Thursday, November 13, 2014

Twitter Request Line: The Century Edition

The Ascension will probably be just fine
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!

I'll answer your question with a question of my own. Does the Ascension even have a gimmick anymore? Sure, they have the hieroglyphs on their gear, but the whole "spooky supernatural dudes" thing went out the window before they won the NXT Tag Team Championships, and may have had the kibosh put on it when Kenneth Cameron DUI'd his way out of the company. Right now, the Ascension remind me of a modern day Road Warriors, Demolition, or even the Steiner Bros. They're two big dudes who will kick your ass without quarter or mercy.

Now, all the rumors have placed them as the replacements for Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in the Wyatt Family. That gimmick has proven to work inasmuch as a dude can run being Wyatt's acolyte independent of WWE's bullshit parity booking. Truth be told, I think the Ascension has one of the better shots to get over on the main roster of the dudes populating the Full Sail ring every Thursday night.

I haven't watched Night Court in years, but Mick Foley would work perfectly as Judge Stone. Also, you might want someone with a little more charm than Heyman in the John Larroquette role. Bobby Heenan might fit better there.

Oh God, WHYYYYYY. Okay.

Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Undertaker, Randy Orton, Bob Orton, Koko B. Ware, Titus O'Neil, Mr. Wrestling, Mr. Wrestling II, Villano, Villano II, Villano III, Villano IV, Villano V, El Hijo del Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Jr., Cesaro, Chris Hero, Mike Quackenbush, Sara del Rey, Daizee Haze, Bull Nakano, Wahoo McDaniel, Gorgeous George, Sami Zayn, Jaguar Yokota, Atlantis, Steve Austin, Mikey Whipwreck, Gory Guerrero, Eddie Guerrero, Charlotte, Booker T, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Chuck Palumbo, Mark Jindrak, Rellik, Sean O'Haire, Konnan, Art Barr, Dump Matsumoto, Mickie Knuckles, Mickie James, Kenny Omega, Kana, Io Shirai, Mio Shirai, Mayumi Ozaki, Aja Kong, Hailey Hatred, Rickey Shane Page, ACH, Matthew Palmer, Martin Causaus, Willie Mack, So Cal Crazy, Ultimo Guerrero, Gregory Iron, Darren Young, Nicole Matthews, Rachel Summerlyn, Jazz, Kyle Matthews, Drake Younger, Ophidian, Amasis, Goldust, Stardust, Ryback, Low Ki, Portia Perez, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Glacier, Little Egypt, Mae Young, Tully Blanchard, Mildred Burke, Lou Thesz, Arn Anderson, Paul Roma, Ole Anderson, Barry Windham, Lex Luger, Sting, Bam Bam Bigelow, Akira Hokuto, Sherri Martel, Rick Martel, Dino Bravo, Kevin Steen, Jojo Bravo, Luke Hawx, Madison Eagles, and Daniel Bryan.


I would call it THE ART OF HOSSDOM: CRITERION COLLECTION. But yeah, it definitely has the potential to be one of those all-time classic elephant-seal-mashing-up-against-each-other matches along with the Sheamus/Mark Henry classic from SummerSlam '11 and any number of standout bouts featuring Vader against an opponent of size, mostly from All Japan.

I probably have answered this question before, but I'm glad to recount my first ever WWF house show at the Spectrum, which featured Bret Hart vs. brother Owen in the main event. They rehashed the Bret/Jerry Lawler King of the Ring '94 finish, where Bret had the sharpshooter on past the bell and ended up getting retroactively disqualified for excessive post-match brutality. I don't remember much else from that show, but I do remember having a really good time and also looking for television cameras that just weren't there.

You remember the matches that would headline Superstars or even Saturday Night's Main Event? The ones where the big main event stars like Hulk Hogan would wrestle someone way down the card but still a name entity? I would bring those matches back for the marquee TV matches nowadays. Sure, dudes like Don Muraco or Dino Bravo didn't stand an ice cube's chance in the crater of Mauna Kea of winning, but matches like those still had an aura to them. They served as a glimpse into the future that maybe someone below the card could have a better program in the future.

Nowadays, those kinds of matches could explore the studio space in a far more extensive manner with better quality than the matches of yesteryear could have. The quality of the roster has improved dramatically in terms of in-ring work. The possibilities are endless.

The ultimate answer would be to reinstitute the brand split, but I trust Vince McMahon to curate that as well as I would my dog to watch over a meat locker full of sides of beef. I would follow this paradigm for the WWE's schedule:

