Tag Archives: Bray Wyatt

Odds and Ends, Fits and Starts: Raw Regurgitated, 12/2

It’s hard to say if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that CM Punk was the person I least enjoyed listening to in a three-way conversation between himself, Kane and Stephanie. At the very least, Corporate Kane has very quickly become my new favorite gimmick remix, replacing long standing champion of my heart, Matt V1. That’s right, I’m a proud MFer.

Stephanie’s a pretty awful actress — which is more than okay considering that she still manages to be better than Dixie Carter and understands how to serve as corporate executive for a business that isn’t the professional wrestling equivalent of a sinking ship on fire — but she plays “awful/detached insanely rich person” like Meryl Streep.

The real problem with the WWE: They won’t let people get over by giving them nearly insurmountable odds against new stars so that they could get over with the crowd by doing the seemingly impossible. If they did that , they could use that narrative dynamic to sell one of the 6-8 PPVs — depending on how one feels about buying the Survivor Series and/or Extreme Rules every year– that don’t sell themselves, while making stars out of everyone involved. If only they did that, things would be so much better.

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Odds that Dolph Ziggler would face Big E. this early in his IC championship reign for the belt at a PPV: 1,000 to 1. Odds that Damien Sandow beats Langston for the title at TLC: 1,000 to 1. Odds E. loses that belt to Dolph Ziggler at the end of his run: Pick ‘Em. Odds Ziggler faces E. for the Unified Undisputed World War Wrestling Championship Belt Title after Langston wins it: 1,000,000 to 1.

If they are doing “Summer Rae is a female version of Fandango in the ring” with this “dancing while wrestling” thing, it might be the best news in the history of wrestling, because Here Comes the Emmalution. But if they are just having her do this because that’s what they think ladywrestling should be, they might as well just keep the women of NXT down in Florida until they all retire.

Things that are beautiful, but not long for this world: sunsets, a refreshing breeze, #BadNewsBarrett

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*** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! *** PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES *** Man, they should just give Daniel Bryan a shovel, so he can dig his own grave, amirite? Anyone who thinks this Wyatt storyline isn’t fantastic — even with the fits and starts with Daniel Bryan’s whereabouts that 8% of the crowd actually worries about — is a bummer on the level of people who that John Cena has been the most popular performer in the company for the last ten years because of politics. And those people are as depressing as Hulk Hogan being the most popular performer in the world for 20 years because of politics.

And in all this Bray Wyatt “join me” business, while it’s hard to say what’s going to happen, the real interesting dynamic is whether Wyatt is trying to con Bryan, or whether he just wants him to turn heel. The former screams “Hero’s Journey,” while the other leads to a feud with CM Punk — after he nobly dispatches the Shield by himself in a parallel storyline.

This is pretty much the perfect “midcard” feud: it has tons of intrigue and even more stakes, but doesn’t involve a major title, won’t be featured at the end of any show and never be truly resolved, and still serves major purposes in terms of narrative momentum for both characters, marks a fundamental shift in the direction of their careers and, most importantly, will lead to much better things in the future for everyone involved.

Like Andy said last week, this is all highly interesting stuff with huge stakes, and it should be clear that this would be bogged down if the WWE or WHC was involved, especially in the ramp up to the most important “WrestleMania season” ever. They’ve figured out a way, in a manner not unlike Community or Arrested Development, to not just mix meta-commentaries into the product as a nod to those “in on the joke”, but to debate the very notions that the commentaries are pointing at.

Wyatt talking about “taking down the system because they don’t know what they have in you” is the exact same idea as the Bluths complaining about cuts to housing orders that sounded suspiciously similar to the ones made by FOX regarding the number of episodes they wanted to produce.  By making this about existential ideas involved in the modern interpretation of wrestling by its most vocal fanbase — “us vs. them” and shadow politickings — it’s allowed the Reality Era-storytelling to be folded back into the standard tropes of the industry, something that the Attitude Era, like grunge, just never had in it.

What “happens” backstage become, more or less, a new wall of kayfabe, a new layer of storytelling, a new tool to be used to leverage butts into seats. And they are doing so by pushing the fourth wall against every screen they can get their hands on.

