Friday, July 17, 2020

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 300

How good is Brock Lesnar all-time?
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 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:

I'm doing fine, thanks. I appreciate the check-up.

It's tough because my brain is constituted like swiss cheese at this point. Before this post, there have been 299 TweetBags, and all of them have had their share of thought-provoking, humorous, or deep questions that I felt on a certain level. You may find it a cop-out, but when I feel lucky to remember what I ate for lunch two days prior, I'm gonna have to make a blanket answer and say that I've received so many questions over the years that I liked that I can't choose.

The divide among all factions on this topic makes parsing it difficult. You have Fed junkies who love him, and ones who despise everything he brings to the table. You have Fed haters who find Lesnar one of the only GOOD parts of the company, and those who see him as a reason why they don't even try to fuck with the company. It's what makes a look at "all-time greatness," especially in a post-competition wrestling landscape, difficult. Now, if you want to argue his standing as a performer alone, I think it's indisputable that he's one of the best ever. He emerged as a freak of nature before leaving wrestling, and when he got back, he normalized a certain pastiche of strong style, shoot style, and King's Road in the WWE main event style. Few people have ever wrestled like him in a major promotion, but the funny thing is few people feel like they'll ever wrestle like him again. But when people talk about "greatness," they like to talk about impact on business, bottom line, and I'm not entirely sure Lesnar moves that needle consistently. There have been studies of numbers of pay-per-view buys or Network subs pre-and-post Lesnar announcements and they've been erratic. I don't know. What I do know is that kind of shit is boring. Lesnar is definitely one of the all-timers just because of how unique he's been over a long period of time, even with his hiatus into MMA.

With the slow withering of baseball, there's only one answer to this question. To be the quarterback for the hometown Philadelphia Eagles and lead them to multiple years of contention with one or more titles would be the dream. The only thing that really has the same cache stateside is being the best basketball player of all-time, and there can only be one Michael Jordan or LeBron James. It feels like "Super Bowl-winning QB" is more accessible, and to do it for my favorite team would be the intersection of personal satisfaction and glory with the people I'd most want it with.

Honestly, wrestlers go through enough physical anguish on a daily basis that activities like sports are out of the question. I don't want to horn in on Xavier Woods' bag, so no video games, and board games get old after awhile. The best option out of all these would be the cooking competition. Whether it be Iron Chef WWE, where a random wrestler challenges one of the unquestioned best cooks among the roster, Chopped WWE, or a roster version of Worst Cooks in America, that's what I'm shooting for. No matter the setting, I wanna see wrestlers in the goddamn kitchen.

Not next week! I don't know when, if ever. Never say never, but I feel like with the sheer width and breadth of people in the industry uncovered and the support structures they had to be creeps not being affected, writing exclusively about wrestling has become, in a word, tiresome. So I will be pivoting to the newsletter model and writing about whatever the goddamn hell I feel like.

I think you should subscribe to The Mental Health Break. Get those missives in your inbox Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings! Do it!

NES - Super Mario Bros. 3 - The sheer wait for this game, with the anticipation and the movie-tie-in and all the other pomp, was unbearable, but unlike other highly anticipated stuff, this game overdelivered. I still play it with wonder and trepidation to this day

SNES - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Like Mario 3, it was highly anticipated and overdelivered. For the longest time, it was my favorite game ever. Hell of a soundtrack too.

Sega Genesis - Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles - I should be mad at this game because it was the signpost for developers that yes, marks like me would spend money on extra content for a heretofore unfinished game, paving the way for microtransactions and expensive paid DLC. But man, I'd be lying to you if I said it didn't fuckin' slap.

Game Boy - Pokemon Red and Blue - The OG, the rock upon which my entire current gaming raison d'etre is built.

PlayStation - Final Fantasy IX - Did it have its flaws? Yes, and having a final boss that wasn't hinted at at any point in the game before the fight is a big one. Is it still the best jRPG ever? Yes, yes it is, or at least no worse than second best after Chrono Trigger.

N64 - Super Mario 64 - I haven't played it in years, and I've heard people say it hasn't aged well. Even if it's too janky now, I don't care. The amount of hours I sunk into this game, evolving my brain from 2D only to a 3D world, tells me that few games have been more important to me personally.

GameCube - The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker - Your opinion on this game will be colored by sailing. I didn't mind it, so I loved it five-eva.

Nintendo DS - Pokemon Diamond and Pearl - Yeah, the new Pokemon added for the Dex were perhaps the most lacking, but it was for all intents and purposes the game where the series pivoted to its most modern form. Plus this game is where I got sunken deep into the metagame and obsessive breeding and raising, so it is a signpost.

Nintendo 3DS - Pokemon Sun and Moon - For my money, the best Pokemon game ever in terms of how it was a nexus for gameplay, stuff to do, and story. Plus, the Alola region is beautiful and I love all the region-variants.

Nintendo Wii - Super Mario Galaxy - IT was the Mario 64 engine with funky gravity. How could you not love it?

XBox One - Ghostbusters - I sunk so much time into this game that I really don't need a third movie, no matter how much movie studios are trying to give one to me.

Nintendo Switch - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - My favorite game of all-time. Even the in-between busy shit like cooking is fun and fulfilling. The gold standard.

Yes, but I'll do it anyway. One match per mixtape:

Undertaker vs. Mankind (from the Hell in a Cell mixtape) - Is this the most infamous match in WWE history that didn't end in a screwjob or a death? Probably. It belongs on here.

Bret Hart (c) vs. Owen Hart in a steel cage for the WWF Championship (from the SummerSlam mixtape) - For my money still the best steel cage match in WWE history.

Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Razor Ramon in a ladder match for the undisputed Intercontinental Championship (from the WrestleMania mixtape) - One of the only Michaels matches I really love, but maybe just because I like seeing him fall off tall shit.

Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bayley for the NXT Women's World Championship (from the Takeover mixtape, second edition) - Even though the women didn't main event that Brooklyn card, they main event this mixtape. One of the finest matches I've ever seen.

IF I don't do another TweetBag for another 120 weeks, it will still be Vol. 301, not 420. But I like where your head's at.

GARBANZO - the basis of hummus, the god dip

BLACK - essential for Mexican cuisine, the king of bean-based cuisine

PINTO - you cannot have refried beans without pinto beans, heathen

CANNELLINI - as a part-Italian, I must include this essential part of the dish "greens and beans"

Chrono Trigger - "Corridors of Time"

Final Fantasy VI - "The Decisive Battle" (the best Final Fantasy boss theme)

Earthbound - "The Metropolis of Fourside"

Trump did not initiate ICE. George W. Bush did. Barack Obama continued it with massive amounts of deportations. However, Trump's ramping up of enforcement of "illegal" immigration and the use of ICE as a Gestapo/SS hybrid rounding up anyone who looks like an immigrant and putting them into camps at the border is by far the worst thing about his presidency, even worse than his COVID-19 response, just for the sheer length in time that it's been happening, its ruthless efficiency, and the fact that at least the COVID-19 response has been executed independently of Trump in states where the governors and governments have been allowed to work with independence. I'm telling you, if this country ever topples before the fall of all mankind, the literature written about Trump's oversight of ICE and the genocide of immigrants is going to be scathing and damning.

If I had to guess, it would probably be a boxing match, right? Without looking anything up, I bet it was a Joe Louis fight that took place in New York. It feels like boxing was always ahead of the curve on distribution until it wasn't anymore. I am not going to look it up; I'll leave it to the readers to do that and yell at me for being wrong.

The Former Slurs, now known as the Washington Football Team Whose Name Is In Limbo And Also Has a Sexual Harassment Problem, were the worst team name, so I'm guessing that other Native American team imagery names are off limits too under the same corollary. The baseball teams in Atlanta and Cleveland, the football team in Kansas City, and the hockey team in Chicago all know what they have to do. As for the target now, allow me to turn to the Cleveland Browns. There's nothing wrong with the name, per se, but when Art Modell carpetbagged the original franchise down to Baltimore. Bringing back the Browns name has only brought the town pain, sorrow, misery. Nothing else the team has tried seems to have worked, so maybe they need an aesthetic cleansing. Change the name, change the color scheme, change the fortune? It's the only way. The Cleveland Kings with new owner LeBron James take the field in gold helmets, white away jerseys with gold trim, black home jerseys with the same gold trim, and gold color rush uniforms. Give the team something regal to aspire to, and maybe, just maybe, the luck will change.

To think that writing about wrestling means something, especially when on a good day my posts might reach 100 views, is laughable. I know my own place in the cosmos, and it's small. I don't do it for adulation. I do it for me, and I do it for the people who enjoy it. I hope that over the years, everyone who has decided to read a post of mine has enjoyed it, and I hope that they decide to subscribe to the newsletter and continue my personal journey of fulfillment.

To be held at the Stan Sherriff Center in Honolulu, HI, because my supercard will be held in literal paradise.

Main Event: Ace vs. Ace
John Cena vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

Big Dog vs. The Cowboy
Hangman Adam Page vs. Roman Reigns

The Best Women in the World
Meiko Satomura vs. Sasha Banks

BEEFERNETICO (Contested under Torneo Cibernetico rules)
EVIL, Callux the Castigator, Mil Muertes, Brian Cage, Yuji Okobayashi, Jeff Cobb, Bear Boulder, and Bear Bronson vs. OTIS, Ryoto Hama, Daisuke Sekimoto, Luchasaurus, Nino Hamburguesa, Tomohiro Ishii, O'Shay Edwards, and Keith Lee

The Real Shooter vs. Brock something or another I dunno
Asuka vs. Brock Lesnar

Superkick BONANZA
The Young Bucks vs. the Usos

British Rounds Match
Fred Yehi vs. Bryan Danielson

$25,000 Ladder Scramble
Rey Fenix vs. Kris Statlander vs. CIMA vs. El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Blake Christian vs. Alex Zayne vs. Nyla Rose vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Kimber Lee vs. Arkangel Divino

Opening Match
Cesaro vs. Katsuyori Shibata

The Speaking Out movement has shown that just when you think someone might not be sleazy, boom, they either are an abuser or they enabled one. Do you think that Sami Zayn's tireless activism cancels out the hella racist El Generico gimmick? Maybe he's as close to a first and perhaps only inductee? I don't know. Maybe part of why I've become so disillusioned with wrestling is how much scum there is under the covers. I have hope for the future, but it's guarded.


I will give into the conceit though and admit that Blastoise's Gigantamax form in Sword and Shield is the coolest among the three Kanto starters. Venusaur's G-Max form is kinda lazy, but both kick Charizard's ass. Blastoise with all the guns coming out of the back is just fucking badass though. Between that and Inteleon's sniper deer stand form, and the Water types kinda win the day for G-Max forms. Weird.

I grew up eating nothing but canned baked beans, so I never really acquired a desire to eat them fancy. That being said, I have had some good artisanal baked beans, and the best ones usually are heavy on chunk bacon and brown sugar. You can use pinto beans or butter beans, I'm not sure the actual bean matters. It's all in the seasoning and forming the glaze. I guess the moral of the story is if the local barbecue joint has baked beans on the menu, try 'em.