J.R.'s Blog

  • Happy Holidays everyone! I wanted to try and do another blog before the grand kids gets here and we shut things down for “family time”.

    Yes, for the 100th time, Owen Hart will definitely be in the WWE Hall of Fame some day but I do not know when.

    Any one wanting to do play by play for the WWE needs a “reel”. That is a video tape with illustrations of one’s work on it. To come off the street with no experience in broadcasting and to think one might get an audition isn’t going to happen. A college degree and a couple of years broadcasting experience is a must in today’s marketplace.

    Commercial breaks during matches are a damn if you do damn if you don’t proposition. I personally don’t like them but I understand why they are there. Commercials pay the bills to a large degree in addition to rights fees. They are here to stay during long TV matches.

    I would guess the next announcers to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame will be Howard Finkle and Gordon Solie. I suspect J.R. will be considered right after Izzy Slapowitz.

    The decisions to utilize certain arenas and not others is made by a separate department who has a long check list of items that must be in place in order for the WWE to be able to use a particular arena for televised events. Truck parking, ceiling height, backstage space, ability to use pyro, etc. are just a few of the considerations.

    There are many young talents that I like in the WWE and out but the one thing I will say that concerns me is their consistency and the fact that many of them are on the lazy side.

    What did I think when Mick Foley fell off the Hell in a Cell? I thought Mick had taken his last fall and may have been mortally injured.

    I think the WWE has the potential to do good business with WWE Films. Just like any other company, great material equates to great movies. The WWE marketing machine and the loyal fan base globally is something no other company has. I look for the Austin film to be a hit.

    Lighten up Francis, I made a joke about having to have security with me if I ever interviewed Randy Savage. Randy is not a psycho or an ax murderer.

    I have no idea who owns the watered down NWA name these days. The NWA last meant something in the 80s with Crockett but meant the most when Sam Muchnick out of St. Louis was running the consortium.

    Announcing from ringside is 100% better than being back by the stage and pyro where the RAW announcers were once stationed. That placement in my opinion was a joke. I think that Tony Schiavone is doing radio in the Atlanta area but I don’t know that for 100%.

    Will Mr. McMahon ever take the time to write a tell all book? Only he has that answer but I would speculate no on the tell all stuff.

    I have no idea who will be inducted into the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame but I would provide an educated guess that Dusty Rhodes will be on the list. I hope the list is somewhere between 7-8 inductees.

    The chance of a Hogan-Austin match at Wrestlemania 23 is about as likely as ol J.R. become a Texas Longhorn fan and turning my back on the Sooners. That isn’t going to happen and I don’t think this “dream match” will happen either.

    Nice to hear Nitro and Melina were nice to some fans at a gym. Pleasantly surprised me. Nice news.

    A one off Legends wrestling event might be the scariest concept I have heard this week. Can you imagine the physical shape some of the legends would be in and what kind of matches they would be forced to wrestle? I like selected Legend’s matches but not an entire card.

    Why was Chris Kanyon Fired? I have no idea. I was in Oklahoma and not involved whatsoever in talent relations when the dismissal occurred. Why I was dragged into the matter by Kanyon is still puzzling. I always thought Kanyon had an upside and above average abilities. I was not aware Kanyon was gay even though I could have cared less. Kanyon lashing out at me doesn’t give Kanyon’s cause much credence. I wish him well and have no ill feelings toward him.

    Marty Janetty is no long in the WWE. Perhaps he will return someday as stranger things have happened over the years. Marty would probably make a nice coach to some of the young wrestlers.

    I don’t think the WWE Magazine, which I happen to really like now that it has endured a make over, or any other publication can ever tarnish Kurt Angle’s legacy. A lot of the WWE Magazine’s content is humor based much like J.R. being named WWE Announcer of the Year according, I’m sure, to my critics.

    It is doubtful that there will ever be a J.R. playable figure in a video game because it would knock out a deserving wrestler from being in the game and adversely affect their income. I would not be for that. Plus, I can’t wrestle a lick.

    Sadly one gets used to a certain amount of blood at ringside after seeing in for over 30 years but it is still disturbing especially in the amount of Flair and HHH recently.

    J.R. merchandise in the WWE ShopZone will be a reality right after I lose my Oklahoma drawl, recover fully from Bells palsy, and stop eating Bar-B-Q. In other words, the company’s philosophy is largely that the announcers don’t mean enough to merit merchandise.

    Of the tradition WCW guys who have the best chance to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, I would suggest Flair, Benoit, Booker, and Rey. There will be more but those names are nice starting places.

    With QB Colt McCoy back and Texas playing down the road from their campus in the Alamo Bowl, I would suggest that the Iowa Hawkeyes will have a tough road to travel. Iowa is better than their record indicates but this should be alike a home game for UT which should give them the edge. Iowa is well coached and produced my friend Bob Stoops who is the head honcho at OU Football.

    I have never had any regrets about getting into the wrestling business but it did cost me some football gigs over the years that I regret. I love wrestling but wish I could do both at this stage of my life’s journey. Broadcasting OU Football has always been a dream of mine.

    I don’t know when Monty Brown will start in the WWE but I don think Brown would be well served to get into intensive in ring training with some of the WWE best teachers like Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Dean Malenko, Fit Finley, Steve Keirn, etc for a few weeks prior to being exposed on national/worldwide TV. Monty needs some polish to go along with his natural athletic ability and charisma.

    I have no clue who owns the USWA footage but I think the King owns a fair amount of it. This deal really got to be a mess when the Jerry Jarrett/Jerry Lawler partnership dissolved. I am partial to my friend the King but can’t say I am as high on Jerry Jarrett which would be natural comparing him to Lawler for me personally. No matter who owns the material it would be great to see on WWE 24/7.

    Joey Mercury’s serious injury will not stop the WWE having Ladder Matches. The beloved, extreme, Holy S@#* moment was underscored in this potential career threatening situation.

    If one wants to be a wrestling manager, I suggest one enroll in wrestling school in OVW/Louisville. Danny Davis is one of the best teachers around for all phases of the business.

    I always liked Kevin Kelly and felt he had potential to become a really good play by play talent in the WWE or where ever he chose. I always respected Kevin’s passion and the fact that KK was a fan first. I wish Kelly had received a better break in his professional career but he has strong faith and that will take him to places the wrestling biz might not have.

    I would bet Sunny gets into the Hall of Fame right after yours truly. In other words, let’s not hold out breath on either one of us getting inducted. On a serious note, I always like Sunny and truly hope her life is going well no matter what she may be doing these days. She had a great aptitude for the business.

    I do not know the Saturday Night Main Event schedule but I “assume” it will be back in 2007 prior to Wrestlemania 23.

    LAX is an entertaining entity primarily because Konnan can really talk. Who is the future of ECW, RVD or C.M. Punk? I would give the slight edge to RVD but only time can tell for sure.

    I don’t think Stone Cold was disappointed in his book but I am sure he would approach it differently if he were to write one today because of his time and schedule. Steve was very active in the writing of the book as was Dennis Brent and yours truly.

    I just received Chris Nowinski’s book and hope to read it soon. Chris is a good young man who should be successful no matter what he decides to do in life. I can always say I once hired a “Harvard Man”.

    For someone to compare Kurt Angle to Lex Luger screams of one needing a drug test.

    Brad Armstrong has been under contract to the WWE for quite some time. It was nice to see Brad do some commentary on ECW last week. I am anxious to see if there will be more to come. Brad is a funny, witty, knowledgeable guy.

    Would I be interested in going back to Talent Relations some day? If it meant leaving Oklahoma, no. I am not a good fit corporately to be honest with you. My presentation skills leave something to be desired as I am too blunt and sometimes too honest for my own good. My philosophy of who the WWE should and should not hire probably doesn’t fit the corporate mind set either.

    Bobby Lashley has potential galore. Time will tell if Bobby becomes the consummate student of the game and studies tapes of his predecessors so that Bobby can have the success some of the WWE’s biggest stars have attained.

    Both Magnum T.A. and “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer were extraordinary talents but as different personally as night and day. Buzz lived for the moment and was not the most popular guy in the locker room. But what a badass! Great powerslam! Buzz even taught Magnum the basics of the game for a large financial fee. T.A. would have been a Hall of Famer for sure if he had not been involved in the tragic automobile accident just as Terry was reaching his prime.

    I am happy for Steve Borden If Steve is happy to be back in the business. Steve is a class act and an even better human being. Whether Steve ever migrates to the WWE is a time will tell matter that really on Steve can address.

    I don’t think there will ever be a wrestler’s union because when one gets a group of wrestler’s together they can’t even agree on what to have for lunch much less agree on by-laws, officers, goals, etc. I don’t think it will ever happen.

    The lapel pin I wear is an “OU” pin representing Oklahoma University.

    Video game voice overs are done in a studio, mine in Oklahoma and King’s in Memphis. We read from a script and have some leeway to ad lib some lines if they fit into the game. It’s a fun job to be a part of.

    Mil Mascaras is an ageless wonder who I still have never seen with his mask off. Great physique and high flying were trademarks of this tough business man who was known to be tough to deal with behind the scenes. Terry Taylor is a great guy who is working in TNA. I am happy for Terry who is a student of the game and once worked for me in talent relations in the WWE. I have known Terry since he was a star in Mid South Wrestling.

    When Curt Hennig died and the WWE did a 10 bell salute and then followed up the next week with a video tribute it was because of the available time the TV facility had to get the video ready. I sure as hell had nothing to do with a lack of respect for Mr. Perfect I assure you.

    Nice to hear from Brandon who was originally from Bixby, Oklahoma but now unfortunately lives in Austin, Texas. Happy Holidays Brandon.

    We can debate the theory that “creative has nothing for a wrestler” until the cows come home. If a talent has potential but hasn’t tapped into it yet then the talent needs a serious “sit down” to determine if the talent/wrestler really wants to be in the business and bust their backside to be a star. Sometimes people are released and the true reasons may not be made public to keep from embarrassing the wrestler, too. I have had to cut many wrestlers who had the physical ability but not the mental capacity to be a star and allowed their personal life to drag them down. Plus, some wrestlers just don’t have “it”.

    I don’t choose to compare Don West to Mike Tenay. As it relates to wrestling knowledge, product knowledge, etc few compare to Tenay.

    If one compares my moaning about working on Jan. 1 to active duty in Iraq there isn’t even an argument or an issue. I will be in Miami on New Year’s Eve safely in my hotel watching some football and then will happily do RAW on Monday and watch the OU game on DVR when I get back to Oklahoma on Tuesday. What are Armed Forces do in the Middle East is genuinely heroic. I have HUGE respect for these soldiers who are fighting a war many of us are still attempting to understand why exactly we are there.

    Toby-J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q will open in Norman in April 2007 at the site that formerly housed the Krispy Kreme in front of the Super Wal-Mart just off I-35 and Main. All your Bar-B-Q Dreams will come true soon!

    It was nice hearing from Jim Powell. Nice to hear Jimmy is still doing well. Lots of hard working and talented non superstars who have contributed to the business are never given the credit they deserve. Thanks for contacting us Jim and Happy Holidays to a talented in ring wrestler.

