Saturday Blog..Bells palsy..Best Footballer turned Wrestler..Sonnen vs Silva..JR/Waterloo..NXT..JR's at

It's a red hot Saturday here in Norman, Oklahoma. Great weekend to grill and not heat up the kitchen. WWEShop is offering 20% OFF on $60 or more orders at this link for a limited time. I hope that you will check out what they have to offer as we commence....

We had an interesting question on Twitter Friday night @JRsBBQ regarding the greatest football player turned wrestler. It wasn't the greatest wrestler who previously played football. Based on the question, there is only one answer in my opinion and that is Bronko Nagurski. Not only was Nagurski a great college player on the division one level at Minnesota but he played/starred in the NFL (Chicago Bears) and made all pro 9 times at multiple positions and is in the INAUGURAL CLASS of the NFL HOF. Plus, Bronko beat Lou Thesz to become the NWA Champion when that title had significant meaning within the genre of pro wrestling. 

Even though many modern stars such as Steve Austin, The Rock, Goldberg, Dr. Death, among many others, plus some of their predecessors including Wahoo McDaniel, Ernie Ladd, and Leo Nomellini all had varying success on the gridiron prior to becoming wrestlers, in my view none approached the accolades that Nagurski accomplished.

Ironically, many younger followers never heard of Bronko Nagurski who the college football defensive player of the year is named. Some even tried to win the friendly debate by saying that Steve McMichael was at the top of the list. Lawrence Taylor was arguably the best outside linebacker in the NFL but his one bout at Wrestlemania 11 does not a wrestling career make. 

This topic might make for an interesting Legends Roundtable in the future that would coincide with football season or the Super Bowl. 

Lots of Bells palsy awareness in the news recently as a result of a TV reporter in South Carolina getting hit with Bells while on a plane preparing to travel to meet friends to celebrate the afflicted, young lady's upcoming wedding. It can be a horrifying experience because the symptoms are similar to having a stroke but thankfully aren't as serious. 

One of the most common side affects that many Bells palsy victims incur is depression. I always thought that I was mentally tough and even worked through the deaths of my own parents while continuing to work on the air including broadcasting a PPV in London after getting a call that my mother had passed away suddenly back in Oklahoma.

Getting Bells palsy for a TV personality can be, essentially, a career ender. The good news for most that within 90 days or so many Bells palsy victims are totally healed. A small handful, such as myself, do not heal completely. I've lost my smile literally but the irony of that matter is that I've lead a blessed life/career and couldn't be happier. 

Looking back at some significant moments in my career I can tell you without question that leaving the 'Gorilla Position' at WrestleMania 15 in Philly that I was terrified. I've never been more afraid of anything in my professional life. I made the mistake of looking into a mirror that was near 'Gorilla' and I did not like what I saw. My face was hanging on one side, drool coming out of my mouth, one eye was larger than the other, my tongue was numb and I was mere seconds away from hearing my entrance music, Boomer Sooner, play before a sold out crowd and a worldwide PPV audience at our Super Bowl. I just knew that folks were going to gasp and that small kids would be startled a the sight of what I perceived to be a circus freak. 

Lucky for me, I received a surprising, standing ovation from the fans in Philadelphia which was the best medicine that I could have ever been perscribed. I walked to ringside, passed Michael Cole in the aisle. tipped my hat to him and rejoined The King at ringside to call the first, Austin-Rock WrestleMania main event. I used one hand to hold the afflicted side of my face up so that my enunciation would be somewhat legible and just hoped that I could do the main event justice. Both athletes were special to me personally and it was, after all, WrestleMania. I may have slurred some words that night but I never allowed Bells palsy to define me. My passion for my job and the business that I love 'submitted' the Bells on that March night in 1999.  

Working through our pesonal adversities is an option that we are all blessed with as long as we don't turn in our jerseys, IE quit. Bottom line is one can't be on any 'team' in this unpredictable 'game' of life without a jersey which signifies that we are still in the 'game' and that we are still 'competing.'

Who is the break out performer in WWE so farin 2012? Is there really any debate? It has to be AJ who has taken the opportunities provided her, the creative input she's received and has made her role bigger than I'm sure many perceived that it would ever become. Obviously, AJ waited for her opportunity and maximized her minutes no matter how few or how insignificant that they may have seemed at the time. 

Happy to see Tyson Kidd's success on Smackdown Friday night. Tyson has seemingly found his personality, so to speak, to go along with his significant in ring skills. I love his in ring persona, which will/should only get bigger and better, and the skill set that the Calgary Kid brings to the table. A recent NXT bout vs. Michael McGillicutty gave me all that I needed to see on both young athletes who have wrestling DNA running in their veins. 

Sad days lie ahead at Penn State University in the wake of the emails that have surfaced among PSU administrators in the Sandusky controversy. Just when many thought the worst days had subsided, here comes the email evidence/info. JoePa's legacy will be forever tarnished in this horrific ordeal and the civil lawsuits that are coming will keep this issue in the public eye for the foreseeable future. The beloved football program in Happy Valley is going to have to do the greatest recruiting job in recent years any where to be found to re-establish the once proud program and, arguably, the focal point of the university. 

