Its time to talk about the Smackdown tag team championship match at SummerSlam. Two men from hell vs three men from fantasy. It does get confusing and it is probably the most over the top match on the card. But as late wrestler Chris Candido once said “its professional wrestling, its been ridiculous since day one.”
The Bludgeon Brothers are not brothers. They do not come from Mama Bludgeon. What they are, are two giant men that used to be members of a cult gimmick called The Wyatt Family. A group that looked like a Southern backwoods twisted faith collection of monsters. They were dangerous, scary, and destroyed everything in their path. Eventually though this story ran its course. The members split up and were scattered to the winds. Some time later, Harper – the dark haired one (and from around the corner from me in Rochester, NY) and Rowan – the ginger one, reunited and reemerged as these hooded giants from parts unknown. Their music, the entrance, and every bit of their appearance is a horror movie walking to ringside. You don’t hope their opponents win, you hope they survive.
The New Day. How to explain the New Day? I actually asked them that same question.
That’s a typo for my dad’s age. He’s actually only 50. He had me quite young. Anyways….
The New Day actually began with vignettes taped at something like a gospel church. All three men came out and spoke about being positive. How they are going to change WWE and empower themselves. How they may have been down before but tomorrow is a New Day. It was fresh, different and working. But a problem happens when three people get together. You start getting along. You start loosening up and revealing yourselves to each other. You make jokes in the ring just to get the other two guys going. Then a t-shirt is worn, then an inside reference is made, then the fans respond to a joke so you have to make the same joke next week but also build on it. A couple years later and suddenly this very serious gimmick is all about unicorns and Booty-O’s and pancakes and trying to push the limits of how crazy they can get with this gimmick. Every step of the way the fans are eating it up, sometimes literally, so they go a little farther. The kicker is, they’re all great wrestlers too. They don’t hide behind this gimmick, it is an addition not an exception. Xavier is the smarts, Big E the strength and Kofi the speed.
Now, the question has arisen: Why are there three guys? While these columns are intended to keep things simple a bit of history is needed here. Decades ago there was a team of three southern rock n roll badass wrestlers. They called themselves the Freebirds. They were a faction, more than two guys equals a faction. Pretty much a gang of three. One night they might have one on one matches, the next a tag with the third guy on the outside as a manager, and the following night a three on three match. It gives the match makers lots of options to make matches. The Freebirds won the tag team titles and in one of wrestling’s most original ideas the next week the announcers claimed a mistake was made and the Freebirds were named tag team champions. Not the names of two individuals. So “legally”, those high priced wrestling lawyers, all three members of the Freebirds are crowned tag team champions. Now any two out of the three could defend them, and the opponents would never know which two to prepare for. Its also a great way to cover for an injury. This idea has been used many times since, at most with 5 men, but is best used sparingly. While we currently don’t know which two New Day members will be officially in the match there is no doubt all three will make an impact.