Thursday, June 26, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 82

*sniffle* Missin' u, Hounds of Justice
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!
Not your joie de vivre! In all seriousness, I was pretty bummed when the move happened initially, and I still feel the void in my life where the Hounds of Justice used to be. I know nothing good can stay, especially when it comes to factions within WWE, but that move just felt too abrupt. However, I've found a few silver linings. First, Seth Rollins actually sounds like an effective orator now! Second, how can anyone not love Troubled Teen Dean Ambrose? (Credit: Tom Blackett) The briefcase Money in the Bank match has an interesting story, and Rollins and Ambrose look like they can feud until WrestleMania and not lose steam. None of the above is taking into account Roman Reigns' raw charisma. And if all else fails, other acts can start to fill the void. The Usos are still an incredible, self-made success story. The Wyatt Family is as close to art as WWE is producing. Brock Lesnar is nigh! Antonio Cesaro is going to get elevated!

I know, I know, these examples are all stopgaps. Nothing is going to replace The Shield in the short term, but hey, sometimes, being a fan of anything is looking for ways to make up for the disappointments, right?

I first started losing respect for him when I used to follow him on Twitter and he'd just snipe at fans that he thought asked dumb questions or weren't respectful enough. It's one thing to beef with your peers, but when you start picking on people who would be anonymous to your followers if not for you pointing out how they're stupid, you start to come off as cruel. Then I remember the horror stories from when he worked for WWE, when he'd borderline sexually harass women or how he tried to rig the Brawl for All to get Steve Williams to win, and when he didn't, he pitched a massive hissy-fit. And then the actual meat of his "analysis" either was saying he didn't know in the bitchiest way possible or chiding fans who actually had the gall to complain about things he didn't think they should have complained about. Basically, Jim Ross is a bitter old man, and I'd rather listen to someone like Vince Russo who may have philosophies that are wildly divergent to what I think is good wrestling thought, but who seems enthusiastic, friendly, engaging, and amusing.

Is the Stump Puller wacky enough for you? Or the nose hook? I actually love arcane, illegal hooks and gouges. The fishhook, the nose hook, the individual finger bend-back, the mandible claw... anything that involves a wrestler gouging at soft tissue with appendages is okay with me. In fact, the next wrestler who breaks out a move that digs at the taint will get my undying love and affection.

The answer is most obviously Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae. They're both beautiful, fit people with seemingly great genetics. They love wrestling enough to tour the country doing indie dates for peanuts. Both have understated charisma that complements each other; where Ryan has faults in his character, he's completed by LeRae and vice versa. If any wrestling progeny has a chance for success based on things that probably don't even figure in genetics or what have you, I would say their prospective future kid would be it.

For whom I want to replace RED BELLY, fuck it, gimme Sami Zayn. I know debuting a guy in a Money in the Bank scenario could seem dicey if he's not going to win, but for a kinetic and fearless performer like Zayn, no better scenario fits his strengths than a multi-man ladder match.

As for who will replace Barrett, well, I'm not entirely sure he'll miss the match. WWE seems to think he's day-to-day. My gut tells me Barrett will make the match.

Real talk, I've never watched BattlArts, so I'm not the best guy to judge who'd excel in that style. So, with that in mind, I would probably sign Chael Sonnen, Low Ki, Drew Gulak, Timothy Thatcher, and Bob Sapp, I guess. I feel like I'm copping out your question because the shoot-style stuff doesn't seem to appeal to me. Maybe I'd change my mind if I watched some of it though, but I'm afraid it'd be too much like MMA, which I find dreadfully boring.

Early Mankind gets the nod. He was such a weird and innovative character for WWE at the time. The company had just come out of its neon spandex-festooned cartoon dark ages, and while the Mankind character on the surface seemed like a grittier continuation, the way Foley played it was far more nuanced and psychological than any gimmicked character WWE had produced up to that point. As for the multiple-personality guys today, I tend to stick with the wrestlers who are one character elsewhere and a completely different one in Chikara. I dug Dalton Castle before in places like 2CW and CZW, but he's absolutely wonderful as "Smooth Sailing" Ashley Remington in Chikara so far.

It would have to be someone with excellent upper body torque and control over rotation, right? The strength doesn't necessarily come from the arm as much as it does from the momentum and the torsion that accompanies from the body. Or I could be speaking out my ass here. Anyway, I would probably peg someone like Dolph Ziggler or Seth Rollins. But again, I could be full of shit here.

