Tossing Salt Presents: Wrestling Fact or Fiction: (Ambrose, Jinder, Kaufman and More…)
April 20, 2017
A lovely Thursday afternoon and my head is about to bust wide the hell open. It’s taken me over an hour, just to get this far to this introduction. I really do despise people sometimes. But what the hell. You know how this works, right? I look at a statement pertaining to the world’s greatest sport and decide if I agree or disagree, by saying “Fact” or “Fiction”. And then I explain why. I borrowed this concept from my friends over at 411mania.com and sometimes, I borrow their questions too. Not today though. The five statements I’m commenting on have all come from the headlines of various wrestling websites. So are you ready? Let’s do this…
Dean Ambrose has become complacent in his current role in WWE.
FACT: It does seem to me and allegedly to many in WWE management that Ambrose is just going through the motions right now. A lot of it, obviously, has to do with how he’s being booked by Creative, but if you watch him closely, the fire seems to be lacking as of late. He’s running in motion and while he’s not getting any worse, he doesn’t seem to be improving either. He’s just there. I think a large amount of Miz’s promo towards Ambrose this past Monday night on RAW, seeing as how it was scripted by management, was their way of telling Ambrose that he needs to step up his game a little bit. His appeal to the fans seems to have tapered off a bit too and where the live audiences once exploded with Ambrose’s appearance, they now just sort of “Eh!”. Maybe I’m seeing more into this than I should and am totally off base, but something just isn’t right and seems to be missing from the so-called “Lunatic Fringe”. Maybe he’s just tired or maybe he’s already peaked as a performer, but whatever it is, Ambrose needs to look into himself and get that fire back or he won’t be headlining for long and could possibly end up on lower-midcard status instead.
Jinder Mahal is the right choice to be #1 Contender for Randy Orton’s WWE championship.
FACT: Given that WWE is hoping to expand into the massive markets of India and central Asia, it makes sense to feature a superstar from that part of the world in a major role. That’s how we ended up with the Great Khali a few years ago. But unlike Khali, Jinder can actually wrestle and talk. He’s a good talent who has taken those steps to work hard, get into the best shape of his career and is ready to move to the next level. If it works, the WWE has another headliner and top talent to use and promote around the world. And if it fails, nothing ventured and nothing gained. So what. One of the biggest problems in WWE is the lack of top stars and headlining talent, with the WWE shuffling around the same faces and same names time and time again instead of bringing up new names and fresh faces for the top matches. With the recent call-ups from NXT, it seems as if WWE is finally starting to build for tomorrow and the future. Mahal might not be the best talent to use, but at least they’re doing something and he’s as good as any. The hard work is paying off and he’s positioned to break that glass ceiling. Good for him and I hope it all works out.
Lana and Rusev should be split up as a team on WWE television.
FICTION: I keep hearing rumours that Rusev and Lana will be split up soon, with Lana going on to be part of the Women’s Division while Rusev, upon his return to action from his injuries, will be back in the mix of things in the WWE mid-card ranks. I hope not because as beautiful as Lana is, I just don’t see her as a top woman wrestler and see her more getting lost in the shuffle than being a top performer. Her current role, as Rusev’s manager / valet, is unique, as is she and that’s where she needs to be, with maybe the occasional match if necessary. As for Rusev, he’s a great talent and could be a top star, either as a solo act or as part of a team with Lana. But the Lana aspect of his character is what sets him apart from the rest of the crowd and makes him stand out just that much more. Rusev doesn’t need Lana, but he’s stronger with her than without. Keep them together as it should be.
Jerry Lawler is right that Andy Kaufman belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame.
FACT: Before Cyndi Lauper came on board and helped form the “Rock & Wrestling Connection” and before Mr. T, who loves his Mama, starting hanging out with Hulk Hogan, there was Andy Kaufman going around to college campuses everywhere and performing on Saturday Night Live and Fridays as the “Intergender Wrestling Champion” and taking on women challengers. Then he caught the eyes and attention of Memphis and “The King” Jerry Lawler and the rest was history. They put wrestling in the spotlight, with a bleep-filled incident on the David Letterman show that caught the eyes of millions. Kaufman get in the ring with Lawler and made history. He was a regular mainstay on Memphis TV, helping to build and promote his match with Lawler that helped bring in tons of new fans. And in the end, wrestling beat Hollywood and looked great. Kaufman was a great comic, a great promoter and so fresh, new and different. And he loved professional wrestling and the art and magic that wrestling was and is. He definitely deserves a spot in any wrestling Hall of Fame and especially the WWE Hall of Fame, the sooner the better.
Maria Kanellis and husband Mike Bennett would be good additions to the WWE main roster.
FACT: To be honest, it’s starting to get a little bit bloated at the top in WWE and the rosters are getting a bit crowded. But that being said, both Maria and her husband, former ROH Champion Mike Bennett would still be welcome additions to the WWE. Maria was one of my favorite women in the WWE during the “Diva Search Era” and she was a hard worker who spent every day off down in OVW working on her ring skills and trying to get better and improve. While she might not be up to the quality of say, Natayla or Charlotte in that ring, she’s a strong personality and can talk so there will still be plenty she can add to the roster. And Bennett is a great wrestler in his own right and could be a very solid mid-card contender for the IC or United States Championships and a good, strong heel. I’m not sure if they’d be better suited right now to go to NXT for a while first and wait for a spot on the main roster to open up or just immediately come up to the main roster, but either way, the addition of this wrestling power couple to the WWE is nothing but good in my eyes.
And there you go. Comments and questions are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for reading and with that, I’m down and gone. Have a great one.