J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - Trish Stratus
Each week on WWE.com, based on the events seen on RAW, Jim Ross will give his opinion on which Superstar he thought was the RAW Superstar of the Week:
This week, the much anticipated RAW Superstar of the Week is an easy choice. It’s one that even a good ol’ boy from Oklahoma can’t mess up. It is with great pride that this week’s award unanimously goes to… Trish Stratus! We’ll have more on the lovely lass from Toronto after these words.
What a great Monday night it was for yours truly in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Monday Night RAW was a strong effort, the fans were off the hook (whatever that means) and simply being in The Big Apple on the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy was a memory that will last a lifetime. Bravo to the residents of NYC for being so resilient, and a major thanks to the men and women of the NYPD and the NYFD for all they did on September 11, 2001, and for all they do today. I stayed literally in the heart of Times Square, ventured out after midnight a couple of nights and felt just as safe as if I were going to our Super Wal-Mart here in Norman, Okla. I have been told by those who live in NYC that it has the best of everything and the worst of everything, but on this trip I only experienced the best.
A special attagirl goes to Lilian Garcia for her stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful” Monday night. The former Gamecock sang her pretty little heart out to kick off the special night from MSG.
It seems that the Unforgiven pay-per-view this Sunday is taking on a strong identity and has the opportunity to really be a great show. The card has matured and evolved into a star-studded lineup of interesting matches with some bouts that jump off the page at me. Bottom line, as Stone Cold used to say, is that Sunday’s Unforgiven in Toronto will be an emotional, unpredictable night of RAW action and could be one of the “sleeper” PPV’s of the year. If I were not in the biz, this is one event I would definitely purchase, and I honestly couldn’t say that about all PPV’s in this product category. Many of my friends who follow the product have started buzzing about this event just over the past couple of weeks.
Umaga vs. Kane may be bowling shoe ugly – as in not resembling a Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk, Jr. wrestling masterpiece – but I have a feeling the “monster mash” will be entertaining and these two super heavyweights will represent quite well. The question here is not who is the true monster in the WWE, but if Kane can hand the first loss on Umaga by pin or submission.
The Garden really lit up when they laid eyes on WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper Monday night. Roddy’s appearance was a nice surprise, and the Legend, now a grandfather, has been working on some films and re-writing his one man, touring show. Hopefully Piper can motivate the Highlanders to success this Sunday in what has been a somewhat lackluster tag team scene on RAW. I like the upside of all five members of the Spirit Squad, but they will have issues growing under a singular spotlight. Nonetheless, the Scottish team will have ample issues winning the World Tag Team Championship, as the opposition has a three man advantage.
I really enjoyed the wrestling action in the Six-Man Tag Team Match on RAW. This match had the time to develop into a great in-ring story, and the six talents, or eight talents including the ladies on the outside, came ready to rock. The MSG crowd seemed to be as much into this match as anything on the card as it featured facets of three different Unforgiven matchups.
The Intercontinental Championship Match between Jeff Hardy and Johnny “Don’t Call Me Monday” Nitro could turn into a crash and burn spectacular. Both these young men like to fly and this match on Sunday gives these two, 20-something-year-olds a chance to steal the show. What do you think the over/under is for Melina to take a hike if Nitro loses their meal ticket? My gut tells me both will be as nervous as can be come Sunday, and if they weren’t I would be disappointed.
Randy Orton and Carlito have a great chance to steal the show at Unforgiven as well. This has evolved into a damn good rivalry and it will be interesting to see if these two men are hungry enough to want to not only defeat the other, but to do it in such a manner the fans will be talking about it for a long time. Guys like Austin and The Rock always maxed out and tried to steal any show they were on, and that’s what made them two of the greatest of all time. That’s why Hulk Hogan is still a show-stealer. It’s the love of the game – so to speak – that motivates great athletes to captivate an audience, whether it is the live audience or the fans watching at home. Both Orton and Carlito have it in them to be WWE Legends and this stop along each man’s journey may be a defining moment.