  • RAW - The narrative show: All the big happenings take place here
  • Smackdown - The wrestling show: Put marquee matches on Friday/Thursday, load it up with title defenses (IC/US/Tag/Divas), and use it to advance stories via wrestling in the ring rather than segments and vignettes
  • Main Event - The HARDCORE wrestling show: Not hardcore as in ECW, but for the people like me who live for weird matches or prolonged, PPV-quality bouts with clean finishes between odd pairings
  • NXT - Its own universe: Naturally
  • Superstars - The recap show: Basically, Superstars is perfect the way it is.
Well, my guess is TweetBag 200 will come sometime in December 2016 if I keep up the current pace, so I'll take a stab at that timeframe:
  1. Seth Rollins cashes in Money in the Bank the night after WrestleMania 31 on Roman Reigns after every crowd between the Royal Rumble and Mania inclusive took a giant shit on his positioning as The Guy.
  2. Global Force Wrestling presents its biggest show in November '15 as a pastiche of every satellite promotion on one card. The main event will be Kazuchika Okada defending his Global Force Unified Championship against Myzteziz (the former Mistico/Sin Cara). The show will do well enough to embolden the company to go from syndicated TV recap show to a full live slate.
  3. The Undertaker retires at WrestleMania 32. The entire weekend is dedicated to him, as he is inducted into the Hall of Fame the night before as the trophy inductee. His final match is against John Cena, and on RAW the next night, he gives his farewell speech to the crowd where he will break character for the first time ever.
  4. TNA closes up shop for good a month or two after Lockdown '16 when Jeff Jarrett buys out the Carter family for the name and library to absorb into GFW.
  5. Sasha Banks and Charlotte will headline a WWE pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell 2016, inside the cage, marking the first time two women were in the main event of a WWE PPV.

*reads the parenthetical*


In all seriousness, the best thing Bischoff has ever done was watching Japanese wrestling and basically porting over the idea of an invasion angle and emphasizing the innovative junior heavyweight scene. WCW in 1996 into 1997 was exciting because it was doing things that weren't done on a grand scale in America. That credit gets nerfed when you look at how he handled it after the first year, but I promised my sponsor I would cut down my slander of Bischoff this year. I PROMISED.

That depends on where Chikara is going in 2015, and honestly, the company's direction will be up in the air until December 6's finale. The Flood angle could still be going strong by September of next year, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that will come to an abrupt conclusion at Tomorrow Never Dies to segue into the next major crisis event, Chikara Zombies. Of course, a third option could be The Flood suffering a major blow and then petering out, causing Trios next year to be in an interstitial period between crisis events, and even more so, Chikara could go into a whole other direction after The Flood story ends that no one but Mike Quackenbush and his braintrust know. For simplicity's sake, I am going to assume that Trios will happen in an interstitial period:
  1. The Colony - Fire Ant, Worker Ant, Silver Ant
  2. The Osirian Portal - Ophidian, Amasis, Shynron
  3. The Spectral Envoy - UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked, Frightmare
  4. The Devastation Corporation - Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch
  5. The Bloc Party - The Proletariat Boar of Moldova, Mr. Azerbaijan, and to shake things up a bit, the Lithuanian Snow Troll
  6. Old Fashioned - Jervis Cottonbelly, Marion Fontaine, Thunderkitty
  7. The Batiri - Obariyon, Kodama, Qefka the Quiet
  8. The Throwbacks - Dasher Hatfield, Mr. Touchdown, Sugar Dunkerton
  9. Chicks Rule - Kimber Lee, Heidi Lovelace, and Veda Scott
  10. The Gentlemen's Club - Chuck Taylor, Drew Gulak, Swamp Monster
  11. The Submission Squad - Gary the Barn Owl, Pierre Abernathy, Davey Vega, Evan Gelistico
  12. The JOB Squad - Al Snow, Steve Blackman, The Blue Meanie
  13. The Yacht Club - "Smooth Sailing" Ashley Remington, Juan Francisco de Coronado, Prakash Sabar
  14. Team Texas - Jojo Bravo, Thomas Shire, Jessica James
  15. The New Kids on the Block - Kid Cyclone, Race Jaxon, Hype Rockwell
  16. The Mean Street Posse! Team Excellence - Gran Akuma, Dan Champion, Ken Broadway
A Cena-appreciation movement is already afoot. It began with the match-quality fetishists like myself and Dylan Hales who have rightfully been pointing out for years that Cena has been one of the best big-match performers in WWE history. Then, the folks over at 4CR Wrestling started their own Cena-centric religion with The Champ as its messianic figure. All this movement needs is for someone else to take his place as THE MAN, and thus as the sponge for all the scorn that is reserved for WWE's top star as a proxy for the shitty booking, and it will have its tipping point.

Twitter has helped me break down my preconceived notions, stereotypes, and biases just on the sheer number of diverse opinions that exist out there. It's helped me to realize that using terms like "The Internet" are useless, because you have so many different subsets of people ranging across the gamut in all shapes, sizes, and beliefs. In turn, it has helped inform my writing to make fewer generalizations and analyze situations more from my own point of view rather than some false idea of what "makes money" or "is popular."

Pull a New Jack and just keep it in a shopping cart!

Brock Lesnar doesn't die, he just sleeps. Rumor has it, he's not only awakened Cthulhu, but he's beaten the Ancient Old One to a bloody pulp and claimed his sleeping place at R'lyeh, where he will rest until Paul Heyman blows the yak's horn to summon him again for the Royal Rumble or whenever.

Golf is a sport/pastime/whatever that has a lot of downtime and deserves to be knocked down a peg or two, so yeah, let's ship those three clowns off to the PGA tour.

