As promised, here is the second installment of The Comic Relief Of Wrestling. Today I’ll be looking at talent working for promotions such as GFW, ROH, NJPW, and independent shows. I could’ve included more, but I wouldn’t feel right discussing personalities I haven’t experienced. So with that said, jumping right in to the deep end with ..
For many years Colt Cabana has made a name for himself in ROH and the independents. He had a job in WWE for a couple of years as Scotty Goldman, but he wasn’t taken seriously so he returned to promotions who valued his work. He’s also known as one of CM Punk’s friends, and for his podcast show which featured Punk after he left WWE. While Cabana is a solid worker, he’s depended on natural charisma to bring comic relief for his fans. This has made him one of the most consistent and reliable faces on the indy scene of the past 15 years.
If you’ve never experienced Dalton Castle before, you’re in for a treat. He’s easily one of the most bizarre and flamboyant acts of recent times, and time will tell if he’s able to take his character to a grander stage. His chemistry with “the boys” tends to lead to strange, yet entertaining skits. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but even if you don’t find him funny .. you have to admit he has the skills to be successful in this business.
Oh no I included this guy! Yes .. Grado is here and perhaps I should feel shame? The problem with Grado is .. he isn’t your typical wrestler, he’s a Scotsman who looked like he walked off the streets and put on a singlet. He brings light-hearted comic relief, much like a Santino Marella. He doesn’t take himself seriously, and in doing so he’s garnered a large fan base in Glasgow when he worked for ICW.
Currently he’s looking for a way to keep his travel visa (storyline) so he can keep working on GFW’s Impact Wrestling. He used Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” as his entrance music for five years, but his entrance became too popular to the point she noticed and had it blocked just before he signed a contract with Impact. Grado asked the fans to sign a petition so they could persuade Madonna to let him keep the song as his entrance theme, but it fell on deaf ears. I’ll never expect him to be anything more than comic relief, but at least there’s someone to laugh with (or at). Here is Grado’s attempt at reaching out to Madonna.
Another controversial comic. I have split feelings on Joey, because there was a point he worked for Impact and I thought he had tons of untapped potential. The problem is he takes sleazy to the extreme. The problem is he’s content working indie shows instead of proving he could be far more. To some, the biggest problem is he uses his dick .. as a weapon against his opponents. I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true .. Joey Ryan’s dick has become a meme which shows how fake wrestling is to anyone who already decided it was. And the reactions are mixed .. Mick Foley enjoys it to the point he put Joey’s dick over in a match. Jim Cornette hates it and claims it’s a disgrace to the business.
I’m all for comic relief, and I’ll admit to finding his antics funny on the first couple of viewings. But now? Not so much. I’m merely disappointed he has to lower himself to doing these spots to get attention. He either doesn’t have the talent, or he doesn’t have the motivation to get himself over in any other way. When the internet blew up over his latest match with Mick Foley, he responded by saying it’s extra money in his pocket. I can see why it puts a smile on people’s faces, but I can also see why it’s embarrassing to those involved. I don’t know .. I wasn’t going to include him originally, but it seems like some fans find him funny so it would be unfair to exclude him based on my mixed reception.
Joseph Park (& Jeremy Borash)
There’s a reason Joseph Park was named the best gimmick of 2012. When you think of Joseph Park, you think of the three faces of Foley. The lawyer gimmick is the alter ego of Abyss, who many will know for being a monster who reveled in bloody hardcore matches. Joseph Park claims he is the brother of “Chris Parks” AKA Abyss .. even though we know he is Abyss.
The gimmick was first seen in 2012-2014. Joseph Park showed up as a lawyer looking his missing brother, and every week he ask wrestling fans, wrestlers, and Impact staff if they had seen him. After weeks of failing to find his brother, he began wrestling training so he could defend himself .. so we got to see him work as “the rookie”. In 2014, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian decided to look into Joseph Park’s history and find a way to get in his head. They found the office Joseph claimed he worked at, but after asking the staff they didn’t know who he was. They continued to poke holes in his story til his personality started to split. Upon seeing his own blood in a match, Joseph Park would temporarily transform in to Abyss, clear house, win the match, then immediately revert back to Joseph with no recollection of what happened.
Eventually it couldn’t be contained, as Joseph Park found out he was Abyss and his missing brother was in head as he didn’t exist. He went crazy and became a mix of Joseph and Abyss til he turned back to Abyss again full-time. For the next couple of years he worked as The Monster, til Crazzy Steve left Impact and Decay was disbanded. Abyss was last seen looking down on LAX from the rafters as Konnan conducted Decays “funeral”, where he stated Crazzy Steve was in a coma (he’d gone to WWE to try out for NXT) and Abyss had been taken out. Joseph Park soon returned to Impact to help Jeremy Borash in his feud with Josh Matthews. They made a fun double act, as they kept us up to date with montage training for their Slammiversary match with Matthews and Scott Steiner.
