Tossing Salt – Worldwide News
September 10, 2016
Back again for another mind-splitting edition of professional wrestling’s most eclectic column. I’m Doug and this is “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News!” So how are you doing? As has been the case far too often over the past year or so, I’m going to keep it short and sweet today. A few random thoughts about a few different things and then some predictions for not only the WWE’s big Backlash pay-per-view, coming Sunday night to the WWE Network, but also the much anticipated CM Punk UFC debut match coming tonight at UFC 203 from Cleveland, OH. One day, I’ll be writing and rambling with big, long columns again, but for now, this is the best I can do. My apologies for that, but just as with the legendary Great Khali and his wrestling career, less is more. Damn, he sucked. I wonder how long it will be before he’s back in the WWE ring and on our tv’s again? However long it is, it will be too soon. Just saying. Let’s do this…
A big shout out to all of my friends at “Clips – Haircuts For Men”, the official baber shop for all of us here at Tossing Salt Media, Inc. Located at the Scotland Crossing Shopping Center in Laurinburg, NC, Clips is the home for great haircuts, great customer service and a short waiting time. The folks are awesome and the work is quick, good and reasonably priced. If you’re in the ‘Burg, come check them out. Clips – we want to cut your hair!
And now, let’s talk wrestling…
Congratulations to Kevin Owens for his current reign as the WWE Universal Champion. It’s a spot well deserved by one of the most talented men on the current WWE roster. I loved, when he won the title, that the audience was chanting, “You deserve it!”. And this is all despite the match interference of Triple H and that Owens is supposed to be and plays a heel. The audience doesn’t care about who’s a face or who’s a heel. They just care about the talent and performances and paying the dues. That’s why Owens is over again and again and Roman Reigns, despite Vince and the WWE trying repeatedly to push him down our throats as the next “man”, was not.
Considering that he just had surgery on his knees recently, Bil Goldberg is making a whole lot of noise about Brock Lesnar and teasing a possible match at some point in the future. Honestly though, I’d like to see it. The hype would be more exciting than the match itself, but Goldberg has just over seven months to get healed up and be able to get cleared medically before Wrestlemania XXXIII. Let’s do Goldberg versus Brock and so long as Goldberg is willing to do the J.O.B., make it happen. It’s got a history, it’s a good match up and what the hell. It’s box-office, despite Goldberg’s long absence from the ring. I’d like to see it.
And while we’re at it, go ahead and book two more matches for Wrestlemania now. Daniel Bryan and Miz had their argument and the main things that seemed to come from it was that Bryan wants to get back into the ring and Miz wrestles a very “safe” style. So let’s have Daniel Bryan be given one last match to get it out of his system and give his career a fitting end and it can be against Miz who wrestles the “safe WWE style” and Bryan’s chances of any kind of injury would be very low at best. Bryan wants it and deserves the chance to end the wrestling part of his career with a big match and what better place to do it than at Wrestlemania XXXIII? Miz could avoid head blows and the two men could still put on a match for the ages. Bryan would be happy. The fans would be happy. Miz would get a main-event level match at the biggest show of the year and be happy. It’s a win-win-win.
ANd speaking of win-win, Sting recently mentioned during an interview with JBL on the “JBL Legends” show on the WWE Network that he’s still interested in having that one final match against the Undertaker. He’s feeling good and healthy and if he can get medical clearance to go, why not have this match as well at Wrestlemania XXXIII? Both Sting and Taker are older and would have to be careful, but they wouldn’t have to take many bumps to have a quick brawl or street fight. With the proper booking and a lot of smoke and mirrors, something the WWE is excellent at, a ten or fifteen minute match with the Icon versus the Phenom would be easy to pull off. And if the WWE could justify and allow Bret Hart to wrestle Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 26 despite Bret’s medical history, there are no excuses for this match not to happen. Again, it would make both wrestlers happy, make the fans happy, and be big money for the WWE that’s just waiting and needing to happen. I hope that someone in WWE Corporate realizes this and makes it happen.
After talking about Sting and Goldberg, it makes me realize that the WWE needs to have a special event, maybe one night a year, for all of these old timers and past stars, to come together and wrestle and put on a show for the fans. WCW did it with their “Slamboree” event and now that the WWE has the Network and so much time to fill, it just makes sense. How hard would it be to put together a show live on the Network of older and past WWE (and WCW, ECW) star that are still able to go and perform. We recently saw the return of The Headbangers to Smackdown Live and the pop they received from the crowd was pretty damn impressive. Imagine an event full of these past stars. The popularity of wrestling conventions and autograph signings and the nostalgia of the WWE Network makes this an idea that needs to happen. It wouldn’t be difficult to pull off and could give WWE management a chance to look at some of the names from the past and see if they’ve still got what it takes to be viable in today’s market at little cost and effort, plus it’d give the older stars a chance to reach a new audience and have that last hurrah. It’s something that the WWE should look at and think about. Use the WCW name “Slamboree” or just call it “Night of Legends!”. Just make it happen.
