J.R.'s Blog

  • For those naive enough to read the internet and see Wrestlemania 23 matches listed, please don’t be so gullible as to think the Wrestlemania card has been finalized. It hasn’t. I receive lots of emails regarding a potential Batista vs. Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 23 which, to the best of my knowledge, has NOT been scheduled. Yes, it COULD happen but there is absolutely no guarantee that it will. Whatever you read about Wrestlemania 23 matches right now is pure speculation and guess work.

    I heard from the Rock a couple of times over the Christmas Holiday and he was his usual upbeat and positive self. He is excited about the new football coach at Miami, “The U”, and is staying really busy. The Rock still catches RAW when he can and still has the wrestling business in his blood. We don’t talk about “what if” or “will you come back and wrestle” type stuff because I already know Rock would love to perform in front of a live audience if his unreal schedule would allow for it. For those that say the Rock has “turned his back on his fans” I say you are misinformed and not extremely bright.

    The Iraq trip is done on a volunteer basis to the best of my knowledge. If a wrestler or his family doesn’t want the wrestler to attend they don’t have to go. There are always more volunteers than space available on the transport plane. The King and I would be proud to attend but we take up space that wrestlers can use and we can do our jobs back in the States as we did for this past Christmas show.

    What is it about the VKM/TNA publicity stunt that I can’t seem to communicate to everyone? This is a publicity stunt and creative material for a TV show. I strongly feel the WWE will NEVER respond to this PR ploy. Again, why should they? There will never be a payoff to the fans.

    I have no idea if Daniel Rodimer or if Koslov are going to be stars. I hope so. Time will tell as it takes more than a marketable “look” to be a superstar who sells tickets, PPVs, and merchandise. We may not know for a year or two.

    I think wrestlers come in a variety of packages and sizes. If any company is only looking for potential wrestlers who are all 6’5”/275 pounds then that company isn’t overly bright in their recruiting efforts.

    “Wrestling at the Chase” is an excellent book and a must read for all wrestling fans. I loved it and there was no one better to document one of the most influential markets for U.S. wrestling than Larry Matysik who practically grew up learning from the legendary Sam Muchnick.

    My thanks to Chris M for the kind words. My best to a Sooner fan and please say hello to the General, Scandar Akbar, for me. Ak was one of my mentors in my early days in the business and is a wonderful man….for a Longhorn fan.

    Will Hall and Nash ever return to the WWE? I always say never say never but this one is highly unlikely. I don’t know if either one want to wrestle even a part time schedule at this stage of their lives and subject their bodies to the grind of working high level matches with the likely WWE superstars they would be pitted against. Plus, Kevin Nash has a wrestling job last I looked.

    I know of NO talent that has been “blackballed” from the WWE. I feel that if any wrestler could return to the WWE and help the company that they would be back in action. But remember it takes two to tango and sometimes “legends” don’t want to get back in the ring for a variety of reasons. Health, quality of work, and other commitments often times interfere with a legend returning to action.

    There are many viable wrestling schools in business these days. My best advise is to visit them before one commits and to talk to others who have gone through the system. Starting from scratch after the age of 25, unless one is a truly gifted athlete, is a long shot at best. To be a TV announcer one needs general TV announcing experience which usually necessitates a degree and on the job training. Being simply a fan with the gift for gab probably won’t get the job done.

    Sabu behind the scenes is quiet and low key.

    I would love to see Brian Pillman in the WWE Hall of Fame someday and I think it may well happen in time. Brian is in my personal Hall of Fame for what that’s worth. I think of Brian virtually every day.

    I haven’t heard much about D’Lo Brown, a former Maine Blackbear defensive lineman, but wish him well. I always liked and respected D’Lo.

    So much Macho Man stuff. One more time….I have no idea IF Savage would want to be in the WWE Hall of Fame or IF Macho Man is physically able to wrestle up to his high standards or IF there is some unwritten code that forbids Savage from being involved with the WWE at this time. If it is meant to be, Randy Savage will be a WWE Hall of Famer. Finally, again, YES Randy is deserving of the honor.

    I am not pleased that Deadwood has been cancelled or that I have to wait so long to begin watching new episodes of “The Soprano’s” on HBO. I was a huge Deadwood fan and thought Al Swearengen was one of the great “bad guys” ever on TV.

    With my schedule as it is I rarely watch any foreign wrestling. Back when I was managing Talent Relations I did.

    Wow…being compared to Chick Hearn is humbling. The voice of the Lakers will live on forever. Thanks but I am a pair of brown shoes at a formal wedding when being compared to a man like Chick Hearn.

