Tossing Salt - Worldwide News
July 22, 2007
So much to hit on and so little time to do it. Life is crazy and rushed and I've been feeling the sting over the past few weeks quite often. It's just like a bee sting except it doesn't swell up quite as much.
So let's jump into it, OK? I've got three pages worth of notes to cover - and I'm sure that more topics will come to mind as I work my way down the list, so go get a drink from the kitchen and pack a lunch. It's going to be a long one today.
I'm Doug and this is the most eclectic professional wrestling column in the Western Hemisphere outside of Detroit. Nothing is more eclectic than Detroit.
We call it "Tossing Salt - Worldwide News".
To start off, I want to mention that the MIWA will be holding a "Super Show" at the National Guard Armory here in Laurinburg, NC on Saturday, July 28th. The main event for this show is a "Tables, Ladders & Chairs" match between The Main Attraction (Scott Powers / "Pure Pleasure" Chris Steele) versus Zack Salvation & Cravin Slatter. Plus a "Last Man Standing" match between Jack Hammer versus Rowdy James. Other superstars scheduled to appear are The Monster Rage, Team Ego, Phil Shatter, The Outlaw Dino James, Rudy the Firebreaker, B & D Productions and many, many more.
One thing about the MIWA Shows - they always give 150% and leave the fans wanting more. I've never heard anyone complain about the quality of these events and that says quite about the promotion and the MIWA Superstars as well. If you get the chance to come to the 'Burg and see the show, I'd strongly encourage it. Or you can read the results and a first-hand recap of all the action right here at "TS - WWN". Yeah, you know I'm going.
Has anyone else noticed just how much face time on WWE Raw that William Regal has been getting as of late. First he was the "Temporary GM" while Coach went on Holiday and then he's been all over the place, in matches with Sandman, skits with Coach and Hacksaw Duggan and finally, a four-way elimination match last week on RAW. This is a great move by the WWE as Regal is one of the most respected and talented men on the WWE roster. He can wrestle. He can talk. He's the master of the "facial expressions" and just has a strong presence and aura about him that, no matter what he's doing, reeks of dignity and class.
I'd love to see Regal moved to the full-time role of "GM" for WWE Raw. Nothing personal against Coach, but no one takes him seriously as the "Interim General Manager". Regal though, has been a "Commissioner" for Smackdown, for the "Alliance", and has moved back and forth between a wrestling role and these "authority" roles so easily, he is instantly credible and a viable force to be reckoned with. And I'd much rather see Regal booking matches and hosting "contract signings" between Cena & Lashley than Coach anytime. But if that's not possible, then how about Intercontinental Champion William Regal? I'd watch that too.
Speaking of GM's, ECW on Sci-Fi desperately needs a "figure-head" to "run things" on their show and brand. RAW has one even if it is Coach. Smackdown has two "leaders" in Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero. But poor little ECW, the "bastard child" of the WWE, hasn't has a leader on TV since Paul Heyman was sent home back in December.
So who should it be? My choices would be Stevie (Former GM of "Sunday Night Heat" and former leader of "RTC") Richards. Or Al Snow. Can you imagine a board meeting between Al Snow and Head? Sounds like good TV to me.
I keep hearing that BG James & Kip James (aka Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) have repeatedly asked for a release from their TNA contracts, but TNA won't give it to them. I don't know why, but for some reason, I think that eventually, we'll be seeing a "DX" versus "DX" feud in the WWE - probably at the start of next year with HHH & HBK versus The New Age Outlaws. That is, if VKM can ever get their releases from TNA. First a feud between the two groups and then an eventual reunion for one last run with nostalgia. Can you smell the merchandising? It'll happen sooner rather than later. Watch and see.
Speaking of watch and see, mind if I get political for a second? I've listened to most of the candidiates and watched the various debates so far. And I'll go ahead and say it now. The 2008 U.S. Presidential Election will be a tightly contested race between the team of Rudy Guiliani & Fred Thompson running on the Republican ticket against the team of Hillary Clinton & John Edwards on the Democratic side.
And the whole election will come down to a matter of dislike - do the voters dislike the Republicans (and George W. Bush) more because of the war in Iraq or do they dislike the Democrats more because well, it's Hillary and she's not a very likable or trust-worthy person? She's easily the most qualified of the four I mentioned to be in that high office after already having been a part of it for eight years during her husband's administration, but her negatives are so prominent, will her intelligence be enough to overcome her honesty and personality flaws? Usually, the voters tend to go for personality & comfort more than actual qualifications, so it's anyone's ball game at this point.
