Letter To The Editor – July 21, 2014

Looking at the paper, I see that again Scotland County again has the highest unemployment rate in the state again at 12.7%. Well, I know where a hundred-plus of those jobs vanished to, thanks to District Attorney Kristy Newton and her task force, who demanded that over twenty-one businesses shut down their doors and close due to being illegal.

They claim this, but it seems that they don’t have the fortitude or confidence to back up their demands and claims about the legality of internet sweepstakes in a court room. It’s been almost three weeks now since they raided Robert Outlaw’s business and confiscated the software. So where are the charges? When will Robert and the rest of the sweepstakes owners get their day in court?

If it’s so illegal and bad for everyone, why won’t the District Attorney allow a judge to weigh in and make a call? This newspaper called the Task Force out on their inaction almost two weeks ago and we’re still waiting for a public response.

In the meantime, people who had jobs working at the Sweepstakes are now out of work and struggling to get by and pay their bills. Children are going hungry. Dozens of buildings are sitting empty. And why? Because the District Attorney made a proclamation that she doesn’t seem willing to put up to the test of our legal system and defend in front of a judge.

The DA needs to either put up and be willing to defend her interpretation of the sweepstakes law in court or else shut up, return the equipment they confiscated and issue a public apology so we can go back to our Sweepstakes and business as usual.

Thank you.

-Douglas Maynard

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: July 18, 2014

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
July 18, 2014
Doug Maynard
 
Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I’m Doug and welcome back to professional wrestling’s most eclectic column, off and on since 2002.  Yeah, I was pulling a “Punk”, aka on sabbatical. Actually, I was managing an Internet Sweepstakes parlor here in my hometown of Laurinburg, NC until two weeks ago and then we were closed down by the police-state tactics of our local District Attorney, Miss Kristy and her “Task Force”.  And since then, just lots and lots of stupidity, craziness and living in denial.  But that’s now what or why I’m here now.  It’s time to forget about the reality and move into the world of sports-entertainment, aka the world’s greatest sport, professional wrestling.  And I have quite a bit to hit upon so I guess I should can the chit-chat and get to steppin’, right?  Right.  
 
We’ve got a pay-per view coming up on Sunday night called WWE Battleground 2014.  So that means I’ll be doing that “shades of Sister Cleo” thing we call predictions (complete with a fake Jamacian accent if you’d like!)  I’ve also got that “Fact or Fiction” thing to do, as well as a few questions.  So much to do and so little time.  Let’s start off by clearing the head a bit with that thing we call…
 
Thoughts…
 
I recently watched, on the Network of course, on their Countdown series, “The Magnificent Managers”.  I’ve always been a big fan of the men and women who stand outside that ring and “guide their clients to greatness”.  It’s something that the WWE and professional wrestling in general has only recently started to bring back with guys like Zeb Colter. Lana and… well, I guess that’s it unless you want to count El Torito or the random “tag team partner at ringside” deal.  But anyhow, the WWE made their list of who they consider to be the “Top 10 Managers” of all time.  Their list, in order from 10 to 1 was:  Sherri Martel, JJ Dillon, Freddie Blassie, Mr. Fugi, Captain Lou Albano, Miss Elizabeth, Jimmy Hart, Paul Heyman, Paul Bearer and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
 
Look at that list?  While I have no objection to Bobby Heenan as the top guy… and I agree that Paul Heyman belongs near the top as well, but the rest?  Oh vey!  I may do a whole column at some point explaining why the WWE’s list is wrong (and why mine is right), but for now, I’m just going to give my list of who I personally feel are the Top Ten Wrestling Managers of all time.  So here we go.  In order, from 10 to 1, my list would be…
 
10.  Sir Oliver Humperdink / “Number One” Paul Jones (tied).  9. “Classy” Freddie Blassie.  8. “Sensational” Sherri Martel.  7. “Woman” / Jimmy Hart (tied). 6. Captain Lou Albano.  5. Gary Hart. 4. Paul Heyman.  3. James J. Dillon. 2. Jim Cornette.  1. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.  
 
Speaking of managers, I’d love to see the newly retired Santino Marella maybe move into a managerial role.  I know he’s primarily a comedy character, but it’d be interesting and fun to see him work a serious role and mentor a couple of the guys who need that little extra something and push.  Have him announce his new role as a manager and coming out with someone like Heath Slater or Justin Gabriel. No one takes them serious at first, but then we see Santino with cheap shots and taking advantage of opponents wrestling his guys.  It would be different and could work to add interest to the product. At least I think it would work.
 
It was great to see Fit Finlay and Jamie Noble out a couple of weeks ago on RAW as the agents who broke up the fight with Kane versus Roman Reigns. It was even better to see them get physical with Reigns and Jamie get swatted away, while Finlay ate a spear. Maybe it’s crazy, but if I was booking RAW for, I’d have a special “handicap match” by order of The Authority.  Let Roman Reigns face the two men he dared to get physical with a few weeks ago.  Roman versus Fit Finlay and Jamie Noble.  Noble can still go with the best of them as he proved last year by stepping up and facing Daniel Bryan at several house shows.  And the toughness of Finlay is legendary.  It’d make for a fun match, give two legends a chance to strut their stuff, and be just another step in putting Reigns over as one tough SOB.  It’s just a suggestion.
 
I finally took a moment and started watching the “JBL & Cole” show on YouTube.  It is freakin’ hilarious.  Currently, the main plot, if you want to call it that, centers around JBL and Zeb Colter and their efforts to catch “the bunny”.  Plus Zack Ryder, Alicia Fox, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Bad News Barrett and Heath Slater as you’ve never seen him before.  If these guys were allowed to show 1/5 this much of their personalities on RAW and Smackdown that they do on this show, they’d all be more over than Cena, Orton and Bray Wyatt combined.  It is that damn good. The WWE needs to move this show to the Network and most importantly, keep their creative teams as far away from this show as possible. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it and this show is probably one of the best things WWE has going today.  Just saying.  Clem Layfield is now one of my biggest heroes.
 
Looking at the calendar, it looks as if the RAW after SummerSlam will be taking place in Las Vegas, NV.  As soon as I saw that, I realized that there are two residents of Vegas that definitely need to pop up and do a cameo or spot on RAW that night.  One is The Godfather.  It’s not RAW in Vegas unless you have the Godfather and his “Ho’ Train!”.  After all, I know I ain’t the only one and pimping ain’t easy.  The other Vegas resident? How about Glen Gilberti, aka The Disco Inferno.  Even if it’s just a cameo as part of Adam Rose’s group, it needs to be done.  And with the “Best of WCW Monday Nitro” now on The Network, it’d be a great way to plug the show and the Network.  After all, Disco was with WCW from the beginning to the end.  And we all know that it’s your duty to shake your booty, right?  Besides, it’d be fun.
 
I think it’s time to move on.  Let’s answer some questions.
 
Questions…
 
Mike Martin: I’ll probably regret asking this, but here it goes because I’m bored. If Ric Flair returned to WWE programming with a plan to manage a new Four Horseman stable, who would be your dream four members? Have to be current WWE roster members, no NXT or anything else. But we can pretend current injuries are not an issue. I say Barrett, Ambrose, Sheamus, and Miz.
 
Using only current WWE Superstars makes it difficult. The Horsemen are the elite, the best of the best and it’s hard to find four current superstars who, in my eyes, would have the credibility, the technique, the “it” to be Horseman material.  But who do I think would make a good grouping for Ric to manage and work with in a modern version of wrestling’s greatest clique?  How about Dean Ambrose as the “Enforcer” of the group.  The technician would be Cesaro.  The power guy and veteran of the group would be Mark Henry.  And to round things out, I’d use Curtis Axel as the fourth guy.  And just for the hell of it, if I could go outside the current WWE roster and have Flair build a group with four guys who are not currently on the roster, I’d have him bring back Drew McIntyre, “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters, Carlito and (current NWA World Champion) Rob Conway.  That grouping would be awesome and dominate the WWE.
 
Stu Cooper:  If you could make your own legends house cast, what legends would you use? (living)
 
They have to be living?  Damn, I guess that rules out using the ECW Zombie.  As of right this moment, I would go with Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, Disco Inferno, Diamond Dallas Page, Juventud Guerrera, Vader, Kevin Sullivan and Ron Simmons.  Subject to change, of course.  And Ashley would have to go, to be replaced by a female wrestling legend. I’d pick either Lisa “Ivory” Moretti or Baby Doll for that role.
 
Dominic Coleman-Briggs:  What wrestler or wrestlers would you like to sit and watch wrestling with and ask them about things ?
 
Harley Race, Ole Anderson, Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman (and make sure we have a camera recording every single second of it… lol).  Hey’ I’ve got an idea. How about those four, along with Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Roddy Piper for the cast of Legends’ House.  Now THAT would be a show worth watching.
 
Now let’s move on and do that Truth or Dar… I mean “Fact or Fiction” thing.
 
Wrestling Fact Or Fiction
 
And as usual when I do this, the questions come from my long time, close, personal friends at 411mania.com/wrestling.  And the answers all come from me (and the voices in my head.  Randy Orton isn’t the only one who gets to claim that trick… lol.
 
1. You are excited for Sunday’s WWE Battleground PPV.
 
FACT:  It’s pretty much a stacked show from top to bottom with something for everyone. I think it’s going to be one of the better ones, especially for what should be a B-show.  The talent is there and I’m looking forward to watching and see how it all goes.
 
2. TNA dropping the Willow character and going back to Jeff Hardy was a wise move.
 
FACT:  No one cared about “Willow” and it seemed to confuse people more than anything else.  Jeff Hardy should wrestle as Jeff Hardy and that’s that bottom line on that.
 
3. Despite his pedigree as a great talent thus far in his career, KENTA will not find success in the WWE.
 
FICTION:  I’ve watched some videos of Kenta in action and if they use him correctly, he has the potential to be big.  I think HHH has noted the mistakes made in the past with stars like Taijari and Kenzo Suzuki and will take care to make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated here.
 
