The following are highlights from the latest online blog of WWE Hall Of Fame announcer Jim Ross:
I’ve been reading lots of interesting feedback on the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD. I liked the DVD, as I have said, but these types of productions are controversial by nature and I’ve always been of the belief that everyone has a right to their opinion. Hopefully, folks will watch this DVD and then come to their own conclusions. The matches that are featured are hard to knock. I do think that all the feedback from consumers makes for good information going forward on other similar projects.
MMA fighter Josh Barnett was at Summerslam hanging with David Hart Smith after the event. I did not get to do much more than say hello to Josh who has been embroiled in a fair amount of controversy lately. I’ve always found Josh to be a good guy and wish him well in the future…..no, not endeavors….simply the future.
WWE HOF’er Tony Atlas is doing some PR work for WWE these days and was in Phoenix where many WWE staffers were doing advance Wrestlemania 26 leg work. Good to see Tony after his ECW stint with Mark Henry. Jimmy Hart, another WWE HOF’er, was also in town but I missed seeing "The Mouth of the South." It seems like yesterday when I called Jimmy and informed him of his induction into WWE’s Hall of Fame.
Val Venis aka Shawn Morley and Matt "A Train" Bloom were backstage visitors in Phoenix. Both are really good guys and are seemingly enjoying working regularly in Japan. I remember interviewing big Matt when we first hired him in WWE. I always liked Matt and even got to know his Dad who played college football at Michigan and in the old, AFL with the then Boston Patriots. I always looked at getting to know a talent’s family members, when possible, as a viable part of the recruiting process and on which to build a solid relationship.
Smackdown ring announcer Justin Roberts helped facilitate a nice party after the Tuesday night SD taping that many WWE Superstars attended. Justin is a Phoenix native and does an excellent job on Smackdown. I tapped on the invite as my Wednesday morning flight could not be compromised plus I don’t "heal" as quickly from these "social events" as I once did.
I enjoyed watching the Christian vs. Regal ECW bout Tuesday night while sitting backstage with Pat Patterson. We both thought that the ECW Champion and the underrated Regal had an excellent bout.
I’m presently reading the "Solie Chronicles" which is available on Crowbar Press and am enjoying it. Gordon Solie was my biggest influence when it comes to broadcasting wrestling. The book sure brings back many fond memories of "The Dean" as he was a talented, colorful character. I hope that you will check out this unique book that many of Gordon’s friends, including yours truly, contributed a few stories. Having a few ****tails with Gordon and the late Lou Thesz at a Cauliflower Ally event on the east coast many years ago was a memory that I will always have. My pal Dennis Brent and I have talked about that night many times over the years.
The C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy Steel Cage match that airs this week on Friday Night Smackdown on MyNetworkTV is a memorable, TV main event that really had a special feel. I hope that Todd Grisham and I did the match justice as it was a special presentation from where I was sitting.
Matt Hardy and John Morrison team this week on SD and take on the Hart Dynasty. Five more good reasons you should not miss an episode of Friday Night Smackdown. The Smackdown roster is going to produce several, future PPV headliners if said talents continue to work hard and smart.
Dolph Ziggler is another talent that has "it" and how far he takes "it" should be an interesting journey for all. Pat Patterson and Michael Hayes, two pretty fair performers in their day, are both optimistic that Ziggler will become special. I agree.
Late Wednesday night I will be doing more work on this show which felt like a TV show that fans will enjoy. I’ll try not to screw it up.
Many WWE Superstars and I did interviews Tuesday afternoon for an upcoming Jeff Hardy DVD that will be released in a few weeks. I don’t know how many talents were involved but there were several. John Cena was included as he and I visited about this project Tuesday evening in Phoenix.
I’ll have more of my thoughts on the Jeff Hardy DVD subject later in the week.
I’m told that the Wrestlemania special that airs on NBC this Saturday night is a unique presentation. I’m anxious to see it and the clip that I saw on Tuesday afternoon of the Undertaker-HBK bout brought tears to my eyes. As an old school fan of wrestling, the emotion of this bout still rings true to me. I’m proud that I had a chance to be a part of the broadcast team at WM25 as opportunities to be associated with such a history making attraction as the Michaels-Undertaker bout is still a distinct privilege to me.
One never knows how many more "Wrestlemania’s" one will have the opportunity to broadcast so I’m grateful to know that my voice will always be a part of that particular presentation.
It was good seeing Edge, albeit on crutches, backstage at Summerslam. The Rated R Superstar was in great spirits and is looking forward to his return to the ring sometime in 2010. There is no definitive date as to when Edge will be returning to the ring and hopefully he won’t rush it. Achilles tendon injuries usually heal in 6-9 months.
Joey Styles will be receiving his order from this website in a few days. Joe’s time living in Atlanta made him a true, BBQ connoisseur. Joe does a fantastic job with WWE.com and he and I both are big fans of WWEClassics.com of which we have both "adopted" as our pet project that we want to see succeed in a big way.
Apparently the 10th anniversary of Smackdown will be celebrated at the taping of September 29 in Boston. I think the voice of Smackdown, Michael Cole, should be brought back for the occasion as he called more SD bouts than any other broadcaster. For the record, The King and I handled the very first SD broadcast.
Check out the complete blog at www.JRsBarBQ.com.