J.R.'s Blog

  • It was great to see my friend Stone Cold Steve Austin Sunday in Los Angeles prior to the taping of Monday Night RAW.

    Steve looks to be in as good a physical shape as he has been in years and it is easy to tell the “Texas Rattlesnake” is still working out regularly and takes his diet and physical fitness seriously.

    Steve has bought a home in Southern California to be based there while he tries his hand at breaking into the film business. Steve spent approximately 4 months of the year down under in Australia filming “The Condemned” for WWE Films, an action adventure film with a very intriguing plot that will be out in 2007.

    It had been so long since Steve had been able to spend any significant time back stage at a WWE event, I assume Wretlemania was the last, that he mentioned to me that there were so many new faces he did not know it felt a little surreal. Of course, many of the veteran WWE Superstars were familiar faces that had the opportunity to visit with Austin and renew old times and talk of rivalries of days gone by.

    I hope the younger wrestlers took the time Sunday to pick the brain of one of the most intelligent and analytical Superstars in history.

    There is no doubt in my mind, and I feel like I know Steve better than anyone in the business, that Austin would love to wrestle again if his neck issues were not as they are. Steve loves that adrenaline rush an athlete gets when performing before a live and loud audience. Being in great physical shape is not an issue as Steve is as good a shape as many active competitors. Plus, Stone Cold has huge respect for the wrestling fans worldwide.

    The one thing that made Stone Cold arguably the greatest box office sensation in wrestling history is the fact that he was harder on himself than anyone and demanded perfection from himself, first, and everyone else involved in the equation, second. I have called more Austin matches than anyone alive and I have seen Steve in some amazing scenarios that I thought were blow away awesome. Then upon talking to Steve after the match one would find out that the Edna, Texas native would be thinking that there were two or three little things he could have done better in the match. OU Head Football Coach Bob Stoops is that way as well. Even when the Sooners win a big game the Coach will eventually mention things that his team could have done better and that they need to work on. That’s Stone Cold to a “T”. Neither man ever makes excuses.

    Great individuals and highly successful people are rarely satisfied with their performances or the results they achieve. Things can always be better and performances can always be improved upon. I truly believe if you asked Stone Cold if he ever wrestled, in his opinion, a perfect match, he would say “no”, without a doubt. (Probably, “Hell No” more than likely.)

    Steve was a big proponent of watching old tapes to see how the masters of other generations honed their skills and perfected their craft. I wonder how many young wrestlers of today take the time to watch these same classic video tapes to learn valuable nuances that are necessary to be the best they can be. I know that Ric Flair was another wrestler who watched a great deal of tapes as does to this day HHH who is a genuine student of the game hence my nickname for him of the “Cerebral Assassin”.

    I think that some younger wrestlers could learn from the greats of the game by watching videos of stars from other generations rather than spend valuable time figuring out how they can break more tables or better utilize inanimate objects.

    I may be wrong but my instincts tell me that not enough of the younger generation of wrestlers watch these treasure chests of video tapes that are available to them by simply requesting them or as easily as watching WWE 24/7 which is awesome TV.

    I get the question all the time will Stone Cold ever wrestle Hulk Hogan and my answer is always the same. No. Steve is the type of wrestler than before he would step in the ring with anyone Steve would want to go back out on the road for 3-4 months and get his timing back down, his cardio at its highest level, and be fully prepared to give his fans more than their monies worth. With Steve’s new career there simply isn’t enough time or days in the week to pull this off. As I said my friend Stone Cold is a perfectionist and making sure the fans don’t see “Stone Cold Lite” is important to him.

    Now does this mean we have seen the last of Stone Cold Steve Austin? Oh, Hell No! I would be shocked if Steve were not a prominent part of WWE TV programming when “The Condemned” begins its advance promotion. I don’t even know how one could have a Wrestlemania without a little “Rattlesnake flavor” added to the festivities either, in my opinion.

    Another question could be asked is 2007 the year that Steve Austin goes into the Hall of Fame? That’s certainly not my call but as a fan of the product one can’t make a valid argument that Austin doesn’t belong there but it is only a matter of when. Perhaps by waiting that “small window of opportunity” that Steve might consider stepping back into the ring one last time might open a little wider. As I said, my opinion is that it will not happen but you know what some say about opinions…everybody has one and we have learned to never say never in this business.

    Nonetheless, it was great seeing a happy and healthy Stone Cold on Sunday and my wife and I look forward to his next visit to our home in Oklahoma where he is a valued member of our family. I might even go on that long awaited deer hunt with Steve this fall as every deer camp needs a good cook or someone who at least thinks he is a good cook.

    Here is a little known, useless trivia fact. The black hat I wear every week on TV is one of two gifted to me by Steve himself. I have had numerous offers to sell them but they are not for sale at any price…just like our friendship. I fully expect to be buried, hopefully many years from now, with one of those black hats with me.

    The wrestling business is tough on relationships. One can generally count their true friends, even after 3 or more decades in the biz, on one hand. I am very blessed that Stone Cold and yours truly have remained friends through all our challenging times together during our unique journey in the wrestling business.

    When I was thought to have had colon cancer approximately one year ago at this time, Steve was the first to call and the first to volunteer to fly from California to Oklahoma to help out.

    Lesson learned here is that true friends don’t come along every day. If you have a long time friend you have not reached out to lately, then perhaps today would be a good day to simply say hello and thanks.

    J.R.

    Please visit our online store as we are shipping our sauces and merchandise as we speak. Plus we are about to launch some new features here on the site. Stay tuned for that.

    For my Raw Superstar of the week check out the RAW section of www.wwe.com as my column goes up every Thursday.

  • Just got home this morning at 9 on a lovely red eye flight from LAX after taping RAW at the Staples Center last night. I am really looking forward to watching the show tonight “from the comfort of my own home”. The 17,000 plus sell out crowd was a real asset to the show. Thanks, LA.