    HHH behind the scenes is one of the more asked questions I receive. I have yet to have a cross word with HHH since I signed him years ago. He is a genuine student of the game who gets unfair “heat” because of who he married. I don’t think that is fair and I am not saying that to kiss any one’s ass. At my stage of the game my ass kissing days are history. HHH is an old school wrestler that I have great respect for which will not endear me to many of you but someone asked and I feel compelled to be honest.

    I have never left the announce position to take a “bathroom break” in over 30 years. But I have work dark pants more often than not “just in case”.

    I don’t know this for fact but I would provide you an educated guess that there will be no more members added to DX.

    When I think of wrestling in Indianapolis I think of Dick the Bruiser, Wilbur Snyder, and Bobby Heenan among others. Indianapolis was once a hot bed for old school wrestling. Now it’s known for Peyton Manning and the Colts.

    In hindsight, and I was as guilty as anyone, the 900# wrestling hotline was largely a scam back in the day. WCW especially was hardline on it being down but it was really a way to earn extra cash for the company. I never made an extra dollar off of it.

    I think the mass exodus from the WWE to any other wrestling organization is a little bit of a knee jerk reaction from uninformed people. Will some people leave the WWE when their contracts expire…probably. But that’s not big news is it? The most money to be made in this business that includes several different money streams and worldwide exposure is still with the WWE. Some wrestlers may want a lighter schedule but the cash is still the thing no matter what most people say.

    Kenny Dykstra has an unlimited potential. But so did Mookie Wilson…only kidding. Kenny now has a last name and obviously has many physical skills for such a young kid. Hopefully he will not acquire any stupid, bad habits that retard his professional growth and that would put him in the “idiot category” many wrestlers with “potential” have.

    My favorite U.S. city to work in is Oklahoma City because I can drive 20 minutes south and sleep in my own bed with Mrs. Ross which I still enjoy for an “old dog”. UK cites like London and Manchester are great as are Canadian cities like Toronto and Montreal but I have had some great times in Vancouver and Calgary too. Same for Tokyo. It’s hard to narrow it down to one international city as each have their own set of exclusive “benefits”.

    The Boogeyman is an interesting entertainer but I don’t know yet what sort of wrestler that he will become. Get back to me on this one.

    I hope we NEVER see J.R. in another storyline ever again. I don’t like doing it and don’t merit the air time over a deserving wrestler.

    I can see where an astute fan could favorably compare Johnny Nitro with a young HBK. I hope Nitro has the burning desire to become the best at what he does as Shawn has.

    Bull Nakano was a phenom. She was an extraordinary talent who exuded physicality and amazing ring psychology. I also think she and the King would have made a cute couple.

    I really don’t remember why Raven left the WWE. I am sure it was either over his creative positioning or money. It’s usually one of those two matters. Raven is a bright individual who I used to enjoy talking with when we worked together. I wish him great health and peace of mind.

    From what I understand Bary Windham will soon be joining the WWE as a producer/coach type person. BW was one helluva hand in his day.

    I have heard nothing new on the much discussed Paul Heyman situation. Again it is unfortunate for all involved as Paul has so much to give but some people, me included, are not ideal fits in a corporate environment. Don’t mistake the performance of the 2001 Survivor Series and me hammering Heyman as an indication that I did not or do not “like him”. We were performing plain and simple. If you want to hear some classic battle between the two of us then listen to some of the old WCW tapes when we worked together and fought like cats and dogs. My gut instincts tell me Heyman will be much happier in the future writing screen plays, etc than being involved in a corporate structure he never was apparently designed for.

    The U.K. fans are often times more emotional than the U.S. fans because the U.K. fans don’t get to see as much of the product live. Both fans are great and help pay my salary so thanks to you all.

    I know so little on the wrestling show that will start soon on MTV I am not a good person to provide an opinion on it. However, never being one to back away from a question, unfortunately, I would have to give their chances of survival as being a long shot. Who will be their stars?

    I have heard zilch about a pending Rock DVD but I would buy it. It would work best if Rock had the time to devote to picking out his favorite matches and to be interviewed for it as well. The Rock is one of my all time favorites and one of my greatest, personal hires.

    What is the status of ECW? This question is asked virtually every day. I do not have the answer except to say it is a work in progress, it is being re-designed, it will probably take a year or maybe two to get it to where the WWE wants it, Bobby Lashley seemingly is being positioned to be the “face” of the brand if he can handle the load, and that I am willing as a fan of the genre to patiently wait to see how it evolves. I also know that long time ECW fans will most likely never be happy with the new ECW. I also feel that Paul Heyman leaving ECW will not automatically doom the brand which is no knock on Heyman. I watch the brand every week. If it causes consternation to you to watch it don’t do it. It is a TV show, plain and simple.

    Happy Holidays everyone and check back with us again soon. I appreciate all those that have bought caps, shirts, books, sauce etc and continue to do so. Without doing some business we can’t maintain our site which I am having a blast doing.

    We will be introducing Beef Jerky in mid January which I have been deeply involved with the development of the product and am so proud of how it has turned out.

    Be well and take care everybody and enjoy Christmas from Baghdad Monday night on RAW.

    J.R.

  • I will be addressing several of your emails about a variety of questions and topics in this particular blog. Hopefully, you all understand that I do my utmost best to keep the material here current but there is no physical way I can answer each and every one of your emails. Don’t take it personally. I want this to be a fun site and not one where we try to “change the wrestling world”. I certainly hope that many of you more passionate fans have as much passion in your everyday lives as you seem to have when talking about specific wrestling topics. If so, I applaud you.

    Is the WWE coming to my area? I suggest you stay in close contact with wwe.com as they will have the latest scheduling info. I usually don’t know any earlier than you but you can find out by checking there. Again, the rule of thumb is that if the WWE has a TV outlet in your area that you watch regularly the possibility of live events strongly exists. This includes Alberta, Ontario, Australia, North Dakota and all points in between.

    For those wanting jobs in creative, there is a procedure one has to follow via WWE Human Resources which can be accessed via the corporate website. I have never been in this loop so I can’t be any help to anyone in this area for the record.

    WWE Superstars are independent contractors and their retirement plans must be handled by the individual. I feel badly that some well known, old school wrestlers retire with little assets but everyone knows that the money doesn’t last forever and that planning for retirement is a part of being a responsible adult. As the former head of Talent Relations, I always encouraged the talent to save their money with a professional they could trust and never get themselves into tax trouble. Some listened and are now financially stable while others did not listen and live week to week. It takes two to tango and if an individual doesn’t have the self discipline to save their money they really have no one to blame but themselves. It is akin to having a drug problem. One of the first steps to recovery is admitting one has an issue. These matters start with who one sees in the mirror. Many wrestlers made HUGE money and squandered it just like pro football, baseball, and basketball players and it is sad no matter who the individual is. There has to be a certain amount of personal accountability for an individual’s post wrestling career to be something other than a sad story.

    When I talk of an athlete being “consistent” that means, to me, in front of and behind the camera. That means coming to work on time and being physically and mentally ready to be productive. It means never “calling in” a match and always giving 100% effort. Lazy, moody, “dressing room lawyers” are a pain in the backside that should not be rewarded for those traits even though some may have “potential”. Remember, as I have said, do all you can to solve the problem but if that is simply not possible eliminate the problem.

    I appreciate all the interest in me writing a book but I still feel that it would be best to write it after I am done with being anyone’s full time employee. Can you handle the truth?

    There are definitely exceptions to my tag team rule that single stars are more marketable and draw bigger money over the long term including the Freebird-Von Erich rivalry. But ask any promoter or wrestler and I think the vast majority will agree with my philosophy. I did not invent this concept but it is learned behavior that I have acquired over the past 30 plus years.

    Masata Tanaka is certainly talented enough to be on a WWE roster.

    I get a great deal of questions as to who my favorite match, favorite wrestler, worst this, best that, type questions. I generally don’t answer those for a reason and that is I have to work with many of these people and I don’t choose to hurt any one’s feelings or create an unnecessary issue with any talent. Some day I will get more specific about these type questions and my last cookbook has some of that in it too. Those cookbooks are autographed and available here on our site.

    People have asked me if I “like” Joey Styles. The answer is yes, as a professional and as a person. Joey is a true wrestling fan who loves the business and works hard at his craft. He is a reliable, well prepared professional who is only going to improve with age and more experience as he settles in the WWE approach of broadcasting sports entertainment.

    When wrestlers have “behavioral issue” there is always a reason. The reasons may be lame or they may be valid. These individuals’ issues should be addressed and solved or eliminated. Sports entertainment often times breeds paranoia much like one finds in the NFL (T.O.), the NBA (A.I.) or throughout show business. Most professional performers generally operate within some level of paranoia or dysfunction, from my observations.

    Over the years I have began looking at wrestler’s entrance/theme music as being more important to their presentation and perception than I once did. I have been privy to meetings with wrestlers with long faces who did not like their entrance music.

    Tattoos- I am not a huge fan of them personally but if a wrestler or potential wrestler chooses to go that route I would suggest to not get anything overly “politically incorrect” unless one is able to cover it.

    For some reason people are interested in the story of how Jeff Jarrett left the WWE under somewhat an umbrella of controversy. Short version is Jeff’s contract expired the day before a PPV in Cleveland and I was under the impression we had made a verbal agreement and signing the contract was going to be a formality. I took the talent at his word. The talent changed his mind, demanded a large payoff to perform his last match, he was paid, the match took place and we all lived happily ever after. The “blackball” aspect of the story is far fetched and inaccurate as far as I am concerned. I hold no ill will toward Jarrett as he did what he thought he had to do at the time. However, under no circumstance did the expiration date of the contract “fall between the cracks”. I do and did accept responsibility for the snafu and learned some valuable lessons from the experience. It is all water under the bridge now.

    If Austin Idol were in his prime today he would be printing money in the WWE.

    O.K. for the last time…..the UK is a HUGE marketplace for the WWE and will always be treated as such. With that said it would seem to be inevitable that a MAJOR PPV would originate from the UK some day. When? I DO NOT know. Why? It is not my area of expertise and I find out usually just before the info is released to the public. I don’t need to know any earlier than that.

    I don’t endorse too many wrestling schools, OVW in Louisville is a fine one, but I have to assume that Lance Storm would have an excellent school as well. Lance is very intelligent and understands wrestling psychology and fundamentals well. No one should make a decision on a wrestling school without first visiting the school and talking to others that have attended them.

    I agree that there is a great deal of “T&A” on wrestling shows these days but that should come as no surprise when the most viewers are younger men. I do not think the end of women’s wrestling is near however.

    Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg at Wrestlemania 20 was an aberration in my opinion and did not represent either talent’s abilities from a wrestling or marketing standpoint. Both had decided to leave the WWE and the fans who knew were vocal in their displeasure as many of the fans took the news personally. Lesnar and Goldberg, on a level playing field, could help any company.

    Mike Tyson was awesome to work with from my interactions with him. I will write about Mike some day at length but overall I really enjoyed being around him and he was nothing like many in the media have painted him. I think Mike had too many negative members of his “posse” that did Mike no favors. Mike would be tough to beat in a WWF trivia contest.

    Jake Roberts has a fertile, creative wrestling mind. Whether Jake has the inclination or desire to fit into the established environment that is creative is a call only Jake can make. If all the necessary elements were in place, Jake could be an asset in creative or teaching youngsters the fine art of pro wrestling.

