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Wrestlng Fact or Fiction: January 6, 2012

January 7, 2012   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt Presents: Wrestling Fact Or Fiction
January 6, 2012
Doug Maynard

It’s now 2012 and here we are back again with a new beginning, a new prospective, a new dawn on the horizon and lots more of the same old stuff. I’m your Sensi of Spices, Doug and I really do hate grapefruit (damn diet!). I’m joined as always by my tag team partner in mischief and shenanigans, the man who makes Shaft go “shut yo’ mouth – you damn right”, the indomitable Mr. Russell Jackson and this is “Wrestling Fact or Fiction”. We’re the pro wrestling pundits who style, profile, walk that aisle, bleed, sweat and pay the price to make sure you get the full insight into everything that is the “King of Sports”.

Damn, that sounds impressive. I just hope we can live up to the hype. Let’s do this and may JBL, the “wrestling god”, have mercy upon our very souls. All questions are either WWE or TNA related and were sent out on Tuesday morning.

WWE has totally dropped the ball with Brodus Clay?

Doug – FACT: They do a series of videos saying “Coming soon!” and then they just dropped it. And then they promote his re-debut again and again. And it never happens. And finally, it’s all settled and Clay will make his return on this past Monday night. Did it happen? Nope! I’m not sure where the WWE is attempting to go with Clay. Are they stretching it out to make Clay’s debut more of an impact and shock when it finally happens? Will Clay be Johnny Ace’s secret weapon against CM Punk? Is the WWE Creative team just inept and forgettful? Whatever the reason, they’ve really screwed up and made what could be an exciting and much-anticipated moment into just an after-thought that most people have already lost interest in.

Russell – FACT: Week in, week out – we’ve been getting the same crap from WWE: “Brodus Clay will debut next week on Monday Night Raw and then when Raw gets on TV, Brodus Clay is nowhere to be found. If WWE wants to debut a wrestler on either Raw or Smackdown, they need to come up with a specific date on showcasing that wrestler instead of giving out false advertisements week after week.

Dolph Ziggler will be the next WWE Champion?

Doug – FICTION: I think Ziggler might be a WWE or World Champion at some point, but if and when it happens, it won’t be anytime soon. I fully expect CM Punk to keep the WWE Championship firmly in his grasp at least until after Wrestlemania.

Russell – FICTION: Maybe later on in the year after WrestleMania XXVIII, but I don’t see it happening before then. Right now, he needs to be groomed more than he is already. Personally, he needs to be showcased better than the “Show Off” persona he’s been doing. To me, he’s nothing more than a nuisance behind the camera, and with the loud mouth Vicki Guererro beside him screaming out “EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE ME” every chance she gets behind a microphone, it’s nothing but a waste of air time on any show he’s on.

Chris Jericho was awesome in his return to the WWE?

Doug – FACT: At first I was going to say Fiction because I was annoyed. Several months of teasing and all Jericho does is milk the crowd response and leaves without a word. What the…?? But then, I got it. Jericho is a heel and the fact that he managed to get under my skin without ever saying a word shows that he’s doing his job well. The thing about Jericho is that he constantly reinvents himself, in small but effective manners. He came out and rather than do what everyone does and cut a promo, he milked the crowd, got a slight bit overbearing towards the end as it ran way too long, and left the people wanting more, but confused to exactly what was going on. That means they’ll come back to figure out what Jericho’s game is. Classic Jericho as only he can do it.

Russell – FACT: I was first gonna say Fiction to this question after watching Raw on Monday night. When I first saw him come out, I was excited as we haven’t seen “Y2J” in the WWE in quite some time. Then when the fans started booing him after going nuts when he first came out & him not saying anything the whole time he was out in/around the ring, even I began to think that his return was a big waste of time. But after thinking about it a couple of days after the “Big” return on Raw & the cryptic videos that aired on both Raw & Smackdown several weeks prior to his return to Raw on Monday night, I feel that it’s a perfect return for Jericho not saying a word. Maybe Jericho has a valet coming to share the light on what Jericho is gonna be doing while he’s in the WWE this time around? Or maybe it’s another psychological edge that Jericho has perfected yet again? Hopefully we’ll find that out soon.

