"Become A Groupie"

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New Skin9/11/07
Check out the new Hogan skin I made
Matt Hardy Speaks On Holyfield, MVP, Edge/Lita, More 8/22/07
Matt Hardy speaks out...

Between The Ropes
Friday, August 17, 2007
Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team
Simulcast online at BetweenTheRopes.com
This week Between The Ropes host Brian Fritz was able to talk with WWE Superstar Matt Hardy about his boxing match with Evander Holyfield, the direction of his singles career, and much more in an interview posted exclusively on BetweenTheRopes.com.

The interview started with some discussion of Matt's boxing match against Evander Holyfield. Matt discussed how he wound up in the fight and said that it was "the most intimidating situation he's been in."

Regarding the series of challenges that he and MVP have done before their match at Summerslam Matt joke that he would like a horseshoes showdown against MVP. He then said "come hell or high water I'm going to leave (Summerslam) with the U.S. Title."

The discussion then turned to how Matt see the direction of his career. "I feel like I'm at a great place. Smackdown has really been plagued by injuries over the course of the summer and I feel like it has given me an opportunity to step up. Almost every week I've been in a 20 minute match, and while I am working against MVP a lot of people have perceived me as the MVP of Smackdown recently... I'm excited to have that chance and have tried to make the most of it."

Asked about the great reaction that he and his brother Jeff get from the fans Matt said "I think the people respect us. Wrestling fans are really loyal, they remember all the ladder matches, table matches, the TLC matches, and all the things we've put our bodies through. We've given them everything from our bodies and souls to entertain them and they remember that and respect that." Matt also said he is able to connect with the fans since he a blue collar kind of guy that has had to work to get where he is.

On whether he would have liked to continue tagging with his brother as he had earlier in the year Matt said he would "rather continue down the singles path. As a tag team we've been seven time world tag team champs, we've been in every type of tag match you can do, and it's always something I'll want to come back to, but we've done it all there. As a singles competitor I haven't done it all and that's what I want to do.

Looking back at the Edge and Lita situation from a couple of years ago Matt said that he is "way past that." He said that it was a tough situation losing a relationship, a friend, and a job, but he didn't let it hang him up and he doesn't harbor any resentment toward anyone. Matt also admitted that he was "very close" to not returning to the WWE, but that in the end things turned out well.

The interview concluded with Matt being asked about his thoughts on the current tag team division. "It's tough, just because tag team wrestling isn't something that is a priority in the WWE. One thing that I tell the guys they should... do is for each member to find their own identity... They should really try and single out personality traits within the persona and still have something for the team." Matt also concluded that "a lot of the guys are newer and don't have a lot of experience, so they're learning on the job and that's what I think slows a lot of the newer tag teams down."

To listen to the entire Matt Hardy interview, including how he feels about having his brother back with the company and his thoughts on an upcoming documentary on his OMEGA wrestling promotion visit the show online at www.BetweenTheRopes.com.
Bryan Adam aka Crush passes away8/14/07
The Tampa Police are reporting that former wrestler Brian Adams was found today at 11:30am; he was found by his wife in his home, not breathing. There was no sign of foul play and there is a preliminary autopsy scheduled for tomorrow.
Jim ross new blog7/22/07
Bar-B-Q Heaven.. Dinner at Toby Keith?s Home.. Bad Break for Edge.. Feedback..
My thanks to everyone for the kind words and especially to those who have eaten at J.R.?s Family Bar-B-Q in Norman. I appreciate all of your support, especially from you folks who have driven GREAT distances to dine with us. We are doing our best to serve great food and provide friendly service and thus far our team is delivering the goods. As you can tell by our previous blogs many readers have reviewed our place and thus far the feedback has been on the money. WE are proud of what we are building and will continue to work as hard as possible to serve all that pass thru our doors with nothing but great food and a smile and a thank you. If things continue to be as productive as our first week has been, we may be talking ?expansion? sooner than later. I kid my buddies that I want to be the ?Colonel Sanders of Bar-B-Q?. I am still a firm believer that dreams do come true and my Bar-B-Q Dreams are becoming a reality every day.

My wife, Jan, and I had dinner Thursday night at the home of country music superstar, Toby Keith, with several friends, including OU football coach, Bob Stoops, and former OU coach and Hall of Famer, Barry Switzer. Former OU football player and 1981 Orange Bowl MVP, Bud Hebert, paid around $57,000 to have the dinner, with the proceeds going to Ally?s House, a children?s cancer charity. This event was for a great cause and all our rowdy friends were on hand. There was more than a little casual discussion about the upcoming college football season, by the by. Plus, Coaches, Switzer and Stoops, had been to our restaurant and couldn?t say enough wonderful things about our place.

I feel really bad for Edge, who will apparently be out of action for approximately 4 months due to a pec tear. Edge has arguably been one of the most valuable hands in the WWE for quite some time and is one of the overall most talented men in the company, from where I sit. Perhaps this untimely injury will be a blessing in disguise for Edge, over the long haul, as he will be able to get completely healthy before he roars back into the scene. For my money, I would say Edge will definitely have more title reigns before he decides to hang up what is shaping up to be a Hall of Fame level career. Edge was one of my signees many years ago and has always served the WWE and our fans well. Being a life long fan has helped Edge become the super star that he is, which speaks to the point that prospects should rarely be signed if they are not fans of the genre.

