JR Blog: Austin/Wrestlemania 31 Controversy, WWE Raw Announcing Thoughts, Smackdown’s move to USA Network

Jim Ross had a new blog after Raw, here are some highlights:

on Smackdown’s move to USA Network
Smart move by WWE/USA Network to move Smackdown to USa in 2016 as that move should significantly increase viewership for the Smackdown brand. USA will apparently also be airing Tough Enough which will premier on Tuesday June 23 at 8/7 central time. I haven’t heard who will be hosting the reality show or who will comprise the coaching staff. The concept of Tough Enough is potentially compelling but it all hinges on the cast of characters that the viewers are exposed to each week in hopes that fans will invest emotionally them and in the process. Curious as to how the cast was selected and by who as that’s always the key to the show’s success in my view. Hopefully some “wrestling people” were involved in the process because viewers do like the reality show/soap opera aspect of the process but they also want to see athletes compete who have a legit chance to be stars in the ring also.

on Jericho/Cena podcat
Watched the Jericho/Cena post RAW interview last night from start to finish. It had a ‘feel good’ undertone and covered a wide variety of topics that Cena addressed without reservation from my perspective. Nice to see John give props to our recruiting class that I sent to OVW in Louisville to be coached up by Danny Davis, Jim Cornette and company. That was a helluva group that included Cena, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Dave Batista and arguably the best natural athlete in the camp in Shelton Benjamin. Cena came off as he is just a regular guy who has an insatiable work ethic and he is legit/honest in his love for the business as John being a lifelong fan totally jumped off the page at me when I decided to sign Cena out of UPW back in the day after his try out match with Samoa Joe of which I watched. Funny note…when John was the ‘Prototype’ he reminded me of a young Sting.

on Raw announcing
Raw missed Michael Cole but it made creative sense for him to miss RAW to sell the Lesnar assault. I thought the Brock suspension and subsequent additional punishments should have been addressed more. Many have been critical of Byron Saxton but those doing the criticizing obviously don’t have a clue as to how challenging that job is. Byron is a fine young man who will evolve into an excellent broadcaster some day but I’m not sure if play by play is going to be his strength but only time will tell. I am proud of Bryon and WWE has a quality human being in him. Cole’s value to WWE is immeasurable.

on Austin/Wrestlemania 31 Controversy
Even though many outsiders wanted to believe the story that Steve Austin was scheduled to be at M31 iin San Jose, I knew for weeks prior to the event that he was not booked. If he had been booked we would have done my RINGSIDE show together. He was in South Texas at that time working on his ranch doing some time sensitive projects that he has been postponing for weeks due to his CMT production schedule. The rumor that Austin was to be on the same flight at Undertaker also made zero sense as Austin would have flown out of San Antonio while Taker lives in the Austin area.

Check out the full blog at JR’s BBQ

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