Wrestling Buy Or Sell: September 30, 2013

Wrestling Buy Or Sell
September 30, 2013

Over at 411.mania.com, on their wrestling page, they have a column called “Buy Or Sell”, where essentially, they take a look at different topics and the two debaters either agree with the comment (buy) or disagree (sell) and explain why. It’s all about the 70’s and the AWA this week and since I used to recap the AWA on ESPN Classic shows for PWInsider.com, I just can’t resist commenting and making my views on these topics known as well. So the questions / topics come from “www.411mania/wrestling.com”… and the opinions and answers. That’s just me. Let’s do this.

Nick Bockwinkel was the best world champion of the 1970’s.

SELL: Nick Bockwinkel was an amazing wrestler and talent and is truly one of the best of all time in that ring, bar none. BUT I can’t say he’s the best World Champion of the 1970’s for one small reason and his name is Harley Race. If Harley hadn’t been the NWA World Champion during most of the 70’s, Nick would win it hands down, but Harley was the man in the NWA and he takes a back seat to no one, nor should he.

Using the success of his students as a barometer, Verne Gagne’s wrestling academy was better than Stu Hart’s.

BUY: Ric Flair, The Iron Sheik, Ken Patera, Bob Backlund, The Andersons, Curt Hennig, RIck Steamboat, The Nasty Boys, Baron Von Raschke, etc. They all came from Verne and cut their teeth under his watchful eyes. While the Hart family and the list of folks who came from Stu’s basement is extremely impressive, they can’t compete with Flair and those 16 (plus) World Championships. Got to go with Verne and his academy on this one.

The AWA’s Japanese talent exchange was more fruitful than the NWA’s during the same period.

SELL: The AWA had a short term deal and got Jumbo Tsurta as the AWA World Champion for a few months. Mr. Saito also got a brief push and run. The NWA had some title changes in Japan with Harley and Giant Baba switching the titles back and forth and the NWA wrestlers maintaining a regular presence on both New Japan and All Japan events. Both talent exchanges did what they were set out to do and allowed more names and athletes to be shown and highlighted, but the AWA exchanges didn’t seem to last. The NWA exchange kept going and carried on into the 80’s and 90’s with WCW. Just on the length factor alone, I’ve got to go with the NWA on this one.

Despite a high profile presence in AWA for years, Jerry Blackwell was never impressive as a main event guy.

BUY: For a man of his size, Blackwell was actually talented in the ring and a good worker. But he was not what one would expect of a main event “star”, not by the standards of today or even back then. He was a good mid-card type of guy and would be good as a temporary headliner, brought in for feuds and as a special attraction, but trying to push him as the top guy just didn’t work. He wasn’t a great talker and after a few months, his character and gimmick suffered from over-exposure. He was a one-trick pony and just being the big man wasn’t enough to be the guy on top for any significant length of time.

Bobby Heenan was a better manager than he was a commentator.

SELL: I’m not sure how to answer this one because “The Brain” was definitely one of the best managers in the history of this great business that we all know and love, but as a color guy calling the action, he has very few peers as well. What the? I’m flipping a coin to decide manager or commentator… and commentator wins. Doesn’t matter though. No matter what he did, the “Brain” was always and will always be the best in the world. ‘Nuff said!

Even after all these years, Mean Gene Okerlund is still the best interviewer of all time.

BUY: I’m not even what you would call a “Mean Gene” fan, but I will admit that in the role of interviewer, there are none better. He walked that line between arrogant and humble so well andhe asked questions besides “what are your thoughts?”, the standard generic question we hear so often now. Interviewers come and go and most of them suck, but there is only one “Mean” Gene Okerlund and he’s the best there is at what he does.

And there you go. My thoughts on the AWA and the whole “buy/sell” concept. I had fun and this piece brought back some good memories. The people at 411mania.com rock! Gotta go now and see a man about getting a tire plugged. Until the next time, “dat is all de’ people need to know!”

Ubuntu!

Wrestling Fact Or Fiction – September 26, 2013

Wrestling Fact Or Fiction – September 26, 2013

Ready to do it again. The questions are from the column of the same name at 411mania.com/wrestling. The answers belong to me, me and…. what’s that other guy’s name again? Oh yeah, me. Let’s do this…

1. Judging by the roster reveal you are excited for the WWE 2k14 video game.

FICTION: If I was into video games, I would probably be excited. It looks like it could be fun with a lot of dream match-ups. But I don’t play the games and thus, could care less.

2. TNA looking to take Impact off the road is another bad sign of the promotion’s financial stability.

FACT: Being on the road constantly is expensive, but it was a positive move for TNA in my opinion to add to and build their franchise. To do it and not be able to handle the costs is definitely not a good sign.

3. You were not surprised when you heard that the WWE Summerslam buyrate dropped 60,000 from last year.

FICTION: I expected it to drop, but just not by that much. 60,000 folks is a lot of people and buy-rates. WWE has a problem and they need to step it up and get er’ dun!

4. Jim Ross is correct when he says that Daniel Bryan “is the best in ring performer in the business.”

FACT: I’m not going to argue with Jim Ross. If he says that Bryan is the best, so be it.

5. The closing segment of last week’s Impact wrestling being called a rip off of WWE’s Summer of Punk angle is ridiculous.