    There were lots of emails this past week about RVD. I look at RVD as being one of the cornerstones of the new ECW. Rob is a talented and unique performer, obviously. I know Rob has done well financially in the WWE and has earned every penny of his cash. I hope Rob has a long productive future with the WWE but in the end that will be Rob’s call.

    I did enjoy hearing Brad Armstrong on ECW Tuesday night. I am not sure where that is headed if any where but it was fun to listen to Brad and Tazz verbally joust.

    I would like to see several local wrestling territories open back up to provide a place for more wrestlers to learn their crafts and earn a living. I miss Mid South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, the AWA, World Class and to a lesser degree WCW which is not meant to draw any one’s ire. My opinion was asked and I have simply responded. Bottom line, the more the merrier but it won’t happen due to financial issues, the investment it would take to keep one alive until it established an audience, and the lack of available box office stars who can sell tickets. I personally would not invest in such a venture even though I would love to see them operating.

    Of course I still love the business but I don’t embrace the travel it takes to pull it off. The highlight of my professional week is broadcasting RAW but the travel and wear and tear that goes along with it 51 weeks a year is a “bear”. Sometimes a live Raw can be especially challenging which takes away from the “fun” of it but I try not to expose our fans my “bad nights”.

    My hat is off to all those involved with Armageddon as it seemed to deliver better than many expected. The Ladder Match and the Inferno Match were better than I had expected they would be. I think it would be fair and accurate for me to suggest that you check out Armageddon if given the opportunity on DVD, etc.

    Vince Russo called me a year or two ago and we cleared the air of any issues there might have been. I refuse to live my life immersed in “hate” or overt negativity. Why? Life is simply too short. I have zero ill feelings toward Russo and wish him continued good health and a happy life. Again, this is water under the bridge.

    The wrestling media all have their style in “judging” matches or events. I don’t have an opinion on the style, 5 stars, etc, but I pay more attention to who the reviewer is rather than the style in which something is reviewed. At the end of the day it is just someone’s opinion any way. My opinion is no more important than yours.

    With the Horseman DVD in production people have asked me my opinion of Ole Anderson. Firstly, the Horseman DVD won’t be as good as it could be without Ole’s input. Secondly, Ole was a brilliant, wrestling mind who was a tough son of a gun and an excellent wrestler. He might never be elected Mr. Congeniality but that job doesn’t pay too well as best I know. Ole was challenging to work for at times but I learned a great deal from him as it relates to the business. I don’t think he likes me much but aside from that I have great respect for him and regard him as one of the best in ring talents I ever saw. His partnership with the late Gene Anderson was awesome. Ole is also not one of those old school wrestlers who got out of the business with no money.

    I suggested the WWE do a through story of the Von Erich Family on DVD with Mrs. Adkisson and Kevin Von Erich having the floor to tell their side of their family’s tragic story years ago. It is also a story of success, for the record. The Von Erich’s have a great legacy within the business and it should be memorialized accurately. I expect we will see plenty of World Class content on WWE 24/7.

    Just a shout out to Jan Jr. in the USAF stationed in Turkey. Be well and thanks for serving our country.

    I would bet money, and I’m not a big gambler, that without question some WCW wrestlers will someday be in the WWE Hall of Fame.

    If you are reading where “X” match has been booked for Wrestlemania 23 then I have some beach front property in Oklahoma to sell you. Point is I doubt very seriously that a Wrestlemania card has been finalized but I am sure it will be the best one available and most doable when the card is released. It is Wrestlemania after all.

    I am unaware that HBK and Hulk truly have personal issues with each other. I know they respect each other professionally and that is all that matters to me. Whether they exchange Xmas cards isn’t my concern or none of my business. If there is a professional rivalry it will simply join a long list of those that exist today and have always been around since there has been a wrestling business.

    Competition is a good thing. Period. On all levels. End of story. Competition takes on a variety of faces but in general it is good for every business.

    Good to hear from a fan in Bixby, Oklahoma where I used to live and where I worked for Cowboy Bill Watts who still lives there. I miss the “Freddyburgers”! I too will be pulling for OU in the Fiesta Bowl. Now that’s a shocker, right?!

    I think a Legend’s video game, one I suggested years ago prior to the WWE starting its “Legend’s Program” is a viable idea. I would love to watch, for example, The Rock and his father Rocky Johnson take on the Wild Samoans or Stone Cold face Sammartino, etc. The combinations are endless.

    Paul Boesch the former wrestler and long time promoter in Houston was a class act. He was fair with the talent and had great, old school wrestling integrity. Paul wanted to and did promote hard hitting, logical pro wrestling at its finest. He was not too keen on me joining him on commentary in the beginning but he came around and we got along fine. I represented a different generation to him and like many old timers he resisted change at times. Just like I do today. Boesh may have had the most famous ears in Houston, maybe the entire business.

    I haven’t changed my tune on the ”$1M Challenge”. No, I don’t think the WWE should or ever will acknowledge it. It is a “publicity stunt” designed to get folks talking and to help draw ratings and sell PPVs. Will it? You tell me.

    A C.M. Punk vs. Gregory Helms match would be one I would like to see IF they both slowed down a notch and allowed me to absorb their contest.

    My old broadcasting partner Bob Caudle is alive and well living in North Carolina and enjoying retirement. Bob was a wonderful man who welcomed me with open arms when I went to work for Crockett’s NWA when many others did not. Bob was not afraid of “losing his spot” and did not operate on “wrestling paranoia”. Bob is a wonderful person.

    Matt Hardy underutilzed? That’s a very subjective question. I love Matt and wish him nothing but good health and success. Matt is another talent that would be well served to slow down his in ring style and continue to work hard on perfecting his verbal skills. Matt is a keeper and could work for me on any roster any time. His time will come if it is meant to be. I sure hope so.

    I think it will be a year and perhaps longer until we see clearly the direction the new ECW is going to take and the overall style of the brand. It needs to have its own identity that’s for sure. I am simply a fan of the brand and watch it weekly like many of you. I am patient though and anxious to see the direction ECW heads.

    Without a doubt Howard Finkle deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame. Fink probably has the best chance of any broadcaster, joining Mean Gene Okerlund, to be the next inductee from that particular category. No one has been more loyal to the WWE over the years than Howard Finkle.

    If I had the choice as proposed to me about either going to the Ohio State bowl game for the National Championship or buying a new TV I would attend the game. There are no guarantees when or if the Buckeyes will compete in another National Title game and I hear TV’s are for sale every day.

    Will The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania ever be broken? I suppose it could but for some reason I hope not. It depends on the level of competition and Taker’s overall health as the year’s progress.

    Savage watch continues. I “know nothing” as Sgt Schultz used to say. That’s a fact. I will stick with my story…Macho Man Savage deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and I am totally unaware of if or why there are personal reasons keeping Randy from being inducted. This will not be the hill I die on.

    Don Jardine, aka The Masked Spoiler” was an awesome talent and I was saddened to hear of his passing. I was hoping it wasn’t true. I traveled with Don over 30 years ago and he taught me a great deal about life on the road, saving money, and becoming a good listener. He would always drive his immaculately clean vehicle, no smokers allowed, no booze allowed, and listened to classical music while he espoused the various philosophies of the business and his experiences in different territories. Don was a unique man who was somewhat reclusive at times but highly intelligent with uncanny ring psychology.

    I really liked the AWA DVD and plan on watching it again over the holidays. I could easily see a volume two if this one does well. I do recommend this first WWE produced look at the AWA.

    I never prepare to call a match projected to be a boring one but if I get the occasional stinker one can only do their best and be careful to not over sell it. I have experienced plenty of these bad matches and have probably contributed to a few myself.

    Wrestlers are released for a variety of reasons but the one that stirs the fans the most is when there are no creative plans for someone’s favorite. Personal issues obviously contribute to some releases but not as much as someone’s persona being perceived to have run it’s course creatively.

    We accept all thanks here. I don’t want to break my arm patting myself on the back! (Thanks, Gorilla.) Sincerely my thanks for the many kind words we receive here.

    An Outback Bowl prediction…..I love JoePa and the Nittany Lions are a talented bunch but I think I have to toss my hat into the Tennessee Volunteer’s ring on this one. Should be a helluva game. I wish I could be there but I am a little bit of a football freak if you haven’t noticed.

    Speaking of that, on a side note, no I will not be attending the Fiesta Bowl featuring my beloved Oklahoma Sooners but instead will be in Miami, Florida for the January 1 Raw featuring Cena vs. Federline. Not receiving an off day as requested is not a tragedy. I am not angry. I am disappointed to miss the Sooners’ game but it won’t ruin my day nor will it affect my work. I cash the checks the WWE sends me and I have for a long time so I have no issue doing my job. Would I be happier attending the game on this specific day? Obviously, but I am also very curious to see how the Cena-Federline issue evolves and what is going to happen between a gut and quartered DX and Team Rated RKO.

    Also, Monday in D.C. was a real challenge for yours truly especially doing the first 30 minutes of the show alone. Calling a 30 Man Battle Royal solo is tough and it is really a two man job. Nonetheless I did the best I could with it and hope it wasn’t offensive to those “students of the game” who need a seemingly endless supply of info during a broadcast. I enjoyed the 3 hour show overall but could have used a visit to the men’s room about 2 hours and 45 minutes in. The end of the show was powerful and I never knew when we went off the air and kept describing what I was seeing…..very up close. I ruined a nice suit which ended up covered in HHH’s blood but such are the hazards of the job. It could have been worse, it could have been my blood! Doing live TV is always a challenge but some nights are more challenging than others for a variety of reasons and Monday night was one of them. The rating for the 3 hour marathon was really solid so my thanks to all that tuned in.

    This week The King and I have the privilege of doing the voice over work for the Christmas Night Raw, A Tribute to the Troops: Christmas in Baghdad which we will do this Friday in Connecticut. I am looking forward to seeing this material as everyone who was a part of it said it is great stuff and an experience they will never forget.

    We’ll have more updates this week so check us out. My thanks to all of you who are shopping at our store and have become customers. We can’t stay a float if we can’t sell a few products along the way.

    Happy Holidays!

    J.R.

  • I hope everyone is having a great weekend. It is in the 70s here in Oklahoma which is amazing for this time of the year. I’m headed to Washington D.C. on Sunday to prepare for the big, 3 hour Monday Night Raw. That’s over a 180 minute non bathroom break! Seriously, the show should be a good one because Battle Royals are always unpredictable and the payoff with the winner earning a virtual immediate WWE Title match is intriguing to me.

    I wanted to quickly address some of your feedback on a variety of seemingly frequently asked questions or comments.

    Regarding pre-mature deaths in wrestling, I feel it is extremely unfair for anyone to blame the WWE for this unfortunate and sad situation. The WWE has a viable wellness program in place which I feel is a great thing. Certainly, one can easily say, “well it is about time”. Well “it’s about time” for our society in general to start making better decisions about their health. WWE alumni, which many were probably alumni for other organizations too, who have prematurely passed away had the opportunity in a large part to make better decisions. Just as in life, pro sports or entertainment, some did, others did not. I have a very unique perspective of this subject and feel that the “woe is him” excuse has been used to the extreme. Wrestlers, just like any other human being, who choose to abuse drugs must understand the potential consequences. The overall monitoring of the athletes general health and well being, however, should be every company’s top concern.

