I-Stand-Alone

We won’t talk about it
Neither he nor I
instead we act like children and play these games
pretend nothing is wrong and all is good
while a friendship just rots away
like a corpse buried in the ground
Maybe it can be saved
but why?
Better to let it go
and move on
than to ever be hurt like this again

9/9/14

Kids Are Dumb…

A/N – I originally wrote this back in February, 2013.  With school starting tomorrow, I thought this might be a good time to re-post.  Thoughts and comments are welcome.

-Doug

 

Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say it. Kids today are dumb!!

And before everyone starts to get upset, let me tell you what I’m talking about and why. Last night, there were two little girls that came into the store. And they weren’t really little – they were probably ten / eleven years old. And they bring three items up to the register – a drink, which cost 1.69, a large candy bar that costs (and is clearly marked) 1.79, and a Little Debbie cake, marked 50 cents. Okay, I could comment on their eating habits too because both of these youngsters were little butterballs and didn’t need the candy or soda or honey bun. Maybe they should be introduced to the concept of salads or an apple. Just saying.

So anyhow, they have three items, all clearly marked and priced. Added together, before tax, these items total 3.98. (Yeah, we’re expensive – I know it, but I don’t make the prices.) And these two girls come up to the register, lay down $3 and want to know “do I have enough for this?”. I told them no and why and so they went to put something back. They put back the 1.79 candy bar and got two candy bars for 1.19 each instead.

“Do we have enough now”, they asked again. And they were freakin’ serious? They honestly did not seem to know how to add simple prices in their heads or that two candy bars at 1.19 each would cost more than the one candy bar at 1.79. I told them no again and told them what they could get, trying to contain my amazement at their lack of common, basic math skills. And they tried it again. And this time, put the Little Debbie cake back and asked, “do we have enough?”. Nope, still have just three dollars and still not enough. Finally, a man in line, after watching all this, just threw down $2 to help cover their costs and so they could leave. They never even said “thank you” to the man or anything. Just snatched the money, paid for their stuff and ran out the door.

Listen up. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes and on some things (I-Pods, smart-phones, selling drugs, etc.), I’m pretty clueless. But I was able to figure up prices and count up change and do simple adding and subtracting by the time I was six or seven years old. I never had to go up to the cashier and ask “do I have enough money” for what I was purchasing because I already knew if I did or didn’t have enough. And hell, I see adults who are in their twenty and thirties who can’t even do this now. I see it every freakin’ day and it makes me sad and kind of sick too.

What the hell has happened to our school systems? Quickly, answer me this question. What is a conjunction?

And if you’re in my age range (mid-40’s), your mind probably went back to the old School House Rock series and you heard “conjunction junction, what’s your function” in your head and immediately went “and, but and or”. If you go up to almost any kid today, including some of the ones in high school or even in college and ask that question, you’ll either get a blank expression or some answer so extremely far off and wrong that it makes you just sigh heavily in disgust.

We learned to add and subtract (basic math skills) in school. We learned to spell correctly. We learned to write cursive. DId you know that learning to write in cursive is not even taught in schools these days? That’s just freakin’ sad! (Yes, I know I use the term “freakin” way too often. Get used to it!)

Before I graduated school, I could name all fifty state capitals, list all the United States President’s (in order), balance a checkbook, write a resume, knew how to act in public, learned to say “thank you” and “please”, could name all the planets and tell you in detail about the Civil War, World War II, World War i, the “New Deal”, cook, refinish furniture and sing (somewhat) in key.

And I wasn’t that great a student.

And what can the kids today do and show for their twelve-plus years of public education?

They might know who the President is, but don’t ask them who their Senator or Governor are. They can spell slightly, but only in short-hand and text language. Adding and subtracting are out of the question unless they have a computer or calculator to help. Forget about writing or punctuation, but at least they can spell their names (sort of). How to speak in public or behave? That’s a skill acquired at home and should be built upon in the schools, but instead we get people who are loud, rude, and lack any type of self-respect or behavior skills.

Let me clarify here for a moment. I’m not talking about all youngsters, but far too damn many of them to be sure.

Maybe I’m just too damn old for my own good and shouldn’t complain. After all, so what if the vast majority of the people today are ignorant and mindless sheep? So what if they can’t add, subtract, write their own names or do the most common things such as balance a checkbook, identify their leaders or speak properly. It’s not like the rest of the world isn’t headed in the same direction.