FICTION: The only differences were the level of performances and the performers. Vince and Punk are far better on the mic than Dixie or AJ. Other than that, it was pretty much a blatant rip-off and another bad attempt by TNA to be WWE Jr.

6. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

FACT: Look at their resumes and records. It’s Hall and Nash. Of course they belong in the HOF. Duh!

7. With reports that TNA is looking to cut costs, it would be the best for business to not re-sign Hulk Hogan when his contract expires in October.

FACT: Hogan brings nothing to the table anymore. He’s been there for a while and the ratings are stale and stagnant. Why should the highest paid guy in the company be someone who can’t wrestle and can’t deliver the goods anymore. Time to cut the losses and move on to something or someone new.

8. Adam Cole was the right choice to win the Title Tournament and become the new ROH World Champion.

FACT: He’s a great performer, he looks good and he can walk the walk and talk the talk… plus he’s a hottie. Great choice.

And there you go. Another week of the Fact or Fiction in the books. I’m outta here. Gotta go to work.

Ubuntu!

(RETRO) Tiger Tales – May 17, 2009

Tiger Tales
May 17, 2009
Douglas “Hobbes” Maynard
 
When it comes to the world of “sports entertainment” , there are a few things that you can always count on. If a heel breaks the rules, the ref will never see it, but if the good guy tries the same trick, he’ll be caught every time. That’s one thing. If a storyline is making sense and flowing along nicely and bringing in fans, WWE Creative will find a way to screw it up. That’s two things. And no retirement lasts forever. Terry Funk’s didn’t. Mick Foley’s didn’t. Abdullah the Butcher’s didn’t. And although Ric Flair’s has (so far), we all know it’s just a matter of time before Ric is stylin’ and profilin’ in the ring once more.
 
And thus, just a mere six weeks (give or take a few days) after retiring two landmark wrestling columns, pro wrestling’s most eclectic column ever, “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News” and the sister column that tells it like it is, “Six Minutes”, guess what? The retirement is over!
 
But no, that does not mean that I’m bringing back “TS” or “6M”. They’re through, finished, kaput, on the shelf, done for, buried, etc. Use whatever term you choose. I retired those columns and they’re staying retired. But I said in the last edition of “Tossing Salt” that I would still be writing on occasion. And I had plans for the future.
 
And here you go. Welcome to the debut issue of “Tiger Tales”. And me? I’m still Doug, but you can also call me by my new pen-name (that my better half decided to stick on me), the ever incredible name of “Hobbes”. How the hell did I get stuck with that name? I guess it has something to do with how I started calling him “Calvin”. Paybacks are a bitch, it seems.
 
So what can you expect from “Tiger Tales”, you ask? The best of “TS”, the best of “6M”, and whatever else comes to mind. That’s what. If there’s a pay-per-view coming up, I’ll make my predictions and talk about it. If there’s a big story in wrestling that has caught my attention and I want to comment on it, I’ll do that. And if anything else, be it Hollywood, politics, social issues, etc, get me fired up and motivated, I’ll write about that too. This will be primarily a “wrestling column”, but I’m not going to limit it only to wrestling. There’s a huge world out there with millions of subjects, topics, ideas, thoughts, etc. And nothing is off limits. And I do mean “NOTHING!”
 
But I’m going to take my cues from you, the readers. If you want me to address a particular subject, just let me know. It’s that easy. It could be about wrestling and the greatest tag team of all time (The Midnight Express), it could be about how to improve TNA or the WWE, it could be about how to make a great pot of chili (one of my specialties) or getting tattoos.
 
What I’m saying is I’ll talk about what I like, but I want to talk and write about what you’re interested in too. Tiger Tales is “TS” and “6M” taken to the next level. It’s all about what YOU readers want to know and hear about and want me to write about. So don’t leave a brutha hanging, brutha! Send me topic ideas, questions, feedback, dirty jokes, etc.. anything. And I will respond.
 
Let’s move on a bit. There are three big things (four actually) that I want to talk about tonight. The WWE has a big PPV coming up on Sunday night. It’s WWE Judgment Day. So that means predictions. I’ll do that in a bit. I also have a great deal for you – an exclusive to the readers of this column. And I need some help from some of you artistic types out there. And I’m bringing back that fixture from “TS” that everyone loved so much, the “Who Am I?”. So where should I start?
 
How about a great deal? Does everyone remember the multi-talented Level 27 hip hop spell-caster by the name of Soce the Elemental Wizard? Of course you do. He’s one of the hottest Indy stars on the NYC music scene and a big wrestling fan as well. I even did an interview with him for Wrestle-Zone. co.uk way back in September of 2006 – which you can read here:http://blogs. myspace.com/ index.cfm? fuseaction= blog.view&friendId=33851449&blogId=489373381
 
Coming up in August will be Soce’s fourth CD, “Master of Fine Arts”. I’ve heard a few tracks already and this is classic Soce taken to the next level. The CD is good – it’s damn good. And like I mentioned earlier, it won’t be coming out until August… BUT if you’re interested in getting your copy just a little bit earlier than everyone else, it can be done by visitingwww.othermusic. com and is available for download at www.digstation. com. The links are bit.ly/soceom and bit.ly/socedig.
 
