Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ Weekend Update – WWE PPV + More #SauceIt

It’s been a busy but productive and enjoyable week on our end and we thank you for stopping by our site. WWEShop is offering 20% OFF JR’s products at this link http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss. They were temporarily out of some items but have restocked and placed a backup order that will be shipped in a couple of days. Business has picked up for us of which we are grateful. Grilling time…

Jim Ross Checks In With His Latest BBQ & WWE BlogI had a great time in Orlando taping more episodes of NXT Thursday evening at Full Sail University. We started at 6:30 pm and finished at 9:30 pm. The event ran smoothly and efficiently and the fans in attendance seemed to have fun. Our next Full Sail/NXT event will be Thursday July 12.

Byron Saxton handled the bulk of the play by play with William Regal doing the color commentary. Chris Russo was the ring announcer and yours truly appeared on each show helping Saxton and Regal with the main events.

I’m not sure of when these new, NXT shows air or exactly where but I know that in parts of Florida they will air on the Brighthouse Network but as it relates to other parts of the USA, I simply don’t know but it seems that most content generally makes its way to You Tube at some time or another.

Reportedly, NXT will air in several countries outside the USA as it has been doing previously. I have not been informed that the new, NXT will air on WWE.com but as I have stated previously, I have my doubts on that one.

Might just be me but it feels as if some talents are more relaxed at the NXT tapings than some appear to be at other WWE events and as a result they performed at a higher level for the most part.

We had several really good bouts Thursday night as the focus of the broadcast is still in the introductory stage of presenting new, talents and talents with limited or inconsistent TV exposure.

The bouts on NXT generally have a little more time for the talents to tell a viable story and to get much needed TV minutes. It’s up to the talents to maximize those minutes and most did.

It seemed that Jinder Mahal was a different talent in Orlando than I have seen him at times on WWE TV. Mahal has a marketable upside in my view and NXT might give him the platform to better develop his in ring efforts. I’d suggest keeping an eye on this highly intelligent, motivated young man.

The same thing can be said of essentially everyone that gets the NXT opportunity. It’s a place to refine one’s game and to continue to learn. Every TV match is an important opportunity for each person that steps foot in the ring.

I thought that Johnny Curtis and Michael McGillicutty looked promising as a tag team. No reason that I can see that both these young men should not be in the hunt for years to come.

Young Bo Dallas (formerally Rotundo) has an outstanding upside and he’s still just a pup. Excellent, natural instincts.

Bray Wyatt’s TV persona is one of the most unique and compelling to come along in a good while and the young athlete, who at one time wrestled as Husky Harris, has but a great deal of time and effort into his new persona. Some may compare it to the DeNiro character in Cape Fear and even Waylon Mercy back in the day but this uniquely Bray Wyatt incarnation feels new and fresh plus the athlete behind it is big and aggressive….and has youth going for him.

Drew McIntyre, who has always had potential, had one of his best days on the job with WWE, in my view, while at NXT Thursday. His match with Seth Rollins, another seemingly can’t miss prospect, was stellar. McIntyre is only 27 and I’m thinking that if he can continue get the extra work in NXT that the Scot will take the next step up the ladder in the near future.

Tyson Kidd stood out again and is beginning to put more personality with his already amazing in ring skills which is imperative to get to the proverbial Promised Land. Derrick Bateman had a good night as well.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Alex Riley was a really solid match to call and both talents have something special to offer the WWE.

Loved the match that Justin Gabriel had with Heath Slater. They did not look like the same two talents that I have seen at times on other WWE broadcasts.

South Africa’s Leo Kruger and Richie Steamboat had a good bout, too. Throughly enjoyed it. I’ve seen these two in the ring on many occasions and they both are bound for productive careers unless something unforseen occurs especially as it relates to their own motivation and desire to improve upon what they do for a living.

Several of the former independent wrestlers that WWE has signed for FCW work and subsequently who will be appearing on NXT are beginning to standout.

