Thursday, June 15, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 191

THEY DON'T WANT, THEY DON'T THEY DON'T WANT NONE (none meaning fandom without problem)
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:

Nearly everyone is problematic if one peels back enough layers. Maybe Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan aren't, but even Bryan apparently acts really disappointingly misogynistic on Total Divas, so hey, everyone Milkshake Ducks along a long enough timeline. But most guys are smart enough to keep it hidden. So to answer the question on those whose problematic nature are in public, well, AJ Styles may be a homophobe who may or may not believe in science, but I can put that aside in the moment and enjoy what he does in the ring.

Protected user @adamsgroove asks:
Can anyone stop the Warriors anytime soon, and if so, whom and how?
HOMER ANSWER: If the Sixers draft Josh Jackson, they'll be able to shut dow...

/pulled off stage with a hook

While in my heart of hearts, I believe the Sixers can be contenders within two years, right now I'll pump my brakes and give three legitimate answers that don't rely on Joel Embiid staying healthy for a full season.
  • LEBRON JAMES - The resistance against Warriors-based hegemony begins and possibly ends with James and what he does. Obviously, he's not going to be able to stop them with the Cavaliers as situated. So he'll either have to recruit someone like Blake Griffin to Cleveland (which is dicey because how many years does Griffin have left of efficacy before he goes south?), or he moves to another team with either a young base that will complement him and allow him to go straight to another title (Phoenix?) or one with cap space where he can recruit another super-team like he did in Miami to take on the Warriors super-team.
  • THE SPURS - The Spurs were cleaning the Warriors' clock in game one of the Western Conference Finals, and then Zaza Pachulia injured Kawhi Leonard and it all went downhill from there. As situated, would the Spurs have beaten the Warriors in that series? Probably not, but it would've been far more competitive. Like, maybe they push it to six games before faltering. The Spurs will need to improve, and hey, Chris Paul wants to go to San Antonio. While he won't be a cure-all (he's an injury risk and his teams have never gone too far in the playoffs), adding him to a core that includes Leonard, Pau Gasol, and the other players may be the thing that keeps the Dubs from reaching a fourth straight NBA Final.
  • INJURY LUCK - It feels cheap to say this, but all it takes is missed time at the wrong time for any one of the big four (Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson) or another role player like Andre Iguodala, and the Dubs are sunk. No team is immune to the injury bug, but this is the hardest one to forecast.

The best case scenario is that it's a spectacle with a ton of air guitar and ass spots. They have some fun, the audience has a few laughs, and everyone's fatigue from whatever epic match preceded it will be dissipated before the epic match that follows comes on. Worst case scenario is that it will allow you to go use the facilities and perhaps get another hot dog and beverage of choice. Either way, it serves a purpose.

Would I be cheating if I said Steve Austin vs. Bill Goldberg? They were obviously the two most nuclear stars from their respective companies, and they didn't even get to wrestle when Goldberg came to WWE thanks to Austin's stupid neck. Even more than Goldberg/Rock or Hogan/Rock, this match was and should have been the holy grail of the WCW Invasion and everything that followed.

I'll say NXT Bayley by the most razor-thin of margins because she followed up her good-nature in the ring with her promotion of hugs out of it.

WWE both had every opportunity and no opportunity to turn John Cena heel during the course of his run, so it might seem impossible to pick the best one. However, one opportunity clearly sticks out, WrestleMania XXX. Of course, it would've required some more finagling with the main event as well. Daniel Bryan winning the main event and celebrating with two title belts with Conor Michalek is indelibly etched in the minds of fans all over the world, but it could have had even more layers. His captivity by the Wyatt Family was ended abruptly, but Bray Wyatt's message to him during it fit so comfortably in his overall "fuck the establishment" story that it might as well have been Homer Simpson wearing clown pants. I would have had Bryan leaning more on the Wyatts afterwards, realizing he made a mistake breaking free. Meanwhile, Wyatt's feud with Cena becomes less of whatever the fuck it was and more of Wyatt accusing him of being a pawn of management. It concludes with Cena turning on Bryan the night after Mania and becoming his Extreme Rules feud instead of Kane. It then sets up a situation where Wyatt and Cena becomes the top feud in the company with the roles reversed.

