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 Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows aren’t a bigger deal than they should be by now, nearly halfway through 2017. 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 these 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 breaking up being hard to deal with, especially when the truth is hard to handle, the awkwardness of a relationship, unpredicted unity of villains, whether or not to dive in a wrestling ring, and the irony of flight. We won’t point out how Noam Dar is the not so single Supernova; leave it to Corey Graves to highlight how much fake love exists between Dar and Fox! Without further ado, here are Strange Things In Wrestling for the week of May 12th – 19th.
The Golden beatdown
When friends don’t get along, something significant will happen. Usually, one feels threatened by the other or feels that the other one simply isn’t doing things that would make them feel liked or appreciated. It’s true that best friends can sometimes make the best enemies! When friends ask you ‘Hey what’s up?’ and you walk away that will generally cause them to turn around and ask ‘Why did you walk away? What is wrong?’ That’s how people typically interact with one another. However, when you wear face paint, and your partner constantly sings and dances, clobbering them from behind generally makes for better television.
As seen this past week, Goldust attacked an unsuspecting R-Truth while the two were in the ring together, shortly after saying that ‘We are here for each other’. If my friends said they will be there for me only to attack from behind and beat the holy hell out of me while saying ‘That’s what was up,’ it would raise more questions than answers. Could we say that the attack was well planned and unsuspecting? It certainly was. Was it a little strange to see a 6′ tall face painted wrestler attack his partner? Definitely. The strange part was that it seemed a little out of place since these guys have been used in a program as a team, and a solo program against one another may not be all that interesting to watch in the weeks to come.
Noam Dar and Alicia Fox love each other so much…they only hug!
Love is a beautiful thing. When love happens, all things manage to come together. Insects pollinate and butterflies flutter. So now, the on-again, off again love affair between Noam Dar and Alicia Fox is once again on…again. However, as we have watched this relationship develop, some things just don’t seem right. Things seem really awkward, even for an on-screen couple. Think back to when Trish Stratus and Chris Jericho, or Trish Stratus and Christian, exchanged glances and even locked lips; it felt believable even if they were acting. When watching Dar and Fox it seems more like the 1980s face tag team high-fiving each other, given the lacked beautiful glances and kisses.
This past week they managed to outdo themselves by showing affection by not only not holding hands as they walked together, but they jumped up and down and hugged each other while celebrating a win! Now, unless these two are distant cousins or in elementary school, usually when you like someone in a special way you generally want to show your affection for them by wanting to oh, I don’t know, KISS THEM! Fox defeated Sasha Banks this past week on Raw, and Dar defeated Gran Metalik on 205 Live. The result was their embracing in a manner that seemed choreographed by that grandmother that makes you feel uncomfortable because her hugs hurt. Only in this instance, it is watching them on-screen that is painful to watch.
Super Villains were strangely brilliant
Villains have been around for as long as wrestling fans can remember. For every good guy, there is a bad guy wanting to prove themselves and put their nemesis in their place. When you think of classic villains you can think of Hollywood Hulk Hogan when he faced Sting, or Randy Savage when he faced Hulk Hogan. It was always clear that in order for there to be a really strong bad guy, there needed to be a good guy that was there to balance it out. This past Friday, May 12th, Ring of Honor aired their annual War of the World pay per view. In the course of this event, which brought with it what was believed to be the last match of Adam Cole’s time in ROH. While that hasn’t been confirmed, what is confirmed is Cole’s status in a particular group that reigns in both New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor.
At the end of Cole’s match against Hiroshi Tanahashi, the former three-time ROH champion was met with ‘Thank you Adam’ chants from the fans in attendance. However, what happened next wasn’t seen coming. Initially, there was a tease that the Young Bucks were turning on Cole, but that resulted in an embrace. Then, the lights turned out and Kenny Omega, the leader of the Bullet Club in Japan, appeared on the screen and publicly fired Cole, also stating that every story needs a villain. When the lights came back on, Marty Scrull appeared in the ring, and he and the Young Bucks beat down Cole, officially ending his time in the Bullet Club. Not only was that a turn we didn’t see coming, it was also strange in that we weren’t sure of its initially fit.
Something that tends to happen a lot during today’s wrestling matches is the risks talent take in and out of the ring. Whether they are leaping off the top rope or hitting moves from inside the ring to the floor, they frequently take to the air. However, a term that has gained steam is simply the word ‘…dive’. We aren’t talking about stage dives into the audience, or from a diving board into the deep end of the pool. When we discuss ‘…dive,’ we are referring to recent comments made by Randy Orton that has gained as much ire from fans as it has from some of today’s promising talent.
For those unaware, Orton voiced his criticism on social media about today’s independent wrestler tendency to dive and perform gratuitous high spots, and not tell a story during their matches. That they perform these spots in a manner that doesn’t make sense or even serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
I really need to issue an apology…. pic.twitter.com/N8NqRZu9Es
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) May 14, 2017
Whether fans agree with him or not, it’s his opinion. Also, he himself has had to make changes to his in-ring style and has maintained a long, successful career because of it. Several of today’s traditionalists understand his sentiment. However, the likes of former WWE tag team champion Bubba ‘Bully’ Ray has tweeted on this issue two, discussing how the ‘dive’ can work. The strangest thing of this entire exchange isn’t the opinions shared, but that one word has become as popular as anything wrestling related we will read today, and that is simply ‘…dive’.
Flying in the no-fly zone?
The developing feud between Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak has been pretty simple. It’s been about grappling style being challenged by a high flier that will take to the air. It’s straightforward; each week, Gulak comes out protesting Ali’s method of wrestling because he is a ‘high flier‘. Gulak walks to the ring with a sign saying ‘No Fly Zone,’ while saying on his megaphone. ‘We’re not lying, no high-flying.’ This has been the mantra of Gulak as he has tried to get others to support his cause.
This past week, Ali was slated to face Tony Nese on 205 Live. The match result was that there wasn’t a match at all. As Ali was approaching the ring, Gulak attacked him from behind in typical heel fashion. That is certainly one way to get people to support your cause! Take out the competition, literally! What also resulted was that there was flying happening in the no-fly zone. As Gulak attacked Ali, he threw him into the ring post in such a way that it actually caused Ali to become airborne! When they replayed the spot, Ali appeared to do a complete 180 twist as he landed on his face outside the ring. So what was intended as a beat down of someone to ensure they didn’t get up resulted in said person actually took to the air, but coming down to earth. That was called ironic booking…or something. He had to fly in order to fall.
So ends another edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison for the week of May 19th. (That title is certainly something that would go well with a fine wine and sharp-tasting cheese.) We covered everything from painted 40-something wrestlers splitting from their 40-something partner, flying in a no-fly zone, and dives happening when they shouldn’t happen all the time, but rather at the right time and place. We witnessed the ongoing awkwardness of the Noam Dar and Alicia Fox on-screen relationship and villains that came together when he couldn’t have predicted it. We had a number of instances we didn’t see coming and wouldn’t have predicted at the beginning of the week, in more than one promotion.
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 is why they are there.
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