Friday, October 31, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 222

Nova or Simon Dean, whatever your preference, is Cabana's guest 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: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 222
Run Time: 1:07:10
Guest: Simon Dean/Nova

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 98

You're really gonna call these dudes "skinny-fat," really?
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 morning (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers!

Depends, is the fans or other wrestlers doing it? Either one is pretty terrible, especially given guys like the Usos and CM Punk in ring shape can/could go for long times without gassing or blowing up. Fans doing it is just garden variety assholery that's still accepted by a large chunk of society. It's going to be hard to get the mainstream to accept fat people, and the way that commercialism and good ol' fashioned American conservative bootstraps mythology have combined to warp everyone's sense of what a healthy body looks like, well, the agreement on what's too fat or too skinny or too untoned is never going to be agreed upon in my lifetime. My advice is if you think about body-shaming a wrestler, don't do it, especially if you're like me and have less a six pack and more a keg. As for the wrestlers doing it, they're either toadying for Vince McMahon or they're super jealous that some dudes like Punk or the Usos were able to get over despite being doughy and they with their physiques connected with the audience as well as the average Shane McMahon punch connects with its target's face.

Best Coast Bias: Lighter Than Air

Yeah, he does that
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you were to sum up the final October Main Event of 2014, you could do so easily in three words: so that happened.

It wasn't that anything horrible like last week's Game Show Ripoff Segment That Shall Not Be Named took place, or that there was a stealth two-segger TV MOTY candidate lying in wait somewhere along the course of this hour. Some episodes you get the feeling this is called Main Event because calling it the Perfectly Cromulent Wrestling Hour doesn't really have pizazz as a sellable name to audiences. (Plus, how would you fit all that on the bars next to and hanging over the TitanTron?) Yet, ironically enough, that is Main Event's primary directive especially in a Networkified era for Stamford's McMahons and associates. Even if nothing lasts about the show moments after you're done watching it, the sense of having watched some pro graps without facepalming can serve as its own form of comfort food.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 37

Ross has Jason Powell on 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: The Ross Report
Episode: 37
Run Time: 1:36:55
Guest: Jason Powell

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Issue 7

IS Ambrose unhappy because his mom found drugs in his Halloween bag?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Well, well, well, it's Wednesday, which means HORB FLERBMINBER is back dishing the scoops right into your faces here on The Wrestling Blog. You won't get scoops like these anywhere on the 'Net because I am the number one, no, scratch that, I AM THE NUMBER ZERO, BETTER THAN ONE SOURCE for all the hottest wrestling news, gossip, rumors, and HIPAA violations. Do you want to know the results of Hulk Hogan's latest colonoscopy before he does? YOU NEED TO BE READING ME EVERY WEEK. I don't have time for haters. I don't have time for jerks who get people of questionable moral fiber to buy followers for them. I DON'T EVEN HAVE TIME FOR MY FAMILY. That's how dedicated to mining scoops I am.

Your Midweek Links: Hell in a Cell Fallout

The complete history of this feud and more this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
It's hump day, so here are some links to get you through the rest of the week:

Wrestling Links:

- The Best and Worst of WWE Hell in a Cell 2014 [With Spandex]

- Hell in a Cell 2014: What We Learned [SB Nation]

- WWE Hell in a Cell: Bang for Your Buck Review [Juice Make Sugar]

- The Complete History of John Cena vs. Randy Orton [Wrassle Rap]

- The Wrestling Hipster: The Five Worst Kinds of Hell in a Cell Matches [With Spandex]

WWE Gives a Look Inside the Tryout Process

Jason Shirley, former NFL player, Wu-Tang enthusiast, WWE prospect
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Wrestling traditionally has been a secretive, carny business. The only thing fans saw was what the promoters presented as the finished product. That facade of kayfabe has been eroded over the last three decades to the point where WWE has pulled the curtain back entirely in certain aspects. Tough Enough was the first peek, although no reality show is fully reality. However, the company just dropped an unadulterated, slightly filtered look into the tryout process.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 163

Austin gabs about Halloween and Ebola 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: 163
Run Time: 1:21:45
Guest: None

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Who's Really Responsible for Changing Minds about Intergender Wrestling?

Was Heidi Lovelace's treatment at NPWD too much? If so, who was responsible for it?
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
So, Joey Ryan had a pretty interesting tweet last night:



I've written about the absurdity of the Irish whip before. Funny how the most ubiquitous move in wrestling history is also its most ridiculous at heart, especially from the standpoint of "wrestling should look real all the time or else IT SUCKS." The whip is taken for granted as effective, and yet Candice LeRae, whom Ryan was obviously referring to, holding gold in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and being one half of one of the hottest touring tag teams in the country, is picked apart with a fine-tooth comb by people who for whatever reason think that a woman's wrestling efficacy should be halved by virtue of her gender. It hasn't made sense to me since Sara del Rey was getting the same pushback for her run in Chikara. Reactions like those that Ryan and LeRae get for their act make me roll my eyes when people derisively dismiss intergender wrestling by mockingly calling any instance of it "progressive" especially when it's bad.

