Thursday, August 3, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 198

Pictured: My Daughter's Nemesis
Photo via Cappy's Crabs
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:

My summer vacations have rarely been memorable in a storytelling fashion. They're relaxing, or have had some cool, funny moments, but nothing really sticks out as a story from my youth. However, the last time I went down the shore with my family, we were down on the beach in Sea Isle City, NJ. Now, I have two small children, and the younger one, my daughter, is finally big enough to be mobile and somewhat conversational, the perfect age for beachgoing. Anyway, she was walking down to the ocean, and she felt a pinch on her foot, so she naturally assumed it was a crab biting her foot. She was mad for a bit but then calmed down until a few minutes later, we were all at a sort of tide pool. My son saw an old shell that a crab must have left behind after molting, and he pointed it out as a crab. Well, my daughter saw it and ran the other way shrieking as if she just saw Jaws itself careening into a boat she happened to be on. I shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did, because my poor little daughter was scared out of her mind, but it was the funniest thing I've seen all year.

Lunchmeat has a certain reputation. It's either too cheap to the point where one questions whether or not it's meat or it's gentrified to the point where it's no longer called lunchmeat but charcuterie. Either way, it comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and unsurprisingly, some of them are well-utilized as professional wrestling weapons. Now, some lunchmeats are easily weaponized, but only in that they are dangerous to ingest with little or no modification. Those meats are not good for pro wrestling weaponry. No, you're going to want something that you can carry and strike someone with. It can't be oblong or hard to carry, so stuff like hams and turkey breast are out of the question. You need something that comes in chub form, but not too girthy so that you can't carry it. You also don't want anything that's too soft, because it won't cause the most damage. That's why the best weapon is a long chub of hard salami. Get your minds out of the gutter, perverts. Anyway, it would hurt when you hit someone with it, and afterwards, you could eat it as an easy source of post-match protein. Everyone wins. Except the guy you hit with it.

Honestly, any cheese goes on a cheeseburger and tastes somewhat good. Like, the gap between best and worst probably isn't that wide. However, and I may be showing my general lack of refinement on my palate here, I would go with American cheese as the best if just because of how gooily it melts and its general salt content. If I want a burger, I want something that has flavor in case the meat is a bit on the bland side and I want something that is going to ooze into every pore of the burger so I get meat and cheese in every bite. Again, it's not so much a dealbreaker if it's something different, but the pinnacle is the American slice, be it deli-sliced white or the yellow individually wrapped Kraft singles.

I think the key phrase here is "current form," because in that case, it certainly has. However, it's not necessarily the fault of the prop itself, but a function of how extreme the strata in WWE are and the rapid pace guys go from main roster debut to main event. If either brand had a legit midcard where wrestlers could gestate for a year or two after their debuts, the briefcase would be a great tool to get someone over in a hotshot manner. But look at Baron Corbin. Sure, one could argue his rise to the top has been metered out well over the year plus he's been on the main roster, but I think that's only been based on time elapsed. His feud with Dolph Ziggler did absolutely nothing for either one of them, and then he was just sort of there before getting some shine after the Rumble. Sure, one could argue that the halcyon days of Mr. Perfect and Tito Santana and Razor Ramon occupying the secondary title scene may not have had a lot of meat to them either, but the sparse nature of the WWF/E of those days allowed such threadbare storytelling to be more memorable. When major pay-per-views were three months apart and the television leading up to it was all syndicated Saturday morning fare, maybe that Corbin/Ziggler or Corbin/Sami Zayn feud could have resonated better, and then Corbin would be a far stronger briefcase holder as-is. But as of right now, WWE writers/showrunners/producers aren't holding up their ends of any bargains. They write shows for 1987 in 2017, but when you see the same beats repeated in a three month feud up to 12 times a feud because you have to fill 24 total hours over that time, it shows how inadequately prepared WWE is even now, nearly 20 years into the two-or-more hours of live content a week era.

The nWo concept ultimately hurt wrestling because of how hard it had to lean on real life stuff to build heat, and that it shifted the paradigm from "winning titles" to "controlling the company" for the major goals. One could argue that you couldn't blame the stable for those woes, and that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash really couldn't just walk right into WCW as "just guys" in a promotion dominated by ex-WWE/JCP/territory wrestlers not really changing their shticks. Hell, even Kevin Sullivan had reverted back to an evil cult leader by the time 1996 rolled around. Hulk Hogan also desperately needed something to reinvent himself. The nWo did reinvigorate wrestling in the short term, but short term gains often are never the true barometer of what the long term health will look like. The late '90s overall were bad for wrestling now because the focus switched from wrestlers to authority. It's almost a perfect encapsulation of how American economics and capitalism shifted from the golden age of labor unions to the cult of capital, but I'm stretching too far beyond the question.