Oh wait, they’re not. It’s the “Western cultures” that seem to be experiencing this mass wave of stupidity and lack of a basic education. China and Japan are still doing great and kicking butt in all areas. The only time they have problems is when American’s get involved and try to “help”.

I love my country and I like most people. Okay, that last part’s an slight exageration, but I do like some people. And when I see how people are these days and what the future holds for us when these same people with their lack of basic skills or sense are in charge, it scares the hell out of me. And it should scare the heck out of everyone.

Think about it.

I could rant about this for hours, but I’ve got to break off and head out to do the Food Lion thing. Have a great day (if you can).

Ubuntu!

Letter To The Editor: Newton Violates Constitution And Needs To Go…

It’s now been seven long weeks since the Hoke and Scotland County Gaming Task Force, led by District Attorney Kristy Newton, forced the closure of over twenty-one businesses and put over a hundred-plus citizens out of work. It’s been seven weeks since law enforcement officers, under the direction of Mrs. Newton, raided and closed the Carolina Cyber Center confiscating computers and software. And still, no charges have been filed.

When Robert Outlaw was charged not so long ago, during the first Internet Sweepstakes closures a couple of years ago, he fought the charges and was found “Not Guilty”. The charges were dismissed and it was noted in the court documents that, ” “Based upon the FORGOING FINDINGS OF FACT, the court concludes as a matter of law: That the “Blue Diamond pre-reveal Sweepstakes system” is not in violation of NCGS 814.306.4.”

So then, on July 1, 2014, law enforcement raided and closed Mr. Outlaw’s business, despite the fact that the software he had available had been found totally legal and in compliance by the NC Courts and despite this being a clear violation of the United States Bill of Rights, Amendment 5 (Rights of Persons). It says, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb”. Oh, wait a moment. It’s not a violation of the 5th Amendment because the Officers didn’t press charges. They just closed the business and confiscated the computers and software. Very clever and very sneaky.

But what about that pesky little 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights that talks about illegal seizures. Wouldn’t going into a business, forcing them to shut their doors and close, and confiscating their equipment despite the facts that they are totally legal and in total compliance with state law, as already recognized by the courts, fall under the topic of illegal seizures? And if what I’ve heard from sources inside the Sheriff’s office are true, the machines have already been ordered destroyed, which makes it even that much worse.

The bottom line here is that by not pressing charges and not allowing Robert Outlaw, and by association, all of the Sweepstakes businesses their day in court, Mrs. Newton is not only denying others of fairness and justice, but is also quite likely in violation of the United States Constitution and probably several other laws as well. Why? Why is she playing these games? What is she afraid of?

District Attorney Kristy Newton needs to step up and explain this to the citizens of Scotland County. Why won’t she allow Mr. Outlaw and the Sweepstakes owners their day in court? Why did she allow the raids and closures when the courts had already declared that some machines at least, were in absolute compliance with the law and legal? Her job is to uphold and defend the laws of North Carolina and the Constitution of the United States and it appears, to me at least, that she’d rather just play these childish games. We have questions, Mrs. Newton and it’s time we had some answers as well. If Mrs. Newton can’t, or isn’t willing to supply those answers and quit with the stalling tactics, maybe the best thing would be for her to just resign from office and allow someone who’s willing to follow the laws and allow justice and constitutional rights to have their day in court.

Think about it.

Douglas Maynard

Top 10 Comic Based Movies I’d Like To See…

Right now it seems that the biggest craze for movies is superheroes and especially Marvel heroes. So far we’ve had The X-Men, Spiderman, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man, Captain America, Blade, Ghost Rider, The Hulk and most recently Guardians of the Galaxy. Also movies starring The Black Widow, Ant Man and Dr. Strange are reportedly in the works. Netflix is planning on a Daredevil series and I’ve heard talk of Power Man and Iron Fist also being possibilities down the line. And “Agents of Shield” is currently a network series as well. DC Comics has also had success with Superman, Batman and on the CW Network, Arrow, while also producing movies, with slightly less success about Catwoman and Green Lantern. With all of these spandex clad heroes and villians popping up everywhere, it seems that the mainsteam world has finally realized what I learned almost forty years ago…. that the best and most interesting characters to be found, from any medium, are those from the world of comic books. They’re not just for kids anymore.

