Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Royal Rumble Oddity Recap

Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble stats were kept strong *ducks tomatoes*
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re interested in how the methodology I apply to Rumble statistics leads me to certain results, please see the explanatory note at the end.

My deepest apologies, but the 2015 Royal Rumble did indeed end up being almost all about Roman Reigns statistically as well as per the narrative. More on the details to follow, but it must be said after only two matches he’s already on the short list of greatest Rumblers of all time.

Here’s some quick hits on the match itself:

Polishing Turds, Giving Perspective : The Paul Heyman Story

The man and his beast
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Paul Heyman almost talked me into thinking that WrestleMania could still be worth my time if not my money this year when he got together with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar for a sit down interview last night. But before we get to that lets talk about why WWE sucks. I wasn't pissed with the Rumble only because Roman Reigns won. I was pissed because they didn't tell a good story in the ring. They didn't hit the right notes at the right time with the right people. Plus, it doesn't help when your story telling for the most part of the last year has been wayward, tacky and boring.

To get a great wrestling program, you need to imbue your wrestlers with two things, one, a story which features a colorful past, and two, a personality.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Jan. 27

Cheap Heat is RUMBLE TALK this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: Jan. 27, 2015
Run Time: 1:10:11
Guest: None

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 234

Bourne/Sydal makes his return to the Art of Wrestling
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 234 (Jan. 21, 2015)
Run Time: 1:09:25
Guest: Evan Bourne/Matt Sydal (10:02)

Monday, January 26, 2015

WWE's Own Deflate-Gate: 2015 Royal Rumble Review

Not even Rollins' biggest dive was enough to kill The Beast
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In the TH Style, of course. Watch this on the WWE Network if just for the replay of the crazy-go-nuts three-way WWE Title match.

Highlights:
  • The Ascension defeated the New Age Outlaws after hitting Billy Gunn with the Fall of Man.
  • The Usos retained the WWE Tag Team Championships over The Miz and Damien Sandow when Jey Uso hit Miz with a top rope splash.
  • The Bella Twins beat Natalya and Paige after Nikki hit Nattie with a stiff elbow to the dome.
  • In one of the most insane matches and perhaps the best triple-threat in WWE history, Brock Lesnar retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins by countering a curb stomp on the Money in the Bank briefcase into a F5 on Rollins.
  • Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble match by lastly eliminating Rusev after getting help from The Rock to fend off Kane and Big Show, who came back to attack him after he eliminated them.

"ONE IN, ONE OUT!": Chikara A New Start Review

Kingston whupped on Condron the whole match, but he couldn't stop his star from being born
Photo Credit: Brian Schmid
For my 17th Chikara show at the ECW Arena, my 20th in Philadelphia, and 25th overall, the TH style will do. Check back to Smart Mark Video for the DVD or VOD, because you're gonna wanna see this thing.

Highlights:
  • Sidney Bakabella's Wrecking Crew defeated the amalgamated forces of The Throwbacks, Shynron, Jervis Cottonbelly, and Kimber Lee when Blaster McMassive finished off Lee with an avalanche belly-to-belly suplex.
  • N√łkken earned his third point and a shot at the Grand Championship when he defeated Ophidian with a Steiner screwdriver.
  • NRG defeated Colony: XTreme Force in under two minutes when Hype Rockwell hit Arctic Rescue Ant with the swinging uranage backbreaker.
  • UltraMantis Black upended Juan Francisco de Coronado with the Praying Mantis Bomb.
  • The BDK defeated the Colony when Jakob Hammermeier tapped out Worker Ant with a modified version of the sharpshooter.
  • Eddie Kingston was disqualified against Kevin Condron. Condron feigned getting hit with a low blow while referee Jon Barber was distracted, and Barber took Condron's word for it.
  • The new, more EEEEEVILLLL looking team of Frightmare and Hallowicked defeated the Batiri when they hit Kodama with a superkick-crucifix driver combo.
  • IN the main event, Icarus retained the Grand Championship with a belt-shot to Chuck Taylor's head and the Chikara Special.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 188

Austin taking listener calls in this week's Unleashed
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show Unleashed!
Episode: 188 (Jan. 22, 2015)
Run Time: 1:16:53
Guest: Ted Fowler (40:40)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Center Is Moving: Inspire Pro Relentless Review

Dalton getting his title shot the easy way... by talkin' dat shit
Photo Credit: Kelly Kyle
In the TH Style, of course. You are going to want to get this show, so hit up Smart Mark Video on Demand for the VOD.

