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Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: December 15, 2011

December 16, 2011   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
December 15, 2011
Doug Maynard

Greetings, salutations, Happy Holidays and how the heck are you? I’m Doug and as I sit here on a Thursday afternoon writing this brand spanking new edition of professional wrestling’s most eclectic column, “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”, a battle of epic proportions is taking place just outside my living room window.

At the bird feeder in my front yard is a very beautiful, but extremely agitated Blue Jay. And buzzing around the yard, making all sorts of horrific noises and just being a pain in the rump, is our old friend, Mr. Mockingbird. Mockingbird wants to get to the bird feeder and munch. The Blue Jay is standing his ground and refusing to allow the Mockingbird to chase him away. Yes, I am watching the Aviary version of the WWE in my front yard. This is exciting. Go Mr. Blue Jay and please layeth the smackdown on the Mockingbird’s feathery behind. It’s “beak to asses” and I’ve got a ringside seat. Now can you dig that… SUCKA!!

So what’s on the agenda for today, apart from the 4F (flying feathered friends fiasco) in my front yard? Well, I want to do predictions for the upcoming WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs (oh my) pay per view that’s coming up on Sunday. And I want to get in some general rambling and discussion about a multitude of topics as well such as The Slammy Awards episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, the return of Kane, The Tribute To The Troops, The Jarretts and TNA, Jeff Hardy and the mysterious “It Begins” video. And who knows what else might happen because I’m feeling frisky today like Brodus Clay and The Big Show at an all-you-can-eat Chinese Buffet. Pass me the duck sauce!

CanI Have Your Attention Please?

Now where should we begin? How about with Monday night and the three-hour episode of WWE RAW and The Slammy Awards. It sucked worse than Chyna on a paid weekend as a professional escort. It sucked worse than Nick Hogan’s driving record. It sucked worse than the credibility and respectability of Linda Hogan in her book, talking about her marriage to Hulk. It sucked worse than Ric Flair offering advice on money management. Wait! Wait! I’ve got it. This past week’s episode of Monday Night RAW sucked worse than a wrestling match with Santino Marella taking on David Otunga with John Laurinaitis and Michael Cole as the announce team calling the match and Kelly Kelly as the special guest referee. Now that would suck!!

The Slammy’s blew chunks. There was one good match during the show about midway through with Dolph Ziggler versus Zack Ryder versus Cody Rhodes versus Daniel Bryan. There were some fun cameos to see with “The Road Dogg”, Goldust, “Laughing Man” Tony Atlas and the lovely Lita (who I might add was looking especially hot) all making appearances. And the video making fun of Johnny Ace was cool.

But then you had the segments with Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Hornswoggle and Booker T. Ross forgets his lines and does the worst “Rossaroonie” in the history of our Universe and still wins. Triple H returns with the sledge hammer and cuts the standard HHH promo because he is “right!” We had more interference with Wade Barrett ambushing Randy Orton and then Miz & Alberto Del Rio doing the beatdown on CM Punk.

The whole show started off badly and for the entire three hours, it just dragged and dragged and dragged. WWE does not know how to write and book a three hour RAW and keep it exciting and interesting the entire night. I kept looking at my clock as the night went on, praying for 11:00 to hurry up and arrive. We’d get a bad segment and I’d groan. And then we’d get something decent and I’d perk up for a moment and think things are getting better. And then we’d get mass stupidity or bad booking or just plain boring show and my hopes would be crushed again. And it’s not just my imagination. The ratings are showing the same thing as the trend continues and the viewership and ratings decline as the show goes on. There is something majorly wrong with RAW and it needs to be looked at, figured out and fixed.

