It feels as if I just got home and now it's time to pack and leave Sunday for a flight to Charlotte where all three WWE brands will be a part of Raw's 3 For All Monday night on the USA Network. It starts one hour early and it seems that most people usually forget the early start time. Perhaps if one specific match was advertised to kick off the night it would give the viewers something tangible to remember other than Raw is starting one hour early. BBQ'ed Random Thoughts...
I had a great phone conversation with the legendary Stan "The Lariat" Hansen from his home in Waco, Texas on Friday. Stan was up my way in OKC a few weeks ago while his son Shaver was playing baseball for the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Tournament but we were unable to hook up. Stan, 60 years old, is doing great and making a few autograph conventions from time to time and getting ready to watch his younger son play college baseball for the University of Texas at Arlington. We talked old times specifically when Stan and Frank "Bruiser Brody" Goodish were a young, physical tag team in Mid South Wrestling for Bill Watts. Watts wanted to separate the two big bruisers which they did not like. Stan told me that even though both he and Brody were not willing to split at that time that they both realized years later that Watts was correct when he said that both men would make much more money as single stars than as a tag team. Hansen and Goodish/Brody had an eventful, short run in Memphis that ended not long after they wrestled the team of Jerry Lawler and Austin Idol. Idol told Lawler that if Idol ever had to wrestle either Hansen or Brody again that Idol was quitting the wrestling business for good. Indeed, Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody were physical, athletic, big men who asked no quarter and certainly gave none. I actually refereed many of their matches in the mid 70's. Hansen delivered the most devastating close line I ever witnessed and I have seen a few including JBL's "Close Line from Hell."
Stan's son Shaver was the 6th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and is a power hitting 3rd baseman. I have promised to buy the BBQ the next time Stan and his family are in Norman of which I look forward.
Mitsuharu Misawa was never an acquaintance of mine but I felt like I knew him from watching many of his DVD's which were usually with men that I did know. Misawa was arguably the best in ring performer in the world in his prime. First of all, Misawa knew how to wrestle and how to wrestle physically. The fundamentals had been drilled into this legend as a young man who went on to become a Japanese National Amateur Champion. Several things stood out to me about Misawa. In addition to be a physical, fundamentally sound athlete, timing and toughness were two of his greatest attributes. Great timing is a gift that largely can't be taught. It's like ring psychology. Some of it can be taught but mostly it must be a learned trait and some people are in the business for years and never learn great timing or main event level ring psychology. Toughness is another trait that can be nurtured but generally can't be taught. Misawa was naturally tough and it showed. And his fans loved him for it. They also loved his passion and the emotional ride on which he would take them. That's what pro wrestling is, selling emotion.
Another significant piece of Japanese, wrestling history died this weekend. Mitsuharu Misawa apparently died in the very spot that he gained his incredible fame and resounding respect from wrestling fans around the Globe....inside a wrestling ring.
It's a damn shame that the vast majority of American wrestling fans won't give a second thought about the untimely death of "a Japanese wrestler." I encourage all fans to find DVD's of Misawa and watch him in his prime, in the 90's especially. If one is really serious about about being a highly skilled, pro wrestler, then study the late Mitsuharu Misawa.
May he rest in peace.
I have updated our Q&A section of the website. I also deleted a load of tomes that were WAY too long to consider answering. Please be succinct as 3-5 sentences should get it done. Assume I have A.D.D. and keep your questions and comments succinct. Thank you.
Mrs. J.R. and I attended the Toby Keith and Friends fund raiser for Ally's House which supports children with cancer and their families. Lots of my friends were there including former OU and Dallas Cowboys Coach Barry Switzer, current OU Football Coach Bob Stoops, former OU and NFL star Joe Washington and about 20 other former Sooners and NFL stars and Olympian Bart Connor. My friend, ESPN's Nancy Lieberman, whose son T.J. is a big WWE fan, was on hand as was former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens who is always friendly with me even though we kid each other about the Oklahoma-Texas football rivalry as "The Rocket" is a UT alum.
I admire people from all walks of life who volunteer to be a part of any worthwhile cause. Science has proven, by the way, that people who volunteer their time to help others actually live longer. For the record, one doesn't have to be a "celebrity" to be a volunteer.
We have some NEW, Camo shirts for ladies in stock as well as some cool looking Camo caps for men and women one of which I wore today to J.R.'s Family BBQ and got some favorable feedback. Take a look at them and remember that we are selling a case of affordable, delicious "J.R.'s Original BBQ Sauce" and WE pay the shipping to selected areas.
WWE had a huge, sellout of over 14,000 fans at an outdoor stadium in Nimes, France Saturday night that grossed well over $800,000 to see the superstars of Raw in person. The crew will arrive back in the States on Sunday and then have to gear up for a 3 hour Raw on Monday. Whew.
I haven't commented much on the Umaga situation here but I have addressed that matter and many similar issues in the Q&A section. Nonetheless, I have been asked what is next for Umaga? I don't have an answer as the man himself is the only one who can provide that info. I do hope that Umaga takes the time to carefully think things through and to evaluate all aspects of his life and not just his wrestling career. Umaga has been blessed with many athletic skills but nothing compares to the blessings of having a wonderful family which has to come first in any of our major decisions.
Can you believe that we still get a ton of emails about the "Montreal Screw Job" of November 1997? Did you know that WWE will be back in Montreal on September 13 for a PPV? Will 1997 somehow be revisited in the ring? I don't have a clue but if so it will continue to feed this "12 year old monster" that seemingly has a life of its own. For the record, the last time I talked to Bret Hart "the Montreal Screw Job" wasn't at the center of our conversation.
What ever happens on September 13 happens as my biggest concern about that September date is getting there the day of the event after watching OU play football in Norman the day before. It will be another travel adventure due to football. Priorities, folks.
Hey, Raw starts an hour early this Monday and you wouldn't want to miss a Friday Night Smackdown offering which theoretically could go on in the first hour. Todd Grisham is likely to wear a new suit and considering we had zero on-cameras Thursday or Friday night, I told him working with me might be the kiss of death, we're due. I'll be the Okie in the black hat.