If you just want to learn more about the man, get information for his upcoming shows, and just get to know a super-incredible dude, go check out his page at www.myspace. com/soce.
 
Add him to your friends list because he is truly a great friend to have. And you’ll never, ever be bored. Believe that.
 
Let’s move on the WWE and some wrestling action. I’m talking about WWE Judgment Day. The PPV is coming up on Sunday and as with every WWE and TNA PPV event, that means it’s prediction time. So here you go.
 
WWE Judgment Day Predictions. ..
 
World Championship Match
Edge (c) versus Jeff Hardy
 
I guess the big question for this one is the WWE ready to give Jeff another run with the title yet? I don’t think so. Nothing against Jeff, who is a great performer and has seemingly overcome all of his past demons to really cement his spot among the WWE top tier, but this is Edge’s time. Just for the fact that they’ve had Jeff bring up that Edge wins the title and loses at the next big show means that most likely, this will be the time that Edge defies the odds and keeps the title. There are just more ways to go with Edge as the champ than by making Jeff champ at this point. It’ll be a great match. I’ve no doubt about that, but in the end, Edge retains his World Championship. At least until the hometown guy, the guy with the briefcase and the contract decides to make an appearance and well… you know.
 
Winner and STILL World Champion: Edge
 
WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton (c) versus Batista
 
This match is either going to be really good or blow chunks really badly. This is Batista’s first solo main event since his return from injury and he’s going to be looking to prove something to the WWE and the fans. Randy hasn’t really had any great matches yet during this WWE title run and I’m thinking he has something to prove as well. While I think Batista will get the WWE title at some point, I think it’s too early in Randy’s reign to have him give up the title just yet without making him look like a total dweeb. Thus, look for Legacy to get involve and cause the DQ finish, thus giving Batista the win, but Randy retains the title.
 
Winner by DQ: Batista (Orton retains the WWE Championship)
 
ECW Championship Match
Christian (c) versus Jack Swagger
 
So far, these guys have had some really fun matches to watch and Christian has been at the top of his game since becoming the ECW Champion. I’ve got a feeling that since the WWE has had Swagger make such a big deal about how Christian “cheated” to win the title, they’ll have Swagger pull some shenanigans towards the end and “cheat” to lay out Christian. He’s ready to take back his ECW title… but Tommy Dreamer gets involved and causes the distraction, allowing Christian to take advantage and retain the title. Thus Dreamer gets revenge for Swagger’s interference in his title shot a few weeks ago and we get the set up for a nice three-way dance for the title at an upcoming show. It works for me.
 
Winner (via Dreamer distraction) and STILL ECW Champion: Christian
 
Intercontinental Championship Match
Rey Mysterio (c) versus Chris Jericho
 
Rey has a bum knee and it looks as if he may be out of action (again) for a while. Jericho is on the verge of making history and becoming the IC Champion for the 9th time of his career. So this match looks pretty obvious, right? But that would be too easy. Look for Jericho to dominate and control 95% of the match, but in the end, the slightest distraction and over-confidence takes it’s toll and Rey snatches a victory from the jaws of defeat. Thus Jericho is thwarted once more and his frustration level and his calls of conspiracy are given fuel to burn. After all, a frustrated and PO’ed Jericho is a fun and entertaining Jericho and for the WWE, that’s the best way to go.
 
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio
 
John Cena versus The Big Show
 
Cena will be taking some time off soon to work on his next movie role. Show is a monster and they’re really been playing up just how big and bad and dominate the 7-foot tall monster can be. So while Cena will put forth a great effort and carry the Show to a good and fun, brutal match, I totally expect to see that big fist at the end and the big chinlock as the injuries take their toll and Show takes Cena out and puts him on the shelf for a while.
 
Winner: The Big Show
 
CM Punk versus Umaga
 
These two have been having some really fun matches over the past few weeks and I don’t expect this one to be any different. Since they’re in Punk’s hometown, I would expect to see Punk do the J.O.B. After all, that’s the WWE way. And it makes sense. If this match is early in the show, I expect we’ll see a brutal and stiff, but short match. And we’ll see the wild Samoan bulldoze his way over Mr. Money In The Bank and take that trip to the pay window. Thus setting up a instant top contender when Punk comes back towards the end of the show, after the Edge / Hardy match and well.. you know.
 
Winner: Umaga
 
John Morrison versus Shelton Benjamin
 
This is a future Wrestlemania main event with two of the best “young guys” in the WWE today going at it. Benjaimin is probably one of the best athletes in the business today, while Morrison has developed into one of the best entertainers – a guy who can talk and wrestle. And put the two together and you’re going to have a damn good match. The real winner here will be the fans who get to watch these two superstars compete one on one. As for at the end of the match, it’s going to be close. I’ll go with Morrison just because I think he’s more popular with Creative. Regardless, the match should be the dark horse match of the night and pretty damn good.
 
Winner: John Morrison
 
And there you go. Those are my predictions for the Judgment Day PPV. Am I on target? Am I totally off base and losing my mind? We’ll find out later tonight, I guess.
 
And now…
 
Who Am I?
 