I’ll discuss that more in a future column, but I want to quickly address one more thing about this episode of RAW and then I’ll move on. It was great to see “The Road Dogg” out here, doing his schtick and presenting a Slammy Award. But (and Road Dogg mentioned this on his Twitter immediately after the show), it would have been even better if Road Dogg had been accompanied by one “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn. Their names are forever linked together as a team and while having Dogg present an award and make an appearance was a base-hit for the WWE, having “The New Age Outlaws” together to do their schtick and pump up the fans would have been a major home run. They brought in Lita, Rey Mysterio, Tony Atlas, etc. Would a plane ticket for Billy Gunn have been too much to ask for as well? Let’s move on.

As painful as RAW was to watch on Monday night, Tuesday night and the WWE Tribute To The Troops, which was filmed on Saturday in Fayetteville, NC, was totally at the other end of the spectrum and a pure joy. And by the way, a condensed, one hour version of this show will be airing on NBC this upcoming Saturday night. That’s one thing I can gladly admit to. No matter how much we rag on Vince and the WWE for bad shows, bad booking decisions, bad personalities, etc, when it comes to giving back and supporting our armed forces and men and women in the military, they are top notch and really on the ball. The show on Tuesday night was fun to watch, moved quickly and was really just a top notch presentation by Vince and company. And for that, WWE, even though I would rather sit through a John Laurinaitis motivational speech or repeat viewings of “Back Door To Chyna” rather than ever endure Monday night’s show again, on Tuesday night, you guys kicked ass… and for that, I thank you. Great job!

Kane is back and he’s wearing a new mask. The top mask looked creepy and kind of awkward. The final mask, which he revealed when he choke-slammed John Cenastraight to hell looked awesome. I’m already starting to think that this new push for the “Big Red Machine” is going to be a lot of fun. Welcome back Kane.

By the way, both of the birds outside, Mr. Blue Jay and the Mockingbird, have both flown away. I didn’t see how their fussing and fighting ended so we’ll say it was a draw. And that’s too bad because I wanted to see Mr. Blue Jay kick the Mockingbird’s rump. Now all we have are a bunch of fat little Robin’s out there bebopping around. *Sighs* Where’s a hungry cat when you need one?

Over at TNA, things are as screwy and confusing as ever. The two biggest news stories are the one of the Jarrett’s are getting “fired” and that Jeff Hardy will be main eventing the upcoming TNA Genesis pay per view by going after the Impact World Championship. Let’s tackle these two subjects very briefly here.

One of the Jarrett’s is getting fired. It should be Karen because, let’s face it, she adds absolutely nothing to the show. She’s not even a wrestler, but instead, she’s a wrestler’s wife. BUT the people at TNA look over at the WWE and see the success that Vickie Guerrero has had since she came aboard and joined the company and are in a game of “anything the WWE can do, we can do better”. EXCUSE ME? Vickie has proven that she can do serious or comedy and can generate more heat than Lita’s fire-crotch by just saying two words than almost anyone in the business. She took the ball and has ran touchdown after touchdown with it grasped firmly in her chubby little hands. The only heat that Karen can generate is what is commonly known as “X-Pac heat”, where the people don’t like her, don’t want to see or hear her and just wish she’d go away. She’s the one who should be “fired”, in both storyline and in real life as well.

BUT this is TNA and the person that actually matters, that can wrestle with the best of them, draw fans and put butts in the seat, the founder of TNA Impact Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett… he’s the one who’s gone. There is actually a legitimate reason for this. Jarrett and many other wrestling personalities are putting together a project for TNA in India and this is requiring Jeff to be out of the country for several months. So this “firing” is just a way to write him out of the storylines for a few months. Why can’t he just send his lovely wife in his place instead? I understand the why he’s the one to be fired, but it’s going to be TNA’s loss. Too bad for TNA. They’re going to miss him for the time that he’s away. Too bad!

