Monday, November 20, 2017

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for November 20, 2017

You don't fuck with Strowman, even if you're Triple H
Photo Credit:
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. Braun Strowman (Last Week: 5) - The legend of BRAUUUUUUUUUUUN grows with each passing minute, even though Team Smackdown really didn't even try to dispose of him last night. I mean, Roman Reigns smashed him up against a wall in a car. Miz and Co. dumped him in a garbage truck. All those Smackdown loonies did was suplex him through a table? Get the fuck outta here. Strowman at least had the last and best laugh by demolishing Triple H to close the show. Hopefully, whatever "feud" they have will just be a repeating series of Strowman owning H and claiming the McMahon family riches as his bounty.

2. Asuka (Last Week: 4) - I'm convinced the only person who could challenge Strowman for dominance is Asuka, who made short work of Nattie Neidhart and Tamina Snuka in the other five-on-five match. The only problem is the caliber of wrestler demolished by the Empress of Tomorrow since getting to RAW has been steadily declining since she took out Emma to start her career there. Where is the competition? Hopefully tonight on RAW, she'll demolish Thanos, Ruby Weapon, and the concept of entropy itself in a handicap match.

3. Derek Barnett (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Speaking of demolitions, the Eagles' latest first round draft pick systematically dismantled Dak Prescott last night en route to the team's 37-9 rout of the Dallas Cowboys. Nothing in sport is sweeter than beating the Cowboys, and nothing puts a cherry on top of the sundae quite like a blowout. Barnett proved all his doubters wrong and has quietly started to put together a Defensive Rookie of the Year-worth resume.

It Was Triple H with the Shovel in the Main Event: WWE Survivor Series 2017 Review

Everything wrong with WWE in one picture
Photo Credit:
Two TH-Style reviews in one day. Not bad.

  • The Shield defeated New Day with a second-rope triple powerbomb on Kofi Kingston.
  • Asuka was the sole survivor in the women's traditional five-on-five match, last eliminating Tamina Snuka with the Asuka Lock.
  • Baron Corbin hit an End of Days OUT OF NOWHERE on The Miz to pick up the win.
  • The Usos went over The Bar HOSS International with a splash on Sheamus.
  • Charlotte Flair made Alexa Bliss tap out to the Figure Eight.
  • Brock Lesnar countered a Phenomenal Forearm from AJ Styles into the F5 for the win.
  • Triple H and Braun Strowman were the survivors for the RAW team in the main event five-on-five match. Triple H last eliminated Shane McMahon with a pedigree after hitting Kurt Angle with a pedigree and putting McMahon on top of him. After the match, Strowman beat the ever-loving shit out of Trips.

Examining Sexual Misconduct in Pro Wrestling: Is a Reckoning Coming?

Foley, and a bunch of other wrestlers, facing heavy accusations
Photo Credit:
Sometime last week, Mick Foley appeared at an autograph signing. He probably expected people bringing him one of his many books for him to autograph, or glossy photographs, or even some people just there to shake his hand and tell him how much of a fan they were of his. What he probably didn't expect was Angel Amoroso appearing with this sign:

Best Coast Bias: Life After Wartime

The Era eked out the W to close a stellar show
Photo Credit:
Results, stray thoughts, and takeaways Holzerman style from the Clutch City hosted iteration of Takeover just as soon as I note I was on the Patrick Clark Bandwagon half a year ago...

  • Lars Sullivan pinned Kassius Ohno after the Freak Accident side spinebuster.
  • Aleister Black pinned Velveteen Dream following a Black Mass...but did say his name after the match.
  • Ember Moon won the vacant NXT Women's World Championship and became the sixth different woman to earn that honor by pinning Nikki Cross after an Eclipse that also felled Peyton Royce.
  • Andrade "Cien" Almas became the 12th different man to win the NXT World Championship, pinning Drew McIntyre after Zerlina Vega snuck in for a basement rana driver and he followed up with a rope-hung version of his hammerlock DDT.
  • the Undisputed Era beat SAnitY as well as the team of Roderick Strong and the Authors of Pain when Adam Cole (BAY BAY) pinned Eric Young after delivering a Shining Wizard into a chair.