    American fans still like to boo foreigners for whatever reason. Tradition, being pre-conditioned, a precedent, etc?? Koslov got booed because he did not sound like most Americans but neither do many of us “country boys.”

    To the best of my knowledge Harley Race is doing well and his wrestling school in Missouri is a great place to learn the fundamentals of the business. I have the utmost respect for Harley.

    If I had to make a guess as to the next tag team to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, and it is simply a guess, I would probably go with The Road Warriors even though they were not a better team than the Rock ‘n Roll Express or The Midnight Express. All three teams were awesome in their day and deserving of any honors that come their way.

    You’re asking the wrong “Native American” about a WWE draft in 2007. I don’t know. I do think that changing some faces around is a good thing as a rule.

    If I had to bet money whether or not Bret Hart would step back into a WWE to give a “farewell speech”, etc I would bet against it. I don’t see it happening and I think Bret said what he wanted to at the 2006 Hall of Fame Ceremony. Health wise, Bret wrestling again is not an option.

    Gordon Solie was my role model as an announcer. However, I developed my own style which I encourage any aspiring announcer to do as well. Don’t be a clone of anyone because the viewers and fans will not accept copy cats as a rule.

    I exchange emails with Paul Bearer from time to time and he seems to be doing well back at home in Pensacola. PB is a wonderful man who truly loves the business and has faced many personal health issues he has steadfastly battled over the years.

    A Tazz DVD? I would watch it. Maybe some day one will be produced. Tazz was involved in some great stuff in the old ECW. The wrestler Tazz has a chance to get a DVD produced but the WWE doesn’t seem to feel that their announcers are very marketable as a rule.

    I do not know who owns the Portland Wrestling library…perhaps the family of late promoter Don Owens. Wrestlemania in the UK sounds good to me. I hope I am around to see it come to fruition.

    Our restaurant, “J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q” will open in April 2007 in Norman, Oklahoma near I-35 and Main Street where the Krispy Kreme was located. I will keep everyone apprised of the progress. Work has already started on “gutting” the inside of the 4,000 square foot facility. My wife and sister in law along with yours truly will be there more often than not. I love the thought of visiting with fans who drop in for some great groceries.

    Dr. Death has been cancer free now for over two years…a miracle from God. Doc works a couple of weeks each month coaching in the WWE developmental system. Doc looks great at around 260 pounds.

    I got an interesting email from some one who suggested that when I leave the WWE that I “leave with my dignity”. No TV skit or verbose remarks from any one will adversely affect my “dignity.” Character and dignity are not for sale nor will mine be compromised. My work in this business since the 70s will either hold up to the fans or it won’t.

    How does The King and J.R. prepare for a live RAW? We run through what info we are provided and simply go out and let it flow. We don’t rehearse jokes, etc. We have people in our ears to help us get through a show which can be perceived as a blessing or a curse depending on one’s point of view and individual philosophy. I am the note taker and King is the real talent of the team. We prefer to know less about what is scheduled as we both enjoy being surprised and to be able to react naturally.

    I never thought of Kenny Dykstra being compared to Owen Hart as a reader suggested. Maybe so in time. Kenny should be so lucky as to be as good as Owen was. I sure miss Owen I can tell you that.

    When I travel in Tennessee I usually travel with The King who knows all the shortcuts and the good eateries. We both love Bar-B-Q and the State of Tennessee has plenty of those including many in Memphis we have frequented including the Cozy Corner (King’s Favorite), Corky’s and Rendezvous. Plus, the folks in Tennessee know how to make wonderful cream gravy for those hot biscuits for breakfast! I have always thought that Knoxville was a great, college town and I have had fun, sometimes too much, in Nashville.

    How tall is John Cena? I would guess John stands over 6 feet tall probably around 6’1” or 6’2” if I were guessing.

    David wanted to know if I thought the Dr. Heiney skit of October 2005 was an absolute riot? Sure, David, I loved it. It ranks right up there with having 13” of my intestines removed a few days earlier. I might think it would be funnier if I watched it today but when it aired live on RAW I had only been home from the hospital for a few hours so I really don’t remember all the details of the skit or what hilarious things were removed from my rectum.

    Favorite color commentators over the years? Notwithstanding the King who is my all time favorite, I really enjoyed working with Jim Cornette, Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Michael Hayes, Paul Heyman, Bob Caudle, and the few times I got to partner with Gordon Solie. I know I am leaving out some deserving commentators but I am quite sure someone will remind me.

