J.R.'s Blog

  • Let’s not blow off a 59-0 Sooners win last Saturday night over an obviously outmanned Middle Tennessee State University team. Wins are good and confidence building wins after getting shafted in Eugene, where we indeed got “Ducked”, had to make our players and coaches feel better. It did not hurt my feelings to actually be able to relax at an OU football game for a change.

    The team will be off this Friday and Saturday before returning to practice on Sunday afternoon/evening and getting serious, damn serious, about game preparation for Texas. My granny used to say that idle times were the devil’s workshop and let’s hope the OU players make good, mature choices on their 48 hour hiatus and use the time to rest and enjoy the fruits of their labor. We don’t need any “issues” a week before our Big 12 opener.

    This Sooner offensive team is sure a heck not a one dimensional until. AD is going to get his yards come hell or high water and the more guys that are placed in the “box” the better for Paul Thompson who has a bevy of talented receivers to select from lead by sophomore, 6’4” Malcolm Kelly.

    The old “let’s make Thompson beat us” theory works for me. No one is going to fully stop # 28 any way but go ahead and try and load the box and good luck on single covering Coach Kevin Sumlin’s guys. That includes 3 massive and athletic tight ends.

    One of the keys to the OU-Texas game is the Sooners young offensive line going up against a UT defensive line that is QB hungry and loves to punish the men under center. This may simply come down to who is the tougher unit and who is willing to get up more frequently when they are knocked down because there will be knock downs in this heavyweight Slobber-Knocker.

    On defense, let’s tackle like wild men and make UT QB young Colt McCoy’s life a living hell for 60 minutes in the Cotton Bowl. Texas has a massive O-Line that has the ability to help facilitate long, Longhorn drives which keeps AD seated and the clocking moving thus becoming our enemy. Our defensive line will no doubt have their manhood tested on October 7 and it will be interesting to see how high the fire burns under their backsides thanks to the motivation of Coach Jackie Shipp. I wish Coach Shipp had some eligibility left!

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out our cornerbacks will be tested early and often. This is a huge opportunity for Texas boys Marcus Walker and Lendy Holmes to make a statement, along with the talented D.J. Wolfe. Reggie Smith at safety makes me feel more secure that no on will be running free deep on us.

    I attended my first OU-Texas game in 1970 which was the first game that Sooner offensive coordinator Barry Switzer incorporated the wishbone offense. We got hammered that day but came back the next year and the wishbone ran wild. This is one date on my calendar that is circled more prominently than any other day of the year. I’m not sure that is a good thing or if I am simply and obsessed Sooner football fan.

    Mike Gundy’s OSU Cowboys got hammered last week…by the officials. Houston is not a bad team but OSU played offensively well enough to win. The Pokes defensive has to improve but T. Boone Pickens favorite team is playing a great number of young players which should bode well for the future.Bobby Reid is potentially a great QB but the running back by committee system may not be as effective as some perceive. The men in orange and black are headed in the right direction and play OU the last game of the year in Stillwater. That’s some serious Bedlam! OSU, like OU, is off this week.

    The most significant game this week in the Big 12 is Tech at A&M. If the mad professor Mike Leach has his offensive rolling in this one I can see The Red Raiders outscore the Aggies in this one. If it becomes a low, scoring defensive struggle the nod goes to Franchione’s bunch. Franchione is on thin ice in College Station so it is hard to gauge just how big this game is for the Head Coach and his staff and their families.

    I saw where Fighting Irish Coach Charlie Weis said he got slapped in a melee last week on his sideline during the Notre Dame-Michigan State game. The Spartans deny such but if it did occur, speaking as someone who knows about multiple chins, on which chin was Coach Weis slapped??

    Florida fans booing QB Chris Leak, only the # 4 ranked passer in American, should be ashamed of themselves and dapper Urban Meyer should have the Spauldings to same something about it to them.

    If I was an Auburn fan I would be scared to death to play Spurrier’s Gamecocks on the road. Auburn has a better team but that doesn’t always mean Auburn will win in South Carolina.

    Oregon should kill Arizona State in Tempe. The Ducks with or without the officiating help are pretty damn good.

    Colorado at Missouri is a feast of famine game. CU coach Dan Hawkins has the chance to build on almost winning at Georgia and to start off clean with the Big 12 North games. Stranger things have happened. Winning at Missouri is not easy as OU will find out later in the season. Mizzou in a CLOSE one.

    At Iowa, at night, on national TV…sounds tough to me. Ohio State has a great team but Iowa has great tradition and everything to gain in this ball game. No one expects Iowa to win so if there ever was a time to go with the home ‘dog this may be it.

    It’s fun to watch all the former OU Sooners now in the NFL. Man, business really picked up when Bob Stoops got into town. The number of ex-Sooners is scary now playing in the NFL. Chicago (4) and Baltimore (5), two Superbowl hopefuls, have the most former Sooners.

    Clint Ingrim is now seeing action at LB for Jacksonville. Brodney Pool is attempting to hold things together in the Browns’ secondary. Stephan Alexander is seeing action as Denver’s tight end. Derrick Strait is contributing to the upstart Jets, while Roy Williams is still THE man in the Dallas secondary and will bump into former Sooners Brandon Jones and Andre Woolfolk this week against Tennessee. Props also go out to OT Jamaal Brown, OU and Lawton, for doing a stellar job Monday night in the Superdome against Atlanta. The NFL Sunday ticket is the thing to have this season to support the former Sooners in the NFL.

    We appreciate your email feedback and don’t for get to checkout out online store, Sooner Slobber-Knocker merchandise is the perfect choice for the Sooner fan in your family. Plus we ship our sauces all over the world. Thanks and let me know if you ever purchase anything that isn’t right.

    J.R.

  • We are burning daylight so let’s get started:

    Kurt Angle- This matter is really getting a great deal of feedback and may be borderline over analyzed. Kurt needed time off to deal issues he has throughly discussed on his own website. As I understand it the WWE and Kurt mutually agreed to release Kurt so he could heal physically and mentally and then puruse other options including coming back to the WWE if he was healthy and chose to. No one betrayed anyone here. Kurt needed to step away from the WWE and heal. It was that simple. For anyone to say Kurt was “held back” is a little far fetched to me. Kurt made a ton of money in the WWE and earned a worldwide reputation. What else was he supposed to do while in the WWE? This business is about making cash, plain and simple. Kurt made big money and got famous in the WWE. He deserved all his accolades and the rewards that went with them. TNA is not going to become an overnight sensation with or without Kurt Angle. One man does not a company make. I perceive and am told that there are conflicts of interest issues in TNA but that’s hearsay because I am not there. I hope everyone in TNA are all successful and finally reach profitability.

    Vince Russo in TNA- I wish him the best. I have no ax to grind with Russo. We have not always agreed philosophically but that doesn’t necessarily make either of us wrong. Russo has had some excellent concepts in the past. Perhaps he can re-generate those types of ideas in TNA. Time will tell. The question is can Russo comfortably write reality based story lines and stay creatively stimulated. I think the trend is going back to in ring drama and physicality but that may just be my wishful thinking.

    The WWE has had numerous talks with Sting over the years but Sting was never overly interested in working anything but a part time schedule at the time. Sting is a class act and a talented, good man.

    The old ECW is dead. It has been buried. It will not be returning which I think is a good thing. The new ECW has the chance to be successful for years and keep their wrestlers healthy. The old ECW physically gobbled up wrestlers and broke them down to shells of themselves. I like the new ECW. I enjoyed the old ECW, too, but its time has passed.

    ROH- I don’t see enough of the Ring of Honor to accurately comment on their group. I read about them from time to time and do respect their passion. Their wrestlers really work hard. Got to love that.

    Undertaker quit? I sure as hell hope not. Not only is Taker a great Superstar but he is one of the greatest leaders in the locker room that this business has ever seen. I know of no one in the business I respect more than The Undertaker.

