An All-Diva WWE Pay-Per-View?

Recently, a question was put forth to the members of “That Wrestling Group” on Facebook. I wish I could find the post itself and paste it here so I could give proper credit to the gentleman who asked, but I scrolled up and down the group page and can’t find it. It’s just like Hulk Hogan in the WWE – vanished into limbo forever. However, the question asked about the possibility of the WWE at some point doing an All Divas pay-per-view or special. And I commented on it that perhaps somewhere down the road, I could see it happening, but I didn’t think that the WWE and NXT had enough female talent on hand to provide for a full show.

And then I started thinking about it. And the more I thought about it, I realized that I was wrong. With a little creative work and one or two names from outside the current Diva roster, it could be done and done well. And then I decided to do just that and book myself a WWE card using nothing but the female talents. I did bring in four names from outside the current WWE roster, but all four ladies I decided to use are in the WWE’s good graces and it wouldn’t take more than a phone call to assure these ladies’ participation. And only two are in active wrestling roles so their participation would be more to add star-power to the event than anything else.

So just imagine this. A two hour WWE special, live on the Network, called “Ladies Night Out!”

Brought in just for the evening, to act as the special “General Manager” for the event would be Vickie Guerrero. The ring announcer would be Eden and JoJo would handle all of the interviews. And calling the action from ringside would be Renee Young, Stephanie McMahon and special guest Rhonda Rousey.

Here is the card I’ve come up with…

NXT Women’s Championship Match
Sasha Banks (c) versus Charlotte

The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) w/ Alicia Fox versus Team Bestie (Trish Stratus & Lita)

Note: This match has been talked about and teased for Wrestlemania XXXII by both the Bellas and Lita so it isn’t too far fetched from happening. Just move it up a little bit, have a confrontation between Lita & the Bellas on either RAW or Tough Enough and that’s all it would take – the match would be on.

Paige & Becky Lynch versus Naomi & Tamina

Diva Street Fight
Lana versus Summer Rae (Dolph Ziggler and Rusev are both banned from ringside).

Natayla versus Bayley

Diva Battle Royal – Winner Gets A Shot At WWE Divas Championship
Alexa Bliss versus Carmella versus Devin Taylor versus Dana Brook versus Emma versus Layla versus Cameron versus Eva Marie versus Rosa versus Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon) versus Sara Del Ray

Five matches and a Battle Royal. Two solid main event matches that would be almost certain to deliver, plus a strong match with Natayla versus Bayley. Paige & Becky could carry Naomi & Tamina to a good match and no one would really expect the Diva Street Fight to be good. It would be the spectacle / smoke & mirrors match of the night. Then round it out with the Divas Battle Royal which has a mixture of good workers and not-so-good workers. Throw the talents of Del Ray, who works as a trainer at NXT and Victoria, for name recognition and shock value and it’s a pretty unique and solid card from start to finish.

There are a lot of people that don’t think the ladies could work a show and carry an event on their own. Look at this card. Look at these matches? So, what do you think now?

Thoughts and comments welcome.

