Hope everyone is having a good Monday. Thanks for dropping by and to those that place orders we are particularly thankful for your business.
Tonight is Raw's 900th broadcast and it should be a fun show to watch on TV especially with the build in full affect for Night of Champions heading to Chicago in September.
Boston is a traditional WWE market that has proved to generally bring a loud, enthusiastic fan base to the live events. The UFC crowd in Boston Saturday night was rowdy and let's hope that carries over tonight in the TD Garden Arena.
I'll reiterate for the last time today that I will not be in Boston tonight contrary to what some emailers have written me and some have Tweeted about me. I've got too much on my plate to be playing around about being in Boston or not. I'm not....end of story. (Had an emailer that said they saw me in the Boston Airport this morning.)
I do plan on watching Raw tonight and look forward to the show which will feature both RAW and Smackdown stars. That point in itself lends to some interesting possibilities.
Many things come to my mind when I think of WWE's flagship broadcast, including:
The energy that was generated inside the compact Hammerstein Ballroom back in the day.
The Fink firing up the crowd before air time.
The tiny, obsolete dressing rooms in the Ballroom where there was very little 'ball room.'
Finding out that my Dad had died suddenly the same night that LOD returned to WWE at a Hammerstein Ballroom Monday Night Raw.
Going live every three weeks and then boldly going out on the road every week and doing live TV. That was a huge, calculated risk for WWE at a time that it had to work. It did.
The adrenaline of broadcasting live every week with no net and nothing between one's words and emotions but the occasional 7 second delay. More nights that not you heard my honest emotions and feelings, for better or for worse.
The competitive nature of the Monday Night Wars and being kept abreast of when Nitro was in commercial break and we weren't. Monday night was 'game night.'
The guttural, intense heat generated with the Austin-McMahon rivalry. It made stars of both Stone Cold, the anti hero, Mr. McMahon, the antagonist, and helped make RAW the Monday night TV destination for millions. For my money, RAW never had a better rivalry than Austin-McMahon.
DX...which helped launch HHH, re-invent HBK and made stars of Billy Gunn, Road Dog, and Chyna. Every one came along at the right place at the right time with the right presentation for their persona's in a male friendly 18-34 demo. To me, this faction was as good as it gets and ranks in the same breath with the Horsemen.
The explosion of The Rock who Hollywood discovered and away the Great One went to become a major player on the silver screen. Rock's verbal skills and 'look' set him a part and captivated the imagination of film makers and fans the world over. The Rock was a once in a life time athlete/personality in the mat game....a natural entertainer.
The accelerated evolution of the Undertaker who has grown to become the most enduring, respected, and noteworthy star in WWE history. There used to be only one man at 'Andre level' and with Taker's tenure he has supplanted Andre as the measuring stick for all wrestlers within the company in my opinion.
The signs. I loved the signs that the fans brought to the arena. One could see what the consumers were buying/thinking and what they weren't, to a degree, before some fans became too defiant and created edgy signs just to see with what they could get by. Nonetheless, I remember coming on the air many, many times and looking at the sea of signs in a packed arena and feeling that I was the luckiest broadcaster in the world to be able to be a part of the process and experience the raw, organic enthusiasm. Truly it was like being on the sideline of the Oklahoma vs. Texas football rivalry every Monday night.
I remember some great comedy...Rock 'n Sock...Austin/Angle/McMahon...DX...among others...and I remember the head shakers. I'm not casting stones as I uttered my share of head shakers on Monday nights, too.
Joining a unique 'club' in Oklahoma City much to the shock, and delight, of family and friends.
Manning our post on some challenging Monday's when the news we had to share wasn't positive.
Having the undeserved but amazing opportunity to actually go on last in Madison Square Garden in a 'match,' and I use that term loosely on my behalf, vs. HHH. I have the tattered, torn, and bloody OU football jersey framed from that night at MSG.
The goodbyes....Ric Flair's emotional good bye on Raw was the culmination of the most auspicious 'retirement' of any pro wrestler in history. It was a legitimately emotional night that Monday in Orlando. My tears that night at ringside were as real as they get.
HBK's farewell...it touched me and moved me to tears again even though I was in a safe environment, my home in Norman. When Shawn mentioned me in his farewell address my eyes welled with tears. That was an amazing honor for me following WM26. (I've always thought that going to San Antonino to speak with Shawn about ending his 4 year or so hiatus was one of my best accomplishments in WWE.)
Teaming hundreds and hundreds of Monday nights with Jerry Lawler at the broadcast booth which have created lifetime memories. We were lucky that we were able to develop chemistry and allowed to be ourselves. Our team worked and we had a ball that I wouldn't trade for any thing I've ever experienced in broadcasting. I often wonder how many shows that the King and I actually broadcast on Monday nights. Someone somewhere likely has a number but suffice to say it was a bunch.
Some days I feel that I could actually write an entire book strictly about broadcasting on Monday nights.
So, even though physically I will not be in Boston tonight, I'll be there in spirit and will likely see some 'moments' on the show that will bring back great memories. I hope the same occurs for you, too.
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