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Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: March 26, 2012

March 27, 2012   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
March 26, 2012
Doug Maynard

It’s been a while, but guess what? I’m back. I’m Doug and this is Pro Wrestling’s Most Eclectic Column, the one and only “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”. Guess what happens this week? My kitty-kat is getting fixed. No kitties for my kitty.

And also, we have this little tiny wrestling show on Sunday called “Wrestlemania XXVIII”. Maybe you’ve heard of it? And we’ve got Hall of Fame Inductions too. Not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m still waiting for The Pet Shop Boys to be inducted. Instead, it’s the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony. Despite my team, the UNC Tarheels getting kicked out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament last night,
I’m still jakked.

I’m happy. I’m excited. I’m as perky as a baby in a washing machine. This is going to be one helluva week. And let’s don’t even start talking about the trailer for the new Dark Shadows movie. It comes out in May and it’s going to be damn good! Let’s get this party started. Let’s do this…

There are two subjects on my mind before I get into my Hall of Fame thoughts and my predictions for Wrestlemania XXVIII that I want to get into. The first one is something reported by LordsOfPain.net where Alberto Del Rio reportedly said in an interview that he has been told that he will not be a part of any of the matches at Wrestlemania XXVIII.

And you know what? I hate it for Del Rio, but he’s been out of action for the past several months and it really wouldn’t be fair to bring him back a week before the biggest show of the year (and the biggest payday) when there are so many other talents who have been here week in and week out, day in and day out, who don’t have a spot on the show.

It’s not Del Rio’s fault that he was injured, but he’ll have the chance to make up for it after Wrestlemania with several main events and a spot near the top of the WWE ladder. So no big match on Sunday. So what? He’ll still be making appearances and be a part of the excitement. Maybe they can slide him in as part of a “bonus match” against some other wrestler who was left off the card (Miz, Brodus Clay, William Regal, Heath Ledger, Justin Gabriel, The Usos, etc). I’m sure the WWE will find some kind of use for him at the biggest event of the year. And if not, he can just enjoy the vacation while it lasts and be ready to go to work Monday night instead.

The other topic is a rumor that possibly at Wrestlemania XXVIIII, we might be looking at a main event of The Rock, back for another year, against “The Next Big Thing” Brock Lesnar. And that, I think, would be awesome. If the Rock is going to keep coming back and being a part of Wrestlemania every year, the hardest part will be trying to find someone each and every year that is a big enough name to be matched up against The Rock. Who really is there in the WWE these days that could be a “money opponent” for Dwayne Johnson? We have John Cena this year, CM Punk at some point, maybe The Miz and then who else? HHH? Been there and done that. Chris Jericho? Same thing. But The Rock and Brock never wrestled and their careers and times in the WWE just missed each other, so why the heck not?

It’s pretty obvious that at some point, Brock will be back in the WWE (and my guess will be Sunday night). He left to do his “football camp” thing and then went on to moderate success with the UFC. And now, since that career has ended, it’s time to come full circle and climb back into that squared circle. Just imagine the promos. Just imagine the physical match-up. Bring Brock in on Sunday night (or Monday at RAW) and have him declare that he’s back for good. Have him make the challenge for The Rock one year from now at next year’s Wrestlemania. And as for the time between now and then, Brock can set his eyes on “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry, Kane, John Cena, etc.

I don’t know if this rumor is true, but I expect that we’ll find out soon enough if Brock is truly coming back to rejoin the WWE. And if he is coming back, then having Brock take on Cena and then Rock seems like a no-brainer to me. I would like to see it happen and I hope that it does.

Update: I wrote the first part of this (the part above) on Sunday night and since then, there’s been a new development. Last night, Mick Foley and The Miz engaged in a twitter war that might be indicating that Miz and Foley will be the two mystery men and the final components of Team Teddy and Team Johnny. It makes sense.

Mick still owes John Laurinaitis for a punch in the mouth a few months ago and Miz is a former WWE Champion (and AWESOME) so he’d fit in quite well with the rest of “Team Johnny” which consists entirely of former World and WWE Champs (and Otunga who’s married to a big movie / singing star). Don’t know if it’s true or if it’s just something being thrown out there to generate talk and interest.

