— Below are highlights from Jim Ross’ latest blog piece…
On Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes: Never saw Damien Sandow’s win coming but thanks to hard work and re-inventing himself, Sandow is now the winner of MITB and his career got another boost Sunday night. Damien is a great example of never giving up and doing what one has to do improve himself and to eventually “make the team.” He’s also taken a piece of creative, made it his own, and has become what was creatively envisioned for him and more. Cody Rhodes took a big step toward renewed relevancy after his controversial loss to Sandow in the MITB contest. Lots of winners can potentially come out of these multi person bouts.
On Cena vs. Henry: Cena vs, Henry was the type of match that I used to covet calling back in the day. Straight forward, easy to understand story that made sense. Of course, those that aren’t Cena fans likely weren’t happy that Cena won but that’s nothing new. Mark Henry really came to play Sunday night and was impressive especially when one considers that he is a 400 pounder. I also loved the lighting for this WWE Title contest. It felt classic, old school.
On The All Star MITB Match: The final match of the evening, the MITB Ladder match for the WWE Title was a human demolition derby of epic proportions that delivered in a multi layered, big way. Several issues were forwarded, everyone in the match got an opportunity to shine and, at least for me, the winner, Randy Orton, was unexpected. RVD got the major star treatment largely in part to the partisan Philly crowd and Van Dam’s debut couldn’t have been in a better place on Earth. The Heyman/Punk element adds a significant log to the fire of what looks to be as hot a personal issue as WWE has had in a good while. Bring on Lesnar! Daniel Bryan’s flurry of offense late in the MITB match was a thing of beauty and his natural emotion and intensity was riveting. Young talents can learn a great number of lessons on that one sequence of offense. Simply amazing stuff. There has to be many banged up men today and some with multiple staples and stitches, This ain’t ballet and the toughness of many of the WWE Superstars is admirable. To think that most of the men who went to hell and back last night will be up again tonight in Brooklyn for a sold out Monday Night RAW is amazing to me.
On The WWE Performance Center: It was good to get home from the road that included the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center on Thursday followed by the taping of four, one hour NXT broadcasts Thursday night, an EARLY morning flight Friday to Iowa from Orlando via DFW, tryouts featuring 14 matches, and then all the festivities through Saturday night at the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. No one is more excited than am I about the Performance Center. Years ago our team had a vision to start the Development Program in WWE and I always dreamed that we would have a state of the art facility someday but I never dreamed of anything the magnitude of what WWE now has.