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Matt Striker Biography & Latest News

Matt Striker Latest News & Articles

Matt Striker talks working with Jim Ross for NJPW, wanting to play in the NHL, more
Matt Striker talks working with Jim Ross for NJPW, wanting to play in the NHL, more
Source: The News HubLucha Underground play by play commentator Matt Striker recently took some time to participate in an interview with Marc Madison of The News Hub. You can check out the full interview here, they sent us these highlights: Working...
Jake Roberts calls Bray Wyatt "A Freak Of Nature," and Drew Galloway talks after title defense
Jake Roberts calls Bray Wyatt "A Freak Of Nature," and Drew Galloway talks after title defense
- In the video below, Drew Galloway declares the ICW Heavyweight Championship the ICW WORLD Heavyweight Championship after defending it against Matt Hardy in New York City yesterday. - French Wrestling podcast Wrestle's Radio interviewed Matt Stri...
Jim Ross on who should win top Rumble matches, If Sting should face 'Taker Or HHH, Lesnar, CM Punk
Jim Ross on who should win top Rumble matches, If Sting should face 'Taker Or HHH, Lesnar, CM Punk
I recently spoke with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, who will be performing his one man show tonight at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, and Sunday afternoon at Underground Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In part two of the interview below, JR discussed Brock Lesnar possibly re-signing with the UFC, who should win the Royal Rumble, if Sting should face The Undertaker at WrestleMania over Triple H, the Lucha Underground rumors and more. Click here for part one of the interview, where JR discussed working with Matt Striker for the NJPW pay-per-view earlier this month, working with Randy Savage, if WWE had any interest in re-signing Savage in 1996, what fans can expect from his shows this weekend and more. Tickets for both of JR's shows this weekend are available at AXS.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JRsBBQ and check out his blog at jrsbarbq.com. Also, don't forget to order some of JR's BBQ Sauce, which is great for the kitchen and the grill, at WWEShop.com by clicking here. * * * It seemed until a few months ago that Roman Reigns would win the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar would retain the title and the two would square off at WrestleMania. Now it's up in the air. What do you think should happen? Well first off, I like up in the air. I like multiple ways to skin the cat and approach the Royal Rumble. I've done a lot of media just as Daniel Bryan was coming back, and I've said if he could come back and regenerate the momentum he had prior to his injury that it would be hard to keep him out of the main event of WrestleMania. He was building great momentum and was arguably the hottest thing in WWE with the "Yes movement." It became a pop culture thing. I've went back and forth on that. After seeing Daniel Bryan the past couple of weeks and the fans still embracing him, he has the it factor, his size works to his advantage. He's the underdog. I think Bryan winning the Royal Rumble could create the biggest amount of water cooler talk. But do you go with Reigns, Bryan, or do you have a wild card up your sleeve? A lot of it comes down to what Brock Lesnar is going to do. If you're armchair booking, there's a much bigger picture than the winner of the Royal Rumble. It doesn't end on that day, it starts on that day. It looked as if to me that Roman Reigns was on this journey to win the Royal Rumble and become WWE Champion at WrestleMania. I believe in him and he's going to be a big time player, I just don't know if he's going to be ready and there's no use in wasting the opportunity. Don't rush it. Daniel Bryan has much more experienced, is a much more refined worker and can have excellent matches with anybody on the roster. Roman just hasn't had the opportunities that Daniel Bryan has in terms of matches, experience, years, different styles, training. In a nutshell, I was thinking Roman Reigns, but I was giving consideration to Daniel Bryan. But what's most important is who wins the WWE title. Is Brock Lesnar going to escape with the title? Is John Cena going to redeem himself? Will Rollins cash in Money in the Bank? It all depends on if Lesnar stays after WrestleMania, or takes care of unfinished business in MMA. That's what makes the Royal Rumble exciting. It's not the undercard. There are 30 men in the Royal Rumble match, and there may be a sleeper that may come out the winner. What if Rusev wins it? You know Cena's going to around for the long haul, you know Rollins is going to be there long-term, but you don't know if the WWE World Heavyweight champion will be around long-term. He may go back to MMA, and you know his managers and agents will want him to hear the offers from Bellator. Bellator signing Brock Lesnar would be a huge deal to launch their brand. I'm really anxious to watch the event because it has