Whatever the case, having Mick Foley (who wants to have one more Wrestlemania moment to show his kids) and The Miz as the final two men works for me. Let’s move on…

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Thoughts…

Now, let’s move on to what I feel is the strongest class of legends and superstars to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at one time since they started this whole thing and of course, I’m talking about the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Let’s go over the Inductees and whether or not the person (or persons) are truly worthy of the honor being bestowed upon them.

The Four Horsemen: Four of the best wrestlers of the eighties, arguably the greatest “clique” of all time, and one of the greatest managers (and behind the scenes players too). Nothing is wrong with this selection except for it’s a slight bit overdue. Meethinks that Atlanta, GA, the home of last year’s Wrestlemania, would have been more appropiate for the men who made and carried WCW for so long, but that’s just my thoughts. Miami works well since Dillon, Windham and Flair all had some very memorable Florida moments as well in their careers. I still think that Ole Anderson was given the royal shaft, but given the great love between Ole and Vince McMahon, it’s understandable. And I’m sure that we’ll hear some of the Horsemen (most likely Arn) give Ole his props when making his speech.

The only thing that I’m still not sure about this induction is will Ric Flair be there and be able to attend the HOF ceremony? So far, there’s been no official word one way or the other if Flair (who’s currently under contract to TNA) will be allowed to appear. From what I understand, WWE and TNA are talking about this and most likely it will happen. I wouldn’t expect to see Ric at Wrestlemania or RAW the next night though after the Induction ceremony. That might be asking TNA for too much. But I do think (hope) that on that stage Saturday night, we’ll get to see Ric, Arn, Tully and J.J. all together.

I also haven’t heard anything about whether or not Barry Windham will be able to attend the ceremony, as he’s currently recovering from a heart attack and stroke. It would be a shame if Windham isn’t able to be there and accept the honor, but if he’s not, it’s understandable. Getting better has to be his first priority. And there are plenty of persons of note (Blackjack Mulligan, Mike Rotundo, Husky Harris, Kendall Windham) who could step in and accept the award for Barry. He’s truly one of the all-time greats and all of us here at Tossing Salt Media wish him the very best in a speedy and full recovery.

A thought here. I wonder how many former Horsemen will be visiting and sitting in the audience during the Induction ceremonies? I know that Lex Luger has said that he will definitely be there. Dean Malenko works as an agent for the WWE so he’ll be there too. But what about Steve “Mongo” McMichael? But what about Sid Vicious? I doubt we’ll see Paul Roma anywhere and I know that Ole wouldn’t attend even if he could. Maybe we’ll catch of glimpse of Sting in the audience? It could happen. And I hope that someone decides to give a shout out to the former Horsemen who are no longer with us, like Miss Elizabeth, Woman, Brian Pillman, Chris Benoit and Curt Henning. Despite what some may think of some of these people, they all made a strong impact and helped build the legacy that was that of the Four Horsemen. The Horsemen’s four fingers in the air was (and is) considered “the symbol of excellence”… and these men (and women) most certainly were that.

Edge: The only problem I can see about Edge going into the HOF now is that maybe it’s too early. He retired a year ago due to injuries and I think that factors into it, plus he was the World Champion at the time of his last match. Not a bad way to go. Edge is certainly deserving of the honor and had a fantastic career second to none. It’s just hard to picture Edge being inducted when we’re still waiting on Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Ivan Koloff (the two longest running WWF Champions of all time and the man who shocked the world when he ended Bruno’s first reign) to be inducted. As great as Edge is (and he is), these other men should be there first. But I’m not complaining. Edge is a great performer and one of my personal favorites. He’s no Christian, but he certainly belongs in the elite company of the Class of 2012.

Ron Simmons: The first black World Champion. A great athlete and dominating wrestler who helped found The Nation of Domination and jump-start the careers of Mark Henry and The Rock. A member of the tag team (along with Butch Reed) of DOOM! One of the Acolytes Protection Agency with John Bradshaw Layfield. A man who can electrify an arena with just one simple word. Ron Simmons is a true legend and icon in this business. And he most definitely belongs in this company and in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Mil Mascaras: The man of a thousand masks, Mil has long been one of the biggest wrestling attractions all over the world. He’s been a big star in Japan and in Mexico. And during the late 70′s, a month didn’t go by without Mil’s masked face gracing the covers of wrestling magazines everywhere. He’s made movies and tv shows in Mexico. He’s a true legend and icon, pure and simple. And does he deserve to go into the Hall of Fame. Damn straight he does.