Talented Natalya Neidhart had a really nice match with Puerto Rico’s fiery Sofia of who I’m optimistic. Raquel Diaz (Guerrero) vs. Paige was another solid, Diva outing featuring two young women who have wrestling in their blood. Paige, from England, is another young, aggressive talent on which to keep an eye. Racquel has a huge personality as that’s what her DNA has produced. We also saw a physical bout between Tamina vs. Kaitlyn which featured two of the strongest women in all the WWE. Bottom line, a really nice night for a talented group of Divas.

Especially interested in the evolution of the duo known as Ascension. This team has something special going for themselves and if they keep pushing to improve could be impactful in WWE for years to come. Time will tell.

Obviously the cupboards are not bare in the WWE Developmental program. There are many talents that I did not mention that have the opportunity to be special…in time and through their own hard work and diligence. I’m hopeful that these athletes take their careers in their own hands and refuse to fail.

The talent’s attitude is refreshing and everyone, and I mean everyone, worked hard and with great effort. Can they improve? Absolutely, we all can, and that’s what NXT is all about and those that keep bearing down and improving all phases of their game will realize their dreams if it is meant to be. Those that unfortunately discover and then remain in a comfort zone won’t find the career that they seek.

The continued scouting of the independent circuits is important and will be on going. However, the ‘money’ in building for the future is finding young, athletes from strong collegiate programs from a variety of sports who are physically gifted and who have an aptitude for entertaining and a strong desire to become a WWE Superstar.

I am thoroughly enjoying working in WWE Developmental and look forward to the future of the department and how Talent Development contributes to the future of WWE. WWE has an outstanding staff working with some really talented kids and from where I stand from a talent perspective, specifically the in ring talents, the future looks bright for WWE.

With my increased presence/mentions, etc on WWE RAW and Smackdown recently, we have seen a significant spike in our family business at http://www.wweshop.com/Category/JimRoss. Check out the link and look at the wide variety of options and packages that are available. Again, some items have been temporarily out of stock but those issues seem to be resolved.

I passed 450,000 followers this past week on Twitter @JRsBBQ. Please join us.

For some reason, nothing specific but just a feeling, I’m guessing that WWE really shakes things up Sunday night on PPV at No Way Out. ‘People Power’ which reminds me of my Aunt Ruth’s ‘sour belches’ (both are/were organically stinky) seems to be in jeopardy with the return of Mr. McMahon but the Boss siding with John Cena on this matter is a head scratcher so who knows what is going to occur Sunday night?

I fully anticipate Sheamus vs. Ziggler being a classic World Title Bout. I expect nothing less from two of my favorite talents. Plus, Punk-Bryan-Kane,,,and AJ will have a heck of an outing even though I am personally not a huge fan of Triple Threat bouts as a rule but I’ve enjoyed the build to this one.

AJ is arguably the most compelling/interesting new, WWE TV persona to come along in a a good while. She’s a provocative, girl next door, with ‘something’ not just ‘quite right’ and has her seat reserved to leave at any time on the ‘Crazy Train.’

These are the PPV’s are the opportunities that talents who are NOT in a featured bout go out and turn heads with the time that they have to do their thing.

Pulling big time for the OKC Thunder Sunday night down in Miami in the third game of the NBA Playoffs. @okcthunder has united the State of Oklahoma no matter one’s race, religion, creed, OU/OSU fan, etc as no other positive entity ever has. The OKC Bombings brought everyone together for a time but nothing positive such as the Thunder ever has that I can recall in my lifetime.

I’ve updated the Q&A section of the site and invite you to check them out. Quick read that you might find interesting. Plus, you’re welcome to send us your questions there and please keep them succinct. Thanks.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

TheSTN – 2012 NBA Summer League Schedule Announced

The 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas will feature a record 24 teams competing in a 60-game schedule July 13-22 at the Thomas & Mack Center and the COX Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

2012 NBA Summer League – Sixty Games in 10 Days Featuring Teams with 13 of the Top 14 Draft Picks

The 2012 NBA Summer League will showcase 13 of the top 14 picks in this year’s NBA Draft. The action tips off at 1 p.m. PT, Friday, July 13, with the Atlanta Hawks playing the Washington Wizards in the first of four scheduled games that day at COX Pavilion. Other teams participating in opening day action include the Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors.