That this — the incorporation of formerly radical ideas by the “establishment” — is more often than not what happens after revolutions should not be missed. They — meaning the WWE — are finally calibrating the effect of the internet to a time before Cyber Sunday or even Taboo Tuesday, and that’s a good thing. It coming with more complaining than you can shake a stick at? Something we should be used to by now. *** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! *** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON YOUR WAY OUT***

WOAH. You can bury Edge and Chris Jericho, hotshot story lines to the top of the card before quickly discarding them in favor of much shinier new toys, and compare yourself to Harley Race and Hulk Hogan, but having Kane be a dick to Daniel Bryan is a bridge too far, Hunter.

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As someone who has spent an entire life neck deep in white privilege — ICYMI: it’s great, for me anyways, thanks cultural hegemony! — it feels weird to get mildly indignant that a young man working toward his Ph. D is being put into a storyline with two of the most racial caricature-y characters in recent memory in which he’s been accused of stealing the others’ dance routine and companions, seemingly simply because they all happen to share a preponderance of melanin in their skin. But, yeah, this just feels kind of gross, even if it is just entertainment, and the all seem to A) not care about whatever weird racism pangs happen in my head and B) be genuinely enjoying themselves. The only saving grace is the the other guy in the feud (Tensai) was treated just as one-dimensional in Japan, so at least the U.S. isn’t the only one in the “depressing racial stereotypes” game, just the leader in the clubhouse.

Speaking of depressing racial stereotypes, if the WWE believes we are going to be fooled by this Sin Cara/Hunico switch just because it assumes we think all masked wrestler look alike, well … they are probably right.

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And, finally, we’ve reached an impasse with the Shield six-man tags, as this was one of the first that felt “stale”. While it was a very good match with one or two spectacular moments, watching three guys work over one in the corner makes a lot more sense when it feels like they almost need to do it, not when it’s clear that one of them has beaten entire teams of other people by himself. Roman Reigns’ ascension seems like it will pretty much force the Shield to change how their matches are structured in order to keep the heat as the crowd builds anticipation for Reigns to go into full-blown destroyer mode after well-timed hot tags. Or, they could just keep running train.

The most important part of this match was not the re-dissolution of Kofi and Miz’s team or the solidification Ryback-Axel tag team, but the moment of self-actualization the two man achieved after they, as Jerry Lawler put it, “realized that maybe they weren’t Paul Heyman guys, but Ryback and Curtis Angl-Axel guys”. Namaste, Big Guys.

Ole!

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Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate. Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate. Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate. Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate. Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate. Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate. Please don’t bring back Sexual Chocolate.

It’s so much fun to watch Antonio Cesaro to get moments of awesomeness like ending a “house of fire” hot tag with the sweet smell of Swiss Death.

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I’m one of “those” people. I enjoy silly promos from Randy Orton about being people’s nightmares, I like when John Cena says “yadda yadda yadda, jack”, I even enjoy when he uses that silly finisher of his to put people through the table. And I’ve realized why: I like when the crowd reacts to things. And, when they are on, and put together in the right storyline, there is nothing on earth that the crowd reacts more to than Randy Orton and John Cena.

HAVING SAID THAT, if they do not end this thing with an undisputed champion, or at least one title — and it does not matter how they get there, even if it involves the return of the Yeti — they will have lost sight of what they are, and become what they hate. They’ll be WCW.

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Andy’s Angry: The Rise and Supposed Fall of Daniel Bryan

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it:  WWE has been clicking on almost all cylinders lately.  It’s like the writers and the roster got into “Wrestlemania Mode” much earlier than usual.  And while it’s not all perfect, everyone seems to have a role they can play to near-perfection.  I’d go so far as to say it’s the best utilization of the main roster since the Attitude Era.

If you can ignored the ever-half-assed booking of the divas, and a few things that haven’t been given time to flesh out (like the Tons of Funk v Truth/Woods story kicking off tonight on Smackdown), it’s pretty clear that everything is happening for a reason.  Every match, every promo, everything is building toward an endgame.  WWE is doing its best to build its shows now, while building its next big stars.  WWE needs to find its next Cena, Sheamus, Punk, and Batista.

