Beautiful day in Norman, Oklahoma the home of JR's BBQ. Lots of ground to cover so let's get started with some updates, random thoughts and answers to a plethora of questions.
I enjoyed a great deal being in Tampa Monday thru Friday at Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and working with the men and women there who want more than anything in their professional lives to become WWE Superstars.
Being around these enthusiastic, hard working athletes is always exciting and I enjoy working with them in any way that I can. Nothing replaces working hard and working smart and that's what I saw by and large. History says that most won't make the grade but I can see several currently in Tampa cracking the lineup in WWE if they make the right decisions outside the ring and continue to study their craft and bring it every day.
I'd expect that WWE will 'call up' several deserving talents sometime after WM28 and it will be interesting to see how these talents are introduced to the mass, TV audience and how said talents respond to their new found opportunities and the pressure that they will discover at the next level.
Several talents are fundamentally ready for the chance of a lifetime but none are as good as they should aspire to be. Comfort zones are the kiss of death and striving each day to get better at what ever one does is not optional but a requirement in my perspective. Those that approach their professions in such a manner greatly enhance their chances of success. Only time will tell but I'm optimistic that WWE fans will embrace several new, FCW trained talents in the coming months.
I called a few bouts for FCW TV while in Tampa and had a blast. It's the old 'riding the bike' analogy. Once you've done it, the function comes back pretty quickly and I had fun which is always the bottom line of any entertainment venture.
I'm not sure how much FCW will utilize me as a broadcaster but I will return to Tampa right after WM28 to contribute to the process in any way that I can.
Oklahoma was in the news this past week essentially banning 'combat sports' such as MMA and professional boxing from promoting in the state of Oklahoma and the politicos even included 'Pro Wrestling' in their misguided list of Combat Sports. If WWE is a Combat Sport, I assume the Oklahoma politicians also think that the Ice Capades and the Harlem Globetrotters are as well. Hopefully this ill advised decision can have a happy ending and I feel that it can once all involved parties, specifically the Oklahoma government, can take a closer look at their decision and how it can potentially take Oklahoma out of the game and cost the state significant revenues on many fronts including promotions such as WWE potentially not touring my home state.
The verbal and hostile exchange between WM28 adversaries continues to heat up as the build to WM28 has really hit its stride. Personal issues have always been at the heart of every great storyline that I can remember so, for me, the more personal the better when it comes to sports entertainment.
As a result of @TheRock personal barrage on @JohnCena, Cena has become much more edgy which I have enjoyed. Both Cena and Rock are from the competitive and physical world of college football and I think those deep roots will manifest itself into a physically demanding main event at WM28. I hope that WWE saves all the physical interaction between the two stars until April 1 and, to my way of thinking, I can't see why WWE would risk putting either man at a physical risk prior to what is expected to be the highest grossing WrestleMania event of all time. Just one man's take.
@IAmJericho personal assault on @CMPunk using the father of Punk as ammo has upset many fans. Certainly those who have had alcoholism touch their lives are sensitive that this delicate matter is being utilized on an entertainment show but one can't argue that the matter isn't reality based or that it isn't combustible. I said long ago that Punk vs. Jericho for the coveted WWE Title is a potential show stealer as far as a traditional wrestling match is concerned at WM28 and by adding the latest, personal ingredient to the equation this bout becomes even more eagerly anticipated. I expect greatness in this bout considering the two performers and hope that they let it naturally flow and don't overcomplicate the process.
The highest rated segment on Monday Night Raw was the confrontation between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. There is amazing interest in 'The Streak' especially now that it's HHH looking to make history by becoming the first man to ever beat Taker at a WrestleMania event AND with @ShawnMichaels being the official inside Hell in a Cell. The Streak has had 19 years to establish a lasting foundation and many fans have lived through most or all of it. They are more, new questions raised weekly regarding this match and by the time we get to April 1 in Miami this collision will have more conspiracy theories than an Oliver Stone film.
I'm asked to make WM28 predictions all the time but I'm of the mindset to leave that to the fans. I'd likely be as successful picking WM28 winners as I would have been picking March Madness winners plus, on a personal level, I have many dogs in the hunt down in Miami.
"How was it broadcasting with @RealKingRegal in FCW?" As I mentioned, I had a blast. He's a true professional and is as good as any one currently on WWE programming. The Englishman is a great story teller plus he entertainingly can breakdown any bout from a strategy standpoint. Very dry wit and a wealth of in ring knowledge. Regal is a valuable asset for WWE.
"Why were you fired?" I was 'fired" in a storyline sense from Raw. I've been proudly with the WWE since 1993 and still am employed with the company with no plans to change that fact.
"Fav Moment while at WCW?" 1. Meeting my wife Jan while flying with Ric Flair on a US Airways flight. She was a flight attendant. 2. Lasting friendships that I made while in Atlanta. 3. Watching Ric Flair have great bouts with several HOF'ers and the evolution of Sting among several WCW innovations such as the Varisty Club.
"Do you have 'heat' w/ @RealDDP? Absolutely not. We had some spirited debate that fans seem to have enjoyed on the latest Legends of Wrestling Roundtable currently airing exclusively on WWE On Demand. We were challenged, as on air talents, to try and create entertaining TV and I think that we succeeded. The Celebs in Wrestling topic was one of our best shows ever thanks to DDP, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Michael Hayes and Mean Gene. BTW...I have great respect for DDP's accomplishments in his career. He put in the work to become a star when many thought it wouldn't happen. (It's amazing that so many fans who follow us on Twitter @JRsBBQ simply want to know 'dirt' or 'heat' related info.)
