Friday, July 8, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 163

Matt Hardy, seen here with his son Maxel and gardener Senor Benjamin, has made TNA buzzworthy
Photo via Matt Hardy's Twitter
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:

I have not seen a minute of the feud between the Hardy Boys, so I can't really give a positive or negative opinion of how everything went down. However, I do have thoughts about the whole phenomenon from the outside. First, the fact that the most buzzworthy thing in wrestling this year so far has come from TNA of all places is another reason why 2016 will go down as one of the strangest years in professional wrestling history. Second, the fact that it generated so much buzz because it was weird is fantastic. TNA has always needed to find a way to differentiate itself from WWE, World Championship Wrestling, or other mainstream promotions, and by doing something as arcane as match in an estate with drones and gardeners, it has done what it should have done in 2010. So with that being said, it's 2016, and I've said something positive about TNA Wrestling. The pro graps really are in a strange place!

The Attitude Era seems too easy an answer, doesn't it? Yet, every time I remember or go back to an old RAW or pay-per-view from that era, the stories are just so cringeworthy. The wrestling for the most part didn't have the chance to develop or be overrated or underrated because a lot of the matches were short by design. Given the eras that preceded it and followed it, the Attitude Era was memorable for when wrestling was popular, and when its most electric personalities did their thing. But in terms of content, it's barely watchable.

This is a tough question because I'm not sure what Lesnar's draw in WWE is. People with more time than I have researched the buys and stuff on events where he wrestled, and the increase in revenue and viewers tended to be not worth the bang for his buck. But I don't have those numbers in front of me right now. Anyway, I can speak about it on a metaphysical level, and I'm not sure it'll hurt him that much in terms of aura and prestige. All he'll have to do is throw around some jabroni in advance of SummerSlam or attack Randy Orton and throw a car on him or something. Unless Lesnar gets hit with a medical suspension that WWE in turn honors because realism, I'm not sure a loss to Hunt will matter too much in the long run. Remember. Lesnar came back to WWE off the heels of getting murked in like two or three straight fights. Wrestling heat doesn't obey the logical laws of physics.

New Japan toured the East Coast in 2011 with the Invasion tour that hit New York City, Rahway, NJ, and the Arena in Philly. It drew over 1,500 fans at all three shows, which for any indie show is a success. With the increase in exposure thanks to dorks like you and me, and the boost that it got from Ring of Honor, I think NJPW can easily sell out the Arena today. The NJPW/ROH shows act as surrogate cards for the former anyway, since most ROH dudes act as enhancement talent. Why not just drop the whole partnership facade and come alone?

Fun fact, the first show in the tour, which was held in Rahway, had MVP going over Kazuchika Okada in the first round of the Intercontinental Championship tournament. In fact, Okada jobbed in all three matches he was involved in. My how the times have changed.

Honestly, I would love to just agree with this statement and move on, but WWE set some groundwork for this move by signing Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano to true independent contractor deals and allowing them to tour the world while coming home to NXT for a push here or there, and then following that up with the Gabe Sapolsky/EVOLVE partnership. The Cruiserweight Classic is still crazy, don't get me wrong, but TNA of all promotions getting over a campy-ass feud between two brothers who've feuded before to dreadful results in a few promotions based on Matt Hardy becoming the cheesiest character in wrestling history is still the most batshit crazy thing to happen this year.

I love Mojo Rawley, and I have for awhile now. He's gotten better in the ring and is less grating since NXT stopped making him talk about how he likes to stay hype, but I've always had a soft spot for him because he, like me and all other Garbage Twitter degenerates, loves the number 69. He's always posting pictures of the number 69 when he's out and about, and he really speaks to me on a metaphysical level.

At first, the announcement was underwhelming. I understand WWE is going for a pure sports build here, especially in the face of Lesnar taking a sojourn to fight at UFC 200. Maybe the announcement was jarring because I'm used to my WWE stories beginning with storyline developments occurring on camera. But in retrospect, it's not like WWE just had Mauro Ranallo or Michael Cole or whomever announce it and have the color guys fawn over it like they're paid to be excited. WWE had a panel and everything, and really put at least three-quarters of its ass into the announcement, if not all of it. I can appreciate that. As for the opponent, well, when he's inspired, Orton can turn in a decent effort or two, and Brock Lesnar matches are spectacles if just for how he's unleashed during them anymore. Still, one has to think that Lesnar's time in WWE is more finite than anyone else's right now. Why waste his matches on a washed dude like Orton when he could be wrestling Cesaro or Kevin Owens or even Rusev. Give Lesnar someone new and dynamic. Even if it's a given that the Beast Incarnate is going to go over, the match would have more juice than Orton would at this point.