Thursday, February 26, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 111

Jericho may have commandeered a camera once, but I don't think he ever wrestled with his list
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!

I want to say you're misremembering things, but I wasn't the most avid viewer of Nitro at that time. I remember the promo, mainly because of YouTube saturation and replays on WWE programming. But I don't ever remember seeing him actually do that kinda thing in an actual match. However, if you want a good example of a wrestler calling his own match in the ring, check out some Ring of Honor TV from its HDNet run early in 2010. Kevin Steen did running commentary in at least one of his matches from that run from right after he turned on El Generico and partnered with Steve Corino. It's highly entertaining.

On one hand, looking at fluctuations in body appearance and making judgments about it seems kinda gross, but WWE can be a gross company when it comes to image at times. It might not be possible to view how relatively lean someone like Kevin Owens is becoming means for a possible push in the womb or beyond it, especially since at least one person allegedly has been released thanks to body issues (hint, he had the same initials in NXT that Owens has now). My advice would be to tread lightly with such comparisons, and try to look at them from a "what would WWE do" standpoint and not make judgments on your own.

I may not be the person to trust on this because I'm just getting started as a NJPW scion, but I really think he's going to be in the field this year. AJ Styles has made a huge splash in New Japan, and he comes from the same pedigree as Joe. I still think it's not a done deal, and I wouldn't be surprised if Joe never does even a tour for the company. But if you're New Japan and you want to make a splash internationally, wouldn't you want to have Joe in the fold and part of your biggest tournament of the year?

I'm not entirely familiar with the work of any Tiger Mask, but I appreciate the influence that Satoru Sayama had as the first one. As for without the hood, no question that my favorite Tiger Mask is Mitsuharu Misawa, whose work as the ace of All Japan in the '90s informed a lot of my early shithead smart-ass hardcore fandom.

I had a rough time shopping for Ric Flair, because what do you get the guy who invented the cool heel? I wracked my brain and wracked it and even asked people, but I found the perfect present for him. I got him Jim Herd shackled up in a pillory and three dozen rotten tomatoes to chuck at him. Seems like the perfect gift for the man.

Unless you meant Buddy Landel, in which I got him a tie. Cuz I didn't really know Buddy Landel. And Buddy Rogers is dead, man.


A lot of what's been announced so far has been pretty unappealing, and if you believe what the recent Smackdown spoilers indicate, then the rumored match that had me the most interested, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus, is just not happening. I hate to be the wet blanket, but not a whole lot looks appetizing this year. I hope Roman Reigns can succeed in his given role, but I have no hope for his match vs. Brock Lesnar being anything more than passable as a best case scenario. John Cena/Rusev is going to be like waiting for the other shoe to drop on yet another bauble (Rusev's fake-ass undefeated streak) laid in front of Cena as a sacrifice. Seth Rollins/Randy Orton could be good, but I am still not buying Rollins as a heel in the ring, and he annoys the shit out of me out of it. I want no parts of an Intercontinental Championship clusterfuck, and Bray Wyatt vs. the Undertaker is a no-win situation for anyone involved.

I guess by default, that makes the Andre the Giant battle royale my specific hook for this year, at least right now. Battle royales are fun, and the first three entrants - Ryback, Curtis Axel, and The Miz - are all fun dudes. Of course, my feelings could change as the builds for the individual matches progress, but right now, this year's Mania looks like a giant nosedive from last year's.

Naomi, Kimber Lee, Drew Gulak. Imagine that routine with Sir Mix-A-Lot performing live. That would be one ass-bonanza.

So, this story just sprouted out overnight and gained crazy legs despite a) the source material being written like the most wishfully-thought fantasy booking scenario, and b) having been debunked by The Site That Shall Not Be Linked getting word from a WWE PR rep. But someone on Reddit, fuckin' REDDIT, posted a long-winded spiel about the real reason why Brock Lesnar stormed out of RAW Monday. Basically, he alleged that Reigns failed a drug test, but Vince McMahon demanded that he not be suspended so as not to lose face for the Mania main event. Lesnar caught wind of it and left in a huff because he didn't want to put over a drug abuser, especially since UFC, his other potential landing spot after Mania, is having a big drug problem and he didn't want to be associated with it.

I don't want to say definitively that Reigns has or hasn't failed a drug test, because I don't know. No one knows, although I doubt that with the extra scrutiny that UFC is receiving for its drug problem that WWE would pick now to relax its Wellness Program. I also have no idea why Lesnar left in a huff. As of right now, no one knows, not Dave Meltzer, not Dolphins 1972, not anyone except for Lesnar and McMahon, and neither are talking. Meltzer, for what it's worth, doesn't think it'll affect the Mania main event, but he's been wrong before. So who knows.