And with all that in mind, I’ve decided to do a list. With apologies to David Letterman for stealing his bit, it’s a “Top Ten List”. I would like to see more comic book based movies be made. And here are the characters, from the literally hundreds of thousands of comic book characters out there, that I would like to see featured. So here we go.

Top Ten Comic Book Based Movies I’d Like To See…

10. The Champions: Combining the Avengers (Black Widow) with the X-Men (Angel, Iceman) and the supernatural (Ghost Rider). Throw in a Greek god (Hercules) and a powerful, yet naive mutant (Darkstar) and anything is possible.

9. The Daughters of The Dragon: Two long time Marvel comic characters – an ex-NYPD cop with a bionic arm (Misty Knight) and her best friend, a true Samauri in every sense of the word (Coleen Wing). They investigate things (Nightwing Restorations is the name of their operation), they have ties to the superhero clique (Misty is the long-time girlfriend of Iron Fist), and they kick ass. What more could anyone want?

8. Dr. Doom: The son of a witch, the King and Ruler of Latveria, possibly the most intelligent man on the planet, equally adapt in both science and magic, and considered evil, but with a strong sense of honor as well. He’s one of the strongest anti-heroes ever created and with his long history, as both villian and hero, there is so much story here. Throw in the Fantastic Four, Mephisto, The Red Skull, etc… whoever you want and there is a story to be told.

7. The Suicide Squad: They have appeared in the series “Arrow”, but that just barely scratches the surface of the potential of this group. Amanda Waller, the leader (who should be portrayed as fat as she was originally and not as she is on TV now), is such a great character. Col. Rick Flagg and his guilt-based sense of responsibility. And the fluid membership where anyone and everyone is a possibility. So much to do here that would work well on the big screen. Think “The Expendables” but with more sizzle, flash and balls to the wall.

6. Birds of Prey: I know it was a TV series, but the combination of the former Batgirl turned paralyzed computer-whiz group leader of characters such as Power Girl, The Black Canary, the new Batgirl, etc. It works in so many ways and could be a huge success for the DC Movie Universe.

5. The Defenders: I’m not a big fan of the original group of Defenders, which consisted of Dr. Strange, The Hulk, The Submariner and The Silver Surfer, but some of the later additions who became part of the non-group really made it into a unique and powerful combination of heroes. Picture this: The Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, Dr. Strange. His fiance, a powerful mage in her own right, Clea. The billionaire turned villian turned hero, Kyle Richmond aka “Nighthawk”. Former model Patsy Walker, aka “The Hellcat”. Norse godess and death maiden, “Valkyrie”. The eighty-year old man trapped in the body of a demon, Isaac Christians aka “The Gargoyle”. The telepathic, self-proclaimed godess of the mind, “Moondragon”. The “Son of Satan” Damion Hellstrom. Nowhere else will you find such a unique and eclectic group, united not in a formal manner, but only by the bonds of friendship and respect. As Guardians of the Galaxy has shown, weird works and with the Defenders, weird is definitely what you would get.

4. Magneto: He survived the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. He’s been both a hero and a villian. He’s a mass murderer, but his main goal is the safety and protection of his people, mutants. He has connections to both the X-Men (as friend and foe) and the Avengers (his children, The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are both members of that elite grouping.) He was once a Nazi hunter, working for the Government. And he’s been public enemy # 1. So many ways to go and so many stories to tell as one of the most complex characters in comic history. I don’t think it’s a question of if, but instead when. The sooner, the better.

3. Avengers West: This is a no-brainer to be sure. The Avengers has become the most successful comic-book movie in history and most likely, Avengers 2 will be just as, if not more successful. So why not expand on the franchise and create another team. Just as they did in the comics, have Hawkeye and War Machine (James Rhodes from the Iron Man movies) shipped out to California and thus, another team (and more movies) are born. This would allow characters like Mockingbird (who will be soon appearing in the “Agent of Shield” series, Tigra, Wonder Man, The Living Lightning, Spider Woman, The Shroud, Moon Knight, etc to all be used and developed. It would be a great move and realy just dot the “I’s” and cross the “t’s” for The Avengers as the top comic-movie franchise of all time.

2. Druid: A relatively obscure character in the Marvel Universe, but he’s been around since the mid-fifties, a creation of Stan Lee almost ten years before the Fantastic Four, X-Men or Spider Man came into existence. He’s known as the “Master of the Unknown” and is a mystic, a telepath, a hypnotist and can create illusions. He’s been a member of The Avengers and spent several years “lost in time and space”. He’s cold and slightly arrogant, with an ego and slightly twisted sense of right and wrong. There’s so many ways to take and use this character. He’s one of my favorite characters to write about and use in fan fiction stories and he would make a great movie character as well. He’s been around for almost sixty years, but so much of his past and history is shrouded in mystery, the story could go anywhere… and probably would.