Booker T will end up reuniting with his brother, Stevie Ray and reforming Harlem Heat in a feud against Cody and Dustin (The Rhodes Brothers)?

Doug – FICTION: This question came about as a result of a conversation between Booker and Michael Cole at the announce table on Smackdown last week. And I would love to see it happen. I’ve always been a big Harlem Heat fan. But Stevie, although he helps Booker run his wrestling school, hasn’t had a real match in over ten years and was slowing down during the last couple of years in WCW. I dont think we could bring Stevie Ray in and legitimately expect to see any kind of decent in-ring work. So while it would be a fun nostalgia event, it wouldn’t be a good match and I can’t see WWE doing it. It looks more like the Booker – Cody feud will be winding down soon and things will start working more towards a possible Cody – Goldust match at Wrestlemania 28.

Russell – FICTION: Even though it would be exciting for Booker T. to reunite with Stevie Ray & reform Harlem Heat to battle Cody & Dustin Rhodes on Smackdown, I don’t think it’s gonna happen. Booker T is winding down his wrestling career and as much as I hate to say it, to persue a career as a wrestling announcer (Booker T. sucks as a wrestling announcer). From the wrestling news I’ve been reading, it appears that Dustin Rhodes wants a match against his brother Cody for the I.C. Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami, FL and from the angle between Dustin & Cody Rhodes that happened on Smackdown last week, there may be a feud starting up between them. I don’t look for either tag team (Harlem Heat & The Rhodes Brothers) to end up forming & battling with the other.

Brock Lesnar will end up returning to the WWE before Wrestlemania 28?

Doug – FICTION: He’ll be back in the WWE eventually and probably before next year’s Wrestlemania, but for now, Brock is still under contract to the UFC and despite his recent retirement, owner Dana White is still paying his salary and has final say in what Brock can and can’t do. In order to secure the services of Lesnar, Vince and the WWE would have to buy out his contract from the UFC as well as negotiate a new contract for Brock with the WWE and right now, the WWE has too much going on with the launch of the new WWE Network coming up to worry about things like that. Brock isn’t a top priority, especially with the memory of his first-round loss this past weekend so fresh in everyone’s memory. Give it a year to let the memories fade and then we’ll see Brock make his return.

Russell – FICTION: That would be a sweet deal for Brock Lesnar to return to the WWE after his sudden announcement of retiring from the UFC at UFC 141 on December 30, 2011, but I don’t think it will be before WrestleMania XXVIII. From all accounts, “The Next Big Thing” doesn’t like the cruel travel schedule that pertains to the WWE. If anythiny, he may show up at a one event deal with the WWE, but as for him returning to the WWE, especially before WrestleMania XXVIII, I don’t see it happening.


The absence of Randy Orton from Smackdown will hurt the ratings?

Russell – FICTION: Even though Randy Orton has been sidelined for a few weeks following the injury angle at the hands of Wade Barrett, I don’t think it will hurt the Smackdown ratings at all. WWE has Sheamus to fill in for Randy Orton to battle the “Barrett Barrage” & Sheamus has been on a hot streak as of late. Taking care of Barrett will be no problem for him. Smackdown will be fine. No problemo!

Doug – FICTION: The ratings for Smackdown will stay roughly the same and it will remain the #1 show on the SyFy Network, plus this gives wrestlers such as Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel, Wade Barrett and so many others a chance to step up and show what they can do in the main event spot. The star is temporarily out of action, but there are plenty of under-study’s ready to step up and take over for a while. This is their chance.

Zack Ryder is ready for main event level matches?

