Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
January 24, 2016
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?
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!