Highlights
  • Ray Rowe was announced as out for the main event due to a horrific motorcycle accident.
  • Andy Dalton won number one contendership to the Inspire Pro Championship by disqualification when Lance Hoyt intentionally attacked him, costing Jax Dane the match.
  • The Orphans defeated the Hollywood Knives after the newest member Sky de Lacrimosa hit Steve-o Reno with the Backdrop Driver while Bradley Allen Dawson accidentally distracted the ref. After the match, Dawson turned on Reno, claiming Reno was the member of the team holding them back.
  • Mr. B utilized the help of Shane Taylor to defeat Scotty Santiago in a street fight.
  • Barbi Hayden retained the NWA Women's Championship with a stump DDT on Athena. Athena got her foot on the ropes, but the referee did not see it.
  • Franco D'Angelo vs. Ricky Starks ended in a no-contest when the Orphans ran down to jump both competitors. Matthew Palmer made the save and they ran the Orphans off.
  • Scot Summers defended the World Class Championship successfully by tapping out Lance Hoyt with the ankle lock.
  • After the match, Greg Symonds faked out Summers by pretending to announce a sabbatical. He attacked Summers after a handshake, and he, Mr. B, and Taylor wailed on Summers until Santiago ran down to make the save.
  • Jojo Bravo gained a measure of revenge against former partner Jordan Jensen, defeating him with the Samurai Driver.
  • Matthew Palmer won the Inspire Pro Championship from "One Man" Mike Dell with the Centerfold Splash.
  • Right after the match was over, Dalton goaded Palmer into defending his newly won title in an impromptu match. Dalton got the win with the piledriver and left the Marchesa Theater as Inspire Pro Champion.

Royal Rumble Oddity Outlook

More Royal Rumble stats than you can shake a stick at
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In the ever-more-crowded field of people breaking down Royal Rumble matches by the numbers (including WWE, which can never seem to get its own facts straight), you don’t stand out by stating the obvious (Shawn Michaels has the most total eliminations! Roman Reigns eliminated 12 men in one night! Rey Mysterio spent the longest in the ring!), you dig deeper and find the weird stuff. Admittedly, the minutiae presented herein might be interesting to me and me alone. But on the off chance you need a little bit more to get you excited for this Sunday’s big fight, here’s a quick look at what could happen if certain chips fall the right way.

There are only 17 announced wrestlers so far, which is a letdown for people who like to get their data in order ahead of time. While it’s unlikely Triple H will be among them, I’ve included him here a few times just in case. Randy Orton and Sheamus are figured into the mix as well, and though neither is announced, they’re more likely to appear than the big H.

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

This friendship is never coming back
Photo Credit: WWE.com
This week's Smackdown was built almost entirely around the recently returned Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Erick Rowan, and even Daniel Bryan earning spots in the Royal Rumble match. This was actually a really good idea. I never expect much out of the last show before a pay-per-view: a ton of recaps, meaningless matches, and the main players getting their final say is usually what I can look forward to. There were still recaps and backstage bits aplenty, but this time there were also stakes and an ongoing theme to the episode that made for an actual narrative arc. Fantastic. Now, if only I cared even in the slightest about Ryback, Rowan, or Ziggler. I've never connected with any of them or found their stories compelling. I know I'm in the minority on Ziggler, and I do understand in theory why many people are so high on him. I'm not. BUT, with all that being said, I'm all-in on Smackdown being more relevant and important.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Jan. 22

IT'S RUMBLE TAHM
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: Jan. 21, 2015
Run Time: 1:20:00
Guest: None

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 106

Sami Zayn's theme song for your podcast? DO IT
Photo Credit: WWE.com
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!

Assuming you don't want any "real" songs that wrestlers up to the age of ECW used, I have three options. If you wanted to go for an arrogant, "heel" vibe, or if your podcast is financial in nature, you could go with Ted DiBiase's theme song. The ironic American could go with Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme, done by Rick Derringer. Sure, that song might be "cheating," but have you heard it anywhere besides association with Hulk Hogan? But the best theme to use, unless you're really adverse to ska, is Sami Zayn's NXT theme right now:

Best Coast Bias: Pull Yourself Up By The Straps

Your kicks were good, T Breezie.  His were better.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
We will now list in alphabetical order people who have a legitimate beef with this program:

Dillinger, Tye

Sucks to his assmar he happened to be standing in the ring at the show's post-recaps and announcements beginning when Sami Zayn came out -- marched out, really -- and beat on him with both hands before tossing him out of the ring. Besides that? On a scale of one to MC5 this kicked out the jams, matriarch fornicator.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 49

Varon is an opinionated guest for an opinionated host on this week's Ross Report
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: The Ross Report
Episode: 49 (Jan. 21, 2015)
Run Time: 1:55:24
Guest: Lisa Marie Varon (36:35)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Issue 15

Roman Reigns has an important few weeks coming up and HORB TELLS YOU WHY
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Wednesday is here again, and you faithful HORBAPHILES know what that means. HORB FLERBMINBER is back here dishing you the deepest scoops from a reservoir of news and gossip DEEPER than the Marianas Trench. I HAVE NUGGETS SO DEEP they've been lodged in my colon since Thanksgiving 1978. Do you know which two Impact Wrestling superstars are actually members of the Bilderberg Group? I DO, AND I'M NOT TELLING YOU UNLESS YOU READ MY WEEKLY REPORT, NERDS. I even know who's going to be in the main event at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas. HINT, it's no one on the main roster right now, and one of them has a FREAKISHLY LARGE PENIS. This information is only for my INSIDERS.