Jim Ross offers his thoughts from Royal Rumble and Raw in his latest blog from JRsBarBQ.com. The highlights:
– Saturday I left OKC on Northwest Airlines non stop (gasp) to Detroit where it was about 10 degrees when I landed 45 minutes early at 6:30 p.m. The baggage claim area was full of fans looking for photos and autographs of which I tried to acommodate. There was another large contingent of WWE fans at the downtown Marriott near the Joe Louis Arena. Without question wrestling fans have no issues in bringing chairs, photos, and all sorts of signable goods to sign. During the process, I refused to hold a new born child nor would I sign the infant’s arm but that shouldn’t make me a bad guy. Other than that all went well.
– Tazz and I had our assignment of handling the WWE Title bout but no one knew for sure who was going to call the Rumble match until a few hours prior to the event starting. I was fortunate to do my prep as if I was going to be a part of the presentation just in case. King was King and he rolled with the flow but working with Jerry was fun (“they put the band back together for one more show.”) and it did not seem that we missed too many beats. At least, that was Mrs. J.R’s opinion but she is biased. We hoped that you enjoyed it too.
– Great start to the PPV with young, Okie Jack Swagger’s ECW Title defense against Matt Hardy. I like a fast moving opening match with intensity as it seems to more often that not set the stage for the PPV event. I had a nice visit with Swagger prior to the show and encouraged him to be athletic and aggressive but that he would ALWAYS be the second toughest man in Perry, Oklahoma behind Danny Hodge, Not that that’s a bad thing.
– John Cena and JBL had a fundementally sound, hard hitting contest but HBK is so good that he essentially stole the spotlight during this World’s Title bout from hi sprimarily ringside role. The JBL/HBK relationship has been an intriging one and continued to be through Monday’s Raw in Cleveland. I have no clue who Shawn Michaels will wrestle at WM25 but following his bout for most wrestlers will be next to an impossibility. Big Event=Wrestlemania=Mr. Wrestlemania. Case closed.
– “My Tazz” as my partner is called my the MyNetworkTV officials who love him and I drove over 300 LONG, SLOW miles from Detroit to Indianapolis on Monday and got so bored we started counting the outdoor basketball goals in the yard of the homes along the highway in Indiana where hoops rule. We usually just “knock” everyone in the biz on these extended car trips but I guess we were in a more mellow mood leaving Motown.
– Raw was an interesting show from a new arena in Cleveland at least new to the WWE which usually plays the Gund. It looked like a near packed house which always helps as it did big time Sunday in “The Joe.”
– Master Randy Orton slithered into the ring and mouthed an apology but I have to admit I certainly listened to his verbiage closely. Orton is a very compelling character and seems to be the most talked about character on Monday nights based on the reguloar Joe’s I talk to while on the road. I knew that Orton had “issues”, his words not mine, but I never knew the official name for him as most of his peers apparently use the slang for the ailment which has to do with a certain part of the male anatomy. Orton is a red hot star on Raw and will no doubt, unless something shocking occurs, play a vital role at he 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania whether some folks ike it or not. Whether or not I personally like Orton or I don’t, I can’t wait to see what he does next week on Raw especially after two members of the McMahon Family have now physically assaulted Mr. RKO who hears voices in his head.
– Michael Cole and Lawler were both under the weather Monday night but they seemed to have good nights as I listened to their work in one of the world’s oldest airport hotels still standing in America. Tazz and I saved some WWE cash by not flying to Indy and by driving instead. The baseball mogal/Smackdown analyst is quite the wheel man and I could have easily seen the former ECW Champ and Human Suplex Machine being Tony Soprano’s driver back in the day on HBO.
*SPOILER* on the MATT HARDY vs. JEFF HARDY Storyline [>]