    Here’s some email feedback before I take another nap:

    Jay- I never called Umaga the “Samoan Smashing Machine”. If you look objectively at style and presentation there is more of a difference in Umaga and Joe than you might agree. Nonetheless, both are athletic big men and of the same culture. I am looking well past their culture.

    James Ma-I love the Undertaker, too. He is one of a kind and still has several productive years left in him. No one is more respected or feared in the locker room. I can easily see Taker being the World’s or WWE Champion again…if Taker sets his sights on such. I once called The Undertaker the “Conscience of the WWE” and I meant it.

    Joel- I did not catch the Angle interview as I was out with my wife celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary by attending a Heart Concert at the Riverwinds Casino just south of Norman. The Wilson sisters are still great, by the way. I cannot speak for the WWE but personally I know of no one who wishes any ill will toward Kurt.

    Anesen in Denmark- I watch Smackdown every week. There are several stars on the show I really enjoy watching. The Undertaker and Chris Benoit are at the top of the list. I feel Smackdown’s future is brighter than ever especially in America on the new CW Network. Announcers Cole and JBL entertain me more often than not even though JBL can be a typical, overbearing loudmouth redneck with a cowboy hat (Oops, I think I just described myself!)

    Anthony-I don’t know when the WWE is coming to Wilkes-Barre, Pa but you might call the arena there and ask them. Also wwe.com always lists the touring schedules and you can check that out too.

    Dave- I love the Hell in a Cell DVD idea and think the WWE is already considering such. There have been some amazing matches in that “unforgiving structure” with some great stories leading into them.

    Ronald- I have heard rumors of the Royal Rumble coming to San Antonio at some point. Maybe it will be 2007. Contact your the arena there or keep up with the schedule on wwe.com. I would not mind seeing my Sooners play in the Alamo Bowl there either. San Antonio is a great city and man do I love the food. (What a surprise.)

    Jon-Without a doubt Lance Russell is arguably one of the top two or three greatest wrestling announcers of all time. Plus, Lance is an even better human being. A class act all the way. Lance was as much a part of the success of the Memphis territory days as any wrestler or front office individual, maybe more over the long haul. The evolution of Jerry Lawler, the Andy Kaufman story, the countless superstars who wrestled in Memphis were all enhanced by Lance Russell’s work. Lance and his wife Audrey are as nice a couple as I have ever met in this whacky business. Check out Lance’s website which is www.lancerussell.com.

    Vahe- Sorry to expose my ignorance but I don’t have a clue what “system of a down” is.

    Lee-There is not a doubt in my mind that Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage both belong in the WWE Hall of Fame but that is only my personal opinion. To me, it is not even close. Again, only one man’s opinion.

    Matthew James- I look at the team of London and Kendrick much like the Rock’n Roll Express or the Fantastics back in the day. High flyers with great passion that need to do a great amount of “team maneuvers” to be successful. They are sure fun to watch. London and Kendrick’s lack of size is a non factor to me.

    Anthony- A Chris Jericho DVD? Sure, why not? Y2J has many amazing accomplishments and will hopefully step back in a WWE ring some day to write the next chapter of his “wrestling book”. As a matter of fact Chris is penning a book now about the early days of his career which I can’t wait to read and which covers his international travel including time spend in Mexico and Japan. I am a major Jericho fan.

    T Adams- Congrats on the Tigers. Jim Leyland is my kind of guy. And who can’t love a guy called “Pudge”?? John Cena is a great asset to the WWE and has that anti establishment feel about him similar to Stone Cold but there will never be another Stone Cold or at least I have not seen him yet. That’s not a knock on the other stars out there but to be a star one has to be unique and to attempt to copy another wrestler is generally the kiss of death. Let Cena be Cena and I feel in the long haul John will rank up there will some of the best ever. John is already pretty damn good. Regarding Boise State, they don’t seem to have missed a beat when Coach Hawkins left. I actually walked on the blue rug there in Boise years ago when we were there to do an event. If there schedule was a little tougher, as perceived by the national media, Boise State might be seriously in the hunt for a BCS Bowl.

    Not So Fast-Not so negative. Relax. None of this stuff is life or death. It’s entertainment and if it is not entertaining to you simply change the TV channel. But I do appreciate you passion and your email.

    Don’t forget to check out our store. It never closes! I would love for all of you to try our sauces. Plus, we would love to see your photos wearing our merchandise. We have caps and T Shirts plus the popular “Slobber-Knocker” towels. But the “main event” are the sauces. Get some today and let me know how you like it. Your opinion counts on this site.

    We will be back with more this week. Thanks!

    J.R.

  • JBL- If that is your “real name”, no I am not a huge fan of herpes jokes but I must admit there were times Monday night that you were entertaining as hell. One thing is for sure, the producers will never put us together because they would have to have an interpreter and a hat rack!

    Anthony- Jonathan Coachman’s title is “Executive Assistant” to the Chairman. Coach also works part time for CSTV doing sports play by play and studio work and does a great job at both.

    Kathy-Chipotle is not fiery hot. It is spicy and flavorful and our Chipotle BBQ Sauce is my hands down favorite sauce.

    Andy in Ireland- If Chris Benoit goes back to his roots it would be in Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, not ECW. Benoit is one of the very best in-ring performers in the world so who ever has him should be thankful.

    JSP- I think the Dynamite Kid should go into the Hall of Fame along side the British Bulldog. What a tag team they made! They were WAY ahead of their time.

    Kevin- My favorite manager would be a tie between Jim Cornette and Bobby Heenan. There were many outstanding managers in the 70s and 80s that I saw either in person or on TV. The “art” of being a great ringside manager is a lost one. I can’t imagine wannabe managers would not study the tapes of the greats and the WWE DVD regarding the Best Managers is a good place to start.

    Manoj in India- As the Chairman of the WWE said recently, Kurt Angle is welcome back to the WWE when he is healthy. Any one that truly knows Kurt wants him to be healthy and happy. I think Kurt is a wonderful guy, and remember, never say never in this business.