Russell – FACT: With the recent “Big” win at WWE TLC PPV in capturing the United States Championship from Dolph (yawn) Ziggler, I think that Zack Ryder is ready for main event level matches. What WWE needs to do is get him away from John Cena and from the Cena/Kane feud, as it’s only gonna pull Ryder down. Let the “WWWYKI King” go out on his own, have his own feuds to deal with and have him to be worthy of holding the United States Championship. He busted his ass last year in getting where he’s at now. Why not keep him on his own, letting him have his own feuds instead of being paired with Cena, being John Cena’s guinea pig against Kane? Makes no sense to me what-so-FREAKIN-ever!

Doug – FICTION: I hate to say this because I like Zack. He’s got a fun and entertaining character and he’s really busted his ass to get where he is in the WWE with no help from anyone in WWE Creative or WWE Management. But that being said, as entertaining as Ryder is, he kind of sucks in the ring. Ryder hits the moves and can put on an okay match, but it’s all kind of painting by the numbers with Zack. He’s a product of the WWE system and I just don’t see anything exciting or original when he’s in the ring. It’s the weak point of his character. Look at CM Punk or Daniel Bryan. Those two are wrestlers and can change things up and modify their moves in the ring to compensate for whatever is going on. Zack hasn’t gotten to that point yet. His moves are predictable and the matches are just kind of boring. When I looked at RAW a few weeks ago, where Ryder teamed with Punk and Bryan to celebrate their title wins, my mind just kept screaming that he didn’t belong or fit in. Ryder is on the right track, but his in-ring work still has a way to go to catch up with his character development. He’s ready for the mid-card and (yes) the United States Championship. But for the main events of RAW, Smackdown and house shows? He’s not there yet?

The idea of a Big Show versus Shaquille O’Neal match for Wrestlemania interests you?

Russell – FICTION: There’s been a few WrestleMania matches that had Big Show take on a celebrity in a gimmick match that had no business being on a WrestleMania card or any PPV card for that matter. Have Big Show go into a legitmate feud with any of WWE’s Champions. Have Big Show face a champion at WrestleMania, any kind of champion for that matter, with the championship on the line. Have Big Show win the championship and have Big Show be a champion for however long Big Show wants to stay as the champion. Is that too much to ask for? The idea of a Big Show vs Shaquille O’Neal match for WrestleMania XXVIII is yet a waste of time on “The Grandest Stage of Them ALL”, a waste of time for Shaq and a BIG waste of time for The Big Show.

Doug – FICTION: We’ve already got Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at this year’s Wrestlemania. We don’t need anymore celebrities. Let Show wrestle in a real match against a real wrestler and let Shaq stay home where he belongs.

WWE should bring back old announcers from the past (Tony Schiavone, Joey Styles, Scott Hudson, Larry Zbyszko) to host and moderate programs for the WWE Network?

Russell – FACT: I think it would be a good idea to bring back old announcers like Tony Schiavone, Joey Styles or Larry Zbyszko to host & moderate programs for the WWE Network. Joey Styles for the ECW Shows and both Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko for the WCW/NWA Shows and even Jim Ross for the NWA/WCW circa…would be a no brainer situation there. Wait! We ARE talkin about the WWE here. Nevermind! *slaps hand over forehead*

Doug – FACT: If part of the WWE Network programming is to be shows from the territories and past, like Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the AWA and WCW, then it only makes sense to have the people who were there at the time and know the shows better than anyone along as part of the package to host and introduce the shows. Plus, it gives the WWE a bigger roster of announcers to turn to in case of an emergency. If the wrestler in the ring has an ECW past, let Joey Styles come in and do a guest spot at the commentary table. If it’s a wrestler with ties to WCW, Tony Schiavone or Scott Hudson could be brought in. If something happens with AWA ties, Diamond Dallas Page can be brought in. If Jerry Lawler or Booker T have a match, let Zbyszko or Dusty Rhodes come in and provide color commentary. Getting these faces from the past would add a great nostalgia factor to the WWE Network, as well as really open the doors to so many different options in how to present the programs and different events on the new network.

