Ultimate Wrestling Q&A: Asuka, Rocky Johnson, The Bunkhouse Stampede, Third Brand of WWE & More…

Tossing Salt Presents:
Ultimate Wrestling Q&A
Asuka, Rocky Johnson, Bunkhouse Stampede & More
February 12, 2019

I’ve been sitting on these questions for several days now. My apologies. And thanks to Matt & Jesse for sending these too me. Now let’s play catch-up and do this…

Better team – Sheepherders or Bushwhackers?

And the thing here is, they’re the same team. Luke Williams and Butch Miller worked under the names of The New Zealand Sheepherders, The Kiwi Sheepherders and a few other incarnations of the same name in places like Puerto Rico, Florida, Memphis, Mid-Atlantic and all over the word as ruthless brawlers with matches known for brutality and blood before going to the WWF and being repackaged as the strutting, licking comedy team known as the Bushwhackers. The better team for me was the original names as they were serious, dangerous and one of the most respected and feared tag teams in the world. For the two men though, the team that worked best was their WWF version where they worked comedy as much as they wrestled and became characters. Less actual physical wear and tear on the body and more money. Changing up their styles as they did to fit the PG audience probably extended their careers by several years.

While did Rocky Johnson wear a mask and use the name “Sweet Ebony Diamond” when he wrestled in the Crockett territory?

I remember Johnson doing this and why he did, I don’t know. I guess it was to set him apart from the rest and give him a chance to work against people like Greg Valentine and Ivan Koloff, but with a fresh start and new character unhampered by previous expectations. Johnson did unmask on television after he defeated Greg Valentime in 1981 for the NWA World Television Championship, but by the time that happened, it was already pretty much common knowledge that it was Johnson under the mask (kind of like how everyone knew that DOOM was Ron Simmons & Butch Reed). Lord Alfred Hayes, working as an announcer at the time, even slipped up and called Diamond “Johnson” a few times while calling his matches. Why he wore the mask, I have no idea, but it worked for him and in the territory and he had a lot of success so I guess that’s all that matters.

How would a character like Col. DeBeers or Baron Von Raschke work in today’s wrestling enviroment?

I would love to see someone do a totally racist gimmick like DeBeers or even a Nazi routine like the Baron did, but in today’s PC world, it would never go over. No company could allow a wrestler to get away with a third of the stuff they used to and people would boycott and complain so much, it wouldn’t be worth it. People today are not smart enough to recognize a “character” and there would be protests, lawsuits, etc. It could get over and generate some major heat for a wrestler and promotion, but the risks and cons greatly outweigh the rewards. I’d still love to see it though.

Will John Cena wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Wrestle an actual match? I actually doubt it, but he will be there and I would not be surprised to see him involved in an altercation and at least cut a promo if nothing else.

Do you think we’ll eventually see Stephanie McMahon step into the ring and wrestle Becky Lynch, based on their encounter this past Tuesday night?

Obviously, this question came before the actions last night on RAW where Becky “apologized” to HHH and Stephanie and then had her spot taken away by Vince, replacing her with Charlotte. What the hell is WWE doing? I’m not sure how all of this will work out and I’m sure I’ll be talking more about it later, but based on that, I would say the answer to any questions about a possible Becky versus Stephanie match, would definitely be a major “No!”.

The Midnight Rockers (Michaels & Jannetty) versus The Midnight Express (Eaton & Lane) – who wins?

Easy choice for me. HBK is a great wrestler. Bobby Eaton is a great wrestler. Stan Lane is a great wrestler. Marty Jannetty is… well, he’s Marty Jannetty. Have you seen the recent Shoot Interview out there with Jannetty talking to The Hannibal TV? He is so blistered and it’s hard to watch and listen to. But he’s the weak link. He is now and was then and with that factored in, as well as the presence of Jim Cornette at ringside with the Express, the definite advantage and the win would go to Eaton & Lane.

Should WWE bring back the Bunkhouse Stampede matches?

As a regular series of events like Crockett used to do, I’d say no, but maybe as a special match featured on a show or event just to give the fans something extra and provide a little change for the WWE stars. There are so many guys on the roster right now that featuring a twenty-man, come as you are, Bunkhouse Stampede Battle Royal wouldn’t be hard to do and it’s been so long since there has been anything like that on WWE TV, it would be different and fresh again.

Who do you consider the top black wrestlers of all time, male and female?

Obviously, this question comes because this is Black History Month. Easy choice for the male wrestler with Ernie “The Cat” Ladd. He was the ultimate heel and successful everywhere he went and it had nothing to do with his race. He was good in the ring as a former NFL player and big man worker, but it was his gift of gab that really cemented his legacy. With the infamous “taped thumb” and his interview style, dismissive of everyone and everything, but himself. He was also Bill Watt’s second in command as well and worked the book in Mid-South, Georgia and WWF during his career. A true legend and well deserved Hall of Fame superstar. As for female talent, there aren’t as many black women who were successful in the wrestling business, but there were a few. I think the best and most successful has to be the one-time Miss Texas, Jackie Moore. She was small, but tough as nails and it doesn’t matter if it was man or woman, she would always give 100% and was / is one incredible talent.

If Charlotte ends up being placed in the match with Becky & Ronda at Wrestlemania, who should be the woman chosen to face Asuka?

Well, as of last night on RAW, Vince McMahon has taken Becky out of the match with a suspension and replaced her with Charlotte for the match at Wrestlemania against Ronda Rousey. It’s obviously kayfabe and the next two months will be built with Becky trying to defy the McMahon’s and work her way back into her match and that’s all good. It’s Stone Cold Steve Austin all over again. But the thing is now that Charlotte has been put in the match, how do they take her out once Becky is back in. By giving her a match with Asuka? We’ve been there and done that already. So I expect that like it or not, we’ll see Charlotte working with Becky and Ronda at the big event. So who’s there for Asuka? Nikki Cross is okay and they have a history, but I can’t see her being elevated enough to work against Asuka in the short amount of time left. Ruby Riott is a choice, but she’s working the Elimination Chamber against Ronda and is a RAW talent. There really isn’t anyone on the Smackdown women’s roster that I see as a viable opponent for Asuka right now. Maybe Alexa could move over from RAW to Smackdown and give her a challenge. They could also go with Nia, but I think they did that one already and Nia’s star is quickly fading as well. I think right now, I’d find a way and go with either Alexa or Mickie James as the best options.

Should WWE create a third brand for their main roster?

Actually, with so many talented stars on the roster, it’s not a bad idea. You have RAW and Smackdown as the main roster and of course, NXT as the developmental group, but even with three shows, look at all of the talented performers who don’t get used regularly or spend more time in the back at catering rather than being part of stories or matches. With RAW, Smackdown, 205 Live, NXT and NXT-UK already up and running, there really isn’t room or a place for another roster and it probably wouldn’t get the focus or attention it needs to thrive or be successful. But that being said, if they could make sure that the new brand got at least the same attention as RAW, Smackdown and NXT, it could work. It would be like the ECW brand from a few years ago and with the right person put in command, it could and would be a good idea. There would have to be a TV deal in place and I’d like to see it happen. There is the danger of over-exposure and too much, but I think if the product was good enough, the benefits would outweigh the possible problems.

And there you go. My thanks for reading. Comments, thoughts and any questions you’d like answered about anything at all, please give me a shout. Until the next time, take care and I’ll catch you later. Have a great one.


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