Thursday, October 30, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 98

You're really gonna call these dudes "skinny-fat," really?
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 (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers!

Depends, is the fans or other wrestlers doing it? Either one is pretty terrible, especially given guys like the Usos and CM Punk in ring shape can/could go for long times without gassing or blowing up. Fans doing it is just garden variety assholery that's still accepted by a large chunk of society. It's going to be hard to get the mainstream to accept fat people, and the way that commercialism and good ol' fashioned American conservative bootstraps mythology have combined to warp everyone's sense of what a healthy body looks like, well, the agreement on what's too fat or too skinny or too untoned is never going to be agreed upon in my lifetime. My advice is if you think about body-shaming a wrestler, don't do it, especially if you're like me and have less a six pack and more a keg. As for the wrestlers doing it, they're either toadying for Vince McMahon or they're super jealous that some dudes like Punk or the Usos were able to get over despite being doughy and they with their physiques connected with the audience as well as the average Shane McMahon punch connects with its target's face.

TEAM AUTHORITY (Triple H, Seth Rollins, Kane, Joey Mercury, Jamie Noble) vs. TEAM CENA (John Cena, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Daniel Bryan) - Your first main event level match is the one that has been announced already. Maybe having Bryan in there is too hopeful and contingent on believing conspiracy theories that these latest surgery announcements are huge smokescreens. Obviously, I'm buying into the rumors that Orton is going to defect, force Trips' hand, and go full face here. The only question is which among Team Cena survives? You have four options to stand tall at the end (Ziggler's great, but he's clearly the most expendable one there, sadly), but realistically, only two of them tops can remain without totally making the Authority look clownshoes.

INSTABILITY (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor, Chris Jericho [I guess]) vs. THE WYATT FAMILY (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Konor, Viktor) - This match is your other main event-level match, and it cross-links into the current NXT shenanigans, drawing in rumors that the Ascension are going to be Bray Wyatt's new acolytes. Jericho fills out Ambrose's team because he had beef with the Wyatts before leaving, and uh, I needed someone to fill his team out?

TEAM SHEAMUS (Sheamus, Big Show, The Usos, Jack Swagger) vs. THE EASTERN BLOC (Rusev, Cesaro, Mark Henry, Goldust, Stardust) - This match would give purpose to the midcard, tie together Rusev's entire arc in WWE so far (after his first run where he inexplicably only took on black dudes), and act as the best in-ring match on the show, by far.

WOMEN IN AUTHORITY (Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Charlotte, Layla El, Summer Rae) vs. BESTIES IN THE WORLD? (AJ Lee, Paige, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Natalya) - The requisite "divas" match might have the most going on in it. You have tension between the Bellas, a three-way tempestuous relationship among Lee, Paige, and Fox, and the main-roster debut of Charlotte, who would HAVE to be the sole survivor in this scenario, right?

HOLLYWOOD GATORS (The Miz, Damien Miz-dow, Titus O'Neil, Heath Slater, Bo Dallas) vs. TEAM WOODS (Xavier Woods, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Fernando, Diego) - Classic opening match or cool-down match between the Ambrose/Wyatt and Cena/Authority tags.

My favorite aerial move still is the shooting star press. When done perfectly, read, when done by Mark Andrews, Paul London, or Matt Sydal among others, it elicits as much grace and beauty of out of an aggressive art such as wrestling as you can get. More flips just end up looking jagged and janky, even if they are still impressive. My least favorite aerial move is the "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing on the top rope and am just jumping so that I can get hit with a counter." Get all the way the fuck outta here with that fake shit.

Who has feuded with Rusev and come out looking better for the experience? No one. What ruins a babyface quicker than being involved in a feud putting over an up and coming heel while at the same time promoting jingoistic rabble that will make the audience turn on him when he can't "do it for America?" Nothing. WWE will put Ryback against Rusev, have him lose every time out, and then when he loses the blowoff match, subject everyone to JBL crowing and cawing about how he should be waterboarded at Gitmo because he couldn't beat a Bulgarian dude in a wrestling match.