Your feedback:

Shock- Do I like diva matches? Not as much as The King, but I don?t ?hate? them. They are entertaining at times and the Divas are more pleasing to the eyes than some hairy backed dude.

Taylor- Greg Oden is the real deal and will anchor the Portland Trailblazers like a healthy Bill Walton did many seasons ago. Oden may look like someone?s grandpa, but the former Buckeye is the real deal and seems to have ample character.

John- Am I a fan of the movie ?Stripes?? Yes, I am a devotee of the Bill Murray classic.

Ricky- Will Dean Malenko ever return to wrestling? Not likely but there is no doubt in my mind that Shelley Dean Malenko can still go with the best of them. The man of one thousand holds and one thousand one liners.

MM-J- Did the Brooklyn Brawler ever win a match? Absolutely. Several. OK, maybe not several, but some, and yes he is still with the WWE.

Seann- We will definitely have some wrestlers visit our Bar-B-Q place in time. I will keep everyone posted here on our site.

CSquire- I don?t think the presence of wrestling legends hurts the growth or advancement of the younger talents. If executed properly, the young bucks can get the all important ?rub? from the veterans.

Dustyn- Definitely go to college and graduate before starting full time in the restaurant biz. You can always wait tables while getting your degree to gain valuable practical experience.

Nathan- I never write down phrases to fit into a show. I am not an actor and simply use my instincts, for better or for worse, to do play by play and rarely ever plan on exactly what I am going to say in a specific situation.

Bill- I am actually in casual talks with the Food Network to perhaps do some Bar-B-Q oriented projects in 2008. Nothing etched in stone and only in the talking stages at the moment. My people are talking to their people, so to speak.

Shane- I don?t know why Kevin Von Erich sold the family ranch, but I can tell you from experience that working on a ranch or a farm is damn hard work. KVE has paid his dues and is living at least part time in Hawaii as I understand it.

Tez- I think Khali is the tallest champ ever in the WWE, but not the heaviest, as that would be the Big Show or Andre, most likely Andre. Khali be the ?biggest ever? is called ?hype?. Sort of like what the legit news media does every day to promote their shows.

I really want to thank all those once again for not only wishing us well with our restaurant, but especially to those folks that have actually visited our place. Some of you have driven for miles and miles to eat our Bar-B-Q. Some have even flown in to OKC to drive south down I-35 to Norman which I find absolutely amazing and humbling. Thank you all so much.

Don?t forget to stop by our store and check out the specials. We will also have more photos up on the site soon of our place and we plan on doing a virtual tour when our ace cameraman gets back from his much needed vacation. Take care and come back and see us.

Chris Benoit, family found dead6/26/07

Written: June 25, 2007STAMFORD, Conn., June 25, 2007 ? World Wrestling Entertainment was informed today by authorities in Fayette County, Ga., that WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son were found dead in their home. Authorities are investigating, but no other details are available at this time.

Instead of its announced programming for Monday on USA Network, WWE aired a three-hour tribute to Chris Benoit.

Chris was beloved among his fellow Superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and towards his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss.

WWE extends its sincere condolences and prayers to the Benoit family and loved ones in this time of tragedy.
Chris Benoit and his family were found dead today in their home.

WWE.com's RAW Preview: Cena vs. HBK 4/23/07

Plus The Great Khali in action...

London bound
April 23, 2007

Raw rolls into jolly old England this week as the WWE Superstars continue on their two week tour of Europe. With a new Intercontinental Champion and less than a week until Backlash, Raw's London bash is sure to be a knockout.

WWE Champion John Cena will face his WrestleMania 23 opponent and former tag team partner, Shawn Michaels, in a WrestleMania Rematch. These two talented Superstars have not squared off in the ring since Detroit, and their unresolved issues will certainly make this a memorable match. Will Cena be able to escape without HBK's shoe print on his face?

Santino Marella made history in Milan when he became the first WWE fan to claim the Intercontinental Championship. Mr. McMahon was furious with ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley for aiding Marella in his No Holds Barred Match against Umaga. How will The Chairman respond? What will become of this new Intercontinental Champion?

The Great Khali will be in action when Raw rolls into London as well. Last week, a video aired showing just how dominant the Punjabi giant has been in WWE; who will be the unlucky one to match up with Khali in London?

Also last week, Torrie Wilson won a Diva fashion show and was immediately attacked by Women's Champion Melina, but Mickie James came to her friend's aid and dropped the champion to spark a brawl. A match between Mickie and Melina was announced for Backlash later in the night; will the two Divas be at each other's throats again on Raw just six days before they meet up at the pay-per-view in Atlanta?

Find out all this and more on Raw, Monday night at 9/8 CT on USA Network.
Updated Card for WWE WrestleMania 23 3/27/07
Check out the latest card!