    Tag Team Wrestling- In virtually every area of the world I get a chance to preview, tag team wrestling in general is not good. Not enough guys are setting their goals to be a part of a great team as the big money is in singles matches.

    If you want to be a writer in the WWE contact the WWE Human Resources department and if you get hired be ready to work 6-7 days a week.

    Bryan Danielson- I have no idea if Bryan is the best in the world but drawing money is a criteria as to who is the best in the world and not simply being a sound technician.

    Does Vince McMahon own TNA? Not hardly. But who knows, he might some day.

    Is Eric Bischoff coming back to WWE TV- Your guess is as good as mine and I spoke to Eric Tuesday in Tulsa and he did not know then.

    JBL- The man himself told me he was planning on staying with Smackdown for the foreseeable future. JBL is a good talker and does a nice job on Friday nights with his colorful commentary and making Michael Cole’s life challenging.

    NWO-I don’t know where all the NWO/DX stuff is coming from but I would seriously doubt that this will ever happen to where the nWo comes to the WWE and if, and that’s a big if, it would not be long term. My money says it won’t happen. it might be fun for a while to see it but it isn't likely to happen but I could be wrong.

    Does J.R. ever want to become a manager? NO…thanks.

    Can we ship our products abroad or throughout the world? Absolutely. Check out our store and when it is operable it will tell you exactly what you need to do to get us to ship right to your door.

  • Thanks for all the emails.

    Here we go….....

    Our on line store – It will be open this week I am told so you will be able to order our sauces, our caps, t shirts, etc. very soon. If you order anything you don’t like you need to let me know. This is a fan friendly site and we will be honest and fair with every customer. That’s my promise.

    Stone Cold is in Southern California and just returned from Australia where he made a movie for WWE Films. Steve called me this week and he is reading other scripts and getting ready to start his second movie soon. I know he is working out every day but has no plans to return to the ring to wrestle at this time. He said he hasn’t felt this good in years. I wouldn’t get back in the ring if I were Steve with his neck issues and movie career ahead of him. Steve is actually coming here to Norman soon to attend an OU football with yours truly and the Mrs.

    TNA on Mondays?? I say, just bring it. (Thanks, Rock) It really doesn’t matter what I think but competition is good for everyone. If it were to be TNA on Monday Night so be it but I don’t think the folks at TNA or their network are crazy so I doubt that you will see TNA vs. Monday Night Raw any time soon.

    Kurt Angle- Like many of you I worry about Kurt too because I care for him. He is a friend. Regarding Kurt’s release, I do not know the details except that I think that the release was mutual, as I understand it, and effective immediately upon everyone signing it. That is not official but it is how I understand it.

    King pile drive Michael Cole at Homecoming- Not gonna happen. Why are so many people angry at Michael Cole? He’s a good guy. I do like the idea of a 4 Horseman reunion at Homecoming there in South Carolina.

    Outside Interference- There is too much of this in the business in general but it has been around forever, unfortunately. I’m not a big fan of it either.

    Samoa Joe- I like his physicality. He may not have a body builder’s physique but he certainly seems to be physical. I said the same thing about Cactus Jack many moons ago and he seems to have done o.k. for himself. With my old body, I am not casting stones at Samoa Joe or Cactus for the record.

    I am sure I have forgotten many matches where a competitor had one arm tied behind their back. I was only referring to those I could remember off the top of my head. When you have called thousands of matches over 30 years a few of them fall through the cracks, sometimes purposely. I don’t think I saw Jericho versus Nick Patrick but I remember it happening once it was mentioned.

    Bob Holly-Yes, Hardcore Holly is a legit, tough S.O.B. I, too, hope he is better soon and gets back to doing what he loves. Hardcore’s match with RVD this week on ECW was a physical train wreck.

    Kelly Gregg- The Baltimore Raven Defensive Tackle might make a great WWE superstar. Kelly is a friend of Charlie Haas and is from Edmond, Oklahoma and played football for the Sooners. Kelly was also a 3 time state wrestling champion.

    Johnny Nitro may not be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time yet but I do see excellent potential in this young man. He is very athletic and can do some things in the ring he has not utilized on TV as of yet. Let’s give him some time before he is thrown out with the dish water.

    Bryan Danielson- He is an excellent in ring talent. There is no doubt that this athlete is all that his fan base think he is. I like Bryan’s passion and his work ethic a great deal. He doesn’t have the size many covet but Danielson is a player.

    To King (not Lawler but a poser)- Obviously you aren’t using your real name and I can see why. You are classless. Call me what you wish, Mr. BBQ works for me, but leave the profanity off our site. This is a family site. You are exactly the type of person that gives the sports entertainment business a bad name. Thanks.

    I appreciate all the emails but I respectfully ask that you keep them clean. Say what you want but do not do it in a profane way. I don’t think that is asking too much.

    Keep the emails coming and I will answer more as time permits.

    J.R.

  • They hung an innocent man the night the lights went out in Georgia and Monday night on RAW John Cena got the short end of the stick in Oklahoma City’s Ford Center on a raucous night that started with a power malfunction. The OKC faithful which numbered around 10,000 delivered the goods and were a hot crowd all night.

    Many on the internet were speculating as to why the power went out in the arena as in using “Oliver Stone” type logic that everything that happens on TV is well planned and has a reason for happening. It’s a live TV show that simply experienced a power failure due to some issue with the heat in the arena essentially tripping massive breakers in the Ford Center. The arena itself is a first class facility hosting many major events including a WWE pay per view in 2005 and the NBA Hornets. It certainly isn’t as if every minute of every live RAW broadcast is like a well oiled machine. It’s live TV and things happen virtually every week that most of us don’t expect. RAW # 696 will be remembered that way for me.

    Lita advances in the first match of the tournament to crown a new Women’s Champion after Trish won the Title at Unforgiven and retired to marry and lead a normal life. Lita has to be the favorite to win this tourney with Mickie James right there breathing down her neck, so to speak. I’m begging to see a tournament bracket.

    Umaga blew off Jonathan Coachman Monday night and still got involved in Kane’s match for the IC Title with Johnny “Don’t Call Me Monday” Nitro. I detest when matches end abruptly and without a clear cut winner or loser. I assume next Monday in Topeka Coachman will conference with Estrada to address Umaga’s lack of institutional control.

    Nitro is evolving well as the IC Champion but he needs to get away from Kane. Health insurance for independent contractors is expensive these days.

    Melina is still a jezebel who will most likely dump Nitro to “up grade” the minute Nitro loses the IC Title. That’s just one man’s opinion.

    Maria and Eugene in a car on a long trip with “spy cameras” might make a nice “reality show”. Who could we add to this “cast”??

    Cryme Tyme is going to definitely be fan favorites or so it seems. This is a RAW team in more ways than one but I think there is an upside here with these two men from “the hood”.

    Ric Flair was called into action again Monday night. I love “Naitch” but less is more as it relates to seeing this legend in the ring. Flair’s matches should be kept as “special occasions” and not weekly occurrences.

    It has not been a stellar two weeks for the Spirit Squad in singles matches. Maybe the self appointed alpha male of the group, Kenny, no last name needed, will be the next young buck to challenge the 16X champ next week in Topeka on RAW. Did you know that the Spirit Squad are the World Tag Team Champions? (Hey, it’s only a joke. Or is it???)

    I still don’t know who won or lost the Gauntlet Match that DX competed in on RAW. My best educated guess is that it was a double Disqualification with DZ and Cade and Murdoch. I love the potential of Cade and Murdoch and think they may be the best of the young talents who have been developing on RAW but this young, talented duo has no identity yet. I won’t even get into haircuts or facial hair here as it relates to these young pups.

    As long as DX is together they need viable competition in tag team matches and it looks like Cade and Murdoch may be the first one’s to step up to the plate and want to dance with the big boys. One thing is for sure, Cade and Murdoch will get better and better the more in ring time they have with DX.

    Would Viscera, who can do some pretty amazing things for a man of his enormous size, be even more menacing if Vis did not wrestle in pajamas?