I think, honestly, that it'll be Guiliani & Thompson as the next two men in power. I might be wrong. I might not. But we could do much worse. We could also do much better, but the best people for the job never seem to want to run for it. *Sighs* Guess we'll have to wait and see. But when you step into that voting booth in November of 2008 and see Guiliani / Thompson versus Clinton / Edwards, just remember, I told you so.
Did I mention that my brother has filed to run for Mayor of the town of East Laurinburg, NC? A Maynard in politics? That's scary! He's a smart guy and could probably do a good job. And that would make me, if he happens to win, the "First Brother" of East 'Burg. And in the tradition of Billy Carter, Roger Clinton and Neil Bush, I would do my very best to uphold that title. Lord help us all!
I watched an old RAW last yesterday on VHS and purely by chance, it just happened to be the edition where The Radicals (Benoit, Guerrero, Saturn & Malenko) made their WWE debuts. I got a chill as I watched the former WCW Superstars and then it occured to me. This was only seven years ago, although it seems like forever. And of this elite group, only Malenko is still involved in wrestling as an agent for the WWE. Saturn is out of the business completely as far as I can tell and of course, Eddie & Chris are both dead. I would love to see Dean get back in the ring again and maybe do one last run as "The Radical" - just to pay homage to his friends. I don't think it will happen, but Dean is/was one of the best technical guys ever. It'd be a good to see one last match or run.
I had a chance to try the WWE Socko Energy Drink at Wal-Mart the other day. I bought a can just because - and gave it a shot. Blah! It tasted nasty to me. But in all fairness, Red Bull and the other energy drinks don't taste all that hot to me either. I'm strictly a Pepsi kind of guy. I had to give it a shot because it's promoted by WWE and by Eric Bischoff. So I did. And well..... If you like the energy drinks, you'll probably like it so give it a shot. I didn't like it, but then again, I never liked Hulk Hogan either so what do I know?
I did a cartwheel the other day. Not too bad for a middle-aged fat guy. I won't make the U.S. Gymnastics team anytime soon, but I didn't kill myself and managed to land on my feet so it's all good. Yay!
I heard that the WWE Diva Search casting calls will be happening again very soon. Why? Why? Why? Oh yeah, fresh T&A for Vince and Johnny Ace to grope and lust over. Why hire these brainless, implanted slunts? Pick up the phone and call Ivory. Call Molly. Call Jazz. Call Trish and offer some big bucks. Call Lita. How about all these women who look good, have plenty of T&A and can actually "wrestle". Hell, hire back Christy Hemme. She's hot enough all by herself, based on the last few times I've seen her. Forget about the models and bimbettes. If WWE wants eye-candy for their Womens Division, just have Mike Bucci, Al Snow, Jerry Lawler, etc. check out the Indys and recruit from there. Those ladies can look good and wrestle. But forget about the "Casting Calls", 'Diva Searches" and all of that. It doesn't work.
But bringing back "Tough Enough" would be kind of fun. Al Snow, Ivory (two familiar faces) and Dean Malenko as the trainers. And it could run on VH1. Hell, based on their current batches of "Surreality Shows", it'd be a good fit and would draw the ratings. I'd watch.
Speaking of Surreal Life, my prayers and condolances go out to the family of Tammy Faye Baker Messnar, who died earlier this week after a long bout with colon and lung cancer. I'm from North Carolina and the entire PTL Club Scandals with her ex-husband Jim and of course, Jessica Hahn, was big time news around here. Jim ended up in prison and Hahn ended up a centerfold - and Tammy Faye managed to come through it all smelling like a heavily made-up rose. I remember seeing "Sweet" Stan Lane (of the Midnight Express) wearing a t-shirt on WCW Saturday Night that had the image of eyelashes and make-up and said "I Ran Into Tammy Faye At The Mall".
She was a joke to the world for a while, but she endured and moved into our hearts as a loving character with her short-run talk show, JM J and Tammy Faye (with co-host, HIV Positive Comic JM J. Bullock) and then as one of the members of an eclectic class of characters on the Surreal Life. That's where she really shined and blossomed as the morals and heart of the cast. Anyone who can live with the likes of Vanilla Ice, Ron Jeremy & Erik Estrada and still smile the whole way through has to be a saint.