I'm going to wait until the brackets are released to get a full chub on, but as it stands right now, with 16 names announced, I'm at a 9.8 at the very least. I would be over 10 if I could find a way to get out there to watch all three nights live, but hey, I'm a family man who lives on the East Coast. I'll have to do like all the other uncool kids who can't make it out to SoCal and watch that shit on DVD.

You shut your mouth about Fuji Vice. It's Hogan in the Dungeon by a landslide.

I do appreciate the spacer. Money in the Bank has taken on a life of its own, and having it ram up against SummerSlam makes it feel too jumbled in the schedule. Battleground is a nice palate cleanser, one that can give MitB its own identity and be an outlet for the fallout.

Hell in a Cell would be off the schedule quicker than you could say Tekno Team 2000. The cell should only be used for blood feuds. The special event mandating at least one if not two matches per card has watered the gimmick down. I generally like both Ryback and CM Punk as performers, but the fact that they've wrestled in two cell matches against each other is fucking absurd. As for what I'd replace it with, I've kicked around a few ideas. WWE has the roster to build an event around a torneo cibernetico, but would it have the agents able to give the match the proper respect it deserves? Then I thought maybe WWE could bring back King of the Ring as a one-night tournament concept, but for whatever reason, the show has always been snakebitten. A World Cup tournament partnering up with Japanese, Mexican, and European promotions would be cool, but then WWE would have to put other companies over. That idea's out.

So, what kind of gimmick show would work for a company that seems to change direction every other week, has a huge unwieldy roster, and an audience that is conditioned to expect surprises? LETHAL LOTTERY! Dedicate an entire show to random pairings, with the winners getting a guaranteed shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships. It would combine shoving random dudes together into teams along with a ready-made story of a team coalescing in one night against all odds. The only reason WWE hasn't tried it yet is probably because WCW tried it first.

I couldn't tell you how many times I think about wrestling in a given day, but it's a lot. A WHOLE LOT. I write about it, I talk about it on Twitter, and I watch a lot of it. As for what company I think about most, I would say it's WWE, just out of sheer force of its market share. Chikara, Beyond, and PWG give WWE a run for its money here and there, but the sheer amount of programming WWE puts out a week makes it hard for a fan of the company to think about anything else more.

That spot was Devin Cutting's site, Pro Wrestling Events. I guess he just got too busy to aggregate all the events. I know Nate Stein sends out e-mail lists of shows, but those lists are hardly complete. What I'm trying to say is nothing close to a complete database exists anymore. Sorry.

Does Nick Punto have a famous dad? Because if so, then Jeff Jarrett fits his profile to a tee.

Private Twitter user @brianbrown25:
@tholzerman Who would you consider Mr. Summerslam? #tweetbag
I've had discussions with people about this before, and Bret Hart's name always seems to come up. In 1990, he was involved in a best two-of-three falls match with Jim Neidhart against Demolition. In '91, he had the classic against Mr. Perfect and the next year, he headlined the show against Davey Boy Smith. In 1994, he and Owen Hart had one of the finest cage matches in WWE history, and in '97, he and Undertaker had a memorable encounter to say the least. Then again, in '93 and '95, he was involved in stinkers (whether his fault or the fault of the booking), and he sat out '96.

The Rock also has a strong resume, as he has the '98 ladder match vs. Triple H, the memorable-if-overbooked triple threat against Trips and Kurt Angle, the hot WCW Championship match against Booker T in '01, and the match against Brock Lesnar in '02. John Cena and Rey Mysterio might factor in as well, but I'd need to do more research. Using my gut, I'd still go with Bret Hart.

My guess for this would be uneducated on par with my picks for American BattlArts, but on gut instinct alone, it would have to come down to Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Christian Cage, or Sting, right? I guess I'd go with Styles, but when I tell you I know barely anything about pre-2009 TNA, I mean it.

