Monday, April 07, 2014

Interrupting Cat - The Letter F


F is for a lot of things!
But mostly flies.
This explains why
The Dog
was so obsessed with them
in the original stories
(the business with "nullifying"
mentioned in Eponymous Monk).
So apparently their idea
of allegiance
is very pliable.
And so Boo 
is very wise
today.

Connect with the rest of the A-to-Z Challenge!

***

You can switch off for the rest of this post, because I'll be talking about something with a long history at Scouring Monk: professional wrestling.  In some ways, quasi-success has really hampered this blog.  I think twice, three times, a thousand times about breaching this topic these days, because none of my readers are particularly interested in it.  But this being a journal of my particular thoughts and interests, I'm still entitled to do what I like.  And so that's what I'm going to do.

Last night was WrestleMania 30.  Big card.  And two big things happened, as it turns out.  "The Streak" will mean nothing to you, but for wrestling fans, it's legendary and requires absolutely no explanation.  But what it means for you other folks is the Undertaker's record at WrestleMania.  It now stands at 21-1.  He lost.  No one else has even performed at as many WrestleManias, not by a long shot.  The closest would be Kane (his "brother," who is responsible for a couple of those wins) and Triple H (who owns three of them).  His first appearance on the card was back in 1991 at WrestleMania VII, which is better known for the event that saw Sgt. Slaughter, known as one of the most patriotic wrestlers of the '80s, represent Iraq in another of Hulk Hogan's epic confrontations.  Perfectly predictable WWE response to Desert Storm.  Undertaker defeated Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka that night.  (Snuka's daughter competed last night, by the way.  She lost.)  

The man who defeated Undertaker was Brock Lesnar.  A decade ago, everyone would have been very happy about this.  Lesnar's active career with WWE ended in 2004 when he left to pursue a football career, which eventually led to a wildly successful MMA career.  When he walked away, he threw off the balance of the entire wrestling landscape.  He was supposed to be the Next Big Thing.  Basically the new Hulk Hogan.  That spot eventually went to John Cena (who has done a remarkable job with it, all told).  The fans felt betrayed, though.  Everything that was invested in Lesnar for a span of only a few years was thrown away in an instant.  He returned a couple of years ago as a part-time competitor.  All of Lesnar's fights now are considered events just because he's in them.  Win or lose, he's afforded a considerable amount of respect from the company.  This is about as far as that can go, and it says quite a bit about what WWE thinks of him that Lesnar was given the honor of breaking "The Streak."  I think he deserves it.  The fact that he came back at all, and is now in the third year of this new arrangement, is far, far more than anyone could have ever expected.  His presence has once again shifted the landscape.  WWE no longer requires a regular commitment from all of its performers, and this is a hugely positive thing.  Professional wrestlers have no off-season.  They're on the road most of the year.  It was this very thing that caused Lesnar to walk away in the first place.  Obviously this spot isn't for everyone.  But Lesnar has proven it can work, and he's been rewarded for it.  Fans will grumble about it, but I've found fans grumble about everything.  So I pay less and less attention to what fans say.

The other big thing was Daniel Bryan's night.  (Well, besides Cesaro's night, which was also pretty great.)  Bryan beat Triple H in the opening contest to win the chance to compete in the main event, against Randy Orton and Batista (to be seen later this summer in Guardians of the Galaxy).  It might be interpreted that Bryan got this moment for the same reason Chris Benoit did at WrestleMania 20, because it's an anniversary card that doesn't necessarily have to rely on what actually happened so much as, say, the fact that Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and The Rock were all there to open the show.  Benoit was given half the year to prove that he deserved to have gotten that spot.  The difference with Bryan is that he's been fighting his way to the top for a couple of years now.  What happened last night actually began in December 2011 when he won the world championship and started chanting "Yes!" for the first time.  Today's "Yes Movement" is a direct response to that moment.  His underdog story, his rebelling against the system story, his crossing the boss story, that's all been developing since then.  Actually, since 2010, when he originally came to WWE, which itself was a whole process.  Daniel Bryan is no Chris Benoit (thank goodness!).  He's earned the spot in every way possible.  A lot of baseball players have taken to growing woolly beards.  He was there first.  (There was an A's player, Josh Reddick, who actively competed against Bryan in this regard.  And while I certainly can't prove it, but the World Champion Red Sox and their "Fear the Beard" movement from last season might have everything to do with this trend, too.)  He's been in a program that attempts to justify a smaller-than-average competitor in the main event since last summer.  He'll very likely still be in it well past this summer.

I couldn't be happier for him.  

8 comments:

S. L. Hennessy said...

Flies are spies? Brings a whole new meaning to being a fly on the wall. The fly spies are everywhere!

Pat Dilloway said...

In the Tales of the Scarlet Knight series there is actually a fly or FLI that she uses as a spy.

Brian Wilson (the Giants closer not the singer) was doing the beard thing back in 2010. I'm just saying.

Kate Larkindale said...

It all makes sense now. That's why those annoying buzzy things are hanging around so much. They want my work....

Heather M. Gardner said...

These are really fun. I went back to A to catch up.
Cute cat.
I have 4 of these evil creatures myself!
Heather

Heather M. Gardner
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Stormy's Sidekick
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Co-Host

Spacerguy said...

Hulk Hogan is trying to make a come back at Wrestlemania, poor dude is broke after his wife divorced him.

mshatch said...

My first bf was a huge wrestling fan back int he day of Andre the Giant and Chief Jay Strongbow (I think that was his name). What a show that was!

Love the cat :)

Kate OMara said...

Flies are spies! I love it!

Leslie S. Rose said...

Oh, that explains why it's so tough to swat a fly - all their spy gear anticipates your moves.

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