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Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: April 2, 2011

April 2, 2011   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
April 2, 2011
Doug Maynard
Hi. Remember me? I’m Doug and I used to be around here quite frequently. Now, due to medical issues and other interests, not quite as much. I just wanted to get in a few quick words (yeah, right) about two huge events taking place this very weekend. Of course, it has to be Wrestlemania 27 and the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.
So how are we going to do this? Why don’t I run down the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011 and give my opinion as to whether they belong, don’t belong, or what. And a few additional comments about WHO ELSE should be a part of this elite grouping. And then I’ll move on to predictions for the matches at Wrestlemania. Does that sound like a plan or what?

The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011

The first HOF Inductee this year will be the “Heartbreak Kid”, Shawn Michaels. I have absolutely no problem with that as Shawn has long been one of the hottest and most consistent stars of the past twenty-plus years. And he’s a loyal WWE guy who has a great relationship with Vince McMahon and the entire McMahon family. So that’s cool. HBK is definitely an iconic figure in the WWE and despite a few shaky years where his personal behavior was less than stellar, his in-ring ability and ability to captivate crowds and put butts in the seats have made him a, with all apologies to Larry Zbyszko, true “Living Legend”.
Next up is the legendary Abdullah The Butcher. The man has been a household name for over 40 years, despite never working for the WWE. When you talk about figures and personalities that stand out and are above and beyond the realm of average, Abby stands heads and tails above all. And he knows how to work a fork, literally, better than anyone. So Abdullah is another definite hit and well deserving of the honor of being into the Hall of Fame.
Bob Armstrong is somewhat of a questionable choice for me. I’m well aware of Bob’s history and the role he’s played in professional wrestling over the past forty years. He’s a true icon for the fans of the Alabama / Georgia regions and one of most respected men in the business. Not to mention, four of his sons have have pretty good wrestling careers themselves and the apples don’t fall far from the tree. The induction of Armstrong is essentially throwing the Georgia fans a bone and giving us old school fans something to look forward to. Whatever the reason, it works. So congratulations to “The Bullet!”.
Now, what about the Road Warriors, along with manager “Precious” Paul Ellering? This is big news and the Warriors pretty much redefined the art of tag team wrestling for the eighties. They were one of the most dominant tag teams in history, winning titles in the AWA, WCW, NWA, WWE and Japan. Animal and Hawk are well deserving and are long overdue to be paid homage in this manner. Hall of Fame. The Road Warriors. What a rush! Or as Hawk often said, “We snack on danger, we dine on death, and dead men don’t make money!” ‘Nuff said!
So we have four inductions that make sense. And then there’s Tammy “Sunny” Sytch and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Yeah, I get Hacksaw Duggan. Been around for over twenty years. Big name in the Mid-South region, plus big runs in the WWE and WCW as well. Good guy and a hard worker. This is more of a reward for Duggan for his hard work and loyalty than anything else. With all due respect, there are far many other guys out there that deserve this spot more than Duggan does. (More on that in a moment.) But Duggan is a good guy and the fans like him, even after all these years, so what the heck. He wouldn’t be my pick, but then again, James Dudley or Koko B. Ware wouldn’t have been my picks either and Duggan is far more over than either of those two men ever were.
And there’s Sunny. I’m not saying that she doesn’t deserve credit for the things she accomplished in the WWE and ECW, but really? I mean, really? She was the WWE’s first “Diva”, aside from Miss Elizabeth, and that’s important. But still… really? For her part in helping to make the WWE and wrestling what it now is, she deserves a spot in the HOF someday. But she’s still young, attractive and has many years left in her. Let her come back to the WWE and solidify her place in history first. Help reintroduce the fans to “Sunny Days” for all of us. She’s being used for her name value and so the WWE can have a female among the Inductees, but now is not the time. With all due respect, Tammy Sytch should have been a few years up the road. She’s a valuable piece of the overall wrestling puzzle for WWE, but now is just not the time, at least not in my opinion.
And that leaves Drew Carey. I’m a fan of his and loved his “Drew Carey Show” when it was on. But he does NOT belong in the WWE Hall of Fame or any wrestling Hall of Fame for that matter. I understand that they want a famous name for the “Celebrity Wing” of the HOF, but if that’s the case, why not get a celebrity that has actually been a major part of pro wrestling? What about Cyndi Lauper? What about Mr. T? What about the late Andy Kaufman? Hell, even Johnny Knoxville and the crew from Jackass is more deserving.
Drew is a funny guy and a good comedian. But Hall of Fame worthy as it relates to wrestling, I just don’t see it. He’s not even close to belonging and this decision by WWE rates right up there with the James Dudley induction. Just downright dumb.
And now, a few comments about some very deserving wrestlers who SHOULD be part of this HOF Class of 2011, but are not. Four names come to mind most prominently for me.
“The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff. He’s a former WWWF Champion and one of the most iconic, legendary wrestling figures ever. Not having Ivan as part of the Hall of Fame is a definite black mark for the WWE and it needs to be resolved. This one has always baffled me anyhow. I understand why folks like Bruno Sammartino and Randy Savage are not in the HOF yet. They have heat with Vince and the WWE and that’s stopping it from happening.
But Ivan, so far as I’m aware, doesn’t have any heat with anyone. He’s a multiple-time champion in the Georgia and Mid-Atlantic regions and one of the most recognizable figures of the past forty years. And he was the WWWF Champion, defeating the legendary Bruno Sammartino in 1971. If for no other reason, that should make him a shoo-in for an Induction. Instead, he just gets ignored and neglected. What’s up with that?
Arn Anderson is the next name to come up. Double A is a huge name in the Atlanta area and, as part of the Horsemen, established a legacy that few can ever hope to match. And he’s a loyal WWE guy now, serving as one of the WWE’s top agents.
Arn deserves to be there. But thinking about it, I don’t think he’ll be inducted on his own merits. It’ll happen, but when it does, I suspect that it’ll either be as part of the “Brainbuster” tag team, along with partner Tully Blancard, or else as part of a group induction for the Four Horsemen. I’ve got a feeling in my gut that within the next couple of years, after Ric Flair has left TNA and returned to the fold, if you will, we’ll see a group induction for the Horsemen as a collective unit. Arn deserves to go to the HOF tonight, but realistically, it probably is better to wait and do it with Tully or as part of the Horsemen.
The Anderson Brothers, Ole and Gene, also known as “The Minnesota Wrecking Crew”. I know why they’re not there. Ole hates Vince McMahon and Vince McMahon hates Ole. Simple as that. But if that could be put aside, based strictly on their abilities and ring domination, The Andersons were the premiere wrestling tag team of the 1970’s and much like the Road Warriors did in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Ole and Gene Anderson totally decimated each and every team that challenged them in the ring. Ole and Gene Anderson are to wrestling fans in Georgia and the Mid-Atlantic region what Bruno Sammartino is to fans in the north-east. They were that damn good, and no wrestling Hall of Fame is complete without mention of these two dominating warriors.
And lastly, where are Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts, the late Terry Gordy and Jimmy Garvin? How can there be a WWE Hall of Fame Induction in Atlanta, GA when the biggest, baddest dudes from Badstreet, USA in Hotlanta, GA are not even part of the show? The Freebirds were a strong part of every area they wrestled in, be it the Mid-South, World Class, WCW, the AWA or wherever. No one talks better than Michael Hayes. No one wrestled better at the time than Terry Gordy. If you look up “Legendary Tag Teams” in any dictionary, you’ll see their pictures.
And Hayes has been a loyal WWE employee for close to fifteen years now. So what’s the deal? If you’re in Atlanta, GA and talking about tag team wrestling and excitement, you’re talking about the Fabulous Freebirds. Unless they pull a surprise Induction tonight at the Ceremony, it’s a travesty. Hayes, Roberts, Gordy and Garvin deserve to be there and no one can dispute that. I can’t even begin what to imagine with this huge oversight by Vince and the WWE. I just don’t get it.
Okay, I guess I’ve talked enough about the WWE Hall of Fame. A strong class for 2011, but it could have been so much stronger and so much better, with just a few slight changes or additions. Now, let’s move on to the big show. Yeppers, time for some Wrestlemania 27 predictions.
Are you ready? I said, “ARE YOU READY?”. Let’s do it!