I’m a well known announcer and commentator who has been involved in the wrestling business for well over twenty years. I’ve worked for the WWF, AWA and WCW, as well as Women Of Wrestling. I like attending Nitro parties and don’t like weasels. I’ve also had a great career on radio with long runs in the Windsor, Ontario Canada (Detroit) and Los Angeles markets, especially at station KBLA where I was known as “King News” and gained noteriety for bringing atttention to gang violence. I’ve worked alongside such names as Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone, David McLane, Bobby Hennan, Larry Zbyszko, etc in my role as an announcer. I love my Frosted Flakes and think they’re simply “Great!”.
Who Am I?
 
Know the answer? Drop me a line at Doug28352@yahoo. com and your name will be published in the next edition of Tiger Tales. So who is it? Who? Who?
 
And finally…
 
Make Me A Tattoo…
 
I know that there are a bunch of really creative and artistic people out there. And I also know that I’m not one of them. I can’t draw a straight line with a box of rulers. Yeah, it is that bad. But here is the deal. I want to get a tattoo. And I know what I want, but I’m not sure exactly how to design it. So what I’m asking is for help from the masses. Put that creative mind to work and design me a tattoo.
 
Go to Paint Shop and get creative. Cut and paste and let your imagination run free. And let’s see what you can come up with. I’ll tell you the basics of what I’m wanting and you can do the rest. I’ll post all of the pics at my MySpace and give credit for the different designs received and the one that hits me the best and I feel best says what I want to say, it’ll be going with me to visit a local tattoo guy and become a permanent fixture on my arm or shoulder. Talk about a chance to make a mark in someone’s life – well, here you go. So are you ready to hear what I’m looking for?
 
I want like a wrestling belt design, to show my love for the world’s greatest sport. Somewhere on the belt, I want to have the letters “TSWWN” and the years 2003 – 2009 as a tribute to my column, “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News” which was a big part of my life for the past six years. And add to the mix a cross (for my faith), a pink triangle or rainbow flag (for my gayness) and the initials of “CEH” for the love of my life. And maybe a cat (a tiger?)…lol.
 
Those are the basics. Now what can YOU come up with? Give it a shot and let your imagination go to work. The winning design will not only be inked on to my body, but I’ll also make sure you get a cheesy-ass wrestling prize of some sort. Maybe some old magazines from the 80’s or some wrestling DVD’s. I’m not sure what yet, but make me a killer tattoo and I’ll hook you up.
 
And that’s it for today and the debut edition of “Tiger Tales”. It’s not quite where I want to be at yet, but it’s a work in progress. If you have any ideas or suggestions about what to write about (and remember, nothing is off limits), then just let me know. I hope you liked the column. Time permitting, this should be a regular thing every weekend, so look for it.
 
Comments, questions, answers to the “Who Am I?”, and tattoo idea pics can all be sent to Doug28352@yahoo. com. Also, come visit me at MySpace atwww.myspace. com/salt_ palace.
 
Thanks again for reading. I’m Hobbes and I am out. See ya!

(RETRO) Tiger Tales – June 7, 2009

Tiger Tales
June 7, 2009
Douglas “Hobbes” Maynard
 
Welcome to the second edition of “Tiger Tales”. So much for every week, it seems. But don’t blame me. It’s the fault of those damn Denver Nuggets. And maybe the Bush Administration. And of course, the CIA obviously mislead me. Any excuse will work, but don’t blame me. It’s the way things go this generation. Admit to nothing and accept no responsibility. Just pretend you’re an overweight Nazi guard at at POW camp and repeat often that “I know nothing! Nothing!” It works…. really.
 
So what’s on the agenda for today? Some quick thoughts about TNA. Maybe some thoughts about Ken Kennedy… Kennedy. And a little (a lot) of fantasy booking with an expanded edition of what I used to call “One On One” in the old “Tossing Salt” columns. How about matching up the top five stars, as ranked by Sports Review Wrestling in May, 1984 against the top five stars of May, 2009, as ranked by the WWE Power 25. Sound like a plan or what? More like “or what?”, but that’s what I have planned. And then we can get “extreme”. Yep, that means “WWE Extreme Rules PPV Predictions” .
 
So are you ready?
 
I said, “Are you ready”?
 
This bit really doesn’t work well in written form. You think I would have realized that by now, but I keep forgetting. Blame that on Vince McMahon and Twinkies. Let’s get to the column. It’s time for some “Tiger Tales!”.
 
And you can just call me “Hobbes”.
 
Mr. Kennedy Released… Released.
 
Breaking news from last week as Mr. Kennedy, only a couple of days after his big re-debut and return to the WWE ring, has been wished well in future endeavors by the people at WWE.
 
No big deal. Not really. Kennedy has shown time and time again to be his own worst enemy since coming to the WWE and every attempt by the WWE to really push and market Kennedy has been a major flop. He won the “Money In The Bank” match and then got injured, thus forcing WWE to change their focus to Edge. He was supposed to be the illegitimate son of Vince McMahon, but a wellness violation caused the WWE to switch gears and move the “Little Bastard” Hornswoggle, into that role. He went on the TV shows and made all sorts of claims, but was revealed to be a hypocrite at best and a liar at worst by revelations that he was using the very things he criticized others about.
 
And then there was the movie, “Beyond Enemy Lines”. What a major success it has turned out to be. Oh wait – it bombed. Ooops!
 
