Sunday, March 20, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 156

Could this match be good? Of course, but how
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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo Credit:
Thanks to Brian Brown for inspiring that answer.

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.

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.

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?

Because, like me, you have gotten old. Sorry.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Daniel Bryan, for maximum "YES!" chantage.
  5. 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.

Having thrown first birthday parties for two kids now, I have some experience in the matter. People love coming to babies parties because babies are so darn cute. But if you invite too many people, you might come off as a tad greedy. I'd say about 50 people is a good number if I had to estimate. If you have more relatives/friends that you're close with, more is fine too.

Hell yeah! Captain America: Civil War is the big one, obviously. Winter Soldier is in my top five MCU movies, maybe even top three or two, and this installment will have the same director back with a similar tone. X-Men: Apocalypse is next on the list, because the first two X reboot movies were really good, plus this one has Oscar freakin' Isaac as the titular villain. Finding Dory is next as a movie that I'm looking forward to taking my son. Finally, Ghostbusters and Independence Day: Resurgence may seem on the surface movies that are superfluous cash-ins on nostalgia, but I loved the three movies that preceded those two, and am interested to see where they go.

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.

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.

I think this question might have been better had I done the Tweet Bag in a timelier fashion. But anyway, Punk is mad because Radko Gudas is too much hockey player for him to handle. TOO MUCH.