|Could this match be good? Of course, but how|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Almost any match can be good. Shane McMahon and the Undertaker may be up against a lot of factors. Undertaker is old, and McMahon hasn't been in a ring in what, seven years now? But McMahon makes Angelico look inhibited when it comes to big bumps, and Taker flourished in some of those gonzo, no-rules, schlockfests he was involved in with Brock Lesnar between SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell. I think if they go in without any pretenses of it being a wrestling match and work it as a street fight inside the Cell, add in some crazy bumps, and sprinkle in some timely interference (Mean Street Posse!), then it could be an entertaining spectacle. If they try to work it as a faux-MMA wankfest? Then all bets are off though.@tholzerman So, is there any way the Shane/Taker match could be... good?— The Enrico Palazzo (@Enrico_Palazzo_) March 16, 2016
If you want someone who can win regardless of platform, you want Damien Sandow. He's a fiery orator, has magnetism for people, and if his Intellectual Savior of the Masses gimmick has any foundation in truth, he's smart enough to run. He'd also probably skew evangelical Republican, so maybe he wouldn't be best for the country, but he'd definitely run a winning campaign. If you're talking quality candidate all told, then it's probably Mick Foley, right? Right.@tholzerman which WWE wrestler would make a quality Presidential candidate? Some showmanship, but needs solid intellect. #tweetbag— Michael E. Kirby (@abvavrg) March 16, 2016
I have not, but I have some thoughts on the uproar it caused when it happened. First off, the fact that so many people had opinions on Twitter about it the night it happened without being in attendance for it is ludicrous. Few things can be judged without actually consuming them. But I get where the criticism came from, even if I didn't agree with it. Long matches can be hard to fill out. But wrestling, much like any piece of art, shouldn't have hard and fast rules. If you want to go 105 minutes in the ring, that won't make the match bad automatically. You'd have to know how to fill the time out, and I'm not sure how many wrestlers are able to do that. But I also think you can have a four minute match that is bad because you don't know how to fill that time. It's all about how you use those minutes.@tholzerman #Tweetbag Have you seen the Trevor Lee-Roy Wilkins 105 minute match yet, and what are your thoughts on it?— Okori Wadsworth (@OkoriWadsworth) March 16, 2016
Without a doubt, I'd want it to be someone who's been in the ring on the highest level, and right now, the guy who'd be most intriguing would be Steve Austin. He talks a lot about nuts and bolts of matches on his podcast, and I'd love to have his perspective on how to rank wrestlers.#tweetbag If you could get anyone living to submit a ballot for TWB100, who would it be? @tholzerman— What a Maneuver!! (@what_a_maneuver) March 16, 2016
@tholzerman I understand that WWE is a fantasy world, but why is it so difficult for Creative to think up/maintain coherent story arcs?— Marty G (@ThisPhillyFan) March 16, 2016
|Photo Credit: WWE.com|
I don't think cutting the cord completely on Reigns is a wise decision. He's got value as an in-ring hand, and he's shown that with the right booking, he can connect with the crowd. As I'll answer below, boos for him aren't necessarily a bad thing, even if he's booked as a babyface. That being said, I get a stronger feeling every day that he may not be walking out of the Mania with the title. As much as a Triple H triumphant title victory in 2016 would make me age ten years, it would be the perfect catalyst for Reigns to go heel. Honestly, with John Cena coming back soon and Dean Ambrose as HOT HOT HOT as he is, a heel run for Reigns might be the thing that puts him in the best position for the future.@tholzerman Is WWE poised to make Roman the next "some love him some don't" as Cena was, or are they gonna wise up and cut the cord?— Friendship is Magic (@TheAEJohnson) March 16, 2016
On the contrary, I think it's WWE's way of telling everyone he still is the man. Individuality is for the mid-card. If you're one of Vince BY GOD McMahon's top stars, you follow a formula. Entering from the ramp is part of that formula.@tholzerman reports from Smackdown say that Roman enters from the ramp; is this by itself a tacit admission of his failure as The Guy?— Henry David theWoke (@headbuttstopage) March 16, 2016
Depends on what kind of "kayfabe" you mean. If you mean the act of keeping character at all times to the point where heels and faces shouldn't hang out in public, then fuck and no. Wrestling at this point needs to embrace the fact that it is an a work and that it's more of an art than a sport (although losing the sport aspect of it completely would be dumb, as I've pointed out before even the most comical/artsy promotions like Chikara have some of the most stringent adherences to sport). But internal kayfabe, i.e. treating the work as 100 percent real during all sponsored events (TV, PPV, house shows, etc.) is vitally important. One would think that this dynamic should make sense since it's commonplace in other media that may not use the term "kayfabe" to let you know that what happens in the art is to be treated as real. But wrestling is just so weird,y'know?@tholzerman— Pure Gristle (@PureGristle) March 16, 2016
Does kayfabe still have a place in wrestling? If so, to what degree?@Shake_Well @intlobject @wrestlespective @earthdog
@tholzerman What are the top 5 wrestling themes you'd like to be introduced to at a wedding reception #TweetBag— Brian Charlie Brown (@brianbrown25) March 16, 2016
- John Cena, if only to recreate the Chicago WrestleMania entrance with all the groomsmen and bridesmaids on the side like the gangsters and the bride and groom recreating Cena's mannerisms all the way, even to the point of turning to the cameraman and saying something pithy.
- Bayley. Any excuse to integrate a wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man into a wedding is a good one, and everyone would get a souvenir slap bracelet to boot.
- Ultimate Warrior. This one's for the runners and those who enjoy their stimulants. However, it's only for use when the venue has a long runway for the full effect.
- Daniel Bryan, for maximum "YES!" chantage.
- Brie Bella. One, I want everyone in the room to suffer brain debilitation at the beginning of the song, and two, everyone in the place will probably be in Brie Mode at the time, especially since I believe every wedding should have an open bar.
I think admission right now for a large part of the crowd that Reigns can never win is the right thing. The "Cena sucks" crowd is hard one to have its mind collectively changed. But that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Crowd noise is a desired byproduct, right? If people are reacting to Reigns, then what WWE is doing is workin to a point.@tholzerman At what point do we admit that male WWE fans have decided to permanently boo Reigns regardless of how he is booked?— Elliot (@elliotsemi) March 16, 2016
This exercise is tricky, because Mania for the last two years was one of the best events on the calendar. Last year especially, the build was milquetoast as fuck, and it turned out to be one of the more enjoyable shows in recent memory. So I'd estimate a rating of seven for Mania right now. All the Takeovers to date (ArRIVAL included) have been some degree of LIT AS FUCK. On paper, Takeover: Dallas could be the best one yet. I'd forecast a nine for that. So, I'd say Takeover will be better but not by much. Either way, it should be a pretty good weekend for the market leader in pro wrestling.@tholzerman guessing a rating for each on a scale from 1 to 10, how much better is NXT Dallas going to be than Wrestlemania— The Hipster Hunk® (@hipsterboner) March 17, 2016
Not really, because some people are really popular BECAUSE a bunch of people have seen them. I think popularity comes in a lot of flavors. It's too unpredictable.@tholzerman Do you think there is an inverse correlation between popularity and the amount of people who've seen you?— Legit Moose (@Moose_Bigelow) March 17, 2016