Suffice it to say, Mr. Kennedy… Kennedy has had opportunity after opportunity. And has struck out time after time. He’s a good worker and a great talker, but after so many false starts, the time has come to just start over again with someone new. Did you notice the big pop that Kennedy had coming out on RAW Monday night?
 
Wait! What pop? No one cared.
 
And then later in the match, Kennedy botched a suplex attempt and dropped the WWE Champion, Randy Orton, on his head. Orton was lucky he wasn’t seriously injured. But he was obviously pissed off. And when he hit the RKO on Kennedy towards the end of their match, it was obvious that Randy was pissed and gave Kennedy a major receipt.
 
But anyhow, Kennedy is gone and it’s no big loss. He’ll wait out his ninety days, go to TNA and re-establish himself. And maybe one day, he’ll be back in the WWE and ready to do it all again. But for now, it’s for the better. So long Mr. Kennedy… Kennedy. Alas, we hardly got a chance to know ya!
 
TNA Thoughts…
 
As most of my regular readers are well aware, I’m not a big fan of TNA. Way too much Kurt Angle, story-lines and matches with too many gimmicks and “stipulations” , Mick Foley as the TNA World Champion, etc. The problems with TNA are many.
 
But I decided to watch a few minutes of TNA Impact a few days ago and I saw not one, not two, but three things that may have me taking another look at the Orlando based promotion.
 
Stevie Richards, Raven and Victoria.
 
Stevie and Raven together again (along with Dafney) and the addition of the crazy-acting (my favorite persona) Victoria as part of the Knock-Outs division.
 
My interest has picked up considerably. Add Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles versus Shane Douglas and the prospect of a Kip James – Beautiful People feud…. and well, this may actually turn out to be pretty decent.
 
I’m sure that TNA Creative (Dutch Mantell, Jeff Jarrett & Vince Russo) will find ways to even screw up these gifts that have been given to them (Raven & Stevie plus Victoria = Ratings & Money), much like they have with Samoa Joe, but hopefully it will take them a while. And until that happens, I’m planning on keeping an eye on TNA. This could be the start of a whole new era for TNA if they play their cards right, and I’m looking forward to seeing just exactly what direction they choose to go.
 
And now…
 
The WWE has a big time PPV coming up tonight. It used to be a fun little show called “One Night Stand”, but since a person can only have just so many “one night stands” before they’re called a slut-puppy, the WWE decided to just change the name and call it “Extreme Rules”.
 
It’s the WWE’s version of “Night Of A Thousand Stipulations” , which makes you wonder if they don’t fly Vince Russo in to help with the booking for this one show. It is that confusing at points. There are eight big matches and from a wrestling standpoint, this should be a good show. Well, all except for one match and I think we all know which one that is. Let’s just hope it’s kept very short. Suuuueeeeyy! ! (That’s my pig imitation by the way. Not as good as Santino’s, but then again, I look better in a dress… so there!)
 
Let’s get right to it.
 
WWE Extreme Rules PPV Predictions. ..
 
World Championship Match – Ladder Match
Edge (c) versus Jeff Hardy
 
One thing for sure. With Jeff Hardy and Edge and the ladder stipulation, this is going to be a good match. Few men can work and use a ladder like Jeff Hardy and Edge isn’t very far behind. I don’t know for sure if Jeff has re-signed a new deal or not, but I don’t believe that he has.
 
And for that reason (and also taking into consideration that he has two “wellness strikes” against him right now as well), I just can’t see Jeff winning the title here. Edge is arguably the best heel in WWE today and he deserves a good long run as the World Champion. And I think he may get it. At least for one more night. Jeff will put on a great show and will come ever so close so many times, but in the end, it will be the champion, the man known as Edge, getting his arm raised in victory.
 
Winner and STILL Champion: Edge
 
WWE Championship Match – Steel Cage Match
Randy Orton (c) versus Batista
 
I could really care less on this one. Randy bores me as a champion and Batista bores me period. This feud sucked several years ago when Evolution split up and it sucks now.
 
The only interesting thing to watch is to see how Ric Flair and Legacy get involved. And you have to know they will. I’ll say that chaos and shenanigans are the order of the day. Cody and DiBiase get involved. Flair tries to stop them, but there’s only one Flair and two Legacy members so the numbers work against the “Naitch”. Legacy does their dirty work and Randy Orton walks out of the cage still the WWE Champ.
 
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Randy Orton
 
ECW Championship Match – Three Way Dance – Hardcore Rules
Christian (c) versus Tommy Dreamer versus Jack Swagger
 
The feel-good moment of the night. It’s under “Hardcore Rules” and no one is more “hardcore” than Tommy Dreamer, he of the Land of Extreme. I expect that it will be brutal and bloody and Tommy will take a beating like few others ever have.
 
And Christian will shine bright and bring joy and happiness to the Peepulation. But alas, that nasty Jack Swagger will be the spoiler and lay out Captain Charisma via devious means. But before the All-American American can capture the gold and reclaim his glory, the old warrior and last remaining ECW Original, will sneak in, hit a DDT and finally lay claim to the title that has forever eluded him, the ECW Championship.
 
And then he’ll lose it to Swagger in his first defense on Tuesday night. If Dreamer doesn’t win, we riot.
 