    Charlie Haas looked Middle Eastern to me Monday night for some crazy reason. Another mysteriously, covert message to be analyzed in depth. Or it may have just been the light or my senility.

    I would have loved to see more of the Jeff Hardy-Shelton Benjamin match Monday night but Jeff ended it suddenly and not in typical Hardy fashion. Shelton is arguably the best pure athlete on any WWE brand but his personal, social views need to be left off TV and he should just focus on wrestling and beating people.

    The Randy Orton/Carlito rivalry has the potential to escalate into something special on RAW. However, potential doesn’t buy groceries.

    Super Crazy has been an “Extremely” and pleasantly surprising addition to RAW. King’s bumble bee reference regarding Super Crazy was hilarious.

    Chris Masters hasn’t seemed to be quite the same in the ring since he returned from hiatus. Masters may be too one dimensional offensively as it relates to his “Masterlock” and the use thereof. Masters might benefit from being in a tag team with a veteran wrestler and I am not referring to Orton.

    It was surprising to see the honorable Eric Bischoff on RAW Monday night. The silver haired, deal maker has written a controversial book, I read the original manuscript, that will piss off some within the business and tells an enlightening story from Eric’s perspective of the Monday Night Wars and the tumultuous days he experienced at WCW. There is a great deal of talking “wrestling politics” in this book and I think most hardcore fans of the biz will enjoy it. “Cash Creates Controversy” could easily be a sleeper hit. Bischoff holds little back in this one.

    The last one armed tied behind one’s back match was one I called years ago in Ft. Worth when I sit in for a week on World Class Wrestling and it was Freebird Buddy Jack Roberts vs. referee David Manning. That might be a WWE 24/7 nugget someday.

    After John Cena easily disposed of Lita, no surprise, with one armed tied behind him Monday night it felt like the “fix was in” when the three Smackdown wrestlers made a surprise appearance. Edge loved what he saw when Booker, Regal and Finley did a number on Cena prior to their 6 man tag this Friday night on Smackdown on the new CW network. I am shocked that no one from RAW came to the ring to assist Cena Monday night. I assume DX had left the arena because if DX had been available they would have obviously intervened.

    By the way, “King” Booker, lose the Lennox Lewis-like British accent. It’s about as genuine as a mother in law’s hug. That’s no knock on Booker’s wrestling ability but the faux accent is killing me. Maybe that’s the point.

    What is the over/under on how long Kurt Angle stays in TNA? I think the world of Kurt and hope he gets totally healthy much sooner than later. Perhaps being a part of TNA will work for Kurt as it relates to travel and in ring demands. I do think this genre is much better suited for Angle than mixed martial arts, UFC, etc. I wish Kurt well on his new opportunity and that is true, damn true.

    The WWE is excited about the TV ratings for the first Smackdown broadcast on the CW network. It was 2nd overall in their target demo of men 18-34.

    It was great to see so many of my friends at the Ford Center on Monday night including OU Sooner head football coach Bob Stoops who brought his kids along with 5 other OU football coaches and their sons. My pal and country music superstar Toby Keith and his son were also at ringside.

    I received a much unexpected surprise at the end of the evening which can be viewed if you dare and have a strong stomach on www.wwe.com. Luckily for all those with sight it did not last long. I knew it was going to be too good to be true for me to “escape” OKC unscathed! There are some very “unique” (o.k. sick) individuals working behind the scenes in the WWE to think up stuff like this. Nonetheless it was done in the spirit of fun and it seemed like the fans got a kick out of it.

    We will have another wrestling blog this week as I am heading to Tulsa to watch Smackdown and ECW from the familiar haunts of the Tulsa Convention Center. ECW airs Tuesday nights LIVE on the Sci Fi Network but you probably already knew that.

    The big Monday night RAW Homecoming on October 9 will be a three hour affair, sounds like an old Lawler relationship, and will feature stars from all three WWE brands. Does that mean we will have three sets of announcers at ringside so everyone can get their “rub” off the flagship TV vehicle Monday Night RAW? Perhaps we can throw in Carlos and Hugo and make it “Announcer-Mania”. Hey, after my October last year I am just happy to be here, period. Dodging the colon cancer bullet was much more significant for me personally that who gets a “rub” or how many on cameras one brand gets over the other. Fragile egos should not get in the way of the reality of real, life and death issues. The television business, in general, eats people up and spits them out as does every form of sports and entertainment. One day, one is loved the next day one is old news. That’s simply the way it is. I am so thankful for the gift of life that I go to work every week looking to have fun and enjoy the total experience rather than to become immersed in political bull@#$%. There are no guarantees for “next week” in any phase of our lives so we will be better served if we count our blessings more often.

    Take care and check us out again this week. Don’t forget to visit our photo gallery as we will have some new stuff up this week and our store. Our goal here is to sell some product, to be dead-ass honest, and I think you will love our sauces and merchandise. If not, just let me know. Thanks!

    J.R.

  • For the love of God, I am SO tired of hashing and re-hashing the debacle in Eugene last Saturday where an incompetent official decided to either outright screw the Sooners or this individual was so stupid that he could not rule on one of the most basic football principles in the game.

    One of our WWE TV crew members was one of the tape operators who worked in ABC’s Production truck at Oregon and he told me Sunday in Toronto that the replay official saw up to 4 and maybe 5 different angles of the blown onside kick call and that there was conclusively NO technical issues to prevent this former 28 year Pac 10 official from making the obvious correct call.

    No, the replay official is playing the sympathy card and because of OU’s deserved outrage, the national media has made the replay official, Gordon Riese, the victim and Oklahoma University the spoiled bully in this perverse equation. What in the hell is wrong with this picture? I am sorry that Mr.Riese has high blood pressure but lots of us suffer from the same. Mr. Riese points out on numerous occasions that his wife has the job of being a nurse. That’s a very honorable profession to say the very least but it isn’t as if Mrs.Riese is the only nurse in Oregon. Now the 64 year old replay official who no doubt has many personal, university of Oregon friends who live not far from Riese’s home in Portland has decided to take a leave of absence from his replay duties for the balance of the season.

    That’s the best call Riese has made this season.

    I only wish his pals who actually worked the game including Mike Belotti’s high school “acquaintance” the crew chief of the OU-Oregon game would do the same.

    It was a bad day at Black Rock but now we move forward. We cannot change history but we can make history if this team starts paying up to their potential and, gasp, runs the table. It could happen. The odds are against it but it could happen.

    I suspect the Sooners will be moderately P.O.’ed this Saturday night against Middle Tennessee State as one would have to assume that the Duck Debacle would have left our team in a fighting mood. Perhaps OU will rediscover the alleged lost swagger this Saturday and carry it forward for the balance of the season. I may be an eternal optimist when it comes to OU Football but so be it.

    No game is a guaranteed victory and if OU has an Oregon hangover this Saturday night could have several scary moments. The Sooners need to start out with a sense of urgency from the get go and not let up until Coach Stoops calls off the dogs. The Sooner defense needs to become carnivores.

    For the national media to say that Adrian Peterson has little or no chance of winning the Heisman Trophy is simply stupid. How can any one with a minuscule amount of intelligence watch AD play and not see that OU’s # 28 isn’t one of the best running backs ever in the college game? ESPN’s Game Day crew annoys me as all of them want to be “rock stars” and not football guys. Hey, we do sports entertainment in the WWE but for my two cents ESPN should do sports, period. Sports itself is entertaining but this is the era of the controversial soundbite which seems to be the obsession of every talking head on TV sports.

    I think OU will cover the spread (28) but my biggest concern is getting any unnecessary injuries as we are two weeks and counting until October 7 and the showdown in Dallas against the Steers.

    Oklahoma State has a tough one this week on the road in Houston. I look for lots of points to be scored in this one and if OSU can defeat a decent Houston team away from Stillwater then the Pokes have taken the major steps forward many think. I think OSU is much improved and Mike Gundy is doing a great job re-building the Cowboys after jovial Les Miles bolted so I am going with the Cowboys to win the game.