4. Now that they officially have a debut date on the El Rey Network, (October 8th) you are now excited about the AAA Lucha: Uprising project.
 
FICTION:  Not really. I’m happy for them and all of that, but I rarely have the time to watch wrestling now and Lucha, while some folks may like it, has never been one of my favorite styles of wrestling.
 
5. You do not care that the Big Show is about to return to WWE TV.
 
FACT:  He has come and gone so often that it’s not a big deal anymore. He shows up. He leaves. He knocks someone out.  He cries.  Who cares?
 
6. Once their current PPV deal is over, TNA would be better off not signing a new deal and focusing on becoming a TV only product.
 
FICTION:  So long as they are making money on the pay-per-views and can stay in the black, they need to keep doing what they’re doing.  Don’t throw away sources of revenue.  If it changes and they start losing money on the deal, then they should change and consider dropping the events, but only then.
 
7. The pairing of Paul Heyman and Cesaro has been a bust.
 
FACT:  I love Paul Heyman and Cesaro is one of my favorite guys to watch, but the combination and team just doesn’t seem to really click.  I think Cesaro is the type of wrestler that would work better with a manager in his corner, but it just doesn’t look like Heyman is the right one.
 
8. Josh Matthews would be a positive addition to the TNA announce team.
 
FACT:  Josh is a good announcer and would definitely help improve the TNA product.  Although he’s a smart guy and knows the product, I can’t stand listening to Mike Tenay.  Let’s try the team of Josh and Taz for a while and Mike can move on to a role as a producer and only be used for the big events.  Even a three-man team with Tenay, Taz and Josh would be far better than what they have now.
 
And now, time to get funky like a monkey and do that prediction thing.  Let’s do it.
 
WWE Battleground 2014 – Prediction Time…
 
Fatal 4-Way – WWE World Championship
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane
 
So we already know that Cena and Brock is penciled in for SummerSlam.  Guess that ruins the fun, right?  But I’m thinking we get a swerve here, especially since John Cena is scheduled to miss quite a few Monday night tapings over the next few weeks due to movie obligations.  So let’s look at the men involved.  I don’t think Cena will retain.  We know it’s not going to be Kane.  So that leaves Reigns and Randy.  If I was booking, I’d go ahead and make that move and put Reigns with the gold.  I’d pull a “Goldberg” and make him Champion.  It’s the right time to just do it.  But since this is the WWE and they probably figure that they can stretch it out and make the fans wait (we see how well that went with Daniel Bryan, right?), I don’t think they have the balls to do it yet.  So go with tried and true and Randy Orton walks out with the belt. Bleh!
 
Winner and NEW WWE World Champion:  Randy Orton
 
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
 
This is going to be brutal, stiff and possibly steal the show.  Look for Seth to bail towards the end of the match and run for the hills, thus allowing this to continue for a while longer.  I’ll say that Ambrose wins by count-out and thus, we get to move on to the next chapter, a Lumberjack match on RAW.
 
Winner (by count-out) – Dean Ambrose
 
Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal (Bad News Barrett will be in attendance to hand over the title)
Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow, The Great Khali, Rob Van Dam, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Alberto Del Rio, Bo Dallas, Sheamus, Fandango, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, The Miz, Adam Rose, Diego, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Heath Slater, Titus O’Neil  
 
Most of these guys are just filler and we all know this. While I’d love to see a true upset and see Zack Ryder or Heath Slater or even Bo Dallas win the title, it’s not going to happen. I think the strongest men with a chance are Sheamus, Cesaro, Miz or Dolph.  Sheamus already has the U.S. title and even though there has been talk of unifying the belts, I don’t think it’s going to happen here yet. Cesaro is in a sort of limbo due to his relationship with Paul Heyman, so I don’t think the title will go there.  Dolph looks good, but it’s Dolph and the WWE seems to hate to do anything with him.  So I’ll go with Mr. Hollywood. Yeah, why the hell not.  By the way, where is Mark Henry?
 
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion:  The Miz
 
WWE Divas Championship
AJ Lee vs. Paige
 
The new friends go at it for the WWE Divas Championship.  AJ is not going to lose this soon.  A good match and AJ retains.
 
Winner and STILL Champion:  AJ Lee
 
Two Out Of Three Falls – WWE Tag Team Championship
The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family 
 
I love the chemistry with these teams and the matches they’ve had thus far have really turned me into Uso fans.  Hard to believe, right?  I think it’s time to bring some gold home to the Wyatt family though.  So let’s say that the Wyatt’s win the first fall by DQ, the Usos win the second fall by pin and in the third and final fall, Harper scores the pin on Jey.
 
Winners and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions:  The Wyatt Family
 
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
 
It’s too soon to have a conclusive winner or loser.  Bray loses and he looks weak.  Jericho wins and the feud is over as quickly as it started.  Let’s go for the double-disqualification.  Works for me.
 
No Contest – Double Disqualification
 
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
 
A few days ago, I would have been saying that Rusev would end up getting the nod, but since the airliner was shot down yesterday in Europe and there is possible Russian involvement, that has all changed. I think Vince and the WWE have learned from the Muhammad Hassan incident a few years ago.  I think the push for Rusev and Lana will either be ended or else they’ll tone down the whole Putin connection.  The WWE doesn’t really have a choice.  So who wins?  Jack Swagger of course. And now, let’s all put our hands on our chest and speak in a loud, clear voice.  WE THE PEOPLE!
 
Winner:  Jack Swagger
 
Kick-Off Show
Cameron vs. Naomi 
 
And this is the match that starts it all.  The one with talent versus the pretty one.  And nobody cares.  I sure don’t.  Hard to believe that Brodus Clay lost his gimmick to these two. Someone better call his mama.  I’ll go for Naomi and hope that this is over quickly.
 
Winner:  Naomi
 
And there you go – my predictions for Battleground 2014. And with that, I guess I’m going to close this bad-boy up and call it a day. Thank you for reading.  Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com.  Hopefully, I’ll be back soon with more wrestling stuff and maybe, if things go as planned, a recap of a live wrestling event taking place tomorrow night in McColl, SC. Will have to wait and see, but I’m hoping that things will work out and I’m able to do that.  
 
And now, I’m out of here. I’m Doug and I’ll see you on the flip side.  As the great Baron Von Raschke used to say, “dat’ is all de’ people need to know!”.  Later gators!
 
Ubuntu!

Tossing Salt RAW Recap – June 10, 2014

Tossing Salt RAW Recap
June 10, 2014
Doug Maynard

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to watch a full episode of RAW (or find the time to do any serious writing), but tonight, that all changes. It’s the Tossing Salt “Rambling As I Watch The Show” RAW recap. It’s not just your Mom and Dad’s recap of the longest prime time weekly episodic television series. I’ll recap the show as it goes along, but anything… and I do mean ANYTHING goes. I’m Doug (and you’re not!). Let’s do this…

Starting with the Authority. That means lots of talking. They’re in Minnesota. I wonder if Baron Von Raschke is anywhere in the building. Dat’ is all de’ people need to know! I liked the Baron. I think black is Stephanie’s favorite color. She is almost always wearing it.

Steph is gloating and she plays the “bitch-heel” so well. They have the doctor on video tape. I would rather see Dr. Stevie come out. “I’ll show you! “You’ll see!” They’ve stripped Bryan of the WWE World Championship. NO! NO! NO! (but I actually agree with them – go figure!) I like Steph’s slight little digs at Brie. Brie versus Steph has to happen at some point.

The title is up for grabs at the Money In The Bank ladder match. People will qualify for the match. Del Rio and Randy Orton are already in. I want to see Sting… and The Miz… and The Disco Inferno. Yes, I’m still hoping! And then they move on to The Shield. Adapt or Perish. Seth Rollins adapted and we’re seeing video from last week where he laid the proverbial smackdown on partners Reigns and Ambrose. Reminds me of when Double A turned on Dustin Rhodes. Good memories. Go find it on The Network. HHH makes a match. It’s Ambrose and Reigns versus The Wyatt Family in a six-man tag match. The Shield has to find a third man to be their partner. Okay, blah, blah, blah. I’m getting bored and restless now. HHH has talked too long – time for some action. It’s Sheamus versus Barrett next to quality for the MITB match. Should be good, but I was hoping for Hurricane Helms and Mr. T. Mr. T loves his mama. But the U.S. Champion and the Intercontinental Champion? That’ll work too.

I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. It took six months, but the BNB character is really catching on with the fans. Barrett is a heel, but the fans love to play sing-a-long with Barrett. Sheamus needs to turn heel because he’s boring as a face. He’s become a generic jar of mayo. Just saying. I love the thing that Barrett does with the cape / cloak. He reminds me of “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters. I wish Chris was back in the WWE. He will be eventually, but I just hope it’s sooner rather than later. Carlito too.
I like the way these two work stiff and lay the punches in. Barrett especially, but Sheamus too would have been really good back in the old-school territory days. They have that look and style that would have gone over really well back then. Barrett versus Blackjack Mulligan for example… mat classic magic.

Barrett tried an elbow off the second rope. Randy Savage is watching and shaking his head in shame. That did NOT look good. Stick with the brawling fellas. Big guys like these should not be leaving the mat very often and trying the flying stuff. Even though Larry Zbyszko would disagree, stick with the power moves and the clotheslines. Sheamus kicked out of “Wasteland”? Damn! Why does reversing the elbow pad make it more dangerous and effective for Barrett? I guess we’ll never know. Sheamus with the Brogue Kick from nowhere to get the win. A good match that had Sheamus snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Well done, Mr. Mayo. Well done!

The Wyatts are here and they talk about urges. I know all about urges. They talk about The Shield. Bray says that he’s “reborn” and the Shield will “burn” for their urges. He didn’t sing tonight. I’m a sad panda now. Good to see Harper talking sometimes now. He’s going to be a big break-out star. The next Bruiser Brody, in a modern day, PC, 2014 version of course. The man has skills. Rowan too, but he hasn’t been featured or given the chance quite as often. Bray will be big. Harper will be big. Rowan will be big. It’s just a matter of when and where and against who. Hey WWE, they’re here!