That’s why it’s so frustrating to hear fans complain about the treatment of Daniel Bryan.

bryan harper

The soon-to-be Mr. Brie Bella has a lot going his way.  He main evented a couple of pay-per-views. And even though they were disappointingly-short, he has two WWE title reigns under his belt.  He’ll always be a former WWE Champion.  And, perhaps more importantly, he’ll always be a man who beat John Cena, clean, in the middle of the ring, to win the WWE title.

Lots of fans seem to have forgotten that Daniel Bryan was at the top of the card.  All they see now is that Bryan is teaming up with Punk to take on “the new guys.”

Those guys – The Wyatt Family – just so happen to be the hottest new thing in wrestling, but that gets ignored.  “WWE is treating Daniel Bryan like a jobber!”

Except no, they absolutely are not.  WWE knows Daniel Bryan is a star.  That’s why they’re teaming him up with the guy with the 434-day title reign, who calls himself  “The best in the world.”  That’s why they went over in their pay-per-view title match.  That’s why he’s trusted to take two talented-but-unknown wrestlers, and make them stars.

WWE fans see Daniel Bryan as legitimate.  Some saw it when he made his NXT debut, and his return against the Nexus.  Others knew it when he won the World Heavyweight title, and more caught on as his reign went on.  Those who didn’t know learned real quick when The American Dragon pinned Cena at Summerslam.

Like it or not, though, WWE fans see Orton as legitimate, too.  Listen to the fans react to him over the last few weeks on Raw.  He’s over as a crazy heel, and he deserves to be WWE Champion.  Along with Cena, he’s one of the two biggest stars in the last decade.  It’s why they’re the two guys in the title unification angle.  He’s a legitimate superstar, who deserves his spot.

So is Bryan, and WWE is acknowledging that.  He’s treated like a world-class wrestler.   The announcers acknowledge the crowd’s adoration.  The fans flock to the merch table. WWE responded with what some see as a burial, but what may actually be the most important role on the roster.

bryan rape

Legitimizing future stars.

Erick Rowan is okay, but Luke Harper is an absolute beast in the ring.  He’s a physical monster who can actually wrestle a solid match.  His matches with Punk and Bryan have proven it.  And you may not have noticed it, but Bryan has gone over in most of those matches, making Harper look like a beast in the process.  Everyone gets over.  Everyone looks good.

Some burial.

Back in the territory days, the traveling NWA champion would come into each territory, and defend the strap against the local promotion’s top guy.  He rarely lost.  But the local name would take the champ to the limit, and either slip on the proverbial banana peel, or fall to heel tactics.  The champ keeps his spot, and the local name keeps his heat.

Bryan may not have the belt, but in this scenario, he’s the NWA Champion.  Luke Harper is the local territory’s guy, getting the rub from a big star.  Bryan won’t suffer from it, and can go wrestle Sting or Harley or whoever next week, and still be a top draw.  He’s not being buried.  He’s building the next top draw.

Nobody seems to mind CM Punk doing the same thing for The Shield, but I digress.

punk is dead

For a decade, people have bitched and moaned at the “LOL Cena wins” trope.  Yeah, we get it, he overcomes the odds and never sells anything.  Yeah, we get it, he’s the top guy and nobody ever poses a challenge.  You’re getting the exact opposite here.

Bryan, a top guy, is taking some lumps to get an awesome mid-card stable to the next level.  It’s the way wrestling is supposed to work.  And like it or not, it’s the best way to get talent over.

Keep one thing in mind.  WWE is finally giving us (the internet wrestling fans) what we’ve been begging for.  Fresh new acts helping establish other fresh acts, developing the next batch of legitimate superstars.  Unless you want another 20 years of “LOL Cena wins,” you might want to learn to enjoy getting exactly what you asked for.

@AndyMillerJMS

Watch, Skip or Skim: Spoiler Alert with “Angry” Andy (11/27-11/29)

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Over the course of seven days, there’s a lot of wrestling on TV. But only some of it is actually worth watching. That’s where Spoiler Alert comes in: we break down the spoilers of all of WWE’s pre-taped shows to let you know what you should watch, and which segments and full shows you should skim or skip. This week, WWE lays the groundwork for some questionable storylines, and hopes you can stomach a holiday-themed Smackdown!

