Monday, July 24, 2017

The G1 Climax: Nights 1-5

Ibushi is the belle of the early ball
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
It's G1 Climax Season, y'all! Get the coffee steaming, put the oatmeal in the microwave (or on the stove if you have more patience), and wake up at like 5 AM in July because that's what normal human beings do! If you're not like me and you're not looking to see every single match from the 2017 G1 Climax (which will end up being 91 matches, GOOD GOD), then I'll use this space to help you use your time wisely and watch the five best matches of the G1 so far.

But first, a few notes:

    Friday, July 21, 2017

    NXT In 60 Seconds

    DMC tried to punch his ticket to a shot at King Glorious the First
    Photo Credit:
    Some Full Sailors: Let's go, Ruby!
    Some Full Sailors: Let's go, Ember!
    Both: exchange rollups and pinning combinations
    All Full Sailors: applause Women's wrestling! clap clap clapclap
    Ruby: Armdrags! Reverse headscissors into the middle turnbuckle! Saito suplex!
    Ember: Allow me to retort: STO backbreaker! Flatliner!

    Thursday, July 20, 2017

    Twitter Request Line, Vol. 196

    Is Dave Meltzer co-opted?
    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:

    I honestly don't think any real "news" site is co-opted or "gotten to" in the way that the office of a wrestling promotion is the Vladimir Putin to its Donald Trump. I mean, every blog has its biases. Most cut and paste sites feed off a WWE teat. Dave Meltzer likes New Japan more than any other company, and it shows in his opinion writing. How many news sites have a harmful bias? Well, they'd have to be important enough for that bias even to register as harmful, which is laughable at best. But if you look at "gotten to" as easily bothered and sent into "mad red and nude online" status, that answer is easily Pro Wrestling Torch, the site that still treats ratings as newsworthy as they were in 1998 and kayfabe as sacred as it was in 1972. Now, it doesn't mean that everyone at the site is bad or thin-skinned. It's just that the top guy, Wade Keller, has a very short trigger and sets the tone for his site's reporting. Of course, that kind of interpretation of wrestling has an audience, but it's not one I care to be a part of.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    Don't Look Now, but the Progressive Liberal Is Moving On Up

    Coming to the DC Area...
    Photo Credit: Brendon Miller/Bluegrass Sports Nation
    "The Progressive Liberal" Daniel Richards might be the hottest independent wrestling act in the country right now, and it has nothing to do with the promotions he's worked. Richards caught the eye of Street Fight Radio co-host Bryan Quinby, whose raising awareness caused Deadspin to run a piece on him. Next thing you know, the Hillary Clinton-loving, Appalachian-antagonizing, neoliberalism-defending arch-villain of podunk shindie promotions in West Virginia and Kentucky is getting features in VICE Sports and National Public Radio.

    Your Midweek Links: Women's Rumblings and More

    The Angle doc is as real as it gets
    Photo Credit:
    A blessed and glorious hump day is upon the world once again. Why do you look so glum? Cast off the midweek malaise and get over the summit with these wonderful links to stories you may have missed in the last week. Read and rejoice!

    Alberto el Patron was arrested for a domestic violence incident. I wrote about how said incident highlighted wrestling's inadequacy with dealing with such abuse. [The Wrestling Blog]

    I also had a few things to say about the rumors of why Talking Smack met its demise. The gist? Don't be so quick to take red meat that paints Vince McMahon as a fogey and Triple H as your savior [The Wrestling Blog]

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Leftism and Wrestling: Hard Times

    The American Dream embodied the American Dream
    Photo Credit:
    Even though capitalists and conservatives run and populate the wrestling business, as an artform, it lends itself to leftist ideals. This series hopes to show wrestling fans why they should embrace the left, not just for the sport/art, but also for themselves.

    The greatest wrestling promo of all-time, in my opinion, is the one spoken by Dusty Rhodes in advance of Starrcade '85. It is known simply as "Hard Times," because that's what Ric Flair put on Rhodes and his family.
    I don’t have to say a whole lot more about the way I feel about Ric Flair; no respect, no honor. There is no honor amongst thieves in the first place.

    This Is Your Tournament News Update

    The biker boys are in Trios this year, and they brought a cop
    Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
    Okay, so the Mae Young Classic pretty much is tapped out on news unless you want spoilers. I could give them to you, but would you really want them? Besides, if you did, you know where to find them on Twitter Dot Com. What about the other tournaments that haven't happened yet? Well, have I got some news to pass along about three slates of interest: the CWF Mid-Atlantic Weaver Cup, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles, and Chikara's King of Trios.

    Monday, July 17, 2017

    Six Years Ago Today, WWE's Greatest Missed Opportunity

    A date that shall live in infamy
    Photo Credit:
    On July 17, 2011, CM Punk won the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank in his home area of Chicagoland, blew a kiss to Vince McMahon, and walked out of the arena, providing the first culmination point of a story that began when he won number one contendership and announced that he was nearing the end of his contract and didn't know if he'd re-sign with the company. The match, where Punk won the title from John Cena, was the main event of what many people regard as one of the best, if not the best, pay-per-view/Network special events in WWE history. It looked to be the spark of the next great age in WWE history, and in many ways, it was. The current era of WWE started out with and was built upon this angle, which included the infamous "pipe bomb" promo that really kicked the heat for the feud, which was less Punk/Cena and more Punk/Vince McMahon, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon.

