Friday, May 24, 2019

NXT In 60 Seconds for May 22, 2019

The fuccbois are back in town
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Master Regal: based off of last week's show closing chaos makes a match for the now vacant NXT World Tag Team championships at TOXXV with the Street Profits, Forgotten Sons, Allied Strikers and Undisputed Era in a ladder match

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 260

Is Money in the Bank on the backburner now?
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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:

This question hearkens back to another question you had asked about the briefcase becoming oversaturated, and WWE course-correcting. I feel as if this is another move in course-correcting having Bayley cash in the same night she won and Brock Lesnar take his briefcase with him to his mud hut in somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota. Lesnar, by definition, will cash in on a surprise given that his appearances are surprises anymore. Granted, not all surprises are objectively good, and I've made my thoughts clear on his briefcase win. Still, everyone knows Vince McMahon's ideas rarely line up with too-online jerks like myself. So this is definitely his way of rehabbing it. Still, I'm not sure Money in the Bank was ever bigger than Survivor Series, except those weird years at the beginning of the decade when it was rumored WWE was going to phase the event out and CM Punk made MITB '11, ahem, must see. WWE never offered travel packages for MITB, but recently, Survivor Series has been treated like any of the other Big Four.

20 Years Gone

Miss you, Owen
Photo via Last Word on Pro Wrestling
Twenty years ago today at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, MO, Owen Hart fell to his death at the Over the Edge pay-per-view event. He was to enter the ring from the rafters via a harness in his Blue Blazer gimmick for an Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather. However, the harness was defective, and the backup safety latches were not connected. The circumstances from Hart's death eventually resulted in a large cash settlement awarded to his widow, Martha, whose lingering (and rightful) bitterness at WWE for the loss of her husband has kept his image and likeness from being used in WWE parlance.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Heartbreaking Affidavit from Ashley Massaro's Involvement in the Suit Against WWE

Massaro got a raw deal from WWE, especially when they went to Kuwait
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Ashley Massaro's death was ruled a suicide, a bit of information that isn't exactly surprising given how many people, wrestlers, football players, or otherwise, afflicted with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) befall the same fate. Although it is not surprising, it is devastating to see yet another person cut down far too early due to the effects of brain injuries to which people like Vince McMahon only pay lip service. Of course, Massaro's CTE isn't the only thing McMahon turned a blind eye to. Her sworn affidavit surrounding her involvement in the class action suit against WWE was released on Reddit and Twitter over the last few days, and it paints a harrowing picture if what she says in them is true (hint, I would say it's 99.9999999999999999999999 percent likely to be true).

WWE Owes DDT and Chuck Taylor Royalties

An ugly belt for a promising project?
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At Money in the Bank, WWE announced that Mick Foley would be introducing a new title on RAW. Last night, as many suspected, Foley introduced the 24/7 Championship. The title, as seen above, looks like a cross between a commemorative coin and a '50s diner sign. The title is not a hardcore championship, which both makes sense given the downplay of such wrestling in the company and stinks given that even in a PG, bloodless scenario, garbage wrestling is fun. I may be in the minority, but matches like that Dolph Ziggler/Damien Sandow Broadway Brawl still provide moments of violent levity, a break in the watered down version of indie workrate wrestling that the indies gussied up from All Japan Pro Wrestling anyway.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for May 20, 2019

He's back and ready to go
Photo via Eagles Wire
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. Carson Wentz (Last Poll: 1) - His 2018 season ended in ignominy with a backbreaking loss to the Cowboys, but it turns out that his back literally was broken, although no one really knows when. However, the word dropped that he will have no limitations at organized team activities (which are optional, by the by) this year. Wentz will have a lot of pressure this season since he will have no Big Dick Nick (Foles) security blanket backing him up. Cody Kessler, Nate Sudfeld, and Clayton Thorson don't exactly inspire the fear that Foles did. But I have faith in my quarterback to get the Eagles back where they belong, and that's the Super Bowl, baby.

2. Game of Thrones Viewers (Last Poll: Not Ranked) - It's easy to lose sight of the real heroes from last night, the people who stayed aboard for eight seasons even though the wheels started coming off around, oh, I don't know, season three, episode nine. People will judge them on their complaints, but I mean, look at the last three episodes from this season. Those shitheads David Benioff and DB Weiss packed like two seasons worth of advancement into three episodes. Grey Worm might as well have been put under a spell to go from noble infantry leader to The Co-Inventor of War Crimes! So to all my fellow 73-episode trekkers, I salute you.

3. Orange Cassidy (Last Poll: Not Ranked) - It's hard defending the Independent Wrestling Championship all the time, but especially when noted trickster god Joey Janela dresses up like you and calls himself Tangerine Cassidy to try and sneak the belt off your waist. You have to wake up pretty early in the morning to fool ol' Orange Cassidy, you do.

Brock Lesnar? Really?

I don't need or want to see this again
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I didn't watch all of Money in the Bank. I missed the first hour because I was being a dad, and I missed the main event because that's about when my wife got home to watch the series finale of Game of Thrones that we had on DVR delay because she went to a show during the live airing. What I did see was mostly good for a go-home show for a Saudi Fuck Money pay-per-view. AJ Styles and Seth Rollins finished their Universal Championship match hot as a volcano. Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens surpassed them in the WWE Championship match later on. Before all of that happened though, WWE pulled out one of the most brilliant booking decisions in a quick minute by orchestrating the transition of the Smackdown Women's Championship from Becky Lynch to Charlotte Flair to Bayley. If the snippet of show from 8 PM ET until around 10:20 PM was all that Money in the Bank was, then it would've been one of the better non-Big 4 shows in recent memory.

