|Pictured: The biggest heel in WWE|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If "Granting wishes" rates a zero and "preying on Rey Mysterio right after he won the WWE Interim Championship" is a ten, Monday's scavenge of Rusev rates a solid nine. Although Rusev's been a secret babyface for his entire run outside of his misogynistic tossing to the side of Lana, WWE has always portrayed his hat color as a solid black. It should follow that he gets what he "deserves," even if Vince McMahon's view of what people deserve is skewed to infinity. I might even bump it up to a 9.5 if just because it blatantly proves Kevin Owens' point about him being a scumbag, especially with the glee Cena spoke while he was on commentary of facing off against one of those depleted wrestlers. John Cena the person is not someone I know, but Cena the wrestling character is an utter piece of shit.@tholzerman Where does whaling on a depleted Rusev post-triple threat Monday rank on the all-time Secret Heel John Cena scale? #tweetbag— Butch Rosser (@thebutchrosser) July 14, 2015
I'm going to level with you. I'm a straight, white, male, and I've always identified as one, so asking me how to go out of one's comfort zones and be accepted is to expect a hollow answer in return. The best answer I can give is to say "Fuck da haters" and do it anyway. You be you, everyone else be damned. But that might not be easy ever. I dunno. This question vexes me, but not as much as society vexes anyone who dares to be different.@tholzerman How can I sing like a girl and not be stigmatized by the rest of the world?— bd (@IHatebd) July 15, 2015
Absolutely yes, if only because the cast would consist of actual wrestlers instead of good-looking career reality television hopefuls. Then again, NXT v. 1.0 tried to be just that. It was treated pretty shabbily by WWE, although it did give the world Daniel Bryan's basis for his WWE career and allowed Wade Barrett a platform to show his wares so that Vince McMahon and his wacky team of writers could book him frustratingly for months and years on end.@tholzerman #TweetBag Tough Enough has been pretty bad this season. Would a competition show work better incorporated into NXT?— Panther Joe (@DestiGeddon) July 15, 2015
But a first-mark NXT that was treated actually seriously and with respect might work. It would depend on how much if it would end up being a work and how much of it would be actual competitions judged without predetermination. It would be a delicate balance to say the least, but I think with the right people helming it, the concept could be a success.
To be completely fair, Elgin's mouth isn't what makes him dreadful to me. His Twitter feed is actually unintentionally hilarious, but his only sin really would be induced boredom. Ross as a host is definitely one half of audio hell. The second half would have to be someone supremely irritating, full of himself with ideas that are long past their due date. IF only I could think of someone who fits that bill, oh wait!@tholzerman Is there a worse possible combo of podcast host and guest, to your ears, then JR and Michael Elgin? Also I need a sub #TweetBag— Star of Savage (@StarOfSavage) July 15, 2015
That hits the spot.
Honestly, I don't know whom WWE could grab at this point, since most of the roster right now is contracted to the parent company, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, the highest-profile lucha libre company in Mexico. So most of the Mexican guys on the roster, like your Sexy Stars and Pentagóns, Jr., will just remain in Mexico or continue to work indies when they come into the States. Prince Puma, as Ricochet, might end up being on WWE's radar, but he's flirting with a full-time deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling right now, which might be more conducive to what he wants out of his wrestling career (I don't know the guy, I'm only making assumptions here) at comparable pay. Everyone else, guys like Big Ryck, Chavo Guerrero, Delavar Daivari, etc., have all been with WWE before and probably wouldn't go back with the exception of Johnny Mundo/John Morrison. So in a roundabout way, your answer is WWE might grab Mundo, but at this point, who knows if he'd even want to go back.@tholzerman If Lucha Underground doesn't get a 2nd season, who, if anyone, does WWE grab from their roster?— What a Maneuver!! (@what_a_maneuver) July 15, 2015
You should totally be happy for ROH, or at least ROH fans who can't stand Elgin right now. He'll be gone for a good long time and won't be clogging up the main event. His reps will go to guys who are interesting characters like the guy mentioned in the question below or ACH or even MOOOOOOSE. Don't be sad for NJPW though, because Elgin is only one competitor out of 20 for this shindig. Thankfully, Elgin and the Japanese wrestler from whom he owes most of his shitty influence, Togi Makabe, are in different brackets, so they can only meet in the finals. Elgin will only shit up one match every other night, so it's no reason to be too sad.@tholzerman should I be happy for RoH that Elgin is in G1 or sad for NJPW?— CJ (@cj_zfg) July 15, 2015
