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Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: December 23, 2011

December 24, 2011   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
December 23, 2011
Doug Maynard

I try and try and try again so hard to be good and do right. Last night, immediately after TNA Impact! went off the air, I decided that I should try and go to bed at a decent hour for a change. I’ve had way too many recent nights of staying up until the sun is rising in the Eastern sky and cracking through the clouds. And then I only manage a couple of hours of sleep before I have to get up and go out into the world and I generally feel miserable because I’ve had no sleep. So I finally head to bed early and at a decent hour and what happens? I dream of old spooky funeral homes, secret passages and “Spaghetti”.

And no, for once I am not talking about the long stringy noodle we cover with a meat sauce and cheese and feed to small children to watch them eat like crazed dingos. I’m talking about a man named Cancetto Farmica, better known as “Spaghetti”, a local legend and icon of my home area here in Scotland County, North Carolina. Here’s the story at RoadsideAmerica.com: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7849.

I remember when I was fourteen years old, having just moved to this town and having heard about the legend of “Spaghetti” from somewhere, a friend of mine and I rode our bicycles down to the funeral home (McDougald’s – it’s still there and ran by some very nice people) and inquired about this alleged mummy. The person working was very nice and told us the story about this man and where he was buried before sending us on our way. And we went to see the grave and that was that and I haven’t thought about it or him in years. So why am I thinking about it now and having weird dreams about going to find “Spaghetti?” I have no idea, but it’s kind of creepy. I blame Vince Russo. I guess that’s just what happens when you watch TNA Impact Wrestling just before bed time.

I’m Doug and this is “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”. Let’s talk pro wrestling.

On the agenda for tonight (or should I say this morning) is a little ranting and rambling about injuries to wrestlers, the current WWE youth movement, what I think would make for an ideal new WWE Superstar character and I’m going to solve the mystery of who will be coming on January 2, 2012. Let’s do this.


Several wrestlers in the WWE, coming out of the TLC pay per view, have bumps and bruises and major pains. Mark Henry, the “World’s Strongest Man” and former World Heavyweight Chammpion, went into the pay per view with, from what I understand, is a severely damaged groin muscle. (Insert “Sexual Chocolate” joke here!), which explains why he didn’t appear quite as dominating or bad-ass over the last month or so and also why the World Championship was taken from his massive shoulders in the middle of what was a fantastic run as Champion. Henry has been working through quite a bit of pain as of late and it was determined to take the title off of him and allow him to get some healing time rather than continue to let him work through the injuries and risk missing Wrestlemania.

I really do feel bad for Mark because this recent run as the World Heavyweight Champion really has been the biggest and most successful push of his entire career. The time was right and he’s been beyond amazing in his role as the Champion and also Chief Administrator of the Hall of Pain. It’s a shame to see it all end so soon, especially due to an injury. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Mark Henry as the World Champion. The man is too big and too scary to be ignored anymore and I feel that now that he’s found his niche, he’s going to be hovering around at the top of the WWE ladder of importance for the rest of his wrestling career.

Also recently suffering injuries are everyone’s favorite fake aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio, who also suffered interestingly enough, what appears to be a groin injury. (Insert packing the trunks joke here) on Monday night. He had to be helped to the back following the six man tag match on RAW and while he won’t miss any action, he’s said to be going through some major pain, blues and agony.

And Beth Phoenix, the WWE Divas Champion, suffered bruising and numbness on the side of her face after taking that flip-floppy legdrop move from Alicia (Give Me A Dead Animal To Wear) Fox. She was checked over by medical personal and posted a nasty looking picture on her Twitter account. I saw it (and forgot to save the link… oops!) and it looked painful. But she’s okay now and won’t be missing any ring time or matches.

I guess it’s all a part of the show and job, suffering the occasional aches and pains. These are all recent and we heard about them, but can you just imagine what the average WWE or TNA superstar feels like by the end of the week, especially if they’re one of the “names” and have to work all the house shows and TV taping in those brutal and physical matches? I had a point to make, but now I can’t remember what it is. I just have the most amazing respect for every single man and woman who steps into that squared circle and puts their bodies and health on the line for our entertainment and pleasure. They’re the toughest athletes in the world today, bar none, be it a wrestler from WWE or TNA or else the guy or girl who works weekends at the local high school gyms and Armory. Forget about football. No pads allowed in wrestling. Forget about Ultimate Fighting too. One fight every six months? Wimps! It’s all about the men and women of professional wrestling, truly the biggest, the best, the baddest and the most kick-ass athletes in the world. And that’s all I’m going to say about that because it’s time to move on to…

