|The height of my fandom|
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you thought it was during my childhood, you would be WRONG. While I've always been a wrestling fan, my height of enjoyment has come relatively recently, starting around June 2011 through High Noon in November of that year. It's when I enjoyed Chikara the most, for one. It's still my favorite promotion, but that sweet spot had the Johnny Saint/Johnny Kidd/Ice Ribbon guest spots during Chikarasaurus Rex, the 12 Large Summit, Sara del Rey vs. Claudio Castagnoli, the Kana excursion, and perhaps my favorite independent wrestling match ever, Mike Quackenbush vs. Eddie Kingston at the aforementioned High Noon. It also had those little dots of excellence from WWE at Money in the Bank '11 and the short-lived fury of the Awesome Truth. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was still spitting fire at this time. TNA was unusually not shitty at this point, and I was getting into a lot of other more localized promotions like Anarchy Championship Wrestling and Absolute Intense Wrestling. Looking back, that portion of time in 2011 was pretty much my highest point.@tholzerman In all of your time watching, hen did you enjoy professional wrestling the most? and why— bd (@IHatebd) May 6, 2015
The best wrestler with the worst name continues to be Dolph Ziggler. While I've fallen out of love with him a little bit, I can't deny that the dude is still in the upper echelon of guys in WWE in terms of match quality, and he has the emotion and delivery that allow him to be an effective character if he has the right things to say. He'll be forever stuck with that ghastly name until he leaves the company though, so I've learned to live with it. The worst wrestler with the best name right now is harder because names have just gotten so generic for the most part. I'll have to throw my ring around the Roderick Strong peg. It's not that he's bad overall, but he tends to indulge in longer matches, especially in ROH. More importantly, his name should be reserved for an olde-timey strongman, maybe a guy to round out the Vaudevillains, but instead, it belongs to some whitebread indie fuckboy.@tholzerman Who's the best wrestler with the worst name? Worst wrestler with the best name? #TweetBag— Large Red Octopus (@cursethedark) May 6, 2015
- "My Name Is Jonas" - The album opener is a true banger. I love the interplay between the acoustic and electric guitars, especially in the big electric flourishes braking to an immediate stop to give way to the acoustic noodling. A true sing-a-long song if ever one was writ.
- "Surf Wax America" - This song just makes me think of summer days. It's peaceful and yet energetic.
- "Holiday" - It's a song that sounds like it would be a hoot to sing drunk at the bar at 3 AM.
- "The Sweater Song (Undone)" - True story, the first three or four times I heard it, I thought it was a Nirvana song. I was a dumb kid in 1994.
- "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" - I've been in the kind of dark place where Rivers Cuomo was when he wrote this one.
- "Say It Ain't So" - Haunting enough to evoke feelings, yet catchy enough to be a viable single.
- "No One Else" - It's a little disturbing how jaunty and blithe a song about being a dick controlling boyfriend is, but hey, it's jaunty and blithe!
- "In the Garage" - I dock it points because I dock any song that Weezer has done where it implies Cuomo is or was at anytime a metalhead, but it's still pretty cool.
- "Buddy Holly" - It's a perfect radio song.
- "Only in Dreams" - The worst song on either this album or Pinkerton would outshine a lot of similar albums' best tracks. I rank this one last because it kinda drones on a bit at the end before hitting that final flourish, but I stress, it's still aces. I love this album, and every time I even think about one of their later garbage albums like Hurley while knowing they produced this, it makes me want to give Cuomo a swirly.
I can't think of a better answer than Sid, but the problem is I can totally think of people who are on Sid's level. The thing about it is I don't think anyone in the last 20 or so years has gotten a main event push that was totally unwarranted. Even Sid had those crazy eyes and the insane yet alluring promos. So, without further ado, I give you the Sid Eudy One Tool Main Event All-Stars:@tholzerman Who is the one guy that had a huge headlining push that you just don't understand? (For us, it has to be Sid.) #TweetBag— What a Maneuver!! (@what_a_maneuver) May 6, 2015
- Sid - This one's a given.
