Thursday, March 3, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 155

Is Triple H the puppetmaster?
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!

Well, this question is a doozy, mainly because I'm only going by what theory progenitor Dylan Hales has said publicly, or more accurately, what I have actually seen him write on Twitter publicly that I didn't miss. Basically, it's a theory that Triple H is attempting a coup d'etat to seize control of WWE from Vince McMahon by doing everything he can to sabotage the push of Roman Reigns. Reigns was expected to get the keys to the company by defeating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania last year, but Seth Rollins got the godfather cash-in of his Money in the Bank briefcase. In a case of art being designed to mimic reality, Rollins is a Triple H guy.

Reigns has spent most of the last year being jerked and dragged around by the booking, only ever really getting over when he was presented as a straight-forward ass-kicker against the least popular person on the roster, Sheamus. Of course, the presentation of Reigns would have been a lot stark if Rollins was booked intelligently. But of course, Rollins wasn't exactly a paragon of competence as Champion, and additionally, his strengths were not accentuated. But if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.

Triple H entered the scene by absorbing the brunt of an injury-angle inducing beatdown from Reigns, clearly created to set up remittance, which came at the Royal Rumble. Normally, the context of the situation would have set up Triple H as the nefarious villain and Reigns to get his final action at Mania this year, except this specific situation's context was lacking certain aspects that would have lead to Reigns being welcomed as a conquering hero. First, the audience was left to infer Trips' intentions before Reigns beat the snot out of him at both Survivor Series and TLC. If anything, The Authority put the screws to Dean Ambrose harder over the time since The Shield broke up. Second, Trips did absolutely nothing wrong at the Rumble. He entered legally at a real position. He tossed Reigns as an active entrant in the match. Reigns wasn't even the last one tossed. Basically, if you reversed the suggested alignments, i.e. if Reigns were the plucky comebacker and Trips the monstrous assailant, the feud would have been over.

Add the fact that Reigns was then "prevented" from getting his title shot at WrestleMania not by being denied opportunity, but by being put in a wrestling match where he had an easy out (team up with Ambrose to neutralize Lesnar and then defeat Ambrose), and that Triple H has done amazing amounts of image rehabilitation with "hardcore" fans via his highly visible work as the public face of NXT, and the current main event of WrestleMania is a trap. Reigns, who is currently Vince McMahon's chosen one (as leaked reports have relayed news that he wants Reigns not only to stand tall at this year's flagship, but also the next two years at least), runs the risk of getting booed out of the building at the biggest Mania ever. McMahon, who already has a reputation of being out of touch, would have his crowning moment blow up in his face to the point where maybe shareholders, the board of directors, or even daughter Stephanie might lose faith in him. Remember, WWE is a corporately-owned entity, not the monolithic promotion. McMahon is no longer safe from repudiation. And who would replace him? Either daughter Stephanie, or the guy who is the highly public face of the most critically acclaimed wrestling brand east of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Triple H.

Of course, this theory has a lot of variables or leaps of faith one has to take to believe it. For one, WWE Creative has shown long stretches of incompetence long before Reigns was put in charge. Occam's Razor suggests that the most likely explanation is probably the best one. Plus, Creative fucked up the first Triple H guy who ended Mania in Rollins. But Triple H is so easy to believe as a politicking puppetmaster. You can choose to believe this is all happenstance, and maybe you're right. But the political hit theory is just a bit too plausible not to be at least in play.

ETA: I got some clarification from Dylan. The crux of the theory is centered on the fact that Reigns isn't a target in the hit. He's just collateral damage, a pawn so to speak. This hit is centered on McMahon and his credibility.

No explanation, eh? Well, after writing that possibly flawed political hit primer above, I'm ready for a question that doesn't involve explanation!
  • MAIN EVENT, The Champ vs. the Phenom: John Cena vs. the Undertaker
  • WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Dean Ambrose (Royal Rumble winner) vs. Seth Rollins (Money in the Bank briefcase holder)
  • Brock Lesnar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
  • Divas Championship Match: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Nikki Bella
  • AJ Styles and the Young Bucks vs. Finn Bálor, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz (c) vs. Hideo Itami vs. Ryback vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Luke Harper vs. Rusev
  • Neville vs. Bray Wyatt
  • United States Championship Match: Cesaro (c) vs. Big E
  • Mask vs. Hair: Kalisto vs. Alberto del Rio
  • Andre the Giant Battle Royale (pre-show): Big Show vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Xavier Woods vs. Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sin Cara vs. Bo Dallas vs. Braun Strowman vs. Erick Rowan vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bubba Ray Dudley vs. D-Von Dudley vs. Stardust vs. Goldust vs. Baron Corbin vs. Curtis Axel vs. Heath Slater
Hope that's a good enough card!
Oh, you want themes that will PUMP *clap* YOU UP? I have some for you:
IF that doesn't get you PUMPED UP, then nothing will, friend. Nothing will.

A desolate hellscape with burning buildings and dead bodies everywhere. Survivors scream. Tears flow down the faces of onlookers. Michael Cole welcomes the fans to the LONGEST RUNNING EPISODIC TELEVISION SHOW IN HISTORY. So in effect, I am predicting a WrestleMania that ends with Undertaker defeating Shane McMahon and with... uh, well, it really doesn't matter who wins the WWE Championship match, does it?

As much as as a return to the GI Joe franchise would make sense, I would love to see WWE team up with Pokémon as a halfhearted attempt to get its foot in the door in the Japanese market. Besides, who wouldn't want to know what team John Cena or Vince McMahon or Bray Wyatt would send out into battle. Hell, I wanna see if Ryback would just have a team of three Machamps and three Conkeldurrs or not, y'know, just for variety's sake.

Absolutely. Again, art can mimic real life. Vince McMahon, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon all have to answer to shareholders and the board of directors in reality, so it's easy to have that nebulous body pull strings, get them out, and return to a simpler time when authority figures weren't the main villains.

The tea leaves are all pointing at a WrestleMania 31 rematch with Reigns going up against Lesnar. Since Reigns/Cena for the first(-ish) time is a total WrestleMania match all the way, it makes sense to put the most prime rematch on the slate on a SummerSlam show to help set it apart from other non-Mania specials.

Well, McMahon gets hubris from his father, so he could totally bring a casket to the ring, and hey, he's rich on his own partial accord too, so he's gotta have powerful friends. Forget the Wyatt Family and New Day, and even John Cena. McMahon could just call up former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and have her DIG, BABY DIG inside the cell to bury Undertaker alive. If you're going to go full asshole on this year's WrestleMania, you might as well go as far as you can, right?

I kinda-sorta answered this question last week, but while I would put smart money on Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn at Takeover: Dallas, the best match could come from a wide variety of bouts, including Brock Lesnar/Dean Ambrose, Bayley/Asuka, Will Ospreay/Zack Sabre, Jr., and the just-announced Combat Zone Wrestling match between AR Fox and Speedball Mike Bailey. Gun to head, just because things in wrestling rarely if ever work out the way they should on paper, I'll go ahead and forecast Lesnar/Ambrose as the best match of the entire weekend.

I can only really predict the first six months, because with that hothead in office and McMahon as his second in his ear, the United States may end up entangled in mutually assured destruction with China before Labor Day 2017. Seriously, vote whomever the Democrats end up nominating. Please, for the love of Christ.