J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - Mae Young
Greetings friends and neighbors from under the black, 200X Resistol hat from Norman, Okla., the home of J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q Restaurant while we count down the days until the huge, three-hour Monday Night Raw, which starts in Milwaukee one hour earlier on USA Network and will be a loaded and live WrestleMania-themed telecast.
This week's Raw Superstar of the Week wasn't even in Indianapolis in person Monday night, but I could never forgive myself if I did not name 2008 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Mae Young as this week's honoree. Johnnie Mae is a native Oklahoman, born in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs on March 12, 1923. Wednesday will be Mae's 85th birthday and would have been my late father's 77th birthday. This former Okie, who also starred on the softball field and stood toe-to-toe in fist fights with many young men in her day, debuted in wrestling in 1939, two years before the start of World War II.
It is a true story that I have told that Mae was wrestling in Memphis on Dec. 7, 1941 when she heard Pearl Harbor had been bombed. As WWE Hall of Famer Freddie Blassie once said, "Mae Young could whip 60 percent of the men in the wrestling business in her prime" and the incomparable Classy Freddie wasn't exaggerating. My hat is off to the native of my home state, who traveled thousands of miles by car during her career to earn a living beating the hell out of her peers.
When locker room talk turns to who was the toughest men to ever lace their boots there is always a debate. But when it comes to who was the toughest woman, there are no debates -- Johnnie Mae Young is universally considered the baddest of the bad when it came to women's wrestling. Congratulations Mae on being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and an early Happy Birthday. I can't wait to give you a big hug in Orlando, Fla., and enjoy your special moment.
It will be interesting to see the weigh-in next week on Raw for the Big Show- Floyd "Money" Mayweather, Jr. WrestleMania XXIV match, even though I am still not sure what the structure of the match will be. However, will it matter? I have no problem identifying Mayweather as the greatest fighter in the world, but the size disparity seems to be insurmountable odds for the undefeated boxer to overcome. I am not sure how much Big Show weighs these days, but it is a far cry from what he used to tip the Toledo's back in the day. However, Show has still got to be a slab of ribs one side or the other of 400 pounds.
Mayweather, who many of our fans seemingly don't like, says he is going to break Show's jaw at ‘Mania, but I am not sure that "Money" can even reach the 7 footer's jaw without the use of a ladder. Without question, the powers that be in boxing, including the great Oscar De La Hoya, will be holding their collective breath between now and March 30 on pay-per-view. Monday in Milwaukee could potentially be a most interesting night on Monday Night Raw.
But let's be honest: In all due respect, Brandon "Thrill" Hill isn't Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
How great would it be to see more of the tag team duo of Ric Flair & Shawn Michaels? You talk about a "Dream Team." Lots of folks I talk to are really interested in the upcoming Flair-HBK WrestleMania XXIV match that the "Nature Boy" must win or retire. Some believe that it is a forgone conclusion that Ric will lose in the Citrus Bowl, and I say that it isn't a guarantee. If it was then why in the hell have the match?!
I am not alone when I say that Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch have the ability to be the best team in WWE. Potential won't buy the groceries, but I love the upside of this duo.
Raw's Umaga vs. SmackDown's Batista. Two big men with one name each. This ‘Mania Slobber-Knocker may not be pretty, but it will damn sure have its share of collisions and high-impact, trust me. It will be interesting to see who referees this one -- perhaps an ECW official to make it fair.
Jeff Hardy manned up against Chris Jericho and left his fellow Money in the Bank qualifier with lovely parting gifts in the form of a Twist of Fate as The Highlight Reel came to an abrupt end Monday night. What these two will do atop a 20-foot ladder at WrestleMania will be breathtaking and risky business.
John Cena got what he was looking for from Mr. Kennedy on Raw -- retribution -- but it wasn't easy. What is easy to see is that Kennedy is going to quickly evolve into one of the WWE top hands without question. On a given night Kennedy can beat anyone on the Raw roster. Big mouth, big talent.
Thank goodness The King did not take any of JBL's miracle elixir Mamajuana Energy Monday night before hosting the unveiling of Maria's Playboy cover, which is on newsstands as we speak. I hear the lovely WWE Diva is "tastefully nude," which is something yours truly has never been accused of. It was good to hear that one of our favorite guys to hang with, he once called me "Dawg," Snoop Dogg will M.C. the BunnyMania Lumberjack Match at WrestleMania. What does a M.C. do for in BunnyMania Match any way??
Nice try by the ultra-talented rookie Cody Rhodes, but Carlito is heading to the "big dance" on March 30. Great things lie ahead for the young son of the "American Dream." He is a gifted athlete and fortunately gets his good looks from his mama.
It was bigger news than the Democratic debates when we learned that Finlay is Hornswoggle's father. Now we have a proposed Finlay-JBL knockdown, drag ‘em out, bar fight that seemingly will happen at WrestleMania. Can you say "bowling shoe ugly" and not for the weak at heart? No match at ‘Mania may be as physical if this one comes off as many expect.
Funny thing about Monday night's main event: No matter what happened during the match between WWE Champion Randy Orton and the man who is hell-bent on being a 12-time champ, Triple H, and no matter how much John Cena tried to assert himself into the match that he made, at the end of the day it was Orton who stood tall. Could it be that The Game and Cena will cancel each other out at ‘Mania and Orton will leave the Triple Threat Match still the WWE kingpin?
We are enjoying answering many of your questions at www.jrsbarbq.com, and I hope you keep them coming. See you in Milwaukee!
Be sure to check out J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q Restaurant at www.jrsbarbq.com.