Welcome to the newest edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison. After a two-week absence, STIWTW returns to highlight several rather unique recent occurrences in wrestling. One story that dominated discussion in the last week, involving spilled substances, was so bizarre we thought Stephen King was part of the writing! Once again, this column won’t push you to watch that old 1990s film ‘Ready to Rumble’ on the eve of Summerslam, and if you do that would be pretty odd in itself. We may, however, share the excitement about how Summerslam may provide some interesting opportunities, along with what may occur at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III!
What we do is hit fans with various topics that you may have noticed or possibly ignored, and try to understand their purpose. This week’s edition includes someone being slimed and announcing that he will become his alter ego, a female wrestler possibly becoming the next Rusev, a prop from the set of Baywatch being used, and two guys that had no rhyme or reason to be involved in a feud…but now they are. We, unfortunately, won’t talk to you about why the Power of Love, along with a Perfect 10 and an Underdog; they aren’t part of our discussion, but we sure do wish they were. We also won’t try to understand the purpose of Fashion Peaks, as it just seems odd. Without further ado, here are Strange Things In Wrestling for the week of August 18th.
Tamina: The Samoan…BRUTE??
One of the longest tenured women in WWE is the daughter of the late WWE Hall of Famer, Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka. During her time in the company, she has been a valet and an in-ring combatant and has formed alliances with other women on the roster at different times. Fans will recall when she was part of Team B.A.D along with Sasha Banks and current WWE Smackdown Live Women’s champion Naomi. She is no stranger to walking alongside others, as she also did so as part of the ‘welcoming committee’ with Natalya and Carmella. If anything, she benefits from being aligned with others rather than walking alone. She has faced her share of criticism from fans, but that isn’t what we are doing here.
What has happened in recent weeks is that she and Lana have formed an interesting alliance. They couldn’t be more different in style, look or character, but they have apparently become friends. So what happened this week was rather strange because it isn’t really a character progression, but rather a character transition. It felt this week that Lana and Tamina’s interaction was more about getting Tamina taken seriously, through the support of the ravishing Russian. Lana suggested that she when she is finished, she will have convinced others about Tamina’s ability and then her ally will ‘crush’ the competition. The last time Lana was associated with someone that would ‘crush’ anyone, it was her husband, Rusev. We aren’t sure if Tamina will come out screaming ‘Tamina Machka’ next week, though, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it is part of the booking.
A chair made for a Goddess…of life guarding?
We witnessed the match to determine the number one contender for the Raw women’s championship, and the result was Sasha Banks defeating Nia Jax for the right to face Alexa Bliss for the championship at SummerSlam. That isn’t strange or weird or even remotely odd. It was a perfectly normal thing to see happen. However, what wasn’t normal was something that wasn’t in the ring or even in the match; the oddest thing sat outside the ring. Fans will recall that Alexa Bliss was paying close attention to the match, and certainly watching a match from outside the ring isn’t unusual. What is unusual was that Alexa was supposed to be sitting on what was a ‘throne’ built for a Goddess, an idea that was great as it fit with her persona. And what was very unusual was the execution of the ‘throne, ‘ which was certainly lacking.
This isn’t a knock on the person or persons who built it or their craftsmanship. What is perplexing is the look of the chair, and what it resembled. Perhaps management believed that their relationship with The Rock means that they can borrow props from his films. That could be why they used a chair that could have been seen in the film Baywatch. The only difference between the ‘throne’ and a life guard chair was that it was spray painted silver. While it was probably not the intention for the chair to resemble something we would see perched at your local swimming pool that was unfortunately how it came across.
Insult by Caramel sauce, and promoting the arrival of ‘The Demon’
Early on during Raw this week, Kurt Angle was interrupted backstage to be made aware of a backstage altercation between Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt in another part of the arena. The men had to be held apart to stop them from getting their hands on each other. After Angle got involved, he told them to settle it in the ring, right there and then. It was as though Summerslam had come early, with fans getting to see the Balor/Wyatt match before it was scheduled to happen. The match went back and forth, with Wyatt eventually hitting the Sister Abigail and walking away as the winner. However, what was peculiar was what happened, after the match.
After the lights had gone out and come back on, Balor was sitting in the corner while Wyatt stood in the middle of the ring with a bucket in hand. It was clear the bucket had something in it, but what exactly? As it turned out, Wyatt had a reddish-brown substance that probably was supposed to suggest blood, but it seemed a little different. It’s gooey and thick texture almost resembled caramel sauce. We aren’t sure when why Wyatt would resort to pouring a bucket of goop on Balor. Maybe he was channeling the Godwin’s? We aren’t sure.
What we are sure of is that Balor asked for a rematch and was granted it for this coming Sunday. And his request led to an announcement: Michael Cole announced that ‘The Demon’ would face Bray Wyatt. Why exactly was announcing it ahead of time of any benefit? It took away any mystery or anticipation and just made it a reality.
Gallows, Anderson and Big Cass…oh, why?
A few days prior to his match with Big Show, Big Cass went face-to-face with ‘The largest athlete in the world’ this past week. With Big Cass, Enzo Amore, Big Show all talking, while a shark cage sat in the ring, they engaged in a heated discussion. After Big Cass voiced his thoughts, Enzo addressed his former friend while the man from Queens, New York stood inside the ring. Then, what happened was an attack that fans couldn’t have seen coming.
Big Show attacked, but Big Cass dodged him and hit Enzo with a big boot, knocking him off the apron and to the floor. Then, as Big Show was once again coming in on Cass, he was attacked from behind by Anderson and Gallows. After a beat down, Big Show had his right hand tied and Cass attacked it with punch after punch, kick after kick. Then, as Show’s hand was held in the doorway of the shark tank, the door was slammed on it. We understand the motivation for Cass; he has been knocked out twice, and the fear of it happening a third time was certainly there. What is baffling to fans is the involvement of Anderson and Gallows. There was nothing before, during or after this altercation that explained why it happened. Fans weren’t even shown a backstage segment of Cass approaching them backstage asking them for help with a ‘big problem’ that he was having.
We have all had bad days. In some cases, bad days become bad nights, weeks, months and years. And when we have those times, it is impossible for it not to affect us. Like a messy breakup, where even when the two of you can‘t stand to be without the other, you still blew it! Whether or not this was the case in this particular instance really isn’t known. However, we are sure that the reason Neville looked like something the cat dragged in wasn’t because of a messy breakup or his pet dying; that would have been an unfortunate coincidence if it happened.
On this past week’s edition of 205 Live, Neville looked awful, and it wasn’t simply the case of him letting himself go. As Titus O’Neil pointed out, it looked like he had lost sleep, as he had dark circles around his eyes. We are pretty sure that it had something to do with Neville losing his Cruiserweight championship the night prior to Akira Tozawa on Raw. And that would be understandable; he did hold the title for many months. What was peculiar was that he apparently never thought to try to get some rest before appearing on television the next day. He said Tozawa made a mockery of the title, but it was the former champ who looked like hell.
This ends Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison, for the week of August 19th. We covered everything from why it’s important to embarrass your opposition by pouring goop on them, to why it’s better to be a Fijian brute than a Bulgarian one, not to mention why it’s important to explain someone’s involvement in your feud. What develops over the next few weeks will be interesting to see. Will this all be a ploy by Emma to be given a chance? Will she be genuinely happy if she is rewarded with an opportunity?
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. However, not if you’ve hidden the truth for twenty years, that’s a bit sketchy…
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