    Gavin in the U.K.- We are working feverishly to get all the shipping rules and regulations addressed to ship our sauces to the UK and beyond. Bear with us as we are close. Our government doesn’t move too quickly.

    Anthony- I think as long as he is physically able to do his thing that no Wrestlemania is complete without an appearance by Hulk Hogan. Hulk is the wrestling version of the band “The Eagles”. I go see them perform every chance I can.

    Trace- Can’t speak to the future DVD titles but I know that the recent Pillman DVD is awesome and the Hulk DVD is a classic as well. I expect to see more of the same great work continue. I would be hard pressed to not put Ohio State vs. Florida in the national title game of college football. But the Buckeyes have to beat Michigan which won’t be easy and The Gators still have to contend with a SEC Title game which can be dangerous.

    Mark- For there to be another “Boom Period” like the late 90s as you suggest the key element is developing NEW superstars along the lines of a Stone Cole or a Rock who were both “new” during that era. The evolution of new stars in any form of sports and entertainment is the key to success of any entity. That is why major sports leagues have annual drafts and Hollywood is always searching high and low for the next big thing.

    Kirk- Maybe it is just me but I don’t see the comparison between Umaga and Samoa Joe as others do other than their heritage of both being Samoans. There styles don’t resemble each other at all to me. Just my opinion.

    Jimmy- I would love to see a Four Horseman DVD set. It would definitely be a keeper. The Horseman legacy will last for generations to come and their stories of the road would be classic….if they could all be told.

    Andrew- The hardest match for me to broadcast is the Royal Rumble match itself as there are no breaks, a different wrestler coming to the ring every minute or so so the story changes constantly and it lasts for over one hour.

    Adam- I do not see a DX vs. NWO match any time soon. The NWO talents that one would need to make this happen are not all contractually available. I never say never but this is “highly unlikely”.

    Ronald- My wife and I are going to see “The Marine” tonight! Just an FYI for classic rock fans, last night my wife and I saw the group “Heart” in concert at a casino near our home in Norman, Oklahoma. For the record, the Wilson sisters can still get it done!

    For those of you looking for RAW feedback, check out www.wwe.com on the RAW page for my weekly column which is posted every Thursday.

    Thanks and keep the emails and the sauce orders coming. My family and I sincerely appreciate your business and for giving our sauces a try.

    J.R.

  • OK so OU lost the advertised “Texas Death Match” last Saturday in the Cotton Bowl but contrary to what some pundits and a few OU “fans” are saying this season is not over and the Sooners still have a chance to have a great year with 7 Big 12 league games remaining on the schedule.

    Wise guys like ESPN’s Chris “I Love Mirrors” Fowler who seemed to pride himself by constantly referring to Coach Bob Stoops as “Big Game Bob” last week after the Texas loss and the Tulsa World’s Dave “Thank goodness my last name doesn’t have an H in it” Sittler, who is a talented writer, used the term “Big Bust Bob” in a recent article. It is easy to pile on when someone is vulnerable and that’s what these two pundits have done in my opinion. They have the right to their opinion as do I in this space. After all, this is my website.

    Bob Stoops is a class individual and arguably one of the top five coaches in all of college football. For my money he is #1 but I am a “blind loyalist”. That trait has been an issue with me plenty of times in my professional career in the crazy wrestling business the past 30 odd years. I am lucky enough to live in Norman and personally know and associate with the head football coach of the University of Oklahoma. I also feel I am a decent judge of people and Bob Stoops is as first class as they come. Bob’s personal character notwithstanding, Coach Stoops track record his entire coaching career has been one of successes. We have all seen and experienced the success that Coach Stoops has led the Sooners to at OU. I personally would not trade Bob Stoops for any coach, college or pro, in the game. Bob never asked for any nicknames. Scribes and the talking heads did that for the Coach. And to think these intellectual geniuses in the media are the same ones who make fun of pro wrestling nicknames but when they can use the some philosophy in their work it is OK

    Bob Stoops, as the Head Coach, knows he is accountable for the success or failure of his football team. Bob makes no excuses when the team loses and is quick to compliment the winning opponent. The buck stops with Bob but the son of a coach knew that when he signed on at OU.

    The Sooner Football program is in good shape as will be proven throughout the balance of this season. That is my believe but I am a “blind loyalist” who sees the glass half full rather than half empty. With only 7 seniors on the roster, I would be so bold as to predict that our best days are still to come.

    Oh, but wait you say! What about the QB position next year? What if AD goes to the NFL? Well, guess what sports fans, OU is aggressively recruiting a plethora of blue chip high school and JUCO QBs. A competent signal caller will be behind center in 2007. Texas has 3 big time QB verbal commitments. How many will they retain with McCoy being a red shirt freshman and Snead being a pure freshman? Trust me, young QBs know that if they come to OU that the chance to start with a veteran and highly skilled team around them exists. It may feel a little dicey today but OU will have quality signal callers playing for them in 2007.

    Regarding AD going to the NFL after this season, why wouldn’t he? I can give you millions of reasons why AD should. Bet the farm on it, #28 is NFL bound after this season.

    For those of you “concerned” about the future of Sooner football, relax and exhale. Have a Sanka.

    The Sooners win big this Saturday with the lousy kickoff time of 11:30 a.m. (Hey, I’m trying to sell BBQ Sandwiches before the kickoff).

    Road Warrior Animal, Joe Laurinaitis, son James wears #33 for Ohio State and is on track to earn All American honors at Middle Linebacker. James is no doubt destined for the NFL but don’t be surprised to see James in the squared circle some day as well. James is a honor roll student and is only a sophomore for the #1 rated Buckeyes. Perhaps the highly paid college football gurus will learn the correct pronunciation for James last name by seasons’ end.