The Passion of the Stroud: Inspire Pro Clash at the Bash Video Review

Matthew Palmer gon' get it
Photo Credit: Kelly Kyle/Texas Anarchy
In stunning, 1080p TH Style of review. Follow @InspireProWres on Twitter to find out when its entire catalog will be available for download/purchase on Amazon.

Highlights:
  • Thomas Shire utilized counters and leverage to get a cradle pin on Davey Vega in the first match
  • Late entry Keith Lee outlasted the rest of the field and won the Chris Trew Dot Biz Invitational Tournament for a spot in the New Movement.
  • Scotty Santiago reversed a running Air Raid Crash into a cradle pin on Mr. B, but B would have the last laugh afterwards, attacking his victorious opponent.
  • Both the Great Depression and the Red Scare were arrested the night before, so they forfeited their match against the Hollywood Knives.
  • As a replacement for the incarcerated team, Cherry Ramone and Delilah Doom of the New Movement stepped forward. However, despite Bradley Allen Davis being incapacitated for nearly the entire match, Steve-O Reno was able to tap out Ramone with a leg lace, thanks to some interference from Erik Shadows.
  • Carson defeated Cowboy James Claxton by getting up at the count of nine on a double countout in the ring.
  • In a no rules, no rope breaks match, "Showtime" Scot Summers got "Absolute" Ricky Starks to pass out in a crossface. After the match, Gabe Roach and Greg Symonds attacked Summers before Shire made the save.
  • Masada defeated "Unholy" Gregory James with a powerbomb into a jackknife pin combo. Afterwards, Jeff Gant and two new wrestlers assaulted James.
  • In a match to determine number one contendership for the Inspire Pro Championship, Ray Rowe defeated "Centerfold" Matthew Palmer with the Death Rowe.
  • Shawn Vexx could not make the show because of emergency obligations, so ACH filled in to tag with Jojo Bravo against the Nine Inch Males of Jordan Jensen and Dirty Andy Dalton. The match ended in a disqualification when Davey Vega ran in and turned on Bravo, joining JT LaMotta's group.
  • Franco D'Angelo reversed a leaping move attempt from the American Eagle into his hooked-leg spinebuster, the Silencer, for the win.
  • "One Man" Mike Dell reversed a Blackout attempt from Lance Hoyt into an elbow and added a top rope elbow drop for good measure to retain the Inspire Pro Championship.

Instant Feedback: Friendship Is Toxic

Fool's gold right here, y'all
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Lacy writes the Smackdown recap on this site, and she does a damn fine job with it, especially with her chosen theme. Friendship in WWE is hard to come by and even harder to keep, and this episode of RAW was the biggest indicator. The first three segments saw friendships dissolves, alliances crumble, and even later events where friendship was perhaps begun were dubious at best.

Of course, the crumbling bonds of friendship were obvious. Randy Orton morphed into a fiery, passionate babyface for the first time in his career. Mark Henry's slow burn betrayal of Big Show finally took place. The final cutting of the tenuous cord between Paige and Alicia Fox was cut. Those happenings were boring though. People turn in wrestling all the time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings, October 27

OH SH...
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. Paige (Last Week: 7) - I didn't think she'd have it in her, but she broke out the Michael Mizanin Memorial Big Swing Headfirst into the Barricade on AJ Lee last night at Hell in a Cell, which cemented her in this spot at least for a week. Who cares if she didn't win...

2. AJ Lee (Last Week: 5) - Lee escaped with the Championship, of course, but even though she got her dome rocked, she was able to do so with style. Even I want to rock her new top.

3. Dean Ambrose (Last Week: Not Ranked) - The Master of Titties needed three Authority goons and BRAY WYATT HOLOGRAMS OUTTA NOWHERE to take him out of Hell in the Cell. Although I had to dock points for not following through on his promise that everyone was going to die. Bad form.

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Friends or enemies, these two are best when entangled
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Best Friendship History – Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
I don't normally enjoy when Smackdown opens with a talking segment. However, I liked Dean Ambrose's opening comments on this show, as well as the ensuing interaction with Seth Rollins (though the same cannot be said for the closing segment of the show which was agonizing to sit through). Rollins gleefully cackling about how he never cared about the Shield will never stop twisting the knife in me – in a good way. I never expected him to be such an effective villain, and it's fun hating his traitorous face even while I still secretly hope that the Shield will get back together. I don't think he truly means a lot of what he says anyway.

Best Coast Bias: See Them Punked! See Them Punked!

Is this coming to a December 11 near you?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
A good friend will always stab you in the front. - Oscar Wilde

You know the old saying "it's always darkest before the dawn", yeah?

The truth of that statement has always been up for debate. Especially considering some people might counter-argue it's actually darker at the apex of the evening. And if the latter is the case, then this late October installment of NXT had the hands meeting at the 12 and getting their freak on.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 221

The Bucks return for another episode on Art of Wrestling
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: 221
Run Time: 1:03:31
Guest: Chris Hero, Young Bucks