    I don’t know what else folks expect me to say about Paul Heyman’s situation. It is unfortunate that things could not work out when talented people can’t “fit” into a particular system. I have always had a positive relationship with Heyman even though we don’t and haven’t always agreed with his approach to certain aspects of the business. He probably would say the same thing. That doesn’t make Paul my mortal enemy either. I think that ECW will eventually develop its own “feel” and identity but I don’t feel ECW will ever have the feel of the South Philly tapings but that’s just one man’s opinion. Plus, to the best of my knowledge Heyman is still a WWE employee.

    Dream Matches. The lack of feasible “dream matches” will continue to decrease in relationship with the over all lack of superstar depth and health issues of older superstars. Just think of when the superstars who made a living abusing their bodies are ready for “dream matches” later in their lives. It isn’t going to happen.

    Video game talents are generally rotated especially with the middle and the lower end of the roster. Plus, the lead time is so far out that by the time a game is released an unknown or little used wrestler may have become a player.

    I know nothing about the Wrestle X Society and have no thoughts on their future but if forced to bet on their survival I would probably go with the “under”.

    What to do about unhappy wrestlers? My philosophy was to either solve the problem or eliminate it. I personally would not want anyone on my roster that did not want to be there or who half-assed it. Plus, wrestlers who have the proverbial “issues” either need to seek help and work at being cured for their family’s sake or take their leave. Denial is grounds for saying adios in my old school book.

    It is my believe that the 4 Horsemen will never have another match even though I would LOVE to see it. Age and injuries don’t seem to make it feasible. The DVD of the Horsemen will hopefully include all the important parties speaking their mind.

    For the 1000th time, if one wants to be a writer for the WWE the channels are thru the WWE Human Resources department. Check out WWE.com’s corporate website.

    There are a ton of questions about Macho Man Randy Savage being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. AGAIN, I do not know if Randy will be inducted this year or ever. I DO think Macho Man deserves induction. I am unaware if a personal issue exists between Savage and the WWE because I don’t talk to either about it. If I had a vote in the HOF proceedings, Savage would get my vote.

    In ring psychology. I will someday write more about my personal preferences of in ring psychology. It could take up an entire chapter of a book. It is a very involved matter that has to do with personal philosophies, common sense, fundamental skills, the basics of wrestling, knowing one’s role, and listening to the audience. It also has to do with natural instincts which many are born with but most are not.

    I get asked all the time on what the greatest match I ever saw was. I will probably never be able to answer that one conclusively. I like so many matches that I have been a part of over the years it is impossible to narrow it down to only one or a small handful. When or if I do write a book, I will be able to go back and watch many of my favorites and then more accurately write about them.

    We had several questions recently about comedy wrestling. I am not 100% sure exactly what comedy wrestling is. I do think comedy has its place on a wrestling show when it is organic but many wrestlers don’t have natural comedic timing. Bad acting or failed attempts at comedy adversely affects a wrestling show. It is all in the execution.

    The Rock. I love the guy. Rock is an amazing performer who does have great comedic and dramatic timing and is a natural athlete. I DO NOT know if the Rock will ever be in a WWE ring again. That is a question for the Rock and the WWE to address. If I were Rock I probably would have had my last match to be honest with you. The risk of injury would seem to great for me to want to risk a viable movie career for.

    Some commented on JBL’s edginess. JBL is paid to be controversial. He is paid to get people talking. Obviously that aspect of JBL’s presentation is working. I like for the color commentator to be edgy and have an attitude. JBL has a high intellect and knows how to P.O. fans. That’s a nice trait to have.

    People asked me about the reported New Japan meetings with the WWE. I know what I read on wwe.com. That’s it. I wasn’t there as I live in Oklahoma now and am rarely in the corporate office. I would not read much into except for a nice publicity plug for New Japan back in their homeland. More than likely the meeting was nothing more than a photo op and a news item.

    Some asked to comment on my thoughts on “Death Matches”. When used sparingly and when used as a vehicle to settle a long standing personal issue, they work. To have one on more shows than not is not my idea of smart booking.

    Why isn’t so and so getting a “push”? Please stop the madness. This process is a two way street. Sometimes talents are under valued which can happen in any creative process. The talent themselves usually have a much to do with their lack of “push” than anyone. The “I’ll work hard when I get my push” line of thinking is a sore spot with me. That’s not how the world works.

    Daniel- Good Luck in the Air Force and thanks for your service. I am very familiar with Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in OKC. I am an investor there. Luv the chicken fried steak!

    It annoys me that some fans feel that Umaga is a “rip off” of Samoa Joe. I don’t see it. Joe talks Umaga doesn’t for just one example. Plus, who’s ripping off who and if so what the hell? Samoan wrestlers such as Peter Miavia, Afa and Sika, etc might have something to say about Polynesian athletes copying them. When it comes right down to it who isn’t a copy to some degree of some one from the past in one form or another. There are a few exceptions but most wrestlers have role models they copy things from which is smart.

    Jack K asked who I would like to see on RAW from one of the other two WWE brands. Probably Benoit and Punk. The Undertaker is essentially untouchable.

    Steve T- One of the great battles I have ever waged is versus the English language. I will observe my over use of the word “literal” just for you.

    Mia asked about the “Kiss My ASS Club” and no it wasn’t a highlight of my career nor did I volunteer for the duty. But…it did not kill me and I assume some were entertained by it.

    Phoenix, your 12 year old brother should not be lifting weights without adult supervision. Plus his school work is much more important at his age than his physical preparation to become a WWE Superstar. It is great however than he has a goal.

    J.R.’s Super Bowl prediction?? For Jason, the Giants have as good a chance as anyone it seems in the NFC but the Bears “D” will be tough to deal with come playoff time. The ‘Jints really need to beat Philly this week. I do think the Super Bowl winner will come from the AFC.

    Paul in Muncie-Tell Trish we all miss her. And try to look her in the eyes when you talk to her.

    Dave- I have a great repore with Michael Cole. Michael is one of the hardest working and perhaps most under appreciated individuals I know in the biz.

    Shona- good to hear from you and I look forward to seeing you again next season for the Sooner Football games. Thanks for checking out our site. Boomer Sooner!

    Yes, Eric, the Mid South and World Class had a working relationship as the two owners were friends and business partners, speaking of Bill Watts and Fritz Von Erich. Who Alabama hires is a big question but the sooner the better for recruiting to better catch up with Auburn which is what got Shula fired. I like Sylvester Croom but that is old school and he has a job at Mississippi State. The Bear still casts a long shadow. The Arkansas issue sounds like there are some spoiled, blue chip players with overbearing parents who just need to shut up and allow the kids to play the game.

    T. Adams- I would rather not make a wager on the Fiesta Bowl but I wish your Boise State team the best of luck. Let me assure you that the Sooners will take this game MOST seriously as they should against an undefeated, talented and well coached team. I will be working in Miami but my DVR will be recording the game for my viewing upon my return on January 2.

    Farris- 24 is not too old to be discovered as a wrestler but you are really burning daylight if you haven’t started training and wrestling on indy shows by now. The chances are slim but one never knows. I will not be the person to tell you not to pursue your dreams but you need to get after it.

    Tony talked about tag teams and the perception that the WWE split up all their good teams. From my experience over the years that has been the rule with every promotion I have worked for. Tag teams don’t seem to sell the tickets over the long haul that a hot, single star does who is involved in a personal issue. The shelf life for most tag teams since the 80s has been shorter than in previous generations. And I like tag team matches. The Rock ‘N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express were some of the greatest matches of any kind in any promotion I have ever witnessed.

    Lugi- Thanks for checking us out from Italy and I am not scheduled to be on the tour in April. But don’t let that affect getting your tickets early for what I am sure will be a fun event. Italy is a wonderful market for the WWE with passionate fans. I would love to bring my Italian wife there some day and spend a couple of weeks.

    Jonny-I think the business in general has too many stipulated matches and with too many non traditional elements. I like them when used judiciously but not on a weekly basis. Overuse or overexposure lessens the marketability of these stips or presentations.

    Norman- If you are waiting for the ECW brand to become exactly or close to what it used to be, I suggest you not hold your breath. No disrespect to you or any other ECW fanatic but the old days aren’t coming back but new days and a fresh approach seem to be on the horizon. It takes time to build a brand and in a year or two we can all see what shape the new ECW has taken.

    Thanks for checking us out and I hope you will do some shopping from our store. We are selling lots of signed merchandise and sauces. My sincere thanks to those of you that have become customers.

    Be Well.

    J.R.

  • Larry- My educated guess is that the Masterlock will be broken some day.

    Tyler- Royalties are paid via a formula contractually agreed upon with the wrestlers and the WWE. Just as in pro sports and other forms of entertainment, the stars are paid more than the others. Obviously, the goal is to become a main eventer and stay there.

    Georgie- There will always be room for the JBLs and the Jesse Venturas of the world. I could see a trend in the future where the color commentators become more attitudinal.

    Joe Fish- “Gutless” J.R. not only allowed your poorly crafted email to be posted but I am responding to it as well. If the current ECW product causes you so much angst I suggest you not watch it. Your email screams that you are seeking attention. I feel for you. Finally, your comments about the late Eddie Guerrero were tasteless and uncalled for.

    Voodoo Crap Mafia- I have always felt that Roaddog and Billy Gunn were talented individuals. The entertainment business is about getting noticed and that seems to be what they are attempting to do.

    Victor- I am happy you like the “Legends” show on WWE 24/7 and it is a blast being a part of it. I hope we continue doing them.

    Joey- Never count out Ric Flair for another title reign. Never say never. However, I would doubt that we will ever see the original 4 Horsemen wrestle again. Time catches up to us all.

    Alan- You asked about what I thought of Kane and I told you. Whether Kane has a “long title reign” is a separate question I am not able to answer. My guess would be “why not”?

    Von Ghoul- Hang on to that old trading card as it may be worth 50 cents or so some day. I hope you get that Chipotle Bar-B-Q Sauce for Christmas too.

    Dan E- Regarding the “War” challenge you spoke of, I seriously doubt if it will ever go any farther than it currently is. Again, it is all about publicity and to get folks talking. I don’t know what value that particular issue would have for the WWE. Just my opinion.

    Patrick- I am not aware of the regulations set forth by the Missouri State Athletic Commission. To improve your play by play…practice…often. Listen to various play by play people’s work and then develop your own style. Good Luck.

    Bethany- I have gambled at the Mohegan Sun on several occasions but I never left with much of their cash. This trip was no exception.

    Peter Tan/Malaysia- The WWE has signed Monty Brown and Monty seems like an extremely athletic and charismatic individual. How well Monty responds in a new system will indicate how successful he will be. I like Monty’s chances from what I have seen of him thus far.

    Walker- We always appreciate new visitors to our site. Thanks for checking it out and come back often.

    Steve- Good luck on the screen writing. I hope the 30 man Battle Royal doesn’t take away from the Royal Rumble. I never thought of it in that way. Interesting perspective.

    Brandon J- I assume DX will be around as long as they remain popular. Could be a long time.

    John- The Horsemen DVD should really be a good one. There is so much great material it will probably take multiple discs to get it done properly.

    JSP- Thanks, I won’t let the “idiots” get to me. I am not the “enemy” and honestly I don’t think anyone is. Sports entertainment is about entertaining people and some efforts are simply going to be better than others. I love the Chipotle Ketchup too and it makes a great steak sauce.