    Just a thought but former Ohio State QB and current ESPN analyst for college football Kirk Herbstreit would have made a great Spirit Squad member on RAW. That’s the pretty boy group of male cheerleaders we see on Monday nights. Something about the highlighted tips of Herbie’s hair that makes me think Kirk might fit in with the Squad. The Ohio State alumnus will no doubt do all he subtly can to get Buckeyes QB Troy Smith, a great player, the Heisman Trophy.

    Former Syracuse two sport star and pro wrestler Mike Rotundo, “Irwin R. Shyster”, has a 300 pound son, Wyndham Rotundo, who plays offensive guard for a JUCO in California and is being recruited by several big time division one schools. Mike played football and wrestled for the Orange some 20 odd years ago and was an excellent athlete. Wyhdham’s maternal grandfather, Blackjack Mulligan, was once recruited by Bum Phillips and played at UTEP and with the NY Jets when they were in the AFL.

    Jesse White, the son of wrestler Big Van Vader, would have contended for a starting job at center this year for the Sooners until an injury cut short his football career. Jesse is still attending OU and helps out with the football team when he can. Jesse White is a great kid and got a terrible hand dealt to him with his injury but Jesse will be successful in life nonetheless.

    I was shocked OSU lost to K-State. I would suggest that if those two teams played 10 times the Cowboys would win 8 of them. Mike Gundy’s Pokes have and are recruiting really well but need to shore up their defense (I’m sure that sounds familiar sounds familiar to OU fans) to compliment their potentially high powered offense. QB Bobby Reid has the physical tools to be a great one and time will tell if that comes to pass. The key thing is that OSU is playing a good amount of young kids and that attracts high school stars wanting to play immediately. I have had conversations with OSU alums who are not sold on Gundy but I think if the Pokes’ fans will be patient that Gundy will turn OSU into a contender in arguably the toughest division in college football, the Big 12 South. Nonetheless, OSU will be hard pressed to win at Kansas this week. I hope they do.

    Tulsa Coach Steve Kragthorpe is one of the bright young coaches in the country and he will take his Golden Hurricane to East Carolina University coached by Lou “I love myself” Holtz’ son Skip. Yeah, you heard me correctly, Skip. TU after playing on Tuesday and now back on the road with a Saturday game may be day/date confused. This will be a tough one to win for TU but I like this team and am going against the experts on this one and sticking with Tulsa.

    Missouri is 6-0, holy Dan Devine, and should beat the coach with the most perfect hair in the Big 12 in the Texas A&M Aggies’ Coach Fran. OU traveling to Columbia on October 28 is looking a little scary.

    Nebraska is only favored by 12 over K-State. Did someone forget to tell the odds makers that Bill Snyder has retired? Huskers win big in this one for the personable “hillbilly hater” Billy Callahan.

    Texas Tech at Colorado is a scary game. You know the Buffaloes will not go win less, will they?? The game is at Boulder so anything can happen. New Coach Dan Hawkins needs one heck of a pre game speech especially to his DBs but the spread is only 8 1/2 which sounds fishy to me. I like Coach Leach but this may be one of those “trap games”. Colorado and the points at home is my pick but it wouldn’t floor me if Tech won by 3 TDs.

    Can you believe that both Miami and Florida State are BOTH in the top 25 for the first time since 1982?! Most assume Larry Coker, a great guy and Oklahoma native will be gone after this season at “The U” but there is no doubt the ageless Bobby Bowden will return for the Seminoles. All the while, Urban Meyer will pick up every recruit he wants in the state of Florida in the meantime.

    It was great to see “The Old Ball Coach” Steve Spurrier Monday night in Columbia, S.C. I had a nice visit with South Carolina’s Coach Spurrier who assured all within ear shot that “Bobby”, as in Stoops, would have the Sooners back in the hunt much sooner than cynics predict. Spurrier pointed out that the bottom line is that 11 penalties and 6 fumbles, as we had against Texas, will implode any football team at any level.

    We will have our BBQ Trailer set up EARLY Saturday morning just north of the old field house on the north end of the stadium so come by and say hello if you attend the OU-ISU game Saturday morning.

    Check out our sauces as our online store is now open. We ship most anywhere. Thanks for stopping by.

    J.R.

  • Brian-My voice is getting back to normal but thanks for asking. I think sometimes I get a little too wrapped up in my play by play but I only know one style and that’s to do it with passion. Plus having to try and talk over the clutter Monday night was challenging. I know many fans liked the multiple announce teams, I did not hate it, but at times it took away from the in ring action. As it relates to wrestling managers, this too is an art form, and just like in ring performers there is a huge shortage of talented individuals with the aptitude to be a great manager. The WWE Managers DVD is a fun watch if you like the manager era and haven’t seen it.

    Jessica-so now that Kane has left Raw you are bailing on us? Come on Jess don’t leave. We need all the viewers we can muster.

    Dustin-Shelton might be a candidate to have a competent manager but the issue is there are not an over abundance of managers who know their trade these days. I think Benjamin is awesome and could be and will be a huge star some day. Plus, every top star should know how to verbally communicate.

    Andre- I actually hope there are no more “J.R.Days” associated with any company events. My days of having my manhood punted and being beat up are hopefully over and that’s usually what happens. I do however sincerely appreciate the Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry, a great man by the way, in bestowing that honor to me even though the in ring ceremony sort of went south.

    James-The 3 announce team set up is challenging. Some of the time our mics were on all at the same time and some time they were not. Some might say that the wrestling became a backdrop for the commentary at times and that isn’t cool. Was some of the banter entertaining? Absolutely, but it was also distracting at times too and arguably too personal at times.I honestly don’t know why if it was a Monday night show why King and I had so much ringside company.

    Kirk-I agree it was great to see Ted DiBiase and IRS. These are two fine human beings and were great in ring technicians. I would be shocked if their sons did not follow in their father’s footsteps in the future.

    Darius- It looks as if we will open our first J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q at a location in Norman. Hopefully we will be ready to open around the first of the year.