Glory, Glory to the Trios Champions

Stallion, Jay, and Reed made a bit of history Saturday night
Photo Credit: Dylan Hales
So the biggest trios tournament on American soil this year took place Saturday night, and by all accounts, it was, as the kids say, a hoot. The Viking War Party and the Carnies continued their war, Gunner Miller had another showcase singles match, and after the event, I assume much cheesecake was consumed at the City Cafe. That being said, all events need to have winners, and a trio of lads from the St. Louis area decided they were going to be the ones taking home the first ever Scenic City Trios mantel, specifically, two of Michael Elgin's proteges and an old barn owl from the Submission Squad.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pick Three: Scenic City Trios, Chikara New England, ICW Fear and Loathing

Max Smashmaster will be looking to end Mike Quackenbush, once and for all
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
It's the weekend, baby! You know what that means, time to drink precisely one beer and dial 911 wrestling is happening, and it's happening all around this great world. I'm going to highlight three shows which I think will be of most interest. Of course, I'm only one person. You can check out which shows are coming up possibly in your area via Cagematch. Anyway, go to, if you can, these great shows that may be happening in your area, on television/YouTube/streaming, or for later consumption via VOD, DVD, or whatever other means one uses to consume wrestling at a later date:

Stephanie McMahon and the Point of a Heel Promo

McMahon should probably not talk on RAW anymore until she's ready to bump
Photo Credit:
Wrestling is storytelling; I'm pretty sure even the most intensely antagonistic groups towards each other in this culture war can agree on that. In any story, every beat, every plot point, everything a character says has to have a point, a purpose, or else it can and should be edited out. Whether it be foreshadowing, catalyst for action, comic relief, exposition, or some other reason that can be justifiably defended, each element has to serve some kind of end. So it's not only fair to ask why certain people do certain things during a three hour telecast of Monday Night RAW, it's pretty much essential. In that effect, what is the point of Stephanie McMahon coming out and degrading various people on the RAW roster whenever she appears?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 213

Flair is an upgrade over Neidhart, but not nearly as big as Styles is over Mahal
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 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:

Both upgrades are significant, but while Charlotte Flair replacing Nattie Neidhart takes that match from a D to perhaps a B-minus, replacing Jinder Mahal with AJ Styles takes that match from a sure F potentially to an A depending on if Brock Lesnar is Good Brock or Lazy Brock. Even if he's in clear "not give a shit mode," Lesnar may not take away from Styles' work. I mean, I slag Neidhart a lot, but she's at least had a few good matches in her WWE career. Mahal came close a couple of times with (you guessed it) Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, but he's still a long way off from being good.

NXT In 60 Seconds

Drew asked for it, and he got it
Photo Credit:
Street Profits: black cups and swagging out
Riddick Moss and Tino Sabotelli/Young Money: Tino shows off his abs and everyone tries to ignore the fact Riddick looks like Starburns
Riddick Moss: cheats to get the advantage, then stirs it up, thus invoking the curse of Lil' B tha Based God
Angelo Dawkins: pins down Tino after a punch
Riddick Moss: stopped from getting into the ring by Montez Ford
Referee: Winners!
Street Profits: celebrate in the crowd
Lil' B: That's what happens, tho

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Vol. 3, Issue 12

Oooh, they got in trouuuuuble...
Photo Credit:
Well look at what we have here. HORB FLERBMINBER is back to dispense the news, deal in the gossip, and dole out the punishment to those who have wronged me. Do you doubt me on that last one? Well, why don't you go ask the last person who crossed me. That's right, I'm the reason Todd Martin was thrown into the pit of despair. DON'T CROSS ME AGAIN, MMA BOY. You want to be on my good side, and you know the best way to get and stay on it? BY READING MY SCOOPS. I have harvested so many delicious and rare news items this week that the ghost of Walter Cronkite came to me in a dream and said I had surpassed him in every way. EVERY. WAY.