1. Alpha Flight: Canada’s version of the Avengers. The patriotic, government sponsered leader, James Hudson, aka “Vindicator”. His wife, Heather, who’s the heart and soul of the team. The man turned beast, Walter Langowski, aka “Sasquatch”. The doctor turned mage, the man known as “Shaman” and his protege of a sort, the goddess “Snowbird”. The super-speedster twins, “Northstar” and “Aurora”. One is gay and the older suffers from multiple-personality disorder. The tiny yet potent warrior, “Puck”. Throw in characters like “The Purple Girl”, “Madison Jeffries”, “Marina” and “Manekin” and it’s a movie that has to be made. Add in the politician Gary Cody and the overzealous military dictator, General Clark. And even a Wolverine / Weapon X cameo if desired. It’s everything that the Avengers has, but even better. It’s a no brainer and really needs to be made.

And there you go. My lists and ideas for future comic-based movies. What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions of any other comics turned movies you’d like to see? Thoughts and comments welcome.

 

Ubuntu!

Sweepstakes Thoughts – Unconstitutional?

Sometimes, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, but someone has to keep calling the District Attorney, Kristy Newton and her police-state “Hoke and Scotland County Joint Gaming Task Force” out and it seems as if I’ve been elected. Because of the actions of Mrs. Newton and the coalition that she helped to create, over a hundred plus people lost their jobs. Over twenty plus businesses were forced to close. Hundreds of thousands of dollars that were invested in starting and developing these businesses by business owners trying to invest in this county and community were essentially thrown away and wasted as the businesses were not allowed to continue. And money from customers, potentially hundreds of thousands more dollars, that could be coming into the community and local businesses, has been thrown away as well.

Sweepstakes is nothing new in Scotland County and there has always been a love / hate relationship between the Sweepstakes businesses and the local government. The local governments love the large amount of money and revenue that the Sweepstakes businesses bring them, charging excessive fees for business licenses and local licenses that would only cost a fraction of the amount for any other kind of business. But at the same time, the local government leaders hate the Sweepstakes because they’re considered “low-brow”, “seedy”, “gambling” and “attract a bad crowd”.

By the way, in the almost four months we were open at the Sweepstakes where I was working, we never had a single incident or problem that required law enforcement. Not a single problem. And I never heard of any other Sweepstakes place here in Laurinburg having any kind of problems, with the sole exception of a guy who was arrested for indecent exposure. By comparison, when I worked at a local convenient store, just a few hundred yards away from where the Sweepstakes business was located, there were incidents almost every day and I witnessed more bare flesh exposed in an average week than one would find at a strip club. So which one is attracting the bad crowd and would be considered more “low-brow” and “seedy”? Yet, I don’t see anyone trying to close the convenient stores. By the way, the convenient stores sell alcohol and tobacco products, which cause far more damage to the family unit than video sweepstakes can ever be claimed too. And they also sell Lottery tickets. That’s gambling too, right?

But as I was saying, Sweepstakes businesses are nothing new to Scotland County. We had several businesses in operation a couple of years ago and our District Attorney, following the example that was prevalent across North Carolina, used her authority to order the local law enforcement to close the businesses. But there was a slight catch to all of that. Some of the businesses had taken a look at the NC laws pertaining to video sweepstakes and altered the software used in the machines. They were using pre-reveal software that, based on the NC Statues as written, was acceptable and legal. So an arrest was made, machines were confiscated and the matter went to court.

“And what happened in court”, you ask. “Based upon the FORGOING FINDINGS OF FACT, the court concludes as a matter of law: That the “Blue Diamond pre-reveal Sweepstakes system” is not in violation of NCGS 814.306.4.” That’s right. The software being used was found to be in compliance with the law, the Sweepstakes owner, Robert Outlaw, was found “Not Guilty” and the machines that had been confiscated were ordered to be returned.