Main Event

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 (spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Alberto Del Rio d Dolph Ziggler

I’d be willing to bet this is a pay-per-view quality match.  These are two of the most talented guys on the roster, even if they’re not in the roles they should be.  Del Rio needs someone who can make him look like a vicious killer, and Ziggler sells like a madman… this is good booking.

Damien Sandow d Santino

Reports say this one is a simple squash, which is unfortunate for Santino.  That said, Sandow really needs some wins, and a loss will never hurt Santino.  That said, I’d rather see this match get 10 minutes on Raw, with the same outcome.

TRIPLE FREAKING H makes a rare Main Event appearance.  The King of Kings cuts a promo backstage, saying he wants one WWE Champion, and to unify the belts.  I like this, because it’s something important happening on an “unimportant” show, completely separate from the immediate legitimacy Triple H’s presence already adds to the show.

Kofi Kingston d Fandango

This match can only serve one purpose- to further the feud between Kofi and The Miz.  Hopefully The Miz is on commentary (said no one, ever) so he can help push the feud on the mic.

SKIM this show.  Del Rio-Ziggler should be great.  The Sandow match is totally inconsequential.  Triple H will be a special “A-Show” treat on the C-program, and Kingston-Miz is a solid mid-card feud in the making,

SUPERSTARS

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(spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Hey, remember Superstars?  Apparently, it airs Fridays on Hulu Plus.  This week’s show  was taped before Raw on Long Island, which means the crowd had to be REALLY hot for…

Zack Ryder d Fandango

Long Island loves Zack Ryder.  If he’s not on the show, the crowd chants “We Want Ryder!” all friggin’ night – so WWE got his appearance out of the way early.  If these guys are smart, they went Memphis for this bad boy.  The crowd is going to be hot either way, and it’s early in the show – take it easy and use the crowd to tell your story.

The Usos d The Real Americans

A friend at the show said this match was really good.  Considering who’s involved, I have no problem believing it.  Hopefully the crowd is just as good.

SKIM this show.  Watch or skip the opener, depending on your feelings on the guys involved.  But there’s no excuse to miss The Usos vs Cesaro & Swagger, on a show where they probably spent 15 minutes having an awesome match.

SMACKDOWN

WWE-Smackdown

(Spoilers via LordsofPain.net)

Randy Orton & Renee Young are in the ring, forcing Nick to watch the opening segment. (Editor’s Note: He’s right.) Orton brags about Survivor Series but walks out when asked about TLC.  Apparently, we won’t be talking about that OTHER World Champion.

Vickie Guerrero is hosting a Thanksgiving-themed eating competition backstage.  If this doesn’t end with her wearing a face-full of mashed potatoes, then I just don’t know wrestling anymore.

Mark Henry d Curtis Axel.  Quick match, with Big E Langston and Ryback ringside.  I hope this is leading somewhere.  4-way for the title at TLC?

Titus O’Neil wins the eating competition.  Millions of drumsticks, millions of drumsticks.  For some reason, victory here earns him a match against Antonio Cesaro, later in the broadcast.

Los Matadores & El Torito d The Plymouth Rockers

Get it?  Because it’s Thanksgiving.  Prepare to watch a midget bull take out three dudes dressed as pilgrims.

Tons of Funk d R-Truth & Xavier Woods

Apparently, Brodus Clay was upset that Woods stole his theme song, back-up dancers, and spot on TV.  The only way I’m ok with putting the floundering joke of a babyface tag team over the fresh talent from NXT will be if Clay and Sweet-T are turning heel.  But even then, there’s nowhere for them to go.  They’re not surpassing The Shield, The Wyatt Family, or The Real Americans.  They need to legitimize Woods – not have him squashed by the fat jobber tag team.

Bray Wyatt says Daniel Bryan is safe with him.  He says Bryan entered a man, but will leave a monster.  I’m ok with this.

CM Punk and Renee Young are in the ring.  Nick turns up his TV.  The Punker says he hasn’t heard from Daniel Bryan since he was kidnapped by the Wyatts.  He says he doesn’t know why The Shield attacked him on Raw… but thinks maybe they’re following orders from The Authority.