I think the hype for the event might overshadow its actual place, to be honest. I wrote about it earlier this year, how the importance of the briefcase is overstated in how important the wrestlers who utilize it turn out. The fun derived from watching it rank it high on the list, of course, but I don't think one can discount how successful the titular MacGuffin is as a story device or even financials in terms of its importance. To be clear, WrestleMania is the clear-cut #1. The Royal Rumble is #2. SummerSlam is probably still third on the list. Then, you have Survivor Series, Elimination Chamber, Extreme Rules, and Money in the Bank in that third tier. I'd probably rank them in descending order Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank, Survivor Series, then Extreme Rules. But then again, now that everything is on The Network, the pecking order of WrestleMania #1 with an 11-way tie for #2 gets reinforced.

I honestly don't know what our family is doing for the holiday this year. My wife is sick to death of cookout food, and I'm always looking for something different to try. Neither one of us wants to host another cookout at our house (Memorial Day was a lot of work and was like two weeks ago), yet if we go to my parents' house, they'll more than likely will be celebrating with burgers, hot dogs, and the rest of the cookout lineup. I know that information is of no help to you, unless you want to jazz up the usual menu. If that's the case, then I would suggest making your own burgers and getting something a bit fancier than hot dogs. For the burgers, go to your butcher and have them grind the beef from whole cuts rather than getting the 80/20 chuck. I haven't been able to do this yet, but when I do, I am going to go for something like a pound of shortrib for every two pounds of sirloin. But again, the whole cow is your friend, and getting that perfect ratio of fat and meat is key. For preparation purposes, you can go traditional or you can also do them up Jucy Lucy style. Now, I HAVE made Jucy Lucy before. They're fantastic. Do 'em up.

As for the sausage, hot dogs are good and fine and all-American, but if you want to get fancy, you're gonna have to embrace America's melting pot status and go international. Bratwursts are cool. Kielbasa is even cooler. Italian sausage is the coolest. Nearly every culture has its own take on sausage, and all of them are worth eating. Chorizo from Mexico! Linguica from Portugal! Hungarian bratwurst from... Hungary! Don't just do the hot dog dance.

Now, for sides, I would just look up recipes on traditional favorites and pair them with grilled vegetables. Potato salad, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and the like are all pretty standard, but again, you can jazz them up and make 'em all artisanal 'n shit. But the wild card will be the vegetables done on the grill. I vote for asparagus and zucchini. Corn on the cob is a must too, but I would boil that. Less of a margin for error, y'know?

Whenever I get the chance to put The Network on, I actually gravitate towards old WCW events, both pay-per-view and Clash of the Champions. I feel as if the other company down South is still a huge blind spot, and I need to rectify that over time more than I need to go back and rewatch old WWE stuff that I more than likely watched already. Besides, it's neat seeing guys I know so well in other roles like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Razor Ramon/nWo Scott Hall as Stunning Steve Austin and the Diamond Stud.

I'm not sure whether Hawkins is telling the truth or is just dealing sour grapes, but I can totally see the Ryder depush affecting morale. Ryder was as close to a grassroots success story in WWE as you could get. He got no TV time, and yet he built an ARMY of fans based off social media and a YouTube show. Then, when he reached the apogee of his success, WWE inexplicably cut his wings off and buried him off television. If I were backstage, that message would be loud and clear; you're only allowed to succeed if you do it on the office's terms, not on your own. The revival of Tough Enough was famous because Steve Austin famously told those cats that you had to get yourself over, but the Ryder example spits in the face of that message. Now, Ryder is only one example, and the Usos actually worked hard and got themselves over through excellent wrestling and engaging the crowd. But still, people can get in bad spirits over small sample sizes. But the main takeaway is that the only people who do know the tenor of the locker room are the people in it, and even so, the number of points of view in any given locker room is equal to the amount of people who occupy it.

Two answers. First, I want Statler and Waldorf to replace the RAW booth and call at least one match. Sure, they're cranky and sardonic, but at least they wouldn't be misogynist, misinformed, or plain old annoying. Second, I want, nay, THE WORLD NEEDS to see a meeting between Sweetums and The Great Khali. I am not sure I have to explain this.

The smart money has it draped around the waist of Brock Lesnar. I get the desire, but he's got limited dates, and unless you're all willing to have a nWo Hulk Hogan-in-WCW-style Champion being absentee for most of the PPVs between SummerSlam and Mania (I oddly wouldn't be opposed to it, for the record), then Lesnar can't really win the belt and hold it for that long. That being said, I would actually want Batista to win the title and be Roman Reigns' sacrificial lamb for his big Mania moment. The two have big history. Reigns was the last person eliminated by Batista in the Rumble this year, and they've spent months feuding in the wake of Mania as parts of their respective groups. The smart money has Batista coming back babyface, but at the same time, with Evolution AND The Shield dissolved, who's to say Batista won't come back wrapped in the SPAHTLITE in full douchebag mode going title or bust?

