Thursday, January 29, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 107

The Attitude Adjustment is a fine regular finish, but it's been killed for big matches
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!

Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, and Big Show right now are three guys whose finishers are well-protected to the point where they wouldn't need "Burning Hammers." I don't think anyone's kicked out of the Knee-Plus or the spear, and Big Show's knockout punch has only been survived by Mark Henry and possibly John Cena (although I do recall Cena taking the three-second tan thanks to the punch at Survivor Series). Additionally, Randy Orton has the punt, which although is banned right now, the spectre of it is still enough to give people the willies. With that in mind:
  • John Cena - Fireman's Carry into a Michinoku Driver II: Basically, he would tease going into the Attitude Adjustment, but instead, he would introduce a whole different wrinkle. While a common spot on the indies, it might blow WWE crowds' collective minds.
  • Sheamus - Irish Cross Tossing Crucifix Powerbomb: Going back to the well for Sheamus here. The Brogue Kick is a good strike finish, and this move would be familiar to most fans yet still protected enough that it would register as a DEATH finish.
  • Dean Ambrose - Top Rope Victory Roll: A crazy finisher for a crazy-ass wrestler.
  • Seth Rollins - Phoenix Splash: He actually pulled it off at the Royal Rumble, but was interrupted by HUNGRY ZOMBIE BROCK LESNAR. Let him use this move to finish off tough opponents for good.
  • Bray Wyatt - Sister Abigail's Kiss into the Barricade: Simple add-on to his current move, but it would match his sadism and the simplicity that underlines his cerebral, Cajun-voodoo magic exterior.
  • Dolph Ziggler - Springboard Fame-Asser into the Top Turnbuckle: This move might be the trickiest to pull off, but if anyone could do it, it would be the Show-Off.
  • Cesaro - Ricola Bomb: Again, go with what brought the man to the dance in the first place.
  • The Miz - Top Rope Neckbreaker to Someone in the Tree of Woe: The move starts off with Miz on the top rope, in full view of everyone, and it ends with the opponent borderline dead. Perfect DEATH finisher for the most vainglorious wrestler on the roster.
  • Kane - Fireball: He's almost retired. What harm would it for him to bring back the ol' fireball for a spell.
A lot of these moves sound grandiose and dangerous, but the point of the original Burning Hammer in Japan (or the Tiger Driver '91 or the Ganso Bomb) were that they were moves to be done on special occasions, not moves that were regular finishers. Mitsuharu Misawa only broke out TD '91 six or seven times. Kenta Kobashi may have done the Burning Hammer fewer times. The above moves would be special to WWE audiences and only pulled out for big matches.

It depends on which promotions are involved. El Patron could certainly go around and collect random indie belts to take with him, but I'm not sure the promotions involved would be happy allowing him to wear them on Ring of Honor television when ROH pretty much removed Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole from their use. I could imagine a scenario where Global Force Wrestling's network of partner promotions all put their big titles on one person like El Patron as a gimmick. Imagine him showing up to a big GFW-branded event with the IWGP World Championship, the Dreamwave Championship, the AAA World Championship, the WWP World Championship, the WXW World Championship, and say, the PWG World Championship? That would give him instant swag, wouldn't it? I'm down.

Quarterback: I need someone with a rocket arm, intelligence, and mobility. I don't know who in wrestling has the first one, but Dan Barry seems like a smart dude who can move. He's my quarterback.

Running Back: ACH's freakish athleticism and agility makes him the ideal RB candidate. I imagine his pretzel-twisting moves in the ring translate to cutbacks and hitting holes.

Tackles: The offensive line needs to be mean and beefy yet still agile. The tackle positions are important in containing edge rushers and protecting my QB's blindside. Left tackle would be Bill Carr, because he and Barry are best friends, and he fits the mold perfectly. Kevin Owens is on the other side.

Guards: The guards are the beefier members of the line who need to get pushes forward. Mark Henry and Moose (who played that position when he was in football) are the two guys ideal for that spot.

Center: The center not only has to be beefy and mean but he has to have great coordination, especially with his hands and timing. I'll take Sheamus here.

Tight End: Uhaa Nation has size to post up in the red zone, athleticism to run routes in the open field, and sheer muscle to go over the middle and shrug off big hits.

Wide Receivers: I want a speedster and a good route runner on the outside, and a sure-handed horse to go over the middle. Ricochet fits the first category as a DeSean Jackson-type playmaker. Dancing seems to translate to good footwork, so Fandango is on the other side. As for the slot receiver, Shinsuke Nakamura can dance, is tough as nails, and seems to have the least fear of dying.

3-4 Defensive Ends: Basically, in the 3-4 scheme, these guys are athletic run stoppers who can get to the quarterback after battling in the trenches. What better combination of brains, brawn, and finesse is out there than Brodus Clay/Tyrus/Monstrous BC? On the other side of him would be nasty-ass Tomohiro Ishii.

Nose Tackle: Max Smashmaster has the girth and can handle mean dudes on the offensive line with his own nasty streak.

Pass-Rushing Outside Linebackers: Ryback would be the dedicated pass-rusher because he's athletic, jacked, and single-focused enough to get to the QB on every play. The other guy has to be able to drop back in coverage, handle a tight end, and still have the tenacity to blitz the QB. Give me Vordell Walker.