Double or Nothing Loses a Huge Match

Neville is off Double or Nothing
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Just eight days before the airing of Double or Nothing, All Elite Wrestling's official debut show, the card took a major hit. PAC vs. Adam Page, which was reportedly slotted to be the main event, was scrapped after "creative differences." The news dropped Saturday. PAC is also currently the Dragon Gate Open the Dream Gate Champion, the promotion's top title. Dragon Gate has wished for him not to lose any matches outside the promotion to keep him and the title strong. In order to put various opponents of his over, he has worked time-limit draws, but apparently, AEW brass strongly wanted Page to win the match. PAC will now not appear on the show, although it is assumed that his partnership with AEW is not in jeopardy. The two shot a match with a disqualification finish in England with an angle explaining the match being scrapped.

Friday, May 17, 2019

NXT In 60 Seconds for May 15, 2019

Photo Credit:
Beth Phoenix: replaces Percy Watson at the announce table

Viking Cougar Mellencamp: come out
Full Sailors: WAR! chants
VCM: Over the past few weeks we've raided Monday Night Raw and brutalized the tag division. We're ar from done there but since we're still the champs...well, we'd like Mr. Regal to please join us out here right now.
Master Regal: comes out
Full Sailors: chant for him
VCM: Since there's no one that can take the titles from us, we relinquish the titles. put them on Regal
Full Sailors: D-Bry NO! chants
Master Regal: I must say that I'm surprised. I

RIP Ashley Massaro

RIP to a real one
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Ashley Massaro, former WWE wrestler, Playboy model and Survivor contestant, died yesterday. She was 39 years old. The cause of death has not been released yet, although police do not have a cause of death, they are classifying it as "non-criminal." The Blast reported that a rescue call came from her home in Smithtown, NY at 5:23 AM yesterday morning (May 16). She died at the hospital. She is survived by her daughter, Alexa.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 259

Rhodes' AEW will be in good shape in a year, although decidedly without his wins/losses mattering shtick
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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 was asked this question in a prior TweetBag with no real clarity of thought (and also with a longer timeframe), but now with the announcement of their landing on a prime cable television network with a streaming service to back it, I feel confident that All Elite Wrestling will be in a good spot next year. I feel like they'll surpass Ring of Honor pretty easily, since they have TNT and ROH has whatever godforsaken obscure network they're on now in addition to whatever Sinclair local stations they're on. They won't be close to WWE in terms of total revenue, but I can see them being culturally relevant and talked about as the "second-place" promotion.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

WWE Oddsmakers: Money in the Bank, Men's Match

Is the briefcase McIntyre's to lose?
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Yesterday, I handicapped the women's Money in the Bank match. Today, I will handicap the men's match, which I feel will probably close the show after reports that the McMahon-Levesque-Dunn regime at the top of the company is blaming women's wrestling for its recent downturn in ratings. Sure, it's not the fact that the company has sucked at creating stars in the last who knows how many years or that the scripts regularly get rewritten because an insane septuagenarian has a change of heart. It's the women, sure.

All Elite Wrestling Is Officially on TNT

AEW made it to TNT
All Elite Wrestling, the company backed by Tony Khan's billions and run by the collective of Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks, has found a home on television, and guess where that home is...

Yep, TNT, the home of World Championship Wrestling Monday Nitro for the better part of a decade, will air the fledgling wrestling company's television output. This deal has been rumored for awhile now with conflicting reports on what the financial situation would be. More than a few people reported that AEW would be paying for time on TNT like their wrestling was an infomercial. This practice may seem backwards given how much money networks are tripping over themselves to give WWE, but it's not an uncommon practice historically at least. More than a few promotions in the territory days bought time on local television, the most notable being Memphis/Mid-South. However, they could buy the time locally because local TV was cheap and Memphis was one of the most lucrative, well-attended territories.

Follow-Up: Lars Sullivan Fined, To Undergo Sensitivity Training

Sullivan's been fined
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So last week, I wrote about how Lars Sullivan shouldn't have a job. I bemoaned that WWE wouldn't do anything about it because the people in charge share the same values, only not as vitriolic in a public venue where they can be documented. The only way any action would be made is if someone went to the sponsors, which would then trigger a public relations headache. Sponsor-action has precedent, as Mars Wrigley Confectionery put pressure on them to remove Fabulous Moolah's name from the Women's WrestleMania Battle Royal after people pressured them not to name such a match after an abusive pimp. As it turns out, MWC once again was the player that would put the pressure on WWE to get something done.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

WWE Oddsmakers: Money in the Bank, Women's Match

Will Mandy Rose be standing victorious over Ember Moon and others on Sunday?
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Every year, I handicap the field for Money in the Bank, and this year, I may be more woefully prepared for it than in any other year because I am woefully divorced from the weekly product. However, being wildly uninformed has never stopped me from prognosticating before, and I am shamelessly unafraid of being wrong. Therefore, I will continue the tradition this year for both the men's and women's matches. Today, I will run down the women's match and give each of its competitors odds. How fun!

The Field - 1000/1

This includes anyone who isn't already in the match except for one, whom I will cover later. I don't see WWE coming with an out-of-leftfield choice, not even Shayna Baszler, who really should lose the NXT World Women's Championship at Takeover: Bridgeport. The winner will come from the announced, or from a more prominent position.