Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
March 19, 2015
Greetings, salutations and how the hell are you? No, I am NOT dead! I know that it’s been quite a while since I sat down in front of this computer screen and did a ranting, rambling, down in the gutter and going crazy column about the world’s greatest sport. It’s been a while and I’ve been totally derelict in my duties as an “internet wrestling journalist” (whatever the hell that is), but it’s almost time for Wrestlemania XXXI… and the mood is about to change. So let’s just get right to it, shall we? I’m Doug, this is “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”, pro wrestling’s most eclectic column and I wish I had some sweet and sour chicken right now. I’m hungry.
So what’s on the agenda? How about a look at the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Who’s in and who’s doing the inducting and my thoughts on each individual or team. And with that also comes a look at who’s not there (yet) and should be. Yeah, that might stir the pot a little bit. Maybe do some Q&A’s and add in some random musings to the mix and I think we might just have a full column here. So are you ready?
I said, “ARE YOU READY?”
That never works well in the written medium. I think I’ll save the DX rip-off lines for the podcast or You-Tube videos… if they ever happen. Do you hear me Kenneth? Let’s do this…
There is so much speculation right now about Brock Lesnar. Will the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion stay with the WWE or will he go back to the UFC? Brock is a beast of a man, but I honestly think that his best options and future lie with the WWE right now. He MIGHT be capable of doing both, but even Brock has his limitations and attempting to do both would probably be too much for any man, even Brock Lesnar. I think they’ll play it up, do some teasing, and we may even see some more cameo shots of Brock at the UFC events, but when push comes to shove, Brock will re-sign with and stay with the WWE. I’m almost 98% sure of that.
Have you checked out the recent back and forth tweets between Adam Rose and Zack Ryder as of late? Even actors William Shatner (Star Trek) and Dennis Haskins (Saved By The Bell) have gotten involved. While I don’t this as a big money feud or what-not, the WWE needs to take advantage and build on this. It’ll give the mid-card guys a chance to shine and show off a bit and since Shatner and Haskins are both big WWE fans, use their star power and presence to help attract fans and get media attention. Could you imagine the coverage on TMZ and in the media if there was a match, maybe pre-show at Wrestlemania or even if it’s just at RAW, with Zack Ryder, accompanied by Mr. Belding taking on Adam Rose, accompanied by Captain Kirk? It’s all about getting eyes on the product and both Zack and Rose are talented, charismatic wrestlers who can put on a hell of a match if they’re allowed to. It could be big and the WWE needs to jump on this and do something with it.
By the way, I had a great idea for a tag team and it involves the previously mentioned Dennis Haskins, aka “Mr. Belding” as well. How about teaming up Zack Ryder with Heath Slater. And have Haskins, in his Mr. Belding character, accompany them to the ring as their manager / principle? That would be worth it just to hear Mr. Belding scream out “Zack & Slater, in my office… now!”. Either make them a tag team or use this as part of a skit on the JBL You-Tube show. Either way, I’d be happy.
I’ve recently listened to some great podcasts by Jim Ross where he talked to and interviewed Lisa Marie Varon and more recently, Melina Perez. It was great to hear these former WWE Divas talk and get an opportunity to get some time in the sun, if you will. But what I want to know is when is “Good Ol’ J.R.”, or Steve Austin, or Jericho, or even Roddy PIper going to sit down and interview the hottest Diva of all time, my beloved, Ivory? With her history, as part of G.L.O.W., P.O.W.W., and the WWE, she would have so much to say. And we all know that Lisa Moretti, aka Ivory, loves to talk. Or as I heard X-Pac say one time in a shoot interview about her, “she never shuts the #@*& up!”. So to all the podcasters out there, book this woman on your show and then sit back and let her go. It would make for great listening for us fans and I know that I, for one, want to see it happen. Actually, she (Ivory) would make a great interviewer as well. Is the world ready for Lisa Moretti having her own podcast? I would think so and Podcast One needs to reach out to her and see if they could make it happen. It would be awesome!
Now, let’s get on to the getting on and talk about the Class of 2015 in the WWE Hall of Fame. Who belongs, who doesn’t belong and who’s doing the inductions and why. It’s time to get busy…
WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015…
As I just said, I want to speak on who’s going in, who should be going in, but isn’t (yet), and who’s doing the inductions and why. Let’s do this.
Kevin Nash, inducted by Shawn Michaels.
