J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - Bobby Lashley
Greetings once again friends and neighbors from under the 200X, black Resistol hat from Norman, Okla., future home of “J.R.’s Family BBQ.”
I’m still feeling really good about my broadcast partner Jerry Lawler heading to the WWE Hall of Fame. “The King’s” body of work over the past 30 years certainly speaks volumes. Lawler has been the biggest sports-entertainment star in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn. for decades, which includes rivalries with the business’ biggest stars. He had a nationally recognized issue with the late Andy Kaufman, including the famous confrontation with Kaufman on Late Night with David Letterman, he’s a former AWA World Champion, and he’s long been a valuable part of WWE’s longest running television program, Monday Night Raw. I can’t think of another Superstar who has stayed longer in one place and has done as well as “The King,” who is also an accomplished artist and authored his autobiography “It’s Good to be the King” a few years ago. Congratulations, Jerry!
With Dusty Rhodes, Mr. Perfect and now Jerry Lawler being inducted, the Hall of Fame is shaping up nicely. Another 2007 Hall of Famer will be announced this Monday on Raw.
This week’s guest advisory panel carefully selected to assist yours truly in naming a Raw Superstar of the Week includes Barry Bonds, Barry Switzer, Barry Horowitz and Barry The Wonderhorse. I suppose one could say “Barry Interesting” but let’s not.
So after careful consideration, consultation, meditation and deliberation, this week’s Raw Superstar of the Week is……ECW’s Bobby Lashley! I know this will most likely get me exiled from Raw catering on Mondays, and yes, there were many others who had memorable nights in the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., but no one made more of an impact than Donald Trump’s WrestleMania 23 representative did when the former Army Sergeant locked horns with the powerful Umaga. We will have more on Lashley after these messages.
That was a really nice video package introduced by Rated-RKO of HBK’s past indiscretions as it relates to stabbing some of his former partners in the back over the years. Shawn has no doubt been a bad boy at times in his career, but I personally don’t think HBK will stab John Cena in the back prior to WrestleMania. I do think, however, that Shawn Michaels will do whatever it takes to steal the show at WrestleMania 23 and win the WWE Title by any means necessary on April 1. Of course, announcers are rarely right so don’t go and gamble away your 401K on my “opinion.”
Jeff “Rainbow Hair” Hardy may no longer be the Intercontinental Champion, but young Jeffrey is going to WrestleMania to compete in the third Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Now, if we can just get Jeff to remain in one piece between now and April 1. There will apparently be eight Superstars competing in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match this year, which ups the ante by two from years past. The more, the merrier I always say, especially when it comes to BBQ and Ladder Matches. Eight men attempting to climb a tall ladder and retrieve the briefcase which will be hanging over the ring sounds like a recipe for some significant crash and burn moments to me. Edge has never lost at WrestleMania…if he doesn’t win the multiple-person Money in the Bank Match does that mean Edge’s winning streak is history?
Johnny “Don’t Call Me Monday” Nitro demonstrated a little attitude Monday night when he assaulted Super Crazy before their match even happened. Does Nitro remind anyone else of a young “Ravishing” Rick Rude? I would suggest that the Loco Luchador, that being Super Crazy, will have a “home field advantage” IF the match takes place this Monday from Phoenix, where Raw is once again sold out. (The late “Apache” Bull Ramos, who headlined some Madison Square Garden events among many others, used to be billed from Phoenix…for the record.)
Melina, who apparently was having a “Midol Moment” Monday, continues to show overt aggressiveness (do you think she is this aggressive in EVERYTHING she does?) in her matches, and will be a tough Women’s Champion to dethrone. However, Mickie James has inked a Falls Count Anywhere Title Match with Melina for Monday night, which should be physically akin to some of the Trish vs. Lita matches once upon a time. I don’t think I have ever seen the Women’s Title decided in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. I assume we will hear a Melina primal scream or two, which always seems to touch a nerve, so to speak, on “The King.”
It looks as if a Great Khali vs. Kane match is brewing, and it could manifest itself at WrestleMania 23. This potential battle of the mastodons will be a bowling shoe ugly fight that SmackDown’s Kane may be hard-pressed to win. The “science” of wrestling will not be a factor if these two huge men compete; it would be nothing but a big fight and a perfect match for Michael Cole and JBL to broadcast.
Carlito vs. Kenny “Don’t Call Me Lenny” Dykstra was a solid match Monday between two young and talented superstars. I like both athletes’ abilities and both have bright futures if the ill-fated injury bug doesn’t bite them. Carlito and Kenny have both had “issues” with Ric Flair, and the two youngsters should only hope that their careers will be half as successful as the “Naitch,” who by the way just celebrated a birthday last week. Being in the ring with Flair has made Carlito and Kenny better wrestlers. Off the subject (but being the curious type), I know that virtually every athlete has a pre-game ritual of some sort, and I am just curious as to what Carlito and Torrie’s might be.
It was a big time main event in Fresno for the World Tag Titles. I was thinking to myself (I also used to talk to myself, but I got through that mental deficiency when I moved back to Oklahoma) that this very well could be the night that Rated-RKO wins back the World Tag Team Titles. Again, I was wrong. I know many were predicting that HBK would attack his tag team partner, but as we all saw, that did not happen either. I do think it will be a miracle (much like Ron Simmons saying something other than “Damn” on TV) for HBK and Cena to retain their titles all the way to WrestleMania, because the closer we get to April 1, the more pressure the two tag champions will be under. That’s when people take their eye off the ball and are susceptible to losing.
Of the four Superstars in the main event Monday night, it looks as if Randy Orton may be the odd man out of WrestleMania, and that would be a crime. Edge is in the aforementioned Money in the Bank Match and Cena will defend the WWE Title against his tag partner HBK, so where does that leave young master Orton?
Bobby Lashley made quite the impact Monday night as “The Donald’s” WrestleMania 23 representative battled against Mr. McMahon’s rep Umaga. Lashley is going to be on Mr. McMahon’s “bad list” until further notice after agreeing to represent Trump in the Battle of the Billionaires, especially if Lashley is successful at WrestleMania and the Chairman is shaved bald by Trump. If Trump loses, I think his comb over, which some say may be a foot long, should be auctioned off to benefit Rosie O’Donnell’s favorite charity. Yours truly got entirely too close to Lashley and Umaga Monday night as the two hard hitting rivals battled over the announce table, destroyed some audio equipment and ruined my favorite chair! If I had known the brawl was going to be in our neck of the woods I would have requested Todd Grisham to be my stand-in for one match, but after Todd got slapped by Mickie James a week ago, that would not have been fair to the lad. Lashley tagged Umaga with a few shots that reminded me of a somewhat inebriated Dick Murdoch knocking out a patron (or two) leaving the Cotton Bowl in Dallas one October Saturday afternoon after a particularly heated Oklahoma-Texas football game many moons ago. You can take this to the bank that the next 30 days for Lashley will be filled with less than positive experiences. Bobby will not win “Employee of the Month” for March or receive lovely parting gifts.
We have been receiving some classic e-mails from fans around the world at www.jrsbarbq.com that I invite you to check out. You’ve got to love WWE fans, especially when they speak their minds.
The past few weeks it feels like Raw has really been on a roll, and the TV ratings indicate the same. I have to believe that in front of another sellout crowd in Phoenix this Monday, the WWE superstars will be ready to rock and will open ample cans of whoop ass. The Road to WrestleMania is rapidly becoming a freeway to Ford Field in Detroit. See you Monday night from ringside.