WWE Title Match
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

World Title Match
Batista vs. The Undertaker

Battle of the Billionaires
Umaga w/ Vince McMahon vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Donald Trump

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. King Booker vs. Finlay vs. CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy

WWE Women's Title Match
Melina vs. Ashley

WWE United States Title Match
Chris Benoit vs. MVP

Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Sabu, & Rob Van Dam vs. Elijah Burke, Matt Striker, Marcus Cor Von, & Kevin Thorn

Kane vs. The Great Khali
Cause of Bam Bam Bigelow's Death Announced 3/5/07

The cause is announced...

The Tampa Tribune reports that the cause of Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow's death was toxic levels of cocaine and the antianxiety drug benzodiazepine in his system as well as arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, narrowing of small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. The Pasco-Pinellas Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the death as accidental.
smackdown spoilers2/28/07
I attended the WWE ECW/Smackdown taping at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA, this evening and wanted to give you my report on the event.

First of all, it appeared to be a legit sellout event. Probably over 10,000 in attendance. This was pretty impressive as we were having some nasty storm showers in the Bay Area. It was pouring rain when I arrived and still pouring when I left some four+ hours later. It was a hot crowd for the event and very diverse.

Second, in attendance at the show was former Tough Enough winner and mixed martial artist Daniel Puder. (He is from the Bay Area.) I got to say that Daniel is a great guy in person. He was very nice about having his photo taken. And, he really seemed to be good with the kids who wanted to meet him.

Curtain Jerker match (before ECW show) featured Funaki against some guy in green & black tights (Bradley Jay). The crowd was very fond of Funaki, cheering him on throughout the match. While I don't know the name of Funaki's opponent, I will say he did a good job. He focused on Funaki's shoulder taking advantage of an early injury. However, Funaki did prevail and score the pin fall with a rollup.

Smackdown opened with a promo by Batista. A lot of boos for the Animal as he stated he's looking forward to meeting Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Undertaker interrupted via a taped promo with the scary music. The ?Taker is in a cemetery shoveling dirt into an open grave. Afterward, Batista exits the ring without incident.

First match of the night is Matt Hardy vs Joey Mercury. Before the start of match King Booker and Queen Sharmell come out to join Cole & JBL on commentary. Man, the crowd is into Matt. They went nuts for him. Apparently this was a battle of the shiniest pants. Both Matt & Joey sport a lot of studs and plating on their slacks. This was a long match with Joey concentrating a lot on Matt's shoulder (similar to Funaki's earlier match). I appreciate Joey using psychology and picking on a particular body part to wear it down. And, Matt did his part in selling it. (Watch for a hidden highlight in which Matt adjusts in applying twist of fate to compensate for the injured shoulder.) Match ends with Matt pulling the protective face mask off of Joey in order to get the upper hand and ultimate pin. Even though the crowd had a lot of love for Matt, the match went a bit too long and a "boring" chant did break out toward the end. Nothing came of King Booker's presence at ringside except for a short tease when the King removed his headphones and then put them back on.

Next is a six-man cruiserweight tag match: Jimmy Wang Yang, Scotty 2 Hotty & Shannon Moore (!) vs Chavo Guerrero, Gregory Helms & Daivari. Fairly good match with a lot of "Chavo sucks" chants. Crowd was fond of Scotty and rooting for Jimmy to get the hot tag. End came with Jimmy pinning Daivari. After the match Jimmy made the motion around the waist, indicating that he wants the cruiserweight championship from Chavo.

Next Vince McMahon comes walking out for a long segment in which he talks about Lashley being Trump's representative for their match at Wrestlemania. Lashley comes to the ring and McMahon offers to double Trump's money offer. Of course, Lashley turns Vince down. (Man, Lashley needs a manager to do the talking for him.) Vince then slaps Lashley and reminds him that he still works for McMahon. Lashley gets angry and revved up so Mr. McMahon bails. Lashley spends some time in the ring stewing and then leaves.

We then get a backstage sequence in which Kennedy offers to take on Lashley tonight for Mr. McMahon. McMahon makes the match for the ECW championship. And, just to make things tough for Lashley, he makes it no DQ and no holds barred for Kennedy. But, Lashley has to abide by the rules or lose the title on DQ.

And, then, it's a ladies match with hot Ashley facing Jillian. Jillian does the crappy singer gimmick and Ashley interrupts to kick her butt. Ashley wins with a flying elbow from the
Mike Awesome Found Dead2/19/07
Mike Alfonso, better known as Mike Awesome, was found dead on Saturday morning in the Tampa area according to those close to the family. He was 41.

More details should be forthcoming today.

Mike Awesome was one of the top foreign stars in FMW in Japan, who as a high-flying big man was made ECW champion on two occasions in 1999 and 2000. As champion, he signed with WCW, creating a situation that many feel ended up killing the title as Tazz from WWF was brought back to ECW to win the title, yet at the same time the title was jobbed in WWF.

He worked for a few months with WWF after the collapse of WCW, as well as with All Japan, but had not wrestled in some time.
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