Tossing Salt Presents:
Ultimate Wrestling Q&A
CM Punk, Biggest Mania Match, Superstar Shakeup and More
April 22, 2019
Happy Earth Day to all my tree-hugging Peeps out there and I hope that everyone had a good and enjoyable Easter yesterday as well. Yesterday also would have been the 91rst birthday for my step-dad, Raymond R. Rushin, who passed away in 2000. We didn’t always see eye to eye, but Ray was a good man in a tough spot and I’m forever thankful for the influence and his presence in my life. I miss ya, Raymond. RIP. This one is for you.
And this one means the latest “Ultimate Wrestling Q&A”. I’ve been a slacko as of late and my desire to write has been muted by reality, life and all sorts of other little biatches, but just like Randall and “porch monkeys” – go see “Clerks 2”, I’m taking it back. My muse may be having a rough time, but it’s time to get back into the game and get back the mojo that made me pro wrestling’s most eclectic columnist since 2002 (true) and an full fledged “internet wrestling journalist” (wehatever the hell that is). And it starts right here. The questions come from Matt and Jesse. And the rest, that’s all me baby. Let’s do this…
With an appearance at an Indy show over the weekend, do you think CM Punk is ready to return to wrestling full time? And if so, where should he come back? AEW, WWE or somewhere else?
What this past weekend was is CM Punk having fun, indulging an itch for the passion that once consumed his life and a chance to troll the internet. Punk is doing commentary for MMA fights and considering how well his in-ring fights have gone with UFC thus far, that’s probably his best option. Punk’s biggest talent has always been his mouth and his ability to cut great promos, aka “pipe bombs”. I can not honestly recall a great standout CM Punk match, but I can think of several promos and “moments” by the former WWE Champion very easily. Just because he got involved in a match involving one of his oldest friends and former trainers and hit a GTS doesn’t mean anything in the big picture of things and certainly doesn’t mean he’ll be showing up on RAW or Smackdown anytime soon. I would love to see it, but it’s not going to happen. As for the other part of your question Matt, if Punk was to come back to wrestling full time, he would make the most money with WWE or AEW, but I think his best place would be ROH and maybe some New Japan events for a one-off shot, where he would have the most freedom and probably be able to have the biggest impact.
B-Team versus Hawkins & Ryder – who wins?
I’d love to see this just for the comedy and interaction between four of my favorite wrestlers, but the winners are not in doubt. Hawkins and Ryder are getting a serious push right now it seems and have regularly been defeating The Revival and the team of Black & Ricochet on the house shows so I’m pretty sure they’d get the win here as well.
RAW or Smackdown – which brand do you think did the best in the Superstar Shakeup?
I think it was a good switch of talent for both brands, but with Smackdown getting Roman, that gives them the edge over the red brand. Now, with the “Big Dog” as their top talent, they’ll have Vince’s focus and while we’re all groaning at that thought, it will mean more of a push and thoughts put into the blue brand. From a promotional standpoint, that makes Smackdown the winner.
Should Paige add other wrestlers to her managerial family along with Asuka and Kairi Sane?
While for the time being, the focus should mainly be on Asuka and Sane for Paige and her managerial role, I would love to see it eventually expand to a group of both men and women with Paige as the spokesperson and manager. I’ve always been a big fan of managers and valets who actually matter and much like Sherri Martel in the past with Harlem Heat or Madusa with the Dangerous Alliance, I think think Paige could be an excellent agent for several wrestlers who are great in that ring, but needing that little extra something. Paige could be that extra “it” and help get talents of both genders over.
Should Rey Mysterio turn heel?
Rey probably won’t do it since the merchandise sales and fan support are the biggest thing he has going now, but it would be a novel idea and fun to see if Rey could actually manage to pull it off. Much like Rick Steamboat so many years ago, Rey is the ultimate “under-dog” and fan favorite and the thought of him as a heel and bad-guy is hard to imagine. It would be a true shock in a world where true surprises are few and far between. I’d like to see it happen if it could be done in a way that makes sense, just to see if Rey could do it. It might even make him interesting to me again. Who knows?
Do you think that Sasha Banks will eventually end up wrestling for AEW?
I think if the rumors are true and Sasha did actually ask for a release and wants to leave WWE, then she’ll probably end up in Impact Wrestling more likely than AEW. She’s just not really all that good in my opinion and by the time she actually gets a release from WWE, since they’ll probably freeze her contract amd pull a “Neville” on her before granting her an out from her contract and just let her sit at home instead of being able to go to AEW or anywhere else that truly matters. In my opinion, the best option for Sasha would be to suck it up, get over her hurt feelings about having the “Boss & Hug Connection” split up and just work hard and do the best she can with whatever WWE has for her until the next push. Taking the ball and going home, especially with such a strong and packed roster, won’t work anymore and will just end up hurting her career more than helping it. If and when Sasha is free from WWE, I think Impact Wrestling is where she’s most likely to show up next.
How about Luke Harper?
Harper is at least handling this in a more professional way and is showing up for every booking and match WWE has for him while having asked for a release if WWE isn’t going to use him better and more often. I think attitude and professionalism has a lot to do with how WWE will handle this request and Harper is more likely to be given a clean break and release and have more options ahead of him than Sasha will. I think AEW will likely be a strong possibility for the return of Brodie Lee to the ring as the career of Luke Harper comes to an end.
What is the biggest Wrestlemania match of all time?
This one is easy. Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III. The hype and build for this match set the bar and standards for every big Wrestlemania event since and has yet to be matched. It wasn’t the best match in terms of work-rate and in-ring action, but in terms of build and hype, nothing else has even come close.
Who was better as the WWE Champion? Triple H or Bret Hart?
I’m going to take the cop-out answer here and say that both men were the right guys to be the WWE Champion at the time that they held the title and neither was better or worse than the other. Are you buying that answer? I didn’t think so? Damn! Okay, let’s try this again. When he first won the title from Ric Flair, Bret was the right guy to be WWE Champion at the time. It was the transition from the age of Hogan to the more technical, talented in-ring performer and Bret was probably the best technical wrestler in the WWE at the time. Right guy and right time. Hunter came along later and was a great talent in a time of great talents. He was one among many and while it wasn’t a period of change so much for WWE, from one era to another, it was a time of strong matches and walking the time and Hunter was and is one of the best ever for this time and did a fantastic job as the champion. But then again, so did Bret. His matches against HBK and Austin are legend. So the better WWE Champion? Bret did a great job, but HHH was champ at a time that made far more money and his time as the top dog put more butts in the seats. HHH wins this one. And the bottom line is, Ric Flair is still the greatest champ of all time. And Steve Austin is the best WWE Champ. And Harley Race is the man. ‘Nuff said!
And there you go. Questions, comments and any thoughts, drop me a line. My thanks for reading. Until the next time, take care and I’ll catch you later. Have a great one.