- King Mabel - One might think he had nothing going for him, but he had a solid look for a big fat guy, and even in his multi-colored lycra pant days in Men on a Mission, he had a bit of swag around him. Otherwise, he was a total dud.
- Michael Elgin - He only ever could have reached the main event in early '10s Ring of Honor because of the style he worked, but he worked it in such a way that made people like him. Nothing else about him screams top talent. At all.
- Billy Kidman - WCW programmed him against Hulk Hogan during the New Blood reboot, which was one of the most baffling decisions of all-time. Dude was a decent junior heavy worker who showed barely any charisma and may have the most over in his career either thanks to being in the Flock or due to his main squeeze. Sometimes, you just don't try to elevate just anyone.
- Jeff Jarrett - And yet he was on top of either WCW or TNA for close to a decade. Then again, neither company really was making all that much hay with him as the lead.
- Justin Credible - Yeah, the Impact Players were pretty much '90s-in-your-face enough to warrant attention, but who thought watching him at all during his career that he'd be anywhere successful, artistically or financially, enough to get the push he did? ECW may have been better off just strapping Rhino at the time (and I hated Rhino then).
I think that's my list for now, but I reserve the right to add to it.
It seems curious that all three ex-Hounds of Justice are in the same match as Randy Orton. I've heard rumblings that the reunion tour is going to kick off with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns turning heel and rejoining Seth Rollins as the Authority's personal enforcement squad, and it all seems to make sense. I would both love and hate that scenario, love because I'm still not over the group's breakup even a year later, and hate because it's retreading old ground, and not just because they've reunited either. They spent prime time doing Triple H's and Stephanie McMahon's bidding. It's old hat. If they get back together, they have to do something different, like, I don't know, live up to enforcing justice like was their stated (false cuz duh, heel) goal.@tholzerman is Ambrose's inclusion at Payback the beginning of a Shield reunion & if so how long til they're back together #thetweetbag— Stu W (@Studub) May 6, 2015
Besides, right now, all three guys have mileage as solo acts. Rollins should be the whiny brat enfant terrible of the Authority with a whole new supporting cast. He needs new running buddies, like, I don't know, Johnny "Durty Curty" Curtis and the Ascension. Ambrose needs to be chaos incarnate. Reigns needs to continue on the path he is now, because while he wasn't ready for the shine at this year's Mania, he may just be ready for it next year in Dallas. A reunion would be great for the feels, but man, it would be just as ill-timed and hastily rushed as their breakup was a year ago.
It depends on the person, I guess. If you're the kind of guy who holds grudges or whose mind is not likely to be changed after a bad first impression, then it's going to take a lot of output to change your mind. If you're like me and have a malleable psyche, then yeah, it'll be easy to have an open mind. And in my opinion, you should definitely be receptive to her when she comes back, at least at first. She's not old enough or too much entrenched in the business that she can't still learn, and she was trained intensively by Brian Kendrick. I think she could turn some heads if given the right push and enough time to be able put a match together.@tholzerman If her rumored push is actually coming, how difficult will it be to have an open mind on Eva Marie? And should we?— KMB (@KMB2476) May 7, 2015
Any wrestler who deserves to be on the main roster is only one RAW away from a complete makeover in how high they are in the pecking order. Mark Henry turned it around in 2011 almost on an instant, for example. All anyone needs to do is to have one big moment that gets capitalized upon. Ryback springs right to mind. The crowd mostly is behind him by now. He can seemingly work, and as long as you don't have him go out and say how hungry he is to eat Bray Wyatt, he can talk. So all he really needs to do is truck Seth Rollins the night after Payback and start chasing him for the title. The key would be to find a way to take him right out of the title picture after Money in the Bank so he doesn't get run down by continually taking dumb deus ex machina finishes to keep him from winning the strap so that when he does get back and is ready to win, he's not a total joke.@tholzerman A la Dean Ambrose on May 4, whose character is one Raw away from near total salvation, and how does it go down? #TweetBag— Star of Savage (@StarOfSavage) May 7, 2015