Thursday, March 29, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 229

It's time for Sheamus to invade Muppet home turf, for the kids of course.
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:

The obvious answer is Sheamus, because he's already had a dope Muppet segment with Beeker. He's just got too affable a personality that even when he's supposed to be playing a prick, his warmth and avuncularity just seeps through. Elias already has guitar skills down, so he can definitely sing an educational ditty with Elmo. John Cena's another obvious choice because he's lived the kid's show life already. Becky Lynch and Bayley feel like wrestlers whose personalities lend themselves to interacting with Muppets and children. Finally, to go with a non-WWE choice, I'm not sure Toru Yano isn't already a Muppet, so he'd definitely fit in on Sesame Street.

Oh god no.

Okay, maybe that was just a little glib or brusque, but the thing is Jarrett at least provided some on-screen value, something for people other than dudes who followed the backstage stuff to latch onto. Vince Russo however, man, he didn't really become an on-screen character until he started working for the competition. He has barely any cache with the regular fan, and none of that cache is good. I will be utterly shocked if Russo ever gets into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The money main event in my mind is probably a Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Batista. The smoke is emanating from the windows at Titan Towers and from whatever movie set Batista is on this week. He wants to come back for a tour, he wants to make it full-time, and he's got the star power that automatically, he rockets to the top of the card when he comes back. Obviously, that match headlines the RAW side. If you want a Smackdown main event for SummerSlam that rips, how about Daniel Bryan taking on Shinsuke Nakamura? This is a match the two have wanted to do forever, and now that Nakamura is in WWE and Bryan is finally cleared.

A wild-card main event for the show would fall into WWE's dreaded "making history" category and having a women's match headline the show. To be fair, women have been headline for another singles match to headline a pay-per-view, and honestly, the fact that the two matches that HAVE headlined shows were both gimmick matches (Hell in a Cell '16, this year's Royal Rumble), lends a ton of credence to the fact that WWE is only doing this for lip service. I have two big women's main events that could go on last though. Well, one is a specific match, and another is a big-name wrestler on one side going up against a potential open set of opponents on the other. The specific match is Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. The seeds have been planted for the main roster feud, and while their relegation to the [INSERT ICONIC FEMALE WRESTLER HERE] Battle Royale at Mania has ruffled feathers, that decision has led to a silver lining in that their brewing feud can shine on a platform that isn't overshadowed. Considering Banks and Bayley should have headlined at the first Takeover in Brooklyn, giving them the last slot at SummerSlam in the same building is a hell of a makegood.

The other option would be for Ronda Rousey to headline a Big Two pay-per-view. Whom would she face off against? Good question! She has more of a diversified list of choices than Reigns, Bryan, or the Bayley/Banks match would have that feel right. She could put her money where her mouth is and head off against Asuka's streak. A match against any one of the NXT Four Horsewomen would have cache attached to it right away. The wild card of this wild card entry, however, is to start building towards the MMA Four Horsewomen EXPLODING the night after Mania and headlining with Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler. I mean, that match not only has to happen, but it should happen in the main event of a pay-per-view given their history. Why not SummerSlam?

I'm confident someone's going to turn on someone else. Sami Zayn could turn on Kevin Owens or vice versa, but that might have to wait until they've been reinstated to Smackdown or end up going to RAW after losing this match. Bryan could turn on McMahon, but I don't think WWE is going to turn Bryan heel in their parlance. Obviously, McMahon is the real life heel, but to Vince McMahon and his staff, the McMahons are the biggest babyfaces in the world, especially Shane. However, if I got good enough odds, I would bet money that McMahon isn't even going to make it to Mania. He's still recovering from diverticulitis, and I'm not sure two weeks will do the trick. IF anyone does act the fool and wrestle after such a major illness, it would be dipshit-ass Shane McMahon, but who knows, maybe discretion will be the better part of valor for him. In which case, the list of wrestlers who could replace McMahon becomes the list of wrestlers who will have great odds to turn on Bryan either during the match or after it. Kane comes to mind, but that might be too deflating and too taxing on him to stick around during the nitty-gritty of campaign season. Samoa Joe is another tasty choice, seeing as he's soooo close to coming back and is in need of someone to brutalize.