Ubuntu!@@@ wwe divas

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News: July 27, 2015

Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
July 27, 2015
Doug Maynard
It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. That was the name of a classic movie from 1963 starring Spencer Tracy and also an apt description of the world that we live in each and every day.  And even more to the point, the world of professional wrestling / sports entertainment over the past couple of weeks.  Are people getting crazy or what?  We’ve got Hulk Hogan, the face of professional wrestling for more than thirty years, being branded a hate mongering racist and being fired / scrubbed from the WWE.  We’ve got WWE Hall of Famer Tamara Sytch with some less than sunny remarks about the NXT Divas.  We’ve got iconic legends going back and forth on Facebook about personal responsibility and the infamous class-action lawsuit against Vince McMahon and the WWE.  We’ve got Roddy Piper and Steve Austin having issues and podcasts being dropped as a result.  And the Undertaker is back.  Oh vey!  Where should we begin?
How about this?  I’m Doug and this is “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”, pro wrestling’s most eclectic column.  And today, I’m going to talk about all of the above.  I guess I should throw a disclaimer in here.  The views and opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone and not necessarily those of anyone else (with the possible exception of my cat, Goldy.  I’ll ask her when she wakes from her nap).  So don’t hate the players – hate the game… or something like that.  And I think that also, I’m going to do a Top Ten List towards the end of the column.  Sticking with the theme of the day, how about the Top Ten Most Politically Incorrect Gimmicks / Characters from the World of Pro Wrestling.  Yeppers, my Peeps.  A look back at the characters and gimmicks that were hot / big / over for their day, but in today’s so easily offended / politically correct / people are mindless sheep who can’t think for themselves world, would be protested, burned at the stake, dragged into the streets and forced to sit in a room with Nancy Grace instead.  Can you tell that I don’t think much of the P.C. police?  Anyhow, let’s get busy and get to work.
Crazy Times…
Let’s get started and do this in reverse order.
Undertaker is back…
We all saw it at Battleground.  Brock Lesnar is on the verge of decimating Seth Rollins and becoming the new WWE World Champion.  The lights go out, Rollins and the referee have both vanished and standing there in the middle of the ring is Brock’s greatest nemesis, The Undertaker.  A kick to the balls, a choke-slam and two tombstone piledrivers later, Brock is laid out and the Dead Man stands tall.
I’m glad that the Undertaker is back.  It was a great pull-apart brawl with Taker and Brock on RAW and having Taker versus Brock II at SummerSlam is big time news and money for the WWE.  If Taker wins, we have them tied at 1 win each and can milk this for another pay-per-view and do the rubber match.  If Brock wins, he is cemented in wrestling history as the biggest and baddest of all time.  But why did they have to cost us a finish in the Rollins / Lesnar match to get this rivalry jump started.  Wouldn’t it make more sense for Taker to let Brock win the belt first and then at SummerSlam, take not only vengeance for the Wrestlemania match, but the WWE World Championship as well.  Beating Brock up doesn’t bother him. Taking that title away does.
I get it that we’re not going to see Taker wrestle a full or even part-time schedule so putting the gold on him makes no sense at all.  But going after a title makes more sense than all of a sudden getting mad and wanting vengence for a clean loss over a year and a half later.  Taker and Brock were both at Wrestlemania XXXI and if Taker was so upset about Brock (and Heyman’s) bragging, that would have been the time to say something… not six months later. Poor explanation is hurting the build for this match, but I guess in the end, it doesn’t matter. Taker is looking like a major heel, but since it’s the Undertaker, that doesn’t matter either.  Just give us Brock Lesnar versus Undertaker at SummerSlam and take our money Vince.  That’s the bottom line and hopefully, both men will be physically able to pull off the build and the match that everyone seems to anticipate.
And then, when the dust settles, Brock can get back to business and take Rollins to suplex city one more time as he should be doing.  Is it too early to request Brock Lesnar versus Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania XXXII?  That’s where the money will be and want I want to see.  ‘Nuff said!
Piper versus Austin:  Podcast Wars…
So let me see if I can get this straight.  Roddy Piper had comedian Will Sasso on his podcast pretending to be Steve Austin.  The results, while funny, were also a bit insulting to Austin and he complained to the President of Podcast One, who at the time, hosted both Austin and Piper’s podcasts.  The offending podcast was removed and all was good again.  Then Piper is suddenly gone from Podcast One and says that Austin had him fired.  Austin denies the claims and while admitting that wasn’t happy with Piper’s show, wasn’t responsible for Piper’s dismissal.  The President of Podcast One says that Piper quit the company after the offending podcast was removed, albeit a few months later and is welcome back if he ever desires to come back to Podcast One.  And Austin has moved on. Piper is still ranting about Austin and everything else under the sun. Who else thinks that within a year from now, we’re going to have a special edition of Austin’s “Unleashed” podcast with guest Roddy Piper.  And the next week, Piper’s podcast will be back on Podcast One with special guest Steve Austin.
My own thoughts are that Austin did get pissed about Piper’s podcast with Will Sasso. If he did, I don’t blame him.  It went above and beyond simple satire and would piss me off too.  I don’t think that Austin asked for Piper to be fired and tend to feel that the Podcast One President was being honest when he said that, after removing that one show, Piper quit.  Piper is prone to rash actions and having the one episode removed probably hurt his feelings and made him feel like they were trying to control him.  And then it all blew up from there.  Piper and Austin are both iconic figures in this business and legends and if they ever happen to get together, share a beer and talk, I have no doubt that apologies will be made, hugs will be shared and both men will move on and try to find a way to make money from and work all of this into a story line.  How about Team Austin versus Team Piper at the next WWE Survivor Series?  I don’t want to see Piper or Austin wrestle (unless it’s Austin at Wrestlemania XXXII), but each man can coach a team and to the winner goes the spoils.  It’s the next natural step here.  I just hope that someone with money, influence and power can see that (Vince) and acts accordingly.
