Thanks for stopping by. We really appreciate that so many of you are doing some holiday shopping on our site and taking advantage of FREE SHIPPING on many items including our shirt/cap combos and our personally autographed "J.R.'S Cookbooks." Between enjoying turkey day with family and watching football, I am personalizing plenty of items on Thanksgiving day to make sure we get them shipped on Friday. We are trying to do our best to serve you. I have been making several notes on a variety of subjects during the midst of all our travel the past few days so here goes......
Too bad a few idiots who provide feedback on some wrestling websites simply don't get it. I mentioned that Mike Knox reminded me of a young, 1974 version of Bruiser Brody known then as Frank Goodish. I actually "knew" Frank and did not simply get to know the character by seeing his persona on old Japanese wrestling tapes. Knox is a smart guy, like Frank, has a big rangy frame, just as Frank did in the mid 70's, and pays attention, just as Goodish always did. Will Knox ever be as good as Bruiser Brody? We, as fans, can only hope so. So, no having a beard and being a large, Caucasian male isn't the only similarities I see between Mike Knox and Frank Goodish aka Bruiser Brody. And these little geeks call me a dumbass.
Would a compelling, 60 minute draw be good TV for wrestling fans these days or would we here the inevitable "boring" chants if the wrestlers actually applied holds, utilized counters, and didn't rely on a plethora of risk taking and flying maneuvers? Sure, it can be answered that it all depends on who is wrestling but I'm not sure any combination of wrestlers currently active today could captivate many of today's fans or at least people who say they are fans.
Jack Swagger, really nice name, is the real deal and, as legend has it, never lost a street fight while attending Oklahoma University where he came as a two sport, full scholarship athlete. Swagger will someday be an ECW Champion, or hold other gold, and is likely a year away from getting his chance to be a regular, contributing member of the main event society within the WWE but make no mistake that this young man is a keeper. Nice bout between the former OU Wrestling All American and veteran Tommy Dreamer on Tuesday night on Sci Fi. FTW as some will try and figure it out, I watched it on DVR.
Speaking of Tuesday night, Friday Night Smackdown was in Albany, N.Y. taping the next two Friday nights of the broadcast. Both shows are wrestling heavy based on today's TV wrestling world and this Friday night see significant wrestling action featuring multiple, competitive matches involving HHH, Jeff Hardy, and Vladimir Kozlov, among others. There has never been a perfect wrestling show produced at least that I have ever seen but this one is a good,solid program that features mostly in ring content and not backstage bits that often times do not play to the individual's strengths.
Contrary to what some of the spoilers indicated, Tazz and I voiced over all 22 segments on location but will still have some very minor tweaks to make to the show of which I usually do on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. We will apparently have approximately 6 of these double headers between now and WM25. Let me tell you, the company gets all they can get out of the announcers on these marathon taping sessions as no one wants to or will phone anything in and when one is finished there is little left in the tank.
Thanksgiving reminds me of the time that the King and I rode on the WWE float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade years ago televised at that time by NBC. The King was so motivated to be a part of this American institution that he actually wore a warm coat, Lawler hates outer wear, and as we turned the corner to go in front of the NBC broadcast position "it" happened. Al Roker said there is the WWE represented by so and so including the Monday Night Raw broadcast duo of Good Ol J.R. Jim Ross and Jerry "The RING" Lawler. Not the "King" but the "RING" which throughly pissed off the King and he uttered a long list of profanities directed toward the NBC weatherman for several, freezing blocks. To this very day, if the subject is brought up we get a laugh out of it. Surely, no one will be brazen enough to bring any signs to Raw that would say, Jerry "The RING" Lawler, would they??
Speaking of the King and I, we will be heading to Houston in January to do some PR work for the on sale date of the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that will be a part of WM25. It would be nice to know an inductee or two by then but I'm not holding my breathe on that one.
Bold statement in a recent newspaper interview by DH Smith that he is the best second generation wrestler in the WWE today. I like the young man's confidence and after seeing him this week he looks physically ready to go. Smith is very laid back but something tells me that he has a bona fide mean streak ala his Grandfather Stu Hart. I suspect that Smith will debut on Smackdown in the next few weeks but that is speculation only.
The Undertaker's submission hold is now being called officially, "Hell's Gate."
How does John Cena win over the young, defiant male fans? I don't know if any one has a definitive answer but simply being a tough SOB night after night and showing the passion we saw Monday night when he brawled with Chris Jericho just before Raw went off the air might be a suggestion. Young males 18-34 are key to any company like the WWE as they are mobile and generally don't mind spending their disposable income. Even if Cena is never overwhelmingly cheers by the young males he is still selling more merchandise than any one I know of in the business and helped Raw increased their TV ratings significantly Monday night.
About 99% of the wrestling fans I have met over the years are good folks and are nice to be around. The other 1% of which some were represented in Albany Tuesday night can be a real pain in the ass. They can't stand it if those within ear shot don't know that they read the wrestling newsletters and spend ample time on wrestling websites. They love to spout "insider" info especially personal items that makes one embarrassed to be a fan during these uncomfortable times. I could care less if fans rib me about being an OU Football fan as that's old news but when these alleged, educated (I'll use that term loosely) fans are so insecure that they want to be a part of the show and would rather make jackasses of themselves or yell at Tazz and me than watch the show then there is something wrong.
Randy Orton's attitude and "coolness" appeals to the 18-34 male demo who are defiant by nature just as is the 3rd generation star. I recently read where some less than bright wrestling fans misinterpreted my statement that Orton got cheered by many male fans when he defeated Batista at the Survivor Series as some sort of perverse Michael Jackson-like scenario. Have some wrestling fans with too much time on their hands simply lost their minds?
When I speak of young talents "seizing the moment' it means go to the ring and execute to a level that will turn heads. No matter one's current persona the fundamentals of in ring wrestling apply and if it is done well often enough and consistent enough then at some point someone with influence will notice. Just as in football, even if someone is playing out of position and only gets in for a few plays but they make those plays count and they do it often enough then the chances of them getting into the starting line-up increase immensely.
With the WWE planning on doing a Fan Axxess this year at WM25, J.R.'s Family BBQ hopes to have a booth at the event and be involved. If we can pull it off, we would sell our sauces, shirts, caps, etc for those in attendance. I would be at the both a great deal as would WWE superstars or at least that's on the drawing board.
I know now who the Tony Soprano of Long Island baseball is and it is none other than my esteemed broadcast partner Tazz. My traveling partner of late is on top of the game of baseball and if he weren't broadcasting 'rasslin for a living he would be great in sports administration and/or in coaching. Plus his colorful language directed at other motorists fits right in in the world of sports as does his competitive nature. Tazz and I had two solid outings in Albany under less than perfect conditions as doing two, full 2 hour broadcasts with no prep time for the second hour is challenging.
Enjoy Thanksgiving and count your many blessings. Spend quality time with family and friends. Remember the times with your loved ones as they don't last forever. I hold close the love and respect that fans have shown me for many years, literally through sickness and in health. I will never be able to repay you all but I will always keep you in my thoughts and make sure that every time I sit at ringside to broadcast an event that I do it with your spirit in mind.
I will be in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday night to witness the last regular season Oklahoma Football game of the year which is a HUGE one against arch rival Oklahoma State. This one has national championship implications and will determine who plays for the Big 12 Title of which the Sooners have won the last two. No team has ever won three consecutive Big 12 Titles.
Enjoy the holiday for those that do observe Thanksgiving and thank, again for shopping with us.