Saturday, April 19, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 73

Don't expect to see something like this in WWE for a good long while
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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, especially around Friday night after Smackdown, and wait for the call. Anyway, time to go!

This week's first question comes via Twitter DM by fellow Drexel Triangle alumnus and former Y-Not DJ @dhpdesign asks if the Shield/Evolution feud is going to culminate in a WCW-style War Games match at Extreme Rules, and if not them and there, where would such a match happen in the future.

Well, Trips announced a straight-up trios match for Extreme Rules on Smackdown last night, so the War Games match won't happen there. I would be so bold as to say a War Games match will never happen in WWE as long as Vince McMahon is alive. Standard operating procedure in WWE has borne out that the company rarely, if ever, will want to adopt something successful in another competing promotion. The company will steal ideas from indies like Ring of Honor or foreign companies like All Japan, but to take an idea from WCW, the company that Vince McMahon with his giant penis and genius brain put out of business? Yeah, right. McMahon's got way too much unearned pride to even believe that the current world of wrestling was anything but his creation.

The current main feud on WWE programming is not the first time a War Games match has been teased. When WWE bought WCW, fans were hoping that a lot of the stars and match types would come over. War Games was the biggest thing, and its introduction into WWE was teased. Of course, the net result was the birth of the Elimination Chamber.

Now, if/when McMahon dies/becomes non compos mentis and Triple H takes over in full, then I will not only expect to see War Games, but I would be absolutely shocked if it didn't happen within a year of his takeover. But as long as Vince is running the show, nope.

Fat people in general are awesome. Fat folks like myself don't have society-sponsored "good looks" (although really, I know plenty of good lookin' fat people, society is whack), so the best among us have to compensate in areas other than appearance. As it turns out, looks are like the least important thing for critical success in pro wrestling. If no one was going to praise guys like Vader, Samoa Joe, Shinya Hashimoto, or Yokozuna for looks, then they had to be great at what they did in the ring, right? It's an evolutionary mechanism, brother.

One, I would've shelled out the money for Goldberg, Scott Steiner, Ric Flair, Sting, and the nWo guys right from jump. Two, I would have made Flair the leader all along instead of making it yet another chapter in the McMahon Family Dick-Waving Saga. Three, Hulk Hogan would have beaten Steve Austin for the title at InVasion. Four, Booker T is protected to the point where Rock beating him for the WCW Championship at SummerSlam actually meant the first real victory for WWE. Five, Chris Jericho beats Hulk Hogan for the title at No Mercy as the climactic win for WWE. Six, the Survivor Series match for the final win and full integration of WCW into WWE goes on similarly, with Kurt Angle's double agency actually making sense this time. Seven, Chris Jericho still beats Rock and Austin in the same night to unify the titles, except his match with Austin is a preliminary tournament match, and Rock defends the WCW Championship successfully against Hogan.

And above all else, Diamond Dallas Page is NEVER a goddamn stalker.

Xavier Woods is revealed to be an agent of Hydra and takes on Captain America at SummerSlam. BOOM.

Of course WWE can top that match. First, in a RAW segment backstage, Torito and 'Swoggle find strange, red mushrooms with white stems and spots. Then, their announced rematch becomes Heath Slater vs. Mantaur.

I don't think the original group was supposed to be analogous to the riders of the Apocalypse, but I have never been one to back away from a challenge.

PESTILENCE - Ric Flair: The rider of the white horse is also known as Victory, a fabulously cloaked and appointed rider with a brilliant steed on the surface who brings sickness and disease following him. Flair rode into town in his limousine with his fabulous robes and well-coiffed hair, and when he left after beating the local hero, everyone felt sick for days.

WAR - Arn Anderson: The Enforcer brought war wherever he went. Easiest explanation ever.

FAMINE - Tully Blanchard: Blanchard doesn't represent literal famine, but he was all about going to steal your girl. Wherever Blanchard went, a famine of love was sure to follow.

DEATH - Ole Anderson: He was an ornery sumbitch who probably wished everyone was dead, so yeah, it fits.

