Thursday Blog, Austin the Author?, Rivalry DVD: Bret-Shawn is Amazing, Booker T, the Announcer, Order JR's Products @ WWEShop!

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Will Steve Austin write another book considering that his last one "left a lot to be desired?" That stings as my friend Dennis Brent and I collaborated with Steve on his book, which was a New York Times Best Seller, and we thought it was fairly solid. Nonetheless, it wasn't 'dirt heavy' which is apparently what many desire and perhaps that's simply what sells now days. I can't respond for @steveaustinBSR but it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't pen a book some day. Steve is also building a new website which should be up soon. 

Speaking of books, when will JR write a book? No time soon as I likely won't publish a book on my career until I am out of the biz of which I have no intentions on being any time soon, however, with my dubious track record those plans are always subject to change. 

Nonetheless I have kept copious notes and correspondence from throughout my career and I think that I have plenty of compelling material for more than one book.  Perhaps as time moves on and Mother Nature takes her natural course, writing about some subjects/topics will be easier for me.  

Undertaker questions...we seem to get more and more of them...mostly the same questions daily. Final, final for now...I don't know when the Undertaker will return but I expect it to be by WM28. I don't know who Taker will face at WM28 but it will be someone of quality and the match will rival Rock-Cena for equal billing because the 'Streak' is that big in the eyes of many fans. I also don't keep up with the Undertaker's current choice of haircuts and when we do communicate it's about college football and not haircuts. 

BTW I just got an advance, finished copy of the WWE Greatest Rivalry Series, Shawn vs. Bret. It is a 3 disc set that features a long, face to face interview conducted by yours truly with the two, WWE Hall of Fame rivals. We cover their careers from their earliest days including San Antonio for HBK and Calgary for Hitman. We talk openingly about what was real and what was fantasy regarding their rivalry. Redemption vs. Reconciliation. Hope vs. Peace. I was honored to be a small part of this production as I truly believe that this interview will be watched by wrestling fans for years to come.  

Matches include:  several Rockers vs. Hart Foundation tag bouts including one from Tokyo, Bret vs. Shawn's ladder Match from Portland, Maine in 1992, many other individual bouts between the two beginning in 1990 through 1997 and their inductions into the WWE Hall of Fame. 

The face to face interview is ground breaking and not because I conducted it but because of the raw, honesty of both men. It was as emotional and as riveting as any interview that I've been associated with in my career. The approximate running time of the three disc set is 9 hours. 

This must see DVD is on sale at the end of October and is one that I strongly suggest that you check out. 

What are my thoughts on Booker T? Another question that we get a great deal. I always loved Booker's work in the ring and when he was 'on' he was as good as any one especially when Booker was allowed to roll on the mic. As far as his announcing goes, I think Booker improves every week and that he's attempting to master a new aspect of the business which some fans feel is easy to accomplish. It's not. Booker is witty, has a distinctive delivery, and understands the business and if he continues to improve he will earn the same accolades as a broadcaster as he did as a wrestler in WCW and WWE.

It isn't exactly fair to compare any broadcasters of today with those of other generations because today's commentators are asked to perform a different style than did their predecessors. Play by play, for example,  has fallen by the wayside, by and large, and being a narrator/story teller has taken its place. Same essentially goes for the analyst role. Analysts don't speak much on the affects of wrestling holds to any degree any longer and some even avoid talking in ring strategy.   

WWEShop has some great gift ideas on their site including a package of JR's products that comes with an authentic signed, enhanced card of your favorite Okie. Every autograph is legit and done personally by me. Check out the deals @

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Boomer Sooner!



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What you said about announcers is right on the money.  To me, as a wrestling PBP announcer myself, the ideal announce team would be the wrestling equivalent of Al Michaels & John Madden.  Yes, the story needs to be told, but the wrestlers should be doing their fair share of that in the ring.  The announcers should be educating the fans about the nuances of what's going on, the hows and whys, the strategy, necessary background, etc.  Basically, like Michaels & Madden, treating it like a sport, as you and Gordon Solie did.

As someone on the outside looking in, I understand why Vince does what he does re: announcers.  He has a style of presentation he wants, and he wants to make sure he gets it.  And, he seems to want everyone on-camera to be a marketable character, which is what I tell myself every time I feel like reaching through the TV screen and strangling Michael Cole.  Personally, I'm against the announcer putting himself over at the expense of the talent.  But, if that's what Vince wants, then that's what Vince gets.  (Pardon me for venting, I just get worked up sometimes.)  The bottom line is, announcers are the go-between between the promotion and the fans, and that balance is very important.  The ringmaster's job shouldn't be the same as the clowns' (not that I'm calling the wrestlers clowns, except maybe Matt Borne.)

It's great to hear you every week on RAW once again!

Rob Moore, Greenville, TX

Looking at the current WWE roster, I'm not sure who would be a suitable opponent for Undertaker at the next Wrestlemania.  Mark Henry?  He already faced 'Taker at Wrestlemania in 2006.  Randy Orton already faced Taker at Wrestlemania in 2005.   HHH already faced Taker at two previous Wrestlemanias.  I think CM Punk could be a good opponent-- the war of words and psychological games before the match would be pretty good given Punk's creativity.

 While I still feel you are hands down the best announcer the WWE has to offer, its really getting old to hear you, Cole and Lawler.  A 3 man commentating team doesn't work, especially on a regular basis-you know this better than anyone.

From a story line perspective, We've seen Lawler intervene on your behalf to help you out too many times was cool the first couple of times-however now its simply cliche and predictable.  As a fan, I wish VM would allow you and Lawler do what you both do best-call the action and allow Cole to announce Smackdown only.

I appreciate your point about the announcer not trying to get over at the talent's expense-good point, too bad VM doesn't seem to understand that while Cole can get heat-he is positioning it to annoy fans instead of drawing the heat that sells tickets/PPVs.

I am glad you are putting off writing your book until you leave the WWE.  I would be interested enough to hear what you have to say about your time in the wrestling industry-probably enough to pay to read it, however I don't want a VM screened version of what he wants you to say-I would appreciate hearing it straight from your mouth.  I know you are a company guy and tow the corporate line....anyone with a brain-who has a solid job, benefits and a great work environment would-I don't fault you for your loyalty to the WWE, they certainly have treated you better than say WCW....however as you know VM dictates history and happens to change certain details via WWE publishing, DVDs, media etc to make his company look better at times-which is is perogative.

-Take care

 Sting v. Undertaker. It's the only way. 

You've got me excited about the Rivalry DVD. will appreciate my pre-order, I'm sure (I've got a gift certificate or I'd order from

Booker T as an announcer - his key attribute as an announcer is his like-ability.  Booker T was great on the mic as an in-ring performer and he's easy to listen to and enjoy as a broadcaster.  That's a good starting place.

I'm glad to see you back on RAW - and it's fun and interesting to see WWE figure out ways to create intense controversy in a PG environment - ie the Miz/R-Truth Invasion, the CM Punk story, etc

Hi JR, I just saw "The Encounter" last night. It stars Sting! I thought it was a very thought-provoking film and wanted to pass it along to you as a recommendation. Let me know what you think of it in a future blog if you can. I thought Steve "Sting" Borden did a fine acting job in a very compelling film! He is one of the main characters.

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