Friday, January 23, 2015

The Center Is Moving: Inspire Pro Relentless Review

Dalton getting his title shot the easy way... by talkin' dat shit
Photo Credit: Kelly Kyle
In the TH Style, of course. You are going to want to get this show, so hit up Smart Mark Video on Demand for the VOD.

Highlights
  • Ray Rowe was announced as out for the main event due to a horrific motorcycle accident.
  • Andy Dalton won number one contendership to the Inspire Pro Championship by disqualification when Lance Hoyt intentionally attacked him, costing Jax Dane the match.
  • The Orphans defeated the Hollywood Knives after the newest member Sky de Lacrimosa hit Steve-o Reno with the Backdrop Driver while Bradley Allen Dawson accidentally distracted the ref. After the match, Dawson turned on Reno, claiming Reno was the member of the team holding them back.
  • Mr. B utilized the help of Shane Taylor to defeat Scotty Santiago in a street fight.
  • Barbi Hayden retained the NWA Women's Championship with a stump DDT on Athena. Athena got her foot on the ropes, but the referee did not see it.
  • Franco D'Angelo vs. Ricky Starks ended in a no-contest when the Orphans ran down to jump both competitors. Matthew Palmer made the save and they ran the Orphans off.
  • Scot Summers defended the World Class Championship successfully by tapping out Lance Hoyt with the ankle lock.
  • After the match, Greg Symonds faked out Summers by pretending to announce a sabbatical. He attacked Summers after a handshake, and he, Mr. B, and Taylor wailed on Summers until Santiago ran down to make the save.
  • Jojo Bravo gained a measure of revenge against former partner Jordan Jensen, defeating him with the Samurai Driver.
  • Matthew Palmer won the Inspire Pro Championship from "One Man" Mike Dell with the Centerfold Splash.
  • Right after the match was over, Dalton goaded Palmer into defending his newly won title in an impromptu match. Dalton got the win with the piledriver and left the Marchesa Theater as Inspire Pro Champion.

Royal Rumble Oddity Outlook

More Royal Rumble stats than you can shake a stick at
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In the ever-more-crowded field of people breaking down Royal Rumble matches by the numbers (including WWE, which can never seem to get its own facts straight), you don’t stand out by stating the obvious (Shawn Michaels has the most total eliminations! Roman Reigns eliminated 12 men in one night! Rey Mysterio spent the longest in the ring!), you dig deeper and find the weird stuff. Admittedly, the minutiae presented herein might be interesting to me and me alone. But on the off chance you need a little bit more to get you excited for this Sunday’s big fight, here’s a quick look at what could happen if certain chips fall the right way.

There are only 17 announced wrestlers so far, which is a letdown for people who like to get their data in order ahead of time. While it’s unlikely Triple H will be among them, I’ve included him here a few times just in case. Randy Orton and Sheamus are figured into the mix as well, and though neither is announced, they’re more likely to appear than the big H.

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

This friendship is never coming back
Photo Credit: WWE.com
This week's Smackdown was built almost entirely around the recently returned Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Erick Rowan, and even Daniel Bryan earning spots in the Royal Rumble match. This was actually a really good idea. I never expect much out of the last show before a pay-per-view: a ton of recaps, meaningless matches, and the main players getting their final say is usually what I can look forward to. There were still recaps and backstage bits aplenty, but this time there were also stakes and an ongoing theme to the episode that made for an actual narrative arc. Fantastic. Now, if only I cared even in the slightest about Ryback, Rowan, or Ziggler. I've never connected with any of them or found their stories compelling. I know I'm in the minority on Ziggler, and I do understand in theory why many people are so high on him. I'm not. BUT, with all that being said, I'm all-in on Smackdown being more relevant and important.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Jan. 22

IT'S RUMBLE TAHM
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: Jan. 21, 2015
Run Time: 1:20:00
Guest: None

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 106

Sami Zayn's theme song for your podcast? DO IT
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!

Assuming you don't want any "real" songs that wrestlers up to the age of ECW used, I have three options. If you wanted to go for an arrogant, "heel" vibe, or if your podcast is financial in nature, you could go with Ted DiBiase's theme song. The ironic American could go with Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme, done by Rick Derringer. Sure, that song might be "cheating," but have you heard it anywhere besides association with Hulk Hogan? But the best theme to use, unless you're really adverse to ska, is Sami Zayn's NXT theme right now:

Best Coast Bias: Pull Yourself Up By The Straps

Your kicks were good, T Breezie.  His were better.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
We will now list in alphabetical order people who have a legitimate beef with this program:

Dillinger, Tye

Sucks to his assmar he happened to be standing in the ring at the show's post-recaps and announcements beginning when Sami Zayn came out -- marched out, really -- and beat on him with both hands before tossing him out of the ring. Besides that? On a scale of one to MC5 this kicked out the jams, matriarch fornicator.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ross Report Ep. 49