    Kevin- My brief “run” as a bad guy that you are enjoying on WWE 24/7 was a unique experience for me. I don’t know if it really worked but it was a change of pace for me nonetheless. I think I got to do one of the first if not the first “attitudinal” in ring interviews from Hershey, Pa.

    Greg/Wales- I don’t know of any Wrestlemania 23 matches but someone utilizing a ladder would not surprise me. Time will tell. Stay tuned.

    Dee- I agree with you regarding your thoughts about John Cena. Because I hired John and know him so well I realize I am not the most unbiased individual when it comes to discussing John. I just know he has a great heart and loads of character and works as hard as anyone I have ever been around. I think it is fine if fans don’t all like John but to make it personal regarding someone they don’t know other than from watching TV is, I agree, annoying. John is still young and improves every week.

    The Gav- One never knows about Sid Eudy and his future plans except for Sid. I really don’t know if Sid would want to wrestle full time again. If Sid was healthy and motivated I am sure he could contribute to any organization.

    Craig/UK- I think Samoa Joe is a talented young man who has a great future in the business if he can stay healthy. I don’t know him personally but he seems to work hard in the ring which I appreciate.

    Steve- My “presentation skills” have gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion. I am working on them nonetheless. Sometimes I am too blunt for my own good.

    Tim B.- Mike Tenay is an excellent broadcaster who is extremely knowledgeable. He’s also a great person.

    Brandon- Yes, I would like to write a book someday when I am no longer affiliated with any organization. Indeed this is a busy time of the year for all of us. My chances of getting into the WWE Hall of Fame are perhaps slightly better than yours. There are far too many more deserving individuals than yours truly.

    Dan K.- I would assume that a Mr. Perfect DVD will be produced in the future. There are some great “Perfect” stories out there.

    Dave- I would suggest that there are too many wrestling pay per views in general but the market will determine if my opinion is right or wrong.

    Kam- Vancouver is a great city and one of the most beautiful places I have traveled. I don’t know the future of holding a WWE PPV there but it certainly would not surprise me. Canadian fans in general are awesome.

    James- I plan on going to Phoenix for the pre-game festivities but will most likely be on a plane on December 31 on my way to Miami for the January 1 Raw. John Laurinaitis has a “thankless” job. It is one of the most challenging positions in the business and one can never make everyone happy. John is a good family man and works hard. Many independent wrestlers need to slow down a little and better understand in-ring psychology. I have seen some indy matches that just did not make sense but more often than not the wrestlers were trying but perhaps they need better guidance and coaching. These individuals hearts are in the right place from what I can tell.

    Dylan-OVW in Louisville has an outstanding wrestling school. Danny Davis is an excellent teacher.

    Jason- I really enjoy doing radio, I certainly have the face for it, and think a national radio show about wrestling could work. Doing radio with the WWE was fun but it killed my social, Saturday nights!

    Tommy- The first Clash of Champions was a great experience and broke some new ground on TBS. Ric Flair put Sting on the map at that first Clash.

    Chance Ryan- Good luck on your career. Being in this business isn’t easy and more don’t make it than do. I hope you are one of the fortunate ones. The Sooners will have their hands full with Boise State without a doubt.

    JRH-Enjoy Armageddon this Sunday in Richmond. The old Coliseum has a great wrestling history. One of my first TV assignments for the Crockett promotion in the 80s was in that arena.

    Debra- I too am glad your soldiers are home safe and sound. Stone Cold visits our site so he will see your best holiday wishes.

    Sweet Daddy Bugg- Chris Benoit has the ability to beat any of the champions recognized on any brand. That’s where my money would be placed.

    Clayton- A Sooner fan in Michigan….that’s a great combination. Notre Dame fans are passionate but that isn’t a bad thing.

    Wills- I feel your frustrations. Wrestling can be like the Oklahoma weather. If one doesn’t like it today it will probably be different tomorrow.

    Doug- I don’t think too many deserving people are being passed up for the Hall of Fame. It is just that there are so many deserving people and only a handful can go in each year. I agree that Curt Hennig is a deserving candidate and will most likely go in sooner than later.

    Kyle Lucas- I guess you know more about my ability to affect change in the WWE than I do. I read your RAW feedback and I am sorry you did not like the show. I don’t share your point of view but I respect your opinions.

    Robert- In my opinion the WWE isn’t going to work with a company they don’t own. Another company’s publicity stunt probably will never be acknowledged.

    Brendan- I have not seen any of Teddy Hart’s work recently but no one I know ever thought Teddy did not have talent. Working a few TV shows with Gordon Solie was a real blessing for me.

    Mike- I would love to see the Fiesta Bowl but that’s not how it’s going to be. I will be there in spirit.

  • Danny- I have enjoyed Sabu’s unique style of wrestling for years. He has certainly put his body on the line time and time again. Simply in my opinion I feel Sabu is at his best when he is in matches with physical stipulations. Brawling and weaponry are two of Sabu’s strengths.

    Derrick- Chris Benoit is simply one of the greatest wrestlers and finest people the business has ever known. Chris is deserving of any championship in existence.

    Raven Effect- I, Jim Ross, has “Vince’s ear”. Perhaps you’ve had one too many chairshots.

    Jamie- I have an interest in writing a book chronicling my career but not just yet. I think to be totally honest about my long and lucky career in wrestling that I should not be an employee of a wrestling company IF I want to tell the complete and honest version of my experiences. I will never write a book if I can’t be 100% honest. Finally, the King in his prime was one of the great in ring performers of all time. A great talker, a great fan favorite and a great villain. I know I sound biased but take a look at some of the classic Jerry Lawler matches from Jerry’s prime.

    William-The challenges of starting a new wrestling promotion and maintaining it based on today’s production standards, etc are essentially overwhelming. I don’t hold out much hope for there ever to be more than a small handful of full time wrestling promotions that actually make enough money to keep their doors open.

    Wyn- I think A.J. Styles is a talented young man. I have no idea if he will ever wrestle for the WWE.

    Matt- As best I can tell Roddy is more than holding his own with his battle with cancer. Keep Hot Rod in your prayers.

    Joel L.- Wrestling websites are like any other website that follows a particular genre. Sometimes they are right but often times they aren’t. My issue with them is that “rumor” is actually reported as “news” on some sites. In general, I think these sites get too much credit and too much blame for things that allegedly adversely affect business. Bottom line is that many of these sites seem to get bad info from their “sources” who may have an unobjective agenda. Plus, people who live in American have the right to earn a living in any legitimate matter they choose. That’s a good thing.

    Lewis- Despite the fact that “Kane” once BBQ’ed me, I still find him to be a true gift to the profession.

    Scott- I wrote on an earlier blog my thoughts on the WWE Hall of Fame as I have been getting many emails regarding it. I certainly have my opinions to who should be inducted just as anyone else but I am not in a position to affect the selection process positively or negatively. I do love the function nonetheless. I do hope they hold the list of inductees down to 7-8 so everyone has the appropriate time to speak “their piece”.

    Desmond-Matt Cappotelli is a wonderful young man who has more guts than just about anyone I know. Matt’s battle with brain cancer is on going but I will assure you Matt will deal with it thru the grace of God and the courage the Good Lord provides him. I feel in my heart Matt will win this one!

    Anthony-I really enjoy Divas who can wrestle like Victoria and Mickie James among others. I am hopeful that we will see more of that type of female talent on RAW as time goes on.

    Brock- Sounds like you were PO’ed when you emailed me. Sorry about that. If you don’t enjoy the product then you might want to watch it less or amended expectations. I have addressed the sign issue and it is not worth rehashing. I am not sure who you perceive as being the “enemy” but I can assure you it isn’t me.

    Katherine- I can only assume that the reason the Divas wear “racy attire’ as you term it is to cater to the primary demographic which is men 12-17 and men 18-34. You apparently are not in that demo. I could make a Jerry Lawler joke here but I won’t.

    Callum- I had a blast working in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. I loved working with Les Thatcher and the creative genius Jim Cornette and a bunch of “hungry” wrestlers. It was a fun time for me. I can’t wait to watch some of the old tapes someday on WWE 24/7.

    Liam- I ASSUME the post Wrestlemania Raw will be in Detroit. That seems to be a trend and it gives the folks who travel a great distance to see the PPV and a Monday Night Raw on the same trip. I like it.

    Tommy- Cryme Tyme seems to be getting more comfortable on camera and I am anxious to see them wrestle more as time goes by. They are an entertaining duo but the bottom line to me is what they can do over the long haul in the ring.

    Gareth- I agree Victoria’s character has really jumped off the screen the past few weeks.

    Chris A- I have not seen Angle-Joe 2. How much BBQ can a southern boy eat?? No disrespect meant but I seem to have less free time these days than ‘ol guy should have.

    Lance- In ring psychology is becoming a lost art form. Many of the greatest wrestlers I have seen over the past 30 years just had “it”. “It” is not manufactured and can’t be anything but authentic. Simply put some guys have “it” and some don’t and many never fully understand the fundamental art of storytelling. For example, crashing and burning should only be an element in great story telling not the focal point of it. The understanding of wrestling holds all many styles should basically understood by any one who aspires to be a wrestler in today’s market place. It’s called product knowledge and with product knowledge comes the chance one might understand the business better thus acquire the art of in ring psychology.

    Stevereno- Sorry you did not enjoy the ECW PPV. I am still making the time to watch it myself as I was in the air when it took place. I fully respect your passion for the product but my simple advise would be for you to exhale, detach from your angst, and move forward in a positive manner. Trust me, stress is bad business. I’m not kidding you.

    Charles 3- Your rumor of a Rocker Reunion is new news to me. Highly unlikely as Gorilla Monsoon used to say.

    Fletch- Mickie James is excellent now and should just keep getting better. I respect that she likes in ring physicality. Mickie is a little bit of a throw back when it comes to her approach to wrestling. Plus, she’s cute. Even ‘Ol J.R. still likes “cute”.

    Andrew- If Chyna and X-Pac were at a recent RAW I sure did NOT see them. And I would have. Is this more internet stuff or merely fertilizer?

    Matt- I like the unique approach that C.M. Punk brings to the ring and have said many times that I felt like Punk would be a star in the WWE in the future. Selfishly, I would love to see Punk compete on Raw but as I said, selfishly.

    DXfan 101- Uh, no I don’t think the “Million Dollar Challenge” will be accepted or even acknowledged. Do I like Mr. McMahon? I assume I have the same opinion of Mr. McMahon that he has of me.

    Thanks for participating and we will do this again by the weekend.

    J.R.

  • First of all I hope everyone is healthy, happy and relatively sane. From the tone and tenor of some of our more recent emails, I much admit it feels like something is “in the air” as many people were seemingly angry when they wrote to us. I have been guilty of writing when angry upon occasion myself and I usually regret what I have said after the fact. During my long career in this business yours truly has been hammered several times for my “presentation skills” but rarely for my honesty.

    I am still getting people who lash out at me because of something that they did not like in the WWE, i.e. the ECW PPV. I am not sure why I get this barrage of negative info with the expressed purposes for “J.R. to do something about it.” You have to be kidding me! I am in no position whatsoever to change anything you see on TV or elsewhere within the WWE or any wrestling company. Nor do I want to be. It is a no win situation to be in and at this stage of my career I choose to not be involved in that process. Not only does my personal taste regarding the product fall in the minority side of the equation, but I also don’t need the stress of constantly trying to come up with fresh programming on a 51 week a year basis.