The Lawsuit…
As most wrestling fans are aware, there is a movement led by Billy Jack Haynes and allegedly about fifty or more other wrestlers against Vince McMahon and the WWE.  The Haynes led faction, which includes such noted names as Bryan Clark, Koko B. Ware, Blackjack Mulligan, Ivan Koloff, Big Vito, the estate of the late Viscera and the estate of the late Matt Borne, is going after Vince McMahon and the WWE, seeking money, medical aid, royalties for past matches, etc. And while I tend to agree with the Haynes group on some things, let’s call it as I see it.  For the majority of this group, it’s a money-grab lawsuit… period.  Haynes wrestled for the then-WWF for just over two years, but he blames them for 27 years of being a drug addict.  In the Matt Borne suit that was filed, they talk about not using helmets during training and concussions.  Borne was trained by his father, Tony Borne.  So how can what the WWF did or didn’t do affect his personal training to become a professional wrestler?  Pretty much, Haynes and company are blaming Vince and the WWE for every injury, every drug addiction, every bad things that’s ever happened to anyone who’s stepped foot in that ring and competed as a professional wrestling… and they want to get paid for it.
I don’t get it. I can see how, after years and years of competing in that ring, they want help with medical bills and maybe compensation for their matches, but guess what? If Vince wants to do it, he should, but he doesn’t have to.  It would be nice, but that’s not the issue here.  These guys wrestled all over the world, not just for Vince or the WWF.  I’ve personally witnessed Blackjack Mulligan in dozens of matches here in the Mid-Atlantic region that were brutal beyond compare.  But he’s not going after Jim Crockett Jr., is he?  Billy Jack Haynes used to get bloody every night in the Portland territory, but I haven’t heard him speak a single word out against Don Owens.  Everyone is going after the WWE because Vince won the wars and is the last survivor.  But what about the other promoters they all worked for? What about taking personal responsibility?
Every single person that steps into that ring knows how rough and physical it is and the toll it will eventually take on the body.  Every single person who stepped into that ring was living a dream, doing what they loved to do and was trying to be that larger than life character.  They knew the risks to live that dream and were paid and compensated for their efforts with their paychecks, with the opportunity to be on television and perform in front of large crowds, to travel the world and be stars.  I hate it that life wasn’t all rosy and grand forever, but what’s the old saying about  dancing the dance, but eventually you have to pay the band.
Bottom line is that, in my opinion, if it’s too rough, then quit. If you aren’t willing to pay the piper and make the necessary sacrifices to live the life and dream the dream, then move on and go on to something else.  Everyone who has stepped into that ring or will step into that ring, is making a decision to do so.  And every single person who chooses to abuse drugs is doing the same thing… making a personal decision.  I hurt every day with my legs and feet, but the strongest thing I take for the pain is the occasional Advil if it gets too bad.  I make a choice.  I’ve seen people who abuse pills and medication.  I hate it that they’re in pain or sick, but when the doctor has prescribed two pills and they take ten or fifteen, that’s their choice and no matter how much they might want to blame someone else (Vince) for their addictions and the problems that come along with that addiction, it just doesn’t float.  People make choices every day, good and bad, and whatever happens next, the consequences, are their responsibility as well.  Don’t go, twenty five years down the line, and make excuses blaming the boss or this or that.  That’s all they are – excuses.
Anyhow, I’m getting off the subject. I have friends, people I respect and admire, on both sides of this issue in the business.  It would be nice if Vince McMahon and the WWE established an out-reach program to help former WWE talents with medical expenses and financial problems, much like they have with the Wellness Programs and the rehab programs, but that’s up to them to decide.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen eventually, but these lawsuits are pointless and not the way to go it.  I’ve listened and read and researched and while there are men and women out there who need help and assistance, this lawyer is out for money, pure and simple.  It’s a money-grab lawsuit that will put cash in the pockets of a few, use the ones who really need help as pawns, and just tie up the court system, preventing any real change for years to come.
Let me hit on one more point and then I’ll move on.  I’m going to use Blackjack Mulligan as my example here.  Blackjack is in extremely poor health.  He suffered a stroke recently and reportedly either had or needs to have surgery to relieve swelling on his brain.  According to Ric Flair, Mulligan is up to over four hundred pounds and is in terrible shape. If Jack or someone in his family had contacted Vince or Triple H, prior to this lawsuit crap, and explained the situation, I have no doubt that they would have been there, helping Mulligan with his medical expenses and looking out for him.  Mulligan’s son-in-law and two grandson’s all work for the WWE and he’s a Hall of Famer and true legend.  But since this lawsuit was filed, and given Mulligan’s admitted memory problems (having to write himself notes to remember to go to the restroom, giving out his phone number on Facebook), I wonder just how much he really understands about what’s going on and what this lawsuit is about, the WWE can’t help him now even if they want to.  If they do anything, it would be used against them and considering pandering.  Mulligan signed on to this fiasco though and here is where personal responsibility comes into play.  He knew what he was doing (allegedly) when he signed on, but since he’s signed on, the people most likely to help him can’t.  He’s scorched earth legally and off limits.  Something to think about, right?
