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Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: April 2, 2012

April 4, 2012   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
April 2, 2012
Doug Maynard

It’s now Monday (groan) and we all survived the biggest weekend of the year for fans of professional wrestling. Nope, it’s not Starcade (although I wish it was). Instead, it’s the triple-threat of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony, Wrestlemania XXVIII and Monday Night RAW Supershow.

As I write this, we’re still a good ten hours away from the televised (and highly edited) Hall of Fame broadcast and RAW, but that’s not going to stop me. A friend of mine who shall remain nameless dropped off a copy of Wrestlemania XXVIII for me last last night, just a few hours after the broadcast ended. I was halfway asleep, but watched most of it last night. And I’m going to do it again and just make some general commentary about the show as the DVD moves along.

And once I finish the recap and review of Wrestlemania, I want to hit briefly upon some thoughts about the WWE Hall of Fame and just list a few suggestions as to who I think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame over the next few years. I think I’ll do it as a “Top Thirteen” piece. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Works for me. So let’s just cut out the jabber-jawing and get moving along. Let’s do this…

Wrestlemania Review And Thoughts…

Lillian Garcia starts off by singing “America The Beautiful” and she does an amazing job. This is the way WWE needs to always start their big shows. We don’t need any two-bit big-named singer. Lillian looks awesome and is one helluva fantastic and amazing singer and does a great job each and every time. The planes flying overhead are a great touch too and this really sets the mood for the night ahead.

Match 1: World Championship Match
Daniel Bryan w/ AJ (champ) versus Sheamus

What the hell just happened? Bryan kisses AJ and turns around into the Brogue Kick and it’s over just that fast. This just royally and truly sucks! While I can see how this might be a good thing storyline wise (Bryan blames AJ for distraction), it was just a big “F-U” to all the fans and to both Bryan and Sheamus as well. Bryan is a fantastic wrestler who has really busted his ass to earn his spot. Sheamus is an up and coming workhorse for the WWE and a star on the rise. This screwed up crap-pile of a match didn’t do a thing to help or elevate either man. The fans aren’t happy and neither am I.

We see Team Johnny backstage and Miz is trying to hype up his teammates and telling them that they can’t lose tonight. Bow-Tie Hudson brings in the bossman who compares his team and their “win” later tonight to be a Wrestlemania moment that will equal Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant or Bret Hart beating Steve Austin. Johnny wants to be the GM of both RAW and Smackdown. And the “brand split” officially dies tonight with this match.

Match 2: Kane versus Randy Orton

For two of the “older guys”, these two really worked well together and put on a pretty good match. I was expecting Kane to get squashed, but a choke-slam on Randy after a distraction and the “Big Red Machine” picks up the win. Suprising ending, but I’m happy for Kane.

Some backstage hijinks with Santino Marella and Mick Foley and some fisherman dude from “Deadliest Catch”. Mr. Socko and The Cobra are munching on seafood as they trade banter. Nice way for Mick to get a Wrestlemania payday. I’d rather have seen him have a “Wrestlemania moment” and get involved in the Team Teddy versus Team Johnny match later, especially since he still owes Johnny Ace some payback. I wonder how long it will be before Mr. Socko and The Cobra are contending for the tag team titles? Not Mick and Santino, but just the hand puppets. Why the hell not? After all, anything can happen in the WWE and we all know that Vince hates tag teams.

Match 3: Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes versus The Big Show

It’s as you’d expect. Cody puts forth a great effort and Big Show wins with the KO punch. Cody has been really good as the IC Champ for so long and Big Show doesn’t need the belt or a title. I think WWE screwed up here with this match and this ending. They gave Big Show his “Wrestlemania moment”, but at the expense of the IC title and Cody Rhodes. We should have had a DQ or countout finish so Show could get the win, but leaving the belt on Cody. That would have worked better in my eyes. Oh well, no sense in bitching now. A new Intercontinental Champion with the Big Show. Prediction now: Cody gets the belt back within the next month. I hope so anyhow.

It’s Diva time as we get a video package showing all things Diva and how the Extra woman, Maria Menounos ended up in this match.

Match 4: Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos versus Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres

The match is what you’d expect for a Divas match. The girls who can actually wrestle (Beth and Eve) carry Kelly and the TV star through a match and the bonus celebrity TV star ends up pinning the Divas Champion. We could have had Beth Phoenix versus Kharma or Beth versus Natayla or even Beth versus Mae Young and instead we got this. The Divas are all hot and sell the T&A, but so far as wrestling matches go, it’s a total waste of time. I think I’d rather be watching Michael Cole “wrestle” Jim Ross again. Ummm…. no, I wouldn’t. Forget I said that!

