Friday, March 13, 2020

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 289

Pats won 18 in a row to lose in the final game? You hate to see it.
Photo via USA Today FTW
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 280 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:

1. New England Patriots 18-game winning streak: The Dolphins went 17-0 when half the league consisted of milkmen and garbage collectors. Even though they didn't win that illustrious 19th game, thanks to a miraculous, non-repeatable catch after a dropped pick six, winning 18 games in a row in the modern NFL is HARD.

2. Oklahoma Sooners 47-game winning streak: Sure, this streak ended up happening when most football players in college were future mailmen and truck drivers, but 47 games spanning five seasons is, in a word, insane. How many teams can go back-to-back undefeated in any era? Oklahoma didn't lose for four seasons. That's nuts.

3. Philadelphia Flyers 35-game unbeaten streak: Now, in hockey before they added the shootout, ties were prevalent. A tie isn't a win, but it's also not a loss. There's so much variance in hockey that going 35 games without a loss is goddamn impressive, no matter how many ties were scattered in there.

4. Los Angeles Lakers 33-game winning streak: In basketball, it's a lot easier to create a superteam, and when the Lakers amassed a roster that made everyone else's look like a piece of shit, it was no wonder they'd be the best team in the league. But 33 games? That's a lot.

5. Michael Phelps' 10-year winning streak in the butterfly - There have been some dominant Olympic athletes over the years. Aleksandr Karelin in wrestling, Usain Bolt and Jackie Joyner-Kersee in running, but not losing a match for an entire DECADE, even when you've got a tireless work ethic with the appetite to match like Phelps, is inhuman.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dy-No-MITE: There's Something Wrong In Eliteville

It's not so nice when it's done to you now, is it?
Screenshot from AEW YouTube
Novel COVID-19 virus has, in the last 15 hours, caused the National Basketball Association, Formula One racing, the National Hockey League, and several collegiate leagues to suspend operations. All Elite Wrestling has already postponed next week's episode of Dynamite until June. The state of Florida has called for a ban on large gatherings for 30 days, putting WrestleMania and all the satellite events around it in danger of being cancelled. There's a good chance last night's episode of Dynamite could be the last live wrestling event for a few weeks. Savor it with this review.

Don't Turn Your Back on the Wolfpack - Jon Moxley is not in The Elite, and neither is Darby Allin. Even though there was MASS CHAOS last week between the Inner Circle and The Elite, it felt like Mox and Allin were the two focal points. As it turns out, the audience was supposed to focus on the brawl before the main event, as on Saturday, AEW announced the Inner Circle would be taking on The Elite in WarGames The Match Beyond Blood and Guts. It felt odd to pull the trigger on announcing it the way it did, but also, if coronavirus doesn't cancel the show, it's happening in fewer than a fortnight. As it turns out, putting a detente on the festivities between the two major factions in the company to focus more on Allin and Moxley through Revolution and last week might have been a mistake in planning.

When Do You Name Names?

Was Nemeth right not to name names? Perhaps.
Photo via @HotYoungBriley
Wrestling has had a problem with creeps for as long as it's been around. It's what happens when you run a business based on attracting the most toxically masculine personalities to preen for the affections of the crowd. Whether or not those creeps have kept fans away from the arena has only come up when wrestlers' transgressions have come to light, and they haven't started to come to light until at the latest the Attitude Era. Still, when Steve Austin was arrested for abusing his then-spouse, WWE did jack and shit to deal with it. Nowadays, WWE doesn't seem to have that kind of problematic wrestler on the roster. I think it's just they're much much better at hiding those kinds of things. I mean, Randy Orton is still on the roster despite numerous stories of backstage malfeasance being written on him, but none have anything to corroborate outside of him deserting the army. Honestly, that's the most badass thing about him, but I digress.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

the Black and Gold Standard: Episodes 24 & 25 (2/26 and 3/4/20)

Is Full Sail about to rain down Zaddy's Home chants?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The biggest heel in wrestling in 2020 could very well end up being the Coronavirus.