It’s time to move on…
Sunny Doesn’t Like Them…
Recently, on Facebook, Tamara Sytch, aka WWE Hall of Famer and Skyper for Hire Sunny, had this to say about the NXT Invasion by female Divas and superstars Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch.  Let me go to her page and get the quote.  Okay, here is what she said.  “ok…….who else thinks the 2 new red/purple/orange heads in the diva divisions are buttafaces??? and charlotte (Ashley) really has in ring talent!!”.
So Charlotte has talent and Sasha and Becky are “buttafaces”?  Does the one-time Diva sound jealous to you?  She does to me, but then again, Tammy seems to be petty at times.  Maybe it’s because these so-called “buttafaces” are talented in other places besides the bedroom and are getting credit as actual legitimate WRESTLERS who can do more than fill out a bra.  They can talk.  They can wrestle.  They are respected and have main evented shows.  And Tammy has… well, she can pose in a bed with her fans and skype (for a fee).
I think Miss Sytch owes Sasha and Becky an apology.  She won’t do it and will probably just insult and trash anyone who suggests such a thing, but it would be the right thing to do.  As a Hall of Famer, Tammy should be above making petty and personal insults to the ladies of the WWE just to get attention and provoke an reaction.  She should be, but she’s not.  Just saying…
And finally…
Whatchu Gonna Do… Brutha!…
At this point, I think that everyone has heard the racist, filled with the “n-word” rant, by the legendary Hulk Hogan.  And we’ve all seen the fall-out.  He was fired by the WWE and essentially scrubbed from WWE.com.  He’s being replaced as a judge on Tough Enough and even TNA has removed him from their alumni page and pulled their new Hulk Hogan DVD that was just released a couple of weeks ago.  Hogan has been pretty-much Benoit’ed from the world of professional wrestling, all because of a private discussion and rant from nearly 8 years ago.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m not a big fan of Hogan.  For me, it was always Flair and NWA style wrestling and not Hogan / WWF sports-entertainment crap.  But that being said, I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.  There is no excuse for going on a racist rant, but look at the time period.  Hogan was at the time having major issues with his wife, trying to finance his daughter’s career, the reality show was ending and as he’s spoken of several times in the past during interviews, was at one of the lowest points ever of his life and had even contemplated suicide.  All of this going on had to have an effect and thus, we see a part of Hogan that otherwise, we never would have seen.
Think about it.  If he had just called that guy who was allegedly sleeping with Brooke an ass-clown or a piece of crap or just a stupid f*****, there would not be a word uttered.  In a fit of anger, he called him the n-word and now the world is losing their minds.  Never mind the context or reasoning behind it all… the word was used and now Hogan is facing the fall out.  Note what I said earlier about taking responsibility for one’s actions?  Hogan has apologized and taken responsibility and that should be the end of it.  I hope so, but I doubt it.  I don’t blame the WWE for terminating Hogan over this.  In today’s overly politically correct world, he’s scorched earth and as a publicly traded company, WWE had to get out there and take action before it came back to bite them in the butt.  They did so, to the extreme to be sure, but they’re doing exactly what they have to do.
I hope that Hogan can survive this and come back from all of it.  Radar Online and The National Enquirer have both implied that there is more to come and the rest will be even worse and more damaging to Hogan and his career / reputation.  At this point, all we can do is sit, wait and see what they have.  Hogan just needs to come clean, address the situation and then work on rebuilding and damage control.  What I expect we’ll see is an apology tour, with Hulk  doing the talk shows, being open and honest about the whole matter and maybe even take a (very public) class in sensitivity training.  Just play it by ear and try to rebuild that reputation.  Wrestling fans are a forgiving lot and when it comes to their heroes, the American public is as well.  Hogan is not only a wrestler, but an American Icon and with time, with apology and with some effort on his part, it’s not hard to imagine him back in the good graces of John Q. Public once again, sooner rather than later.
As a matter of fact, I’m calling it now.  Expect Hogan to go on an “apology tour” and attempt to mend fences with the black community.  We’ll probably see more of Hogan in the next 18 months or so than we have in years.  Within a year, WWE will have quietly put back his merchandise and links on their webpages.  Hogan is too big to erase or ignore and I think they know that.  And probably by Wrestlemania XXXIII, roughly a year and half from now, Hogan will be back in the WWE as the lovable, forgiven, returning hero.  Watch and see.
And now…
Top Ten Politically Incorrect Wrestling Characters / Gimmicks…
10.  Indians
Using this gimmick is kind of a double-edged sword.  Using it as a proud Native American like some of our local performers (Indians With Attitude, Dylan Kage) do is generally acceptable and okay.  But throw in some feathers, maybe a tomahawk and just watch the P.C. police go nuts.  In today’s world of trying to get the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Redskins to change their names because a few politicians deem the names offensive, just imagine a feather wearing, face paint wearing Native American wrestler in today’s WWE or TNA, using the patented chops and doing a “war dance” before pinning their opponents.  By the way, for the sake of transparency, I have to admit here that I agree that the Redskins should change their name.  It’s not the Redskins part that bothers me, but the Washington tag.  After all, look at our “leaders” and elected officials in Washington.  If they’re not embarrassing and humiliating, I don’t know what is.  Being an Indian warrior can still be done and done well, but it’s touchy at best.  Too bad because some of the greatest talents in wrestling history (Wahoo McDaniel, Jay Youngblood, Michael Youngblood) have used this gimmick and done it proud and well.  And then you have Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf (an Italian and an Iraqi) who also wore the feathers and paint and used the chops.  The less said about those two, the better, but at least they did manage to pull it off and tried.
