Jerry "The RING" Lawler...Ignorent, Fan Feedback...Knox/Brody...Orton/Male Fans...Swagger

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. 

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

                 

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thank you so much JR. you do mean alot to me and important. Your like apart of my family and i mean that.  I really miss you on Raw as i got to see you in person 3 yrs. ago in Okla. City at the Ford Center. I think of you everytime i watch/see the sooners play. Hope you and your family have a good Thanksgiving and don't eat to much.  I would love to meet you someday, it's been a life long dream. I have a OU jersey.  It will be the first holiday without my mom. died 6-14-08. Well, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. BOOMER SOONER!

Jessica

Hi, just wanted you to know i love your blog.Dont worry to much about those wrestling sites most of the people posting dont know a wrist watch from a wrist lock!!! Im formally from Tampa and have seen knox work a few times live.I belive within a year or so he will be a real stable he just needs to find what clicks with the crowd he will get it...I my self a life long wrestling fan and bringing up 2 young fans dont care to much for cena hes a good worker and all just the gimmick doesnt click with me hes to plain like bob backluand (all american boy) style but at live shows ive noticed it gets over well with the younger 5 to 16 year old fans and some grown kids as well .Orton  the girls love him as well as the guys hes going to be the main man one day way bigger than is dad ever thought of being mark my words......till next time BOOMER SOONER,  Ringhistorian  Mark

 JR, is selling merchandise a true reason to be a champion? I'm assuming Cena is the champion for that reason, and that's why so many fans, like myself, find him hard to tolerate. I don't like his attempted "People's champion" gimmick and I don't think he's that great a wrestler, but I know he has a lot of fans, especially youngsters who buy his shirts and pendants and whatever. Surely they would anyway - he's already established as a top star! Putting the belt on him time and again while people like Randy Orton are still waiting a serious run is one of the reasons I think Cena gets booed. Him taking the title from much better opponents is another reason. Having him get a damn good beating by a serious heel and then having someone else take the title would be fine by me, and I fail to see how his popularity would drop without a belt around his waist. If anything, he'd probably get booed less from where I'm sitting. Last time I checked, Shawn Michaels was pretty damned popular, and so is Jeff Hardy. One hasn't had the title for years, and one has never had it.

Jim, don't waste your time giving space to idiots here on your blog. Out there, there are so many called "experts", that seem to have all the ointments for the business, but they never laced up a pair of boots, they just talk talk talk talk, they think they're an élite, just because they read "rumors" and think those are the real thing, when every week they're proved to be wrong. Those nerds really piss me off.

I do love Jack Swagger, I was impressed since his debut and I immediately thought it had a bright future in front of him.

I'm looking forward to watching this week's Friday Night SmackDown, I want to know what's going on with Vickie and Edge!

J.R. I have a slight issue with you calling all of the fans who boo Cena or other faces "defiant". I mean even the Rock got booed after a long enough time of doing and saying the same thing every week. So did Hogan in WCW before he went heel, so have many, many, wrestlers over the years. If you recall, Cena wasn't booed as he first went face. The bottom line is, the people who boo him, are mainly bored with him. It's not as if we boo every face. Many people who boo Cena, cheer HHH or Jeff Hardy, ect.

His overcoming the odds gimmick got old. His face personality got old. And it doesn't suprise me that he sells more merchandise, the kids love him. But I'd like it if you'd at least aknowledge, that not every 18-34 year old who boos Cena is being defiant, we're just bored of his current character. I'm not taking anything away from him as a person, professional, worker, or wrestler. But he bores the hell out of me and many other people I know who watch wrestling character wise...and in the end, that's why we invest in a wrestler isn't it? The character they potray. 