Your Midweek Links: A History of Intergender Wrestling in WWE

Check out the history of men vs. women in WWE, including Chyna, shown here booting Jeff Jarrett
Photo Credit:
My God, the week is halfway over. Hallelujah! And guess what, Thanksgiving is next week. If you're like me, you took all of next week off. If you're not, you at least have one, if not two days off next week. That means the next couple of days are going to go by even more slowly. If only a bunch of the best writers on the web had content for you to read. Oh wait, they do! Check out these links to help your time pass by just like that.

The Montreal Screwjob was 20 years ago last week, and Elliot had his own analysis of the events, including how the event shaped Vince McMahon both in and out of kayfabe. [The Wrestling Blog]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wrestling Six Packs: Fun Survivor Series Matches from the Roster Leftovers

Why would you leave Matt Hardy off the show?
Photo Credit:
Survivor Series is Sunday, and despite the addition of Triple H to the show, the card is looking strong. However, for as much of the roster is utilized right now, a whole bunch of wrestlers are going to be left off. Survivor Series used to be the show that got everyone a pay-per-view paycheck because of the team structure. Luckily, I have the idea for six teams, three matches, that could be formed from the wrestlers who aren't booked for the show so far.

1. Team RAW, Mark II Matt Hardy, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Apollo Crews, and Goldust - Honestly, the RAW second team probably doesn't stack up to the Smackdown second team, which I'll get to next, overall, but how can you have a pay-per-view card and not include Matt Hardy? Yeah, his brother is injured, but WWE signed him off the strength of his reinvention of the group. So what if you can't use BROKEN? You can let him lead the team of RAW's best second stringers into battle against...

Leftism and Wrestling: Freedom to Go

Neville's potential comeback to WWE is only possible because WWE holds all the cards
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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.

Neville walked out on RAW a month ago and hasn't been seen since. His tenure with the company felt SO DONE that he was removed from the 205 Live intro. However, WWE being WWE, it didn't grant him his outright release at the time, instead opting to go the Rey Mysterio route and holding him to his contract even if he was sitting on the sidelines. Even though the company didn't think his services were valuable enough to feature on main roster feuds despite actually engendering reactions and getting people excited before turning him heel and sticking him on the show barely anyone in the front office cares about, those same people thought he'd be valuable enough on the indies and in other corporately-owned entities to hurt WWE's global hegemony. Basically, WWE has held him hostage since his walkout, which, as the pedants in the back row in the "All Hail!" t-shirts will tell me, is well within WWE's rights.

Kris Wolf SMASH

Your new favorite wrestler? Yeah, probably.
Photo Credit: STARDOM Twitter
If ever a wrestler could win my heart without ever watching them wrestle, it's Kris Wolf. Granted, I hear she's a swell worker in the STARDOM promotion, one of the top, if not the top women's wrestling company in the world. Just experiencing her through short character videos and gifs, however, feels like peering into a spectacular world featuring a protagonist with both childlike exuberance and the healthy bloodlust one expects from a fearsome pro wrestler/wolf hybrid. She's expressed her love of meat several times, which I've documented here. She also really, really likes smashing things, like boxes:

So Great Power Uti Has Been Indicted for Murder

Uti went from meme to alleged murderer
Photo via @GreatPowerUti
Great Power Uti, the Nigerian Wrestling Champion who has retired, has been indicted in the murder of his wife. American audiences know him from tales spun by Cliff Compton on the Art of Wrestling podcast about his and Luke Gallows' tour of Nigeria to wrestle Uti. His eccentricity and outsized personality made him a cult favorite among hardcore fans, but none of that matters now.