Tuesday, September 18, 2018

You Can't Gatekeep a Journalist, or CMLL Ain't an Indie

Puma King made waves for two different reasons, the latter that wasn't his fault
Photo Credit: MT
Puma King made some waves this weekend at the Battle of Los Angeles. The former star of Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (he very recently became a freelancer working a few dates in AAA) made his second big excursion north of the Rio Grande this year for the huge tournament. His first trip up to the States was well-received; he took on Ophidian and Jonathan Gresham for Chikara and Beyond Wrestling respectively at a doubleheader at the Wrestle Factory. He was impressive then against both opponents, so it's easy to see how he'd wow the crowd at the Globe Theater in a far more high-stakes environment. Obviously, many people in the crowd were not familiar with the luchador. Even if CMLL is one of the most well-known lucha promotions in Mexico, Puma King isn't, say, Rush, Barbaro Cavernario, Dragon Lee, or obviously LA Park. Many people got their first doses of him, and they might have had questions as to where they could see him.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for September 17, 2018

HE'S BACK, BAYBAY
Photo Credit: Jon SooWoo/UPI
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: Not Ranked) - After the Eagles loss to the Buccaneers yesterday, the team needed some good news, and they got it. Carson Wentz is starting Sunday! Hallelujah! After missing nine months with a shredded knee, he comes back in hopes of leading a repeat. While I fully believe the team would've won the Super Bowl with him at quarterback had he been healthy, it'll be nice to see him be able to try and make the hypothetical become corporeal.

2. Jeff Cobb (Last Poll: Not Ranked) - The big beefy boi won himself the Battle of Los Angeles in perhaps the most interesting and loaded field ever, taking out Shingo Takagi and Bandido in the finals. I wonder if he celebrated by going to Disneyland? I mean, it's right there. IT'S RIGHT THERE, MAN.

3. Kagetsu (Last Poll: 3) - In the driver's seat for the 5Star Grand Prix and on the cusp of world domination? Of COURSE that's the perfect time for the Prime Minister of the Glorious People's Republic of STARDOM to get stabbed in the back. I never trusted Hana Kimura, and neither should have you. Regardless, Kagetsu remains focused on taking down the world order and restoring it with pure Joshi power while making sure the traitorous Kimura hangs for her crimes.

NXT In 60 Seconds

Melanin Monroe's first main event
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Cameraman: Tommaso! Tommaso? What brings you back to Full Sail? Any comment on the Black attack?
#14: marches in commentless

Friday, September 7, 2018

NXT In 60 Seconds

Dream's mind games paid off big in the main event
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Old Man Hero: comes out grumpy but focused
Kona Reeves: is neither of those things This is going to be a beating, old man.
Ohno: It sure is. Cravate! RIGHT HAND!
Kona: wait uh
Ohno: Kneedrop! Rolling elbow!
Referee: Winner!
Ohno: When I came back to NXT, there was so much buzz until, well, there wasn't. I became an afterthought and it used to tear me up trying to figure it out, but now I get it: there's always going to be someone new, someone fresh, and whoever the next guy with buzz is? Hey, I ain't going anywhere.
Full Sailors: Huzzah!
Ohno: I'll be right here, the first to welcome them and to knock them to the back of the line.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 250

FEED. ME. MORE. (cheeseburgers)
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:

Personally, I would go for 1/2 pound burgers when I myself are making them. I like 'em thicc. If my jaw doesn't get tired from chewing them, I don't want them. Of course, that's not entirely true. I will eat any cheeseburger at any time. I am the 24/7 Hardcore Champion of cheeseburger eating. It's just when I'm making them for myself, I go big (and go home too since I am almost always at home).

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for September 4, 2018

Salute all those who work
Photo via The Builders' Association Site
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. The Proletariat (Last Week: Not Ranked) - I meant to post this yesterday, which would have made the top ranking make a little more sense. Labor Day celebrates the working human (no matter how much jingoistic fuckers want to tell you otherwise). That being said, people barely recognize the proletariat on Labor Day anymore. Again, the Right tries to make it yet another holiday to celebrate The Troopz™ like they do with every other non-religious holiday (although coming soon to a Nativity scene near you, American soldiers guarding the manger with AR-15s, at least that's my bet). Yesterday, the plot got even more knocked off its axis when Nike decided to unveil Colin Kaepernick as one of its new spokespeople, setting conservative Twitter aflame, literally, over the blatant DISRESPECT shown to The Troopz™. Not that I want to get into the quagmire of Kaepernick's protest (even though I have a clear stance, one that agrees with him), mainly because it muddles the real message of Labor Day.

