Saturday, May 17, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. (Spirit of ') 76

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!

Not so extreme prediction/analysis. Vince Russo would get a job back with WWE before Jim Cornette would. But that statement is neither here nor there.

In regards to the financials themselves, I know losing 30% of his personal worth and the consultation firm saying the McMahon family should either clear house or sell is shocking, but I'm not panicking yet. Mainly, I don't know what these numbers mean, and odds are I bet a whole bunch of armchair analysts don't know for sure either. However, I will start to get concerned if one of two things happen:

1 - The Network jumps sharply in price.


2 - The Network goes away.

Until then, I'm just gonna sit back and watch what happens while the camera's rolling. Life's too short to worry about other people's money.


Whatever Tom Zenk is doing right now is probably of absolutely no interest to anyone who isn't blood-related to him. Hell, I bet people who do care about his well-being don't give a shit what he's doing right now. So I will give this completely falsified, fantastical account of what he's been doing since he retired from pro wrestling. Please do not take this as truth. I'm looking at you, Darren Rovell.

"When Tom Zenk left the public eye, he looked for a new challenge. Sports bored him. He had hunted everything except the most dangerous game, which for the record is feral velociraptor. The Z-Man has several human pelts in a secret room in his compound in Haakon County, South Dakota. He decided in 2007 that he would do something no other man has ever done and survived. He would venture to North Sentinel Island. When he arrived there, the natives tried to lance spears through his still rippling musculature, but he deftly avoided each one. The natives begrudgingly gave Zenk their respect. His last known contact with the outside world was in 2009, when he sent a telegram to Kevin Sullivan detailing how he was going to teach these [racial slur redacted] how to fight in a plan to conquer some more land. The words were incoherent, as he'd spent so much time immersed among the natives that he seemed to have forgotten English. However, satellite imagery from as recent as 2012 showed Zenk waving his penis in the air, as if he knew he was being watched..."

Where does someone go after this trainwreck of a feud with Cena though? That question is forefront. He can't go forward without turning face and feuding with The Authority (which all told isn't a bad idea). He can't go down the card unless he's just eating souls until he's ready for a better story against Cena (or Bryan? PUNK?). I almost think he should be the one to win the WWE World Heavyweight (or Interim) Championship if Bryan isn't ready to come back in short order. But because things like card position don't bother me as much, I would let Wyatt target Antonio Cesaro as a means for the latter to turn good. WWE is so goddamn dumb sometimes, y'know?

He's been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit just by you asking this question, so the outlook doesn't appear to be all that good.

You're most certainly not, and that feeling is perfectly normal. It's just a sign that you have a mind of your own. I'm not saying people who DO like Bryan are part of some insidious hivemind, because said hivemind does not exist (remember kids, the only thing the IWC is is a wrestling promotion in Pittsburgh, and it's running a show tonight!). But I know peer pressure doesn't cease to exist in high school, and if you don't like a certain personality, people can ostracize you from conversation. Even though I disagree with your distaste for Bryan, I encourage you to let that flag fly. Wrestling fandom would be boring if everyone liked the exact same goddamn thing.

I wonder what Jigsaw and The Shard have to say about that purchase, to be honest. Wrestling Is Fun! has already imported the Tag World Grand Prix from its mother promotion, so what if the belts are the next hand-me-down. Or what if Chikara and WIF! are becoming part of one greater, shared continuity? IT'S ALL CONNECTED! I N F O G R A P S

He has a title reign in him, I think. If he gets called up now, it won't be because he has nothing left to do, but because WWE needs a babyface in the wake of Daniel Bryan's injury. In short, he should totally beat Adrian Neville for the title and have a three-four month reign defending the title against EVERYONE. All the fans would win in that scenario.

Nothing is wrong with trading offense, but sometimes, booking such a lopsided match only to have the rookie/victim win with a flash pin is good storytelling. The question is whether that booking is doing Paige any favors? Or for that matter, is repeating the template of the match where she won the title in the first place smart? I'm afraid that WWE just is never going to be interested in crafting any kind of main event story for women, and that their ceiling in the company will be following the tired old template of how the Intercontinental and United States Championships are normally booked.

