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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.

The Shining Wizards – Episode 331: #PrayersUpRicFlairKingoftheRingMoneyMoves

Photo courtesy of The Shining Wizards Podcast.

*Courtesy of The Shining Wizards*

 

Check out the latest episode from our friends at The Shining Wizards, as they discuss National Video Game Day and their favorite video games, Global Force Wrestling, Raw, Wrestle Pro and an in-depth look at WWE’s King Of The Ring 2002 Pay-Per-View event.

 

 

 

 

Link Below: 

http://www.shiningwizards.com/new/episode-331-prayersupricflairkingoftheringmoneymoves/

The RSN Wrestling Podcast – WWE Draft

*A RSN Wrestling Podcast Exclusive* 

 

Check out this recent episode of The RSN Wrestling Podcast, where “Big Guy” Rich, “The Mastermind” Sal and “C.O.O.” Nick (PWO’s own) break down the pros and cons of the WWE Draft past and present and what could be done in future drafts!

 

 

 

 

Listen Below: 

WWE WrestleMania 32 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Branded as a “seven-hour spectacle” that actually went a half hour longer, this WrestleMania definitely provided the entertainment factor coming from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas with several noteworthy moments – a broken WWE event attendance record, both Shane McMahon and The Rock’s return, Shaquille O’Neal, the rebirth of the WWE Women’s Championship (retirement of the Divas Championship) to name some.

As it goes with most Manias, some stars were created, but other matches gave us unspectacular finishes and questionable booking decisions.

More on that below.

Read the rest of this entry

Manopera! Episode 15: ‘Mania Week Part 2 – WrestleMania 32 SuperShow

Image courtesy of The Bonesaw.

Image courtesy of The Bonesaw.

*Courtesy Of The Bonesaw*

 

Check out the latest episode of “Manopera!” as PWO’s head honcho Nick guest-stars to discuss the second half of WrestleMania weekend and “Raw After Mania” with Hosts Chris and “Spaceman” Frank. 

 

 

 

 

Listen Below: 

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/25/16: Impress The Authority

WWE RawBy 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 1/25/16)

Impress The Authority 

– In case you resided under a rock since Sunday night, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H made his main roster return as Royal Rumble match entrant #30, throwing Roman Reigns over the top rope to end his Title reign (which at least lasted longer the second time around) and eliminated Dean Ambrose to start his own reign. The opening video recapped all of this, even showing the lengths that Vince McMahon went to “stack the deck” against Reigns, sending the League Of Nations to take him out during the match on top of starting the Rumble as the first entrant.

Read the rest of this entry

A Tournament To Decide The Future

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Anthony Zevoteck 

 

With the injury to Seth Rollins, the WWE was forced to think of a way to find a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

In what turned out to be a great last-minute decision, they chose to have a tournament to decide the outcome.

Being able to showcase your top talents in singles competition heavily for two weeks was a great way to break the monotonous six-man tag-filled shows over the past month that were starting to wear out.

I’m not a big Roman Reigns fan but in my opinion, it would’ve been logical for Triple H to declare that the tournament winner would face Reigns at Survivor Series for the Title and that winner would be Dean Ambrose. That’d be an amazing story that the fans could really get into.

This isn’t the first time a WWE Heavyweight Championship Tournament concludes at Survivor Series.

In 1998, at Survivor Series: Deadly Games, we saw The Rock walk away with the gold that night and it kickstarted what became one of the greatest careers we’d ever seen. Maybe someone could take advantage of this same opportunity and launch theirs to the next level?

On the first Monday and Thursday after Rollins was stripped of the belt, we saw the tournament’s first round take off. There was an elite group of men competing for this coveted honor. We saw guys likes Reigns, Ambrose, and Cesaro competing. We even saw underdogs like Titus O’Neil and Kalisto. One thing we knew for sure: we were in for some exciting matches.

The first round went as expected, with WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Reigns, Kalisto, Ambrose, Neville, Cesaro and WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio picking up victories while Miz, Ryback, Show, Stardust, O’Neil, King Barrett, Tyler Breeze and Sheamus lost.

It was a series of matches that stretched from Raw to Smackdown and had WWE fans abuzz about potential winners and upsets. It makes watching the product even better when there’s an element of not knowing what’s going to happen next and that’s where the tournament is succeeding.

As we rolled into the second round, we were treated to some dream WWE matches such as Reigns Vs. Cesaro, Del Rio Vs. Kalisto, Ambrose Vs. Ziggler, and Owens Vs. Neville. Any one of these matches could headline most Pay-Per-Views for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After a long night of great matches, we’d see Reigns, Del Rio, Owens, and Ambrose advance to Survivor Series to have their semifinal matches and move on to the end of the night for a chance at the belt.

