Thursday, June 21, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 240

"And on guitar, Sleazy Kyle!"
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:

It all depends on what style of music you like better. Are you more a fan of hair metal, with the (possibly high on cocaine) guitar player with wide eyes, jamming out like the guitar is an extension of his penis with a fishing pole attached looking to land a hottie in the front row? Or do you like blues-rock, where the guitarist is looking down at his instrument out of habit from his depression (possibly drunk or high on heroin), but smiling because the music is the one thing that makes him happy in his life? If you like the former, Tanahashi's your man. If it's the latter, it's all Sleazy Kyle. Personally, I'm more a blues-rock guy, so O'Reilly is my choice all the way.

The Blog of the Gods: Something About The Cueto Family

Hey, Pentagón Dark beat Matanza Cueto one-on-one, no biggie
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Lucha Underground returned last week for its fourth season with Aztec Warfare IV. Pentagón Dark successfully defended his Lucha Underground Championship successfully in the match, the first ever titleholder to escape it unscathed. New faces came and old ones were written off, and more of the same happened this week. Welcome to the Blog of the Gods, y'all.

Roid Rage, The Wrestler

Killshot and The Mack were thrust with a new partner whom they did not voluntarily choose in Son of Havoc, and the three of them had to coexist this week. Yet, that story thread kinda disappeared in the aether because hey, Famous B went out and bought himself some new clients. While Sammy Guevara is perhaps the hottest prospect, the match was clearly a way to set up the former Jack Swagger, now "Savage" Jake Strong, as a future contender for the supernatural cast of characters in the show's main event. Although he sorta left WWE on a decidedly downward trajectory, his fresh start in a far grimier setting seemed to give him a burst of fresh air. I think it really hit the crescendo when he had Killshot in the ankle lock and The Mack came in and just pimp-slapped him. He flinched momentarily and shot this wild-eyed look at Mack, like he walked in on him giving his girl a bit of the Chocolate Thunder. It was in that moment that I realized what Strong was and how he'd fit in with the motley crew of skeletons and golemesque reapers and deranged possible cannibals and a literal mythical reincarnating bird made flesh. Basically, he was Captain America in the most fucked up sense possible.

The Resurrection of Pierre Carl Ouellet

The hottest wrestler in America right now is the best story in wrestling
Photo Credit: Jay Lee Photography
It's June 20, 2018. The hottest property in all of American wrestling right now is a man in his 50s who was supporting player in the bright color-festooned New Generation era of WWE, one that Vince McMahon probably wants to forget and one that Mike Quackenbush can't get enough of. In an indie scene where sophisticated high flyers and UWFi-inspired grapplers make headway, no one can seem to get enough of the barrel-chested uncle-figure who covers his wild and wide eyes with Aviators on his way to the ring. Pierre Carl Ouellet, or PCO as is the hip shorthand states, has made one of the most improbable resurfacings in independent pro wrestling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NJPW's G1 Climax 28: Announcements and Anticipation

It's G1 time, baybay, so that means Okada's gone eat
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
New Japan Pro Wrestling likes to get us good and ready for the G1 Climax, the annual round-robin tournament that, yes, sounds like a sex act. The tournament starts on July 14th, but like any good pro wrestling promotion would, NJPW made the match announcements about a month in advance, presumably so we can speculate on potential winners until we drive ourselves insane.

The Vanilla Midget Report, Vol. 3, Issue 1

A mega main event
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Well, well, well, what has arrived here on TWB? It's the return of the Vanilla Midget Report! Yes, I've taken to watching 205 Live, well, live, and now, I've got thoughts. Oh have I got thoughts.

A Chikara Reunion!

The first match on this week's episode featured two warring factions renewing hostilities, the Lucha House Party and the unnamed grumps of varying grappling providence. If you counted Penelope, the Drew Gulak-faced pinata, the House Party outnumbered the Jack Gallagher-less foes two-to-one. In addition to being notable for how unintentionally problematic the story has become with the hostile environment towards Mexican and other Latin American immigrants into this country, it was also a match that could have happened in Chikara before. Lince Dorado and Gulak got in the ring, and unsurprisingly, Good Lucha Things™ happened.

RIP Big Van Vader

The best big man in wrestling history has passed away
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Leon White, known best as Big Van Vader, has passed away at the age of 63. According to his son using his Twitter, White died Monday night after a protracted bout with pneumonia. He is survived by his two children and his ex-wife. White was most famous for his main event runs in New Japan Pro Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling, but he wrestled for several notable companies in his career. He is and will forever be known as the prototypical modern hoss, a superheavyweight wrestler whose agility put him in a class with wrestlers a quarter of his size.

Big Cass Has Been Released

I guess they can't teach staying employed...
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In surprising, but not all that surprising news, William Morrissey, better known as Colin "Big Cass" Cassady, has been let go from his WWE contract. According to Dave Meltzer, Vince McMahon called a meeting with the now former superstar before Smackdown last night and fired him in person. The reasons are related to drinking, but one couldn't be blamed if they thought more was under the skin. The fact that the press release didn't wish him luck in his future endeavors feels ominous. The only other person WWE has fired that it hasn't given such wishes to recently has been his former tag partner, Enzo Amore, who as all knows was fired for not disclosing that he was under investigation for rape. Still, the decision came just two days after he lost to Daniel Bryan in the early going of Money in the Bank.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

NXT Vs. The Main Roster

NXT is Levesque's baby, and it shows compared to the main roster
Photo Credit: WWE.com
WWE owns the NXT brand. NXT is a WWE promotion, and is a pipeline for future main roster talents. Other than that connection, one would be pretty hard-pressed to think that the two were related in any way whatsoever. I wouldn't say NXT is objectively better than main roster WWE at this point. I mean, I find it objectively more enjoyable, but one has to admit that NXT's sight's don't skew universally, and maybe people find what the main roster shows are doing to be more entertaining. However, the MOs are not the same at all, and to claim as such would make me wonder what drugs the claimant was ingesting.