Antonio Cesaro d Titus O’Neil by DQ, when Darren Young interferes.  Yes, the heel won by DQ when the face tag partner interfered.  After the match, Titus pukes in JBL’s cowboy hat (HE ATE TOO MUCH.  GET IT?), and puts the hat on Michael Cole’s head.  Then he pukes on Zeb.  Little kids go nuts.  Everyone else reaches for the remote.

Goldust & Cody Rhodes d Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a tag title match.  The Rhodes boys win by DQ when Dean Ambrose interferes.  Punk comes out to clear house with a chair.  Then Vickie Guerrero comes out, and channels the spirit of Teddy Long.

Goldust, Cody Rhodes & CM Punk vs The Shield ends in a no contest when the lights go out.  The Wyatts are in the ring when they come back on.  The Usos and Rey Mysterio come out to even the odds.  Vickie comes back out once again, Playa, leading to….

Goldust, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio & The Usos d The Shield & The Wyatt Family.

This cluster-f ends when Mysterio hits the 619 on Erick Rowan, who then eats a GTS from CM Punk.  Crowd goes home happy.

SKIM this show.  The tag team gauntlet of exponential growth sounds fun.  The Tons of Funk-Truth/Woods angle could turn into something.  Same with the IC title picture.  Everything else sounds like painful holiday show filler.  DVR is your friend.

@AndyMillerJMS

Watch, Skim or Skip: Spoiler Alert w/ “Angry” Andy (11/13-11/15)

spoiler_t

Over the course of seven days, there’s a lot of wrestling on TV. But only some of it is actually worth watching. That’s where Spoiler Alert comes in: we break down the spoilers of all of WWE’s pre-taped shows to let you know what you should watch, and which segments and full shows you should skim or skip. This week, Bray Wyatt and his Dueling Banjoes Band wreak havoc on  SmackDown, and Main Event manages to make less sense than NXT only being available on Hulu.   

Main Event

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(spoilers via LordsOfPain.net)

This is usually a pretty good, logical show.  This week?  I’m not so sure.

Natalya d AJ Lee via DQ (DIVAS TITLE MATCH)

That’s right; we’re starting this bad boy with an poorly advertised Divas title match — there was a convoluted callback on Raw where they briefly showed AJ getting Sharpshootered by Natalya two weeks ago on SmackDown —  featuring the most popular diva since Trish Stratus.

Anyway, Nattie takes the win when Tamina interferes, and AJ runs away through the crowd with the title. Hopefully this angle is acknowledged on a future show, Nattie gets a little revenge on Tamina, and an honest title shot against AJ Lee. I won’t hold my breath.

Justin Gabriel d Tyson Kidd

Everything about this match is wrong. EVERYTHING. For starters, Kidd JUST CAME BACK from injury, and has been kinda-pushed on Raw for the last two weeks. Having him job out on the show nobody watches is mind-boggling.

Secondly, before Kidd got hurt, these guys were teaming regularly. Why are they wrestling each other? Why aren’t they taking on The Real Americans? The Shield? The Wyatts? The Ascension? Why are they fighting EACHOTHER, WITH NO BUILDUP?

Third, both of these guys, last I checked, were faces. Their styles pretty much demand it. Either of these guys playing the heel….sucks. It just sucks.

3MB d R-Truth & The Prime Time Players

You read that correctly. The guys who job twice a week to a team with a tiny bull mascot just pulled off a win. Who’d they beat? The guy who JUST BEAT RYBACK CLEAN. Who else? The team that, just a few short months ago, seemed destined for the tag titles. So much for THAT face turn.

SKIP this show… the booking is illogical and the results are inconsequential. Watching this show would be a mentally-exhausting waste of time.

SmackDown

WWE-Smackdown

 (spoilers via WrestleZone.com)

Main event is announced as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs Ryback and Curtis Axel. Considering what Heyman had to say about Ryback on Raw, I see this show ending very badly for Mr. Joe Hennig.

Luke Harper & Erick Rowan d The Usos

Bray cuts a promo after the match, and is attacked by an Uso. Wyatt has him visit Sister Abigail, then finishes his promo – promising victory against Punk and D-Bry at Survivor Series.

Ryback is backstage. The former Paul Heyman guy doesn’t want to team with the least-successful Paul Heyman guy ever.  Who would?

