Pass the Squash

If you’re new to pro wrestling,  you’ve might not have heard of a “squash” match. It is exactly what it sounds like: one wrestler is positioned to “squash” another in an attempt to build up the winner and have him or her gain some momentum before heading into more competitive matches. Recently we’ve had both Nia Jax and Braun Stroman have a series of squash matches. It looks as though its worked for Braun as he has been built to be an unstoppable monster and is now throwing around top talent. Nia is not being used as much but still looks impressive when she’s out there and might be positioning for a feud with Sasha Banks.

I grew up watching squash matches. WWF Superstars in the mid ’80s was the main show and featured squash matches almost exclusively. On the rare occasion that you’d get a decent match-up between two mid-level talents, it usually ended in a double DQ or count out. And you never, ever, saw champion Hulk Hogan on the show. Occasionally you would get the I-C champ, or the tag champs, but again, in nothing more than squashes. I’m not saying it’s time to go back to squashes like that, but they can be effective, and I’d like to see WWE continue to utilize the squash for one or two matches per show. Now that Braun, and to some degree Nia, have moved up the card, we might have room for another set of squashes.

So let’s see who might be next in line for a slow burn push up the cards via the squash. I’m also not listing people that I feel are ready and won’t need the squash matches. Samoa Joe comes to mind. He will be ready to step right in when  he gets the call.

Here’s my list:

APOLLO CREWS: If there ever is a guy being under-utilized, it’s Crews. Perhaps he was called up to the main roster too early, but after a weak and very short push he has been relegated to jobber status and hardly used on Smackdown. You can change his gimmick a little. Maybe a heel turn will serve him well. He’s such a great athlete; you can let that shine in a series of squashes that can serve him well and at least get him back into mid-level range.

GRAN METALIK: I enjoy the cruiserweights, and I certainly enjoy Gran Metalik. He could be one the biggest stars in the division when he is with WWE full time. A few squash matches for him to show off and he will be ready to go as a serious contender for Rich Swann and Neville.

THE REVIVAL: The Top Guys have done all they could in NXT and it’s time to bring them up to the main roster. I worry that their size might hold them back but if given the chance, they would show they truly are one of the best tag teams in WWE. Like Gran Metalik, I don’t think you need to go months on end with squash after squash with Dash and Dawson. But a month? Sure. Really let them shine and then give them a big win to announce they are players in the division.

EMMALINA: They teased and delayed her re-debut for what seems like months. When she finally does debut let her remind us all that she can get it done in the ring. A few squash matches can help her work on her new character as well. If handled correctly she can be a serious contender. If I’m going to play fantasy booker, then let me add that I would put Eva Marie with her and let the duo look down at all of us common ugly people. Maybe have Tyler Breeze ditch Fandango and join them. I can certainly see Emmalina and Eva calling us “ugos”.

The point here is the squash matches are a tool any wrestling promotion can use, and if handled correctly, can help build new stars. I hope it doesn’t go away again. Who would you give the squash match push to? Let me know in the comments section.

Lastly, do yourself a favor and give a listen to The No Gimmicks Podcast. More content is added all week long and the show is picking up steam. You’ll even see me on there as a guest on occasion.

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I remember being a little kid and the big debate between my friends was, at that time, is that pro wrestling stuff on TV real or fake? The industry had not pulled the curtain back yet. For us kids, we weren't sure. The adults in my life told me it was fake and that's why it was so "stupid" to watch. But even at that early age I was hooked. We all were. Most of my friends stopped watching over time. We all figured out that it surely was scripted and the big events drew some friends back in sometimes. I never left. This was the mid 80's. Any thoughts I had of ever turning the TV off were quickly swept away when I heard about Wrestlemania. It was going to be like nothing else we've ever seen. And it was. That was a long, long time ago. I've been on board ever since. If I had to choose, I'd say Bret Hart is my all-time favorite. Other than wrestling, I like movies, star wars, MLB (Yankees), NFL (Cowboys), GoT, TWD, and great debates. I live in Connecticut and can be found all over the state and sometimes in NYC.