a lot of unpredictable elements. It's still in that very complex stage. I wont read the spoilers. I don't know why real wrestling fans read spoilers. Internet websites have to do it. Most movie sites review a film, but won't reveal to ending, but that doesn't apply to wrestling. I'm not an advocate of that. If you're in Dana White's shoes and Lesnar were to go back to the UFC, who would you book Lesnar against? It would be someone that had some name identity, but not on the upswing of their career. Someone who needed to be more relevant. Brock Lesnar is going to turn heads, but a name, I don't know. There's a lot of guys in that heavyweight division who have been around for a while who could absolutely beat Brock, because I don't know how much he has left in his MMA tank. I'd reintroduce him and rehabilitate his image, and give a peek in to Lesnar's training camp to show how motivated he is and how interested he is to get his way back to the top. It's gotta be the goal, to come back and beat as many people as he can and get back in to the title picture. That's where you make all the money, you gotta make it back to the title picture. He'll make great money anyway because he's a pay-per-view seller. If he signs, he's a great story. Kind of like CM Punk, who is a great story just by signing and training. Punk is already of great value because he has a huge fanbase who will support him no matter what he's doing. Whether it's a personal appearance, TV show, not withstanding him training for his first UFC fight. UFC can get great mileage out of both of those guys just based on name value. One is established, and the other is making a debut and they're interest there. It's not one of those situations where Brock Lesnar will face someone and you ask who it is. It'll be someone who has a name that people have heard of that needs a big win. I don't know who it is, but I know what the description will be. Sting vs. Undertaker has been a dream match for a long time, would you go with them facing younger talent at WrestleMania, or do you match them against each other? It seems as if Sting vs. Triple H and Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt seem to be the plans. Bray Wyatt can become a big star by facing the Undertaker and having a special match. That seems like the best long-term. 3 of those 4 names are at the end of their run. Father Time indicates that to me. I think Triple H and Sting would have an excellent match, but he's not 25 year-old Sting. He can still have a great match in there with a great worker. Booking is not a real complicated process. It's a matter of bringing out strengths and hiding weaknesses, Triple H would be really good with that. If Undertaker wouldn't have been defeated and had some of the WrestleMania sizzle taken off, Sting and Undertaker would have been excellent. I don't know that everyone wants to see that match now. I'm not as motivated as I was to see it this time last year. I like the idea that Bray Wyatt has the chance to face The Undertaker out of the guys we just mentioned and people know that Undertaker can lose at WrestleMania. Him working the Undertaker and having a real strong match will help him. The announcers and everyone involved can help the Bray Wyatt image. If you call it strategically, you have a chance to make Bray Wyatt a significant player win, lose, or draw. People can get over by losing, they have and they will. Certainly it can be done. I'd lean towards featuring Bray Wyatt against the Undertaker, the booking alone makes him more viable. Triple H vs. Sting, Triple H is such a great strategist and Triple H would put that match together very logically and would play to their strengths. I'm still not sure that Taker is going to wrestle at WrestleMania 31. I hope that he does, if he's healthy and motivated. Motivated means a match that doesn't intimate that he's stayed too long. Any day that he can't be The Undertaker to an extreme degree is the day he says "adios." I thought that if he were to ever retire it should be in Arlington, Texas at Cowboys Stadium so that WWE can have an impressive attendance number. You see him for the last time in the palace of Cowboys Stadium. This is Sting's one shot to get the WrestleMania moment that he deserves. Of course Triple H doesn't wrestle much anymore, but he still has the same pride in his work as always. Konnan was saying on his podcast you've been talking with Lucha Underground. Can fans expect you back on commentary this year, is that even what you're interested in? I haven't had any conversations with Lucha Underground. I have yet to talk to any of them. The last person I talked to from Lucha Underground was Matt Striker at Wrestle Kingdom 9. I have not had one phone call, text, fax, whatever from Lucha Underground. Will those take conversations take place? I have no idea, I have a manager who handles that. I wasn't looking for the Wrestle Kingdom 9 gig when it came about. My manager Barry Bloom approached them about it and I wasn't really interested in it. It was the