Friday, September 19, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art of Wrestling Ep. 216

Eddie Kingston among the throng on Cabana's podcast this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 216
Run Time: 56:22
Guests: John Thorne (at 6:45), Eddie Kingston (13:23), Colin Delaney (24:08) Johnny Gargano (36:40) and Cliff Compton (49:40) — with brief appearances from Rhyno and Tyson Dux in the cold open.

Final King of Trios News Update

AR Fox is a worthy mic drop name for Rey de Voladores
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Well, tonight is the night that King of Trios begins in all its glory. In the past few days, Chikara has put some of the finishing touches on its pre-tournament announcements. Obviously, some surprises are still in store, and the full slate of competitors in the Tag Team Gauntlet will not be decided until trios start getting eliminated from the main tourney. However, Rey de Voladores is completely set, three new teams have been added to the Gauntlet, and some juicy post-Trios news about the oldest traditional tournament in the company has been dropped.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 31

Watts gabs about tons of history
Photo Credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated via WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: The Ross Report
Episode: 31
Run Time: 2:11:59
Guest: “Cowboy” Bill Watts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 93

Can't have a tag division without these guys
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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 morning (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers!

Firstly, who is "they?" Are the people who named Vader coming to me to make a tag division? Is WWE giving me a big budget? Is a money mark looking to have me make offers to teams that they can't refuse? I'm going to with the latter option. Anyway, the tag team scene outside of WWE and TNA is robust enough to craft a division that with the right booking could light the spark on a wildfire.
  • The Young Bucks - How can I craft a tag division without grabbing the best team in the world?
  • The Hooligans - Two burly guys crashing into opponents and fixed structures at high speeds are the new market inefficiency.
  • Pieces of Hate - Jigsaw and Shard provide a strong villainous presence in the division. Sure, the Bucks being there add that too, but they're more classic heels. PoH provide the more modern, sleek-assassin presence.
  • EYFBO - Much like the Hooligans, they are agile hosses, but the Funky Monkey and Mike Draztik would give the division a bona fide comedic presence.
  • Washington Bullets - The Brothers Williams bring that Southern swag to the table in addition to high-flying explosiveness.
  • Brian Cage and Tommaso Ciampa - Sure, they haven't teamed just yet (first appearance as a team to be at Beyond's Makin' Moves), but really, Cage's other partner, Michael Elgin, just doesn't do it for me. Ciampa brings unpredictability and fire to the team, who'd act as the monster baddies of the division.
Those six teams would embody the batshit ethic I would want to instill while still having specific roles filled.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 151

Nash returns to the Austin podcast this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 151
Run Time: 1:20:42
Guest: Kevin Nash

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

King of Trios for Beginners

King of Trios is awesome, and you should read this post to familiarize yourself with it
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
King of Trios, the most important event on the Chikara calendar and perhaps the biggest event in independent wrestling in a given year, begins Friday. While the event has my fires and the fires of the Chikaraverse stoked, I would be naive to assume that every wrestling fan knows what the weekend is about. On the surface, it's just a six-man tag team tournament, but as with anything in wrestling, especially Chikara, the roots grow more deeply than what they'd appear from the surface. In addition, the Chikara mythos can feel daunting to newbies or outsiders.

Even if being immersed in the promotion can give an extra sense of satisfaction (or heightened disappointment, depending on the outcomes) this weekend, one can know nothing else about the promotion except that it exists and still enjoy King of Trios. The following is a primer of sorts on what to expect at the tournament. I'm not sure how many tickets remain for any of the three shows, but the Easton Funplex holds a lot of people in terms of independent wrestling crowds. I'm sure if you wanted to make a last-minute road trip to the Lehigh Valley, you could score a general admission ticket and experience for yourself the grandeur of the weekend. But anyway, if you want to go and don't know what you would be getting into, well, why not read this guide and see what you're up against, or if it's something you'd enjoy.

Your Midweek Links: She's Hardcore! She's Hardcore!

#FreeSeleziya
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
It's hump day, so here are some links to get you through the rest of the week:

Wrestling Links:

- Women's Wrestling Weekly: Searching for the Innovators of Violence [With Spandex]

- The Heart Is RAW: I want to see AJ Lee as WWE World Champion [International Object]

- The Best and Worst of RAW: The Incarceration of Paul Heyman by the Coward John Cena [With Spandex]

- More matches from the mid-20th century [Ringbelles]

- NXT Takeover 2: Fatal Fourway [International Object]

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Issue 2

What BREAKING NEWS is about Cesaro and Vince McMahon? READ BELOW!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Hello again, people of the world! HORB FLERBMINBER is back again with all the news that's fit to print, and that's a trademarked phrase by ME AND ME ALONE. I don't wanna see any of you dorks and nerds out there stealing my material, unless you pay me a hefty rejoinder fee. In that case, you can steal my organs if you want. I'M ALL ABOUT THE CASH. Anyway, if you have a tip that you want to submit, send it my way at ProWrestlingSKOOPZ@gmail.com. Please contact me if you have scoops, news, hot rumors, or if you're a Nigerian prince who needs an upfront loan so you can transfer some loot into my account. Even if you're scamming me, at least throw me some contact information for Great Power Uti. I've been wanting to get him for an interview FOR YEARS now.