As for Jeff Hardy being in the main event at TNA Genesis, I’m all for second chances and letting the guy make amends for past mistakes, but it’s not time yet. He’s not ready yet. Maybe it’s just me, but he embarassed the company and came to work so messed up, he couldn’t do his job or perform in that ring. He should have been fired right then and there. But TNA gave him a break and he was just “suspended” until he could get his life straight. He’s back now and seems to be doing better. No rumors or stories of screw ups or mishaps taking place. And that’s good for Jeff. Maybe this means that he’s finally serious about getting his life in order and being the big superstar that he’s destined to be. BUT what kind of message does this send to all of the TNA wrestlers who were there busting their asses while Jeff was away by seeing Jeff come back and almost immediately being pushed again to the main events? I’m all for redemption, but Jeff doesn’t have the right to be in title matches right now. It’s not fair to the other wrestlers at TNA. If they want Jeff Hardy to be a main event star, let him work his way up in feuds against Bubba, Gunner, RVD, Christopher Daniels, Kid Kash, Austin Aries, etc. first. He needs to pay his dues and earn his way back up that ladder first instead of a test-run against Jeff Jarrett and back into the main events two months after coming back to TNA. That just sends the wrong message to everyone and TNA needs to re-think their decision.

And finally, let’s speak about the “It Begin’s” videos that have been popping up all over the WWE as of late. Rumors have it that it’s Chris Jericho who will be coming back on January 2nd. All signs lead to Jericho. And for that reason, I don’t think it’s going to be Chris Jericho. I do think that Chris is coming back to the WWE and will return in January with a major impact. But having Jericho return now on January 2nd, since everyone expects him to return on January 2nd… where’s the fun and surprise and impact in that? I’m looking for a swerve.

So on January 2nd, we’ll have a big moment and the lights will dim and then the pyro will flash. And we’ll get the return of… Dave Bautista? Or maybe Diamond Dallas Page? No, I’ve got it. The “It Begin’s” videos will mark the return of the man, the myth, the legend… Buff Bagwell! There, I said it. Cause he’s Buff and he’s the stuff. Come on and admit it. Buff Bagwell as Johnny Ace’s secret weapon against CM Punk. Make it happen!

Enough rambling and all of that stuff. Now let’s go to the WWE TLC (oh my) pay per view coming up on Sunday. It’s time to break out the crystal ball and do the “Sister Cleo” routine.

WWE TLC PPV Predictions…

WWE Championship Match – Triple Threat TLC Match
CM Punk (c) versus Alberto Del Rio versus The Miz

Should be a fun match and very brutal. I can’t see Punk losing the title anytime soon, especially with the “It Begins” person due in just a couple of weeks and we all know that the Punk – Bagwell program (yes, I’m being sarcastic) is where the money is. So look for the egos of Del Rio and Miz to counter each other and in the end, Punk sneaks through and grabs a win from the jaws of defeat.

Winner and STILL Champion: CM Punk

World Championship Match – Chair Match
Mark Henry (c) versus The Big Show

Like CM Punk, Henry is really doing a great job and is a strong World Champion. Unless it’s merely for a transitional moment, like maybe just until the next pay per view, theWWE really should keep the title on Mark Henry. I’m not quite sure how to do a screwjob finish for a “Chair’s Match” – I hate these stupid gimmick matches, but I’d have someone else interfere who can take over the feud with Big Show (Brodus Clay perhaps?) and cost him the match, thus Henry wins and retains the World Championship.

Winner and STILL Champion: Mark Henry

Tables Match
Randy Orton versus Wade Barrett

Wade Barrett has been consistently getting the better of Orton at every turn over the past few weeks. And with WWE logic, that means the “Barrett Barrage” comes screeching to an abrupt end.

Winner: Randy Orton

United States Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler (c) versus Zack Ryder

They’ve been dragging this out way too long. It’s time for the Broski’s to party hard and celebrate. Ryder is going to be the next WWE United States Champion. Woo Woo Woo! You know it!