WWE NXT UK Is Coming

Couture got hurt working a sham deal that will now be used as the fruition of WWE's English expansionism
Screen Grab from YouTube via ProWrestling.com
Toni Storm, Killer Kelly, and Isla Dawn competed in a three-way match to figure out who Shayna Baszler's challenger at the United Kingdom Tournament tapings would be yesterday. It was supposed to be a four-way match featuring Jinny Couture, and in fact, it began as such. Couture, who right now is the PROGRESS Women's Champion and perhaps the hottest property in British wrestling of any gender, injured herself badly enough that the match stopped and she needed help to the back. The match was declared a no-contest, and it was restarted later without Couture. While her injury condition hasn't been updated, the fact that she had to be helped to the back didn't really bode well for her chances of earning her keep through wrestling.

No, Fans Aren't Ingrates for Not Reacting How Vince McMahon Wants Them To

Fans don't like the Big Dog? They aren't ingrates.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
When fans go to a wrestling show, they are invited to react. Hell, they are expected to react. The people in the live audience are an instant focus group, unprecedented in nearly any other medium of scripted entertainment nowadays. Obviously, when the creative team or the booker or whoever is in charge presents someone in a certain way, they expect the fans to react to them accordingly. Sometimes, those reactions don't match up with the presentation. The most widespread example is when a wrestler, heel or babyface, gets absolutely no reaction whatsoever, the most telling sign that the people pulling the strings have fucked up in their calculations.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for June 18, 2018

Thanks to Strowman, Kevin Owens is now on the fast track to becoming oil for future Earthlings.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
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. Braun Strowman (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Him winning the men's briefcase was unexpected since, c'mon, he doesn't need. But who needs anything? It's all about who takes stuff, right? Wrestling is a great escape from the ghastly slog that is real life because morality is different. Whereas decent people practice restraint and compassion, they're not in the wrong by demanding blood and gore from their heroes battling against rank villainy. Either way, I still can't believe Strowman threw Kevin Owens so hard that he landed about 50 meters embedded in Earth's mantle. That's wild.

2. Calamari (Last Week: Not Ranked) OFFICIAL HOLZERMAN HUNGERS SPONSORED ENTRY - If you've had this wonderful cephalopod, it's probably been battered, fried, and paired with some kind of red sauce. But did you know it's really fuckin' good grilled, broiled, braised, or cooked in any manner? I had it with clams, shrimp, and scallops in a pasta dish Friday and it might have been the best meal I had all year. GO out of your way to eat calamari in all shapes and sizes. Unless you're a vegan, in which case I respect your life choices, even though I don't necessarily agree to take part in that lifestyle.

3. Nikki Cross (Last Week: 7) - Was Cross' goal to win the NXT World Championship, or was it to make a noted MMA badass in Shayna Baszler poop her pants in fear? If it was the latter, she succeeded, oh my, did she succeed. Seriously, the evil grin she flashed right before passing out to the Kirafuda Clutch did more to get herself over as a psychopath than anything the main roster has done for Dean Ambrose since The Shield broke up. Granted, Ambrose has been an incredibly entertaining brand of silly crossed with crazy, but WWE just doesn't know how to brand its wrestlers best, does it.

Money In The Bank Safeword: Recursion

Sure, it was done well, but was it the right call?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
A week before WrestleMania 34, Alexa Bliss was RAW Women's Champion and Nia Jax was mad at her. A mere 77 days later, and Bliss is the RAW Women's Champion once more, and Jax is once again mad at her. WWE has not remained in stasis since then, which is what makes this situation worse than when it started, in all honesty. At Mania, Jax scored an inspirational victory over the verbally abusive former friend and looked to set off on a new path after besting Bliss in the rematch. While her forecasted direction in the wake of her challenge of Ronda Rousey most likely left her with a narrative away from the title, at least she had moved on, right?

Best Coast Bias: Everything Is Hate

A man still on a mission
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Results, stray thoughts and takeaways from the latest Takeover just as soon as I finally get to yell "YOUR NAME IS TOBY!" at a White man...

Results:
  • Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong retained the NXT World Tag Team Championships over Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan after a Total Elimination variant.
  • Ricochet beat Velveteen Dream after a 630 splash.
  • Shayna Baszler retained the NXT Women's World Championship over Nikki Cross after rendering her unconscious with the Kurifida Clutch.
  • Aleister Black retained the NXT World Championship over Lars Sullivan after a pair of Black Masses.
  • Tommaso Ciampa beat Johnny Gargano in a street fight.

Friday, June 15, 2018

NXT In 60 Seconds

Even the go-home shows are better in Florida
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Full Sailors: throwing up devil horns War!  War!  War!  War!

War Raiders: splut splat gorsh Fallout
Referee: Winners!
Raiders: They call themselves the Mighty?  We'll show them mighty.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 239

𝅘𝅥𝅱 I like knives but I'm not a knife pervert 𝅘𝅥𝅱
Photo Credit: Sabatier
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:

Honestly, why screw with a classic? A nice, sharp, kitchen knife that cuts through produce the way it should is anyone's best friend. You get that nice chop on the vegetables and whatnot, and it makes you feel like you've done something before you've even started cooking. Have you ever tried to get together a good mis en place? It's a pain in the tuchas. Getting everything chopped and prepared for cooking is a feat in and of itself, and nothing makes you feel like a kitchen knight more than the cutting apparatus. Using any automatic means saves time and effort, but it doesn't give you the same satisfaction.