Yokozuna: A former multiple time WWF Champion and tag team champion, Yoko was indeed a very unique and special person in the history of the WWE. He defeated both Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Hulk Hogan in seperate matches to capture WWF Gold and this was at a time that Bret didn’t lose often and Hogan never lost. (Hogan still never loses… lol). Despite his huge size, Yoko could move quite well around that ring and I’ve never heard tell of him accidentially hurting anyone. That’s pretty amazing too. Yoko was a talented and strong performer for the WWE and despite being a bit later than one might have hoped (twelve years after his death), Yoko certainly deserves this honor and tribute.

Mike Tyson: The Inductee to the Celebrity wing of the Hall of Fame, “Iron” Mike Tyson is one hell of a boxing legend. And while I can think of a few other celebrities that may deserve, at least in my opinion, to be inducted first (such as Cyndi Lauper), I have absolutely no problem with Tyson being part of this class. It was his presence that gave that extra kick to Wrestlemania XIII when Steve Austin faced Shawn Michaels and helped bring the WWF back from the verge of bankruptcy.

Truth be known, I have absolutely no problem with any of the persons who are being inducted this year into the WWE Hall of Fame. All of them are strong, good, deserving picks and very worthy. I still wonder when Vince and the WWE are going to induct Bruno and Backlund, but I’ve already ranted about that and will let it go for now. And what happened to the idea of inducting a female wrestler into the Hall of Fame each year? I can think of a few names right now, such as the late Penny Banner, Madusa, Missy Hyatt, Candi Devine, Misty Blue, etc. Or since they’re inducting the Horsemen, why not a young woman who was a big part of the Horsemen’s early years, Baby Doll? Just for her role in the Dusty – Tully – Magnum TA wars of the eighties, she’s deserving. And where’s Magnum TA for that matter. He’s definitely deserving of a spot.

So many names are deserving and yet so few are chosen. It’s kind of sad, but I guess that’s just the way things roll sometimes. But the WWE and Vince did right this year with their picks. Truly the best of the best of the best. And all truly worthy and deserving of their new place and spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Speaking of The Four Horsemen, I did a fic a few weeks ago about a new beginning for the Horseman franchise. Check it out here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7917464/1/Here_Comes_That_Rainbow_Again

Let’s move on…

Wrestlemania XXVIII Predictions…

John Cena versus The Rock

The biggest star in the WWE today against truly one of the biggest stars of all time. I keep trying to decide who needs to win this match more. John Cena can’t really afford to lose because if he does, he’s lost all his credibility. After all, his biggest complaint is that The Rock isn’t a full time WWE Superstar and is a part-timer at best. So what does it say if the face of the company loses to a part timer?

As for The Rock, wouldn’t all of the trash talking and creative insults fall a bit flat and make him look like a giant stroudle if he was to be pinned by Mr. Fruity Pebbles, he of the lady parts? Plus it would kind of blow any selling point for having Rock return next year for Wrestlemania 29, as he’s rumored to have agreed to do. After all, what’s the point in having “The Great One” coming back if all he’s going to do is talk trash and then choke when it comes time to back it up.

Neither man can really afford to lose. So here’s what I think might happen. We get a helluva great match that goes twenty-five to thirty minutes with near fall after near fall for both men. The fans are screaming and cheering with every move. And then we get a collision in the middle of the ring and both men are down. And here’s where the rumor I mentioned at the start of the column comes into play. We see Brock Lesnar come from out of nowhere and hit the ring. F-5 for Cena. F-5 for The Rock. Both men are out and the match is ruled a no-contest. The fans scream in anger and boos fill the arena as Brock stands tall over his two fallen rivals. And then we get Brock – Cena for the next several months to really cement Brock’s place back as part of the WWE. And we get Brock – Rock at Wrestlemania 29. And the world is talking because once again, the old saying having been proven true… “Anything can happen in the WWE!”. Works for me.

