Loved seeing the King back on RAW this past Monday night. Jerry’s feeling great and has dropped approximately 20 pounds via a more disciplined diet. We hooked up at the Westin Hotel in Columbus and rode to the arena together just like old times. Nothing had changed…the music we listened to…the topics of our conversation…King not stopping at stop signs…me giving him the wrong directions…nothing changed and it seemed like old times when we worked together every week.
I talked to King Tuesday and he’s feeling great after his return Monday night and is looking forward to Sunday’s Survivor Series PPV. His voice sounded great today on the phone.
Seeing Jerry and getting to introduce him back to RAW was a big, personal thrill for me. It was approximately two months ago that I never thought I would see him alive again.
Our hug was real. That was a ‘moment’ in case you might be wondering what a real ‘moment’ in our business truly is.
I want to say that I have throughly enjoyed working with @michaelcole on RAW and that he’s evolved into an outstanding broadcaster. It felt like that Michael and I had our best hour of TV Monday night before I left to make room for Jerry.
Most would never realize or understand how demanding a role it is to broadcast the live, three hour Monday Night Raw programs. Michael is so organized and prepared plus he directs an amazing amount of traffic from ringside.
Perhaps some day we will be able to collaborate again.
The plan all along was for me to simply sit in for the King, do color commentary and not play by play, and keep Jerry’s seat warm until he was well enough to return to the announce table. I never heard anyone in WWE ever discuss King, Cole and me ever doing a three man announce team but that rumor or sentiment sort of took on a life of its own in some fan’s eyes.
I had a blast coming out of the bullpen and helping out but RAW is a Cole/King entity and I’m more than happy to watch from my La-Z-Boy from Norman until I’m needed again on any WWE broadcast. At this time, I’ve certainly got plenty of WWE projects to keep me busy.
Several Twitter followers @JRsBBQ took some pretty stiff shots at me on Monday night because of what occurred in the ring involving WWE Champion @CMPunk and, of course, @HeymanHustle feigning a heart attack. When one stops and thinks about it, getting angry at a talent for a matter such as this is actually pretty ignorant. But I digress.
Was the post, Lawler verbal presentation my favorite aspect of RAW? No. The King’s return was the highlight of the show for me personally. But just like any other entertainment entity all content is subjective. Some folks will like some things more than others and there are some who will downright despise specific aspects of a broadcast.
It can be a blessing or a curse that wrestling fans are so passionate that when they like something they REALLY like it and when they don’t…well they have NO issues voicing their disgust and displeasure.
I’ve gotten somewhat used to criticisms over the years especially since the advent of all the various forms of social media. However, I remain steadfast in believing that all fans/consumers have a right to express their opinions, whether I agree with said opinions or not, notwithstanding a right to turn the channel if so motivated.
On a personal aside, those that have heard my latest work and damn it because I don’t “sound like you used to in the Attitude Era” could well be missing an important point. Firstly, the Attitude Era, as featured in THQ’s WWE13 video game masterpiece, and as it relates to the talent roster, from top to bottom, compared to today’s roster is a different animal. Those Attitude Era stars created some amazing moments seemingly on a weekly basis and we as broadcasters simply called what we saw in a manner that we ‘felt.’ Those Attitude Era stars had more experience, the vital point in this, than most of today’s roster plus we were lucky to assemble a virtual, dream team of once in a lifetime level talents. Arguably, it was a talent roster that may never be replicated again. Time will tell on that one but many of us are endeavoring to find and develop tomorrow’s WrestleMania main eventers.
Point is, a broadcaster has to embellish the moment without totally disconnecting with what the viewer is seeing in the context of tone and tenor. One’s emotion has to fit the moment. Over the past several weeks while filling in for The King, I’ve seen ‘moments’ that I’ve tried to make special but if I’ve let some fans down then all I can do is apologize and say that I’ll do better the next time.
However, I will debate anyone having the opinion that my work in the third hour of Monday Night Raw has lacked passion and/or effort. I can’t buy that one.
So, for now, I’ll focus my broadcasting efforts helping the young announcers in NXT of which I embrace as it’s one of my favorite assignments.
My travel has been challenging in recent weeks. Six, great days in England followed by 2 nights at home, two days in Columbus, one day at home and off again on Wednesday for two days in Orlando culminated by the NXT tapings on Thursday night at Full Sail University. Then Friday it’s a flight to Pittsburgh to join my fellow Oklahoma Sooners traveling party before heading to Morgantown, West Virginia where OU plays WVU Saturday night on Fox. I’ll be home EARLY Sunday morning from Morgantown and look forward to watching the WWE Survivor Series Sunday evening on PPV.
I’ve got to think that the banter between, I assume, @JClayfield and @JerryLawler Sunday night will be memorable. JBL is quite the character and the talkative Texan’s return to WWE TV has been awesome but John best bring is antagonist ‘A’ game against arguably one of the top, small handful of promo men to ever work in the business in Jerry Lawler.
Time permitting and later in the week I’m going to attempt to answer some of your Q&A’s here plus author another blog with some Survivor Series predictions.
Hopefully,you will consider JR’s products as holiday gift ideas either from http://www.wweshop.com or in the UK region @americansoda. One purchase can equate to several stocking stuffer type gifts. My family sincerely appreciates your support as we diligently try to build our brand.