3/1 "Ringside: An Evening with Jim Ross" recap: A different perspective on the late show featuring Mick Foley
Dot Net reader Brian attended the "Ringside: An Evening with Jim Ross" event on Saturday in New York and sent the following recap.
First of all, I would like to introduce myself as Brian, the person who had the "audacity" to talk about Texas Longhorn Football. In my defense, JR said we could ask him anything at all if we could keep it to one question. I figured that any wrestling question I could come up with in my head would a) be asked by somebody else, b) be asked and answered either on twitter or JR's blog, or c) from reading and listening to so much of JR's work over the years, I would know the answer myself before I even asked the question. So I decided to go a different route.
Instead of asking the questions JR must hear all the time like "What would you do with Daniel Bryan?" or "How would you handle the CM Punk situation?" both of which I've seen answered on his blog, and both of which were asked, I asked about college football, something else JR know's about. I felt his opinion on his rival's new coach would be interesting to hear. I think he appreciates the slight change in pace, and answered my question honestly and humorously. I got about three boo's and one guy yelled out "we're talking about wrestling" (although JR specifically said we could ask about anything) but that was about it. I don't think I upset the crowd too much, and the three guys behind me even encouraged me saying I had a good question.
Then, it started to go downhill. While the other correspondent said the Q&A was disorganized, you can't really blame JR or the ESPN guy who hosted as they did all they could do. A big problem was the crowd itself. Several people just talked way too much before asking their question, and the crowd just became very disrespectful. Some questions I couldn't even hear because they were booing so loud. One guy asked who JR felt was the most underrated to carry the torch between stars? (such as Backlund in-between Bruno and Hulk, or Bret in-between Hulk and Austin) Problem was, the guy had about a 5 minute explanation to set it up, and the crowd booed him mercilessly, including a loud "shut the F up" chant which further delayed his question. I got a few boos, but some of the people were getting Batista like heat.
The host tried to be as fair as he could, moving around the theater to let people ask their questions. How "disorganized" can you get when randomly picking people. And to be fair, he did cut off people at one question to save time. JR and Mick Foley answered the questions honestly. I didn't feel they really "ducked" anything, as if you listen or read anything JR and Mick Foley do, you would know the answers they gave Saturday night match up with the way they really feel. They gave their opinions on the underrated/overrated and the black WWE Champion questions, because that's the only way they could answer those questions. The host and JR did their best to work with the rowdy New York crowd, and JR at points even called out people who were talking or on their phone while he talked, and one time threatened to kick out a guy who was yelling out. There's only so much blame you can put on JR and the host for how the show turned out with the crowd acting the way it did.
Overall I had a wonderful experience. JR was very entertaining, and it was definitely worth the $75 VIP ticket. (BTW, the VIP section on the floor was about 80-90 percent full). After the show, we all lined up downstairs, and JR had the meet and greet which seemed pretty simple. Fans lined up, went in, chatted, took their pictures, and got their autographs. I very much enjoyed the show, and loved meeting him afterwards. We had a nice little conversation, and I even got a Mr. Socko I had with me signed. Definitely worth it for any fan to do. And to solve Q&A problems in the future, they just need a crowd that will keep the questions short and sweet, and not boo people therefore further delaying the process.
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