Natalya d Tamina

Oh look, follow-up to that disaster on Main Event. AJ Lee gets knocked off the apron. Hopefully this is going somewhere, considering all three of these women can actually, you know, wrestle. The only way Nattie will ever get the title, though, is if she turns around and hands it to Summer Rae. The clueless announcers call her Mrs. Fandango. I call her the future Mrs. Angry Andy—and the future Divas Champion.

R-Truth & The Prime Time Players d 3MB

This does NOT excuse what you did on Main Event. Period.

John Cena d Alberto Del Rio in an ARM WRESTLING MATCH

This one was 2 out of 3 falls, so Cena won 2-0. Naturally. Del Rio says “oh yeah?” and puts him through a table.  Nothing builds the reputation of a damaged title while simultaneously selling a pay-per-view like an arm wrestling match (WITH WEP-UNS.)

Cameron & Naomi d The Bella Twins

Were Asksana and Alicia Fox busy? At least the babyfaces won, I guess. Oh, wait. They are all faces, but less over than HBAJ and Sheisel.

The Great Khali d Hunico & Camacho

Welcome back, Hunico!  Maybe you’d be better off taking some piggy-back bookings from Chris Hero.

CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs Ryback & Curtis Axel

This one ends in a no contest, when the Wyatt Family attacks.  The lights go out, and when they come on, all former WWE Champions have disappeared.  The Wyatts still need to complete their Deliverance roleplay, so make Ryback and Axel squeal like piggies instead.  Punk and Bryan come out from under the ring and attack Rowan and Harper.  Bray Wyatt escapes up the ramp.

SKIM this show.  DVR is your friend.  This one starts and ends strong with a LOT of filler sandwiched in between.

@AndyMillerJMS

Watch and Learn: Bray Wyatt

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For every #Kane worthy of his own Week, there is a Bray Wyatt: A young performer hoping to make his mark in the business. Thankfully, we’re here to help them same way we would any other athlete: give him tape He Should Watch. And loving our readers like we do, we have some tape You Should Watch of the work that reminds us of his, and because  what’s more fun than old wrestling videos?

He Should Watch

Bray Wyatt is protected as well as any rising star of the last decade: he has never run off like a scalded dog, never received the beatdown of a righteous babyface, or failed to do anything he promised he would. Even more importantly, he hasn’t been over-exposed on television. Fans tune into WWE TV hoping to see Wyatt rather than expecting it. Because of this mature, old-school booking sensibility, Bray Wyatt feels like one of WWE’s most special talents, even though he’s never held any title or taken part in any real feud out of a (pardon the pun) hot-shotted “Ring of Fire” match with Kane at Summerslam.

The collective feeling is that when a fitting spot opens up at the top of the card, Wyatt will be jetpacked up into it. Is Bray Wyatt really main event ready, though? Surely he’s a talented, intriguing figure, but he would do well to study up and develop his character further before stepping into the big time.

Like Raven.

Raven was a mysterious, cult leader heel just like Wyatt. But Raven did not talk around what his intentions were, taking pains to explain why the outcasts of the world should fall in behind him by using intensely emotional rhetoric. Raven knew how to tell the story of a twisted, tragic past in a way that put people on the edge of their seats. His brilliance, however, was in staying heel. Somehow, he could talk about being abused and bullied, but still keep his face just enough in the shadows that he remained a boogeyman figure.

Wyatt definitely has the charisma to pull off a promo like Raven’s, but he needs to find a balance with the way he speaks and uses body language to present himself in a way that is not just evil, but evil you can believe in(Editor’s Note: Kane). Raven made it believable that he could manipulate his followers into doing anything, but he also took pains to portray a character who was deeply damaged. Just a tenth of Raven’s emotional subtlety would put Wyatt in the category of great star.

Another valuable lesson Wyatt could learn from Raven would be how to get his character across during actual matches. One thing fans have learned about Wyatt in the ring is that he likes to take his time. This is a time-honored tradition of nearly all heels (especially big man heels), but the problem is that Wyatt’s signature flavor doesn’t really come across in any appreciable way during his matches. Crabwalking like the girl from The Exorcist is a nice start, but before Bray Wyatt becomes a main event star, Windham Rotunda needs to figure out how Bray Wyatt would fight someone.