It’s Lana.I wish it was Nanitchka. She’s got Stacy Keibler legs. I love these Putin versus Obama comparisons. I just wonder if her comments towards our “leader”, calling him a “girly-man”, are not just Vince and Linda McMahon’s (both confirmed Republicans) way of taking shots at Obama? Hmmmmm. Lana gets all political and the 1980′s call. They want their gimmick back. This would be a great angle for Nikolai Volkoff or even Ivan Koloff to make a cameo shot. Rusev is big, but the gimmick is just too gimmicky for me. Just saying.

Woo Woo Woo! You know it! It’s a Zack Ryder appearance. I’m happy! Too bad he’s going to get squashed! He didn’t even get an introduction. My, how the mighty have fallen. Zack didn’t even get a single… okay, he got a few punches and some knees in as offense. And then, just like that, it’s over. That just sucks! Doesn’t matter though. We still love ya, Zack. Woo Woo Woo – you know it! Where is Lex Luger and the “American Express” when you need them.

Michael Cole is talking to Seth Rollins later tonight. And the Network – it’s then, now and forever… just like lovin’ from Sunny. That stuff NEVER goes away. (I’m joking – don’t sue me!) I wonder is she’s adopted any babies or had any altercations in a parking lot lately? We’ve got Rybaxel in the house and they’re taking on Goldust and R-Truth. What’s up! Cody is picking partners for his brother and watching from the back. How about Barry Windham or Arn Anderson as Goldy’s partner? They worked so well together in the past. I think Booker T might be available. Now can you dig that, SUCKA!

Maybe it’s just me, but they (Rybaxel and Goldust) seem to be moving in second or third gear tonight. Rybaxel wins and the match never even seemed to get moving or go anywhere. We have Layla in the back. She’s talking junk. It’s Summer Rae time and she give Layla a “make-over” and a thrashing of sorts. I’m not going to say what the final image of Layla reminds me of, but if you look at any cheezy XXX movie involving multiple men and one woman, I think you’ve seen that image before. Disgusting!! Poor Layla. I guess she’s the new Vickie. EXCUSE ME!

It’s time for 3MB and they’re talking. Well, not for long. Here comes The Shield, or at least 2/3 of them. Reigns and Ambrose are coming down and they’re not happy. 3MB attack. Where is Hornswoggle. Ambrose is on fire and Drew even looked good for a second. Didn’t last long though. Heath is the smart one – never thought I’d be saying that. Reigns with a spear. Thank you for coming, Heath. First it was ass-whooping and now it’s promo time. Ambrose talks about how the Shield dominated and was untouchable, but they had a cancer named Seth Rollins. Ambrose gets graphic in his description of what he wants to do to Rollins. Seth is watching in the back and doesn’t look impressed. Reigns looks as if he enjoyed Ambrose’s promo a bit. Nice smile. I just realized that Seth is wearing a suit. I guess that’s part of the adapt routine. Reigns is coming after Triple H and they’re going to have their own game of “Thrones”. Okay, nice cultural reference there. Good promo by The Shield. Ambrose still reminds me of a younger Roddy Piper. Later tonight, Seth talks and The Shield fights The Wyatt Family.

Legends’ House – the season finale is this week. I have to admit it. I’m hooked and I hope that the next few seasons are just as good. But get rid of Ashley. Use a woman wrestler / Diva legend instead. I say Ivory, but I’d settle for Lita, Molly, Jazz, Madusa, Jacqueline, etc. too…

Here come the Usos. I think they need to have a dance-off against Too Cool. They’re against Fandango and his partner. Layla looks rough and she’s not really in a dancing mood. I wonder why? Heh! Heh! And check out Damien Sandow with his crazy dancing routine. He’s doing this way too well. He’s going to be doing this again… and again… and again. I can see Ron Simmons now. “DAMN!”. Did JBL really do a Rikki Starr reference? Cool Beans! Sandow is the next Santino… poor guy! “Let’s go Sandow” chant. I love these crowds! The Usos win the match, but Sandow stole the show. Layla checks on Fandango outside the ring. Forget what I said earlier. I want a dance-off with Too Cool taking on Fandango and Sandow. With Ernest Miller, Alex Wright and Rico as the judges. Disco Inferno as the MC and Three Count as themselves… just because.

Popeye’s Fried Chicken is the new 1-800-Dial-ATT of 2014 wrestling programs. It’s Xavier Woods taking on Bo Dallas. I guess Woods will learn to “Bo-lieve!” Hard to believe that he and Bray Wyatt are brothers. I’ve also heard that his daddy has connections with the IRS and that his grandpa was a bad-ass cowboy. Bo tells Daniel Bryan that he can come back stronger than ever… if he just “Bo-lieves!” You know what would make a great tag team? Bo and Ted DiBiase Jr. It just seems like a natural combination. I hate to say it (no, I don’t), but Woods sucks! Bo Dallas wins. Bo-lieve in the Bo! I wonder how Bo would look with a black cowboy hat and a black glove on his hand? RVD versus Cesaro is coming up in a qualifying match for the MITB. I think I’ll go for the Paul Heyman guy. I like swingers.

Just a quick thought here. They need to have two Money-In-The-Bank matches. One to determine the new WWE World Champion and one to be more traditional and give someone that contract where they can cash in at any time over the next year. Two matches with two big winners. Of course, that would take the top ten – fourteen guys out of the running for matches and the rest of the card would have to be filled up with undercard talent and people who don’t usually get PPV matches or TV time. What a shame that would be… NOT! Give them a chance to show that they’re still here and to attempt to steal the show. I think it would prove to be even a better show that way and an event to be remembered, better than the average pay-per-view. These guys are on the payroll and are “WWE Superstars”. Let them show the world why. Just saying. Now, back to the show.

It’s Paul Heyman. Did you know that his client, Brock Lesnar, broke the Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania XXX? I love it when he does this. Paul puts over Brock big time. Is this foreshadowing? Paul teases a Brock return and time for a Wrestlemania Victory party. Great swerve as he builds up Brock and introduces Cesaro. Paul Heyman is de’ man! It’s Cesaro versus RVD for a shot at MITB. I like this match, but they’ve done it far too many times recently. Should have switched it up with the match earlier and had RVD versus Sheamus and Barrett versus Cesaro. That would be more interesting to me and doesn’t Barrett owe Cesaro and Heyman a reciept for walking out on him a few weeks ago? Just saying… I love how Cesaro just seems to pull those forearm uppercuts from out of nowhere. This guy is going to be a big time star for a long, long time. Cesaro with the win. He’s moving on. So if it comes down to Cesaro or Brock at the MITB ladder match – who will Heyman choose?

Randy Orton is tweeting. He’s on vacation. Nice pic of Randy laying out in the sun. He’s an ass, but damn if he ain’t a sexy man! HHH predicts the end of The Shield after the handicap match against The Wyatts tonight. Reigns called Rollins scum and Ambrose was fired up as well. Seth Rollins is talking to Michael Cole next. I guess “Piper’s Pit” wasn’t available. Or “The Cutting Edge”. Or “The Peep Show”. Or “Miz TV”. How about “A Flair For The Gold”. Ric got approved by the doctors and he’ll be back soon. Wooooooooooo! And thus, Michael Cole as the interviewer it is. Where oh where is Mean Gene when you need him?

Michael Cole talks to Seth Rollins. Seth is in a suit. So long identity and hello Mr. Cookie Cutter Generic Authority Dude. Seth says there is no controversy. Last week wasn’t a big deal. He was doing what was best for his business. He created The Shield and he put them together. He calls Ambrose a lunatic. Reigns is the “golden boy”, but without someone to control his fires, he’s worthless. Rollins takes credit for all of The Shield’s success. Rollins says that he took The Shield to the top. They beat Evolution and he learned something. To be a success, you have to evolve and adapt and that’s what he did. The fans say he “sold out”, but he says he’s “bought in” to the evolution of Seth Rollins. In his eyes, the Shield wasn’t brothers, but instead business partners. He just severed the business relationship. He said “Believe in The Shield”, but he means “believe in Seth Rollins”. Rollins says that he heard what Ambrose said earlier and calls out The Shield. Here comes Ambrose and Reigns. And The Wyatts are in the ring. Harper and Rowan go after Reigns and Ambrose. Bray is here too. It’s a Wyatt riot! And here comes John Cena for the save. The Wyatts flee and I guess Cena is going to be The Shield’s partner tonight. Bleh to that! Makes sense, but I’d rather have seen someone else.. anyone else. How about Diamond Dallas Page? It worked for WCW in 1997… lol.

And look. It’s Paige. She’s so short. I miss AJ Lee. Paige reminds me of Daphney. Alicia Fox is here and she has Aksana with her. Are they a new team? Alicia is really and truly a fox! Alicia is a screamer. Imagine that. I wonder if CM Punk knows? I’ll bet he does. I’m getting bored here. This match is going too longI’d love to see Kharma come storm the ring and trash everyone. Or Lisa Marie Varon, aka Victoria. That’s what the WWE Divas Division needs. They need Victoria. Paige wins with the submission move and Alicia taps. I’m glad that’s over with. So will Alicia throw a tantrum? Aksana checks out her partner and helps “revive” her. And Alicia is up and here we go. Slap-happy and an Aksana beatdown. She steals water and popcorn from a fan and pours it all over Aksana. FOOD FIGHT! Alicia force-feeds some popcorn to Aksana and then smiles that crazy-chick smile. That’s just strange.

Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter didn’t even get an intro. That’s just wrong. And Santino, who I’m sure is illegal, does. What the… ? WE THE PEOPLE! A Funaki reference. Go JBL! Yay! This match shouldn’t take long. Zeb is slapping some sense into Swagger and now I guess it’s time for Santino to pay. Yep, I was right. Swagger killed the cobra! Short and sweet, just as it should be. WE THE PEOPLE! Is this show over yet? So far, it’s been okay, but it’s starting to drag. Three hours is a long, long time.