The WWE Youth Movement…

It looks like Santa has come to the WWE early this year (only two more last minute shopping days to go until Christmas. Maybe I should get started on my shopping today?) because look at all the new blood talents and champions in the WWE right now. CM Punk posted a picture on his twitter account late Monday night that featured all of the WWE Champions together. And it was (is) quite an amazing sight to see. I don’t have a link to the pic because I don’t tweet and forgot to save the link that someone sent to me. I’ll probably find it again and post the pic at my blog-site at www.tsfiction.blogspot.com. Or maybe I won’t. Go check out the site and find out for yourself. And yes, that was an extremely blatant cheap plug. I’m channeling Mick Foley tonight except for one slight difference. My jokes are funny. BURN!!

Now what was I saying? Never before in the history of WWE has there been a time where every single champion is as “young” and “fresh” as now. Generally, the two main titles are reserved for the “big stars” like Cena, Orton, HHH and the secondary titles are all the younger talent, the “B-squad”, have left to compete over. But CM Punk started a revolution by proving to the WWE management (Vince and HHH) that things in the WWE were stale and that other people (not named Cena or Orton) deserve a shot at the main events too. Punk made an impact and starting selling merchandise. Then along came the self-made “Long Island Iced Z” Zack Ryder who used the power of YouTube and a lot of imagination (and busting his ass) to start a movement of support that became too big for the WWE to ignore. The fans wanted change and with Punk and Ryder leading the way, the WWE took notice and has started really pushing the new stars, the future of the company, and we’ve got ourselves a revolution.

Think about it. CM Punk is the WWE Champion. Daniel Bryan is the World Champion. Zack Ryder is the United States Champion. Cody Rhodes holds the Intercontinental Championship. Beth Phoenix is the Divas Champion. And Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne are the Tag Team Titleholders. Even as recently as ten years ago, this never would have been allowed to happen. We’d be hearing arguments about these guys being “too green” or “not having paid their dues” or even “the WWE fans wouldn’t appreciate them” and “they’re not what Vince likes”. The times – they are a changing. And for the future of this company, as well as for any hope of the WWE Network being successful, this is exactly what needed to be done. I’m just very glad that I’m here to witness it.

And now, we come to a quandry. I was going to attempt to analyze and figure out who is behind the “It Begins” series of videos at the WWE, but I was also thinking of doing an Impact! recap with my thoughts from earlier today. And I have a few questions from readers (both of them) to answer. But I don’t want to make this column too long, so what should I do? I hate decisions! I think I’ve got it figured out though. I’ll put the questions aside and just answer them personally and maybe in the next few days, do an entire “Q&A” version of “Tossing Salt”. That could be fun to do. (So if you have any questions about ANYTHING, wrestling related or anything else, send them to me at Doug28352@yahoo.com so I’ll have material for the future column. Thank you!) And as for Impact, I’ll do what I like to call a “Cliffnote version” of a recap. And then I’ll tell you who I think is the true culprit behind the”It Begins” videos. Don’t you love the way I just work out everything right here in the column for all the world to see. That’s called “transparency”. There are no secrets here in land of “Salt Tossing” and rainbow colored unicorns. I’m here for you! I should run for President! I want a cat!

Okay, where was I? I got distracted for a moment. Oh yeah, the fine people at TNA and the show that caused me to have nightmares of winding walkways and deceased carnival workers, TNA Impact Wrestling. It’s recap time.

