Thursday, January 22, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 106

Sami Zayn's theme song for your podcast? DO IT
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 afternoon (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers!

Assuming you don't want any "real" songs that wrestlers up to the age of ECW used, I have three options. If you wanted to go for an arrogant, "heel" vibe, or if your podcast is financial in nature, you could go with Ted DiBiase's theme song. The ironic American could go with Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme, done by Rick Derringer. Sure, that song might be "cheating," but have you heard it anywhere besides association with Hulk Hogan? But the best theme to use, unless you're really adverse to ska, is Sami Zayn's NXT theme right now:

It's high-energy and bouncy, and it'll get the attentions of your listeners. Unless they're really adverse to ska. Then, I don't know, go with anyone's theme except that Brie Mode song.

NXT: Adrian Neville comes to mind. He has no more lands left to conquer in Florida, and he's certainly not of the Tyler Breeze/CJ Parker archetype who can stay in developmental forever and claim it as some kind of win. The best place to debut a wrestler on the main roster is the Rumble because that competitor can look strong even without eliminating a single person. Rusev's hard launch may not have been until after WrestleMania, but his Rumble showing set a tone that this guy was not to be fucked with. Neville may not be HOSS PRIME like Rusev, but he can certainly show the world something.

ALUMNI: I'm a sucker for ECW nostalgia when it's not shoved in my face 24/7 but instead given in small doses, so I'm all in on the bWo's campaign to get into the Rumble match. Even if it's just Blue Meanie or Stevie Richards, it would be a nice nod to the ECW history in Philadelphia that hasn't already been beaten to death into the ground. Plus, WWE could finally do that bWo/nWo showdown as a backstage skit that has been in the pipes since Vince McMahon told everyone not to confuse the former with the clothing line that was the latter on that RAW where the ECW guys invaded.

WILDCARD: Charlotte, Paige, Nikki Bella, or Natalya would get my nod. I would lean towards Bella because she is the Divas Champion, but at some point, WWE has to work towards legitimizing its women's roster. Tossing one in the Rumble sounds like putting a Band-Aid on a sliced jugular vein, and any appearance would have to be followed up by modeling the in-ring portion of the division more after NXT, but if Bella or Paige or Charlotte or Nattie got in the Rumble, got to work regular offense on the men that the men in turn sold, then maybe more eyes would perk up when they came out normally outside of their revealing ring gear.

Finger foods that you can pop in your mouth are the best morsels to serve for the Rumble. Really, any wrestling event lends itself more to snack/bar food rather than "meals," but the Rumble itself requires more attention because how many sheer bodies are in the ring at the same time and how fast the action can move. Sure, you could eat a steak and concentrate on cutting it, but then you might miss a whiz-bang elimination or how Kofi Kingston's annual escape from death is actually set up (which can be more exciting to witness than the payoff). You could also try to eat said steak during the slog portions where everyone picks a corner and works over someone/gets worked over, but what if the match turns on a dime when, say, Roman Reigns or Bray Wyatt come out to clear the ring? Your best bets would be hors d'oeuvres, pizza rolls, chips, pretzels, wings, pizza, and other things that can be picked up and held without much concentration. If you wanna get fancy and make some dumplings or sliders, be my guest. But don't serve anything that would be too much trouble to eat.

The best Rumble match for my money is the 2010 one, with apologies to Ric Flair's magnum opus in 1992. That match had CM Punk holding court with the Straight Edge Society and eliminating fools while cutting his promo, Beth Phoenix kiss-eliminating Great Khali, Shawn Michaels mad, frantic dash to get his one last shot, and Edge's super surprise return and subsequent whipping of Chris Jericho from there to Mania and back. The worst Rumble match was the one that Vince McMahon won, which I remember being unremarkable to begin with, but the gut punch of McMahon, who'd also win the WWE Championship that same year, winning his own signature gimmick match was just gross.

As for what makes a Rumble good or bad, I think it has a lot to do with pacing and flow. For being a match with 30-40 wrestlers that spans an hour, it has the ability to feel like a sprint regardless of run-time. If most of the match is just guys clubberin' weakly or stalling for time, it's bad. But if the pacing is good and the in-match stories being told aren't ludicrous or non-existent, then the Rumble will almost certainly be good. In fact, I'd say it's harder to have a "bad" Rumble than it is to have a good one.

You know those ten hour videos on YouTube? Yeah, that supercut would dwarf those. As for the serious question, the best Kane match I can think of actually happened in 2012 at TLC. He teamed with Daniel Bryan and Ryback to face a debuting Shield in one of the most bonkers, out-of-control, carnage-soaked matches I ever laid witness to. Maybe it's cheating to put in a Kane multiman match when he's actually had a somewhat decent career, but that match is one of my favorite from the last six years.

I've been hearing residual cheers for Reigns on regular RAW episodes, and I think most of the genpop is okay with him because he still wears the Shield garb and has the theme song. But Philly's a rough crowd, and the Rumble attracts the same kind of "hardcore" crowd that WrestleMania tends to get. The growing displeasure with Reigns has not only manifested itself on Twitter or in blogs, but a "Hijack RAW"-style movement I refuse to link to also has sprung up trying to manufacture a bad response for Reigns. The question is whether Vince McMahon is that stubborn in his convictions, or if the rest of WWE can convince him that someone like Daniel Bryan or Dean Ambrose or Daniel Bryan or Daniel Bryan, or maybe even that Daniel Bryan kid would be a better option.

My gimmick would be DAD NEWS TH, delivering the most DAD of all news to arenas across the country. My finisher would be a chinlock where I do nothing but tell lame dad jokes until my opponent submitted. I would be undefeated until I put over my son and/or daughter and/or dog.

Are you ready to see wrinkly, sad old man tattoos, Nature Boy in a wheelchair, and a Triple H who'll have aged even worse than his father-in-law has over the last 15 years? Because the 2030 RAW Reunion is totally gonna have Evolution hogging the spotlight. You know this to be true.

I would be shocked if WWE tried something like that, not because the company would be scared of another Owen Hart situation, but because it would get raked over the coals if it even tried. Hart should never have fallen from the rafters, but by all accounts, the stunt was haphazardly and even negligently set up. If WWE were to do it today with Sting, it would follow everything by the letter and make sure that he'd have some kind of fall protection on the ground even. But the publicity would be too bad, and I'm not sure Vince McMahon is that belligerent.