Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
July 24, 2016
Good morning Peeps. Welcome to another edition of the rarely seen, but never forgotten “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News”. early morning edition. Yes, it is 5:10am in the morning as I type this up. I should be sleeping. I want to be sleeping. My bed keeps calling to me from across the house, demanding that I heed the call. Yeah, like I do what I’m supposed to, right?
So what’s on the agenda for today? The main thing is predictions and thoughts for the WWE Battleground pay-per-view, coming live tonight from Washington D.C. It’s another loaded and packed card that could hold some major implications for the future of WWE, especially coming off the heels of the much hyped WWE Draft this past Tuesday on Smackdown. So I’ll be channeling Gary Spivey meets Miss Cleo meets Jeanne Dixon for a bit. And throw in a few thoughts about the new rosters for RAW and Smackdown Live and some thoughts about possible past WWE Superstars rumoured to be returning to the rosters. That should fill things out and make for a tight column, right? I’m Doug and I support Alice Cooper for President. A sick man for sick times. He wants to be elected! Let’s do this…
The Draft – Thoughts…
This past Tuesday night, we had the pairing of Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley compete against the team of Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan in a draft pick forum to decide up new rosters for WWE RAW and WWE Smackdown Live. It was fairly entertaining to watch the back and forth bantering between the two couples as they made selections to decide who would wrestle where and for who. Most of the picks were predictable and by the books with Seth Rollins to RAW, Ambrose to Smackdown, etc, but there were a few surprises. Finn Balor brought up from NXT to RAW as a top 5 pick? AJ Styles a Round One pick while John Cena had to wait until Round 2 to be drafted. And poor Heath Slater? What is up with that?
The entire WWE locker room, as well as six NXT stars are drafted and “The One Man Rock Band” Heath Slater is left alone, sitting in the locker room, as they turn out the lights. Actually, I’m hoping that this leads to a big, or at least moderate push for Heath. He’s a helluva good wrestler, talented on the mic, and despite being actually well liked by everyone who knows him or has met him, can generate heel heat like few others. Remember the big push against the “Legends” on the build for RAW 1000? I’m hoping that since he’s now a “Free Agent” for the WWE, we’ll see Heath showing up on RAW, Smackdown and NXT (why not?) and just raising hell and making an impact on all three shows until someone is forced to give him a contract as part of one of the main rosters. Heck, if I was WWE, I’d even let Heath work some shows for Evolve or a few of the Independent promotions that WWE is alligned with to sell the whole “free agent” deal. Heath could evaluate talent and recruit for the WWE behind the scenes while at the same time, rebuild his character, character and credibility for the WWE audience. I’m just speculating as to what this will lead to for the former tag team champion. Maybe they’ll reunite him and Jinder Mahal when Jinder (allegedly) comes back to the main roster. Who knows, but I’m hoping this leads to seeing more Heath on our TV in the near future. He’s the “one man rock band… baby” and deserves the big push.
Where was I before I got off on a Slater rant? The draft, right? It’s an interesting break-up of the roster and should make for two very diverse and exciting shows if the WWE allows for real diversity, real competition between the brands and rosters and keeps the brands apart except for at the “Big 4” pay-per-views. Otherwise, no crossovers at all for at least a year and we’ll see how it goes. I kind of feel sorry for the fans though because while this is good and should freshen up the entire WWE experience for all of us, and that has long been needed, watching 5 hours of live WWE every Monday and Tuesday is going to be hard to handle, especially if a person has a job, a family or a life in general to handle as well. Then throw in NXT on Wednesday, TNA on Thursday and the pay-per-views on Sunday and that’s a lot of wrestling to digest, even for the most hardcore fans. It’ll be interesting to see how the ratings hold up?
Let’s move on. There have been a lot of rumours about stars from the past being called up and brought back to help fill up the rosters and add some much needed “star power” to build interest in the updated WWE product. Names that have been mentioned include MVP, Curt Hawkins, Shelton Benjamin, Jinder Mahal and (surprisingly) Melina. I’ve also heard that Carlito has been contacted and offered a contract, but he’s still taking independent bookings so who knows for sure. All of these names have some potential to them, but is this enough? I’m hearing that there is interest in John Morrison, but he’s currently under contract to Lucha Underground so that would put a damper on his return (for now anyhow). I would love to see the return of Chris Masters (the “Masterpiece”) and possibly even Chuck Palumbo or Shawn Stasiak. Maybe, with all of these new (old) additions, I can even have my dream of seeing the Disco Inferno cut a promo at Wrestlemania happen. And if WWE was to reach out to former TNA standouts Crimson, Matt Morgan and Garrett Bischoff, I wouldn’t complain.
Essentially, anyone who is available and not under contract to another organization is fair game right now and bringing back some strong, familiar characters to help fill out the rosters and add some extra name recognition is not a bad idea. Just don’t do too many at one time and allow the returns to be balanced out so that they won’t over-shadow the current talent and it could all work out quite well. Now, for a quick “Top Ten” list, I’m going to list the ten superstars that, if I was named McMahon, I’d reach out to first to see if they were applicable to coming back to the company.
10. Rob Conway
9. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas
8. Chris Masters
6. Disco Inferno
5. Matt Morgan
4. John Morrison
3. Damien Sandow
2. Matt & Jeff Hardy (Jeff’s contract with TNA expires in February).
1. CM Punk / AJ Lee
I know that some of these suggestions will never happen, especially the Disco Inferno idea or the Punk / AJ suggestion, but still, if I was Vince or HHH, I’d make the attempt and throw some money in Punk and Lee’s direction. Can’t hurt to try.
