Welcome to my regular blog series dedicated to justifying my wrestling fandom. Here I will tenuously relate the WWE universe to larger issues in the wide world of fandoms and maybe even that cold lonely place known as “reality”. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you: WRESTLING WITH SHAME.
The Old People Edition.
On Sunday, October 25th, The Undertaker (age 50) faced Brock Lesnar in the main event of WWE’s latest pay per view, Hell in a Cell. Prior to that, current WWE Champion, Seth Rollins faced the split personality known as Demon Kane (48) after having faced Sting (56) during the previous PPV. Also competing were Bubba Ray Dudley (44) and D-Von Dudley (43). As My Fangirl Life’s DOG (Designated Old Guy) I can say without irony, those guys are old. I am a wrestling fan from back in the day and I can honestly tell you, they’re not what they used to be. Which leaves the following question: why would the billion dollar WWE decide to have those dusty fossils headline one of the bigger events on the annual wrestling calendar? One word, brothers and sisters… nostalgia.
Nostalgia is a dangerous concept. On one hand it allows our minds to travel back to a time and place where the cold realities of actual life didn’t exist. You know what I didn’t have when The Undertaker was my first favorite wrestler? Bills, a job, responsibility, back pain, a cracked passenger side mirror, and this whole body hair problem. So while a brief road trip with my good buddy ‘Taker allows me to forget my day to day problems for a short time he certainly doesn’t take them away. This is the dangerous concept. If I was to spend too much time chasing the feelings, beliefs, or idols of my youth I’d lose focus on the future and be doomed to missing out on what might be.
The creators of entertainment must face this challenge too. Should the WWE spend too much of its precious time promoting the past, eventually it won’t have future stars to build around. Likewise the Star Trek universe can get a cheap pop if they bring back Picard and Data for a cameo, but would any of us want to watch a full season of The Next Generation bumble their way through space? What about another season of Dexter? Or another album by that classic rock band you remember your parents listening to?
For art to succeed, it may respect the past, but it needs to build towards the future by rebooting a franchise AND outdoing the original (My Little Pony / Batman / Batman / Batman), endlessly growing an existing story (Doctor Who / The Avengers), revolutionizing a genre (Firefly / One Direction), or creating something brand new that will take the world by surprise (Game of Thrones / blog post about secretly racist flags (coming soon) / Harry Potter). But artists need to remember the future is never a complete work. The future, my friends is always a work in progress. It is up to us to help grow it.
So remember, when Harrison Ford appears on screen during the next Star Wars that he is not the main attraction. He is a little piece of garnish to cleanse the palate and bring us back to the first time we saw episode IV. The main meat of the story transports our imagination into the future while we make memories of our present. Likewise, with wrestling, the Dudley Boyz might remind me of my first beer, but they certainly won’t be the ones taking me to my last. I have Neville, the man who gravity forgot and also the guy who the WWE implies is from space, for that.
But enough about the past – let’s move on to more recent happenings. Read on for my brilliant take on the past month of total, nonstop, action-filled WWE wrestling.
KAYFABE WRESTLER OF THE MONTH:
Kevin Owens. He took and successfully defended the IC Championship against Ryback, who is awful, and has managed to be a fan favorite, a chicken shit heel, and a really fat guy at the same time. Also, he named himself and his kid after Owen Hart.
SMARK WRESTLER OF THE MONTH:
Corporate Kane & The Demon Kane (tie). Kane becoming relevant AND enjoyable for even the briefest of moments is worthy of celebration. You knew his final push was going to happen… you just didn’t know you wouldn’t hate every minute of it.
JOBBER OF THE MONTH:
The Miz. He was the en vogue pick to win the IC belt at Summerslam off of Ryback, who is awful, lost and hasn’t wrestled since. I think. I honestly can’t remember. But at least he got to play a video game on Raw this week, so there’s that.
INANIMATE OBJECT OF THE MONTH:
The New Day’s fourth member, The Trombone. Is it any coincidence that Xavier Woods and The Trombone got hurt at the same time and haven’t appeared on screen since?
DIVA OF THE MONTH:
Bayley. She wins by default simply because the Divas’ revolution has been awful. Charlotte should be a heel, Team BAD is useless, Natalya isn’t used enough, Paige turned in to a whiny priss, Sasha doesn’t wrestle, the one decent Bella can’t get John Cena to commit while the other one is awful and is trying to piggyback on her husband’s gimmick (sort of). So while I’ve only ever seen Bayley wrestle once and I can’t decide if she’s cute or not, she’s the winner. This is especially true because Stephanie decided to make the revolution about herself while, at the same time, trying to erase AJ’s legacy because of who she is married to. Which I’m sure is two levels of irony. But seriously, screw Izzy.
IDIOTIC FANTASY BOOKING OF THE MONTH:
Bray Wyatt wins the WWE Title from Seth Rollins in some sort of absurd gimmick match and proceeds to never defend it once. While he holds the title he simply makes the puppets dance trying to earn a title match for themselves because Bray Wyatt doesn’t need your title. Bray Wyatt only needs your mind. Eventually Sheamus, who is not awful, cashes in the MiTB briefcase and Wyatt just hands the title to him, cashes in his return contract, and sadistically wins. Sheamus immediately joins the flock as the whitest sheep.
Do you want to push Roman? Would you like to see NWO Hogan make a return? Do you foolishly believe The Miz’s WWE title run wasn’t brilliant? Tell me in the comments below and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.
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