Thursday, February 18, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 153

Swann would be the perfect ace for a WWE Junior show
Photo Credit: Devin Chen
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!

  • Rey Mysterio - Depending on when he's out of his Lucha Underground contract - I've heard rumors it'll be as soon as SummerSlam this year, but Dave Meltzer says he won't be free until 2017 at the earliest - Mysterio would be a perfect veteran anchor. He knows how to work WWE television matches, has the name cache, and he'd appreciate being on a show that I would assume is canned and stationary.
  • Rich Swann - Honestly, Swann is the type of guy who could get over HUGE on one of the three main shows (RAW, Smackdown, NXT), but having him be a big fish in a small point accomplishes a few things. First, he's allowed to be a central focus in his own universe where he can build a cache that he can carry over as a pre-made mantel on his next stop, whatever that is. Two, the show would need more than just flippy dudes doing amazing moves, and Swann has personality for DAYS. He's the perfect protagonist for the first act of the show's existence.
  • Ryback - No, this answer is not a troll. Ryback has been doing flippy shit on RAW for the last year or so, and I think high time has arrived that he shows that the bigger wrestlers can be just as acrobatic as the smaller ones. Either he's the insanely overpowered final boss for Swann to overcome in the first sweeping arc, or he's a supplementary heel character that is a play on the MRA/white power/reverse racism crowd that wonders why bigger wrestlers aren't given these "special" opportunities. Either way, I think he can shine here.
  • Biff Busick - Every cruiserweight/junior heavyweight crowd needs a bully, and Busick has it in him to rough up the other flippy dudes without needing all that bulk.
  • Fire Ant - Mike Quackenbush was at the Performance Center, on the surface as a teacher, but presumably there also to negotiate some guest talent for the Global Cruiserweight Series. Fire Ant is one of Chikara's longest-tenured high flyers, and one who would fit well on a weekly television show. Assuming that this program gets taped in bulk once a month, he'd still have time to tour with Chikara, which would have to be a must.
  • Marty Scurll - Toeing the line as a bad guy is hard to do for a junior heavyweight flippy shit dude, but Scurll seems to be doing well for himself in that department.
I think six is a good start for now. I don't want to get too ahead of myself before I start cramming every available awesome junior heavyweight into my shopping basket.

Well, I got the patrons of the NXTavern all fat, now I need to get them good and drunk so they can donate to my Patreon:
  • Lone Wolf's Vision Quest - Baron Corbin is a loner who probably has roamed the desert more than once in his lifetime, so in order to tolerate nights in the wastes, you need something that's potent and will help you see visions, something like a shot of straight vodka topped with a layer of absinthe for the, ahem, visionary qualities.
  • Asuka Bomber - Drop a shot of shochu into a glass of cola for an explosively and deceptively sweet drink, much like taking an Asuka roundhouse to the face after she smiles coyly at you.
  • All Night Swann - For when you want to catch a buzz but also want to keep partying all night long, this Rich Swann-inspired cocktail combines Red Bull, Apple Pucker, and a little bit of Lindeman's Pomme Lambic for a tasty, easy drinking cocktail that goes hard the whole night.
  • All Red Everything - Grey Goose vodka, Grenadine for color, and a cherry garnish, and you will be sipping as stylishly as Eva Marie.
  • Bloody Hell - William Regal's take on the bloody Mary is dignified because it has no garish garnish on top of it like most other variants nowadays, but it's also made with tomato juice that's steeped for 48 hours with bhut joloka peppers (GHOST CHILES). If you can survive one of these, you've earned Mr. Regal's respect.
  • Emmalt Beverage - Sullivan's Cove single malt whisky mixed with cola, a hot and sophisticated take on the Jack and Coke that represents Emma's bubbly past and hard-hitting present.

For the worst match, I would submit Triple H vs. Randy Orton in the main event of WrestleMania XXV. Not only was it doomed to fail going on after the first Undertaker/Shawn Michaels Mania classic, it was a terrible match in its own vacuum, a veritable shart to go on top of the turd of a build the match had.

For the best match, rather than going with obvious answers, I would suggest going with Triple H vs. the Undertaker from WrestleMania X-7. It works as a farewell to the Attitude Era, making it a far better "end of an era" match than their WrestleMania XXVIII match ever was, and it's probably  my pick as the best Streak match ever.

Grapplefuck, which is the colloquial term used by many of its aficionados to describe the hard style influenced by a combination of British grappling, RINGS shoot-style, and amateur wrestling, is apparently seen as a derision by those who practice it. On one hand, the wrestlers' feelings do count for a lot in terms of how their art is described. On the other, the term may be sarcastic, but it is in no way derisive. Everyone who seems to use it does so out of a place of love. So I'm okay with it, and I will continue to use it, although maybe not in the presence of someone who hates the term...

