Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
June 8, 2016
How you doing? Hell must have frozen over. Well, with Trump and Hillary as the two presumptive nominees for the office of President of the United States, it’s pretty much the same thing because it’s definitely hell for our country for at least the next four years. And why do I say that? Because they both suck! Oh wait, wrong topic. I say that hell must have frozen over because I am back and ready to talk the talk and walk the walk about the world’s greatest sport, professional wrestling. This is the return of “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”, professional wrestling’s most eclectic column since 2002.
All-righty then. Let’s go over the agenda for today’s column and maybe we can get some excitement generated up in this place. Holla if you hear me!
(Crickets continue to chirp…)
I’m going to do predictions… lots and lots of predictions. Not only are we going to analyze and discuss the matches for tonight’s epic show, “WWE NXT Takeover: The End”, which airs tonight exclusively on the WWE Network, but I’m also going to have a few thoughts and some predictions for TNA Slammiversary, which airs live on pay-per-view and will probably be watched by absolutely none of you this upcoming Sunday night. Add a few random comments and thoughts about other different items of interest currently happening in and around our wrestling world and this might actually turn out to be a good column. I guess we’ll find out, won’t we? So, as the great Snitsky would say, “It’s not my fault!”. Let’s do this…
Before I begin, I want to offer my condolences to the friends, family and fans of the great Muhammad Ali, who passed away last week. A great boxer, a great showman and a great human being, Ali was truly an iconic figure and legend both in and out of that ring. He will be missed.
And also, my condolences to the friends and family of Kimbo Slice. A unique character who made his mark in both street fighting and MMA, there was only one. He will be missed. Rest In Peace, Kimbo.
Brock Lesnar is returning to the UFC to fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 200. This will be a one-time deal and Brock firmly remains under contract to WWE and is scheduled to participate at SummerSlam later this year. The way I understand it, Brock wanted to go back to UFC and give that part of his career some closure since he wasn’t satisfied with the way it ended. He spoke with WWE Owner Vince McMahon (and allegedly arm-wrestled him for the opportunity) and UFC Owner Dana White, the details were worked out and now, it’s Lesnar versus Hunt at UFC 200. Win, lose or draw (but preferably win), this is a great deal for WWE and if I was Vince McMahon, I’d make sure that the WWE fingerprints were all over this event. Have Paul Heyman walk with Lesnar to the ring. Have WWE Superstars placed in the audience to support Lesnar. This event will help promote Lesnar as a legitimate fighter and athlete and give the same rub of legitimacy to the WWE as well. Plus it helps promote the WWE product, the upcoming SummerSlam ppv event and everything else that is WWE. And most importantly, it keeps Brock Lesnar happy. This is big and exciting news that will hopefully have WWE fans watching UFC 200, UFC fans watching the WWE product, and I plan to watch both… because that’s how I roll.
It was great to see Teddy Long back on RAW this past Monday night. The idea of Long showing up to apply for the job of General Manager for Smackdown when it goes live on July 19th was fun to see and entertaining. Since we have ten more episodes of RAW and Smackdown coming up before Smackdown goes live and the brand split occurs, I’d love to see more former General Managers from both RAW and Smackdown keep showing up and trying to get their feet in the door to be the next Smackdown GM. We saw Teddy on Monday night. So how about Vickie Guerrero, Mike Adamle, Eric Bischoff, John Laurinaitis, Val Venis, Mick Foley, etc, all start showing up next. JBL used to be the General Manager for NXT, so he could make his presence felt. William Regal is the current NXT General Manager, but what if he “wants a promotion”? HBK was the WWE Commissioner for a while, as was Sgt. Slaughter so have them pop up. And if they really wanted to go crazy, how about Ernest “The Cat” Miller, Ric Flair or Sting? “The Cat” was the Commissioner in WCW for a long while and both Ric and Sting have “President of WCW” on their resumes. WWE just needs to run with it and have fun with it in the build to the brand split when Smackdown goes live and using all these past names looking for a chance to be the boss once more would be a great way to do just that.