TNA Impact! Wrestling – TheTossing Salt Cliffnote Review…

Bobby Roode and Bubba Ray Bully Boy talk about the joys of giving for the Christmas holidays. Jeff Hardy is sober and still looks crazy. Sting does joker laugh. Match later on. (Not) Battle Bowl match as RVD kicks Christopher Daniels and Fortune is smiled upon. Great match with Zema Ion and Tony Nese. Who are these guys? Very impressive. Madison Rayne has authority! The Pope thinks that he’s Devon’s kids baby-daddy. They seem to think so too. Eric Young and ODB are not on a date. Stupidity reigns supreme. Madison is back. I hate her voice. I thought TNA was where Knockouts actually wrestle and have good storylines? Tara and Tessmacher “wrestler” and take a shot at Rayne. Okay, I laughed. Tara and Tessmacher share a “Tebow moment”. Jeff Hardy and Sting have a bromance Hallmark moment. I thought Hogan and Beefcake were supposed to be the gay ones (not that we’d want them!) Eric and ODB are both hard on the eyes and need some good, long showers. Give them some Mr. Bubble and some Ivory soap. “The Cowboy” talks. Kurt Angle pops up at Storm’s favorite redneck bar and kicks ass. This is so stupid! Hey Kurt, I know of a few redneck bars that would love to see you visit. You wouldn’t last five minutes. Bully Ray and Robert Roode talk some more. We see shenanigans as ODB and Eric Young embarass themselves and this business and still win the match. I’m ashamed to be a fan. Matt Morgan and Crimson talk. They both belong in WWE making good money and becoming real stars. Street Fight Time. Brawling, tables and chains – oh my! Sting and Hardy win. And that’s all folks!

Now that is how a recap should go! ‘Nuff said! And now, let’s break out the detective outfit and the magnifying glass. Just call me “Sherlock Salty” as we take a look at the possibilities behind the big question that has us all scratching our heads…

It Begins…

We’ve all seen the videos all over WWE television and WWE.com. There is someone coming to the WWE on January 2, 2012. Okay, so far, there have been five videos released and we’re seeing children and classrooms and talks of prophets and the girl knocking books off a desk and harassing the boy with the statement, “I can not help you anymore. Do you understand?”. It’s been weird and whacky and cool and creepy and about a dozen or so more other descriptive adjectives. And it all seems to be pointing to the return of one person… Chris Jericho.

But you know what? I don’t think it is Jericho. I do think that Chris will be back in the WWE sometime in the next few weeks, in order to get things started and set up a possible feud with CM Punk. But always remember that one of the best things about wrestling is that there is always a swerve. If everyone and their mother is sure that Chris Jericho is the person who will be re-debuting on January 2, 2012, then the WWE would be totally crazy to actually have Jericho be the one. It’s too obvious and would be extremely anti-climatic. So why bother. So what I decided to do was go consult my sources and confidents that make up the staff around here and once they (the voices in my head) quit arguing about the pros and cons of running with pointy sticks, we came up with a list of other possibilities of who this possible “prophet” and past / future WWE Superstar may or may not be. So here’s what we came up with…

The Top Ten Possibilities To Debut On RAW on January 2nd Who’s Names Don’t Rhyme With Hiss Wearicho.

10. Tammy Sytch

This is a definite longshot and I really don’t think it might be the Hall of Famer and one time Mistress of all things “sunny”, but she has long been making comments about having “one last run” and she’s still relatively young and a hot mama to be sure. The most recent video showed a girl and Tammy is a girl so there’s the connection. It would definitely be a major swerve and she could be the foreplay to Jericho’s dirty deeds done dirt cheap. It’s an idea.

9. Shane Douglas

All of the cryptic videos thus far take place in a classroom and what was Shane Douglas’ gimmick during his WWF run oh so many years ago? He was “Dean Douglas”, a school teacher. Plus factor in that Douglas was also the partner of Johnny Ace, aka “The Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim RAW General Manager” during the highlight of Johnny’s wrestling career as one half of the “Dynamic Dudes”. There’s a story there waiting to be told so how about it?

8. James Mitchell / Sinister Minister

He’s creepy and he’s kookey, mysterious and spooky. He’s altogether ookey. He’s James Mitchell, aka The Sinister Minister. I don’t really think it’s this guy either, but he’s a great talker, a great character and one of the best “wrestling managers” working today. Well, not working actually because neither TNA or WWE have brought this guy in and he’s too damn good to be ignored. Vickie Guerrero has proven that there is a place for managers in the WWE so why is Mitchell still making his living by doing karaoke instead of scaring the beejeebers out of people on either RAW or Smackdown? I don’t get it either.

7. Buff Bagwell

This would be great just so see how pissed off everyone in the WWE Universe gets. I’d love to see it for that reason only. Buff isn’t what he was ten or even five years ago, but he’s still a heat magnet and could you imagine the reaction he would get if he was to pop up on a live edition of RAW, preferably one in Georgia or one of the old WCW strong areas? It’d be worth it.

