Thursday, August 14, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 89

Not pictured: My scene
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!
I don't necessarily hate golf, for starters. I throw a lot of shade its way on Twitter, sure, but I reserve my hate for things like bigotry, inequality, and Eric Bischoff. I also enjoy playing the miniaturized version of the game, and I hope that my days in the future are filled with trips to the Putt-Putt course with my family. With all of that in mind, most of my distaste for golf is derived from its boring nature. I've watched a lot of sports in my life, and any one that I'm a fan of has kept my attention at some point on a consistent basis. I've never watched any golf footage that didn't bore me to tears, and the idea of playing a round of real golf just is not appealing to me. People who are good at it (for amateurs, not talking Phil Mickelson here) still always talk about how frustrating and hard it is to play. The undercurrent to my malaise towards the game is how bourgeois it is. You need to spend money on a set of clubs, which can run you a lot of money. And you need to either have a country club membership or know someone who is in one to play on a good course. Then you hang out with the CEO crowd, and that group of people is just not my scene. If you're into golf, then more power to you. It's just not the game or the scene for me.
One, any shirt that puts the booker over automatically loses 15% of its coolness. Would you wear a Vince McMahon shirt? "I'm a Paul Heyman Guy" gear becomes less cool when you realize it's basically glorifying someone for building his name on a company he helped bankrupt. Even Delirious or Adam Pearce apparel lose charm given their status as current or former head booker in ROH. But anyway, I get asked this question quite a bit, and the answer changes from time to time, but the best shirt ever on this certain day is the Dirty Dirty Sheets-sponsored Portia Perez shirt that says plainly, in white typeface on a black background, "Portia Perez Hates Me." The shirt is minimalist, has an ironic message, and allows you to support the heel monetarily while allowing that wrestler to be booed during the actual show.
I honestly don't know. Like I noted yesterday, identifying a person just through looking at their hands is hard, and those hands did not have any obvious identifying features. The inheritor could have been anyone. The darkest timeline scenario would have Deucalion taking the hammer, although I don't think Chikara will head into that bleak a direction so soon after shutting down the company for nearly a year. Icarus could be the one to lift the mythical tool, but he's already Grand Champion. I may be wishing with my heart here, but I think the one who claimed the hammer is none other than surviving best friend, former tag partner, and current quester for resurrection, Jervis Cottonbelly. The World's Sweetest Man is certainly worthy of wielding the Mjolnir-like implement, and as the perfect gentleman, he would know not to misuse it.
Still recovering from neck injuries suffered at the hands of a long and arduous wrestling career. However, once Daniel Bryan recovers and returns to the ring like I know he will, all will be right with the world again.
3D is a nice tag team finisher, but it's hardly my favorite. Another ECW team holds the distinction of having my most cherished double-team move ever. John Kronos hit 'em high. Perry Saturn got 'em low. The victim went down like a ton of bricks in a near instant, with Joey Styles screeching "TOTAL ELIMINATION" at the top of his lungs. That move was the perfect storm.
Missile Assault Ant!

Side note, does anyone else think that Missile Assault Ant was shot at close range, survived, and now has the same syndrome Mr. Burns did after his brush with handgun-related violence?
In the remaining first round matches, the Vaudevillains quickly and summarily dispatch the team of Mojo Rawley and "The Nature Boy" Bull Dempsey, and Sin Cara and Kalisto upend Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. Then, the Vaudevillains would defeat Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady in the semifinals, giving them a finals match against Las Luchas, who will have defeated Sami Zayn and Adam Rose. Finally, in the finals, the Vaudevillains would defeat the luchadors and then go on to END the Ascension's NXT Tag Team Championship run. Now, that scenario is not playing out, but you asked me to book the rest of the tournament, not predict it.
With the current rash of "deaths," trios are falling apart at the seams. I could comfortably pencil in the Baltic Siege or the BDK or the Batiri in the past; now, all of those factions are a man down without replacement. Now, Chikara and The Flood are appearing to become MASH units. Still, I think I can give some kind of projection for a good part of the field:
  1. THE COLONY (Fire, Silver, and Worker Ants)
  2. THE SPECTRAL ENVOY (UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked, Frightmare)
  3. TEAM CANADA (Shane Matthews, Scott Parker, Archibald Peck)
  4. THE BLOC PARTY (Proletariat Boar of Moldova, Mr. Azerbaijan, Prakash Sabar)
  5. THE WRECKING CREW (Any combination of Blaster McMassive, Max Smashmaster, Flex Rumblecrunch, Jaka, and Oleg the Usurper)
  6. COLONY X-TREME FORCE (Missile Assault Ant, Orbit Adventure Ant, Arctic Rescue Ant)
  7. THE ODDITORIUM (Sinn Bodhi, Qefka the Quiet, Oliver Grimsley)
  8. DR. CUBE'S LABORATORY (Dr. Cube, Haack, Slaash)
Eight trios right now are well-defined and composed. However, enough scraps and unattached roster members could team up and form trios going forward. For example, "Smooth Sailing" Ashley Remington has a similar kind of vibe to the team of Old Fashioned, enough that he could sub in as a partner for Cottonbelly and Marion Fontaine. Or, Cottonbelly could step forward as the Estonian Thunder Frog's replacement in the Baltic Siege. Perhaps Blind Rage could fill in for Kobald in the Batiri, or on the other side, Delirious could fall back under the trance of Ares and sub in for Tursas within the BDK. Would the Throwbacks have an ace card up their sleeves with maybe a reunion with Sugar Dunkerton? Might Soldier Ant fuse with 17 and The Shard to form a more perfect Gekido? What about the Wrestle Factory grads? Kid Cyclone seems like a leader type. He might end up leading the charge with any number of the fresh debuts from school.