day before my birthday and it was in Tokyo, and my wife and I had already planned for months to go to the big Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier fight in Vegas. We had to cancel that trip and it took her out of the equation. We agreed that we could go to Vegas another time. We got the money, my compensation, but you still have to go to Tokyo. It's a four hour show and I've never prepared so much for a show, because there's so many new talents. I watched the Youtube stuff and got to liking it, and talked to my friends who were New Japan aficianados who kind of pushed me more into it. The business end was completed to our satisfaction. If the fire had gone out and I didn't have any more fuel in the tank, the last thing I wanted to do was go back and do another one and overstay my welcome. I was never going to let myself get in that position. But it worked, and I felt good about how we performed, I enjoyed the product on YouTube, I enjoyed it in person. At the time I'd only planned on doing one. As I sit here, I don't have any booked or tentatively scheduled, but I'm open minded about doing more PPV events for New Japan or anybody else if it's the right time or the right money. If you have a PPV that will prevent me from going to an Oklahoma University football game, I don't know that you can afford me because I'd rather watch a football game than work at this point in my life. I don't say that to be arrogant, I'm 63 years old and there's things I'd rather catch up on. It's gotta be the right deal, the date has to be right. I'm not against discussing it, considering it and if I accept the gig, I'm all in. It seems a lot of people liked the commentary, which is always nice to hear. I don't have anything on the books for a wrestling commentary gig. I like Konnan, don't get me wrong, maybe they liked my work at Wrestle Kingdom, maybe they know I'm not contracted to anybody, maybe I'm a candidate for something, I don't have any idea. It would take a very special engagement for me to re-engage a weekly TV show. I have so many projects that I love to do. I'm trying to finish an autobiography, which is an incredible undertaking. I'm doing these one man shows, my podcast is growing to be one of the top-3 podcasts of the year. I have 70,000 words on this book already. All I'm thinking now is Sayerville and Philly. If I do weekly TV, I have to take something off my plate, and those are money projects. I'm at the age where I enjoy working a part-time schedule. Never say never, but it would have to be an extraordinary situation. The consensus will be that I'm BS'ing, and that's how we are, we're a negative society. That's the way it is. I'm busy. I'm not on the inside of Lucha Underground, I don't know what they talk about. I watch their show. I think it's very innovative. I like the fact that they give you good matches, and I like the fact that they're an hour format. The Network they're on is not a household name, so it'll take a little while to build an audience, probably a year or so. It'll take all of 2015 to continue to brand themselves. TNA is going to spend most of 2015 giving their fans a chance to find them on Destination America too. When they announced they were going to Destination America, I didn't even know if my provider had it. I had never watched a program on Destination America. It'll take 2015 for them to re-establish. They just have to consistently produce good television. 2015 is a big year for wrestling. There's going to be a lot of things that come along. It just makes sense that if your brand has been mildly successful or if you've had struggles, why are you continuing to do the same thing? If you're football team and you're struggling, why would you continue to do the same? Why wouldn't you go to a new offense? I say the same thing about the wrestling business, if things aren't where you want them, it's the audience telling you they want to be served something else. Every show you do is market research, and empty seat is market research. That fan wasn't motivated to buy a ticket. I think it's going to be a provocative and interesting year for wrestling fans. It begins and ends with WWE, they have a lion's share of the field. It's going to be interesting to see how other promotions get more unique, or different. You can't be cookie cutter and use the same format. You have to move the chains. Times are changing. Every company that we've mentioned need to develop new main event stars, every one of them. That should be their priority. Sometimes the least expected person gets over, so you have to make sure you're paying attention and doing what your audience wants you to. The audience is always right, the customer is always right. Any smart business in the world tries to satisfy their consumer base, and sometimes wrestling struggles to do that. Sometimes we take things for granted, but we'll be fine. Change can't be seen as a negative. Again, I'm not saying Konnan's lying. If I was in conversations I'd just say "I'd rather not talk about that." If