Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: January 24, 2016

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
January 24, 2016
Doug Maynard

Guess what? I’m back again and we’re just a few hours away from the 2016 edition of the WWE Survivor Series. I’m Doug and this is pro wrestling’s most eclectic column, going strong since 2002. I apologize for the lateness of this column, only mere hours away from the big event that is Survivor Series, but the past several days have been hectic. Lots of ice and trees down in the yard, as well as no phone, no cable, no internet and no heat with tempatures dropping down into the teens at night, so as you might suspect, writing has been one of the last things on my mind. But last night, everything seemed to come together, at least here at the HQ of Tossing Salt Media, Inc. and it’s warm again and we have internet access again, thus I am writing again.

Before I get started on the wrestling stuff, I want to send a quick prayer out to all of the people still fighting the elements and still without heat or power. Hang in there friends!And also a big thanks to the people who are out there working to restore our heat and electricity and are looking out for us. Thank you for your time and efforts! And now, let’s talk wrestling and what’s on the agenda for today. I’ve got match predictions for the Survivor Series pay-per-view, which is coming up tonight on the WWE Network. I have a few predictions who the “surprises” for the Rumble match tonight might be. I have some picks and opinions over who should face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXXII in Dallas. And I have a few random thoughts on other stuff. This might not be a long column or one of my best, but it will be packed full of all sorts of creamy goodness. Let’s do this.

Royal Rumble Predictions…

Let’s get things rolling by breaking out the “Sister Cleo” outfit and making a few predictions about who will win what for the announced matches for tonight’s Royal Rumble event.

Royal Rumble Match for the WWE Championship

Looking over the WWE roster, there are pretty much three men who would be the heavy favorites here. We’re talking WWE World Champion Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and that other name I keep hearing (and hope we don’t see), Triple H. Roman going from the number one position to the end seems pretty unlikely to me. Brock coming into the middle and killing everyone dead with suplex-city and winning is slightly more likely. And HHH coming in at number 30 and winning it all, thus restoring the WWE Championship into the hands of the Authority (and making HHH versus Roman Reigns the main event at Wrestlemania XXXII) seems most likely. I would love to see a few twists and turns here. How about Samoa Joe eliminating Brock Lesnar, thus giving us a Samoa Joe versus Brock fight at FastLane before Brock refocuses on the WWE title and Wrestlemania once more. How about the Wyatt Family eliminating Roman at the orders of the Authority (or just because they want to) to set up some more matches for FastLane. How about the debuting AJ Styles or the also debuting Austin Aries coming in as the new associates for the Authority and winning the belt. Austin Aries and Seth Rollins remind me so much of each other, Aries could easily be pegged into the Rollins role with the Authority and they could pick up where they left off when Seth was injured, plus set the basis for what would be a great Rollins / Aries feud later this year when Seth returns. I hope that we have a surprise winner like Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens or even Heath Slater. That would be awesome. But in the end, I think it will be a WWE Championship and one more time on top for HHH, aka “The Game”. Yeah, that sounds right.

Winner and NEW WWE World Champion: Triple H

WWE Diva’s Champion Charlotte versus Becky Lynch

If Charlotte loses, what happens to her daddy, the Nature Boy? Watching Charlotte do this heel turn has been painful to watch at times and the whole so-called Divas Revolution has somewhat fizzled out, but I think one or two good high profile matches with Charlotte versus Sasha, Charlotte versus Natayla and yes, Charlotte versus Becky, could light it all back up. Charlotte and her Hall of Fame father are the right thing for right now in the Diva’s division. I don’t see her dropping the title until Wrestlemania at the earliest.

Winner and STILL Diva’s Champion: Charlotte

WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose versus Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing Match

I WANT to see Owens reclaim the Intercontinental Championship, but I don’t think now is the time or place for him to do it. Just so long as they have a great brawl and fight and both men come out looking bad-ass and strong, I won’t complain. Then Owens can move on to possibly challenge Undertaker for a fight at Wrestlemania XXXII. Or maybe Ambrose can be the one? Hmmmmm… This should be a helluva match and probably go all over the arena. No matter who gets their arm raised at the end of the night, I suspect that we, the fans, will be the winners here. Still champion though when the smoke settles, will be Dean Ambrose.

Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Dean Ambrose

WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio versus Kalisto.

What was the point in giving Kalisto a title win on RAW only to have him (cleanly) lose the title back to Del Rio on Smackdown? It doesn’t make sense and does absolutely nothing to help build Kalisto’s character or image. He looks like he was lucky and it was a fluke win. This will be a solid match to be sure, but does anyone even care right now about either of these two? Kalisto needs to get that title back and hold on to it for a while to make that earlier win mean anything. Hopefully, tonight will be the night that it happens.

Winner and NEW United States Champion: Kalisto

WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day versus The Usos.

We’ve seen this match plenty of times already and we know it will be solid, entertaining and fun to watch. But the sense of dejavu isn’t always a good thing. Hey, the Social Outcasts beat the Dudleys earlier this week on WWE Superstars so why not throw two of them into the match as a “reward” for their victory and make this a triple-threat match? The Usos are awesome, but the New Day are the current hot ticket for the WWE and I expect that even without the trombone, they’ll find a way to retain their titles. Why? Because New… Day… Rocks! ‘Nuff said!

Winners and STILL WWE World Tag Team Champions: The New Day

Kickoff Show Match: The Ascension versus The Dudley Boyz versus Jack Swagger and Mark Henry versus Darren Young and Damien Sandow

Mark Henry and Jack Swagger? Darren Young and Damien Sandow? Is this the match of random teams drawn from a hat? We also have The Ascension (yawn) and The Dudley Boyz. This should be an entertaining match, but is there any kind of question as to who should win? Actually, I’m hoping that there is. As I mentioned a moment ago, the Dudleys lost to the Social Outcasts on television earlier this week. If they were to lose again, say to perhaps Mark Henry and Jack Swagger, this could set in motion a Dudley break-up and feud and allow Bubba to resurrect his “Bully Ray” character from TNA and do a singles run. That would be cool. I think it will happen. So the Dudleyz lose and implode on RAW tomorrow night. The Ascension lose too because that’s what they do. Young and Sandow sounds like an interesting team… NOT! And the winners are the two men with the strong amateur backgrounds. All together now… WE THE PEOPLE!

Winners: Mark Henry and Jack Swagger

That was fun. Now, let’s do a few random thoughts about different things happening around the world of sports-entertainment.

Tammy Sytch has a new video out. She has moved on from the world of video-skyping to adult video. I saw the clip. I’m not impressed. If you’re interested in watching what a one-time Diva turned trailer-park-trash will do to pay her legal bills and avoid working a real job, go to Vivid.com and check out the clip. Sunny Side Up? More like over-easy with emphasis on “easy”. Go get ’em Tammy. I’m sure that Chris Candido would be very proud.

The Social Outcasts HAVE to eliminate the Big Show from the Rumble match tonight as payback for the way he humiliated them this past week on RAW. Otherwise, they may as well just forget about any kind of push or respect from the fans. Just saying.

Is AJ Styles coming to the WWE? All signs point to YES! And TNA is not happy, putting out a statement that claims Styles, as well as Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, had agreed to return to TNA and then backed out to go to the WWE. The way I understand it, Styles and company met with TNA, talked to TNA and agreed in principal to return to the ranks of TNA, but then WWE made a better offer (at least to Styles) and the group decided to go with that option instead. But no contracts were signed and the agreement was verbal only. I hate it for TNA, but it seems as if they counted their chickens before they hatched and before the lawyers had a chance to cross the “T’s” and dot the “I’s” and in the world of entertainment, until that contract is signed, sealed and delivered, it doesn’t mean a thing. It sounds to me that someone in TNA dropped the ball and their loss will be the WWE’s gain. It happens. Get over it!

