Friday, February 12, 2016

The ROH Quagmire, or Don't Sexually Assault Your Coworkers

Delirious' sexual entanglements are no one's business but his own
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Ring of Honor hit the news yesterday for less than savory reasons. The company cut ties with referee Kevin Keenan after he allegedly sexually harassed a female employee. The story would be cut and dried except Keenan released a statement calling the cessation of retention of his services an overreaction because the female employee he assaulted was, according to him, sleeping with ROH head booker Hunter Johnston, better known to the layfolk as Delirious. In the original statement, Keenan named the name of his victim, which is the utmost classiest thing one can do obviously. Thankfully, at least WrestleChat had the good taste to redact the name. Never, ever, EVER reveal the name of a victim of sexual assault unless they themselves come forward.

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Smackdown was all about these two
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Emphatically Not Friends – Chris Jericho and AJ Styles
This show was pretty much all about the Jericho and Styles re-match – their first match was interrupted so they had a tag match and then their original match – and I'm honestly not sure why. By all means, give AJ Styles all the spotlights you want, build Smackdown around him, but their tag match against Curtis Axel and Adam Rose was really just an elaborate dick-measuring contest, which both men came out of looking pretty equally good so...what was the point? Poor Adam Rose just had to keep running into Jericho's offense near the end, and I felt bad for him. Maybe if you would build a story properly you wouldn't have to do the “Oh noes! Epic enemies now have to WORK TOGETHER!” thing AND the “Epic enemies even the score!” thing on the same episode. Spending time on this shit tends to naturally lend these moments the significance that you so desperately want them to have.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Feb. 10

IT's a Daniel Bryan episode of Cheap Heat
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: Bryan’s Song (Feb. 10, 2016)
Run Time: 1:02:28
Guest: None

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. Limekiln Pike

O'Neil, left, got a raw deal, but how would other roster members fare if they'd touched Vince McMahon?
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!

First off, Titus O'Neil's suspension is ludicrous, even taking into account the face value reason given by WWE, that Vince McMahon was tired of "unprofessionalism." How is O'Neil grabbing McMahon on camera worse than running a gay panic angle in 2016 to set up a tag team between two older veterans in Goldust and R-Truth that will go nowhere? Or Miz doing a commercial for an erectile dysfunction drug that gets turned into a prolonged dick joke? Or Roman Reigns referring to Sheamus' genitals as tater tots as the go-home segment for TLC? If McMahon wants to look at WWE as an unprofessional entity, maybe he needs to look at himself and his writers.

Anyway, O'Neil got 90 days, which was reduced to 60 after public outcry. Assuming that punishments are doled out by card position, then I'd say everyone who is on the RAW roster that isn't John Cena, Reigns, Dean Ambrose, a part-timer, or AJ Styles would have also gotten 60-90 days. The guys mentioned would have gotten fined, no suspensions. Any super-new RAW roster member from NXT or a NXT roster member likely would have been fired. If race is added into the mix, because truth be told McMahon's record on race relations isn't exactly good, then maybe if O'Neil were a white dude in his position, he may have gotten 60 days to start and 30 days after the outcry. It's hard to say because it's an unprecedented thing. Either way, it's a shitty look.

Best Coast Bias: Skip to the End

Previously on NXT...the new look of the Vaudevillians wasn't that, but they got off the schnied all the same...Carmella beat Emma to further bolster her bona fides ahead of this week's title match...Regal decreed that Sami Zayn & Samoa Joe would face off for the #1 contendership much to Baron Corbin's disgust...and Finn Bálor put away Apollo Crews with a Coup/Bloody Sunday combo and even didn't get jumped afterwards.

And now that you know the rest of the story (that was denied to you because of an unfortunate bout of food poisoning)...here's NXT.

Agreed, champ.  Agreed.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Here is the thing, if you are going to be a one-note show, that note better be strong, it better be loud, and it better be damn good. Fortunately for NXT, they spun gold about silver in ninety seconds to the point that it pretty much rendered everything else on the show (Baron Corbin pretty much blowing through Johnny Gargano, showcases for the Hype Bros, Elias Samson, and Cameron stumbling through offense before losing to Alexa Bliss) irrelevant.  And unsurprisingly, they did it by showcasing and showing off their pride and joy, the women's division.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: DDT Wrestling Ep. 16

The infamous AJ Styles Miz TV is discussed on this DDT podcast
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: DDT Wrestling
Episode: 16
Run Time: 1:00:24
Guest: none