Results: NO CONTEST due to Brock interference…

WWE Championship
CM Punk versus Chris Jericho

With his comments and promos about Punk’s father and sister over the past few weeks, Chris Jericho has really dominated the mind games and made CM Punk his bitch. That being said, when the bell rings and the match starts, I expect that we’ll see Punk get his revenge and get the last laugh. As much as I like Chris Jericho, I just can’t really see him at this point and time as the WWE Champion. Punk, I think makes a better challenger than champion, but with the current RAW roster as it is, he’s the best guy around right now to hold that title. Like with the Rock / Cena match, I think we’ll see one helluva great match with lots of near-falls and back and forth action. But when the dust settles and the smoke has cleared, I think Jericho will be taking a nap and we’ll see CM Punk standing tall not only as the WWE Champion, but also clearly “The Best Wrestler In The World”.

Winner: CM Punk

World Championship
Daniel Bryan w/ AJ versus Sheamus

I really like Daniel Bryan’s character and his antics during his run as the World Champion, but the writing is easily on the wall and Sunday night will be his Waterloo. Look for AJ to accidentially cause a distraction of some sort and Sheamus to take advantage and kick Bryan’s head off to get the pin. New Champion at Wrestlemania XXVIII!

Winner and NEW World Champion: Sheamus

Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes versus The Big Show

I’m not sure if this is a title match or not. That hasn’t been mentioned in any of the build-up for this match, but I would assume it is. What’s the point in having a champion wrestle a singles match at Wrestlemania if he’s not defending his title? This should be an interesting match. Big Show is hit or miss with most of his matches (mostly miss), but Cody has really become quite a capable performer and should be able to carry Show to a good match. Cody has dominated most of the build thus far, but I don’t think his luck will hold up once they hit the ring on Sunday. Cody can afford a loss. Show has such a history of “choking” at Wrestlemania and they’ve made it a major part of the backstory for this match, so I think that means it’s time for the “choking” to end. Look for Show to take out Cody with a clean chokeslam and pin.

Winner: The Big Show

Kane versus Randy Orton

Randy wins! ‘Nuff said!

Winner: Randy Orton

Divas Tag Team Match
Beth Phoenix & Eve versus Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos

And this is where I get mad because we get to see a non-wrestler and a Barbie Doll compete against the Divas Champion and the Hoeski. Beth and Eve are both competent (well, semi-competent in Eve’s case) wrestlers. Kelly is passable with her three moves of doom, but is otherwise, in my opinion, a waste of space. And then we have Ms. TV Star. She might be a good TV journalist and maybe even a good ballroom dancer, but she has no business at all in a wrestling ring. So of course, that means she’ll end up pinning the champ. WWE logic, right? Well, it sucks!

Winners: Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos.

Team Teddy (Santino, Kofi, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Great Khali, Mick Foley (?)) w/ Teddy Long, Aksana & Hornswoggle
versus
Team Johnny (David Otunga, Christian, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz (?)) w/ John Lauriniatis & Vickie Guerrero

The big twelve man tag match that was added to take the spot of “Money In The Bank” and to determine which General Manager, Teddy Long or John Laurinaitis, will bein charge of both RAW and Smackdown, thus effectively ending any idea of a brand split or even seperate brands. No matter who wins, we all lose as we end up with two cookie-cutter, copy cat shows. I have no idea who to pick for this match since I don’t know where they’re headed storyline wise. If Teddy wins, he’s the GM of both brands, but since Johnny is the V.P. of Talent Relations, he’s still Teddy’s boss technically and can cause problems. And if Johnny wins, it means we get to see more and more of Mr. Personality each and every week. I don’t like seeing too much of Johnny, so I’ll pull for Team Teddy. Team Teddy wins when Hornswoggle hits Miz with a Tadpole Splash and Foley gets the pin. Why not?

