Thursday, April 5, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 230

Whomst will Strowman's partner be?
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:

Honestly, Booch has always been aloof. Skylin is definitely more of an outgoing personality, and Colton Burpo loves to engage with outgoing personalities.

I am so, so sorry everyone.

Protected user @AGoot18 asks:
Are you going to be Braun's partner?
Unfortunately, I'm a giant coward and hate getting hit, even fake, so I wouldn't want even the remote chance of having to be on the business end of a Brogue Kick/Knee or a European uppercut. Strowman can do the damn thing himself, which is why I could be his partner, just as everyone else in the world could. However, again, I'm a giant throbbing dingus. Now, who will be Strowman's partner? I have no real leads on it, to be honest. My gut is telling me it'll be Elias, because it'd be an ironic callback to their feud before and after Elimination Chamber. The fatalist in me thinks it will be either Kane (terrible) or Big Show (not as terrible, possibly even good but still). Bray Wyatt is a possibility depending on if Vince McMahon really gets the purpose of the Lake of Reincarnation or not. I've heard rumblings of certain legends coming back like Rey Mysterio, which would rule but make absolutely no sense at all. Personally, if I were picking, I would debut Kassius Ohno in the spot, have him turn almost IMMEDIATELY to become The Bar's insurance policy, and then let the three become a stable whether or not they win the match or not just so Cesaro has a fallback option for the sad inevitability that Sheamus has to retire due to spinal stenosis.

I will never stop beating the Kings of Wrestling on the WWE main roster drum, by the way, so don't even try to dissuade me.

The truth is I've never not wanted to get a Switch, but the combination of two mortgages and lack of time prevented me. Now that the family is unencumbered of the old house, a Switch is a definite possibility, but the question is when? I'd say maybe Christmas as a big present for the kids *wink wink nudge nudge*. I think one big thing would cajole me to get one as soon as I could though, and that would be a Pokémon game on there, not a satellite game, but a canon generational JRPG. I love Zelda and Mario, and if/when I get one, those games will be on my list. But it feels like the only gaming brand loyalty I have anymore is to those goddamn Pocket Monsters. If/when Gen 8 is announced for the Switch, I am so goddamn there. SO GODDAMN THERE, TREY, YOU HEAR ME?

I haven't had people over for Mania in years. One time, my wife made a ham, which kinda ruled. Nowadays, should I throw the hypothetical Mania party, I would probably do the ultimate party food setup. That's right, a nacho bar. However, it wouldn't be just any nacho bar. See, I have a smoker, and I would smoke some dang meat. Depending on finances, the protein would either be a pork shoulder or a beef brisket. Next would be homemade queso, made with queso fresco if I'm feeling fancy or just a bag of the taco mix from ShopRite if not. I'd make my famous homemade salsa, put out some pickled jalapenos, fresh cilantro, black beans, guacamole, and chopped onions. They would all be in separate containers so you could choose what or what not to put on your chips. Beverages would be varied, probably bottled water, whatever beer I had in the house, and maybe some soda. Perhaps I'd put out other snacks too, but the nacho bar would be the main event.

Honestly, you and I probably agree that another Undertaker match would be an awful idea. However, indie wrestler Super Beetle posited this idea on Twitter. Basically, Taker comes out, tells Cena he's retired, but sics his successor on him, Aleister Black. Of course, this idea is pending that Black loses his NXT Championship match from the night before to Andrade "Cien" Almas (I'm not opposed to it at all), and that Cena would be willing to put over someone right from NXT. Then again, he did the same for Kevin Owens. Something is going to happen at Mania. Whether it be an actual match, a confrontation, or Taker using a proxy, that month of build will come to a head. I just hope I don't have to watch an aching old man die in the ring to pay it off, y'know?

Protected user @adamsgroove asks:
Biggest surprise at WrestleMania that nobody saw coming, or the biggest thing that should happen but won't?
For the first thing, the one thing I can see coming that may not have been on the forefront of people's minds is Carmella cashing in her briefcase... on the Alexa Bliss/Nia Jax winner. I'm not sure her contract is brand exclusive, or if it is, that it wouldn't be changed on the fly. The only way that it happens to the Smackdown Champion is if WWE decides New Orleans is the place where streaks come to die. In the grand tradition of Undertaker losing his Mania streak four years ago, Brian James, Vince McMahon, whoever is making that call might want to build the venue up rather than the wrestler. I'm not a fan of undefeated streaks anyway, so I'm not sure it'd bother me, but the question then becomes who the person ending Asuka's streak would be, Charlotte Flair or Carmella? Either way, Carmella walking out with a Women's Championship doesn't feel like it's on the table for most people, but it's something that I think has a good chance of happening.