If Big Show gets the protection he's been getting at the tail end of his WWE career his entire career across all companies, he's spoken in the same breath as Andre the Giant. Right now, his career isn't too bad. I feel people will never really forget the true freaks of nature, and Big Show as large as he is definitely counts. But I think a lot of the smoking cigarettes as a member of the nWo and being sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling fat camp and the constant turns back and forth will contaminate that legacy. But still, he's done well for himself.

I haven't seen any brackets, so I'm going just based on how the matches are listed on the Chikara site. Juan Francisco de Coronado beats James Mason, because I don't think the Grand Champion loses a first round match. Zack Sabre, Jr. defeats Mike Quackenbush. Matt Riddle gets the upset over Hallowicked, well, the upset in Chikara terms. Travis Huckabee goes over Rory Gulak. This leaves semifinal matches of Coronado vs. Sabre and Riddle vs. Huckabee. Coronado uses trickery to defeat Zacky Three Belts, while Riddle advances to the finals over Huckabee. So, my finals are the BRO vs. the Ecuadorian Aristocrat. Who wins? Besides the fans? It's hard to say, but my guess is Riddle gets the win so he can come back and give Coronado his win back in a title match.

Now watch Rory Gulak win the whole damn thing.

Neither. As it turns out, they like crushing the bourgeoisie and spreading the gospel of socialism around the globe. I'm as shocked as you are.

This is a hard question to answer without raw numbers in front of me. Obviously, he's not the one pushing tickets for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, since that name brand is the draw and the money it pulls in allows it to book wrestlers for its already sold out crowds. Impact doesn't tour and its ratings didn't really move for him as far as I know. I'm not sure about Ring of Honor numbers, but it doesn't feel like Rhodes pushed them up either. The same goes for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Maybe where his drawing power is felt most is in local indie promotions, but again, I don't have those numbers.

So, respectfully, I will abstain from answering the question, mainly because I don't wanna be seen as a HAYTUR and advance my already biased points of view against the man. But Frankly, yoU Can see and KNOw how I really want to answer.

JULY 4: Truth tries cashing in at Randy Orton's family July 4 barbecue as Orton tries recreating the RKO-his-son-into-the-pool viral video. He misses the kick and gets his shorts stuck in the drain to the filter.

AUGUST 1: Truth puts a stick of dynamite in Brock Lesnar's Jimmy John's sub. Lesnar eats it before it explodes, coming out from the attack unscathed. Somehow, Truth's pants fall down.

SEPTEMBER 11: While John Cena is solemnly speaking at a 9/11 memorial ceremony, Truth attempts to roll him up, but instead rolls up New York mayor Bill deBlasio. deBlasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, pepper sprays him.

OCTOBER 31: Truth waits on Braun Strowman's block all night waiting for him to trick-or-treat and cash in on him then. However, Strowman instead opts for a quiet night out eating a whole goat, live, with his Tinder date. Truth is pelted with eggs by neighborhood kids.

NOVEMBER 24: Truth's attempt at purchasing a replica WWE World Championship at Target is thwarted when a burly lady knocks him out with her handbag and takes the last one.

DECEMBER 24: Truth heads down Strowman's chimney in an attempt to surprise attack him, but is beaten to the punch by Santa Claus, who whacks him with a Mr. Socko full of coal.

JANUARY 1: Truth is too sickened to cash in his briefcase on Cena again because he just saw Big Show reprise his role as the New Year's Baby.

FEBRUARY 5: Truth cashes in his briefcase and gets a pinfall on Dean Ambrose. However, Braun Strowman is the Universal Champion and Ambrose was wrestling James Ellsworth anyway. What the fuck was Truth thinking?

MARCH 17: Truth says to himself "I gotta stop cashing in on holidays" but is still bashed over the head with a pitcher of green beer by Hornswoggle for no apparent reason. I mean, Hornswoggle doesn't even work for the fuckin' company anymore.

APRIL 8: Finally, an opportunity to cash in on a weakened Roman Reigns after he wins the Universal Championship arises, but Truth literally slips on a banana peel before he can do so.

