JR's Blog: Wednesday Update...Raw deal for King...Strikeforce April Event Looks Good...Califlower Alley Club...Zybszko...GOT SAUCE?
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I encourage all fans to attend the annual Cauliflower Alley Club function in Las Vegas in April. The awards banquet is Wednesday night April 22 which is going to be particularly exciting for me. For all the info on the work that CAC does and on how to join the club along with all the info you need to attend this wrestling fan's dream please check out their website at www.califloweralleyclub.org. Some of the great wrestles from various eras will be there that I can't wait to meet. Plus, Terry Funk and J.J. Dillon are MC'ing the event which is worth the price of admission itself.
Apparently a long awaited DVD on the career of the great, WWE HOF'er Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat will be released in June. Being on a medical leave of sorts really is a bummer for many reasons not the least of which being not involved in projects such as this one. Ricky is one of my all time favorites and his matches with Ric Flair, among many others, are simply timeless classics. Their 1989 NWA Title Bout in Chicago that I had the privilege of calling is one of my favorite nights on the job. What a match those two had and it's just as good today as it was when it aired lived. One would assume that contest will be included with the many great Steamboat matches that Dragon had in the NWA and in WWE. Ricky and Jay Youngblood also had some great tag bouts with Jack and Jerry Brisco in the NWA which are tag team clinics.
Before you email me ranting about the lack of tag teams in today's marketplace let's address the matter. Yes, there are some good teams still competing today but not the number of outstanding teams like there was in previous generations. While many may point to the fact that some decision makers are not "tag team people," I look at the overall lack of quality depth in the business as a culprit as well. More talents that can get it done on a high level in the ring will equate to more teams being created. Personally, I am a fan of quality, tag team wrestling.
We sent Cheech and Chong a case of BBQ Sauce today as they raved about the sauces and the JR's BBQ that they enjoyed Monday afternoon at OKC's Ford Center. This statement will no doubt elicit plenty of humorous comments. Feel free to contribute....
Speaking with Jerry Lawler at lunch Monday in Norman, he mentioned that there are a rash of "Best of Jerry Lawler" DVDs available in the independent marketplace from many of his great, Memphis bouts with some of wrestling's biggest names of yesteryear and the fact that King is making not one dime from the sale of his efforts. That's unfortunate and there's apparently nothing Jerry can do about it. One would think that one's conscience would bother one enough to pay Jerry something for not only creating many of these matches but also performing in them on a TV show on which King owned a significant percentage.
I fully understand the importance of TV ratings but for some fledging companies it seems as if they are more concerned about the type of shingles they are going to put on the roof of the mansion that they want to build rather than first focusing on the foundation of the structure.
Interesting email received this week about Larry Zbyszko. Larry was a great, wrestling antagonist and had uncanny crowd psychology which was vividly on display during his rivalry with the great Bruno Sammartino in the New York territory. It was my belief that Larry was one of the better talkers of his generation and I always enjoyed his TV commentary not to mention when he was wrestling the fantastic job he did of provoking the audience on a personal level. Any performer that has the gift of touching the right buttons of the paying customer and is able to perpetuate the all important "personal issues" of the day is money. Larry never played the role of a pro wrestling bad guy but merely embellished his own natural personality within his vocation and it worked.
The upcoming, April Strikeforce MMA event on CBS in Nashville is really shaping up to be a strong show for the San Jose based organization. Tickets become available in Nashville on Friday and a rabid, excited, live audience will greatly enhance the TV show.
Recent video packages on new wrestlers that have aired on TV in the past couple of weeks have been well done. I can recall when Bill Watts aired 4-6 weeks of well produced vignettes of the Rock-N-Roll Express, I think that Jerry Lawler produced these vignettes, before Morton and Gibson made their debut in Mid South Wrestling and by the time that R 'n R physically arrived they were stars. Point being is that systematic and well planned video introductions help any talent, no matter their skill level, to better connect with the audience. Anything that can be done to better facilitate a wrestler making an emotional connection with the fans is a good thing.
I did my weekly radio gig today on KREF am 1400 in Norman and the marketplace is still buzzing about Monday night's event in OKC's Ford Center. Virtually everyone I talked to had a great time and the atmosphere in OKC was really cool. OKC Thunder stars Kevin Durant, James Hardin, and Russell Westbrook all sat behind announcers King and Cole and seemed to have a blast. It's nice to see young, millionaires at ringside having fun.
Strikeforce's "King" Mo Lawal is an Oklahoma State alum and former Cowboy wrestler who has "it" as it relates to charisma and marketability. Plus, the man can athletically and physically get it done. Mo considered pro wrestling very seriously at one point before continuing his mat training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. If he continues to improve and not get caught up in his own, entertaining hype, Mo Lawal is going to make a bunch of cash in MMA.
Remember that we have several packages that still offer FREE SHIPPING to the USA and that our products make great gift ideas.
I hope that St. Louis takes QB Sam Bradford #1 overall in the NFL Draft and that the Lions take Sam's Sooner teammate defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #2. Do you know when the last time that the top two picks of the draft were from the same college AND the same home town? The NFL Draft will on in prime time this year to attract more fans and to continue to help build the NFL's already strong brand. That's smart marketing.
Yours truly may be going to LA next week for a meeting and if that happens I'm going to try and say hello to Steve Austin who "might" be willing to buy a fellow redneck a meal. Don't forget to follow Steve on Twitter at steveaustinBSR.
We've updated the Q&A section of the site with all new stuff so check it out when you have time and after you've placed your on line orders for the best BBQ Sauce, Chipotle Ketchup and Beef Jerky in the land. Thanks for all the support.