MMA Critics..JR Health Update..Josh Barnett..Zach Ryder..Wrestling Managers..MSG Curtain Call..Visit

Another sizzling hot Friday in Norman, Oklahoma and we're happy that you stopped by our site. Let's kick this thing off with some random thoughts from here and there.

Health wise I am feeling better. I'm sore and the 11 staples in my abdomen are problematic as it relates to getting comfortable and especially when trying to sleep.

Eating mostly soup, broth, etc and drinking lots of water but no booze. The staples come out in two weeks which can't come soon enough for me. 

Wife Jan and I had planned on going to Dallas this weekend to catch the Strikeforce event at the American Airlines Center but Wednesday's surgery has me tapping on that trip. 

Still plan on watching the show on TV and will likely Tweet @JRsBBQ during the event. I like tournaments in general, especially when they involve heavyweights, so Saturday night's event should be intriguing.

Too bad Gina Carano had to pull out of the event. Sounds as if the charismatic and talented fighter is totally committed to the sport at this particular time in her life. Nonetheless at one time she was a helluva attraction for Strikeforce.  

I'll be pulling for Josh Barnett who I've met a few times. Josh has been mentored by the great, pro wrestling legend Billy Robinson who has one of the most vaunted reputations as a legit tough guy ever in the biz. I finally met Billy last summer in Charlotte at Greg Price's fan convention and being able to visit with Billy and Dan Hodge was an honor for me. 

One of my recent blogs after UFC 131 apparently did not set too well with some 'MMA purists' for the lack of a better term. I spoke about announcing and how story telling and providing the viewer with adequate, tangible info on the fighters to help the viewer make an emotional investment in the process was imperative. 

Some people apparently took that as a knock at Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan which is the furtherest thing from what I meant. Those critics took it as me meaning that if I were broadcasting MMA that I would do it just as if I were doing a pro wrestling match. 

That would be wrong.

Different genre. Different presentation.

However, the storytelling properties are the same. That would also apply to any sport one chose to broadcast. Facilitating the viewer/listener to fully immerse themselves in the genre and the participants is essential in being successful. 

I have zero plans at ever broadcasting MMA, for the record. However, if the opportunity ever arose I feel extremely confident that I could handle the assignment because I feel I know how to tell stories, I would do ample preparation and research, and my natural level of enthusiasm isn't an act but simply how I am wired. Plus, I'm a fan of the sport which is also essential.    

With that said, I am a fan of guys like Joe Rogan, Mauro Ranallo, and Mike Goldberg among others who broadcast MMA. But contrary to what some critics feel the basic art of broadcasting/storytelling is the same for MMA, pro wrestling, football, golf, etc. 

As we all know, as wrestling fans, there is a pro wrestling bias within many in the media and with fans of other entities. Some of today's displaced pro wrestling fans are now more emotionally invested and engaged in MMA. As a "pro wrestling guy" I expect to occasionally get blasted when I provide opinion on MMA broadcasts but after a four decade career in broadcasting I feel that I can provide a somewhat educated opinion on the subject.

I am still of the firm belief that broadcasters, especially in MMA, take too much for granted inasmuch as they feel that their audience is made up of die hard fans who automatically know what a gogoplata is or what BJJ stands for. The die hards do know but the all important, new fan that is sampling MMA doesn't. If the critics can't understand that point, then they aren't seeing the big picture. 

WWEShop is going to be rolling out some package deals on JR's products very soon. The only way to get our goods outside the USA is via plus they also ship within the USA as well. Stay tuned for that new, exciting info.

We expect to open our on line store here back up in a week or two and I will keep everyone posted. 

We hope to get our next shipment of Chipotle Ketchup, Main Event Mustard and Original BBQ Sauce sometime next week. Thanks to all for your patience while we work through inventory issues and make a few tweaks to the store. 

WWE's Capitol Punishment from Washington, D.C. is this Sunday on PPV. I'll be watching from the proverbial "comfort of our own home" and am really curious to see how this one turns out. Randy Orton, who is having concussion issues, vs. Christian might well steal the show that is if Orton is medically cleared to compete.  R Truth upsetting WWE Champion John Cena would be interesting going forward. This is without question Truth's biggest, professional opportunity to date. Even though Alex Riley is arguably the underdog going into his match with the Miz, Riley has done some nice things lately and seems to be breaking new ground as far as his career is concerned. I like Riley's athleticism and intensity and, win or lose, the former college linebacker seems to be on the right track. 