I'm a little bit scared for Castle's run to the top in ROH, because all his interactions right now, outside his mini-program with Jushin Liger, have been tinged with homophobia. His current feud with Silas Young feels gross, and the reactions that Kyle O'Reilly and especially Jay Briscoe gave to him offering his hand for them to kiss rubbed me the wrong way. It's par for the course for ROH, which seems to have issues with toxic masculinity. But WWE was a company that issues with that same thing, and in many ways still does, and still pushed Goldust all the way to the precipice of its main event. I feel like Castle is a transcendent enough character (and also an in-ring technician bordering on elite) that he can make it to the top of any company with which he signs. I'm just afraid how the stories will be presented.@tholzerman Seeing as Dalton Castle is in the main event of an ROH Show this weekend, what is the upside for the Party Peacock?— Duje Lashlee-Walton (@thegnc) July 15, 2015
It's because the status quo is getting challenged more and more, and those who benefit from it most and also who don't want to share the wealth with those who want to get on an equal plane. The Republican Party is seemingly tapping into that vein and making it mainstream politically, and it sucks. That mindset breeds Twitter users who can't stand their shitty, insular worldviews challenged, and thus, sales of Depends are skyrocketing.Why are so many diapers getting full? https://t.co/98PvsOv4Aj— Brian (@couch_dad) July 15, 2015
I can think of a few worse ways. Honestly, the segment wasn't the best, mainly because Mama Steph had to burrow her nose into their debuts and play Mrs. Sorting Hat instead of letting Paige and Naomi call in their own reinforcements respectively. But the visual of the Figure Eight, the Banks Statement, and the Heretofore Unnamed Becky Lynch Armbreaker more than made up for the deficiencies. That being said, imagine if they were brought up with no fanfare in a battle royale that was over in two minutes? That would have been a billion times worse.@tholzerman Was there a worse possible way for them to call up Sasha, Charlotte and Becky? #TweetBag— Banana Kaboomstick (@Moose_Bigelow) July 15, 2015
Yes, but it depends on how long it will take to lose it. For example, did you know gasoline could go bad? I didn't until I read something about how the Mad Max Universe would descend further into anarchy once all the available gasoline spoiled. But yeah, nothing physical lasts forever, and your abilities dull over the years especially with non-usage.@tholzerman Is it true that if you don't use it, you lose it?— Kyle Russell (@waypastparadise) July 15, 2015
You want a hot take? The best Sharpshooter was done by a Hart, but not the Hitman. I always found Owen's Sharpshooter to look more painful and aesthetically pleasing. To call The Rock's Sharpshooter the worst is shooting fish in a barrel, and as K. Sawyer Paul likes to point out with the shittiest of the shitty moves, like CM Punk's elbow drop, that 'Shooter was so bad that it felt intentional and thus was performance art. The worst earnest Sharpshooter I can think of belonged to Edge, but then again, executing on moves crisply was never his forte anyway.@tholzerman The sharpshooter often looks like garbage, but looks amazing when its correct. What are the best are worst sharpshooters?— Lance Garrison (@LanceGarrison) July 15, 2015
My first reflex would be to say Michael Elgin, but I can imagine him after taking 30 hours of batting practice coming up and freezing on the first pitch and then spraying a bunch of weak liners into short rightfield before someone else, like, I don't know, Cheeseburger, puts his first pitch out of the park. But in all seriousness, you can't have lumbering power guys as favorites to win with the new play clock, so I would probably go with someone like Neville or Ricochet, a quick yet powerful power pack that routinely rotates his upper body and thus can generate the torque required to put a ball in the stands. Let's go with Ricochet since he probably is more likely than Neville to have played baseball in his life.@tholzerman new rules in mind, who in wrestling wins the home run derby?— Ryan Czachorski (@czach1r) July 15, 2015
I would put them at slim-to-none right now, to be honest. Kazuchika Okada as the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion leads to two distinctly sensible outcomes of the tournament. One, Hiroshi Tanahashi wins the G1, and they do the tango again at WrestleKingdom 10 only with Okada coming out on top after being handed the proverbial torch. Two, Shinsuke Nakamura wins the G1, and CHAOS EXPLODES at WK10. Fortuitously, they're in opposite blocks as each other, and the only drama, pre-final I could see is them being in the same bracket.@tholzerman What odds would you give that one or both G1 blocks end in a tie-by-points and requires tiebreakers?— Jeans Splitters (@headbuttstopage) July 15, 2015