I've got the entire season of that particular season of Surreal Life on VHS and she's certainly one of the highlights. The end, from what I understand, was long in coming and Tammy suffered for quite a while before finally passing away at age 65. Well, now she doesn't have to suffer any more. And I have no doubt that she's at peace now, which is how it should be. Rest in Peace, Tammy Faye Messnar. God bless!
One more "Surreal Life" note - coming up this season is "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Sister Cleo. I'm not sure who the other house-mates are going to be (I don't remember) but Macho and Cleo? That's enough for me to know I'm definitely going to watch. Dig it! Yeah!
Oh yeah, did anyone else hear about former "Tough Enough" Champion and WWE Superstar Maven Huffman coming out of the closet as a gay man? I saw a mention of it one time on some news site and then over at Wikipedia and that was it. It's just a non-issue and no one cares. And you know what? I like that. It shouldn't matter and it doesn't matter anymore. Give Kanyon credit - he broke down the wall a bit for gay wrestlers. He caught the flack and the backlash, but it quickly burned out and now, it's just another foot-note for these guys and nothing more. Maven is gay? So what! Orlando Jordan is bisexual. So what? Kanyon is gay? Who cares? All that matters is what they can and can't do in the ring. And that's good! That's the way it should be.
Let's do some predictions and talk about the PPV for later today - the Great American Bash.
The matches and my predictions:
Texas Bullrope Match: Dusty Rhodes (with Cody Runnels) versus "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton
Come on now? Has Dusty won a match since 2000? Hell, has Dusty wrestled a match since 2000? I know he's "The Dream" and he can brawl, but Orton is younger, stronger, sharper and the "Legend Killer". And besides, look for the seeds to be planted for a Cody turn somewhere down the road. Orton wins. Cody consoles his daddy on the outside, but on the inside.... hmmmm??
Singapore Cane On A Pole Match: The Sandman versus Carlito
It's the Sandman's speciality match. Thus that means Carlito wins. And you know what? I think that's cool!
WWE Women's Championship: Candice Michelle (c) versus Melina
Candice has improved so much over the past few months. She's an amazing lady. She's no Ivory or even Trish, but she's making her mark on the Women's Division. Melina just has a great "bitch" character and I love to watch her at work. But she's better while being frustrated than when things go her way. Anxiety and problems = sexy! Melina will get the gold back eventually, but for tonight, it's all Candice to retain.
U.S. Championship: MVP (c) versus Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy will not die! But he will become the U.S. Champion. There, I said it! Now, make it happen!
Intercontinental Championship: Umaga (c) versus Jeff Hardy
Rainbow Brite flies high, but gets butt-splashed in the end. Umaga retains.
ECW World Championship: John "Johnny Nitro" Morrison (c) versus CM Punk
Hate the name change. But Nitro/Morrison is a great up and coming superstar and I like seeing him as the champ. Punk will get his day in the sun soon enough, but for now, it's all about the guy with the Identity Crisises.
WWE World Championship - Triple Threat Match: The Great Khali (c) versus Kane versus Batista
I never, ever, ever thought I'd cheer for Batista to win a major championship. I mean, after all, the man can't even do his own finisher without screwing it up. Well, guess what? Batista-bomb on Khali by big Dave for the win and the title.
WWE Championship: John Cena (c) versus Bobby Lashley
Hard to choose. Every allegedly loves Bobby, but Cena is the Champ for a reason - he deserves every second of it. Lashley still doesn't do anything for me, but I don't think they'll have him lose, not even to Cena. So look for a double-dq or a big brawl at the end with King Booker & Mr. Kennedy getting involved. And the match is ruled a no-contest.
The "Tossing Salt Fan Nation" continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Currently, over at my MySpace profile, there are now 829 proud "Saltines" who can be counted as my "friends", up from just over 400 less than a week ago. Where are all these people coming from? I have no idea! But it's kind of cool that www.myspace.com/salt_palace - the home of "Tossing Salt - Worldwide News" is quickly becoming a phenomena unto itself. So if you're a MySpacer and haven't done so already, add me and my page to your friends list. Be the first on your block to be caught up in the madness. Take me - I'm yours! I want a thousand friends by the end of the month. Can we make it happen? You betcha! Yay!