    Tulsa travels to Annapolis to play the Naval Academy with Navy favored by 5 or 6. Because Navy runs the option which is hard to defend when a team doesn’t see it that much and even harder to replicate in practice, I am going with Navy to win this game but it could be by a field goal. I hope TU can pull it off but it won’t be easy against the disciplined Midshipmen. TU’s head man, Steve Kragthorpe, is a keeper but I don’t think TU will be able to keep this outstanding young coach much longer.

    Iowa State will play Texas closer than the 21 point spread even in Austin. Ohio State, clearly the best team in the nation at this time, will dominate Penn State and Notre Dame will rebound against Michigan State as John L Smith gets closer to being fired so he can be replaced by anyone hoops coach Tom Izzo prefers namely Steve Mariucci.

    I hope Mike Stoops Arizona team plays USC off the Trojans’ feet this Saturday. There is no doubt that ‘Zona will be pumped and will play with reckless abandon but the talent depth on the USC side is scary. Arizona upsetting pretty Pete Carroll’s squad would be awesome but it would also be the upset of the year. The good news is the game is in Tucson and if Coach Mike can keep this one close into the 4th quarter who knows what might happen?

    Take care and keep those emails coming. Our on line store should be open any day now. I hope you will order and try our sauces and some of our Slobber-Knocker merchandise which is perfect for any football fan. Have a safe weekend!

    J.R.

  • Greetings from under the black, 200X Resistol hat still recovering from a long trip from Oklahoma to Canada including the dreaded, unscheduled 4 hour layover in Dallas-Ft. Worth on Tuesday but just thinking of the live audience reactions on Sunday and Monday certainly made the journey worthwhile.

    Unforgiven was a hit. Even most of the internet guys liked Sunday’s PPV and their job as critics/reviewers make overwhelmingly positive reviews rare.

    It was hard to find an abundance of things wrong with the Sunday Toronto event in the Air Canada Center. For me, more wrestling and less talk is always a plus, OK usually always a plus, but the live audience in TO was, as we predicted, simply amazing. As has been said on many occasions, the live crowd reaction during any televised broadcast can make or break a show and the folks in Toronto were “stars” on Sunday night.

    Jeff Hardy and Johnny Nitro had their best match at Unforgiven. Melina’s interference felt a little limp but nonetheless if Nitro and Hardy focus on wrestling and not being wall to wall daredevils their subsequent matches will continue to be better. I like this pairing and look forward to seeing more of this rivalry. The King may prefer ogling Melina’s ample cleavage, I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but at the end of the day the question remains was the match good or was it bad and cleavage usually has little to do with that answer.

    The World Tag Title bout exceeded my expectations and The Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders probably had a better match than most folks, including yours truly, anticipated. For the record, I don’t dislike the tag team division on RAW. I do think it can be better and that is going to largely be dependant on how well the teams perform when they are given the opportunity. I am not calling anyone out here, if I do you will know it in this forum, but RAW has several talents who could energize this area if given the ball. I enjoyed the tag team match at Unforgiven especially since it seems as if the fans have not made an emotional investment yet in these teams as I expect them to in the future.

    I was surprised Umaga did not defeat Kane at Unforgiven. From the audience reaction, so were most of the fans.

    Carlito had his wrestling boots laced tightly Sunday night and had a terrific effort against Randy Orton who, once again, came up big in a big match environment. RAW really needs these two young men to become the stars night in and night out that they can be as their best years and biggest opportunity to earn the big money lies ahead of them. Orton catching Carlito in mid air with the RKO was a helluva way to end that particular match. This was a strong wrestling match which the live crowd seemed to really like. I know I did.

    The Hell in a Cell had some classic moments in it and delivered the goods from my perspective. Not seeing the Big Show on a regular basis in person any longer one forgets just how BIG this man is. This Cell and all Cell matches in the future will be compared to the first one with HBK vs. The Undertaker and the Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell from Pittsburgh where Mankind/Foley was thrown off the top of the Cell. That is a compliment to the aforementioned men but not really fair for all the other individuals who torture their bodies and bleed buckets of blood in subsequent Cell outings.

    Mr. McMahon having his bloody head stuck up the Big Show’s rather large ass was a sight to behold. I unfortunately read where someone compared this match to the “Kennel from Hell” B.S. of a few years ago which I found to be a ridiculous analogy. That’s just someone nitpicking to get a rise out of someone and it worked because I found that particular statement that of a dumbass.

    Trish got the emotional send off she deserved and was even fortunate enough to win the Women’s Title for a record 7th time. As I mentioned during the broadcast, wrestling history is a dicey subject and has been “re-written” many times. From the best I can ascertain, the Women’s Title was officially reorganized in 1956 with the Fabulous Moolah as the champion. Moolah essentially owned this title for YEARS and I mean YEARS winning it 6 different times, again according to the records I was able to obtain. Trish had definitely won the title six times because I happen to have seen all of those. By my math, that makes the classy Canadian beauty the winningest women’s champion in the history of the WWE. Trish is getting married soon and we wish her the very best in her new journey. I would like to think we have not seen the last of her in the WWE but who knows for sure but Trish herself. She has been a treasure to be around and I can still vividly remember the day she walked into my Connecticut office to interview for a job. That hiring was an easy decision. I thought Trish using the Sharpshooter made famous by Bret “The Hitman” Hart was classy and obviously effective. It was certainly purely Canadian.

    Talk about going “on the road” and winning an away game in hostile territory; John Cena was able to pull it off in Edge’s hometown Sunday in another emotionally charged contest. What an atmosphere! My black hat is off to both men for a variety of reasons. Edge was literally choked unconscious during Cena’s supercharged STFU during the match but recovered and took care of his business. Cena was able to maintain his concentration in spite of over whelming crowd venom directed John’s way. TLC matches are obviously at or near the top of the high risk food chain and sometimes it is feast or famine when executing maneuvers in that environment. For this being Cena’s first TLC match, it was definitely a hit and Edge’s performance was simply off the chart. I am not so sure that Edge did not come out of this match hotter than going in. I want to clarify something to for those that may not “get it”. When I describe John Cena as being “controversial” I mean it because Cena elicits an emotion from virtually everyone in the arena. Some cheer, some boo but everyone has an opinion and likes to express such. For many wrestlers, they either get cheered OR booed whereby Cena more often than not usually gets both sometimes at the same time! That’s my definition of controversy for a positioned fan favorite such as John Cena.

    RAW had a hard act to follow Monday night but the Montreal crowd once again proved that they are one of the best we see all year any where around the world.

    I like the elevation of Cade and Murdoch and feel they both have the goods to be able to compete on the next level. RAW has to be about making new stars and these two certainly have an opportunity to be two of the headliners in the near future.

    It will be interesting to see what the disposition of the now vacant Women’s Title will be. Certainly one would assume that Lita and Mickie James are the leading contenders for the title.

    The Boogeyman is gone from the WWE. Don’t you just love the obligatory…”we wish him well in all his future endeavors” line with every dismissal?

    Why is Rene Dupree the most “Extreme Man” on ECW?

    Watching ECW Tuesday night it seemed that Ariel had her front end aligned or something to that affect.

    The talk of the internet and out of Kurt Angle’s camp is that Kurt is entertaining thoughts of getting into the UFC-like competition as promoters from around the globe are clamoring for the former Olympic Gold Medal winners services. From a promoter’s point of view, there is no doubt that the curiosity factor in signing Angle to fight would be potentially huge. How many Olympic Gold Medalists have stepped into this particular arena? I mentioned many weeks ago that some promoter would try and hook up the two former WWE stars Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar which is a lay-up. It doesn’t take a Vince McMahon or a Vince McMahon wannabe long to figure that one out. My two cents on this matter is that Kurt should stay as far away from the mixed martial arts world as possible. Yes, there is huge money to be made for a few fights but at what cost? I say the potential risk facing Kurt is too great to even think of traveling down this road. I am not condemning the promoters of this genre as they are in the business of making money and most defiantly Kurt Angle in the MMA world is money but is the risk of permanent injury worth the cash? Not where I sit.