And now, since I’m still wearing the “Sister Cleo” outfit (and I look marvelous in it by the way), let’s take a chance and do some guessing at who will be the “special guest stars” and make surprise appearances at the Royal Rumble tonight. I have nothing to base these guesses on except for that I’d like to see them and would mark out. There are rumors out there to support some of these options, but I’d rather just randomly guess because it’s what I do. And by the way, I’m not including Chris Jericho or Tommy Dreamer here because Jericho announced that he was part of the Rumble match and Dreamer has been working WWE shows as of late. I’m also not including any NXT stars (Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, etc) because we expect to see a few of them in the big match tonight. And I won’t include AJ Styles, even though I think he’ll be there, because in his case, the surprise will be if he doesn’t show up and participate. But who will pop up and surprise us all? Let’s find out.

Top Six Surprises for Tonight’s Royal Rumble Match…

6. Bill Goldberg: The rumors are out there that he’s been talking to the WWE off and on and I believe he’s in the area today doing a signing appearance. Goldberg’s first run in the WWE was not really anything to write home about and given that his last match in a WWE ring was against Brock Lesnar, wouldn’t it be interesting to see Brock and Goldberg face off once more? It would make for a great Rumble moment and get several tongues to wagging at the water cooler tomorrow morning.

5. Meng / Haku: Why not? He recently wrestled in Japan just a few weeks ago and from all reports, looked fantastic in that ring. He’s a true legend and icon for this business. He’s related to half the roster (Usos, Roman, The Rock, Tamina, etc) and he lives in Florida. Makes sense to me.

4. Diamond Dallas Page: Page lives in Atlanta, but it would be just a short trip to get to the show tonight. Page is popular with the WWE roster and management and with the success of his DDP Yoga, hotter and more popular than ever. The fans would pop. I would pop. And someone would feel the “BANG!”

3. The Great Khali: I don’t want to see this happen. No one wants to see this happen. But generally, around this time of year, Khali pops up and appears. He’s big and he’s a legit giant and the Rumble is made to order for big giants, even those who can’t wrestle very well, so…

2. Tatanka: Chris Chavis, aka Tatanka, announced a few months ago that he had signed a new WWE Legends Contract. Chavis is in great shape and looks as good as he did fifteen years ago. And he’s a local guy for me who lives twenty miles down the road so why not?

1. The Great Muta: I’ll bet my long term readers thought I would close with the Disco Inferno, right? While the presence of Disco in the Royal Rumble would be awesome, what would be even more awesome is to see the legendary Great Muta show up and make an appearance. I know that Muta still wrestles regularly in Japan, primarily in tag team events and multi-man matches and yes, I know his knees are pretty much shot and he’s only a shadow of what we remember from the NWA / WCW days. I know all of this, but still would like to see him appear, at least once, in a WWE ring and event. And what better place than the 2016 Royal Rumble? No, I haven’t heard anything and this is all just a pipe-dream to me, but wouldn’t it be nice? I think so.

And now, a few more random thoughts about current events…

Daniel Bryan recently underwent more medical testing and was once again, cleared by doctors to return to the ring. He has not yet, however, been cleared to return to the ring by the medical personal who matter and that’s the WWE doctors. I’m hoping that the WWE will give in and allow the former WWE World Champion to once more step back into the ring soon. With Wrestlemania XXXII coming soon and the large number of top stars including John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Cesaro, etc that are out of action, WWE needs his presence more than ever and I’ve even thought of a way to make the most of Bryan and include him in the mix, but still limit his ring time to avoid any more injuries or another concussion. Here’s my scenario. Daniel Bryan comes to RAW tomorrow night and announces that he’s working on getting cleared by the WWE doctors. He also makes it clear that he wants to get back his WWE World Championship that he had to give up due to injury and never lost in that ring. Bryan challenges the winner of the Royal Rumble to a match at Wrestlemania XXXII for the title. Whoever the champion is (HHH?) and the top contender (Reigns?) both come out and protest. Maybe even Brock Lesnar too since he can also make the claim that he was never beaten for the WWE title. A match is made at FastLane for Bryan to compete (and see how the body will hold up) and if Bryan wins, he goes to Wrestlemania XXXII and is added to the title match main event. That’s the gist of it anyhow. Something to think about, right?

The WWE Diva’s Division needs a major name to come shake things up. I think Victoria would be the right person to come in and do just that.

Ivory is still HOT too!

According to Edge, Christian is still under contract to the WWE. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a few minutes of action by “Captain Charisma” in the WWE Royal Rumble tonight?

And finally…

There has been much talk about who would be the right person to face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXXII in Dallas later this year. The word is that Vince McMahon is currently looking at Braun Strowman of the Wyatt Family as one of his top picks. While Braun is a big guy and a good physical match-up against the Dead Man, his in-ring ability thus far isn’t really all that impressive. He still looks a bit tedious and nervous sometimes, like he’s over-thinking the spots. Maybe it’s just me, but a Strowman versus Taker match would be just “Eh” at best. So I’ve decided to offer my options as to who I think would be better and make for a better option against the Undertaker at the annual big event.

Top 5 Picks To Wrestle The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXXII…

5. Kevin Owens: I mentioned him earlier. Owens is a prize-fighter and his character is always looking for the next challenge and big event. What bigger challenge and event is there than facing the Undertaker on the grandest stage of them all, Wrestlemania XXXII.

4. Bubba Ray Dudley: I mentioned this earlier too. During his last TNA run, Bubba got himself into great shape and had an incredible run as the top heel of the company. Why isn’t the WWE doing the same and using Bubba to his full potential. Let Bubba get tired of losing and blame it all on Devon. He takes care of Devon at the FastLane event and then we see the cocky, arrogant veteran come out. He’s crude, rude and disrespectful to all. And he sets his sights on the Undertaker. It would be a great match and could work so well.

3. Samoa Joe: The NXT superstar is famous for “killing bitches dead!”. So what if he decided to see if he could kill the “Dead Man” dead! Two accomplished veterans trading blows and fighting it out to see who truly is the biggest and the baddest. Sounds like money to me.

2. Chris Jericho: If he’s going to be here and needs something to do, why not let him do it with the biggest star the WWE has going right now? Jericho can have a good match with almost anyone and Taker needs to have someone he can work with and trust in that ring. I don’t think it’s ever been done before so why not? Can we say, “Undertaker is Jericho?”

1. Dean Ambrose: The “Lunatic Fringe” versus “The Dead Man”. Can you imagine the crowd reaction if these two were to hook up in that ring. A great match with lots of hard hitting action and bumps and the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats. I’d like to see it happen and if not at Wrestlemania, then sooner rather than later.

And with that, I’m closing this bad boy up. I just got a phone call and have to go pick my brother up from the hospital. I also have a yard full of tree limbs to go clean up. Damn those pine trees and that ice. So I’m out of here. Thanks for reading and maybe it won’t be so long before the next column. We’ll see. Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Visit me on Facebook at Facebook.com/saltpalace and I’m on Twitter at @doug28352. Again, thanks for reading. As the great Baron Von Raschke would say, “dat’ is all de’ people need to know!” I’m Doug, I’m down and I’m gone. Have a great one!

Ubuntu!

Men On Politics 2016 (In Living Color Parody)

A quick parody of the “Men On Film” segments from the show “In Living Color”. May go back and rewrite later on, but this is the first draft. Enjoy.

 

Men On Politics: 2016 Presidential Edition

(Inside a small TV studio, two men are waiting for their cues. Antione Merriweather and Blaine Edwards are ready to begin.)

“Hello, I’m Blaine Edwards”, the first man smiled.

“And I’m Antoine Merriweather”, the other added.

“And welcome to Men on Politics”, they said together.

“Where we are going to look at the men and women”, Blaine said.

“If they truly are women… and I have my doubts”… Antoine interjected.

“Who are running for the office of President of the United States of America”, Blaine finished.

“From a male point of view”, Antoine concluded.

“But first, we have to mention our newest sponser, Ball Park Franks”, Blaine said as he held up a pack of hot dogs. “They plump when you cook ’em.”

“And I know you like that”, Antoine adlibbed.

“You know I do”, Blaine smiled. “I’ll just save these for later!”, he muttered as he set the pack of hot dogs to the side.