While Nash is not one of my personal favorites, this is a good pick for the WWE, especially with his buddy Scott Hall being inducted last year. Nash is a former WWE and WCW World Champion and one of the original members of the nWo. And we can’t forget his place in the infamous “Kliq” with Hall, Michaels, HHH and X-Pac. The WWE wants a headliner and Nash is the consumate pick for this role. And Shawn Michaels there to do the inducting? It doesn’t get much better than this.
Randy Savage, inducted by Hulk Hogan.
Long overdue to be sure, but it’s good to see Randy Savage finally getting the recognition he deserves. I personally would have put Miss Elizabeth in there along side the “Macho Man” since their careers were so intertwined, but maybe she’ll get there next year. No arguments about Randy getting his well deserved spot. As far as his inductee, Hulk Hogan goes, he’s not really who I would pick. I think I would have gone with Bret Hart or maybe Ricky Steamboat since Bret and Randy were actually friends and since Macho and Steamer made history together with their match at Wrestlemania III. But Hogan is the bigger name and the rivalry he had with Savage, as well as their on and off again friendship, is more in the minds of recent fans, I guess it’s an okay choice. It’s not the one I would have made, but I understand why the WWE did it.
Tatsumi Fujinami, inducted by Ric Flair.
Fujinami is a great wrestler and well deserving of a spot in any professional wrestling Hall of Fame. I like the international flavor his selection gives to the group and I have no arguments here at all. As for Flair doing the induction, it’s Ric Flair. Woooooooooooo!!
Warrior Award: Connor Michalek, inducted by Dana Warrior and Daniel Bryan.
Just watch the videos with Conner and try not to cry. Go ahead and try. I’ve yet to find anyone who can watch that amazing and strong young man and not feel at least a little moisture coming from their eyes. He never wrestled and was never one of “the boys”, but Conner is probably the most deserving Hall of Famer ever. ‘Nuff said!
Larry Zbyszko, inducted by Bruno Sammartino.
A two-time AWA World Champion, a former WCW and WWWF Tag Team Champion, a former WCW World Television Champion, part of the Dangerous Alliance, one of the best talkers in the business and a man who once went 17 minutes in a match before making the first contact with his opponent. There is only one “Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko and does he deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Looking back on his legacy and “glorious” career, I would definitely have to say “YES!” And as for his inductee, Bruno? Well, okay… maybe there is more than one “Living Legend” after all. Bruno is Bruno and he trained and mentored Zbyszko in the beginning so who better? Nobody!
The Bushwhackers, inducted by John Laurinaitis.
I’ve heard some people complaining about The Bushwhackers going into the Hall of Fame and if it was just for their WWE characters, their time as the Bushwhackers, I’d agree. But when you look at their whole career, before the face licking and crazy strutting, few teams are more deserving. As the “Kiwi Sheepherders” and then as just “The Sheepherders”, Butch and Luke dominated in every territory they wrestled in. Their antics in Puerto Rico are legendary and they have more than most paid their dues. As for their inductee, John Laurinaitis, he started off in this business as the “Flag Bearer” and valet of sorts for this team. He’s the right guy to induct these men.
Alundra Blayze/Madusa, inductor TBA.
Another inductee that I’ve heard criticized and second guessed concerning her spot in the HOF. She was a multiple time Champion in the AWA and the WWF, as well as a top star in Japan. She was part of the Dangerous Alliance in WCW and even had a best-selling album overseas. She’s a former WCW Cruiserweight Champion. She also made a career for herself after wrestling by driving Monster Trucks. If she isn’t deserving of a spot in the HOF, then few people are. The biggest criticism of her is how she dropped the WWF Women’s Championship Belt into a trashcan on a live Nitro when she went to WCW after leaving the WWF. What people forget is that she was told to do so by her boss at the time, Eric Bischoff. She wasn’t happy about doing it, but when the boss says to do it, what was she to do? She did what she was told. Don’t cross the boss, right? But years have passed and the fences have been mended and I’m happy to see her get some of the recognition she’s due. As for who’s doing the inducting, it hasn’t been announced yet, but I would probably pick Paul Heyman, her manager in the “Dangerous Alliance”.
Rikishi, inducted by The Usos.