Personally I love it. The Monster Abyss has been done to death and it’s refreshing to see him do something completely different. He’s an amazing character actor, and it’s a shame because we could’ve seen him work his the magic on any WWE show if he wasn’t so loyal to TNA/GFW. He is the longest serving worker in TNA/GFW history as he’s been around since 2002 and never left unlike James Storm and others. Beware .. the video below has an epic Scott Steiner rant which is sure to either make your sides split, or make you run for cover.
She is known mostly for playing the piano and looking after Maxel Hardy on episodes of Impact. The wife of Matt Hardy continues to support him in his quest to gain control over the trademark for the broken gimmick before GFW. She has been very vocal on Twitter in opposition to Impact Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett, and the Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports Ed Nordholm. The rants usually come with a side of #F**kThatOwl. She’s not difficult to find .. so if you find her rants comical you should keep checking in on her Twitter feed.
A former TNA X-Division Champion who also had the opportunity to challenge Kurt Angle for the TNA World title. After managing Aron Rex’s disastrous gimmick, Spud was reduced to announcing and the occasional match for comic relief. His latest feud with (Horn) Swoggle saw him get taken out with a hammer. This sparked a Seth Rollins parody where Spud promised he would do everything to get back to Impact to exact his revenge, and each week we were updated us on his condition. When he returned the feud escalated and a double turn happened because Spud wouldn’t stop getting revenge.
But it wasn’t the first time he took the fall for a little person, as he also lost to baby Maxel Hardy at the Hardy Compound on a “broken” episode of Impact. King Maxel didn’t come alone though! The king would reign supreme!
“YOU KNOW THEY SAY ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. BUT YOU LOOK AT ME AND YOU LOOK AT SAMOA JOE AND YOU CAN SEE THAT STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE! SEE NORMALLY IF YOU GO 1 ON 1 WITH ANOTHER WRESTLER YOU GOT A 50/50 CHANCE OF WINNING! BUT I’M A GENETIC FREAK AND I’M NOT NORMAL! SO YOU GOT A 25% AT BEST AT BEAT ME! AND THEN YOU ADD KURT ANGLE TO THE MIX, THE CHANCES OF WINNING DRASTIC GO DOWN! SEE THE 3 WAY AT SACRIFICE YOU GOT A 33 1/3 CHANCE OF WINNING. BUT I, I GOT A 66 2/3 CHANCE OF WINNING CAUSE KURT ANGLE KNOWS HE CAN’T BEAT ME AND HE’S NOT EVEN GONNA TRY! SO SAMOA JOE YOU TAKE YOUR 33 1/3 CHANCE MINUS MY 25% CHANCE AND YOU GOT 8 1/3 CHANCE OF WINNING AT SACRIFICE. BUT THEN YOU TAKE MY 75% CHANCE OF WINNING IF WE WAS TO GO 1 ON 1 AND THEN ADD 66 2/3 %. I GOT A 141 2/3 CHANCE OF WINNING AT SACRIFICE! SENIOR JOE? THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE AND THEY SPELL DISASTER FOR YOU AT SACRIFICE!”
What can I say? He doesn’t care to the point you have to laugh. Some Japanese fans won’t appreciate the lack of respect, but others love it and keep asking for more. His gimmick has the potential for many funny moments, some of which you can see below.
Another New Japan star to bring this article to a close. Whenever I get the chance to see Toru Yano he sticks out because he’s like no one else; he’s all about expressing himself to amuse the audience. He hasn’t always been presented this way, as through much of his earlier career he was a tough guy heel capable of great matches. Regardless of how he looks .. he’s capable of winning titles and is loved by the NJPW faithful. Here is a comedy match between Toru Yano and Kenny Omega .. you can rate it out of 7 stars if you like.
And that’s all folks! I like to think other promotions have a good mix of comedy and serious feuds. I also enjoy little things like how Randy Orton’s “dive” comments spark a meme where wrestlers abandon their high-flying styles to become Randy Orton. Comic relief in professional wrestling has always been a thing, it doesn’t need a label, and it can be as spontaneous as the talents want/need it to be. There’s more freedom which makes way for improvisation, and they can get away with sudden changes.
It’s like a playground where anything can and will happen, and we have to accept the fact they will experiment .. so sometimes it’s going to suck. It might be harder on the eyes and ears (compared to a WWE product), but with the added freedom it may come across as being more genuine. Sometimes being genuinely funny in the moment is way better than rehearsing the crap out of your act.
So i choose to round it up here, as I begin thinking about the third and last installment of this mini-series. I will go back in time to find the most funny wrestlers and entertainers we’ve ever seen. You could probably list a handful off the top of your head now .. right? I won’t spoil anything though, instead I’ll ask you a question. Did I miss anyone obvious in the list? Instead of chastising and ridiculing with furious anger, please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to check them out if I don’t know them already. Have a good day wherever you may be! And see you again soon.