Of course, the hope from many is that King of Trios totally is NOT an in-house production this year, although the vibe given off by the shows produced so far leads me to believe guest stars will be at a minimum if any appear at all. The roster has glutted to the point where 48 wrestlers could easily be booked within the ranks of the current narrative. Personally, I like my King of Trios weekends to have at least a sprinkling of guests coming in and giving the native flavor a bit of a kick, much like a nice dish of pasta can always use a sprinkling of red pepper flake. I understand if this year's all Chikara, no guests, but I'll be just a little disappointed.
I went to a WWF house show back in 1994 at the Spectrum. The main event was also my most vivid memory, as Bret Hart defended the WWF Championship against his brother Owen. I most remember seeing the elder Hart place the Sharpshooter on his little brother, getting the apparent victory, and then not letting go after the bell had rung. He was later disqualified for not releasing the hold, which gave Owen some bragging rights. I'm not sure why the WWF decided to redo the ending of the Hart/Jerry Lawler match from SummerSlam the previous year, but the finish got the point across.

Private Twitter user @brianbrown25:
My enjoyment of WWE has now evolved in to me rooting for things to happen that will piss off Twitter wrestling fans. I'm irrationally cheering for Cena on Sunday just to watch the backlash. Am I crazy? #tweetbag
I wouldn't say you're crazy. Spite, annoyance, and outright schadenfreude are all normal human emotions. I would be lying if a piece of me wasn't wishing for Cena to win just to see the nuclear meltdown not only from the people who hate Cena because he's boring and "sucks," but from the amateur businessmen who think that Lesnar's character would be further ruined. Of course, I would agree with the sentiment that Lesnar winning here would be the best move, but at the same time, I really don't give a flying fuck about WWE's financials, especially for a story that right now doesn't demand either guy needs to win.
I wish every indie wrestler could suckle from WWE's still milky teat right now. Just because Vince McMahon lost a bunch of speculative value through stocks doesn't mean that Stamford still isn't the most lucrative game in town. But my shortlist of wrestlers that I think would fit the best in WWE right now are as follows:
  1. Eddie Kingston - His brawling game is on point, and surprise surprise, brawling gets you the furthest in WWE in terms of main events. He's also one of the most charismatic wrestlers on the scene, even if that charisma is understated at times. He's done everything he can do in Chikara, and he'd just be doing the same thing over again if he moved laterally into ROH or Gabe-Land full-time.
  2. The Young Bucks - If their Twitter clues are any indication, they may just be the next big signees to NXT, but until they're Orlando-bound, I'll keep stumping for them to get a WWE job. Sure, tag team wrestling isn't as hot in WWE as it was in the early '00s or the mid-to-late '80s, but if the company infused itself with talented teams to go along with the Wyatts, Usos, and Ascension, then it can have its own renaissance without much of a need to build from scratch.
  3. Uhaa Nation - Seriously, he would blow minds if ever given a WWE stage, as long as the agents laying out his matches have seen what he can do in places like Dragon Gate.
  4. Cheerleader Melissa - WWE tends not to give a chance to wrestlers who have the stink of TNA on them, but Melissa, much like Kingston, has no ground left to conquer without getting a chance to run with the men in a nationwide promotion. If the direction towards giving women more of a stage in WWE isn't a false flag, then shouldn't the most decorated American pro wrestler be there to be a part of the revolution? And while I'm at it, let her bring Kharma/Amazing Kong back too.
A lot of this match rides on how much ring rust Stephanie McMahon has. Wrestling, I've heard, is like riding a bike in that one never forgets how to work, but McMahon has been out of the ring for awhile, was never a regular performer on a week-to-week basis, and she's not exactly in the ring with Ayako Hamada over here. Brie Bella has improved, but she, at best, on the lower end of a top 15 women wrestlers list within the company. This match may be heavily gimmicked and super overbooked, and I wouldn't be totally shocked if Megan Miller, Triple H, Nikki Bella, and Daniel Bryan all don't get involved somehow. Basically, the only thing I'm reasonably expecting is the end of the feud and a segue into something different for both competitors.
Two ways to look at this question are in play. If I'm trying to project who is going to take the longest to get ready for the main roster, the one to stay the longest is either KENTA or Prince Devitt. I would lean more towards KENTA being the longest to prepare because unless Funaki is paired with him as a full-time translator/mouthpiece, he'll need to master English a little better if he's going to get a stage to work from management. Personally, I think KENTA could get over without saying a word, but WWE seems to have its way of thinking about people and their capacity to be full entertainers.