** CHEAP PLUG **
Speaking of Legends, two of the biggest and best, Magnum TA and Nikita Koloff will be appearing at a special one-on-one forum for All Pro Classic Wrestling and Ring Wars Carolina on October 15, 2016 in Lumberton, North Carolina. The forum will feature both legendary superstars in a classic confrontation thirty-plus years in the making, followed by a live event featuring the stars of both APCW and RWC. For more information, go to facebook.com/AllProClassicWrestling. It’s going to be a big night for all involved. “The Russian NIghtmare” Nikita Koloff! “Magnum TA” Terry Allen! Maybe we’ll even get a run in by Uncle Ivan? No, I doubt that’s going to happen, but two of the biggest legends and names from the Mid-Atlantic region and the 80’s, together one more time. It’s on Saturday, October 15th, live in Lumberton, North Carolina. And as the late, great Freddie Miller would say, “BE THERE!”
With CM Punk making his UFC debut later tonight, it got me to thinking, “Who else from the world of professional wrestling, would have been good at working UFC if it had been around in their day?”. The top names I came up with were Harley Race, Verne Gagne, Danny Hodge, any of the Samoans, Meng, Dory Funk Jr., Wahoo McDaniel and Kurt Angle. There are a lot of tough guys in pro wrestling, but these are the toughest of the tough and, especially in the early days of UFC where they match different styles against different styles and men like Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn did so well, I think the men I named would make a damn good showing. It’s true. It’s damn true!
Eric Bischoff now has a weekly wrestling podcast. I’ve listened to the first show and a great 2-part interview with Madusa, aka “Alundrya Blaze”, and it’s really good stuff. Eric is a natural at this whole “interview” thing and it makes for a good listen. Google it and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Speaking of wrestling podcasts, when will someone like Steve Austin or Jericho book Lisa Moretti, aka “Ivory” as their guest. She loves to talk and tell stories and doesn’t have that self-censor button between her mind and her mouth. Well, she does, but rarely uses it. It would make for great podcast listening for the fans and besides, I want to see it… or hear it as the case may be. I miss her! Hey Vince, we want Ivory back! Make it happen!
And I guess that is enough jumping around for one day. Let’s put on the mystical robes and pull out the crystal ball. It’s time to get busy and make some predictions. We’ll start off with UFC and the Punk / Gall match and then on to WWE Backlash! Are you ready? I said… ARE YOU READY! That never works well in the written form. *sighs* Let’s do this…
UFC 203: CM Punk versus Mickey Gall
It’s prediction time. Tonight, the long awaited UFC debut of CM Punk will happen as the former WWE World Champion takes on Mickey Gall in the fabled Octagon. It’s a day that many were thinking would never occur since Punk’s abrupt departure from the WWE, but ready or not, here it is and we are just a few hours away as I write this. I have a lot of respect for Punk, who has always walked the the beat of his own drummer and set the bar high in his life, be it personal or professional. He walked away from something that he was extremely good at and making an excellent living from to go into something he dreamed of, a mere novice who decided to take that ultimate risk and chase his dreams. And win, lose or draw tonight in that UFC battle, he gets the opportunity to live that dream and reach for the stars. He deserves our applause and respect.
As for the fight itself, I don’t know much about Mickey Gall. He’s 2-0 in MMA battles and won both of his previous battles by submission. Aside from that, he’s a mystery waiting to be solved. But he knows what he’s doing and will be on top of his game. I want to see Punk win. I would love to see Punk win. It would be major news and big money for all involved if Punk was to score a victory. But all of that being said, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Punk is older and while he’s in great shape, the body has been through a lot and won’t take the punishment that the younger Gall would be able to withstand. And Punk’s used to working the wrestling style and telegraphing his moves. All it takes is one slip up by Punk and Gall will take him down and out. I would love to see Punk win and emerge triumphant, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Just so long as he holds his own and looks good for at least one round, I’ll be happy though. Best of luck and much love to Punk. Win, lose or draw, just by stepping into that cage tonight, he’s a winner in every way that matters. ‘Nuff said!
Winner: Mickey Gall – Round 2 via Submission…
And once the smoke has cleared from the world of ultimate fighting, it’ll be time to go back to the first single branded pay-per-view by the WWE and Smackdown Live as WWE Backlash happens on Sunday night, live from Richmond, Virginia. Let’s make a few predictions, shall we?