Gatorade will support the 2012 NBA Summer League and serve as an Associate Partner.

NBA TV will televise all 60 games, including 39 live from both the Thomas & Mack Center and COX Pavilion. Games will also be available on digital platforms. Complete broadcast information will be released at a later date.

The New Orleans Hornets, who have the top selection in this year’s draft, will tip off their Summer League competition on Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. PT, when they face the Portland Trail Blazers, owners of the sixth and 11th overall picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. An additional four teams with top-five selections in the 2012 NBA Draft, including the Bobcats, selecting second overall; the Wizards, who own the third overall selection; the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pick fourth; and the Sacramento Kings with the fifth pick.

“NBA Summer League provides fans from around the league the unique opportunity to see some of the NBA’s brightest young stars competing in one location in a family-friendly environment,” said Gail Hunter, NBA Senior Vice President of Events and Attractions.

Exciting games featuring the NBA’s newest talent have always been a staple at NBA Summer League. Six of the last seven NBA Rookie of the Year Award winners have joined their teams in Las Vegas including: Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets, 2005-06), Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers, 2006-07), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City, 2007-08), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento, 2009-10), Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers, 2010-11) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers 2011-12).

Additional teams participating in the event include the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors. The Boston Celtics and Bobcats, who have not participated in the event since 2007 and 2008, respectively, will make their returns to Las Vegas this year.

Tickets for the 2012 NBA Summer League are on sale and can be purchased by calling 702-739-FANS, through UNLVtickets.com or by visiting the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office and UNLV Ticket Outlets. All general admission tickets are $25 for the day; seniors and children (3-12) are $15 for the day; and children two years and under are admitted free of charge.

Steve Kallas (TheSTN) – Sandusky Trial Might Be Over Sooner Than You Think

Surprisingly, the prosecution may rest as early as Friday in the state court prosecution of former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky. In a morbid, horrific case, Sandusky is charged with 52 counts arising from his alleged sexual deviance with 10 little boys over 15 years.

IT’S NOT GOING WELL FOR THE DEFENDANT

The Jerry Sandusky trial may be over a lot faster than people think according to sportstalkNETWORK.com’s Steve Kallas

An understatement, to be sure, as victim after victim has come (and will come) forward to testify in graphic detail about the things that Jerry Sandusky allegedly did to them. It’s disgusting, to say the least, and, if convicted, they should lock the door and throw away the key on this guy. Add the graphic testimony of former assistant Mike McQueary and it’s hard to believe that there is any defense the defendant can mount.

HERE’S WHY AN ACCUSED SHOULD NEVER SPEAK PUBLICLY

You (almost) always hear an accused say “I can’t talk about the case on instructions from my lawyer.” While people often wonder why, here is the prime example. Inexplicably, Sandusky’s lawyer allowed him to speak with Bob Costas on NBC last year. Costas asked a very straightforward question, “Are you sexually attracted to young boys, underage boys?”

After a brief pause that seemed like an eternity, Sandusky gave a rambling answer and eventually got around to what should have come out of his mouth immediately: that he was not sexually attracted to underage boys.

But, unbeknownst to him (and maybe his lawyer), the damage was already done. Reports from inside the courtroom stated that the jury was stunned by the answer (or, more likely, the lack of an immediate “no” answer). It’s hard not to call this piling on, but the prosecutors are just making their case.

And, frankly, it’s virtually a slam dunk.

WILL THE DEFENDANT TESTIFY?

It’s not that often that a defendant in a criminal case takes the stand in his own defense (Roger Clemens being the latest example in the news). But the lawyers for Sandusky said that he will testify. The only remotely rational explanation for this (if there is one) is the one in a million (or ten million) chance that Sandusky could convince a juror that it was all a misunderstanding or a mistake.

