Tossing Salt Presents:
Ultimate Wrestling Q&A
Ric Flair, Hulkamania, The NWA & More
January 21, 2022
I woke up this morning to some sad news. Legendary rocker, Meat Loaf, passed away last night at age 74. I first remember seeing him in the role of Eddie in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and who didn’t love his music from the classic album Bat Out Of Hell? He also played the drums in the music video for the WWF’s version of Land Of 1000 Dances. So much I could say about this epic entertainer, but I’ll leave it here at Rest In Peace, Michael Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf. You will be missed. Let’s do the Q&A.
You’re making a movie and you can only cast wrestlers in the movie. What would it be about and who would you cast in your leading roles?
If I was making a movie, it’d have to be about one of the topics I know best which would be retail, comics, or vampires. So how about a story of a liquor store and one of the employees happens to be a vampire? Sounds fun so far, right? And casting? My main four guys, who work at the liquor store, would be Bryan Danielson, Heath Slater, R-Truth, and Matt Cardona. The store manager would be played by Kane. The fourth employee, who only works the night shift, and just happens to be a vampire, would be Bo Dallas. Danielson and Cardona would have girlfriends, played by Carmella & Zelina Vega. Cameos by Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair as two drunk old men who come into the store regularly, and other cameos by The Briscoe Brothers, Lita, Bray Wyatt, Sami Zayn, and CM Punk. Let’s have Punk as the arch-nemesis of the vampire, Dallas, and he’s out to get Bo and stake him. And there you go.
Which segment was better, Pipers Pit or The Barber Shop?
Piper’s Pit, by far. Piper played the antagonist so well and when he held an edition of the Pit, you knew something was going down. It was one of the first “Interview Shows” by a wrestler and was definitely was one of the best.
In their primes, Mark Henry versus Ken Patera. Who wins?
Nothing against Mark Henry because he turned into a good performer as time went on and his strength was almost beyond compare, but Ken Patera just strikes me as the better, more skilled wrestler. With a trainer like Verne Gagne, you know that Patera was the real deal and his swinging neck breaker was brutal. Mark would give a hell of a fight and introduce Patera to the Hall of Pain, but when all was over, Patera would be the one getting the arm raised in victory.
Is Ric Flair the GOAT of professional wrestling?
At one time, I may have said so, but Ric has done so much since his official retirement to destroy his own legacy, it’s hard to remember the great matches and classic encounters. Now, all I see when I think of Flair is a rambling old drunk, no scruples, loyalty, or pride. He’ll do anything for a buck, legacy is damned, but at the same time, will rant and rave and threaten lawsuits against others for trying to destroy his legacy. Flair is his own worst enemy in so many ways. If we went solely based on his wrestling career, pre-retirement, he would be the GOAT. But then if you factor in his time in TNA, the two podcasts, his other attempts to stay relevant, that star fades pretty quickly. So Flair as the GOAT? Nope, not anymore. Not for me anyhow.
Do you watch the NWA shows? I’ve tried, but can’t get into them. Your thoughts?
I’ve tried watching them a few times as well and while they have star talent, some good matches, and great storylines, the whole studio wrestling set-up just reeks of low-quality television. And I could handle that, but the commentary is just bad. The interviews are just bad. They need to up that production value just a bit and find some commentators with personalities who make you feel the energy and excitement of their shows. Tim Storm is an excellent wrestler, but calling the action, he leaves much to be desired. Same with Velvet Sky. And Austin Idol? I love Austin Idol and it’s great to see him doing something and still working, but he needs to step up his game. It’s not 1978 anymore. And their lead guy? Oy vey. Joe Galli is just bad, as is May Valentine, the robotic character with the bad make-up who does the interviews. They need a Jim Ross or Scott Hudson to do the play-by-play, a real wrestling announcer. As for interviews, I think Missy Hyatt may be available and would do an excellent job. WWE Hall of Famer Lisa Moretti, aka Ivory, would be great too. The concept of the show and promotion is amazing, but the presentation is less than good. That’s just my opinion as a fan of over forty years, but I know of what I speak. I’d love to see the NWA take off and become one of the big boys again, but they have a ways to go. ‘Nuff said!
Ok, let’s say Hogan got the push from Verne and became AWA champion. Who do you think could have carried the WWF to the heights of Hulkamania?
Hogan was the right person at the right time and it’s hard to imagine who could have carried the WWF on their shoulders as he did in that era to the success he had then. Maybe Don Muraco or Barry Windham, who was just getting going in his first run in the WWF as part of a tag team with Mike Rotundo? They were both on the WWF roster at the time Hulkamania started so they’re options. Or if Vince wanted someone from outside the company, maybe Ted DiBiase or a face Superstar Billy Graham. It’s hard to imagine anyone else as the WWF’s top guy in the ’80s. Love him or hate him, it was all about the Hulkster, brother!
And there you go. My thanks for reading. Comments, thoughts, and any questions you may have are welcome and appreciated. Until the next time, take care and be safe. I’ll see you at the matches.