    Van Hawk- I think Harry Smith will be a great superstar. It just takes time and everyone is anxious to see the son of the British Bulldog in action. I have known Harry since he was a small lad which he is no longer standing around 6’5” at a sturdy 260 or so pounds.

    Sam- Mick Foley is right in my opinion. Wrestlers who can talk do much better when provided bullet points about the topic they are to discuss than attempting to memorize copy. There are only a few people I have known that have the ability to write passionate copy for others to deliver. That too is a skill that is hard to come by.

    James- I see Droz about every time we are in Philly or Atlantic City. He seems to be doing well. Droz’s spirits are excellent and he seems to be regaining a little movement in his upper body. We always talk a little football which should come as no surprise. Droz is a big Maryland Terp fan.

    Tim-Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does not indicate in conversations with me that he will ever be back in the ring full time. Rock misses being around the fans and performing in front of a live audience but the travel grind and the opportunities to make major motion pictures is his passion or at least one of them. I know Rock watches Monday nights when he can as we occasionally discuss when transpires on the show.The “Great One” was one of the best signees I ever inked. Dwayne is one class act.

    Randy at 4:51 a.m.- Wow you are up early. I could use a grammar lesson or two myself Randy. I just discovered spell check not that long ago! “Double J” rocks…O.K. I’ll take your word for it.

    George in Japan- First of all keep up the great work with our Military. My respect for our troops has never been higher in my life. My thanks to all of the men and women who keep America safe. Yes, George, I heard plenty of the Texas victory over OU last Saturday at the Cotton Bowl. Luckily for me Dusty was not in Columbia Monday but I heard plenty, too much quite honestly, from JBL. OU has won 5 of the last 7 games with UT but I guess that doesn’t count. I am not sure of the schedule for the WWE in Japan but check out wwe.com for all the info. Dusty will verbally abuse me next week but at least JBL will be back on Smackdown.

    Steven L.- Arn Anderson is a brilliant mind and could make any one he associates with better. AA is a natural born teacher and has a great aptitude for the business. I was working in Mid South Wrestling when Arn, then known as Marty Lunde, got his first job in a territory. AA is a classic and could still be better than most if he had not suffered serious neck injuries.

    Eric “Mr. Kennedy”- I am stoked that you liked our sauces. We are really proud of them and think everyone will like them if they just try them just once. If you don’t like them, let me know. We want everyone to be happy but the feedback we have been getting has been really positive. Our on line store is open and we ship any where in the world.

    Keep the emails coming with your questions and comments and I will do my best to get to them as quickly as time allows.

    We do appreciate you checking out our site and your support of our sauces and merchandise. Thanks!!

    J.R.

  • I sure bumped into a ton of wrestling fans down in Dallas over the weekend where, along with the Mrs. and some great friends, we attended the OU-Texas 101st meeting which UT won 28-10. I will have more on “the game” and other football news and views in a blog that should be up soon.

    It was quite a surprise running into Steve “Dr. Death” Williams, and his son Wyndham, at the massive State Fair of Texas. Doc is feeling good and thanks to the grace of God is cancer free. Doc still can’t talk “hands free” but will hopefully be able to after he has another surgery to address the matter.

    For someone who has had so many struggles and life threatening challenges in the past couple of years, Doc’s attitude and outlook on life is inspirational and amazing.

    Many people would, no doubt, have a “woe is me” attitude if they were dealt the good Doctor’s hand. Doc told me long ago that he put his total faith in his Lord and Savior and would accept what ever fate awaited him. That is courage and a true believer, my friends.

    Doc still does a few wrestling dates and also helps instruct young wrestling students in Louisville and Atlanta from time to time. Doc has a great message to tell these young wannabes and future stars. I think Doc’s future is in telling his story publicly and he is being booked thru The Switzer Talent Agency in Norman, Oklahoma.

    I think Doc would be a huge hit on the speaker’s tour especially with church youth groups as Doc’s story is truly inspirational.

    Someone asked me the other day about how good the tag team of Terry Gordy and Dr. Death were back in the day including in Japan and in their short run in WCW. Well, that is an easy one. Williams and Gordy were awesome and if both were in their prime today they would be printing money. This duo was what is known as a wrestling team first but two, refined brawlers as well. This deadly duo’s matches with the talented Steiner Brothers were at times simply excellent and amazing in the crazy times in Turner’s WCW. There were so many wasted resources in the old WCW that we could write a book about it but that has already been done more than once.

    Gordy and Doc meshed as one but each came from totally different backgrounds. Williams was a high school phenom who excelled in wrestling and football. Doc was one of the most recruited high school athletes in American when Doc graduated high school where he originally got the nickname of “Dr. Death”. Doc went on to Oklahoma University where he was a multiple time All American in wrestling and a 3 year starter in football including making all Big 8 as an offensive guard.

    Gordy never finished high school and started wrestling professionally at age 15, some have said 14. Terry was obviously big for his age and was much more natural at the pro game that was Doc when Doc broke in between his junior and senior year of college at OU. This is no knock on Doc as Terry Gordy as a teen was the most natural in ring performer I ever saw in my 30 plus year career. Terry left us all much too early and the former badass of the Fabulous Freebirds will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him. The ‘Birds were ahead of their time and no team in wrestling today has the fans ready to respond like the Freebirds did in their prime.

    Doc and Gordy could “feel” the game. Neither played the role of a wrestler or what they perceived a wrestler should be. They WERE wrestlers in the most natural sense much like Stone Cold, Bret Hart, The Rock, Ric Flair, Harley Race, the Brisco’s, and the Funk’s from back in the day.

    If we look at today’s wrestling landscape there aren’t as many “naturals” who have the experience and ample time left in the ring to display their wares. Certainly HHH, HBK, The Undertaker, and Chris Benoit are on a short list with a few others that possess the total package of skills any promoter would look for in a perfect world. There are many others who are “this close” to achieving that status as well.

