Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Bad Boy and Girl and the Hot Mess Are All In, and That's Great News

The Bad Couple signifies that All In is for real
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
All In, Cody Rhodes' and the Young Bucks' attempt at drawing 10,000 people to a non-WWE wrestling show, added three new names to the talent roster, and all of them are eye-opening. The first two are a package deal, the Bad Boy himself Joey Janela and his partner in and out of the ring, Penelope Ford. The third is former Impact Wrestling star and Tough Enough alumna Chelsea Green. They may not be the biggest names in wrestling, although Janela has been the darling of WrestleMania weekend the last two years with his Spring Break cards, but they signal more of a daring direction for All In than any of the names previously announced, even the heavy hitters like Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for April 23, 2018

A hero.
Photo Credit: News and Tribune
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. James Shaw, Jr. (Last Week: Not Ranked) - The amount of mass shootings in this country is both staggering and grotesque, and rarely do good stories come out of them. The Waffle House shooter in Nashville still killed four people before Shaw heroically disarmed him with his own bare hands, so it's not exactly a perfect story. Then again, who really is prepared to deal with a naked psychopath opening fire in a public place? Not even a good guy with a gun could have prevented shots from firing, but Shaw, who had zero firepower on his person, kept the death toll from rising to even more tragic numbers. If I were in his situation, I'm not sure I'd have been able to do what he did, which is what makes his feat even more stunning.

2. Ben Simmons (Last Week: 2) - The Sixers are on the brink of moving onto the second round mainly because Simmons has taken over the series. People are starting to compare him to LeBron James, which is fine I guess, but honestly, it's not fair to Simmons because he's going to surpass James soon every player is his own unique person, and thus comparisons like that aren't right.

3. Daniel Bryan (Last Week: 1) - I'm more excited for the prospect of Bryan vs. Samoa Joe headlining a WWE pay-per-view in 2018 than I am for anything else on Smackdown outside of perhaps how Shinsuke Nakamura is going to punch AJ Styles in the groin next. Imagine that, WWE signed Nakamura and turned him into Toru Yano. It's amusing, sure, but for real, man. For real. Sheesh.

Friday, April 20, 2018

NXT In 60 Seconds

Johnny, you cheeseball
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Reign In Power, Bruno


Definitely Not Lloyd Braun In Voiceover Form: Last Week on the Leftovers: Kairi Sane made the pre-show great again by hitting THE Elbow on Lacey Evans, and Heavy Machinery and Tino Sabotelli and Riddick Moss got taken out by the War Machine Raiders.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

RIP Bruno Sammartino

A true wrestling icon
Photo Credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated via WWE.com
Bruno Sammartino passed away today at age 82. The Italian-born, Pittsburgh-adopted strongman-turned-wrestler was WWE's first modern legendary figure, but he's known for his epic spurning of Vince McMahon today as he is for his run at the top of the company McMahon currently operates. He is without a doubt one of the most important figures in wrestling history, the archetype for Vincent J. McMahon's version of the then World Wide Wrestling Federation, and though he led a rich and full life, his passing signals a massive loss in the wrestling community.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for April 16, 2018

BRYAN BACK ON THE GRIND
Photo Credit: WWE.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. Daniel Bryan (Last Week: 1) - Honestly, I got a little worried when near the end of his first weekly television match since returning with AJ Styles, Bryan took a weird bump from the top rope on a back suplex reversal. It's okay, all of his fans are going to have moments whenever he takes a bad-looking bump like that, but it's all part of his comeback. Everyone's gotta adjust.

2. Ben Simmons (Last Week: 2) - Simmons in his first playoff game just dished 14 assists en route to a Sixers rout of the Heat. It's hard to believe he's a rookie with his vision and playmaking ability, but man, he's been the real deal, more than holding the team up with Joel Embiid out. Just imagine when The Process comes back though...

3. Braun Strowman (Last Week: 4) - One could say Strowman could've just given Nicholas' principal THESE HANDS and allowed him continue on as RAW Tag Team Champion. However, Strowman showed that he, much like Wu-Tang, is for the children. A kid needs his education. How do you think Strowman is so effective in the ring? Just by flailing wildly? No, he knows EQUATIONS to maximize impact.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 231

After a rough start, Kapler's got the Phils on the right track
Photo Credit: Rich Schultz/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 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:

Firstly, BIG apologies for omitting this question last week. It was an honest mistake on my part. As for the question, I mean, it's been quite the first couple of weeks of the season, a veritable rollercoaster if you will. If I had answered last week like I should have, the answer might have been different because Gabe Kapler got off to a really rough start at the worst possible time (in the beginning of his first season). That being said, the pieces are in place. I think adding Arrieta was a no-brainer because this team is going to mash pretty hard. I mean, the rebuild feels nearly complete. IT was all going to hinge on Aaron Nola's development into a number one starter and the hitters continuing to progress. It's early, so guys like JP Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, and even Carlos Santana slumping might not be cause for alarm, but it looks like the other pieces like Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Nick Williams, and Cesar Hernandez are all raking early. Even Maikel Franco is bouncing back. The pieces are there; it's just a matter of them gelling. I'm ready to ride with this team.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for April 9, 2018

YES! YES! YES! YES!
Photo Credit: WWE.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. Daniel Bryan (Last Week: 1) - It wasn't a bloodbath like against Takeshi Morishima or a five-star technical classic against Nigel McGuinness or an emotion-soaked underdog battle like against Triple H, but by god, Daniel Bryan back in a pro wrestling ring just felt right. It was like he didn't miss a beat at all. God bless.

2. Ben Simmons (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Joel Embiid out with a concussion? No fear, Ben Simmons is here to lead the way. The Sixers continued their winning ways thanks to the first-year player's historic run, reaching 50 wins and clinching a playoff berth. With Simmons dishing the ball and making things happen, the Sixers will be dangerous against any team in the East and who knows, maybe a few teams out West too.

3. Toni Storm (Last Week: Not Ranked) - While I regret to inform you all that Storm didn't show up at SHIMMER 100 with a tiny hat, she did show up with her working boots on, taking on Nicole Matthews in an instant classic. She did end up winning, but would she have ended up winning even more impressively had she opted for the tiny hat? Of course not you idiots, it's a work, and she's a consummate professional.

To Be Continued: WrestleMania 34 Review

Tune into Smackdown Tuesday to see more creative ways Nakamura can low-blow Styles!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In TH Style, of course. You can still watch this for free on WWE Network as a new subscriber, but at this point, maybe just peep RAW and Smackdown this week instead? I dunno.

Highlights:
  • Seth Rollins became the final member of The Shield to attain Grand Slam status as he captured the Intercontinental Championship after curb stomps on both Finn B├ílor and The Miz.
  • Charlotte Flair ended Asuka's unbeaten streak and retained the Smackdown Women's Championship with the Figure Eight.
  • Jinder Mahal outlasted Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, and Rusev to win the United States Championship with a Khallas on Rusev.
  • Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle bested Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, as Rousey tapped McMahon out with a cross-armbreaker.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers won the Smackdown Tag Team Championships with an assisted avalanche sitout powerbomb on on Kofi Kingston.
  • Undertaker finally answered John Cena's badgering of him with a thorough ass-whipping, ending with a tombstone piledriver.
  • Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon defeated Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Bryan submitted Zayn with the YES! Lock after a Solid Knee Plus.
  • Nia Jax smushed Alexa Bliss with an avalanche Samoan drop to win the RAW Women's Championship.
  • AJ Styles retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship over Shinsuke Nakamura by countering Kinshasa into the Styles Clash. After the match, Nakamura gave Styles a low blow.
  • Braun Strowman chose Nicholas, a ten-year old child from the crowd, as his partner and defeated The Bar to win the RAW Tag Team Championships with a running powerslam on Cesaro.
  • Brock Lesnar put Roman Reigns down with six F5s to close WrestleMania still as Universal Champion.

Best Coast Bias: Brace Yourself

Get ready, you mutha***** for the big payback
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Results, stray thoughts, and takeaways from NXT's three-hour special from the Big Easy just as soon as I can finally relax when the credits box pops up...

Results:
  • Adam Cole beat Ricochet, ECIII, Lars Sullivan, Killian Dain and Velveteen Dream in a ladder match to become NXT's first-ever North American Champion.
  • Shayna Baszler became the seventh woman to win the NXT Women's World Championship after Ember Moon passed out in the Kirifuda Clutch.
  • The Undisputed Era's Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly retained the NXT World Tag Team Championships over the Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne in a triple threat match when Strong turned on Dunne, allowing Kyle O'Reilly to gain the fall.
  • Appropriately enough, Aleister Black became the 13th different man to win the NXT World Championship by beating Andrade "Cien" Almas via pinfall after a second Black Mass.
  • Johnny Gargano used a brace-enhanced STF to beat Tommaso Ciampa and regain his NXT employment.

