(Painting by The Belligerent Monkey)
I’m sitting here at work and it’s one of those rare nights where I just don’t have anything to do. Every once in a while I get lucky and end up on a shift where all of the work just happens to not be on my shift so I press, like, two buttons all night. I have a ton of action figures lined up for review. I even had the foresight to load a few pictures onto my thumb drive so I’d not only have references but be able to remember which figures needed reviewing. All organized and stuff.
But I don’t feel like reviewing figures right now. I’ve got the New 52 Batman and Batgirl in the can. I need to go ahead and get started on Ram Man, Jitsu, and Phantom Stranger so they’ll actually get posted in the same month they were released.
Okay – so anyway, I was bored and wanted something different to write about, so I went on my Facebook page and asked for one of the Phantomaniacs to give me something nerdy to write about. I got these responses:
Greg – “Weird Al”
Stonebeard – “dany only’s personal reign of terror in 2014.”
Gary – “Skeletor & COBRA team up. Go!”
Terry – “Write about surf rock.”
Evil – “The ridiculousness of the New 52.”
Evil – “You haven’t covered Arrow yet.”
John – “Also Weird Al.”
Jessa – “To Hell You Ride”
Weird Al won and I’m working on a piece about my years of being a fan, but I realized I can get at least a thousand words out of addressing these other suggestions. Heck, I’m already up to 400.
Weird Al Yankovic wins because I love Weird Al and I have ever since I first saw the video for “Eat It’. But I won’t get into all that right now. Stay tuned and I’ll have a full Al-centric post sometime in the next week or so.
The second suggestion was to discuss dany only’s return to American wrestling in 2014, which is something I have actually considered.
I was shocked at dany only’s ability to convince a crowd he was a babyface. The first time I saw the guy perform he was a heel and he was pretty good at getting booed. The Human Hand Grenade was in a stable with Andrew Pendleton III and Stryknyn and they were managed by Wicked Nemesis, which quite frankly is all the heel cred you need. Over time I got to see him get on the mic and take on more of a central role and the guy was a total dick. Arrogant, mean, and self-assured – the best and most infuriating kind of heel. For a while I didn’t actually get to see the guy wrestle, but eventually I got to see a few matches and he was backing up his words.
only became a central figure in The Empire’s war with Platinum Championship Wrestling. He was the Arn Anderson of the group. The Enforcer who was physically terrifying but also capable of menacing mic work. I wasn’t there when he split with the heel faction, but by the time I was able to get to another PCW show he had already become the leader of a stable of tweeners called DamNation. The Human Hand Grenade’s ring skills, charisma, and leadership led the crowd to make them defacto babyfaces; with only becoming the new figurehead of the anti-Empire movement. Without a title or even any concrete connection with the PCW faction, dany only was the hottest babyface in the company. Every time the opening strains of “Press Gang” came over the speakers to announce him or his team, the PCW crowds went fucking nuts. Right up through his defeat at the hands of Jagged Edge and subsequent dismissal from (at the time) Empire Wrestling, only was a massive fan favorite.
The Human Hand Grenade has been in the deserts of Afghanistan ever since that defeat. By the time he returns to America, he will have spent thirteen-plus months becoming harder, faster, and meaner. I don’t want to get too detailed, but here’s my half-assed armchair booking for his return (to Platinum Championship Wrestling, anyway):
Jagged Edge becomes a fan favorite between now and then. This is not done in service of only’s return, but because JE has a ton of charisma and I feel like people are just waiting to cheer him. All it would take is one match with the right heel. Subsequently he gets on the hunt for the title. There’s a story there in and of itself.
Eventually JE becomes at odds with a heel faction. They are the only thing standing between him and a title shot. Stuff happens, and while JE has the support of the fans and the PCW locker room, when it comes down to it the heels’ superior numbers prove too much time and again.