You are interested in TNA’s “India Project” (Ring Ka King)?

Russell – FICTION: Why would I be interested in TNA’s “India Project” when I’m not even interested in their own product? That’s the $50,000 question right there. I’ve at least read a Ring Ka King, Ring Da Ding, whatever it’s called & it doesn’t interest me one bit. I’d rather watch a golf program on TV & that’s like watching flies doin the “horizontal mambo”, no interest what-so-FREAKIN-ever! Here’s an idea right off the bat… how bout TNA worrying about how to provide better shows for their TNA Impact programs instead of doing an “India Project” that’s going to wither away like a bad fart, before the whole TNA organization withers away with it? Makes sense to me.

Doug – FACT: Look at the talent roster associated with this project by Jeff Jarrett and the TNA powers-that-be. You have Luke Gallows, Nunzio, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Sonjay Dutt, Shawn Daivari and so many other names. TNA snapped up what seems to be every major piece of talent in North America that wasn’t already under contract to the WWE or ROH and have staged a major invasion of the 4th largest nation in the world, India. Maybe it’s 5th? I’m not sure, but it’s big and there’s a large population and money to be made and TNA is going after it. The few reports I’ve read about the TV tapings for this group is that the action has been good and the crowds have been amazing with a level of excitement and heat not seen anywhere since the early 80’s. This is a great move for TNA to grow into a truly international company and expand their fanbase. And I just hope that eventually, we get a chance to see these shows here in the U.S.

***Bonus Question***

You’re excited about the return of David Lee Roth as the frontman for Van Halen in their upcoming tour?

Russell – FACT: David Lee Roth returning to Van Halen as the frontman in their upcoming tour, not to mention putting out a new album that’s been way, way, WWWWAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY overdue?… That makes me pretty damn happy right there! 🙂

Doug – FICTION: While I like the music of Van Halen in their early years, I am definitely more of a Sammy Hagar fan than a fan of David Lee Roth’s. Roth is a showman to be sure, but Hagar is a showman AND a great singer. And that makes a big difference (although both men were better for Van Halen than Gary Cherone, who has an amazing voice, but not much charisma.) This will probably be a fun tour and if any new album comes from it, it’ll be good music. But without Sammy Hagar as the singer and definitely without Michael Anthony playing bass and in the line-up, it’s not Van Halen, at least not in my eyes and given the way that the Van Halen Brothers have treated their former associates, I could really care less.

So we went 8 – 3 this time around. Not too bad. Not too bad at all. But will we ever get that perfect score? Only time will tell so I guess we have to keep on keeping on and see what happens.

And that’s it for this week. Questions, comments, thoughts, dirty jokes and anything else can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Let us know what you think. And if you’d like to be a part of this weekly wackiness, just drop me a line and you too can join Russell and myself in our weekly analysis of the word’s greatest sport. Once again, I’d lke to thank the Clown-Prince of Coolness, Russell Jackson for helping me out and being the most awesome of the awesome. It is very much appreciated.

And I also want to thank Paps and Gary for allowing us to write this stuff and giving both this column and my own personal column, “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News” a home at the UK’s # 1 Wrestling Site, Wrestle-Zone.UK. And most importantly, I want to thank you, the readers, for everything. If you didn’t read this stuff, we wouldn’t have any reason to write it and then our minds would turn into green jello from lack of creative expression. And the world already has enough Kardashian’s. So thank you.

And that’s it for now. I’m Doug and I’ll be back in the next day or so with a new edition of my column, “Tossing Salt”. Be sure to look for it or else I’ll bedazzle all the new sweaters you bought for your pet pug (and he hates those sweaters. He really, really does!) Have a great day and always be a fan. Thank you Russell.



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