“Girl, you crazy”, Antoine laughed.

“I like my weiners plump”, Blaine admitted.

“And now, let’s talk about the men and women running for the office of President of the United States of America”, Antoine started.. “First off, we have little Marco Rubio.”

“Little Marco is cute as a button, but look at those ears”, Blaine smirked. “Is Mickey Mouse his daddy?”

“Just something to grab hold to and ride”, Antoine laughed.

“Marco is cute and all that, but he just reminds me of my ex-pool boy, Juan.”

“He can clean my pool anytime”, Antoine smiled.

“And then we come to Senator Teddy Cruz”, Antoine said.

“He’s short!”, Blaine said.

“He’s obnoxious”, Antoine added.

“He’s got a flat head”, Blaine remarked.

“So at least there is one redeeming quality there”, Antoine threw in.

Blaine turned and looked over at Antoine, who just shrugged.

“And next is Carly or whatever her name is”, Antoine said.

“Hate her!”, both Antoine and Blaine said at the same time.

“Look at that face. He needs to go talk to RuPaul and get some beauty tips”, Blaine said.

“I don’t even think Ru could help that one out”. Antoine added.

“Next up is little Ben Carson”, Blaine said.

“He can play Doctor with me anytime”, Antoine said. “So soft spoken and sweet!”

“You know there’s some sugar in that tank”, Blaine said. “But I don’t care. I think I need a physical.”

“But he seems to like those beastly mens”, Antoine said.

“What do you mean, Toin?”, Blaine asked.

“Have you seen his wife? She’s all big and scary looking.”

“Hate her”, Blaine and Antoine said together.

“Next up is Jeb”, Blaine said.

“I like Jebby, but there’s something about his name”, Antoine remarked.

“Jeb?”, Blaine asked.

“No, the other name”, Antoine said. “Bush!”

“Uuugghh!”, both Blaine and Antoine shuddered at the same time.

“Nasty”, Blaine added, sticking his tongue out in disgust.

“Like you can talk”, Antoine said. “I know where that tongue has been.”

“Not in any bush”, Blaine smirked.

“Not what I heard”, Antoine remarked.

Throwing a nasty look at his partner, Blaine asked, “Who’s left?”

“Kasich”, Antoine said. “The Governor of Ohio.”

“I don’t like him”, Blaine said. “He’s all jumpy and jittery all the time, like someone slipped meth in his geritol.”

“I disagree”, Antoine said. “He’s got that sly, silver fox look going on… and look at those lips.”

“Looks like he got into the Ball Park franks. They are kind of plump.”

“Oooh girl”, Antoine snickered. “Call me Grandpa!”

“And next, there’s the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.”, Blaine said.

“Hate her!”, Antoine said.

“She’s not a she. She’s a he”, Blaine said. “The chubby one who looks like Spanky from the Little Rascals.”

“Oh, he’s all right then”, Antoine said. “If you’re into that bear quality.”

“He’s big and burly and can bear me anytime. I like that bossy style”, Antoine smiled.

“I know you do! I know you do!”, Blaine smirked.

“And last, but certainly not least, we have the billionaire, Donald Trump.”

“The Donald”, Blaine said. “He’s rich and loud and rich.”

“But what is that on his head? It looks like something crawled up there and died!”, Antoine said.

“It doesn’t matter”, Blaine said. “He’s rich!”

“I don’t care!”, Antoine said. “I don’t like him. He’s a bully and a racist.”

“But he’s rich!”, Blaine said. “And I like rich!”

“He’s a cheater. Look what he did to his first wife, Ivanka with that little Marla Maples girl. And then did to her with the new wife.”

“He likes to spread the little Donald around. That’s for sure!”, Blaine noted.

“Did you know I applied to be on ‘The Apprentice’ once?”, Antoine commented.

“You did?”, Blaine asked. “What happened?”

“It came down to between me and Gary Busey. They went with Busey!”

“That’s awful. There’s no accounting for taste”, Blaine said.

“I was shattered”, Antione said. “Good thing I had some Ball Park Franks.”

“They plump when you cook them”, Blaine said.

“And that’s going to do it for our look at the Republican candidates running for the office of President of the United States”, Antoine said. “For the men and so-called women running, we’re going to give them a new and improved, three twirls and double snap around the back, high five snap.”

“Come back next week when we look at the Democratic candidates running for the office”, Blaine said.

“Three grizzled old, rich white folks”, Antoine noted.

“Now that sounds almost racist”, Blaine said. “Toin, I’m ashamed of you.”

“How about three grizzled old pale faces who need a tan?”, Antoine said.

“Better”, Blaine smiled.

“That’s all for now”, Antoine said.

“Bye bye”, Baine added.

“And don’t forget to eat some Ball Park Franks. They plump when you cook them”, Antoine said. “And who doesn’t like that!”

THE END!

Fantasy Booking 101: Wrestlemania XXXII…

We are only a little over four months away from Wrestlemania XXXII, the WWE’s biggest show of the year, coming from Dallas, TX. Obviously, the WWE is going to pull out all of the stops to make this one of the biggest and best Wrestlemania events of all time. The hope and plan is to fill up a 100,000 plus seat arena to capacity and set a new attendance record. But with so much of the roster currently out with injuries, can it be done? I started thinking about it and what kind of show will the WWE present? Who will be there? Who won’t? And then I decided that it was time to do some fantasy booking and match making.

I decided to see if I could come up with a card that would draw fans, keep the WWE Universe happy, attract some old-school fans back to the fold and truly be worthy of being Wrestlemania XXXII. And using the current active roster (and two surprise names that I fully and truly do expect to participate in Dallas), I put together what I think would make a great show. Tell me what you think.

Pre-Show Matches:

Zack Ryder versus Bo Dallas

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
(Mark Henry, The Ascension, Adam Rose, Alex Riley, Fandango, Big Show, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Darren Young, David Otunga, Fernando, Diego, Goldust, El Torito, Wade Barrett, The Miz, R Truth, Tyler Breeze, Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews, Rhino, Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger and James Storm)

Wrestlemania XXXII Matches:

4-Team Elimination Match: Winners Get Shot At WWE Tag Team Championship
The Lucha Dragons versus The Usos versus Luke Harper & Erick Rowan versus Curtis Axel & Damion Sandow

NXT Championship Match
Finn Balor (c) versus Samoa Joe

Intercontinental Championship Match
Dean Ambrose (c) versus Bray Wyatt

The Undertaker versus John Cena

WWE Tag Team Championship – Tables Match
The New Day (c) versus The Dudley Boyz

Retirement Match: If Bryan loses, he must retire forever
Daniel Bryan versus Triple H

Divas Championship
Charlotte (c) versus Sasha Banks

(Bonus Challenge Match)
Heath Slater versus Hulk Hogan

10-Man Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Sheamus vs Neville vs Kane vs Ryback vs Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger vs Dolph Ziggler vs Titus O’Neill vs Stardust vs Rusev

WWE World Championship Match
Roman Reigns (c) versus Brock Lesnar versus Kevin Owens

So there you go. I’ve tried to make the matches diverse and interesting. Everyone on the roster has a spot and we even get the chance to feature some of the NXT talent as well. Is this a Wrestlemania worthy event? Comments and thoughts welcome.

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: December 13, 2015

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
December 13, 2015
Doug Maynard

I’m Doug. It’s Sunday, December 13, 2015 and guess what? I think we’ve got a column. Let’s do this!

We are just hours away from the WWE’s latest pay-per-view offering, Tables, Ladders and Chairs (oh my) and I’m confused. Should we still call them pay-per-views even though now, they’re more of a WWE Network event than traditional PPV offering? Well, some folks are still paying fifty-plus dollars to watch these events, albeit fewer and fewer each and every month, so I guess the PPV label still stands for now anyhow and that’s what I’ll stick with. But then again, I still call Catilyn Jenner by his birth name, Bruce, so what do I know, right?