A “Best of 7” series is set up with the main heel for the #1 Contender spot. The heel’s stablemates become predictable with the time and method of their interference, to the point where the PCW crowd knows when it will happen. Maybe the main heel has a signal or the ref keeps getting knocked out or whatever. But train the audience to know when the bullshit is happening. So when it comes down to match #4 and it’s do or die for Jagged Edge and his opponent makes that signal or hits that cue or whatever, and the crowd just knows that his buddies are about to cost JE the match, nothing happens. And the main heel gets frustrated and looks toward the locker room, maybe not yelling, but obviously wondering what the fuck is going on. And then one of his pals comes flying out of the backstage area, possibly bloody but definitely fucked up. And dany only (maybe in some new gear like his old shorts but desert camo with one of those Afghani scarves and even a tactical vest – might as well play up the experiences) walks out and stomps the fuck out of the guy while Jagged Edge grabs the main heel and hits his finish, winning the match and the #1 Contender spot.
JE totally does not trust only. He’s giving him the Critical Eye as The Human Hand Grenade walks to the ring. But only holds up his hands in a gesture of peace. Words are spoken and hard feelings are set aside. only raises JE’s hand in victory.
The next week, only does a whole promo about toughening up and learning how to be a better fighting machine out in the desert. But he also learned about isolation and about letting go of bullshit. In the end, getting booted out of PCW made him a better man and a better fighter and he can’t hold that against Jagged Edge. He’s kept up with PCW and knows that Jagged Edge has grown in the past 13 months as well, and that all that matters is that the championship is on the right guy and not on whichever douchebag heel it’s on at the time. Preferably either Shane Marx or a freshly-heel Demigod.
In the build up to the Championship match we get a tag match with only and Jagged Edge versus the current Champ and the heel that JE beat for the #1 contender spot. I think you know where this is going. JE plays the Face In Peril and when he goes for the Hot Tag only’s face goes dead and he steps off of the apron. JE is getting his ass whooped real good while the heels laugh and applaud only, who still isn’t reacting to anything. One of the hot babyfaces – Supernatural, Johnny Danger, Chip Day – comes out of the locker room and asks only what the fuck he’s doing. He doesn’t even acknowledge them. Finally they shove him and he erupts into violence. One, maybe two moves to incapacitate the babyface. All while JE is in the ring getting beat up. Once the Champ pins JE, he and the other heel bail out and watch as only enters and performs a methodical, emotionless dismantling of Jagged Edge, culminating in the application of some sick, new submission hold he “learned in Afghanistan”. JE is clearly in bad shape.
As only stands and – still with that blank look on his face – examines his work, the Champ approaches with a big smile on his face. He’s applauding and clearly looking for some sort of acknowledgement from only, but the Human Hand Grenade is oblivious. Until the Champ puts a hand on his shoulder and only again explodes, brutalizing the champ while the other heel runs for his life. When it’s all over, only sees the title laying on the ground. He doesn’t pick it up, he just stares for a very long time, then leaves.
The next week we get a promo from only about what he really learned in Afghanistan. He learned to hate Jagged Edge for causing him to end up there. He hated himself for letting it happen. Over time, he realized he hated himself for letting the fans distract him. His weakness was never physical. His skills were never lacking. His determination never wavered. But when he fell into that age-old trap of caring about the fans, he became fallible. The cheers started to mean as much as victory. He got comfortable. As long as he was getting cheers, winning or losing didn’t seem as important. only states that he doesn’t hate the fans, he doesn’t care. They are less than nothing to him now. All that matters is dany only winning that PCW Championship. Not for the fans, not for the locker room, not even for himself. It’s not a goal, it’s not destiny, it’s a fact. Like waking up in the morning or breathing or death. It’s inevitable. But first he had to make sure Jagged Edge would never, ever touch it.
After that any number of things could happen, but the important thing is that Jagged Edge does lose the title match and feuds with only. These two don’t need a title to make the feud work. If it ever comes up, only can reiterate that his winning the title is inevitable. As long as Jagged Edge is still showing up at shows to fight, his job isn’t done and the title can wait.
Or something like that.
Suggestion #3 was Skeletor and COBRA teaming up. This might seem like something that would require serious time, thought, and plotting. But if you think that then you are clearly overlooking Newton’s Eighth Law of Moronitude:
“No two groups of morons may occupy the same space at the same time.”
Thusly, the moment whatever dimensional rift or stray wormhole existing between Earth and Eternia deposited the like of Beast Man, Mer Man, Trap-Jaw, and Whiplash (fucking shit, Whiplash) into the midst of COBRA’s finest, the entire universe would cease to exist.
Nice try, Mitchel.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my Facebook Request Special!