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Review – Jim Ross/Paul O’Brien – Slobberknocker

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Whether he wanted it to or not, the raspy Oklahoman growl from a modest man in a jet-black cowboy hat named Jim Ross has become synonymous with numerous signature moments in professional wrestling’s heyday.

Ponder back to Mankind’s descent from the roof of the meshed mayhem that was the still-new “Hell In A Cell” structure by The Undertaker and tell us Ross’ “As God is my witness, he’s broken in half!” call isn’t etched in your memory.

Or his repetitive-yet-emotional screams of “Stone Cold!” as The Texas Rattlesnake hurled Kane over the top rope to seal his third Royal Rumble victory in 2001.

In fact, many consider “Good ‘Ol JR” the voice of pro wrestling, bar-none. His ability to focus on talent’s strengths and paint a storyline’s picture with heart made it feel like you needed to be there with him for the match he called, that anything else wasn’t worth the bother.

It was only a matter of time before JR penned his own autobiography and with help from Sports Publishing, Paul O’Brien and the late Scott E. Williams, “Slobberknocker” was born in 2017.

Let’s face it – if there was going to be a book on JR, “Slobberknocker” has a better ring to it than “Government Mule Dude.”

Right off the bat, if you seek input from Ross about World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Owner Vince McMahon’s “less than celebratory” segments that degraded his Bell’s Palsy disability, you won’t get it here. Ross speaks only highly of his old boss for the opportunity to take the ball and run behind the desk and curtain. McMahon actually pens the foreword, appropriately enough.

Ross does makes it sound as if Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock wouldn’t had gotten over without his input to Vince and for what it is, that may be true. They certainly needed it at the time to overtake World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and their stronghold grasp of the industry via “The Monday Night Wars.”

A chapter highlight is his confidence in the Mankind character and how that eventually pays off despite his concern for Mick Foley’s “hardcore” work ethic. It shows you his expertise in talent relations, just a glimpse of the backstage magic he provided.

With WCW in mind, JR goes in-depth about his childhood upbringings and how he worked humbly with the likes of “Cowboy” Bill Watts in Mid-South territory days behind the scenes by offering to do what he could to help the company whether through advertising, ring announcing or even to set up the ring.

JR’s biggest advice seems to be that he landed luck in the industry through paid dues and an almost obsessive fixation with the business, part of which he regretted from lack of family time. Through it all, he never lost who he was and it was that aspect that gave him success in talent relations.

His struggles with Bell’s Palsy dominate the last few chapters and set up the “finish” (return to the booth at WrestleMania XV in Philadelphia) in dramatic fashion, yet provide a keen sense of closure you might not get otherwise.

As “JR” as the book is, there are some elements that aren’t there. He has a strong social media presence on both Facebook and Twitter as well as a well-known podcast called The Ross Report, yet none of it is ever mentioned. Hell, not even a whimper of Barbecue sauce supremacy graces one page. Given his stature, it would’ve been interesting to get his perspective on how to stay relevant in the “digital age” when information on professional wrestling is ever present.

That said, “Slobberknocker” delivers what it promises and gives wrestling fans some insight behind one of the best minds in the business. Respect goes a long way, but it builds the foundation to personal success. JR’s story is one that needs to be heard for anybody that wants to pursue their passion but aren’t sure where to begin. All it requires is heart and the mind will follow.

With God as our witness, this book will break you in half. Don’t do this. You’ve got a family at home, dammit.

Nah, we’re just kidding.

Check it out. It’s quite the slobberknocker.

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/13/17: Trim The Fat

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 3/13/17)

Trim The Fat 

– The opening video showcased WWE Universal Champion Goldberg’s victory over Kevin Owens at Fastlane. They wasted no time to show Brock Lesnar’s interruption of his promo last week and subsequent face-to-face. All of this was to of course, hype their encounter for the Title at WrestleMania 33. As we remember, Lesnar stood tall at the end with an F5 while Paul Heyman provided the verbal bloodshed. Basically, the momentum shifted from Goldberg to Lesnar. Good time for this to happen with Mania in the wings.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/6/17: Reclaim The Yard

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 3/6/17)

Reclaim The Yard 

– The opening video recapped WWE Universal Champion Goldberg’s defeat over Kevin Owens at Fastlane the night before that lasted just longer than a National Basketball Association shot clock. WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho – once Owens’ best friend that was betrayed mercilessly weeks prior – cost him the belt that he at one point helped him keep countless times. He did that with his simple presence on the ramp, which deterred Owens from his “mind games” strategy of repeatedly stalling for time. We hoped they’d work in actual footage of Jericho helping Owens time in and time out (Dammit, WWE Network, there’s an archive waiting to be used) but they did give us the line from Commentator Michael Cole, so we guess we’ll settle for that. On the other side of the WrestleMania 33 spectrum, this sets up an inevitable Universal Championship match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, just what their third match in history needs.

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WWE Survivor Series 2012 Reaction

WWE Survivor Series 2012By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

It seems as if the internet may have bursted at the conclusion of last night’s World Title match.