However, if you believe the rumors, Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville, both of whom have been ready for the main roster for awhile, have been kept in NXT because they provide star power and a reason for people to watch on the WWE Network. With that rationale in mind, then wouldn't Kevin Steen be the one who stays at Full Sail the longest? He could pop right onto the main roster now, but that reason is why he might be in it for the long haul. Every promotion he's climbed to the top of has been must-see, and if WWE's main event scene nucleates the way it seems to be doing right now, he'd just get lost in the shuffle. WWE is getting to the point where it can have two viable, separate promotions on its hand on two completely different media, and maybe NXT is becoming less and less of a developmental territory and more of an alternative product.
Plenty have. Twitter culture seems to require an unhealthy appetite to read what is poorly thought-out so one can have the correct kind of outrage. This kind of self-flagellation is necessary to combat the evils of the world, but sometimes, having to read yet another race-baiting screed from Michelle Malkin or more innocently, listen to another treatise by Colin Cowherd about how gritty white athletes are superior because heart or some bullshit is just too fucking much for a single person to handle. I only have so much of a capacity for bullshit, and the problem is none of that bullshit is particularly surprising. The reason why I don't regularly fisk the bottom-feeder columnists at WrestleZone like Mark Madden is because at what point am I just shouting at the abyss anyway?
My answer would be to go on a pub crawl in Ireland with Sheamus. The dude seems like he's genuinely fun to hang out with judging by his Twitter, and he would know where to go to get the best pints and pub food. In all honesty, I'd be scared to hang out with any performer in the industry, because I don't want to be let down if they're assholes. But I'd be willing to make the exception for Sheamus in this case, just as a test run.
I really don't have one. It's all stream of consciousness that's continually self-edited.
Firstly, BRAWK LESNARRRRRRR will punch his spot in the WrestleMania main event by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam and putting a chokehold on it. Second, Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble and punches his ticket into a title scene from which he was violently ejected after Battleground. Third, Seth Rollins, tired of his attempts at cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase being continually thwarted, makes it a triple threat match using said briefcase. Finally, Dean Ambrose forces his way into the match by defeating Triple H at Elimination Chamber and getting a veritable golden ticket. Brock Lesnar vs. The Shield, as fractured as it may be at present time. What a way to end WrestleMania, eh?
I'm conflicted between two former Shield bros. On one hand, Dean Ambrose could be WWE's next big thing. A guy like him could sure use the star treatment of having a real live band come down from the mountain and give him his very own, custom-written theme song. But his allure is in being anti-establishment, unpredictable, and unwilling to take a handout. Everyone knows that if a famous band gives him a theme song that Triple H won't be able to resist saying that he paid for the song like he did when he reminded CM Punk that he paid for the rights to "Cult of Personality."