Have I plugged B.D. Productions yet? They're a hot young tag team here on the NC Indy scene that are well worth keeping an eye on. They've got an energy and enthusiasm way beyond their years and as soon as they get a little more ring-time and experience under their belt, they're going to be a major force to be reckoned with. They'll also be at the MIWA Super Show on the 28th in Laurinburg and from what I was told last night by Mr. Dougles, they have some major surprises in store for everyone coming to this big event. Their names are Brad Branson & Derk Dougles - They are B.D. Productions and they are the future of professional wrestling. Check them out at www.myspace.com/y2d_virus.
Last night at work, over the course of about 6 1/2 hours at my store, I caught two shoplifters, ran off three "bums" in the parking lot who were begging for money, caught a couple trying to "get busy" out behind the store, had a guy fall asleep in the men's room and told a drunk woman who was being a total ass-clown to "shut the hell up!" And when she made a remark about "customer is always right and customer service", I told her "F*** Customer Service". Plus I had over 450 transactions during my shift on the register and did over $1,500 inside sales (total sales excluding gas, money orders and lottery). They kept me hopping and I was wide open from start to finish. Yeah, I had a really good night at the work-hole. I'm probably going to get a write-up for using profanity in front of customers.
Hell, I think I deserve a raise - a big one! It's nights like last one, admittingly one of the most insane nights I've had to endure in a while, that make me seriously think that it's time to make a career change and learn how to say "Welcome to Wal-Mart!" or 'Do you want fries with that?". I'm really getting too old for all of this.
Quotable Quote: "My name is Disco Inferno and I am a superstar. I am a sex symbol. I am a bona fide booty shakin' bad-ass. Let's face it! Disco Inferno is an icon!" - Disco Inferno - WCW Monday Nitro - August 16, 1999
I miss Disco. I know he was considered a mid-carder at best during his WCW days, but the guy had an energy and aura about him that said "look at me!". Or maybe it was just the bad dancing and the always perfect hair? Who knows? But how about a Jim Ross - Disco Inferno Announce team for RAW? Or just use Disco as a manager for some of the younger talents who aren't much for talking (Lashley, Chris Masters, Kenny Dykstra, Mark Henry, Khali). He can do serious - he can do comedy - he's a great talent with a good track record for attracting attention and putting butts in the seat - and besides, I want to see Disco Inferno & Shane McMahon have a "dance-off" at Wrestlemania 23. Now that would be entertainment!
Anything else? Oh yeah - how about the "Who Am I"?
Last time out, the "W.A.I?" was "I was the first WWE Manager for Bradshaw and Faarooq, who went on to fame and fortune as the Acolytes and the "APA". But in the beginning of their WWE run as a tag team, they were known as "Hell's Henchmen" and I was the man who accompanied them to ringside and acted as their spokesperson. I later went on to more notoriety in my role as part of "The Network" in ECW. Who Am I?"
And of course, the answer was Don Callis, better known as "The Jackyl" or "Cyrus".
Correctly answering were: "The Idaho Stud" Sabu Steve Dolgosh, Fran Delehanty, "Bama Boy" Chad Burttram & Brett David. Great job, my friends! Very well done!
And now for the newbie.
Nah, on second thought, I don't feel like doing a new "Who Am I?". Instead, I'll ask a question that I want every single reader of this column to answer. Who do you think will be the main WWE Superstar or Superstars to step up and fill the main-event void left by the injuries to Edge and the death of Chris Benoit? In other words, who do you think will benefit the most and finally get that big push and move from jobber or mid-card status into the WWE main events? Or who would you like to see get that big push?
I know who I'd like to see - two people actually who I think could step up if given the opportunity and become legit full time main eventers. "Who", you ask? I'll tell you next time around. I'll also rank the top ten guys that you think deserve the big push and moments and what I think they're chances are. So who should get the top spots now in the WWE? Inquiring minds want to know.
And I'm going to close this here for now. I'm tired of writing and I need a nap. Send comments and questions to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Come visit me at MySpace at www.myspace.com/salt_palace. Add me too. You know you want to.
I'm out of here for now. I'm Doug and you're not! Dat is all de' people need to know! Later gators! Bye!