After this decision was announced, Mr. Outlaw reopened his businesses. Several others also came to Scotland County, invested their money into the community by taking buildings that had been empty and were falling apart and fixing them up, refurnishing them and turning them into workable businesses, providing jobs and revenue for the community. There were a few naysayers as expected who preferred to see empty buildings and people out of work rather than allow grown adults the chance to make their own decisions and have some entertainment and something to do, but for the most part, everyone seemed to be satisfied. Except for our District Attorney, Kristy Newton.

Even though the matter had already been decided in a court of law, she took it upon herself to form the “Hoke and Scotland County Joint Gaming Task Force” and to make it her goal to rid the area under her authority of the dreaded “Internet Sweepstakes”. By the way, I find it interesting that Mrs. Newton and her associates were so adament about how illegal and wrong these businesses are, yet they had been found to be in compliance with the law by the courts and also, there are several Internet Sweepstakes businesses operating in Raleigh, the capital city of our great state, and they have yet to have any kind of problems or complaints from law enforcement or government officials. So it’s allowed in Raleigh, where the laws are made, but not in Scotland County? Another question that should be investigated.

In June, the Task Force, headed by Mrs. Newton, put out notices to all of the Sweepstakes businesses in Scotland County, forcing the businesses to either close down and shut their doors or else face legal battles. One business owner, Robert Outlaw, decided to defy the threats and remained open. After all, his business was already determined to be legal and in compliance with the law by the courts.

But that didn’t matter to Mrs. Newton and the members of her Task Force. On July 1, 2014, law enforcement officers raided and shut down the Carolina Cyber Center. owned by Mr. Outlaw. Computers and gaming equipement were confiscated and removed from the business. So despite it already being a matter of record that the equipment used by this business was legal, the officers confiscated (I would call it “stole”) the machines and closed the business.

Isn’t there a little thing in the Constitution about charging a person with the same crime more than once? I think it’s in the Bill of Rights and called Article [V] – Amendment 5 (Rights of Persons). It says, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb”. So by coming in and charging Mr. Outlaw with the same charges, the “Task Force” is clearly in violation of that particular Article. But the Task Force and the District Attorney found a nice little way to get around that little technicality. They confiscated the machines and closed the business, but haven’t pressed any charges. Very clever (and sneaky). But then there is this, also found in the Bill of Rights.

Article [IV] (Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And this as well. Article [VI] (Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions)
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

So what we have here is the District Attorney and the officers, under her direction, conducting a raid of questionable legality, illegal seizure of property since the material seized was already found to be in compliance with the law by the courts, and a denial of rights to fight against this injustice by not bringing charges and allowing Mr. Outlaw and the other Sweepstakes owners their day in court and a chance to confront their accusers in a speedy and public trial.

I’ve always thought that law enforcement officials and especially elected officials like the District Attorney were supposed to follow the order of the law and follow the Constitution, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Mrs. Newton is playing games and hoping that people will forget about the jobs she cost us and the businesses she has cost Scotland County. She would probably say that she was “just doing her job”, but her job is to follow the laws, even the ones she doesn’t agree with or like (like the pre-reveal software being legal and in compliance), and give the Sweepstakes owners their day in court in front of a judge where both parties can argue their cases and see what happens. If she can’t do that, she should step aside and resign and let someone competent take over the job.

Think about it!

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: August 15, 2014

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
August 15, 2014
Doug Maynard

And it go like this right here. I hate rap! Rap is crap! Yeah, I’m missing Curt Hennig and the infamous West Texas Rednecks. Their song, “I Hate Rap (Rap Is Crap)” has been in my head all day for some reason. WCW really dropped the ball with that storyline. It could have been big time money. RIP Curt Hennig and Bobby Duncum Jr. And a shout out to Barry and Kendall Windham. And yeah, rap really is crap. Just saying.

I’m Doug and welcome to a new edition of pro wrestling’s most eclectic column, the somewhat sporadic, but always eclectic “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News!”. Yes, I know it’s been a while and I’ve been a total slack-ass, but I have a good excuse. Come by the house sometime and I’ll fix you a bowl of chili and we’ll discuss it. I make some killer chili. It’s good!

As for today, we’re going to make it short and sweet (yeah, right!). I have a few predictions about the biggest wrestling event of the summer, SummerSlam 2014, coming this Sunday night from Los Angeles, CA. I have a few questions from the old mailbag that will be answered. And I’ve got a few random thoughts about a few current happenings in the world’s greatest sport since dwarf tossing. So let’s can the chit-chat and let’s do this.

