There are very few things that professional wrestling fans would see as unironically cool. That one of those things was the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy is something I didn’t see coming.
What I did see coming, however, was how completely legitimate John Cena appeared next to Hulk Hogan. That’s not to say his stature in the industry or his role in the zeitgeist is on Hogan’s level, but he is — by any measure — the person who best understands the world that Hogan inhabits and what his life was like for almost twenty years. Hopefully his post-wrestling life involves less divorce, DUIs and saddest possible sex tapes in the world, though.
While the acting is still a little over the top, the crux of what Bray Wyatt was saying to Hogan and Cena is the type of “meta-commentary” — along with what Stephanie and H are up to — that the WWE should focus on. Instead of “shooting” on each other, the incorporation of performer’s off-camera “brand” — meaning the persona created for them by “smart” fans filtered through language that “non-smart” fans can understand — helps to further strengthen the permeable membrane between “real” and “fake” in an era where the lines between the two don’t get blurry as much as inconsequential. Doing this allows you to tell “stories” without requiring them to be tied inherently to a championship or “being the best”. When the ring becomes the place where people ply their trades AND settle their differences, and not too far one way or the other, that’s #BestforBusiness.
I couldn’t have been the only person flummoxed by Cena’s inability to keep up with Hogan during the post-match pose down. It’s two pumps and a flex, ya stupid!
My favorite thing about the WWE Network, #17: The Samoan Swat Team/Headshrinkers have actively increased my undying love of the Usos because of the perhaps faulty assumption that anything skinny Rikishi can do, his sons can do better.
I WILL HIJACK RAW IF THEY BREAK UP THE REAL AMERICANS.
UGH, while I more often than not love wrestling and all its shitty acting, the shitty acting of Undertaker — especially when he’s going to back and forth with the Phillip Seymour Hoffman (I know, too soon, but it’s accurate) of wrestling, Paul Heyman — breaks my heart almost as much as the excited response of the crowd to his shitty acting does. JUST TALK LIKE YOU DID WHEN YOU WERE A BIKER, NO ONE’S GOING TO CARE THAT YOU LOOK LIKE A TALLER MORE LEATHER-Y MARILYN MANSON.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins back as best friend professional wrestling tag team is the best possible news in a world where Brat Wyatt is getting “Margaritaville” sung to him. Like other, more prominent wrestling writers, friendship-based wrestling my favorite type of wrestling and Seth Rollins has went from “Ringo” to “Paul” quicker than any person in the history of professional wrestling. In case you are wondering, Dean is George and Roman Reigns is, oddly enough, Peter Best (at least in the since that 40 years from now, no one will remember he was in the Shield until someone mentions it everyone goes “THE SUPREME RULER WAS A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER? ALL HAIL THE SUPREME RULER” …. ((I have high hopes for Joe)))
Literally the only thing worse than breaking up the Real Americans is NOT breaking up Tamina and AJ. I understand the desire to have Naomi come back to win the title with Tamina costing AJ the match so that they can recreate the off-off-off-off Broadway version of Shawn Michaels/Diesel, but, for me, can we please do something that involves less people screaming BRIE POWER during AJ matches?
***WARNING YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES *** For all the talk, including from yours truly, of how incredibly over the #YesMovement is, there’s very little discussion about how much of that has to do with the BRILLIANT performances of Triple H and Stephanie.
While we touched on it last week, that was less about their performances than their roles on the show which are equally important to the storyline, but from a “storytelling perspective”. This week was perhaps the pinnacle of either’s career in terms of doing everything they can to get an angle over, with Stephanie slowly but surely inching towards a full on tantrum until she — somewhat understandably — reached her breaking point and devolves into precisely the type of person that everyone thinks she is: a petulant spoiler brat who was born on third and somehow thinks that she hit a triple.
And speaking of triples, HHH’s almost slapstick mental breakdown on the (pardon the pun) heels of his wife, showed more ass — especially for someone that’s kayfabe obsessed with being able to have his COO cake and eat it while Pedigreeing people, all while acting like it’s “best for business”– than any physical confrontation possibly could have. This feud may have been cobbled together from broken parts of failed storylines and the forcing of the hand of the powers that be (if you believe the internet for some reason), but much as the rise of Stone Cold highlighted, it’s not how you get there but what you do once you’ve made it that matters. And, given the track record of Daniel Bryan as a wrestler and Triple H as a WrestleMania performer, what they do once they’ve made it to New Orleans is going to matter for a long, long, long time. ***WARNING YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC CHILI CHEESE PRETZEL DOG ON THE WAY OUT ***
A serious discussion was had last night between a friend and I regarding what feels like the fifteenth Sheamus and Christian match in a row. My friend’s argument had less to do with Sheamus or Christian per se, and with the larger idea of repetitiveness in professional wrestling. As someone who watches less than 10 hours of wrestling of week — because he’s a reasonable person with things to do — it’s hard to explain to him the value of repeated matches between competent performers. To him, these matches are just rehashes of what came before, with minimal differences between each individual instance. And some of that is true, but to me, and likely to many of the people watching the show (and almost everyone reading this review), it takes literally years of watching literally thousands of hours of professional wrestling to understand how truly wonderful it was to see Christian sell a Brogue Kick through a bass drum like he’d be hit in the face by a pasty white truck.
Speaking of the “same old shit”, I’ll never understand why the company never mentions how impossibly tall Randy Orton is. He’s a head taller than Batista, so can someone please explain to me how both of them can be billed at 6’4″?
I don’t know what it says about the WWE that JBL and Jerry Lawler just spent the entirety of a main event tag team match arguing over the name “Bootista” and the overwhelming popularity of the #YesMovement, but I’m pretty sure it means we’ve entered the Matrix.