    In my opinion it is insane for anyone, inside or outside the business, to think that every week will be a great TV show when other TV shows have a “season” and allow their stars and creative people time to re-charge their batteries. Can any company’s weekly TV vehicles improve…absolutely. No matter what any of us do for a living there is always room for improvement.

    I don’t mind getting “hammered” on our site but please be selective in what I am held accountable for although I do enjoy reading the spirited emails we have been receiving.

    It has been challenging keeping up with the plethora of wrestling pay per views over the past few weeks. Many fans have raised hell about the ECW PPV but I was traveling and did not see it live but plan on watching it in the future even though some have written and warned me not to. Since the inception of wrestling pay per views I have been knee deep in more of them than perhaps any broadcaster in history and have had my share of less than stellar moments and have been a part of some stinkeroos. That does not ease the pain of those that are still bemoaning the fact they felt they bought a bad show recently but it probably wasn’t the first not will it probably be the last. That is no consolation to those that felt they did not get their hard earned monies worth but it is the truth.

    There is a big Battle Royal on Raw this Monday from Washington D.C. for a live show that is 3 hours long and stars ONE HOUR EARLIER than normal. Battle Royals are usually feast of famine from my personal perspective and, hopefully, with the winner getting a same night WWE Title match Monday’s effort will be one of the better battle royals that have been featured. Back in the day, I refereed many battle royals and usually all the older about to be washed up wrestlers were thrown in the mix and that usually was a recipe for disaster. That should not be the case Monday in Washington D.C.

    As I have mentioned this is NOT a WWE site, but I am awfully proud of the WWE men and women who traveled thousands of miles to entertain the troops defending our country. I am not a fan of the war in Iraq but I do admire the young men and women who are fulfilling their obligation to their country and doing their best to fight terrorism. I could easily go on a rant here about President Bush, a former male cheerleader at Yale not that there is anything wrong with that, but I won’t pile on. Hopefully, George W.’s legacy will not solely be the war on terror but that might be unavoidable. Enough on politics. Good job WWE for bringing some smiles on the faces of some deserving soldiers.

    Bret “The Hitman” Hart still continues to get excellent reviews in Aladdin’s Genie. I would love to see the play if ever given the opportunity.

    Bret is one of my all time favorite in ring competitors….ever. I also can’t wait to read Bret’s biography.

    I hope K-Fed is taking his match with John Cena seriously for the first Raw of 2007. They won’t be playing flag football.

    What better way to spend New Year’s Eve than flying to Miami on New Year’s Eve and then kicking off 2007 broadcasting Raw? Some of us are just too blessed aren’t we?

    Nice to see beautiful Stacey Keibler on the cover of the December Fitness Magazine. Stacey is a wonderful young woman who I hope has a HUGE 2007!

    I get deluged with mail regarding the WWE Hall of Fame. Firstly, I am no longer any part of the selection process since moving to Oklahoma. I do not know who will be inducted in 2007 although several men and women are deserving. No matter who is selected, there will always be some that will bitch and moan that “their favorite” did not get the nod. As my Dad would say, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I can identify with that but there is always “next year”. Or, you can just make yourself miserable and question the selection process. Pick your poison. I do think voting on www.wwe.com should have a role in the process. That’s just a personal opinion.

    I have to say that some of the recent WWE DVD’s have been awesome. The Pillman product is a must see in my opinion. I love the AWA DVD and some of the match content on that one is priceless. Hulk’s DVD is historic and fun to watch as is Roddy Piper’s, too. These are great holiday gift ideas for new fans, old fans, or simply fans of documentary styled DVDs. I did some work Monday on an upcoming Four Horseman DVD that will be released in the future. That one should be awesome too. Man, I had some great parties with the Horsemen back in the day. My liver would agree.

    Signs at wrestling matches…..please stop my pain. I can’t say the right thing it seems. I do not know what the policies are regarding signs at wrestling events nor do I care. Really, I do not care. When I go to work I have a zillion more things to deal with than what signs are being displayed, confiscated, held up or whatever. I DO NOT care. I don’t think signs should be obscene. If that’s OK with you, that is my opinion. I would not endorse promoting other wrestling companies but that’s just me. If you feel compelled to bring a sign to an event, have at it. If you feel your sign is clever and needs to be seen on TV then by all means bring it with you. If it gets confiscated, don’t kick the slats out of the crib. If the “sign police” are on the case so be it. Does it truly matter at the end of the day? The WWE showed a sign a fan brought right after I suffered facial paralysis with Bells palsy that read “J.R. Has Lost His Smile”. I wasn’t overwhelmed upon seeing it and I thought it was classless but it did not kill me and it was NOT confiscated. If I had been on sign patrol that night, I would have taken it and asked the individual why he or she wrote it. Was it someone starved for attention or someone who likes to celebrate in the misery of others? If this sign had been confiscated would that have been right or wrong? First amendment or bad taste? Classless or clever? Does any one really give a damn?! Perhaps this is a bigger issue than I perceive but it doesn’t affect me one way or another except when I happen to glance up and see a sign that busts my Spauldings…which I might deserve.

    I got an interesting voice mail this week from my old friend Stone Cold Steve Austin who is on his annual deer hunting trip in spacious South Texas. The Texas Rattlesnake loves to hunt and hang out with his Texas buddies which goes to show you how little that the arguably greatest box office attraction in wrestling history has NOT changed. Over the years wrestling has not been over run with people one would want to hang with on a regular basis but Stone Cold is definitely one of the best. I will also admit I am not totally unbiased.

    We have created some great sauce and merchandise offers for your consideration especially with the holidays literally upon us. Please take just a moment to visit our on line store and check these “deals” out. I sure would appreciate it. Thanks and be well.

    J.R.

  • Kieran/UK- I don’t think the Undertaker is undertilized. ‘Taker is a maginificent resource that should be used as an attraction and not weekly.

    Ron- I look forward to the Royal Rumble because it is going to be in San Antonio and it kicks off the march to Wrestlemania 23. It’s also the most challenging match the WWE has to broadcast.

    Sean- Thanks for “lovin’ our sauces”. Magnum T.A. is still in the Virginia area as best I know in private business. I haven’t seen Terry in a good while but we did talk on the telephone a year or two ago. Magnum T.A. was a natural and was Hall of Fame bound prior tho his tragic car accident.

    Maccy/UK- If I had to bet on an Austin-Hogan match I would I would do so reluctantly but would have to go with the younger and healthier Austin.

    Jim Z- I do not feel that the King is slipping whatsoever but it is hard to incorporate a great deal of his wit when matches times are so succinct. Our car trips together are hilarious for the record.

    Commadner 2010-My recent blog pretty much describes how I feel about the Big Show. He is a big hearted man who will be missed by many but I don’t think we have seen the last of him. I do think some extended time off will do the big fella a world of good.

    Matt- I have no idea if Matt Hardy will ever be WWE Champion. That might be a question better suited for Matt. The elder Hardy’s abilities are certainly title worthy.

    Jonny- I don’t know what the capacity will be for Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field. I assume it is north of 60,000 but the final number will be determined by how many seats are “killed” do to production needs which are still being addressed. I do know that a limited number of $30 tickets were still available via Ticketmaster last week.

    Ed- Why are you not a fan of John Cena? I’m just curious. I personally don’t see John making any major changes in his presentation but I do see Cena continuing to improve because he works so hard.

    Ted Z- I am not on the sign police if one actually exists at WWE events. I think the WWE is pretty liberal with what they allow. I don’t think fans should be able to bring any sign they want. Profanity and obscene signs should not be seen on TV. Nor should signs promoting other wrestling organizations. Don’t confuse free speech with bad business or bad taste.

    Brandon- As it relates to the NFL, I like the teams that Bill Parcells coaches as a rule which means I have been watching the Cowboys lately a fair amount but I also watch the Bears and the Ravens because the of the number of Oklahoma players on each team. I don’t know about the wrestlers being involved in fantasy football but it would not surprise me with as many laptops as I see in the locker room.

    Chuck- I know of the success of Inoki and Takada but I would bet a bottle of sauce that Austin and Hogan still generated more revenue over their careers. That’s just a semi educated assumption.

    Chris- Will the WWE be bringing back the old title belts? Who knows?? The spinner title belt is a little out of my demo but I don’t hate it.

    Steve- I have addressed the Rock’s situation numerous times. The Rock is making movies and a bunch of money. He is happy and very busy. Will Rock ever appear on a WWE TV show in the future? I would say yes but I would not bet money on it. Again, wrestling is in the Rock’s blood and he still watches the WWE when he can. I do know Rock misses his fans and the “rush” of performing in front of a live audience.

    Dan- Is the ECW PPV the first one you ever bought that you didn’t like? Perhaps your expectations were too high. That happens to me more often than I like to admit.

    John- I have heard absolutely no plans about the Undertaker retiring after Wrestlemania. None. There are plenty of matches left in the Deadman if he is not road hard and put up wet.

    Anthony- Mark Henry is still recovering from his last injury.

    John- We hope to have our sauces in stores some day but that is a steep hill to climb. The “big boys” have most of the valuable shelf space tied up.

    Damien- Young wrestlers should master mat wrestling long before they start flying around and going a mile a minute. In general, young independent wrestlers should focus on mat wrestling and the psychology of wrestling before they create multiple crash and burn moments. This may not be the popular opinion these days but again I am an old school guy.

    Joe- The wrestling business is just like the Oklahoma weather. If you don’t like it today just hang around because it very well may change tomorrow. As a matter of fact change is inevitable.

    Frank- Lance Storm is a class act and a great teacher. I have always found Lance to be a respectful, professional and a credit to the business.

    WWEMan- I would assume the King’s favorite Diva is the one who happens to be closest to him at the time and is breathing. King is an equal opportunity lover of beautiful women. But I do think he may be partial to blondes.

    Mills- Ah, the old question about a wrestler’s “push”. Wrestlers who feel they are not getting the proper promotion generally blame the company they are working for at the time. I am not a fan of that excuse. With depth issues as they are, if a talent is a professional and has skills they will get to carry the ball. Individual effort and commitment comes before the magical “push”.

    Dee- One would assume that WWE Hall of Fame tickets in Detroit will be available thru Ticketmaster. My suggestion is to check out www.wwe.com every day for any updates. We will probably we talking about it on the TV shows, too. I love the Hall of Fame ceremony.

    Wayne- Whether it be mixed martial arts or movies, etc any vehicle that comes with a price tag on TV is competition to WWE pay per views. Wrestling and MMM PPVs are both attraction driven and I would assume share some of the same audience.

    Danny- Test is doing well on the ECW show and I would think Test will have a big year on that brand in 2007. Test is more aggressive in my opinion since returning from his hiatus.

    Robert- I generally see Droz when we are in Philly as he lives in the area. Droz is in great spirits and follows the WWE closely along with his Maryland Terrapins. I always enjoy our visits.

    Corbin- I never think of my “won/loss” record for the few times I have gotten into the ring as I feel my presence there is an embarrassment to the biz. The biggest bump I ever took was probably falling down the stairs when I was a kid on a sleep over at a friend’s house. Hopefully, you will never see me in the ring ever again.

