Thursday, June 12, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 80

You're gonna remember Ambrose's promo Monday for a long time
Photo Credit:
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 morning. Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers!
Confession time - I haven't seen many of Ambrose's promos as Jon Moxley on the indies. I wasn't really watching Combat Zone Wrestling when he was there, and, well, my history with Gabe Sapolsky's promotions has been spotty to say the least. However, my one friend Thomas AK has said to me repeatedly that Ambrose is the only guy whom he's gone down YouTube rabbit holes just to watch promos. That statement is a hella cool endorsement.

But I'm dodging the question. Knee-jerk reaction, yes, I do think that spot has been Ambrose's best so far in WWE. I will further say that even if Ambrose cuts better promos in the future, his spot Monday will end up being his most memorable, most famous one. He put every one of his strengths together into one package - the fierce oratory, the crazy eyes, grotesque imagery - and he did so to get a positive reaction from the crowd. Imagine if Heath Ledger's Joker were to come out and promo on Batman to the roar of the Gotham City public. Dean Ambrose was the Joker. Sure, Seth Rollins may not be a true Batman in this scenario, although I'm sure someone can and will compare Batman to a fascist pig who helps the police keep martial control over the city. But that's fodder for another post at another time.

Since the time frame was not specified, I am going to work with the 1998 WWF roster in a fantasy scenario. 8-Ball and Chainz vs. Faarooq and D'Lo Brown vs. Savio Vega and Jose Estrada vs. Mosh and Thrasher in a "Don't Touch the Floor Because It's Lava" match. If you touched the ground, you were eliminated but your partner wasn't. After three minutes, Jeff Jarrett would pin Al Snow, but it would be waved off as it was discovered that Mark Henry grabbed the Jade Monkey off the pole before the next full moon. In the confusion, Naked Mideon would be awarded the European Championship, mainly as a way to cover his shame.

The secret correct answer is that WWE's production values during live shows are a mess. For all the plaudits the team gets for its brilliant recap packages and music videos, the live show seems to be fraught with disorganization, time mismanagement, and bad camerawork. Personally, I'm with you in that I like how the title matches and pay-per-view main events are set up. The wrestlers get their theme songs played and a full entrance, and then the ring announcer doesn't introduce them until everyone's in the ring. Do that for every match, especially for the wrestlers whom WWE wants to get over huge. A boss entrance for a nascent superstar at a live show or a pay-per-view can mean the world.

My official platform for NEXT SHIELD MEMBER is that Solomon Crowe should get the callup (READ IT HERE, N00BS). However, for completism's sake, I will list a few more believable, acceptable members of The Shield going forward:

Kassius Ohno - Worked-shoot fodder with Triple H? Check. Indie cred? Check. Cerebral wrestler who can replace the "brains" of The Shield? Check. I would love to see him rehired and paired with Ambrose and Roman Reigns.

Dolph Ziggler - On the surface, he might be a misfit for the trio, but he also has heat with The Authority, and he would replace the prop bumping element in the group.

Batista - Boring predictable choice is boring and predictable, but in terms of hilarity, I would love to see Batista come down the arena steps wearing something that doesn't match the black flak jackets and military cargo pants.

Adrian Neville - He's a prop-bumper like Rollins, and he'll need some help to get a crowd reaction despite his wide array of high-flying moves. I want to see him succeed, and putting him with The Shield would be a great way to give him a head start

I think they have a hand in running the show right now. As as Vince McMahon isn't non compos mentis or dead, he'll always have a say in how things are run. The thing is that I'm not sure how much different the children's philosophy is from the parent's in terms of what the flavor of the show will be. NXT is rumored to be Triple H's baby in terms of both talent that goes there and how the stories are told. While the show is improved in a few categories over RAW (namely in the treatment of women), some of the problems that plague RAW trickle down into developmental. Also, NXT is one hour and taped sometimes a month in advance of airing. RAW is a three hour show live nearly every week. In short, maybe some things will get better, but I doubt RAW and WWE on the whole will change drastically with Trips and Steph in charge.

I believe those losses have been expunged from the books pending an investigation into Hogan's PED usage. At least that's the story the Hennig camp is going with. You may continue to call him Mr. Perfect until a time in the future when this whole mess is cleared up.

The worst-conceived act, no questions asked, was Beaver Cleavage. He was a pun-based, misogynistic gimmick that had no shelflife beyond the utterance of his name. Unless the goal was to be a gimmick SO gross and stupid that it would elicit the infamous "Chaz" worked-shoot promo almost literally a week after its debut, then it epitomized the absurdity and excess of the Attitude Era. The worst character idea that actually got over was probably Brodus Clay's Funkasaurus act. Even though I dug its kitsch upon debut, I didn't think a dancing dinosaur doing a Stepin Fetchit act would catch on with the crowd. Oh, how I was mistaken.

I don't think he's really a great babyface right now. Getting cheered by the crowd doesn't mean you're a babyface, especially in the antihero-crazy environment that most wrestling crowds seem to provide nowadays. Ambrose is an electric personality with oodles of charisma who was betrayed by a longtime teammate of his to join the most hated character in WWE right now whose name isn't Brock Lesnar. OF COURSE he's going to get cheered. Graphically describing how gruesome he'd make Rollins' face in their eventual meeting is not exactly peak good guy behavior, no matter how popular it may seem.