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate these gimmick-based shows? I don’t mind having “TLC” matches or “Hell In A Cell” matches or any other kind of speciality match for that matter, but building an annual event or show based on the gimmick that it’s all speciality and gimmick matches kind of sucks and defeats the purpose in my opinion. Why can’t they just give these shows a more generic name, like say perhaps “Starcade” for the December events or “Halloween Havoc” or “Fall Brawl” for the September or October events. Yes, I’m trying to live in the past to a degree, but if they (WWE) own the rights to these names and the names have a history, use the old names. And just put on a show of mostly regular singles and tag matches that sell themselves based on the person or persons wrestling rather than depending on cheap gimmicks. And save the speciality and gimmick matches for special events, like titles on the line or the culmination of a feud or any reason, but keep them few and far between to make them matter and special to the fans. What sounds more exciting. Wrestler A telling Wrestler B that they’re going to fight in a TLC match just because it’s December and there’s a PPV that’s coming up based entirely on gimmicks, smoke and mirrors and they can be one match among many (or) Wrestler A telling Wrestler B that they’ve been going round and round and it has to end. No more games and shenanigans. It’s time to put it all on the line and they’re going to do it in a “TLC” match at the next PPV and since it’s the only “gimmick” match on the card, it’ll be the main event and they can go all out and lay it on the line and steal the show. Stick with one gimmick match on a card of traditional matches and it’ll have more meaning and impact. A high impact, speciality match on a card full of high impact, speciality matches means it’s just another match and kills everything that might make the match stand out and be special. Does any of that make sense or am I just rambling? Well, it’s 4am on a Sunday morning so it’s probably a little bit of both. I hate gimmick matches except for when they actually matter. ‘Nuff said!

Okay, enough of all of that. Let’s get to the root of the matter and why we’re all here and that is predictions and thoughts about the TLC 2015 event that comes up tonight on the WWE Network. I can’t find my “Sister Cleo” outfit or even my Gary Spivey wig so you’ll just have to settle for me, myself and I on the prediction front. Hey, that’s a De La Soul reference. Who says I can’t go old school. Woo-hoo! And speaking of old school… I forget where I was going with that. Never mind! Disco… Inferno… Rocks! Let’s do the Jeanne Dixon thing and make some predictions. Are you ready? I said, “ARE YOU READY?” That just doesn’t work well in the written media. Oh well… *sighs*

Predictions for WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2015

WWE World Heavyweight champion Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns – TLC Match.

I am trying to be excited for this match. I really and truly am. But “Tater Tots”? As Mean Gene used to say quite often (or was it Gorilla Monsoon?), give me a break! Roman is okay and I understand that the WWE wants him to be their top guy in the months to come, but they need to cut out the long promos and pull it back a notch. If Reigns is going to be the top guy, let him find his own way so the fans and WWE Universe can appreciate him and accept him naturally. Everytime they pull the lame stunts like a never-ending chat and “Tater Tots” like they did on Monday night, it just makes him feel more forced and like a Kevin Nash 2.0 edition, complete with Breck Girl hair rather than a legitimate top star in his own right. If he’s good enough to be the top guy, they need to let him evolve at his own pace. The big push when no one cares just isn’t going to cut it.

And let’s don’t even get started on Sheamus. Sheamus is a tough guy and he’s been a bad-ass for most of his WWE career. And now, all of a sudden, he has the WWE Championship and he’s a candy-ass whimp? Seth Rollins played a great heel champion. Ric Flair was a great heel champion. Sheamus? Not so much because it’s not the same character that we’ve gotten to know. Where is the consistency in his character? While he’s not the man that I want to see as the WWE Champion and face of the company, I wouldn’t really mind all that much if he was still the tough guy brawler who loves to fight. Then, he’d be tolerable and watchable. This joke of champ they are showing now? Bleh!

As for this match, it’ll be brutal and still and far more complicated than it needs to be. Look for the “League of Nations” to get involved in the match because otherwise, what is the point in even having the group exist? And via the shenanigans and other craziness, Sheamus will manage to steal a win from the jaws of defeat and will retain the title, thus setting up a big rematch at the Survivor Series. One more month of Sheamus at the bat… fella!

Winner and STILL WWE World Champion: Sheamus

WWE Intercontinental champion Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose.

This should be probably the most realistic and physical match of the night. Owens and Ambrose are the two, in my opinion, top guys in the WWE right now and are the men that SHOULD be getting the push from management instead of Roman or even Sheamus. Ambrose is crazy and Owens is a prize fighter. And I’m looking for these two men to go out there and do their best to steal the show. And when the smoke clears and settles, it’ll be a hard fought win and victory as Owens retains and walks out still WWE Intercontinental Champion.

Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens

WWE Divas Champion Charlotte (with Ric Flair) versus Paige

It’s too early to pull the title off of Charlotte, so she’ll retain and keep her title, hopefully to move into a feud against Sasha Banks. The thing to watch here is will Charlotte be a tweener, using a few tricks made famous by her Hall of Fame daddy, but still basically being a good girl OR will she take command in that ring and be the “dirtiest girl in the game”, doing anything and everything to steal the show and more importantly, retain that ugly butterfly belt? I’m hoping that they don’t rush things and let the change come more slowly as she grows into that championship. I’d love to see the WWE bring in Tessa Blanchard to partner with Charlotte as well. Charlotte as the champ. Tessa as her partner in crime. Becky as her best friend and “Enforcer” who helps her protect the title. And Ric Flair as their manager. Works for me and kind of reminds me of another group that dominated the 80’s and 90’s that also had a Flair and Blanchard involved. What was that group’s name? I can’t recall… lol. Anyhow, Charlotte retains, by hook or by crook, come Sunday night and will still be the WWE Divas Champion. Charlotte versus Sasha at Wrestlemania? Yeah, that’ll work.

Winner and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Charlotte w/ Ric Flair

WWE Tag Team champions The New Day vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons: Ladder Match.

Another match that should be off the charts and wild and crazy and several other adjectives. I’m not really crazy about these matches where the champions don’t have to be defeated to lose their titles, but that doesn’t make the match any less exciting and action packed. The New Day should win and retain their titles. They are too hot and way too over to fall to the lower card, plus they have the numbers edge with three members in their team as opposed to only two members for the Dragons or the Usos. The New Day is also seriously in danger of being overexposed. They’re fun. They’re exciting. They’re charismatic. And they’re on like every third segment of RAW and Smackdown. That’s way too much.

If there is a title change on this card tonight, I can see the WWE pulling a swerve and this would be the match where it could happen. If we do have new WWE World Tag Team Champions at the end of the night, I think it would be the Lucha Dragons, just because they’ve never been tag champs before and are popular with the kiddies. And even if that did (or does) happen, the New Day will regain the titles at the Survivor Series. Nah, forget that. Unicorn power will reign supreme. Champs retain the gold because… New… Day Rocks! Yeah, I said it!

Winners and STILL WWE World Tag Team Champions: The New Day

The Wyatt Family vs. The Dudley Boyz & Rhino & Tommy Dreamer: Table Elimination Match.

Remember when the Dudleys came back and it felt all special? That lasted about two matches and now they’re just another team. Tommy Dreamer is back and everyone was excited for that first match. Now, not so much. And Rhino? He’s been doing great down in NXT, but has there even been any kind of buzz for his return to the main roster? Not that I can hear. As for the Wyatt Family, the buzz for that grouping isn’t quite what it was, but it’s still there and there is still some hope for them. The chants from the crowd when they faced off against the League of Nations a few Monday night’s ago proved that. And I’d love to see the Wyatts face off against the League in a match or two. Or maybe go after the New Day and those tag team belts. Follow the Buzzards and be entertained. Wyatts have to win here or else they may as well just write them off and send them home. The ECW Originals are all good and well for the sake of nostalgia, but that’s about it. A still match with lots of “Holy Crap” moments and lots of broken tables, but in the end, the Wyatt Family always wins.

Winners: The Wyatt Family

WWE United States champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger – Chair Match.