Depends. Are you talking about Dangerous Alliance Heyman, or current "Paul Heyman Guy" incarnation? Either way, Heenan was always more about quantity, while Heyman quality. However, Heenan always got the most out of his guys. Writing off guys like Hercules and the Twin Towers (NEVER FORGET) would be far easier if Heenan wasn't managing them. And looking at the "Paul Heyman Guys" who weren't blue chippers flounder for a hold tends to give Heenan better marks as a manager. But as a recruiter, Heyman has the edge.

Batista's not as bad a wrestler as you think, nor is his theme song as good as you might suggest, at least in my view. If you want a really bad wrestler with a really awesome theme song? Well, the awesome theme song is this:

However, neither Brodus Clay nor Xavier Woods nor Naomi qualify (although Cameron comes close). Nope, the original wrestler with that theme song holds the honor:

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Ernest "The Cat" Miller was kind of awful, but he had a righteous theme song at least.

First off, even though I don't particularly care for the Red Wings, I love that #OctopiHockeytown hashtag thingy. AWESOME PUN PLAY! I'm a bit bookish, wear glasses, have brown hair, and am somewhat of an introvert. So I'm most analogous to Marcy, aren't I?

WAR GAMES MATCH: Evolution and Kane vs. Chris Jericho, Rob van Dam, Booker T, and Kurt Angle

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Big E Langston (c) vs. Sara del Rey

FIRST BLOOD MATCH: Abdullah the Butcher vs. New Jack

Shane Douglas vs. Jeff Jarrett

The Young Bucks vs. Bad Influence

CM Punk vs. Vince McMahon


I would argue that the 24/7 Championship is already being defended in a major American outfit. You just need to think a little outside the box. While no "major" American promotion hosts the title matches, I would argue few institutions in this country are bigger than Instagram. Chuck Taylor has been promoting the 24/7 title on his Instagram since August, and it's been awesome. He's been a bit slow on new defenses lately, but then again, when I least expect him to drop new heat, he's there with another video. It's been one of the most innovative things in wrestling that I've seen recently.

I don't know for sure, but my guess is that he's working more and more in Mexico. When you get a moderate payday from a company like TNA (and unlike Jesse Neal, who makes more working Wal*Mart than he did in TNA, Hernandez probably got nice coin from the company because of his card position), going to work for indies with smaller checks might not be as appealing if you're in demand elsewhere. Hernandez has history and connections in Mexico, so why not pursue a career there instead of doing the rounds in the US?

Baron Corbin (Pro: Alberto del Rio)
Kalisto (Pros: Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter)
Simon Gotch (Pros: The Bella Twins)
Slate Randall (Pro: Bad News Barrett)
Solomon Crowe (Pro: JTG)
CM Punk (Pro: Triple H)

The winner, of course, would be you, the fans. In all seriousness though, the winner would be Kalisto, because WWE needs a mask to replace Rey Mysterio.

Oh, WWE should definitely stay out of countries like Saudi Arabia and China with awful human rights records. The world would be a better place if people did business in places where human rights were respected at some level, and it would be great if the arts and entertainment industry were able to enact real, positive change in this country, which theoretically is the BEST COUNTRY EVER YEAHHH but still has a lot of awful institutional racism, misogyny, homophobia, and classism. Then again, every country on the planet has some kind of conservative bent and could do better with institutional biases. So the good thing to do would be to stay out of the places where the lower classes' oppression is flaunted.

But realistically, expecting WWE to be a cultural leader feels naive. If the film industry still does business in countries where human rights are violated spectacularly, and even on an individual level, when supposedly "liberal" actors go to bat for scumbags like Roman Polanski or take money from companies that do terrible business, then expecting WWE to follow suit is a fool's task. It doesn't make their patronization of countries where the government explicitly forbids an entire portion of the population from consuming them any better or less disappointing, just less surprising.

Bret Hart did a lot of things better than most wrestlers. He was a reputed perfectionist and someone who took his craft seriously, sometimes too seriously. I laughed and agreed when he called one of the Triple H/Undertaker Mania matches a 4/10, but man, using a ten scale in casual conversation? And the comments about Memphis-style brawling not being "real" wrestling were pretty off-base. But his "Excellence of Execution" wasn't just a gimmicked nickname, it was the truth about his in-ring style.