Summer's end may not be official but it sure feels that way. Unlike the redundant media, we use freshly ground coffee. And until the football and basketball seasons are serious we're not trying to make heroes or devils out of anybody.
Hey, how about some disc golf? But, thanks to an overabundance of items to cover this week we'll dive in head first.
Originally this was going to be a preview of sorts for an upcoming WWE Presents SmackDown & ECW event at the BOK Center. Is the WWE a sport? It's debatable but they do call themselves sports entertainment. And really, isn't that what all sports amount too?
I searched for a current rasslin' fan. Years ago during the WWF versus WCW Monday night wars, I knew at least a dozen hardcore followers. Today? Not so much.
Why not start at the top of the food chain. If you are talking rasslin' in Tulsa what name do you immediately think of? "Cowboy" Bill Watts of course.
While chatting with him we covered enough topics to fill the entire paper from Cover to The Back Row. I'll save some amazing stories for another day.
On April 4, 2009, "Cowboy" Bill Watts was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment's Hall of Fame. "They do everything first class," said Cowboy of the Hall of Fame ceremony.
He was inducted along side icons such as Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat and The Von Erichs. His daughter and son joined him along with three of his grandchildren.
"I think what it did for the kids was show them. You can hear stories about grandpa but to see him honored and when I introduced them to the stars that they were gaga about and how nice and gracious those people were to me and to them. That really impacted them," he said.
Cowboy was inducted on his own merits. His in-ring persona and physicality allowed him to sell out shows across the East during the territorial days of wrestling. Once he retired from taking bumps, he ran one of the most successful promotions ever -- Mid South Wrestling.
He sold the company to Jim Crockett who eventually sold to Ted Turner. Yes, his grassroots effort to build a promotion led to the formation of WCW on TBS. His influence still reverberates through the industry today.
He admits the WWE's HoF is a bit political. "They rewrite the history their own way. I don't blame them. I would too if I were sitting in their position," he said.
Jim Ross deserves credit for championing Cowboy's cause to Vince McMahon. Ross worked for Cowboy in the Mid South long before he became the voice of Raw telecasts.
As far as the WWE Presents SmackDown & ECW event at the BOK Center, well, chances are you've already made up your mind whether you'll attend or not. The date is September 22. If you enjoy the theatrics then you'll enjoy the live show.
The scheduled main event is the Undertaker versus CM Punk. Honestly, I have no idea who Punk is but that probably says more about my interests than his abilities. Several stars are scheduled to attend such as Rey Mysterio Jr., Big Show and Chris Jericho. Visit www.bokcenter.com for ticket information.
Body Slams Redux
Again, I could give you more rasslin' talk with Cowboy than you could handle. As a fan in the '80s and again during the Monday night wars, I was fixated on his stories. But alas, something came up that must be addressed.
This is a short week for me due to the Labor Day holiday that I'm sure you enjoyed.
Last week a battle between the BOK Center management and the Tulsa Talons erupted.
Let me preface this with the following. I am a fan of the BOK Center. I love the Tulsa Talons. However, I must speak the truth.
On September 1, the BOK Center's management group, SMG, sent a "get out in front of it" press release regarding the contract negotiations between them and the Tulsa Talons.
The crux of the story was this. The Talons wanted to renegotiate their lease. A five-year lease they signed in 2007.
Professional athletes stage holdouts when they deem their contract unfitting of their abilities. It is rare an organization requests a restructure this early into a deal.
The only valid reason would be a loss in revenue. Of course this is possible considering most Tulsans are facing the same issue. We're watching prices go up while salaries are slashed and people lose their jobs.
I hate to toot my own horn but I predicted a similar scenario a couple of weeks ago when the Talons were ousted from the af2 playoffs.
The Talons, one of the most successfully run af2 franchises, are eyeing a move to a reincarnation of the AFL. The AFL folded and closed shop but some of the teams want back in the game. The Tulsa franchise is looking to compete at the higher level.
The Talons took a page out of the New Orleans Saints playbook. They leaked information about a possible move to San Antonio to create leverage and a mild uproar from Talon's backers.
Negotiations are a female dog. No one wants to get screwed. No business wishes to operate in the red.
However, these are the kinds of situations that irk fans. Listening to multi-million dollar athletes pine about feeding their family is vomit-inducing.
While this situation didn't reach stomach-churning levels, listening to the SMG Group and Talons organization take their negotiations to the media is nauseating.
And if it surfaces that the tiff between the Talons and BOK Center has anything to do with a possible WNBA franchise, I may just start the puke party.
It appears the two sides have come to an agreement (again) and the Talons will remain Tulsa's team. Where they belong.
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