Things got more intense on Smackdown when MizTV hosted all the competitors and even R­-Truth, who seemed confused as usual. A tag team match between the four main-evented the show and proved exactly what everybody already knew: this situation was combustible.

So that brings us to Survivor Series, where we’ll see the culmination of the beginning of the long road to recovery by WWE since losing Rollins.

In my opinion, it’s obvious that we’ll see Reigns and Ambrose win their respective matches and compete in the finals. Who else better to fight for the belt than the other two Shield members? In what’ll no doubt go down as one of the best Title matches seen in years, Ambrose will walk away Champion.

He’ll probably do so with a little help from The Authority either by choice or not, because let’s face it: The Authority hates Reigns. It’d be ideal for Ambrose to accept Triple H’s offer he first extended to Reigns which would provide a great story to be told once Rollins returns and assumes the babyface role to combat the heel Ambrose. That’d be best for business.

Dont forget about Mr. Money in the Bank Sheamus, as he could also easily claim the night his own.

What we’re seeing is an emergency situation that’ll either be a massive success or a horrific train wreck that we won’t look away from.

Personally, I already see huge success from this tournament, maybe not for the entire product, but most definitely for a single superstar. There could be a new star or we could see a current one fall from the sky. After all, anything happens in WWE.

WWE WrestleMania 31 Reaction

("WM31Poster" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

(“WM31Poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

Say what you want, but after the end of WrestleMania, the internet always seems to break and this year, we got yet another reason why.

Seth Rollins has pretty much had the best year anyone can have so far and now he’s topped it off big time.

Doesn’t get bigger than the main event of WrestleMania for a successful Money In The Bank briefcase cash-in.

This opens up so many possibilities. We’ll get into all of them below, but anybody can agree that this show – while lackluster in build and mild on paper except for the obvious marquee matches – delivered in almost every aspect of entertainment.

 

 

(Aired 3/29/15)

The Breakdown

– The fatal four-way Tag Team Championship match with The Usos (w/Naomi), Los Matadores (w/El Torito), Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods), and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) was predictable in the sense that Kidd/Cesaro were way over, New Day were way not, everyone appreciated The Usos when they weren’t in offense towards Kidd/Cesaro and Los Matadores were just there. The constant switch between control and utter chaos provided a nice pace to the match and set up the finish nicely as Cesaro tagged Uso as he was about to dive off the top and “stole” his pin. They retained and had their moment to shine.

– The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale was the utter expected chaos. Hideo Itami had his brief moment of glory by eliminating Bo Dallas (who just seemed way too happy about being there) but then was boringly KO’d out of the ring by Big Show. Lameness galore. Mizdow finally turning on Miz was excellently done and done in a way that can easily be followed up on post-Mania Raw, but with Show standing around while it all happened, it made you question the logic. Show getting the best of Mizdow was super lame on the big stage, but it gave him bragging rights for future segments if anything, because he needed more? Granted, that shot of him doing Andre’s pose next to the trophy was one to remember.

– The Intercontinental Championship Ladder match between Daniel Bryan, Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Dean Ambrose and R-Truth started the show off on a nice note. It was cool to see the nod of acknowledgment on Bryan’s entrance that this year’s Mania started how last year’s ended, with the Yes Movement. That’s one of those little things that people will notice if they ever watch WrestleMania in consecutive marathons. The action wasn’t too extreme, but a few cool spots involving the ladders (powerbomb out of the ring) were enough to get the crowd on their feet. Bryan was the obvious choice from the get-go and can bring the IC Title to new heights, no pun intended.

– The Randy Orton-Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) match was a solid, though predictable match that brought just the right amount of intensity. That finish with the “possum” RKO was hot and well-executed. Most beautiful RKO ever. The near-falls down the stretch were believable too. Ultimately, Orton got his revenge and taking the end of the night into account, he technically pinned the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Does that put him in line for a Title shot? Raw could be interesting.

– The Sting-Triple H match was preceded by the anticipated elaborate entrances – Triple H’s Terminator-inspired particularly went over well. This match fully lived up to the hype – bringing in an aspect to the match never even considered in the hype, but cool nonetheless in the nostalgia factor with D-Generation X and nWo all coming to blows, which the crowd was hot for. It was a unique sight, especially with memories of the Monday Night Wars in the rearview mirror. Just like WWE beat WCW, Triple H beat Sting, perhaps another metaphorical representation of the war, even though the WWE was led by heels here. Regardless, the “time warp” made this quite entertaining for everybody young and old. The embrace after between Triple H and Sting in the form of a handshake was also great.