One more thing, you alluded to the fans chanting Boring, and it was pretty obviously directed at the HHH/Koslov match. I'd say the reason they were so pissed off was less that HHH/Koslov were using holds and more that they were promised a triple threat featuring Jeff Hardy(that had amazing build up) and they didn't get it. Instead they got HHH/Koslov and had no way of knowing that there was going to be a suprise ending like that.  Add to that, the match, really wasn't that great, there have been PLENTY of matches that focused mainly on holds and throws. Angle/Benoit RR 03? That have held the crowds attention, so I think blaming it on that is a little short sighted.

Sorry for the long comment, I hope sometime over the weekend you get a chance to read it and actually reply to it. I just feel maybe you're a little out of touch with the reasoning behind some chants and boos. Not all the fans are out of touch, or just trying to be jackasses. I'm not trying to be argumentive, I just feel like maybe you don't consider these things, being an "insider" it can't be as easy to view things completely from a fans perspective.

the wrestlers don't need flying or risky  moves to make great match the rock ans stone cold made great matchs even though they don't have many moves but in my opinion kozlov is bad wrestler no talent no mic skills no performance and that was the worest match for triple h since his match with stiner in 2003

thanks jr

J.R. - I hate to break it to you, but Randy Orton is VERY popular among gay males. It's just a fact. Go to any "hot celebrities" message board or website and you'll find Orton at or near the top of the list. I think WWE is totally missing the boat in using his appeal among that demo.

JR -

Anyone who can't see that Mike Knox is a dead ringer in appearance, style, and ring presence is off their rocker.  As far as I'm concerned, put him in a pair of fuzzy boots and call him Bruiser Jr.

I couldn't agree more with F5Fury that the dominant charachter of John Cena is THE reason he gets booed by so many.  Couple that with being incredibly predictable in the ring and always doing the same two things on the mic; professing respect and making gay jokes.  It got old fast.  Having him more aggressive should make him more dominant which may drive the demogaphic he lacks further away.

Also, he does move the most merchandise, but go to the merch booth and you'll see one thing, John Cena gear.  Cena came back with about five new items to sell, probably more.  Matt Hardy recently celebrated in a blog that he was getting ONE new t-shirt.  CM Punk didn't even get one new piece of merch until after he had won and lost the WHC.  Cena has twice the available merchandise than DX!  When you own most of the products on the market, you'll likely get the majority of the business.

Sorry to just rant on Cena, but being booked as slightly more vulnerable is another suggestion.  Often, popularity and respect are gained in loss or shortcoming as opposed to victory.

Thanks JR

JR,

     Great to finally meet you in person at the OU/TT game.  You are humble celebrity that is a fine example of how fame should be displayed. 

     Love your BBQ as well,  Happy Thanksgiving!

SCS

heya friends ..

do you know the complete history behind the WCW championship..Chk out the link to know about it.

WWE
 

Dear Mr. Ross,

I am a young wrestling fan of over 4 years now, and I love the WWE and never miss an eppisode. Now on to my questions/comments:

1) I would like to talk about your comment on how John Cena can win the "real" wrestling fans over. I have read the comments of many wrestling fans on websites such as youtube and it seems that the reason these fans dont like Cena is because they think his moveset/gimmick is stale and boaring. And I agree. I beleave that the only way that Mr. Cena will br able to win over these fans, is to first: Change his gimmick. Now, I'm not saying that he should turn fully heel or anything, but I just think that they should change his gimmick in some way. And second: LEARN SOME NEW MOVES! I mean, the only realy impressive move John does is that legdrop from the top rope. Aside from basic wrestling moves that everybody knows how to do (IE shoulder block, clothsline) Cena only does that legdrop, the f-u, and the stfu. And after 6 years of this, it gets very stale.

2) Have you had a chance to read the new Chris Benoit book that is out? I am getting it for christmas, and am looking forward to reading it. It is called Ring of Hell:The Story of Chris Benoit and the fall of the pro wrestling industry. To me, it looks to be a good read. If you have read it, what did you think of it? And if you haven't read it, do you think you will read it in the future?

