Greetings boys and girls, friends and foes, heroes and heels!
Myss4tune has arrived and today my gaze is fixed on the topic of . . . my favourites – specifically who has maintained my favour over years, who has gained it and all the whys and wherefores therein (and as this is a post and not a college thesis, it’s not everyone I’ve ever favoured, so I’m sure there’s plenty of room for comment).
Anyway . . . back to the post . . .
Despite the ‘ravages of time’, wrestling is a constant in my life – so much so, I can scarcely remember a time I didn’t watch wrestling; mostly (at that stage) the WWF but sometimes local indie matches screened on a very low budget community station and filmed by someone’s Dad, but it’s always been there.
It was on one of those kind of languid, dreamy Sunday afternoons, a bored Little Myss Fortune first sat down with Vegemite on toast (after all, I am Australian), flicked a channel and was exposed to the most amazing things she’d ever seen – giants, and high flyers and turnbuckle biters,. . . oh my! And then the magic and ‘mysteries’ and mayhem of the narratives started to lure me in . . . and week by week, match by match, year by year, my favourite people ‘arose’.
Decades later, I still eat Vegemite toast while watching wrestling and I still have a ‘thing’ for giants – (shout out to Big Cass, who’s just so . . . marvelous, in the traditional carny sense of the word, he’s a marvel of physical awesomeness; and much like the first time I saw Andre or Big Show, I am awed by Big Cass). However, now the ‘beauty’ of age grants me the insight to contemplate and analyse why . . . and I’ve come to some conclusions . . .
The people I like the most is because of the people; which may sound obvious and weird to some out there but allow me to elaborate. Certain performers I only support when they’re preforming a certain gimmick, some I prefer their non-gimmick persona and others who I’ll always adore, even if they had become the fated Gobbledy Gooker – my unwavering favourites are the latter group.
As mentioned in my first editorial (linkage), I liked Papa Shango – a lot – but when Charles Wright’s morphed into the Godfather, I still watched him, still appreciated Mr Wright’s performance, but the Godfather just didn’t betwixt me. As The Godfather Mr Wright could have been a demi god in disguise but, there was just something missing (beyond his skill ) for the person ‘get over’ in me. A similar sentiment applies when I watch Superstars like The Miz and/or Bobby Roode – I admire for how hard these men work, and the dedication they’ve shown to their careers and adapting to industry changes, but they’ve never fully made me *have* to watch them – unlike my favourites, who, even if they were selling enema kits, I’d watch.
So, what is it about them?
Sure, I adore the amplification of humanities best and worst features (in the gimmicks, the narratives, the production itself) but it’s more than it. My draw to specific Superstars is not personal (I’ve never met them); nor is it based on gossip, rumours, advocating for or against that person and/or her/his personal life (and considering who some of my favourites are; I have yet to discover anything thus far about her/him to change my mind).
Also, I consider most humans talented in some way or another – and the beauty of the wrestling world is that it allows for a plethora of talents to be on display, from wrestling to back stage production. And it works, for example JBL I didn’t notice much in the APA, but his reboot as the fiery self-made millionaire and heel commentator, has made me see John Layfield’s other talents outshine his wrestling-heavy talent in his APA days and has given me new respect for the performer overall). And I tend to give most a chance to show who or what they are. My most contemporary example is Heath Slater – I’ve never responded any of his gimmicks, even in the Nexus and in truth, I will rarely watch his one-on-one matches, but the man himself (say in Swerved) I will tune into. Mr Slater himself is worth a look. And finally, then there are some I’m still waiting to see anything from – you know the ones who ‘work’ for her/his self, not the brand or audience but how many of us foresee that happening? And to be honest, even if my favourite people where in that last group, I’d still like and watch them.
So . . . after thinking on this for hours, days, and entertaining and dismissing what seems like an encyclopaedia of theories, mind maps and strange thoughts . . . my answer as to why I like the people I do is – it’s a feeling I get when I gaze at my favs and it’s unfathomable. I’m just bewitched by her/him. And that’s it. To me, these people have some jewel in them that is so precious and so intoxicating I have to gaze upon them. (And just for amusement, if you think defining why you like anything is easy, try explaining your favourite colour without using any emotive words, then apply that to any person you have an emotional pull towards and gets even harder!).
So, after all that and being unable to give you an answer, I present you instead with my top 13 favourite ‘there’s just something about her/him’ people currently in the wrestling world – in alphabetical order . . .
- Alexa Bliss – since NXT debut
- Big Cass – since NXT debut
- Cesaro– since WWE debut
- Charlotte – since NXT debut
- Chris Jericho – since Y2J
- Bray Wyatt – since Husky Harris
- Kofi Kingston – since ‘The Jamaican Sensation’
- Mick Foley – since Cactus Jack
- Paul Heyman – since Paul E. Dangerously
- Sheamus – since WWE debut
- Shawn Michaels: HBK– since the Rockers
- The Big Show – since Paul Wight
- The Undertaker – since Mean Mark Callous
And two (2) honourable NXT mentions:
- Shinsuke Naumura
So, tell me, who are yours? And if you can; since when and . . . why?