Tossing Salt Presents:
Ultimate Wrestling Q&A
Kurt Angle, Billy Jack Haynes, JYD & More
March 20, 2019
Happy Hump Day and also Happy Day 1 of Spring. Let the pollen and the ‘skeeters commence. I’m Doug and this is the most electrifying pro wrestling Q&A on the internet today. It’s pretty eclectic too cause that’s what I do. My thanks for Matt, who sent me these questions earlier this week. I meant to get to them immediately, but got distracted by the madness that is reality and life and well, here we are three days later. But we’re doing them now so let’s quit with the chit chat and get busy. By the way, big shout out to Brent, Eric, Uncle Jonny, Luke and all of the fam at SMF Cyberspace. Listened to Part B of the third “Movie Gems” show and it was damn good. My “must see” movie list has now doubled in size and if any of the wrestling fans reading this want to explore the world of cinema and hear about some great films that you might have missed, but should see, go check them out. The podcast are available on my site. Just look up SMF Cyberspace in the search bar or else go to http://www.SMFCyberspace.com. You’ll be glad you did for talk on movies, current events and all sorts of cool stuff. And now, back to wrestling and on with the show.
If Kurt Angle does decide to wrestle Shelton Benjamin, his former Team Angle protege, in his final match at Wrestlemania, should Charlie Haas be brought in to be the special referee for the bout?
This question was sent obviously before Kurt Angle made his announcement of selecting Baron Corbin as his final opponent on RAW Monday night and when Shelton and Kurt were going back and forth on Twitter about Shelton wanting to use the “Team Angle” connection and be Kurt’s final opponent. There are less than two weeks to go now so I don’t know if WWE would be willing to make any changes to the match being Angle versus Corbin, but the response has been extremely negative and even though it makes sense from a story-line point of view and Corbin is a good wrestler, no one wants to see this. I like the idea that you had Matt and that would be a Team Angle reunion with Shelton fighting Angle and have Haas as the guest referee. There is still time that WWE could make it happen although it seems unlikely and I don’t even know if Haas is still involved in the business or what kind of terms he is on with WWE or his former partners. I’m going to do a little fantasy booking here and show though how, even at this late hour, WWE could turn the ho-hum match with Corbin into a different match and exciting event. On RAW Monday, I’d have Alexa Bliss, the “Host of Wrestlemania” complaining to one of the McMahon’s or HHH that no one wants to see Kurt fight Corbin at Wrestlemania. Have the McMahon decide that Corbin and Kurt will fight on RAW instead so they can still have their match. After Angle defeats Corbin, he can get on the mic and call out Shelton Benjamin and ask Shelton to be his opponent. Shelton comes to the ring and we have a mini-Team Angle reunion as Shelton agrees to the match, but on one condition and that’s if his friend and former partner, the third member of Team Angle, Charlie Haas, gets to come in as the special “guest referee”. Haas can come from the back, having been invited by Shelton to be at RAW and Kurt agrees. The match is set and we have Kurt’s final WWE match, an all Team Angle spectacular, where it’s Kurt versus Shelton with Haas as the referee. For my finish, I’d have Kurt set to win and Haas lay him out, letting Shelton get the win in a big heel turn event that give Shelton a big push as a trecherous heel who turned on and “retired” his mentor, Haas can stick around or not as Shelton’s “manager” and occasional partner and Kurt can retire in peace knowing he put over Shelton on the way out. This would certainly be better than Kurt versus Baron Corbin for the hundredth time. Oh vey!
Remember when WWE had actress Thea Vidale as Shelton Bemjamin’s mother? What the hell was WWE thinking?
