Welcome to the newest edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison. Once again, this column won’t try to force you to love it, or play with your emotions, or put you on television just for you to lose. That isn’t our job here! What we do is hit fans with different topics and try to understand their value. Or something like that. What we will definitely do, however, is 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, and if they do, blame other things going on in the world, not this column! Anyway, we would rather get you to think about why some of the minuscule moments stood out, and have you ponder why certain things were noteworthy, and hopefully make you smile in the process. You can anticipate something outside normal online wrestling culture when it comes to this (generally) bi-weekly column.
This week’s edition includes a booger, quitting, perfect losses and shocking love amongst various topics of discussion. We won’t speculate on why Mike Kanellis took his wife’s name because after all, it is personal, nor will we ask why Sami Zayn isn’t good with roadmaps (just ask Neville.) Without further ado, here are Strange Things In Wrestling for the week of July 14th.
You have a booger in your nose!
Here at Strange Thing In Wrestling This Week, there is often a recurring topic that lends itself to the purpose of our bi-weekly review. It is the relationship between Noam Dar and Alicia Fox. They manage to frequently showcase the strange, and we are thankful that they have provided tons of material for a while now. This week was no different; during a tag match between Noam Dar, Neville, Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa, fans were once again privy to the odd that seems to pop up when Dar and Fox are together on screen. This time around it wasn’t Dar that necessarily did anything wrong (although his relationship with Fox tends to be strange enough as it is), it was a moment involving Alicia Fox.
It has been said ad nausea that Fox won’t let her animosity towards Cedric Alexander go. For weeks, she has continued to prod and poke and provoke issues between Alexander and Dar and has put Dar in a no win situation countless times. This time was a little different, however, since when Alicia Fox confronted Cedric Alexander, instead of slapping him and showing him how much she is bothered by him, she decided she was going to point out his faults! The biggest fault was telling him he had a booger in his nose, in response to which Alexander instinctively tried to wipe it as he climbed back into the ring. It was strange to point out, but it was even stranger that the distraction was effective.
Things did not end well the last time @MATTHARDYBRAND tasted his own blood.
Or did they.. #GreatBallsOfFire
— Reby Hardy (@RebyHardy) July 10, 2017
As soon as they returned to WWE at Wrestlemania, Jeff and Matt Hardy’s fans were quick to voice their support for them by voicing ‘DELETE’ chants. While the brothers Hardy would often acknowledge them by gesturing to the fans or making the ‘DELETE’ motion, they would otherwise never make mention of their old ‘BROKEN’ characters, except during their interview with Corey Graves, who called their personas ‘shattered’ (which was pretty clever actually.) Due to legal restrictions, they had to refrain from using the ‘BROKEN’ characters, or any elements of them. Still, both brothers would often drop words that seemed reflective of the characters at various points.
However, this week on RAW, whether it was Jeff saying OBSOLETE or Matt saying DELIGHTFUL, WONDERFUL or BROKEN, it appeared as though the seeds for the emergence of those characters were on the horizon. The teasing of the return of the BROKEN characters appeared more evident the night before when Matt’s wife Reby posted a somewhat cryptic, suggestive tweet: “Things did not end well the last time @MATTHARDYBRAND tasted his own blood… Or did they.. #GreatBallsOfFire.”
Fans were already suspicious that something was on the verge of happening. It was both SPLENDID and DELIGHTFUL. What makes this strange is how, while it was being worked on for some time, it happened just after Matt tasted his ‘own blood’. Will its brilliance be revealed shortly…after its initial strangeness? I don’t know, it was worth a shot trying to make it fit.
The Perfect Enhancement Talent
He has been mostly unseen on screen for weeks now, but Tye Dillinger’s return to Smackdown Live was a match this past week against WWE champion Jinder Mahal. Dillinger brings something of value to the ring, certainly when he is pitted against a champion. However, unfortunately, his return resulted in his losing to Mahal, someone whose own win/loss record also leaves something to be desired. In Dillinger, fans have the ‘perfect underdog,’ someone that comes out and does everything he can to pull out a win. He had been successful in his matches against Aiden English, but since repeatedly beating English he was essentially used as an enhancement talent for the world champion, which doesn’t help his cause.
