Thursday, June 18, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol 5^3

That's right, blame everything on McMahon, especially Muhammad Hassan
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!

WWE's writers and Vince McMahon are the heels here, because who the fuck uses "the troops" to exploit the audience's emotions that close to 9/11? Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

Well, for one, I wouldn't go for Ms. del Rey because I am happily married. Also, I would only eschew my wife for Celeste Bonin if she eschewed her husband. Wait, did I actually type that? Anyway...

  1. An official renewal for Lucha Underground: While the show is listed on El Rey's website for a second season, THE RUMBLINGS say that it could very well not come back because Unimas just isn't the kind of Spanish language distribution necessary for survival. Or something. I don't know. I read Ultima Lucha spoilers. I know what's going to happen, and I am for one both dreading it and am morbidly excited for it. You can't leave the fucking audience on a cliffhanger and not come back. I'm still pissed at ABC for Flash Forward getting cancelled after that WHOA season finale cliffhanger. Plus, the wrestling is actually pretty spiffy.
  2. A little more girth for NXT: The top of NXT is fine and good, and the women are holding down the fort nicely. But the midcard is basically brooding Baron Corbin and a Bull Dempsey fat-shaming angle. Plus, the tag division could use some work in the ring at least. I love the Smack Talker Skywalker and Big Cass, but the Dubstep Cowboys just do not work with them as opponents. The problem is that WWE gets these indie guys coming in and the crowd immediately jams them into the main event because duh, they're names they recognize and they're seasoned for the big show. WWE has to do a better job cultivating talent that it doesn't suck in from the indies and build a midcard for NXT that will help every show reach the insanely unrealistic heights that Takeover: Rival did.
  3. Everyone to follow the Scenic City Invitational: To say Southern indies are on the rise is to ignore how insanely locally popular they are and how developed they've been for at least five years now. Georgia and surrounding states that aren't North Carolina just need the eyes on them. This tourney is the best shot of doing that. It's getting some grassroots promotion, and the guests are there. Moose, Kongo Kong, Gunner, and Jimmy Rave are all great talents with followings of their own. It's time they brought in some of their fans to see what the hubbub is all about.
  4. No change to be made to the July 4 special's Brock Lesnar match: Look, I'm a simple man to please. Just let me have Lesnar tossing around Kofi Kingston like a rag doll in advance of his showdown with Seth Rollins (preferably while wearing Hiroyo Matsumoto's Godzilla mask).
  5. Someone to pay me money to watch and write about wrestling: Seriously, give me money to watch and write about wrestling.

I am a proletarian man in every sense of the word, so screw those bougie inbreeders and let me eat sumptuously in an alleyway with all the people, unless the people try to eat all my beef Wellington. Then they can go screw.

The answer may not be one wrestler in singular, but many wrestlers. WWE just held a star-studded tryout at the Performance Center featuring some big names. I wouldn't be surprised if all of them sans Jessicka Havok get developmental deals, but if I were a betting man, I would put the best money on Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae. WWE seems hot for LeRae, and she'll allegedly only go to Orlando if her boyfriend Gargano gets a deal too. It's not as if he's some stiff either. While his work in the ring is polarizing, he still is one of the most popular and identifiable indie wrestlers in the country. I see this deal getting done the most out of all of them.

You know in Coming to America, when the Zamundan royal family walks anywhere, they have people throwing rose petals ahead of them? That's what I'd totally see Banks having me do for her. And I'd happily throw them rose petals because c'mon. C'MON.

Daniel Bryan is the first that came to mind, since he not only overcame the odds like a motherfucking boss, but he did so against the entirety of Evolution at the end of the biggest proletarian movement since John Laurinaitis instituted People Power. Plus, the dude was about to lose his father, his dog, his biggest fan, and several months of in-ring time. Dude could use a break.

The other answer is Bo Dallas after he won the NXT Championship from Big E Langston (Back when Big E had a last name), because who wouldn't want a bunch of floats that told everyone to BO-LIEVE.

The Bella Twins entire arc from the time Daniel Bryan got hurt until now has been a flaming garbage fire. I'd equate to Brie turning heel and forgetting about how Nikki told her she hoped she'd died in the womb is equivalent to the bullpen phone being off the hook, while Frenchy's pitching performance, which was actually quite good comparatively speaking, is aligned with Nikki's sudden rise to being a solid worker and perhaps the best amongst her peers who haven't been brought up yet. The only wrestler who's solidly better in the ring than Nikki Bella is Emma, and she's just getting jerked around.