    I have said on many occasions that there has never been a better time for talented athletes to migrate to the world of sports entertainment. If a young man or woman is athletic enough, focused, and a student of the game, the opportunities to make it in this great business have never been better. By that I mean never been better since I got in the biz in the mid 70’s.

    I am enjoying reading all your emails and comments, and will try and answer some here on the site this week. I also want to thank so many of you for ordering our sauces from our online store. We are still a few months away from having our eatery open in Norman, Oklahoma and are working on a grocery story deal as we speak.

    Thanks for checking us out and please tell a friend!

    J.R.

  • This Saturday marks the 101st meeting of the Oklahoma Sooners vs. the Texas Longhorns on the collegiate gridiron from the historic Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. For us Sooner fans and I am sure for the ‘Horns fans there is no bigger weekend on the entire schedule excluding a major bowl and of course a national championship game. For some diehards however this is THE game of the year. Period.

    I attended my first OU-UT game in 1970 and have been to dozens more over the past 36 years. I will be there again this Saturday sitting in section 24 row 32 near the 50 yard line. A Sooner fan offered me $750 each for my 4 tickets and I am sure I could have gotten more but they are not for sale at any price.

    The tickets list for $85 each but the memories and experiences I have had with friends on this weekend are priceless.

    The Sooners are anywhere from a 5-6 point underdog against the defending National Champions on a game to be televised on ABC Television. I have been on the sideline for the past 5 or 6 years but since this is the first time I have taken my wife to this often times rowdy affair I will most likely sit with her and not be down on the field with the team as I have in the past.

    Plenty of WWE Superstars have a keen interest in this game including Dusty Rhodes and JBL, among many others. Dusty grew up in Austin, the home of the Longhorns, and bleeds burnt orange. If OU loses I can expect to hear it from him for the next several months even though I went easy on him when OU ran off 5 wins in a row over the Steers beginning in 2000. Well, sort of easy.

    I believe that the key ingredient in making any one successful in what ever they choose to do in life is passion. Intellect is obviously a nice asset as is education and experience. But nothing can replace the passion one has for their life’s work.

    Passion will win or lose this football game Saturday in Dallas. Oklahoma has had a challenging year but has only lost one game, the controversial game to a great Oregon team in Eugene on an obvious bad call from a replay official. That’s water under the bridge now. That is history. None of us can change history we can only study it and learn from it. Saturday in sweltering heat before another sellout crowd in an old stadium in dire need of renovation that sits in the middle of the largest state fair in the world, the underdog Sooners will no doubt play their hearts out for the love of the game, their school, their families, and their teammates.

    The tradition of this game is one of the great intangibles of the Red River Rivalry. It’s no different than the tradition of certain cities or arenas being special in the wrestling business. I have attended dozens of events in Madison Square Garden and it never gets old and I never take for granted the privilege of being able to sit at ringside and do what I have loved doing for over 30 years, broadcasting wrestling. It is always an honor to be in the “World’s Most Famous Arena”. I get the same feeling when I sit at ringside on Monday Nights when we broadcast RAW. RAW has become a part of Americana and we are nearing our 700th episode of the show. Man, where did the time go?

    I will have that same special feeling this Saturday when I take my seat in the Cotton Bowl to watch my team compete. I am a lucky man to be able to be in Dallas Saturday. It was one year ago this week it was told to me that in all likelihood that I had colon cancer. I still went to the OU-Texas game last year knowing that I was going to get a biopsy done the next week and that the chances were good that I would be battling colon cancer. Thanks to the Good Lord above that never transpired. I did have major surgery but the doctors found no cancer. Nonetheless, I was bound and determined to attend the game and then to handle my duties at ringside the following Monday night because of that one key word….passion.

    I count my blessings every day and if this is the last Red River Shootout I ever attend for whatever reason, I have been blessed. The same goes for Monday Night RAW. We have our season premier this Monday night and I am going to be a part of it when it seemed that last year that I would not be. It’s funny how things can change in our lives in one short year.

    I have analyzed this game for www.ouinsider.com and it comes down to the same basic things on which most big games hinge. What team makes the fewest mistakes, who controls the line of scrimmage, and who can control the clock.

    But perhaps more importantly this game depends on who plays with the most passion for 4 quarters.

    I want my team to win in the worst way just like I am sure Longhorn fans want their team to defeat their arch rival. But somehow I think just being able to attend the game and to enjoy it knowing that I have been given a new lease on life that somehow I have already won in the game that truly counts, the game of life.

    So come Monday Night RAW at 8/7 central on the USA Cable Network no matter the score in Saturday’s big game, I will be sitting at ringside, again counting my blessings, and doing what I do, for better or for worse, and doing it with what brought me to the dance. Passion.

    BOOMER SOONER!

    J.R.

  • Maybe it is just one hour of wrestling but the ECW TV show is rapidly becoming the best one hour wrestling show on TV for my money. This show has a destination, a great build for the TV main event, and has focus. It just doesn’t seem to be “all over the road”.

    Hard core Holly’s character looks to be taking a change of course after his ugly 24 stitch cut last week. Bob is a hardass but he is a hard working, blue color guy who has endured a great deal over the past few years. I hope the fans accept Bob as a fan favorite and appreciate his work. Bob’s people skills are a little rough around the edges but he is one tough S.O.B.

    Interesting tag match with Show teaming with Striker. Striker has the components to be an excellent antagonist. Show, bad back and all, is simply a freak of nature with a personality. I think Sandman and Sabu add to ECW a great deal and still have adequate fuel in the tank.

    I hope the Extreme Strip Poker game delivers next week with all the hype it is getting. If it comes off like flatulence in church that will not be a good thing. Plus, can one be nude on basic cable??

    Kevin Thorn beating Tommy Dreamer surprised me. Nicely done.

    I am becoming a big C.M. Punk fan. Selfishly I wish Punk were on RAW. Punk is the real deal.

    O.K. Knox fight Punk already!! Maybe next week.

