Friday, December 15, 2017

NXT In 60 Seconds

Undisputedly undefeated
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Andrade "Cien" Almas: Look at this shiny new belt!  Yo soy el campeon de mundo, pinche Sailors, and I...
Fabian Aichner: Tilt a whirl backbreaker!  Springboard plancha!  Springboard tornado DDT!  Powerbomb!  Hey, you can't interfe--
Zelina Vega: drops down from the apron
Cien: shoves him to the floor, throws him into the steps, then gives him the 100 Headaches in the ring
Referee: Winner!
Cien: Pfft.  Of course I am.  Like it was ever in doubt.
Zelina: You got something on your brow, babe.
Cien: dabs lightly before holding up the belt a few more times

Year End Sorting Bins: [HATE STARE INTENSIFIES]

Going in on Meltzer, daddy, to start this whole shebang off
Photo Credit: @ObserverQuotes
The Year End BLOWOUT continues with the return of the Sorting Bins. For those who are new to TWB, I categorize the various peoples whose performances I've absorbed in the past year into five separate bins depending on how much I've liked them. The first category is Unequivocal Hatred, which is reserved for those who make me wanna throw a brick through my various television screens. A note, I'm not ranking anyone on these lists who have been accused of harassment, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. They can and should be forgotten. These lists are for annoyances inside the ring or on television or what have you. Anyway, onward and upward, or in this case, downward.

Dave Meltzer - I know he's not technically an on-screen personality, although perhaps his stature as a booster of the Young Bucks and a superfan in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla make him count. Either way, he's a polarizing figure for many reasons: his wrongness on social issues, his habitual equivalence between pro wrestling and MMA, his vague reporting. However, I can look past those things if it weren't for the fact that he's so horribly, terribly, catastrophically bad at Twitter that it's way past ironically funny and all the way into "take this man's phone away from him." It's not that he posts awful comedy like Dolph Ziggler or selfish, tryhard self-aggrandazation like Cody Rhodes. It's that he just quote-tweets the dumbest shit in an attempt to own people online. Basically, he spends the time that he's not working, sleeping, or ingesting PEDs shooting dead fish in a barrel, quoting braindead n00bs with seven followers asking whether or not CM Punk is coming back to WWE or whatever and emphatically smacking them down as if he were Hakeem Olajuwon in the mid-'90s. Of course, it's a byproduct of the culture he fosters in the DVDVR circle and such, where arguing over talking points is almost like a sport or a game, or in Meltzer's case, a Japanese role playing game. The way he treats these people tweeting at him is the way one might just beat the shit out of enemies below your level in one of those games. It's called grinding. It's great for when you're playing Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy and need to level up, but when you're on Twitter trying to stoke the discourse, it gets old really goddamn fast. Basically, this man is the avatar for everything in wrestling's fourth estate, and he just compulsively tries to own the easiest people online one can own. That may not be the reason no one respects wrestling, but goddamn, if it isn't an ugly symptom, like hacking cough one develops when battling bronchitis.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 217

The FCC boned everyone, but especially indie wrestling distribution
Photo via Wikipedia
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:
Long story short, if net neutrality gets vanquished the way that the Federal Communications Commission voted for it to be vanquished today, it will be nigh impossible for streaming services such as Powerbomb TV to continue as they are. Net neutrality rules that were always sort of in place before Barack Obama's administration codified them in 2015 made sure that Internet service providers had to provide the same speeds for all websites and grant fair access to everyone. With net neutrality so far planned to be scuttled, it would allow these ISPs to control how fast certain sites load and offer tiered Internet to people based on whatever criteria they wanted to, most likely by price. Also, remember that Linda McMahon is on Donald Trump's cabinet. She has a vested interest in how content is distributed in a certain industry. If she or her husband Vince or anyone else in WWE decide they don't want anyone else competing WWE Network, they could nudge the big providers to throttle sites that compete with them, even if they're really not competition in reality. So basically, the fear of Powerbomb TV, Highspots, or even New Japan World becoming borderline unusable in America unless a king's ransom is paid becomes tangible at the very least and probable in the nightmare scenario, and c'mon, you gotta face facts that ever since Trump has been elected President, this fucking world has been operating under the nightmare scenario to end all nightmare scenarios. In short, Powerbomb TV and other services are fucked, just as fucked as anyone else who wants to use the Internet and isn't rich.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Vol. 3, Issue 16