The magic of professional wrestling is that with the right personality and a well-thought-out approach, you don’t actually have to be good at, well, wrestling professionally. Raven was never a “I can’t believe what I just saw” worker, but he understood how to make himself simultaneously mean, desperate, and remorseless. His offense clearly communicated his character’s take-on-the-world fury while his impish cowardice came across in the way he would wail and moan after bumping for his opponent or run and hide behind his lackeys.

If Bray Wyatt can add a dash of Raven’s emotional authenticity to his promos and learn to get his character across in the ring half as well, he will certainly be a main event star for the WWE. As it stands, Wyatt is a talented midcard wrestler, but the potion that will catapult him into the big time is character development, character development, character development.

– Dave

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You Should Watch

Waylon Mercy, for one, is a clear influence on Bray Wyatt, but in the way that The Joker was a clear influence for Joker Sting. There’s also, of course, Mideon. Who was as uh, pleasantly plump, as Bray, if lacking sorely in the agility part of the comparison. Which brings us to the Platonic ideal of what Bray Wyatt could be: Bam Bam Bigelow.

A mainstay of great “big man” discussions, Scottie from Asbury Park, NJ was as gifted a behemoth as the world will ever see. Warren Sapp in full body tights, he could — and did — work with anyone on the roster for any type of match. There’s a reason he was the guy they pegged to work with LT, and even more importantly, there’s a reason that match was an actually enjoyable match.

(Hint: it’s not Taylor)



And while there’s surely a decent amount that Bray could learn from Bam Bam, let’s be honest: there’s never going to be anyone like him ever again. A full 100 pounds heavier than Wyatt, the Beast from the East wasn’t just good, he was a revelation. Wyatt could spend the rest of his life watching every single bit of tape the man ever worked on and still might not be able to do 1/3 of what he could do in the ring. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check him out, because if you’ll like what Bray Wyatt does, you’ll LOVE what Bam Bam was able to do during his prime.

Like his matches with Bret Hart, including this one from a show in Barcelona:

and his run in ECW, which included memorable bouts with RVD and of course, the bananas work he did with the likes of Taz, Sabu:

Taz vs Bam Bam Bigelow ECW Living Dangerously… by TheWholefknShow420

Heatwave: Tazz vs Bam Bam Bigelow by TheKingOfOldSkool

Sabu vs Taz vs Bam Bam Bigelow by ROH4ever

and even his Triple Threat partner, Shane Douglas:

Bam Bam vs. Shane Douglas, ECW Title by Stinger1981

While much of his best work came after the bright lights of Hartford, for his most famous match in, the main event of WrestleMania XII, but almost all of it is things You Should, most definitely, Watch.

#KaneWeek: GIF Parade

KaneDanielBryanHug

It’s Day Three of #KaneWeek, a celebration of all things Big Red Monster and the ninth installment in our patent-pending Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week series. We started off with A Wrestler You Should Probably Know Better, before we gave you the finer points of the Dr. Isaac Yankem oeuvre with some Essential Viewing. Today, we march through the Hump Day with a GIF parade and, because we love you, give you some hidden gems from Glen Jacob’s back catalog later on. Tomorrow we’ll make our “Amazon.com on steroids” dream come true with Juice Make Sugar Recommends… before finishing everything off on Friday with a Difference of Opinion (where JMS HQ erupts in a Hellfire-and-brimstone-fueled civil war.) 

Kane loves fire. Like Billy Gunn loved asses.

He loves giant video of it.

KaneVideoFire

working in rings surrounded by it,

KaneTakerFire

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and hang out around with his friends outside of it.

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He also seems to have some control over it, especially w/r/t getting it to come out of the ringposts.

KaneRingFire

He doesn’t use this power responsibly, though. Setting people on fire ALL THE TIME. From Good Ol JR

KaneJRFire

to totally random co-workers.

KaneCameramanFire

Even members of his own family

KaneCasketFire

But Kane isn’t all bad, and he has his fans

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Maybe he just needed a hug.

KaneDanielBryanHug

Headlock’d: Veil of Ignorance

Low Ki retires on Twitter, Wyatt gets D-listed and You’ll never guess who was this week’s World Heavyweight Championship Douche Canoe, Dude!

Let’s Lock Up!