No matter how you may personally feel about John Cena, for the record, I like and respect him. You have to love the way this match has evolved for the WWE Championship. Cena MUST win in the Champion’s hometown, in a match the Champion has never lost, in a match Cena has NEVER been in, or Cena leaves directly from Toronto to join SmackDown for a term of no less than three years. If Edge is successful this Sunday, the Ontario native, who has become a heat-seeking missile and a great WWE Champion, will take a giant step towards becoming one of the most significant WWE Champions of any generation. I love the simple “must win” stipulations for Cena, who will no doubt be booed unmercifully Sunday night just like 50 percent of the fans at the Garden did Monday night. Will Cena lose and become the centerpiece of SmackDown’s launch this month on the new CW, or can Cena overcome the odds and leave Toronto as the WWE Champion? This has the big fight feel to me, with the back-story and all the ramifications that are balanced on the outcome. I am going to love calling this match!
Paging Chris Masters… Paging Chris Masters… You left your Masterlock at baggage claim.
I hate to admit it, but I have never had a conversation past hello and goodbye with Super Crazy, if that is his real name. I wonder if the luchador can speak English? I don’t so well myself, but what the hell this late in the game for me.
Hell in a Cell. Those are some scary-ass words, my friends. It’s Satan’s Playground. It’s a canvas where blood will be used to paint the images of broken and battered bodies on Sunday. The McMahons and Big Show have never been in a Cell Match. HBK was in the first one and this will be Triple H’s record-tying (with the Undertaker) seventh. Will experience count? Or will the giant-size man advantage count even more? Beats me, but this I do know: This match will be a blood bath, and for that reason I would hope it goes on last because having to wrestle a match the magnitude of the WWE Championship on a canvas loaded with several people’s blood doesn’t seem fair to Edge or Cena. How a muscled up, 61-year-old man expects to survive in this environment, especially after what he has led his troops to do to DX over the past few weeks, is beyond me or my imagination. I think this match is an environment for serious injury and potential tragedy, to bluntly honest. I hope I am flat-out wrong on both accounts, but you tell me why I am walking down the wrong road. This road is called the Highway to Hell for good reason.
And then the lovely angel from Toronto appeared at my doorstep. OK, it was in my WWE office more than seven years ago when I, as the head of talent relations, hired Trish Stratus to a WWE contract. Wow, did she make me look good or what? I have never regretted the day I signed her to the dotted line, ever, not even once. Trish has been a Godsend to all the WWE Divas, and has led the way for other Divas to do great things and make big bucks in the WWE. I think Trish will be in the WWE Hall of Fame someday, but if she doesn’t make it, she will always be in mine. (That will get you some BBQ sauce and a pair of tickets to an University of Oklahoma home football game.) Trish will be missed by everyone, but hopefully she will return from time to time and say hello, or just let us stare at her. Trish deserves a break from the virtual nonstop seven-year schedule that has taken her all around the world. Seven years… And a seventh Women’s Championship possibly at her last match, which happens to be in her home town… What a scenario. It couldn’t have been written any better if were a Toby Keith country song.
Good luck Trish, this Sunday and in life. And thanks for that smile, the work ethic and for being a joy to work with. I will miss your hugs and your desire to be the absolute best. Godspeed.
I am missing my only OU Football game of the year this Saturday when our team travels to Eugene, Ore., to meet the nationally ranked Oregon Ducks. I will be flying to Dallas EARLY Saturday morning to catch my 6:46 p.m. connection into Toronto so I can check in to an airport hotel and watch the Sooners collide with the Ducks at 2:30 p.m. CT. Am I crazy? No, just a fan of my team. OK, maybe a little crazy, but what the hell! You only go around this world once as best as I can tell, so why not have some fun?
I look at this as a nearly perfect weekend. A huge, nationally televised game on ABC for my Sooners, against an outstanding team, the Oregon Ducks, and then I head to a hotbed of WWE action in Toronto with a unique, emotionally-charged Unforgiven pay-per-view. Life is good.
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