Welcome to the latest edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Month with Marc Madison. It has been a few months since we explored some of the weird and awkward moments in wrestling, as things have been mostly tame, and few things could be considered strange unless it involves TGI Friday’s or Wendy’s exchanging tweets with wrestlers or related to wrestling. As a refresher, the intention of this column is 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.
In this month’s edition, we tackle a Twitter spat between a former WWE star and a former WCW star, a fan coming to the aid of his daughter for something that happened to her, a former sexy boy being the recipient of a Mad Men like makeover, a state commission putting restrictions on certain wrestling moves, and a defeat for the undefeatable. Without further ado, here are Strange Things in Wrestling This Month.
Cody and Disco Inferno Twitter Beef
In what was a war of words where diverging beliefs were exchanged, Cody managed to get the better of Glenn ‘Disco Inferno’ Gilbertti in their argument about the state of wrestling today. Many contend that wrestling is approached differently by talent today than it was in the past, though that is still up for debate. However, what isn’t up for debate was how Cody responded to Disco, who had voiced his opinion that wrestlers today are less concerned about each other when they are in the ring than in the past. Disco feels that the risks taken today are unnecessary, and points to the injuries sustained by today’s talent. Disco posted this contention on Twitter in response to a photo that Cody shared his split eyebrow.
When Cody read Disco’s tweet he was quick to respond, possibly while still in character, and pointed out things such as Disco’s drawing ability and where he used to be on the card. For those unaware, disco is often a lightning rod for criticism due to statements he makes either on podcasts or social media, statements that seem somewhat dated. Regardless of who was right or wrong, it was strange to see what seemed to be a random exchange between these two on Twitter.
Father attacks Wrestler that goes out of his way to being a heel
As a parent, and a fan of WWE, I realize that there are things that can and may happen at an event that may feel uncomfortable. For the most part everything that happens is pre-determined and done with the intention of generating a reaction. It’s pretty straightforward stuff: a heel screams in your face and you boo in their face. As recently as the lead up to NXT Takeover: New Orleans, we had the visual of Tomasso Ciampa getting into the face of an elderly lady who had no problem mixing it up, and didn’t back down from the Sicilian psychopath in the least. She actually had fans siding with her and cheering her on. However, there are lines that are not crossed by either the fans or the talent. Fans are reminded that if you get into the ring all bets are off, and the talent have every right to take liberties with you to protect themselves.
What if, however, we weren’t talking about fans being the issue, but the talent. Maybe the fan was no more than eight years old and didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, we have the case of someone taking their character too seriously, with the result actually being the irate parent that takes matters into their own hands. Wrestler Devin Danger was making his way to the ring, and he thought in his infinite wisdom that it would be a bright idea to not only fake a handshake (which isn’t a problem) but to spit gum on a child. Just as Danger got to the ring, the father of the child attacked him. I can’t say I blame the father, as it was not just a strange thing for a wrestler to do, but a really stupid one as well.
Shawn Michaels’ hair
Change is necessary as we get older. The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, is well known to have changed who he is as a person from his younger days to the later years of his career. During his career with WWE, her was known for a number of different things: highly competitive matches, flamboyant entrances and rather immature behavior. However, when he embraced his renewed faith, his ring gear and his private persona changed as well.
However, if there was one thing that Michaels was always known for it was his long, flowing locks. So when he cut his hair and the results were photographed. The results put the internet wrestling community into a frenzy. Everything from memes to quotes to t-shirts has been made commemorating Michaels having his hair superkicked…off.
Why the big fuss? It may be because of it just such a change from how fans have always known him since he’s been in the public spotlight for over 30 years. When Michaels was asked about it, he didn’t understand the fuss about it and didn’t think the person who took the photo would have capitalized on it. Regardless, it was still a fairly strange occurrence either way.
Louisiana commission restrictions
Before Wrestlemania took place, New Orleans was in a frenzy for what was to happen and how exciting the event, and all the surrounding events, we’re going to be. Fans were excited, sponsors were excited and talent was excited. Well, that should be qualified when we say that talent was excited. During Wrestlemania weekend in New Orleans, talent working for both WWE and Ring of Honor were absolved from having to comply with a certain set of standards and practices that were put in place for any other visiting wrestling promotion.
The set of guidelines included a ban on: all variations of the Pile Driver; all variations of the Power Bomb; the “Moonsault”, “Shooting Star”, or “450 Splash,” or any variation thereof which involves one wrestler leaping or flipping off the ropes or turnbuckles and contacting the head or neck of their opponent with any part of their body; the “Stungun” of any variation thereof which results in the one fighter’s head or neck being dragged, draped or “clotheslined” across the ropes; the striking of a wrestler’s head with any object (chair, trashcan [sic] lid, etc.’; and no wrestler shall throw, push, shove or force another out of the ring or over the top rope.
While the set of rules may to some seemed archaic, the reaction was equally bizarre. For the talent that was faced with these guidelines while competing for various promotions, they were quick to respond that ‘a good worker will be a good worker regardless of any restrictions on what they can or can’t use in their moveset‘. Needless to say, the timing of the ban was strange, but so was the outcry from those that opposed it. The timing even prompted some to want to talk….conspiracy.
Asuka lost at Wrestlemania
The match had a grand build, and some thought it was meant to potentially be the moment the Empress of Tomorrow became the WWE Smackdown Live Women’s Champion. However, after a near fourteen-minute battle, Asuka would ultimately submit to Charlotte Flair’s figure eight and in the process end her winning streak of over 900 days counting NXT. Was there shock? Was there disappointment? Certainly. However, what should not be missed in all of this was the fact that Asuka’s undefeated streak was greater than any winning streak any of her male counterparts had ever achieved. Even when Goldberg was at the apex of his popularity and undefeated, even he could not match what Asuka achieved during her time in NXT and on the Raw roster. While streaks are made to be broken, the manner in which she carries herself before and during each match has always suggested that she is every bit as dangerous facing someone nearly 100 lbs heavier than her than as she is against someone closer to her size.
How do they rebuild her after this result? Will she have the same appeal after losing to Charlotte or does it make it easier for them to have her on a losing streak? Her change of brand during the Superstar Shakeup will certainly play a part in her future. Whatever the future holds, the sting of her losing certainly has this fan shaking his head, as it was definitely a strange occurrence and one where we had hoped for a different result.
That ends this edition of Strange Things in Wrestling This Month with Marc Madison. Unlike other months where we were laser focused on one particular period of time, we used the term ‘month’ loosely. Before anyone begins to question why some, items are listed that took place in March, AND others in April, we played with the rules in order to make sure we hit you with something legitimately odd, as anything less would be a stretch. We featured some odd and unusual suspects, and social media played a major part in many of the stories. We could have talked about other things that caught our attention, but we didn’t focus on hard-hitting issues in the world of sports entertainment because that’s what everyone else does. And face it, our intent here is to be a satirical look at wrestling much like Weekend Update is about the news.
We are above boring old news coverage in the Strange Things in Wrestling series! We hit you with the fun that comes from putting things in a blender and testing the result to find out if this should be something that appears in an edition of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not. Did we miss something, or should we have talked about something else in this month’s edition? For Strange Things in Wrestling This Month, this is Marc Madison saying, see you next time…and if it’s strange, there is a pretty good chance we’ll discuss it. Feel free to email or hit me up with any stories that should become a focal point.
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