Then again, NJPW could throw a curveball and have Nakamura and Okada tied at the top of the B group and Tanahashi and AJ Styles tied atop the A group. Or who knows, maybe this year is Tomoaki Honma's year. Every time I think I have a handle on what NJPW is going to do, the company veers off into other territory, which is fine. I'm a rookie at following this company. But the outcomes that make the most sense are settled in different groups, so I don't think tiebreakers are going to be necessary.lor
Okay, so by now, people have at least heard rumors/kinda spoilers about Undertaker coming back. I'm not going to post them directly, but if you go to r/SquaredCircle, you can find out the gist of it. Anyway, if Taker is coming back, I'm not so sure he's going to be wrestling Lesnar anymore. Assuming he is though, I'm conflicted. I personally don't wanna see Taker/Lesnar again because it was so bad the first time in all aspects. The build sucked, and the match was disappointing if only because Taker got concussed near the beginning of the match. But if Taker wanted his pound of flesh, wouldn't he want it at Mania? Now I'm getting scared that's going to be Lesnar's match at Mania, and since he's only got a small and finite amount of dates left, I don't need to see them wasted on retread opponents. This also means you, John Cena and Triple H. But then again, I'm not most fans, and I imagine a rematch would do some business going forward. Who knows.@tholzerman Rumors of Undertaker returning at Battleground: plausible? Is Taker v. Lesnar 2 worth building a SummerSlam around?— Ryan Bayne (@mutantdog123) July 15, 2015
The more intriguing option would be to have the Brothers of Destruction reunite and take on Triple H and Seth Rollins, leaving Lesnar, as Champion, to conclude his unfinished business with Roman Reigns. IF you told me six months ago that I'd be excited for a Lesnar/Reigns rematch, I would have spit in your face, but that Mania match, even before Rollins interjected, was straight fire, dawg. Lesnar needs to be wrestling these kinds of opponents. If he's gonna go up against an older guy, it should be something that either hasn't been done or in the case of The Rock, that would carry more intrigue than it did before. But the prospects of Lesnar against Kevin Owens or Sheamus or Dean Ambrose or Rusev or... CESARO is far more tantalizing right now than any "legendary" match he could have.
You can bet all the money you have and then some on a clean finish being out the window on the WWE Championship match, especially in light of the rumors addressed in the previous question. But the United States Championship question is trickier. I tend to think that match is going to have a screwy finish because I don't think WWE is dumb enough not to blow Kevin Owens/John Cena off at SummerSlam. Believe me, the company is stupid at times, but the idea of building a folk hero in Owens in the same weekend, having him lose to Finn Bálor in close fashion at Takeover: Brooklyn and then beating Cena for the US Title at SummerSlam, is too tantalizing. But again, every time I think WWE can't get any fucking stupider, it surpasses my expectation. So I hesitate on calling anything definitively for the US Championship match.@tholzerman is there anyway the two main events Sunday (U.S and HW titles) don't both end with some kind of screwy finish?— Conley (@Conley76) July 15, 2015
The biggest problem with doing that is what feat is the tippy-top? Like, I can totally see Cesaro Giant-Swinging all three members of The Shield at the same time, and I also don't think wouldn't be able to surpass it either. I don't think this project can be done until after he retires. It's too risky.@tholzerman Can we create a Cesaro Scale that tracks wrestling feats of superhuman strength?— Brian Coulter (@PhilaBCoulter) July 15, 2015
Successful is a relative term, especially right now since the television status is up in the air. I certainly think the tapings have a better than good chance of being critically successful, as long as the booking doesn't muck things up. Some fine matches on paper are lined up, including Chris Mordetzky vs. Brian Myers or Sonjay Dutt vs. Jigsaw. As for match predictions, I see Eric Young showing up as Robert Roode's mystery opponent and that playing into the TNA/GFW shenanigans. I also see Masters and Nick Aldis taking out Kongo Kong. As for the Next*Gen Title Tournament matches, I'll take Jigsaw and PJ Black advancing. Team "I Teamed with Alex Shelley" should beat Reno Scum, and the Bollywood Boyz will probably advance in their match. Mickie James should be the favorite to win the Women's Championship Tournament match. And I predict FUN FUN FUN in the lucha six-man match.@tholzerman Predictions for the first set of GFW tapings happening in Vegas next week? Think it will be successful?— Alex Lopez (@AyYoAlo) July 15, 2015
Ready for another hot take? I think Lesnar could beat Iron Man in his armor, provided it's not the Hulkbuster armor. All it would take is one well-placed elbow to a joint for a piece to go flying, and once one part of the armor is off, then it's open season on ripping the rest of it off. The Hulkbuster armor is just too bulky though, and if it can keep the Hulk at bay, it can keep Lesnar out too.@tholzerman for #TweetBag strongest Marvel super that Brock Lesnar could shoot defeat? Iron Fist? Daredevil? Gambit?— Michael E. Kirby (@abvavrg) July 15, 2015