    Can you believe Kelly Kelly is only 19? For real!!

    RVD vs. TEst was excellent even though it took most of Heyman’s friends, and there aren’t many, too beat Van Dam.

    Successful wrestling shows don’t have to be complex or convoluted. They don’t have to feature wrestlers attempting to be comedians and thespians in general. I think fans like “car crashes” and “competition” not bad acting or lame attempts at comedy.

    The WWE did a nice job entertaining me Tuesday night on Sci Fi with the one hour ECW show. Attaboys to all.

    J.R.

  • I enjoyed the short flight from OKC to Kansas City aboard lovely Southwest Airlines and then the relatively short one hour drive over to Topeka this week. It’s funny how travel can sometimes affect one’s outlook on a show or affect the preparation for a particular show. At this stage of the game for me, travel is not my friend. However, I must say that some of my car trips with the King are damn entertaining and would probably make a good reality show if there is such a thing.

    The RAW from Topeka, RAW #697 to be exact, was a solid show that was highlighted by a strong main event featuring John Cena and Edge. Wrestling inside a steel cage is not easy and can be somewhat limiting but both Cena and Edge did a helluva job in my opinion. I have loved this rivalry since it kicked off in January but it would seem that these two men may move on to other opponents in the near future. I have heard from some of you that still love the interaction between these two and I have heard from some of you that are tired of this pairing. To each his own but I personally love their chemistry. Edge has become an “A” list star since this thing kicked off in January.

    No one can ever say that these two men don’t work hard and to me that is where it all starts. They have told some amazing stories in the ring from my perspective. Wrestling is such an art form and a fleeting one at that. Someday someone is going to wake up and truly discover what the territory system meant to the business and say, “Uh, oh we’re out of talent.”

    The 4 team Texas Tornado tag was a wild affair with DX proving without a shadow of a doubt who the top dogs were in that hunt. It is a challenging time to be an aspiring tag team on RAW with DX so dominate. Perhaps Cade/Murdoch can break the glass ceiling or at least they seem to have the best chance. The other two teams in this wild west affair are not bad but they just are not established units as of yet.

    Jeff Hardy has done extremely well since returning to RAW. Jeff says he was completely burned out when he left RAW somewhat unceremoniously 3 years ago but what ever his reasons were I am glad he is back. Jeff has added a much needed spark to RAW and now that Jeff is the new IC Champion we should continue to see the IC Title elevated. I have always looked at the Intercontinental Title as special but it seems, at times, it has been almost forgotten in the big picture.

    As The King would say “one can’t grieve forever” for Johnny “Don’t Call Me Monday ” Nitro even though he lost his gold he still went to a Topeka area hotel and slept with a “gold digger”.

    With Jeff Hardy as the new IC champ it would seem it would set up many possible scenarios as to viable challengers for the championship. Let’s hope that Jeff can stay in one piece during this IC Title run.

    To say that DX was ubiquitous Monday Night might be a rather Texas sized understatement. HHH and HBK seem to heading for a situation with Cade and Murdoch. It will be very interesting to see if the young lads can hang with the veterans in this encounter. If Cade and Murdoch are successful down the road vs. DX that will certainly increase the rowdy rednecks worth on the RAW brand and would put them in main event level matches which does mean more cash. Cash is good for all wrestlers. But don’t take my word for it, ask them.

    On a few of those DX bits Monday night I had flashbacks to some Saturday Night Live skits and the spaghetti western music made me wonder what ever happened to Lee Van Cleef.

    It looks as if Umaga or Kane will be leaving RAW next Monday during the 3 hour fall premier called Family Reunion which by the way starts one hour earlier than normal so adjust your TiVos and DVRs. Where do you think the winner is headed? It could be Smackdown or ECW.

    I think it is classy that John Cena wanted to premier his movie “The Marine” at a Marine base. Camp Pendalton has some of the bravest men and women in the world stationed there so Tuesday night’s premier should be quite the throw down. I will assure you this…..no WWE Superstar works harder promoting the company…ever…than John Cena. You may not like his wrestling, I do by the way, but no one in their right mind can deny how hard this man works.

    I was excited to see the Orton-Carlito match but it ended too quickly for me. (Insert joke here.)

    WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter got a surprise win on Monday night over the Spirit Squad’s Nicky. I just have a feeling that this 5 man group who are the reigning World Tag Team Champions, are about to implode.

    Mickie James and Victoria had a nice 5 minute match. This RAW needed next week’s three hours so these matches would not have appeared to be so rushed. Mickie advances and Victoria goes back to making delicious pizza for the time being in Louisville.

    You know, sometimes Eric Bischoff can be a jackass. O.K. most of the time. I left WCW because I was considered too regional to be the voice of WCW. The decision to take me off the air was news delivered to me by, in my humble opinion, an Andy Griffith-on-crack-like gutless wonder by the name of Bill Shaw. Shaw “inherited” WCW from Ted Turner and wanted to distance himself from it as best he could. Like many TBS white shirt wearing, red tie and blue blazer attired executives Shaw’s manhood might have fit into a thimble. I had over two years left on my contract there when I was illegally, by TBS’s own contract, re-assigned. Contracts, as I have learned over time, mean little if the company who writes the contract wants to break it. Nonetheless, Bischoff’s book “Controversy Creates Cash” tells Eric’s story from Eric’s point of view and even though I don’t like what he said about me he has the right to say it and I am man enough to take it. I do encourage all “real” wrestling fans to read it. If you are a new fan, are really young, and just like to watch people fall from high places through inanimate objects this book might not be for you. It does go into some intimate details about wrestling politics, back stage maneuvering, and the art of the “wrestling swerve”. Unfortunately it doesn’t document Cowboy Bill Watts urinating off the 12th floor balcony outside his office in the CNN Center but I may cover that if I ever get motivated enough to write about the crazy journey I have been on for going on four decades.

    Honestly, career wise leaving WCW and coming to the WWE was the best thing I ever did for all the right reasons.