you want to hire me, talk to my representation. We aren't looking for a certain gig. As fun as (Wrestle Kingdom) was, it was a one off. I got there Friday, and it was a marathon pay-per-view. In, out, bam. I love how they train the talents, that dojo there. The talents doing the janitorial work or putting the rings up. The dojo I find to be very intriguing and very smart. I find it very questionable that some American kids feel entitled would go that extra mile to get in the business. If they had to clean the toilet, they might not want to do that, pay the price to get in the business. They pretty much eliminate their sexual life and relationships and dedicate their live to improving their craft and skill. After all those years being on the road every week, I don't think I'm motivated to get back in that heavy grind. I get to go to all my sporting events and I like that. I'm not any less of a fan than when I was immersed. I'll always be a fan, it's in my DNA. Tomorrow's not a guarantee, and when I say that at 63, my parents died at 64. Even though I'm in good health, my subconscious tells me that my parents passed away at the same age. It's always there. I want to make sure I enjoy life to the best of my ability because tomorrow isn't a guarantee. What can fans expect from your show [tonight and Sunday]? They're very unique. The first priority of my shows are the people sitting there watching it. I want them to have a great experience. There will be some funny stories; I'll do a monologue where we'll get things going from my territory days. It's a labor of love, it's a way of interacting with the fans. I owe the fans everything I've ever accomplished for supporting me. It's a small way of giving back. I enjoy the Q&A's, but even more I enjoy the VIP meet & greets. We set a certain number of tickets aside, maybe 100, and then people bring memorabilia and sign it. I give them a bottle of barbecue sauce as a thank you. You'll get a few laughs, you'll get some new information, some things signed. We'll start the meet and greet in Philly at 1, it'll run until 3, then we'll start the show and it's going to be over around 5. People will be able to very easily make it to the Royal Rumble. We'll be doing it at a place called Underground Arts, minutes away from the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets start at $20. Any information they need, they can get at www.AXS.com. For Sayerville, we'll be at the Starland Ballroom Friday night. It's an 8 o'clock show with a six o'clock meet and greet, tickets also start at $20. Click here for part one of the interview, where JR discussed working with Matt Striker for the NJPW pay-per-view earlier this month, working with Randy Savage, if WWE had any interest in re-signing Savage in 1996, what fans can expect from his shows this weekend and more. Tickets for both of JR's shows this weekend are available at AXS.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JRsBBQ and check out his blog at jrsbarbq.com. Also, don't forget to order some of JR's BBQ Sauce, which is great for the kitchen and the grill, at WWEShop.com by clicking here.
Jim Ross Talks Complex Randy Savage Relationship, Agreeing With Vince, Matt Striker, His Shows, NJPW
Jim Ross Talks Complex Randy Savage Relationship, Agreeing With Vince, Matt Striker, His Shows, NJPW
I recently spoke with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, who will be performing a pair of his one-man shows during this weekend in Philadelphia, PA on Friday and Sayreville, NJ on Sunday afternoon. In part one of the interview below, JR discussed working with Matt Striker for the NJPW pay-per-view earlier this month, working with Randy Savage, if WWE had any interest in re-signing Savage in 1996, what fans can expect from his shows this weekend and more. Make sure to check back later this week for the second and final part of the interview, where JR discussed Brock Lesnar possibly re-signing with the UFC, who should win the Royal Rumble, if Sting should face The Undertaker at WrestleMania over Triple H, the Lucha Underground rumors and more. Tickets for both of JR's shows this weekend are available at AXS.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JRsBBQ and check out his blog at jrsbarbq.com. Also, don't forget to order some of JR's BBQ Sauce, which is great for the kitchen and the grill, at WWEShop.com by clicking here. * * * How was the experience at Wrestle Kingdom 9? Good times. It was a great show. I got introduced to a lot of new talents that I hadn't had a chance to build any kind of relationship with. All of the guys I'd seen on video, but I got to meet them. The American contingents there, some I knew, some I didn't know. The travel from Oklahoma to Tokyo wasn't fun, but other than that it was great. I had a real good time. They're looking to enlarge their footprint and build their brand? Had you worked with Matt Striker before? We had a few cups of coffee at the announce table in WWE. We worked together some. How well you work together is how well you know