Wednesday, March 10, 1999
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
The next star of wrestling?
Wrestling in the '90s has evolved significantly from the brand of entertainment that fans used to enjoy 10 years ago. Many fans are now more aware of how a final product is put together and promoters and bookers have adjusted to this accordingly. Story lines are now arguably more intricate than they were in previous decades; and the line between fiction, or "work", and reality is often blurred for the purpose of creating drama and intrigue. Wrestlers now have more complex personas as well. No longer do we cheer on the saccharine-sweet hero figure or boo the one-dimensional evil villain with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Now, seemingly, good is okay and bad is spectacular. In a world where fans look up to a man who give them the finger, cheer on people who tell them to suck "it" if they "aren't down with them" and boo wrestlers who attempt to be chivalrous (a la Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett keeping Debra from stripping nude a couple of pay-per-views ago) or honest (like when Bret Hart, during his anti-American stint in the WWF two years ago, criticized the U.S. for not providing adequate health care to its citizens), we are genuinely in the age of the anti-hero.
It is with this premise in mind that I present a new breed of wrestler: someone that is, in the words of George Costanza of Seinfeld, "the exact opposite of every man [or wrestler] you've ever met".
This man will have all the charisma of El Dandy, the eloquence of Ahmed Johnson, and the interview skills of Ernest Miller. He will have the sense of humour of Scott Norton, the wit of Ric Steiner, and the flair and grace of the Brooklyn Brawler.
He will have the physique of Bastion Booger, the dashing good looks of Ralphus, and the fashion sense of Norman Smiley (because little elf-boots NEVER go out of style). He will have the size of Gillberg, the strength of Yamaguchi-san from Kaientai, and the lightning speed of Viscera.
In terms of wrestling acumen, he will have the technical skills of Horace, the agility of Hulk Hogan, the aerial skills of the Big Bossman, and the submission repertoire of Mideon. He will have the in-ring endurance of Paul Bearer, the intensity of the Barbarian and the tenacity of David Flair.
This wrestler will have no name, other than "That guy who's in the ring right now". He will use no catch phrases, other than "Look at me, I'm a wrestler!" or "My nose is itchy", and his entrance music will be the theme song to Growing Pains (because nothing gets wrestling fans more pumped up than hearing the theme song to Growing Pains). His finishing move will be an arm bar, and his setup will be asking his opponent "Do you mind if I put an arm bar on you?"
In my opinion, this wrestler has the potential to be the biggest thing since sliced bread.The way I figure it, we cheer on virtually anything these days, as long as it's something different; and it doesn't get more different than this guy. This wrestler will be so horrible that he'll be great; so uncool that he'll be the coolest thing going. Try not to cheer him on -- if you dare!
Domenic Trotti is from Rexdale, ON, and can be emailed at email@example.com.