6. Shawn Stasiak

I read something recently where Stasiak, who is now a chiropractor and therapist, stated that he would love to do one more major run in professional wrestling. And he’s a little older now (early 40’s), but he’s in amazing shape and I really think he could do it. His whole “Planet Stasiak” schtick would easily be able to be tied in with the videos and if given some exposure and a slight push, he could really be a big name in this business. Look at this guy. He was the lovable goof before we had YouTube. He was Zack Ryder before there was a Zack Ryder. It could and would work. And it would be big! As big as a planet. Planet Stasiak!

5. The Boogeyman

This character, Marty Wright, is just a big and total goof. I admit it. I just wanted to put his name in here.

4. Matt Stryker

All of the videos have taken place in a school room. And everyone’s favorite backstage interviewer and part-time commentator is what? He’s a former real-life school teacher who came to the WWE as a wrestler before settling into a role as an occasional manager and announcer. So what if Stryker has decided that he is tired of being an announcer and “teaching” the WWE Universe each and every week? What if he’s ready to step back into that ring and pursue gold and glory? What if? It’s a very distinct possibility and I’m truthfully surprised that he hasn’t returned to the ring yet.

3 Sean O’Haire

I know that it’s been a while since O’Haire stepped foot inside a wrestling ring, preferring instead to concentrate on Mixed Martial Arts since 2006. But he’s still relatively young (40) and the man is a physical monster who had a great look and was pretty fair in the ring as well. And think about what his character was during his last WWE run? He was the ultimate instigator and devil’s advocate who spent most of his time manipulating the other wrestlers into doing crazy things with subtle suggestions. It was a great character with a tremendous upside that got buried and forgotten when O’Haire’s mentor and traveling partner, Roddy Piper, was fired by the WWE and backstage politics took their toll. But it could easily be brought back and O’Haire could reprise that role and make both himself and the WWE a lot of money. They should do it and I wish they would. But then again, “I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know!”

2. Disco Inferno

I’ve mentioned this before in other columns and I’ll repeat it here. I have this ultimate fantasy of watching Wrestlemania and having Vince McMahon standing in the middle of the ring addressing the audience about the history and tradition of the WWE and their premiere event when suddenly, we hear the theme song of Disco Inferno fill the arena and he comes out to the ring, taking the microphone from Vince and proclaiming that the only reason that all the fans are at Wrestlemania is because they wanted to see the Disco Inferno dance. Just imagine the look on Vince’s face as the Adam’s apple bobs up and down. Of course, now we could change it to HHH and the January 2, 2012 edition of RAW. HHH is in the ring cutting his promo and here comes Disco to the ring. The crowd goes crazy. I’d go crazy! And admit it… you’d love to see it too! One can only hope.

1. Raven

If this was ten years ago, no one would even be thinking about Jericho. Cryptic videos and strange messages were the trademark of one person and one person only… the enigmatic leader of “The Flock”, Scotty Levy, aka “Raven”. So who’s to say that it isn’t Raven now? He’s still around although he’s been out of the spotlight for a couple of years since his last run in TNA. He can talk. He can (occasionally) wrestle. He can work as an announcer. He can instigate and stir things up as well as anyone and far better than most. Maybe this is what the 2012 version of WWE needs to really make things interesting. Even now, a feud with Raven versus CM Punk would be fun to watch. He’d be the perfect swerve and it would be mighty interesting to see. I’d like to see it for sure.

So those are the names we came up with. But then again, we might be wrong. I guess we’ll have to wait until January 2, 2012 to find out for sure. It’s probably an alliance / team of Chris Jericho and Batista. I WISH it was Paul Heyman. We find out in ten days.

And I guess that’s more than enough for today. I’ll be back in a few days with my Fact or Fiction partner in crime, the true “Master” behind the Dungeon of Doom, Russell Jackson with a year-end edition of “Wrestling Fact or Fiction”. I’m trying to convince an old buddy of mine to join in the fun and craziness, but have yet to get a definite answer so it might be a two-man “Team Extreme” or we may end up with a”Freebird style” column. Look for it and we can all find out together.

Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Go check out my blogsite at www.tsfiction.blogspot.com for all things Dougie. And my favorite jelly beans are the red ones.

My thanks to everyone who reads these columns and to westling fans everywhere. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy Holidays, whatever you choose to celebrate. I’ll see you in a few days. I’m Doug and I’m out of here.

Merry Christmas!



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