I think it's too early to tell for all of them. I'm most confident about Dean Ambrose's ability to put a whole package together, but can he sustain past the whole "running in, chaotic neutral" phase he's in right now? Seth Rollins' promos have improved, and he's been the best in singles matches out of the group before the breakup, but it's hard to gauge how well he can work heel. Roman Reigns has the biggest immediate dividends coming to him, but he's also the biggest question mark going forward. He hasn't wrestled a lot in singles matches, and his promos have been the most limited. But still, all three have positives enough for me to be excited, even if the sample sizes are small so far.

The maximum amount will probably top out at all eight, actually, as I can count eight potential trios out of that pool: The BDK, Colony XTreme Force, Odditorium, Deucalion/Soldier Ant/Delirious, the Wrecking Crew, Gekido (17 and Pieces of Hate), Dr. Cube and minions, and Jimmy Jacobs and minions. I don't necessarily think all eight of those trios will get in, however. While Chikara has placed an intensive focus on the internal roster, I have a hard time believing King of Trios will be presented without some semblance of guests. Besides, the company right now is split between two continuities. ON one side is the battle for the soul of Chikara between the regulars and the Flood, and on the other is the "fun" roster which includes Chuck Taylor, Old Fashioned, Los Ice Creams, Juan Francisco de Coronado, the Baltic Siege, the Bloc Party, and of course, "Smooth Sailing" Ashley Remington. I expect both to be represented. So I would guess that five Flood trios get in (BDK, CXF, Odditorium, Wrecking Crew, Deucalion/Soldier/Delirious), and I also have the sneaking suspicion that Director of Fun Mike Quackenbush will pit two Flood trios against each other.

I don't mean to sound crass, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was all part of a reality show or something. I doubt Maddox would be able to send a transmission from a cave if he was really lost. But if he is lost and in trouble, then holy shit, man. Holy shit.

Nope. He doesn't hit hard enough to keep up with the Davey Richardses and Low Kis of the world.

I like Dante Exum, but only if he's not on the same team as Michael Carter-Williams. I love MCW, don't get me wrong, and I'd be devastated for a hot second if the Sixers traded him. However, Exum at worst is lateral movement, and I could think of worse players to take at the third slot. Joel Embiid, however, scares me because he's got foot injuries, which for a big man feel like a death sentence. The team just took a big man with wheel problems last year in Nerlens Noel, and if the team drafts a big this year with the 10 spot (or higher, depending on if they trade MCW to move up from that slot), I'd rather it be Noah Vonleh.

Of course, the dream scenario would be getting Andrew Wiggins at ALL COSTS, but this draft is pretty deep. I trust Sam Hinkie.

Depends on how you'd view a no-hitter, whether as one of the highest accomplishments anyone could achieve in a certain sport/artform, or as an ultimate feat of one-sidedness. If the former, I would say it's a high-end match that's better than normal but not at the pinnacle, much like a no-hitter is good, but not as good as a perfect game. If you're talking a laugher of a contest, then I'm not sure how to frame the comparison. Squash matches are too common an occurrence to compare to the relatively rare no-hitter, and they're too methodical to be compared to a violent shoot double-cross. It just goes to show how tricky it can be to compare a sport to art, even if that art is framed in the style of a sporting contest.

I think he has an outside chance of winning the Championship, especially if the plan is for Paul Heyman to turn on him and set up Cesaro/Lesnar at SummerSlam. However, I get the feeling the main event will feature a rematch of Lesnar against John Cena. So where does that leave Cesaro? My guess is he'll keep performing random feats of strength and probably engage in a series of HOSS FIGHTS against Sheamus. WWE secretly reads TWB, and it too is interested in shipping the Celtic Warrior and the King of Swing. Lacy is influential!

I'm partial to Muppets Take Manhattan, although the more I see Jason Segel's The Muppets, the more I dig that one. But hey, The Muppets are The Muppets, and they bring a smile to my face regardless of the movie they're in.