Thursday, May 14, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 120

The Usos are a rare breed in wrestling, the perfectly cromulent twin tag team
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!

Have ten twins even formed tag teams in history? I can only think of six. Two of them have always been stinky garbage, one only just recently got good, and another one of them I have never seen in action.

  1. The Usos - The only team that has been always good in their time in the spotlight.
  2. The Bella Twins - They have mightily improved, but Nikki has pretty much lapped Brie at this point, and that point is not arguable to me in the least.
  3. Dave and Earl Hebner - I think Earl's complicity in the Montreal Screwjob and his merchandise fraud knock the group down a little bit. Also, they're referees.
  4. Gymini/The Johnsons - I guess I give them sympathy points because oh my god that TNA gimmick.
  5. The Harris Twins - Pee-Uuu
And the n/a (not enough data) goes to the Blossom Twins, who I hear are lovely lasses who have done some good work in England and for OVW, but I can't judge them. I have failed you. Please forgive me.

Luckily, the best mask in wrestling history belongs to one of the greatest wrestlers and perhaps the most influential junior heavyweight wrestler of all-time. You don't fuck with Jushin Thunder Liger's mask. You just don't.

First thing's first, don't be a fuckboy. That statement is worth repeating.

Secondly, even if NXT crowds have been taken over by markshits down at Full Sail, don't be the guy chanting vulgarities. WWE is still, theoretically, for the kids, and honestly, wrestling shows are a billion times better when they're super kid friendly. The one complaint I had with War of the Worlds last night, outside of the asshole vaping in the third row in front of me, was that the crowd was super vulgar, which I guess is fine if you're the kind of company that wants to court an adult only audience, but man, why would you want to rely on someone else to create the fans that you're going to capture (with low efficiency) later on by offering the "adult" alternative?

Third, enjoy the action the way you like to, but don't get confrontational. If you wanna cheer Sasha Banks over Bayley, that's your prerogative, but don't get in a kid's face if he/she calls you out on it. Four, don't jump the rail, but that goes part and parcel with the first one. Finally, just enjoy yourself, man. Wrestling is supposed to be fun. Sit back, relax, and take it all in, because it's gonna be super rad.

Because deep down, you feel like you're guilty of something, you just don't know what. And because that feeling of guilt is nagging at you, tearing at your insides, you feel the need to self-flagellate by listening to Jim Ross ask everyone he can if they thought ending The Streak was a good idea or not. It's the only way you can atone for sins you can't even remember.

Laying it all on the table, I haven't really read a whole lot of comics in my life, and my favorite ones are DC properties (Watchmen, Kingdom Come). But I do have a very soft spot in my heart for the first 30 or so issues of the Fantastic Four, which I read on vacation one summer. The movies don't do those issues justice.

As for my favorite Marvel movies, the top three for me are Avengers, Iron Man, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first is maybe the finest comic book movie ever made with a degree of difficulty so high that the odds were against it from day one. The second set such a great tone for the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Robert Downey, Jr. was the absolute perfect casting choice for Tony Stark. Finally, Winter Soldier was just so epic in scale with so much emotion and heart that I can't help but love it, even with its pitch black tone.

I don't listen to podcasts anymore, so I can't say with any accuracy if the ones I'm about to recommend are still good. When I did listen, though, I was subscribed to International Object, Wrestlespective Radio, and What A Maneuver! I believe the last one is the only one that's still any kind of active, but Jason Mann still does a WR every once in awhile.

AS for the mainstream ones, the only ones I can honestly recommend are Art of Wrestling and the Steve Austin Show, but even those ones aren't mandatory every week. The AOWs where Colt Cabana records live in front of a crowd are hit or miss, and to be honest, Cabana has been known to get kinda gross with his questions and attitudes, especially towards women. The Austin show surprisingly doesn't have that kind of offensive trademark to it, given how brusque the Stone Cold character was, but the shows can sometimes be dreadfully boring depending on content. If he's interviewing a wrestler, great, you wanna listen to that show. But if he's got Ted Fowler on talking about hunting deer? Delete that shit right away.

