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Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: February 4, 2012

February 4, 2012   ·   0 Comments

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
February 4, 2012
Doug Maynard

Happy Two-Days after Groundhog Day. The little beast saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter coming up. And in London, England, we saw an in-ring wrestling appearance by Hulk Hogan at a TNA house show. So that means at least six more months of the “most powerful force in the Universe” running wild on Spike TV on Thursday nights. Lord help us all!

I’m Doug and this is pro wrestling’s most eclectic column (since 2003). I’m not in the mood for chit chat. I’m in the mood to get busy and take care of some bid’ness! Let’s do this…

NEWS… (All news items courtesy of Wrestle-Zone.co.UK)

Brodus Clay was reportedly hesitant about doing his new gimmick at first but “Road Dogg” BG James has been working with him on it. Clay wanted to be a monster heel, like originally planned.

I don’t blame Clay for being a bit heistant about this gimmick. It was interesting to start off with, but the charm is quickly starting to fade away and the stupidity is beginning to show. Plus Brodus misses the crossbody splash nearly as much as he hits it. Okay, he’s not that bad, but he’s sloppy. The best part of the Brodus matches are the beginning and that’s more because of the women (the Funkettes?) than because of Clay.

This new role was great to make an impact, but in the long term, Clay would be better off in the monster heel role. Maybe they can tweak the character and have someone (William Regal perhaps) act as a fly in his ear convincing Brodus to drop the dancing and embrace his dark side. Oh wait, they’re already working that story with Kane and Cena. Ooops! My bad!

If they’re going to make it work and make Clay comfortable with the role of a super-sized “dancing fool”, I guess the Road Dogg is the right man to help him out backstage. After all, James started off as “The Roadie” and he managed to eventually escape that stigma to become a star in his own right. Maybe Brodus can do the same as well. How long though before we get the eventual Rikishi – Brodus dance-off? They can bring in a three-judge panel to judge the moves and grooves of the two men. I would suggest Disco Inferno, The Reverend Slick & PN News. Yo baby, yo baby, yo! Think about it. Good TV!

An angle took place on Friday’s SmackDown in which it was suggested that Natalya had accidentally farted during a backstage confrontation with Aksana and SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. According to both F4WOnline.com and PWInsider.com, it was not a one time occurence as WWE will be continuing the foible going forward with more comedic vignettes.

So Natayla is going to be a “fart-queen”. I guess it only makes sense since the WWE has been crapping all over the Divas and the WWE Universe for years now. Now they’re just making it more obvious than ever. Natayla deserves better though. Give the poot-poot gimmick to Kelly Kelly instead. She’s a ho’. She won’t care!

The Undertaker was reportedly wearing a wig on Monday’s RAW Supershow when he returned to confront Triple H. Taker shaved his head months ago and it hasn’t grown back all the way yet.

But it looked so natural. I wonder if it was one of those “Eva Gabor” wigs that you can order through catalogs? Hmmmmm!

One of the new shows being developed for the upcomingWWE Network will exclusively feature Cruiserweight wrestlers, according to a report by Pwinsider.com. WWE has been scouring the independent scene looking for talents weighting around 200 pounds that will be featured on the new show.

If the WWE is looking for smaller guys who can wrestle, I know of a few right here in NC that can work wonders in that squared circle. Chris Steele, Dylan Kage, Brad Branson & Derk Douglas (BD Productions) and Marty Garner (CHAM-PAIN), just to name a few. It all sounds good, but unfortunately, I know how the WWE gets and while the idea sounds good, will it last for long? Remember the Cruiserweight Division? The last Cruiserweight Champion was Hornswoggle. ‘Nuff said!

The Cruiserweights draw fans and make the shows exciting, but we all know that Vince McMahon likes the big men. He might get the occasional fancy to seeing Rey Mysterio or Sin Cara flying around, but it never seems to last very long. Maybe if responsibility for this show is delegated to HHH or Stephanie or one of the agents (Jamie Noble?) who understands how to make the Cruiserweight Division works, it can be a success and last, but if it’s just a whim of Vinnie-Mac’s, it’ll come and it’ll go and nobody will notice, because that’s how the WWE works.

