A new feature you say!
Hachland has had many iterations over time. Long time readers already know that, it's not a big surprise. For the short term readers, people who are just starting to catch on to this new sensation, Hachland has come and gone many times. Some were long stays, others were short stays, but the one thing that has never changed is that Hachland delivers unique features. Be that reviews, cartoons, Government Warning, Analyze Porn, even The Hach Show, we had our own little niche here for our little slice of the internet.
Fast forward to the present and many of those old features have returned. With that in mind, I've been searching for a feature that I could make my own. I've mostly written sports or wrestling articles since I've been back to Hachland and my new feature will not stray too far from that formula. For those of you that like that, then you should be happy with the new feature. For those of you that don't... Well, I urge you to read anyway. Professional Wrestling might often times be goofy, not make much sense, and pander to the lowest common denominator... But, hell, that's OUR denominator and I'm going to OWN it as long as I can.
So, without further adieu, I bring to you my new Hachland feature... Wrestling Math!
Over the years in professional wrestling, many things have come and gone. Some have been successful, many, MANY, others not so much. Things come and go just as quickly as they would in fashion trends, or popular music. There's always something new and hot. But what goes into those trends and changes? How do we get there? A hot new gimmick, or storyline, or move always has a story behind it. Some of them are obvious but often times it's accompanied by a subtlety that is easily overlooked. That's where I come in.
You may recognize Ryback of the Nexus fame, where he briefly starred as Skip Sheffield. When the Nexus debuted on WWE television, they quickly became the hottest thing in wrestling for a good 4 to 5 month period. Lead by the rugged (and confusing jacket wearing) Wade Barrett, the Nexus featured technical underdog Daniel Bryan, Mr. Jennifer Hudson, David Otunga, and, amongst others, Skip Sheffield. Maybe I'm the only one, although I suspect I'm not, but to me, the star of many of the Nexus' biggest moments was Skip. Sheffield showed intensity and stiffness that is largely gone these days. And, just as quickly as he came, Skip got hurt, disappeared to heal, and recently resurfaced as the intense, brick shit house destroyer Ryback.
But where did Ryback come from? I mean, we all agree that Sheffield was pretty cool by himself, but Ryback... What's that all about? Well... Let's do the math!!!
"A touch of Reno..."
You may recognize that gentleman above as wCw's Reno. Reno wasn't a great worker, he wasn't even a good worker if I'm to be completely honest. Through some stroke of luck, or power, or ass kissing, Reno was blessed with booker backing, quickly winning singles titles and a spot in the youngster stable, The Natural Born Thrillers. Reno, however, will always only be remembered by me as "that big guy who couldn't work in the Thrillers."
I'd like to think the comparison here is fairly obvious. Pretty similar look, body shape, sort of similar singlet. I'd consider this the "blank canvas" that WWE looked at when deciding what to do with Sheffield.
If you don't know who this guy is, you've been under a rock for the past 15 years, or maybe just aren't a wrestling fan at all. If you aren't, why are you reading this then? Go somewhere else, I think your Facebook farm needs plowing. That is Goldberg, Bill Goldberg, former NFL player and WCW World Champion. Goldberg was the original monster of the modern wrestling era. Goldberg, somehow, managed to run his winning streak into the 100's, without appearing on more than 3 television shows a week at any one time. I may be wrong, but I feel like I remember his streak going to something like 142-0 before he finally lost it infamously.
So you've got the Reno Blank Canvas in mind, and you're thinking to yourself "Wait, why didn't this gimmick work the first time?" Oh yeah, because Reno was horrendous. Nobody got behind him, he had an awful finisher (that has been copied several times since, including being used by a current WWE superstar,) and there was no crowd support for the big man. Enter "The Goldberg Push." Goldberg got the huge undefeated streak to open his WCW career, beating up on local talent, lower midcard jobbers, and gate keepers on his way to a HUGE fan following and multiple title reigns. It's not that Goldberg had anymore talent than Reno did, not at all. Goldberg was a three trick pony. Come out/breath the smoke, spear, jackhammer, go home and have a beer. That's a Goldberg match.
So, you've got a guy that has the build of a "Vince McMahon Superstar," you've got the gimmick set to be "The Goldberg Push," but what is missing from this potential goldmine of a star?
He's kind of boring.
"Dude... Cool... Whatever."
You all know that guy, right? Dude, seriously, you don't? I mean, that's cool, but you should know him. I'll give you a hint... He had one of the longest modern title reigns. Still no idea? Eh, whatever! It's Rob Van Dam, of course. RVD has built up an illustrious following of spot fest marks, stoners, and people who can't let go of the ECW name, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. There's a place in the business for that product and those fans are absolutely entitled to seek it out and root for the guys that support what you enjoy. There's a lot of things you can say about RVD. He's lazy, he's unmotivated, he sometimes doesn't "get it." One thing you can't say about him though... He's not boring. You want to see what RVD will do in the ring, even when he's 30 pounds overweight and wrestling guys who A) Call their own fans "Assholes," and B) Have made gimmicks out of having "The Best Calves in Wrestling." I want to see what RVD does and I've never even been a huge fan.
So how does this apply to our Reno Beast? The tights, of course. RVD's airbrushed, Jersey Shore Boardwalk tights are the stuff legends (and nightmares) are made of! Who can't get excited when a dude comes out, points at himself a few times, and has a totally kick ass pastel dragon running down his leg? Nobody's messing with him with those babies on, nobody. Largely, it says this. "I have no problem wearing a neon green skeleton frame on my work uniform. I'm in no way embarrassed, nor am I scared of what you're going to do to me tonight. Try me." So who better to ply that to than our potential monster, Ryback.
So, let's recap and take a look at our Ryback Flow Chart...
I mean, when you look at it that way, it all makes sense, right? I'm willing to get behind this guy and you should be too. He could either be the next Goldberg... Or the next Reno. He has that kind of star potential and ability to pull it off. The crowd is already starting to get behind Ryback and I, for one, am eager to see where our Airbrushed Reno Jewish Destroyer can take us.
As always, leave me any questions, comments, or concerns, and hit up my twitter @MattB928. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see. Do you think another gimmick has been ripped off? Do you think someone's wrestling finisher looks cool but want to know where they got it from? What about those awful WWE YouTube videos? Do you want to know where they got two guys, forced to sit and watch bad clips, along with a puppet, came from? I'll look forward to your thoughts.