 9.  Arabs
When you think of Arab wrestlers, the images that come to my mind are the Sheik, Abdullah the Butcher and the Iron Sheik.  They have the pointy-toed boots and carry the foreign objects and are anti-American, hate filled creatures of evil intent and nature.  I’m trying to think of any wrestlers from Iraq, Iran or the Middle East that ever had the good-guy gimmick and were pro-American, but can’t.  The closest we had was Muhammed Hussen & Shawn Daivari who started off as two Arab-American’s who wanted to show that all Arabs weren’t evil, but quickly had their characters changed to more typical, borderline terrorists.  As scared to offend anyone as our world seems to be these days, can you imagine two stereotypical coming on TV now in 2015 and doing 1/3 of the stuff that the Iron Sheik did during the ealry nineties during the Gulf War?  The show would be protested and pulled off the air pretty quickly, kind of like how Muhammed Hassan and Daivari were after their masked associates attacked The Undertaker on Smackdown on the same day a terrorist bombing occurred in England.  One moment they were there and the next, gone from our television set.  The only difference is today, they wouldn’t even make it to RAW or Smackdown to begin with.
 8.  Akeem & The Rev. Slick
A white man dressed in traditional African clothing and pretending to be black managed by a slick talking, watermelon and fried chicken eating manager from the ghetto.  Just think about it.  The black stereotype gimmicks given folks such as the Nation of Domination, the Harlem Heat and the Godfather were bad, but nothing and I mean nothing that I can remember ever crossed that racial line quite so badly as this particular gimmick.  I’ll give One Man Gang and Slick credit that they really pushed the envelope and took these characters way farther than anyone could have possibly expected, even to the point of having Slick release a musical single called “Jive Talkin’ Bro”, but could you just imagine if they tried to do this now and today.  Al Sharpton, he of the racist hate-mongering protests and extortionist ways, would be in Stamford so fast, even the Flash would be saying, “Damn, he moved fast!”.
And in the same category, although I just remembered it, can you remember when DX used the black-face and did a mockery of the Nation of Domination?  It was so funny that they had to go find Jason Sensation to join the pack and do it twice.  Now, move ahead a few years and picture (for example) Curtis Axel, Damion Mizdow and Heath Slater all dressed up in black-face and doing a parody of the New Day.  How well do you think that would go over?  How quickly do you think that the WWE stock would start dropping and Vince would start getting phone calls from politicians.  White people making fun of back people, be it Akeem or DX, in today’s world.  Not going to happen.
 7.  Adrian Street / Rico
A male wrestler acting less than manly, weak and timid and, dare I say it, gay. How would that go over today?  I think back to “The Exotic” Adrian Street and his dancing and prancing around the ring, wearing the make-up and pig tails and kissing his male opponents.  He smacked them on the butt and painted his title belts pink. Every single gay stereotype that existed, he used and played up to the max.  And this was the late sixties, seventies and early eighties when he was doing all of this.  The irony of the situation is that Street was not gay at all and was married to his long-time valet, Miss Linda.  But he knew a gimmick that would catch heat and ignite the crowd and ran with it far better and longer than anyone had a right to.  Later, such stars as Terry (Simms) Garvin and Rico would add their own spins to the gimmick and use the gay stereotypes to maximum advantage.  Adrian Adonis added “Adorable” to his name and had a talk-segment on WWF television called “The Flower Shop”.  Playing up to the gay stereotypes has always been a major way to give a character instant heat with the fans.
Now move ahead to today and 2015 and the only two gay wrestlers (who are actually homosexual males) that I can think of are Orlando Jordon and Darren Young.  When Jordon was working as a straight up wrestler in the WWE, he was getting over fairly well, but when he decided to make his bisexuality a part of his gimmick and character, he bombed like Letterman at the Oscars.  And Darren Young? His sexual preference isn’t an issue and isn’t brought up except for the occasional public appearance.  He’s enjoying the biggest success of his career thus far as one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions.  These days, unless it’s on the Indy scene, finding a character that embraces the old stereotypes and acts like Street or Rico did, is next to impossible.  That’s probably for the best though.
 6.  Pistol Pez Whatley
You have a prominently successful wrestler, a fan favorite.  He turns on his partner and changes his name from “Pez” to “Shaska”, embracing his black heritage.  And then after being dumped by his manager, he goes to Florida and becomes part of a tag team, along with Tiger Conway Jr., called “The Jive Tones”.  He’s “Shaska” and then he’s a “Jive Tone”.  Any other black stereotypes that Pistol Pez Whately could have stuck on him?  If he had come along twenty years later, he could be part of the “New Day”.  Whately isn’t so much of a certain type of stereotype than just someone who seemed to get all of the worst ones.  He was a good wrestler with a lot of charisma and could have been a much bigger star for the territories than he actually was.  He had the ability in the ring, but it seems he couldn’t say no when the promoters had a bad idea.
 5.  Virgil