And now I’ve forgotten my point. Oh yeah, I hope it works, but I won’t get my hopes up. And if WWE is serious, come to North Carolina and check out some shows by American Championship Wrestling (ACW) and Ring Wars Carolina (RWC). If they really want some great talent, that’s the best place to look and start.

Although Bobby Lashley is interested in resuming his professional wrestling career, WWE reportedly “wants no part of him right now.” WWE officials weren’t happy about how he left the company years ago after receiving a large push, not to mention that there are lingering issues with creative head Michael Hayes.

I don’t blame the WWE. Despite not being able to talk very well and being just so-so in the ring, Lashley got the big time push from the company and was even part of the infamous Donald Trump – Vince McMahon feud. The WWE thought that they had a star in the making. And Lashley started to whine and complain. He got a big head and started to make demands that were far exceeding his actual worth to the company. And then, he pulled a “Brock” and took his ball and went home, deciding that he was destined to be a big time MMA / UFC star. How’s that going, Lashley?

The difference between Brock and Lashley is that Brock drew fans, had charisma and could talk / perform in the ring. He also ended up hooking up with Sable, but that’s a story for another day. I miss Sable. She was trashy! Lashley has the look, but not much else. His voice and promo skills make Jack Swagger look like The Rock in comparison and that is NOT a good thing.

If Lashley wants to come back, he needs to work in Japan or Europe and become better in the ring. He needs to get a vocal coach and work on the promo skills. And he’s going to need to kiss a lot of ass and make amends with both Vince and Michael Hayes. He needs to make himself an asset instead of just being a whiney little bitch. Maybe he can do it, but I don’t think so. ‘Nuff said!

People within WWE have been saying for months now that Vince McMahon just hasn’t been acting himself. The same was being said at last night’s RAW in Kansas City. Speculation is that the stress of running WWE, launching the Network and other things are taking its toll on him.

Vince is crazy as bat-shit. It used to be an eccentric, evil genius type of crazy that worked and helped to create and form the largest wrestling, oops – I mean “sports-entertainment” company in the world. But time and age are taking their toll and the brain isn’t quite what it once was. It happens to all of us, but especially someone who gets dropped on their head repeatedly, as Vince has been many times.

Vince needs to give up some of the control and learn to delegate authority, let others take control every so often and to relax and enjoy the fruits of his efforts. That’s what he needs to do. Maybe a good therapist would help. I hear that Dr. Stevie (from TNA) is available. So is Kevin Sullivan. Vince is whacked! ‘Nuff said!

And now, let’s move on. I actually sat down last night and watched Impact Wrestling. Well, actually, I was flipping back and forth between TNA and “The Big Bang Theory” on TBS. I like that show. It makes me laugh. But anyhow, as I watched TNA, I took a few notes about the show and my thoughts / impressions as the show progressed. Want to hear them? Of course you do…

TNA Impact Thoughts…

I liked the whole “big arena” feel of Wembley Stadium. The technical glam of the usual shows wasn’t there, but the large and live crowd added energy and life to the show. It just makes TNA seem more major league and like a truly large and worthy company. They need to get out there on the road more often for the Impact! boradcasts. It really does help the product.

Boby Roode and Bully Ray come to the ring and they play to the crowd. They look really at home and are feeding off the crowd, especially Bully Ray. No Jeff Hardy tonight. Why not tell the real reason – that his probation officers would not let him travel to the UK. Nope, we get the cliche’ promo about putting Jeff through a table. I’m already bored.

Here comes “Cowboy” James Storm. Bubba and Roode have a two-on-one advantage so why not just kick Storm’s ass? Why do they always have to talk? Here comes Sting. He makes a main event for the upcoming “No Way Out” pay per view and says that Storm will face both Roode and Ray in separate matches. Storm seems to have lost his mo-jo as of late. He’s getting in the big matches, but the fire isn’t there. Maybe TNA was right to go with Roode after all? Roode reminds me physically of a younger Scott Hall.

By the way, Hogan is here tonight. I almost forgot to mention that. My bad!

We see Garett Bischoff walking around backstage. Why do we always see people just randomly walking around? Don’t they have a dressing room to hang out in? He tells his secret mystery “trainer” that he’s there. Gee, I wonder who the trainer is? I love a good mystery… brutha!

