Thursday, May 31, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 237

This is the promotion I wanna see live most
Graphics via WXW site
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, for as big a fan as I am and how many times I've been to live shows, I've not seen a bunch of promotions live that I would have liked to. That lack of variety is obviously a function of location. I've seen Ring of Honor and Chikara a bunch of times, obviously, but outside of the area, the pool begins to dwindle. So, the pool is large, and it's one I'd like to dive into. But for as many promotions as I might like to see, one stands out for reasons that may not be completely wrestling-related. Westside Xtreme Wrestling is tops on my list for two reasons. One, obviously, is that it's a hot indie that brings in great outside talent I know that mixes with a stellar native roster full of dudes who scratch specific itches. Two is that I'd be traveling to Germany to see it. I've always wanted to travel to Europe, especially countries where I have heritage. So what would be a better mix than being able to go to Germany, a place with a lot of history and cuisine and BEER, wait why did I capitalize that one, oh well, to watch good wrestling? As much as I might wanna sit in at the Tokyo Dome or Korakuen Hall for New Japan or some other puroresu promotion or being able to go to Southern California for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, the tops by far is WXW.

1. Randy Orton - You might think Orton is too apathetic to have an alt to defend himself, but he seems like the self-important dickhead who definitely cares about what people think about him. While you might think he would do that on his main account, since he has no qualms about liking MAGA shit on it, maybe the carehard stuff is a bridge too far. I don't know. But he definitely fits the prototype. Speaking of fitting a mold...

2. TJP - Bryan Colangelo was notable not only for being a basketball executive having burner accounts on Twitter, but having at least five of them. I'd be surprised if TJP has as little as five. He's probably got a dozen at least. He's got burners to pump himself up, to boost people writing slashfic between him and female wrestlers, to defend the Star Wars prequels, to retweet Jordan Peterson and other MRA types, to stan for Kobe Bryant, hell, and to retweet his OTHER burner Twitters. He strikes me as the type who just does nothing but tweet if he's not eating, sleeping, or wrestling.

3. Dolph Ziggler - You gotta figure he's out there sharing gifs of himself taking pratfall bumps from 2011 insisting that he's still the hardest worker on the WWE roster in between RTing Dinesh D'Souza and thirst-replying to Laura Loomer.

4. Sasha Banks - Don't get me wrong. I love Sasha Banks, and I may very well end up going to my grave defending her against the slings and arrows of online criticism. However, you'd have to be blind not to think she goes a little too hard online about her perception and stuff. I also think she's a bit smarter, so while Lana's out here faving transphobic tweets about Banks and other Horsewomen, I'll bet Banks' burner is counterattacking and faving/boosting any tweets that diss Lana hard, but also go after people like Alexa Bliss and anyone the stereotypical dork online would deem a "Johnny Ace hire" and not a "real wrestler."

5. Triple H - You don't collect every single marquee indie guy and dream Japanese import that you can possibly get your hands on if you're not sick to death over your perception. Triple H not only has a burner, but that's the main account he runs off his phone while his official WWE Twitter is the one handled by the interns.

Notice I have no indie wrestlers in here, because they don't need alts or burners to be honest. They name-search and will attack people regardless on their main accounts. Cody Rhodes will pop up and fave your tweet whether or not you're even talking shit about him. It's some kind of pathology that you hide when you get to main roster WWE.

Would you believe it's already happening, or at least the beginnings of it, anyway. Oriental Wrestling Entertainment is basically the legwork on the foundations built by Ho Ho Lun and the WWN tours of China, a fully-formed wrestling promotion on the mainland that isn't just some extension of an existing scene. Sure, CIMA and his Dragon Gate emissaries are big parts of the establishment, but the promotion, from what I gather, is very much a vehicle to get those crazy natives a stage. So far, it's caught a foothold among the deep Twitter wrestling hardcores, and once it hits a major vein, it's going to be on every screen possible across three different continents at least. It's not going to be long before OWE isn't the only major promotion in China, and the laser focus that's on the United Kingdom right now is going to burning hard onto lands west of Japan and south of Korea sooner rather than later.

The first lesson is to be able to parse who coming at you is worth getting into a debate. When it's a friend who has a legit concern about you being problematic or having a friendly conversation over which wrestler is better, those are dialogues you should have. When it's fucking rovert1 yelling at you because he doesn't know how to read, then maybe just hit that mute button instead of getting into it. The second lesson is that no one really cares what your favorite promotion is or that it's better or worse than any others. Wrestling criticism is, of course, based on subjective interpretations of various standards of both in-ring analysis and critical writing. One person's tragedy is another's comedy, all told. So it's like, don't take criticisms of your favorite company personally, and learn to look at everything with the same critical eye, even if you enjoy one over the other.

The highest point was probably Chikara's High Noon. It was the culmination of an emotional but enriching year for what was and still is my "home" promotion, and it was probably the best wrestling show I've ever attended. At that point, nothing could dissuade me from thinking things would always be outstanding and that every Chikara show would continue being both socially relevant and incredibly loaded. Of course, neither one of those things stayed true about Chikara, but hey, at least at High Noon, from the pre-show match between Jigsaw and El Generico through the main event and the tearjerking coronation of Eddie Kingston as first Grand Champion, everything was wonderful and nothing hurt.