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 297

Austin talks his reality show this episode
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 297 (Feb. 9, 2016)
Run Time: 1:23:06
Guest: Todd Carroll (14:15)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Want Your Submissions for Danielson Week

Come celebrate Bryan Danielson with us here at The Wrestling Blog!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Bryan Danielson, or Daniel Bryan as he has been commonly known professionally for the last five-plus years, retired last night, and here at The Wrestling Blog, he was, to put it lightly, a big deal. Few wrestlers made as much of a mark on the industry after the year 2000 as the American Dragon, and thus, I want to celebrate the man, the myth, the legend properly, so next week on TWB is Danielson Week. Much like with prior themed-weeks (of which Danielson, along with Nigel McGuinness, had before!), we will celebrate the career of the American Dragon, from his beginnings in Shawn Michaels' school up through last night's tearful retirement ceremony.

On National Pro Wrestling Day and Women

Delmi Exo was on the receiving end of an unacceptable action from Nutrious X on Saturday
Photo Credit/Graphics: ChikaraPro.com
Chikara has long been at the forefront of gender equity in pro wrestling. The promotion has always booked women against men in competitive, gender-neutral fashion, and when it finally unveiled a promotional top Championship, Sara del Rey arguably came out looking the strongest outside of the two finalists in the round robin tournament. For crying out loud, up until yesterday when Estonian Thunder Frog won the 12th Young Lions Cup tournament, the two singles Championships in the promotion were held by women. So Chikara should be the one place where one can go to escape the perils of everyday misogyny in not just pro wrestling, but life, right? Unfortunately, not even one of the three or four best places for women to work in a coed/unisex environment is immune to the kind of bull that pervades pro wrestling.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 296

Austin concludes his interview with Jerry Only this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown: We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show — Unleashed!
Episode: 296 (Feb. 4, 2016)
Run Time: 1:18:23
Guest: Jerry Only, part 2 (15:42)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Daniel Bryan Announced His Retirement on Twitter

It's over
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Yesterday morning, I received a Facebook message from one of Bryan Danielson's, who is employed with WWE under the name Daniel Bryan, close friends, a guy I knew from my years of e-wrestling, that he would be on RAW tonight to retire. I held back on it because I didn't totally believe it in light of all the independent doctors clearing him for active wrestling. I thought that maybe if my source wasn't working me, that Danielson was working him just to get a rise out of him. As fate would come down, Danielson confirmed what I had been told yesterday via Twitter today:

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 288

Jack Evans is on the AOW
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 288 (Feb. 4, 2016)
Run Time: 1:01:50
Guest: Jack Evans (11:29)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

WHOOPS!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Most Condescending Friend – Dolph Ziggler
I came so, so close to liking Dolph Ziggler this week. He was on guest commentary during Kevin Owens' match against Kalisto. Much as I am in despair over Owens being relegated to joining Ziggler in his eternal purgatory after having dynamite interactions with both AJ Styles and Sami Zayn at the Royal Rumble, Ziggler sold the hell out of a feud between the two of them. He talked up Owens as a fierce competitor and expressed frustration over constantly losing to him. He managed to convey that beating Owens would really mean something to him, even though their feud is based on pretty much nothing and would achieve pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things. But Dolph Ziggler cannot help ruining things, and even though he also supported Kalisto and was enthusiastic about his performance, it was in a super condescending tone. He even kept referring to Kalisto as “kid.” Dude. Seriously. However, it was nice to see Kalisto get another win, and the match was a ton of fun. Owens just launching Kalisto directly into Ziggler and then superkicking him was probably my favourite part of this entire week, let alone this episode.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Feb. 3

Lots of Miz talk on Cheap Heat this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: What’s Best for Mizness (Feb. 3, 2016)
Run Time: 1:06:36
Guest: None

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. Bacardi

The ultimate football food
Screen Grab via YouTube
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!

Super Bowl Sunday is MADE for finger foods, so the choices are nearly limitless. In addition to hardcore football fanatics, the game attracts indifferent normies who only watch for the commercials, so the pool for creativity on food choices increases exponentially. However, I'm a simple man with simple tastes, and the ultimate Super Bowl food is the nacho. Whether one gets fancy and has slow-cooked meat and artisanal ingredients or that person just dumps Tostitos, pickled jalapenos, and Cheez Wiz on a plate and microwaves it, the nacho is the perfect hand-delivered food for all football applications, especially the Super Bowl. However, I have a caveat; "neat" nachos are a war crime, and if you serve them, you get a one-way ticket to The Hague, you monster.