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By John Orquiola on 2007-03-23 15:30:00
I also attended Jim Ross' lecture at MIT.  I just wanted to add a couple of things to supplement Rick Roos' very thorough recap:
No one directly asked Jim Ross about steroids and as the crowd of mostly MIT students were not savvy to the business, they didn't seem aware of the current issues of the business, including the current steroid controversy.  Ross did address the bias in the media when covering pro wrestling, saying that WWE is aware that the only time they get mentioned in the media is if someone dies or gets in trouble with the law. 

He noted that WrestleMania will have 70,000 people at Ford Field from numerous countries, is expected to draw a million PPV buys, but none of that would get much lip service from the media as "that's good news" and no one wants to hear that.

A female student with pink hair (which I mention because J.R. had some fun with her about her choice of hair color) said she had done some research on women in wrestling and wanted his thoughts.  After telling some stories about Moolah, Mae Young, and how tough they were/are, J.R. painted a bleak view of women's wrestling.  He noted that even in Japan women's wrestling is on the decline and that WWE is more interested in the Divas providing sex appeal for the largely male audience.  

He said he didn't want to disparage Trish Stratus and Lita's accomplishments, both of whom he is proud of as he signed them, but he indicated that Trish and Lita both saw where the company was headed in terms of how  women would be used.  Lita and Trish wanted to wrestle but he said they recognized the company's direction.  "One wanted to get married, the other wanted to heal from injuries."  This facilitated their choice to leave the company.  He was not remotely optimistic for the role on women in WWE as wrestlers.

On a personal note, it was a real joy to sit in an intimate classroom setting with Jim Ross and listen to him speak about the business.  The slower points of his lecture was when he read through a sheet of "fun facts" about the WWE's business (such as the number of pay per view buys, etc.). 

J.R. was best when he told stories about himself and about the business, such as the Leroy McGuirk wanting to kill Ted DiBiase story, and one he told about Ric Flair's penchant for ordering 100 Kamikazes when he enters bar and picking up women. 

Even in a two hour lecture, I wished we could have heard more stories.  It was also a bit too bad that the lecture was aimed towards the MIT students with little awareness of the business.  What fun it would have been if J.R. knew he was in a classroom of 65-70 real wrestling fans and could speak in fewer generalities and more in depth about the business.  

Still, I got to sit face to face with Jim Ross and shake his hand at the end and thank him for coming to speak to us.  I'm definitely planning on attending Mick Foley's lecture on 4/12.


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