As for the biggest thing that should happen but won't would be last-minute rearranging the match order so that Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali got to work the main show and one of the other matches, either the US Championship or the Smackdown Tag Title bouts, get bumped to the pre-show. It's not a matter of who deserves what, because in wrestling, no one really "deserves" anything in most cases, and if you're talking about underappreciated talent, you're talking moving Rusev or the Bludgeon Bros. to the preshow, or taking a hot act like Bobby Roode, the Usos, or New Day and putting them on the preshow. That being said, WWE has this cruiserweight brand it's trying to push, and you don't do that by putting its showcase match in a slot where like a quarter of the eyes possible are going to see it. The US and Smackdown Tag Titles are what they are. WWE already alienated two high-profile cruiserweight competitors and are building from scratch at this point. It should be putting the two guys who are going to be the top babyfaces of that division in a spotlight to show a hot crowd "Hey, these two are just a sampling of a reason why you should be subscribing all year long to WWE Network." But it won't happen for reasons. *sigh*

Sorry, I can't do all singles matches. Chronological order here:
  • "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, WrestleMania III - A lot of people have fallen out of love with the OG prestige Mania match, but honestly, I think it holds up. Savage, Steamboat, George Steele, and Miss Elizabeth put on a storytelling masterpiece, and Steamboat winning was super cathartic.
  • Bret "the Hitman" Hart vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, WrestleMania VIII - I'm not sure Piper meant to bleed (or maybe he did? I don't know the legend), but it certainly added a bit of an edge to the match, which stood out as a great undercard match on an early Mania between two of the best storytellers in the biz for different reasons.
  • Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Ladder Match, WrestleMania X - I mean, c'mon, it's the original prestige spotfest. I love that shit.
  • Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. Dean Ambrose vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler, Ladder Match, WrestleMania 31 - Am I copping out here? No, because this match was supremely enjoyable for what it was. Obviously, looking back, it probably contributed to Bryan's two-year absence though, but still, at the time, it was what the kids call a hoot.
  • Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust, Ladder Match, WrestleMania 32 - I like the ladder matches, eh? Anyway, this match was almost as memorable as the one the year before. Again, lots of car crash bumps, big swinging mood, and a super-surprising and satisfying finish.

While I hope that never happens, WWE loves to make things bigger as a way of making them better. I don't know if it's inevitable, but the thought has to have crossed Vince McMahon's mind at least once. Anything to squeeze more money out of the rubes who go every year to spend it, right?

Protected user @Heinekenrana asks:
If given an unlimited budget and roster meeting the 205 lbs and under criteria, including women/NB talent: how would you book 205 live? How would you handle PPVs, etc.?
Honestly, the only thing that I would change about 205 Live given the parameters of the question is that I would absolutely add in more non-male talent to compete. Other than that, the show feels perfect as it is. It is, as @tapemachines on Twitter said, an old-school show with modern sensibilities with some of the best ringwork and promos in the company right now. Which female talent would I add? Honestly, my first pick would be Kairi Sane, because she's probably got the best sort of working style to fit in, and she's sort of lost in the shuffle otherwise. Make a big deal out of her breaking the gender barrier and whatnot. Second would be doing whatever it took to bring up Princesa Sugehit for more lucha flair. I'd try to bring Kay Lee Ray over from the UK as well. Finally, if I had to do one thing to bring in or in this case bring BACK a male superstar, it would be to do whatever it took to smooth things over with Neville to bring him back. It's not a complicated plan, but I think those additions would really solidify an incredibly diverse and talented roster.

I mean, you answered my question for me. Fred Yehi dropping off the WWN roster to go globetrotting had some dire timing because he's not gonna be on any of their New Orleans cards. Furthermore, every promotion down there made a mistake in not booking him. I mean, every other name guy is going to be on at least one show: Daisuke Sekimoto, Nick Gage, Toni Storm, Pierre Carl Ouellette, Munenori Sawa, Rush, the Lucha Bros.... I could go on for quite a bit. The fact that Yehi isn't gonna be there feels criminal. CRIMINAL I SAY.

He's definitely a face, but less a wrestling face and more one of those hard-luck movie protagonists who starts out with the world against his ne'er-do-well ass before pulling it all together towards the end. If I were booking it, I'd have the Phillies hovering around like .400 at the All-Star Break before Kapler has a revelation in the film room about how to best utilize his lineup and then has a heart-to-heart with a lovable mentor whom the people haven't meant yet about him not just trusting analytics but also his players. The turning point comes when Aaron Nola is about to face off against a hitter who's raked him all his career, but he's at like 75 pitches in the 5th inning of an otherwise smooth game. He has the impulse to lift him, but remembers what the mentor says and keeps him in. He gets the out. The Phillies go on a tear and make the playoffs. Kapler goes from zero to hero. In a perfect world, that's the story. But the world's not perfect, so who knows.