Monday, June 17, 2019

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for June 17, 2019

He may be frugal, but never let it be known that Kawhi Leonard doesn't have a sense of humor
Photo via @TheUndefeated
Welcome to a feature I like to call "Best in the World" rankings. They're not traditional power rankings per se, but they're rankings to see who is really the best in the world, a term bandied about like it's bottled water or something else really common. They're rankings decided by me, and don't you dare call them arbitrary lest I smack the taste out of your mouth. Without further ado, here's this week's list:

1. Kawhi Leonard (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Leonard has now led two teams to denying three-peats in the NBA Finals, and if you count his falling out and forcing of a trade from the San Antonio Spurs, he has now ended three legit NBA dynasties. Leonard's legend is enhanced by his legendary frugality, where stories have come out that he drives a minivan with over 200,000 miles on it, among other things. In an era where the modern sports superstar is marked by excess, it's unique and almost charming to see someone making bank and clipping coupons. Of course, the kicker is that while in college, he'd use to talk shit to his teammates during practice while saying things like "Board Man Gets Paid," and well, that turned into a rallying cry that turned into a t-shirt. Either way, congrats to Leonard, the Raptors, and the City of Toronto.

2. Orange Cassidy (Last Week: 1) - Look, I forgot to take him out of the rankings and then thought it appropriate to keep him here for just that reason.

3. Gritty (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Today is International Mascots Day, and while the City of Philadelphia has the Phillie Phanatic, the addition of Gritty has made this town THE mecca for mascots. Add in that Gritty is also a leftist icon, and boom.

Don't Touch the Wrestlers

Bordeaux doesn't deserve your greasy mitts on her
Photo Credit: ImpactWrestling.com
Here at The Wrestling Blog, I've covered extensively Bully Ray stealing away a fan because he booed his girlfriend in an attempt to interrogate him. That being said, it's important to note that situations where fans and wrestlers are involved in physical altercations are rarely the wrestlers' faults. In most cases, a fan gets belligerent or thinks that they are qualified to be part of the action. The world saw it with a fan crossing the line in getting personal with Taya Valkyrie before spitting on her, and now with AAA's Verano de Escandalo last night. Scarlett Bordeaux was touched inappropriately by a fan in the front row after she had just hit a dive.

Your Booking Dollars At Work

Rose's day-job shouldn't cost her bookings (also, that's a sweet shirt)
Photo via @FeliciaRose
Felicia Rose, who rose to prominence as a ribald sign maker as a fan and later as a manager for indie wrestling promotions, revealed she was fired from a promotion because they found out that her day-job involves her doing pornography. She did not reveal which promotion fired her, but that the company fired her after finding her Manyvids account, a site that is not available to people under the age of 18. In another promotion, Northeast Wrestling to be exact, Jon Moxley wrestled CaZXL. If you think these two bits are unrelated on the surface, well, on the surface they are unrelated. But in the grander undercurrent, it shows how fucked up the state of who receives wrestling bookings is.

Friday, June 14, 2019

NXT In 60 Seconds for June 12, 2019

Fine main event. Be a shame if someone...ruined it
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Candice LeRae and Io Shirai: come out to pops
Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir: don't
Shayna Baszler: opts to watch the match from the ramp
Candice: Basement dropkick! Perfect Tribute! 619!
Duke: distracts
Shafir: kicks Candice while she's on the top rope
the Underlings: throw MMA at Candice for a bit and tag in and out
Candice: Owenzuigiri!
Io: 619! Springboard dropkick! stares down Shayna and removes her own hair tie Reality Check!
Duke: fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
Shayna: is so agog on the ramp she forgets to get angry for a few beats
Io: Basement Meteora!
Shayna: comes down to ringside
Io: God's Moonsault suicida! starts fighting with Shayna all over the place
Candice: Tope suicida!
the Underlings: start fighting Candice to varying levels of success
Referee: gives up and throws it out
Fans: Let them fight! Let them fight! Let them fight!