I like Rikishi. I really do. But, and you knew that there had to be a “but” coming, is he WWE Hall of Fame material? I guess if you figure in his time as part of the Samoan Swat Team and his pre-WWF career, there’s an argument to be made, but I honestly don’t see it yet, not when men like Ivan Koloff, The Midnight Express, The Rock & Roll Express, Wahoo McDaniels, etc, are still waiting. But I don’t make the call and Vince McMahon does. Rikishi is a good guy and on good terms with the company. His sons are two of the top current WWE Superstars and I guess that’s all that really matters. He wouldn’t be my pick for this year’s class, but congratulations to him anyhow. Good for him.
Celebrity Wing: Arnold Schwarzenegger, inducted by Triple H.
And finally, we come to the “Celebrity Wing” and we have former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold has always been a wrestling fan and on good terms with the company so I understand why he’s getting in. But why he’s getting in before Cyndi Lauper, before Regis Philbin, and before Andy Kaufman, that I don’t understand. Again, he’s probably not who I would have picked as my “Celebrity Inductee”, but whatever, right? And HHH as the man doing the Induction? Well, it’s his company (almost) and I can’t think of anyone else who would be more apppropiate.
And now, let’s move on to who SHOULD be part of the WWE Hall of Fame, but for whatever reasons, is not. I’ll keep it short and just do my five top choices.
The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette
Name a better tag team of the past twenty years? It doesn’t matter if it’s Eaton and Condrey or Eaton and Lane, when the Midnight Express was on the card, the fans were assured of seeing a great match. And who is a better talker than Jim Cornette? He’s been a photographer, a manager, an announcer, a booker and promoter and is easily one of the most recognizable and entertaining personalities in this business. I’m sure that Cornette and the Midnight Express will go into the Hall of Fame at some point, but it should have already happened.
Long before Brock Lesnar “beat the streak” of the Undertaker, there was another long streak ended and it was even more shocking to the fans. “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff defeated the “Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino to capture the WWWF Championship, becoming only the third man to hold that honored trophy that would eventually one day be known as the WWE Championship today. Add to that all of the other multiple titles this man has held in every company he’s worked for. He’s a class act all the way and a true legend in every sense of the word. There is no excuse NOT to have him in the Hall of Fame alongside his peers like Bruno, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Superstar Graham, Dusty Rhodes, etc. He belongs… period!
Bill Eadie (aka Masked Superstar, Demolition Ax)
How many wrestlers can you name that have totally reinvented themselves three times, into three totally different and seperate characters, and reached the top in each form? From one half of the Mongols to the Masked Superstar to a member of Demolition, Bill Eadie has set a standard in that squared circle that few can ever hope to match. He’s a great talent, a great talker and a true iconic superstar, no matter what name he may be using at the time. If not for personal issues with Vince and the WWE, no doubt that we would have already seen Eadie as part of the Hall of Fame. It’s time for the WWE to set those issues aside and give this talent his just due. He definitely belongs.
The Rock & Roll Express
You can’t do the Midnight Express without including the ying to their yang, their opposites, Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, the Rock & Roll Express. A great team that has helped to set the standards for what tag team wrestling should be and is all about. They’ve been going strong for over thirty years and it doesn’t look as if they have any intentions of slowing down any time soon. Two iconic legends and true superstars of the mat. Definitely worthy and well deserving of any Hall of Fame.
The WCW Hall of Fame
What do these people have in common? Lou Thesz, Mr. Wrestling II, Eddie Graham, Ole Anderson, The Crusher, Dick the Bruiser, Masked Assassin, Angelo Poffo, and Gordon Solie? They’re all members of the WCW Hall of Fame, but are NOT members of the WWE Hall of Fame. My question is, why not? When the WWE bought out and took control of all that was WCW, they also took control of their Hall of Fame. My thoughts are that since WCW is now technically part of the WWE, then these men deserve a spot and place in the WWE Hall of Fame as well. The rest of the WCW Hall of Fame inductees already have their spot in the WWE Hall of Fame and that’s great for them. But aren’t these men equally as deserving? I think that the WWE should do a special induction ceremony and give these men a WWE Hall of Fame ring and at least acknowledgement as being Hall of Fame members. Maybe put an asterick by their names showing that it’s the WCW Hall of Fame, but still, give these men their place and the credit due. Politics and personalities aside, they earned their spot and don’t deserve to be forgotten.
And now, let’s get random one more time.