Winner and NEW ECW Champion: Tommy Dreamer
 
Intercontinental Championship – No Holds Barred
Rey Mysterio (c) versus Chris Jericho
 
It’s hard to believe that ten years ago, these guys were having a mid-card feud over the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and look at them now. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
 
Rey (when he’s healthy) and Jericho can always be counted on to have a fun and good match. This one has been really built up well. Chris doesn’t need to be the IC Champ. He’s already been there more times than anyone. Rey is a good wrestler, but I just can’t see him as one of the major champs for any long period of time, especially when I keep hearing that his knees are giving him problems.
 
So I’ll say that Rey and Chris have an excellent match. They pull out all the stops and demonstrate why they’ve been big stars for so long. And Jericho decides to concentrate on the mask and taking it off Rey. And he nearly succeeds. But his determination to get the mask makes him forget about about the match. Rey capitalizes and sneaks a victory from the jaws of defeat by getting the pin and retaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
 
Winner and STILL Champion: Rey Mysterio
 
U.S. Championship – Four Way Match
Kofi Kingston (c) versus MVP versus Matt Hardy versus William Regal
 
Another match that, if given enough time, should be really good. I don’t see MVP regaining the title at this point since I have a feeling that the WWE wants to elevate him to the World title picture. But I really can’t see Kofi as a long term champion either. He’s a fun performer to watch, but he doesn’t do anything for me as a singles champ.
 
So that leaves Matt Hardy and William Regal. I’d love to see Regal as the champ, but for some reason, I’ve got a feeling that this is the “Black Cloud” Matt Hardy’s time to shine. I love the whole “Ace Orton Tribute” routine with the arm in the cast and hearing Matt complain about how he’s “forced” to wrestle injured. And if he was the U.S. Champ, just imagine the promos as he’s “forced” to defend his title when he obviously isn’t a hundred percent. Classic heel stuff and I’m looking forward to it. Because Matt Hardy will walk out of the PPV as the U.S. Champion.
 
Winner and NEW U.S. Champion: Matt Hardy
 
Submission Match
John Cena versus The Big Show
 
Cena is a big, strong power guy. Show is a big, strong monster. Why the hell are they doing submission moves when it’s obvious that either man’s best weapon would be just to beat the crap out of their opponent and just pound them into the ground.
 
I’m wondering if Cena can get Show into the STFU and make him submit? Show is just way too big to twist around like a pretzel. But Cena is the top guy and they can’t have him lose. Or can they? Cena won at the last PPV match, so that means Show wins at this one. It’s simple logistics.
 
Winner (by submission) – The Big Show
 
Samoan Strap Match
Umaga versus CM Punk
 
I’m really liking this feud. Since coming back from his leg injury, the slimmer Umaga has really looked great in the ring. He’s regained that aura of “kick ass” that he had when he first started and I like it. Punk is a great performer and really seems to be on his way to the top tier of the WWE in a short amount of time. He can win or lose and it doesn’t hurt him or his star-power. Which is good, because in this match, Punk is going to lose. You can’t have a “Samoan Strap Match” and have the Samoan lose, can you? Nah, I didn’t think so. Besides, Punk will get his moment later in the show, if you know what I mean.  Like after the main event.  After the ladder match.  Against Edge.  Possibly?
 
Winner: Umaga
 
Miss Wrestlemania Title – Hog Pen Match
Vickie Guerrero versus Santina Marella
 
I feel so sorry for Chavo Guerrero and Beth Phoenix because you know that they’re going to end up getting involved and getting slopped. Should we be expecting cameo appearances by Hillbilly Jim and the Godwin’s? It wouldn’t surprise me.
 
I’m hoping that Vickie finds a way to win and we can put an end to this whole “Santina” crap for good. That’s what I’m hoping. But this is the WWE and since Vickie is the evil GM and Santino has found a new career as a cross-dresser, which the WWE fans seem to love for some reason, it’ll be Vickie who ends up getting slopped. Watch and see.
 
And the Santino-In-A- Bra World Comedy Tour gets to continue for another day. Lord help us all.
 
Winner and NEW Miss Wrestlemania – Santina Marella
 
And there you have it. My predictions for the big show. What do YOU think? Am I right, wrong, or just totally cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? I guess we’ll find out tonight. And now, moving on again…
 
One On One (Deluxe Edition): The Stars of 1985 versus The Stars of 2009
 
We all love to wonder “What if…?”. How would the wrestlers we watched and enjoyed back when we first became fans match up and do against the stars of today. Well, I’ve decided to speculate a bit and try to figure it all out.
 
I went back into my huge archive of wrestling magazines from the 80’s and 90’s and pulled up a magazine that is twenty-five years old. It’s the May, 1984 edition of “Sports Review Wrestling”, featuring such headline stories as: “Jos LeDuc versus Buzz Sawyer: Paul Ellering’s Search For A New Mad Dog Goes On”, “At Home With Rocky Johnson”, “Paul Jones: ‘How I Made The Assassins Wrestling’s Most Terrifying Tag Team’.”, and best of all, the “Sports Review Interview With Greg Gagne”. A classic magazine in every way, shape and form.
 
Anyhow, I took the official ratings from the mag and their “Top 5” and have decided to match these names against the top five names as ranked by the WWE and WWE.com in their “Power 25 Rankings”. Twenty five years of history divides these two listings and the whole business has changed so much. But still, I can’t help but wonder how the stars of 1984 would do against the stars of 2009. Let’s find out, shall we?
 