WWE Backlash 2016 – Thoughts and Predictions…
WWE World champion Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles
Ambrose is okay, but just really hasn’t done anything for me as the WWE Champion and I think that most of the WWE Universe would agree. Ambrose is a great challenger and the money with him is in the chase for the championships and not as the actual champion. Styles is a great wrestler and the question with him is not will he be the next WWE Champion, but when will it happen. Will it be on Sunday night or will the WWE wait a few more weeks and give this feud time to gestate more before pulling the trigger? Let’s go ahead and shoot for the stars. Great match and at the end, it’s AJ Styles walking out of Richmond as the NEW WWE World Champion.
Winner: AJ Styles
Carmella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya to determine Smackdown first Women’s Champion in an Elimination Match:
I’m glad this is an elimination match because that just makes more sense when attempting to determine a championship. Let’s go ahead and eliminate who will not win the match or title and are essentially just filler here. Alexa won’t win and neither will Carmella because they’re new to the main roster and the non-NXT fans have no idea who they are and what they can do. Naomi won’t win because the WWE fans know all too well what she can do and smacking someone with a neon colored ass is not a championship status finishing move. Natayla is a distant possibility, but I just don’t see the WWE management using her as anything more than a good hand to put talent over with at this point in her career. That leaves Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella. Nikki should NOT get it because, let’s be honest, of all the women on the Smackdown roster, she’s probably among the least talented in terms of in-ring work and skills. While Nikki is a popular character and deserves credit for coming back from what could have been a career-ending injury, she’s not who the so-called “Women’s Revolution” should have as their representative. And that leaves Becky Lynch, the “Irish Lass Kicker”. Does anyone really even care anyhow? Anyone not named “Charlotte” or “Sasha” isn’t going to get any kind of response or matter to the fans of women’s wrestling right now. I’ll go for Becky to pull it off and win it all and become the new and first Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Winner and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch
Heath Slater and Rhyno versus (The Winner of The Hype Bros versus The Usos) to determine the first Smackdown Tag Team Champions
It doesn’t matter to me who the other team is, be it the Hype Bros or the Usos. I’m looking for the Slater family to move to that brand new double-wide trailer with smioles on their faces as the new tag team champs will be the One Man Southern Rock Band and Gore! Gore! Gore!.
Winners and NEW WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions: Heath Slater and Rhyno
WWE Intercontinental champion Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
It doesn’t matter if Miz wins or loses. He’s going to be over and a heat magnet regardless. After losing to Ambrose at SummerSlam, Dolph can not really afford another major loss this soon. I personally prefer to see Miz remain the champ, but Dolph needs it more so I’ll predict a Ziggler win and new champion.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Dolph Ziggler
Randy Orton versus Bray Wyatt
Neither Bray nor Orton can afford to lose right now, but after that screwed up match with Brock at SummerSlam, Randy needs it more. So what I’m expecting is Randy win with the RKO and then a Bray (with possible help from a returning Luke Harper) post match assault on Randy to leave him laid out and get his heat back. Regardless, it should be a good match, but Randy will get that “W” placed next to his name when the smoke clears.
Winner: Randy Orton
Hype Bros versus The Usos to determine who faces Heath Slater and Rhyno for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles
I would like to see the Hype Bros win just to see a match with two of my favorites, Heath Slater and Zack Ryder, at the top of a WWE PPV against each other. That would be awesome. And they could even have the guy who played Mr. Belding on “Saved By The Bell” come out and scream at them, “Zack! Slater! What’s going on here!”. I would be a happy man. But here is what’s going to go down. Hype Bros will dominate most of the match, but the Usos will be sneaky and diabolical and use shenanigans to get the win and the nod to advance to the finals against Heath and Rhyno. And then American Alpha will cost the Usos that match to give Slater and Rhyno the win and titles. Yep, the Usos are going to do it and go to the finals.
Winners: The Usos
Only six matches for a pay-per-view? Somehow, that just doesn’t seem right to me, even if it is just a single-brand event. I’m sure that there will be some last minute matches added to the event, most likely with little or no previous announcement. But for the matches they’ve announced, those are my predictions. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
And I guess that’s all for now. I could write more, but it’s late and I’m tired and all of that hoopla. I really do need to get back into the writing game more often, but what can I say? I’m slack! It’ll happen eventually, but for now, as Porky Pig used to say at the end of the Looney Toon cartoons, “that’s all folks!”. I’m Doug, I’m down and I’m gone. Have a great one.