A new attendance record of over 78,000 fans plus we get Jim Ross out to call the next match. That’s what I’m talking about. I think business is about to pick up.

Match 5: Hell In A Cell – Special Referee: Shawn Michaels
The Undertaker versus Triple H

Say what you will about these guys, but they know how to put on one helluva wrestling match. Everyone had their part to play and did their job exceptionally well Near falls galore. Chair shots and sledge-hammer blows. Forget play by play here – this was THE MATCH of the night thus far. If Undertaker can keep putting out matches like these, let him wrestle only once a year. It’s worth it. This was easily HHH’s best match this year as well. He and Taker have a great chemistry and when you throw HBK into the mix, it’s even better. The right person won and the three-man hug at the top of the ramp after the match was just the perfect way to end the segment. If we never see HHH or Undertaker wrestle again, it’ll be sad, but not that sad because with this match, they ended it just right and in a manner truly deserving of both men.

It’s Hall of Fame time and we see some moments from the Induction ceremony on Saturday night. And then the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 comes out at the top of the rampway with Howard Finkel doing the introductions. Amazing pops for all the Inductees, but especially Edge and The Horsemen. I’m just estatic to see Barry WIndham, especially given his health problems over the past year, standing up there. This is easily the best “class” ever to be inducted into the HOF. There’s not a weak link up there and they’re all very well deserving.

Backstage segment with Heath Slater trying to kiss up to Flo Rida and getting his butt kicked in the process. Good to see Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins there to get a brief moment on camera as they make fun of their friend. Been seeing more and more of Hawkins as of late. Maybe his time is finally coming. It’d be good to see both him and Reks get moved up the ladder a bit and more time on television. They deserve it.

Here come The Bella Twins to do some twin-magic ring introductions for Team Teddy and Team Johnny. It’s cluster-f*ck match time.

Match 6: Team Teddy versus Team Johnny
Santino, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, R-Truth, Booker T & Great Khali w/ Teddy Long, Aksana, Hornswoggle & Eve
David “Bow Tie” Otunga, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry & Drew McIntyre w/ John Laurinaitis & Vickie Guerrero

This match is wild and crazy and total OINGO BOINGO from the very beginning, just as we knew it would be. Everybody and their mama got involved and bodies were flying everywhere. In the end, Zack Ryder brings Eve into the ring to do the “Woo Woo Woo” on Ziggler, but gets nailed by Miz who takes down Zack for the pin and win to give Johnny Laurinaitis control of both RAW and Smackdown. Ryder looks to Eve after getting beat and Eve gives him a kick in the Woo Woo Woo’s. The humiliation of Zack Ryder continues and Eve shows just what being a “hoeski” is all about. Bitch!

We see lots of video about the past week for WWE and all of the fans at the show. It’s just a typical WWE “we’re not ones to blow our own horns, but toot toot” video package to fill some time before we head backstage and have a Johnny Laurinaitis encounter with CM Punk. Johnny does the ass-clown GM move and tells Punk that if he gets disqualified, then the WWE Championship will change hands and Jericho will be the new Champion.

Match 7: WWE Championship Match
WWE Champion CM Punk versus Chris Jericho

Now this is what a wrestling match is all about and why CM Punk AND Chris Jericho can both arguably be called “the best in the world!”. They started off slow, built the momentum and told a story as they went along and slowly drew the fans into the match. And in the end, the right man won by making Jericho tap out to the Anaconda Vice. CM Punk and Jericho set out to steal the show and guess what? They did. Awesome match and a truly great job by both guys. And Punk remains the WWE Champion.

Stupidity time as Brodus Clay comes out and says that somebody should call his mama. Ernest “The Cat” Miller is watching and is probably seething right now. We get “Mama Clay” with a big old fake ass out to dance with Brodus. And then we get a bunch of “Mama’s” out with more big old fake asses to dance with Brodus. And as much as I don’t like this “Funkasarus” gimmick, I have to admit, I laughed a little bit. Good spot to give the crowd a chance to catch their breath after the Punk – Jericho match. Hell, at least Brodus isn’t trying to wrestle.

Lots of video and build for the Cena – Rock match is next and we even get a commerical for the new GI Joe movie. Puff Daddy or P-Diddy or Poofy Pooper or whatever the hell his name is comes out next and introduces Machine Gun Kelly, who performs the Wrestlemania 28 theme song. The fans could care less and are ready to boo him out of the building. Here comes John Cena to the ring and he’s definitely NOT the favorite here tonight. If Cena wins, we riot seems to be the theme of the capacity crowd. Flo Rida is out next. Enough of this musical crap already. And finally, The Rock has come back to Miami. The crowd explodes in cheers. No doubt about who the favorite is here tonight.