Batista d. Kofi Kingston
Dolph Ziggler d. Bray Wyatt (by DQ)
Randy Orton d. Rey Mysterio
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins is a triple DQ via storyline deus ex machina
Antonio Cesaro d. Triple H (via shenanigans from The Shield)
John Cena d. Damien Sandow
Rob van Dam d. Jack Swagger
Kane d. R-Truth

Batista d. Ziggler
Orton gets a bye
Cesaro d. Cena (thanks to interference from the Wyatts)
van Dam d. Kane

Batista vs. Orton turns into a massive clusterfuck when both argue who should lay down for whom. The Shield and Triple H all get involved, and it turns into a massive brawl. The match gets restarted with everyone virtually dead, and Orton crawls over to get the pin on Batista.
Cesaro d. van Dam

Payback! Randy Orton defeats Cesaro in an epic match where Cesaro looks like he has it won on several different occasions. Paul Heyman tries to get involved, but it backfires, leading to Orton hitting a RKO and winning the Interim Championship. Afterwards, Cesaro fires Heyman, causing Zeb Colter to come out to gloat. Cesaro chases him off too and proclaims he can represent himself.

Why go with just one?

NES: Hard to choose between The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3. Flip a coin and go with SMB3, if just because I may have created a religion based on it last night.

SNES: Another hard choice. Four games could conceivably take this mantel, but if I were hard pressed, I'd have to with what I have deemed the best game of all-time for any system, right? The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past it is.

GAME BOY: Pokemon Gold and Silver in a lay-up.

N64: Hard to choose for this system too, since it has so many iconic games. Pound for pound, the N64 may have been the best system the company has ever produced. Anyway, I'm gonna go with Super Mario 64 here because it perfectly captured the Mario spirit in 3D, had a BUNCH of stuff to do, and was fun as hell.

GAME BOY ADVANCE: Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire by default, since that (and Leaf Green) was the only game I really played for it.

GAMECUBE: This one is another really difficult choice. Do I go with the multiplayer bliss of Super Smash Bros. Melee? Is my favorite first-person shooter, Metroid Prime the choice here? After some thought, I think I have to go with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. The sailing didn't really bother me at all, especially since the positives were off the charts. It's a visually beautiful game with a killer score and perhaps the best combination of graphics and "stuff" to do of any of the 3D Zelda games.

NINTENDO DS: Pokemon Black and White gets the nod here. The Zelda games were kinda recursive fetch quests. Fun, but not nearly on the level of what they could have been. New Super Mario Bros. was a really fun callback to the 2D Mario games, but I'm a mark for Pokemon. Plus, Generation V had the absolute best story attached to any Pokemon game.

WII: Super Smash Bros. Brawl, although it gets stiff competition from Super Mario Galaxy.

3DS: Pokemon dominated the handheld systems until now. I have to give the nod to The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds slightly over Pokemon X and Y. Generation VI so far is my favorite iteration of Pokemon because of the stunning visuals and the improvements in gameplay, but Nintendo gave the world a spiritual sequel to the best game ever while making it completely feel new and different.

I haven't played the WiiU yet, so pass on that.

If Bryan and Punk could headline WrestleMania and hold the WWE Championship for 434 days respectively, then the sky has to be the limit for Prince Devitt, right? I won't predict a Mania headline spot for him just yet, but I think he can at least get into the midcard quite easily and have some memorable feuds and matches. He can make some money in WWE.

KENTA's the tricky one to predict, however, because WWE has never produced a Japanese-born superstar with any success. The closest it came was Yokozuna, and he was a Samoan pretending to be Japanese. For whatever reason, the company seems to be afraid of putting any kind of push behind one for reasons of language. I think that mindset tends to be asinine, since wrestling is a universal language. TAKA Michinoku and Great Sasuke were a memorable part of one of the three best WWE pay-per-view events ever just by running game and doing nothing else. But no, KAIENTAI had to be given gross stereotypes that didn't play with the audience as much as WWE had planned.

Still, since a lot of things are changing within the company, maybe KENTA has some hope to succeed where Michinoku, Sho Funaki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Tajiri (although he had mild success, to be fair), Ultimo Dragon, and most recently, Yoshi Tatsu were failed. If he gets to go out and ball in the ring, maybe the office will see that CHOPPY CHOPPY PEE PEE isn't the route to go for Asian superstars.

"Underrated" is such a loaded term. Who is underrating him? He's well-loved in Twitter circles where I run. And honestly, he wasn't lighting the world on fire OUTSIDE of 3MB. Maybe his entire lot in life on a WWE roster is to be in a super-entertaining comedy jobber gimmick and make everyone else look good. I wouldn't mind seeing him get a bigger push, because I'm not sure you know what you have with a guy until you give him a legit shot. But he could have suffered a far worse fate than being in 3MB, which again, I find to be awesomely enthralling for what it is.

