Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wrestling At The Movies!

Featured Nugget - Wrestling At The Movies #2
comparing wrestlers to movies (just because...)
With this week seeing the release of the potential Oscar nominee 'Knucklehead' featuring the Big Show what better time to bring back Wrestling Nugget's 'Wrestling At The Movies' series???
This series is not a look back at all the films produced by the WWE or featuring wrestlers, as classic as all those films turned out to be. 
Instead this is a comparison between a wrestler and a particular film or series of films. 
If you haven't seen the first entry in the series featuring Mick Foley, The Ultimate Warrior, Brock Lesnar and more, click here and go see: 'Wrestling At The Movies #1'
With that 'Upcoming Attractions' like intro out of the way here's entry #2 of...
Wrestling At The Movies!...

Daniel Bryan - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The recently released on blu-ray & dvd, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, is a pretty great film. Just like the current WWE United States champion, Daniel Bryan, is a pretty great wrestler.
Yeah, i'm using the name Bryan wrestles under in the WWE, cause let's face it, just like the Scott Pilgrim movie is more well known than the comic books, the wrestler by the name of 'Daniel Bryan' is way more famous than the guy called Bryan Danielson, who had years of success on the independent scene.
Both Daniel Bryan & Scott Pilgrim have passionate fan bases and both have received large amounts of hype. But even with all the hype and their followers, like it or not, neither one is ever likely to be to everyones taste. Even with as much quality as they possess, truly crossing over to become huge successes in the mainstream is unlikely for either.
Storyline wise, you could say the girl that Scott Pilgrim fights for throughout the film, is like the titles and success, Daniel Bryan has been fighting for throughout his career. 
Both have to overcome bigger, stronger (and cooler) opponents than themselves, its the 7 evil exes in the movie and, let's face it, everyone in WWE is bigger (and cooler) than Daniel Bryan...:)
Want some more similarities, here goes: 

  • Watch the movie and the wrestler, both feature some very cool moments. The movie is full of scenes featuring nice special effects and Daniel Bryan has tons of unique moves. 
  • Even with their cool spots but both are more nerdy really. Just take a look at either, the nerdy instincts are undeniable.
  • Music has played an important part for both too. Scott Pilgrim shows questionable taste with his song writing while Daniel Bryan has shown questionable taste with his entrance theme choices! But to their credit, as dodgy as the song choices may be, both are used to awesome effect.
I'd say thats easily enough similarities to justify the comparison, the only thing that would make it even closer would be if, WWE hired an underage Asian girl to develop a crush on Daniel Bryan...hey maybe Gail Kim has a younger sister that could be written into a storyline???...
One final point to be said about both the wrestler and the film is that outside of their current fan bases both do deserve to get more recognition for their awesomeness, that would be nice.

Kurt Angle - Batman Films
Work with me on this one, Kurt Angle is just like the Batman movies because he has gone through a whole bunch of changes throughout his career, just like the Batman films have. Angle has shown a range of attitudes and personalities during his time in the WWE before heading to TNA, much like the Batman franchise has changed the feel of its movies with each new director, and each different actor portraying the caped crusader. Early in Angle's professional wrestling career, Kurt played a camp and comical character even though he had a legitimate, serious background. The first Batman film, based on the TV show of the 60's was also very camp even though it had darker more serious roots based in the Batman comics. 
Tim Burton's Batman was a huge success and bought with it a bit more or a darker tone although the film still had a comic feel to it, Kurt Angle achieved much success in his debut year in the WWE, although he wasn't really taken seriously as World Champion during his first title reign.
Angle kept his sense of humor but also started displaying a more viscous side of himself as he began to be taken more seriously, the Batman films also got a bit darker with Batman Returns. 
In 2001, with his King of the Ring feud with Edge on the same night as a gruesome street fight with Shane McMahon & later in the year, his skits and then feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin during the invasion angle, Kurt showed he could perfectly balance his comedic personality with the intensity he had in the ring. 
Batman Forever definitely bought the comedic side back to the Batman franchise, but Kurt's funnies with Stone Cold and Vince were definitely better than the film. 

See now the comparison gets a bit tricky, you could say that when Kurt was released from the WWE was his darkest day, which in terms of the Batman movies would most definitely be 'Batman & Robin'. 
But then it would mean his greatest success came in TNA because his career there would be compared to Batman Begins & The Dark Knight. (and although Kurt has had great success and classic matches in TNA he isn't as big a star as he was during his WWE days.) 
Instead, i think we can see that as a serious competitor Kurt Angle is one of the best, just like with the Batman movies, the serious adaptations are the superior films.
A little bit of comedy is fine, it can work with Angle and in Batman films but when you start bring in the exaggerated cod pieces and rubber nipples is when things don't work out. 
With the upcoming third Christopher Nolan Batman movie, 'Dark Knight Rises' seemingly about Batman's redemption, maybe that is foreshadowing a triumphant return to the WWE for Kurt Angle? It would be a fitting way for one of the greatest wrestlers of all time to finish his career in the biggest wrestling company that there is...

Before i settled on the Batman films, I thought about comparing Kurt Angle to James Bond movies, 007 Angle comparisons work pretty well too...
Angle & the Bond films both started off well (Angle successful rookie year, Sean Connery as James Bond), both have had some patchy moments (some dodgy skits/WWE suspension = quite a few stinkers in the Bond series). Their best moments are definitely when they go serious and just get down to business. For Angle it's when he let's his wrestling do the talking and with the James Bond films its 'Casino Royale'
And overall they are both iconic characters with great legacies...and i liked the Batman comparison better so that's that! Maybe I'll think of another wrestler that could be James Bond...

Vince McMahon - Godfather part 1
When comparing this film to the wrestling industry, 'The Godfather' could be compared to Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair, but it's most fitting of the chairman of the board, Mr. McMahon himself. 
Let's take a look shall we, now it'd be easy just say okay Vinnie Mac is Marlon Brando's character and there we go, but no, if you've watched the film you'll know that Don Corleone becomes a more forgiving and considerate soul as he grows older, he becomes weaker and less powerful before he dies. It's his son Michael who takes over the family business, turning into a ruthless and calculated leader in the process. While Brando as Godfather tried to make peace and work with the other families, when Michael took charge he went on the offensive and wiped out the heads of the New York's 5 families making himself top dog and 'Godfather'. 
Sounds a bit like the history of the WWF right? The young, ambitious Vince McMahon Jr. had big plans, he bought out and took over his dad's company, then ran all the other promotions out of business making the WWF the dominant brand in professional wrestling.
Heck writing this makes me wanna go and watch the movie again, its so good, so that's all your getting for this comparison. Vince = Godfather. Done and done.

That's entry number 2 done if you missed the first installment of 'Wrestling At The Movies' don't worry just click the link below. Entry #3 featuring Bret Hart, Rob Van Dam and more will be coming soon!

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