Paired with the rich, white “Million Dollar Master”, Ted DiBiase, the character of Virgil was pretty much every stereotype of a servant and slave known to man thrown in one character and played to the max.  Think how it would go over in today’s world if JBL or Vince McMahon came out each week and had a black man-servant with them to cater to their every whim.  The character was a stereotype and painful to watch, even in the eighties.  Borderline slavery and indentured servitude, made worse by the races of those involved.  In today’s world, it would never fly.  Not at all.
 4.  Baron Von Raschke
I used to really enjoy watching the antics of the great Baron Von Raschke back in the day.  The heavy accent, the evil sneer, occasionally wearing the monocle, and then, in the ring, the patented goose-stepping across the ring, Nazi style and then the application of the claw as the Baron went on to victory after victory.  Now, can you imagine a wrestler today doing the Nazi goose-step march?    Instant dismissal and black-balling.  Hell, just a few years ago, JBL was nearly arrested and got in major trouble with the WWE when, during a tour of Germany, used the Nazi salute to stir up the crowd and get some instant heel heat.  Nazi characters were cheap heat back in the day and it took a special person to pull those characters off, literally putting their lives on the line each time they went to the ring.  In today’s world, the character wouldn’t work and there is no place for it.
 3.  Kevin Sullivan & his “Cult”
If you want to get people upset, talk about politics, race or religion.  And if you really want to stir the pot, have your own “cult” of devil worshipers to follow your every movement and accompany you to the ring, aka Kevin Sullivan in the early 80’s in Florida.  It’s one thing for a wrestler to be a “leader” of some kind of movement, such as Bray Wyatt and his Wyatt Family or CM Punk and his Straight Edge Society, but when you have disciples called “Fallen Angel” and “The Purple Haze” and use special effects and rituals to allegedly invoke demonic sources, it’s obviously a bit too much. Kevin Sullivan pushed the envelope about as far as it could go with his antics in Florida thirty years ago and that state still hasn’t recovered.  The religious groups weren’t as sensitive then as they are now and while something like that may have escaped their notice back in the day due to just being a “wrestling thing”, it wouldn’t take but one appearance or show with a Sullivan like cult to show up and do something and Bill O’Reilly or Geraldo would be showing up at the promoter’s door.
 2.  Eugene
It could be Eugene, played brilliantly by wrestler Nick Dinsmore, or Norman the Lunatic or Evad Sullivan or even Blackjack Mulligan’s “Cousin Luke” (played by Killer Tim Brooks), but it seems that mentally ill characters have always been a big part of professional wrestling.  Even as recently as 2009 where Luke Gallows wrestled for the WWE under the name of “Festus”.  Mental illness is a serious thing and not to be mocked in today’s society and the thought of a grown man from an Asylum and carrying a teddy bear, a dyslexic simpleton who has a pet rabbit or a monster of a man who is a total idiot, but turns into a wrestling machine at the sound of a bell, is just plain (pardon the pun) crazy.  I had always hoped that in the WWE, they would eventually have Eugene pull a swerve and show that his character wasn’t really “challenged”, but was just pretending and using that to make people underestimate him.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and Dinsmore was eventually dismissed from the company.  Back in the days when people didn’t know so much about mental illness, this stereotype was common and a part of almost every wrestling company to some degree. Now it’s not and hopefully will never be again.
 1.  Wild Eyed Southern Boys / Freebirds
And taking the spot as the most politically incorrect gimmick and character in today’s P.C. world, the Confederate flag wearing, Southern Pride characters such as the Fabulous Freebirds, The Wild Eyed Southern Boys and Col. Rob Parker.  In today’s world, a person is not allowed to have pride in the heritage of the land for which he lives.  I’ve lived in North Carolina for all of my life and for 99% of the people around here, the whole controversy about the Southern flag, the “Stars & Bars” is pure ridiculousness.  Yes, it was used by the KKK back in the day, but so was the United States flag.  For a lot of us, and I’m including my friends who are black in this, the flag is about being a redneck and being a rebel, proud of our states, our country and our attitude.  It’s about fighting oppression and not taking crap from the folks up North.  And some people think it’s a symbol of racism.  This isn’t the place to argue what is and isn’t racist so I’ll save those arguments for my blog and personal discussions.  Everyone has their opinion and so long as we can be sensible and smart about it, discuss differences like adults and perhaps agree to disagree, it’s all good.  But anyhow, after the actions of one crazy little racist ass-clown in South Carolina, anyone who wears the Confederate flag or appears to embrace any part of the Confederacy is considered public enemy number one.  So could you imagine the heat if Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong came out on television today, wearing the Confederate jackets and waving the “Stars & Bars”?  Could you imagine Michael Hayes out there waving the Confederate flag in a WWE ring as he often did back in his days as one of the Fabulous Freebirds?  Could you imagine Col. Rob Parker, dressed like a poor man’s Col. Sanders, out there on TV today, cutting a promo in that heavy southern accent and wiping his brow every few seconds? Ten years ago, it wouldn’t have mattered and no one would say a word.  Two years ago, it wouldn’t have mattered and no one would care.  Now, there would be protests, calls for boycotts and Al Sharpton going after any sponsor the wrestling company may have.  It’s not right, but that’s how it is when the world has gone crazy and everyone is offended by everything.  Welcome to 2015 and today’s America.
And there you go…
And with that, I’m going to close this bad boy up and call it a day.  Thank you for reading.  Thoughts and comments are welcome.  I can be contacted at my e-mail, Doug28352@yahoo.com, my Facebook page, Facebook.com/saltpalace, or on Twitter at @doug28352.  Take care, have a good night, and always support your local Indy wrestling groups.  See the stars of tomorrow today.  And dat is all de’ people need to know.  I’m Doug and I’m gone.
Ubuntu!