And now, let’s go get crazy and prepare to channel The Amazing Criswell because it’s prediction time. We’re talking NXT Takeover: The End, coming live tonight from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, exclusively on the WWE Network. Five matches have been announced and it’s a packed show from start to finish. Let’s do this…
WWE NXT Takeover: The End Predictions…
NXT World Heavyweight champion Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor: Steel Cage Match
I kind of like that they’ve decided to go old-school with a steel cage match as a way to wrap up their feud. If I’m correct, this will be the first time that the NXT Championship has been defended inside a steel cage. That’s pretty cool. Historical note: When Ric Flair defeated Harley Race at Starcade 83 to capture the NWA World Championship, it was the first time that the NWA World Championship changed hands in a cage match. So will this match have the same historical precedence and will the NXT Title change hands? I don’t think so. Balor is ready to move up to the WWE main roster (perhaps as part of the Bullet Club?) and it’s time to have Joe move on to another challenger, rumored to be Shinsuke Nakamura, at the next NXT Takeover event. I expect to see a brutal and violent match and it wouldn’t even surprise me to see a little juice at some point during the match. It’s on the Network and not WWE TV so it could happen. And in the end, a bruised, battered and sore Samoa Joe will have that arm raised in victory with a successful defense of his championship.
Winner and STILL NXT Champion: Samoa Joe
NXT Women’s champion Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Honestly, this match, along with the Aries / Nakamura match, is the one I’m most excited to see. Nia Jax is coming along so well and is amazing in that ring. And Asuka is in a league of her own. I love her character and once the brand split in the WWE occurs, I hope to see her on that main stage stealing the show night after night. As for now, this match should be off the charts, but it’s not time yet to do a title switch, especially since there is so much left to do with Bayley when she’s ready to return. The Asuka / Bayley rivalry hasn’t even really gotten started yet and I want to see that come to a proper conclusion before everyone moves on. Look for Nia to freak out in frustration and get DQ’ed or something of that nature. Asuka retains the NXT Women’s Title and takes that belt home tonight though.
Winner (by DQ) and STILL NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka
NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) vs, The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
Two great tag teams that I would gladly watch all day long and twice on Sunday. I don’t really have a favorite here, but I think that, (just barely), American Alpha are the hotter team right now. I prefer the old-school style of the Revival and they remind me of Arn and Tully to a point. Great wrestlers and a great team. No title switch here though. I think, after a clinic of tag team wrestling that would make Jim Cornette smile, American Alpha squeak out with the win and retain their titles.
Winners and STILL NXT Tag Team Champions: American Alpha
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries
This is going to be the match of the night and steal the show. Both men are so good and move so well in that ring, it could honestly and easily go either way and it wouldn’t be an upset. But something is telling me that there is contention for gold in Nakamura’s future and it’s not very far away. And for that reason only, I’m giving him the edge tonight. There will be no losers in this match tonight, but Shinsuke will be the man to have his arm raised at the end of the night.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs. Tye Dillinger
Dillinger has been on fire as of late and looking great. Almas, if I’m correct, is making his NXT debut tonight and has had some strong praise from the likes of Triple H himself and William Regal, so he should be there to make an impact and impress. Tough call here, but if the new kid loses his first match, the push is dead almost immediately. Thus, this one goes to Andrade “Cien” Almas. Yep, that’s how I see it.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
So that’s how I see things going for “NXT Takeover: The End” tonight in Florida. I may be right or I may be wrong, but we’ll find out tonight, exclusively on the WWE Network. Let’s move on with more stuff…
I think it’s time for ACW Wrestling Icon Ethan Storm to come out of his semi-retirement and step foot inside that squared circle once more. Just saying…
The contract signing between Matt and Jeff Hardy their upcoming match at TNA Slammiversary was… interesting. It was weird and quirky and every bit of cheezy, but at the same time, I found it fascinating. Matt Hardy’s character as of late, with the accent, the crazed expressions and the whole “Brother Nero” bit, is hard to ignore. Jeff is just being Jeff and that works since Matt is so over the top right now. The only thing I didn’t like about the video was the bit with Reby tossing the baby at Jeff. That should have been saved for the match. And that table that Matt crashed Jeff through? Where did they find that table with the solid top? In Grandma Hardy’s barn? And it didn’t give a bit when Jeff hit it and the top broke off. OUCH! Watching the whole “directors cut” edition of that video made me smile though. And from somewhere up in movie heaven, I know that Ed Wood is looking down and smiling too.