    I got a fair amount of emails last week when I touched on TNA. Again, I am not of the mindset to wish ill on any one and the more places the wrestlers can work and make a living the better in my eyes. Most of them that get really good will probably wind up in the WWE any way. TNA can have success if they wrestle more, go young and homegrown. The entire business is about building new, younger stars that get to dance the last dance on TV or PPV.

    The WWE sold out Mexico City last night to the tune of well over 800K! Great job by all involved. This short tour of Mexico should gross close to 2M. That is a great success story for the WWE. Plus, just think of the crowds if had featured “Dog the Bounty Hunter” one of Mexico’s most wanted felons!

    Good luck to the Smackdown guys this Friday night on their Premier on the CW Network.

    RAW is in OKC at the Ford Center this Monday night. Should I wear an OU helmet or body armor as I usually get my ass kicked in my hometown. Perhaps I will get lucky this time but who knows? Tune in live Monday night at 9/8 central time. I would be interested in taking on an Oregon Duck…not a real human being but an actual Duck…..or a Pac 10 replay official.

    Our on line store is going to be open imminently. I hope you will check it out and try our sauces and merchandise. The official Slobber-Knocker merchandise is one of my favorite items. Also take a look at our vintage photo gallery. More photos are added on a regular basis. Keep your emails coming and thanks a million for checking out our site. We will have a football blog up this week, too, as usual.

    Boomer Sooner!

    J.R.

  • We have had a great response to our latest wrestling blog today. I appreciate that greatly. I love to read your feedback and to check to pulse of the wrestling fans.

    Here is a quick response to a few email items:

    I am not throwing stones at TNA. I have zero issues with TNA but when their brand has a chance to be different and they begin to lean toward the established brand in the marketplace it is, in my individual opinion, a mistake. For the sake of all the talents who work within the business the more places they can work to earn a living the better. I have several friends who work in TNA and I certainly want them to be successful. Wishing ill of another company is non-productive, old school ‘rasslin B.S. The WWE is and always will be the leader within the sports entertainment genre and I am sure the fine folks at TNA would not dispute that claim. But that certainly is no indictment on their brand.

    This is not a WWE site. I am doing this site independently of the company I work for with their blessings and support. Thanks to the WWE I can legally do this project as I am still under contract to the WWE at this time. The WWE supports my BBQ projects and that is greatly appreciated by my family and me.

    Being an old school guy I wholeheartedly prefer more wrestling than talk on TV. That’s me. That’s my personal opinion. I don’t know if that opinion makes me right or wrong but it is my opinion, plain and simple. I would like to see all wrestling broadcasts feature more wrestling because that’s what I grew up on but that doesn’t necessarily make a show that is short on wrestling a bad show. It’s all about personal preference. I prefer in ring physicality over out of ring talk. I also like “sweet tea” rather than regular tea and baby back ribs over beef ribs, for the record.

    Regarding the ECW Hardcore matches….I like them. My point was with a shallow roster the risk of injures increases in these types of matches and neither ECW nor any other brand can afford to lose any key wrestlers for any reason, including injuries. Plus, when is enough risk taking and violence enough? How many tables is enough? I like the carnage especially when I am not involved in it but at some point Hardcore matches cease being as special as they may feel now. I am merely thinking of the talents who put their bodies thru hell and are continually thinking of more ways to brutalize themselves and there is absolutely no way that the human anatomy can withstand that level of punishment on a regular basis.

    When you take shots at me regarding the WWE and if makes you feel better, have at it! No problem on my end but my role in the company is to show up for work on time and be ready to perform to the best of my ability. I am not the matchmaker nor do I want to be. I call what I see and much more often than not I enjoy the hell out of it. My wrestling, like I grew up on, is dead. So Is Mickey Mantle, John Wayne, Saturday morning westerns, and Roller Derby but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about them with fondness and respect.

    We move on and agree to disagree.

    The huge amount of emails I received today is another reason I still love this business. The fans have passion that is unduplicated in any forms of sports and entertainment.

    Thanks and have a great “Unforgiving” weekend!

    J.R.

  • The Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys have college football games this weekend that are about as opposite as two games could be.

    The Sooners embark on a long flight to Oregon to play the nationally ranked Ducks in Eugene while the Cowboys stay in Stillwater to host former OU coach Howard Schnellenberger’s impotent Florida Atlantic University from the football Mecca of Boca Raton, Florida. (I see rich people.)

    The Ducks are favored by 4 the last time I checked and some pundits feel that Oregon has the ability to blow out OU by double digits. Many scribes are inclined to speculate that OU’s defense is tremendously overrated and that if a defense can stop Adrian Peterson that Paul Thompson cannot lead a one dimensional Sooner offense to a tough road victory. Oregon is looking at this game as a “retribution” game or, as we say in the ‘rasslin biz, “a grudge match”. The Sooners seems to be approaching this contest in a business-like fashion knowing that they have to improve in several areas to leave Autzen Stadium Saturday on ABC with a “surprising win” according to the national media.

    I look for the Sooners to open up their offense and do all they can to encourage Oregon to not stack the box with 8-9 players hovering around the line of scrimmage. Oregon has to man up in the secondary which one would think would create some opportunities for QB Paul Thompson and a slew of excellent wide receivers including Malcolm Kelly, Juaquin Iglesias, and the returning Manuel Johnson. Getting AD running down hill is another key to victory. Big # 28 gets better as the game wears on which can be disheartening to the opposition. Both these potential, positive offensive matters start with one common denominator, the offensive line. If OU has an overabundance of false starts, etc Saturday the Sooners are in big trouble. Plus the young O-Line must play physical and be willing to hit the right Duck in the mouth more often than not. The Sooners running some misdirection this week away from an AD face might prove invaluable at the right time.

    Defensively the Sooners must, I repeat must, tackle well. The defense, if you eliminate the first play of the game against Washington and the long pass on 3rd and 11 that set up a field goal played pretty damn good last week. Much better than against UAB. But tackling is the key against Oregon who returns its entire O-Line virtually in tact. Duck QB Dennis Dixon is an elusive running signal caller who loves to run the option while 240 pound tailback Jonathan Stewart is Oregon’s best young tailback in years and a national 5 star high school recruit. The Sooners front seven will definitely get their manhood tested Saturday in Duckland.

    Being an OU loyalist, I am going with the Sooners by a field goal or less. Coach Bob Stoops has not played all his cards yet but Saturday might be the time to go “All In” with a couple of new wrinkles.

    OSU gets another dressed up scrimmage against Florida Atlantic and can make spending another two days in the State of Oklahoma miserable for 72 year old coaching legend Howard Schnellenberger. Coach Mike Gundy’s young Cowpokes are 2-0 and favored by 4 touchdowns and should cover that easily.

    I like QB Bobby Reid who is still young and improving but ever so talented and is surrounded with some outstanding young players including perhaps the best freshman in the Big 12 in Perrish Cox. OSU started sluggishly last week in Little Rock against Arkansas State but I don’t see that happening this Saturday in T. Boone Pickens (Mr. ATM) Stadium. I hope the Cowboy faithful sell out the place and begin to support the program with the passion many display on talk radio. There is no reason the stadium in Stillwater should not be packed this Saturday. Perhaps some one should check Schnelly’s flask.

    North Texas visits Tulsa and the Mean Green are still shell-shocked from their opening day loss to Texas. Tulsa is well coached and has some excellent Oklahoma high school talent representing the Golden Hurricane so I am going with TU to cover the spread of 19 after last week’s disappointing loss to BYU.

    If Miami loses this week to Louisville, the classy, Oklahoma native Larry Coker and Hurricane head man may be as good as gone in the eyes of the “U” faithful. That’s too damn bad because Coker is an excellent coach but he did sign a 5 year extension a year ago so he can come back to Oklahoma and live the good life he deserves if he so chooses.