Winner and NEW United States Champion: Zack Ryder

Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes (c) versus Booker T

I’m jacked for this match for two reasons. The main thing is that it takes Booker away from the Announce Table and that is always a good thing. I wish we could find a way to get Michael Cole into a match every week. Ten minutes of watching him get his butt kicked would be a small price to pay in order to not have to hear his commentary at ringside. The second reason is that Booker is a good wrestler and against someone as talented as Cody Rhodes, it should make for a pretty decent and entertaining match. As for who wins, I’m going to go out on limb and make a crazy prediction. Look for the title to change as Booker T finally captures the WWE Intercontinental Championship, a title he has never held, and makes history in the shocking upset of the night. Cody will get the belt back at the next pay per view, but for this Sunday night, “All Hail KingBookah” as he becomes the new IC Champion. Now can you dig that, SUCKA!!!

Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Booker T

Those are the matches announced for the show. The rest of these matches I’m making predictions for is purely speculation based on current storylines and what I suspect will be added to the show before Sunday. So this is purely guess work on my part.

John Cena versus Kane

Let’s see. Cena is the WWE’s resident superman and he can’t take a clean loss this close to his back and forth with “Dwayne” leading up to Wrestlemania. The WWE needs to keep him strong. Kane has just returned from injury and his character is a evil, wicked monster so a loss for “The Big Red Machine” is out of the question too. So what happens? A pull apart pier sixer brawl and both men beat the hell out of the referee in the process of going after each other, leading to a double-disqualification and no contest ending.

Double Disqualification – No Contest

WWE Divas Championship Match
Beth Phoenix versus Kelly Kelly

Match is short and stinks. Everyone takes bathroom breaks. The announcers talk about everything else but the match taking place. And Beth wins and retains her title.

Winner and STILL Champion: Beth Phoenix

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne (c) versus Epico & Primo w/ Rosa Mendez

I’m not sure about this match and if it would actually happen, but Epico and Primo seem to be the next big tag team on the horizon and Primo has been defeating Kofi in matches on the house shows, which may or not mean something. I’ve heard rumors that Carlito (remember him) is interested in coming back to the WWE and joining his brother and cousin in a “Freebird” style tag team. Why not go ahead and get the two main guys into the title mix now and then they can bring in Carlito as their mouthpiece and secret weapon. Sounds like a plan and it has to start somewhere so why not at the TLC pay per view. Works for me.

Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions: Air Boom

And there you go. It looks like a fairly decent card on paper, but I still feel just as I did a few days ago and mentioned in my “Fact or Fiction” column, that no one will be buying this pay per view and the buy-rate will stink worse than a Rikishi “Buns of Steel” workout video. There’s already been too much “free wrestling” on TV this week and it’s too close to Christmas to justify paying $45 for three hours more of same old / same old action. I hope I’m wrong and the company does a million buys, but honestly, I’m expecting the number to be one of the WWE’s lowest buyrates ever.

I guess that’s enough for now and I should close this up. Look for “Tossing Salt Presents Wrestling Fact Or Fiction” coming up next week, probably around Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m hoping that Mr. Russell Jackson will join me once more and I’d like to have a few more participants as well. So if you’d like to be a part of that column and give your thoughts and opinion on between eight to ten wrestling related topics, just let me know at Doug28352@yahoo.com and we’ll be glad to have you. Let’s see if we can make this a “Wrestling Fact Or Fiction Roundtable”. And if you’re interested, but decide against participating, I will come to come to your house and post up pictures of The Shockmaster on your front door. In other words, come on aboard the Salt Train and join the fun.

Come visit my blogsite for all things Dougie at www.tsfiction.blogspot.com. For questions, comments and a chance to be part of the Fact or Fiction column. contact me at the e-mail addy above. And stay right here at Wrestle-Zone.UK for all of your wrestling needs. It’s the UK’s number one wrestling / MMA website and it’s cooler than The Fonz in an Igloo with Santa Claus riding a Polar Bear at the North Pole.

I’m Doug and on that note, I’m making like honesty at a political debate. I’m out of here. Until the next time, thanks for reading and don’t forget to support your local Indy wrestling company. Have a great weekend.

Ubuntu!

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