Thursday, December 4, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 102

Deucalion will play a huge role in the show I'm most looking forward to this month
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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!

December's usually a cold month in terms of wrestling events, but the first two weeks of the final month of the year have a show apiece that might end up being the crown jewels of their respective promotions. Chikara's season finale happening at the 2300 Arena on Saturday and the final NXT live special of the year airing live on The WWE Network from Full Sail University on Thursday, Dec. 11 (a week from tonight) have my full attention. The return to The Arena is a long time coming for Chikara. I think the anticipation for it at large doesn't seem to meet the grand scale of stuff that I feel is going to go down. Plus, it's Chikara in Philadelphia. That company putting on a show in that city is a formula for magic.

The NXT show has a lot to live up to, but the Adrian Neville/Sami Zayn match has so much riding on it. Throw in the Women's Championship match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks, the Tag Team Championship bout between the Lucha Dragons and Vaudevillains, and the much heralded Ascension/Finn Balor and Hideo Itami match, and the card is looking just as good if not better than the previous three Network specials. Of course, Final Battle could be good, and TLC might surprise, especially if WWE gives Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper a good chunk of time to create in their assumed match, but as far as I'm concerned, it's all about Chikara and NXT this month.

From a match quality standpoint, it's Eddie Kingston vs. Jimmy Jacobs, and no match really comes close. Kingston is special in big matches that don't also involve Icarus, and Jacobs could be his best combination of pure pro wrestling ability, veteran guile, and storyline emotion since I started following the company. I would be shocked if this match wasn't the best of the night or even the best in Chikara of the year. From an emotional point of view, I'm really invested in the steel cage match between Icarus and Deucalion. I don't know how good it's going to be, but the money will be in what happens after the match. Will the Flood story conclude here? IF so, will Chikara immediately segue into the next big crisis? So much has happened in 2014 since the official return, which is unusual for the normally glacially-paced promotion.

Depends. Does he get the whole magilla including the massive periods of time off, or is he just The Beast Incarnate™, only as a full-time wrestler? Honestly, I can't see any reason why Wyatt couldn't have mushed Cena into a fine paste the way Lesnar did at SummerSlam. I can see a good reason not to give him beating the Streak. Lesnar had to be the guy to do that because he's the only guy who could have handled that backlash. But give Wyatt everything else as a full-timer, and you wouldn't have needed to have retooled him so drastically.

They're great! Even though TJ can be a belligerent little terror at times, the family is fine and holding up well into the holiday season.

Stop watching. No, seriously, you're not obligated to watch wrestling or consume any kind of entertainment that you don't enjoy anymore. People take breaks from wrestling all the time. I did between WrestleMania XIX and SummerSlam '08. You can come back in whenever you want. Hell, you don't even have to come back. You can outgrow wrestling if you want. You're a human being. Change is the nature of a normal human being. Don't force it if you're not feeling it, because then you may end up resenting wrestling and that's not healthy at all.

Most contrivances in the wrestling world more egregious than a tables match seem to exist in TNA except for one thing. What the fuck is so different between a chairs match and a regular old no holds barred match/street fight/no disqualification? Is the ref really going to DQ someone for breaking out a kendo stick? But then again, at least a chairs match has the implicit violence. You have just as much a chance of getting a bullshit, weak, whoopsie-daisy accidental finish in a tables match as you do a forceful, put-through-the-table ending. Only once was the weak accident finish ever good, and it was the Extreme Rules tables match where Cody Rhodes won the Intercontinental Championship back from Big Show. All the more reason to ditch TLC and replace it with, uh, I don't know, Wrestling Match, The Pay-Per-View.

He's an old, out-of-touch man trying to market a product to a younger generation that is passing him by, and instead of stepping aside like a normal human being, he's trying to ram his ideals down everyone's throats because he's older and you should listen to him, dammit. Basically, he's your typical, American one-percenter who thinks his shit doesn't stink because he's old, white, and rich.

You're looking at this match from a wrestling fan of the world, not as a Chikara fan. Remember, in Chikara-lore, the steel cage still has meaning. Only one match in its history has been contested within the four fenced-in walls, one between Claudio Castagnoli and Brodie Lee. It hasn't been watered down like it's been in WWE, and even by indie standards, Chikara's cage has gravitas. It should be enough to contain them, at least until the match is over...

Not at all. NXT right now is a glorious island where barely anything goes wrong, and anything that hurts stops stinging by the time the next segment starts. Zayn has mastered that environment because the intimate crowd loves him and because he has upward mobility that he may or may not have once he gets to the main roster. NXT doesn't have a John Cena-like golem who'll block his access to being THE GUY. By its very nature, it is a fluid, dynamic environment where the guard at the top changes by design. Which means Zayn will reach a Catch-22 situation. He'll either be sacrificed to the main roster, w here I think he'll be okay, but not as okay as he is right now, or he'll become NXT's John Cena if he's able to stay there. Basically, WWE needs Vince McMahon out of the picture and a new idea of what wrestling should be on the mainstream level in charge before the NXT experiment can be fully actualized.

I've never seen him on The Talking Dead, mainly because I don't watch the main show it is set up to discuss. However, cutting promos and talking casually and/or critically about a television show are two different things. Maybe Punk is more dialed in when he's got something to rail against rather than speaking frankly on a passion.

I like it. But would McMahon himself be up for working with a guy he admittedly thinks has no charisma? That Steve Austin Podcast appearance was eye-opening for how frustrating being a WWE fan can be. McMahon doesn't run his company for you but he still wants you to watch. It's hard for me to put into words what I mean, but I don't know how much further from my breaking point I am with regards to RAW and the main narrative.

On one hand, McMahon's easily the most carny guy left in the business, and I can't see him as a dude who'd spoil his own pay-per-view results to prove a point. On the other, he also seems to be the flightiest person-in-charge in history, and he totally would seem like the kind of person who'd fuck with his own writing staff by spilling the beans on what they'd planned before the show went on the air. However, I'm not sure McMahon even knows what Reddit is, which is why I believe Dolphins1925 is/was someone else.

The biggest problem facing the average WWE superstar seems to be that the crowd isn't properly introduced to them and their beats before they're thrown into the fire. Would Adam Rose have been better suited for a big WWE run if he'd been allowed to squash a few "local talents" and get more interview time in a live arena or in the inset box interviews that WWE still runs? Rose may be a bad example because of the fringe nature of his gimmick as well as the relative recency with which it was given to him before being called up. Bo Dallas might be a better example, but the point remains the same. The squash-phase of a wrestler's career back in the day was crucial at getting audiences familiar with them. The nature of the game has changed so much in 20 years, but I wonder if fostering an atmosphere that rewards patience with the crowd would condition them to be more patient. Long answer condensed - yes, I think it's a good idea to at least try.