Thursday, February 1, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. Triple-Deuces

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:

I'm ready to run through a brick wall, Vlad. I swear to God.

Well, it's not much, but Nick Gage is defending Absolute Intense Wrestling's Absolute Championship against "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams on February 23, and he's probably gonna hurt the guy real bad. That should be fun, way more fun than a dinky-ass eclipse! MDK, friend. MDK.

Sad to say, I lost the thread a little bit on Chikara last year. I know Juan Francisco de Coronado is still Champion, and that the Whisper committed identity theft on Ophidian only to lose it back to him in the season premiere. Other than that, I'm not entirely sure what's going on. Like, how did it get to the point where Oleg the Usurper wanted to kill Kobald so bad? And what the heck is the deal with Team Sea Stars? I turn away for one second, and one of them is called Oceanea now? Weird. But anyway, you wanted some predictions. I got a couple that are semi-educated based on last season. First, Dasher Hatfield will win the Grand Championship, but it won't be from Coronado. My saucy prediction is that it'll be from Mr. Touchdown, but more realistically, it'll be from Rory Gulak, which leads to my second prediction. Rory Gulak will turn rudo at some point out of frustration from the lack of support from the fans. My third, and most wishful prediction, is that Nick Gage ends up wrestling at least one match in Chikara beyond all expectation, because 2018 is a freakin' weird year, and I think not only would him vs. Mike Quackenbush be an incredibly fun contrast in styles, but given that they both are currently mad at Combat Zone Wrestling, they have an enemy of my enemy thing going on and will make something work. Other than that, I'll probably find out as much as you did when I take the lad to the first Young Lions Cup show (I'll be busy on National Pro Wrestling Day, boo).

Trying to figure out the "whys" of any of WWE's labyrinthine kayfabe is a fool's task, because I'm not sure the writers and Vince McMahon even care why they do the things they do. But my gut feeling is that the matchups are as such because Kurt Angle's brain is fried and he doesn't have any idea of what his rankings are when putting these matches together. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Thinking about things, each Rumble did have more than a few redundancies, didn't they? I mean, they each had the NXT call-up selling major injuries from the night before (Adam Cole [BAYBAY], Ember Moon), they each had the comedy act from the past coming back for an extremely short run in the match (Hurricane Helms, Vickie Guerrero), and aside from both winners being Japanese (Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka), they both had to overcome two ingrained wrestlers who get criticized, fairly or not (John Cena/Roman Reigns, the Bella Twins). So it's not surprising that Bálor and Banks had nearly identical runs in the match. If you had to ask me whose run would have more staying power though, the answer is Banks. It feels like she might play a bigger role in Mania, she made her run in the first ever women's match, not the 31st, and the path to the top of the RAW women's card is a lot less blocked than on the men's side.

It's the former, because I heard a ton of EAGLES chants during the entire weekend, and they came up clutch and chanted "DALLAS SUCKS" when the city was announced at the beginning of that aforementioned NXT World Women's Championship match. The ending to that match was so disappointing, not so much for the finish, but because of how they got there. Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler started out hot but then they did a doctors spot, which if you're going to do that, you use it either to end the match prematurely or to have the heel attack the face while she's getting attended to. And then they followed it up with a FOREVER armbar spot, which I get it, pro wrestling isn't MMA and exaggerated hold times are the norm. I'm not one to argue that THEY HAVE TO TAP OUT RIGHT AWAY FOR REALISM because those chodes can stay watching MMA where that kind of critique matters. That being said, that armbar was bordering on bad Family Guy joke levels of too long. You could've had Moon roll Baszler up with 80 percent less time in the hold and it still would've been effective at conveying the shock of someone with that bad an arm fighting through an armbar to get the win. I blame that more on the agents than the wrestlers though. Fuck's sake.

The "soap opera" card is overblown, especially with Cousins, who did okay for himself the last two years playing in those conditions. I mean, I'm not fan of Cousins overall. He makes terrible decisions at the worst times, and his deep ball is uglier than a Kelly Kelly headscissors attempt at the Royal Rumble. That being said, he's at worst a league average quarterback who's still somewhat young and who may not have had a career year just yet. To give up on him to cast your lot with Alex Smith, the Anal Retentive Chef of NFL quarterbacks and is 34 years old, is sheer lunacy. Cousins may have an ugly deep ball, but Smith's deep ball is [FILE NOT FOUND]. The funniest thing is that the deal Cousins wanted two years ago would've cost the Slurs $3 million less than what he ended up costing on his franchise tag deals, and the team just gave Smith $71 million in guaranteed money. You can't write better comedy. Now, when Cousins does have his unicorn year, he'll do it in like Cleveland, New York (Jets or Giants), or even Denver, the last spot where he can easily walk in and possibly win a Super Bowl. This league is so fucking funny sometimes, I love it even when the Eagles aren't in the Super Bowl.

I think Adam Cole will be just fine because he's a great promo and NXT is the sort of place where if you're good at what you do, or you were acclaimed for it in another high-profile place, you can get your heat back. It's not perfect — if I can be honest, creative punted on Roderick Strong last year when it clearly had something with him in favor of a should've-gone-straight-to-RAW-or-Smackdown Drew McIntyre — but it generally gets things right. Black is not really a dude you should have losing to Cole cleanly or otherwise. He feel transcendent, someone who should lose his first shot at Andrade "Cien" Almas via fuckery before beating him in the return gimmick match. You can always build Cole back up anyway, because he can work the mic and because he's got the kind of character where it doesn't matter his results if he still gets to vulture people backstage or after matches.