Okay, this tournament is going to have 32 slots. From the impressions I've gotten between the announcement of the show yesterday and now, the Lucha Underground guest spots may be out of the question. I'm going to attempt to fill out the whole field with this question, which will include some indie names based on who's been to the Performance Center and where Triple H has said he's scouting:

  • HOME TALENT - Neville, Kalisto, Manny Andrade, Rich Swann, Biff Busick, Austin Aries, Sin Cara, Chad Gable, Enzo Amore, Kofi Kingston, Hideo Itami (11)
  • WWN LIVE - Johnny Gargano, Matt Riddle, Sami Callihan (or would it be Solomon Crowe?), Dan Barry, Fred Yehi, Andrew Everett (6)
  • ENGLAND - Marty Scurll, Tyler Bate, Mark Haskins, Trent Seven (4)
  • JAPAN - Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Shoichi Funaki, Ultimo Dragon (4)
  • CHIKARA - Fire Ant, Shynron, Ophidian, Amasis, Argus, Kevin Condron (6)
  • MARQUEE ALUMNI - Little Guido (1)

Okay, if that field of 32 doesn't get you stoked, then I don't know what will. I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL. Of course, it probably won't be the final frame, and that's fine. I trust Triple H and the planners to know what they're doing here.
Well, for one, if this Edge and Christian gimmick turns out to be pretty good, then I would like to see more non-wrestling scripted shows featuring wrestling guys on it. Shows like that would help out their acting and promo skills. But as for actual wrestling shows, I would probably center a show on the Network around a Television Championship of sorts, where the Champion holds an open challenge and anyone can come out and answer. It can be a main event guy, a lower card wrestler, a featured alumnus, or even someone not even on the roster as a unique way of having a tryout match. Film it before the Main Event/Superstars tapings and let fly.

Well, for one, the tournament would be called a HOSSMOOT, which, by the way, has the explicit approval of the current Chikara ring announcer and Party Tsar himself, Vlad Radinov. Anyway, the participants:

  • Big E - Big E is definitely the height of American HOSSDOM right now, between his big power moves, the spear through the ropes, and his wonderful gyrating which is kicking off the second baby boom.
  • Ryback - Every tournament needs a spot monkey.
  • Keith Lee - Yes, I am dipping into the indies, because Keith Lee needs to have a far bigger stage to show off his hossdom.
  • Tomohiro Ishii - KING HOSS of Japan would have to make the trek over, just to see what he'd do with Big E.
  • Ryoto Hama - Big Japan Pro Wrestling may be the second biggest promotion in Japan (depending on how one feels about Dragon Gate), and Hama recently had a marquee match against Yuki Okobayashi. He's also a big honkin' sumo with tig ol' man-bitties, and if this tournament goes off without him in it, then it's a sham.

The Attitude Era wasn't big on great stories, but it had a lot of compelling characters. Undertaker has undergone a lot of changes over his career, but his sweet spot was as the demonic cult leader during that era, when he embraced his supernatural for evil, twisted means as he retrofit the character for a more realistic yet authentic fit.

The answer to that question would be Luke Cage... wait, it's not Luke Cage? Well slap me in the ass and call me the Duke of Westphalia.

  • GONE Kevin Dunn HIRED new blood - I don't know any specific names, but WWE production has gotten really stale. Whether it's someone in NXT rising up to take over RAW (and then that new person being hired to replace them on NXT) or someone in another company producing sports that has a fresh look, something needs to change so that RAW and the pay-per-views look fresh.
  • GONE JBL HIRED Daniel Bryan - The RAW broadcast booth is a goddamn mess. Byron Saxton fits as a third man on the Smackdown booth with Mauro Ranallo and Jerry Lawler, but JBL has no place at his job. Instead, hire Bryan to replace Corey Graves as NXT's color commentator. He can have a job where he mostly stays in one place to call the weekly show and stays able to raise a family with Brie Bella, while Graves goes to RAW to improve the standing of that broadcast booth.
  • GONE Alex Riley HIRED Mike Knox - Twitter got worked into a shoot when a fake Mike Knox account riled everyone up with announcements of a return to the company via NXT. Honestly, he makes more sense as the longtime WWE veteran (even though he's been gone since 2010) in NXT working a redemption angle than Riley, who is thoroughly unlikable and terrible at his job.
  • GONE Jack Swagger HIRED The USA Guy - I bet Swags would rather be doing MMA anyway. Throwing away the Ethan Carter III character might seem like a waste, but a return to patriotic babyface-dom with an ironic twist might give him another avenue for success in WWE that he never had before.
  • GONE Greg Hamilton HIRED Devin Taylor - It's just not the same seeing Dana Brooke pat anyone on the head backstage on NXT than Taylor. BRING HER BACK.

Honestly, I haven't listened to Men in Blazers in a long, long time, so this is going to be a literal interpretation of the words "men" wearing "blazers" and say that the analogues are anyone who worked for the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s, specifically Lord Alfred Hayes. Interesting side note, I read a list of urban legends collated from the Death Valley Driver message board's "Wrestling Sleaze" lore, and one of those legends was that Hayes had an especially sizable, uh, member. If true, that fact makes the late announcer just a tad more interesting, don't you think?