Jim Ross, Jr.
THE JIM ROSS, JR. REPORT
February 11, 2002
Three weeks later I write again. Since the start of the new year I have had limited opportunities to sit down and gather thoughts for this column. Hopefully business will pick up when it comes to Good Ol' J.R., Jr.'s weekly columns. What follows is my thoughts on the Royal Rumble and the last few weeks of television.
From where I sit, I thought the 2002 Royal Rumble pay-per-view was a strong 8 out of 10. The fans inside the Phillips Arena in Atlanta were very responsive throughout the night. The effort from the talent was off the charts. As far as I could see, nobody was phoning it in.
The Damn Dudleys versus Tazz & Spike was an excellent choice to open the show. The adrenaline was pumping in these four men. Tazz really stepped it up another notch in my opinion. I don't think business between these two teams is over yet. Stacy Keibler should probably eat a sandwich.
Edge and William Regal had another very gritty battle for the Intercontinental Championship. Both of these men are studs. Regal's unique European style may not be what Federation fans are used to, but I feel it's a very marketable style. You gotta believe Edge isn't out of the IC Title hunt and will have a score to settle with Regal. A rematch between these two will take place tonight on Raw.
The Women's Championship match was a respectable outing for those involved. Trish may not be the female equivalent of Chris Benoit, but her effort to improve is an inspiration to us all. I have a feeling Jazz isn't out of the title picture yet.
Ric Flair and Vince McMahon delivered a tremendous performance considering their advanced ages. McMahon looked to be in phenomenal shape for a 56 year old man. Flair will turn 53 next month, and he can still light it up in the ring. I wouldn't be surprised if at 70, he'll be wheeled down to the ring in a wheelchair, hop out, and carry some kid to a *** match. The best moment of the match had to be McMahon tapping out to the Figure Four Leglock like a drunk man.
I thought The Rock and Chris Jericho had, yet, another excellent outing. This one made the show for me. Both of these superstars were on the top of their game and delivered the goods big time. Not many people were willing to place a bet on Jericho for this one. You gotta believe a Jericho loss to Stone Cold at No Way Out is in the books. Some real smash mouth action in this one. My deal old daddy telling The Rock to deliver the Rock Bottom through the spanish announce table was a helluva line. It was nice to see that The Rock did deliver the "pinebuster" during the match.
For the third year in a row, I found the Royal Rumble match to be a very exciting 68 minutes for the most part. There were some slow spots early, but it's tough to keep up a frantic pace for 60+ minutes. Sometimes you need to give the fans a chance to catch their breath.
A lot of fans were surprised by the performance of Mr. Perfect and thought he stole the show. From where I sit, I believe a lot of online fans are sympathetic towards Curt Hennig because of what he's done in the past. They get a little nostalgic. Nostalgia only lasts for so long. And last time I checked, nostalgia doesn't bode well at the box office. I hate to be the wet blanket, but I would love to see the developmental talent that is waiting in the wings for an opportunity to impress a national audience get their chance to do so. Now, more than ever, the WWF needs to start creating new superstars.
From where I sit, Michael Cole may be the worst A-Team play-by-play man in the history of the business. While a lot of people would say that honor goes to my father's former understudy, Tony Schiavone, I believe Cole is even worse than Tony. At least Schiavone grew up a fan of the sport. Can't say the same about Cole. He was hired despite having zero knowledge of the business. Good Ol' M.C. can't work a Smackdown broadcast without being fed lines constantly from Jim Ross. His enthusiasm for the business is about as phony as roller derby. His favorite match of all-time is Hogan-Slaughter from Wrestlemania VII. He has no chemistry whatsoever with Jerry Lawler. Lawler will throw out a cheesy one-liner and Cole will no-sell it. Call me a government mule, but I'm positive Cole has patterned his announcing style to that of Vince McMahon's, who was without a shadow of a doubt, the worst play-by-play man ever.
Television has been pretty intriguing the past three weeks. The McMahon-Flair power struggle has made for some of the best television the Federation has ever produced. Ric's interviews and promos have been outstanding. All of this has built up the return of the nWo very well. It's like McMahon and Flair opened up this hole in the defense and now the nWo has to take the ball from 30 yards out in for the score. These stars are being counted on to carry the ball and produce big. Talk is cheap.
Then you have the other end of the spectrum. The tension between Stephanie and Triple H was seemingly growing with each Raw and Smackdown. Stephanie this past week pulled the old "pregnancy" card. And Good Ol' J.R., Jr. knows what that's like. I've experienced that particular incident on more than one occasion and neither was very pleasant. That still doesn't discourage me from trying to call her bluff. Anyway, I couldn't believe Triple H's reaction. No man is that accepting. This story should be one to follow, but Stephanie's tendency to overact is bringing the story down a notch in my book. I don't know who Mrs. Helmsley is trying to impress with her acting "skills" but I don't see a future in Hollywood or anything of that nature for her.
Call me a pet coon, but I kinda miss the XFL. I miss REAL football.
This Wednesday I plan on conducting an EXCLUSIVE, hard-hitting, smash mouth interview with a man who's sitting on his ass collecting AOL Time Warner's money for another 18 months. Folks, it don't get much bigger than this.
My special steak sauce and rum go together like sex and candy on Valentine's Day.
That's my prerogative.