I’ve been watching the business of pro wrestling for a majority of my life, I usually say I can trace it all the way back until around age six, although it may actually trace back even further. The one thing that’s seemed to be the most common thread in my viewership of pro wrestling is that as far back as I could remember the two biggest types of workers that caught my attention and drew me in were the larger than life monsters and the deep, dark, psychological characters. The ultimate manifestation of this being that my all-time favorite is The Undertaker and I used to take pride in calling myself a member of his Creatures of the Night back in the day. Between Undertaker, Jake Roberts, Raven, Kevin Sullivan, and one of my oft forgotten favorites, Waylon Mercy. Anyone who caught that last one back in the day likely sees a bit of him in the modern day psychological character of Bray Wyatt, which is just one of the many reasons I’m such a big fan of the Wyatt character, that and his other two compatriots are perfectly matched with him for the creepiest faction in ages. Anyone who knows me and the type of worker I typically gravitate toward likely wouldn’t be shocked at all to see that I’ve become a massive fan of the entire Wyatt Family, especially one Luke Harper, he’s a wonderful combination of dark, huge, and violent, the trifecta of amazement when it comes to an in ring competitor. These things wouldn’t shock a single person, it’s right in line with everything I’ve ever enjoyed, but lately there’s been a bit of an awkward change in my fanhood, I’ve been growing fond of a different type of character and it’s quite the strange territory to find myself. I’ve marked out for Tyler Breeze more than a couple times, even going so far as to say the man could be a Hall of Famer after just a couple NXT live event appearances, this alone should have sounded alarm in my head that something was changing, something unusual was happening, but it never happened, I just went along figuring everything was normal when all along I’ve been changing, something has snapped inside. I’m no longer the man who just watches for the evil character, I’m no longer the guy who looks for the deep dark character, something has died in me, and I think it’s all Brock Lesnar’s fault.
You may ask yourself, who in the blue hell ever decided Zack Ryder should get a push? Valid question, but it’s not really germane to the article I’m writing here, so lets get back on track. A more fitting question would be why do I blame Brock Lesnar for what’s happened to me, for what’s changed in my mind? Well, it’s very simple, as a fan of The Undertaker I’ve been hooked on watching The Streak every year, each year Undertaker would step up, each year another superstar would fall, it was pretty much a certainty. Undertaker was the Holy Grail in the world of wrestling, he was the bar upon which all others were measured, then came WrestleMania 30 in Louisiana. Nobody expected it, no matter what they want to claim NOBODY saw it coming, especially in a lackluster match compared to years past. Brock Lesnar came to the ring after promising for weeks that he WOULD beat Undertaker, his advocate Paul Heyman told us week in and week out that Brock Lesnar would CONQUER The Streak, we all just shrugged it off, it was just another star that would fall at the feet of The Deadman. We all watched the match, I still had that wild eyed childhood amazement through the entire matchup, while it wasn’t nearly the match you typically expect, I still couldn’t turn away. Lesnar got the upper hand, Undertaker fought back valiantly, but his comeback just never really seemed to be enough as Lesnar had a counter to everything he attempted. Finally, the moment came, Brock Lesnar hit a third F5, he dropped down and covered Undertaker. The ref counted one, everyone watched and waited, his hand came down for two, the building again watched and waited, those of us at home moved to the edge of our seats knowing that the kickout was coming. The hand came down for a third time, and everything changed. The Silver….err, Superdome went flat, the crowd was beyond shocked, and in one living room in Winter Haven, Florida a husband and a wife stared at each other in shock with jaws agape, the impossible had happened, hadn’t it? There’s no way, it couldn’t be, could it? Eventually it took hold, my entire childhood was over, my childhood died at the massive hands of Brock Lesnar.
