I hope everyone is having a good weekend. Personally, I'm on college hoops overload. Nonetheless the grill is hot so let's get cooking....
UFC buying out Strikeforce has sent shock waves throughout the MMA world. This is as big a deal as could have been orchestrated within the Mixed Martial Arts world in today's marketplace.
UFC President Dana White says that it will be 'business as usual' for Strikeforce. I have no reason not to believe White but I do find it hard to fathom that 'business as usual' will last long term. It doesn't seem to be 'long term feasible.'
What is your definition of 'long term' in this particular situation? Perhaps it can be defined as long as Strikeforce is under contract with CBS/Showtime to provide programming.
Perhaps UFC decision makers can do what others in similar roles in other genres have been unable to do and that is manage their own competition as they indicate that they want to do.
If UFC can pull managing their own competition off, they will be able to cut better Arena, TV, Marketing, Licensing, and Talent Contract deals. They will be able to run more live events and TV events which would help drive their PPV business along with every other facet of business of which they engage.
With all that said they must control the urge of promoting too many pay per view events.
Zuffa/UFC's global footprint just went from a size 9 to a size 12 but like a young lad that size shoe likely won't be sufficient for long.
MMA, not unlike pro wrestling, is all about two, primary things.....Talent and Television.
Now with a bigger talent roster under contract and from which to draw from, Zuffa, the parent company of both UFC and Strikeforce, should be able to produce compelling, weekly television programming and can build BOTH brands if the programs are carefully produced. The challenge of producing compelling, weekly TV is solely dependent upon long term planning and building one's programming around what is topical and timely.
One has to assume that with this buy out will come significant infrastructure changes within parent company Zuffa. Those changes are inevitable to properly manage and grow both brands within the perceived, new sport of MMA especially when Zuffa has made it abundantly clear that they plan on promoting the world.
Insiders and those who closely follow MMA have said that both UFC and Strikeforce have been understaffed in some areas for quite some time now. This major purchase obviously wouldn't help that issue.
Having gone through two of these buyouts within the genre of pro wrestling in my 4 decade career my advice to all involved is to forget personal animosities and any existing agendas that aren't about helping the parent company become more profitable. In other words, keep the goose (Zuffa) healthy that lays the golden eggs.
Previously ruffled feathers must be soothed. Zuffa has the ability to solve problems or to eliminate them. All involved parties should keep that in mind.
It would be shocking if Zuffa wasn't already planning, much like WWE is, to launch their own cable channel with all the content that Zuffa now has at their disposal from UFC, Pride, and Strikeforce. Just think NFL or MLB Network and that picture becomes very clear.
Content is king in the broadcast world and being able to program ones own network has dollar signs written all over for years and years to come. Broadcasting ownership groups are looking for new programming content daily and if one doesn't believe me just look at some of the programming that many of us pay for these days that makes air.
Anyone for an episode 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta?'
Even with the purchase of Strikeforce, UFC's focus must remain on developing sound, global television partnerships and, perhaps most importantly from my perspective, scouting, signing, training and developing new stars.
MMA is a competition based, attraction business. Without stars IE attractions, the Zuffa motor doesn't run smoothly and if a lack of marketable stars persists the motor will sputter to a stop. Same can be said for virtually any similar profession or sports league.
Stars sell tickets, PPV's, etc and developing new stars is the heart beat of any company, league, etc that features athletic, competitive personalities as the focus.
One can easily understand the unrest that must exist within the Strikeforce community of fighters, management, etc. Interesting days lie ahead for fans of MMA and those that earn a living within it.
The next rumor that is likely to stat rt is big money people gathering to discuss the possibility of creating another, major MMA organization to compete with Zuffa and to provide programming to the networks that are seeking sporting events that attract the all important Male 18-34 demo.
Moving on....we've updated the Q&A section of the site. Check em out.
Hard to believe that we have over 100,000+ Twitter followers @JRsBBQ. We're having fun reading them, well, most of them, and responding to as many as possible.
Looking forward to seeing all the guys on the Raw brand in OKC Sunday afternoon at 3 at the OKC Arena. I hope my ring announcing gig doesn't turn into a Pier Six Brawl of some sort. (That was a joke.) I will spend ample time talking to several talents I can virtually assure you.
For those coming to the event and are in the Norman area, the Norman Homeland Grocery Stores carry our entire lineup of JR's products. No shipping costs at the grocery stores either.