Goldust is in the back and feeling bad. It’s Cody and he’s got some ideas for a new partner. Cody drops all sorts of hints and I’m thinking Ted DiBiase, who just happened to be Cody’s former partner in Legacy. Or Chris Masters. Who would work better with a star the magnitude of Goldust than a “Masterpiece”. Those are my guesses. HHH and Steph are in the back. Steph is getting peeved at John Cena. It’s Vickie Guerrero and she’s got some champagne. She’s kissing up because there is no more Brad Maddox or Daniel Bryan. She sneezes and spills champagne. Steph tells her to “get out!”.

It’s main event time. Six-man tag action as Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and John Cena take on The Wyatt Family. Kevin Hart will be on RAW as the “guest star” next week. WHO? Never heard of him. I guess Hugh Jackman is busy. So is Kermit the Frog. I hate to see John Cena involved as the superman coming to the rescue of Reigns and Ambrose, but since it’s against the Wyatt Family and Cena has been feuding with Bray, it makes sense. I don’t have to like it though. You know who would make a great replacement for Seth Rollins in The Shield? John Morrison. Just a thought to throw out there. I’d love to see Reigns and Ambrose give Cena a big time beatdown after the match. It won’t happen, but one can still hope.

Looks like there are a lot of Wyatt Family fans in Minneapolis, but then again, they (along with a few hundred dead people) elected Al Franken as their Senator so what do they know? Follow the Buzzards! It’s OINGO BOINGO from the very beginning. Ambrose is on fire and looking really good here. I could watch The Shield and The Wyatt Family go all day long. What I said earlier about this show being too long. I take that back. Luke Harper has the best facial expressions in wrestling today. You know what would be a great match? Ambrose versus Chris Jericho. WWE needs to make it happen at some point. Bray versus Cesaro would be cool too. There are too many commercials. Where my wrestling at?

We’re back from commercial and has Cena even been in the ring yet aside from the beginnng? I guess they’re protecting him and his eye injury suffered over the weekend, but what’s the point in having a Super-Cena partner if he doesn’t wrestle. He’ll tag in for the “five moves” soon enough. Chants of “Lets Go Cena / Cena sucks!” And now he tags in for the five moves. That ends and we get the Wyatt beat-down. Cena with a “Shades of Ricky Morton” baby-face in peril routine. Bray makes the audience sing for a moment and then it’s back to business. My phone rings too damn much! Doesn’t look like I missed anything of the match though. Damn, Bray is playing rough with Cena. Bray works stiff. I like it! Time for the hot tag to Reigns and it’s SHIELD time. Believe in The Shield… even if it is only 2/3 of them. It’s chaotic OINGO BOINGO time again. Reigns with the spear on Harper for the win. Not too shabby, but they lost me at the end. HHH and Rollins are watching in the back. Cena raises the hands of Reigns and Ambrose and that’s a wrap.

And so it is for me as well. This is the first episode of RAW I’ve managed to watch in several weeks and even though it dragged at a few points, the overall show was pretty decent. Time now to go do my bill-paying job and check in at H&L Sweepstakes, the place I manage and that takes most of my time. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back in a few days with that Wrestling Fact or Fiction thing… and maybe more. We’ll see.

I’m Doug and I’m out of here. Big shout out to BD Productions and their award winning, must-see BDtv – find it on YouTube. Catch you on the flip-side, my peeps. I’m down and I’m gone.

Ubuntu!

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: May 21, 2014

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
May 21, 2014
Doug Maynard
 
Good afternoon, salutations and all that other stuff.  I’m Doug and after missing a week due to work craziness and life drama out the woo woo woo – you know it, I am back.  My apologies. So how has everyone been?  Is the WWE still here, albeit not worth quite as much on the stock market?  Is TNA still in business?  Is CM Punk still on sabbatical?  Does Batista still suck?  So many questions to answer and I’ll probably ignore every single one of them so I can focus on the important stuff like has Disco Inferno been signed to a WWE Legends Deal yet?  Is JTG still on the main roster?  And what exactly does it take to be a “rosebud” instead of a “lemon drop”?  This is “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”.  I’m ready to do this so let’s get busy, shall we.  Let’s get the party started with…
 
RAW Recap (in 500 words or less…)
 
Bray Wyatt with the sing-a-long and we learn that he had “teacher issues” growing up and admits that he is a necessary evil.  He will be the last man standing against John Cena at “Payback”. Tonight Cena fights Luke Harper.  John Cena plays his games and come to visit, landing an “AA” on Bray before all is sunny in the land of milk and honey and he escapes up the ramp before the “Family” can respond.  Daniel Bryan’s surgery was a success.  Paul Heyman and Cesaro are here and Heyman ridicules and mocks the crowd in his own unique style.  He mentions the end of “The Streak” and gets in a shot at the Queen.  Tonight, it’s Cesaro versus Sheamus.  We get a really good, stiff match that has Cesaro playing off a Heyman distraction for the win.  Sheamus offers a begrudging handshake, but Cesaro blows him off.  It’s “Beat The Clock” as we get matches to determine who gets “Bad News” (literally) at Payback.  Ryback takes on Big E.  Big E wins in a surprisingly decent match.  R-Truth comes out with the Funkadactyls and wants to know “What’s Up?”.  No one seems to care.  It’s Fandango and Layla next and the crowd is fandangoing like there is no tomorrow.  Before we get mixed-tag action, we get Summer Rae.  A kiss for Fandango and a brief brawl with Layla.  No match, but we had a kitten-fight instead.  Daniel Bryan’s music plays, but we get Stephanie McMahon instead.  They censored out the CM Punk chants. Wimps!  She teases stripping Bryan of the title, but says that she wants him next week on RAW to do the right thing because it’s “best for business”.  The Union Jacks are here.  Looks like 3MB to me. We get Rusev and Lana.  Squash by Rusev as he takes out Drew and Jinder before destroying Slater.  Where is Hornswoggle?  The Shield is backstage and talk the talk. Seth fights Batista tonight.  No mistakes for Seth and Batista is going down.  Another “Beat The Clock” match as RVD scores a win over Alberto Del Rio for the best time of the night thus far.  Cena and The Usos talk to Renee backstage.  The Usos have Cena’s back.  They’re in group-silly-mode tonight.  When I say Cena, you say “bleh!”.  Evolution is here and Batista says that he’s going to take out Rollins all by himself.  He’s got this.  It’s time for Batista versus Rollins. HHH is the guest ring announcer.  Orton is the guest time-keeper.  Seth gets the mic and announces Reigns and Ambrose as the guest commentators.  Lots of guests, right?  A good match that eventually breaks down to OINGO BOINGO.  Seth wins by DQ.  Believe in The Shield.  Alicia Fox fights Paige.  Alicia Fox wins and steals Jerry Lawler’s crown.  She’s a happy fox.  A quick Wyatt promo about Cena and the Usos.  Wyatt doesn’t seem impressed.  Another “Beat The Clock” with Mark Henry versus Dolph Ziggler.  Time runs out so the match is a no-contest and RVD will face Bad News Barrett at Payback.  RVD comes out to celebrate, but get some literal “Bad News” as Barrett lays him out from behind and cuts a great crowd-pleasing promo on the fallen former ECW / WWE Champion.  Adam Rose is here.  Party in the house! That bloody lemon drop, Zeb Colter comes out with Jack Swagger to spoil the festivities.  And finally, we get the second coming of Bruiser Brody versus John Cena.  Another great match before reverting to OINGO BOINGO and a DQ win for Cena.  Bray and Sister Abigail take out Cena in the end and Bray sings as Luke counts Cena down for ten.  Follow the Buzzards!
 
And that is how to recap a three hour wrestling program.  Let’s move on and just see if we can empty the mind of some of these thoughts that keep bouncing around in there.  
 
Thoughts…
 
Mick Foley is playing games.  He teased a big announcement and then announced that it was time to “rock the fanny pack again” and followed that up by singing Bray Wyatt’s favorite song.  Will “Mankind” or even “Cactus Jack” be a part of the Wyatt Family sometime in the near future?  Lord, I hope not.  I hope that this is all just a typical Foley “look at me” bit to promote an appearance on Duck Dynasty or something like that.  Maybe he has a cameo as a demented, psychotic lunatic in the upcoming “See No Evil II” movie?  Just keep him away from the Wyatts.  That would hurt them far worse than ever help.
 
Every single time I watch him wrestle and hear him cut a promo, Dean Ambrose reminds me more and more of an old-school Roddy Piper.
 
Vince McMahon lost an estimated $340 million dollars this past week due to the crash of WWE stock.  Wouldn’t you hate to be a WWE Superstar who’s contract is coming up for renewal soon? I don’t think this would be a great time for anyone to ask for a raise.
 
I loved JBL’s comparison last week of Adam Rose’s “Exotic Express” to the “Oddities”.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a few former WWE oddities, such as The Boogeyman, George Steele, Kurrgan, the ECW Zombie, Harvey Whippleman, etc, make cameo shots as part of the “Exotic Express” group?
 
Slam City is actually pretty cute.
 
Survivor Series this year should be excellent and full of traditional “Survivor Series” style matches.  How about Team Evolution versus Team Shield, Team Heyman versus Team Colter, Team Wyatt versus Team Cena, Team Total Divas versus Team Other Divas and team WWE Superstars versus Team NXT.  Add a WWE World title match and maybe one more match to this and you’ve got a stacked and loaded card.
 
Poor Natayla.  First she’s the fart-girl and now she’s a bad artist who pouts.  Who did she piss off?
 
CM Punk announced that he and AJ Lee will be getting married soon.  I guess that guy really does dig crazy chicks.
 