    ESPN commentator and former Ohio State QB Kirk Herbstreit thinks AD can’t win the Heisman. That’s “brilliant” Herby especially in the second week of the season. Why don’t you just spend a little more time spiking your highlighted, blonde hair and let the season play out? Of course Herbstreit would love for one of his homeboys from Ohio State to win the Heisman Trophy but the national media, especially back East, has virtually anointed Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn as this year’s winner. There is obvious a bias against AD that he will have to overcome just like his freshman year when Peterson was the best player in the nation and did not win the Heisman simply because he was an 18 year old freshman.

    Who would have thought a few years ago how big this Saturday’s Texas Tech-TCU game would be? These two teams have to rank as 2-3 in the state of Texas behind the Horns. TCU better have the edge big time in ball control because the mad professor, Mike Leach’s offense is going to put points on the board. TCU has a 12 game winning streak, holy Bob Lilly, which includes beating OU in Norman last year on the opening weekend.

    OK, I am a little bitter but I find myself having a hard time pulling for Nebraska this week versus USC in Southern California but I will, reluctantly. I love the Husker tradition, Tom Osborne, the Husker fans, the legend of Bob Devaney but I can’t stomach Nebraska head honcho Bill Callahan. Nonetheless, I will support the Big 12 and root for the Huskers to pull off a HUGE upset in La-La Land. But it won’t happen. If Nebraska can keep it under 14 the boys from Lincoln and their arrogant coach should consider it a moral victory if indeed Callahan has any.

    Bottom line this is a helluva weekend to be a college football fan! Enjoy it.

  • Greetings from under the black, 200X, Resistol hat from your OU Football loving, BBQ fanatic who is looking forward to traveling to Canada this week for what is sure to be an emotionally charged WWE pay per view, Unforgiven in Toronto.

    It is always an adventure and a thrill to travel from our home in Norman, Oklahoma to New York City but being in the Big Apple on the 5th Anniversary of 911 this past Monday was really special. The resilient folks of NYC are amazing individuals and the city, for the most part, has seemingly recovered as much as humanly possibly since the cowardly attacks of September 11, 2001.

    More...The fans that attended the live Monday Night RAW event and the ECW taping Monday night at Madison Square Garden certainly were not “laid back” and their positive energy should have motivated everyone involved in the process Monday night. If not, as the late Gorilla Monsoon used to say, “Get Out!” There were several talents who had never performed at MSG in their careers and I spoke with many of them. Some were trying to act “cool” as if The Garden was just another arena but any observant person could tell that they were as nervous as a lady of the night in church. I have broadcast many events in Madison Square Garden and I STILL get nervous as hell when I work there. Just knowing all the great stars from so many forms of entertainment and sports that have roamed the halls of the backstage area and used the same dressing rooms we use is surreal in itself. We all prepare for a major broadcast such as RAW in NYC differently. While I poured over my notes, The King toured DC Comics & Victoria’s Secret. Hey, to each his own.

    The pageantry of the opening moments of Monday night’s show was remarkable live in the arena. My black hat is off to Lilian Garcia, yes, she’s single gentlemen, for her stirring rendition of America the Beautiful. It was very Aretha Franklin-like from Wrestlemania 3. Lilian is a former Gamecock by the way.

    Many of the NYPD and the NYFD were in attendance and I always love visiting with those guys. Those are men’s men and were the true heroes of the evening.I thought the jacked up crowd and the sense of urgency regarding Unforgiven amped the wrestlers up nicely Monday night. I know that future Hall of Famer Ric Flair was pumped and “Naitch” has seen and done it all (literally). When a veteran like Flair gets goose pimples you know the show is going to be a good one.

    It was nice to see Mike Rotundo at the Garden on Monday. Mike may become a producer for the WWE. Not only was the former “IRS” an outstanding in ring talent in his day but Mike was a two sport star at Syracuse in football and wrestling. Mike is a classy guy.

    Not sure how to predict the Kane-Umaga match this Sunday other than it may resemble a Monster Truck Show as much as a wrestling match. Don’t expect a Brisco-Funk re-make. With the baseball pennant races heating up, let’s just say this match will be more about the long ball than base hits.

    It was great to see WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper at MSG Monday night. If some of the younger talents who aspire to be wrestling antagonists would spend more time watching vintage tapes of bad guys like Piper rather than playing video games or seeking out the wrestling gossip then their careers would be better served. Roddy, like yours truly, is now a grandfather, and that changes a man’s perspective on many things and motivates one to re-prioritize one’s life even if, as in my case, it comes later in life than it should. Even with Piper’s motivation, I will be surprised if the Highlanders can overcome the 5 on 2 advantage the Spirit Squad will have Sunday on PPV.Speaking of the Spirit Squad, I like the upside of these 5 talents. However, I do think the 5 man unit, for my money, is close to running its course.

    Speaking of tag teams, the tag team competition on RAW still needs that shot in the arm. Perhaps Sunday will help kick that matter off and certainly Cade and Murdoch elevated their game by being willing accomplices to the assault of DX on Monday night.

    Edge is “red hot” and headed “home” to defend the WWE Title in a match Edge has never lost. It sounds like the challenger (Cena) is in a fair amount of jeopardy doesn’t it? John Cena will be booed out of the arena in Toronto which is Edge’s long time home base. Cena must win Sunday or Cena’s goal to become WWE Champion takes at least a 3 year hiatus as Cena has already inked a 3 year Smackdown contract that goes into effect IF Cena loses Sunday. These TLC matches are overtly dangerous. The likelihood of someone getting hurt in this match is obvious. Johnny “Don’t Call Me Monday” Nitro, although blinded by the “love” of an evil woman with multiple agendas, in my opinion, has really impressed me as of late with his in ring abilities. Nitro’s match with Jeff Hardy should be an aerial attraction but sometimes the crash and burn element becomes an issue in these types of matches. This match may resemble some of the ECW Hardcore Rules contests, at times, inasmuch as swinging for the fences and fouling one off occasionally but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.

    Carlito and Randy Orton have the opportunity to steal the show with a pure wrestling match come Unforgiven. Now, will they do it? That’s entirely up to the two men in the ring. They each have the ability to be off the charts. Physically, neither lacks a thing, so it comes down to mental preparation and the “will” to be better than any one else on the show. These two men could be two of the future building blocks for RAW for years to come and this Sunday will go along way in determining just how far along these two are in that journey.

    What’s next for Chris Masters? Hopefully, for his sake, no more matches on worldwide TV with Super Crazy. The leaner, should be quicker, Masters is 0-2 against the former ECW and Smackdown grappler.

    Speaking of Smackdown, how many “kings” are there now days in the WWE? There’s the original King, Jerry Lawler, Smackdown’s Champ, King Booker, the King of Kings, HHH, and let’s not forget the King of the Ring. Notwithstanding the King of B.S., ECW’s Paul Heyman and one of our best sponsors, Burger King!

    Will Trish end her storybook career with a 7th Championship victory this Sunday in her final match that also happens to be in her home town? I don’t have, here comes an Eagles reference, a “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” about this matter. Bad things happen to WWE stars/personnel when they appear in their hometowns. King loses in his home town of Memphis in a 2-3 minute match while I’ve spend more time on the canvas than Rembrandt in OKC (Oh Hell, we’re back at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City on Monday night September 25!). I sincerely hope Trish wins but quite honestly I would not bet a bottle of BBQ Sauce on it. I hope I am wrong.

    At 7 feet tall and a dozen biscuits or so over 500 pounds, The Big Show is simply a “freak of nature”. I sometimes wonder if he actually realizes how dominate he could be. I can remember back in the day when my wife cooked dinner for Show and he put a huge strain on the dining room furniture and the flooring. Plus, he ate all my damn apple butter! In all seriousness, the Big Show has the physical attributes to be THE biggest attraction in this business. Period. End of Story. Case closed. The McMahons have the right man on their side come Hell in a Cell this Sunday. The advantage for DX is that HHH and HBK know exactly what the Cell holds in store for them while this will be the first visit by the McMahon men folk and their giant sized asset inside Satan’s playground. I expect a total blood bath come Sunday on pay per view at Unforgiven.

