Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Best Coast Bias: I Hate People When They're Not Polite

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Results, stray throughs, and takeaways from the Windy City iteration of Takeover a la TH just as soon as I live up to my nickname...

  • Roderick Strong fended off outside interference to beat Eric Young after a suplex backbreaker.
  • Pete Dunne pinned Tyler Bate after the Bitter End to claim the WWE's UK Championship.
  • Asuka successfully defended her NXT Women's World Championship by pinning both Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot at the same time.
  • Bobby Roode used a pair of Glorious DDTs, the second one rolling from the first, to beat Hideo Itami and retain the NXT World Championship.
  • the Authors of Pain successfully defended the NXT World Tag Team Championships against #DIY in a ladder match.

The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming (To Queens)

Bate (left) and Dunne will be among the PROGRESS contingent coming in August
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The United Kingdom has become a hotbed for professional wrestling, and PROGRESS Wrestling is one of the scene's leaders. The promotion ran both a solo card and a co-promoted show with the WWN Live network during WrestleMania weekend, and it appears the staff and wrestlers liked America so much that they're coming back. One week before Takeover: Brooklyn III, PROGRESS will be descending upon the Elmcor Centre in Queens at 8 PM local time. The August 12 date will be the second half of a doubleheader with EVOLVE.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Becky With the Wild Hair

If someone asks if you're a god...
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Becky Lynch made some waves last night with her hairdo. She wore it with the top up in a bouffant and the sides tightly braided. I had some laughs at it last night (seriously, those who've seen the original Ghostbusters will get some MAJOR Gozer vibes), but in all honesty, Lynch's look was cool. In fact, others in Twitter pointed out that it was an homage to Bull Nakano and her fearsome updo.

On Jinder Mahal, Randy Orton, and WWE's Fiat Narratives

Pictured: A wrestler who deserves to be a talking point, and Jinder Mahal
Photo Credit: WWE.com
For those who watched Backlash last night, you know Jinder Mahal is the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. For those who didn't, well, Jinder Mahal defeated Randy Orton to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The guy who not 60 days ago was used as lubrication to facilitate the company's latest celebrity guest appearance is now the highest decorated full-time wrestler the land. The decision may have been questionable for those looking ahead when he won the six pack challenge for number one contendership (myself included), but strangely enough, the decision last night felt right. Could it have been the fact that it was a complete left turn? Or maybe that Mahal is a Person of Color Champion in a company that frankly has an embarrassing track record with non-White wrestlers? Or is the answer that finally, another dull Orton title reign is over?

The NJPW Invasion Is On Tap

Hiromu Takahashi will be one of the many stars in NJPW's landfall on American soil
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
New Japan Pro Wrestling, as I noted earlier in the week, is the second biggest wrestling promotion in the world and the only realistic shot to compete with WWE unless Sinclair Broadcasting Group really ramps up spending and promotion of Ring of Honor. As its American G1 Climax special nears closer and closer, plans for a full-fledged base of operations in the United States are becoming more of a reality. Takaaki Kidani, New Japan's chairman, announced in a press conference that he's looking for a stateside subsidiary by 2018. One could argue ROH is already NJPW's American subsidiary, but I'm sure both Sinclair and Bushiroad would have things to say about that train of thought.

Friday, May 19, 2017

NXT In 60 Seconds

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Drew McIntyre: AYE!
Full Sailors: AYE!
Sean Maluta: Hey, maybe I can
Maluta: But I gave you a mouse under your eye and bloodied you up a bit, certainly that warrants a bit of
DMC: headbutt, Claymore
Referee: Winner!
DMC: If Wesley Blake wants to rumble, he'll get my full undivided attention next week if he's man enough to get in the ring and fight, 

Eric Young: Roddy, let me get this straight: you're a newfound dad with a fiancee and you want to fight us?  And WE get called crazy.  Usually we don't grant requests...but see you tomorrow night, pal.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. MURDER

Tell me you wouldn't be lit for Ceddy (right) vs. Cena
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:

Basically, it's me replying to shitposting from Twitter with shitposting on Blogger. Quite a fine system of content generation if I do say so myself!

Your Periodic Reminder that Hulk Hogan Sucks

Hogan ruined this. Hogan ruins everything.
Screengrab via Keeping Kayfabe on YouTube
The New Generation Project Podcast just put out their episode covering Starrcade 1997, which brought about World Championship Wrestling's biggest pay-per-view revenue of all time and set the pro wrestling world ablaze with anticipation. Look at the descriptor: "anticipation."