The reinforcements are coming or may already be there, friend. Solomon Crowe is one who can and very well should be tearing up the main event scene in NXT before long. I know he got fed to Baron Corbin last night, but hopefully, that was the last hiccup before he gets a chance to get involved in some major narrative. The Vaudevillains are also in that not-so-sweet spot of falling dangerously out of use, but once the top clears out, they could do some good work either in singles or as a tandem. Finally, Uhaa Nation, who hasn't been given a NXT Name Generator output yet, could be debuting as soon as Takeover: Unstoppable, and once he gets going, you'll see why everyone who's seen him on the indies loves the shit out of him.

Also, the women could also take over the show, and as long as the main roster doesn't poach them for sexy dress up parties and being damsels in distress for manly burly superstars, they could turn NXT into a visual representation of the Beyonce song "Girls." WHO RUN THE WORLD.

Anyone can be fixed unless they're devoid of any measurable talent, like Alex Riley. Say what you will about Konor, but he isn't completely useless, and Viktor feels like a guy who has all the tools to put something together. The hyperbole would be to say that "If Dean Ambrose can turn it around in one night, anyone can," but Ambrose is an ace talent above both Ascension dudes combined. But all the team would need is for JBL to stop shitting all over them in commentary and for them to get a good faith push and they'd be in decent shape.

Unless you mean "can The Ascension be spayed and/or neutered," to which the answer is that would be HIGHLY unethical, but probably could be done.

Even if WCW mishandled the cruisers after the first six months, they were still a featured part of the show, and the division was always present even if it was just used for comedy fodder between Madusa and Oklahoma. WWE was spotty in even presenting it, and it was never serious about segregating the heavies and light heavies.

If taking a movie character and transplanting him/her into the TV fray is on the table, then I would go with Nick Fury. I know Samuel L. Jackson is definitely out of the price range of basic television now, but how can one have a show about the SHIELD agency with only peek-ins at best from THE SHIELD agent? But that's just me waving my magic wand.

Realistically, I would love Cloak and Dagger incorporated into the TV universe somehow. Whether as members of the Secret Avengers that Skye is putting together, a rogue team that is neither fully aligned with SHIELD or against them, a retrofied version added to future seasons of Agent Carter, or as a property of their own on Netflix, I think they would make a great on-screen duo and property for long-build storytelling.

The easy answer would be WrestleMania 2000, but Triple H was getting that megapush to the moon anyway. I still think that if Mick Foley had won and then retired though, the goodwill towards that "ram-the-future-son-in-law-down-everyone's-throats" gambit might have been received a little better. Anything before that event might be pretty insignificant in terms how the show is perceived today, or else I'd totally have put Randy Savage over Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V for this answer.

But the best answer would have been WrestleMania XXIV. Rather than having Undertaker win, what if Edge had broken the Streak and retained the title? For one, it would definitely have forced WWE to retire Shawn Michaels differently, since he couldn't have used beating Taker as a crutch. It also would have deprived the world of his manic performance in the 2010 Royal Rumble, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make here. The ripple effects would have affected WrestleMania XXX, as Brock Lesnar now would have had to have been given a different thing to conquer in order to put him on the path to suplexing John Cena out of his goddamn mind at SummerSlam.

But putting Edge over Taker needn't have been a doomsday scenario for the next years in WWE. Rather than having that trope grow monolithic and huge, maybe it would have forced WWE to properly build up new stars instead of leaning on the past. Imagine Daniel Bryan's signing and ascension being accelerated so that he'd be the one to retire Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXVI? Or delayed a year or two? Would that have been a reasonable substitute for his Mania XXX moment, which would have had to have been bumped for Brock Lesnar conquering CM Punk's 868 day run as WWE Champion rather than Rock anticlimactically taking him out at the Rumble in '13. I don't know if that alternate history would have been the best for all parties involved, but it certainly would have been interesting.

I have spent every waking hour since I bought my tickets making this sign*

*I have made no such sign, and I am a disgrace to the Fire Nation. Please think of me as I battle my father, Fire Lord Ozai, in a deadly agni kai.