    Be Careful For the News You Want to Hear

    McMahon may be out of touch, but that doesn't mean Triple H is your pal
    Photo Credit:
    News broke last week that Talking Smack, the post-Smackdown interview show, would be cancelled on a weekly basis and only air after pay-per-views. I wasn't a fan of the format, so I didn't watch it and wasn't too broken up about the news. However, one would have to be blind to deny that it helped out the careers of select superstars, most specifically The Miz, Baron Corbin, Renee Young, and in the later stages, Kevin Owens. Its cancellation seems curious, since it aired on wholly WWE owned streams and filmed live in conjunction with already-televised programming, which would make the "lack of viewers" rumored reasoning behind axing it to be puzzling. Costs couldn't have been that high, but WWE is in cost-cutting mode, given it's getting rid of pyro too. Of course, getting rid of the stock talk show and fireworks to cut costs is like the government slashing already minuscule budgets for arts endowments and Planned Parenthood funding to be "fiscally conservative" while spending $Texas on military defense, but I'll just be over here sipping my tea.

    NXT In 60 Seconds

    This main event sponsored by Holzerman Hungers
    Photo Credit:
    Aleister Black: calmly sits mid ring
    Bobby Fish: So this is new.
    Black: wrestles
    Fish: counter wrestles
    Black: kicks him in the chest a few times and smirks
    Fish: legsweeps him from the floor and works the leg over  This is the big bad, right?  corner Exploder  What's the matter, Ally?  They close the Hot Topic you manage?
    Black: series of kicks, quebrada, big jumping knee I don't like your tone.  Fortunately, I will no longer have to hear it.  Black Mass
    Referee: Winner!

    Friday, July 14, 2017

    Your Mae Young Classic Field

    LeRae is officially one of the competitors
    Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
    Last night, the Mae Young Classic kicked off. All first round matches were contested and taped for streaming later on in August. I will not spoil any of those matches, but what was made public was the list of competitors for the tournament. Some were announced beforehand. Others weren't confirmed until last night. The following is the complete list of competitors.

    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Twitter Request Line, Vol. 195

    Who has the worst Twitter?
    Photo via Freepik
    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:

    I know my reputation as one of Wrestling Twitter's foremost leftists will expect you to think the answer would be one of those terrible, neoliberal shill #StillWithHer accounts or alt-right Nazi fucker/sympathizer accounts. Granted, Roosh "Literal Rapist" V, Bill "Trump Is Daddy" Mitchell, Jill "Black People Should Stop Making Babies So I Can Gentrify Kenya More Easily" Filipovic, Ian Miles "Fascist Ants" Cheong, Arthur "Centrist Ants" Chu, Peter "Death Squad" Daou, Mike "Literally Marketing PCP As a Nootropic Stack" Cernovich, Joy Anne "I Cite Anime Nazi News Sites" Reid, and countless other terrible political accounts are all trash. However, the real blight on Twitter are the stupid content thieves or inspirational celebrity "parody" accounts. The worst, by far, is "The Real Banksy," a "fan account" that has 1.6M followers and posts nothing but pseudo-inspirational pap. I mean, the actual Banksy, whom no one has ever seen for real, peddles faux-intellectual cynicism disguised as depth, but his utterly boring street-art at least has some basis in originality. I doubt he'd be on Twitter peddling aphorisms that your aunt used to e-mail you in the heyday of AOL in 2001.

    On Domestic Abuse in Wrestling

    Patron is getting off lightly; this needs to end
    Photo Credit:
    Professional wrestling's relationship with domestic abuse isn't necessarily different from society's at-large. The entire human race has a problem dealing with domestic abuse, and the progress civilization has made towards eradicating this abhorrent behavior and providing protections for those who are not able to protect themselves, whether physically, mentally, or both has been minimal at best. It's unfair to critique pro wrestling's passive negligence at best and silent assent at worst of domestic abuse when police ignore battered victims enough to allow their murders to happen or when the National Football League welcomes domestic abusers back into its fold with open arms while ostracizing an objectively good man protesting on behalf of his people in Colin Kaepernick.

    Learning to Live with Smackdown

    Spoiler alert, they coexisted
    Photo Credit:
    This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

    Commentary beat this term into the ground on this episode, starting with AJ Styles and John Cena when they had to team up against Kevin Owens and Rusev. It was clear that Cena and Styles' confrontation to start the show was tinged with mutual respect, and they only ended up in the tag match because Styles came to Cena's aid...BUT COULD THEY COEXIST AFTER WE JUST SAW THEM COEXIST??? Mostly their main event coexistence just made me think about how much I'd like to see a Styles/Rusev feud. At any rate, I hope that in the coming weeks the United States Championship open challenge is actually able to happen and we can just see AJ Styles take on a bunch of new people. Providing he can coexist with them, of course.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    BOLA Field Complete, MYC Field Announced in Full Tomorrow Night

    Ricochet returns to PWG for BOLA this year
    Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
    So the time is getting close for the big tournaments this summer. In fact, the Mae Young Classic begins taping tomorrow night, so it should follow that field should be announced sooner rather than later. Additionally, the creep of Labor Day weekend lurches on, and before you know it, you'll either be packed in like sardines in Reseda, across the pond in Wolverhampton, or for most of you (and me), at a cookout lamenting the ceremonial end of the summer season. However, news is nigh for the various tournaments in action. WWE has announced four more names since the last announcement covered here, and it will take to Facebook live tomorrow at 6 PM Eastern to unveil the whole field. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla unveiled the remainder of its Battle of Los Angeles field, and Chikara has unleashed two more threesomes for its British King of Trios tournament.