That message is that the working people of the world need to be appreciated and celebrated, because that pretty much encapsulates everyone who isn't some trust fund dipshit or robber baron in the one percent. The amount of working class folks who side with the right on issues of labor is embarrassing, and it's not necessarily their fault. They are promised the American dream of getting rich, so any assault on the rich is an assault on their future selves, selves they were sold at ripoff prices for how unrealistic they are. It's brainwashing, and these people end up believing lies so that the insulated rich get to break their unions, steal their wages, and withhold their benefits without so much as a slap on the wrist.

Friday, August 31, 2018

NXT In 60 Seconds

A Last Shot of success before a declaration of War
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Last week on the Leftovers, Bianca beat Deanna and Dunne beat Zack Gibson again

Master Regal, "Earlier Today" Outside His Office: Cathy, I can confirm that tonight I'm starting the Black investigation.

Announce: speculates about the Black investigation
A Man With No Music But With A Crutch's Assistance: comes out
Full Sailors: Johnny Wrestling!  clap clap clapclapclap Johnny Wrestling!  clap clap clapclapclap


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 249

Pictured: A movie I have totally (not) seen
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:

Of course I've seen Jewel of the Nile*, so I'm going to say absolutely yes!

* - I have not seen Jewel of the Nile.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for August 27, 2018

Don't cross this kid, lemme tell ya
Screenshot via El Hijo del Fantasma's Twitter
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. El Hijo del Hijo del Fantasma (Last Week: Not Ranked) - TripleMania was a hoot on social media for several reasons this past weekend, but El Hijo del Fantasma's kid (EHdF is King Cuerno on Lucha Underground for those who don't know) stole the show by giving LA Park the ol' throat-slash and the stink-eye after their match that also included Psycho Clown and Pentagón, Jr. Of course, it was for good reason; Fantasma lost his mask in the match, which is yet another giant throbbing sign pointing towards him signing with WWE. I don't know though, maybe he can bring his son to give death glares to the folks at NXT, or at least Frank the Clown. I bet that kid can fuckin' wreck that dork-ass clown.

2. Kagetsu (Last Week: 5) - After losing to a gaming company in her opening match, the Prime Minister of the Glorious People's Republic of STARDOM bounced back with two big wins in the 5STAR Grand Prix, which is basically the company's answer to the G1 Climax. Kagetsu hopes to balance her duties as STARDOM Ace as well as her missions destabilizing evil capitalist governments around the world, but she'll have a tall order ahead of her as if she wins the 5STAR, she's planning on calling out Melania Trump. NO ONE gets a match with the First Lady, not even the Queen of England.

3. Aaron Nola (Last Week: 2) - Nola continues to be the most valuable player on the Phillies, shutting down the Nationals to end their series on a high note. Of course, the team will need him again in his next start, as they dropped two of three to the Blue Jays and are losing ground to Atlanta in the National League East. Even though the team wasn't supposed to be contending this year, it doesn't make the slide all the easier to accept, but if Nola can be a stopper every fifth day, it'll help things a lot.

Neville Is Free, So I Made A Wishlist

Whom should PAC wrestle upon his return to freedom?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Neville, who walked out on WWE last year in frustration, finally got the release on his contract that he desired. It is long overdue. WWE can enforce its own end of the "independent contractor" agreement whenever it wants, but the contractee is usually held hostage. Wrestlers need to unionize so they can collectively bargain against the grotesque monster that is Vince McMahon and his capital. But rather than write the same thing over and over again, I want to celebrate the fact that yet another talented and well-known wrestler has been released back into the wrestling ecosystem at large. Neville, once known as and probably again to be known as PAC, will be free to work with his choice of promotions, and he will have his pick of the litter. PAC is one of the most influential Western junior heavyweight workers, on the level of Amazing Red and Jody Fleisch among others, in the early indies. He will be a hot commodity.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for August 20, 2018

Still the GOAT
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. Daniel Bryan (Last Week: 9) - It can be hard to keep the faith when nothing matters in WWE, and week-to-week, the stories are sisyphean exercises where no one gets to make any traction. But when you're the American fuckin' Dragon, when you get your chance to make something special with a special opponent, you can overcome the malaise, even if just for one night. Last night at SummerSlam, the entire world was reminded that Daniel Bryan is still the best fucking wrestler in the world, that when he is in there with an opponent with whom he has a longstanding grudge against, he can do magic. The finish to the match indicated that he'll probably stay with WWE, which I'm sure is disappointing to many, myself included. I kinda wanted to see him go up against the luchadors of the world or maybe tear shit up in New Japan or whatever. But if him staying in WWE means a bunch of matches like last night with The Miz, I guess it'll be fine.

