ECW Rating Rises This Week, J.R On Flair/Striker/Kennedy, Lots More

Last night's edition of ECW on Sci-Fi scored a 1.5 cable rating, slightly up from last week's 1.4 rating.

Jim Ross has a new blog entry up. Highlights are here:

On Ric Flair's departure: The announcement a few days ago that Ric Flair and the WWE had mutually agreed to part ways surprised me. When I last spoke to Ric in person we were in Charlotte for Smackdown and I spent several hours with "Naitch" that lasted well into the middle of the evening/early morning. He had several family members with him and Ric seemed really to be having fun. Ric's schedule with the WWE had been somewhat ambitious in Ric's view as Ric was one the road as much or more than he had been with his wrestling schedule in his later career. Nonetheless Ric said he was having a great time as a "Good Will Ambassador" for the WWE when we spoke. I do know that Ric had apparently received several offers to do numerous outside projects that were beyond the parameters of the WWE and that he seemed keenly interested in doing. Since the memorable Hall of Fame/Wrestlemania retirement weekend that really sent Ric off in style, Flair's popularity is arguably at an all time high. There is no doubt that Ric can stay very busy over the next several months and earn significant money in the process. On a personal level and after knowing Ric for parts of 3 decades, I would submit that Ric needs business structure in his life and hopefully his management team can provide that all important element. It would be like my pals ZZ Top handling all phases of their business including the financial end, tax planning, travel, scheduling etc and still be expected to be "on" and perform as is expected of them. Secondly, I hope that Ric doesn't succumb to a big money offer to actually wrestle. Any one who would pitch that idea doesn't have Ric's best interests at heart.


On Todd Grisham & Matt Striker: Yours truly had a chance Tuesday afternoon to sit down with Todd Grisham and Matt Striker and offer them some advice and a few dos and don'ts as it relates to wrestling broadcasting. Michael Cole, Tazz, and Joey Styles also contributed to the team effort. Striker is a natural fit at the announce desk or as a wrestling manager and considering that wrestling managers don't seem to be in vogue at this time then Striker's skills are best utilized as we saw Tuesday Night on ECW. The former NYC school teacher sat in for Tazz who in turn sat in for a healing Mick Foley on Friday Night Smackdown. With Foley's status as it is, I would not be surprised to see both Striker and Tazz back in the same, fill-in roles that they fulfilled this week on next week's ECW and Friday Night Smackdown broadcasts. I also thought that Todd Grisham did a really nice job in his second week on ECW after replacing Mike Adamle who is the new, Raw G.M.


On Brock Lesnar's Saturday UFC fight: For fans of MMA, as I happen to be, don't kid yourself one second that this Saturday's UFC PPV from Minneapolis isn't a "must win" scenario for Brock Lesnar. From what I hear, and this isn't official but what sources tell me, the UFC can actually cut Lesnar if he loses his first two fights and as we all remember that Brock lost his debut by being careless and allowing his inexperience to be exposed. Heath Herring, Lesnar's opponent in Lesnar's home town of the Twin Cities, is a veteran of many, many high profile fights over the years and Herring has far less pressure on him going into this fight than one would assume Lesnar has. Plus, when I heard that Lesnar attended the biker rally in Sturgis this past weekend it concerned me for Brock's sake. Lesnar does not need to be riding motorcycles prior to a major fight if he indeed did so. I am pulling for Lesnar and think Brock can win against Herring but I am also not going to be surprised if Herring "upsets" Lesnar who would then have to start his MMA career essentially over and most likely for considerably less cash. Perhaps this is the case in all or most MMA fights, but I am particularly interested in how the first round of the Lesnar-Herring fight shapes up?.if it goes past round one.


On Kennedy getting injured: Mr. Kennedy dislocated his shoulder Monday night in Macon in a match with U.S. Champion Shelton Benjamin and looks to be out of action for a few weeks depending on the results of his latest MRI.

Here is the card for the free SummerFest Card WWE will be offering on Saturday afternoon in Venice Beach, California:

* Chavo Guerrero vs. Funaki
* Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards vs. The Miz and John Morrison
* Carlito and Maryse vs. Jimmy Wang Yang and Eve Torres

Did you know? – The Miz & Maryse are dating.