each other. We talked about the direction we were going to go in for that show, and got on the same page there and made a game plan. It took us a little while to get unwound. When you have a succession of multi-person, they don't have as much time to tell stories and everyone has to get a piece of the action. There were good matches, it's just that they're challenging the crowd back-to-back-to-back and it's more arduous. As the show progressed we loosened up. I'm my own biggest critic and I've watched back several times and I thought there was a big difference in our rhythm and timing as we got into more one-on-one matches and things started clicking. You have to save your best for the last matches, the main events, the end of the show. The most important thing we did all show was in that fourth hour. That was a four hour show, so it was challenging. That presents its own set of issues. But we knew each other well enough and communicated well enough as well as our approach is concerned. I thought Matt did a real good job and triggered a great deal in introducing new talents. It was on us to make sure we introduced these talents while these matches were happening so new fans could enjoy the show. Do you think there's anything American wrestling companies can take away from Wrestle Kingdom 9 or New Japan in general? People who listen to my podcast will hear my take on things, and I've been saying for a long time that American promotions should tweak their product. Any company can always get better. Any company that thinks they're at a plateau and can't get better, I've never understood that idea. We can all get better at our jobs, our relationships, anything. The New Japan model is a good one to take things from and apply them to a company. It's really no different than the territory days when a place would get hot and other bookers around the country would flip the switch. That was done forever. Some relationships are tighter than others, some guys would call Bill Watts and ask what worked to improve towns and talent. If he had talent that he thought would help a territory he'd call that person or booker, or whatever. There's always a nice exchange of ideas. It seems that in America, companies like to spend more time in a comfort zone than to be creative. A couple of examples: New Japan wrestlers work at a "processable pace," meaning they work at a pace that isn't slow or sluggish, they speed up, slow down, they burst, have a period of selling. They don't work so fast you can't process it as a fan. Another thing is that they're very fundamentally sound- the tackles, the kicks. They're safe for the most part, but very physical. That's an across the board thing for New Japan. I think that American promotions could be a little more physical. Finally, the overall psychology they utilize is based on logic. No matter what you sell, it could be better. That's the nature of any beast, and wrestling is no different. See what other people are doing that's working and draw from that. Wrestling promoters are eccentric and a little hard headed and find a comfort zone that they like and just stay there. Change isn't a welcome occurrence. New Japan has a company philosophy of an old school base with a lot of new nuances. I knew it was going to be athletic based and we were going to call it differently. We watched the tape and learned how we would approach the broadcast. I had a lot of people sending me links and matches and stuff. I was really prepared for it and I think Matt was as well. We decided we were going to call it as a sport and try to get the talent over and let the people know who these guys are and why they're fighting and what's at stake. Any company can learn from any other company, and New Japan is no exception. Vince McMahon famously said on Steve Austin's podcast that a lot of talents lacked ambition. What were your thoughts on that comment? I didn't have a problem with it, I said that all along. I've always thought that talents preferred they be treated as athletes, not entertainers. If you use that theory, my experience is that you get better work and communication overall when the talent is treated as athletes and not entertainers. It's a matter of motivating your team. Coaches do it, NFL guys, college coaches do it. You get them to train harder, play harder. Too many people are putting failures on not enough entities. It's a team effort when you succeed and a team effort when you fail. If you're trying to lessen the possibility of failure, are you doing enough on your end as a talent? Are you working on your fundamentals? Are you doing things away from the arena to make yourself better? Are you watching other talents to see how they got over? Are you studying the game and staying in shape, or are you showing up and just doing what you're told and driving to the next time? Do you spend time in a car with your peers talking about how everyone can get better, or are you plugged in to your iPod? People got better quicker because they were in the car with veterans and they