2. Aaron Nola (Last Week: Not Ranked) - The Phillies are struggling a bit right now, but thankfully, so are the Braves. Additionally, they can count on Aaron Nola coming in like a goddamn hurricane of fire. He struck out 11 batters in his last start and helped the Phillies salvage a win against the Mets in a series that didn't go so hot for them. Hopefully things turn around, and if they do, Nola, a bona fide MVP candidate, should be the guy leading the charge.

3. Marko Stunt (Last Week: Not Ranked) - How goddamn insane was he Friday night at Lost in New York? Yeah, he slipped a few times, but only dorks care about counting botches. His frenetic energy, big-time command of spots, and his ability to bump like a ping-pong ball made him the unquestioned breakout star of the weekend, even if he didn't get the win against the much larger, much more feral KTB. Stunt is gonna be huge if he sticks around the scene.

Best Coast Bias: Yes, This Is Holy War

Blackheart 2, Rebel Heart 1
Photo Credit: WWE.com
For those who only tune into BCB for the Takeover reviews, I made a format change when I wrote about the house show I went to at the end of last month. I liked it, so I'm going to adopt it full-time going forward with one minor change that you'll see unfold below.

And now, WRESTLING~!

Friday, August 17, 2018

NXT In 60 Seconds

Kairi used rage!  It was super effective!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
in memory of Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart, 1955-2018

Street Profits: come out to a decent pop
the Mighty: come out to scorn and Mighty Jobbers chants 
Profits: Wakanda forever assisted moonsault!  Broken Arrow!
the Mighty: Northern lariat!  Double back suplex! Cutting the ring in half!
Angelo: gets out from under, sends Shane into Nick and makes the tag
Montez: Hard clotheslines!  Penalty Kick!  Sunset flip! 
Shane: gets an O'Connor roll with the tights
Montez: reverses into one of his own
Referee: Winner!
the Mighty: Wot?!  That's only okay when WE do i... not that we would ever, ever do such a thing...
Profits: celebrate in the crowd, as their wont

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 248

Oh god they're doing this again what to do
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:

Time to run down the card, I suppose!

Pre-Show
RAW Tag Team Championships: The B-Team (c) vs. The Revival
HOPE: The Revival wins, ushering in a renaissance in the RAW tag division where they work the Authors of Pain, American Alpha, and any other team they want to throw at them.
THINK: B-Team wins, because The Revival didn't let Road Dogg eat first at Kraft services or some bullshit, god I hate wrestling.

Rusev and Lana vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega
HOPE: For them all to become friends and start beating the shit out of everyone en route to a four-nation alliance of power.
THINK: Almas and Vega get the win, fueling speculation that Rusev is on his way out of the company.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak
HOPE: Gulak wins in a hotly contested match that doesn't get interrupted by a goddamn commercial break for The Network
THINK: Alexander wins in a match that gets four minutes fewer than it should to set up a rematch with Hideo Itami in the coming weeks on 205 Live.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Blog of the Gods: (Kill)Shot Through the Heart

Dragon vs. Killshot was crazy
Screenshot via Lucha Underground YouTube
Another week in the Temple, another wild and crazy show featuring murder. So much murder... it's a good thing they got rid of all the cops who aren't dirty and the only one left is corrupt-ass Joey Ryan. Maybe that's not too good a thing, to be honest. Anyway, this week's show had two title matches, and both involved Killshot. The time has come to get into this week's Lucha Underground.

The Cheese Stands Alone

Last week, Mala Suerte was fed to Matanza Cueto, and Paul London had superficially flimsy reason to offer up his one comrade. He took the pin in the Trios Championship match. But why was he so willing to offer up Saltador? On the surface, London thought Saltador would do a lot better vs. the supercharged former Champion and eternal murder monster, but c'mon, the look he gave while watching Matanza end Saltador's life made him appear like he was enjoying it. If I had to guess, either London has acquired a taste for murder, or the will of the White Rabbit is especially bloodthirsty. Ah well.