    Hey for 61 years of age, or any age, for that matter, Mr. McMahon’s physique was awesome Monday night. I know for a fact that all the Chairman does when he is not with family is work and workout. There is no golf, no boating, no polo, no Texas Hold ‘Em, no football, nothing that interests the Boss as much as the business and working out. I probably will never be on the Chairman’s Christmas card list again especially after Mr. McMahon has replaced yours truly on RAW on numerous occasions. I could bitch, moan, and woe is me it but what good does that do anyone? The bottom line is, Mr. McMahon is richer than eight feet up a bull’s ass and he doesn’t need to step into the ring but McMahon does it because he wants to do it. perhaps even NEEDS to do it. Mr. McMahon indeed does have a HUGE ego but I have never met anyone in his position who didn’t. I applaud the Boss’ passion and his work ethic in, and out, of the gym which no one, not even his biggest detractor’s, can deny. I also realize that any given Monday could be my last broadcast because of the volatile nature of Mr. McMahon but that just goes with the territory, for better or for worse. However, I do know that the paychecks always cash and are always on time.

    After watching ECW Tuesday night on Sci Fi, it strikes me that the ECW boys may be having a few too many Hardcore Rules matches on their TV shows. If you have one every week, they cease being special. If one table isn’t enough what is? 5, 10? I vividly recall at Summerslam fans yelling “We Want Fire” during the” I Quit” match between Flair and Foley. What in the hell is up with that?! What’s next……organ donation??I like what I am seeing from C.M. Punk on ECW. He has a tremendous upside. Let’s hope Punk avoids the injury bug and the mental strains of potential stardom. My advice to him would be to remain diligent and professional, work harder than anyone in the building, and be prepared to carry the ball when your play is called.

    What, wrestlers taking lie detector tests on TV? Stop it now, please, I am begging you! Wrestling shows that try and “out WWE” the WWE is like flatulence in the wind, it just blows away. A wrestling show that focuses primarily on the in ring product might be a novel concept for a budding WWE wannabe. No one is going to out “WWE” the WWE. I went through the exact same issue while I was at WCW in the late 80’s-early 90’s.

    The Midnight Express’ Bobby Eaton seems to be doing o.k. and did not have a heart attack as was erroneously reported on the ‘net.

    What a great game by former Road Warrior Animal’s son James Laurinaitis, # 33 and middle linebacker for Ohio State, against Texas. Man, James’ Mom must have been one helluva athlete. (Only kidding, or am I and this is the covert message of the week sponsored by Oliver Stone??)

    One of the Longhorn’s biggest fans, literally and figuratively, The American Dream Dusty Rhodes, was dreading running into me at MSG on Monday after the Buckeyes trounced Dream’s Longhorns. I was gentle with the son of a plumber from Austin much unlike what he will be to me if Texas beats Oklahoma this season. Hell, OU has more than their hands full at Oregon Saturday afternoon. That’s the only game this season I will miss due to my travel to Toronto but I plan on watching the game in the DFW airport and then catching my early evening non stop flight to Toronto for Unforgiven.

    Here’s a word of advice to all aspiring, wannabe WWE Divas. It will/should take more than a breast enhancement and a fake tan to get a job in the WWE. I would suggest one familiarize one’s self with the product, and understand the physical demands this job requires. Being an athlete would be a good thing as well. If you worry about a broken, fake finger nail you may have problems. This is a special business and one should study its history. Rent or buy some WWE DVD’s and educate yourself on the heritage of the business. Plus, being able to talk in complete sentences is a good thing, too.

    It was great to see my Oklahoma pal and country music superstar Toby Keith at Raw Monday night. Check out his movie “Broken Bridges” which is in selected theaters now. Toby and I have spend many hours together on the sideline at OU Football games and he is still a regular guy in spite of being almost as rich as Mr. McMahon. Toby and yours truly both live in Norman, Oklahoma and I am partners in his “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill” restaurant in Bricktown in OKC. Many of RAW’s biggest stars will be dining there the night before RAW in OKC.

    I hear that the DVD regarding the History of the WWE Championship is a good one. I am going to watch it this week. The Brian Pillman DVD was awesome. I think I can watch Brian’s again without having to get up and walk outside as I did the first time.

    It looks as if more changes are a float in the WWE Developmental System. This entity is close to my heart and I truly believe within it lies the future of the WWE. There is nothing more important than the development of new superstars within the WWE Developmental System. If one thoroughly reviews the talent rosters under the WWE umbrella, in addition to Mother Nature’s issues, a key injury here or there could do serious damage to the product. Now is the greatest time that I can remember in the past 30 plus years for a young man or woman to want to make sports entertainment their life’s work. I am looking forward to the continued development of Cody Runnels, son of Dusty Rhodes, and Teddy and Mike DiBiase, son of the Million Dollar Man, as all three of these young men may have what it takes to break through and successfully follow in their talented father’s footsteps. Much like Harry Smith and Dallas Hart, I am hoping these second and third generation athletes can be the building blocks for the WWE in the future.

    My friend Kurt Angle, my wife is a Pittsburgher, too, is doing well with his time away from the travel and the physical demands of the road. Kurt Angle is a winner and Kurt Angle is the only person who can win this particular “match” he is in. No one else can tag themselves in. This is Kurt’s fight to win or lose and I feel strongly that much like everything else Kurt has done in his life that Kurt will get his hand raised. That certainly doesn’t mean that Kurt’s lovely wife Karen is not there to support her husband and the soon to be father of two beautiful children. She is. Kurt is a lucky man in that regard. I hope Kurt is not tempted to accept what I am sure is a ton of offers to step back into battle before it is time with everyone wanting to make a quick buck off of him. The mixed martial arts business is hot again, for the moment, and there is no doubt that ambitious promoters would love to have the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist step into an octagon or whatever to help maintain their PPV momentum. MMA has long had challenges building an abundance of marketable stars and Kurt is a “made man”, if you will in all due respect to one of my all time favorite shows, “The Sopranos”. Kurt’s focus right now is on his family and his health. I fully expect, and yes this may be considered wishful thinking by some, but I fully expect to see Kurt Angle back in the WWE in the future and would love for it to happen in time for Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit on April 1, 2007. Kurt is one of my guys and as Coach Barry Switzer, the former Oklahoma Hall of Famer, has told me many times when you recruit a player you recruit him for life and that’s how I feel about Kurt.

    Thanks for checking out this week’s blog and please tell your friends about our site. Our store is allegedly going to be up and running soon, or so I am told, and when it opens I hope you will do a little shopping as we will be selling our delicious sauces and some “J.R.’s BBQ” and “Slobber-Knocker” merchandise. I also do a football blog each week as well. Thanks for all the emails and I am answering as many as time allows and reading them all. Please make them as succinct as you possibly can. Take care!

    J.R.

  • Greetings from under the black, 200X Resistol hat from a BBQ lovin', Okie who is looking forward to being in the heart of New York City this Monday night which just happens to be ...... September 11.

    I can still remember where I was the day that President John Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. I was in the 6th grade at Westville, Oklahoma elementary school when the news came to us over the school intercom system and we were promptly dismissed from school early and told to go get on our respective school buses for our ride home. I can still remember my mother crying and my father talking about those "damn communists" or something to that effect not long after I arrived to our home in rural Oklahoma.

    I can also remember where I was on September 11, 2001 when the greatest national tragedy perpetrated by human kind was inflicted upon our nation.

    We had broadcast Monday night Raw in San Antonio and had traveled to Houston to do the Smackdown TV taping on Tuesday September 11. We were in a hotel in Houston when word started coming over every TV channel of the tragedy that befell NYC thanks to some crazy cowards who commandeered those commercial jet planes. We stayed In Houston contemplating what to do for that Thursday night's Smackdown on UPN or if the show would even air. It was decided with significant deliberation that the event would take place and go LIVE from Houston which would make our event the first public assembly of its kind since the terrorist attacks. This was a ballsy move by Vince McMahon but one I can honestly say with which I agreed.