We're all gonna die.

In all seriousness, I am stoked for Knuckles. She has been by far the best part of both secret shows I've been to this year. I don't know whether she showed this much charisma in her IWA Mid-South deathmatch days or not, but right now, she could carry any promotion at the top. The extra-added positive is that she and LuFisto ought to have one of the most brutally entertaining matches of the year at Uncensored Rumble.

I can't be sure until I know how injured he still is/how much recovery time he needs before getting back into a wrestling ring. But assuming he won't be back for a couple of months, I would go with the Interim Championship tournament I booked above. If wrestling can learn one thing from UFC, it's that titles don't need to be stripped due to injury, and that ready-made matches can be silver linings to be viewed in dark clouds.

I am a bad person, because I have not read a book from cover to cover in years. But I would recommend David Shoemaker's book if just because the parts of it that I have read so far are entertaining and somewhat informative (I know people who dispute the things that Shoemaker has written, but I can't agree or disagree without doing my own research). I do not know any books written about the indies, however. Again, I am a bad, illiterate person.

Jumping off from the above answer to the previous question, I have never read Of Mice and Men. Hahstag-sad.

Yeah, Breeze is the superstar who feels like he is in limbo right now. Maybe he could win the NXT Championship, or maybe he could get brought up. But man, I'm afraid for him if/when he gets to the main roster. The entire debate on how NXT is failing or not failing WWE misses the point that NXT is booked far better than the parent company for the most part. Breeze in NXT is great because the folks running the show know how to handle such a gimmick. Will he get the same attention on the main roster, or will Vince McMahon be all like "HAHA SELFIES LET's JUST MAKE HIM A DUDE WHO TAKES SELFIES ALL THE TIME AND NO FEUDS OR ANYTHING ELSE TO COME FROM IT."

Nope. I don't understand what's going on with this whole deal, so I am not going to comment. Sorry.

I loved the Gangstas in ECW because every match, they'd roll up to the ring with a shopping cart full of PLUNDAH. The weapons were whimsical and random and awesome, ranging from the stop signs and kendo sticks to the absurd like a Nintendo Entertainment System. But my favorite weapon that they'd pull out, well, that New Jack would pull out, was the model airplane. He'd take the plane, fly it around in the air with his hands like he was a derpy pre-teen, and then smash it on his victim's head. I always popped at that.

Like I said above, while I won't concretely predict him to headline WrestleMania or hold the WWE World Championship, but I certainly can see him doing both those things. Worst case scenario? He gets saddled with a Sheamus' best friend gimmick and doesn't get to wrestle all that much, a la El Torito. Mascarita Dorada was legitimately one of the best wrestlers in the world before getting to WWE. The fact that his first showcase singles match was a few weeks ago against Hornswoggle (which in itself isn't bad but c'mon now on the timing) is disgraceful.

Like was written above, "underrated" and "overrated" are such loaded terms, and I think folks sometimes like to conflate them with "over-" or "underpushed" in a sense. Malenko was #1 in the goddamn PWI 500 one year despite being nothing more than a United States Championship level dude in WCW. And if you wanna know the reason why Malenko never got above that level, it was because he was one step above Lance Storm in personality. No, scratch that, Lance Storm at least was able to show ironic self-deprecation with his "If I can be serious for a moment" shtick. Malenko was fine where he was.

I didn't get to watch as many games as I would have liked, to be honest, but them's be the breaks when you have a two year-old at home who dominates the TV when the games are usually on. However, the games I actually watched were really fun. I'm looking forward to being able to watch the World Cup this year and actually knowing what's going on rather than just seeing what I used to see when I happened to be in the same room when soccer was on. Following the league also gave me a better appreciation for early weekend morning Footy Twitter. All in all, I had a good time.

If you consume him the way WWE wants you to, then sure, he's awful. But if you imagine him like Spinner Dunn from Death to Smoochy, i.e. a guy who has taken too many punches to the head and has the mentality befitting such trauma, then he becomes way more enjoyable. Seriously, a brain-damaged musclehead whose main offense is using his butt? MONEY.

The main conundrum here is that WWE introduced the new WWE Championship belt BEFORE it decided to unify that title with the World Heavyweight Championship. The company spent all that money (which for WWE might not be too big a deal to be honest) and made such a big deal out of the new title that replacing it right away might not be the best option. Then again, the Unified Championship design it introduced in 2002 lasted only a couple of years before it was replaced by the John Cena Spinner Championship. So who knows.