Former WCW star Alex Wright recently made an appearance at the WWE Performance Center.  That’s just a sign that we are one step closer to seeing my favorite tag team of all time (after the Midnight Express and Kronik), the Boogie Knights, Disco Inferno and Alex Wright, show up on WWE TV. It has to happen.  Actually, a cameo as part of Adam Rose’s entourage would be a perfect spot for the former WCW Tag Team Champions.  
 
Several names keep popping up as possibilities for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015, such as The Rock, Rikishi, Mickie James and Kevin Nash.  Solid names and no real objections here, but I have to ask. What about Randy Savage, Owen Hart, The Anderson Brothers, The Freebirds, Ivan Koloff,  Nikita Koloff, Magnum TA, Ivory, DX (including Chyna), the original nWo (Hall, Nash and Hogan), Stan Stasiak, Gordon Solie, Bob Caudle, Andy Kaufman, Cyndi Lauper and Baby Doll, just to name a few?  Just saying…
 
Speaking of Baby Doll, she would be a great talent to replace Ashley as part of WWE Legends’ House.  She’s still extremely hot, personable, has great charisma and most importantly, is a legend in her own right.  Nothing against Ashley, but shouldn’t someone who’s part of a reality show about wrestling legends be an actual wrestling legend herself?  I also hope that next season, they provide for a mixture of talents with both male and female participants living in the house and being part of the show. 
 
And if they don’t like the idea of Baby Doll, then how about Vickie Guerrero?  Excuse me!!  
 
Let’s move on and tackle a few questions in the old mailbag.  
 
Question Time…
 
Ben Valdez:  Do you believe that old school managers such as Jim Cornette, Gary Hart, Bobby Heenan types, should make a mass comeback?  Dutch Mantell has the right idea in the WWE as Zeb Colter.
 
I agree with you Ben.  Dutch has been doing a great job as Zeb Colter in the WWE and I would love to see the role of manager types increased and brought back to prominence.  There are so many older wrestlers who are out there who are great talkers, such as Christian and William Regal for example, and could do wonders as mentors and managers for some of the talents who are great in the ring, but not so much on the stick.  Mark Henry, Rybaxel, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, etc.  Just imagine the impact these guys could make if they had that extra rub of an established superstar behind them and acting on their behalf.  Some of the best wrestlng feuds of all time were managers and their “families” and “stables” trying to take out certain wrestlers like the Heenan Family versus Hulk Hogan, The Paul Jones army versus Jimmy Valiant, The Dungeon of Doom versus Hogan… okay, forget that last one.  But it provided fresh matches, a story that could evolve and change as needed and never get old, and a chance for wrestlers who wouldn’t otherwise get a push, to get a chance to shine in the spotlight a bit.  There is a place for managers in wrestling that has been long neglected.  It seems that the WWE is coming around with Paul Heyman, Zeb Colter and Lana and I hope that we have even more in the near future.  
 
Joseph Bowden:  Is Bray Wyatt a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
 
Honestly, I don’t think so.  Bray’s character is not one that lends itself too well to personal appearances and representing the company at major events.  Having Bray as the champion and the “face of the WWE” would make stockholders nervous. He’s just too unconventional for anything long term at the top of the company. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rewarded at some point as a transitional champion, maybe for a week or so or maybe even a month, but no more than that.  But to be honest, his character is such that he doesn’t need to be champion. He’s already over big time and the belt and being champion, while cool, would actually hurt his character in my opinion more than help.
 
Fred Tobin:  If Daniel Bryan’s last match was really his last match, how will you remember him?  In your eyes, was he a legitimate World Champion?
 
From all reports, Bryan’s surgery went well and he will be back competing in the WWE at some point. But if this injury had proven to be career ending, I think I would remember Bryan as an overachiever.  He did and accomplished far more than one would expect from a man of his size and stature.  He’s always been one of the best in-ring performers in the business, dating back to his career as “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson over in Japan. The man is a phenomenal talent and has so much heart and determination.  He’s proven himself time and time again and if the career was to end today, he’s cemented a legacy that few can match.  And is he a legitimate World Champion?  Absolutely!
 
James Ryder:  If you had the money, would you buy WWE stock?
 
YES!!
 
Zack Carty:  If you could bring one wrestler back to WWE and one wrestler back to TNA, who would it be?
 
For the WWE, I’d bring back Carlito (and try to work in a deal for Chris Masters as well).  As for TNA, the person I would bring back to the TNA roster would be Scott Steiner.  Hey, I’m a “Big Poppa Pump” fan.  I admit it and just think of the excitement it would cause in the TNA locker-room.  But if the “Big Bad Booty Daddy” wasn’t an option, my other pick to bring back to TNA would be AJ Styles.  They should never have let him go and right now, in my opinion, TNA needs their heart and soul back.
 
James Ryder:  Who would win a modern day “Brawl For All”?  Obviously, no stars would be in it.  Comacho could be a contender if he’s 50% as tough as his dad (Haku).
 
The first step would be to decide what WWE talents would take part in this event if the WWE was to go all stupid and bring it back.  If I recall correctly, there were eight men to start so let’s figure out what eight guys would take part.  Comacho seems like a natural.  I think Titus O’Neill would be in there, as would probably Mark Henry and Big Show.  Jack Swagger seems like he might do well in something like this so I’d include him. William Regal has a legit “shooter” background so I’ll include him if he’s willing.  And to round it out, how about Alberto Del Rio and Drew McIntyre.  They both seem like legit tough guys. I’d love to add Brock Lesnar, but I don’t think he or the WWE would risk another “Dr. Death Steve Williams” situation by having Brock take part.  As for the winner, I just have a gut feeling that Alberto Del Rio would end up as the last man standing and winner.  I may be wrong, but there’s something about the former Dos Caras Jr. that says that if he wanted to, he could kick everyone’s ass.  Just saying.
 
And what else?  I think that’s it for now.  I’ll be back in a few days with the “Fact or Fiction” column and will take care of the “Who Am I?” question there.  I’m at work right now as I’m writing this and my list of everyone who answered the last “Who Am I?” correctly, as well as my new question, are both sitting on my desk at the house.   Again, my apologies for missing last week and also for the shortness of this column.  Work is keeping me far busier than I expected, but I will get back on track soon enough.  Believe it.
 
I’m Doug and I’m out of here.  Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.comor come visit me at Facebook at www.facebook.com/saltpalace.  Add me as a friend.  Tell me dirty jokes.  You know you want to.
 
Thanks for reading.  I’m down and I’m gone.
 
Ubuntu!

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: May 10, 2014

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
May 10, 2014
Doug Maynard
 
Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to a new edition of pro wrestling’s most eclectic column, kicking it hard since 2002, Tossing Salt – Worldwide News.  I’m your host with the most, Dougie Fresh.  Let’s just jump right to it, shall we?  And the best way to do that is…
 
Thoughts…
 
Congratulations to former WWE Diva / TNA Knockout / Aspiring Country singer Mickie James, who has announced that she is pregnant.  The father of the future wrestling superstar is former TNA Champion Magnus.  Best wishes to the happy couple on their impending parenthood.
 
Rumors are abound that Sheamus may soon be a part of the faction Evolution.  I guess that would be okay, but he just doesn’t strike me as a group type of person.  If they want to use Evolution to give a wrestler a boost, why not have Curtis Axel, Dolph Ziggler or even Cody Rhodes as the fourth man.  Sheamus doesn’t need the addition to his resume, but for folks like the ones I’ve mentioned, it would do wonders.
 
Kurt Angle has been forced to have surgery again due to a torn ACL and will be out of action for between 6 to 8 months.  Tough break for the former Olympian, but this will place his return to action at roughly about the same time as his TNA deal expires.  So most likely, we’ve seen Kurt’s last TNA match and the next one will probably be in a WWE ring.  Considering the shape that his body is in, Kurt needs to go ahead and call it a day.  At least that’s how I see it. I doubt that Kurt would agree though.
 
I would really like to see the WWE Netowrk go the way of more traditional networks with some of their programming.  With the “Legends’ House” and “Countdown” and a few others, they’re on the way anyhow, but why not use the WWE Studios and make some “Network Exclusive” series like Netflix has.  Why not use some of the more charismatic former WWE Superstars like Roddy Piper or Ric Flair as hosts of a weekly talk show?  Why not show concerts featuring Fozzy, Lita, Mickie James and Lilian Garcia?  How about Mick Foley’s stand-up comedy act?  Jim Ross, Jim Cornette, William Regal and Diamond Dallas Page all have one man shows that are said to be excellent.  Air those as Network specials.  I’m sure that in time, we’ll see such events and programming on the Network, but I’d just rather see it sooner rather than later.  The possibilites are endless.
 
David Benoit’s in-ring debut is now off. It sounds as if the promoter was trying to push David into a match and he’s not properly trained or ready yet.  Chris Jericho got involved, looking out for Chris Benoit’s eldest son and the match is now off.  Good for David to have someone like Jericho looking out for him.  I’m sure he’s anxious to get into that ring and attempt to restore the family legacy to some degree, but better to do it when he’s properly trained and ready and not to rush things.
 
Have I mentioned lately that they need to re-team Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins and place Christian as their manager?  Well, now I have and they do.
 
We also need more Hornswoggle and 3MB versus Los Matadores and El Torito.  Just saying.
 
I mentioned this yesterday, but has anyone else noted the strong physical resemblance between HHH and Adam Rose?  The face, the nose, the hair, etc.  I can just picture Stephanie, in a thick “Shades of Ricky Ricardo” accent, saying to HHH, “Hunter, you got some ‘splaining to do!”
 