Inside Linebackers: Bray Wyatt is big and cerebral and can do all the things an inside linebacker is supposed to do. Eddie Kingston is my other pick.

Cornerbacks: A corner has to be quick, tenacious, and not afraid to break the rules, so I'll take the Forever Hooligans as my corner tandem.

Strong Safety: This position requires some coverage skills, but also needs to have battering-ram hitting ability for run support and the quick intelligence to know the when to drop back and when to come up. For being as jacked to the gills as he is, Brian Cage is pretty quick and can probably get good reps in the secondary.

Free Safety: Again, coverage skills are needed here, but the ability to cover large swaths of field to get into support positions as quickly as possible are also needed. AR Fox fits this role.

Also, give me Hideo Itami at hybrid kicker/punter, just to be sure.

Used to be back in the day that nearly every theme song that was written for a WWF superstar at least tried to fit them. That paradigm shifted during the Attitude Era when instrumentals came into vogue and then afterwards when WWE started getting butt-rock bands to do everyone's themes. So nowadays, while guys might have great themes, those songs may  not exactly fit the wrestler at times. For example, "Ride of the Valkyrie" gives me chills every time I hear it, but how does it "fit" the Daniel Bryan character? The answer is probably nebulous and needs a lot of explaining.

However, a few WWE characters nowadays have great-fitting theme songs. For example, Sasha Banks has a great theme song on its own, but it also is a glove-perfect fit. If Paige is going to be the Scream Queen of WWE, her theme song fits like a puzzle piece in her overall portrait as well. Jack Swagger's theme sounds like it would be the bumper music on a Fox News program. Similarly, imagine hearing Rusev's theme backing a Soviet propaganda film.

The best fit, however, is Tyler Breeze. He's a narcissistic beauty model whose opinion of himself is greater than his of everyone else's on the planet combined, so who else would be better to sing it than himself? It's pitch-perfect.

*cracks knuckles* I'll try. Okay, deep breath, and...

"Roman Reigns got pooped on by the lunchpail fans in Philadelphia for talking, while Marshawn Lynch is getting raked over the coals by the media for NOT speaking. Ironic, isn't it? But both of them are in the wrong because OBAMA TERRORISTS OBAMACARE SECRET MUSLIM ISIS EBOLA."

Okay, that didn't go as well as I planned it to. At least I tried.

The absolute best case scenario would be for the winner of the Number One Contender tournament to get his title shot at Sami Zayn (or Kevin Owens) at WrestleMania. I am hearing rumblings that Zayn at least could get a match on the big card this year, but will it be as a WWE superstar or as a NXT guest? As with anything in WWE's planner that hasn't been concretely announced yet, I have no fuckin' idea. My guess is the tournament will wrap up at the fourth Takeover event. Basically, as long as Baron Corbin isn't the winner of the thing, the match should take place at Mania, even if it ends up being Zayn/Adrian Neville IV.

As of right now, the penciled-in card for WrestleMania has Daniel Bryan against Sheamus and Seth Rollins against Randy Orton. The movement towards Bryan/Dolph Ziggler appears to be growing in strength, but then WWE would have to end Bryan's entanglement with The Authority at Fast Lane, which isn't exactly the worst idea in the world right now, or it would have to turn either Bryan or Ziggler heel, which would be the worst idea in the world right now. Bryan/Rollins seems to be far off the radar, but at the same time, so did Bryan/Orton(/Batista/Triple H) at this point last year. Still, I give that match 25/1 odds to actually happen. But if it did happen, and they got a considerable chunk of time, it wouldn't steal the show, because it would be expected to be the best match on the card. Given that Bryan and Rollins have had tremendous matches with each other since they were Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black, I project that if it did happen at Mania, it would live up to its undoubtedly lofty expectations.

Absolutely yes, but the company would have to be careful on how those episodes were spaced and framed. This past week's episode of RAW was fortuitously cancelled thanks to the weather, but it may have shown the benefit of not having a show RIGHT AFTER a pay-per-view. Letting the big event breathe with an interview-heavy show might enhance both the PPV as well as the gravitas of the interviews being conducted.

A radical plan of action that might bring back some of the aura of the special events would be to have every RAW after a major event with the exception of the night after WrestleMania (because that show has become almost as important as Mania itself) be a special interview/recap show. Additionally, every Smackdown right before the PPV should be an interview/preview show, which would allow the go-home RAW to have the definitive, final turns and plot construction before the PPV. WWE has way too many hours of programming to fill a week and not enough intelligence within the booking staff to populate it with matches without killing matchups. Maybe episodes based on talk, which is just as important a thing for a wrestler to do as wrestle, might enhance the product and lessen the load on creative.

In theory without context, no, I wouldn't, but in reality, everyone who holds the Intercontinental Champion loses to every opponent he faces unless it's a title match, but title matches happen so infrequently that the booking might as well be as runny as my nose while eating Buffalo wings. Unless the plan is to have Bryan lose hilariously to the White Home Run Contest Punching Bag from the Super Smash Bros. series, then no, no Intercontinental Championship run for Bryan, please.