The Spectacle of Excess Posts

July 15, 2014 /

Lana is a character who can fill a stadium with ironies that refuse to resolve themselves. She lectures us, America, about our tendency to always solve our problems with violence, that we are saviors who cannot save ourselves. She likes to tell us that our country is crumbling, warns that pride always comes before the fall. Mean girl as she is, she’s not wrong about these things. Then, inverting her lecture into a ruthless satire,…

July 10, 2014 /

The WWE Network turned up a gem: HBK vs. the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 in 2008, smack in the middle of the epoch when I lost track of wrestling. We didn’t even have cable for a while there. HBK came down from above surrounded by heavenly white pyro and choir of angels music, exquisitely dressed in a white western outfit looking at first like a flamboyant man of God and then perhaps like God himself.…

July 1, 2014 /

A markish confession: the biggest reason I’ll never turn on John Cena is his entrance music.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a vaguely ethnic-sounding intro with a hook featuring horns.  The trilling guy who says something in Spanish I can’t quite catch is pretty rousing as well.  So the trilling guy and the horns do their thing, and I’m all primed to be excited about whoever comes out on stage. I will…

July 1, 2014 /

I see a rather interesting place that this could go — John Cena finds himself in a quandary.  He will somehow be in a position “to play the role of hero while everything around him burns,” as Bray Wyatt described him, and what will be burning is Roman Reigns. Will he sacrifice the belt or let Roman Reigns burn? The answer to this question will determine the next step for his character. If he doesn’t…

June 30, 2014 /

Though of course I was cheering for Roman Reigns, I’ve decided I do support a John Cena championship at this time. I wholeheartedly support the tweening of John Cena. This is rather unique — Hulk Hogan, if you will remember, turned heel when his fans were getting sick of him. And his whole complaint, if I remember correctly, was that his fans were turning on him, so screw them. John Cena, on the other hand,…

June 29, 2014 /

There’s something wonderful about Sandow dressed as Abraham Lincoln losing to Big E. Very postmodern. Such a complex irony to unravel. Quoth Lana: “You foolish American.  Don’t you know that pride cometh before the fall?” She speaks hard-luck wisdom to us in the guise of a mean girl heel. Really, she’s offering tough post-Soviet love. I gush: Roman Reigns, entering not from the stage, but through the audience. And Dean Ambrose, too, and the Shield…

June 28, 2014 /

One of the most exhilarating types in wrestling to watch is He Who Cannot Be Kept Down. The Comeback Kid, we might call him. We now have this in Roman Reigns. We’ve needed one of these for a long time. Not Daniel Bryan — he is the underdog. We need the  persecuted hero who always prevails in the end. These are difficult times, aren’t they? We’re prone to following false prophets, like Bray Wyatt. We…

June 15, 2014 /

I think many wrestling fans who were watching that night more than a decade ago remember when Brock Lesnar said “Where’s Funaki?”  It became something of a cult meme, and that was back when only the most effete intellectuals I knew were calling things memes.  Why was this tiny moment so memorable to us? Brock Lesnar was so scary when he debuted!  He was a snarling, teeth-gnashing, bicep-flexing meat-headed monster, a goon who would beat…

June 15, 2014 /

I can’t believe how quickly Bray Wyatt and his goons have grown stale!  Suddenly I’m not interested, they’re all flash and little substance.  They built up such epic promise but were ultimately unable to deliver.  I couldn’t get into Bray Wyatt’s soliloquy at all — his thing about a house on a hill with a white picket fence (or whatever it was) was tedious and difficult to follow.  It turns out John Cena was right:…

June 10, 2014 /

All this while I’ve had the biggest lit-smark crush on The Shield, a crush so giddy I’ve had a hard time writing coherently about it. Roman Reigns is like something out of Lord of the Rings, a rider of Rohan or even Aragorn himself: majestic, strong-armed and beautiful, and perhaps the best hair I’ve ever seen on a professional wrestler. At least top five for hair, that guy. And Dean Ambrose may be my favorite…