See, you don't ask a question and then give the most obvious answers. I am tempted to co-opt that list for myself, but I need to think about it for a second. Here goes.

  • Dusty Rhodes - The American Dream spoke from the heart even with an imperfect voice.
  • Randy Savage - He embodied manic energy and instability. Anyone who's tried to copy him over the years (and believe me, many have) knows that he can't be duplicated.
  • Steve Austin - You can't be an effective anti-establishment wrecking ball and NOT be persuasive with your words.
  • Ric Flair - In the end, I had to go with The Man as my last choice. He made it so easy to hate him because he knew what buttons to push.
I couldn't go with Piper, but it was close for him. Hulk Hogan almost got a spot too, because the man spit fire in his prime.

For one, I won't ever tell someone they don't have a right to be miffed at anything. In this case, it's more emphatic in my agreement, however. Sure, the production team spliced in a lot of JCP and pre-Vince, Jr. WWWF stuff, but the polka dots and the minstrel stuff were way too heavy. But it wasn't as offensive as Vince McMahon doing the stanky leg at Rhodes' theme song. Motherfucker, sit down.

The NXT Championship is no longer a given, because management has put so much of a push behind Finn Bálor. I haven't gotten a chance to see last night's episode yet, but this career retrospective where his shoot name is used and his history in Ireland and with New Japan Pro Wrestling is being explored is a huge thing. He's having a bunch of time invested in him. Of course, it could be a smokescreen for a Joe title run starting in September, but I'm getting too off track.

I think he'll definitely get a title on the main roster. Which one, however, is tough to see. I don't know if he'll ever get a run with the big belt, and even Vince McMahon knows he's way above the Intercontinental Championship. I can see him getting a Tag Team Championship reign with a wide variety of partners from fellow Samoan Roman Reigns to UPW training buddy John Cena to common-enemy-having Sami Zayn to nearly any random ass motherfucker on the roster. I also think he could hold an elevated United States Championship, but I'm gonna wait and see on that until the title gets dropped by Cena and someone who isn't King Shit of WWE's Fuck Mountain holds that belt.

My first choice would have been the Rolling Stones, but they're all really old men who wouldn't survive the fall with the exception of Keith Richards. So I'll take my backup choice and go Disturbed, not just because David Draiman is an utter tool on Twitter, but because holy shit, that band really got some mileage out of a couple of decent-at-best songs, didn't it?

Sure, as long as you don't unfollow me.

I don't wanna get ahead of myself, especially since the dance card for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is full up. After it heads out of rough, Brock Lesnar-y waters, it will probably be decided among former members of The Shield up into WrestleMania. After then, well, it's anyone's guess. Sheamus has the briefcase now, and in retrospect, it should have been given to Owens so he could change the narrative after Mania in a big way. It would have been a better way to stretch out the Owens/Cena trilogy until SummerSlam too. Still, I think he gets his way into title contention sometime during the summer of next year. I think he's automatically a favorite to win the 2017 Royal Rumble as well. Big things are on the horizon for Owens, but I don't think they'll materialize in the form of the WWE's richest prize just yet.

Vince McMahon for some reason seemed to hate Rhodes even as he tried booking him and capitalizing off his fame. If the Mega Powers explosion happened between those two, I can totally see Savage retaining at Mania V and holding all the way until Toronto and VI, when he would have dropped the belt to the nascent Ultimate Warrior. His title reign would have played out similarly in terms of doing tepid business and causing Ol' Jimmy Hellwig to get a big head on his shoulders. But then WrestleMania VII's main event is now in jeopardy, since Sgt. Slaughter as a monster of the month doesn't play as well to anyone else on the roster as it did Hogan or the failed Warrior at this point.

So, where does Mania VII stand? The one to beat Warrior for his title is the same man whom Hogan defeated for his first title, the old Middle Eastern threat himself, Iron Sheik. He would work better as a transitional Champion because he's held the belt before and isn't so much a new hotness like Slaughter turning his back on America would have been. With no Hogan around to beat the Champ, someone new would have to come in. Not even McMahon was stupid enough to strap Jim Duggan, but Big Boss Man working a military appreciation gimmick to go along with his hard times in Cobb County, Georgia police appropriation would have fit him like a glove.