I’d also bring in “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton to NXT to help out as a “Guest Trainer” with the NXT Superstars. No man knows tag team wrestling or the art of telling a story in that ring better than Eaton and just imagine the knowledge he could pass on to the next generation, especially if some of his buddies like Stan Lane, RIcky Morton, Robert Gibson or even James E. Cornette decided to stop by and sit in on a class or two. Something to think about, right?
Well, I’m rambling too much so let’s move on now to the prediction part of this bad mama-jama. Tonight in Washington D.C., the WWE will be holding their “WWE Battleground” pay-per-view event. Who will win? Who will lose? Who will be the designated “bathroom break” match? Let’s look at the line-up and figure it all out.
WWE Battleground Thoughts and Predictions
WWE World Heavyweight champion Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins.
First off, there is no way that Reigns walks out the champ. Just days after coming off a Wellness suspension, just imagine the message that it would send to the WWE locker rooms if Reigns becomes Champion again, especially this soon. I’m going with Ambrose retaining the title and staying the WWE Champion. Then Seth can complain about the “injustice” and they can pull an “HHH” and give him his own “World Title” on RAW. WWE likes to repeat itself and they did that on the first brand split so why not again?
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Dean Ambrose
John Cena & Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. AJ Styles & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson.
Cena and Styles are headed to Smackdown. Enzo, Cass and The Club are staying with RAW. This will be the last time we see this match for a while at least. I’d prefer to see The Club have one last big moment beating up John Cena, but this is the WWE and Cena is the golden child so that just won’t happen, at least not during the match. Look for the Cena group to capture the pinfall and the win. Then after the match is over, we’ll see the Club get their moment as AJ, Gallows and Anderson do their thing and “beat up John Cena”.
Winners: John Cena, Enzo Amore and Big Cass
WWE Intercontinental champion The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Darren Young (with Bob Backlund).
This feud is just getting started and I’d like to see it continue for a while, maybe with Maryse eventually getting handcuffed to Bob Backlund and / or Bob snapping on Miz and putting him in the crossface chicken wing. I’m a Backlund fan and want to see him go all crazy on some people. Yes, I admit it! Darren is going to Smackdown and Miz is the only male singles champion on RAW at the moment, so he’ll keep the title and stay champion. Look for Maryse to interfere and cause a disqualification. Darren wins the match, but Miz keeps the gold.
Winner by DQ: Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund (Miz retains the Intercontinental Championship)
WWE United States champion Rusev (with Lana) vs. Zack Ryder.
I love it that Ryder is finally starting to get some kind of push and I would love to see Zack have a long and strong run as a singles champion in the WWE, but I don’t see it happening here. I expect a good match and Zack to come just that close, but in the end, the Bulgarian Brute will do what he does best and “CRUSH!”. Sorry Zack, but woo-woo-woo – you know it’s not your time tonight.
Winner and STILL U.S. Champion: Rusev w/ Lana
WWE Women’s champion Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & mystery partner.
Everyone expects the mystery partner to be Bayley, but I think she’s more valuable in NXT right now and that’s a call-up that can wait for a bit. I’m expecting more to see either a returning Bella or maybe Nia Jax. I’d love to see NXT Womens Champion Asuka used here, but I doubt that will happen. Anyhow, we’ll get a good match. Half the fans will ignore it and go to the bathroom because that’s the habit that WWE has installed in us over the past ten years… women matches means bathroom break. I wish Ivory, Victoria, Lita and Trish would just pop us and give all of these women a “wrestling lesson”. But this match? Sasha and her partner win, pinning Dana Brooke to end the match. And Sasha will go on to face Charlotte at SummerSlam. So there you go.
Winners: Sasha and her mystery partner…
WWE Tag Team champions The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
The New Day just passed the milestone of being the longest running tag team champs in WWE history. The Wyatt Family are being split up. You do the math here.
Winners: The New Day
Natalya vs. Becky Lynch.
Natayla is awesome, but she’s the old school here. Becky is new blood and ready for that big push. A great match between two great talents, but the outcome is pretty obvious here.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn.
Kevin beat Sami in their first PPV match and it should have ended there, but Sami just won’t stop coming on. They’re on the same brand so we’ll get to see more of this in the future, probably on RAW tomorrow night. If Kevin wins, it’s not a story and can’t continue. Sami wins and Kevin is pissed off and shenanigans ensue. I think Sami will win.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Randy Orton’s WWE return on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel.
Look for a good interview for about five minutes or so and then the ass-clown that can be Jericho shows himself. Look for Jericho to go for a Code-Breaker on Orton, who turns it into an RKO out of nowhere. Thus, if the match scheduled between Orton and Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam doesn’t happen, which all depends on the fall-out from the Brock / UFC doping scandal and when / if WWE suspends Brock as per their “Wellness Policy”, there’s an issue and match waiting to happen with Orton versus Jericho. Should be a fun segment that will end with Jericho eating an RKO from the Viper.
So there you go with the predictions. Let’s go ahead and wrap this sucker up now. I know it’s short and not nearly of the length and quality one would expect, but at least I’m trying here. Thank you for reading and next time, whenever that is, I’ll do bigger, faster, longer, just like South Park: The Movie. I promise. But for now, in the words of the great Baron Von Raschke, “Dat is all de’ people need to know!”. I’m Doug, I’m down and I’m gone. Catch you on the flip side.