I'll give you two things you could use. You can survive on just one of the two, but if you have both, you're going to go far. The first thing to use is persistence. You're not going to thrive overnight. You have to put in the time to build an audience, spread word, and gain a reputation. Who knows how long that may take, but it's not going to be within a week of starting. Connections are the second component. If you know people who can promote you from jump, you've got a leg up, but even if you don't, getting to know well-connected folks is never a bad thing. I wouldn't be here in my meager position of note without folks who've helped me over the years, whether I'm still on good terms with them or not. Sometimes, it's not a matter of how good your content is if you're not willing to be in for the long haul or if you don't know people.

First, I would sit him out from now until the Rumble. The way he's been utilized on television makes it seem like he's being sat out, obviously, but I don't even want the live crowds to see him. Second, have him return at the Royal Rumble match and eliminate the most wrestlers of anyone. Then, build from that towards a spotlight WrestleMania match against Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship and then once he's on that path, don't fall back into weird, arhytmic booking patterns with him. That formula might be too much to ask from WWE's Creative team, but you didn't ask me how I think they should book him...

WrestleMania/Wrestle Kingdom/Final Battle should be the big "season-ender" thing with grand implications. I can't speak for WK, but Mania and especially Final Battle don't ever have the sort of finality that you get from a Game 7. The main event of your biggest show of the year should probably have some kind of finality to it, even if it's a temporary finality in the context of a feud you want to continue for years. Too many wrestling companies book beginnings and rising action with no mind for any kind of resolution in mind. A lack of offseason may hurt the chance for a definitive end like you might find in literature or cinema, but that doesn't mean you can't have signpost moments. The end of WrestleMania XXX felt like a Game 7. WWE should be aspiring for that EVERY YEAR.

What do Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, and Bad News Barrett all have in common? They're William Regal Guys. Regal is already embedded in NXT and a fixture at the Performance Center. He teaches a relatively low-impact yet high-tension ring style that translates well to what WWE wants from its future main eventers. He's already there, so let him be the face of the future.

Or hey, if you really wanted to be radical, you could put Sara (del Rey) Amato in charge of the whole thing, but something tells me WWE isn't quite ready for that.

@MrsKillerRoo, who is a private user, asks:
where did the RKO almost-naked-in-a-hotel-shower pix come from? were they obtained in a gross way or can I ogle them? HELP!
I am unaware of these pictures' existence, but far be it from me to tell a woman what she can or cannot ogle. Y'all are still the biggest victims of male gaze in world history, so if you wanna give it back to us men, go get it, girl.

I think more than one NXT star has a great future, actually. NXT right now is a fertile breeding ground for the future, and while I'm certain that some of those great prospects may flop on the next level, WWE has enough options down below that it can afford some failure rate. The three that have the best shot at succeeding though are Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens (Steen's new name, learn it, love it), and Kalisto. Zayn is the purest babyface the company has, and he's too irrepressible to fail. Owens was born to play a pro wrestler, and he'll magnetize crowds on the big stage just like he did in the indies. Kalisto is exciting, innovative, and he has a mask that the little kids will buy up like gangbusters. Those three are my lead pipe locks, but if you wanted to make arguments for Tyler Breeze, Solomon Crowe, the Ascension, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor, Adrian Neville, Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, the Vaudevillains, Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, or Marcus Louis, well, I wouldn't stop you.

To be honest, I forgot WWE was still on the Hulu Plus train with all the Network talk that's been going on lately. But I'm sure someone got a shoot punt from Randy Orton for the whole deal, that's for sure.

Nay, if only because Kevin Owens isn't going to get to the main roster before he debuts on NXT television. Sami Zayn is about to become NXT Champion, so I doubt they'd make him pull double duty, since the precedent has been set with Paige previously this year. Finn Balor and Hideo Itami are wild cards, since the rumors place them as on the fast track to the main roster. However, I'm getting the feeling Team Authority is more likely to tap the NXT vein. A lot of people are hopeful that Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble fill out Trips' dream team along with Seth Rollins, Kane, and either Trips himself or Randy Orton. I think he's more apt to choose The Ascension, to be honest. If I had to guess, Cena's surprise will come in the form of Daniel Bryan and/or Roman Reigns making big returns.

