Thursday, September 29, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. One-Hundred and NICE

And that's the bottom line, cuz Diamond Joe said so!
Photo Credit: Saul Loeb, AP/Getty Images
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:

Protected user @bee_tee_ess asks:
Out of Trump, Hillary, Obama, and Biden, what is each person's "finishing move" in the squared circle?
The easiest one to pick is "Diamond" Joe Biden, who cracks a beer and hits the dude with the Stone Cold Stunner. Barack Obama is a charismatic fellow but he's ineffectual as a leader for reasons maybe not completely in his control, so he gets Sister Abigail's Kiss. Hillary Clinton seems to be duplicitous, but she has the support of a vocal online contingent, so she gets Carlito's Backstabber. Donald Trump feels like the kind of wrestler who'd attack anyone who looked at him funny, and as a bonus, he's the candidate most likely to end up dead in a locker room shower in a Spanish-speaking territory (except for Honduras), so he gets the King Kong Knee Drop of Bruiser Brody. As a bonus, Bernie Sanders gets the Russian sickle, because he's a damn dirty socialist, and wrestling has no room for nuance in treating that kind of political ideology, dammit.

If it were happening in NXT, this endgame would be nearly definite. However, Woods has graduated to megastardom as a member of the New Day, and Perkins apparently is the rock upon which St. Hunter will build his Church of Flippy Dudes Under 205 Lbs. Maybe eventually the cruiserweights will end up integrating with the rest of the roster, but at the same time, New Day would also have to break up, or do a soft break where the individual guys pursue non-Freebird Rule tag team ventures. The latter SHOULD totally happen, because every day Big E spends outside of the main event singles scene is a day WWE spends throwing Benjamins on a bonfire. If those two things happen, and if one of them turns heel, I can totally see WWE having a video game feud to populate the midcard of RAW, much in the same way it indulged Cody Rhodes/Stardust a chance to play out a comic book feud against Neville, even if it was poorly constructed for most of its run. The ifs in that scenario still remain pretty big, however.

First off, how the hell are you gonna tell me you're running a comedy show and not give me details so I can disseminate them to my dozens, possibly HUNDREDS of readers? Secondly, I've never really played a whole lot of drinking games. My timeline of drinking is pretty weird. I drank a lot on the corners in high school. Because I commuted to college and never lived in a dorm, I missed out on my prime beer-pong and other game playing opportunities. So I've never really developed an affinity for a single drinking game. That being said, beer pong has always been fun in the limited times I've played it. Unlike other games, it requires a modicum of skill, and you don't have to get too fucked up while playing it unless you're a moron and fill your cups with liquor instead of beer.

Ignoring the calls of several people who would like nothing more than poor Samson to be fed into a wood chipper, he should slowly slide into the role Tye Dillinger has of being the dude that works opposite the new guy on his first couple of matches in NXT. He's perfect for that role because he's a solid hand in the ring, he gets mad heat and thus wouldn't be a threat to ruin a debut by being peskily over (like Dillinger did with Andrade "Cien" Almas), and it'd give him a job for years, especially if NXT continues to cycle in huge names every couple of months. It might seem like yeoman's work, but someone has to do it. Why not make it someone who'd be good at it?

I don't do star ratings for matches, but if I did, I would imagine this one wouldn't get as many stars as it might have gotten before Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin had the ravages of time and hard hits. It'd still be a fine match though, although I'd rather see the Bullet Club go up against, say, the Inner City Machine Guns and Cedric Alexander dot dot dot.

No question, a NXT cruiserweight division would have been heralded better than the RAW one at first. However, where would the fun and challenge in trying to get them over be when the fans that go to NXT shows don't care about weight classes in the first place anyway? The cruiserweights on RAW experiment may or may not work, but it's the first bold thing WWE has done since launching The Network. Of course, if WWE really wanted to be bold, it would start pushing cruiser stories and feuds into the main event of the show rotation. Segregated divisions don't work if the fans are told that those boutique divisions are stratified below the main narrative. So this coming week on RAW, Sasha Banks and Charlotte should definitely get the main event slot on RAW to solidify the women there. And further down the line, you bet your damn ass that a confrontation segment between TJ Perkins and Cedric Alexander should get a sweet, 15 minute overrun. It's the only way to keep the division fresh without all the stars either getting disgruntled, 1999 WCW-style or having to move up in weight class to get some damn respect.

I expect it to be a lot like before, where the winner of the Rumble chooses whether he wants to go after the WWE World Heavyweight or the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania, which is not problematic at all if both belts stay on equal stature. With Elimination Chamber being replaced with Fast Lane, however, the other title won't have an easy MacGuffin for deciding who challenges for it, but hey, WWE will figure that out...

...a week before Fast Lane is set to happen.

Okay, so I've been to the DC area a bunch, but I'm low on food recommendations for whatever reason. However, I can definitely recommend two places.

  • Wisemiller's Grocery and Deli - When I was in high school, I spent five weeks at Georgetown in the summer between junior and senior year for a college program. It was neat, but I didn't really take in the local food scene. Granted, it was in 1999 and I was a real shithead creep, so don't hold it against me too bad. Anyway, one big exception was Wisemiller's, which was right off campus and had sandwiches, including CHICKEN MADNESS, which featured chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, onion, garlic, peppers, and mayo. It might seem standard to most pizza places now, but lemme tell you, it satisfied many a late night hunger for this overweight teenager. If you want something super casual but super delicious for lunch, go there.
  • Turcuisine - This place was more a recent visit. My wife and I went a few years back when visiting relatives down in Northern Virginia. We both love food from the Eastern Mediterranean area, and this place has it good. Plus, the ambiance is great; when we went, it had a belly dancer.

Of course, those won't be the only places to go. Ben's Chili Bowl has a great rep, even though I can't really vouch for it personally. Also, DC is known for its abundance of Vietnamese and Peruvian places. Don't be afraid to try something new.
So right now, Ring of Honor is in eternal morass and Lucha Underground seems a bit too risque for wider release to get into TNA's Hogan era position, let alone its peak days. So whatever the next mid-level number one/nominal REAL number two promotion is, it hasn't emerged yet. If ROH gets its shit together, it has the monetary backing, key partnerships with major overseas companies, and name recognition. That being said, I fear its ship has sailed. So I'll have to say no one's likely to rise up yet, unless someone like, say, Chikara or one of the new players like Wrestle Circus, really blows up enough to get buzz-worthy TV, it might be awhile.

The chances are slim-to-none. Eddie Kingston and Heidi Lovelace got tryouts recently, along with Shayna Baszler, Kimber Lee, 3.0, Jessica James, Santana Garrett, Su Yung, Nicole Savoy, and Jacques Rougeau's Large Adult Son, but the journey from tryout to signing to debut on TV is long and arduous. Even if they're signed and given the Kevin Steen/Prince Devitt/KENTA quick turnaround, one is looking at January as a debut date for either one of them. So if they debut at Takeover: Royal Rumble, they'll get fodder if anything. But my guess for a debut for either one of them might be something more akin to a Uhaa Nation/Rich Swann/Athena/Biff Busick/La Sombra model where the time between Performance Center and television debut is more prolonged. Additionally, will they debut as kings or as beggars? Ember Rose was debuted as a star, but Oney Lorcan is still living off one upset win and meager TV time since. Then Swann skipped NXT mostly altogether and is getting big pins in cruiserweight tag matches on RAW. Either way, none of the recent signees made it to the title scene IMMEDIATELY, and Kevin Owens' quickness to ascend was anomaly and "right place, right time" more than anything else. So Kingston/Nakamura and Lovelace/Asuka may not happen until they're all on RAW or Smackdown.