On New Japan and Women

Should the King of Sport also have a Queen? Maybe, but it's not a big deal.
Graphics via NJPW1972.com
Every once in awhile, Wrestling Twitter engages in a heated argument over whether women should wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling. The company does not book women regularly; in fact, the last match it promoted on a main show that featured women was tangential to the Bullet Club vs. Kingdom feud that faced Maria Kanellis (with Mike Bennett and Matt Taven) against Amber O'Neal (with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) in a six-man tag. Both Two-thirds of that match are in WWE right now if you want a reference for how long ago it happened, four years ago thereabouts.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 263

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
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 280 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:

I'm a biased source in that Nintendo is my only outlet for gaming, so it should come as no shock that the best news this week came in the form of not one, but TWO Nintendo Legend of Zelda games in the pipes. A third game, Cadence of Hyrule, is a third-party game with Nintendo licensing to include Zelda characters. I'm still probably getting that one, but it's nowhere near as titanic to me as the Link's Awakening redo or the Breath of the Wild direct sequel that were showcased here. I spent HOURS and tons of battery power playing the original Link's Awakening, but since Nintendo is awful about its archives, I have no way of replaying it. If that news weren't already good, the remake is going to have a Create-a-Dungeon option. Zelda Maker is here, baby! As for the Breath of the Wild sequel, those who know me know that the original game became my favorite game of all-time after playing it, so you know I'm down with the sequel. The initial footage shows Zelda walking around with Link, which feeds into the hunger that a lot of longtime fans of the series have had to actually play as the Princess of Hyrule. Getting to fight as her in the Smash Bros. series is just not enough. My God, I am BEYOND stoked for the future of the Zelda franchise.

Misawa — Ten Years Gone

RIP Misawa, ten years gone
Ten years ago today, the world of puroresu lost Mitsuharu Misawa. He died via internal decapitation, when a routine bump off a back suplex went awry. Some people blame years of taking risky bumps on the back of his neck, which is probably only part of the reason he was lost all those years ago. Stress probably had something to do with it, and the sheer bad luck of a one-in-a-million mistake happening to him at that moment. Regardless, his loss still reverberates today, and his legacy is titanic.

The NXT Name Generator Must Die

How are you gonna give this guy the name "Joaquin Wilde?"
Photo Credit: Mikey Nolan
With little exception, WWE for the last decade or so has wanted to give wrestlers names that the company itself could trademark and make money from long after the wrestler using said name leaves the company. Sure, folks like CM Punk and Io Shirai escaped its wrath and got to keep their pre-WWE names, but by and large, most wrestlers who churn in get some bedevilingly banal or if they're lucky ridiculously memorable for the wrong reasons name. While some names have been suitable like Seth Rollins or Daniel Bryan, few have looked at a WWE-given appellation and thought "Wow, that's an incredible name for a pro wrestler!"

The Funkasaurus Is a Creep

How surprising that this guy here is a creep, couldn't have seen it coming
Photo Credit: WWE.com
George Murdoch, otherwise known as Brodus Clay in WWE or Tyrus in TNA/Impact, is in some hot water over at Fascism Central, err, I mean Fox News. He was mysteriously moved off his Fox Nation show (Fox News' streaming service) Un-PC, which he co-hosted with professional grievance peddler and former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry in April. The move didn't happen coincidentally; as fate would have it, Murdoch was a creep. He sent lewd and aggressively sexual texts to McHenry. Obviously, McHenry didn't want those texts or else this might not have been an issue. In response, did Fox fire Murdoch and give McHenry a settlement as compensation for her mental anguish? lol no, they just moved Murdoch onto another show, NUFFSAID, and kept trotting him out as a guest on other higher profile shows.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A HORB EXCLUSIVE: The Democratic Primary Field By How Well They Sell a Stunner

THE IMPORTANT ISSUES: WHO WOULD TAKE THIS GUY'S FINISH BEST?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
WELL, WELL, WELL guess who's back? Even though HORB FLERBMINBER no longer writes his DIRTSHEET for Holzerman over creative differences, I will continue to provide the BEST and BRIGHTEST exposés for this hellsite. I WON'T LIKE IT THOUGH, at least until the checks cleare and I can buy those spyglasses that allow me to spy on CM Punk. I KNOW HE DID BENGHAZI, I feel it in my gallbladder.