On the other hand, Seth Rollins is the kind of guy who could use Triple H's connections within the rock world to get his very own theme song written by some cock rock band. But then again, if the goal is to keep him heel, then his personal band couldn't be too cool, and if the band writing for him is too lame, then how much better is it than his current super-generic theme? However, Rollins getting the music seems to be much less of a risk than Ambrose. WWE just needs to find a gem from an unsigned band or to have Jim Johnston recreate magic for Ambrose and let Rollins go the "famous band" route.
To be honest, I don't really venture too far into the rural areas of America that often, and the small towns that really qualify as small towns I've been to didn't offer much in the way of good eats that weren't from a name brand. I'm cheating when I answer this, but the best answers I have are Sea Isle City, NJ and Freeport, ME. The former is a shore town that gets a lot of visitors from the Philadelphia, Washington, and Baltimore areas, and the latter is right outside Portland. But still, they're both smaller towns that have good food. The former has a variety of great places to eat, and the latter has awesome seafood and a kickass gastropub in Gritty's.
Favorite movie is easy. Tommy Boy is one of the most quotable, memorable, and hilarious movies to come out of the SNL camp. Farley was at his best, and David Spade played an effective straight man. Plus, Dan Aykroyd and Rob Lowe were pretty funny as well. As for my favorite sketch? Well, I'm glad you asked...

I have no idea. I mean, it's not like he's never had a really good singles match, or that his limited mic skills are already wearing thin, or that he already is getting the John Cena superman treatment without paying the dues that Cena did to get where he's at. Where would you get such an idea?
I'm going to forward your resumé to Titan Towers right now, if that's okay with you. Okay?
I have not, and I feel shame for missing out on it. But I will watch it soon, and everyone else should probably do that too.
I haven't been following the transfer wire or transactions, but since the boys were close to relegation this year, and since Queens Park Rangers are back and suddenly improved, I'm on the edge of my seat. I gotta think that they'll be in a fight for their Premiere League lives again this year while the fatcats on top like Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur vie for the league title again. I mean, didn't the Spurs pick up DeAndre Yeldin? I don't have a good feeling about this year.
I would still hate it. Right now, the best option for a brand split would be to flesh out NXT and make it the secondary "brand," not in competition with RAW/WWE, but as a supplement or an alternative. All the brand split bullshit was forced and fake anyway. But NXT has a whole different aesthetic to it. It has a different booking team, and a fresher look at what wrestling could be. It's a better Smackdown than Smackdown could ever be.
Well, while I do despise Mr. Bischoff for his indiscretions, mostly for his socioeconomic rabble than anything he's done in wrestling, I don't want to see him killed. So, with that in mind...

  1. Make him watch WWE's revisionist history of the history of WCW on repeat for a whole week straight with his eyes held open, A Clockwork Orange-style.
  2. Chinese water torture. BOOM.
  3. Make him watch as rich people give away money to the poor and then right afterwards give speeches in support of Obamacare.

Yeah, those three oughtta make him good and uncomfortable.

Err, I mean, I think that explanation is as good as any. WWE probably overreacted to the article that appeared in The Atlantic, set off a stable with all black guys with the idea that it would tap into the zeitgeist of the Nation of Domination without realizing why that was a bad idea, and then scrapped it when someone within Creative convinced McMahon he'd be missing the point completely. Of course, I doubt Big E Langston, Kofi Kingston, or Xavier Woods will continue to get pushed after that, but again, I don't think Vince McMahon really cares about black people. For real.
Nope. The term "Diva" is too valuable a branding technique for WWE. I just threw up in my mouth a little reading that last sentence back, because I would rather die than sound like Darren Rovell. I think if WWE changes the name of the division, it won't be from Diva to Women, but it would be a soft shift from Diva to Superstar. However, that day is probably a long way's off, since WWE is seemingly behind most other entertainment purveyors in terms of treating women.
My crystal ball doesn't allow me to give rationales for these matches, mainly because I just don't know how erratically WWE is going to go from now until next year. But if I had to make a hopeful guess...

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose

John Cena vs. Roman Reigns

Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro

Bad News Barrett vs. Randy Orton

Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper vs. The Miz, his life coach Bo Dallas, and his hired muscle Ryback

The Ascension (c) vs. Sheamus and Prince Devitt (I am so sorry)

Sami Zayn (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Nattie Neidhart (c) vs. Sasha Banks

AJ Lee vs. Summer Rae

In other words, your guess is as good as mine.
This choice might be unconventional, but I liked The Union. Ken Shamrock, Mick Foley, Test, and The Big Show may have been four disparate personalities, but they carried two-by-fours, and they promoted gang warfare against the evil conglomerate running WWE at the time. Babyface stables for whatever reason don't tend to last nearly as long as heel stables do, but that coalescence of talent had some potential, especially since it would help hide the weaknesses of its lesser members. Of course, at the time, three of the members could have been considered "lesser," but that talking point is for another day and time.