Samoa Joe and Brutus Magnus face Crimson and Matt Morgan in a goofy match with some sort of convulated stipulations. I don’t care. I like Crimson. He reminds me of a younger John Cena. Morgan is good too. And Joe kills bitches dead! But why would they name a guy “Brutus”? Wasn’t that Popeye’s arch-rival? No, that was Bluto, but they’re close enough. Good match between four big men. Joe and Magnus win and the dark-horse feud of TNA continues.

Eric Bischoff is here and goes out to greet the fans. Love him or hate him, Eric knows how to get the fans riled up and gets great heel heat. It’s kind of sad when the two best “heels” in the wrestling business today, who get the best reactions, are two people who don’t even wrestle (Eric Bischoff and Vickie Guerrero). Eric rambles and Garett comes out and I flip the channel to watch Sheldon, Penny and the rest of the “Big Bang” crowd. I’m getting bored. I think Garett told Eric his trainer is here, brutha!

Austin Aries (the WWE needs to nab this guy) is facing Mark Hoskins. Who? He’s a local boy who tried out for TNA a while back. Good moves by the kid. DAMN!! Sick face-bump off the shooting star press. This dude just F*CKED up! Aries with a brain-buster and a submission for the win. Aries is a fantastic talent. This Hoskins dude looked good until the end. OUCH! That’s a career killer move. Good thing that the UK has socialized medicine. He can get immediate medical treatment… in about three months. Five replays? Really? Really? Really? Really? Really? (See that – five “really’s” for five replays. That’s called sarcasm, folks!)

Who the hell is Eric Bischoff calling in the UK? I’ll bet he has some hellacious roaming charges. Sting is here and Eric needs to stick around. Okay! Whatever!

James Storm fights Robert Roode. A good match, but not what I’d expect out of two people who were best friends but now “hate” each other. Bubba with some foot-grabbing shenanigans (good thing he wasn’t trying to grab Kerry Von Erich’s foot – he’d had a major surprise… lol). Roode wins with a sloppy spear and we get a post-match bookend, aka “Rock Bottom” for Storm on top of the TNA Impact Championship. Here comes Sting for the save. Did you know you can save money on your car insurance by switching to Geico. Just ask the little lizard. He’ll tell you.

Gail Kim fights Tara. The WWE really dropped the ball with these two ladies and it’s good to see them getting some TV time to WRESTLE here at TNA. I still think Tara (Victoria) is total hottie-awesomeness. She’s no Ivory (of course), but she’s still hot. I’d even go straight for her… for at least a couple of hours. I wonder if she had any trouble getting her spider through customs? Madison gets involved and of course, she and Gail collide. Tara wins. She deserves it!

Garett is back out to the ring. Here comes Gunner and Eric. Some more chit-chat and I’m feeling that boredom feeling again. I think we need a big, major star to pop up. Instead, we get Hulk Hogan. The WWE gives us The Undertaker on Monday night. TNA gives us Hogan on Thursday. WWE > TNA… big freakin’ time! Garett and Hogan beat up on Gunner (who deserves better) and Eric flees. I like Garett (he’s HOT!) and I like Gunner (he’s a great talent) and I don’t even mind Eric most of the time, but this storyline is killing me! GROAN! More talking from Garett and Hogan in the back-stage area. I flip over to see more of the Big Bang stuff. Sheldon has a girlfriend! Yay!

We’re back for the main event with James Storm taking on Bully Ray. I’ve heard rumors that Bully Ray is looking to head back to the WWE for one last run when his TNA deal expires. He’s really done a great job and reinvented himself over the past year. Decent match though. Bobby Roode and Sting are both out to hang out at ringside. Sting has a cricket bat. How clever. I’m liking this match though. Roode climbs into the ring with Sting standing right there? Really? Storm wins with the Last Call and the fans go nuts.

