Thursday, September 19, 2019

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 274

The GOAT game show and host
Photo Credit: Jeopardy.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:

1. Jeopardy - I was smart, and Jeopardy was a show where smart people were the contestants. What else could you want? (Get well soon, Alex Trebek)

2. Double Dare - Kinda like Jeopardy but with a lot more slime. Plus, Harvey the PA guy was a DJ on WMGK in Philly.

3. Wheel of Fortune - It's fun to yell at people overthinking solving a puzzle, way more fun than you'd think.

4. Guy's Grocery Games - It's got the edge over Chopped because Guy Fieri is affable and the judges aren't throbbing penises, and that's even with overlap between the shows!

5. American Gladiators - It was enough like pro wrestling for me to like it and just different enough to have a hook.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What'd You Do, Minoru Suzuki?

Did Suzuki make a mistake by removing Liger's mask?
Photo Credit: NJPW1972.com
Minoru Suzuki is one of the most feared men in wrestling, not just New Japan Pro Wrestling, but all of the industry. He acts like his reputation allows, attacking his targets at will, bending the rules, assaulting referees, intentionally disqualifying himself to make a point. Whether he's in the right or the wrong morally, he knows that in what he can get away with, he's untouchable because might equals right in the lawless jungle that is pro wrestling. While he doesn't conquer every challenge put in front of him, like his failed IWGP World Championship attempt at Kazuchika Okada in England, nothing in his path is something he necessarily feels the need to fear.

Don't Touch the Wrestlers, Pt. 34,569, or Change Has To Come from Within

Banks should be able to wrestle without someone touching her, but the problem is deeper than wrestling
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In case you missed it, and judging by the declining number of subs for the WWE Network, you may have, Sasha Banks was accosted, or at least attempted to be accosted by a fan at Clash of Champions. As she and Becky Lynch brawled in the crowd, Lynch threw her back into the ringside area over the barricade. As Banks flew over the guard barrier, a male fan reached over and attempted to touch her butt. Content warning, I'm going to post the video, so if you have bad memories of people trying to touch or successfully touching you, I wouldn't play it:

MDKing of Trios

MDK BABY
Graphics via ChikaraPro.com
The sixteenth team for King of Trios has been announced. I speculated that it might be the Proteus Wheel or a Whisper-led counter-Crucible team, and hoped that it might be the Minnesota Wrecking Zoo. The trio that was announced, however, was so much different, and to be honest, so, so, SO much better. Nick Gage will make his King of Trios debut, leading his Nerder Death Kill tag partner Thomas Santell and fellow Beyond Wrestling Uncharted Territory stalwart Kris Statlander into battle. Santell is no stranger to Chikara, competing under his prior alias, Antonio "The Promise" Thomas. He drank some Ovaltine, found a sweater, and is now wholesome and also more technically grounded. Statlander has become one of the hottest properties in indie wrestling in addition to being perhaps the best unsigned wrestler out there. One can question how long she will remain unsigned at this rate, but the longer the big companies hold out, the better it is for indie fans.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Sasha Banks Vs. The Reporters

Banks refuted a bad dirtsheet report that you should've sniffed out as phony from the get-go
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Sasha Banks returned from her what is now known as a self-imposed hiatus from WWE the night after SummerSlam. While she was gone, people went on rumors and whispers thinking she was unhappy with the company. It turns out that wasn't the case, for better or worse. Even I bought the rumors to an extent. However, one of the more pernicious whispers said that she left in a hissy-fit after carrying on along with Bayley on the locker room and hotel room floors because they were booked to lose the Women's Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania. The two proponents of that report were Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin and self-styled wrestling scoopster at-large, Brad Shepard.

Follow-Up: CazXL Doesn't Remember

CazXL needs more help than he let on
Photo Credit: WWE.com
So yesterday, I let y'all know that CazXL/Big Cass was combative backstage at the WrestlePro show this past weekend, not just with Joey Janela, but also with Pat Buck. As it turns out, there's more to the story. Apparently, after getting knocked to the ground by Buck, Cass asked him why Buck had hit him, and it wasn't a statement of disbelief. According to reports, he didn't remember much about the incidents the next day.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for September 16, 2019

Smoke a whole carton for a legend
Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
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. Ric Ocasek (Last Week: Not Ranked) - The Cars' frontman died last night at the age of 75. In addition to fronting one of the most iconic rock acts ever and writing a good bit of the band's songs, Ocasek was an accomplished producer. Do you like Weezer when they were good? Yeah, Ocasek produced their debut album. His band's songs were the soundtrack to many people's lives, and they still resonate today. Rest in peace to an utter titan of music.

2. Cain Velasquez (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Most MMA guys coming into wrestling play up their background. It's a satisfying style, sure, but it's Rookie Mode. Cain Velasquez? He's going All-Madden mode. He continued the path he forged from TripleMania at the AAA New York Invasion event last night by doing all kinds of lucha. The kicker is the guy who made hay as a heavyweight in the UFC is flying around the ring like El Hijo del Vikingo and doing a pretty good job at it. Now that's impressive.

3. Carson Wentz (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Okay, so the Eagles lost last night, and part of that reason is because Wentz was, in a word, shitty in the first half. That being said, after all his receivers got hurt and he had to climb out of a double-digit deficit in the second half, he led the team with amazing throws, Houdini-esque escapes from pressure, and stunning leadership. You learn things in defeat, and aside from learning that Isaac Seumalo is a sieve and that the defense having to blitz to get pressure is not good, that Wentz is THAT guy.