Also, you can and probably should follow me on Twitter at @HorbFlerbminber, where you can get all the BREAKING scoops that happen as they happen. For a low monthly fee, I can give you access to my LinkedIn account too, although I only use that to send sanitation companies Bryan Alvarez's resume. HE KNOWS WHAT HE DID. Although I probably shouldn't be TOO hard on Alvarez. One night, we got RIPSHIT drunk on absinthe and rubbing alcohol and lit paper bags full of dog poop on Joe Babinsack's front porch. And by front porch, I mean his kitchen. And by dog poop, I mean propane canisters. I think I've written too much already.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 150

Austin was on location for ep. 150
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show Unleashed!
Episode: 150
Run Time: 1:18:05
Guest: None

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat with Bray Wyatt

Wyatt was a guest on the most recent show
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: Sept. 11, 2014
Run Time: 1:13:07
Guest: Andrew Goldstein, Bray Wyatt (at 58:23)

More King of Trios News Than You Can Shake a Stick at

The Batiri will be there in the Tag Gauntlet
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
King of Trios starts THIS WEEK guys, and so the final announced details are beginning to rush in like blood getting off the elevator at the Overlook Hotel. The final first round matches have been announced, more Rey de Voladores competitors have been named, and a night three staple has officially landed. Of course, the odds and ends that are trickling forward are tasty as well. All in all, this weekend is looking like one of the most loaded of the year on paper.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Gist w/Daivari

Daivari was a guest on a Slate podcast last week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Slate’s The Gist
Episode: “Did You See Obama Pull a John Wayne?” Sept. 11, 2014
Run Time: 29:48
Guest: Josh King of PoliOptics (at 3:24), Shawn Daivari (14:18)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Instant Feedback: RAW Is Confused, It Hurt Itself in Its Confusion

Odd to see this on a show right before they wrestle again
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are wrestling on Sunday, and yet they wrestled to a clean finish on RAW. Brock Lesnar's big appearance came at the beginning of the 10:00 hour. The show closed with an unproven newish heel going up against an old guard guy whose sell-by date may have already expired (as much as it pains me to write that about Mark Henry). Even on episodes worse than tonight's (and tonight's was bad, don't get me wrong), a theme rises to the surface. This show, however, felt disjointed, a manifestation of every rumor about how chaotic the backstage environment is on Mondays before the show goes to air.

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings, September 15

Thanks, Tony!
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. Mo'Ne Davis (Last Week: 1) - Okay, she didn't really do anything newsworthy this week, but after the shitty week the world has had, it needs a reminder that somewhere out there, awesome folk like Davis exist.

2. Tony Schiavone (Last Week: Not Ranked) - Surge is coming back, and I'd like to think Schiavone was working hard behind the scenes to make it happen. Sure, he can't promote it on a wrestling show anymore, but if you're a fan of the Gwinnett Braves, then maybe he'll start making promotional consideration for the soda during minor league baseball games. Hopefully, he won't talk about the nWo while Atlanta prospects are at the dish.

3. Paige (Last Week: 6) - Sweet Saraya's baby girl seems to be taking the lead in this whole psychological warfare thing between her and AJ Lee. I hope Lee isn't baiting her into the killshot; I want to see this continue in perpetuity.

Appropriate Responses and Bullying: Why the Babyface Ethic Needs to Change

Cena should be able to give Heyman some justice without threatening bodily harm against him
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Last week on RAW, John Cena laid an ultimatum to Brock Lesnar's advocate, Paul Heyman. He demanded that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion show up to the show tonight or else Cena would render physical harm to the rotund mouthpiece. The promise comes from the standard operating procedure for any pro wrestling babyface dealing with any kind of non-player-character proxy. Basically, from the Grand Wizard to Bobby Heenan, James E. Cornette to Scarlett Bordeaux, fans seem to love seeing the brawny hero manhandle a managerial type, usually one whom the presumptuous attacker has at least 100 pounds on. Being a bully is seemingly part and parcel with wearing a white hat in wrestling parlance, which is funny given WWE's past (and present?) partnership with the B.A. Star Alliance.