

Thanks, again, for doing some shopping with us and we will do our best to ship your order as promptly as humanly possible. I also appreciate the continued questions and comments you send us for the Q&A section of the site.

Boomer Sooner!



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diamond dave  I think smackdown got screwed in the draft. Losing HHH Big show matt hardy kozlov MVP Kenedy and the hurricane really hurts the talent base for the show I am happy to see jericho back but that was the only real star they got in the deal. let's hope Vince dosen't get the show cancelled.P.S. J.R. you need to get JBL in the broadcast booth with you or at least someone from the buisness I am sick of the failed newscasters who had to settle for WWE because they couldn't get a real job. fans like me don't want people in wrestling who don't love it.

Hi Jim - just thought i'd mention how much i enjoy Edge on smackdown, and how glad i am that he wasn't moved in the WWE Draft. He makes friday nights compulsive viewing in my opinion - althought losing vickie, the big show, and chavo will affect the direction his career will be going in the next couple of months. i am however looking forward to a CM Punk / edge fued - that would be a fued of epic proportions if handled correctly.

also i was wondering what the chances are of matt striker joining you in the booth on Smackdown - his commentary is both informative and entertaining, and i feel that he may be a little bit underutilised in ECW - thats just my opinion.

Thanks for entertaining me on friday nights.



I totally added two new DVDs to my collection and I decided to get the 'Greatest Superstars of the 90s' and Bret Hart's DVD. I was impressed with them both. That 90s DVD is one of the best that's been put out. It was fantastic. It was interesting see people like Lex Lugar again and the big guy Yokozuna. I used to love watching that guy. Mind you I was probably 4 at the time but still, he was so cool. The DVD starts out with Shawn whose just great and ends with the Texas Rattlesnake. The WWE did this DVD hard justice and I hope to see more. All the mathes on it were gold. I loved seeing Owen vs Bret again. Highly under rated match but I swear it was one of the best I've seen. Of course it's always good to see Shawn vs Bret. Great pace. I don't think anyone today can duplicate the chemistry those two had in the ring. LOVED watching Razor vs Deisal. I really missed those guys. So yeah....LOVE LOVE this DVD. As for Bret's, I thought it was really well put together and it was interesting seeing how he came about.

By the way J.R, are there any plans to make a DVD that features the history of the Tag Team Championship? Also, I think a good DVD would be one about all the different factions ever in the WWE such as The Nation of Domination and Evolution. Just a thought. I'd also like to see more classic matches put on DVD. Thanks :D


"I will put on a show like you've never, ever seen before. Why? Because I can."

Morning Jim,

Gotta say that I think Smackdown came out of the entire Draft an overall winner.  I know the plan was to enhance the Raw roster, and I understand why.  But I've always thought of Smackdown as purely "the wrestling show" while Raw was more "the TV show".  Not to say Raw's roster doesn't have amazing wrestlers, but the focus isn't entirely on the in-ring action as much as it is on Smackdown.  Scoring Jericho, Punk, Mysterio and Morrison is really gonna amp up the volume and make for some great competition.  And keeping the mainstays such as Edge, Undertaker and Jeff Hardy only adds to it all.  The possibilities are endless:

-  Punk vs Edge?

-  Mysterio vs Hardy?

-  Jericho vs Undertaker?

Hi JR, You shouldn't really need to defend Raw's numbers. I would think it would go without saying that Raw would/should get the thicker roster. Hasn't ECW gone back to filming with SD now anyway? So they have the potential of a talent share going on again, which means they don't need big rosters even aside from being the B and C shows.

I didn't agree with some of the moves with the women and tag wrestlers (personally I'd love to see the tag teams on the same brand to get the division really going and I don't see the point in having two heel diva's with wrestling backgrounds as the only diva's on ECW. Seems a waste).

But aside from that it all looked pretty good and sensible to me. Like many I'd have liked to see Christian move to SD, but he has only just started on ECW so that's fine. The brands all seemed to get what they needed as far as male singles went.

I'm excited about Jericho on SD along with Morrison (even if I was still sad to see that awesome team split up) and I think there is a lot of potential for Helms in ECW. Helms vs Borne is one I'm sure I'm not alone in looking forward to.  Also, I doubt I'm alone at thinking maybe it was time for Finlay to move away from the comedy stuff for a while and get back to just being the tough sob he made his name as.

Superstars could be interesting and that's a strong line up for the first show. I guess it'd be naive to expect such high profile matches each week, but certainly I'll be keeping an eye on it. Especially since as the first non English wrestling show I ever watched, I have a lot of nostalgia for Superstars. It introduced me to the American style and the WWF/E.

I think that SD actually is now a better show than Raw. Three brawlers in HHH, Big Show and Koslov left and where replaced with three wrestlers in Punk, Morrison and Mysterio. I feel Friday night will be far more entertaining than Monday night. 

JR, just like to say the WWE are doing a fantastic job with DVD's at the moment. In the past four years or so I've collected many of the 3-disc career set DVD's, as well as the attitude era installment of the Wrestlemania anthology. I am also anticipating the UK release of the "greatets supserstars of the nineties" DVD!

Keep it up!

Hi JR,

HUGE fan of yours and Ken Kennedy. I really do hope he comes back stronger than ever. He's the best on the stick in a while.  

 I think bringing back WWE Superstars was a brilliant move - if it's used right. With so much star power concentrated on Raw and Smackdown, Superstars could be an excellent opportunity for the numerous talented lower-card and midcard wrestlers who don't get as much opportunity on their "home" shows. 

So yeah... kudos to whoever came up with the idea of bringing it back. Let's hope it stays strong.

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