Pro-wrestling is an acquired taste. Imagine if we could make it easier to introduce newcomers to the WWE?
The world of professional wrestling can be just as forbidding as it is inviting for many new or casual fans. The maxim of wrestling being “soap opera for guys” is tiresome and does little to convey how much fun it is to watch the WWE.
Perhaps the best way to initiate newcomers into the often maligned world of wrestling is to present them with familiar faces in the squared circle from other realms of the entertainment industry.
1. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) from Escape from New York
Director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell were essentially the Austin and Rock of incredible 1980s action/sci-fi films. That is, the duo consistently released high-quality products, which delighted a specific demographic while simultaneously possessing mainstream appeal. In Escape from New York, we look to the future into the mystical land of 1997 where crime in the United States leaped 400%, thus turning the island of Manhattan into a high-security prison. Meanwhile, the rest of New York remained a decrepit, dystopian wasteland better suited to a civilization of underground mole mutants than city dwellers.
Amidst all this amazement, one convict, Snake Plissken (Russell) is released from prison by the US government to locate the kidnapped President of the United States of America. Predictable tomfoolery, fight scenes, and Harry Dean Stanton appearances are to follow, while Snake battles the futuristic New York gangs. Need further proof that this character would be great in the WWE? Plissken even wrestles at one point and kills a man by hitting him over the head with a baseball bat laden with nails! (spoiler alert!)
Can you not imagine this kind of man feuding with CM Punk or John Cena? What about a storyline where an ex-con is relased from a high-security prison by Vince McMahon to take back the WWE from the rag-tag group of wide-eyed FCW prospects? Beyond dressing like a renegade, Plissken wears an eye-patch and resembles a pirate. We all know that Vince loves pirates (Paul Burchill, anybody?)
2. Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) from Mommie Dearest
Eve, Natalya and AJ remain among the few twinkles of happiness lost within the black-hole of female wrestling in the WWE. Let’s look beyond the superbly talented Beth and Natalya to bring in someone who is genuinely insane. Joan Crawford comes across in Mommie Dearest as a crazy aristocrat. Throughout the film, Crawford brilliantly takes stereotypes of an asinine socialites to new depths with her neglect of public decency.
Crawford is already a fully-formed character, which is something the WWE is desperately lacking nowadays. Imagine a Diva dripping in pearls and a fancy prom dress who pulls a “Dashing” Cody Rhodes narcissist gimmick, before transforming into a nutcase hellbent on beating up the nearest Diva? I’d love to see a female wrestler booked as a psychotic beauty queen reject with tons of money with enough mood swings to both entertain and frighten even the most hardened of smarks.
3. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) from Reservoir Dogs
One of my favorite lines in film history is when Mr. Blonde, donning Ray Bans and a sharp suit, sips his drink, leans against a wall and smirks, “you gonna bark all day doggie, or are you gonna bite?” This cool and detached demeanor would be a perfect balance to the high energy of guys like John Cena. Can you imagine The Miz cutting an enthusiastic promo about how awesome he is , when all of a sudden Mr. Blonde slowly strolls out to the ring, stares him down from the turnbuckle, creeps forward and then flicks his cigarette on the ground before fighting?
Randy Orton is no longer seen as a brooding or even genuinely fearful character, which begs the questions as to what wrestler can scare WWE fans today? Mr. Blonde might be our new boogeyman (no, not The Boogeyman).
4. Jambi the Genie (John Paragon) from “PeeWee’s Playhouse”
Things get weird in pro-wrestling. Longtime fans are not strangers to having bizarre twists and turns throw at them by the WWE. We’ve had the Mystery Raw GM who dictated how Monday Night Raw should be run for the better part of last year. For months, Michael Cole stopped matches and promos to read the wishes of a laptop computer on a pedestal. We still don’t know who or what was behind that mythical entity. At the same time, we have the Raw Roulette Wheel which provides fun stipulations during otherwise ordinary episodes of Raw.
These activities are fun and different, thus allowing Raw to remain fresh when things begin to feel too routine. As much as fans complain about gimmicks, most everyone is somewhat excited when things like The Raw Roulette segment takes place. Why not introduce Jambi the Genie, from the amazing children’s program PeeWee’s Playhouse to tease superstars and decide what should happen on Raw or Smackdown? Jambi the Genie would act as the superfluous love child of the Mystery Raw GM and the Raw Roulette Wheel. Of course, maybe I just think it would be funny to see a genie on Raw.