It's cliche to say Kazuchika Okada is tops on any list, but I mean, it feels like the booking matches up with him. He's over and he has critical acclaim. He feels like he should not only be a Champion, but the Champion. Next is The Miz, who always seems to elevate the Intercontinental Championship just by holding it. I'm not sure if it's because he can hang with the upper guys while holding court on that level, but he just feels right. After that, it's hard. Brock Lesnar is never fucking around. AJ Styles and Charlotte Flair are on Smackdown, which dampens their prestige by 50 percent right away. Alexa Bliss has been sputtering for months. The United States Championship should probably just get thrown in the garbage at this point. I can't think of another American Championship that really could compete in prestige right now. The rest of NJPW's titleholders feel like they blend in too much to the background even if I like them. Outside of Okada and Miz, no one else feels like they're on another level as Champion, like they're special.

This is a tough question, because everyone who isn't a McMahon has a case. Perhaps the Bray Wyatt/Roman Reigns/Bo Dallas contingent who missed time with non-wrestling illness could have a better case pending how WWE paid for their sick time, but I'm guessing that even though the company doesn't offer health insurance, it would pay for things like the mumps or whatever sickness ended up keeping those wrestlers out in October. I mean, Vince McMahon made them work on Christmas and New Year's for crying out loud. Any single wrestler on that roster could sue and make a case, although they'd all have to band together to even come close to the financial firepower WWE has in its back pocket to fight such a court case. Once again, thanks a lot Hulk Hogan, you rat fink snitch bastard.

I'll answer the second half first and say he should say as little as he wants to. Fuck the press, they don't need to know about his shoulder. Now, the jump shot is a problem for him, and it's troubling since the Sixers are short on shooters right now. However, he provides such a burst on the floor and vision in the passing game that putting him and Ben Simmons on the court at the same time feels like a nightmare for defenses, especially if they put two shooters and Joel Embiid around them. In this scenario, Fultz can be a perennial all-star and perhaps an all-NBA candidate in his best years. He might suffer from the same fate as like Klay Thompson or Andre Iguodala in Golden State, but if the Sixers become as good as advertised, then people will find reasons to praise everyone on the team, not just the Embiid/Simmons guys.

From protected user @adamsgroove:
Predictions for every single WrestleMania match?
Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka, Nia Jax, The Usos, Braun Strowman and (plus one), The Miz, John Cena, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, Rusev, Mustafa Ali, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Matt Hardy in the Andre, and Becky Lynch in the Women's.

Again, I'm not convinced McMahon is actually working his match right now, but if he does, I can only imagine that whatever shit-insane bump he was going to take has been scrapped in light of his sickness. Or maybe not, since he's a McMahon and RULES DON'T APPLY TO MCMAHONS or whatever. I really can't get a read on the match right now because of the diverticulitis, but if he didn't get sick, I bet he was already on his way climbing up to the Superdome catwalk to do a test run or something.

OPENER: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar - I doubt Lesnar works a match as long as their Mania 31 encounter, and thus they have no reason to go on last. You want an epic to go on last.
2. Mustafa Ali vs. Cedric Alexander - After a short main event where Reigns definitively goes over Lesnar (think Lesnar/Goldberg from last year), you want an exciting, longish match to get the crowd really stoked. Ali and Alexander had a banger on 205 Live before the tournament; it only is fitting they get to top that to end it.
3. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens - I'm guessing this match will have SHENANIGANS, so it should go on between the two prestige matches.
4. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair - This is a good match to go on at the middle of the show. It can be the climax, if you will.
5. Braun Strowman and [PARTNER] vs. The Bar - Again, more fuckery would abound in this match, so it's a buffer.
6. Finn Bรกlor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz - The Intercontinental Championship match goes here to take advantage of an awakened crowd from the last match, since it'll probably go long.
7. Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss - I picked this match to buffer before the main event, not because I wanted to disrespect the women here, but because honestly, Jax should just fucken truck Bliss to win the belt.
MAIN EVENT: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles - This gives you an epic match to close the show, and it restores the  old chestnut that you main event WrestleMania if you win the Royal Rumble. Simple, right?

In this scenario, Undertaker/John Cena and the mixed tag match aren't even booked. The rest of the matches are on the pre-show on the Award Winning WWE Network™.