Xavier Woods doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who forgets such a momentous decade, no matter what.

for the record:
I've seen that scenario floated around before, and it's the second best way to tie up The Shield's arc in WWE that I've seen. The first best is inventing time-travel and beating WWE Creative with a large fish until they agree that the group should probably stay together a little while longer. The main problem is that it perpetuates the WWE's biggest problem with its babyfaces in that they're spiteful babies. Reigns and Ambrose double-crossing Rollins might elicit a pop from the crowd, but does it make them good guys? One could argue that Ambrose right now isn't so much a traditional babyface as he is a crazed antihero, but at the same time, every single fan-favorite in WWE acts in the same spiteful manner. Still, it's a good plan, especially if you just sit back and accept nihilistically that WWE is full of terrible, awful people.

You're going to want to throw something at me, but I get the sinking feeling that John Cena's rumored clash with Rusev at WrestleMania is going to be for the United States Championship. And Cena's going to win it by Attitudinally Adjusting Rusev's ass back to Russia. I can't think of a logistically plausible opponent to take him down before Mania.

Breaking news, Brock Lesnar has been eaten by a vengeful Cthulhu, so his WWE Championship is now vacant. THE TOURNAMENT TO DECIDE IT:

  • John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and Dolph Ziggler are given first round byes since they're the four wrestlers who held the WWE World Heavyweight or either component belt last and are still active within the company
  • FIRST ROUND: AJ Lee d. The Miz, Rusev d. Sheamus, Roman Reigns d. Mark Henry, Seth Rollins d. Dean Ambrose
  • SECOND ROUND: Dolph Ziggler d. AJ Lee, Rusev d. Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns d. Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and John Cena go to a DOUBLE DISQUALIFICATION and Reigns gets a bye to the final
  • SEMIFINAL: Rusev d. Dolph Ziggler
  • FINAL: Rusev d. Roman Reigns and unifies the WWE World Heavyweight and United States Championships FOR MOTHER RUSSIA. 

I was actually asked this question last year, so rather than start from scratch, why not repost it since it hasn't changed.

I've been to a few venues for wrestling shows, not as many as I would have liked, but I've been to a few. Most of them were standard. Even the New Moon Rising Wrestling Proving Grounds (aka the Wolf Dick Arena) felt like a wrestling venue. However, I've been to a couple of shows at the CZW Training Academy, and let me tell you, that place doesn't feel like a wrestling venue. A ring is plopped down in the middle of a carpeted office space. The bathroom is prominently placed near the stage. The ceiling height-to-room area ratio is completely out of whack, and having the wrestlers come in from basically the reception area is the cherry on the sundae. It's a great room to watch wrestling, don't get me wrong, but it's totally weird.

To be honest, the Attitude Adjustment isn't exactly bad for him. Cena needs to show his freakish strength, and his current finisher does a good job of displaying that. I think he may need to tighten it up a bit; I've seen variants of the AA on the indies that actually looked forceful and effective. The thing about Cena is expecting him to snug up his moves is like asking Davey Richards to sell long term, or asking Stephanie McMahon not to peacock up whenever another woman lower on the totem pole is sharing scene time with her. He's got a great handle on match flow and storytelling, but doing moves tightly is not his forte. So, the challenge is to give him a move that looks good no matter how loose it's done, and it still is able to accentuate his superhuman strongman abilities. If he couldn't use the AA, then a gorilla press into a front powerslam would be a great fallback that might actually look better on a consistent basis.

I would argue that peak push came after WrestleMania last year, when he won the World Heavyweight Championship and was being positioned as a top guy going forward. But thanks to Jack Swagger, well, that never panned out the way it should have. He's getting a nice run right now, but I feel like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over the heads of anyone who is expecting Ziggler to do anything but be a midcard workhorse from here on out.

Because compiling the TWB 100 by myself is a grand enough undertaking. If I were some single loser living as a shut-in in an apartment, I might think about it, but I got too much time on my hands to expand the project that far myself, and honestly, no knock on anyone else, but I only trust myself to curate the yearly project.

To clarify, I'm not a fan of the "shoot" interview as done by RF Video or Kayfabe Commentaries where it's clearly a cash-grab interview. However, guys like Colt Cabana and Steve Austin have perfected the art, only instead, they use the term "podcast," and frame their shows as conversations presented for free. That being said, everyone heard Cliff Compton's side of the story about his trip to Nigeria. When is someone going to get Great Power Uti's account? WHEN I SAY?

If you're not counting TNA, then the answer has to be Samoa Joe in a walk. I mean, even uninspired and going through the motions like he's been known to do in TNA, he was still among the best working on that roster. Imagine if he went to a hypothetical company that actually paid him and didn't book him to get a dick tattooed on his face?

IF you did mean to imply TNA, then the answer shifts to Portia Perez. She's a workhorse who has wrestled in nearly every promotion in the United States and Canada, yet she's never gotten a sniff for either TNA or WWE for whatever reason. I don't think I've ever seen a match of her's that I thought was below average, and she works so damn hard every time out.