Here's some answers to a few questions that we have received here at our Q&A section:

When the infamous Kliq 'Curtain Call' at MSG occurred I have to admit that, being an old school guy, I wasn't overwhelmed with it. Over the years I have grown to understand the matter better and really am indifferent to it at this point in my life. At the time that it occurred, it caused some locker room issues but they were addressed, eventually dismissed and everyone moved on. Kevin Nash discusses this more on the Legends Roundtable which will air next month on WWE On Demand. 

I do like TV shows that are episodic in nature leaving the air with the occasional 'cliff hanger' but attempting to do so every week is challenging and becomes a act of diminishing returns. I do think that it is imperative to always promote something tangible and intriguing for 'next week' and to do that on an on going basis in all wrestling programs. 

Get this one all the time...No, I do not think that the Undertaker's 'Streak' at Wrestlemania will ever die. Yes...I think that the Undertaker will be a part of WM28 in Miami but I have no idea who his opponent might be. 

Being a reality show fan in general, I am a bigger fan of 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels' the show that I ever was of 'Kiss.' I also follow Storage Wars, Ice Road Truckers, Swamp People, and Pawn Stars regularly. See how exciting my life is?

I do not recall myself or WWE ever engaging Randy Savage in contract talks in 2001. It might have happened but I don't recall it at this time. Macho Man's in ring career was essentially completed when he left WWE in 1993 even though he had some solid outings in WCW after that. 

Got lots of emails this week about the Zach Ryder 'situation.' I'm not sure what exactly this 'situation' is other than Ryder has developed many fans thanks to his You Tube show and Ryder's fans want to see him on TV more. Ryder's time is likely coming as he's a hard working, solid talent. I hope he gets to live his dream but dreams don't come true over night. My dream was to always work in WWE and it only took me 19 years to get there. Let's hope Zach is on a faster track. :)

No...I do not ever foresee a WWE/TNA TV storyline. What benefit would that have to WWE and can anyone with a modicum of common sense not fathom what a nightmare it would be to structure such a matter? The business in general faces enough challenges within their own confines without creating a nightmarish situation as I perceive this would be. Ain't happening folks. No reason for it to happen. Next. 

Did I like the managers profile that did recently? Absolutely. Did I agree with it from top to bottom? Nope. I'd love to see the 'manager' role revised and updated as many of today's fans have never been able to enjoy the skills of a talented 'mouth piece.' has some major things planned and they are eminent. is great for us old school fans and certainly worth you sampling it. 

I'm planning on being a part of the biggest DVD project that I've ever been assigned next week. This project has been years in the making and could be ground breaking. If it comes off as many of us envision, it will be a huge coup for WWE and will be 'must see.' That's all I'm going to say on this matter but I am legit pumped to be a part of this project. 

Thanks for stopping by and for shopping with and for those in Oklahoma or traveling down I-35 for shopping at the four, Norman Homeland Grocery Stores.

Finally, we appreciate all the get well wishes that many have emailed us here and Tweeted @JRsBBQ. 

Boomer Sooner!




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glad to hear you came out of the surgery A-OK, JR!  Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!

Hi J.R first I would like to say I have been a fan since your UWF days and think your great second i have never written a letter to a celebrity i have always just read and kept my comments to myself.But about six months ago I went through a bout of bells palsy and having been lucky enough to have never had so much as a broken finger in my life I don't have to tell you how terrifing it is.I was by myself in the mountains hunting at the time and at first I thought I was having a stroke wich was no fun then after my panic attack I remembered researching bells when I heard you had it witch was enough to calm me down and get my ass off the mountain.After I got home I went to the clinic we have no local hospital anyway they ran a few test and basically just agreed with my self diagnosis but to my disapointment they basically said it will get better in a few weeks or maybe never I said gee thanks.But thank the lord I slowly was able to blink my eye and then it all came back.But  those were some tuff weeks and I want to thank you for the example you set on how to handle that terrible thing.But the total lack of info that was available to me is really why I am wrtting you I know I have a better chance than most of it happing again and I have a hunch you had some pretty good doctors advising you so any tips on preventing it or research sites you could recommend would really help thanks so much. P.S. love the bbq sauce can't wait to try the mustard.

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