Thoughts About Josh Barnett's Bloodsport II

Thatcher was in the best match at this Bloodsport as he was in the first two
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
This past Saturday night, the Josh Barnett iteration of Bloodsport had its second show, notable because it was the first of the three shows not to be held at Mania weekend and the first one not to have Minoru Suzuki in the main event slot. Like the prior two shows, however, it was an entertaining display of shoot-style pro wrestling in a landscape where that kind of wrestling isn't found a whole heck of a lot. At best, you get a rougher, rawer version of pro wrestling that has the best counters and unique striking. At worst, well, it's people misunderstanding what shoot-style is and trying to do worked MMA. I feel like the latter has a higher floor though. I'd rather watch Allysin Kay and Nicole Savoy do 80 percent of the match in side control than Randy Orton do anything, to be honest.

CazXL Still Pulling Locker Room Bullshit

Cass needs more help
Photo Credit: WWE.com
When CazXL, the former Colin "Big Cass" Cassady, was last in the news, he was posting a heartfelt plea for everyone to root for him because he was battling depression. It was a noble plea, to be honest, and no one should have to suffer from depression. I know, I suffer from it. That being said, some folks were ready to use it as a clean-slate for him for shit he's done in the past. Honestly, depressed or not, it doesn't cause nor excuse behavior like stalking an ex-girlfriend the way he did Carmella in his final days in WWE. It's the same thing as CTE. You can use it to explain away a lot of things, but CTE didn't make Chris Benoit kill his family. Benoit did. CTE just made it easier for him to act on it. It's the same with depression. You can feel its heel crushing you, but at the end of the day, if you lash out at people who don't deserve it, well, depression didn't make you do it.

NXT In 60 Seconds for September 11, 2019

THIS IS HER BRUTALITY
Photo Credit: WWE.com
A Car: pulls up to Full Sail
Rhea Ripley: gets out, sneers, smirks and heads inside

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 273

The Guy
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:

As someone who has sworn off watching WWE, my answer might not mean much, but inasmuch as Reigns is an ambassador and a prohibitive ace for the company, I would say yes, he is The Guy, at least in WWE. He's a good wrestler, which is more than you can say for Seth Rollins. He's also a bit more diplomatic about things, even if he believes things that I don't agree with. You have to figure that if he hadn't had Vince McMahon scripting him dumb promos and pushing him too hard upon his comeback from a hernia, he might have won people over sooner, especially given that his match with Brock Lesnar at Mania 31 was solid, at least up to the Rollins cash-in. But there are worse people to have in front of the fans as the top dude than Reigns.

Like Seth Rollins.

Guest Post: How Not to Handle Refusing Personal Information

If someone asks you for their personal information, and you say no, they should respect it
A certain wrestling promotion melted down on Twitter when two female wrestlers decided not to honor the promoter's request for personal information. A friend of the blog, who wishes to remain anonymous, has a commentary on it, and here at The Wrestling Blog, their request will be honored. Please read below:


It has been zero days since wrestling was nonsense.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

King of Trios Is DRAMA

The reluctant trio is in
Graphics via ChikaraPro.com
So when last the King of Trios updates were, uh, well updated, the field was at a lucky 13 teams with an offer hanging in the balance for a 14th. In that time, the offer was accepted, an existing team was shaken up, and perhaps the most fun team in the tournament, well, second most-fun after the Quack Pack, was announced. Also, another wrestler was announced for Rey de Voladores, and a cult leader used his one Golden Opportunity to try to become head trainer, failed, and won another one. That's a lot of info to take in. Come and dive in with me.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for September 9, 2019

Jaccpot
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports
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. DeSean Jackson (Last Poll: Not Ranked) - Jackson returned to the Eagles yesterday to catch two 50+ yard touchdown passes, torching both his former team, the Landover Racial Slurs, and also, albeit indirectly, the coach who cut him for racist reasons, Chip Kelly. Sure, Kelly may have scurried to California to coach college ball (terribly, I might add), but that doesn't mean this wasn't even more egg on his face seeing Jackson after four years away come back and catch tuddies like he didn't miss a beat in midnight green. It is great to have him back.

2. Orange Cassidy (Last Poll: 3) - So, he like showed up at All Out and became the third Best Friend. So what, like, that could have happened at any time, okay.

3. Nyla Rose (Last Poll: Not Ranked) - Rose became the first All Elite Women's Champion at All Out, thus owning all the transphobes who say that trans women aren't women. They are! And they can be fierce and fearsome wrestlers too, dorks.

Safety in a Violent Art

Bodom should be ostracized but he's not the only one
Photo via Internet Wrestling Database
For a sport-slash-art that is entirely based on feigned violence, pro wrestling requires an impeccable sense of protecting not just yourself, but the people with whom you're working. In the old days, when the wrestlers were convinced that maintaining kayfabe meant pretending it was real to anyone who asked, they had a code of honor that made sure they would protect their opponents (as long as a double-cross wasn't in the works). Bret Hart, for example, has famously said that he's proudest that he's never hurt someone during his career. I shouldn't say that that ethos has dissolved over time, and in fact I think it might have grown stronger. That being said, there are always exceptions to the rule. Take for example the incident in Defy Wrestling earlier this year when Los Parks assaulted a referee after the match. While the incident could be blamed on more than the aggressors in this situation, it was still a black mark.