Thursday, November 20, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 101

The above is not needed in hockey anymore
Photo via
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 afternoon (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers!

Personally, I think the phasing out of enforcers has been a long-time coming in the NHL. Professional athletes like to project an image of toughness, but the way so many professional leagues have rules against taunting, unwritten rules, or in hockey, sanctioned physical retaliation, it seems like so many people who play sports are thin-skinned and whiny when it comes to their feelings, as if someone's pride is more important than the "offender's" physical well-being. Fragile egos are a terrible thing to prop up. Just play the game of hockey and don't get a stick up your ass because someone celebrated over scoring a goal or because you didn't think the penalty given to the other team's goon for roughing up one of your players was stiff enough.

As for wrestling, I'm not sure an analogue exists since it's not a sport but entertainment. I would imagine backstage areas have their share of enforcers, or guys who make sure that things are on the up and up through threats of physical violence. Tony Garea's long-tenured WWE employment had to have been owed to his shoot prowess, and stories are told all the time of tough guys making sure booking decisions go over the way they're supposed to. The most famous story has to be Undertaker making sure Shawn Michaels did business for Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV. The roles are fundamentally different, in that the hockey enforcer seems to be more of a retaliatory position, while the theoretical wrestling enforcer is more proactive or a deterrent. I also think that the wrestling enforcer might be on its way out too. Money talks louder than physical violence anymore, and as more and more promotions grow more corporate in structure, the currency value of violence declines further and further. Personally, I would rather not hear stories of violence being threatened or perpetrated backstage at a wrestling show, ironic given how combative in nature the art is, but I can understand or condone better why a wrestling locker room would have its own tough guy to enforce the rules rather than on the ice in hockey.

Assuming that Jimmy Jacobs will be at Tomorrow Never Dies in a singles match against Eddie Kingston, give me UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked, Frightmare, Obariyon, Kodama, Jervis Cottonbelly, Fire Ant (assuming Silver Ant and Fire Ant get a tag match), and a debuting Kid Cyclone. The Spectral Envoy has the most beef with Jakob Hammermeier in that they ended up as the emissaries who took out the first iteration of the BDK. Also, Hammermeier is in possession of the Eye of Tyr, an artifact Mantis is very familiar with. Everyone else on the team has lost someone, either to the chokebreaker of Deucalion or to the Flood's brainwashing.

  1. Buy out an existing wrestling promotion, preferably TNA - WWE's ship has probably sailed on getting TNA with its new television deal. The most recent challenger to WWE's crown as a WWE platform would have given The Network first-run programming with an existing fanbase, as well as a roster of both young superstars and wrestlers with whom WWE has history. TNA doesn't have to be the only promotion in play; several popular indies might be ideal to run on The Network as both pseudo-developmental territories or at least places where WWE could both get a fresh look at various indie talents and a place where it could send NXT/Performance Center wrestlers for seasoning in front of a hostile crowd. It would be like the old WWF/ECW relationship, only not as denied in public.
  2. Sitcoms - WWE tries comedy all the time, but the results vacillate, often leading to disaster. Over the top distribution on sitcoms is the hot new thing right now, and WWE has the perfect platform to give fledgling writers/developers a chance to flex their muscles. WWE wrestlers getting chances to act on these shows would hone their comedic chops and give them much needed time off from the ring (much needed for them and for WWE Creative trying to book them poorly).
  3. The COMPLETE television archives for WWE, WCW, and ECW - WWE has a huge tape library, and while I understand not wanting to put all of it on the servers at the same time, I don't see a reason not to have everything from the "big three" in the Monday Night Wars era available outside of bandwidth/storage, especially since WWE fetishizes that era to the point of exhaustion. The Nitros are a good touch, but what about WCW Saturday Night? Or the ECW on Spike TV program? Give the subscribers more footage than they can possibly handle, and maybe they'll see the venture as worthwhile.
At first, I thought LOL CENA WINZ because he always does, but for one, Team Cena has no bench. I'm sure not having any subs over a 40 or 48 minute game would affect play by the end against a team of fresh-legged ballers. Then, the issue of size comes up. Team Cena would be full of GIANTS, which limits the opportunity for perimeter offense. The lineup would have Big Show at center, Erick Rowan at power forward, Ryback at small forward, Cena at shooting guard, and Dolph Ziggler running the point, more than likely. Show played college basketball, but his body is almost shot. He can't keep up with Kentucky's athletes at the rim. Rowan is big and strong, but he's doesn't strike me as fully coordinated. I imagine Ryback taking so many charging fouls, although he'd have to be the most effective scoring option, right? You wouldn't want to be in his way if he's on a fast break. Cena at shooting guard would get KILLED off the dribble, and Ziggler would foul out within the first 10 minutes for flopping. Then who comes off the bench? Jack Swagger? Nikki Bella? Give me Kentucky by at least a 50-burger and...

*someone whispers in the ear*

Nevermind, the booking sheet says Cena scores 100 by himself in the closing minutes to pull out a victory after everyone else fouled out. Goddammit.

Back when I was younger and had gobs more free time than I do now, I wrote a fantasy wrestling promotion with all these weird and dumb wrestlers I made up. I'll spare the details, but I ran monthly pay-per-views, and my December event was always held on the day after Christmas. Most places are usually closed, and if they're not, people tend to take the day off anyway. I know I do. Another time to try a midweek pay-per-view would be in the summertime. Baseball is the only competition, and people tend to stay up later or take vacations there too.

It's a net positive, even if only slightly. TNA would rather be on Spike TV, but Dixie Carter's blind devotion to Vince Russo cost the company that opportunity. The people in charge only have themselves to blame, but rather than look at it from a "Spike vs. Destination America" scenario, people need to look at it from "Destination America vs. closure" scenario. DA also is in 60 million homes right now, which isn't a piddling number. The question becomes whether TNA's 1 million weekly viewers all have that channel or not.

Anyway, while I firmly believe Carter and her merry band of corporate assholes don't deserve to have television, I am sad whenever anyone, whether the wrestlers or the people behind the scenes, has to lose their job. So I'm happy that TNA is staying open. Hopefully, the company can grow so that someone less heinous can buy it and do something good with it. I'm not holding my breath, however.


  • John Cena - He's WWE's archetypical hero-type, even moreso than Hulk Hogan at this point.
  • Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat - While Cena has only been a babyface in wrestling relativity, Steamboat has been wrestling's ultimate good guy in the broadest, most general sense. Gotta have him on the team.
  • Bret Hart - He was such a good guy that it turned him bitter and jaded when the classic babyface became uncool.
  • Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson - I'm not sure if either of these two worked for the WWE, but their footage is on the Network. The most classic good guy tag team ever.

  • Vince McMahon - Hey, he worked semi-regularly. Plus, y'know, he's the embodiment of heeldom for several obvious reasons.
  • Triple H - He drug-married the boss' daughter, fucked a corpse, and racism'd his way to a WrestleMania main event victory. Yet, he's not the most evil person in WWE history by a longshot. Weird.
  • Tully Blanchard - Not only was he a bad man, he flaunted it in everyone's face. He may not have been the leader of the Four Horsemen, but one could argue he was more a heel than anyone in the group ever was.
  • Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster - A one-percent flaunting asshole with his own bling and a literal tax man? Not even Kevin Sullivan at his most occult touches these two in terms of pure evil.