More Random Musings…
What is the point behind the Triple H versus Sting match at Wrestlemania XXXI? I get it that it’s a main event match and a dream match and all that, but seriously, why are they wrestling? What does Sting have to gain by beating HHH? What is HHH’s motivation to beat Sting? It’s about ego and… ?? This is the kind of match that needs a stipulation involved. What if HHH was to win and Sting would have to leave the WWE forever? What if Sting was to win and WCW got a fitting “good-bye” as in a “One Night Stand” type show? The WWE has the Network now and it really wouldn’t be hard to throw together a WCW themed show for one night. I even wrote a fiction story as to how it could be done. Read the story here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11087298/1/Triple-H-versus-Sting-It-s-Showtime-Folks
No Goldust versus Stardust at Wrestlemania? I hate it that Goldy is being denied his Wrestlemania moment against his brother, but let’s be honest. Their match at Fast Lane kind of sucked. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It was just there. Maybe we’ll have Goldy interfere in the Ladder Match at Wrestlemania, ala Matt Hardy, and cost his brother a chance to be the Intercontinental Champion. And then, at the next pay-per-view, we can have Goldy versus Stardust one more time and Goldy can close out his in-ring career in style in a kick-ass match with his brother.
Vince Russo? Has there ever been a bigger ass-clown in the world of sports-entertainment? I’ve always been somewhat amused by Russo and willing to give him a chance. He is a good writer and when he has the proper filter, aka Vince McMahon, he can do some good stuff. But the recent stuff with his website and the excuses he keeps making, one after the other… my B.S. detector has been working overtime. Most of it is amusing to me, but enough is enough. I’m Russo’ed out! And as Gorilla Monsoon would say, “Give me a break!”
Why is the WWE not using Christian in some way, shape or form? I understand that he’s become kind of injury-prone and they don’t want him wrestling and that’s cool. Actually, it sucks since Christian is one of my favorite WWE Superstars, but I get it. So why not use him as an announcer or a manager or even as a trainer down at NXT? He’s too good a talent to be wasted sitting at home.
Imagine this. Samoa Joe, Chris Masters, Ted DiBiase, Curtis Axel, Charlotte Flair, Tessa Blanchard, Baby Doll and Tully Blanchard as a super-group in the WWE? I know! I know! It would never happen, but a person can dream, right? I did. Read about it here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11116118/1/Here-Comes-The-Apocalypse
And finally, let’s go check out and see what’s in the old mailbag.
Clay Ferguson: Now that Sting is a part of the WWE, who is the greatest competitor to not perform in WWE?
The Great Muta is the first name that comes to mind. Well, him and of course, Disco Inferno.
Steve Collins: If TNA were to go under and sold everything they had, what do you think the likelihood would be of Vince purchasing the video library?
I have no doubt that Vince would snatch it up pretty quickly. For the footage of people like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Booker T, Sting, Christian, The Dudley Boys and Kurt Angle alone, it would be worth it for Vince.
Keith Lawrence: You can have a dream match with one wrestler from each decade. From 1960 to today. Who do you choose?
From the sixties, it would be Bruno Sammartino. From the 70’s, I’d go with Harley Race. The 80’s would be “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. My opponent from the 90’s would probably be Arn Anderson. For the 2000’s decade, it would be William Regal and for the most recent decade, 2010 plus, I would want to step into the ring with CM Punk.
Jason Coolhandluc Lucas: To me, the Road Warriors are the greatest. Can you tell me who you think is a better team and why?
The Road Warriors are a great team, but the greatest? That’s arguable, especially when you have teams like The Anderson Brothers (Ole & Gene) in the mix, not to mention The Midnight Express, The Rock & Roll Express, Arn & Tully or Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko (The Enforcers). Why I’d pick any of these teams over the Warriors is that the Warriors were awesome, but they were also kind of one dimensional. All power. These other teams that I mentioned could play the power games or do the wrestling thing. It was either / or and not just one thing. Plus with the Midnight Express, you also had Bobby Eaton who could fly with the best of them. The Road Warriors are tough and bad to the bone, but Arn and Zbyszko could out-wrestle them. Arn and Tully could out-wrestle them. The Rock & Roll Express had the edge in speed and science by a long shot as did the Midnight Express. And Ole & Gene were just bigger and badder and tougher than anyone… period.
And you know what? That’s it for me today. Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading and I’ll be back in a few days with my take on Wrestlemania XXXI and my predictions for that big show. Until the next time, I’m down and I’m gone. Take care!