exchanged ideas. Vince has used that brass ring analogy since I got in the WWE, and that was 1993. So it isn't anything rude. It isn't anything different than Bill Watts or any other promoter or booker used. There's some misguided logic from some fans that 'the office' is responsible for the success and failures of a talent. That "When is so and so going to get his push?" There are a lot of holes in that logic. They're all obligated to get better. Today there's very little refined selling, and people are looking to be stylistically accepted. Then they're looked at as simulating. You want to eliminate any sense of simulation because people should look at what you're doing as physical. You can do that very easily. Kicks, tackles, a clothesline, things like that. The routines and the movesets, people create their own boundaries. When you create those boundaries, it's hard to get out of that comfort zone and your foundation starts crumbling. It's not a matter of them traveling, and no off-season, and they're independent contractors and blah blah blah. The business has been the same for years. The guys who get real good at it push themselves to get better and grab that brass ring. Things that you can't execute well, don't utilize. If you can't throw a punch, don't do it. Clotheslines are now finishes so they're not high spots, DDT's aren't high spots. There are certain things you can't do. Well maybe in developmental or indy circuits if they worked on their punches and kicks and utilized psychology and wrestling holds they'd get noticed more. It's not about the 450 splash from the top rope to the floor. The "this is awesome" may not extend your career or make you more valuable. Do it at the right time, do it once. The brass ring statement, timely or not I don't know, but I agree. The hungry talent that aren't content with their role have to do something about it. You can't wait for creative or management to do something to make you better, it has to start with you. If they get a glimpse of something different that makes you work better, now they understand you better and makes them write for you better. Grabbing the brass ring can mean different things to different people. It was announced that Randy Savage would be inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame. You wrote on your Fox Sports blog that you two didn't have the warmest relationship when you joined WWE. Why did you feel that was and did it get better? It never really changed much. He was pretty consistent in his personality and how he was. It was 1993, and I don't know how old he was but he wasn't a spring chicken, but he was set in his ways. He had a real unique personality. The wrestling business is exactly like Hollywood. The participants are often untrusting, insecure, paranoid, it's the nature of this beast. Football players are worried about getting a debilitating injury or getting cut or being put on IR and never being the same again. My friend Sam Bradford was picked in the draft, got $50 million guaranteed, and had 2 ACL rebuilds. He has financial security, but never may be the player he should have been because of injuries so he may have to take a different career path like a backup role and get paid less. That's one illustration. People on TV series' are paranoid of getting killed off the script. This is no different. People think they aren't being used properly, wondering why they aren't moving up the card or getting noticed. So that was the genesis of that whole deal. Randy, maybe by nature, doesn't trust a lot of people. I always greatly admired his work, which was excellent and fundamentally sound. But he was hard to get along with because he was so guarded. When you said something that was perceived as more than one way, he'd look at the glass half empty instead of the glass half full. He was entertaining at the announce table, he was unpredictable. He wasn't easy to work with, he was challenging to work with, which I liked because it kept me on my toes. I didn't dislike it whatsoever, it was just challenging. I don't know if it's because I was from WCW, or I took Gorilla Monsoon's place in the WWE hierarchy that he was a part of. My work at WrestleMania 9 in Gorilla's spot was basically because Gorilla was ill, he had health issues. That was mother nature and father time, not me. My job was to be the best I could be. Randy was a complex guy and the stuff I wrote about in that Fox Sports article, I wasn't trying to dissect him or tarnish the Hall of Fame induction. I was trying to point out that he was a very unique guy, he had great passion. In 92-93, he was only a couple years off of headlining WrestleManias and all of a sudden he's setting up at the announce tables. Randy Savage created the Macho Man, lived it, and it's hard to be the Macho Man and a legendary ass kicker, and sitting down at an announce table. I don't know that he was totally pleased with his life at that point. Obviously he wasn't overwhelmed with it, because he elected to not re-sign and go to WCW. When he continued