Jack Swagger is back from limbo and challenging for the United States title. This match would be a lot more interesting if several things hadn’t happened. Why did the WWE break up Del Rio and Zeb Colter this past Monday on RAW. That should have been saved for this show. Now, you’ll either have Zeb come out with Swagger and turn on him, proving Jack is the new incarnation of Sting and a trusting ass-clown or else… I don’t know what else. It was just a wasted moment that could have been used to build Swagger or build Del Rio as a bad ass, but instead it’s just there. Even if they had Del Rio threaten and slap Zeb on Monday and have Jack make a save, that would have made it matter and help build for this match. Now, we have a chair match and no one has any reason to care. Will Zeb even be there tonight? Who cares?

And the other thing that kind of kills it is that Del Rio has been announced as the opponent for Brock Lesnar when Brock makes his return to the WWE ring at an upcoming show in L.A. If anyone even thought that Swagger had some kind of chance against Del Rio to start with, think of this. Would the WWE allow Del Rio to lose the U.S. title to a guy who has been on the lower card for the past year if they’re building him towards Brock? If he’s wrestling Brock, he has to look strong and dominant first and thus, he has to beat Swagger. So look for Del Rio to win and retain. *YAWN!*

Winner and STILL United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio

Ryback vs. Rusev.

And finally, we have the two big powerhouse brutes going against each other. Rusev needs a win worse than Ryback does and I just don’t like Ryback anyhow. Anyone who’s catch phrase could double as the logo for an all you can eat Chinese buffet just doesn’t work for me. Lana gets “hurt”, Ryback falls for it and does the pity thing and Rusev does that crush thing that he used to do so well before he was Cenasized. And there you go.

Winner: Rusev

So there are my predictions for the matches tonight at the Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view event, live on the WWE Network. And while I’m in the predicting mood, let’s take it a step further down the road. How about some predictions for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Yeah, that sounds good so…

My Predictions for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Let’s start off with the headliners. The first one is a no-brainer, especially since Wrestlemania XXXII is taking place in the city where he currently resides. I’m thinking that as a thank you for his great match against Seth Rollins a few months ago, Steve Borden, better known as “Sting” will be the top guy and first inductee. He’s a multiple time World Champion in the NWA, WCW and TNA and a true icon and legend. With this man, it’s not a question of “if”, but instead “when” and no better time than the present.

The second inductee is also a no-brainer and also resides in the Dallas area. He’s an icon, a legend and has a record of 21 – 1 at Wrestlemania. For my second pick, it’s another no-brainer. Who more deserving of being in the WWE Hall of Fame than The Undertaker.

And now that the two headliners are established, let’s fill out the event with a few men and women who are available and very deserving, in my opinion, of this distinct honor.

The Fabulous Freebirds: Long before there was a New Day, there were Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts. They wrote the book on three-man teams and dominated tag team wrestling in Texas, the Mid-South and Atlanta for years and years. Their matches in the Dallas area against the Von Erich’s in the World Class days are the stories of which legends are made and there are few teams more deserving of that legendary HOF status than this team. And after Terry Gordy passed away and Buddy Roberts was forced to retire, Hayes kept the legacy alive in WCW with Jimmy Garvin as his partner. It’s time for the WWE to take a trip down Badstreet USA and give these men the honors they well deserve.

Jacqueline (Jackie Moore): It doesn’t matter if she was using the name “Miss Texas”, “Jacqueline” or just plain old “Jackie”, this is one pretty mean sister and there are few ladies who can match her talent or toughness in that ring. She’s been a valet, a referee and a top female wrestler for years and made a name for herself in Texas, Tennessee, WCW and the WWE during the attitude era. She’s wrestled and defeated men twice her size and won’t back down from a fight with anyone. And she lives in the Dallas area. One of the time female grapplers of all time and well deserving of this honor.

Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express: I don’t expect to see this one actually happen, but few wrestlers and few teams are as respected and appreciated as Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Stan Lane, aka “The Midnight Express”. With Cornette as their mouthpiece for years and years, this team dominated the wrestling scene all throughout the south-east, the Mid-South and Texas. Their feuds against teams like the Rock & Roll Express and the Fantastics are legendary and if you look up tag team wrestling in the encylopedia, you’ll see their pictures looking back at you. And Cornette is one of the greatest wrestling minds (and most outspoken personalities) in the history of our great sport. I wouldn’t expect it to happen, but then again, maybe it will. They deserve it to be sure and considering the legacy they left in the Dallas area back in the 80’s, it would sell tickets and put butts in the seats. I really want to see this happen.

Waylon Mercy (Dan Spivey): Dan is kind of a wild-card pick right now, but he’s a solid choice. His career in that ring was memorable for both his role in the team of the Skyscrapers, managed by Teddy Long and partnered with a pre-dead man Mark Calloway, aka “The Undertaker” and then to the WWF for a timely, albeit way too short run as Waylon Mercy, a true gentleman / psychopath who would shake your hand before the match and crush in your skull afterwards. The thing about Spivey that makes him stand out is that he managed to overcome years of addiction problems and personal issues and get things back on track and now works, unofficially, as a type of counselor for wrestlers and others who are going through the same issues. He defeated his demons and now he’s helping others defeat theirs. A great role for a great man who would make a great fit for the WWE Hall of Fame crowd.

“Ravishing” Rick Rude: He’s a legend and icon who passed way too soon, but his memory and legacy live on. He was a star for the WWF, WCW, World Class, the NWA and in so many others places and he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer by anyone’s standards. His induction is long overdue and let’s hope that Dallas, TX, in April of 2016, he’ll finally get that recognition that he so well deserves.

“The Lariat” Stan Hansen: Former AWA World Champion, a true legend in Japan and all over the world, the man who “broke” Bruno Sammartino’s neck and one of the legitimate toughest men to ever step foot inside that ring. A true rebel and roughhouse brawler who has headlined and dominated all over the world. Can anyone deny this man his place in the history of our great business? Nope! And can anyone deny that this big man from Borger, TX belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame? Nope, I didn’t think so either.

And finally, our “Celebrity Inductee”. And unlike some of our previous inductees in this category, this lady deserves it. Without this woman, there would never have been a “Rock & Wrestling connection”. The WWF would never have had a chance to air live events on MTV. Her name and support helped to propel the WWF into the world of mainstream media and beyond. She helped make the stars of the WWF, like Hulk Hogan, Captain Lou Albano, Roddy Piper, Wendi RIchter, The Iron Sheik, Freddie Blassie and so many others into household names. She’s a rock star. She’s a Diva. She’s a legend. And she should have long ago already been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. They owe her so much. So for “Celebrity Inductee”, we have to go with Cyndi Lauper.

And there you go. If I was the man calling the shots and making the selections for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016, those would be the men and women I would want standing up there getting honored. Sting! The Undertaker! The Fabulous Freebirds! Jacqueline! Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express! Dan Spivey! “Ravishing” Rick Rude! “The Lariat” Stan Hansen! And Cyndi Lauper! A true Hall of Fame class that no one could dispute and everyone would be proud and honored to see. ‘Nuff said!

And I guess I’m going to call it a day here. Thank you for reading. Questions and comments can be addressed to my e-mail at Doug28352@yahoo.com. Come check me out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/saltpalace and I’m on Twitter at @doug28352. Enjoy WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs (oh my) tonight on the Network. I’m Doug and as the great Baron Von Raschke would say, “dat is all de’ people need to know!”. Have a great one and I’ll catch you on the flip side. Ubuntu!

Survivor Series Thoughts & Predictions

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
WWE Survivor Series Predictions
November 21, 2015
Doug Maynard

We are just one day away from the 2015 WWE Survivor Series, celebrating 25 years of “The Undertaker”. A big event to be sure. And an event this big, this huge, is definitely a must-see extravaganza, available on the WWE Network. Okay, it’s not really “must-see”, but I suspect most of ya’ll that are reading this will be watching. It’s only $9.99 and besides, what else do you have to do? I don’t have any other plans and it’s one of the WWE’s “Big 4” events along with The Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and of course, Wrestlemania. So go watch it already. It’s tomorrow night on “the Network” and as Freddie Miller used to say every Saturday night at 6:05 on WTBS, “Be There!”