MAY 1: As he stands in solidarity with workers around the world, Truth cannot help but attempt to cash in his briefcase on AFL-CIO chairman Richard Trumka. However, he is beaten mercilessly by Vince McMahon, Dolph Ziggler, JBL, and other rightist infiltrators who want to crush the proletariat.

JUNE 18, 2018: Finally, he sees an opportunity to cash in on Reigns for the Universal Championship at RAW on the last possible day that he could, after Reigns has had several nuclear warheads dropped on him by his new archnemesis and brand new WWE signing Bashir al-Assad. He lays eyes on Reigns' charred, radioactive corpse, wondering if it would be ethical to pin him, but he shoots his shot. Even though it singes his chest to cover Reigns, he does so and becomes WWE Universal Champion. But then he realizes what he's done. Was becoming Champion worth the heartache and pain and nuclear fallout that had now befallen the greater El Paso area? As his skin bubbles and melts, exposing his pectoral muscles and ribs, he ponders his own morality and mortality until finally, a shrieking noise pierces the eerily silent sky.

"I'VE JUST DECIDED," says Vince McMahon from the safety of a fallout shelter somewhere near Alamogordo, NM. "I'M ENDING THE BRAND SPLIT. THE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP IS DEFUNCT. FUCK YOU."

It was all for naught anyway. Truth laughs as the radiation burns finally singe the outer barrier of his left ventricle. As his eyes grow dim, he looks back upon his life and all the friends he made before succumbing to his injuries, a life well-lived even with its shortcomings.

JUNE 15, 2017: Truth wakes up from his midday catnap. "Oh shit, that was a crazy dream! Everyone knows the Money in the Bank briefcase can only be won by a Smackdown Live!™ Superstar and cashed in upon the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Silly me!"

Video gaming has gotten objectively better. The processing power on even "childish" Nintendo systems dwarfs what children like myself had to play with. The sheer size of games can be ridiculous and rewarding. The width and breadth of types of games you can play is nearly infinite, even if war simulations tend to dominate the market. Yet, if I had the choice to play a game system, I would go with the NES every time over whatever new system was out. New games rarely speak to me, and if they do, they're usually sequels to classic Nintendo titles, many of them with throwback aesthetics. Pokémon has changed cosmetically over the years, but the game mechanics are mostly the same as they were in 1995. That's what I want.

Oh hell yeah. Cross is by far the best member of the group (and that includes Killian Dain who himself is pretty good even in his NXT infancy), and the whole group seems to cycle around her. When she's not around, SANitY feels like a pointless exercise. When she is, I will actually pay attention to Eric Young, which is no small feat. It shows in the booking too. Young and the rest of his cohorts are on piddling week-to-week low card feuds, and Cross just went MAD with Asuka. And it fucking rules.

The only people whose musical preferences I know of are Sami Zayn and probably Baron Corbin? I'm going to project on these guys.
6. AJ Styles - My guess, judging from his theme song is that he listens to Christian rap (as pointed out by the intrepid Erin Provolone on Twitter) or bro country. Either way, boo.
5. Dolph Ziggler - It feels like he loves hair metal. Lame.
4. Sami Zayn - While I was into Reel Big Fish and Save Ferris in the late '90s like most teens, well, ska otherwise doesn't really do it for me anymore.
3. Shinsuke Nakamura - I bet Nakamura is into like weird as shit experimental forward jazz music or some shit. Or not, I have no idea. But it's fun to pretend.
2. Kevin Owens - Owens definitely listens to like nu-metal, but not Papa Roach but the GOOD nu-metal like System of a Down. System of a Down is fuckin' cool.
1. Baron Corbin - He could go either way. I could see him as a Midwest country bro who listens to like Zac Brown Band and other bullshit, or a dude who goes hardcore into the good shit, starting from Black Sabbath. I choose to believe the latter.

Very carefully.

Seriously, the way both RAW and Smackdown's divisions are being booked right now, I'm not necessarily sure it matters where they go, but I'll give it a stab anyway. Summer Rae goes to RAW to feud with Bayley as a way of bringing the Bayley character (and Summer's character too) back to her (their) roots. Summer goes full Mean Girls on Bayley, and instead of taking the bait, she proves how friendship and hugs and rainbows win the day.
As for Paige, I'd send her to Smackdown just to beat the shit out Charlotte at every turn just because. I'm petty like that.