After an extended road trip this week, I have finally made it back to Norman and am trying to catch up on all my responsibilities including handling matters regarding the opening of J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q, our website and the ever present “honey do’s” that most married men encounter. There is never a dull moment, I often times wish there were, around the Ross Ponderosa.
If controversy indeed does create cash, then Monday Night’s Raw should produce a gold mine. There is no shortage of opinion and discussion regarding how Raw went off the air from Wilkes Barre on Monday, and I would suspect that folks will be talking about this cliff hanger for some time to come. Much like the final episode of The Sopranos which aired 24 hours prior to Raw, some fans enjoyed Raw and some didn’t. As with The Sopranos, those that did not like the Monday night broadcast yelled the loudest which is not unusual. In my 4 decades of broadcasting wrestling I have to admit that Monday night was perhaps the most unique night I can recall experiencing. I would suggest that interesting days lie ahead and I have not a clue as to the roads that will be traveled. All I know is that I will be on an American Airlines flight for Richmond on Sunday and will be ready to get to the former Mid Atlantic Wrestling stronghold at the Richmond Coliseum come Monday afternoon to prepare as best I can for another Monday Night Raw. Like everyone else I simply have a “stay tuned” attitude.
I did not “hate” the ending of The Sopranos as many devotees did but I was honestly expecting more fireworks. The bottom line is that The Sopranos is a fictional TV show produced for entertainment purposes and I was entertained by the final episode and have enjoyed each of the 84 episodes, I think that’s an accurate number, that have aired on TV. The Sopranos will always be one of my all time favorite TV shows, but I wonder how great the series would have been if they had to produce 51 episodes a year as is done with Monday Night Raw, etc. I will miss Tony and the fellas and I am grateful for the creativity of David Chase who made his creation, The Sopranos, must see TV in the Ross household. I know that virtually everyone I encountered in Wilkes Barre at the arena was talking about the controversial ending of the HBO series. It was the talk of catering Monday afternoon so, like it or not, it must have worked to some degree.
It looks like another Saturday Night’s Main Event is on tap for later in the summer. I read where it was further proof that Michael Cole is the “long term” answer to the WWE’s announcing plans seeing as though Cole worked with King at the last SNME which again I find laughable. The SNME was taped prior to the Raw broadcast and we all agreed that for me to do heavy duty play by play on a 90 minute show followed by another 2 hour show would not be great on my pipes and I did not want to end up sounding as I did after Wrestlemania 23 when my voice went to hell in Dayton. The decision for me to not be a part of the SNME was not made until the day of the taping and for the reason I mentioned. However, common sense would dictate that Michael Cole, who I think is tribally underrated and underappreciated by many, is obviously a younger man than yours truly and will probably be around longer than me, simply due to our birth years. However, these “future changes” are a long time coming, in my view which I think are shared by those that matter in the WWE as well. Nonetheless the prediction and reporting of my professional demise is very premature and is not accurate unless reporting the obvious that Michael Cole is a younger man than “J.R.” is considered a story. By the way I don’t use a “walker” to get to the ring, nor do I live in an assisted living home ala “Uncle Junior” and I have plenty of P&V left in my tank to carry my share of the water… thank you very much.
Has it been made official that the cast of “Jackass” will main event Summerslam? If so I have missed it. I understand that members of the “Jackass” cast will be a part of the Summerslam presentation, but I have never heard it officially stated that these actors/stuntment, act would be wrestling in the main event. Is this another internet rumor gone wild or simply a shrewd PR person’s positioning of his clients? I could easily see the “Jackass” folks adding some entertainment content to the PPV in August, but headlining the event???
As I mentioned in advance of the draft, the 2007 WWE draft would be beat to death by second guessers much akin to those of us that follow the NFL Draft. I wonder how long the dead horse will continue to be pummeled. All in all I felt the draft selections were good and I felt that Raw especially did well. Because Raw is preparing to do episode number 734 and is responsible for selling more PPV’s to the cable audience than any other TV show the WWE produces, it makes sense to keep the flagship broadcast strong especially in light of the numerous, crippling injuries to so many Raw Superstars. I am not big on which show is the considered by some to be the “A” show, and all that sort of B.S., for the record.
Chad asked about a Baltimore Arena Memory and I have a dandy. One year I was broadcasting the Great American Bash there and the event by and large stunk. I was suffering from kidney stones and had a stone somehow fragment and I passed particles of the fragmented kidney stone during the live PPV. Thank goodness we were broadcasting from the stage and every time we went to a video highlight package I had the opportunity to run off stage to a men’s room. To say I was in a significant degree of pain would be an understatement, which may have led over the years to my perception that particular Bash sucked pond water. I think this was the Bash with the Scaffold Match, but you can Google it to find out for sure. I always loved working in Baltimore otherwise and going to Little Italy for a great meal at Sabatino’s after the matches. Now I follow the Ravens closely because of all the OU Sooners on their team.