It seems to be all a pipe dream.

More victims are expected to testify today with the prosecution resting as early as Friday. Then, the defense will put on whatever case it can put on.

But it sure doesn’t look good.

Steve Kallas (TheSTN) – Defense Rests In The Trial Of Roger Clemens

At the start of the ninth week of trial (with 26 actual days of testimony), the case of Roger Clemens will finally go to the jury, probably later today (Tuesday) or, at the latest, tomorrow. The defense rested its case on Monday and, after closing arguments on Tuesday morning into the afternoon and the judge’s charge, the jury will start its deliberations.

Roger Clemens Case - "The Defense Rests Your Honor..."

A review of the Jim Baumbach of Newsday tweets (an excellent, informative tool) seems to show that both sides are pounding their respective theories of the case to the jury. The government believes it has presented a great amount of evidence while the defense tries to narrow the proof to only the word of Brian McNamee (the former trainer of Roger Clemens) who, according to the defense, is a liar.

It says here that Roger Clemens is going to be convicted on at least one count of this six-count indictment. Probably the most likely count for conviction is the Obstruction of Congress count which includes thirteen statements by Roger Clemens before Congress. If the jury views any one of these statements to be a Roger Clemens lie, he will be a convicted felon.

And that’s not to say that he won’t be convicted of other counts. But, on the other counts (perjury and false statements), there certainly is enough for a jury not to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt should they so desire. Frankly, often times in close cases, it comes down to whether or not a jury likes and/or feels in tune with a lawyer (or lawyers) or a witness (or witnesses) for one side or the other. Does the jury believe Brian McNamee? Or Debbie Clemens? Did Andy Pettitte hurt or help Roger Clemens? Did the jury go in for the down-home nature of Rusty Hardin? Or did they prefer the just-the-facts presentation of the prosecutors?

Finally, will the jury hold it against Roger Clemens when he did not take the stand in his own defense? Rarely do people in his position take the stand but, despite an instruction that will say the jury can’t hold that against Roger Clemens, the reality is that jurors often do just that (you know, if he’s innocent, why doesn’t he get on the stand and tell us that?)

We don’t know the answers to any of these questions yet.

But we will find out in the coming days (or maybe weeks).

Stay tuned.

Brad Kurtzberg (TheSTN) – Bobby V: Don’t Take the Umpires Out of Baseball

Yes, the statement was probably made out of frustration, but Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine went a little too far when he asked that the home plate umpire in baseball be replaced by some kind of electronic device to call balls and strikes.

Boston Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine

I am all for the use of instant replay in baseball, but only in certain situations. If you want to see if a ball was fair or foul, out of park or hit the top of the wall or was above the yellow home run line, or even if a runner was safe or out, I am all for the limited use of instant replay. But using technology to call balls and strikes instead of a human being just goes too far.

The NFL has it right: let there be a limited number of challenges. In baseball, give each manager one or two challenges per game on those clear types of play that I mentioned earlier, situations where there is a clear cut answer. Like the NFL, there will be times where the camera angle won’t be conclusive and the call made by the umpire on the field will stand. But if there is a clear cut error by an umpire, especially one that can become a game changer, by all means use the available technology to correct it.

But if we take away the power of the home plate umpire to call balls and strikes and leave it to machines we are taking away the humanity from the game. For all the advances in technology, baseball remains a game played by men and umpired by men. All men make mistakes from a muffed ground ball to blown call on a foul ball. Using technology to correct the occasional obvious mistake is one thing, having technology do it all is another story altogether.

A few years back, MLB used Ques Tec, an electronic device to determine if a pitch was in the strike zone or not. Instead of using it to call balls and strikes, it was used to grade umpires after the fact, which is the perfect use for this kind of technology. It helped make calls more uniform and consistent and made umpires aware they were being graded by an objective standard. While many umpires didn’t love the new technology, it helped them improve their game calling skills without truly undermining their authority.