Say what?  I think I hear some…
 
Quotable Quotes Part I…
 
“When I was World’s Heavyweight Champion the first time they all said it was a freak accident, came around the second time and they said, well, maybe, but daddy let me tell you something, erase all those maybes from your mind and get it totally out because right here is 10 pounds of pure gold that I’m gonna carry until I see fit!” – Harley Race
 
“You can’t sing the blues until you live them!” – Dick Slater
 
“Captain Lou Albano knows about ugly, one look at my face baby, it takes me 20 minutes to brush my teeth when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror!” – Captain Lou Albano
 
“I’ve dropped 43 pounds baby, I’m ready, I’m heavy, I’m like boarding house pie, looking for my main man, right there, I’m ready to go, ready to move!” – Captain Lou Albano
 
And now, it’s time for answers to be given and mysteries to be solved.  It must be…
 
Question Time…
 
Harold Schwan:  What are your thoughts on the American Wolves or as they are called, The Wolves in TNA.  They remind me of the smaller teams of the 80′s like the Rock & Roll Express, British Bulldogs and even the Rockers.  Too bad WWE didn’t give them a chance.
 
To be honest, I’ve only had the chance to watch the Wolves wrestle one time since I don’t normally watch TNA.  I just happened to be flipping channels and lucked out.  They looked pretty good and I can see why they remind you of the 80′s teams.  Quick paced and great teamwork.  WWE definitely missed the boat by not signing these two, but the way I see it, it may be better off for them in the long run.  We’ve seen how WWE wastes talents like Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Ryder and so many others. At least in TNA, they’re not only getting used, but a strong push as well.  They’re good talents and I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from and about these guys in the future.
 
Adam Evenson:  What wrestling catch-phrases have you used in normal situations or to people who don’t watch wrestling?  I’ve definitely used “Yes! Yes! Yes!’, and “I’m the best in the world at what I do” and “What?”.
 
I use wrestling (and comic book) catch-phrases all the time in my regular life.  The ones that I use most often are the “Yes! Yes! Yes!” line, “two words for you”, “ass-clown”, Wooooooooooooo! (Ric Flair style) and “Woo Woo Woo – You Know It!”.   
 
Devon Ryan Martinez:  Top five factions in wrestling history in your opinion.
 
I think it would be The Dangerous Alliance, Evolution, The nWo, DX and of course, The Horsemen.
 
Jay Mercer:  Top ten favorite tag teams?
 
In no particular order, it would be The Midnight Express (Lane and Eaton), The Enforcers (Anderson and Zbyszko), The Anderson Brothers (Ole and Gene), Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan, The APA, The Boogie Knights (Alex Wright & Disco Inferno), KRONIK (Clark and Adams), Edge & Christian, The Hollywood Blondes (Austin and Pillman) and finally The Main Attraction (Chris Steele and Scott Powers).  
 
And with that, let’s have some more words to live by…
 
Quotable Quotes II…
 
‘ “Exciting” is a dull world to describe the wrestling business.’ – Alexander ‘Saint Alex’ Nderitu
 
“I spent my life – all my life – learning to wrestle. It’s the only means of livelihood I’ve ever had and, uh, the only gimmick that I have in wrestling is wrestling.” – Lou Thesz
 
“The grass is always greener on the other side, unless Vince Russo has been there in which case the grass is most likely dead.” – Jim Cornette
 
And now, how about a little fantasy wrestling.  Yeppers, back by popular demand from no one, it is….
 
One On One…
 
This is where I indulge the fantasy booker buried deep inside and  wonder what would happen and who would win if a wrestler of today’s genre was to face up and go against someone from the past.  It’s all speculation folks, but damn if it ain’t fun.  Cesaro has looked really impressive as late in his new role as the newest “Paul Heyman Guy”.  So why don’t we match the “Swiss Superman” against a former “Paul Heyman Guy”, a man who was Heyman before being Heyman was cool. I’m talking about a former member of the WCW based “Dangerous Alliance” from 1991 – 92 WCW.  I’m talking about “Ravishing” Rick Rude.
 
Cesaro versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude
 
Would this be an awesome match or what?  I think that Cesaro would have the strength and power edge.  Rude was amazingly strong as well, but didn’t tend to rely on it quite as much, prefering to use wrestling holds and the occasional high impact move to set his opponent up for the “Rude Awakening”.  
 
Casaro is a good wrestler and his forearm shots are second to none.  Rude is a tremendous wrestler as well and not above taking a shortcut to get the advantage.  This match would be stiff and brutal and just a total thrill and joy.  And in the end, I think that (just barely), we’d see Rude manage to evade a forearm shot and catch Cesaro with his finisher, giving the new kid on the Paul Heyman block a “rude awakening” for the pin.
 
Winner:  Ravishing Rick Rude
 
And now finally, let’s do that thing that ya’ll do so well, the ultimate guessing game called…
 
Who Am I?
 
Last week, I asked you this…
 
Long before there was a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, I was cussing and swearing up a storm on TV in defense of my niece, my ray of “sunshine”, who had been run out of a Dallas based promotion by a future Freebird and his precious little valet.  I also had a great run against a “handsome half-breed” and a lady giant, as well as the trainer and mentor of “Stone Cold” and his valet / wife before losing a match and leaving the territory.  I was known as a 2×4 carrying former truck driver, but actually had an interesting career before then. I was trained by the legendary Mildred Burke and was the first female wrestler to go against Terrible Ted, The Wrestling Bear, in two matches in 1973.  I retired not long after my departure from Texas and passed away in 1996.  Who Am I?
 
And the answer was none other than lady wrestler Tanya West, also known in the World Class region as Sunshine’s 2×4 carrying, truck driving Aunt, Stella Mae French.
 
Correctly answering were:  Andy Clarke, Harold Schwan, Jason Vinduska, Russell Jackson, Michael Materacky and Ryan Springer.  Great job people.  And now, for the newbie…
 
I’ve shared a name with a god, been part of an Alliance where I was really gangsta, and I love Fridays.  I’ve only had a few matches, but my no-holds barred character has always stood out and left a strong impression.  Who Am I?
 
Think you know the answer?  Drop me a line at Doug28352@yahoo.com and let me know who you think this person is.  Or come visit me at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/saltpalace.  Add me as a friend too.  You know you want to.
 
And with that, I am out of here my friends.  Thank you for reading.  Have a great weekend and once again, Happy Mothers Day to everyone.  I’m Doug and I’m down and gone.  Take it sleazy.
 
Ubuntu!
 
Image

Wrestling Fact Or Fiction – May 9, 2014

Wrestling Fact Or Fiction
May 9, 2014
Doug Maynard
 
I’ll bet you thought that you wouldn’t see me this week, didn’t you?  It almost happened, but not quite.  I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.  I’m Doug and welcome to a new edition of “Tossing Salt Presents:  Wrestling Fact or Fiction”.  I’ll have a new edition of “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News” up tomorrow, but that is then and this is now and let’s just get right to the action, shall we?  Okey-doke!  Let’s begin with those things we call…
 
Thoughts…
 
First he brings out a whole choir and then it’s one little evil child called “Little Johnny”.  Bray Wyatt is well on his way to making a major mark on the music industry as well as the WWE.  I still think that Vince and the WWE need to release an I-Tunes single of Bray and his “family” singing his song.  If they could release a Jillian Hall Christmas track, which they did, why not Sister Abigail’s favorite brother?
 
And I want to see more of “Little Johnny” as well.  How about “Little Johnny” versus “Little Jimmy” in a “Creepy Sidekicks” match?  If Vince Russo was still the booker, you know we’d see it.  With Judy Bagwell as the special guest referee.
 
I loved that match between El Torito and Hornswoggle at the Extreme Rules event.  I want to more of these epic battles between the two tiny tots of Titan Towers.  And it’s getting 3MB and The Colons, aka Los Matadores, some tv time too.  
 
Speaking of Bray Wyatt, the match between he and John Cena at Extreme Rules was okay, but there is no way that even Super-Cena should have been able to lay out all three members of the Wyatt Family inside that steel cage.  Wyatt won and that was the right call, but the WWE went just a bit overboard in protecting Cena during that match.  Just saying.
 
Brie Bella versus Stephanie McMahon?  I’d love to see that happen. And the way things are going, it probably will.  
 
The word is that the WWE wants Ric Flair back on the roster full time, but he has to get his act together first and get his life straight.  Yeah, I can understand why having outstanding warrants for his arrest in his home state of North Carolina, where Ric is arguably most popular, might be a problem.  WWE needs to just give Ric his own talk show on The Network.  Bring back “A Flair For The Gold”.  He’s already dating Fifi so they’re already halfway there.
 
Word is that Sheamus and Sin Cara were in a bit of a spat backstage at recent TV tapings. Sheamus went to Twitter to try and downplay the situation, but what do you expect since from all I’ve heard, he got his ass handed to him.   What about it, fella?
 
Look at Adam Rose.  I mean, really look at Adam Rose.  Change the hair to blonde and you’ve got the spitting image of a younger Triple H.  How did HHH find this kid anyhow?  I think he might owe Stephanie an explanation or two. Actually, given the physical resemblence (and that nose – I mean those noses… lol), I think we’ll see a future “is Adam Rose the heir to WWE’ storyline at some point. Based on just looks alone, I think the answer would be yes!
 
Have you seen the tribute video that the WWE did for Conner Michalek, aka “Conner The Crusher”?  Find it and watch and be prepared to shed some tears. An amazing video tribute to an amazing young man. Major kudos to the WWE on a job done right.
 
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels recently went on the Jim Ross podcast and said that the decision was made to end the streak at Wrestlemania XXX by Vince McMahon roughly four or so hours before the match.  If this is true, all I can say is wow.  I do think it was the right call for the WWE to make, but to think they waited until the very last minute to decide is just crazy.  By the way, did you know that Paul Heyman’s client, Brock Lesnar, ended the streak at Wrestlemania XXX?  Just ask Paul.  He’ll tell you.
 
And that’s enough thinking for today. I have to rush this up so I can go get ready for work. Sixteen hours last night and this morning and I’m going back in for another eight in about an hour or so.  I thought being the manager was supposed to make my life easier.  I guess they fooled me.  I think we’ve got a few questions in the mail-bag, so let’s tackle them.
 