    Some one emailed me and said that a TNA Wrestler said I talked on our site about TNA because I “feared them” as in the WWE, I assume, fearing TNA. That’s laugh out loud funny. Fear what? That TNA is going to take over the world and all of us that don’t work there will be out of work. Please come back to reality. No one is going to take over the world and put everyone out of business and nor should they if they have any brains. As I have said many times, competition is good for everyone in every walk of life. I assure you there is competition between the three brands the WWE owns among the wrestlers as it relates to TV time, earnings, exposure, etc. That’s a good thing. More guys and gals should be even MORE competitive because it raises their game. The same goes for TNA or any other company that wants to turn a profit in the wrestling/sports/entertainment arena. The more the merrier and may the best provider of content reap the deserved rewards. I assure you there is enough to go around for everyone. It may make a nice wrestling promo or look good on someone’s blog or website but “fearing TNA is just plan silly”. Let me tell you what I do fear. I feared that I had cancer one year ago. I fear my two granddaughters won’t grow up in a safe country. I fear that my wife will have more fun after I’m gone that she does now (that’s a joke) and I fear that the Oklahoma Sooners may not play a great game against the powerful Texas Longhorns this Saturday in the Cotton Bowl to which I will be in attendance.

    I am anxious to be a part of the THREE HOUR BROADCAST this Monday from Columbia, S.C. on the USA Network that airs live at 8/7 central. Remember, that’s one hour earlier than normal. It’s ironically Gamecock Country in Columbia and I wonder if DX will present Mr. McMahon, I can only assume he will be back on RAW this Monday, with an authentic token of their esteem, a honest to goodness Game Cock from South Carolina. Who knows, perhaps they can get the head ball coach himself Steve Spurrier to make the presentation.

    We will answer more of emails this week Plus don’t forget that OUR STORE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! WE WILL GLADLY SHIP ANYWHERE. Thanks for stopping by.

    BOOMER SOONER!

    J.R.

  • Here are a few email responses. . .

    Sonny…I don’t agree that some think Bryan Danielson is too short. Bryan’s height should have nothing to do with his in ring marketability.

    Tim…I don’t think TNA should copy the WWE if they are. TNA should develop their own identity. Honestly, I am not sure what that is. There sure is an awful lot of Jeff Jarrett on the show.

    The Oklahoma city power outage was not a part of “the show”.

    JBL’s commentary is one of the highlights of Smackdown. His style of commentary is a lost art. JBL will get better and better in time but he has a wealth of potential a la Ventura, Cornette, and Heenan back in the day of antagonist color analysts.

    Dan…I don’t think Kanyon, Gangrel or the Blue Meanie were mistreated by the WWE. I did not walk in their shoes so because of that I have a different opinion perhaps than you on this matter.

    Gangrel may be appearing on TV soon. Kanyon has talent and I could care less about his alternative life style and Meanie is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

    X-Pac back? Never say never. I would say that depends on WWE upper management and X-Pac’s willingness to want to be a part of the team again. It certainly has nothing to do with his talent level.

    WE hope our sauces are good enough to make it into supermarkets some day. You can help us accomplish that by buying some online.

    Joe…Michigan football looks to be back where they belong. For Lloyd Carr’s sake, the Big Blue need to be. I like what I have seen of them.

    Will J.R. ever be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Not likely. But one never says never.

    What’s my favorite BBQ? Let’s put it this way…the worst I ever had was wonderful! My absolute favorite is slow smoked baby back ribs.

    Could HBK be the WWE Champion again? Absolutely. Never count out HBK.

    Matt in Australia….I agree that Rob Conway is undervalued. Conway could be a star under the right circumstance.

    Tony…will there be another Memphis pay per view? I’m sure some day but not any time soon as best as I can tell.

    Dustin…I assure you that Vince McMahon doesn’t “fear” TNA. I honestly don’t know if McMahon fears anything except possibly death or old age. I’m not 100% sure of that.

    Marco in Germany…Yes I have read the Bischoff book and think you would like it. It’s heavy at times but tells a compelling story of which not all of that I agree with.

    Nate….Yes the WWE has attempted to buy Mid South Wrestling for WWE 24/7. Thus far no deal has been able to be reached. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. It would be a great addition to the 24/7 library.

    James…I correspond with the Rock a couple of times per month. He is still “The Great One” but fans need to face the facts that the Rock’s days of wrestling are history. Rock still loves the business but his film career is exploding.

    DF in the UK….I don’t think it would be wise at this time for TNA to go head to head with the WWE on Monday Nights. That’s just my opinion. Yes, we ship all our sauces and merchandise any where in the world.

    Brutas….I know nothing about a nWo vs. DX match. It is very unlikely that will ever occur. However, it makes for good internet talk.

    Will…I will take an Ohio State vs. Oklahoma national title game as we speak. But first my Sooners have to get by Texas this Saturday in Dallas. The Buckeyes are REALLY good.

    Ryan…I know nothing about how serious the talks were between the WWE and Samoa Joe or even if they officially took place. I think Joe is very good and is a great physical wrestler even though he isn’t a body builder type…so what? I also don’t think that Umaga is a Samoa Joe wannabe. Perhaps some day Samoa Joe will migrate to the WWE if he can stay healthy.

    Nick…I agree that Val Venis is under utilized. Val would make some young wrestler a great tag team partner. Young wrestlers have to learn to apply their craft in the ring and with no territories to go to any longer it is up to the veterans who can still coach ‘em up to get the job done.

    Our BBQ Trailer will not be at the OU at Oklahoma State game this year at this time. Plus my favorite BBQ Sauce is the Chipotle BBQ but the Jalapeno Honey Mustard and the Chipotle Ketchup are all really good. Try ‘em and see for your self.

    Keep emailing and I will try and keep answering them.

    Be well. Count your blessings. Go Sooners vs. The Horns!

    J.R.

Upcoming Appearances

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    Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 1:00pm

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