The “Top 5” ratings for May, 1984 were as follows: (1) Ric Flair, (2) Andre the Giant, (3) Harley Race, (4) Nick Bockwinkel and (5) Hulk Hogan.
 
The “Top 5” ratings, as of right now, for the WWE Power 25 are as follows: (1) Edge, (2) Rey Mysterio, (3) Randy Orton, (4) John Cena and (5) Christian.
 
Let’s see how these guys match up “One On One”…
 
(#1 versus #1) Ric Flair vs. Edge
 
In 1985, Ric Flair was the NWA World Champion. He was arguably the best heel in the business and the dirtiest player in the game. In 2009, Edge is the World Champion, probably the best heel in WWE, and known as the “ultimate opportunist” . Edge has a definite size advantage over Flair. Flair has the edge in technical wrestling skills as well as endurance. Remember at this time, Flair was doing 90 minutes a night, six nights a week, while Edge rarely goes more than 15 – 20 minutes in most matches.
 
I’d give the power edge to Edge. The speed would probably go to Flair, although neither man is known for their speed game. This match would be great fun to watch. That’s a definite. But in the end, I think Flair’s experience and endurance would win out. Both men would brawl and cheat. Edge has “friends” to look out for him – and Ric always had the Andersons (later to be part of the Horsemen) on hand to watch his back as well.
 
It would come down to who was able to be the sneakiest and pull the most behind the ref’s back. And as good as Edge is, Flair was (is) the best at being sneaky and crooked. Ric is “the man” and although Edge would push him to the limit, in the end, it would be the “Nature Boy” stylin’ and profilin’ down that aisle towards the pay window as the victor.
 
Winner: Ric Flair
 
(#2 versus #2) Andre The Giant versus Rey Mysterio
 
In 1984, Andre was still able to move quite well and was a force to be reckoned with. Rey, in 2009, has two bad knees and while he’s a great performer and high flyer, this would be one match where there would be no suspension of belief or “overcoming the odds” as the “littlest big man”. Rey is roughly 5’5″ or 5’6″ – Andre was well over 7 feet tall. Rey weighs about 140 – 150lbs. Andre weighed in the area of 400lbs. Rey would fly for a while until Andre decided to swat him down. And then, it would be all The Giant. It wouldn’t be pretty and wouldn’t even be close.
 
Winner: Andre The Giant
 
(#3 versus #3) Harley Race versus Randy Orton
 
Randy is actually becoming an OK wrestler. He just sucks on the promos. Harley was never a flashy or wrestler, but he was just consistent and good at everything he did. And his promos weren’t really the best either. A lot of what Orton does in the ring these days is reminiscent of the old “St. Louis style”, that was used by his father, the legendary “Cowboy” Bob Orton and also by another long-time Missouri native, Harley Race.
 
It’d be a good match to see and I think Orton would have an edge in speed and power. And maybe even technical wrestling. But Harley was just dangerous and tough and was the consummate all-around wrestler. What he lacked in one area, he’d make up for in another. And as good as Randy is, he’s no Harley Race. Not even close.
 
This would be a good match and would go for a while. But in the end, it’d be Race using that experience and pulling out a big win.
 
Winner: Harley Race
 
(#4 versus #4) Nick Bockwinkel versus John Cena
 
In his prime, Nick Bockwinkel was one of the smoothest and smartest wrestlers alive and could go toe-to-toe with anyone. John Cena is a decent grappler, but he’ll never be accused of being a great wrestler. He’s a mixture of power and a few basic moves that he uses to out-brawl and out-muscle his opponents. Cena is the consummate wrestler of the 21rst century, with just enough technical skills to survive, but more of a power-guy who goes for flash and showmanship more than actual wrestling.
 
If this was a Nick Bockwinkel of the mid-seventies, during Nick’s first AWA World Championship reign, he would out-smart Cena and just outlast him, letting the power man wear himself out and then Nick could grab the win. But this Nick Bockwinkel comes from 1984 and the years were catching up with him. And while Nick was still better than most, the body wasn’t always able to keep up like it did a few years earlier. And the Cena of 2009 would catch the aging veteran napping and power out a win in the end. Bockwinkle was the better wrestler, but the youth and power would win in this match.
 
Winner: John Cena
 
(#5 versus #5) Hulk Hogan versus Christian Cage
 
It’s the legend and phenom in his prime, the Immortal Hulk Hogan, against the wily and ever-so-sneaky ECW Champion of 2009, Christian. Most people would assume that it’d be a typical Hogan match. Hogan would take a beating for a while and then he’d start to shake. He’d “hulk up” and point the finger. Three punches to the head and then it’s time for the leg drop. And Hogan wins… right?
 
WRONG! That worked for Hogan for a long time, but this is MY opinion of who would win and Christian is just too good and too smart to fall for the “routine Hogan finish”. Hulk would do the shaking, do the punches, throw Christian into the ropes and hit the boot. He’d go for the leg drop and Christian would roll out of the way at the last second. And the peeps around the world would rejoice and scream in triumph.
 
