The big news of the past week was that the Diamondbacks unveiled their new mascot, the official D-backs Luchador. ... What's that? There was OTHER news? Well, I don't have time for that stuff; I'm a busy guy.
/eats bag of Funyons
Anyway, between the new mascot and the announcement that the Marlins will be hosting a Legends of Wrestling Night, it seems Major League Baseball has officially caught pro wrestling fever. (The only cure for pro wrestling fever is ACTION. And also a tetanus shot. See a doctor.) So we're here to
capitalize pile on contribute!
We have a few wrestling fans around the MLB side of SB Nation, so we decided to put my head together and envision each MLB team as a professional wrestler, past or present (mostly present). Please keep in mind -- before you race to the comments to tell me what a terrible job I did -- that these comparisons are based on the 2013 editions of each team. Yes, the all-time Yankees would be "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase or Hulk Hogan or whatever; the 2013 Yankees are neither of those. So kick back, enjoy and try not to take things too seriously.
Just kidding; it's pro wrestling discussion on the Internet! Tear each other limb from limb! In this installment, we begin with the American League.
The Boston Red Sox are John Cena
No one over the age of 12 wants to admit it, but John Cena is absolutely outstanding at what he does. The problem is that everyone is sick of him. They're sick of his dumb shirts, they're sick of his Sincere Serious Voice, they're sick of him constantly Beating the Odds and they're sick of him in general. That's the Red Sox. They're terrific this year -- again -- after an epic collapse and a lost year. They used to be America's darlings until they won a pair of World Series and the country got exposed to Red Sox Nation. Wait a minute ... Red Sox Nation ... the "Cenation" ... MY GOD IT ALL MAKES SENSE.
The Tampa Bay Rays are Daniel Bryan
You know the story of the Rays by now. They don't get any help from anybody. They're a small-market team in the second-worst stadium in the league, playing in front of no one, with one of the smallest payrolls in the league. But it's okay; they'll still be one of the best teams in the world, year after year. They'll do it their own damn selves. Daniel Bryan, AKA "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson has been wrecking shop coast-to-coast in independent federations for 13 or so years and he's always been exactly this good. Always. Now he's the hottest wrestler on the planet and wrestling fools for an hour on Raw and everyone is like "lol where the hell did this guy come from?" Expect the Jonah Keri book on Daniel Bryan any day now. Daniel Bryan is the new market inefficiency.
The Baltimore Orioles are Booker T
Everyone likes the Orioles in some way. They're not really a team that lends itself to intense hatred. They probably don't even have an arch-rival. I bet they think they do, like the Padres and Mariners have arch-rivals. But they don't. Everyone loves that the Orioles are doing well again (except Yankees fans). Everyone likes the team's history (except Yankees fans) and of course everyone is crazy about those gorgeous uniforms. (Yankees fans, you like the uniforms okay, right?) The Orioles have been up, they've been down, they've been the best, they've disappeared. That's Booker T: no one really hates the guy; lots of people think of him very fondly. His career is all over the place. I mean ALL OVER THE PLACE. He was a tag team specialist, he was a guy who lost the rights to his name so he had to start wrestling as G.I. Bro, he feuded with a guy over shampoo, he was suddenly a foreign king, he kicked around in TNA hating everything before reinventing himself as an announcer. There is some aspect of Booker T's career that you can recall fondly. There is some part of his history you adored. The Orioles and Booker T: hey, that wasn't so bad!
The New York Yankees are the Undertaker
Spends most of the year injured, but will still never lose.
The Toronto Blue Jays are 2013 Chris Jericho
We had such high hopes, but then it was all just terrible.
The Detroit Tigers are Kane
Kane has been extremely popular and successful for like 15 years. He's been pretty much every champion there is, crowds love him, he sells merchandise and rarely makes a fool of himself in the ring. All that said; there's nothing really getting worked up over. At the end of the day, he's still just Kane.
(I am so sorry, Tigers fans.)
The Cleveland Indians are Tatanka
The Kansas City Royals are Chainsaw Charlie
It should have been a can't-miss opportunity. Mick Foley was just starting to set the world on fire as Mankind following his infamous interview with Jim Ross and being tossed off that cage. Everyone knew he was a crazy guy who would do just about anything to get ahead. Who better to bring in to be his tag team partner than Terry gosh dang Funk? So Funk and the (then-)WWF put their heads together and ... introduced Terry Funk as "Chainsaw Charlie," a guy in suspenders who wore panty hose on his head.
The Royals during the offseason were determined to make a big splash. They traded away the top prospect in all of baseball and got woefully shortchanged on the deal. They traded, they spent, they seemed to make a bunch of bad decisions and now they're in third place. They look to be sellers at the trade deadline. It could have been amazing. Instead, they're wearing panty hose on their heads and wondering what went wrong.
The Minnesota Twins are The Miz
Because WHOOOOO CAAAAAAARES
The Oakland Athletics are ACH
I know; you've never heard of ACH. You should maybe watch this. If you want more after that, watch this. ACH is an amazing pro wrestler who is out there killing himself in front of 15 people in a rec hall in a ring that looks like it has linoleum for a mat. But he's not going to stop; he's just going to keep being great at what he does. And the people who DO show up love him to death and realize they're watching something special. So you can see how there might be SOME parallels. Just throwing it out there.
The Texas Rangers are Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Steamboat is probably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. But he never rose much higher than "second fiddle." His contemporaries were more colorful, or more charismatic, or just more interesting. He got right up against superstardom, but never really got over the hump. That's where the Rangers are finding themselves now. Ricky Steamboat won that match at WrestleMania III, but Randy Savage will always be more beloved. Can the Rangers find a way to make themselves memorable?
The Seattle Mariners are Al Snow
In one of his books, Mick Foley uses "Al Snow" as a euphemism for taking a poop. The Mariners are not as bad as all that. Mostly because the Astros are in their division now. But I mean, come on; the Mariners are Al Snow.
The Chicago White Sox are Zack Ryder
From tarnished and shamed, to a long stretch of awfulness, to a relatively-brief period of intense success. Then they vanished from the face of the earth, never to be seen again.
The Los Angeles Angels are Scott Steiner
Once amazing, but now bloated with ... contracts. Flashes of brilliance interspersed with deep slumps of sheer insanity. Either way, you can't look away. Always, always, always entertaining. For better or for worse.
The Houston Astros are Dennis Rodman
Yes, Dennis Rodman wrestled. He fell asleep on the ring apron. He's one of the worst wrestlers in history, but you can't even be mad, because he's Dennis Rodman. Like, what else is he gonna do, you know what I mean? I hope you know where I'm going with this.