Thursday, April 9, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 115

Does Finn Bálor, shown here preening over Tyler Breeze, really have that little on his odometer?
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!

Bálor is a bad example, because he wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling mostly before signing with WWE, not as an indie barnstormer. NJPW's touring schedule is somewhat comparable to the WWE grind with the added risk that NJPW's in-ring oeuvre leads to riskier bumping and higher highspots, so it's in a way a hybrid of WWE touring and heightened indie risk. He may be the one with the shortest shelf-life because of his schedule plus his lingering knee problems. In fact, both Kevin Owens and Hideo Itami also have knee problems which could shorten their careers. In general though, I don't think one can guarantee a best path for a long career outside of going to the Performance Center right out of college and getting your seasoning there. Even then, no matter how "safe" the style of wrestling you're doing is, one fuck-up might cost you your career, if not in that moment, then down the line. While I wouldn't bet on Bálor, Owens, Itami, Sami Zayn, and Adrian Neville having longer careers than, say, Enzo Amore or Tyler Breeze, everything in wrestling is super random, and people defy expectation every day. Basically, I took a chunk of text to shrug and say I don't know, but sometimes, the wrestling biz can do that to a man.

Remember when Bagwell showed up on RAW and singlehandedly turned the WCW reboot heel by sandbagging Booker T and then no-showing the next week while having his mother call in sick for him? That Buff Bagwell is the most awful iteration ever, no questions asked.

Stop watching until Money in the Bank! In all seriousness though, as a viewer, cessation of continued viewing of WWE production between RAW after Mania and say, the go-home show for Money in the Bank is the only way one can avoid WWE's doldrums. However, what can WWE do? It's simple. The company can concentrate on putting on as much effort at creating a pleasing week-to-week continuity as it did crafting WrestleMania this year. I don't know what specifically Vince McMahon and his drones could do to make it better other than following logical writing precepts and not telling the same goddamn weaksauce stories over and over again.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus from the best WWE in-ring pay-per-view of all time, Extreme Rules 2012, gets the slight nod over Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro from NXT in 2013, although both are super-notable for their own reasons. The two-of-three falls gimmick has only really gained traction in WWE lately, and most of those matches were either found in Chikara or Mexico. I think it's a pretty good gimmick to use for a wrestler-intensive roster, and WWE seems to have that now. Hopefully, other companies will follow suit, and more of these gems can come to the forefront over the next few years.

You ever hear the theory that Vince McMahon sent Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to WCW in order to submarine their business intentionally and kill the company from the inside? It was a larf of a theory that is discounted right away by Nitro kicking the shit out of RAW in ratings for 84 weeks in a row back when ratings actually MEANT something. However, the best conspiracy theory is that McMahon heard that theory, thought it was a good idea, and sent ex-WWE wrestler after ex-WWE wrestler to TNA in order to prevent that company from gaining traction. Whether intentionally, like Kevin Nash, or unintentionally through destructive behavior like Kurt Angle, McMahon sent over star after star to get in noted bad administrator Dixie Carter's ear about where the company should go. The biggest coup was sending over Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, whose big idea of taking TNA on the road and putting Impact head to head against RAW ultimately was the hole in TNA's ship that caused it to start sinking to the depths it is today. I don't believe that theory to be true, but it's far more believable than McMahon handing over still-viable stars to Ted Turner when Turner was in striking distance of him back in the day.

Goldust has already taken a position as a NXT trainer, or he's at least transitioning into that role. So it appears his days as an active competitor on the main roster are over, which is a shame. His feud with Stardust deserved to be blown off at Mania with a proper build, but then again, not even the Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar feud got a proper build this year. Go figure. As for Stardust, he'll probably float around in WWE's space until around Money in the Bank. I fear that WWE has all but given up on Cody Rhodes right now, which is a shame because he could have been a decent upper midcard anchor for the company. He'll probably keep a job in WWE as long as he wants thanks to daddy and big brother being in key positions, but man, his ship has seemingly sailed.

Duke winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship is an everpresent threat that has only manifested itself five times in the last 25 years, which is to say it's something no one wants but that they rarely get anyway, thankfully. Usually, when something in the wrestling world happens when it is not wanted, it happens a lot over a short period of time rather than sporadically over a long period, like Triple H's reign of terror between 2002 and 2008, which would be comparable to the New York Yankees in the '20s and '30s. I guess personally, it would be a random Rob van Dam comeback anymore. He spends a lot of time inactive, but when he comes back, oh man, it's terrible. It doesn't line up completely with Duke winning the title, but it is the best comp I can think of.

Having to bury your opponent to win a Buried Alive match is definitely extreme to the maxxx (three x's to indicate mega-extreme-ness). You have to shovel dirt onto your fallen opponent, enough to cover him completely. You know how much dirt weighs? A cubic foot of dirt weighs 74 lbs. by itself. Imagine having several cubic feet on top of you as a means to an end of a match. You'd be dead in a hot second. I understand the gimmickry involved in the match, but man, it was an ill-formed idea.

Well, this question was asked before the alleged reasoning came out. The timing appeared weird when it happened, but in all reality, Lee seemed to be a threat to leave the company at any time due to the fact that her employers were suing her husband, CM Punk, over claims of defamation. As an aside, unless WWE was going to fire Dr. Chris Amann, he really has no reason to sue for defamation of character. WWE stands behind him, so his career is not in jeopardy right now, and he's not going to up and leave for another company, so his job prospects aren't being hurt. It feels like a petty cash grab from a company that has the most of it in its given industry. It's gross. Now, picture being a marital partner of the person as the victim of that suit. Yeah, I'd wanna get out of dodge too, but not after getting one last big payday. Maybe it wasn't so weird after all.

I don't like forecasting these things, because it feels as morbid as a death pool. Also, with Justin Gabriel and CJ Parker leaving on their own accords, with WWE having done massive spring cleaning last year (the company has gone years without massive layoffs at times), and with the increase in subscriber numbers to the Network, I wouldn't be shocked to see no one getting the big future endeavor this year. However, if I had to pick one, it would be Heath Slater. Even though he did beat that assault charge from Mania a few years back, he's just not been on TV a whole lot and seems to be an afterthought even worse than Zack Ryder at this point. I could see him getting let go, although I'd be sad if he did get the ax.