Welcome to the newest edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison. Once again, this column won’t try to dazzle you with a conspiracy theory or try to understand why Enzo Amore still does the running man challenge when it lost its relevance in 2016. However, we will explore some of the things that caught us off guard this week, and why they stood out. They aren’t intended to confuse or have you lose sleep at night, but rather get you to think about why some of the most minuscule moments stood out. You can anticipate something outside normal online wrestling culture when it comes to this (generally) bi-weekly column.
This week’s edition includes clothing choices of one kind or another, a wrestler’s insistence on trying the protein being served, and how music doesn’t fit a certain wrestler’s character. We won’t point out how Noam Dar is the Single Supernova, but that doesn’t mean Corey Graves won’t! Without further ado, here are Strange Things In Wrestling for the week of April 24th to 28th.
No, really Dean you shouldn’t have…really
This past week saw a rather interesting union, as Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose arrived at a truce and came together to form a tag team. Ambrose attempted to make amends by giving Jericho a new jacket to make up for the $15,000 or $25,000 (value depending on the week) jacket he destroyed when they feuded prior to the brand split. What he received looked like something that would be worn by Mick Foley or Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This took place during the Ambrose Asylum, where Jericho, Ambrose, The Miz, and Maryse were all in attendance. It was a pretty nasty green jacket with Christmas lights strung around it.
We aren’t saying that the gesture wasn’t ‘nice,’ or that it didn’t have some type of redeeming quality. In fact, Ambrose was trying to say ‘please forgive me’ and ‘I’m sorry’ all at the same time. The result was a rather awkward combination, as Jericho didn’t seem completely sold on Ambrose during a backstage segment. Could it be that Jericho just couldn’t appreciate such a tremendous gesture? Could it be that that the shade of green looked like someone had thrown up on a polyester jacket? Well, perhaps Ambrose is just pretty thrifty, and frugal when it comes to spending money on gifts. We’d like to think he spent more money on a wedding ring. Then again, we aren’t sure if the ring glows in the dark, or if it is as cool a ring pop. After all, ring pops rule!
TJ Perkins music just doesn’t seem to fit a heel
Perkins is a gifted and crafty wrestler. He has a great move set, and few can match his combination of moves in the ring. As a face, he could come to the ring with the clever video game themed music and big screen display, and it just made sense. When he was the Cruiserweight champion, it just seemed to work well. However, over the past few weeks, Perkins has undergone, as they say, a ‘character change’. He doesn’t have the same face qualities that made him liked by the fans. So what happens when your character appears stuck in neutral, or even in reverse? The answer is simple: it is time to change direction and have the face that everyone had come to enjoy watching do a complete 180 and become a heel.
When he defeated Austin Aries with the help of a distraction by Neville, fans didn’t think very much of it. However, once Aries paid his attention to Neville after the match, he was attacked from behind by Perkins! Fans didn’t see it coming and the end result really worked out well for not only Neville but Perkins as well. As the weeks have passed, one problem that has arisen with Perkins is that theme music. The video game themed entrance that fit the face Perkins doesn’t seem to work as well when people are supposed to jeer him. It’s like Super Mario Bros walking out when their arch-nemesis is supposed to be there.
Table of Kevin Nash?
On the most recent ‘Table for 3′ on the WWE Network, AJ Styles, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash had a casual chat. There was an attempt to find common ground among the three of them, but at times it felt as though they were reaching. There are some connections, such as AJ Styles having worked with Kevin Nash, and of course Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash are long-time friends who also have a great working relationship. However, the table was somewhat awkward as there wasn’t the connection like on past editions with different wrestlers. It was fun, and sure the beef probably tasted as great as Kevin Nash claimed, but the only commonality was Kevin Nash had worked with both guys.
Fans were left thinking ‘what if?’ regarding AJ Styles and Shawn Michaels working a program together. There wasn’t a hint or suggestion that they would come together, and that is fine. However, to say ‘You did too sweet, and we do too sweet because you did too sweet’ just seemed as though they were reaching. While Sean Waltman was credited for being the guy that came up with the gesture for the nWo, it was actually Finn Balor who established the Bullet Club, which isn’t typically talked about.
It was fine, but it felt a little strange because it seemed like they were listing attempts at common bonds when there wasn’t a true bond between Styles and Michaels other than a potential dream match. In fact, having Michaels essentially say he wouldn’t be able to do what he did squashes that bond. Styles could have said that he is from the south and Michaels is from the south too, and they both like barbecue, but that would have been more reaching. Although I do hear Texas barbecue is pretty damn good.
Kevin Owens can battle people in a suit!
When AJ Styles faced off against Baron Corbin on Smackdown Live this week, the two men had a pretty heated affair. It was clear that the they were capable of putting on a match that warranted the attention of two men that are contending for the United States Championship. Both men hit their signature moves, and the result was Styles ultimately coming out victorious after he was able to roll Corbin up for a count of three. What was remarkable wasn’t the match itself, or the story that Corbin and Styles were able to tell in the ring. The most remarkable thing came after the match when United States Champion Kevin Owens came into the ring and attacked Styles. Owens didn’t just beat down Styles, he was able to do it while wearing a suit and tie. Fans will recall that Owens generally doesn’t dress this way. However, as the ‘Face of America,’ he may be trying to act like a certain US President. His suit-clad beat down wasn’t just on Styles, but on Sami Zayn as well, as he suffered the same fate. While we could thank Owens for his ability to fight with a suit, a huge thank you should go to the wonderful tailors that made it! Despite every punch, every kick, and every forearm, Owens never tore his suit. #SuitOwensSuit
Baron Corbin hates referees trying to save Sami Zayn more than he hates Sami Zayn
After his match with AJ Styles, Baron Corbin faced a charging Sami Zayn who came to the defense of Styles during the aforementioned post-match beat down. While the result of the match says little about what the future for Styles, Corbin, and Owens, it does say more about what may lay ahead for Zayn. During Smackdown Live’s weekly post-show program Talking Smack, Sami was one of this week’s guests. He was welcomed by JBL and Renee Young, who discussed Zayn’s joining of the brand and how it will create opportunities for him on Smackdown Live. While he discussed a number of topics, when he began to talk about Baron Corbin the mood began to change. After he began to share his opinions about the Corbin, The Lone Wolf attacked him, beating him down and tossing him around from one end of the desk to the other. While the beat down on Sami was the intent of the segment, what probably wasn’t was Corbin’s reaction to someone trying to prevent him from continuing his attack.
If you watched, you saw a referee to the left of Corbin attempt to stop him, only to be tossed so hard that he appeared to hit the floor hard enough to be legitimately incapacitated. Corbin immediately appeared mournful, as he pretty much had an ‘Uh, I think I pushed that guy pretty hard’ look on his face.
So ends another edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison for the week of April 28th. (That title is certainly something that would go well with a fine wine and sharp-tasting cheese.) We covered everything from referees being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to tailors who know how to fit the champ perfectly and ensure that nothing splits while making him look sharp in the process. We witnessed a table of three where only Kevin Nash got to appreciate the beef and a strange jacket that appeared to be over with the crowd.
For Strange Things In Wrestling, this is Marc Madison saying, if you catch the strange things in wrestling, be sure to always make fun of them. It’s why they are there.
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