The lowest point was probably when Triple H pinned Booker T at WrestleMania XIX. I was already one foot out the door of regular wrestling fandom when that happened because I had gotten a co-op job at school that required me to wake up at like 5:30 AM, so I couldn't be catching RAW and the overrun, but man, when they actually ran an angle where Triple H just blew dogwhistle after dogwhistle at Book and then pinned him clean, I really didn't care about WWE anymore.

The obvious answer is "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who was born in Columbus. It's easy to look him over since he made his hay in Memphis, but remember, his dad's rebel promotion was based in Kentucky, the populous portions of which are settled on the Ohio River across from said state. Modern answers include The Miz, Johnny Gargano, Dean Ambrose, Kassius Ohno, Perry Saturn, and Brian Pillman. Don't sleep on Hailey Hatred though. While that name may not ring as much of a bell as it should, she was a huge force in both American indie women's wrestling and in joshi around the end of the Aughts/beginning of the 10s.

It's hard, because you need a few things to go your way to have a great diss track. You gotta have that fiery hate in your heart. You gotta know the words to use to make it sting. You gotta have the dirt on someone that'll make them less likely to come back at you. And you gotta have flow, because no one wants to listen to John Cena rap like someone in the early stages of taking ESL classes dispense beef. Right there, it automatically eliminates Cena, who also is likely to drop some kind of corny WWE-writer/Vince McMahon-approved phraseology in his rhymes. He's been in the system for so long, right?

So, when all of that comes together, the first answer I can come up with that feels like a slam dunk is Samoa Joe. The man carries such malice with him, has an A-plus vocabulary, and knows what to say to get under someone's skin. The only question mark is his flow. I'm not sure anyone's ever heard him rap before, and just because you're a great orator doesn't mean I wanna hear you spit bars necessarily. Xavier Woods is another candidate that hits three of the four criteria, but I'm not sure he has that hate in his heart. Maybe he does; I don't know Austin Creed, but Xavier Woods is the most benign wrestling character I can think of. If you could somehow give him Nick Gage's utterly vitriolic hate, you might have the ultimate diss track rapper. However, I do not wish to play god, so I will not try to do a malice transplant.

I have the feeling that Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa is going to be a bloodbath, and not just in the figurative sense. I think Papa Trips is gonna give his two rowdy sons the approval to cut themselves wide open and do the biggest, most violent, most hate-filled match NXT has ever seen and that WWE on the whole has seen in like a decade. I just have this lingering feeling that you're going to be kicking yourself for being out of town when you could be seeing Gargano with a crimson mask telling Ciampa to bring it even though he's had every weapon at ringside and then some jammed into his face during the course of the match.

I've listened to more than 14 as of this question, so here they are, in alphabetical order by artist:
  • Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino
  • Beach House - 7
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures
  • CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead
  • Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
  • Hinds - I Don't Run
  • Jeff Rosenstock - POST-
  • Judas Priest - Firepower
  • MGMT - Little Dark Age
  • Screaming Females - All at Once
  • Sleep - The Sciences
  • Stone Temple Pilots - s/t
  • The Sword - Used Future
  • Thunderpussy - s/t
  • Turnstile - Time and Space
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex and Food
I've liked all of them except BRMC and Judas Priest. Of the rest of them, I'm having a hard time choosing between Rosenstock and the Screaming Females. Both albums are all-killer, no-filler, bringing raw emotion, big riffs, and lyrical sophistication in heavy waves. I'll cop out and say they're my co-favorite albums of the year so far. You should probably listen to them if you like rock music.

Oh, absolutely not, because how does anyone know that she's not taking the fall for Bryan Colangelo? No, you're not responsible for what your wife does, but man, taking sensitive information from the team and using it to smear the players on a public forum is some stinky bullshit, that even if she did it without his consent is something that he really didn't nip in the bud either. I doubt he didn't know, and even if he didn't, how can you trust him anymore? I don't know. Maybe I'm just biased because this guy has just the worst reputation in the league and was put into the role after Sam Hinkie was forced out of it for optics now has this ostrich egg all over him, but he needs to be gone.

I actually haven't seen it, but my initial reaction at the "Let's Go" titles and basically Minecraft with Pokémon is that they're not really up my alley. I may get either Let's GO, Pikachu or more accurately, Let's GO, Eevee after I get a Switch, but I already have Pokémon GO on my phone. I wanted Generation VIII. However, other than the initial disappointment, I don't mind it. I know I'm WAY out of the age demographic for the franchise, and it's not like they're not making anymore core RPGs now. Game Freak/Nintendo promised one for 2019. Sometimes, not everything in a thing you like is for you. It's a good lesson for everyone to learn, whether it be gamers who are always SO MAD that game companies might cater to women or stuff every once in awhile to the Cornetteites in wrestling who agree with him when he says without any trace of irony that Lucha Underground fans should be irradiated until they've died.

1 - If you don't know who rovert is, lucky you. He's not worth knowing about if you don't know. Woe to those like me who know.