As tempting as bringing the BATTLEBOWL RING back into circulation is, the one gimmick I'd love to see brought back to a WWE ring would be the one-night, round-robin tournament that happened at Starrcade '89. I wouldn't want it at a MAJOR event the way WCW put it at its signature show, but a special event focusing on who the best wrestler and tag team were respectively, especially if each tournament featured at least one or two participants who could use a major rub, would be pretty nice.

DuckTales in a walk. Sure, it doesn't have a religion based on its female lead like Gadget does in Russia. Hell, I'm not sure DT HAD any major female characters. However, I watched it a lot more, and the video game was actually among the most fun games I've ever played for the original NES.

Embarrassing confession time again: I've only ever seen Joel episodes, so he's my answer by default.

Eddie Guerrero (captain)
Chris Jericho
Randy Savage
Mark Henry
Kevin Steen
Bull Nakano
Roddy Piper
Brock Lesnar

Rey Mysterio (captain)
Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson
Rachel Summerlyn
El Generico
Sara del Rey
Ricky Steamboat
Kenta Kobashi

The tecnicos would win with Kobashi and Bryan surviving, and then they'd go about 20 more minutes before deciding the winner. As much as I'd like to put Bryan over here, Kobashi no-sold cancer. He wins.

Muck is the right word for it now. Once you are plunged out of the main event, you cannot get back up into it. Poor Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler were derailed and now are in that limbo area where they're too popular to leave off the show, but damaged enough goods that I doubt WWE will ever push them seriously again. @PureGristle on Twitter suggested Titus O'Neil as his answer. He hasn't been touched by a failed main event push yet, he's been getting better in the ring by working Superstars every week, and he's perhaps the most magnetic personality on the roster. I find it hard to disagree with that choice. A secondary answer would be Heath Slater as Clem Layfield. RED BELLY Wade Barrett got new life by using his character from the JBL and Cole Show, and the fans have gotten behind him solidly. Slater is a solid performer whose alter ego is getting some traction online. Since Barrett seems to be the only guy JBL supports on a regular basis in the broadcast booth, trying to catch lightning in a bottle again might not be the worst idea.

A little background here, King of TweeTrios is the brainchild of Jessica Hudnall on Twitter. She's organized a 32-team tournament where people, including myself, drafted an ideal Trios team with a manager. My team is named THE MOST SERIOUS TEAM IN THE WORLD, and it consists of Andy Kaufman, Archibald Peck, and Bob Sapp, with the Swagger Soaring Eagle as the manager/mascot. Two out of the three on the team have recorded songs, and Peck is The Leader of The Band. With that in mind, my team's official theme song is this:

For the last time, Jim, I'm a blogger, not a scientist.

I really want to say his best case scenario is main-eventing WrestleMania, I really do. However, I just can't get over the apparent bias WWE has against fat dudes. It's not so much that I think WWE only looks for chiseled Adonis types. Daniel Bryan just finished getting the mother of all rockets shoved up his ass at Mania XXX. But when was the last time a fat guy got a push in WWE? Mark Henry comes to mind, but he's more the barrel-chested super muscular strongman competition build, and thus is the exception. His worst case scenario, with that in mind, is that he gets released within a year because he and Triple H clash about something stupid like gym time or weight loss. The best case scenario is that he becomes the best fat guy WWE has on its roster and changes opinions on body types in the mainstream so that wrestling goes back to a simpler time, when it didn't matter how your body looked as long as you were a master showman in the ring.

C'mon, do you REALLY think I'm going to pick against my own team? It has Andy Kaufman on it, for crying out loud! And Bob Sapp! AND MARCHIE FREAKIN' ARCHIE! AND THE SWAGGER SOARING EAGLE ON THE OUTSIDE! Anyway, if you want to make your own judgment/predictions, go here and take a gander at the brackets and teams. DO IT.

John Cena pretty much is the LeBron James of pro wrestling, right? Or would that be Daniel Bryan? Either way, assuming both would be healthy, I would pick them to lead the United States over the rest of the world. While Japan or Mexico (or even England) might have a deeper, more well-rounded pool of talent to pick from, Cena (from a booking standpoint) and Bryan (from an ability standpoint) would be the rocks upon which Team USA would anchor a huge run.

If you're talking from an obscure country that would make a Cinderella run, however, the only answer would be Great Power Uti for Nigeria. I don't need to explain this.

Pretty soon, Podcast One is just going to flood the market, and the only wrestler whose podcasts it won't have under its umbrella would be Colt Cabana's and Zack Ryder's. The former would be because Cabana really doesn't need to be on that network for success, and the latter because lol, it would be funny for Podcast One to reject Ryder.

I never really thought of Dallas' arrival and new character in that way. I always saw it as more a knock on Tim Tebow more than anything else, especially since he's now made Tebowing a part of his shtick. I can see how Dallas COULD be a rib on the fans that want Cena to turn heel, but I don't really think his callup is that sophisticated to be honest. Dallas has been in developmental forever, much like Leo Kruger/Adam Rose was, and this gimmick felt like something unique enough to try on the main roster.