Tossing Salt Presents:
Wrestling Fact or Fiction
December 2, 2018
It’s been a couple of weeks since the last time I did a “Fact or Fiction” thing, but have no fear. It’s back, thanks to the fine folks from 411mania.com/wrestling, who provide the questions / statements. They provide that part and I provide the comments that follow and everyone is a happy camper. There’s no time for love, Mr. Jones. Let’s do this…
Dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ronnie Stone. Rest In Peace, my friend.
1. While WWE has made many questionable creative decisions in 2018, dedicating an hour of TV time to Baron Corbin on Monday’s Raw was the worst.
FICTION: Was it the worst? I can understand the idea behind all of the Baron segments (which also included Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley by the way) and that’s it is that WWE is trying to push Corbin as a top heel. Is it working? In some ways it may be, but is he worthy of that much TV time? Based on the reaction by fans to this past Monday’s RAW, probably not. But it was still better than all the all-Stephanie, all the time shows from days gone by. And the bad reviews can’t all be blamed on Corbin either. Drake Maverick pissing on Bobby Roode’s robe? Nia cutting a promo? Sasha and Bayley with a Q&A? So many bad ideas and so little time to throw them all in. I’m not blaming Corbin for the bad show, but too much just thrown out there with no thought or reason behind it. Luckily, WWE rebounded on Tuesday and Smackdown Live was a good show. So it wasn’t the best show by any means, but the worst? Not really. There are still four shows left to be shown in 2018 and I have faith in WWE that they can (and will) do worse.
2. It’s almost impossible to care about the Raw tag title scene, and by extension the AOP as champions, when the division is being booked around piss jokes. What is your excitement level for the division?
My excitement for the division? Well, the piss jokes have already gotten old, but I’m a big fan of tag team wrestling and with the quality of teams on RAW right now, despite how badly they’re being booked, I can keep a positive attitude and I’d give it a solid “5”, meaning there is a whole lot of room for improvement, but at the same time, it could be much worse. At least we have a legit tag team holding the titles at the moment rather than just two top singles guys thrown together for the sake of being thrown together, as WWE loves to do. AOP can have solid and strong matches, as can Roode / Gable, The B-Team, The Revival, The Ascension, Slater & Rhyno and even that joke of a team Lucha House Party. The tag team ranks are solid and the in-ring match quality can be good if WWE chooses to focus on that instead of the stupid piss jokes.
3. The babyfaces on WWE Raw have been booked as complete jokes.
FACT: With the exception of Seth Rollins, what “face” on RAW is not looking like a joke or idiot right now? Ronda? She’s kicking ass regularly, but get her ass handed to her by Charlotte and is getting punked out by Nia of all people. Finn talks the talk, but then gets left laid out time and time again. Braun is supposed to be a monster, but Corbin & Co. laid him out and sent him packing to the hospital. Roode is getting his robe pissed on by a manager. The stories and plots on RAW lately have been, how do we say, stupid and uncompelling. It’s all heel, all the time and that’s good for a little while, but if the face doesn’t get revenge or some payback, we’ll just start calling them “Sting 2.0” aka “the idiots”. I don’t know what Vince and the so-called creative team have been smoking lately and Lord knows, pimpin’ ain’t easy, but things need to balance out a bit more because just watching your favorites get punked out again and again gets old fast.
4. With the losses of Strowman, Styles, Bliss, and Owens for different reasons, season two of the Mixed Match Challenge feels cursed.
FACT: While the idea of a prize, the #30 spot in the Royal Rumble matches, was a nice touch to give meaning to the MMC, it does seem that everything else has just fallen apart and gone to shit. People have been injured and had to pull out. Established teams are ripped apart and it looks as if they’re picking the replacements by just seeing who the next person to walk into catering and giving them the spot, etc. It doesn’t make sense at all with the booking and while the first season was interesting and fun to watch, this one has been a bit of a strain. The bloom is off the rose and it’s just not the same. Maybe it’s a curse or maybe it’s just karma (not the wrestler who now works on G.L.O.W. or the X-Man character, but fate getting back it’s own). Whatever the reason, things just ain’t right with the MMC right now.
5. You are excited for WWE’s international expansion.
FACT: As someone who has been a wrestling fan since I was in diapers, it’s a good feeling of redemption to see something I’ve watched and enjoyed for so long literally taking over the world and far exceeding anyone’s expectations, becoming a brand that is nearly as big as Disney. It’s redemption for all of us wrestling fans who had to endure the jokes and scorn of others who don’t “get it” and mock us for our love of a “fake sport”. I do have worries that WWE is trying to get too big and do too much and the small things that matter the most, like ring psychology and solid matches with purpose, sensible stories and common sense, won’t get as much attention and the small things that matter most, will be ignored. It’s the little things that make wrestling what it is and as WWE gets bigger and Vince / HHH have more and more taking their attentions, it’s the small things that will be overlooked first. I hope I’m wrong about that, but only time will tell. WWE is getting bigger and better than ever though and it’s great for talent, for the fans and for wrestling in general. Yes, I am excited and this is definitely, in my opinion, a good thing.
6. Asuka vs. Becky vs. Charlotte will steal the show at WWE TLC.
FICTION: I think this will be a fantastic match and these three ladies certainly have the skills and ability to steal the show. I hope that they do actually, but there is another match on the card with AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. Anyone who remembers what Daniel Bryan did working as a heel when he was in ROH can verify that when he’s allowed to be a true heel, few are better than Bryan in that ring. And it’s AJ Styles on the other side of the ring. I think that this match will be the one to watch and will top off the show. But Asuka, Charlotte and Becky might do it too, especially when you factor in the TLC stipulation. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Either way, it should be a good show and two damn good matches. I’m looking forward to it.
And that’s all for me for now. It felt good to get back to doing the FoF and hopefully, it won’t be so long before the next one. One can only hope. My thanks for reading this. Questions, comments and any thoughts welcome and appreciated. Until the next time, stay cool and support your local Indy wrestling company and wrestlers. Take care.