Welcome to the latest edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This week with Marc Madison. Once again, this column is intended to be light in nature, and allows fans to explore (or even suggest) some of the more out there, unusual events in wrestling for a given week. It would be safe to say there are enough highly-detailed accounts of matches and stories out there already. Here, we’ll dive into a few occurrences from the week that stood out since their strange nature is something that should be highlighted. Why? Because you the good readers of TJR deserve that.
Readers can see above a snazzy banner courtesy of Steve Melo, TJR’s resident graphic guru. You can anticipate something outside normal online wrestling culture when it comes to the (generally) bi-weekly edition of this column. We may focus on a tweet from a wrestler, an image, a scenario, a match or even a storyline, and really hope to lighten your day in the process. This week’s edition includes a twitter announcement, living breathing monsters, a nineteen-year-old caught in a time warp and a jaded love interest that may just boil a pet bunny. Without further ado, here is the Strange Things In Wrestling for the week of January 15th to the 20th.
Did Peter Gabriel write Tyler Bate’s theme song?
To see Tyler Bate, you might think he was stuck in a time warp, with his dapper mustache and Vaudvillian (not sure if that’s a word or not) look. His look suggests that he should have competed during the 1940s, or perhaps should throw fisticuffs with Jack Gallagher. What fans may not have noticed is the uncanny resemblance between Bate’s theme song and the hit song Sledgehammer, by former Genesis member Peter Gabriel. If you’ve never heard the song, it has lots of big wind instruments and really gets your attention. So when Tyler Bate came out waving his hand and looking all ‘manly,’ it seemed a little strange that the 19 year old would walk to the ring with a theme similar to a song that is older than him.
Now maybe it’s because both are British, or maybe down deep Peter Gabriel has an affinity for guys acting older than they are (even though they’re actually half the age that they are portraying.( If that was a mouthful to read, think about how that felt to try and type!)) What is even stranger is that there is also a musician by the name of Peter Dunne, the same name as Bate’s villainous opponent in the UK championship final. Now we don’t know if he is bruiser weight like his wrestling namesake, but after seeing his picture we tend to doubt it. By the way, reading about a singer from the past in a wrestling column was probably not even on your radar, right?
Who knew Monsters feared Beasts
Sure, in reading this title, you would think it had something to do with a JK Rowling book, something about Fantastic Beasts. But we aren’t referring to the evilest of evil beings or creepiest of characters that rose from the sea. We aren’t talking Godzilla versus King Kong or the Loch Ness Monster versus the Jolly Green Giant. (Fine, that last combination seems a little less frightening.) When Raw began this week we saw the ring fill up with the biggest names on the brand, in Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. Some of these men have a good chance to win the Royal Rumble. It was precisely at that moment when a familiar sound echoed through the areana, as Brock Lesnar walked to the ring.
Of all the match ups fans may want to see, a Braun Strowman/Brock Lesnar one would have to be one of them just for sheer shock value. When Brock arrived in the ring, Strowman initially stood on the apron. But after briefly standing face to face, Strowman backed down. We presume that the sheer sight of Brock up close was too much for Braun to handle. Was it his size? His presence? Could it be his incarnateness (yeah, I don’t think that’s a word either, but it seemed to work)? We could speculate all day long and twice on Sunday, but as it stands we have no other conclusion but to think that Braun is scared of Brock, because in wrestling that’s what it means when a big oversized strongman walks away from another..no?
Angle being inducted in the 2017 Hall of Fame isn’t weird, but…
..he knows magic! Or so one may think, after his disappearing act from Impact wrestling last year, which led to speculation was that he’d re-join the WWE. Fans no doubt want to see him in action with the Royal Rumble set to take place, and that could still happen. We’re all very excited about Angle’s induction, and glad that, as hes put it, he’s coming home. Mind you, it doesn’t say much about his thoughts about his time in TNA if home was and is WWE. What it does say is that all that has ever mattered to Angle was returning to the promotion that first brought him in.
As mentioned by TJR’s own John Canton, the reasoning behind promoting Angle’s induction makes sense since tickets for the upcoming induction ceremony went on sale this week. What seems weird is that they may arrange a return to the WWE ring after his announced induction into the Hall of fame. That may not be the strangest thing that WWE has done, but from a fan’s perspective it’s odd since a return to the ring isn’t usually announced after a pending induction into the WWE’s Hall of Fame is announced. We won’t split hairs over strange, heck that’s what we’re all about here. We’re all about that…and pancakes. Everyone loves pancakes.
Single Black Female
Clever title..maybe? Anyway, in the event that you aren’t sure what I am referring to, years ago there was a film that came out about an obsessed woman who puts out an ad looking for a Single White Female roommate, and what we got was a batsh*** crazy woman that ended up terrorizing her roommate. So while personal ads aren’t listed within WWE (although, we aren’t sure, with some of their storylines, if that’s an impossibility,) this could very well be where things are headed with Alicia Fox. Recall the events of last week, her passionate kiss with Noam Dar, and the confused manner that she acted during her then boyfriend Cedric Alexander’s match against Dar. The end result was Alexander blowing her off and telling her that she and Dar can have one another.
Alexander didn’t look like he was really all that heartbroken. The strange nature of this storyline has meant that Fox has once again become completely unhinged. Will she terrorize her ex-boyfriend like Jennifer Jason Leigh did to Bridget Fonda? We aren’t sure, but we will continue to follow the storyline to find out if she puts in an ad on match.com (cheap plug). As for Alexander, for all we know he could very well be holding out for the debut of Emmalina …hahaha yeah that isn’t likely. He’d like to be involved with someone sometime this century.
Ain’t that a kick to chest
In a strange turn of events, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler returned to television, for a King’s Court segment, which he has hosted from time to time. It was strange to see Lawler back since it had been said he was all but gone from television. His job was to interview the recently turned heel Dolph Ziggler. It was during this segment that Ziggler brought up Lawler’s heart attack back in 2012. The story being pitched was that the attack occurred because Ziggler hit his consecutive elbows, and it threw Lawler’s heart rhythm off.
I don’t know if that could happen or not, as I’m not a doctor and won’t pretend to be one. But I’m thinking if I had a heart condition that maybe competing against others would be the last thing I’d want to do. Whether or not he actually knew he had a heart condition, even to be in the ring at his age probably wasn’t the best choice. Ziggler decided that it would be ideal to kick Lawler in the chest because he’s doing his part to be a jerk, and must have thought, hey, guess what, I almost killed you! Let’s try again! Ziggler‘s kick just showed that he’ll do anything.
And that brings to a close a few of the odder circumstances that took place over the course of the week in wrestling. Sure, we could have gone into more detail, pointing out how Tony Nese is a well-groomed version of Neville, that the authority figures were (thankfully) in hiding on Raw, or that Braun Strowman grunts in Morse code, but we held back. It would be easy to be overly nitpicky about each and every moment, but we won’t do that either. Each week we may explore something new and different that stood out that particular week.
Does that mean we will ask whether bottle flip challenges and dabbing should make a comeback, or if Mickie James is the Smackdown Live version of Crazy Alicia Fox? We will save that for another week. There are so many other moments that readers may have noticed that we encourage them to share with us any comments or queries about the lighter side of wrestling that we can explore from week to week.
For TJRWrestling this is Marc Madison saying, look out for the stranger things in wrestling, and if not, at least have fun reading about it.