Wrestlemania 27 Predictions…

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the “Guest Host” for Wrestlemania, so expect lots of eyebrow raising and jabroni beating as the nighj progresses.

WWE Championship Match
Champion The Miz (w/ Alex Riley) versus John Cena

This should be a fun match. The Miz has been incredible as a spokesperson for the WWE and has done a great job in his role as the WWE Champion. And I’m strongly hoping that it doesn’t all end this weekend. He deserves better. Cena is the overall face of the WWE these days, but the Miz… well, he’s AWESOME, even if he has been somewhat overshadowd by the rivalry between Cena and The Rock. I expect that Miz will retain the belt after A great match when Cena gets distracted by The Rock. Miz takes advantage and gets the pin. And then he vanishes while Rock and Cena close out the night with a good old fashioned ass-whhoping good time brawl. Works for me, if you smell what I’m cooking.

Winner and STILL Champion: THE MIZ
World Championship Match
Champion Edge (w/ Christian) versus Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo and Brodius Clay)

Edge is a good World Champion, but he’s old news and stale. The WWE has pushed and pushed Alberto Del Rio down our throats and we all know that it’s his “destiny” to become the World Champion. If you don’t believe me, just ask him. I’m thinking he’ll win the title tonight and give an air of freshness and new energy to the World Championship and Smackdown. But it will not be without controversy. Look for Christian to pull a screw-job on his “brother” and cost Edge the title. Thus, we get a great Edge versus Christian feud to carry us through the next few months, while Del Rio gets to have feuds with stars like Kane, Big Show and maybe Wade Barrett over the title. Sounds like fun. So look for Christian to “screw” Edge and Alberto to win the big gold belt.

