Friday, August 18, 2017

NXT In 60 Seconds

Well, obviously
Photo Credit:
Master Regal: Hello, everyone.  It's contract signing time.  First, let us bring out the challenger: Ember Moon!
Ember: looks alternatively concerned and focused
Regal: And now, the champion: Asuka!
Asuka: quarter-heartedly looks non plussed, somewhat bothers to smile a couple times, and Queen Waves a couple more
Ember: You're the most dominant champion in WWE history.  You've even surpassed Goldberg's record, but...
Full Sailors: chant Asuka like Goldberg
Asuka: for real smiles now
Ember: ...but you only had to use shortcuts with me.  All they did was make me harder better faster stronger, and come Saturday night I Daft Punk your ass out, end your streak, and claim the NXT Women's World Championship.  signs
Some Full Sailors: D-Bry Yes! chants
Some Full Sailors: D-Bry No! chants
Asuka: signs, pen drop
Regal: It is official: at our third Takeover: Brooklyn Ember Moon will face Asuka for the NXT Women's World Championship.
Asuka: yells angrily in Japanese repeatedly
Full Sailors: pop, mostly
Asuka: holds the title up in the air, staring Ember down
Ember: stares Asuka down

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 200

If only his dad were in the business, he'd be a failson
It's Twitter Request Line time, everyone! I take to Twitter to get questions about issues in wrestling, past and present, and answer them on here because 140 characters can't restrain me, fool! If you don't know already, follow me @tholzerman, and wait for the call on Wednesday to ask your questions. Hash-tag your questions #TweetBag, and look for the bag to drop Thursday afternoon (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers:

Gabe Sapolsky going to a WWE creative position would be the apex on his career of failing upwards. He is the poster child for capital in America, which is weird to say about an industry bereft of the lucrative rewards in others rife with the kind of cronyism, good-boy-networking, and lack of color. But wrestling is less executed as an art and more as a cult to capitalism, complete with the same people given chance after chance after chance to run the show despite not showing any results. Sapolsky went from a Paul Heyman crony in Extreme Championship Wrestling to a job booking for Ring of Honor. The jump may not have been right away, but the point is, he got his big break because of who he knew, not because he gave a comprehensive five-point plan to Cary Silkin. Anyway, his run in ROH was critically acclaimed to be fair. How much of it was attributed to him and how much to the world-class cadre of wrestlers he had under his belt, like Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, and Nigel McGuinness to name a few, remains to be seen. Personally, that era was before my time.

Learning to Live with Smackdown

Photo Credit:
This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

Going Through the Motions
Natalya is challenging Naomi for the Women's Championship on Sunday, so on this episode Natalya got a win while Naomi was on guest commentary leading to after-match altercations. It's a well-worn pattern, and it was perfectly fine, but I was still a little dissatisfied. For one thing, I really missed Becky Lynch, and I kind of just wanted to watch her wrestle while she had an enjoyable little match with Natalya, so, much as I love Naomi, I resented the constant cuts to her and the focus on her. I know that's a ridiculous quibble when she's the one with a title defense coming up, but still. Also, the expected post-match shenanigans made zero sense.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Your Midweek Links: SummerSlam Is Nigh

"Please don't come back! Please don't come back!"
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The biggest party of the summer is Sunday, but it's Wednesday. You still have days to prepare, but how will you spend your time before Takeover kicks off the festivities? Well, how about reading these links I'm providing to you? You'd like that, wouldn't you? Well, click 'em and read 'em! They're waiting for you to read them.

I wrote about how maybe if you're promoting a show not to oversell the building and cause a situation where fans feel unsafe. [The Wrestling Blog]

The G1 Climax has finished, and Elliot has the wrap-up on the final four shows in all their glory. [The Wrestling Blog]

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Leftism and Wrestling: Make Nazis Afraid Again

No Nazis at wrestling, no Nazis in real life
Art by Jack Kirby, image from Comics Alliance
Even though capitalists and conservatives run and populate the wrestling business, as an artform, it lends itself to leftist ideals. This series hopes to show wrestling fans why they should embrace the left, not just for the sport/art, but also for themselves.

Richard Spencer, the head of the Nazi organization National Policy Institute, attended Donald Trump's inauguration thinking it would be a joyous occasion for a politician he supported, campaigned for, and donated to. However, he didn't count on protesters showing up and making a ruckus for him and everyone there in support of Trump. While the state of American politics has been declining steadily for the last 15 or so years after a period of glasnost between the parties (thanks primarily to White Democrats giving into their conservative leanings under Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton loving incarcerating Black youth like he was a goddamn Republican), no election on record has been as divisive at the 2016 frame between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Until that day, Spencer had been allowed to appear in public without fear of reprisal because a, no one knew who he was, and b, he had to hide the fact that he and the organization he lead, kept their outright Nazi leanings maybe not hidden, but coded well enough that no one really could attack him without a legal weasel-worded reprisal that would put the attacker in the wrong rather than in the right for punching out a fucking Nazi. That all changed when Trump emboldened these Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and other racist White supremacists of various organizations to rise out of the sewers like sludge after a force main break. That all changed when the nameless folk hero who did the following to Spencer decided enough was e-fucking-nough.

The Carnies Are The First Announced Entrants into Scenic City Trios

The Carnies and Cassidy are in the house
Graphics via @SCITournament
Kerry Awful and Nick Iggy comprise The Carnies, the hottest tag team in America today. They've blown up the South, WrestleCircus, and they battled Moustache Mountain at the Battle Club Pro show in New York City this past Friday to rave reviews. It should come as no surprise that they will anchor the first team for Scenic City Trios on November 18 in the Chattanooga, TN area. Joining them to fill the team out will be School of Roc graduate and IWA Mid-South mainstay Tripp Cassidy.


Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
In a move nearly four years in the making, independent/Ring of Honor standout Adam Cole has signed with WWE. Cole was originally to sign along with Sami Callihan back in 2013, but WWE passed on him because it already had a lot of guys "like him" in developmental. Cole went onto become a star in Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, winning the top title in both companies and placed as a top heel across the indie scene.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Don't Oversell the Goddamn Building

Dunne was injured this weekend, but he wasn't the last black eye PROGRESS received
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PROGRESS Wrestling returned to America this past weekend, and while I'd love to be able to write about how everything went off without a hitch, it seems the whole thing was cursed, partially by luck and careless workers and mostly from an overzealous promoter trying to cram as many people into a building as he could have without any regard for quality of experience or even life itself. Pete Dunne was unable to work the show because Darius Carter just had to do his tongue-in-cheek Pedigree spot that every indie worker oh-so-originally does to play to Triple H/Paul Levesque hovering over the scene like Galactus looming over a solar system full of life-bearing planets. One could say "shit happens" and that Carter forgetting to unhook the arms at height all the while performing the move over a fucking title belt was a snafu, but according to anyone who's ever worked with him, the guy has a rep of being unsafe and reckless, in addition to disrespecting women and fans. It was not a problem in the purview of the people putting on the PROGRESS show outside of blocking them from working indie dates, and well, as a WWE United Kingdom talent, the corporate mothership already does that to an extent.

The G1 Climax: Nights 16-19

The man of the month
Photo via Culture Crossfire
We did it, everyone. We made it to the end of the G1 Climax. Over four weeks, there were 91 matches. Maybe you watched them all, maybe you watched some, maybe you watched zero. However it went down for you, I hope you enjoyed yourself. And if you're looking to get some tips on what to watch, hopefully what I have below will help.


NXT In 60 Seconds

This might be your Takeover main event...but first...
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Mauro Ranallo: Tonight, we've got Drew McIntyre and Bobby Roode going face to face--hey, we've only got two shows before TOBKIII, and...

...and Nikki Cross is yelling AOP in the middle of the ring.  throws papers in the air disgustedly

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 199

Who betta?
Photo via
It's Twitter Request Line time, everyone! I take to Twitter to get questions about issues in wrestling, past and present, and answer them on here because 140 characters can't restrain me, fool! If you don't know already, follow me @tholzerman, and wait for the call on Wednesday to ask your questions. Hash-tag your questions #TweetBag, and look for the bag to drop Thursday afternoon (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers:

You guessed it, Frank Stallone. Wait, I'm being informed that Frank Stallone is too bad nowadays to even rehash the old Norm MacDonald Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" bit. So I guess no, no one better than Kanyon. No one.

Learning to Live with Smackdown

A welcome squash
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This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

Canadian Content
JBL reminded us that “they call this Bizarro World!” right off the bat because the Toronto crowd alternatively booed and cheered John Cena. You know, just like literally every other crowd. How about we save the condescending nicknames for when something actually weird goes down, ok?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Money Talks: A Fiduciary Argument Against Harassment (For Fuck's Sake)

This guy wants you to harass people. This guy. For crying out loud.
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Wrestling is an incredible live experience, and the best of shows can leave people breathless in the best of ways possible. However, people still insist on making life hell for other fans based on their demographics. Even the best shows that leave some fans breathless in a good way will leave others alienated, scared, and even predated. The 2017 Scenic City Invitational, which was by all accounts a smashing event, had an incident of a fan creepshotting on Anthony Henry's girlfriend without her knowledge or consent. This act in and of itself was abhorrent and violating of fans' safety. I'm sure Henry's girlfriend just wanted to go to the show to support her beau and not become an unwitting piece of evidence into the existence and active acceptance of rape culture in Western society. The worst thing is that people IN THE BUSINESS, including CWF Mid-Atlantic booker/commentator Brad Stutts liking that original tweet and then brushing it off as if it were a complaint about spilled beverage when called out upon it.

Your Midweek Links: A Chat with The Bad Boy and More

This week's links include an interview with The Bad Boy himself
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Hey, I know what you're thinking. It's Wednesday, and my boss is expecting me to do, ugh, work. Well, you probably should do at least a little work, but if you need help procrastinating, I'm here with links, fresh out of the oven. Check out some of the best in wrestling writing you may have missed from the past week. DO IT!

When Jim Cornette says the business is dying because of the Young Bucks or Joey Ryan or whomever, give him the wanking motion. Nothing one performer can do will ever kill the business. [The Wrestling Blog]

Elliot has your hook-up for the G1 Climax's third quarter. The action is coming to a boiling point, and the wrestlers are performing like it. [The Wrestling Blog]

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The New Chikara Experience

Hatfield is one of the remaining veterans leading a rookie revolution
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone, went down at the Wrestle Factory this past Saturday afternoon. I went with my son, so I didn't take copious notes for a full review, which is fine. Engaging the kids is a far more worthwhile endeavor, to be honest, which coincidentally is something Chikara excels at. A wrestling company with a multitude of characters in brightly colored hoods and fantastical gimmicks should cater to children to be honest, but one would be surprised at how many companies in a similar milieu ignore kids. Honestly, Chikara's always been a company that wanted its fans to bring the offspring along, and C-Rex wasn't any different. Bryce Remsburg actually let my son speak on the microphone while he was emceeing the pre-show, Dasher Hatfield brought in scores of children during his post-match promo in front of the backdrop, and before the main event, young'uns surrounded the ring to pound the mat to celebrate the main event.