J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - General Manager, King William Regal
Greetings from the barbecued, Sooner State of Oklahoma as yours truly gets ready to head to Baltimore for Sunday's Backlash and perhaps a crab cake or two. (That's an obligatory food reference from WWE's resident rookie restaurateur.)
This week's selection of the Monday Night Raw Superstar of the Week is so simple that a "pet coon" or a vision-impaired wrestling referee could make the right call.
The new King of the Ring, William Regal, is this week's recipient of the coveted Raw Superstar of the Week and will receive lovely parting gifts from www.jrsbarbq.com for his gallant efforts in beating a vertically-challenged athlete, a one-legged Irishman, and Mr. Money in the Bank with a bad back on King Regal's way to becoming King of the entire WWE. Cheers, King Regal, and tallyho with the launching of your "second career".
A question looms: Will King Regal cease and desist being the Raw GM to concentrate on his wrestling career? Or will the crafty Brit remain in political power and parlay that office into more benefits befitting a king? That's what many American politicos have done successfully for decades, so we know that process works … unfortunately.
Did you know that the first two King of the Ring Tournaments were held in Sullivan Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., which is the home of the New England Patriots? The first two winners are now in the WWE Hall of Fame, Don Muraco and Harley Race, respectively. From 1987 to 1991, the KOR Tourney was held in Providence, R.I., the home of the legendary Friendly Tap, owned by former WWE referee Tim White.
My first PPV broadcast in 1993 after WMIX (the toga), was the King of the Ring Tournament that was held in Dayton, Ohio, and won by Bret Hart who defeated the late Bam Bam Bigelow in the finals in a little more than 18 minutes. That was the night that the late Yokozuna won the WWE Title by defeating Hulk Hogan when Harvey Whippleman -- posing as an Asian photographer -- used an exploding flash on his camera to distract Hogan long enough for Yoko to drop one of the biggest legs ever on the "Immortal One." (Thanks, Gorilla.)
The first two KOR Tournament bouts on Monday night were outstanding pairings featuring Chris Jericho vs. MVP and CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy. Speaking of the Hardys, I reviewed their new DVD and if you have been a fan of Matt and Jeff over the years, this is a fine piece of work. It was particularly amazing to me all the great tag bouts that they had been in over their longer-than-one-would-think career in WWE. Nonetheless, I was particularly a fan of both of these two aforementioned KOR bouts and would love to see an extenuation of both anywhere down the line.
Just a crazy idea, but what if all the first round bouts in subsequent KOR Tournaments all had 10-minute time limits and the athlete in each of the four first round matches that earned the most decisions in 10 minutes would be declared the winner of that match, advancing to the semifinals?
There were some interesting media coups that came out of Monday night's Raw when JBL almost broke his arm patting himself on his back hailing his New York Times piece (I can only "wish" that the Times would mention our J.R.'s Family BBQ Restaurant concept) about JBL's www.mamajuanaenergy.com Web site and his "miracle elixir." However, after naming JBL the "Worst Person in the World," I would not want to be MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and bump into the former Texan and former (and could be again) WWE Champ in a Manhattan eatery or watering hole. I even heard that FOX News' Neil Cavuto was P.O.'ed and just wait until Bill O'Reilly -- gasp -- hears of this injustice.
It was also a coup for WWE to actually secure footage of senators Clinton, Obama and McCain directly addressing WWE fans. I loved the fact that the three politicians had some fun with the opportunity, but none of them should think of quitting their day jobs to become wrestling managers or broadcasters.
It might just me be, but I don't think that there is any match at this Sunday's Backlash that is getting more "fan talk" and speculation than the HBK vs. Batista contest. For those that don't think that Michaels won't try and steal the entire pay-per-view from his peers Sunday, then you would believe that Ol' J.R. is going to swear off BBQ and become a vegan … not that there is anything wrong with being a vegan, mind you.
The wrestling pundits that were "knocking" the "stunt" that featured Clinton and Obama impersonators "wrestling" Monday night need to "lighten up, Francis." This piece of business was a publicity stunt created to garner additional, mainstream publicity and that's what it did, and it just so happened to occur during the week of a WWE pay-per-view that's following the mighty WrestleMania XXIV.
I have learned that there will be a 12-Diva Tag Match on Sunday at Backlash which means that there will be at least 24 distractions for my erstwhile partner WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler, if we call this match. Therefore, I make the following suggestion: WWE should assign Mike Adamle and Tazz to broadcast this contest to add to their heavy work load of one bout, Kane defending his ECW Title against Chavo Guerrero. Hey, it's just a suggestion.
I thought the Eight-Man Tag Team Match main event on Raw (where, by the way, I enjoyed some nice "Q" at Sticky Fingers Restaurant in downtown Greenville, S.C., Sunday night) was one of the more star-studded affairs we have featured on Raw in a long time. Let me tell you that the action in the commercial break prior to the last segment of the three-hour "Gone with the Wind-like" marathon was "slobber-knocker" material. Damn, I miss Undertaker appearing on Monday Night Raw on a regular basis … but I digress.
As a fan, one has to like the elimination rules stipulation that has been added to the WWE Title Fatal Four Way bout this Sunday night. Three men will be eliminated before the remaining and surviving participant of the bout will be declared the WWE Champion. That means there is a possibility of three separate and distinct eliminations prior to determining the WWE kingpin. I look for this match to close the show Sunday, but that's just my speculation.
There is a nice story on my Web site at www.jrsbarbq.com courtesy of Sooner Spectator magazine featuring yours truly that you might enjoy, as it is a quick read. Also this month in the slick Oklahoma Monthly magazine in their annual BBQ edition, they feature "J.R.'s Family BBQ Restaurant" as one of the very best places to eat "Q" in the entire state. That's a great accomplishment considering we have been open less than one year, while many of the other top eateries have been opened for decades. You can easily access our BBQ sauces and our great tasting beef jerky by going to WWEShop.
See you Sunday night in Baltimore for Backlash and then Monday night in East Rutherford, N.J., for Raw. Both events are sold out and should feature loud and enthusiastic WWE fans raising hell and having fun.