Question Time…
 
Juan Orlando Pabon:  How do you rate the direction of the WWE since Stephanie and Triple H took control of it?
 
Well, first off we need to clarify that despite their power in the company, only Vince McMahon can be said to control anything. It’s his baby and until he either retires or dies, Vince is the one in control… period.  But even with that in mind, Steph and HHH do have more influence than anyone who is not a genetic jackhammer and I think they’ve done a great job in helping to build and strengthen the WWE leading into the future.  The Performance Center and NXT are HHH’s babies and are really working well to create the stars of tomorrow.  The matches and storylines are making sense (for the most part) and WWE seems to be stronger than at anytime since the Attitude Era.  There might be a few minor things I don’t particularly like, but overall, I think having HHH and Steph helping in the direction of the company has been a good and positive thing for both WWE and their fans.
 
Ole Kristian:  Do you think William Regal will ever be in the Hall of Fame?
 
YES!
 
Dustin Helmick:  Do you think that if Magnum TA hadn’t gotten hurt, would Sting have gotten the push that he did?
 
That’s a good question. Part of the strong push for Sting was due to the fact that WCW needed a strong babyface to challenge Ric Flair and his control of the NWA / WCW World Championship.  Sting was obviously ready to step up and take that role, but if Magnum had still been wrestling, would that spot have been open?  Probably not.  Sting had the charisma and persona to be a big name and that would have happened eventually, but I can’t help but think that a good portion of his success was just being in the right place at the right time.  If Magnum had still been wrestling at that point, the promoters wouldn’t have been needing that strong new face to challenge Flair.  So would Sting have gotten that push?  Probably, but not as early in his career as he did.  It would have been longer in coming and later down the line and probably not quite as big if Magnum had still been a force in that NWA / WCW ring.
 
Chris Church:  Who would win if this match could have happened?  Blackjack Mulligan and Big John Studd versus Mean Mark (The Undertaker) and Kevin Nash (Oz, Diesel).
 
Who would have won?  Whoever the promoter wanted to win of course.  Hahahahahaha!  But seriously, if this match happened, it would be a double disqualification or no-contest due to the “partners” fighting among themselves.  Mulligan and Studd were never on the same side and Studd’s claim to fame before going to the WWF to fight Andre the Giant was being a “bounty hunter” who was going after Mulligan.  And I don’t think I can ever recall Undertaker and Kevin Nash, in any persona, ever getting along either.  So I figure that even if this match was booked, you’d quickly have chaos and insanity and partners fighting partners.  So this match would be a no-contest.  But I think Undertaker and Blackjack Mulligan would be the last two men standing in the ring as the action would soon get too heated for Studd and Nash and they’d take a powder to the dressing room.
 
And now, finally, let’s get to the meat of the column. It’s that “Fact or Fiction” thing I like to do. As per usual, the questions come from my friends over at 411mania.com/wrestling.  The answers come from me.  Lets do it.
 
Wrestling Fact Or Fiction…
 
1.  TNA made the right call by keeping the World Championship on Eric Young at the Sacrifice PPV.
 
FACT:  TNA made the decision to have Eric Young as their champ and they need to stick with it and him.  They made the call and gave EY the ball.  Now they need to let him run with it.
 
2.  Dusty Rhodes is an all-time To 5 talker in the wrestling business.
 
FICTION:  Maybe a Top 10 and definitely in the Top 20, but Rhodes has never really been one of my favorites and I can easily think of several men I’d rank over Rhodes where the promos are concerned, such as Jim Cornette, Jake Roberts, Flair, Piper,  Blackjack Mulligan, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Gary Hart, etc.  See, there’s 8 right there and I’m not even trying hard.  Dusty was good on the stick and had charisma, but was he in the Top 5 talkers?  Not in my opinion.
 
3.  Adam Rose will end up like the Heart Throbs, a developmental act with a fun and popular entrance, but ultimely no shelf life on the main roster.
 
FICTION:  Truth be told, I liked the Heart Throbs and thought they had some amazing potential, but they were tag wrestlers, not singles guys, and if I remember correctly, got a little too wild on a live edition of LiveWire and that’s what led to their termination from the WWE.  Adam Rose has a great character and only time will tell if it catches on with the fans, but comparing him to The Heart Throbs is like comparing the wrestling skills of Aksana to those of Rick Steamboat… it shouldn’t even be attempted.
 
4.  WWE running two to three live NXT specials a year is a great way to  expose the NXT brand to their fan base.
 
FACT:  Anything that draws positive attention to the NXT roster and gets the fans of the WWE Universe watching has to be considered a good thing.
 
5.  Cody Rhodes and Goldust are more valuable to WWE as a tag team than as singles competitors.
 
FICTION:  They are a talented tag team and add a lot to the tag team division, but both men are great performers and strong singles wrestlers as well and I think that using those skills is where the best interests for both the men and the WWE would lie.
 
6.  You have no desire to see Kane and Daniel Bryan continue their feud.
 
FICTION:  While I was enjoying the issues with Kane and The Shield, this is a feud that had to happen.  Kane is a good wrestler and dependable to put on a good match and Bryan is phenomenal in that ring.  They’re having good matches and with the exception of that crap from Monday night, where Daniel and Brie were running away from Kane, the storyline has been decent.  Might as well just let it run it’s course.
 
7.  Batista has every right to be upset with the WWE if promises they made prior to his return have been broken.
 
FACT:  If the WWE lied to Batista and he’s not getting what he was promised, he should be upset.  That’s just natural. But taking the dirty laundry public?  That part of it doesn’t seem too smart to me.  Just saying.
 
8.  Jim Ross is correct when he says that TNA has “zero momentum or leverage with which to negotiate” in terms of a TV deal.
 
FACT:  Despite everything they’ve tried, TNA’s ratings have been stagnant. The house show crowds suck and from all reports, moral in the company is at an all-time low.  If they can get a good TV deal in place, they’d better be extremely thankful.
 
9.  WWE made the right move by having Sheamus win the United States Championship.
 
FACT:  As much as I like Dean Ambrose, the title was being ignored while he was the champion.  Putting the belt on Sheamus, especially in the way it was done, via a Battle Royal rather than a regular title defense by Ambrose,  gives it attention and a chance to have Sheamus as a fighting champion out to make his mark.  With Sheamus, the title can mean something again. With Ambrose, it was just a mostly forgotten prop.
 
10. NXT reportedly making a move to take NXT bi-weekly instead of monthly is a good idea.
 
FACT:  If they air it, people will watch, especially on the Network.  Great move by WWE to build the NXT brand.
 
11. CM Punk is not coming back; people should get over it and move on.
 
FACT:  I’ll never say never because I think that eventually he will be back in the WWE, but we can’t wait on him or dwell on it. He’ll be back when he feels ready to return and not a second sooner.  We need to quit speculating and move on so when it does happen, it will be even a bigger thrill and surprise.  And if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay too.
 
12. Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling announcing an official working agreement with AAA in Mexico makes you more interested in the product.
 
FICTION:  I think it’s a good move for Jarrett and it adds credibility and talent to his company, but does it make me more interested?  Not really.
 
13. AJ Styles winning the IWGP Title is the biggest accomplishment of his career.
 
FACT:  At this point and time, given how little the NWA Championship and TNA Championship actually mean to wrestling fans these days, winning the IWGP Championship has to be considered a major achievement for Styles.  It means credibility and respect and he’s well deserving of the honor.
 
And there you go.  I’m going to cut it off here since I just glanced at the clock and need to get to moving.  Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com.  Come visit me at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/saltpalace.  Add me as a friend. You know you want to.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a new edtion of “Tossing Salt”, featuring a whole new “Who Am I?”, so look for that. I’m Doug and dat’ is all de’ people need to know.  See you tomorrow .
 
Ubuntu!
 
Image

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: May 3. 2014

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
May 3, 2014
Doug Maynard
 
Happy Saturday and welcome once more to the newest edition of pro wrestling’s most eclectic column, the always infamous “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”.  I’m Doug and once again, it’s been a crazy week, both personally and in the world of the world’s oldest, and greatest sport.  I’ve got a lot of ground to cover with thoughts, questions, predictions for the WWE Extreme Rules “special event”, and a new “Who Am I?”.  Let’s just jump right to it, shall we?  Sounds like a plan to me.
 
Thoughts…
 
Great little endorsement by “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair for The Shield this past Monday on RAW.  Is Ric walking away from his former Evolution partners and jumping ship to the new generation of WWE superstars or is it all part of a ruse by the “dirtiest player in the game”?  Maybe we’ll find out on Sunday at Extreme Rules?  Or if the reports I’ve read this morning are true, maybe not.  
 
TNA is supposedly contacting woman wrestlers for a “One Night Only” style pay-per-view taping.  I don’t think we’ll be seeing Sara Del Ray, Mickie James, Victoria (Tara) or Daphney as part of the mix and it’s probably too soon to see Beth Phoenix return to the ring either.  But there are plenty of talented women out there and it probably won’t be too hard to find some top female stars to use.  I just hope we get a variety, a mix of old talent and new, to give us both name regognition and strong matches.  And wouldn’t this be a good place for cameos by past stars such as Lisa “Ivory” Moretti, Jazz, Kelly Kelly, Major Gunns, Aysa, Nidia, etc to pop up?
 
El Torito versus Hornswoggle at WWE Extreme Rules in a Wee LC match?  Should be match of the night and a potential match of the year candidate. I want to see this.
 
How long before we see either Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella versus HHH and Stephanie in a mixed-tag match or else Brie versus Stephanie in a singles match?  I want to see that happen too.  I can already hear Joey Styles in my mind screaming “CATFIGHT!!”
 
Kane is back as the monster.  I liked “Corporate Kane”, but now he’s come full circle back to his original character. Kane is the master of reinvention.
 
Was that the most awesome segment ever with The Wyatt Family and the children’s chorus opening up RAW this past Monday?  All those kids wearing the sheep mask and John Cena, and his facial expressions sold it perfectly.  A definite “RAW moment” that will long be remembered.
 
