Friday, May 18, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 235

You poor unfortunate show
Screen Grab via Disney Wikia
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 sorry, but have you made a deal with a well-endowed half-cephalopod, half-human witch who looks strangely like Divine? If so, which is the most sensible explanation for all this, you have to marry Scandinavian royalty before sundown or else you'll never get your voice back, and in lieu of that, you'll have to have your potential spouse stab said witch with a ship. Sorry, I don't make the rules here. Whoever at Disney adapted the original Hans Christian Andersen story does. Be thankful that the original author didn't make the rules though or else you'd melt into seafoam or something. Cruel, but fair.

My original pick to win the men's Money in the Bank, Andrade Cien Almas, probably won't even be put in the match, which is a shame. Having him go right to the top of Smackdown would not only be a great way to build on his continuity from NXT, but he'd have baller matches with pretty much everyone on the top of the card. Who in the match right now would be a threat to win the Rumble as situated? Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens are the two that stand out to me, but the third choice who hasn't qualified yet but will probably get in is Samoa Joe. Strowman doesn't necessarily need to win Money in the Bank, although need or lack thereof has never stopped WWE before. Owens feels like someone who'd cash in on someone who just beat Brock Lesnar and is halfway near death. Joe, however, for all his heeldom is someone whom I can see as a character as patient with the briefcase. His character feels preternaturally smart for a heel the likes of which WWE hasn't really presented since the Triple H megapush days. If you want someone walking into a Mania title match with an insurance policy in his back pocket, Joe is your guy.

Why did I not consider the women? Because it feels like Charlotte Flair is winning and cashing in honorably on newly minted RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey for the SummerSlam main event, because Vince McMahon feels like he's throwing his Mania main event and patience out the window to *clenches fist so hard* respect those women.

I want to say yes, because who does it better than Cesaro? The one contender in WWE that I can put against him is Drew Gulak, who is just as much a savant at all styles like Cesaro, even though he's not exactly the peak specimen of human conditioning. Maybe that area is where Gulak is the tiebreaker. Cesaro's physique is always going to set him apart from the rest of the locker room, while Gulak, who looks closer to the average (which is not bad, I promise!) might be more of a champion "for the boys." Either way, both guys whip sack in the ring, and I hope that they get to wrestle each other, whether in WWE or elsewhere.

If I were in charge, the NBA would have 24 in the top division, 16 in the second division, and 12 in the bottom division. THe top eight teams would make the playoffs, just because I couldn't in good conscience send 2/3 of the league to the postseason. Ideally, I'd get rid of playoffs altogether and do a triple or even quadruple round robin, but the playoffs seem too ingrained in the culture.

Now, if the NBA ever did institute promotion/relegation, it would probably run with 30 teams at least with a full playoff slate, because for as "woke" as the league is, it's still a capitalist venture. I mean, each time the league either flirted with work stoppage or the owners went through with the lockout altogether, the sticking point was the balance of basketball-related income, or BRI, and how much of it was to be split between owners and players. The owners aren't going to give up the number of potential revenue earning dates, so it's going to pack as many teams in the top division as possible and keep the playoffs as full as they've always been. So you're probably going to get at least 60 teams that can call themselves members of the NBA, but hey, if any league has room to expand in America, it's this one. The pool for players is worldwide, and I mean worldwide. The only major team sport with more appeal is soccer/futbol, and none of that sport's premiere leagues are in America. It might result in four teams in New York across three or four divisions and places like Rochester or Boise getting teams that could make it to the top, but hey, no one said this shit was perfect.

I-X The layup answer is WrestleMania IX. Yokozuna still would win, but Hulk Hogan wouldn't come out to clip his wings after. That title reign added nothing but a number to his legacy, and it got Yokozuna's dominant reign off to a dubious start. Having Yokozuna close out Mania (or at least win and have, say, Taker and Giant Gonzalez close out the show to send people home happy? I don't know) and go wire-to-wire as Champion before dropping back to Bret Hart might have made that year a bit more palatable.

XI-XX WrestleMania 2000 easy. Triple H winning to close the show was the biggest turd in the punchbowl ending of a WWE PPV ever. Mick Foley winning and retiring as Champion was the right call, especially after Triple H went over him at the prior two shows.

XXI-XXX It's not that every booking decision in the main matches during this stretch was good enough to be unimpeachable. It's just that the inverse in most cases was so bad I'm not sure I'd want to go with it. For example, would Randy Orton going over Triple H at XXV have enhanced the show or narrative so much that it should've been done? Do I really care enough about Alberto del Rio matches to think either of his World Heavyweight Championship matches should've gone the other way? If pressed, I guess I'd go outside the realm of the question and alter the outcome of yet another PPV before Mania, namely the 2010 Royal Rumble. Even though Edge coming back and winning off the surprise kinda owned, the right call was Kofi Kingston, who should have gone on to beat Chris Jericho or Batista, take your pick, at Mania. He was red hot at the time, and the malaise he fell into after Orton basically pissed and moaned him back down the card was just intolerable and probably racist.

31-present No brainer. Roman Reigns should've gone over Brock Lesnar clean at Mania 31 and stopped all this fucking nonsense before it started, Jesus Christ.