    Unfortunately, I have had the challenge of having to do live TV broadcasts after personal tragedies before including the deaths of Owen Hart and Brian Pillman. Trust me; these are broadcasts that I will remember for a lifetime. Perhaps not every bout or a particular segment but the gut feeling I had on those two particular occasions will always be with me. To attempt to block the types of tragedies from one's mind is impossible to do. The visual images of my friends Owen and Brian were in my mind on both those occasions no matter what was going on in the ring.

    The same can be said for seeing the World Trade Center go down on September 11. I am thinking that Monday night will be much the same for me. There will be specific images that I will see but in the spirit of attempting to entertain our TV viewers we will pay our respects, persevere, and move forward.

    Random thoughts on a more positive, array of topics:

    It was great being back In my old stomping grounds of Atlanta on Monday night at the Phillips Arena as the fans were spirited and up for the festivities called Monday Night RAW. While driving by the CNN Center on the way to the arena, where I officed for many years, it brought back a plethora of mostly good memories. I made many friends in Atlanta that I still have to this day. I also learned a great deal about human nature from working with a handful of executives in Ted Turner's organization that were basically two faced pieces of horse manure. Nonetheless when I look back upon my tenure In Atlanta most of the experiences I had in the "New York of the South" were great despite working for a seemingly never ending array of "bosses" at WCW. But that's another story for another time. I had a blast broadcasting the Atlanta Falcons NFL football on their radio network and hosting "Wrestling w/Jim Ross" on AM750 WSB on Sunday nights in addition to working at WCW. It's all apart of life's journey and what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.

    Plus, leaving WCW in 1993 to come to the WWE was the best career move I ever made.

    RAW was a strong effort Monday night from my perspective. The Edge/Cena rivalry is really developing nicely and there is not a doubt in my mind that Cena will be booed unmercifully come Unforgiven in Toronto which happens to be Edge Country. The atmosphere for Unforgiven should be awesome.

    Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro was a really solid affair Monday night and it was nice to see the wrestling time invested in this match. I think these two young wrestlers have chemistry and there subsequent matches should get better and better.

    The tag team scene on RAW needs some work but that is not a mountain that cannot be climbed. There is potential there and it becomes really a function of the talent turning heads when their opportunity arises no matter the presentation.

    I have seen a rough cut of "The Marine" and liked it. Here is tons of action and John Cena does a helluva job in his first venture in the film world. The special affects and the stunt work in the film are excellent. I think most folks will like it but there will always be the vocal few who like nothing but watch or read everything.

    Stone Cold and I had an extended telephone conversation a few days ago. Steve is back in the States after 4 months in Australia doing "The Condemned" (I think that is the title.) for WWE Films. Stone Cold is not one who is easily appeased with creative issues but Steve was really high on the way this film came out. Knowing the "Texas Rattlesnake" he will be right there as this project is edited, etc as Steve has personally vested in this genre with the same passion that he brought to the ring. Steve is slated to attend an OU game with yours truly this fall. I see a cold beer in my future. And while we are talking about movies, The Rock and I emailed each other recently and he is really excited about the potential success of "The Gridiron Gang" which is based on a true story and sounds like it will be along the lines of Denzel Washington's ""Remember the Titans" which is one of my all time favorites. USA Network will have a special sneak peek of "The Gridiron Gang" this Monday night after RAW. From what I have seen and read, this film may be the best from our friend "The Great One". I sure miss Rock's charisma on Monday nights. Oh, well there is always WWE 24/7 which I love.

    It's too bad to see Trish Stratus leaving the WWE sometime after Unforgiven, as I understand it. Trish was one of my "hires" when I worked in the talent relations department back In the day and has been an exemplary WWE Superstar since day one. Not long after Trish came aboard I would use her as an example to all the Divas we hired. Trish's obvious sex appeal and intelligence aside, no one worked harder to get better in the ring than Trish Stratus and she succeeded. Being on the road is a grind for everyone and especially for a female who has thoughts of being a wife and mom at some point in time. Hopefully, Unforgiven will not be the last time we see Trish in a WWE ring but if it is she will always be remembered as one of the most memorable WWE Superstars of any gender and a likely Hall of Fame inductee down the road. I can see great things happening for Trish in the future.

    I don't know if Mr. McMahon will ever admit it or not but I can tell you from personal experience that going on last as an in ring competitor (and I use that term loosely speaking of myself) in Madison Square Garden is one of the great professional rushes I have personally ever had. Even though I literally got the hell beat out of me and bled buckets of blood, I will never forget that once in a lifetime experience. If you grow up as a wrestling fan as I did and read the wrestling magazines as many of us did long before the days of the internet, then you learn early on that "The Garden" is the Mecca of sports and entertainment. The ironic aspect of this situation is that Mr. McMahon and yours truly will have had the same opponent in our MSG experiences, a focused and physical HHH. I tried to obtain copies of photos of my massacre on 33rd when I had my date with destiny but the WWE legal department seems reluctant to release the photos because of their graphic nature. I do have the OU jersey and T-shirt I wore that night framed and it looked like it was worn by a car wreck victim.

    Our best wishes for a speedy recovery for the Midnight Express' Bobby Eaton who suffered a heart attack recently but is apparently recovering well. The Midnight Express had to be one of my all time favorite tag teams whether It was the Dennis Condrey or the Stan Lane version with Beautiful Bobby and the incomparable Jim Cornette. I shutter to think of how much money this team would be making today if they were in their prime. This is one team of antagonists that could motivate today's audience to pay to watch this trio get their asses kicked. That particular quality is a fleeting art form.

    Harry Smith, the son of the late British Bulldog Davyboy Smith, looks to be about 6'5" and around 260 pounds these days. Young Harry was an unlimited future ahead of him and may have the natural, God given ability to exceed the success of his late father and Harry's talented uncles from the Hart Family. I am not sure when Harry will debut on WWE TV but there Is no doubt that this 3rd generation wrestler will be well prepared. I see lots of big time main events in Harry's future.

    I read where Bret Hart's son Dallas is training to wrestle in Calgary with Lance Storm. Unless Bret did it himself, I can't think of a better trainer to teach the all Important fundamental skills to a young athlete than Lance Storm. If Dallas listens to his coach and shows the same work ethic demonstrated by his Dad, there is no doubt that another Hart will headline a future Wrestlemania. Hey, remember to never say never in this crazy business.

    I have to take my black hat off to the men in the ECW Rules tag match Tuesday night on Sci Fi. Good grief, it looked like a televised bar fight! Sabu, RVD, Test, and Mike Knox put their bodies thru hell which may be putting it mildly.

    Texas Longhorn football fanatic Dusty Rhodes is already breaking my Spaulding's about how bad UT is going to destroy my young, Oklahoma Sooner football team this year on October 7 in the Cotton Bowl. If the Steers do destroy the Sooners as the American Dream predicts, I will never hear the last of it from the robust son of a plumber. However, that is the price one pays when one wears their team's allegiances on their sleeves. I am predicting that Texas defeats Ohio State in Austin Saturday night even though a Texas win just adds more fuel to Rhodes' fire. Road Warrior Animal's son James Laurinaitis is the starting middle linebacker for Ohio State and wears jersey #33. I will definitely catch this game after I get home from the OU-Washington game which is also on ABC.

    Wrestlemania 22 is the biggest selling DVD in WWE history with over 345,000 units sold! I am sure proud to be a part of that as I thought I had done my last Wrestlemania after leaving RAW in October of 2005. Thanks for checking out our site. I hope you will stop by our online store once it is open for business. We are really proud of our sauces and think you will like our merchandise especially the Slobber-Knocker caps and shirts. Keep your emails coming as I am trying to get to as many of them as time will permit. I read them all, I assure you. Thanks, again.

    BOOMER SOONER!

    J.R.

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