What's the most common problem most young talents have while training?" They perform at too fast a pace and don't allow things to 'breathe.' Plus, they attempt to execute moves that they aren't ready to perform. I'm assuming of course that they are in excellent physical condition which goes without saying in sports entertaiment.
"Where will Peyton Manning sign?" Tough one...my best guess is with Tennessee. Reason...the money...back to his college roots and his wife's home state and most importantly, perhaps, the opportunity to run the team and acquire ownership after Manning's playing days have concluded.
"What is your involvement at WM28 this year?" At this time, I'm appearing at AXXESS Friday night from 8-10 pm and at AXXESS Saturday morning during the first session also from 8-10 am as I understand it. Our products will be sold, while they last, at the WWE Merchandise stand at AXXESS the duration but NOT at WM28 itself. I'm also attending the WWE HOF Induction Ceremony Saturday night with my wife and Mr. and Mrs. Brad Nessler of ABC/ESPN fame.
'Best part of working in FCW?" Wow, so many good things but one thing that I particularly enjoy is the promo class taught by WWE HOFer Dusty Rhodes. Dream does a helluva job with the young talents in motivating them to find and display their natural personalities in entertainment form. It's all non scripted and the content is created by the talents themselves. Great drill..if you will.
"What is CAC?" It's the Cauliflower Alley Club which is a non profit organization that was founded in 1965 and helps wrestlers and their families in need. They have one function annually of any major significance and that's their CAC Banquet in Las Vegas which is April 16-18. Several WWE stars will be attending as well as some of the biggest names from previous generations. I know Steve Austin is coming along with other WWE Hall of Famers plus I'm doing a seminar on Tuesday April 17. For more info one truly one of the great, wrestling fan events of the year check out http://www.caulfifloweralleyclub.org.
"Are your products available in stores?" Only at Norman, Oklahoma Homeland stores. However, http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss ships worldwide. Check out the site and see all the packages that are available with many coming with authentic, signed items.
"Why don't you hate Michael Cole?" Because I'm not a hater. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed for any of us and I am not going to invest valuable time 'hating' on anyone especially someone who plays a TV character. Cole's TV persona isn't supposed to be liked. If you don't like Cole that means he's doing his job. If you don't like, from a philosophic standpoint, how Cole performs his role then that's your opinion of which you have the right to express. Plus, I have less than zero interest in ever getting back in the ring vs. Cole or any other unfortunate soul.
"Fav Movie?" Ironically answering this one here on St. Patrick's Day, it's the 'Quiet Man' starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara filmed in Ireland. It's not a western, has a great, film fight scene with Duke and Victor McLaughlin plus I had a boyhood crush on Maureen O'Hara. Now you know.
"Why is JR's Beef Jerky so good?" I'm addicted!" It's not mass produced, it's slow, hickory smoked using only the eye of round, tastes like steak with personality and it has 5 different flavors all 97% Fat Free. Our Jerky is all custom made in Oklahoma and comes in re-sealable, 2.5 ounce plastic bags.
"How does my city get WrestleMania?" Much like the Super Bowl or the Olympic Games, WrestleMania is an event that cities actively pursue. Contact city officials as most major markets have an entity/committee that solicits conventions, large events, etc.
Does a wrestler have to have been in WWE to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? Obviously not. Just take the time to quickly review the list of WWE Hall of Fame inductees at WWE.com or Google the list. With that said, yes, I do see @Sting going into the WWE HOF some day but he won't be the last, primarily WCW talent to get the nod in my opinion. I see the WWE HOF becoming a place where the stars of the business are recognized no matter their affiliation.
"Will ECW ever be represented in the WWE HOF?' I'd assume so. Why not? If that does occur, I'd suggest that @HeymanHustle aka Paul Heyman aka Paul E. Dangerously be at the top of the list. "Happy" Heyman certainly made his mark on the biz. Our call at WM17 seems to be many followers of @JRsBBQ favorite WWE PPV.
When and where will WWE Legends House air? I don't know but I can't wait to see it. I heard it had many 'moments.' If Pat Patterson and Howard Finkle were roommates, then I'm not missing an episode no matter when or where it airs. Love the concept....cranky, old wrestlers co-habituating and sharing alpha male status is a train wreck I've got to see.
"Any FCW talents turn your head?" That's an affirmative and for varying reasons. From a pure power standpoint, Big E Langston can't help but impress. Saw him bench 575 pounds plus he's athletic and smart. Could be a talent to keep one's eye on in the future.
"Any updates on Perry Saturn?" Not really other than I'm told that he's healthy which is positive and that he told some compelling stories recently while visiting FCW.
"Are you interested in becoming a GM on Raw or Smackdown?" Not in the least. I'll let 'Big Johnny' and Theodore R. Long vie for that coveted role on WWE TV. For the record and on a related subject, I also don't want to under go any more colon surgery.
How's Jerry Brisco? Feeling great. I missed him in Tampa as he is in St. Louis scouting potential signees/recruits at the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Tip...last night my wife made green beans w/ new potatoes and used only one seasoning...JR's All Purpose Seasoning available at WWEShop.com. I promise you that this seasoning will amaze all who cook. Plus, it's a bad ass rub for meats including fish, as well.
Enjoy St. Patrick's Day to all who imbibe and remember the key word, moderation. I'm enjoying OU-Texas baseball and OU Womens Hoops this weekend after suffering through an @outhunder loss last night vs. the Spurs. Thanks for visiting our site and please let your friends know of our blogs.
http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss is open for business!!