Is This It for John Cena?

Is wrestling close to being post-John Cena?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
When John Cena's WWE wrestling career began, he was a fresh-faced young adult with a square jaw and the kind of look you make fun of Vince McMahon for liking. His career in WWE to date has been tumultuous, but by most reasonable metrics, it can be considered a success. He hasn't officially retired yet, but that moment might come, according to the man himself. He told TMZ Sports that he's been thinking about hanging up the jorts. It's not like he's leaving a lot of wrestling prime on the table. He's 42 years old, which by WWE parlance probably makes him a Saudi Blood Money Up-and-Coming Main Event Guy, but by all other standards, is where he should be winding down. Given until a few years ago, he'd been grinding and grinding on the road, I'd say the toll on his body is commensurate to that of other all-time greats in any sport who hang 'em up around this age.

Dangerous Bumps and How to React to Them

Ibushi, seen here after getting the better of Naito, doesn't need concern trolling
Photo Credit: NJPW1972.com
So if you haven't seen by now, and if you read TWB, you've at least seen a link to it, Kota Ibushi took one of the gnarliest bumps ever off an apron German suplex from Tetsuya Naito at New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion this past weekend. Instead of landing neck/shoulders on the apron, he fell slightly to his right as if he were falling off the apron, but he didn't veer enough to the right, as his head and face smacked the apron on the way down. Apparently it looked worse than it was, as Ibushi told Kevin Kelly that he was fine, but I mean, it could have ended a lot worse. At the very least, it didn't look like it went as it was planned.

AEW's Fyter Fest Show Is Free!

Janela will have his work cut out for him at CEO with Moxley
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
For everyone who had sticker shock on Double or Nothing, I come bearing *extremely Professor Farnsworth from Futurama voice* good news. All Elite Wrestling's second show, Fyter Fest, will stream free of charge as a collaboration with the host event, CEO Gaming. You can watch the show June 29 on the B/R Live app, which is AEW's home base for streaming. This news is welcome, but it's not exactly a surprise. Kenny Omega ran a produce event last year at CEO, the one where he infamously booked noted sex-offender Chasyn Rance because the latter provided the ring. Oops. This year, I'm sure they can use a bona fide AEW ring. It'll be less creaky.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Carnies Are King of Trios-Bound

The Show comes to Chikara
Graphics via ChikaraPro.com
In a move that's been a long time coming, The Carnies have been announced for King of Trios. The team consisting of Nick Iggy, Kerry Awful, and Tripp Cassidy, has been tearing up the Southern indies for the last few years, first as an Iggy/Awful tag team effort, later adding the School of Roc graduate to round out the team. As a tag team, Iggy and Awful took on Trent Seven and Tyler Bate in the summer of 2016. Although this tournament will be their first Trios, they are not strangers to six-man tag tournaments.

Vince Russo's Flimsy WWE/AEW Conspiracy, or I Melted My Brain For You People, You Better Read This

"IT'S ALL A WORK, BRO. ALSO LISTEN TO MY OTHER PODCASTS WHERE I BITCH THAT I PAY MONEY TO LISTEN TO DAVE MELTZER."
So, if you're like me, you're beyond excited for All Elite Wrestling. A wrestling promotion with national cable television distribution and deep pockets backing it with "the boys" in leadership position is exactly the thing needed to counter the national hegemony of WWE. If you're Vince Russo, however, the first place your mind goes to is WWE AND AEW ARE IN BED TOGETHER, BRO. It's the surest sign that you're dealing with a poisoned mind. However, any look at Russo's creative output in Attitude Era WWE, death spiral World Championship Wrestling, or in TNA, well, it's not that hard a leap to make. Russo from beginning has been beating the drum, and he promised a podcast detailing his thoughts. Being the self-loathing sadist who doesn't respect his own time or mental well-being, I had to listen to what Russo and "The Conspiracy Horsemen" (Bin Hamin, Big Sal, Papadon, and Stevie Richards) had to say on the matter. The episode dropped yesterday, and I listened to it so you did not have to.