to wrestle he wasn't doing commentary, that could have been part of it. He knew that his clock was ticking. I don't know what the exact reasons where, but it wasn't always a bad relationship. He was volatile and he cared. One of my big regrets is that later in life I never reached out to say I wished I could sit down with him just to clear the air for my own peace of mind. I didn't dislike him, he was just tough to work with. We often times sprint to look at the glass half empty instead of the glass half full. So when the announcement made the reaction was more like "finally." He had unique promos, a unique sound, he was an innovator. Randy was approached more than one time while he was still alive, but at that time he wasn't ready to do it. I tried to show the human side (in the column) of a character that wasn't easily to play every day. You became WWE VP in fall of 1996, around the time Savage's contract with WCW was up. The feeling for a while then was that Savage would end up back in WWE, which didn't happen. Was there any discussion of bringing Savage back at that time? I don't recall. We'd kind of moved on from the announcing side. The announcing group was evolving, so I don't think there was interest to bring him back on the commentary side. I don't remember any specific discussions about that, even to wrestle. He wanted to wrestle, for whatever reasons irrelevant to me, he wanted to wrestle. It was not the plans at that time for the WWE to bring him back to the ring. Sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong, but there were no serious conversations that I can recall, but I could be wrong. Unlike a lot of wrestling fans I don't have a great memory of specific things in 1996. That's an awful long time to remember a specific talent being brought back. It could have or couldn't have. He was just very adamant that he wanted to continue to wrestle, he felt he had more years left in the ring. It was the talent wanting to do one thing and the company not having the same mindset. You also have your shows coming up this weekend, what can fans expect from your shows? They're very unique. The first priority of my shows are the people sitting there watching it. I want them to have a great experience. There will be some funny stories; I'll do a monologue where we'll get things going from my territory days. My career started in 1974, and look at all these things that changed since 1974 that I've personally been involved in. Examples: local TV in your territory was the be-all, end-all, everywhere. Then as you see the territory promoters refusing to change and refusing to improve their production quality, networks moved to studio wrestling show. Territories didn't want to change because of the alpha male mentality and ran themselves out of business. I saw wrestling go to cable TV, satellite television, pay-per-view came along and changed all of our lives. You saw more territories fade away and fewer big talents being developed, which was bad. The Steiner Brothers were Big 10 guys trained by Verne Gagne who would send them out to other promoters to get seasoning and then they'd come back and get their big run in the AWA. After all those years it came down to two major promotions in WCW and WWE. I'm not saying that to offend ECW fans, the other two just had the mass majority of the market share, that was a change. The Monday night wars were unique. WWE coming out on the other side, WCW being defeated was another significant time in our business history. I've seen a lot of changes. I take people through a tour of that. I don't use a script or a teleprompter. I have an idea what I want to do, but you have to listen to your audience. I don't want to force things down their throat if it isn't what they want. The word monologue sounds boring, so we do a 15-20 minute verbal presentation, and then I turn it over to the audience. If they care enough about me to want to come to one of my shows, I make sure that I don't restrict that. It's a no holds barred thing, there are some delicate topics. I love the humor, I love the answers, and it's a very interactive show. Every show is different, every market is different, every town's chemistry is different. It's a very interactive show. I've had to restart my career on more than one occasion. Facial paralysis in the form of Bell's Palsy isn't great for your TV career. Another one of the side effects is depression, so I don't know that I would have had the will after my second bout with Bell's Palsy that put me on the shelf. I came back and called WrestleMania 15 after I thought I'd be on the scrap heap. It's been difficult because of my speech pattern, and my look, and I have a southern accent that's a bit more pronounced, so it's always been a battle, even in the TBS days. It's a labor of love, it's a way of interacting with the fans. I owe the fans everything I've ever accomplished for supporting me. It's a small way of giving back. I enjoy the Q&A's, but even more I enjoy the VIP meet & greets. We set a certain number of tickets