Thursday, April 13, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 183

It's time for Big E to have a bigger strap
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:

The answer is Big E, and it's not even close. I love Sami Zayn, and Baron Corbin has grown on me a lot to the point where I could and will buy him as WWE Champion some day. But Big E has been ready for far too long. Real talk, the biggest reason New Day's talents were wasted as WrestleMania host wasn't because they could have done an entertaining tag feud, but because Big E should have won the Royal Rumble and vaulted the canyon between mid-show tag novelty to main event dude. Now that Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are both battling various maladies, the time has come for Big E to become the paragon of Black excellence he was meant to be within WWE. Sadly, I don't think that will be the case, but it should be.

Okay, so, full discretion here, I've been following the cruiserweights mostly on RAW and haven't gotten a chance to watch 205 Live a whole lot at all. That being said, it feels like WWE has no real plan for the division outside of the grander picture of Neville's title reign, and thus it cycles through challengers looking for someone to get hot. They do, but then WWE pounds them back down because why should anyone get over on their own? Granted, Cedric Alexander's injury has probably hurt the division as much as it has hurt Alexander himself, but it doesn't excuse the lack of basic planning to protect guys like Rich Swann or Jack Gallagher.

Not only is God real, but he promoted the most bonkers, funnest show of Mania weekend.

So I slotted each trade, and even though Smackdown came out with two more total bodies than RAW afterwards, it was still nine acts for nine acts in historical context. Yes, Lana seems to be positioned as more a solo act now than a plus-one for Rusev, but they're still linked until I see them on screen apart most of the time. Anyway, the nine separate individual trades are, in my estimation;

  • Kevin Owens (or Chris Jericho) for Dean Ambrose - EVEN SWITCH
  • Charlotte Flair for Alexa Bliss - SLIGHT EDGE SMACKDOWN (for now)
  • New Day for Heath Slater and Rhyno - EDGE SMACKDOWN
  • Rusev and Lana for Miz and Maryse - EDGE RAW
  • Sami Zayn for Bray Wyatt - EDGE RAW
  • The Shining Stars for Curt Hawkins - EVEN SWITCH
  • Sin Cara for Kalisto - EVEN SWITCH
  • Jinder Mahal for Apollo Crews - SLIGHT EDGE SMACKDOWN (if only because Mahal's actually been on screen more lately)
  • Tamina Snuka for Mickie James - EDGE RAW
So in my estimation, the brands had three straight-up even trades and three trades where each one clearly won, although I also think that RAW's acquisitions overall were stronger in aggregate. Does that mean Smackdown is BURIED? No, not at all. In fact, I think the RAW guys going to Smackdown have a lot more room to grow in the trades where they "lost" than in the opposite case. All in all, I think the Superstar Shake-up has been at the very least interesting for WWE on the whole, at least on paper.

So yeah, above where I wrote that Smackdown's acquisitions had more room to grow figures into my answer here, because right now, Sami Zayn is the best reassigned superstar by far. He's gone from the RAW, where he was naturally pulled into a destructive story with no real out against management (Stephanie McMahon), and now he can go onto a show where the authority figures are prohibitive babyfaces and where he can have any number of feuds. However, by SummerSlam, that answer could be either Rusev or even Big E, depending on certain factors. Both guys are insanely charismatic story anchors who can work, and either one could be a challenger for Randy Orton's or AJ Styles' WWE Championship by then with great results. As for the worst, rather than plumbing the depths for the easy bilge, I'd have to say in the short term it's New Day because Smackdown's tag team scene has been left ravaged by neglect lately. Also, Kingston and Woods are both hurting right now, so they may start off behind the curve. In the long term, I don't see Bray Wyatt on RAW turning out well. He's a guy who could be nurtured into an interesting character on villain-friendly Smackdown, but on RAW, it feels like he's about to get fed to babyface challenger after babyface challenger, starting with Finn Bálor, if he ever stops having people injure him in matches.

The best thing might be the entire show itself, because post-Mania pay-per-views tend to be excellent in terms of match quality. Quite a few Backlash and Extreme Rules shows have come close to or eclipsed their respective WrestleMania. The card for Payback doesn't look that impressive on paper yet, but even then only four matches have been announced. Two of them, however, are the Hardy Boys vs. Cesaro and Sheamus, and Neville vs. Austin Aries, both of which could be absolute BANGERS. Additionally, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens had a surprisingly good match at Mania, giving hope that maybe Jericho can give repeatable results, and Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt... well, Owens/Jericho could at least be good. One has to figure a women's match or two will also be added, and hey, Roman Reigns has to get revenge on Braun Strowman for flipping him over in an ambulance, right?

The worst thing is the ever-creeping dread that nothing in WWE is really going to change direction until Money in the Bank. It's not that WWE's direction is that bad right now, even on RAW, but two weeks of the flagship have deceived before. RAW after Mania through Money in the Bank is the lesser of WWE's two dead periods, but it's still kind of a dead period. So if you would like cathartic satisfaction to go with your excellent wrestling, well buddy, you might be going to the wrong place in Payback.

To be bluntly honest, none of them did. Being EXTREMELY ONLINE and plugged into the indie scene, even without having the time to watch as much as I did in 2011/'12, I know pretty much everyone getting voted into the 100, and the ones I wasn't familiar with even three or four months ago I was able to watch in the time interim. But the answer I'd give to suggest to someone looking for the next big thing would be Darby Allin, who didn't make the top 100, but may end up blowing up at the end of this year like my main man Fred Yehi did last year, if he hasn't already with this Ethan Page feud. That is, if dude doesn't end up killing his damn self in the ring.

First, lol if you think they're eating anywhere less fancy than a PF Chang's. Second, my guess is afterwards we'd go back to his house and watch movies he's starred in in his personal theater, which wouldn't be too bad, to be honest. He also doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would treat for dinner or anything. But it'd probably be boring unless you liked hearing them talk about themselves. (Character, of course. I have no idea what Michael Mizanin and Maryse Ouellet-Mizanin are like in real life.)