And that’s the show. It was a decent show by TNA overall. They didn’t have as many stupid backstage segments and the live crowd was really hot all night, even for the lame-ass Garett – Eric segments. No major complaints here from me. Well, change that. Where was ODB and Eric Young? Probably wouldn’t have let them into the country? Where’s Ric Flair? Probably at the bar. They kept the show focused mainly on two subjects (the Bischoff family drama) and the Storm – Roode – Bully love triangle with two extra matches / stories thrown in (Austin Aries dominating as the X-Division Champ & Tara defeating Gail Kim) as filler. Less is more and it looks as if they (TNA) finally figured it out. Good job!

And that’s it for TNA. Now should I go ahead and post this beast or should I wait around and watch Smackdown first (comes on in less than an hour) and do a Smackdown thoughts segment? Hmmmm? I hate decisions. Let me flip a coin. Heads means that I do the Smackdown recap segment. Tails means that I close this up and call it a day. Are you ready? I said, “Are you ready?”. Then let me quit trying to do a DX rip-off and let the money fly. And we get… “Heads”. So I go watch Smackdown and write about it in a couple of hours. Sounds like a plan. I’ll be back.

Friday Night Smackdown Recap & Review…

We start off with Teddy Long in the ring. Holla playa! How has this man stayed as GM of Smackdown for so long? He announces the participants for the Elimination Chamber for Smackdown. It’ll be Daniel Bryan, Cody, Wade Barrett, Big Show, Mark Henry and young Randall K. Orton. Where is Christian? I scream conspiracy! Mark Henry comes out and doesn’t like the announcement. He wants Daniel Bryan and the World title and I agree. They haven’t had a legitimate one-on-one match yet for the gold. Teddy gets brave and Henry takes offense and flips Teddy’s tie. And Teddy suspends him. What the …??

I’ve seen CM Punk give Johnny Ace the GTS on RAW just a few weeks ago and he wasn’t suspended. I’ve seen every GM in WWE history, from William Regal to Stephanie McMahon to Eric Bischoff to Mike Adamle take physical shots. Hell, even Linda McMahon took a stunner from Steve Austin and a tombstone from Kane. But Henry gets indefinitely suspended for flipping Teddy’s tie? STUPID!!

Anyhow, Mark decides that if he’s being suspended, he may as well earn it and threatens Teddy. Sheamus makes the save and Mark eats a boot. I understand that Mark has been working injured and needs some time off if he’s going to make it back in time for Wrestlemania, but this whole “suspension” crap is idiotic, to say the least. So anyhow, Mark heads to the back and here comes Cody Rhodes. Cody brags about the Rumble and Sheamus has his new BFF make a match between himself and young Cody. What happened to the potential Goldust feud? A pretty good match happens and we see Shemaus pick up the win.

Randy Orton versus Wade Barrett in a No Dq match for later. This feud is getting old. I’d love to see Randy work out a program with Miz at some point. That could be cool. And as for Wade, a program with him versus Batista would be fun to see. They’re both so physically similar, they could be twins. It’d be cool to watch them wrestle.

Back on the show, we’re ready for the next match. Young Cody is still at ringside as Justin Gabriel comes down for his match against Hunico. Justin is a sexy beast! Cody jumps Justin and then we see Hunico and Comacho join in the fun. Vintage beat-down! And here comes The Great Khali for the save. They edited a match (Brodus Clay versus Heath Slater) off the show tonight, yet we still get a big, huge, talentless slug to watch. I’d rather watch Brodus. Khali comes down and does that ugly, brutal, fake-chop to the head to everyone and save Justin’s life. I wish I was watching the “Big Bang Theory” now. I think that’s what I’ll call the Khali chop from now on. It’s the “Big Bang Chop”. Yeah, that’ll work.

Drew McIntyre is still begging Teddy to keep his job. Santino is here and he has a new tag team partner in Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Hoooooooo!! (And Kelly Kelly asks, “Are you calling me?”) Santino and Hacksaw will fight Epico and Primo later. Aksana comes in to talk dirty to Teddy and comments on a big piece of wood. LAME! Hacksaw reclaims his wood and I need to go refill my glass of Tab. Yes, I’m drinking Tab. I can’t help it. I like it. Okay, that’s better.