Valentine’s desire to use technology instead of humans has other problems, too. All technology, regardless of how sophisticated it may be, has glitches and eventually breaks down. Any computer user can tell you that. It would be a horrible day for baseball if the software used to call balls and strikes suddenly broke down in the 5th inning of an important game, or worse yet in the bottom of the 9th inning.

In the end, there is a fine line between using technology to help people and being controlled by it. Bobby Valentine’s proposal, or wish, goes way over the line. Use technology to help correct the occasional mistake an umpire makes during a baseball game, but not to replace them.

Josh Skaar (TheSTN) – LeBron Can’t Be Greatest Ever

LeBron James may be the greatest villain in the NBA since the Bad Boys era of the Detroit Pistons in the late 1980s. Yet, amongst all of the animosity towards James, he is still, arguably, the greatest athlete to play in the NBA

Without saying James is the greatest there is/was (that’s far from the truth). James took himself out of that conversation the moment he “took his talents to South Beach” to play with D-Wade and Chris Bosh. But to say LeBron is overrated, over paid, even a bad player is taking a dislike of a player to an extreme level that is unwarranted.

James may be a self-proclaimed “king” and treated as such throughout his NBA career. But his reign has turned from one of a benevolent king, to that of a tyrant.

His fan base diminished from nearly Jordan-esque ranks, down to endangered levels (outside of his new Miami fans). As much as James has tried to repair the damage, he can’t shake the image of “The Decision” from the fans minds.

James is in fine company as one of seven players to win, at least, three MVP awards. Even if he never wins a NBA Finals, James could still fall in with great players to never win the NBAs greatest achievement: Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Elgin Baylor, etc.

A ring does not put LeBron into the discussion for the greatest NBA player ever. He removed himself from that conversation.

Can he win a ring and be in the conversation? Of course! But he can only be on the fringe of that conversation.

But if/when LeBron finally wins that ring with the Heat. That title will be tarnished with the tears of jilted Cleveland Cavaliers fans crying out “That was supposed to be our ring!”

Even if the Bosh/James/Wade connection accomplishes the mission statement of James at that ridiculous pep rally after James signed with Miami, James cannot be a part of the “Greatest Ever” conversation.

Not because he won’t have earned it. It will be because he doesn’t want to be in that conversation. For a guy that has one of the greatest skill sets to ever step onto an NBA court, James is wasting is God-given ability to dominate a League that is just gushing for him to take over.

A big reason why James ran off to South Beach was so he wouldn’t have to be THE Guy. LeBron even said after his “decision” that he wanted to go to the Heat so he wouldn’t have to be the guy to take the last shot every time. In Cleveland he had no choice but to be the guy and stumbled. He blamed his supporting cast and owner for the shortcomings of the Cavs. But the true blame has to fall on him. A truly great player makes his teammates better by adhering to their strengths and getting better at his weaknesses.

James has passed the ball off to Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh for the final shots. LeBron wants to be nowhere near the ball when the game is on the line. It almost seems as if he knows if he misses a game-winner, his legacy will continue to be weighed down by his critics shouting “he can’t close out games.”

Even as he has assumed a more leader-like role with the Heat, the way he took over in games six and seven of the Eastern Conference Finals rank as some of the best performances in NBA Playoff history, it still will not be enough to bring the “King” up on the list of greatest players of all-time.

The “Decision” is LeBron’s greatest deterrent to his place in NBA annals. As we grow older and history begins to fade, NBA historians will see the Miami Heat from 2010-2016 (assuming Bosh, Wade and James don’t opt out of their contracts) and say “They had a lineup that included three of the most dominating players of their generation”, but what will they have accomplished?

In five to ten years, when the LeBron James era has concluded, his legacy will be finally formed and the reign of “King James” will be over. The NBA will, likely, be in the midst of the Kevin Durant era and the discussion will move to KDs place in NBA history.