3) My third and final comment is about Christian Cage. I have heard many rumors that Christian will be re-signing with the WWE in the near future. And, this is not just some shallow internet rumour that was just reported by one website, several TOP wrestling websites have repoted this. And the fact that Tyson Tomko has re-signed with the WWE furthers speculation that this could be true. If Christian does sign with WWE what would be your thoughts on it? I think it would be a good aquisition by WWE and would boost ratings significantly. Also, I have heard that if he comes back "home" he would be placed on Smackdown to either fued with or reform a tag team with new WWE champion Edge. What are your thoughts on that? (if you want to continue your reading about this just search "Christian Cage back to WWE?" and you can continue reading)

Thank you kindly for reading Mr. Ross, sorry it is so long, but I just have a lot to say and hope it didn't take too much time for you to read it.

Ricky Duggan, St. Johns NL, Canada.

I think the hugely negative opinion of John Cena has softened somewhat over the past year or so. I think the big reason many adult male fans don't like him is because he he's sort of a modern Hulk Hogan. This sort of invincible super-baby face who conquers all evil, wins all of the time (if we ignore his run between injuries this year), and has a very basic punchy-kicky moveset. You also have a man who went from being a white rapper to a sort of military pro-American superman. We internet fans are extremely jaded; this character just doesn't speak to us. Having him book to come out of an injury and dethrone an extremely popular champion with 'net fans (what ever happened to more money in the chase?), or win handicap matches all the time, or just sort of... show up and win everything because he's John Cena just doesn't dig with us cynical folks.

I don't really feel John Cena needs 'more moves'. If you pick apart Shawn Michaels' moveset in a match, you'll probably see about as many as John Cena; he even has a finishing sequence that's as predictable. Shawn is a plain better wrestler, don't get me wrong, but in-ring John Cena is gold. He's had at least one spectacular match with everyone he's worked with, and knows how to cut a damn good promo. I don't like the character, but he's GOOD.

The WWE is trying to get a new audience of youngsters to follow them, and John Cena is a perfect man to have at the helm. He has a decade in the -least- left in him, women love him, and the kids buy his merch. He makes money, and it's a business about making money. None of the faces in the company are very strong characters today with the exception of Cena. It makes sense he should be the face of the company. I think it also says something about a need for more interesting face gimmicks.

Hi Jim Ross, Im Eric Sturrock I sent in the report to Pwinsider that said you dint do during the Vladmir/Hardy match during the 1st SD!. I saw a productionguy hand you and Tazz papers and talk to you for awhile as the match was going on. All I can think is nabey you were in a commerical break, if you were in a break im sorry for my comments.

Boomer Sooner, hope Sooners get #1 in Football. Im a fan of yours and wish i could be like you.

From, Eric Sturrock

A big "hell yeah" for your comments on that 1% of fans out there that are just jerks. My girlfriend and I attended the Survivor Series and sat five rows behind you and Tazz, getting each other tickets as an early Christmas present, and then spent the whole night with the moron behind us screaming things like "Put somebody over Triple H!" and other such i-read-websites-and-therefore-my-ignorant-opinion-matters garbage. It's totally inconsiderate to the announcers who are trying to work, the wrestlers who are trying to put on a show, and the fans who are trying to enjoy said show but can't because some dateless jackass thinks he should be the booker. I seriously wish these dopes could get ejected from the building for violating the boundaries of jerk-dom.

J.R., You lucky dog. Enjoy the Bedlam Game.

I'll have to settle for radio.

I have to agree with the general consensus that if Cena spent some time without the belt, especially when you have performers like Orton, Batista, and Jericho waiting for a good run, it will go a long way towards helping him get over with the segment that he currently isn't popular with.  He also badly, BADLY needs to rework his gimmick, freshen things up a bit.  It's old and stale, and quite frankly boring by this point.