So will we see John Cena? Nope! Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman? I doubt it. Seth Rollins? Rusev? Randy Orton? Disco Inferno? Nope, nope, nope and I seriously doubt it. But it still looks like a decent show. Okay, not really. I’m kind of bummed at the build for this event, as well as the matches that have been announced. But what the hell. I’ll watch anyhow and hope for a big surprise, like maybe the return of “Captain Charisma” Christian or the main roster debut of Samoa Joe and James Storm. Maybe we’ll see Buff Bagwell wrestle Booker T for the WCW World Championship. Heck, I’d be happy to see Zack Ryder, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Curtis Axel and Goldust take on Stardust, The Ascension, Heath Slater and Adam Rose in a classic Survivor Series match. Actually, that would be a good match and make a great pre-show match. Hmmmm. Oh well. Enough fantasy booking. Let’s look at the matches that have been announced and make a few predictions.

WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 2015 Thoughts & Predictions…

The Undertaker & Kane vs. two members of The Wyatt Family

This is an event celebrating 25 years of the Undertaker. Do you really think that Undertaker and Kane will lose? Really? We don’t know which two members of the Wyatt Family will be wrestling, but I think it’s a safe bet to assume that all four members will get involved. I hope it’s Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper since they’re the two best in-ring performers for the Family. Look for rough and rowdy, but the WWE is going to keep Taker (and Kane) strong as the “Road To Wrestlemania” begins. Taker with a tombstone on Luke Harper for the win.

Winners: The Undertaker and Kane

WWE World Heavyweight championship Tournament Semi-Finals: Dean Ambrose vs. WWE Intercontinental champ Kevin Owens.

This is probably the only match on this card that I’m actually looking forward to. I want Kevin Owens to win. I would love to see Kevin Owens win. Newsflash. Kevin Owens is NOT going to win. Ambrose versus Reigns, friend versus friend, is the theme of the night and we’ll see the Brothers of the SHIELD do battle. It should be Kevin Owens, but with Vince calling the shots, look for Ambrose to pick up the win and advance to the finals.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

WWE World Heavyweight championship Tournament Semi-Finals: Roman Reigns vs. WWE United States champion Alberto Del Rio.

Since his return, I haven’t been impressed all that much by Alberto Del Rio and I really don’t think that anyone else has either. After only a month of action, he’s boring and stale. He will not be capturing the WWE World Championship on Sunday night. I just can’t see that happening. And Roman, he’s supposed to be the annointed one that Vince likes. He’s the one that WWE wants to hold the gold belt and with this match, he’ll get one step closer.

Winner: Roman Reigns

WWE World Heavyweight championship Tournament Final to crown new champion.

I’m expecting to see Dean Ambrose versus Roman Reigns in this match. I’ll be hoping that they pull a major swerve and we end up with Kevin Owens in this match against Reigns, but I know better. It’s Ambrose versus Reigns and with the predictable heel turn and what not, the next and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be… Dean Ambrose.

Winner and NEW WWE World Champion: Dean Ambrose

WWE Divas champion Charlotte vs. Paige.

After that tacky angle to end RAW this past Monday night, these women need to come into the match and just beat the holy hell out of each other. No headlocks, armbars or pin attempts by Charlotte. It should be a slobberknocker of a brawl that has everyone watching hearing Joey Styles yell “CATFIGHT! OH MY GOD!” inside their heads. Anything less will not be acceptable. And forget about a clean finish. We’re going for a double-disqualification or double count-out for this match. Time to get crazy! And Charlotte keeps her title at the end of the night.

Winner: NO CONTEST (Charlotte retains her title)

Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler.

If Tyler doesn’t win, he may as well just pack it up and go back to NXT or else go form a tag team with Adam Rose and Fandango. Tyler lost his main roster debut and although he defeated R Truth on RAW, who the hell cares. Tyler has to win. Dolph can win or lose and it doesn’t matter. Look for Summer Rae to cause a distraction and Tyler to use his “Selfie Stick” to lay Dolph out and get the win.

Winner: Tyler Breeze

5 on 5 Elimination Tag: Competitors to be announced.

As of five minutes ago, at 3:37pm, Saturday afternoon, the WWE still has yet to announce who will be participating in the lone, single, one and only, traditional Survivor Series 5 on 5 elimination match taking place at the big show in Atlanta tomorrow night. I would expect to see Cesaro, The New Day, The Dudleys and the Usos all part of one team or another, but who knows for sure? This really isn’t the way to promote a match or show with this little bit of time remaining before bell time. I feel like I’m watching WCW 2000 all over again. *sighs*

As for a prediction, the team that has the most number of members left when the final bell rings, that’s the winning team. And the other team? They lose. And New Day rocks! Woo woo woo – you know it!

Winners: The Team That Has The Most Survivors

And that’s it for me for now. My apologies to everyone for my major slackness on the columns over the past few months. My interest in wrestling is not quite what it was and my “writing time” seems to be devoted more to fan-fiction stories than tales of bodyslams, backstage scandals and armchair booking. I’m not ready to call it quits yet though and hopefully as the “Road To Wrestlemania” progresses, my interest and the columns will both pick up and occur much more frequently. We’ll see.

I’m Doug and I guess that’s all. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to watch the WWE Survivor Series tomorrow night on the WWE Network. I’m down and I’m gone and dat’ is all de’ people need to know. Have a great one.

Ubuntu!

WWE Hell In A Cell Thoughts and Predictions: October 25, 2015

We’re just a few hours away from tonight’s WWE Hall In A Cell pay-per-view presentation, available on the WWE Network and of course, when there’s a special event or big show, that means it’s time to break out the Tarot cards, the crystal ball and the cricket in the matchbox. Someone call me Dr. Druid because it’s time to make some predictions. Let’s just jump right to it, shall we?

Hell in A Cell: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

We have the extreme part-timer taking on the moderate part-timer in the main event. Let’s be honest here. Taker has been playing the role of heel in this feud and is a desperate man. He’s had to resort to low blows and sneaky tactics because when push comes to shove, he can’t beat Brock Lesnar. And this match, billed as the final match between the two, should put the exclamation point on that fact. Taker can win or lose and it won’t matter. He’s the Undertaker and actually, having to resort to the shenanigans to win, cheapens his reputation. Brock is where the money is for WWE and for so long as he chooses to stay active, is the present and future. A loss at this point makes no sense and would damage his future potential activities. Bottom line is Brock should win. It just makes the most sense. So expect one helluva good fight and match and Taker shows once again why he’s a legend, but when that final bell rings, Brock takes that mystical trip to the pay window

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Hell in A Cell: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt

With Randy Orton out of action due to an injury and John Cena preparing to take some time off, it looks as if the WWE will be pushing Roman Reigns into that top spot on the roster for a while. Personally, I’d prefer to see them bring up James Storm and Samoa Joe from the NXT roster and give some elevation to the lower level talents that have been forgotten, such as Adam Rose, Fandango, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, etc. With Cena out, use everyone stronger and make it a more level and competative playing field where everyone has a chance and opportunity rather than just their chosen ones. But that’s a rant for another day and this is about this match. I’m a big fan of Bray Wyatt and now, especially with three big monsters behind him in his “family”, I’d love to see him run crazy over the entire roster and just dominate and decimate everyone and anyone. But even though he has the advantage with the numbers game, tonight will be Roman’s night as the “Reign of Reigns” begins. Look for craziness and lots of interference by the family, but the master of the “Superman punch” will overcome the kryptonite and get the victory at the end of the night.

Winner: Roman Reigns

WWE World Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins vs. Kane: If Kane does not win, he will lose his Director of Operations job

As much as I like and respect Kane, and to be honest, enjoy him as the “Director of Operations”, he should not be at this point in his career, wrestling in the main event for the WWE Championship. Kane should be working tag matches and giving some younger talents a rub by being a partner or else being an enforcer for the Authority or just working as a special attraction. Kane is great, but Seth is the champion, the future and “the man”. No more D.O.O. / Corperate Kane in our future as Seth will rise to the challenge and end the suit and tie career of the big red monster. Luckily he has a demonic persona to fall back on, right.

Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Kane

WWE United States champion John Cena’s Open Challenge

Who will be the man to challenge and step up to face John Cena? The two most logical challengers are either Big Show or Sheamus. I hope not. If it was me, I’d use Heath Slater, who has a pretty good social media buzz going on about wanting to challenge Cena or Zack Ryder, who had a great match against Cena a few months ago and is a former United States Champion as well. And then, I’d have them win, just to really stir the pot and give the unappreciated a chance to shine and get people’s attention. Another good possibility would be James Storm. Wouldn’t that be a great way to make his WWE debut? It would be awesome to see Storm (or Samoa Joe) pop up and take on Cena. Unfortunately, Storm is too new and Joe isn’t Vince McMahon’s picture of what he wants a WWE Superstar to be so I doubt either of those would work. Maybe Mark Henry for one last hurrah? That would be great, especially if he wore that Salmon colored jacket of his. There really isn’t any telling who it will be. I’ll say Big Show just because he’s one of Vince’s favorites and isn’t anywhere on the show and that would be the suckiest choice of all. And guess what? He wins.

Winner and NEW United States Champion (because it sucks as an idea so badly): Big Show

WWE Divas champion Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella

Charlotte is just getting started as the Divas Champion and I’m really wanting to see her go one on with for the title with Sasha Banks, not Nikki Bella. The Divas Revolution thus far has been pretty much a bust and having Nikki back as the champ would not improve things one single bit. Charlotte as the champ at least means that there still might be hope. Charlotte retains the gold and somewhere in the night, we hear her father go “Woooooooooooooo!”

Winner and STILL Divas Champion: Charlotte

WWE Tag Team champions The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz

Eventually, the Dudley Boyz will get those tag team titles. It’s inevitable. But the New Day are so good and so hot right now, it just doesn’t make sense to take the straps off of them yet. And the Dudleyz, while only back in the WWE for a short time thus far, seem old and stale already. Oh vey! The Dudleyz will eventually get the gold, most likely in a “Tables Match” on RAW, but for tonight, I think we’ll see the New Day once more use the numbers game and the power of positivity to lie, cheat and steal and get a tainted win to retain the gold. After all, New Day suc… I mean “rocks!”…

Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day

WWE Intercontinental champion Kevin Owens vs. Ryback

A tough and stiff match and I expect we’ll see some hard hitting action and possibly even a spot or two of the crimson (accidentially of course) over the course of the ten – fifteen minutes that these men slug it out. Ryback is tough, but now is the time of Owens. Fight Owens Fight and retain that Intercontinental Championship.

Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens

Neville & Dolph Ziggler & Cesaro vs. Rusev & King Barrett & Sheamus

It’s the kick-off show and we get a rematch from this past week’s RAW as six men, most of who have no reason to be partners and teaming with each other, team up and compete in tag action. I guess it’s just a way to get them on the card. Of course, Rusev, Dolph, Cesaro and Neville could all be possible challengers for Cena and the U.S. title? Hmmmmm. Nah, I don’t think Vince likes us that much. It’ll be Big Show or someone equally as painful to watch. This match though, it’s the show opener and the fans have to be kept happy. Thus, the faces win and the crowd goes wild.

Winners: Neville, Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro

And there you go. My predictions for tonight and WWE Hell In A Cell. Am I right? Am I wrong? Does it really even matter? The WWE has put together a stacked show for tonight’s card and even though a couple of the matches are not exactly what I want to see, they’re still relatively decent. It should be a good night of wrestling / sports-entertainment. Watch it. Have fun and enjoy the show.

And with that, I’m out of here. I’m Doug and that’s all folks. Thanks for reading.

Ubuntu!

Avengers United (Fan Fiction)

Avengers United… (A Marvel Comics / Avengers Fan Fiction Story)

A/N:  This story is based in my AU “Avenging Shadows” Universe, which combines the world’s of Marvel Comics and The Avengers with the world of Dark Shadows.  In this Universe, there are three teams of Avengers, two teams in the United States (East Coast and West Coast) and one team in Europe, known as Avengers International.  This little fic is just to help identify who is a part of what team and what the current statuses for my characters are.  It’s mainly for my own benefit, but why waste a chance to write a story, right?  Captain America, The Black Widow and Hawkeye discuss the teams and the rosters.  For more information and to read my other fics, go to Fanfiction.net and look up the author TSfiction19 – that’s me. Or just use this link:  https://www.fanfiction.net/~tsfiction19.  Have 56 fics up there currently.  Let me know what you think.  Thanks!   – Doug

Avengers United…

Steve Rogers, aka “Captain America” looked across the table at the two heroes sitting across from him. Wearing a green blouse and black slacks, the former assassin and spy Natasha Romanov, aka the legendary “Black Widow”, sipped on her cup of tea, watching him. Sitting next to her, in his customized purple and black uniform, eyes blazing with nervous energy was the marksman and current Chairman of the Avengers West, Clint Barton, aka “Hawkeye”.

“I realize that this meeting has run a bit long”, Cap said to his two fellow Avengers, “but we had to take care of all the legalities and paperwork involved in running the three different divsions and teams of Avengers.”

“I get paper work as a necessary evil”, Hawkeye smirked, “but couldn’t we have done this via skype or something like that? Sitting here for three hours talking about food budgets and community outreach is a bit much. We’re Avengers. We should be out busting heads and chasing bad guys. Stuff like this is for the birds!”

“Hush Clint”, Natasha smiled. “I hate paperwork and red tape as much as anyone, but it’s part of the responsibility that I accepted when I became the Chairperson of Avengers International, just as you accepted when you agreed to lead the West Coast team. But look at the bright side. How often do the three of us get an opportunity to spend some time together without having a major fight or risking our lives involved?”

“I’m always glad to spend time with you and Cap”, Hawkeye replied. “I just hate these budget meetings.”

“We’re nearly done”, Cap interjected. “And if the two of you are game, how about a workout in the gym when we finish. The Beast was here earlier this week and has added several new simulations for us. It should be fun.”

“Cool”, Hawkeye smiled. “I’m getting stiff from sitting here all day anyways and could use a good work-out to loosen up the muscles.”

“So what do we have left on the agenda?”, the Widow asked her red, white and blue clad comrade.

“We’ve taken care of all the annual budget matters and necessary crossing of the t’s and dotting the i’s”, Cap said as he glanced at the notes he had been taking during their meeting. Now it’s just a discussion of the currrent rosters so I can update our main computer and know who is available for missions and current statuses.”

“And then we’re through?”, Hawkeye asked.

“Yes Hawk”, Cap laughed, shaking his head. “And then we’re through.”

“Then I’ll start”, Hawkeye said. “Out in California, at the Whacko compound, our current team as of last night, consists of myself as the Chairman of Avengers West. My lovely wife Bobbi, better known as the Mockingbird, our orange furred feline Avenger Tigra, founder and general pain in the ass Iron Man, Wanda, aka the Scarlet Witch, the mysterious Spider Woman and our resident actor and major ham Simon Williams, known to the masses as Wonder Man, and of course the US Agent, they make up the rest of the official roster. And on an unofficial, but always willing to lead a hand status considering how much he’s been hanging around the Compound lately, is Pietro, aka Quicksilver.”

“I haven’t talked to Pietro in a long time”, Cap said thoughtfully. “How is he?”

“Arrogant, obnoxious and over-protective of Wanda”, Hawkeye responded. “But he’s mellowed a bit lately and seems happy and content for a change.I believe that he’s been seeing a young lady who lives out in San Diego.”

“That’s good to hear”, the Widow commented. “Pietro has always had a hard and bitter road to travel. He deserves a bit of happiness in his life. It’s too bad that he and Crystal haven’t been able to work out their problems.”