David- We will absolutely be adding recipes to the site. Plus we are looking into acquiring several copies of “J.R.’s Cookbook” which is loaded with simple yet delicious recipes.
Lawrence- How does one season ribs? There are lots of great ways. Something as simple as seasoned salt and seasoned pepper and a little liquid smoke will do the trick. I have also enjoyed using a variety of dry rubs especially created for Bar-B-Q. We plan on coming out with our own brand of dry rub soon just as a FYI. If the meat is good it is always better to undersea son them than to overseason them. Plus, the best ribs are smoked and not grilled. In other words the best ribs are smoked and not prepared over direct heat. There is a big difference in Bar-B-Q’ing and grilling.
David- I know of no play by play wrestling schools in existence. I have addressed this matter many, many times but here goes for the last time on this subject (yes I know we need a FAQ section), get a college degree in broadcast journalism or at worse a degree from an independent broadcast school and then follow that up with practical experience such as radio or local TV work of any kind you can obtain. You must amass a body of work to make a demo reel, before a company like the WWE will even consider you. There are no short cuts and nothing replaces hard work, experience, and talent. But remember, an education is the key.
Ken- I love the Ladder Match DVD too. The Razor-HBK Ladder Matches will always standout because they were at the front of the line. Plus, both Razor and Shawn were huge stars on a consistent main event level when they participated in their Ladder Matches. Were they the best ladder matches? Your opinion is as good as mine but they were definitely memorable. Obviously, HBK and Razor started a new match that has taken on a life of its own and spawned a hot selling DVD.
Lautreamont-I never heard or I have forgotten anything about Bull Buchanan ever being considering to be “Waylon Mercy”. Dan Spivey was classic in his rendition of Mercy which is one of my all time favorite personas. To attempt to “re-hash” Waylon would be difficult and would only work if, and a big if, the person was brand new and had no track record with the fans. I still feel it would be a long shot for Waylon Mercy 2 to ever become marketable.
Mark- Sunny was quite honestly and succinctly a big time star in her heyday. She was a trailblazer and contributed to the Divas that have followed her just as other of Sunny’s contemporaries have. Sunny had a superb wrestling aptitude not to mentioning she looked super which never hurts my feelings. I have lost personal touch with her but I read something on her from time to time. I hope she is well and happy. She deserves to be.
Jake- I feel that all the WWE brands need G.M.’s or similar authority figures. Plus I would like to see now that the draft has come and gone that the brand separation be re-established to allow each brand to grow more quickly and to provide each brand’s superstars with a chance to build their own identity. It would seem that if the brands stay separate except on very special occasions that young stars would have a better chance to evolve and to become main eventers.
Rick- I don’t know King’s TV viewing habits except that I know they include Cleveland Indians baseball and that he was a Sopranos fan. Past that I am afraid to speculate. Does he watch ECW and Smackdown? That’s a question for King to answer but I know I do.
James- I don’t think any wrestlers are still being trained in the Hart Dungeon in Calgary as I was under the impression the old Hart home was being demolished. However, Lance Storm does a super job in training wrestlers in Calgary and that is a school and a teacher I would highly recommend.
Bob- I had a chance to chat with Roddy Piper briefly Monday night and he looked and sounded great. Roddy looked to be in great sprits and in excellent health. I visited with Piper and Flair momentarily and jokingly asked them if I could join their “senior’s” discussion. The business needs more men like Ric Flair and Roddy Piper that’s for damn sure.
Tex- Do you truly believe Bret “The Hitman” Hart will have one more match?? I would love to see it but it sounds like nothing more than wishful thinking as I am relatively sure Bret has hung up his boots for good. Nonetheless, the WWE now owns the Calgary Stampede Wrestling library and I am sure we will see some classic stuff from that collection that features essentially all the Harts sooner than later on WWE 24/7 and on DVD.
Tony- I have read internet reports that Psycho Sid is trying to get back in the WWE, but I have never heard a word of such from anyone in the WWE. Is this annual, and seemingly never ending rumor true? I have no clue and stranger things have occurred, but somehow, I doubt the validity of this one.
We will have more comment feed back later and thanks for checking out our site. Our Bar-B-Q eatery is not set to open until mid July, around July 11, due to construction issues and obtaining all the permits, etc from the local politicos. However the place is looking great and our catering business is absolutely amazing. We catered Coach Bob Stoops’ Foundation dinner last week and it was a huge success… the food and the silent auction.
Our latest Hall of Fame offer is up and running and I hope you will check it out if your time permits. As we always say, and it is heartfelt, we do sincerely appreciate your business.