Match 8: The Rock versus John Cena

All I can say about this match is that they built it up for a year and they delivered. Both Rock and Cena were on the ball and even if you’re not a big fan of either guy (and I’m really not), the match was off the charts and damn good. Not as good as Punk / Jericho, but pretty damn close in it’s own special way. Both men worked very hard and the match went back and forth and the crowd stayed hot every single second of the way. At the end, it really didn’t matter who won the match. Wait a second – yes it did. Cena did the “You Can’t See Me” and tried to be a smart-ass, going for “The People’s Elbow”. But instead, he ended up eating a “Rock Botton” as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson picked up the three count and the pin. Winner is “The Rock”.

I didn’t have much hope for this show to start with and that first match was a total travesty in my opinion. But as the night went on, it got better and better and the three main events of Taker versus HHH, Punk versus Jericho and Rock versus Cena absolutely did deliver. Was it the greatest “Wrestlemania” of all time? I won’t go that far, but it was top of the line and easily the best show of the past year for not only the WWE, but all wrestling promotions. WWE can screw up so many things so often, but when the smoke clears and it comes time for the biggest event of the year, they almost always seem to turn things around and get it right in the end. And once again, they did just that. Great job and a great show!

And now, let’s move on…

Airing tonight (Monday) before Monday Night RAW will be an edited version of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony. From what I understand, although I could be wrong, the Inductions featured on the prime-time broadcast will be those of Yokozuna, Mike Tyson and Edge. Truth be known, I’d much rather see Flair, Arn, Tully, Barry and J.J. than anyone else of the 2012 Class, but I’m suspecting that since Flair is technically a contracted employee of TNA, not having his induction on the prime time program was probably part of the deal to allow him to participate.

So tonight, we get to see a highly edited version of the Hall of Fame Inductions and then, once that finishes, we get to see RAW, live from Miami and see what kind of falllout and what surprises that the WWE has in store for us. And all of that is well and good and I’m planning on being planted in front of my televison set watching every move and listening to every word, just as probably each and every one who reads this column also will be.

But I got to thinking a bit and well, let’s be honest. This year’s Hall of Fame class was off the charts and extremely impressive. But as good as it was, what about those men and women who are still out there, waiting for their chance to be honored and get that moment in the sun as part of the WWE Hall of Fame? Who is still left hanging? Well, I’ve decided to do a “Top Thirteen” style list of who I feel should be on the priority list to be inducted over the next few years. Some of these persons will NEVER be inducted and I know that. Others might be eventually after time and tempers have calmed the waters a bit. And the rest, it’s just a matter of when someone brings their names up at one of the so-called “Creative Team” meetings. I could put comments and explain why they belong in the WWE Hall of Fame, but most of these folks, it’s pretty obvious and no explanation is needed. I’ll just do the list and ya’ll can make your own arguments as to why these folks either do or do not belong.

Top Thirteen Persons Deserving A Spot In The WWE Hall of Fame…

13) Paul Heyman
12) Bruno Sammartino
11) Bob Backlund
10) Ivan Koloff
9) The Fabulous Freebirds
8) Magnum TA
7) The Rock & Roll Express
6) The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette
5) Bill Eadie (Masked Superstar / Demolition Ax)
4) Madusa
3) Vader
2) Sting
1) “Macho Man” Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth

And there you go. Most of these folks will, eventually, get that plaque and that gold ring. It’s just a matter of time and when. And then there’s the Midnight Express, Bill Eadie and Bruno, who all deserve the honors, but hell will freeze over before it happens. Eadie and Vince have bad blood between them. Bruno hates the WWE and what it represents these days. And The Midnight Express is affiliated with Jim Cornette, who WWE fired and kicked out of his own company. So don’t expect any of those folks anytime soon.

Backlund will be accepted just as soon as he’s ready and I know WWE would jump at the chance to induct Sting. Madusa seems to have mended fences with the company so that’s a no-brainer eventually. And the Freebirds, The Rock & Roll Express, Vader and Magnum are just too big to be ignored. And as for Heyman, if the rumors are true about Brock Lesnar, can Paul E. be very far behind? I don’t think so.

Well, that’s going to do it for me for now. I have more to ramble about, but this is too long already. There will be a “Wrestling Fact or Fiction” column coming up later this week and probably another “Tossing Salt” column with thoughts about the Hall of Fame show and RAW. No promises, but I will try so keep your eyes open.

Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. And I’m out of here. It’s nap time. Have a great day and I’ll catch you later. I’m Doug and that’s all folks. Later…



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