    New J.R. action figures…..uh, not too likely.

    Thanks as always for checking out our store. My family and I personally appreciate you shopping with us.

    J.R.

  • I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and that the majority of you are able to spend quality time with family and friends. In our materialistic world, we often times don’t spend enough time with our loved ones and dear friends which we all realize when they are gone. Don’t hesitate to spend time with people you care for and don’t hesitate to pick up the telephone today or any time during the holiday season to make one phone call to someone special and let them know that they are special. I can assure you that these matters are so much more important than who’s leaving what company, what superstar is unhappy, why isn’t this person getting a “push”, what is the main event for Wrestlemania, etc.

    I got a beautiful text message last night from Roddy Piper who seems to be doing well in his battle with cancer. I have the utmost respect for Rowdy Roddy and even through all the controversial periods of his life Roddy was always straight up with me and we never “butted heads” because our relationship was based strictly on honesty and respect. Too many management/wrestler relationships these days are based solely on business and politics which is a fragile way to establish a personal foundation of trust and mutual respect. Bottom line it won’t work over the long haul. Every year managing highly motivated and often times paranoid athletes changes in style and tone but it still will always come back to one being honest and treating people with respect. That’s what I tried to do over the years and I am sure some wrestlers will agree with me on that one and some will disagree as I was the one who hired and fired many wrestlers during my tenure as head of Talent Relations for the WWE. Quite frankly, there were wrestlers who deserved to be cut loose and there were others that did not deserve the pink slip. And no, I won’t get into names on this matter at this time.

    Stone Cold is enjoying the holidays with his family down in Edna, Texas. Steve has communicated with me several times over the past few weeks with the exploits of his deer and elk hunting trip in south Texas. For a business that doesn’t allow lasting friendships to foster, I know that I will always have Steve’s friendship to depend upon and visa versa. There are no greater gifts in our lives than family and friends and I have been blessed with both. Steve and I had planned on celebrating New Year’s Eve together with a big party in Phoenix prior to the Fiesta Bowl but those plans changed with the January 1 Raw from Miami. Maybe next year.

    We are excited to be opening our first “J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q Restaurant” in Norman, Oklahoma just off I-35 and Main Street hopefully in April 2007. If the first one works we certainly plan on rolling out other locations. Getting the sauces in grocery stores is another matter as the “big boys” have much of the available shelf space spoken for.

    Many of you write about the old UWF Wrestling Promotion which featured some great athletes who thrived on physicality. Bill Watts ran his company like a pro sports franchise and therefore was able to get the maximum results of the individuals who wrestled for the “Big Cowboy”. The talent roster of the UWF would match up with most any organization in the world. Losing JYD and Hacksaw Jim Duggan to the WWE was a blow but we worked through it because fans are always interested in NEW stars being developed and featured. Some of wrestling’s most famous names cut their teeth in the UWF in their formative years and took what they learned to the next level, the WWE and WCW, and helped the WWE become the global phenomenon it is today.

    I am not sure I am buying PWI’s 8 “equal” World Champions that they recognize. Sounds kind of watered down to me but then again I might be wrong. Just my two cents.

    We are asked quite often about our Bar-B-Q business in Toronto and my honest answer is “who knows”? I hope we can grow our business that far north of Oklahoma and I “never say never”. Toronto is one of my favorite cites that’s for sure so why not??

    I have been getting a fair amount of emails regarding RVD. I don’t know that RVD has “heat” on him as pronounced as people seem to speculate or if Rob has any “heat” on him at all for not traveling to Baghdad. It is a voluntary trip first of all which doesn’t necessarily make those who don’t go the most popular kid in class. Rob is a unique talent and I hope he stays in the WWE and continues to do well. Again, the final decision as to what RVD does with his future is Rob’s call but this issue isn’t something that a better line of communications wouldn’t solve in my humble opinion.

    Is it possible that I could ever do OU Football play by play on radio? I assume it is possible but the voice of OU Football, Bob Barry Sr., is in his 70s and has been the voice of the Sooners since I was a young man. So, bottom line, the job isn’t available and I happen to really like Bob Senior but if the job ever came I would definitely be interested as I could do that and do RAW.

    Does Jerry Lawler deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely! The sooner the better. Lawler is not only one of the best wrestlers/talkers ever but also one of the best broadcasters too. Jerry is like a brother to me and I would be honored to see him be inducted sooner than later.