The match was only a few minutes long and makes his addition to the roster seem meaningless. It’s rather strange if he’s basically going to be Apollo Crews 2.0 on the Smackdown Live roster. Returning to television only to lose would be no better than him not being on television at all. Whether Dillinger lost in a dark match (which is all he does according to The Miz on social media) or losing on television to Mahal, there really isn’t much to be grateful for here. Dillinger could easily have been used more since being called up, as his value is there and he is over with the crowd.
Alexander and Dar battle and Fox is the one that loses the war
The latest match between them was strangely brutal! These two cruiserweights seemed to be channeling their inner Pete Dunne and became cruiserweights, as they did everything in their power to cause the opposition to quit. Whether we saw submission moves applied or fingers trapped in the steel wiring of the turnbuckles (which was pretty damn creative, actually,) these guys really showed that this would be their last time facing one another because they were sick of having to do so repeatedly. Clearly, both wanted to move on, and this ‘I Quit’ match was evidence of that. What ultimately resulted in Alexander winning the I Quit match was trapping Dar’s hand in a steel chair and stomping on it repeatedly. However, that wasn’t the only quitting that took place!
After the match, Dar approaches his beloved Alicia Fox and tells her that he isn’t just quitting his feud with Alexander, but quitting her as well. He says he used her to get noticed…though really this feud is what got him noticed, not Alicia. We are disappointed that this beautiful relationship is now over (hopefully?) and while it certainly did provide us with countless memories and stories her at Strange Things In Wrestling, that doesn’t mean it will be missed. We wish both Alicia and Dar all the best in their future relationship endeavors and hope that both of them find the scripted love they want and the scripted love they deserve. Don’t quit on love because love won’t quit on them; just ask Maria and Mike Kanellis.
“I love you”
We here at STIWTW (acronyms are cool!) are a fairly loving group. However, while we tend to question the strange and somewhat odd events in wrestling, we rarely show affection. So when the words ‘I love you’ are shared anonymously, it is cause for great eyebrow raising. At the end of this most recent edition of Raw, General Manager Kurt Angle who looked panicked by what he was being faced with, offered fans some semblance of solace…well, sort of. Much like the revelation of the hidden assailant attacking Enzo, Angle is faced with a ‘scandal.’ And after everything that Angle has been through professionally if this is a scandal that could ruin him, then it must be huge! Angle stated to the other person on the phone that next week: ‘Whatever happens…happens’. And apparently, he is faced with the prospect of being fired because of it?
For weeks leading up to this evening, Corey Graves and Kurt Angle have been in discussion about this potential revelation and what it could mean. Graves appeared quite concerned, as did Angle. By saying ‘I love you,’ the belief is that Angle was referring to someone ‘special’ to him. Someone that would, in fact, be the cause of this drama. Rumors are circulating that the person on the other side of the phone could be Stephanie McMahaon or even, strangely enough, former TNA President and co-owner Dixie Carter. The strange nature of the statement appeared to come out of nowhere. It could be Brother Love, but then again, that’s the least likely of people on the other side of the phone. Could it be an owl? Nah, that’s even less likely as well.
This ends Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison for the week of July 14th. (That title is certainly something that would go well with something less stinky, and possibly sweet.) We covered everything from why love can and can’t move mountains, why pointing out someone’s snot really won’t sit well with them, the potential love between Kurt Angle and someone on the telephone, and the apparent break up of Dar and Fox. We had a number of instances we didn’t see coming and wouldn’t have predicted at the beginning, middle or end of the week. A number of strange things were afoot this past week.
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, or claim that you love them. Either one works pretty well.
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Also, stay tuned for The Wrestling News Hub Magazine Podcast debuting July 2017. Our debut edition to include an interview with ROH top prospect tournament entrant, Curt Stallion.