    Dan T.- I hope you enjoy the Mohegan Sun Raw as it is a sellout and should be a good show. I have never seen Alter Boy Luke wrestle to the best of my knowledge.

    Bill- I have addressed the Heyman departure from the WWE already. It is always unfortunate when talented people leave any company. I have had my own issues fitting into the corporate structure thru the years so far be it for me to judge Heyman or the decision that was made. The WWE will continue to move forward as will Paul.

    Kev- I am not a huge fan of multiple ring battle royals but the WWE has not had one that I have been a part of so it could be on someone’s drawing board.

    John- I lean slightly toward the Vols in their bowl game with Penn State although I am a huge JoePa fan. My reasons are team speed and Tennessee playing in the SEC. I know the Big 10 is good too.

    Jason- I don’t like to respond to “rumors’ to any degree. I don’t know if RVD is happy or not just that he makes a great living and is very talented. I certainly don’t know what you mean when you say “hasn’t RVD suffered enough?” No one ever said this business was easy. Trust me on that one.

    Mark- I have yet to read Chris Nowinski’s book and he promised to send me a copy too. I know Chris put a ton of hours into it and I would venture to say Chris’ efforts will help others in the future.

    David/UK- I don’t know when harry Smith will officially debut but you can rest assured that when he does Harry will be ready. Harry Smith could be a huge star in this business.

    Molly- I too am a big fan of HBK having seen Shawn’s first match in his first territory. However, I don’t think we will ever see a HBK-Stone Cold match but it wouldn’t bother me to be wrong on this prediction. It would be a great match without fail but I don’t know that Austin has the time to get the ring rust off because Steve would want to burn down the house if he steps back in the ring to wrestle. I just don’t see wrestling in Austin’s future but if it is I will travel any lengths to see it.

    David M- My Royal Rumble prediction might lean toward Umaga until some one proves they can handle the big Samoan. Honestly, the luck of the draw has a ton to do with who wins the Rumble.

    Thanks and check out all the new items in our store. We have several items that are signable and can be shipped abroad. If you don’t delay we can get your order in your hands by the holidays.

    J.R.

  • With the Big Show announcing on www.wwe.com this week that he is taking a sabbatical from the WWE for perhaps an extended amount of time, I could not help but think of the many memories and the good times I have spent with the “World’s Largest Athlete”.

    Jerry Brisco and yours truly were the two WWE representatives who met with the big fella in Tampa when the negotiations with the WWE first got underway. I must admit when I walked into the large man’s beach front condo I was in awe of the enormity of this human being. Plus, his crib wasn’t a bad place to hang one’s clothes either. It was a supersized, deluxe bachelor pad to say the least.

    We had a productive several hour conversation and talked about many things such as our lives, our health, goals, the business, and a bunch of general “guy talk” that included cars (the big guy loves cars), sports and, of course, women. In other words, we got to know each other. Show was just a big, ‘ol country boy from South Carolina who both Jerry and I could relate to as we were both country boys from Oklahoma. We were all raised on fried food and the occasional trip to the woodshed.

    I vividly recall Show getting hungry, which should come as no major surprise, and getting up and preparing himself a bite to eat which included nothing but protein including a LARGE quantity of BEANS. I whispered to Brisco that we needed to end the meeting soon as the big guy was about to devour enough beans for 3-4, hungry people. Flatulence is a story best told rather than experienced especially when the flatulence manufacturer is a 500 pound, 7 foot tall athlete who would make the “farting” scene in the “Blazing Saddles” movie come off like a church social.

    Soon after the world’s largest albeit kind hearted bean eater had finished his bean dish that had more ingredients than I can remember we ended our meeting. Soon there after we had our man.

    Another quick story entails Big Show on a trip to Connecticut to have meetings at WWE headquarters and he came to our home for dinner or supper as we call it in the South. My wife Jan is an amazing cook and she cooked a whole ham, an entire chicken and a plethora of side items. I am no lightweight when it comes to putting away the groceries either so needless to say when we finally finished off the feast prepared by my bride I was packed and some to be in need of a nap. However, the big guy wanted desert. That’s when I discovered the 500 pounder’s weakness. Here’s the secret that I have kept hidden for all these years:

    THE BIG SHOW LOVES APPLE BUTTER WITH A PASSION.

    So now it’s out there. Yes, The Big Show ate a pan of home made biscuits and an entire jar of apple butter. OK, I helped some but he did most of the damage. My wife has never forgotten our custom Italian tile dining room floor cracking under the pressure applied by our giant sized house guest. We have all laughed about it many times since then especially when we discuss how a big, southern raised kid found authentic apple butter in a Connecticut kitchen.

    I hope Show gets healthy and will take the time to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He deserves it. I know in my heart that the big guy will step back in a ring some day as wrestling….sports/entertainment is in his blood.

    I also hope WWE Films finds a vehicle for the largest Game Cock I ever saw to try his hand at acting (I haven’t forgotten Waterboy.) The Big Show has a great gift for comedic timing and with the right script I can see Show doing some great work on the silver screen.

    But again the Big Show needs to get healthy and that may mean dropping a few lbs. I can look in the mirror on that one.

    I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the big guy from South Carolina who I have seen literally grown up and become a man before my very eyes.

    Good Luck Show. You will be missed.

    By the way, you’ll be getting some Bar-B-Q Sauce and some apple butter for the holidays.

    J.R.

  • Dave- Our UK sauce shipping dilemna is still just that….a dilemna. We are working on it. If you know some one in Parliment ask them to email me.

    Rob- I was surprised when Marty Janetty returned to the WWE the last time so far be it from me to guess if or when Marty might reappear in a WWE ring. It could be Monday night or it could be never.

    Danielle- Yes Ric Flair was emotional on Raw a few weeks back. Ric is in an emotional time of his career and in his life and like many of us he wears his feelings on his sleeve. There are still plenty of miles left on the Nature Boy let me assure you.

    happyfaith- I don’t know when Beth Phoenix will return to the WWE but I hope it is on RAW because Beth can wrestle and has a score to settle with Victoria who broke Beth’s jaw. My guess is that we will see Beth after the first of the year but you know my accuracy rating isn’t what it used to be.

    Joe- I would enjoy watching a Hulk-Big Show match at Wrestlemania but I have heard nothing official about such. It certainly seems like Hogan would be a part of ‘Mania 23, 20 years after his match with Andre The Giant in nearby Pontiac.

    Marky- I hope this will be it on this matter. Yes, I feel that Kurt Angle would be better served to be off work and healing at the present time. Kurt’s body needs a “time out”.

    Brandon- I totally agree with you that watching Edge and Orton dismantle Ric Flair a couple of weeks ago was “disturbing”. Totally.

    Rob- I disagree with you that The Rock turned his back on his fans. The Rock capitalized on an amazing opportunity to manage his health and to provide his family and his extended family with a wonderful quality of life. I assure you that The Rock has the business in his blood and if he were still wrestling today might well have surpassed every record ever set by any individual in wrestling. Plus, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the nicest, classiest people I have ever had tht privilege to know in this business. I was a lucky son of a gun to have hired “The Great One”.

    Is Hulk a better wrestler than Stone Cold? Not in my opinion but both are money making machines that may never be surpassed by anyone ever in this business. I hope they are for my 401K’s sake but I won’t hold my breath no matter what my ex-wife might suggest.

    Todd- Yes, Henry Godwin did do some wrestling part time for the WWE recently but I am unaware of any plans to utilize Henry on TV. Chuck Palumbo is under contract to the WWE but I don’t know when Chuck will be seeing action on TV. Sources say that Chuck physically looks good and of course Godwin is tougher than a $2 steak.

    Tim- I am a major fan of Mr. Kennedy. He reminds me of a young “Stunning Steve” Austin for some reason. Kennedy has a significant upside if he can avoid all the usual pitfalls such as injuries, bad health, discovering and living in his comfort zone, and not staying motivated.

    Cameron- No, I am not looking forward to a Boogeyman vs. Undertaker match if one is being considered. Did you really hear that or did it come to you in a bad dream?? (That’s just a little humor folks.)

    Ed- Watching WWE 24/7 is one of my favorite past times but as I understand it WWE 24/7 is currently a cable exclusive. I love the vintage stuff from other generations and from a variety of companies.

    Jason-If Cablevision doesn’t have WWE 24/7 I would have to assume they will some day soon. It’s too good for them to pass up.

    Jaffer- How much do I get paid? Well…not enough. But I do OK.

    Mark- John Cena’s mixed reactions he receives doesn’t bother me at all. Our fans should be vocal about what they see and not be coerced to respond in any way other manner than the way they feel. I am a Cena fan but the booing doesn’t bother me and I think it probably motivates John to a certain degree. I have watched from afar your QB at Hawaii and he has a cannon for an arm. I know Coach June Jones and his sidekick Jerry Glanville from my days with the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL. Both are great guys by the way. As far as the Heisman Trophy, Troy Smith at Ohio State has that one all wrapped up in my opinion.

    Matthew- What defines a great antagonist? A great antagonist in my opinion is an individual who fans despise enough to pay good money to come and see get their ass kicked in person.

    Sal- The NWA trademark issues are a mystery to me. This has been an on going issue over the years and I quite frankly have not kept up with it. Honestly, since St. Louis’s Sam Muchnick stopped being in charge of the NWA, the National Wrestling Alliance has not been the same.

    Stephan- Glad you liked Bischoff’s book. I enjoyed it too and definitely encourage fans of the business side of wrestling to read it. I bristled a few times at what I read but my turn is coming.

    Dustin- This isn’t going to sound good or probably feel good but the old ECW is DEAD. I don’t see it coming back. I think the re-launched ECW will end up being successful but as I have said before it is a work in progress. I am willing to give it a chance to grow and evolve. I, too, have used the Waffle House to drown my sorrows especially when I ordered my hash browns scattered, covered, smothered AND chunked! I am sure that in your life you have bigger fish to fry than to worry about the state of a wrestling brand.

    Drew- Are you drunk? “Does God Hate Marty Janetty?” Uh, no.

    Duane- Sorry you did not enjoy the ECW PPV. I can assure you it wasn’t because of a lack of effort by all involved. Mark it off to experience and let it go. I have sat at ringside and broadcast PPVs I did not like so much either, more than once. But, of course, I got paid nonetheless.

    Adam- What is the state of wrestling you ask? Why is the sky blue…..only kidding. I would suggest to you that the wrestling business, as most businesses that are profitable, is constantly in a state of change and transition. Some periods of time within the annals of the biz have been off the charts and some I have worked thru, like the 70s, were only so-so. Times and trends change and we fans ride out the perceived storm until a trend hits that we like. Just as when our favorite athletic teams are on a losing streak we hang with them, bitch and complain, and then celebrate the victories.

    Brandon- The Big Show is physically pretty banged up. I suspect a surgery or two is in the big fella’s future. Show is another competitor that could use some much needed “down time”.

    James- I used to live in Norwalk, Ct and am familiar with the Terry Connor Ice Rink in Stamford. I don’t see the WWE having an event there unless it was a smaller one for a charity. If you want to be an intern in the WWE you need to contact their Human Resource department. I can’t help you with that one but good luck. If you get make it, you will have a blast.

