Tossing Salt Presents:
Unified World Champion, Worst Title Run, Russo vs Cornette & More
January 30, 2019
A gentleman by the name of Brian Molensky sent me this fantastic set of questions. My thanks to Brian. You’ve done your part and now i’ll do mine. And away we go…
Courtesy of: Brian Molensky
I was listening to the recent Jericho podcast with Cornette as a guest, and he brought up an idea I found quite intriguing… He proposed bringing back a title similar to the old NWA World Title given the current boom in mid-sized promotions. His pitch was essentially Ring of Honor, Impact, All Elite, CZW, PWG, etc; all have their own “world champion”, but having a guy that defends in all of these promotions that serves as a, I suppose an apt phrasing would be Universal Champion, would serve as a draw for all of these promotions while also building up awareness for all of the brands. I think this could really work if the various promotions bought in. What are your thoughts? Do you think something like this could work today?
While it’s an interesting idea, I think back to the times that the AWA, CWA and World Class all tried to work together and put on unified shows to compete with Vince McMahon and the WWF and how did that work out? Not too good. An idea like this wouldn’t work because of egos and promoter rivalries. Maybe someone like Nick Aldis and being the NWA World Champion, being a traveling champion making appearances could work on the occasional show, but what promoter is going to let his champion take a back seat to another companies champion? In a perfect world, it could work as the NWA proved many times for nearly half a century, but this is not a perfect world and I can’t see the promoters and companies working together and getting along well enough to keep it going for an extended period of time.
What was the origin of the infamous beef between Russo and Cornette? I don’t think I’ve seen someone dislike someone else as much as Cornette dislikes Russo.
I’m not sure what caused the big beef between Corny and Russo. I’m sure I’ve heard him say why on his podcast at some point, but with Jim Cornette, who needs a reason, right? I know that Cornette blames Russo for causing him to be fired from TNA / Impact and claiming that Corny had threatened Russo’s life and hell, he probably did, but Russo whined and cried and had a restraining order taken out. Russo has said so much crap about Corny and vice versa, I doubt that by this point, neither of them could actually give a valid reason for their rivalry. Actually Cornette probably can in explicit detail, complete with dates, times, the weather that day, etc while Russo would just play dumb and claim that he did nothing wrong and it has to be Corny’s fault. So no idea on the origin, but if there is ever a wrestling convention where Corny and Russo are both guests, I hope the promoter puts them close to each other and keeps the cameras running. That would make for some great video.
What is the worst title run in a major promotion in the last 20 years? I’d have to go with Jindar Mahal. WCW had some terrible ones towards the end, but I have to give David Arquette a pass since he did donate his $1mn payday to the families of Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, Droz, and Bobby Duncam, Jr.
As you said, Arquette gets a pass, but I’ll disagree about Jinder. I like Jinder and it was a refreshing change to see someone new and different have a run as the “top guy” for a few months. In my opinion, easily the two worst title runs were Vince Russo as the WCW Champion and Vince McMahon as the WWE and then the ECW Champion. The promoter / writer / booker should NOT be the Champion… period! And if you want to go with actual wrestlers, I’ll go with Goldberg over Brock to be the Universal Champion last year. I wasn’t a Goldberg fan back when he was the top guy in WCW and I’m not a Goldberg fan twenty years later either.
Where did this dude Mustafa Ali come from, and why has he within 3 weeks of being called up to the main roster replacing AJ Styles (a top 3 guy for the company) at a major MSG show?
He’s been in NXT and then 205 Live for quite a while now and has always been impressive. And why was he put in a top spot on the main roster so quickly? Because HHH likes him and sees a big future with this guy and so does Vince. What more reason does the WWE need?
Who would you say are the top 5 full-time WWE’s guys today? Who are the 3 top part-timers?
For the full time guys, currently not injured or out of action, I’d go with AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Becky Lynch and Miz. As for part timers, I’d say Randy Orton, Brock and of course John Cena.
I have to marvel at the fact that a lot of misused WWE talent got a fresh start with TNA and one, Drew McIntyre, looks poised to be the next top guy. Cody Rhodes, if he chooses to, seems primed to similarly be able to make a return and make his way to the top. Why do you think WWE let guys like Drew and Lashley walk for a decade and then pull them once they’ve finished their WWE runs?
WWE lets them “get away” as you say because maybe they’re not ready to be main events yet. Maybe they’re gotten lazy or don’t seem to have the drive or fire inside them that it takes to be a top performer at a consistent level. And then, they go out to the Indy’s or to Impact and rediscover their passion. They get better in and out of the ring and find their niche. Sometimes, you have to walk away for a while to appreciate what you have and find your spot. That’s what these people do, sometimes on their own accord (Cody) and sometimes not (Drew). But they did what they need to do and when the time is right, WWE brings them back. It’s just good business and WWE trying to get the very best talent they can for their company.
And there you go. My thanks for the questions and if you have any questions, comments or thoughts, please give me a shout. My thanks for reading. And with that, I’m out of here for now. Have a great one and I’ll see you at the matches.