Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition Craig discusses James Ellsworth’s run with the WWE and the passing of Frenchy Martin while Brian shares some of the more interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon this week.
The James Ellsworth Stuff is Fun…But There’s Not Much Life Left in it.
In a week that saw WCW icon Goldberg return to WWE TV for the first time in 12 years, it’s somewhat remarkable that the majority of discussion online has focussed on a superstar that, despite a very quick loss to Braun Strowman, has recorded a win over WWE champion AJ Styles.
But James Ellsworth isn’t just any superstar, is he?
When he first appeared on Raw several months back ahead of his quick squash loss to the giant Braun Strowman, I laughed at his appearance – like most – and felt that in a straight fight I’d fancy my chances.
I thought very little of him afterwards, despite the online memes, as I fully expected him to disappear from view.
In what is a credit to himself, he’s not. And he’s made a surprisingly well received return to WWE TV.
Announced as a surprise tag team partner to AJ Styles on an episode of Smackdown Live, before he was beaten down on the ramp by The Miz, his arrival popped the crowd and once again had meme creators having the time of their life.
A win over AJ Styles, heavily assisted by an assist from the guest referee Dean Ambrose, has only helped get the diminutive indy wrestler over with a worldwide audience. Add a Ellsworth t-shirt, available from all good WWE related online shops, to the mix and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
However, there have been a moaning minority having a shot at Ellsworth. Suggestions that he shouldn’t be anywhere near the main event picture indicates a lack of a sense of humour whilst the idea that this gimmick would gain more criticism if it was being promoted by TNA is whataboutery.
This has been fun, there is no denying that. The shelf life is limited but Ellsworth’s hugely entertaining run with the company, which will surely benefit him when it comes to indy bookings in the future, has been a breath of fresh air.
I’d not like to see the gimmick become a full-time thing, nor do I believe it will, and that fleeting appearances – including perhaps at the Royal Rumble – will keep him fresh in the eyes of wrestling fans.
Ultimately, though, there are bigger and better things in store for AJ Styles and that’s where his focus lies. But as someone that advocates the champion and challenger shouldn’t wrestle week in, week out on TV ahead of PPVs, I’d be a hypocrite not to welcome the attention being split three ways between Styles, Ambrose and Ellsworth rather than just on the first two.
RIP Frenchy Martin
Gagné began his career in Stampede Wrestling in Calgary and also wrestled in Puerto Rico. He will be best remembered by the majority of wrestling fans as Dino Bravo’s manager during the WWE’s expansion in the 80s and for his “USA is not OK” sign.
In 1990, after a short spell as an enhancement talent, he left the WWE and quietly retired from the business.
It was revealed last month that he was battling bladder cancer and had been moved into a hospice. He passed away on the 2st of October at the age of 66.
Who knew that Andre the Giant was such a fashionista?!?
Bill Goldberg never changed…not even from his college football days.
Drink it in Maaaaaan…
A teenage Tonga Fifita aka Haku aka Meng starting out his wrestling career shaking hands with Giant Baba.
Bruno Sammartino with “Joltin'” Joe Dimaggio
Before there was Dolph Ziggler, there was Shawn Michaels. The king of ‘overselling’.
A Bret Hart commercial
AJ Styles is Right…
This is an interesting photo…
Last Week on the Blog
Last week’s Sunday Sermon looked at big men; we had Part 87 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ on Monday; Tuesday’s ‘Remember When‘ looked at when Lex Luger slammed Yokozuna; on Wednesday we asked ‘Whatever Happened to‘ Kimberley Page; Thursday’s Top Five looked at finishers that don’t look painful; and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.