Welcome to the return of Strange Things In Wrestling. As a refresher, this column intends to highlight anything from the world of wrestling with odd, unique, quirky, or possibly bizarre qualities because that’s what makes them stand out.
We’ll dive deep into a handful of different things, stories whose strange nature is something that should be featured. Keep in mind – strange much like anything open for discussion is subjective. Remember, one person’s odd is another person’s completely acceptable. And I’m not saying they can’t be both; I’m just saying I really should stop talking because it’s hard to talk with your foot in your mouth.
In this month’s edition, we tackle why a former dancer gimmick could be a deathmatch participant; it could be a New Day for a new King of the Ring, the forbidden door swinging open once again, a wrestler who is dancing and dressed up like a genie while he was at it and another second-generation wrestler in NXT 2.0 not being initially recognized as a second-generation. Yes, it seems to be a trend! They are fun, they are refreshing, and they make you think! Well, they may make you think, but they are without a shadow of a doubt anything we thought about….in July! So, without further ado, here are Strange Things in Wrestling This Month, October 2021.
Dirty (Fan)Dango in GCW
— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) October 4, 2021
Da na, da na, da na na, da na (repeat). Alright, so while the attempt to resing the Fandango theme song likely will fall on deaf ears, what won’t is where he is slated to compete on his time on the independent circuit. Fans will recall that the Fandango character in the WWE was initially a dancer and then would team with Tyler Breeze to become Breezango and reach another level of success. However, after he was released from the WWE, Fandango would become Dirty Dango. With his new name (sort of) came a new sense of purpose and opportunity. That opportunity was to branch out and create scenarios for himself that help him, his opposition, and the promotions he would be competing in.
One such promotion is a place that is as notable a place in wrestling as any independent promotion anywhere in the world, Game Changer Wrestling. For fans of GCW, no explanation is needed; however, for those critical of GCW, no explanation will do. The home to Nick Gage and a place that has seen the likes of Matt Cardona and Jon Moxley compete on will now welcome Dirty (fan)Dango to its ring. In a video that aired on October 3rd, by GCW it was a snippet that Fan DANGO would be in Atlantic City. Whether it was going to be a deathmatch or not, the notion that fans would be able to see Dirty Dango competing in GCW is something they likely couldn’t have predicted six months ago. Oh, and the weird thing? He didn’t actually appear at the show.
Xavier Woods Trending for King of the Ring
— Austin #HailKingWoods – Future King of The Ring (@AustinCreedWins) October 20, 2021
With the announcement and return of the WWE King of the Ring at Crown Jewel 2021, it came with certain exciting possibilities. Those same possibilities included Cesaro or Finn Balor or possibly Happy Corbin returning to claim the crown. What likely wasn’t anticipated was the social media trend of having New Day member Xavier Woods becoming King of the Ring. While the idea of Woods winning it would be fresh, new, and exciting, it isn’t one that ‘the powers that be’ would likely have stood behind. So while it is unique in its concept, it likely isn’t from their initial booking. With that said, anything can happen with enough of a response behind it, especially when we add that the person trending is the one New Day member who hasn’t been granted the same singles opportunities as his teammates, Kofi Kingston and Big E.
Additionally, Woods has a massive presence on social media. With his gaming channel and hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and UpUpDownDown, Woods could bring a savvy, King of all Media Presence to the title of King of the Ring. Although Howard Stern would likely have an issue with the King of all Media, Woods may turn it into King of The Social Media Ring. That in itself is a pretty neat feat.
Solo Sikoa not Sefa Fatu or…Jett Uso
On the October 12th edition of NXT 2.0, the name Solo Sikoa would appear. There are particular ties to a Samoan heritage for it, no question. As it should be because, well, the performer is indeed Samoan. It isn’t rare for a wrestler to adopt a new name as it was here. The strange, in fact, bizarre part here, Bron Breakker notwithstanding, is that the man with the name is the problem. Wait, check that he isn’t a problem like he’s difficult to work with or a headcase he is in fact, ‘The Problem…Sefa Fatu. Does the name sound familiar. If it doesn’t, then the last name does. Fatu is the youngest son of Junior Fatu, otherwise known as Rikishi. So as that goes, so do his ties to the Anoai family. Therefore, if Rikishi is his dad, then that would mean that Jimmy and Jey Uso are his older brothers.
Yes, that is, in fact, the case. Sikoa comes from a clearly notable family, DYNASTY and Bloodline. With his cousin, Roman Reigns leading the charge on SmackDown to not recognize it as anything other than Uso is silly. So while there is no name tied to another Uso brother in the WWE, I went out on a limp and used what I thought was both a cool name and one that used the familiar ‘J’ letter like his brothers Jimmy and Jey. Could Jett Uso work? Probably. Eh, if AEW can call some of their wrestlers PILLARS. Ahem, then WWE is fine to steal this name too. But if it does, should I copyright it now in hopes of earning on it? Name I wouldn’t want to take food off the table from the other side of the head of the table?
Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki in 2021…on YouTube
If the statement “what a time to be alive for a wrestling fan” could ever be true, it would be now. That could easily be met with “pinch me, am I dreaming” or even the better suited “am I living in a time warp?” If any of the previous sentiments could best describe the bizarre that is coming our way in wrestling; it is these ones. On Friday, October 15th, at AEW’s Buy-In before AEW Rampage, a match took place between ‘The King’ Minoru Suzuki and ‘The American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson. While the idea of the 54-year-old Suzuki (a wrestling marvel, actually) and the 40-year-old Danielson (as technically sound as he ever was) faced one another and on YouTube is incredible. To think five years ago, Danielson’s career was ‘over’ and that he was forced to retire. Fast forward five years later, and not only is he back wrestling, he is having dream match after dream match.
It should be noted that while there was nothing at stake for either man other than to create a moment, is it blissfully bizarre that these two would beat the living hell out of one another for the enjoyment of wrestling fans. Yes, only in wrestling could you see to men in at mid-life look to satisfy the masses. We aren’t complaining; we just think we’re actually dreaming at the idea that this even took place.
Genie Miz on Dancing with the Stars (an image we can’t unsee)
For several wrestlers, the program Dancing with the Stars has offered talent a chance to grow. Whether that means to grow as performers or entertainers, there is some form of growth…or something. One of these opportunities that presented itself was for former World Champion, Intercontinental, and Tag Team Champion, The Miz, to participate in the program. So the bizarre part isn’t the fact that he’s dancing. It isn’t the fact that he is performing. Heck, it isn’t even that he’s on the program. The rather uniqueness of his inclusion on STIWTM is that he dressed up like The Genie during one performance. I mean, we likely will never have a friend like him, but why not dress like Aladdin?
Although the idea of appearing as the Blue Genie could have had some wrestling tie-in, in some strange way, could he have been trying to channel his inner Blue Meanie? Was that, in fact, a shout-out to the blue World order? Probably not. But this is a column loosely tied to wrestling, and sometimes we just go on a limb to seek wrestling tie-ins even when wrestling isn’t even mentioned. Thankfully he didn’t hit the skull-crushing finale on his partner. That would have sure been what led to them being eliminated. He continues to excel on the show, and best of luck to him in his quest to be a winner on both DWTS and this month’s edition of STIWTM. Two abbreviations in one sentence; it’s like a whole new world reading it!
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