    I have no issues with short term contracts for veteran wrestlers and don’t think the WWE does either. The only downside to this arrangement is that it does take a certain length of time to get issues established on TV and just about the time the issue is established the contract is virtually up. It’s a two edged sword but it is all doable.

    I have not taken up playing our video games. Do you think I would enjoy it or am I past my video game playing prime?

    Brock Lesnar pops up on our screen from time to time about his possible return to the WWE. I don’t know the tenor of how Lesnar left exactly although I know it wasn’t altogether positive. I do think that if Brock had a positive attitude and the WWE did likewise there could be a great partnership there. But it takes two to Tango or to make a relationship, business or personal, work so who really knows? Lesnar is physically and athletically gifted that is for sure but all parties have to be comfortable in the “deal” or these reconciliations will not work.

    Kennedy’s work reminds me, as I have mentioned of a young “Stunning” Steve Austin. Kennedy has “it”. Assuming Kennedy stays healthy, physically and mentally, his future is limitless. Someday Kennedy could be one of the most popular superstars in the WWE if my instincts are accurate.

    I would love for the WWE to do an event in the Superdome in New Orleans! I have been there for many a Thanksgiving and Christmas and would want to get their early for the FOOD. The Commanders Palace may be the best eatery I EVER frequented plus I LOVE Dookie Chase’s where I once took Muhammad Ali for dinner and he loved it too. I am not involved with the arena booking or routing but the Superdome would be a great stop for a PPV or a RAW. How about them Saints??

    I have had many great guests drop by the various announce table and there are too many to mention. Some names pop up in my head including Jim Cornette, Ric Flair, HHH, Michael Hayes, Dick Murdoch, Dusty Rhodes, among others. This would be a nice chapter to include in a book.

    The Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, an OU alum and former multiple time state high school heavyweight wrestling champion might make a helluva WWE Superstar some day. Kelly is only 6 feet tall at 300 plus pounds so he might not fit the “ideal size” the WWE is looking for these days as it relates to height. I do not adhere totally to that “formula” as wrestling greats over the years have come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Kelly Gregg is a stud and the Ravens feature several of my friends from OU on their talented NFL squad.

    Ah, the WSB AM750 radio days was so much fun. Every Sunday night at 9 eastern we took calls for an hour and had a blast. I followed the legendary voice of the Georgia Bulldogs Larry Munson who hosted the Georgia Bulldog Coaches Show just before our piece of business. Radio is an avenue I plan on exploring in the future. Kevin Nash, before he became a star, was a regular guest on my show because Big Kev could talk. The promoters found out the same later about the former Tennessee hoops star.

    An Arkansas Mid South/UWF fan asked about traveling the “Land of Opportunity” over the years and I can tell you that we always stopped in Conway because they had a “pitch till you win” buffet for something like $5.95 for all one could eat. It was at a hotel along I-40 and was a “must stop” especially when one was making $25-$40 per day refereeing and that includes paying all one’s expenses out of that money plus paying all one’s personal bills such as rent and groceries. I would have passengers in my vehicle like Danny Hodge and Scandor Akbar, until they turned on each other, who paid me 3 cents a mile which was a life saver in those days. Of course, I did all the driving which could be challenging at times but I was young and learning something new every day. My wrestling education was largely founded on the long car trips listening to a succession of veterans discuss the business while I intently listened and rarely participated in the discussions. I also suffered through the weekly Wednesday night live events in Fort Smith at the Jimmy Lott Sports Arena on Towson Avenue which was an old car dealership that had one shower for the entire roster to utilize. Because I was the only Ref on the card my shower came last and the hot water was LONG gone. Some days our payoffs were supplemented by the hot dogs that were not sold that night and I never made more than $40 dollars for a Ft. Smith shot…ever. It’s called paying dues.

    I read a great deal about Daniel Rodimer the rookie who has a great “look”. However, I have not seen Rodimer wrestle lately and even though it is great he “looks the part” can he physically and mentally get it done? Dan resembles NY Giant tight end Jeremy Shockey and definitely has potential. “Look” is important but natural talent and the burning desire to be the best is more important in my perspective. I am not saying an out of shape athlete with a great attitude is the tickets as being in great athletic shape is imperative. I just don’t think everyone has to be 6’5” to be star. If everyone is 6”5” then who is “special”. Plus what kind of “motor” does Rodimer and his fellow rookies have? Never discount an athlete’s motor or will to succeed.

    Independent wrestlers getting payoffs with drugs is pathetic. Recreational drug use and prescription drug abuse is the kiss of death. That includes wrestling, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, showbiz, etc. It’s a sad state of affairs.