    Ethan- What is my opinion of Hulk Hogan. He’s Babe Ruth, my man. Hulk’s records will probably never be surpassed but even if they are the roads that Hogan paved for others to follow are historic and can never be equalled. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan probably generated more revenue in the wrestling business than any two wrestlers anyone can name. I have great respect for Hulk Hogan.

    Jason- I know that there are some $30 tickets still available for Wrestlemania thru Ticketmaster. Even if you are not keen on today’s product for whatever your reasons, I would wholeheartedly suggest you see Wrestlemania in person if you have the opportunity. It is a spectacle that every fan needs to see in person at least once.

    Thanks for all your emails and we will get to more of them soon. I hope you allow us to be a part of your holiday shopping plans. Take care.

    J.R.

  • Scott- Eddie Graham, the long time promoter and Owner of Florida Championship Wrestling was one of the most brilliant wrestling minds I ever encountered. Many of the biggest names in the business would agree with me. Eddie had a huge influence on the careers of probably 100s of wrestlers who went on to become major stars. Legend has it that he used to brainstorm with Vincent J. McMahon about the business back in the day which I am sure resulted in a slew of amazing ideas. I met Eddie once and that was at a Cowboy Bill Watts party. Watts, The Briscos, The Funks, Dusty Rhodes, were just a few of the many wrestlers who flourished under the teachings and guidance of Eddie Graham. Simply put Eddie Graham was a genius that understood his consumers.

    Derrick- Will the WWE ever hold another major event outdoors? Hard to say. It’s risky unless Mr. McMahon has a direct line to Mother Nature. Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? My guess would be doubtful. Since ‘93, one of the ways the product has changed is better TV technology, music, and lighting, plus the product is not so in ring driven as it was then. More non wrestling elements are featured on the broadcasts.

    Chris-There are always going to be questions regarding perceived “underutilized” talent. Someone you think is “underutilized” might not be in the eye’s of others. Many “underutilized” talents need to take a longer look in the mirror and decide to come to work every day willing to give no less than 100% of themselves and to do the little things it takes to reach main event level status and to more importantly stay there. I had a talent say to me once that when they were “put in the right spot, I will start working hard”. It doesn’t function that way.

    Rich-Mid South Wrestling worked because we had great wrestlers and a brilliant man calling the shots. The product was aggression driven and athletically based but it all started with the individual stars who were motivated by the fact that the more tickets they sold the more money they made. Remember, “One can’t sell goods out of an empty wagon.” The Mid South was blessed with great wrestlers, no over saturation of the product on TV, and the fact we largely did only one hour of TV per week.

    John-I don’t know why Brian Kendrick isn’t called “Spanky” on TV. Perhaps there were those, including Brian, who wanted to move past that nickname.

    Daniel- I have heard ZERO about a proposed Batista vs. Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 23 in Detroit. I will say it will take a helluva man to defeat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania considering no one has done so yet.

    Richard- When referencing “big men” The Undertaker and Kane are at the top of the list as far as natural athletic abilities are concerned of any of the normally classified “big men” I have ever seen in my 30 plus years in wrestling.

    Will- for “The Man in the Moon” I did play Lance Russell’s role, don’t ask me why, and Lance played the ring announcer. The roles probably should have been reversed. I did watch a Comedy Central documentary about Andy Kauffman’s “wrestling” career and saw how Lance handled his business during that era. Watching Lance work helped me a great deal. Lance is one of the greatest ever!

    Chris- I NEVER mentioned on 97.1 FM in Detroit, where I guest every Thursday at noon eastern, that the Rock would be at Wrestlemania. As a matter of fact I even joked that fans hear what they want to hear and that someone would put on the internet the exact opposite of my remarks. They did.

    Brian- I have no idea if the WWE scouts California All Pro Wrestling for prospects. I assume they do. I know the WWE is very aggressive in their talent searches. The WWE works closely with Rick Bassman in Southern California when looking for wrestling talent.

    Spicyboy-The Chipotle Bar-B-Q Sauce is NOT that spicy as in HOT or for the weak at heart. I would not even describe it as spicy. Stone Cold had it 3 times while he was in our home a few weeks ago and it is his favorite Bar-B-Q Sauce of all time.

    Anthony-I don’t know who is on the short list of nominees for the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame. I would submit Ric flair and Dusty Rhodes for starters along with Bruno Sammartino (as I do every year) and Bob Backlund. How many deserving submissions would you like, 20? That’s just my 2 cents.

    Nick- The size of the work area at a particular arena often times eliminates that arena from Monday Night Raw consideration. Your arena in Youngstown, Ohio may fall into that category. It isn’t all about seating capacity but the backstage area and the loading dock space that is taken into consideration. I am all for Youngstown, Ohio the home town of the Stoops’ brothers one of which, Bob, coaches my Sooners.

    Don-Our sauce today is different than our previous sauce. Today’s sauce is made in Oklahoma while the other sauce was made in Ontario, Canada. Both are good but I would prefer you be the judge. Our sauces make great holiday gifts and we are shipping packages out daily. Chipotle is a Mexican seasoning that is full of flavor not heat.

    Felix- I have no idea if Mr. McMahon will respond to the “war” declared on him but somehow I seriously doubt it. Why would he in total honesty?

    Matt- What are my thoughts on ECW. I like the brand and always have. The re-introduced brand is still evolving without question. I think ECW is a work in progress but the sky is the limit. I personally, I stress personally, am not a fan of every match being “hardcore” because then it makes that stipulation ordinary. I do love the ECW “spirit” and pride many of the ECW originals still have for their presentation of a few years ago. What form ECW takes as time marches on will be interesting to track. Change is not always bad but some “old schoolers” (I am old school to in many ways) will never accept anything but what “used to be”. I can understand and respect that mindset but I can’t vouch for how viable it is.

    Rahssan-I cannot fathom that the WWE won’t have a Wrestlemania in our nation’s capital some day. That would be “un-American” wouldn’t it?? I have addressed Kurt Angle on numerous occasions. Kurt is an amazing athlete/wrestler. I hope he has great success but I am much more concerned about Kurt’s own personal health than I am his matches, is wins, his losses, etc. Nothing is more important than one’s health.

    Derick-The Talented Sho Funaki as a main eventer? I love Sho but Sho main eventing over the long term might be a challenge for Sho. But remember, “never say never”.

    Dustin- No, I don’t ever see the WWE parterning with any other wrestling organization today, tomorrow or ever unless the WWE were in control of the opposing group. That’s just sound business in today’s marketplace.

    Varish- I don’t know the WWE’s plans for India but you can bet there are plans. I am not familiar with the arena set up India and doing events outdoors often times is a security nightmare in facilities that are not used to such. My philosophy has always been that if the WWE has a television outlet in a particular country that eventually that country will get live events and perhaps even more.

    Mark-comparing Hulk to Flair is like comparing Mays to Mantle. Each has their own set of individual strengths and weaknesses. Without question these two will be in most historian’s lists of the greatest wrestlers of all time in the land of sports and entertainment probably in the top 3 in their prime, I challenge any “expert” to NOT select Hogan or Ric in a “draft” to stock anyone’s wrestling roster. Their styles are obviously different but results are what counts. Ric and Hulk always got results.

    Chris-I have requested to take my first Monday Night RAW ever off on January 1, 2007 to attend the Fiesta Bowl. If it is not in the cards, I will reluctantly miss The Sooners’ Bowl game. Regarding pay per views, like any other form of entertainment one has to be aware of over exposure and what the market will bare will determine that number.

    Allan-Finley is a tough, Irish son of a gun. Fit is as fundamentally sound as any one in the WWE. I am happy that at this, the latter stages of his career, that Finley has this opportunity to get back in the ring and do what he loves to do best. Many young wrestlers would be well served to closely observe Finley’s matches to learn the all important nuances of in ring psychology.

    Kevin-To say what was my favorite PPV is hard. I don’t think I can but I, like you, really enjoyed Wrestlemania X7 in the Astrodome in Houston and the Unforgiven my home state of Oklahoma hosted. I will have to really put my thinking hat on to come up with an answer on that one. That could be a whole chapter in a book.

    Andrew-I have watched for short periods of time Australian Rules Football and can definitively say that those men are TOUGH! I don’t fully understand the rules but I admire the guts of the players.

    Will their ever be a Wrestlemania in Australia? I would never say never to that one. The land down under is coveted by the WWE and rightfully so!

    Huff-There will be a TON of Wrestlemania 23 activities that will be held in Detroit prior to the event itself. Check out WWE.com in the coming weeks.

    Lesrey-I do not consider Vince Russo a “disease” whatsoever. That’s a little heavy to even consider. Osama Bin Laden is a “disease”.

    Anesen-I don’t know the WWE’s plans for Denmark but I would not be surprised to have wrestlers coming out of the woodwork to wrestle in Amsterdam if provided the opportunity! Again, if you see the WWE on your TV, a live event can’t be too far behind.

    Rick- As I have mentioned before I feel the WCW brand is history but we can all remember it via DVD’s and WWE 24/7. A history of WCW on a multiple set DVD is a must some day.

    David- If I ever write a book it will be Jim Ross talking and it will be totally truthful. I think my experiences within the business will allow me to tell a unique story perhaps more unique than many of my predecessors or peers. It will start all the way back in Oklahoma when I first discovered “Championship Wrestling” on TV in the 60s when my unique journey began simply as a fan.

    Mike- The group formerly known as the Spirit Squad is a very talented lot. I would bet good money each member gets a chance to “run with the ball”. Contrary to conspiracy theorists, great talent can not be ignored forever.

    Brodie- Glad you are a Sooner fan. Great win for us in KC last Saturday Night! Stone Cold is currently living in California and getting ready to start preparation for his second WWE Film in early 2007. Plus you can bet Stone Cold will be working hard, as usual, when the promotion begins for “The Condemned” which premiers in April 2007.

    Joel- If there is a “secret reason” why Randy Savage is not in the WWE Hall of Fame I don’t know it. Randy certainly deserves the accolade. I am sure that “Macho Man’s” day will come.

    Mike- I have not noticed anyone in the WWE shaking in their boots regarding any other wrestling organizations. Competition makes everyone perform better. Competition is not a bad thing. I refuse to take shots or to wish ill will on any group. I probably would have though when I was in the 8th grade.

    Wayne- Thanks’s to the war on terror among other political nightmares we are unable to ship any of our sauces to the UK….YET. We can ship caps and shirts. We are working on this shipping nightmare and if you have any suggestions we are wide open for ideas. Bottom line, we are doing all we can to get permission on this project thru all the proper channels.

    Jared-Congrats on your Boise State Broncos making it to their first BCS Bowl Game. I wish them the best of luck against the Sooners but I don’t have to elaborate on who I will be pulling for. Nonetheless it is a cool deal for the Broncos even though they can’t bring that blue carpet with them to the Fiesta Bowl.

    Corey-The Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk “I Quit” match on a TBS Clash of Champions was one of my most memorable nights behind the mic. Not only was the match an awesome one between two amazing talents but also because I broadcast it with my idol the late Gordon Solie. I remember having a few cocktails with “The Dean” after the show in Troy, New York on a cold night.

    We will have more of your feedback later this week.

    I don’t leave for the Mohegan Sun to prepare for Monday Night RAW until Sunday afternoon and there is no OU football this weekend so I will have

    more time to work on the site.

    Please visit our on line store as we have new offers going up this week I think will interest you especially with the holidays just around the corner. Be well.

    J.R.

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