Winners: TEAM TEDDY

Hell In A Cell – The End Of An Era Match
Special Referee: Shawn Michaels
Triple H versus The Undertaker

And now we’re at what I feel will be the main event and the biggest match of the night. It’s The Undertaker and HHH in a Hell In A Cell Match. And “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels is the special guest referee. What kind of role will HBK play? I think he’ll call it down the middle and actually be a non-factor in this match. HHH and Undertaker will beat the holy hell out of each other and do their best to top the match from last year. It’ll be brutal. There will be blood. And when all is said and done, the streak continues and The Undertaker goes 20-0 for Wrestlemania. HHH will come so very close, but in the end, it’s the Dead Man who wins.

Winner: The Undertaker

Final Thoughts:

Today is March 23, 2012. Eleven years ago, the “Monday Night Wars” ended and the wrestling world was changed forever. It was the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro, live from Panama City, FL. And it was there that the announcement was made as first Vince and then Shane McMahon showed up on our television screen. The WWE had bought out WCW. I remember watching the show. I remember watching Shawn Stasiak defeat Bam Bam Bigelow. I remember watching then WCW United States Champion Booker T defeated then WCW World Champion Scott Steiner to capture the WCW World Championship for the final time. And Ric Flair lost to Sting. And I cried. Yes, I admit it now.

As the show progressed and it became more and more obvious that WCW, which had sprang from the NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions, the wrestling that I grew up watching and attending for my entire life, was being pulled off life support and was being dead. I know that Vince teased a new WCW, a seperate but equal branch of the WWF, but it never happened. I kept hoping he would, but he never did use the WCW talent and brand properly.

Instead, we got “The Invasion” with children Shane and Stephanie leading their brands of “WCW” and “ECW” against Vince and his “WWF”. And it sucked! Instead we got Goldberg being brought in and lasting a year. Instead we got Kronik being brought in for one match (with Stevie Richards as their manager) and then terminated. Anything and everything that was World Championship Wrestling, the brand and legacy that I loved, was mocked, ridiculed, kicked around and finally flushed down the toliet.

Yes, I’m still resentful. And I admit it. And the thing is, I don’t blame Vince McMahon. He won and his ego demanded that he crow and brag while he decimated his fallen foe. The fault falls on an AOL – Time Warner Executive named Jamie Kellner, who was in charge of the Turner Network programming and decided that professional wrestling was low-brow and didn’t fit the image that they wanted for their networks. This effectively destroyed a deal that Eric Bischoff had arranged to take over control of WCW and keep the company alive and allowed Vince to buy up all of WCW’s video-assets and properties for just a little over four million dollars total.

Jamie Kellner didn’t want wrestling on “his” network despite that WCW, even at it’s worst, drew better ratings than any other show on the Turner Networks and in fact, had consistent ratings better than anything currently on TBS or TNT and are currently in line with the ratings that WWE pulls today on SyFy and the USA Network. Despite all the flaws, Nitro and Thunder were successful television shows and drew ratings and fans. That’s a fact! And if Kellner hadn’t been such a total piece of ass-clown garbage and so damn hasty, WCW could still be alive today and making money for a lot of people, including Jamie Kellner.

But he pulled the plug on WCW televison. Eric Bischoff and his partners were forced to withdraw. And WCW became just a memory and a footnote in wrestling history. That’s sad. That’s wrong. It deserved better and we, the WCW fans, deserved better. WCW may be dead and gone, but the great matches, the crazy storylines, the iconic figures such as The Four Horsemen, The nWo, Sting, etc. and such legacies as Starcade, The Clash of Champions, Battle Bowl, Halloween Havoc, The Crockett Cup, etc… I miss that stuff. I miss a company that had tons of great entertainment and still lived up to the promise each and every night that “We Wrestle” as well. WCW was truly where “The Big Boys Play!”.

World Championship Wrestling (RIP) – You will never be forgotten!

And there you go. That’s going to wrap this up for me. Comments and questions can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Talk to me! I don’t bite (much). To go read all things Dougie, go check out my blogsite at www.tsfiction.blogspot.com. Also, I have a profile up with access to some of my fiction stories at http://www.fanfiction.net/~tsfiction19. Go check it out.

I’ll be back later in the week with “Wrestling Fact Or Fiction” along with my partner in crime, Russell Jackson. Until then, never forget that wrestling is real. It’s life that’s fake. I’m Doug and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Ubuntu!

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