Hogan would crash hard to the mat and start holding his leg. Christian would move in and start stomping the leg and Hogan. Hogan shakes and no-sells and starts to get up again. He’s Hulking up! And as Hogan goes for the big punch, Christian ducks and clips him with a low blow. The ref is distracted, as ref’s usually are and doesn’t see anything. Hogan doubles over and Christian moves in and scores with the “Killswitch” (or whatever he calls it these days!). Hogan is pinned.
 
Hulkamania is DEAD! The Peeps live forever. Yeah, that’s how it would happen. Cause I said so and that’s how I roll. ‘Nuff said!
 
Winner: Christian
 
So in a battle of the ages, 1984 versus 2009 – the old guys would come out ahead in three matches and the superstars of today would win two. And I think that sounds about right. It works for me anyhow.
 
Let’s move on.
 
Last time I did the column, I brought back the old fan favorite, “Who Am I?”… and got a whopping two responses. Yeah, makes me glad to do it too. Why do I bother? But anyhow, I asked about a wrestling / radio personality who’s worked pretty much alongside every major announcer at one time or another and loves Frosted Flakes. And obviously, I was talking about former WCW / AWA Announcer – and the current voice of Tony The Tiger, the infamous Stagger Lee Marshall.
 
Correctly answering were Harold Schwan and Bill Berry. Congratulations guys!
 
As for a newbie… *sighs*. I may as well. I’ll keep it simple. I was a popular wrestler in the South-East in the sixties and seventies. I once wore a mask, naming myself after the most Southern state in the U.S., but I preferred to wrestle under my own name. I had much success in both singles wrestling (Mid-Atlantic Champion, Florida Champion, U.S. Champion) as I did in tag team action (winning gold with such partners as Masked Superstar, Rick Steamboat, Baron Von Raschke, etc.)
 
After my days of wrestling were done, I went on to form an army and became a successful manager until my retirement in the late 80’s. And though some may disagree, my fans and peers will always refer to me as “Number One”. Who Am I?
 
Know the answer? Drop me a line and tell me who this icon and legend is…
 
Oh yeah, I finally got a chance to see “The Wrestler”, starring Mickey Rourke last week. The movie was great and Rourke definitely deserved to win the Oscar. He was shafted. But one thing about the movie and Mickey did disturb me. He looked like the love child of Billy Gunn & Hulk Hogan. Mickey is NOT an attractive man… and that’s NOT a compliment.
 
But he’s a great actor and the movie was excellent. So I guess being ugly as sin really doesn’t matter. Hell, it never stopped Mick Jagger either… or Michael Bolton.
 
Anything else?
 
Well, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that my good friend, the hip-hop spell-caster, Soce the Elemental Wizard has been upgraded to the “Master of Fine Arts” and has a new CD, appropriately titled “Master of Fine Arts” coming out in August. I already have my copy of the CD (it’s good to be a person who knows people…lol) and the music is tight, the lyrics are smart and this is probably Soce’s best work to date.
 
This could be the one that pushes the extremely talented young MC into the major mainstream. It is that good. So check out the man and his music at www.myspace. com/soce or www.greathiphop. com and listen for yourself. And order the new CD, “Master of Fine Arts”.
 
You’ll be so glad you did because even if you don’t like rap, you’ll like this. Trust me. Soce is a unique and special entertainer in his own league and he really knows his craft. Check him out and enjoy the fun. Yay!
 
And that’s it. Another edition of “Tiger Tales” is in the books. Questions, comments, and guesses for the “Who Am I?” can be sent toDoug28352@yahoo. com. Come visit me on MySpace at www.myspace. com/salt_ palace.
 
A big shout out to my soul-mate and better half, Calvin. I love ya, dude.
 
And on that, I’m Hobbes and I am out. Until the next time, see ya!

Fallen

make you pay the price
of sweet human sin
as you slowly drink it in
as the sun sets
the nights are long
the feelings are strong
and you retire to your chambers

you feel the thunder and the rain
your whole body is wracked in pain
just don’t give a damn
everything to prove you are a man
the means are worth the end
and the end is near
it’s almost here for you

a chamring offer
oh lord of lies
the pot grows sweeter every day
but my strength and magic
lies deep within my soul
i only need rely on myself
and you can go straight to hell

pleasures and ecstasy
the truth tells you what you need to know
a i never need to be alone
and cry no more
this is what you have to give
and I have to to give up
is my life…

March 29, 1992Image

Only A Lifetime

I have always been here
I’ve always looked out from behind these eyes
it feels like more than a lifetime
feels like more than a lifetime

sometimes i get tired of waiting
sometimes i get tired of being in here
is this the way it has always been
could it ever have been different

do you ever get tired of the waiting
do you ever get tired of being in there
don’t worry
nobody lives forever
nobody lives forever

i will always be here
i will always look out
from behind these eyes
it’s only a lifetime
it’s only a lifetime
it’s only a lifetime

i will always be here
i will always look out
from behind these eyes
it’s only a lifetime

march 29, 1992

The Quiet Room

this quiet place

it’s all I have left

I’ve confessed all my sins

and retribution is demanded

I’ve never been an angel

but penance is too harsh

thus my sins go unforgiven

and the cost

the price I must pay

it isn’t too much

only my immortal soul

what the hell

I wasn’t planning on using it anytime soon anyhow….

 

April 8, 1992