    Sports Entertainment is a WWE coined term that we are asked to use on TV and on WWE platforms. I use wrestling here because I am more comfortable with that term because I am old school and that’s what I grew up on.

    Small issue but we continue to call John Cena “The Marine” because of the movie and the fact it is still out there producing revenue. It is called marketing and promotion. Plus, I like the hell out of Cena because I know him personally and was in charge of Talent Relations when John was signed. He is one of “my guys”. Shame on me but as legendary Coach Barry Switzer once told me “when you recruit a player and sign him you have recruited him for life.” I agree with that philosophy. Some of you may not be “Cena fans” which is your prerogative but I happen to think the young man is a stud who works his ass off in ways most fans will never hear about. I also think it is “trendy” for some to dis Cena because they perceive it to be cool and edgy. Whatever.

    Speaking of Cena, his Subway commercials are excellent. I am not sure if he or any other WWE Superstar will be doing others. I hope so. I also like the “Man Law’ commercials HHH has done for Miller Lite Beer even though Burt Reynolds looks more like a Kenny Rogers-like Martian every time I see him.

    I like JBL’s commentary and he is just grading enough on one’s nerves to stimulate the viewers to listen. Calling Helms’ the best kept secret on Smackdown is a good line. Gregory Helms is a talented kid and the cruiserweights, in general, are underutilized in my humble opinion.

    Are there communications between the WWE and TNA? Officially, I have no idea. Unofficially, are you serious?! It won’t happen in my life time if I had to make a wager on it.

    Will Jeff Jarrett ever return to the WWE? Never say never but that would be a long shot and it would have nothing to do with the manner in which he left. I think Double J is busy these days.

    Is Jack Doan still with the WWE? Absolutely and he is making Danville, Illinois famous as one of Raw’s best referees.

    I don’t choose to comment on the future management team of the WWE after Mr. McMahon “retires” which will NEVER happen in my opinion. Mr. McMahon will most likely run his company until the day he dies which will probably be when he’s around 100 years old.

    Is Heyman really done in the WWE? I will believe it when I see it. I suspect Heyman has yet to miss a paycheck since being removed from ECW. Heyman could be reassigned just as easily as not to another area or he could simply part ways with the company. Time will tell but it won’t be a fatal blow to either party. Heyman has written several screen plays he wants to “pitch” and that may be his “calling”. In any case neither party will need a telethon or a fund raiser when it is all said and done.

    I am as anxious to see who gets selected for this years Hall of Fame. My best guesses and they are merely guesses would be Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Ted DiBiase, perhaps Randy Savage if he and the company are willing to cooperate of which I have NO idea, maybe Bob Backlund, a celeb (Aretha Franklin??), a tag team, and a deceased superstar, and maybe another announcer. Hopefully we will have an indication within the next month or so. The ceremony will be in Detroit the night before Wrestlemania. It’s one of my favorite events of the year.

    What other sports do I watch on TV? Football and more Football. I have all the OU games saved on my DVR from the 2006 season. I like Boxing, too. I watch Poker. I’m a redneck so I find that Nascar is fun to watch. The MLB playoffs and the NBA playoffs often times make it to my TV screen. I even used to be a fan of the old Roller Derby back in the day of Charlie O’Connell and Ann Cavello.

    Who is going to take J.R.’s place at the announce desk when I retire? First of all, slow down, I am not ready to retire nor am I close to retiring. There is still an adequate amount of fuel left in the tank to get the job done or at least that’s my mindset. I have no idea but it will be someone with NO accent, someone YOUNG, and someone who “looks nice” on TV. In other words everything that I am not. The attempts to replace me on RAW have been well documented and it is inevitable as one can’t travel 51 weeks a year for ever nor do I want to but I am not ready to be kicked to the curb just yet. However, if I do, it has been a beautiful career that has exceeded my wildest expectations. I also realize that I am the last of a dying breed of wrestling broadcasters who cut their teeth in the territory system which any successor will not have the luxury of doing. My only hope is that whomever is hired is a bonafide fan and not just a person who says he is a fan to make “points”.

    I actually get to be home until New Year’s Eve when I fly to Miami. My Oklahoma coaching friends leave tonight with their families for the Fiesta Bowl to finish preparing for undefeated Boise State. That means I will spend less time at “happy hour” this week and will be able to do more blogs. I look forward to more of your questions. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

    BOOMER SOONER!

    J.R.

  • 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.

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