After the brand split, there will be no reason for the WWE Powers-That-Be to continue to ignore Heath Slater, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, the Social Outcasts. Just for the mic work alone, I want to see a feud between the Outcasts and the New Day. I don’t know why the WWE doesn’t see it, but that would be money!
Thinking on my earlier comment about having former GM’s and authority figures show up on RAW and Smackdown to try to get a job, I just remembered that Zack Ryder was Teddy Long’s “assistant” for a month or so at one point. So… Zack Ryder as the GM for a night on RAW or Smackdown? That’d be fun to see. Woo woo woo – you know it!
How about unnanounced, surprise appearance by former “Guest Hosts”, who start showing up and trying to take control of RAW or Smackdown, only to have Stephanie or Shane give them the boot? People like Bob Barker, Betty White, Seth Green, Kevin Federline, etc. Folks who get it. It would be great publicity for some of them and would catch the eyes of social media. It’s something to think about.
I still think that Lisa Moretti, aka former WWE Superstar / Diva / Womens Champion “Ivory”, needs to have her own podcast.
G.L.O.W. is coming back to TV. Well, to Netflix anyhow as word is that they’ve ordered a trial series of ten episodes based on the former women’s wrestling organization. I hope that some of the former stars, such as the previously mentioned Lisa Moretti, who actually got her start in that company before moving on to the WWE, have roles and make appearances in the new series. I’m definitely looking forward to this.
And now, it’s time to go all fake-Jamaica and do that “Sister Cleo” thing. Are you ready for some TNA Slammiversary Predictions? Let’s do this…
TNA Slammiversary 2016: Thoughts and Predictions…
Before I get started on this, I have a confession to make. I don’t watch TNA or Impact Wrestling. If I could, I probably would just to see the Hardys and their craziness and Drew Galloway, who was a favorite of mind from the WWE, but I don’t get POP TV or whatever channel that is that they’re on so I have to rely on YouTube and wrestling websites, such as PWBTS.com, to get my TNA jollies. So I’m not as informed and knowledgable of some of these folks and their current storylines as I should be, but I’m doing the best I can based on what I know and have to go by. So now you know. Let’s make some predictions.
TNA champion Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley: Submission or KO only.
Lashley is a tough hombre and since he’s also a MMA fighter, the advantage has to be in his corner for this match. But Galloway is awesome and the WWE was crazy to let him go when they did. TNA has given him the ball and he’s headed straight for that end-zone each and every time he gets in that ring. I think that we’ll see some slight of hand sneakiness in play and Drew will show why he deserves to be the TNA World Champion. He’ll be in a fight for his life, but will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Winner and STILL TNA World Champion: Drew Galloway
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy: Full Metal Mayhem.
So Matt has gone crazy. Jeff has always been out there and this past week on Impact, brought back the “Willow” persona. I didn’t even know that Jeff was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Two brothers with full trust to go as crazy as they can and put on a match that will be remembered forever. Add in Reby Sky (Matt’s wife) and most likely, the currently undefeated Maxel Hardy (less than a year old and already holds a pinfall victory over the Disco Inferno), and anything can and will most likely happen. I’m thinking Jeff will throw the match to get his brother back… or something like that. Anyhow, look for the true “First Family of Wrestling”, Matt, Reby and Maxel, to walk away as the winners.