– Having Daniel Bryan be congratulated backstage by legends and former IC Title holders like Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper and Bret Hart was an excellent rub and showed that he had the backing of everyone – fans and legends. Step one to Operation: Bring-Prestige-To-IC-Title is complete.

– The Paige/AJ Lee-Bellas Divas tag match was short and sweet, making the most of its rather short time. It had the Bellas dominate only to build up to Lee/Paige to grab the momentum and came out with the win. Not much to rave over, but nothing bad either, creatively speaking.

– The John Cena-Rusev match for The United States Championship really went all out with the entrances, especially for Rusev. The match was entertaining for the time it lasted, though it felt just a step behind their FastLane effort. The guys showed their urgency by pulling new moves out – Rusev going to the top rope for the first time and Cena doing a springboard stunner, which appeared better on instant replay – and it spoke to how bad both men wanted it. There were some strange moments – Lana throwing her shoes in the ring comes to mind – but Cena winning the belt was predictable. Lana getting knocked off the apron appeared to have been done for shock value as Cena pinned Rusev immediately after. Rusev not showing concern for Lana while she stumbled up the ramp with officials was an interesting hook for post-Mania Raw. Is there a problem on the Russian Front of the WWE Squared Circle?

– The Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Rock and Ronda Rousey segment delivered in terms of entertainment and did just enough to get everyone talking. Rock appearing on another WrestleMania was no shock and it closed the door on his Rumble appearance and what questions that had left unanswered. Though Triple H was great in his gloating of beating Sting and Rock did his schtick well, much kudos has to go to Stephanie here. She stole this segment with her toughness and facial expressions. She truly owned her words here and the eventual physical confrontation was a nice little payoff, but it makes us wonder just what the consequences will be, if any.

– The Bray Wyatt-Undertaker match lived up to all the hype and got better as it went on. The big moments came in the emphasizing of similarities in both characters with Taker sitting up as Wyatt was in mid-crawl and the trade of finishers was great. Taker winning by the Tombstone Piledriver was a fitting end for what could be his last two-step at the Mania dance.

– The Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)-Seth Rollins match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was everything built up to be and more. Just when we thought we knew what would happen – WWE changes the rules completely. Rollins cashing in with the most eyes on the product on the biggest stage in the biggest match of the year and coming out the winner was perfect. With the crowd’s pro-Lesnar reaction, Reigns could definitely not win this. Even the story of Reigns-Lesnar in the ring was well done, with an inhumane total of F5’s, Spears and Superman Punches as it looked like another Lesnar domination for much of the match. Reigns took a beating and a half and yet at the end was the one pinned and even then, it didn’t feel like he lost too much, besides obviously getting “robbed.” People could argue this moment will lead to a Rollins face turn, but his very actions were quite heelish and you can see it on his smirk with the photo of him, the belt and J & J Security going around online. This does however, set the road for a proper face turn with Lesnar/Heyman, as it also created perfect anticipation for the fallout, as Lesnar would probably be angry and can contest he was never pinned while Reigns had his match and lost.

 

 

 

 

Results

– Tag Team Championships – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (Champions) (w/Natalya) def. Kofi Kingston/Big E (w/Xavier Woods), Los Matadores (w/El Torito) and The Usos (w/Naomi) via pinfall to retain

– Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale – The Big Show eliminates Damien Mizdow to win 

– Intercontinental Championship – Ladder Match – Daniel Bryan def. Bad News Barrett (Champion), Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler and Stardust to become new Champion 

– Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) via pinfall

– Triple H def. Sting via pinfall

– Paige/AJ Lee def. Nikki/Brie Bella via pinfall

– United States Championship – John Cena def. Rusev (Champion) (w/Lana) via pinfall to become new Champion

– The Undertaker def. Bray Wyatt via pinfall

– WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar to become new Champion via Money in the Bank Briefcase Cash-In 

WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Reaction

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Mistakes.

Everybody makes them, even WWE Creative.

There were some bright spots on the show: The John Cena/Brock Lesnar/Seth Rollins three-way WWE World Heavyweight Championship match was possibly the best WWE Title match in a long time. The Royal Rumble match had touches of glory – returns by Bubba Ray Dudley, The Boogeyman, Zack Ryder and the former Wyatt Family having a cool standoff provided fun.

That’s where it stopped.

It was a clear mistake to eliminate favorite Daniel Bryan in the Rumble early. WWE knew this would potentially backfire in the crowd reaction and have them take it out on Roman Reigns, who WWE sees as this year’s “man” to do it all.

