The Unreality of Pro Wrestling
August 2, 2023 6:59 AM   Subscribe

SuperEyepatchWolf details Roman Reigns' journey from The Shield to The Bloodline , perhaps one of the most bizarre and disastrous stories in pro wrestling.
posted by Pachylad (13 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This was fantastic. My wife cares nothing for pro wrestling and she was entranced by this video. Super Eyepatch Wolf does a great job selling pro wrestling to non-fans.

Also, SEW managing Commander Sterling when?
posted by charred husk at 7:16 AM on August 2, 2023

SuperEyepatchWolf does great work, and his wrestling content is just as captivating and well produced. He really does have a way of drawing out the interesting bits for people are aren't in the scene.
posted by gc at 10:41 AM on August 2, 2023

one of the most bizarre and disastrous stories

Can't watch YouTube at work, did SEW really refer to it as bizarre, or as a disaster? There's nothing bizarre about the storyline, it echoes any number of "gangster rises to power, undermines own self by insecurity, eventually alienates friends and family, leading to demise".

As for "disaster", I would call it one of the best storylines since CM Punk's run against the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, which led to Paul Heyman betraying Punk, and Brock ending the Streak.

(Of course, it should not surprise anyone that Heyman is common to both stories.)
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 11:14 AM on August 2, 2023

I'm halfway in and enjoying it greatly and just got to the "ROMAN REIGNS LIKES NICKELBACK" sign in the crowd and I'm dying
posted by cortex at 5:06 PM on August 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

Can't watch YouTube at work, did SEW really refer to it as bizarre, or as a disaster?
I believe both parts are referring to the disastrous period when WWE (Vince?) kept pushing him as a babyface, resulting in the 2015 Royal Rumble where kayfabe toxically collide with the crowd going apoplectic on the ostensible hero (especially after underdog Daniel Bryan was unceremoniously defeated earlier) and many other similar incidents of viscerally negative crowd reaction (something I was surprised I didn't see him specify: the 8+ minutes of booing he got after retiring the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33) all the way until his leukemia announcement in 2018.
posted by Pachylad at 6:06 PM on August 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm mostly impressed that Ed Sheeran was a rassler at one time.
posted by NoMich at 7:34 PM on August 2, 2023

In the section on selling, showing how, early in his career Roman was bad at pretending to be hurt by the moves, the counterexample is a sell by Dolph Ziggler, someone who, at one point, could have been "the Guy", but perhaps was too good at selling.

Sami Zain is also one of the best sellers in the business.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:09 PM on August 2, 2023

Fantastic video. It's been such a long ride I had genuinely forgotten what a terrible promo Roman was back in the day. In my memory I just hated him back then because he was lol Cena wins 2.0 only worse, and I had hated lol Cena wins 1.0 and wasn't excited to see it happen again.

As SEW says towards the end, these long term stories are impossible to fully plan out and as such are impossible to say when they will end or if they are over for good or will resurface again later (like Sami and Kevin's friendship). Still, have to wonder if he's kicking himself for making the video before Summer Slam circles all the way back to the start of the story as Jey takes on Roman again in a "Tribal Combat" match for the championship and recognition of the Tribal Chief. What a story!
posted by jermsplan at 7:05 AM on August 3, 2023

I'm with charred husk's wife (figuratively), no interest in wrestling. But this video was great, and I might watch others he did. I particularly appreciate the approach that this is art criticism (albeit with more metal chairs to the back).

And the that scene with Cena confronting Reigns as a performer was mesmerizing.
posted by Gorgik at 10:44 AM on August 3, 2023

Back in 2015, I was at Frankfurt Airport coming back from an academic conference. When I got to my gate I couldn't help but notice that there were a lot of unusually big guys at the gate and a few women who didn't seem as dressed as expected for an airplane. I couldn't help but overhear the guy behind me chatting with some women at the gate that he didn't know while also giving a guy with dwarfism a bunch of shit. After a few minutes of eavesdropping, I slowly realized that a) the conversation with the guy was bro-y but friendly and b) these guys were wrestlers. A quarter of the passengers on the flight were part of a European WWE tour heading back to the US. It was an interesting glimpse into the way that certain aspects of the characters were kept up outside of the events. Everyone was quite chill, but also there were things like a tag team duos wearing matching red jogging outfits and the only wrestlers who were in business class were the very biggest guys who were still crammed into their seats like a 6 ft tall person on a Frontier flight.

To come back to this (awesome) post, one of the standouts was an athletic but relatively slim guy with a then-standard creative professional look: trimmed beard, pony tail, t-shirt, blazer, and thick rimmed black glasses. The odd thing was that his carry-on was a small, banged-up metal suitcase with a bunch of green writing on it that I couldn't make out. He put it in the overhead bin, sat down at his seat, said something polite to his seat neighbor, and enjoyed a quiet flight. Turns out, this was Seth Rollins and his personal carry-on was the "Money in the Bank" suitcase that had been dangling 20 feet above the ring as the prize in a ladder match that he had recently won.
posted by Schismatic at 12:27 PM on August 3, 2023 [4 favorites]

Turns out, this was Seth Rollins and his personal carry-on was the "Money in the Bank" suitcase that had been dangling 20 feet above the ring as the prize in a ladder match that he had recently won.

Wrestlers are expected to carry their own championship belts and other key appurtenances when on tour (But aren't there props people and the like who travel to the same arenas? Yes, but this is a holdover from the days when a championship belt would travel from territory to territory.). Belts are easy -- they're big, but they lay flat, and you can tuck it into a suitcase. But the MITB case is a briefcase -- and a big metal one that has to look impressive on camera -- so you can't just stuff it in your overnight bag. Many wrestlers have said that "winning" that prize is a huge pain in the ass, even as it's a big career boost.
posted by Etrigan at 12:46 PM on August 3, 2023 [2 favorites]

I really appreciated this. I remembered reading the story of the fan reaction to the 2015 Royal Rumble linked here years ago, but I didn't appreciate the true majesty of how badly they screwed up until seeing it laid out so meticulously in this documentary.

And you also feel bad so bad for Joe AnoaŹ»i! He didn't make no billion dollars! He just got his life and career turned topsy-turvy and those rich assholes do not care. It seems like he made some nice money, but not become-a-pariah-for-life money.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:15 PM on August 4, 2023

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