“The way I understand it is that for the time being anyhow, they’ve both decided to start seeing other people and the marriage is pretty much over in everything but name. They’re trying to remain friends for the sake of Luna, plus Crystal’s royal family of the Inhuman’s situation. A divorce is out of the question, but they’re making the best of it.”, Hawkeye said.

“Crystal has been back here in New York working with our team”, Captain America said. “And so I guess that means I’ll go next with an update on the roster of the current Avengers New York team.”

“The Eakos”, Hawkeye interjected.

“Currently as the Chairman of the New York team, operating out of the Avengers Mansion”, Cap began, ignoring Hawkeye’s comment”, is myself, Captain America. Our current active roster for this team is Hank Pym, operating as Giant Man, our resident Norse entity, Thor, the telekenetic mutant known as Justice, Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp, The Vision, the elemental inhuman Crystal and Carol Danvers, aka Warbird.”

“I thought Firestar was still on your roster”, Haweye noted.

“Angelica is currently on reserve status”, Cap replied. “She decided to take some time off for personal matters, but is still available if we need her. The same also replies to Jennifer, also known as the She-Hulk. She’s not part of the active roster at the moment, but her law office is only a few blocks away and she’s made it clear that she’s available if we call.”

And I guess that leaves myself and our London based team, Avengers International”, the Widow sighed. I am currently serving as the Chairperson of the group. Our current active roster consists of myself, Dane Whitman, better known as the Black Knight, Olympian and demi-god Hercules, the shape-shifting Skrull and former member of the Fantastic Four Lyja, part time X-Man and master of the bad joke, Bobby Drake, aka the Iceman, Isaac Christians, also known as the Gargoyle, Miguel Santos, aka the Living Lightning, Union Jack and as a reservist status, when she’s not and I quote, ‘dealing with the bloated ass-hats that don’t have a bloody clue’ in the House of Lords, Jacquiline Falsworth Crichton, aka Spitfire.”

“Jackie always did have a way with words”, Cap snickered.

“She is quite outspoken at times”, the Widow agreed. “I find her quite refreshing to listen to.”

“What happened to Druid? And the werewolf and vampire connection? And Mantis for that matter?”, Hawkeye asked.

“Dr. Druid has currently taken a leave of absence from the team”, the Widow said. “Our young apprentice hero, Kori has gone with him and they are currently back in Boston investigating some supernatural activities.”

“Druid recently led a team of reserve Avengers consisting of Falcon, Ant Man, Hellcat, Joscota and a couple of others on a mission to prevent a breakout at the Raft”, Cap added.

“Oh yeah”, Hawkeye said. “I read that in a report from the US Agent. I had forgotten. So he’s back here in the states?”

“And from what I understand in our recent conversations, putting together his own team to investigate and combat supernatural situations”, the Widow said.

“Probably for the best”, Hawkeye said. “Druid has never really struck me as a spandex type of guy. He just seems as if he’s more of a working behind the scenes, in the shadows type.”

“He’d probably agree with you on that”, the Widow agreed. “But he tried hard and has really been a good and effective Avenger. I will always be glad to have him as part of my team when he’s available.”

“I agree”, Cap said. “Druid’s abilities are probably not quite as flashy as we’ve become used to and he’s not quite as out there as some of our members, but he’s proven to be a good and effective Avenger, especially with this most recent run.”

“I just said that he’s not quite the spandex type”, Hawkeye remarked. “But what do I know? I just shoot a bow and arrow.”

“As for our resident vampire and werewolf”, the Widow continued, “they are currently living here in the States and running a private school in Collinsport, Maine. Professor Xavier of the X-Men asked Quentin and Barnabas if they would consider opening and running a third branch of the Xavier School and working as the co-headmasters. They accepted the challenge and now run, along with their associate Dr. Julia Hoffman, the Stoddard Institute. Mantis is currently also residing and working at the Institute and I believe, has a romantic involvement with Quentin Collins.”

“Mantis… and the werewolf guy? Wow! Where have I been?”, Hawkeye chuckled. “Wait until Bobbi hears this?”

“So they’re not with the team anymore, but they have made it clear that if we ever need them, they are available.”

“Wasn’t the Alantean Andromeda working with your team as well”, Cap asked.

“She was”, the Widow answered. “But Namor decided to recall her back to Atlantis and she’s currently the Commander of the Atlantean Royal Guard. But she is also available as a reservist if we need her.”

“So your current roster, the official one anyhow, for the Avengers International group is youself, the Black Widow, the Black Knight, Iceman, the Gargoyle, Hercules, Lyja, the Living Lightning, Union Jack and Spitfire?”, Cap replied.

“Yes”, the Widow said.

“And for your West Coast team Hawk, the official roster is yourself, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man, Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch, the US Agent, Spider Woman and, more or less, Quicksilver?”

“Sounds right to me”, Hawkeye smirked.

“And for the official roster of the Avengers East, it’s myself, Vision, Thor, Crystal, Giant Man, Wasp, Justice and Warbird with Firestar and She-Hulk as our reservists”, Cap said.

“Oh, I almost forgot. Rhodey, better known as the War Machine, just moved back to California a few weeks ago. I’m planning to contact him and see if he is available for reservist status”, Hawkeye quickly stated. “I’m sure he’ll agree so long as he and Stark are getting along.”

“War Machine? Got it!”, Cap nodded. “So I guess that’s it. We have an official roster list for each team to provide to the government and the United Nations, as per our charter…”

“Subject to change of course”, the Widow quickly interjected.

“Subject to change”, Cap smiled. “It’s just part of the deal and paperwork that we let them know who is and isn’t part of the team.”

“Big brother is watching”, Hawkeye joked.

Ignoring the archer, Cap continued. “And now, I believe that concludes this meeting of the three Chairpersons for the Avengers. I’ll go over everything and forward the paperwork to the necessary persons and officials later. I think it’s safe to say that the expansion of the Avengers franchise to two additional teams, Avengers West and Avengers International, has been a major success thus far. All three teams have strong and solid rosters and the capability to handle major threats against our world and people.”

“I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about the addition of a team based in Europe”, the Widow added, “but it was a good idea and we’ve been able to reduce our reaction time to dealing with threats on that side of the planet by a great deal. With three teams, located as they are, we can respond to almost any situation quickly.”

“And we have more back-up to call upon if needed, having this many Avengers on active status”, Hawkeye remarked.

“Very good point”, Cap smiled. “Before, we had only six to eight Avengers on active status at any given time and it limited our abilities and responses to emergencies. Now, with three teams of active heroes, plus a steady supply of reservists available, we are much more capable and effective.”

“So, is that it?”, Hawkeye asked.

“I believe so”, Cap said. “Unless either of you have anything to add?”

Getting up and stretching, Hawkeye let out a big yawn. “I’m going to the kitchen to grab a sandwich and then I’m headed to the training room. You ready to get a workout, old man?”

“I think so”, Cap laughed. “If you think you can keep up, you young whipper-snapper.”

“I’m going t go change into my work clothes and I’ll see the two of you in the gym in what… say fifteen minutes?”

“That’s fine”, Cap said.

“Excellent”, the Widow said as she stood up, stretched and walked from the room.

Hawkeye grinned and walked out behind her. “Fifteen minutes, old timer!”, he hollered back at Cap.

“I’ll be there”, Cap smiled as the Widow and Hawkeye left. Looking back at the papers and notes on the table in front of him, Cap glanced once more at the list of names, the men and women who made up the current rosters of the Avengers.

“And to think, I used to think we had too many Avengers”, he laughed to himself. “Now all I can do is wonder why we didn’t do these expansion teams several years earlier. What was I thinking?”

With another smile to himself, Cap quickly gathered up the papers and notes.

“Not to sound egotistical, but this group, these people… I believe they truly deserve the title of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. We’ve come a long way since that first teaming of Thor, Jan, Hank, Tony and the Hulk. Quite a long way.”

And with that thought, Cap walked from the room turning off the light as he left.

THE END!!