In case you’re curious, three men- Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns- attacked Ryback ruthlessly, similar to Nexus’ original debut and powerbombed him through the announce table.

CM Punk picked up the scraps, retained his Title and today marks the one-year point of his reign.

Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns are all familiar to NXT viewers and how WWE will have them explain their actions should make for good television.

It’s fortunate that there was this to boil over from because besides for a few shiny spots, this was a mostly forgettable show.

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WWE Fastlane 2017 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Indicative of the lackluster Raw brand compared to the glitz of SmackDown Live’s progressive storylines and vibe, Fastlane is what you get when you bring WrestleMania season into the fold.

Ice cream bars, Jinder Mahal singles matches, potential streaks ending and questionable creative decisions are what this Fastlane will be best remembered for.

Also let the record show that the Cruiserweights stole the show and it wasn’t close.

Deemed “the last stop before WrestleMania,” this one had us downright sleepy at the wheel at times. Drive with caution.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/27/17: Post Breaker

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/27/17)

Post Breaker 

– We began with Goldberg, who we know challenges WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens at Fastlane in six days. Cue his classic “walk from the back and snort aggressively” entrance. Goddamn, his pyro gets so bright. Among the fans in Green Bay, Wisconsin looks like an adult woman decked out in WWE Raw Women’s Champion Bayley’s gear. Well, something seems off about that. Not a bad promo from Goldie – “KO talks too much” and “I’m six days away from gold” are things his character should be saying. It’s inevitable, isn’t it? We think people just like to chant Goldberg’s name more than it being an indication that he’s actually over. He sure was throwing a lot of promises out there. Things looked to wrap up there, but we got a KO appearance. Luckily for last week’s sit-down suit promo, we can take the Champ slightly more serious now. Okay, he flubbed “mood” for “mool,” but that can slide. We liked that he sold his credibility and reminded us of how he beat John Cena on his first night on the main roster and scored big wins over AJ Styles and WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose. He even name-dropped WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns. The telling line was that he outright said Chris Jericho didn’t matter. Foreshadowing. We’ll say that Goldberg has gotten better at promos than we can remember. “I don’t speak neanderthal” was a very KO response. Ha. Pick on the hometown, classic heel move. “The Goldberg chant dies” was a pretty morbid way to end the exchange, but that set the table for FL nicely. KO ultimately stands no chance in the long run with Brock Lesnar in the wings and his history with Goldberg.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/20/17: The Behemoths Collide

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/20/17)

The Behemoths Collide 

– The opening video recapped WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho’s “Festival Of Friendship” that emanated from Las Vegas. To sum it up, it was a millennial rehash of “This Is Your Life” with a showbiz extravaganza theme to showcase Jericho’s appreciation for his best friend. They did a great job as they drove home the emotion and set up the moment perfectly when Jericho didn’t suspect an attack until it was too late. Loved the closeups on WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens’ sadistic expressions as he betrayed Jericho and was thus, friends no more.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/6/17: Wild Samoans

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/6/17)

Wild Samoans 

– One week after Samoa Joe’s riveting debut that involved a sideline beatdown of Seth Rollins, it was probably no secret that the angle would be the focus to open the show. It’s funny how the Rollins-Triple H storyline mulls along through the months, but with big happenings, it heats up. At this time, Rollins was likely to miss WrestleMania, which actually put more heat on Joe and rather than ignore that, they used it to their advantage. The opening video delved into all that, with sleek editing that actually brought meaning to Trips’ promo on Rollins last week and set up the moment well for Joe to attack. We’ll guess Joe will be branded as “The Destroyer” from hereon out. The key as always is the followup.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/30/17: Meet The Destroyer

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 1/30/17)

Meet The Destroyer 

– The WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens/WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho/Braun Strowman/Raw General Manager Mick Foley in-ring segment was plenty to take in, but all made sense. We got the happy (yet sore) heel duo as they bragged about their accomplishments, only to get confronted by Strowman himself for a Title shot that Owens promised a month ago. Better yet – Strowman came armed with footage of that occurrence and that left Foley in no other position than to make it happen. It also helped that they had Owens bandaged up from the 65 bumps he took the night before. Also loved how before Strowman came out, Owens did everything but acknowledge that Strowman had anything to do with his victory. Also, #SixtyOneMinuteMan. On another note, what on earth was that green suit Foley wore? Austin Powers, eat your heart out.

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WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

While January begins with a countdown from ten to one, wrestling fans most associate the month with the same countdown towards another festivity – the Royal Rumble.

Given the “Big Four” treatment, equivalent in 2017 to a NXT TakeOver event the day before, a two-hour pre-show and a five-and-a-half-hour Pay-Per-View, it was treated as a huge deal.

It probably also helped that it emanated from San Antonio’s Alamodome, with a house count of 52,020. It was practically WrestleMania without being it.

Given the Rumble’s star power of Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, The Big Show, Goldberg and The Undertaker, there was an unpredictability headed in that severely lacked the previous few years.

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