WWE Battleground Predictions: July 19, 2015

WWE Battleground Predictions and Thoughts
July 19, 2015
Doug Maynard

Here we are just a few hours away from the latest WWE pay-per-view offering, WWE Battleground 2015. Wait, I forgot. We don’t call it a pay-per-view anymore since it’s not just exclusively on pay-per-view. Now it’s a WWE Special Event and it’s live on the WWE Network. Does anyone still actually pay $49 bucks anymore for these things? I know I don’t and won’t. I’ve gotten spoiled by being able to go back and indulge in my WCW addiction nightly. Add NXT and the special events to the mix and I’m hooked. Here Vince… take my money!

Okay, it looks as if I’m starting to get a bit off track. I hate it when that happens. Why am I even here? What is my purpose for sitting here at 2:30am and writing? Oh yeah, it’s WWE Battleground. And I have predictions to make, analysis to do and most likely people to offend… because that’s what I do. Did I ever tell you the story about the man who came into my place of employment a couple of days ago and for no reason other than it must have been on his mind and maybe because it was a Thursday, told me that “I didn’t like you!”. He repeated it several times and never quite specified why he “didn’t like me”, but he was quite serious about it. Just one of the many I’ve seemingly offended over the years. How will I ever get over the pain and agony of knowing that someone doesn’t like me? What ever shall I do? I just shrugged and gave him a Stone Cold Stunner right then and there in the middle of my store. I followed up with a People’s Elbow and then, screaming, “Now… it’s time to go to school…. Wooooo!”, locked him a figure four leglock until he passed out from the pain. That’ll teach him to “not like me”. The ass-clown! Actually, I just shrugged, rang up his purchase and told him to “have a great one”, smiling as he walked away. No laying the smackdown on customers allowed at work. Well, maybe the occasional eye-poke, followed by a DDT, but nothing more than that.

And I’m definitely off track here. Let’s just get right to the nitty gritty and do that prediction thing. Where’s my Sister Cleo outfit? It’s in the dirty clothes. So let’s just break out the glittery tux and the funky weird wig. It’s Gary Spivey time. And no, I’m not “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. I’m Doug and I’m here to pump… you up! I really need to quit watching old reruns of Saturday Night Live when I write these things. Let’s do this…

WWE Battleground 2015 Predictions…

WWE World Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar.

I have to admit, this one has me scratching my head. Brock is going to kick Seth’s ass. That’s pretty much a given here. It’s going to be Suplex City all night long and Mr. Rollins is going to be extremely sore at the end of the night. But will Seth still be the WWE World Champion? That’s the question here. Seth, as the champion, has grown on me over the past few months and I don’t think he should lose the title. BUT (and there’s always a “but”), Brock has been built up so well as the total monster and wrestling machine, I can’t see him taking a pin or loss. I keep hearing rumors that both Undertaker and Sting are scheduled to be at the event so maybe we’ll see Taker come in and get involved, attempting to avenge both his loss at Wrestlemania XXX and get retribution for his “brother” Kane, who is currently suffering a “broken leg” because of Lesnar.

That would be cool and all that, but Taker is a good guy and getting involved to save the title for Rollins is a total heel move. Since Lesnar is getting cheered too, that would be a big no no for the Dead Man. So how about this? Brock kicks Seth’s butt and repeatedly takes him to “Suplex City”. Brock is ready to win, but someone gets involved by order of “The Authority”, let’s say Jack Swagger or maybe Mark Henry. They cause a DQ and Seth retains the title even though Brock wins the match. We have a gang beatdown on Brock by Seth and associates and the lights go out. The lights come back on and Taker is there. He saves Brock by clearing the ring of Seth and friends. Taker and Brock then go face to face and Taker gives the dazed Brock, the man he just saved, a chokeslam. The lights go back out again and Taker is gone. Then all of this can be continued on RAW and we end the show with a helluva cliffhanger that leaves the fans talking and wanting more. Works for me.