Friday, April 6, 2018

NXT QnD

Reporters cry, producers die...
Photo Credit: WWE.com
  • Bobby Fish was officially written out of NXTV with an injury.  Unspecified on air since it's been only recently revealed is that the injury might keep him out until the winter.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 230

Whomst will Strowman's partner be?
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 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, Booch has always been aloof. Skylin is definitely more of an outgoing personality, and Colton Burpo loves to engage with outgoing personalities.

I am so, so sorry everyone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Vol. 4, Issue 13

WILL TAKER SHOW UP AT MANIA?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
It's the biggest week in wrestling. WrestleMania week? NO. WrestleMania is RUN BY MARKS, WORKED BY MARKS, and ATTENDED BY THE BIGGEST MARKS OF THEM ALL. This week is WRESTLEMANIA NEWS WEEK from your main source for ALL the biggest scoops, HORB FLERBMINBER. Oh, you thought you could escape me, COULD YOU? Well, you're WRONG! I'm here to feed you the news whether you like it or not, like old-timey parents used to feed their belligerent children castor oil. I SAW IT ON TOM AND JERRY ONCE, SO IT HAS TO BE TRUE. Do you think Bryan Alvarez has the same dedication to giving you what you need? HELL NO, he's too busy trying to pass off WCW Saturday Night recaps from 1994 as current events. I'M ONTO YOU, DICK BOY.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

WrestleMania Will Be Seven Hours Long, and That's Okay

Seven hours of Mania (sponsored by Snickers!) isn't too much if you time out your WWE viewing
Graphics Credit: WWE.com
Last year's WrestleMania (technically 33 but unofficially "WrestleMania: The Big Bright Florida Sun") was the longest ever. The pre-show started at 5 PM local time, and then The Undertaker was swallowed up by the ramp just around midnight. That is seven hours. Seven damn hours. And with 13 matches announced for WrestleMania 34 (unofficially "WrestleMania: Also The New Orleans Saints"), the same number as last year's Mania, we are likely in for just as long of a haul.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for April 2, 2018

Bryan's return date is OFFICIAL
Photo Credit: WWE.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. Daniel Bryan (Last Week: 1) - Bryan's comeback finally feels completely real as his WrestleMania match is set. He'll team with Shane McMahon against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and while most people are speculating as to whether or not Bryan will turn heel (lmao, as if Zayn and Owens are the real heels here), I'm speculating if McMahon's diverticulitis will be okay enough for him to wrestle by then. I'd love to see someone turn on Bryan to lift him away from this bullshit story.

2. Joel Embiid (Last Week: 4) - Okay, so Embiid didn't really make much of an impact on the court after Markelle Fultz headbutted him onto the injured list. Que sera sera. Still, he's been active on social media, where he's always been an all-star, and he'll be back in time for the playoffs. WEARING A MASK. Are you ready for Masked Embiid to join Ben Simmons and company in leading the Sixers to perhaps playoff series victories? I've been waiting my whole life for it, at least since the Super Bowl.

3. Ham (Last Week: Not Ranked) OFFICIAL HOLZERMAN HUNGERS SPONSORED ENTRY - I like turkey on Thanksgiving and stuff, but honestly, Easter makes out like a bandit getting ham as its designated meat. Seriously, it's versatile and hard to really fuck up unless you're really bad at cooking, and it's also got a higher floor and ceiling for flavor.

Friday, March 30, 2018

NXT In 60 Seconds

Ladies and gentlevillains — E C III
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Rental Car: pulls up "Earlier Today"
Scumbag: gets out
Full Sailors Outside: BOOOOOOOOO
Cameraman's Questions: get ignored
Tomasshole: Mr. Regal! What is going on?  Johnny... he... he shows up at my work and sneak attacks me — the last act of a desperate scoundrel, may I add — my physical therapy. my apartment at three in the morning!  This is on you!
Master Regal: Johnny is out of order, I concur.
Tomasshole: I want him gone for good!
Master Regal: I propose to you at Takeover: New Orleans an unsanctioned match.
Tomasshole: Me?  In an unsanctioned match?  You know who I am, boss, you know what that means...
Master Regal: Should Johnathon win, he gets his job back.  Should you win, he's banished from NXT forever.
Tomasshole: For good?
Master Regal: nods For good.  But this time, Mr. Ciampa, you'll have to do it...yourself.
Who, The Band On Stage: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH~!
My Girlfriend, Probably: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Ciampa ya BURNT!
Ciampa: skulks away
Master Regal: heads inside the arena for An Important Announcement (that those of you reading this probably know already but w/e)