Thursday, August 10, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 199

Who betta?
Photo via
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:

You guessed it, Frank Stallone. Wait, I'm being informed that Frank Stallone is too bad nowadays to even rehash the old Norm MacDonald Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" bit. So I guess no, no one better than Kanyon. No one.

Well, since you asked nicely...

Artistically, reverting Bayley back to her NXT self would be a non-starter because it would be utterly lazy. Of course, that reversion wouldn't necessarily translate to a total regression for her; many of WWE's young fans, especially young women/girls, haven't seen the Bayley of NXT, the pure beam of light who wasn't a pushover, but an actual babyface with morals and convictions. Vince McMahon got a hold of her and decided that her aesthetic meant a total infantilization of her character, because who more eagerly has jumped on the "EVERYTHING HAS TO BE GRITTY" motif of modern pop culture? Zack Snyder, and that's about it.

However, just saying "turn Bayley back into her NXT self" is, again, artistically lazy, and TWB isn't about that lazy artistic analysis. EVERYONE KNOWS TWB ISN'T ABOUT THAT LAZY ARTISTIC ANALYSIS!

The first step would be acknowledging all the dumb shit main roster WWE has done since bringing Bayley up, starting with having her join in a guerrilla sneak attack on Smackdown against her Survivor Series opponents. It would involve introducing Izzy, her NXT superfan, as a character in her periphery. Izzy shows up wearing Alexa Bliss or Nia Jax shirts instead of the tassels and Bayley merchandise, and she doesn't even want to associate with her former favorite wrestler again. It causes Bayley to have a mental breakdown and reflect on where her career went wrong, even with the title wins on RAW. She turns to a familiar face to long-time viewers of RAW, Dr. Shelby, who helps her unlock what made her special in the first place. Over a pay-per-view cycle, Shelby gives Bayley therapy, and then she makes her big return to the narrative by preventing Sasha Banks from beating on someone after a match. From there, she can be a slightly more mature version of that NXT self, one who finds the courage to do what's right, but is still an accessible role model for children, especially little girls.

Of course, did that fix Bayley? I have no idea, but it's an idea, a better one than what WWE has for her right now, I think. Man, it's just depressing how WWE can take pure babyfaces and put them in a meat grinder to turn into chuck to form into the next Steve Austin clone, isn't it?

I don't care how many bumps he's taken, Vince McMahon's not a wrestler. While I'd be curious about his movie, fuck him, he's capital. Conversely, the Randy Savage story might be worthwhile for the silver screen, even if it probably would cast the Macho Man in a negative light, especially with his relationship with Miss Elizabeth. Will Forte gets the role as Savage if his voice is right. The voice is key. As for the rest of the cast, I'd only be adamant that John C. Reilly play his father, Angelo Poffo. Everyone else, man, I don't know what people look like in Hollywood anymore. I'm an old.

It's definitely the entirety of news reporting. Whether it be the cultish followings that dirtsheet writers have to wrestling promoters shutting them out on news reporting to keep kayfabe to the fact that they charge for information is all silly because it treats information about the business like it's a fucking state secret. On one hand, yeah, I wouldn't want my plans leaking to Dave Meltzer, but on the other, it's not like my screwjob finish at the end of the big card is going to get people killed (well, ideally). Sure, media and government or sports have adversarial relationships with their media, but wrestling's takes the cake, and the reporters in this field are more self-important and miserly than in legitimate media. I wonder how it would look to a complete outsider...

TACO BELL: Cheesy bean and rice burrito, bean burrito, triple-layer nachos, [wild card]. Lately, that wild card has been a cheesy gordita crunch, but I've also done the double chalupa, the Mexi-melt, and even a tostada.

SONIC: Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster, large tots, Vanilla Coke Zero. You gotta get the tots. Like, whoever said the french fry was the ideal fast food side should be erased from history and replaced with me, who would advise everyone but McDonald's and possibly In 'n Out to go tots over fries.

McDONALD'S: McD's has no Coke Zero, so I've been eschewing the meals lately for two McDoubles to bring home. In a related note, since having kids, I've been going to McDonald's like 300 percent more frequently.

WENDY'S: My usual go-to order for Wendy's has been disrupted because I erroneously believed it had bad fries. However, now that I have been disabused of that notion, the go-to order has evolved into bacon queso fries and two Jr. bacon cheeseburgers. How will it change when the first item goes off the menu? I don't know, but I guess I'll find out when it does.

ROY ROGER'S: Bacon double cheeseburger. Sometimes I'll get the fries if I'm feeling frisky, but this is rare anyway since the only RR's near Philly are at toll road rest stops.

POPEYE'S: Five piece spicy tender combo with red beans and rice. Anyone who doesn't get the Popeye's red beans and rice is not to be trusted.

As for the other places, I don't go to Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino's, or any other local fast food place to have a go-to order. Philly also doesn't have In 'n Out, Jack in the Box, Whataburger, Culver's, Duchess, Cookout, Bojangles, Zaxby's, or Del Taco.

It's a toss-up between "TH" and "Dad." I know, I'm boring, but I really don't have a lot of nicknames, well, at least nicknames that I thought were cool and not mocking from my youth.

Funny to get this question on the heels of one asking to fantasy book Bayley better than what WWE has already done. Obviously, I think I can come up with a storyline here or there, but the answer is no, I'd be laughably bad at doing WWE Creative's job. Does that mean they do a good job collectively? LOL hell no. But they're better equipped to come up with stories than I am, and if they had better training, or if better writers were in that room with the right training, they'd be able to do their thing.

Near-term, Punk going to Ring of Honor would be the better move, because he's the one person to reinvigorate the non-WWE wrestling world. He could then move onto New Japan and be an anchor for them on US shows going forward. Of course, long-term the answer would be different, way different. I could see ROH taking on Punk, seeing a spike in business, and then the corporate idiots at Sinclair thinking they don't need to partner with NJPW anymore because they got the dude (even though he's approaching 40 with clear medical issues). If Takaaki Kidani and Bushiroad were smart, they would sign Punk to NJPW and debut him at the next set of American shows, provided Punk even wanted to go back to pro wrestling. Short-term, it might not be as big of a boon, but in the long term, it might be the better move to provide as a building block, might being the operative word. One wrestler, even one with the cache as CM Punk, may never be enough to put a dent in the WWE machine.

The most illegitimate claim is one I've tackled so many times before, and that's wrestling needs to go back to the old days to find relevance or prominence. Wrestling evolves like anything else, so those fogeys are just fogeys pining for their old days. Now, for the most legitimate claim those people have, it's that wrestling, WWE in specific, relies too much on scripting of promos and leaning on writers trying to get themselves over and not the talent. Of course, I don't think writers should be eliminated and wrestlers should go back to ad libbing everything. Again, businesses and sports and entertainment all evolve, and wrestling is all three rolled up into one. Writers are an integral part of any televised wrestling promotion. However, the writers, bookers, promoters, and office all need to work harder and smarter to find out which guys take to scripting and which guys are better off riffing on an idea. If a wrestler doesn't sound organic, they're not going to resonate with a crowd no matter how well-defined their raw tools are. What they say doesn't necessarily have to be organic, but they have to sound like it. I feel like WWE especially just rushes wrestlers through to sink or swim thinking its writing room (read: Vince McMahon) can carry them, and honey, none of those people are excellent enough at their jobs to elevate stiff and awkward speech and acting. Of course, I also think that every wrestler should take courses in improv and public speaking, and every wrestling promoter and writer should take literature and screen writing classes, but hey, that's me sipping some tea for a later post, enh?