It amazes me that many that follow me on Twitter are somewhat unaware of my career prior to 1993 when I joined WWE. Some don't know that I had been in the biz 19 years before arriving in WWE. The reason that I bring this up is that we are getting many, positive comments from fans who are enjoying the WWE produced 'Best of the Clash of Champions' DVD. On this DVD, I worked with Tony Schiavone, Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle, among others, in some of the most enjoyable experiences of my career. WCW has many great memories for me until about 1992. 

Now that WWE has purchased the Mid South Wrestling library, fans will get to step even farther back in time as I expect WWE to produce a Mid South DVD at some point in the future. Bill Watts produced one of the best, one hour, weekly and episodic, wrestling shows ever with the sole focus of selling tickets to live events which meant getting the stars established and embellishing the personal issues that existed.

Been asked...don't know the answer as to where NXT airs. It doesn't air in the USA at this point in time...It well could in the future. Beginning with the fourth or fifth show, Byron Saxton and William Regal handle the bulk of the announcing while I join them for the weekly, main events.

We're back in Orlando on Thursday July 12 at Full Sail University for another taping with tickets available only at the Full Sail box office. It's an awesome value for all the entertainment that one receives and the taping starts at 6:30 and ended the last taping at around 9:30. Great, intimate atmosphere of around 500 fans or so. 

Excited to return to Waterloo, Iowa on July 13-14 for the Dan Gable Museum Wrestling Hall of Fame festivities including a indy wrestler tryout camp with Jerry Brisco Friday afternoon July 13. I could spend hours in the Gable museum and likely will. Big, indy show Friday night in Waterloo that Brisco and I will be observing. I have tremendous respect for the great people in Iowa who truly respect all aspects of the grappling genre. Plus, Bob Stoops was a Hawkeye. 

Who do I want to see as the new GM of Raw and/or Smackdown? I've got no dog in the hunt but I know that isn't a role that I would embrace or with which I would be be good.

Thoughts on Chael Sonnen? He's polarizingly talented. Is Chael headed for his execution or his career defining exaltation when he faces the dangerous Anderson Silva next week on UFC PPV? Silva is cutting wrestling promos, gasp, about what he's going to do to Sonnen after Silva barely escaping their last outing. If Sonnen wrestles and doesn't lose his sanity as he seemingly did in the 5th round of the last Sonnen-Silva fight, Chael has a viable shot. Or, Silva's standup could well beat Sonnen into a bloody pulp early in the fight. I know that I have to see this PPV. This one is as much about the personal issue aspect of the fight to me as it is the title. 

Here's a telltale sign of a young fan on Twitter, they actually want to see a 'match' between @michaelcole and me...again. That's like seeing numerous replays of a baseball catcher taking a foul ball off the cup over and over. How about we clamor for the wrestlers to get the TV time? You know, the one's that actually know how to perform and that are athletic. As Cole would say, "Stop the pain." 

Wrestling pet peeve? I have many. I'm old school. Stubborn. Love fundamentals and physicality. Strongly dislike feeble attempts at canned humor. Bad acting takes me right out of the moment and encourages me to reach for the remote. 

JR's products are in stores only in Norman, Oklahoma at the four, Homeland Grocery stores. All other business conducted online at Save 20% now on orders of $60 or more. 

Thanks for stopping by and check out our photo gallery and Q&A Section. 

Boomer Sooner! 

J.R. @JRsBBQ               


Posted in: 


 Hey J.R.! Long time fan here. Hate to split hairs, but Lawrence Taylor wrestled Bam Bam at Wrestlemania 11, not 10. Obviously you knew that already, just thought I would point that out for any younger fans who may want to go back and check out the match (which in my opinion, was darn good for L.T. having never been in the ring before that!).

Love your blog, and your sauce!

Ian Alexander

What got me into wrestling was when i was about 13 or so and i got to watch pro wrestling this week with Gordon Solie, then WCCW during their hay day and ending with UWF. I loved it because i saw all sides of wrestling. I now realize how great wrestling was at that time And how i got to see the stars at their start like Sting and Steiner as a tag team. I even remember seeing Austin sitting in the crowd at the sportatorium with his big ol' American flag muscle pants. i can't wait to see what WWE is going to do with UWF footage.

I can remember watching Wrestlemania 15 live, and i have the DVD somewhere too. I was delighted to see you come out to call the main event, but i don't recall your music playing.

Two things: 1. I'm VERY excited about the possibility of MidSouth Wrestling on DVD.  I grew up watching that show, and will definitely be waiting for it to be released on DVD, with popcorn at the ready!  2. I've always been a big fan of yours, and the fact that you refused to let Bells palsy end your career, or even slow it down, speaks volumes.  There are differences between celebrities and Legends, and I feel that you, sir, demonstrate and epitomize those differences.  You are a Legend, and though I suspect that you will be uncomfortable with that title, that discomfort is just more proof that you deserve it.