*somewhere, Kevin Nash is agreeing with this verbiage, eating ravioli during a shoot interview and denying he ever sabatoged the career of any of his coworkers*

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Your Midweek Links: People's Champion in Chief? Hustle, Loyalty, Presidency?

Will Thrice in a Lifetime be for... THE PRESIDENCY?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Welcome to the links list for this week, where I give you the best writing on wrestling and other things from the last seven days for you to savor. SAVOR. This week's slate is chock full of goodies, so without further ado...

Hey, Rip Rogers opened his big dumb mouth again, this time yammering about how indie matches all have the same formula. I wrote a rebuttal. [The Wrestling Blog]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Io Shirai Joins Kairi Hojo in WWE, and a Note on Women's Division Depth

Shirai is comin' to WWE, but will her talents be utilized?
Photo via Pro Wrestling Wikia
Io Shirai, one of STARDOM Wrestling's three aces, has officially put pen to paper and signed with WWE. The move comes with little surprise as she has been linked to the company and has had a tryout or two in the past. She's not the first native STARDOM joshi to make the jump. Kairi Hojo signed a couple of months ago. Shirai, Hojo, and Mayu Iwatani comprised the nucleus of STARDOM's main event scene, and now all three are leaving the promotion in 2017. Iwatani is set to retire at some point this year. Of course, this exodus might not have stung as bad had Act Yasukawa been healthy enough to assume the mantel as the company's next ace, but Yoshiko robbed the joshi world of that reality. Shirai is also the second of the legendary Triple Tails trio to sign with WWE, Kana/Asuka being the first (the other member is Shirai's sister, the retired Mio).

The Darkest Timeline: Braun Strowman to Miss Half a Year

Strowman's down to injury. Fuck.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
WWE RAW got the most devastating news possible yesterday. Braun Strowman, the MVP of the show and possibly the entire WWE up to this point in 2017, will miss up to six months according to WWE dot com. The news report heavily kayfabes the news, blaming the attack perpetrated by Roman Reigns on last week's episode, but rumblings of injury have been coming for awhile now. However, instead of being back by SummerSlam, Strowman looks to be on the shelf until Survivor Series at the most optimistic.

Monday, May 15, 2017

All (Bushi)Roads Lead to America

The prize to be crowned in Long Beach
Photo via @njpw_global
New Japan Pro Wrestling is the number two wrestling promotion in the world. I'm not sure anyone can argue otherwise. Granted, its footprint in America is a lot smaller than WWE's, the world number one by far, is in its own home country of Japan, but it has enough of a foothold that people know what it is. Obviously, that's the first step towards building a bigger audience. The company already announced that it was going to hold part of its annual G1 Climax Tournament in the states, and now, it will be introducing a new Championship to commemorate this visit and make inroads into the United States. If this story feels like a rerun, it totally is. The company made a visit in 2011, co-branding with Jersey All-Pro Wrestling, and ran a tournament to crowd its first ever IWGP Intercontinental Championship. While at first it seemed like a way to bring the country international, that title has become the company's co-top Championship with the IWGP World Heavyweight title.

Old Man Yells At Cloud

Of course Capt. All Lives Matter thinks Rip Rogers makes good points
Photo Credit: WWE.com
So, Rip Rogers is back on his bullshit again, Lord help everyone. While last month, he was using a dude who dressed up in Nazi paraphernalia on at least one occasion to bash Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Yoshihiko, this time, he laid out what he thought was the standard template for a modern indie wrestling match. It was about as nuanced and understanding as one might expect from a guy whose entire Twitter persona is "GET OFF MY GODDAMN LAWN, YOUTHS."

Hell Freezes Over Ring of Honor

Ring of Honor's newest superstar?
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Chuck Taylor's personal brand of self-effacing is as well-known among indie wrestling fans as his proclivity towards comedic wrestling and his ability to make children cry. A huge part of that tendency to make himself the punchline has been his inability to get booked with Ring of Honor. Well, about that...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 186

P'unk Burger is one of many reasons why Philly is a great burger town
Photo Credit: TH
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:

I try not to fuck with the terms "overrated" and "underrated" anymore either because who knows what the sample audience is and what are the standards. However, I will take this opportunity to stump for my home state of Pennsylvania, because perception seems that it's either cheesesteaks in the eastern part of the state or fries and cole slaw on sandwiches in the west, and the rest is garbage gas station food. This perception could not be further from the truth. For one, the "gas station" food is actually good, at least at Wawa, which started out without gas. Sheetz, well, I have a reputation to uphold, but *whispers* it's actually not that bad, just not nearly as good as Wawa.