Tossing Salt Presents:
Arn Anderson, NXT, Pop Culture In WWE & More
December 26, 2018
It was the day after Christmas and all through the house, everyone was sleeping and I can’t think of a word that rhymes. But I’m still up and wide awake and think this would be a good time to do a quick wrestling Q&A with a few questions sent to me earlier tonight from Jesse. My thanks for the questions. And now, let’s get busy and provide a few answers to Jesse’s queries. Let’s do this…
Do you think Arn Anderson was held back by his partnership with Ric Flair?
I can see why some might say that. After all, Arn was a damn good wrestler in his own right and a great talker and would have made a great World Champion. And while I agree with all of that, I can’t see Arn as the World Champion. He was too much “every man” and not necessarily the man who you’d want at the top, but rather the guy who holds the entire show together and is the heart and soul of the company as much as he was the heart and soul for the Horsemen. Was he held back though? Countless tag team titles with several different partners, the only consistent member from Day 1 to the end for one of wrestling’s most respected and elite factions ever and the respect of all his peers and the fans, who might not have liked him, but always gave him his kudos. Arn’s relationship with Flair might have cost him a transitional spot as the World Champion, but let’s be honest. With the exception of Harley Race, wrestlers without a gimmick are not going to be long term World Champions and the face of a promotion. His career was a solid and proud one full of accomplishments and great matches and was cut short way too early due to injury. So was he held back? Probably, but did it matter in the big picture of things? Not a damn bit!
Chris Jericho back in the WWE before Wrestlemania? Yes or No?
Jericho has so many things going on right now with his Cruises, the work with New Japan, the Fozzy stuff and of course, the podcast, that I really don’t think he has the time to fit any long term WWE plans into his schedule at the moment. While I would not be surprised to see him make an appearance at the Royal Rumble event as a surprise entry, I don’t think we’ll see Jericho doing any more than that with the WWE in the near future. Maybe next year to be sure, but for now, I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Who would you like to see as a surprise for the Royal Rumble matches?
For the men’s Royal Rumble match, I’d like to see “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters, Carlito, Rob Van Dam and Chavo Guerrero show up. As for the Women’s Rumble match, my picks would be Lisa Marie Varon (Victoria), Kharma (Amazing Kong) and WWE Hall of Famer Ivory (of course).
Were you glad to hear Vince McMahon announce that the women would be getting tag team titles?
I am glad that the WWE finally made it official, but I didn’t like it that it was kind of a throw-away comment by Vince, dressed as Santa Claus, and the cage match between Dolph & Drew for next week’s RAW and the return of John Cena was treated as far more important. It is a great move for the women of WWE and I’m hoping that the Women’s Tag Team Championship is a belt that is defended on both brands and makes for some great matches between the different teams on both RAW and Smackdown.
What can be done to make NXT a true third brand alongside Raw and Smackdown? Also, what can be kept the same to differentiate from the other two?
To make NXT a true third brand for the WWE, it would need a national TV deal that allows it to bring in revenue for WWE and has international exposure like both RAW and Smackdown do. It would need an upgrade on production values and more tweaking to bring it up to scale to compete as an equal to the other brands. But what makes it special and work so well is that it’s not RAW or Smackdown and is just so different with an old-school feel to the matches and booking. I’d keep it at an hour at most instead of over-exposing it at two and three hour shows like RAW and Smackdown currently have. And I’d have HHH keep his hands-on control over the product and have Vince and his “creative team” step back and stay away. It’d be hard to do to bring NXT up as a legit third brand for WWE and honestly, it’s probably for the best right now that they just leave things as they are, with NXT being used as a developmental brand and training ground, giving new wrestlers a chance to learn and giving more experienced wrestlers a chance to learn the WWE way of doing things before throwing them out there to the masses on the main roster. It’d be a hard juggling act to make it work as a third brand and still keep the qualities that make NXT so special and I hope that they don’t even try.
What are things in “pop culture” that the WWE could utilize on Raw to gain more fans?
This is a tough question because usually when WWE tries to be clever and add things to the show, it tends to suck. Guest hosts? Singing competitions? The Diva Search? Rality shows in general. Why not stick with wrestling matches that are entertaining and great back and forth action. Why not have stories that make sense and don’t insult the intelligence of the fans. Why not have continuity from week to week? Why not focus on the things that WWE can do and that will attract the fans, the ones who actually love wrestling, back into the fold? If they have to do “pop culture” stuff, an occasional guest star is okay if their appearance makes sense and it can be used to promote the WWE product in a positive way. Kevin Federline & Stephen Amell are two good examples of guest stars that worked well. Then you have the crap like Kathie Lee and her partner from the Today Show? What the hell was WWE thinking? The Muppets were cool though. But I can’t really think of anything specific that is big right now that could be done to help WWE that would make a big change and attract more fans. Good wrestling, stories that make sense and being less predictable would be far better than any quick-fix pop culture help anyways.
And that’s all for now. My thanks again to Jesse for the questions. Any thoughts, questions or comments, please feel free and let me know. I want to hear from you. And until the next time, I’m out of here. Take care and I’ll catch you later.