More and more folks are talking about using our BBQ products for WM27 tailgate parties which tells me that 'Mania has developed quite a 'buzz' since the return of @TheRock, @JohnCena and @mikethemiz involvement with each other and the Great One, the HHH-Undertaker 'Streak' Match, the return of @steveaustinBSR, the King/Cole personal issue that will be culminated in the Georgia Dome, and the World Title Bout with Edge and the evolving Alberto Del Rio.
It is still a head scratcher to me as to what role @TheRock will play, if any, in the WWE Title Bout at WM27. A good piece of road has been traveled in that vehicle to not deliver the good in some fashion, or so it would seem. This mater alone makes this Wrestlemania hard to definitively predict.
WM27 ticket sales are well north of 50,000 paid for well over a $5M gate and I'm predicting that the event will do between 65-75,000 fans for a gate of over $6M and perhaps getting close to $7M. When I broadcast the first event ever in the Georgia Dome, an Atlanta Falcon exhibition football game, in 1992, never in my wildest dream did I ever imagine that I would be attending a wrestling event in the house that Deion Sanders used to electrify that it would be packed.
The St. Louis Raw this Monday is an important stop on the road to Wrestlemania especially after following the Dallas show last Monday when @steveaustinBSR returned to pop a terrific TV rating. If history holds true, the final three Monday night Raw's going into a Wrestlemania PPV are generally hot shows. St. Louis has significant advance ticket sales and the long time hotbed of pro wrestling from the Promoter Sam Muchnick days will likely be a hot, loud crowd which makes any show better. It is crunch time for all involved in MNR as its like needing three wins over three weeks to make it to the championship game at the Final Four.
Be sure to watch NXT this week on www.wwe.com Tuesday night if for no other reason than to see the progress made by new color commentator William Regal who I personally think has the opportunity to become an asset in that role.
Orders that we receive today will hopefully be shipped out this Monday or Tuesday at the latest via Federal Express Ground which means you should have them within appx 3 days after they leave OKC. In other words you have plenty of time to order from us for your WM27 parties. Remember that virtually every order we ship from this site comes with a custom designed JR's Koozie and a personally autographed item such as a signed Topps Trading card, signed copies of our to go menus and kids menus or the new photo of yours truly standing on the field at Cowboys Stadium right after my Sooners won their last Big 12 Conference Football Championship.
Fans who live outside the USA can enjoy my Mama's recipe in our Original BBQ Sauce and our other products by going to http://www.wweshop.com. We've been getting great feedback from the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia and other countries where fans are ordering. Our sincere thanks to you all.
Emailer asked me to name my favorite Flair vs. Steamboat match....I can't recall seeing a bad one but the one that seemingly stands out in my mind the most was the 1989 NWA Title Bout from Chicago's UIC Pavilion where 'The Dragon' won the championship. Damn intense physicality and what a ride those two took us on that still brings back good feelings.
Keep Sir Oliver Humperdink in your prayers as he is fighting for his life battling bladder cancer while contending with a case of pneumonia. Hump is is good hands in Minneapolis and is being kept comfortable by his doctors who Humpy has told that he choses not to undergo chemotherapy. Humperdink was one of the great managers of the 70's and 80's with his bright red, long hair and bulging eyes, and menacing demeanor. I still say that Hump's duo of Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts, the Hollywood Blonds, were as underrated as any tag team that I can recall ever seeing in person. I had a great visit with Hump the last time I was in Minny w/ WWE at a PPV there a few months ago. I am thankful that chance meeting occurred.
I was hoping to see Sir Oliver at the Cauliflower Alley Club Banquet in April in Vegas. He, as well as myself, love visiting with the veterans and loyal fans who attend the annual event of which you can learn more at www.cauliflowerallyclub.org.
THQ's WWE All Stars video game is gathering tremendous momentum. the Arcade-like, over the top video game will be in stores, I'm told, on March 29. I will be playing the game vs the King the Friday night prior to WM27 at WWE Axxess. I don't lay down for nobody, pal. :)
Even though we will enjoy the entire WM27 weekend because of seeing so many old friends and WM27 itself, of course, but if I only could attend one function it would be the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to honor @shawnmichaels_ because that night can only occur once.
Thanks for stopping by and for supporting our business. We appreciate you all. Enjoy OKC if you're able to go, say hello if we bump into each other and let's see if Monday Night Raw continues to deliver big ratings and WM27-oriented surprises. Will the Snooki factor pop a number? I don't know but I guarantee you that it will get WWE a ton of free PR ala TMZ, etc. It can't be all Charlie Sheen 24/7 right?