Thoughts And Stuff…

The word is that Kurt Angle is trying to petition himself for a limited return to the WWE. I’m not sure if I like the idea or not. Kurt is a great wrestler and could be a valuable addition, even on a limited basis, to the WWE roster. But on the other hand, and it sounds odd for me to be saying this since I tend to prefer the older stars over the newer ones, having Angle back would take away TV and exposure from guys like Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Dolph, Zack, Swagger, Ziggler, Wyatt. And unlike Chris Jericho or RVD, who don’t seem to mind (and in Jericho’s case, thrive) on putting the next generation over, I just don’t see Angle being quite as agreeable. As a trainer or agent, I’d have no objections, but if he’s part of the active roster, I just think WWE would be better served investing in other people instead. Angle as a trainer on “Tough Enough” would be great to see though.

TNA has been moved by Spike TV to Wednesday nights starting next week. So instead of having to face the challenge of the NFL and (possibly) Smackdown (if the rumors are true), Impact will go against the power of Duck Dynasty instead. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m choosing between Dixie Carter or Phil & Uncle Sy, it’s not even a close decision. Another nail in the coffin for TNA. The days are getting shorter and the future looks bleak. Has Spike TV renewed Impact yet? I don’t think so.

Alberto Del Rio is gone from the WWE for allegedly slapping a member of the WWE’s social media staff. It’s not really a surprise that Del Rio was terminated. After all, he’s allegedly been unhappy with WWE for a while and was planning on leaving when his contract expired anyhow. It’s a shame, but he wasn’t really being used much lately anyhow except to put other guys over in “Beat The Clock” challenges and he’ll be better off (and probably happier) working back in Mexico where he dominated for years as Dos Caras Jr. Del Rio fired. Ricardo Rodriguez terminated. Rey Mysterio is being contractually held hostage and allegedly wants to leave the company. Vickie Guerrero is gone as well. Me thinks that someone in power doesn’t like latinos in the WWE. Hey El Torito, hold on to your tail. You could be next!

The Hardy Boys versus Team 3-D on Impact! last night? All that was missing was a run-in by Edge and Christian and things would have been perfect.

I actually enoyed the Hogan “birthday celebration” this past Monday on RAW. Did anyone else notice that Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff almost started laughing and actually cracked a smile when Brock Lesnar called Hulk Hogan “Grandpa”. That was funny and the camera was quick to move away from the smirking man with the killer mustache. It was also funny to see Scott Hall move behind “Mean Gene” when Brock climbed into the ring. A good segment and everyone sold the tension and danger of Brock quite well. Wouldn’t mind seeing a Brock Lesnar – Kevin Nash face-off at some point. It won’t happen because Kevin would probably tear his quad, but still…

One thing that didn’t look right though was Ric Flair and Roddy Piper standing in the ring next to Hogan, Hall and Nash. The nWo in the ring with Piper and Flair? Flair was Flair, happy, smiling and clapping. Hasn’t he ever heard of selling? But Piper showed some obvious tension on his face for the whole segment. But then again, Piper always looks tense. Maybe he needs some Exlax or more ruffage in his diet? Who can say for sure.

If Dolph doesn’t win the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday night, I think a good move for him (for the time being) would be to enter the tag team ranks. Since they’re already a team of sorts in their attempts to take over the JBL & Cole show, how about Dolph and Zack Ryder as a tag team challenging the Usos for the tag team gold. It’d be a damn good match and could steal the show at any WWE event. I’d love to see it.

I realized something the other day. The Accolade, used as a finisher by Rusev, is the exact same finisher that was used by Scott Steiner, except for he called it the “Steiner Recliner”. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Scotty Steiner come out on RAW one night and cut a promo, as only Steiner can do, accusing Rusev of “stealing his move”. Rusev takes offense, of course and comes out to challenge the former multi-time WCW Champion. It wouldn’t be pretty, but it would make for great crash-TV and a match of epic, stiff proportions. Rusev versus Scott Steiner. Admit it! You’d like to see it happen too.

RAW will be in Las Vegas this coming up Monday night. That brings to mind a few names that I would love to see show up on Monday night at RAW to make cameo appearances, most likely with Adam Rose and his group of misfits. How about The Godfather? How about Disco Inferno? How about Rico? All three live in Vegas and all three would be great fits to come out strutting, dancing and chillaxin’ with the Exotic Express. Make it happen, Vince!