Santino and Hacksaw wrestle Epico and Primo. This is the first time I’ve seen Hacksaw wrestle since that disaster of a pay per view, AWE Night Of Legends a few months ago. He’s looking worse. Hacksaw needs to get out of the ring and quit wrestling. The skin on his arms are starting to flap and I keep hearing the words, “Batman” in my head. Santino does the split. OUCH! Rosa does the distraction and prevents Santino’s “Cobra” from striking. The champs win. I wish they’d go ahead and bring Carlito back to be a three-man “Freebird” style team with his brother and cousin. That would be… “COOL”.

Michael Cole is going to interview Daniel Bryan. This should be fun. Cole admits he’s wrong and Bryan still blows him off. Daniel gets on the mic and manages to get the heat on himself turned way up by making Vegans into the most hated persons on the planet. Just my own opinion, but people who don’t eat meat just ain’t right. I love to eat a big piece of meat every chance I get. Damn, that just doesn’t sound right, does it? You know what I mean. Geez!

So Bryan goes on and on about the benefits of the Vegan lifestyle and why he’s a role model. I’m loving this subtle character change for the World Champion. And then he goes on to change the subject to the Elimination Chamber and how its totally unfair (true) and how he especially shouldn’t have to defend the title against Big Show. Here comes Big Show and we get some fun back and forth before Daniel eats a choke slam after being called (repeatedly) a pompous arrogant little ass! So much for PG, right?

A.J. comes to the ring to prevent Big Show from delivering the W.M.D.knock-out punch. Bryan flees and leaves with A.J., promising her that Big Show will never hurt her again.

I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again right now. A.J. is the modern day Robin Green. Remember her? She was a young, naive fan who fell in love with Rick Steiner. She was sweet, innocent and pure as a new fallen snow. And then she started to change and morph and it wasn’t long before Robin Green had a new name… Woman! And we all know what she (Woman) accomplished in the wrestling business. A.J. is so sweet and angelic right now, but she’s a female and way down deep, all women have that inner-bitch inside waiting to get out. And before I get in trouble for being sexist, I’ll have to add that all men have a major ass-clown buried inside them as well. I’m not sexist – I’m honest. Anyhow, everyone thinks that Daniel Bryan is manipulating A.J., but watch and learn. A.J. will end up being the one doing the manipulating. She’s the evil one. She’s the “dark power” behind Bryan’s success. Watch and see.

We see Beth and Natayla in the back and great, another “Natayla cuts the cheese” moment. Crap!! And I honestly mean that. Santino does the pukey-puke routine. And then it’s on to a tag team match with Beth and Natayla versus Aksana and Tamina. Beth dominates and wins easily. Natayla looks PO’ed and decides to make the Aksana-Barbie cry. Tamina plays “Super-Fly”. She’s cool! I guess we’re going to see the eventual end of Beth & Natayla as a team and Snuka’s little girl with a big push. Works for me. But Natayla still deserves better.

A long, long, long video about John Cena and how he can do anything and everything and has no weaknesses except for kryptonite… and that’s only when it’s mixed with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Matt Striker talks to Randy Orton who whines and complains about Barrett’s bragging. When Barrett does it, it’s whining, but when Randy does it, it’s okay. Randy also says that he’ll get his 10th World title at the Elimination Chamber, which means he’s not winning.

We get the main event of a No DQ match with Randy Orton taking on Wade Barrett. And guess what? I fell asleep during the ring introductions and commericals. Told you that I was getting bored. I woke up in time to watch Wade eat an RKO, followed by a sick RKO on the steel chair and Randy get the win. I guess it was a good match, but I can’t say for sure. We see Teddy Long (What? Has this turned into the Teddy Long show?) and Teddy tells Daniel Bryan that he’ll face Randy Orton next week. Bryan tells A.J. to be there with him next week and then we get to see Daniel act like a goof as he heads down to the ringside to be excited like he’s just won the lottery or something. Funny spot to end the show.

And a great place to end this column as well because I’m tired and want to go to bed. I should have stopped at the Impact! review and left it at that, but I decided to do Smackdown too. The things I do for you, my readers. But it’s all good and you guys and gals are well worth it.

Comments and questions can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Go check out my blogsite at www.tsfiction.blogspot.com. And I guess that’s all. Never forget, wrestling is real – it’s life that’s fake! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the flip side.



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