Baiamonte's Casa #34
October 5, 2009
By: Joe Baiamonte of WrestleView.com
Well hello there. Miss me? Sorry for my absence this past week. For personal reasons I was unable to submit a Casa last week. But do not fear, normal service is being restored this week and I?m ready to give you lugs your favourite dose of wrestling psychobabble.
Now, it seems to me in recent years, we?ve seen a resurgence in one of wrestling's most important art forms. No I?m not talking about the Kennel From Hell match making a triumphant return (one can only dream about the day that happens). Nor am I talking about Kane morphing back into Isaac Yankem DDS. I am of course referring to the much loved squash match making a gigantic return to prominence. And who, hand on heart, can honestly say they don?t like seeing behemoths crush the skulls of a local, working class hero?
For me, 2006 really was the year that ushered in a new generation of squashtastic awesomeness. Mark Henry found his feet as a pro wrestler after almost a decade of trying and failing (and impregnating 80 year old women). Umaga Samoan spiked his way into our hearts and The Great Khali made us all fall in love with big Indian headchops and unintelligible, guttural Punjabi noise.
Moving on from then, The Boogeyman wormed (geddit?) his way onto Smackdown and ECW only to be taken to task by the human planet that was Big Daddy V and his bitch tits of doom!
In the present day we can now be grateful for the modern day incarnation of Ludvig Borga that is Vladimir Koslov and his ebony partner in crime, Ezekial. Both of whom are breaking the faces of anyone who dares cross the path of Sir William Regal, and are doing so in splendid fashion. Truly splendid.
But you must remember that a squash match isn?t all about some 6?6 + hunk of muscle laying down the law. It's also about his opponent. The poor guy who's got to take the beating. The brave soul who's designated himself as cannon fodder for what could easily be the most painful 90 seconds or so of his professional career. Sure the local guys are glad of the exposure, and will happily take one for the team so their family and friends can see them on National TV, but what about the small guys like the Funaki's, who are relentlessly fed to these monsters month after month?
I?m sure the likes of Funaki and Scotty 2 Hotty have made a pretty little living out of a few minutes work a week, but just imagine being in the locker room and seeing your name up against some guy you don?t recognise. Just think, just over 20 years ago there were probably guys who were looking at their match for the night thinking ?who the fuck is Leon White?? only to be greeted by Vader when they got to the ring. The same Vader who legitimately broke some poor hick's back with a powerbomb during a handicapped squash match.
At first I imagine there is a look of pride that washes over the face of the perennial jobber. He's the guy that creative feel is good enough to put this new brute over and make it look effective. So hey, at least I?m doing something right eh? I make maybe one or two on screen appearances a month for all of two minutes but they?re keeping me in paychecks. Not a bad way to make a living. Until they get out to the squared circle. For all they know, they?re opponent could really be the next big thing and his offence may look like a million dollars and feel like it as well. Or he could be an immobile lump with no business being in a wrestling ring and he's more likely to send his opponent to the ER than back to the Gorilla position. It's Russian Roulette. Only with more Gorilla press slams and big boots to the face.
Now, it would be remiss to talk about jobbers and not mention the two greatest jobbers of all time, in my mind at least. Mikey Whipwreck and Colin Delaney. Mikey Whipwreck was so great that when he finally executed his first offensive move after over a year of getting pancaked on a nightly basis, the crowd exploded like he?d just won every Title in wrestling history. His losing streak is just as legendary as Goldberg's WCW winning streak, if not more legendary. Whipwreck's work in the early 90's essentially laid the groundwork for Colin Delaney's ECW debut 10 years later. Delaney is as white and pencil necked as they come. In fact, despite earning a living as a pro wrestler, you?d feel comfortable starting a fight with him yourself and beating the Hell out of him. He looked like some poor fan unlucky enough to get thrown into the ring at the last minute because they were all out of ?generic jobber #1? in the back.
Poor Delaney never stood a chance when he went up against Big Daddy V. Despite his pre match promo stating how he was going to earn himself an ECW contract. Then The Miz and Morrison had their fun with him, and Jesus Christ, even Armando Estrada had his wicked way with him one week. In graceful fashion, he bowed out from the WWE after a severe beatdown from his former partner in crime Tommy Dreamer. And when you?re being squashed by Tommy Dreamer, you know you?re going above and beyond the call of jobbing duties. Delaney should wear that match as a badge of honour. Because no one has been squashed by Tommy Dreamer. EVER. Also, Delaney's tough guy heel turn on Dreamer was the most ridiculous heel turn in the history of wrestling. So needless but hilarious at the same time. Like anyone ever bought him as a legitimate threat to anything.
The weird thing about squash matches is, how they can actually sometimes be a guy's greatest performances. I mean let's face it, squash matches aren?t supposed to be broadway classics are they? They?re kept to a couple of minutes and are simply one guy showcasing his moveset whilst his opponent takes it and makes it look as effective as possible. Sid Vicious thrived in this environment in the late 80's. Aeroplane spinning fools and jacknifing them straight through the ring. Sid looked like a stud. Sure he went on to be a multiple time World Champion and he even headlined two WrestleMania's (yes, I passed out when I remembered that fact too), but nothing he did post 1990 ever came close to his squash match showcases. He could have made a career out of them alone. I would have happily put a Sid Vicious squash match on every PPV my company ever ran and not thought anything of it.
Vader is perhaps the most notorious squash match worker. From the aforementioned spine shattering incident to stories of guys actually leaving the arena when they found out they were set to face him, Vader had an aura no doubt. I mean any 400 pound man who wears a smoking black elephant helmet to the ring is going to have an aura, but then you take into consideration the part he played in Mick Foley losing an ear and also the fact that his eye was knocked partially out of it's socket during a match with Stan Hansen, only for the Mastodon to simply pop it back into place, and you realise just how scary a motherfucker Vader was (and still is I imagine). I actually believe the term 'squash match? was invented for Vader. Although Sterling Golden in his Georgia Championship Wrestling days may have something to say about that.
So, in a sport where Title matches and blood feuds are remembered fondly for decades to come, and controversial angles and stunts are regaled on internet forums and in roundtable discussions, the squash match has managed to maintain it's importance alongside these titanic episodes and provide us with many a moment of hilarity and appreciation for ?local jobber with bad hair and white trunks #9876537381? who may actually be the more talented of the two guys in the ring. So to the Sid Vicious?, Colin Delaney's, Vader's, Big Daddy V's and Giant Gonzales?, I salute you. You have made me a very happy wrestling fan over the years, and will hopefully continue to do so.
Until next time Casa uns, if you wish to get in touch, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Until next time, when I?ll be discussing the greatest foreign wrestlers in history, from Abdullah to The Sheik to Renee Dupree, I bid you arrivederci.
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