Lots of things! People are winning and losing! Guys are getting pushes! And Michael Elgin still won't shut up about air travel or Ring of Honor! EXCITING TIMES!

Me personally? No, because I don't have a job with WWE Creative or access to a tranq dart to shoot in Vince McMahon's neck every time he suggests that Cesaro should probably win some matches, lose others, and not have a consistent oeuvre from week to week. Now, can WWE save Cesaro? Sure. All it has to do is give him a purpose and let him hoss dudes from week to week. I don't purport to know what every fan likes, but I think recent history suggests that WWE crowds like seeing him perform feats of strength within the confines of a wrestling match. So let's start there and build up from that point.


In all seriousness, Foles is not that good a quarterback, certainly not as good as his raw statistics (yards, touchdowns, etc.) might suggest. However, Aaron Rodgers isn't walking through that door. If you jettison Foles, you're going to have to replace him with someone, and if you're not drafting Marcus Mariota, then what better option is out there? The thing is that I don't know the answer to that question. Foles' flaws are noticeable, but he can go out there and help a team win games.

The NFL is not a league where you have to have a complete team to win the Super Bowl anymore. Quarterback is the most important position, but if the Ravens can win with Trent Dilfer and Joe Flacco or if the Giants can win TWICE with Eli Manning, then the Eagles can win with Nick Foles. If enough luck breaks the Eagles' way this year, then they can certainly win the Super Bowl. But whether they do or not, it won't be because Foles is a singular iconoclastic player at the position.

Captain America: Civil War seems to have the most questionable source material (the comic run of the same name was disappointing according to most fans I know), but the filmmakers in the MCU have made a grand total of one questionable movie (Iron Man 2, for the record). I'm ready for Captain America and Iron Man to have a showdown, especially over a story that has so much potential to explore both the "serious topic" and "popcorn blow-shit-up" spaces. The actors involved have a lot to do with my interest level. Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark has been the most perfectly cast role in this entire run of movies, and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers is the perfect guy to work as a counterbalance. Plus, Winter Soldier may have been my favorite Phase II movie, so I think the Cap franchise is in good hands. I'm stoked.

I have one three-year-old, and when he gets wired up, he's harder to contain than Barry Sanders rushing against a mid-major college defense, as opposed to normally, when he's just Sanders against the early '90s, pre-Brett Favre Packers. Having two toddlers all hopped up on sucrose and ill-informed intentions is bad news. You need only to feed those kids 25% of their individual hauls. The rest should be yours to do what you please with. Whether you eat it all up with your significant other or give it to other neighborhood kids who don't live in your domicile is up to you. I would spread it around because diabetes is no joke. But man, the last thing you wanna do is let your really young kids get their hands on THAT much sugar.

Such a long time has elapsed since I watched those matches, and even then, my critical eye was not the same in 1999 as it was in 2001, let alone 2014. I don't particularly remember Chyna being that great a worker, but at the same time, I don't particularly remember her being awful either. Regardless, those matches will forever be important because they show that women could go with men in the ring and still be super over at the same time. I wonder why folks out there are forgetting that...

Ryback - Baked Macaroni and Cheese - That guy looks like he hasn't touched a carb since 2003. I think he might need to allow himself a cheat day with the greasiest, starchiest, most delicious thing I can think of serving him.

Zack Ryder - Filet Mignon, Scalloped Potatoes, and Asparagus - Because the guy needs to catch a break every once in awhile.

Layla El - Lobster Risotto - Uh, no reason. I am definitely not trying to woo her or anything. I'm married. I'M MARRIED.

Zeb Colter - Shwarma on Pita with Hummus on the Side - I'm a fan of trolling, you see.

Big E - Kielbasa - Why change what works?