Let’s do some Q&A…

Question Time…

Michael Sisco: I have a hypothetical question. If the 4-Horseman had never existed, would Arn and/or Tully been world champion at some point?

I don’t think so. Tully wasn’t considered big enough by most standards of the day and even though he had quite a few great matches, he would have been stuck in the secondary champion or top contender slot. And Arn would have been used as the strong guy who could be depended upon for a good match, but otherwise stuck mainly in the tag team ranks in order to help build new stars and keep that division strong, much like Ole Anderson did for most of career.

Charlie Haas: If you had to show one match to somebody that has never really watched pro wrestling, what match would you pick to watch with them?

The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette (Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton) versus Ric Flair and Barry Windham (The Horsemen) w/ James J. Dillon from Clash of the Champions 4. Great athletes putting on a great match with just enough shenanigans to really add that exclamation point to show what professional wrestling should really be all about. It’s one of my favorite matches of all time and a must-see match for any fans of old-school wrestling.

Terence Butler: Should John Cena have been the one to end “The Streak”? And has it hurt his legacy?

Cena didn’t need to end the streak. His legacy is pretty much strong, safe and secure in the world of sports-entertainment.

Hal Jordan: What are your favorite AWA memories?

Most people might not know or remember this, but I used to do recaps of the AWA on ESPN Classics for the PWInsider website so I’ve got a few moments of AWA greatness that stand out in my head. Larry Zbyszko defending the AWA title against Harley Race is one. How about Baron Von Raschke singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”. The great Buddy Rose and Doug Somers, managed by Sherri Martel and their battles against The Midnight Rockers. The future “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig getting “the world’s greatest advice” from Larry Zbyszko and defeating Nick Bockwinkle to capture the AWA World Championship. Bruiser Brody going nuts and scaring the hell out of everyone. Wrestle-Rock and the Wrestle-Rock rumble. So many things stand out in my mind from those shows. It was quite a time and era.

Jamie Clarke: Now that The Usos have retained the Tag Team Championship against the Wyatt Family for a second time, who do you think will eventually take the belts from them?

Looking at the WWE tag team scene right now, I think that the most likely guys to come in and beat the Usos will most likely be Dustin and Cody, aka Goldust and Stardust. Actualy, I’d like to see Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel team back up and have a shot, but I don’t think that’ll happen. Dolph and Zack Ryder would be a good team too, but that’s even less likely. Yeah, I think I’ll go with the Dusty Duo.

Iam Djqu: Should Nikita Koloff been the NWA World Champion back in the JCP era??

Looking back, Nikita was a monster in that ring and as tough as they come, but the NWA World Champion? I don’t really think so. I think of the NWA Champion and I think of Ric Flair, Harley Race and Dory Funk, men who could have a good match against anyone and everyone and make even the most incompetent wrestler look like a top star and a million bucks. Nikita wasn’t quite as well rounded and did the power thing, but not much else. He was great at his character and style and while he could have possibly been a transitional champion for a week or so, I can’t picture him as being a successful long-term champion. It just wouldn’t have worked well for that era.

And there you go. Let’s move on once more and it’s time to break out the Sister Cleo outfit and the crystal ball. Or is that Dionne Warwick? Regardless, let’s do this…

WWE SummerSlam Predictions…

WWE World Heavyweight champion John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman.

I’ve got to say that I’ve been loving the build for this match and I’m expecting it to be a true slobberknocker in all ways. But who is going to win and walk out of Los Angeles on Sunday night as the WWE World Champion. That’s the question. Everything screams that Brock Lesnar will dominate and win. He’s bigger, stronger, on a roll of epic proportions and just so damn intense, how can you possibly beat this guy? How can even John Cena overcome all the odds and win any kind of match against Brock? Well, it’s pretty simple. He can’t win the match… BUT he won’t lose the title. Here’s how I see it. To win the title, Brock has to beat Cena by pinfall or submission. So they battle, Brock decimates Cena, but goes a bit over the top and strikes a referee. They’re on the outside of the ring and Brock puts Cena through the announce table, but takes too long doing it and they both get counted out. Not sure of the exact scenario, but Brock wins the war, but not the title due to… I’ll say a count-out. Thus the battle and war can continue at the next pay-per-view event as well. As for the title, once Cena is laid out by “The Beast”, what’s to stop a certain Money In The Bank contract holder from cashing in? Hmmmmmm…

WINNER: No Contest (Cena retains the title).

Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns.