Winner and NEW Champion: Alberto Del Rio
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

This should be another fantastic match, Both men are so over right now that it doesn’t really matter who wins or loses, which is a good thing. I expect that, despite any edicts from the “Anonymous RAW General Manager”, we’ll see Nexus get involved, or at least attempt to. And just something to think about. Just because Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga are barred from ringside due to losing matches to Randy Orton on RAW, what about Husky Harris? He was “injured” by Orton before the GM made that stipulation, and thus, it wouldn’t apply for him. And who can forget that Michael Tarver is still hanging around backstage at RAW? Wasn’t he a part of Nexus before being injured? Hmmmm?
But back to the match. It’s going to be a great back and forth and I expect that we’ll see a great effort by both Punk and Orton to steal the show. There will be lots of interference and others getting involved with their shenanigans. And in the end, Punk will go for the GTS, but Orton will manage to hit the RKO in a reversal attempt and score the pin. And the feud continues.

Winner: Randy Orton
No Holds Barred, No DQ, No Count-Outs
The Undertaker versus Triple H

“The Game” takes on “The Streak”. It will be interesting to see what kind of match Taker and HHH can pull out, what with Taker’s injuries and Hunter’s ring rust and relative inactivity over the past year. But they’re two of the best of all time and will protect each other while working hard to put on the best match possible. It’ll be an old-school clinic and should really help cement the legagies of both men. As for the outcome, are there really any questions? I don’t think so. Taker wins and the streak continues.

Winner: The Undertaker
Special Referee: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Jerry “The King” Lawler versus Michael Cole (w/ Jack Swagger)

I don’t expect this to be much of a great technical match, but it should be fun. Lawler takes the early advantage and works over Cole. Swagger gets involved and we see a stunner by the guest referee, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Lawler gets fed up with Cole, the straps come down and one fist-drop later, it’s all over.

Winner: Jerry “The King” Lawler
Mixed Tag Team Match
Snooki, Trish Stratus and John Morrison versus LayCool & Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

The girls get a few spots in, Vickie says “Excuse me” at least a dozen times, Ziggler and Morrison put together a few great spots, and everyone talks about how great Snooki is. Snooki pins Layla at the end and the fans are happy while Vickie throws a tantrum at ringside. So it is written and so it shall be.

Winners: Snooki, Trish Stratus and John Morrison
United States Championship Match
Champion Sheamus versus Daniel Bryan

The Celtic Warrior versus The American Dragon. It should be a good match, although I fear that the WWE won’t really give these two much time to really show what they’re capable of. I’m not sure who should win. Both men could use the title to stay strong, but I suspect that Bryan needs it right now more than Sheamus does. Sheamus has already proven that he can be part of the main event mix for the WWE, while Bryan is still stuck in mid-card limbo. Look for Sheamus to administer a major beatdown on Bryan, but in the end, it’ll be Daniel Bryan raising his arm in victory and walking out with the United States Championship.

Winner and NEW United States Champion: Daniel Bryan
Rey Mysterio versus “Dashing” Cody Rhodes

Should be a good, quick match with a lot of hot spots for both guys. And who knows what superhero mask Rey will wear this time out. Wouldn’t it be funny if he wore a “Phantom of the Opera” mask. Rey is the bigger name for WWE and in most circumstances, would go over. But I’ve got a feeling that with the addition of Sin Cara to the WWE roster, Rey might be on his way out the door. Who knows? But I think we’ll see an upset and Cody Rhodes get the big win.

Winner: “Dashing” Cody Rhodes
The Corre (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Ezekial Jackson) versus The Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov

One quick note: If the news report I read earlier is any indication, then expect Kozlov to be replaced in this match by Kofi Kingston. Should be a fun match with a mixture of stiff action and comedy spots. It’ll be interesting to see Big Ezekail matched up against the Big Show or Kane. And I hope that Slater and Gabriel, who in my opinion are the best young tag team in the WWE right now, get some good spots in. Santino will strike with the Cobra in the end and look for lots of celebrating and trumpet dancing. It’s going to be a baby-face night.

Winners: Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov / Kofi

So there you go with my Wrestlemania 27 predictions. And tomorrow night, we get to all tune in and see if I’m right, wrong or somewhere in the middle. It’s going to be a good show and lots of fun regardless. You can count on that.
And on that, I’m out of here for now. Don’t know when, for sure that I’ll be back, but I’m never really too far away. Any questions or comments, just contact me at Doug28352@yahoo.com or visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/saltpalace. Thanks for reading.
I’m Doug and dat’ is all de’ people need to know. Until the next time, Ubuntu!


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