Winner by DQ: Brock Lesnar (Rollins retains the WWE World Championship)

WWE United States champion John Cena vs. Kevin Owens.

Along with the Rollins – Brock match, this will be probably the most anticipated match of the night and I have no doubt that Cena and Owens will deliver. I want to see Owens win. He’s been nothing short of awesome since coming up to the main roster and defeating Cena to capture the United States Championship would be a great way to put that exclamation point on what has been a remarkable first few months as a WWE Superstar. But the other side of that is I like the John Cena open challenges each week on RAW. I can’t stand his promos and he comes across (to me anyhow) as a bit of an arrogant pinhead, but in the ring, Cena has been delivering some fantastic must-see matches. I don’t want to see that end. I keep thinking we might see Rusev or more likely Cesaro come out and get involved, costing Owens the title and the win, just like he’s done to both of them over the past few weeks. I’m thinking that, but I dont’ think they’d do outside interference in both main event matches. That would just be wrong, even for WWE. So I’ll go with a title change and Owens winning the belt. He can deal with Cesaro or Rusev on RAW and Smackdown, but at Battleground, it’s Owens with the clean win to become the new United States Champion.

Winner and NEW United States Champion: Kevin Owens

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus.

It’s Orton and it’s Sheamus. I really could care less. Orton always wins, but he’s pretty much just there these days and involved in any kind of major program with anyone. He can afford to take a loss. Sheamus is the Money In The Bank contract holder. He should win… and will.

Winner: Sheamus

WWE Tag Team champions The Prime Time Players vs. The New Day.

This is another match that could easily go either direction. I was just starting to really enjoy the New Day as the champions when they lost the titles to the PTP. Talk about taking a bad gimmick and making chicken salad out of chicken crap… the New Day has really done just that. And the PTP are starting to grow on me as well. I wasn’t crazy about seeing them become the WWE Tag Team Champions, but they’ve been bringing it each week in that ring and Titus is a hoot on commentary, so I’m not complaining about it anymore. This is a hard choice, but I think the numbers game will be the deciding factor come Sunday night. And for Big E, Kofi and Woods, it’s a new day and a new reign as the tag team champs.

Winners and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt.

I love Bray Wyatt’s character and I enjoy watching Roman Reigns perform. He has that “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash hair-flip down to a science. But with this match, I don’t feel much of anything. Wyatt has lost so many matches that he just doesn’t have any kind of momentum going and is just kind of there. He can’t afford another loss, but if he does, so what. Roman is getting that big push and a loss would hurt him slightly, but I don’t see how a win would help him here either. Wyatt’s character has become stale and this match just doesn’t seem like it will help or hurt Reigns no matter what the outcome. They need to do something with Bray to create a major impact and get the ball rolling again. It won’t happen tonight though. Reigns wins.

Winner: Roman Reigns

King Barrett vs. R-Truth for the Crown: Kickoff Match.

King Barrett versus King What’s Up. This is what the King of the Ring, held by such greats as Harley Race, Haku, Owen Hart, Bret Hart and King Booker has come to. As the great Gorilla Monsoon would say, “Give me a break!”. Truth is the resident comedy wrestler for the WWE these days (and saying that really makes me miss Santino Marella a great deal) and he’s here to entertain and put on some great matches. And he’s good at that. Is he good enough to be a king though? I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for him. The winner and still WWE King of the Ring will be Wade Barrett.

Winner: King Barrett

WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback versus Big Show versus The Miz

This match was pulled from the card due to a staph infection by Ryback, who won’t be cleared to wrestle. I’m thinking and hoping that they decide to let Show and Miz still compete in a Contender’s Match or something of that nature. It’s not right to pull Show and Miz from the card (and thus take away their pay-per-view bonuses) because of something that they have no control over (an injury to Ryback). If it does happen and we get a match between Show and Miz, my money is on the annoying man with the money-maker. It may not happen, but then again, it just might. Better to go ahead and call it, just in case.

Winner: Miz

And that’s it for my predictions. The WWE hasn’t announced any kind of Divas match for the show yet, but most likely they will try and squeeze some kind of Diva action into the event. I’ve already heard that the NXT Divas are scheduled to be there and especially if they don’t have the Triple threat IC match, the WWE will have a lot of time to fill. What better than the most talked about segment from this past weeks RAW, the NXT Diva Invasion. As soon as I see any kind of official notification from WWE announcing Divas action… or any other match that I haven’t already covered here, I’ll post my prediction either on my Facebook page (facebook.com/saltpalace) or my Twitter (@doug28352).

And now, it’s late so I’m going to call it a night and go to bed… or going to go watch Netflix. One or the other. But anyhow, that’s all folks! Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Ubuntu!