The Apex Predator versus The master of the superman punch. This is another match that should be stiff, brutal and fun to watch. Randy has never been one of my favorite guys, but he can always be counted on to have a good, solid match. He’s earned that spot at the top of the card and rarely disappoints. And Roman is the hot, new thing and is coming along nicely as the (with all apologies to Brock Lesnar), the next big thing. This feud could really have some legs and be stretched out for the nxt few months if played correctly. And I think the best way to do that is have Randy win. So it’s not the popular decision, but it’s what I think will happen. Due to that killer RKO from nowhere, the one-time “Legend Killer” takes the win. And come Monday night on RAW, Roman gets mad and payback. Yep, that sounds like a plan.

Winner: Randy Orton

WWE Divas champion AJ Lee vs. Paige.

Paige is finally starting to show on the main roster what she was showing in NXT, that personality and is developing into quite a character. Her interactions with her “frienemy” have really allowed her to start to shine. And AJ is just as fun and over the top as always. And we all know guys love “crazy chicks”. This should be a good match and fun to watch. Paige will eventually have her day and have the chance to be the Divas Champion. But that being said, this weekend will not be the time or place. I think the era of AJ Lee still has a long ways to go. AJ retains the gold.

Winner and STILL Divas Champion: AJ Lee

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins – Lumberjack Match

A lumberjack match. Woo-hoo! So at least Zack Ryder, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel will all get the chance to get a PPV bonus this month. Mark Henry and Christian too (I hope). As for the match itself, why did Ambrose pick a “Lumberjack Match” and not a “MITB Contract On A Pole” match? Maybe it’s just me, but physical wounds heal. Take that title opportunity away and it would hurt Rollins far worse. Regardless of why, it is what it is and the modern day version of “Dick Slater meets Roddy Piper” is going to do what he does. Ambrose wins and hands Seth a major shalacking. I expect that we’ll see Seth later in the night making his impact, but for this match, it’s all Ambrose. ‘Nuff said!

Winner: Dean Ambrose

WWE Intercontinental champ Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler it seems is always the bridesmaid (or top contender) and never the bride (or champion). I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Ziggler dominates the match, but when that final bell rings, The Miz is still the Intercontinental Champion. Why? Cause he’s the Miz and he’s…. you know the rest.

Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: The Miz

Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt

Chris Jericho won the first match at Battleground. Thus, to keep the feud going and not decimate or destroy Bray’s momentum, this one goes to the eater of worlds. Follow the Buzzards. Bray wins!

Winner: Bray Wyatt

Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella.

I’m conflicted on this one. I can’t really see Steph stepping back into the ring after a ten-year hiatus in order to lose. But if Steph wins, what’s left for Brie? If Daniel Bryan was healthy and able to come back to the ring, I could see Steph stealing a win (with the aid of her hubby, HHH), to build towards a mixed-tag match. But Bryan isn’t able to work right now so where are they taking this? What’s next? I’ve heard people speculate about Nikki Bella turning on her sister, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Why would Nikki allign herself with The Authority when they’re trying to take out her boyfriend, John Cena? I have another theory instead.

Flashback to about two years ago and the Bellas were heels and they were giving a certain WWE Diva a hard time as she exited from the company. That Diva said she’d be back eventually and get some payback. I’ve heard the word “karma” mentioned a few times over the past few months as things have developed between Brie and Stephanie. So we get the match and Brie “beats” Steph. But then Brie gets a big dose of beatdown from a returning “Kharma”, back in the WWE and looking for some payback as Stephanie’s personal bodyguard. It’s just speculation on my part, but it really would be “best for business”. Brie wins the match and afterwards… we’ll see.

Winner: Brie Bella

Flag Match: Jack Swagger vs. Rusev.

It’s the feel good moment of the show as Swagger (due to a distraction by Zeb Colter) captures the flag and wins the match. Thus Swagger (and the fans) win, but Rusev can still make the claim he’s never been “pinned or submitted” and maintain his aura of bad-assity. Yep, that sounds about right. WE THE PEOPLE!

Winner: Jack Swagger

And I guess now it’s time to bring this to an end and put the baby to bed. Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at @doug28352 or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/saltpalace. Thank you so much for reading. I’m Doug and I will see you on the flip side. As the great Baron Von Raschke would say, “Dat is all de’ people need to know!”. Have a good one, support your local Indy wrestling group, and always be a fan.

Ubuntu!