I remember although I’ve tried again and again to forget. What was WWE thinking? I have no idea. I’m not sure if that was before Russo left or after, but that particular idea has Vince Russo written all over it. It was a dumb idea and made no sense at all. I get it that they wanted to do a kind of “Mama’s Boy” character with Shelton, but hiring a comedian and actress to be his “Mama” and a semi-well known on at that, was totally stupid and crazy. I didn’t get it then and don’t get it now. I went and checked for clarification, Thea Vidale’s role lasted for three months, from January, 2006 to March, 2006 and did lead to Shelton winning the Intercontinental Championship. She left to have “heart surgery” and hasn’t been back on WWE TV since. So in 2006, it wasn’t Vince Russo’s idea and the blame has to be placed on someone else. Whoever it was though, I’d love to know what they were smoking. It was a crazy time.
Thoughts on the WCW tag team “Men At Work” (Mark Starr & Chris Kanyon)?
I remember these guys from mainly watching WCW Saturday Night in the pre-Nitro era. Chris Kanyon, as we all know, went on to work as Mortis and then had a good run in WCW and WWE after the takeover before sadly passing away in 2010 due to suicide. Mark Starr was his partner and he was a good wrestler with a good look as well. Starr was the real life brother of Chris Champion (Yoshi Kwan, The New Breed) and had a pretty good career working in Memphis and the southeastern U.S. before finally settling in Georgia and WCW. The team, Men at Work, wore jeans to the ring and had a pretty good following, not winning many matches, but usually coming just so close and losing only due to things like Kanyon taking measurements with his tape measure in the middle of the match at the worst possible time, causing Starr to be pinned. Sadly, Starr passed away in 2013. They were a good team that had a lot of potential and could have be used much better than they were. They were one of my favorite jobber teams in WCW.
Do you think Billy Jack Haynes is actually as crazy as he appears to be or is it just a work?
This is a tough call because the man is freakin’ bat shit crazy and a definite looney toon. No one is that good of an actor and if Haynes is pulling a fast one on everyone, he deserves a truck load of Academy Awards for his efforts. But is he as crazy all the time as he appears when in front of a camera? I think the man has mental issues and could use a good therapist or ten to be sure, but I also think that the pro wrestler in him loves the spotlight and amps things up about 150% when he gets in front of that camera and starts doing the “shoot interviews”. If he was that way all the time, he would be locked up in a padded room and under constant supervision and be constantly sedated. So I think he kicks it into his crazy character for the camera and to stay relevant in any way he possibly can. Does he believe what he says and speaks about when talking about Benoit, Vince, The Clintons, etc? Who knows? Is he a nut? Damn straight? Would I want to be alone in a room with him? Hell no? Will I listen to his interviews and rants? Yeppers. The man has issues and stability problems to be sure, but are they as bad as he puts on? I doubt if we’ll ever know for sure.
Was Brian Christopher murdered?
I doubt if we’ll ever know for sure and get all the answers, but there are more questions than answers and a lot of things that have been revealed about Christopher’s “suicide” don’t add up or make sense. Was he murdered, was it a freak accident or was it a suicide as the official statement says? I doubt we’ll ever truly really know.
Junkyard Dog – was he a great worker or overrated?
JYD was definitely more charisma than in-ring ability and that’s a fact. No one can point out a single match or in-ring moment in a JYD match and give it five stars, but the fans loved JYD and he had that special “It” that people liked and wanted to see. JYD was like Thunderbolt Patterson in that his matches were not good. They were often plain awful, but it didn’t matter who he was against, the fans reacted and he drew money. And when he spoke and cut a promo, they didn’t always make sense and again, were often just plain bad, but the fans still reacted and came out for the Dog and I guess in the long run, that was all that mattered. He definitely was not a great or even a good worker, but when it came to putting butts in the seats, JYD did that and did it well so he had that working for him and was able to keep working and keep getting booked. I consider him to be over-rated, but he made money and I guess that’s what matters most.
And I think I’ll stop right there. I have four more questions from Matt, but they can wait until later tonight or tomorrow. Unfortunately, real life is getting involved and I have to go do some other stuff not to mention get ready for work this afternoon too. So I’m out of here. Until the next time, stay safe and have a great one. Support your local Indy wrestling companies and I’ll see you at the matches.