You see, that’s how everything changed, and that’s how it’s all Paul Heyman’s client, Brock Lessssssner’s fault. You see, that night things changed, that night EVERYTHING changed, the days of old had passed, and something inside just melted away. Yes, we still have Bray Wyatt and I absolutely love the character, I love the entire Wyatt Family, it’s some of the most compelling television in WWE in more than just a few years, but it’s just not enough anymore. I watch every second of the Wyatt Family on television, and I enjoy it all, but the amazement is gone, it’s just not the same anymore. I wish things were the same, I wish I still had that amazement inside me, I just can’t seem to get myself as hyped for the dark side as much as I have in the past. Ever since the night after WrestleMania things have been so strange, I’ve been watching segments I’ve never paid attention to before, I’ve been hooked on the Divas matches, well as long as Paige is involved, I have been enjoying RybAxel and hoping that they get a tag title run, hell I’ve even put Michael Cole ahead of Jim Ross as the greatest Raw announcer of all time…Ok, ok, that last one will never happen, but you get the gist of the situation, things just are not the same. On an upside one of my favorites is back to in-ring action, and carrying the Intercontinental Championship, with Bad News Barrett finally getting back in the ring instead of just speaking, and another upside is that Rusev has actually become interesting to me, sure part of it has to do with my friend Rob Nickell making me aware that Lana is a Florida State fan, but I’ve actually learned to enjoy his matches as well. Again, this all traces back to that one moment, that one instance, the night that the whole world stared in amazement as Brock Lesnar did what we all believed was impossible, the night that Lesnar changed the Universe for all eternity, WrestleMania 30, and the end of The Streak.
While I’ve been pounding the Tyler Breeze drum for a while, and trying to get people interested in one Aiden English as well, this change, this difference in choice of workers hadn’t stuck out in my mind. I still enjoyed Baron Corbin, he’s not quite an Undertaker, but he’s still a big guy with a dark look to him, so I just somewhat assumed that I just enjoyed the business as a whole, as I had my entire life. While watching that Raw after WrestleMania it finally hit me head on, although I didn’t really come to grips with it until just this afternoon when the idea for this article popped into my head. I watched that Raw, wishing that Undertaker would show up and address his fans, I prayed that The Deadman would let us know what had happened and either ride off into the sunset or “promise revenge” for what happened. The show ran on, no Undertaker in sight, but one thing came on that really stuck with me, that got my attention, and kept my attention. A vignette played for an upcoming worker, I couldn’t help it, I smiled from ear to ear, my entire philosophy on life changed, I felt positively uplifted and happy, for once in my life I could BO-LIEVE in something. Man, I need to stop doing that, this last one made me a bit sick to my stomach, let me stress this, I am NOT and WILL NOT be a BO-liever, not now, not ever. That night saw the debut, on WWE Television anyway, of the Exotic Express, we got a glimpse of what was to come, the imminent debut of one Adam Rose. I enjoyed Rose in his prior run as the maniacal Leo Kruger, he was interesting, but never quite enough get over and move up to the main roster. When Adam Rose was born, something finally clicked, the man became wildly entertaining, the man became one of the most fun characters on television, the FINALLY made it to the main roster. There’s something about the flash, the pageantry, the crazy ass characters he surrounds himself with, while the character is a complete departure from what I grew up loving and watching so closely, it’s something I just can’t help but enjoy. The music is amazing, sure it’s repetitive as hell, but that’s what makes it burn into your brain.
The only problem I have now is that people are already trying to hate on Adam Rose, yeah, I know, how the hell do you hate on Adam Rose, right? They’re talking about how the music is more over than he is, how everyone was doing the Fandango music deal, then gave up on it, they claim that there’s no way Adam Rose will amount to anything because Fandango didn’t do anything after his hot start, but c’mon, you can’t compare the two. Fandango is a dancer, Adam Rose is a party animal, two COMPLETELY different fields of work. That’d be like saying that Henry Godwinn and Duke Droese are the same person because both dealt with shi..ahem, dirty things. Gotta keep it PG, gotta keep it PG, just need to keep repeating that to myself. It’s still strange to me, still unusual to think that someone who’s so far outside of the typical for me is becoming one of my favorites, and quickly at that, but how can you not love the character, how can you not grin and feel happiness when you hear that music start? And to think, it doesn’t even take any kind of “medicinal” help for me to enjoy the gimmick, although I’m sure there are certain things I could ingest that would make the show even greater, but I’ll pass on that for now, I’ve never been big on picking up things growing out of cow patties. You’ve got a ton of catchphrases to choose from these days, you can follow the buzzards, you can say Uce, and have someone else say O, you can deliver some BAD NEWS, you can adapt or perish, hell you can even believe in The Shield, but nothing tops that of Mr. Adam Rose. When you ask what time it is, the answer is very simple, it’s PARTY time, and when is part time? ALL THE TIME. I’ve been accused of being a negative person, I’ve been accused of being a bit of a downer, but ever since April 7th I’ve been a changed man. I’ve decided to get on the Exotic Express, I’ve joined the party crowd, the dark days of the past have faded and I’ve joined a new team. I am lemon no more, I say it loud, I say it proud, from this day forth, I AM A ROSEBUD…and it’s all Brock Lesnar’s fault.