It's possible by the time you read this, WrestleMania and Takeover might've been cancelled, which seems to be one of the craziest sentences to type that also feels inevitable. Like First Aid Kit before them, NXT has to keep on keeping on, whether their biggest show of the year - maybe ever - goes on.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 288

The GOAT
Photo Credit: Betsy Peabody Rowe/Getty Images
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 280 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:

A long time ago, the NFL video game license belonged to a company called Tecmo. Before Electronic Arts tried stark realism with the John Madden franchise, Tecmo's engine had four passing plays, four running plays, and no specialized defensive plays. The better a player was, the more superhero the quality. As a child who didn't like the Raiders because I wanted to be on my dad's good side (he hated them and the Broncos, two teams I don't mind today), so I never gravitated towards Tecmo Bo Jackson. Conversely, it was the other all-world running back from that era that I gravitated towards. My dominance in Tecmo Super Bowl with the Detroit Lions while running for 4000 yards a season with Barry Sanders made me grow quite an affinity for the player who was probably the best running back of his era, as well as perhaps all-time. I always tried to pick him in fantasy. I was sad when he retired. I always watched the 1 pm Thanksgiving game because of him. He was a special player who only set foot in Philadelphia to lose to the Eagles in the playoffs.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Dy-No-MITE: The Assassination of Jon Moxley by the Coward Chris Jericho

The Champ didn't have a good ending to his night
Photo Credit: AllEliteWrestling.com
From the suburbs of beautiful Denver, CO (the place, not the man), the fallout of Revolution swept through All Elite Wrestling. Jon Moxley won the World Championship, but nothing else really changed. Still, bad blood stemming from the show lingered in at least two other areas.

A Viking Funeral for Dean Ambrose - Dynamite this week opened and closed with the adventures of Mox and the man he beat for the title, Chris Jericho. The show's bookends showed three major things: that Mox is that dude, that Jericho is a good enough heel to get people who are literally singing along with his entrance music hate him in one turn, and that the issue between the two is far from over. There was a slight fakeout, that Jericho might leave for 60 days if he couldn't incapacitate the Champion, ostensibly to tour with Fozzy. That was certainly not the case.

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for March 2, 2020

WINNER
Photo Credit: AllEliteWrestling.com
Welcome to a feature I like to call "Best in the World" rankings. They're not traditional power rankings per se, but they're rankings to see who is really the best in the world, a term bandied about like it's bottled water or something else really common. They're rankings decided by me, and don't you dare call them arbitrary lest I smack the taste out of your mouth. Without further ado, here's this week's list:

1. Jon Moxley (Last Week: 1) - He did it; he ascended the top of the mountain in All Elite Wrestling at Revolution by dethroning Chris Jericho. What did he do when he got out of the arena? Hopefully, it was sniffing out that rat punk Zack Sabre, Jr. and cracking him upside his head with both his championship belts. Not all socialists are nice, you know.

2. Maki Itoh (Last Week: 3) - Now that she has learned the Wet Willy, what other moves will she add to her arsenal? Could the Dreaded Rear Admiral be next?

3. Orange Cassidy (Last Week: 5) - Big deal, got the biggest pop on pay-per-view. Pfft.

Jim Ross Retire Bitch

Ross has become toxic to the AEW telecast
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The All Elite Wrestling Tag Team Championship match Saturday night had a consensus agreeing that it was the best bout of the night. A huge reason for that was the extra added tension built in thanks to Hangman Page's gradual self-alienation from The Elite, a story that began almost concurrently with the beginning of the Dynamite show and that has metastatized into Page becoming a belligerent alcoholic with growing antipathy with his ever-distant friends, even Kenny Omega, with whom he still holds the titles. The match, which featured Page and Omega defending against their fellow friends in The Elite, the Young Bucks, had a distinct flavor in the early going. Whenever Omega was in the ring, it was a cordial, sporting affair. When Page was in, he agitated either one of the Bucks, causing them to, in a phrase, lose their shit.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 287

Where'd Wani go?
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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 280 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:

Jigsaw would be my answer if he didn't keep coming back. Seriously, I love it when he comes back, but it's always baffling when he leaves because it's without a trace. I guess the answer is Wani, who was just starting to win move over when he disappeared. I wonder if he just took his mask off and became someone else, but Chikara kayfabe is tricky.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Black and Gold Standard: Episode 23 (2/19/20)

Winning wars, losing battles
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The ratings war is probably the only thing NXT isn't winning at right now. The defense of their women's championship at WrestleMania is drawing hosannas even though there's an outside chance the match may not be a straight one-on-one as originally envisioned. The top of the card is dominated by friends turned rivals turned...well, you get it, but their presumed clash come TO:TB is the first time you'll get it like this and maybe the last to boot. Their secondary title is routinely turning people's question marks and ellipses into exclamation points and laughter, and their newly minted tag champs are continuing to win over the crowds with their weird out-of-the-ring chemistry and palpable in-ring to match.

With attention turned southwest to their counterparts by the Bay, the first post-Portland show started drawing signposts as to what may be to come on April 4th, with a possible barnburner of a main event tonight to boot.

Let's delve into it.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for February 24, 2020

Mox may not have been everyone's number one, but he made a mark
Photo Credit: NJPW1972.com
Welcome to a feature I like to call "Best in the World" rankings. They're not traditional power rankings per se, but they're rankings to see who is really the best in the world, a term bandied about like it's bottled water or something else really common. They're rankings decided by me, and don't you dare call them arbitrary lest I smack the taste out of your mouth. Without further ado, here's this week's list:

1. Jon Moxley (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Moxley finished first in the TWB 100 despite only receiving one first place vote. Why? Because he was on the most ballots. Even if people didn't think he was the best wrestler last year, he energized enough people that they rushed to put him on their ballots. Contrast that with Will Ospreay, who got the most first place votes and didn't crack the top 30. Polarization and consistency can be weird things sometimes.

2. Katharine Johnson (Last Week: Not Ranked) - If you recognize the name, it's because she and her colleagues' exploits doing the calculations that sent astronauts to the moon were depicted in the film Hidden Figures. Johnson passed away at age 101 today, proving that sometimes, the best of humanity don't die young.

3. Maki Itoh (Last Week: 2) - It's funny that she learned the word "pay pig" this past week when that's what she did to Brad Shepard a few months ago.

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Jim Cornette Conundrum

A problem no one wants to fix
Photo Credit: Kevin Steen
Jim Cornette won't shut his goddamn mouth. That's a problem, for sure. What's an even bigger problem is that people still pay him attention. Whether it's high-follower/influence fans or wrestlers yelling about him or, more damaging, wrestling news sites that keep mining content from the bigoted things he says on his podcast or on Twitter, the cycle of outrage needs the outrage portion to keep turning. That's at least the theory behind containing his idiocy and/or blatant attempts at getting paying work by turning his comments into angles. Ignoring and blocking works with trolls with 34 followers, none mutual, and Groyper avatars because they have no social traction. Cornette, however, has a podcast, a history in the business, and six figures of followers who are not shy about invading your mentions to tell you how wrong you are if you like something he's deemed an "outlaw mud show."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 286

Yeah, Savage would've had the fan support if the feud happened today
Photo Credit: WWE.com
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 280 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:

It's hard to say, because even though in the time between his face turn and the Saturday Night's Main Event where Hogan carried Elizabeth to the back, he was a model citizen. But the thing about today's wrestling is that fans have longer memories, and thanks to the Internet and social media, they've all gathered into one place and can disseminate information, that Savage used to be so abusive to Elizabeth, and maybe they were hiding it. I mean, Hog... wait, Hogan? Yeah, he's not sympathetic at all. They'd be behind Savage today.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The 2019 TWB 100 Slow Release: Number One

Photo Credit: NJPW1972.com

1. Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose
Points: 2525
Ballots: 30
Highest Vote: 1st Place (Matt T.)
Last Year's Ranking: Not Ranked



Best Coast Bias: DIYou KNOW Why

Let's get petarded in here
Photo Credit: WWE.com
With a Takeover's strongest competition usually coming from other Takeovers, it comes down to a simple formula that might not officially be WWE policy but might as well be: moments or matches?