aside, maybe 100, and then people bring memorabilia and sign it. I give them a bottle of barbecue sauce as a thank you. I was ready to accept the hand that was dealt from Bell's Palsy and stay on the administrative side of WWE and stay off the air because I didn't know if I would heal. The muscles around my mouth are still not functioning, I can't smile, I can't show my teeth. It's embarrassing when people ask me to smile for pictures, and I never say anything because I don't want to embarrass them. It can be problematic. That night in Philadelphia gave me the confidence I needed, and got a standing ovation. I tried to stay away from mirrors at that point in time. By the time Michael Cole and I passed in the aisle way and I tipped my hat to him, and I got to the announcer's table and Jerry Lawler was standing and clapping, I had a lot of tears. I sat in my spot, I got comfortable. It reignited the fire in Philly, and I didn't let Bell's Palsy define me. That story illustrates that there will be some motivational things in the show, but won't be driven down your throat and won't monopolize the show, but might help your life out a little bit. You'll get a few laughs, you'll get some new information, some things signed. We'll start the meet and greet in Philly at 1, it'll run until 3, then we'll start the show and it's going to be over around 5. People will be able to very easily make it to the Royal Rumble. We'll be doing it at a place called Underground Arts, minutes away from the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets start at $20. Any information they need, they can get at www.AXS.com. For Sayerville, we'll be at the Starland Ballroom Friday night. It's an 8 o'clock show with a six o'clock meet and greet, tickets also start at $20. Make sure to check back later this week for the second and final part of the interview, where JR discussed Brock Lesnar possibly re-signing with the UFC, who should win the Royal Rumble, if Sting should face The Undertaker at WrestleMania over Triple H, the Lucha Underground rumors and more. Tickets for both of JR's shows this weekend are available at AXS.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JRsBBQ and check out his blog at jrsbarbq.com. Also, don't forget to order some of JR's BBQ Sauce, which is great for the kitchen and the grill, at WWEShop.com by clicking here.
Jim Ross to return to full-time announcing again?
Jim Ross to return to full-time announcing again?
Jim Ross in talks to join the Lucha Underground promotion
Jeff Jarrett looks back at NJPW PPV; talks JR & Matt Striker and more in an interview
Jeff Jarrett looks back at NJPW PPV; talks JR & Matt Striker and more in an interview
I spoke with Jeff Jarrett, who looked back at the great New Japan Pro Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom 9 pay-per-view that took place from the Tokyo Dome on January 4th. You can follow Jarrett on Twitter @RealJeffJarrett, and Global Force Wrestling @GFWWrestl...
2014: The year of independents and pro wrestling
2014: The year of independents and pro wrestling
We look back at 2014 and analyze how it was a phenomenal year for the independent organizations, as well as the professional wrestling industry.
Jim Ross blogs on if Roman Reigns is ready, changes in announcement team, Dixie on his podcast
Jim Ross blogs on if Roman Reigns is ready, changes in announcement team, Dixie on his podcast
Source: JR's BBQJim Ross posted his latest blog at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights: If Roman Reigns is ready to be the man in WWE: "Was asked today by Jason Powell for Pro Wrestling.net audio if I thought Roman Reigns was ready to be t...
Matt Striker talks about WWE bebut with Kurt Angle, CM Punk, Why he carries a William Regal figure
Matt Striker talks about WWE bebut with Kurt Angle, CM Punk, Why he carries a William Regal figure
Former WWE Superstar Matt Striker was interviewed by False Finish Wrestling Radio on the PWKGW Network. Here are some highlights: Why he carries a William Regal figure with him: During My time in WWE, Regal was a mentor and a friend and he ha...
Matt Striker Interview Part 2: Vince McMahon as a boss, Booker T replacing him and more
Matt Striker Interview Part 2: Vince McMahon as a boss, Booker T replacing him and more
I recently spoke with former WWE star Matt Striker. In the second and final part of the interview below, Striker discussed commentating, if Vince would yell at him on commentary, being replaced by Booker T, Vince as a boss, "Macho Man" Randy Savage not...
Matt Striker Interview Part 1: Being ousted as a wrestler while teaching, signing with WWE and more
Matt Striker Interview Part 1: Being ousted as a wrestler while teaching, signing with WWE and more
I recently spoke with former WWE star Matt Striker. In the first part of the interview below, Striker discussed being a wrestling fan growing up, wrestling while teaching and getting outed, signing with WWE, how he became a commentator, competing at Wr...
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