The crowd in Philadelphia did something: they made sure they were heard and that Reigns going over – even with help from The Rock, was not going to salvage this moment.

 

 

 

The Breakdown

– The New Day-Cesaro/Tyson Kidd/Adam Rose (w/The Exotic Express) match was even better thanks to the Philly crowd that Cesaro/Kidd were much over with. Adam Rose was just kind of there. It seemed the crowd would have rioted if The New Day had won. Luckily, that didn’t happen and WWE was smart to do that. Perhaps a double tag team turn is in order? The New Day will not catch fire anytime soon as they are currently.

– The Ascension-New Age Outlaws match went down exactly like it should’ve. It wasn’t too long nor too short and while The Ascension used heel tactics to win, the result was what counted. They’re heels. They should cheat. The question though is where do they go from here? Beating The New Age Outlaws in 2015 doesn’t give a team that many bragging rights. Will they continue to take on legends and beat them?

– Say what you want: Triple H on Steve Austin’s podcast is worth checking out. There’s no telling just where things will go there.

– The Triple H-Stephanie McMahon backstage segment where they bashed Sting, dismissing him as a “WCW person” was interesting. When Paul Heyman entered, it was obvious he would be greeted lovingly by the Philly faithful. His proposal of Brock Lesnar as a solution to Sting was also interesting, especially if you consider things by the end of the night where Lesnar appeared to emerge a fan favorite.

– The Miz/Damien Mizdow and The Usos Tag Team Championship match was entertaining because the fans were so much into Mizdow. The Uso botch on the outside was hard to ignore as the crowd let them know, despite WWE not showing it on replay. Mizdow didn’t exactly factor into the finish and The Usos still retained. Good match.

– The J & J Security/Seth Rollins backstage segment was good in that it established Rollins as a threat and the real chance of him becoming Champion and shedding his “future” nickname was upon us.

– The Paige/Natalya-Bella Twins match was lame in terms of the finish, with Natalya not getting the chance to make the hot tag to Paige, who never entered the match. This will probably cause a rift in their friendship on the following Raw. Never have seen a tag match end before a hot tag. It can never be good.

– The Rumble match hype promos from Roman Reigns, Gold and Star Dust, The Big Show, Miz, Mizdow, Fandango and Daniel Bryan were pretty straightforward. Reigns actually sounded convincing and it was also hard to ignore Bryan. Seeing how the match turned out, this was ironic.

– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Cena, Rollins and Lesnar started off strong with no signs of stoppage. The crowd was very pro-Lesnar, very anti-Cena and somewhere in the middle for Rollins. Lesnar was an absolute machine – kicking out at one of the first Attitude Adjustment by Cena, getting up after three more, enduring a Curb stomp, a spear through the barricade, Rollins’ elbow drop through the announce table and shots to the face with the MITB briefcase. This was without a doubt the best WWE match in a long time. Lesnar’s comeback with a broken rib was almost insane and the crowd bought into it. How could you root against Lesnar in a comeback like that? That’s the kind of performance that wins fans over. Lesnar has been a pseudo-face as of late, attacking The Authority, but where do things go now?

– Rusev and Bray Wyatt put in good performances in the Rumble, but the match should be looked at in two halves: the first was fun and entertaining with returns and the second was boring and predictable, with the crowd boos prolonged. So, what happened? It’s obvious the early elimination of Bryan supplied this turning point. The worst part about it: Bryan can’t even blame The Authority. They had no storyline hand in his elimination. Bryan could only blame himself for getting eliminated. With Bryan gone, WWE hoped fans would rally behind Reigns, but just like Batista last year, they rejected him. While WWE turned Batista heel last year in acknowledgment of the crowd reaction, they likely won’t do the same with Reigns – seeing as how The Rock is now aligned with him. The lone bright spot out of this is that Rock will somehow be involved this WrestleMania season in an angle with The Authority. Where will it go? Who knows. There is one thing we do know: people don’t give a damn about Reigns as a Rumble winner.

 

 

 

 

Results

– Kick-Off Match – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Adam Rose (w/The Exotic Express) def. The New Day via pinfall

– The Ascension def. The New Age Outlaws via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – The Usos (Champions) def. The Miz/Damien Mizdow via pinfall to retain

– The Bella Twins def. Paige/Natalya via pinfall

– WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Brock Lesnar (Champion) (w/Paul Heyman) def. Seth Rollins, John Cena to retain

– Rumble Match – Roman Reigns eliminates Rusev to win

 

Original Predictions Correct: 3/6