Tag: Sami Zayn

December 18, 2017 /

[Warning for intense bloody imagery in this essay.] Final Battle 2010, the climax of Kevin and Generico’s bloody feud, takes place in the dead of winter, but I watch it many years later in the early spring, when the leaves are that particular luminous green that’s almost golden. (The leaves are important. We’ll get back to the leaves.) The year-long arc, from 2009 to 2010, from Final Battle to Final Battle, is Kevin’s story. I…

November 29, 2017 /

(Quick warning for some bloody imagery below.) Some moments in wrestling are staggeringly momentous, huge enough to fill a stadium with emotion, so titanic that the audience’s reaction becomes itself part of the moment: the Miz winning the world title; the breaking of the Undertaker’s streak. Some are smaller, more intimate, shared with a group of hundreds at a small show or a live event. Some are so fleeting and personal they may only touch…

November 1, 2017 /

There’s a quote by Edmund Burke that I came across in college. For years, a copy of it in careful violet-ink handwriting was taped to my computer, where I would see it every day: Never despair. But if you do, work on in despair. It’s… not the most uplifting of inspirational quotes, I suppose. The bright assertion of the beginning (Never give up! Hustle, loyalty, respect!) is undermined by the resigned weariness at the end:…

October 19, 2017 /

“I’m not sure I should watch this,” I say. We’ve gotten home from work and Smackdown is queued up and ready to go. I know Sami cuts a promo on Daniel Bryan and then he and Kevin win the main event together. Everyone on my timeline is thrilled. It’s the storyline I’ve been looking forward to for years. “I mean it,” I say. “I’m really not sure I should watch this.” “Aren’t you happy for…

October 11, 2017 /

To steal and adapt a saying, some wrestlers are born to their characters, some achieve their characters, and some have their characters thrust upon them. Kevin seems to have been born to his character–a cocky, sneering prodigy who happens to be better than anyone else in the room and knows it (Samoa Joe supposedly said of him way back in 2003, “The arrogant little prick is almost as good as he thinks he is.”*) El…

September 28, 2017 /

“Go on without me,” I say faintly.  It’s 2015, and outside the car windows, the parking lot shimmers with late-summer Florida heat.  “Just…go on without me.” “I did not win a charity auction and get us a tour of the Performance Center just to leave you to die of heatstroke in the car,” Dan says.   He has a point, I have to admit.  Still…  “What if I trip over something? What if I say…

September 14, 2017 /

The ancient Greeks used a specific word–kairos– to mean roughly “the ability to choose the perfect moment to act.” They used it, for example, to describe the gift of knowing exactly when to loose an arrow in order to hit the target perfectly. Wrestling is a constant struggle to achieve kairos, because any wrestling promotion is basically an intricate ecosystem of interconnected parts: feuds and wrestlers and venues and dates. It’s like finding the right moment to…

September 8, 2017 /

So I was deep into a post about the unique women’s narrative in a match between Ivelisse and Sexy Star inspired by Ivelisse’s Twitter misadventures of late, because as you know, Ivelisse is my spirit animal, and I too am the baddest bitch in the building I am in. Also, I just can’t abide by the Twitter police all the time—this shit becomes its own form of exclusion and tyranny. But then Sexy Star had…

August 2, 2017 /

Some of the very best moments in wrestling are about redemption. Redemption is Miss Elizabeth throwing herself into Randy Savage’s arms; it’s Shawn Michaels saying “I’m sorry, I love you” to Ric Flair; it’s Daniel Bryan holding those two titles aloft in New Orleans. It’s those fleeting moments where something is lifted out of doubt and darkness and held up as worthy, as valued, as clean and bright and true. Wrestling fans, we love a…

July 19, 2017 /

Run-ins are the bane of anyone trying to look back and re-assemble a story in wrestling.  You could, for example, watch every single match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in the WWE and never come across the first time they interacted on Raw–because it happened at the end of a match between Kevin and Neville, where Sami comes out and interrupts a post-match beatdown: Lots of feuds and alliances are born in unrelated matches,…