Thursday, June 23, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 161

Lucha libre is geometrical wrestling
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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!

From @jetta_rae (private):
according to Asuka, Japanese wrestling is a system of subtraction, while American is addition. What does that make lucha?
If puroresu is subtraction, and American wrestling is addition, then lucha libre is pure geometry. The flips themselves are borne of angles and provide exquisite shapes and rotations. All the armdrag sequences and big counters and ranas and headscissors, it's all so beautiful, like the product of fractal equations producing shapes out of nothing but pure pattern. Of course, in the grand scheme of mathematical comparison, deathmatch wrestling is probably dividing by zero, but some people like that kind of thing. But I digress.

Oh my God, Ambrose cutting to the chase and leaving no one with a briefcase for a whole year is the respite the gimmick needs, especially since next year WWE might be returning to a two-briefcase Money in the Bank event thanks to brand extension and a possible split to two top Championships. WWE has gotten so lazy on how it has booked briefcase holders over the years. No one looks strong while in possession of the briefcase in an attempt to elicit "surprise" when they cash in, and the sheer number of clunky failed cash ins seems to rise every year. It's atrocious. Hopefully, WWE learns a lesson and when it gives the briefcases to Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin next year that whichever one doesn't cash in immediately has a nice steady tenure between win and redemption.

Roman Reigns - "Cocaine" Eric Clapton "Strong As a Rock" by Bob Seger
Seth Rollins - "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John
Triple H - the entirety of Motörhead's classic 1980 album Ace of Spades because who's gonna stop him, hm?
Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella - "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher
John Cena - the song where he warns that they never shoulda let him spit with Wiz Khalifa
Nikki Bella - "Single Ladies" by Beyonce
Bray Wyatt - "In a Gadda Da Vita" by Iron Butterfly

So far, Sami Zayn, Apollo Crews, the Vaudevillains, Baron Corbin, Dana Brooke, Enzo Amore, and Colin Cassady have all been brought to the RAW/Smackdown roster, which kinda leaves the cupboards suspiciously bare of prior talent. That being said, I can see WWE porting nearly every single established wrestler it has in NXT right now onto one of the two live shows. The most likely ones to get the nod to me are Bayley, American Alpha, Samoa Joe, Finn Bálor, and The Revival. Shinsuke Nakamura seems destined to hold the NXT Championship, starting as early as Brooklyn, and Asuka has a stranglehold on the Women's Championship; they both would be better served up top. However, I doubt that both of them will come. If I were Triple H and Vince McMahon, I wouldn't even bother sending Bobby Roode's things to Orlando and instead have him get drafted to RAW right away. Both Carmella and Alexa Bliss are intriguing names that could bolster either brand's female rosters. And if Rey Mysterio ends up being a little too rich for McMahon's blood to be brought back, then I'd put Andrade "Cien" Almas at an outside shot to get right to the RAW or Smackdown narrative for that coveted "Latin" demographic. I would be absolutely shocked if Nia Jax, Buddy Murphy, Wesley Blake, Tye Dillinger, Eric Young, Austin Aries, Oney Lorcan (JESUS), Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Elias Sampson, TM 61, Johnny Gargano, or Tommaso Ciampa appear on either RAW or Smackdown anytime soon. But then again, I didn't think Brooke or Crews were anywhere near ready for prime time so who the fuck knows.

I think most people like you and me in this Twitter/Internet bubble come across folks who fetishize older wrestling, so it's weird when someone like your friend says he won't even consider pre-Attitude Era wrestling. But honestly, the way wrestling has evolved over the years feels like anything that came before from a simpler time is below an excitement floor for newer fans. Folks who became into wrestling more recently are used to big spots, flips everywhere, guys with five or more moves of doom, and props like announce tables or barricades being used as props. All that stuff before 1998 was used sparingly, and even if someone like myself can go back and find the strains of modernism in older wrestling, some people might see a bunch of headlocks and punches and kicks and see that it's boring. All of this explanation is a huge gulf of generalizing, but it's also a reason why I think someone can be into newer wrestling exclusively. It's not bad or good; it's just a circumstance of real life.

I hate the idea of moving Nerlens Noel within the division. Hate it. I understand he has more trade value than Jahlil Okafor at this point, and I wouldn't be too heartbroken if he went to, say, Phoenix at number four. But that all depends on whether Boston stays put and drafts someone other than Kris Dunn (I hear the Celtics don't like him, but the team is also fielding a ton of offers for teams who do). If you're a Celtics fan, yes, you want Noel over Okafor because Noel is a defensive presence who can add a little on offense. Okafor might be able to get 20 and 10 just rolling out of bed in the morning (credit Spike Eskin for that), but the question isn't what he gives you defensively but how much he takes away. Boston is closer to a big run in the playoffs than not, and defense wins Championships. So it should be angling for Noel, to be honest.