Orton is popular for a number of reasons.  It's not a level of "defiance" as much as people just like Orton.  He's good in the ring, good on the mike, he's young, energetic, and is a prime example of the future of the company.  Granted, we don't generally like having who we should root for dictated to us, but it's not being defiant for the sake of being defiant.  For the fans I know and myself, it's a respect of Orton and a level of enjoyment we get when he's on the screen.

Regarding the idea of long technically good matches without risky moves or dangerous spots, it can be done wonderfully.  60 minutes is a large amount of time for any match, and even some of the biggest, most memorable matches ever are moments of lull (even when there's action) between a good number of large highlights.  This tends to be less when a match is less demanding on the wrestlers physically, such as in a match driven by holds and reversals.  However, you need great wrestlers to pull it off, and unfortunately we seldom see two men who can contribute to such a match headlining together these days.  I love the previous example of Angle/Benoit as a prime example of a match that I have yet to find someone who thought it was boring.  Even a number of good main eventing performers, like Edge, rely on high impact moves for energy and excitement, and even the non-"risky" high impact moves will take a heavy toll on the perfomers over the course of a long match, inevitably slowing it down and pushing them to deliver more "highlights."

Then again, I've never done anything beyond some amateur work, so take my opinion for what it's worth, nothing.  Still, I would love to see what Orton and Jericho could do given the chance and the build-up.  I doubt it would be "boring."

JR, I think your Michael Jackson comment is a little out of order and uncalled for. In post where you have a go at ignorant fans, you make a needless dig at someone you don't know.

On Cena winning over the younger male crowd. Simply put, he can't. I really don't think it's a matter of him "overcoming the odds every single week" or being "another Hulk Hogan". And I seriously doubt it's just "the fans being defiant". It seems to me that the majority of my friends who are wrestling fans (who are multi-cultural, mind you) do not like Cena because he represents a culture that was really starting to flourish when we were kids. I don't think I have to remind anyone who grew up in this era how annoying, if not dangerous, these people were. "Wannabes" were rude, violent, pushy, loud and went out of their way to prove that they were members of a race they didn't really belong to by emulating every negative racial stereotype in existence. People like Vanilla Ice and the kids who were inspired by him left a really bad taste in alot of people's mouths. Half the people I know were "jumped" by them on a fairly regular basis. A kid I knew was in a coma for 2 years because of just such an attack by people like Vanilla Ice fans. Another kid I knew was raped by them in a mall parking lot and yet another kid I knew lost a finger after being attacked and beaten without provocation by what you in England call "chavs" and what we call them here probably can't be repeated on a family friendly message board. So can Cena win us over? No. Sorry, but WWE really struck out here. I realize that he's a hard worker. I understand he has a great work ethic. But because of what he is I, and many others, can't bring ourselves to cheer for him or any other wannabe thug for that matter. I know the issue of Cena has been done to death but the major issue on why we boo him is always skirted. If you're really interested in why we hate Cena. There it is. Thanks for listening.  

"when mountains cumble and stars collide... I am what remains"

JR, I was intrigued with the question concerning a 60 minute match. Of all the veterans left in WWE at the present,I believe there are only two with the technical ability to go hold-for-hold,with out alot of high-flying manuvers,Chris Jericho and Edge. I believe that ability by both men has been hidden for far too long because of all the young and new "entertainers" that will take more time to learn these moves. This is all based on strictly technical wrestling,as opposed to beating the hell out of each other.I think HBK is a great wrestler,but have never seen his full arsenal of technical skills like the others. Jericho and Edge also have the incredible mic skills that so many lack,and that ability along with the in ring stories told would be over the top! Unfortunately, I believe that so many of the fan's are still looking for the "smash-mouth" hardcore style that the technical styles aren't used to keep the fan's happy. I on the other hand enjoy a good technical bout,which we don't get too see very often,which is sad. We miss you on Raw!

Did I ever mention how much I LOVE your blogging about one Mike Knox.

*hugs you*

Please keep this up.

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