Of course, Savage/Warrior II: The Career Threatening Match would still have stolen the show, and Sheik/Boss Man would have bombed so badly that McMahon would have turned to the smaller, more agile wrestlers sooner. Hogan/Sid no longer goes on last at WrestleMania VIII; that honor would have gone to Savage/Ric Flair. The renaissance comes a year or so earlier. McMahon never signs Lex Luger to that contract, and instead opts to push better working big men like Undertaker, Scott Hall (as Razor Ramon), Dustin Rhodes (as Goldust, one of the few New Generation "gimmicks" that worked), and even old-ass Barry Windham to work up and down cards. He's emboldened to sign some of these flippy-do guys from elsewhere. Jerry Lynn, Eddy Guerrero, and Sean Waltman all come aboard to bolster the midcard in this new junior heavyweight division, one that WCW rips off with the Cruiserweight Championship.

Speaking of WCW, it continues to suck up all the old guys WWF lets go, only Hogan is off the table because he's sucking Cuban cigars and angling for the role of the T-800 army leader opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator III: World War T. Savage is off the table, because the WrestleMania IX main event between him and Hart helped solidify WWF as the best combination of drama, athleticism, and personality in all of entertainment and his encore against Shawn Michaels in the opening match of WrestleMania X would have stolen the show if Bret and brother Owen, who would have won the 1994 Royal Rumble, didn't blow the roof off the arena.

Instead, WCW turns inward and starts pushing its own talent, like Stunning Steve Austin, who slowly morphed into a bald-headed, cantankerous git who was tired of all these ex-WWF layabouts shitting up his path to the top. Or Cactus Jack, who had a personality that belied his hardcore exterior. Or that Terra Ryzing chap who is just so cerebral when it comes to the business. They pool with Chris Jericho and Rey Misterio, Jr., two of the few Cruiserweights who didn't engage in the constant ship-jumping between the two companies, and they help spear Nitro. Sure, the ratings aren't strong against RAW's, but as WWF's aging stars start to demand more money and break down in the ring and in the locker room, RAW starts slipping.

Then, the night that Mick Foley finally captures the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Flair, Nitro beats RAW in the ratings. It enjoys a steady reign as the #1 promotion in America for a year or so, until WWF's new generation (lowercase to signify that it's not a bunch of wrestling trashmen and ex-sports stars) of wrestlers start to bud. "Big Shot" Billy Gunn, The Rock, Kurt Angle, and the breakout stars of the Jr. Heavyweight Division left without a home after McMahon dissolved the title and made the WWF Championship the centerpiece of a true openweight division like Guerrero and Waltman. The cycle starts again. Neither show really ever defeats the other one; they just ebb and flow until this day, when CM Punk jumps to WCW after his no-compete is up to face off against 11-time WCW Champion Samoa Joe in a rekindling of their indie feud.

So without Hogan, who is scheduled to star in the buddy police comedy with The Rock called Lucha Cops, the Monday Night Wars may never reach the insane heights they would have after the intense nadirs of both WWF and WCW caused them to shake things up. Savage never breaks McMahon's heart. Austin never gets fired from WCW. The Attitude Era never happens because WWF is still interested in creating family-friendly entertainment without the rough edges. And Vince Russo and TNA never come into prominence. SO basically, Hogan ruins everything.

If you're old enough to have kids, you're old enough to bring htem to a show. Wait, you were talking about the kids' age, weren't you? Well, I'm planning on bringing TJ to a wrestling show with me sometime later on this year after he turns four. That seems to be the lowest possible floor, as anything before would encroach on the Terrible Twos/Threatening Threes. But that would be for a Chikara show, not something hyper violent and crass as WWE. I would wait until that kid is at an age where you can talk to him about what he sees at these shows, whether in the ring or in the stands, and try to mold some sense of appreciation in wrestling with him without having him pick up the vulgar shit. So, like around seven or eight?

The least successful of the Wrestling Is promotions.

Hate to break it to you, but I cannot underrate the end battle of Final Fantasy X-2 because I didn't play it. GASP. Anyway, my top five Final Fantasy musical moments:

  1. Fighting Sephiroth at the end of FFVII and hearing this part of "One Winged Angel" sweep in
  2. Anything the Black Mages played, but especially "Otherworld"
  3. The first time arriving at the Land of Summons and hearing this gem for the first time
  4. The easy listening, ukulele Chocobo theme of Final Fantasy IX, before white guys in dreds ruined the ukulele for everyone
  5. The intro to Final Fantasy X, the beautiful, haunting, piano notes that are part of the larger "The Skies Above"
BONUS ANSWER TO A QUESTION YOU DIDN'T ASK: The Chrono Trigger OST smokes every single Final Fantasy game combined. Especially "The Corridors of Time"