Seth Rollins, Bayley, Elias, Sasha Banks and Sheamus interact with lions and giraffes, while cubs playfully pounce on Cesaro, in Johannesburg's Lion and Safari Park.04/23/2018 - 17:30
At the conclusion of an unforgettable WWE Live in Johannesburg, The Monster Among Men joined The Big Dog at the top of the ramp and thanked South Africa in the best way possible, all without saying a word.04/23/2018 - 17:15
J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - The Hardys
Greetings from under the 200X, black Resistol hat from a very grateful and proud Oklahoman who is hoping to have his voice restored by this Monday’s Raw from the lovely and sold-out Bridgeport, Conn.
Last weekend’s activities in Detroit provided enough memories to last this old Sooner a lifetime. Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame was a wonderful honor, and one that exceeded my wildest dreams. I still don’t think that it has fully soaked in that a life-long fan of the business has been awarded such an honor. Worthy or not, I am, and forever will be grateful.
I had a blast meeting so many fans from around the world and visiting with them. Hearing what they are currently enjoying is always educational and informative. Plus, attending the largest movie premiere ever on Friday night for Stone Cold’s The Condemned was off the chart. I am obviously a little biased when it comes to talking about my friend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but I will tell you as sure as I am a BBQ lovin’ Sooner fan, that this movie is excellent, and one that every WWE fan should see. I am proud of Stone Cold, and WWE for this body of work. I know that Stone Cold fans, WWE fans, and movie fans in general are going to help make this WWE Films project a monster hit.
After experiencing WrestleMania 23 first-hand, and believe me it was a wonderful event to broadcast, coming back 24 hours later to broadcast Monday Night Raw is always challenging, not only for the broadcasters, but the athletes and I am sure the fans as well. What can follow WrestleMania? Nothing.
Raw certainly had its moments Monday night in Dayton, Ohio, where the Nutter Center, the home of the 1993 King of the Ring that I helped broadcast and was won by Bret Hart, was sold-out to the credit of the Ohio wrestling fans whose Ohio State Buckeyes were playing for the NCAA National Basketball Championship at the same time on TV.
Nonetheless, my nod for Raw Superstar of the Week goes to The Hardys, who won the World Tag Team Titles in a bizarre fashion, in the second 10-team Battle Royal of the night. Cameron, N.C.’s contribution to WWE is once again officially considered one of the best tag teams to ever compete in WWE. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Matt and Jeff, as I had the privilege of being in a position once upon a time to help them facilitate their WWE contracts and to assist in their full-time launch into the unpredictable world of sports-entertainment. I assume this means we will see Matt Hardy on Monday Night Raw, which I always perceive as a good thing. I suspect many teams to make a run at The Hardys, including Cade and Murdoch, among others, who have a great future ahead of them if they can stay focused and healthy.
It certainly seems that the WWE Championship is rapidly becoming a prominent four-horse race, as Kingpin John Cena seems to have some ardent suitors in HBK, Randy Orton and Edge, among others one has to assume. As Stone Cold has said many times, if a Superstar is in WWE and doesn’t have his sights set on becoming WWE Champion, that individual needs to seek another vocation. That really applies to anyone in any field. If one doesn’t want to be the best in their chosen life’s work, one is simply cheating themselves. And that’s not cool.
Shawn Michaels faces Randy Orton this Monday on Raw for the No. 1 contender slot at the WWE Championship, which can’t make Edge too happy. HBK-RKO should be a helluva match nonetheless.
Bobby Lashley seemed to have enjoyed embarrassing Mr. McMahon Monday night in Dayton, but speaking from experience when “The Boss” puts you on his “bad list” really unpleasant things can happen to an individual, and there is nobody who is immune. Trust me on that -- being a member of the “Mr. McMahon Kiss my Ass Club” and having numerous “interruptions in service” at the announce desk. My advice to Lashley is to be prepared for the worst, because it is damn sure heading his way. Plus, Lashley will realize soon enough that when it comes to having issues with the Chairman, Lashley’s list of allies will shrink quicker than a naked man in freezing water.
Off the subject for a moment, I received an advance copy of the Four Horsemen DVD, and it is awesome. I lived, some mornings I wasn’t so sure, through the Horsemen run and this DVD tells the stories of one of the most dominate and influential factions in the history of the biz. I highly recommend this one.
It looks like Mickie James has asserted herself back into the WWE Women’s Championship hunt, and I for one do not want to miss any pending Mickie-Melina battles.
Did you ever think how The Great Khali would do on American Idol? Me
neither, but I wonder if Khali is a Sanjaya fan? The giant from India is a
huge man, and is so strong and massive that his in ring skills don’t
have to be at the level of most men to be successful. Khali is like a
center in basketball that plays with his back to the hoop and where ball
handling skills are a non-issue. At 7’3 and 420-pounds with freakish
hand and tendon strength, the most basic of maneuvers by Khali can be
I am looking forward to Mick Foley’s Make-A-Wish surprise this Monday night. Knowing Mick, it will be significant and heartfelt. Mick does so much charity work that goes unmentioned which is simply another reason I have such great respect for this multi-talented WWE Superstar. My question to Mick would be when are we going to see you back in the ring? Sooner than later I hope.
Again, thanks for all the great e-mails I have received on www.jrsbarbq.com about my induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. They are sincerely appreciated, and I hope I can continue to live up to your expectations. Just because King and I were fortunate enough to be inducted, don’t let that lead you to believe that we are thinking of “hanging it up” any time soon. There is plenty of fuel left in our tanks, and I still believe our best work at the announce desk is yet to come. That’s my story and I am sticking to it because I am as big a fan of the business today as I ever have been.
Saturday is the Annual Oklahoma Sooner Red-White football game that I plan
to attend, and on Sunday it is another airplane trip to the northeast and
on to Connecticut. With Milan, Italy and London, England on the immediate
horizon for Monday Night Raw, there will be plenty of frequent flier miles
accumulated for yours truly and especially for the hard working WWE
Superstars. Life is good, and let’s all continue to count our
One thing before I go. Please include Matt Cappotelli in your thoughts and prayers. Matt will undergo brain cancer surgery next week. Matt was on Tough Enough, and has been battling this deadly disease for quite some time. I have as much respect for this young man’s courage and faith as any athlete I have known in my 30-plus year career. I know the Good Lord will be present when Matt has the procedure done, and I told Matt this week I would be pulling for him, and I hope you will too.