Swann's in hot water
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Well now, look who's back to dispense the news in the best way possible. THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S ME, HORB FLERBMINBER. Any of you fucks who guessed "Dave Meltzer" or "Rajah" or "That Dude on Twitter Who Obsessively Stalks rovert, Fray, and Slice" ARE UP AGAINST THE WALL WHEN I COME TO POWER, which according to my calculations... should've been last week? WHAT IN TARNATION. Regardless, whether or not I'm the Supreme Chancellor of Planet Earth, the Moon, and Sector 348-D of the Kuiper Belt has no effect on whether or not I deliver the news in a timely and accurate manner. BECAUSE I DO.

Promotions To Watch: Chikara

Was Coronado's title reign a positive or negative for Chikara?
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Welcome to the beginning of the YEAR-END BLOWOUT, where The Wrestling Blog takes a look back at the previous year and ahead to 2018. Usually, I do a comprehensive year end review for several promotions, but this year, I fell pretty much behind following anyone except WWE adjacent companies, and let me tell you, even that was rough. I won't get into the reasons, but still, wrestling is hard to totally ignore. So I'm going to take a cursory look at some of the promotions I think were worth checking out last year and may make some waves in the coming year, starting with, you guessed it, Chikara.

Your Midweek Links: Stay Inside and Read

A deep dive on Jericho's career is in store this week and more
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Man it's a cold one, like seven inches from the Night King's ass. You don't wanna go outside. Trust me, I'm actually out here. It fucking sucks. You don't wanna be out here like me. You want to be in your snuggly bed, with your laptop or your phone in front of you. The only problem is you need something interesting to keep your attention. Fret not, I have links! All the links your body can handle, right here. READ 'EM but don't weep, unless you find something emotional. Then, by all means, please sob.

Michael Elgin chose loyalty over believing victims, and this makes him worthy of the trash bin. I wrote why he's the latest in a sorry slate of people in wrestling protecting abusers. [The Wrestling Blog]

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for December 11, 2017

THE MAN
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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. Joel Embiid (Last Week: 5) - I understand that the Sixers lost a couple of awful games last week and are on a bit of a slide, but goddamn, if Embiid isn't a wizard on the court. When Ben Simmons gets fully used to NBA speed and starts turning the ball over less, this team is going to be unstoppable. Trust the process, always.

2. Asuka (Last Week: 6) - Seriously, am I the only one who thinks Absolution vs. Asuka is a mismatch... in favor of Asuka? You're going to need to make this Women's Royal Rumble 29 vs. Asuka to make it fair, and even then. Even then.

3. Bryan Danielson (Last Week: 1) - Daniel Bryan's continual teasing and teasing of wrestling another match got even hotter on Tuesday when he gave Fascist-in-Chief of Smackdown Shane McMahon the sidiest side-eye possible when he got his answer for "haven't you punished them enough?" Bryan vs. McMahon would be awful, but what if it led to Bryan vs. Sami Zayn? Bryan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura? BRYAN VS. ONEY LORCAN??????

Expectorate The Worst, or Why PROGRESS May Not Be For Me

PROGRESS: We Alienate Starting With the Dang Logo
Photo via Wikipedia
Spike Trivet is a wrestler in England who has gotten bookings for PROGRESS. He hasn't really made a whole lot of a splash yet, so he decided that he'd literally make one at the latest chapter of the British promotion's series of events:

Rich Swann Has Been Suspended Indefinitely

Another abuse case
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Sunday mornings are for making breakfast, reading the paper, and apparently finding out that a former favorite wrestler of yours is a domestic abuser. News broke yesterday morning that Rich Swann is the latest wrestler to be outed as an abuser, as he was arrested for battery and false imprisonment for an incident involving his wife, Su Yung. The Gainesville Police Department released the police report and a mugshot due to "national media requests," so everything is now out in the open. Apparently, Swann was critiquing Yung's latest wrestling match, things got heated, and according to two witnesses, Swann headlocked her after she got out of the car out of fear of escalation and dragged her back in against her will. Swann is denying the charges, although the witnesses' descriptions corroborate Yung's side more than Swann's. Shortly after, WWE took action and suspended Swann indefinitely.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pick Three: HOSS HOSS HOSS, Being the Elite, Beyond's Cold Brew