Hugh Jackman and Damien “Magneto” Sandow?  A “RAW moment” that is best forgotten quickly and never mentioned again.
 
What’s that I hear?  It sounds like a few…
 
Quotable Quotes Part I…
 
“You cannot achieve success without the risk of failure…You cannot achieve success if you FEAR failure.” – Paul Heyman
 
“When I die, I feel it won’t be from another’s sword but by the unstoppable heartbeat of dreams.” – Jake “The Snake” Roberts
 
“That was my heart and that was my passion. All I ever wanted to do is wrestle. I never wanted to pitch in Game Seven of the World Series, I never wanted to throw the touchdown in the Superbowl, I wanted to wrestle…Be a professional wrestler.” – Tommy Dreamer
 
Question Time…
 
Joshua Von Wheeler:  When did you start watching wrestling?
 
I’ve been a fan and watching wrestling since I was a baby.  I’m the youngest of five kids and three of the four were hardcore wrestling fans, thus it was always a part of our lives and I loved it from the very beginning and have never stopped.
 
Brian Green:  Are there any wrestlers you wish you never knew about them beyond kayfabe because the real person was such a letdown.
 
Obviously Ric Flair is the first name that comes to mind.  Such a great in-ring performer and talent and that can’t be denied, but then you hear about his personal life and the divorces, the lawsuits, the partying, etc…  Others would include Bret Hart, who’s a top in-ring talent, but again, his in-ring legacy seems to be overshadowed by his bitterness and whiney attitude.  The world was a much better and kinder place when kayfabe was alive and well and we knew the wrestlers through their characters and talent and could forget that they were real people, with issues, problems, warts and all.  That has killed a lot of the magic and it’s not as easy to suspend belief anymore.  That sucks!
 
Kristian Fager:  If you started a wrestling company today and every wrestler ever, in their prime, wanted to work for you, but you could only start your company with eight men, four good and four bad, who would it be?
 
That’s hard to say because every wrestler in their prime covers so much terrritory, but I’ll try and settle on my initial eight, with more to be brought in later of course.  My four “good guys” would be John Cena, Rick Steamboat, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dusty Rhodes.  My “bad Guys” would be Ric Flair, Harley Race, Bruiser Brody and Roddy Piper.  And even though you didn’t ask, my four “women stars” would be Sherri Martel, Lisa “Ivory” Moretti, Victoria and Luna Vachon.
 
Fred Tobin:  Do women wrestlers, as a whole, have less exciting matches than men?
 
For the most part, yes.  While some women are capable of having strong matches and putting on a great show, the very style of women’s wrestling is less physical and their bodies aren’t quite as capable of doing the same things that the men are.  Also, the women wrestlers, these days especially, are hired more for looks and the whole T&A thing rather than for their athletic ability or talents.  The training is sub-par when compared to what most of the male wrestlers endure and it relects in the product.  There’s a place for women wrestlers in this sport and there are some talented and strong women out there, but the matches, in general, will never stand up to what we’ve grown to expect from the men’s matches and be considered, in a whole, as exciting.  Sad, but true.
 
And here’s some more words of wisdom…
 
Quotable Quotes II…
 
“I got sued more times than Martha Stewart.” – Paul Heyman
 
“We’re the greatest athletes in the world without a doubt.” – Hulk Hogan
 
“I’m sorry I only gave you 13 stitches, I meant to give you 36 or 38.” – Masked Superstar
 
“When I come after you I’m gonna be like a chicken on a junebug!” – Dutch Mantell (Zeb Colter)
 
And now, time to put on the “Sister Cleo” costume and pull out the crystal ball.  We’ve got a “special event” coming up on Sunday and that means prediction time.
 
WWE Extreme Rules Predictions…
 
WeeLC Match
El Torito versus Hornswoggle
 
This is a potential match of the year for me.  Okay, not really, but I am looking forward to seeing what these two men are capable of doing in the pre-show match.  I’ve always liked watching the little people perform, and no, I’m not talking about my ex, Danny.  Look for lots of comedy and lots of shenanigans from the side-kicks of both little guys in Los Matadores and 3MB.  And since you want the crowd to be happy and the show to start off with a bang, albeit a small one, I’m going with the faces to win and for Hornswoggle to feel a GORE! GORE! GORE!…
 
Winner:  El Torito
 
Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter versus RVD versus Cesaro w/ Paul Heyman
 
The key here lies with which way that RVD, as the only non-affiliated guy in the match, will go.  Will he resume his previous status as a “Paul Heyman Guy” or will he become a “Real American” with Swagger and Zeb?  Or will he be true to the extreme and look out for only one man, the guy with the thumbs and the initials R – V – D?  I think Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman will counter each other’s presence at ringside and it will fall to the men in the ring to get the job done.  And when push comes to shove, we’ll have Cesaro doing a remake of the old John Anderson song, “Swinging” as Swagger goes for a ride.
 
Winner:  Cesaro w/ Paul Heyman
 
Handicap Match:  Alexander Rusev w/ Lana versus R-Truth & Xavier Woods
 
It’s a shame that it takes two men to face one Bulgarian Brute or whatever the heck he is.  Hey Rusev, 1985 still wants their gimmick back.  It’s a shame to see how far that R-Truth has fallen.  Xavier Woods has never impressed me, not in TNA as “Consequences Creed” and not now.  The big man with the blonde chick playing Nanitchka 2014 version takes the easy win.
 
Winner:  Alexander Rusev
 
WWE World Championship Match
Daniel Bryan (c) versus  Kane
 
If Bryan loses, we riot!  ‘Nuff said!
 
Winner and STILL WWE World Champion: Daniel Bryan
 
Evolution (HHH, Batista, Randy Orton) versus The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose)
 
Old versus new.  Tradition versus The Future. Six of the very best in the business taking care of business.  What will happen?  Can Evolution stay together?  Will Ric Flair be involved?  Will HHH feel the “superman punch” or will the pedigree take it’s toll.  So many questions and the only thing for sure that we know it that it will be one helluva match.  I’ve heard that Batista is preparing to leave to take care of movie business, so I’ll assume that he eats the Trifecta power-bomb at the end of the night.  As for the match, things are just getting started.  I think that this battle goes to Evolution, but the war continues and we must believe in The Shield.
 
Winners: Evolution (HHH, Batista and Randy Orton)
 
Divas Championship:  Paige (c) versus Tamina Snuka
 
It’s too soon for Paige to lose and even though Tamina is well deserving, this is Paige’s time.  
 
Winner and STILL Divas Champion: Paige
 
Cage Match:  John Cena versus Bray Wyatt
 
Cena won at Wrestlemania XXX so it’s time for Bray to even things up here.  After all, he’s got the whole world in his hands.  Look for the sheep to have a great night as Wyatt (and Sister Abigail) take home the win and the mind-games and feud continue.
 
Winner:  Bray Wyatt
 
Intercontinental Championship:  Big E (c) versus Bad News Barrett
 
And finally, we have the Intercontinental Championship match.  Big E seems to have gone the way of other former IC Champs, with his star fading quickly even as he reigns as the number two champ in the WWE.  Big E is okay in the ring, but can anyone think of a great Big E match?  Or a great Big E promo?  He doesn’t have that “it”… not yet.  Barrett though has the look, the charisma, the promo ability and can get it done.  I think this is his time.  Hey Big E, we’ve got some bad news for you.  You’re going down!
 
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion:  Bad News Barrett
 
So there you go.  Am I correct in my predictions?  Am I crazy and wrong as hell?  Only time will tell and we’ll find out Sunday night.  Let’s wrap this baby up now.  That means it’s time for the…
 
Who Am I?
 
Last week, I asked you this…
 
I began my career in Florida in 1972 and had much success in the tag team ranks with a variety of partners. I also enjoyed some singles success as the NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion, a belt recognized in California and Florida and in New Japan, but not by the NWA as a whole. I eventually moved to Tennessee and found my niche as part of a fabulous tag team, a partnership that lasted nearly ten years until my partner decided he was more of a midnight type of guy.  I also moved on and reinvented myself as a tobacco spitting swamp man with a fondness for alligators.  I also clowned around a bit before heading back down south once more where I teamed with my former partner’s former partner and showed a little bad attitude.  After my in-ring career began to wind down, I opened a wrestling school in Florida and then eventually moved on to help train the NeXT generation of superstars, a role I hold today.  
 
And yeah, it was kind of on the easy side.  I admit it.  Correctly answering that the man I was looking for was Steve Keirn, were the following:  Harold Schwan, Andy Clarke, Ryan Rachal, Joe Hugelman, Brandon Hayes, Russell Jackson, Chad Burttram, Michael Materacky, Troy Miller and Larry Finder.  Great job Peeps and congratulations.  Well done.  Now here’s the newbie…
 
Long before there was a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, I was cussing and swearing up a storm on TV in defense of my niece, my ray of “sunshine”, who had been run out of a Dallas based promotion by a future Freebird and his precious little valet.  I also had a great run against a “handsome half-breed” and a lady giant, as well as the trainer and mentor of “Stone Cold” and his valet / wife before losing a match and leaving the territory.  I was known as a 2×4 carrying former truck driver, but actually had an interesting career before then. I was trained by the legendary Mildred Burke and was the first female wrestler to go against Terrible Ted, The Wrestling Bear, in two matches in 1973.  I retired not long after my departure from Texas and passed away in 1996.  Who Am I?
 
Think you know this answer?  Give me a holler at Doug28352@yahoo.com and tell me who I’m speaking about.  Or else visit me at Facebook at facebook.com/saltpalace and inbox me with the answer.  
 
And with that, I’m out of here. I’ve got to go check on my people at work and get some breakfast in this growling stomach of mine.  I’ll be back later today with that “Fact or Fiction” thing that I do.  And I guess that’s it for now.  I’m Doug and “dat is all de’ people need to know!”.  I’ll catch you on the flip side.  
 
Ubuntu!