Thursday, August 25, 2016

He Came To Play, And There's A Price To Pay.

Miz was AWESOME Tuesday
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Webster’s Dictionary defines a “worked shoot” as... okay, no dictionary actually defines that. But we, as sensible wrestling fans, recognize that wrestling isn’t real, right? Or that it’s worked and that professional wrestling is built on storylines crafted by creative types, whether it’s the wrestlers themselves or a staff of writers or a booker? Many bemoan the era of the smark that we currently live in, where fans have unprecedented access to the behind the scenes workings of the wrestling industry, whether it be intentional, through documentaries or interviews provided by wrestlers and the promotions themselves, or just through interacting with wrestlers online and in real life. The ivory tower that divides the fan from wrestler and those in the know has been broken down. It’s no longer necessary to get a subscription to the Wrestling Observer to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on what’s going on in WWE, TNA, or other promotions, and often those sources (and even direct sources like wrestlers and promoters) can be diluted and distorted to suit needs.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Taz Show, Aug. 23

Rollins' alleged recklessness is tackled this week on the Taz show
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: The Taz Show
Episode: 8/23/16
Run Time: 1:52:30
Guest: Mike Johnson

Learning to Live With Smackdown

Are Ziggler and Styles fighting for the affections of Ambrose?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

Suspension of Disbelief
Baron von Corbin has spent the last few weeks relentlessly pursuing poor Kalisto for costing him a match for the Intercontinental Title, but I'm supposed to believe he would calmly engage in locker-room chit chat with Apollo Crews? Nonsense! Way to completely ruin the illusion, Smackdown. Worst wrestling show ever (just kidding, this episode was actually really good).

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Live

Henry invaded the live 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: Cheap Heat Live: Masked Man Rises (Aug. 23, 2016)
Run Time: 1:26:36
Guests: Zach Linder (5:34); Brian Campbell (21:48); David Shoemaker (51:20); Mark Henry (1:01:26)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 314

Cabana's second week from the Fringe is this week's offering
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: 314 (Aug. 17, 2016)
Run Time: 1:05:53
Guest: Kid Fite (6:30); Ari Shaffir (21:20); John Robertson (38:54); Chris Renfrew (50: 37)

Best Coast Bias: Kingdom Come

The Emperor may have a dislocated jaw, long live the King
Photo Credit:WWE.com
Results, stray thoughts and takeaways from NXT's triumphant return to Brooklyn done TH style (because I'm still salty about not getting to rave about Alexander/Ibushi) just as soon as Beaumont Virgo wakes up...

Highlights:
  • Austin Aries made No Way Jose tap out to the Last Chancery; for piling on after the bell, Aries ended up Going To Sleep at the hands knee of Hideo Itami.
  • The debuting Ember Moon beat Billie Kay with a move that will almost certainly no longer be called the O-Face.
  • Bobby Roode made his debut glorious by beating Andrade "Cien" Almas with a hashtag Glorious Bomb.
  • In a great match, the Revival narrowly retained the NXT World Tag Team Championships over Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano as Scott Dawson made Gargano tap out to an inverted figure four leglock.
  • In another great match, Asuka kept her undefeated streak alive alongside the NXT Women's World Championship by pinning Bayley after a buzzsaw kick.
  • In yet another great match (go figure, right?), Shinsuke Nakamura became the ninth man to hold the NXT World Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Samoa Joe after a pair of Kinshashas.

    Saturday, August 20, 2016

    Twitter Request Line, Vol. 166

    Imagine Vader and Bigelow against Rick Steiner and Angle
    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:

    Protected user @bee_tee_ess asks:
    You can pick any four 80s/90s WWF or WCW wrestlers for a tag team match. What the are two pairings?
    On one side of the ring, you have two of the most talented, decorated amateur wrestlers who made the jump to the professional game. On the other, two beastly giants with measurable girth and even more wrestling talent. Am I talking about American Alpha vs. the Authors of Pain in current day NXT? Nope, give me Kurt Angle (who debuted in '99 and thus technically is eligible) and Rick Steiner going up against Big Van Vader and Bam Bam Bigelow. I am getting chills just thinking about how awesome that one might be.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016

    I Listen So You Don't Have To: Tights and Fights, Ep. 2

    The crew discusses the CWC including one Sabre
    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: Tights and Fights
    Episode: 2
    Run Time: 1:01:00
    Guest: none

    Learning to Live with Smackdown

    Poor Heath Slater
    Photo Credit: WWE.com
    First of all, it has come to my notice that RAW this week featured Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens being best friends, and it is unacceptable that this is not taking place on Smackdown. What did I do to merit this heartless taunting, WWE? First you take them away from me and then you repair their broken friendship where I won't see it? Or this is just a feeble attempt to lure me into watching RAW again? Well, it won't work. SMACKDOWN 4 LYFE! I CANNOT BE BOUGHT! *sobs forever*

    In addition to existing apart from the things I most love, this week on Smackdown I am also learning to live with:

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Doubleshot

    Strowman is a guest on the Austin show
    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: 348 (Aug. 4, 2016)
    Run Time: 1:18:03
    Guest: CT Fletcher (10:41)

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 313

    Cabana's run at the Fringe Festival starts this week
    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: 313
    Run Time: 1:01:13
    Guest: John Hastings (5:55); Chris Gethard (17:08); Joe Hendry (31:25); Brendon Burns (46:00)

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Aug. 11

    Shane-O Mac gets interview time 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: A Very “Maj” Cheap Heat (Aug. 11, 2016)
    Run Time: 1:25:33
    Guest: Brian Campbell (4:50); Shane McMahon (44:34)

    Friday, August 12, 2016

    I Listen So You Don't Have To: Masked Man Show Ep. 5

    The Daemon's big push is a source of slight consternation for Masked Man's guest co-host 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: Masked Man Show
    Episode: Five (Aug. 10, 2016)
    Run Time: 1:12:35
    Guest: Aubrey Sitterson (co-host)

    Best Coast Bias: And It's The King By A Nose!

    Not pictured: Joe's nose
    Photo Credit: WWE.com
    It may have lacked the fireworks show that its younger cousin put on the hour after it was over (Side Note: GOD I HATE YOU HOLZERMAN) (Ed. Note: Your father was a hamster, and your mother smelt of elderberries. I fart in your general direction. - TH), but the penultimate episode of NXTV before Brooklyn II: the Hipsterening next Saturday was highly efficient even without throwing out a MOTYC during its hour.

    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    The Vanilla Midget Report, Vol. 1, Issue 5

    A match for the ages
    Photo Credit: WWE.com
    The first round of the Cruiserweight Classic is OVER, and the second round has finally arrived. While the opening salvo from round two had half the matches as a given individual round one episode, it wasn't light on the action. In fact, one might say that it packed more intensity into two matches than the first three episodes did in their four apiece (episode four aired Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa, which right now is leader in my clubhouse for Match of the Year, so of course). In fact, I'd suggest that Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Gran Metalik and Cedric Alexander vs. Kota Ibushi is the best pair of matches ever aired on an hour of television taped on a prior date before airing at Full Sail University. Why don't you and I delve a bit deeper into why that was the case.