Tossing Salt Presents:
Batista, PWI 500, Foley vs Jericho & More
September 2, 2018
You have the questions and I have the answers. It’s time for a little wrestling Q&A. Let’s do this…
Did Batista make the right choice leaving in 2010?
Looking back, his career in WWE had kind of stalled and while he was a “top guy”, he was more or less just going through the motions and wasn’t really doing anything. So he took a chance, quit WWE, went to Hollyweird and has been a featured player in some of the most successful movies of all time, playing the role of Drax the Destroyer. I think things have worked out pretty well for “The Animal” thus far.
What are your thoughts on the PWI 500?
Honestly, I really don’t have any thoughts on it or anything dealing with the Apter Mags for nearly twenty years now. But as I recall, the PWI 500 was probably one of the most accurate things that they did in evaluating the talent that populates the world of sports-entertainment / wrestling and who’s the hottest ticket, on the down slide, etc. A good spot on this list meant bragging rights and increased pay days for the boys and that’s always good. Who’s on the list this year? The top 5 are Kenny Omega, A.J. Styles, Kazuchika Okada, Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. I can’t really argue with four out of those five. As for Brock, he’s definitely talented enough and when he’s on the card, it is an event, but did he actually wrestle enough to earn a #4 spot on this list? That’s arguable. But as for the rest, I think that the guys from Pro Wrestling Illustrated got it pretty right.
Has the Gargano vs Ciampa feud moved into the elite level of a Rich vs Sawyer? Piper vs Valentine? Or Benoit vs Sullivan?
They’ve had some amazing matches and while I don’t think that it can really compete with the battles and rivalries that you mentioned, it’s the closest thing that we’re ever going to get in today’s modern era. It’s a different world and different time now and what the fans expect, what the wrestlers are willing to do and how far things can go is totally different as well. Will we still be talking about Gargano versus Ciampa in ten or twenty years? I doubt it, but that’s more because of the nature of the fans these days than any fault of Gargano or Ciampa. They’re definitely going above and beyond and having a hell of a great feud.
Foley or Jericho, who was more important to the business, over all?
It’s like comparing apples to oranges because both men have made so many contributions to the business in so many different ways and Jericho continues to shock, surprise and reinvent himself to stay as relevant as ever. And if Foley was physically able, I think he’d be doing the same thing. Both men mean so much in so many ways. But if I have to make a choice, I’ll go with Foley. By releasing his books when he did and scoring “Best Seller’s” recognition, he kind of took the whole outdated idea that wrestlers were ignorant brutes and just physical and totally bashed it into the ground. He showed the world that wrestlers are smart, intelligent and charming people and gave the whole business a big boost in terms of social acceptance and acceptablitity. He showed the world that wrestlers not only wrestle, but are actual real and talented people as well and the others, like Jericho, Batista, Cena, Kane and oh yeah, The Rock, have taken his example and ran with it. Today, wrestlers are mainstream and a part of almost everything and anything out there and I give Foley the credit for helping to open that door.
During the kayfabe days, there were some very believable feuds. Storylines often had 2 wrestlers who hated each other end up teaming. (Superpowers) Name a feud with 2 JCP wrestlers that was so intense, that teaming them up later would never seem believable. Obviously, Flair and Dusty. Who else?
The first two guys that popped into my head were Greg Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel. Remember that shirt that Greg wore for so long saying, “I broke Wahoo’s Leg”. Their battles were so intense and heated, even knowing what I know now, the thought of these two men sharing a beer or being partners seems impossible to me. Another two men were Jimmy Valiant and “Number One” Paul Jones. How long did their feud last? Five years? I’ve met both Jimmy and Paul in the past and they’re both likeable and good guys, but their rivalry is history in the stories of JCP and the Carolinas and was so good, it’s hard to picture them ever getting along or being friends. And if you go outside the Carlinas and JCP, how about Mr. Wrestling II and the Masked Superstar over in Georgia? Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA? Doesn’t it blow the mind that they’re not only friends, but Magnum is married to Tully’s ex-wife and they all get along and are co-parents of Impact Wrestling Knockout’s Champion Tessa Blanchard. And finally, how about Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair? Their problems were real and went from the wrestling ring to the court house to the WWE, but now they are friendly and get along rather well. Wrestling is a strange business sometimes, don’t you think? That’s my answer.
And there you go. Thanks for reading. Questions, comments and any suggestions how to make things better around here and step things up are all welcome. I’m out of here. Time to go eat breakfast. Have a great one and I’ll holler at you later. Take care.