Varon is an opinionated guest for an opinionated host on this week's Ross Report
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: 49 (Jan. 21, 2015)
Run Time: 1:55:24
Guest: Lisa Marie Varon (36:35)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Issue 15

Roman Reigns has an important few weeks coming up and HORB TELLS YOU WHY
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Wednesday is here again, and you faithful HORBAPHILES know what that means. HORB FLERBMINBER is back here dishing you the deepest scoops from a reservoir of news and gossip DEEPER than the Marianas Trench. I HAVE NUGGETS SO DEEP they've been lodged in my colon since Thanksgiving 1978. Do you know which two Impact Wrestling superstars are actually members of the Bilderberg Group? I DO, AND I'M NOT TELLING YOU UNLESS YOU READ MY WEEKLY REPORT, NERDS. I even know who's going to be in the main event at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas. HINT, it's no one on the main roster right now, and one of them has a FREAKISHLY LARGE PENIS. This information is only for my INSIDERS.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 187

DDP raps with Austin 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: 187 (Jan. 20, 2015)
Run Time: 1:29:28
Guest: Diamond Dallas Page (18:25)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reflecting on #RAWlternative

Chris Hero's match was a big reason why #RAWlternative was worth it
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Last night's #RAWlternative event was a seemingly rousing success. The stream got 12,310 views on YouTube, and although I suspect some of those clicks were duplicates from singular people, that number is staggeringly impressive for a single-serving stream with no paid advertising. Even if the single-time peaks, which people who were in the chat said were at 1,700 people, were the ceilings for the number of people who joined in, the numbers were enviable for any non-WWE promotion. A lot of indies might get 1,700 people over two or three shows if they're lucky. Hell, TNA, which has a decade-plus history of being nationally distributed, was lucky to approach that number for house show gates. The initial eyes on the stream showed a good sign, but how many will be retained?

WrestleMania Gets Its Perfect Venue

Jerry Jones' palace of opulence is the perfect home for WrestleMania
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Via WWE.com

WrestleMania 32, as has been long rumored, will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, part of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The event will happen April 3, 2016. AT&T Stadium is better known as the home venue for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. It is famous (or infamous) for it's massive and relatively low-hanging Jumbotron hanging over midfield. The screen is the largest of its kind, and it has attracted punters to attempt to hit it with high, booming kicks. The stadium also has several party decks and patios, and it has been described as one of the most opulent stadia in American history.

For that reason, it is the perfect home for WrestleMania.

The One Flaw with New Japan

Where have you gone, Shinjiro Otani?
Photo via Japanese Class
I was a huge fan of New Japan in the 1990's, as I'm sure quite a lot of the target audience of this blog was. From 1990 to 2000, I was in there for everything and I was happy to do it. And after a few dark years (the less discussed of Inoki's run near the end the better, for everyone), New Japan is back. But there's something missing, something I didn't really think I would need at first but now I'm sort of wishing was back, an interesting juniors division.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 186

Austin chats with his current boss 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 Unleashed
Episode: 186
Run Time: 1:27:23
Guest: Norm Pattiz (28:26)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dispatches from the Lake: It's Friday Night, and the Mood is Right

Superstars moves to Friday with a... long Cameron match?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Welcome to Friday night Superstars! With Smackdown taking its rightful place on Thursday nights, WWE has moved the recap-a-thon and dark matches no one cares about to the night where people aren’t watching television. It’s okay. Only me and maybe three other shut-ins watch Superstars anyway. So let’s dig in! Our first match of the night is Cameron against Summer Rae, and right off the bat I'm disinterested. I have no desire to see Cameron wrestle, so I may have checked right out of this match from the beginning. Folding my laundry was more entertaining than this match. Cameron’s decent at heel mannerisms, but there’s no fluidity to her moves. There were lots of awkward pauses during the match and about 50 minutes of submissions. Summer did nothing of note but wail a lot while in Cameron’s weak ass holds. At least she remember to pin Summer on her shoulders instead of her stomach, so that’s something, right?

Welcome to the Wasteland, Russell Wilson

.gif via @PhilaBCoulter

Yesterday's NFL Championship Weekend action had quite a bit of wrestling attached to it. Sergio Brown's antics drew Ric Flair to the Colts' sideline, although his support didn't help the team at all against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. The NFC Championship game actually had a few wrestling moves performed on-field. At one point, a Seahawk player delivered a German suplex to a Packer ballcarrier, but the most visceral shot came when Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a ball across his body downfield for a well-covered Jermaine Kearse. The ball was picked off by Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, but the real wrestling-infusion came on the return, when Sean Richardson and Clay Matthews teamed up to deliver THE FALL OF MAN on Wilson.