Keith Lee gonna toss Joey Janela around like a ragdoll Sunday
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:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Twitter Request Line, Vol. Jawn

GIMME DAT PORK ROLL
Photo Credit: TH
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 have a confession to make. I could become a lacto-ovo vegetarian or even a vegan if I wanted to. I like enough food that I could cut out meat and be happy. However, speculate if you will a moment of weakness. I do get cravings every once in awhile, and usually, those cravings point towards breakfast foods, stuff like eggs, potatoes, bagels, that sort of thing. So it should follow that if I'm feeling carnivorous at a certain point in the day, it will be for breakfast foods, namely, a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich on a long roll, a Kaiser roll, an everything bagel, whatever. The bread is mostly unimportant. What matters is sweet, sweet pork products will be on that sandwich, namely in the form of a tangy kind of ham that is found in New Jersey and places that border New Jersey.

NXT In 60 Seconds

Who's one more (hopefully kick-ass) match away from being number one contender?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Master Regal: Welcome to NXT.  With Drew McIntyre out due to injury, an opportunity has opened up in the #1 contendership to face our new champion, Andrade "Cien" Almas, in Philadelphia at our next Takeover.

There will be four qualifying singles matches and then a fatal four way, the winner of which will get the title shot in Philadelphia.

Tonight, the first two of those occur as Killian Dain faces Trent Seven and Kassius Ohno... well, he was supposed to face the Velveteen Dream, who is still injured.  But he will face a worthy competitor nevertheless tonight.  Best of luck to all the competitors.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Vol. 3, Issue 15

WILL ROUSEY (right, obviously) BE STARTING WITH WWE SOON?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Well hello everyone of my LOYAL READERS. HORB FLERBMINBER is back again with all the news you can handle in one sitting. I ASKED THE SURGEON GENERAL FOR THE RIGHT AMOUNT. It just keeps coming. I sit and wonder, will the news ever stop? Will a day ever come when nothing will be out there for reporting, and I can finally take a long-awaited vacation from this misery that is my life of hanging out in smoky bingo halls, waiting at drop points for packages from sources in WWE, trolling the dark web for info that might be useful? And when I feel like it's right there for me that I can finally book a week off to go hiking in the Andes Mountains, to see the Nazca Lines and explore the Incan ruins around Machu Picchu, Roman Reigns fails a drug test, or Jeff Jarrett runs naked through Nashville, drunk as a skunk on Brass Monkey, and I have to be there to get all the dirt. My life is an ourobouros... what was I saying? OH YEAH, SOMETHING SOMETHING BRUCE MITCHELL CAN'T HOLD MY JOCK, I AM THE KING OF NEWS.

Victims over Loyalty: An Essay on Michael Elgin

Elgin doesn't deserve your defense
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
It seems that every other day, some new story is coming out about a domestic abuser or a rapist. The dominoes have mostly fallen in the entertainment industry, but the stories have started to leak out in wrestling as well. Sean Orleans, a low-card indie wrestler in the St. Louis area, was accused of sexual assault by a female fan in the area. Orleans worked a lot for Michael Elgin in Glory Pro Wrestling. The accusations came to light initially in September, but they weren’t noticed by most people until November, when the accuser brought them back to light with the rush of accusations and action against them in Hollywood was in full swing. Elgin immediately tweeted from the official Glory Pro account that Orleans would not be booked for him anymore, and he’d seemingly said all the right things in public since then. “Seemingly” and “public” however are the operative words here.

Your Midweek Links:

More examination of the above two's past lives in ROH this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Wednesday is upon the world, and only the rest of today and two more days stand between you and the weekend. You've made it this far, congratulations. However, I fear you may need help to get to Friday afternoon. FEAR NOT goodly reader, for I have the solution to your problem. Below are the best links that lead to some of the finest writing about wrestling from the past week. They will surely aid you in your quest to get through the working week and get to the weekend, where you can drink precisely one be... wait a second, I already rip that @dril tweet off for another weekly post that I do, don't I? Ah well, just click the goddamn links below, alright?

Hey, have you checked out last week's TweetBag? Do it, because it's got a nice mix of questions from the users of Twitter. [The Wrestling Blog]