Thursday, January 11, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 219

Their road to Mania should start at the beginning of the Royal Rumble
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:

MEN'S: One and two should be Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, fresh off their unsuccessful attempt at winning the WWE Championship in a joint effort from AJ Styles. It should kickstart their WrestleMania program. Number 30 should be John Cena, just because you want to give the live crowd as loud a groan as possible to send them off and lift their spirits with the eventual winner, provided said winner isn't Roman Reigns.

WOMEN'S: The first two wrestlers to enter the women's Royal Rumble should be Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano, as a statement that this women's "revolution" was started a long time ago, and that somewhere along the way, it was lost in favor or something more tawdry and less kind to women. They should get the chance to remind everyone that before WWE decided bodypaint handprint bikinis and HLA were the rule of the day, it was kinda serious about women's wrestling, and that the current revolution wasn't a beginning, but a resumption. Number 30 should be Nia Jax, a decidedly HOLY SHIT moment for anyone left in the ring who has been battling and battling and battling to have the largest, meanest, and now freshest competitor in the match be someone who's a goddamn wrecking ball.

The truth is that WWE really has to try to fuck up a Rumble match. The last time it was held in Philly, it tried and succeeded at fucking it up royally, but, I mean, it's not hard. Basically, the Rumble is dinner at a tapas restaurant. Everyone comes in, does a sampling of their shtick, a few guys do heavy lifting (ironman, Kane push, etc.), and it allows for easy big pops for surprise entries. WWE tried being bold with the Rumble when it put 40 wrestlers in, and it was one of the better ones it ever did. Deviation is not the problem. Direction is. So yes, it's more than reasonable to expect the company to put on two good Rumble matches, but at the same time, it's also reasonable to wonder which direction will show up, the one from, say, 2011, or the one from 2015?

The product is irrelevant. Big E would hands down be both the best and funniest wrestling spokesperson. Imagine him hawking fast food, cars, or even, ahem, family planning products. Don't tell me that you'd consider abandoning your leftist, anticommercialist principles just for one second because Big E was hilariously trying to sell you products.

Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano are first for reasons I laid out in the first question. Next, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are in from NXT, because they need to be out of NXT. Next, if you're talking returns and surprises, I want Eve Torres, because she was tremendous right before she left, and I could use another sampling of what she has to offer. Finally, just for randomness' sake, how about one of the Mae Young Classic competitors, like, I don't know, Rhea Ripley? I think she might do well in a Rumble setting.

Protected user @adamsgroove asks:
What do you want to happen at (either) the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania, and what don't you want to happen at the same event?
I want Brock Lesnar to lose the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, and not have to lose it again at WrestleMania. Let him drop the title to Braun Strowman so that he can be freed up to do whatever it is the WWE wants him to do and give me the Strowman/Roman Reigns WrestleMania main event that should have been written in ink the night after last year's Mania.

Very carefully.

No, seriously, it's not as daunting as some of y'all are making it out to be. The bare minimum you have to do is think about all the wrestling you enjoyed last year, have some sort of idea of whose performances in those matches impressed you or that you enjoyed or that you thought were the best, and then rank those individual performers in order. All you need to do is rank 25 to have a ballot, but if you go up to 100, I won't hate it either. No sweat.

It's Lars Sullivan. Remember, Braun Strowman didn't just come out of nowhere in 2017 as much as he started showing his true monster potential in 2016. Remember, that's when the Sami Zayn feud happened, but even before then, he was doing the entertaining squash thing before that. Sullivan has that end of year thing going for him and he's coming hot into 2018 with a notable run of matches to close out the calendar. Now he's looking to find his own Big Show or Roman Reigns in Killian Dain, and I personally cannot wait to see if my optimism for him is going to pay off like I think it is.