Winner: Matt Hardy
TNA Knockouts champion Jade vs. Sienna.
I’m not overly familiar with either of these ladies, but based on the few matches I’ve seen on YouTube, I think Jade will retain.
Winner and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Jade
TNA Tag Team champions Decay vs. The Bromans.
Decay are okay, but the few matches I’ve seen just don’t do anything for me. The Bromans, I like and always have since their inception. But trying to think like a TNA official (“Yes Dixie! That’s a great idea, Dixie! Let me kiss that, Dixie!” You’re the best Dixie!”), I think if they were going to put the belts on the Bromans, it already would have happened. So look for the champions to retain.
Winners and STILL TNA Tag Team Champions: Decay
TNA X-Division champion Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards vs. DJ Zema vs. Andrew Everett.
It’s time for a title change and while I enjoy Trevor Lee and his work, I think this will be the match where a belt changes hands. Everett, I’m totally unfamiliar with so he’s out. Edwards is damn good and I remember watching him on YouTube a few years ago. He’s a possibility to win, but I’m going to go with DJ Zema here. There’s something about him and he’s damn sexxxy and hot! I’d love to have him as my next big life mistake. Damn!!! So Zema wins and we get a new X-Division Champion.
Winner and NEW TNA X-DIvision Champion: DJ Zema
TNA King of the Mountain champion Eli Drake vs. Bram.
I thought Jeff Jarrett had snuck in and gotten / won the King of the Mountain title? I guess I missed something and TNA managed to get it back. Oh well, whatever. Both men here are good talents and fun to watch in the ring. Bram had a few legal problems not so long ago, if I recall correctly, and I think he still might be on some kind of top secret, double-duty, probation with TNA officials as a result, thus I’m picking Eli Drake to retain.
Winner and STILL TNA King of Mountain Champion: Eli Drake
Mike Bennett vs. EC3.
The WWE was stupid to let Mike Bennett and Maria slip away when they had a chance to sign them away from ROH a few months ago (thank you Bellas), but it’s TNA’s gain. Bennett versus EC3 should be one helluva match. It’s kind of sad it’s on TNA because that means not so many people will be able to enjoy it, but I’m sure it will be one for the ages. It could go either way, but I think that EC3 needs it more than Bennett at this point, especially if Bennett gets some kind of retaliation after the match. My money for this one is on EC3.
Maria Kanellis vs. Gail Kim.
Who would have ever thought we’d be seeing Maria wrestle Gail Kim on a pay-per-view? Maria has come a long, long way since her early days in WWE and reminds me so much of Trish Stratus in her growth in that ring. This should be a fun match to watch and I definitely expect to see Maria give as good as she gets. And while Kim is definitely the better and more experienced wrestler, I think we’ll see some outside shenanigans and Mike Bennett get involved. And Maria will walk out with the win.
Grado and Mahabali Shera vs. The Tribunal with Al Snow
I’m not familiar with either team, but the Tribunal has Al Snow in their corner. I’m very familiar with Al Snow. Thus, I think the Tribunal will get the win.
Winners: The Tribunal w/ Al Snow
And with that, I think it’s time to call it a day. This is the first wrestling column I’ve written in a couple of months, instead spending the majority of my writing time working on fan-fiction stories about super-heroes, vampires and WWE Superstars. This was fun and a good start to getting back into the game. By the way, if you want to read some of my stories, go to FanFiction.net and look me up under the tag of TSFiction19. Questions and comments can be sent to Doug28352@yahoo.com. And I’m on Twitter at @doug28352 and Facebook at Facebook.com/saltpalace. Come find me and let’s chat!
Anything else? Nah, I don’t think so. Thanks for reading. I’m Doug and as the great Baron Von Raschke would say, “dat is all de people need to know!” Have a great one and I’ll see you at the matches.