It has returned MAMBINO-maniacs – the WWE for an NBA series has invaded the Southwest division. As always, this post will give the best comparable for YOUR…favorite NBA team, with metrics based on the team’s style of play, personnel and of course, attitude and tenor of the fan base that makes their existence possible.
Memphis Grizzlies: Wade Barrett
In Memphis, the basketball team of choice is the University of Memphis Tigers. With over a dozen NCAA tournament berths and three Final Four appearances, the city will always have its heart with the Tigers, though any attention on the periphery may monetarily take away attention from the main attraction. This momentary distraction would be the trendy Finals pick Memphis Grizzlies.
I for one, see the Grizz as more than just a trendy pick – they are the real deal Holyfield. They are young, hungry, and have the look of a champion. There is no reason they cannot be the best in the world, other than any internal problem holding them back. I could have cut and pasted those last few sentences to sum up how I have felt for the past 3 years about Wade Barrett.
Barrett is the Memphis Grizzlies of the WWE. There is nothing about him, on paper, to suggest that he is anything but a title contender. He is one of the very best talkers in the company, who can ably hold a conversation or throw down a scathing promo in front of the thousands in attendance, and the millions watching at home. In the ring, his skills are somewhat raw, but ultimately can wrestle just enough for me take him seriously as a major player. His move set augments the most impressive facets of his body and size – his massive wingspan and impressive shoulder width. The only thing holding back Wade Barrett from being world champion (aside from backstage politics), is time and other top contenders in the WWE.
For all of Barrett’s skill, size and personality, there are a ton of already established, homegrown big men that Vince McMahon knows he can rely on. With the Big Show, Mark Henry, Kane and Sheamus on the roster, Vince already has his Memphis Tigers. Barrett, while up and coming, is simply an on-paper player, and more importantly a substantial risk, especially when compared with the already proven big men of the WWE.
Grizz fans will understand the position that Wade Barrett is in. They will root for him like their own. Because that is what he is. A big British dude that a bunch of Tennesseans can connect with.
Dallas Mavericks: Jack Swagger
Shawn Marion said a few weeks ago that the Dallas Mavericks don’t seem to be getting enough respect from the NBA public as the reigning champions. Well Shawn, maybe if you had won opening week and hadn’t gotten blown out at home in your first two games, then you’d get a little more of that respect you think you deserve.
But this isn’t a post to deride the 2011 World Champion NBA Mavericks or it’s fan base. This is a post to celebrate the best qualities of everything that embodies Dallas’ titlists and best identify those with a WWE Superstar. That man would be Jack Swagger.
First and foremost, just look at the guy. If he doesn’t just scream North Texas and Midwest America, I don’t know what does. Swagger goes a legit 6’5″, 260 lbs, with an athletic background in collegiate amateur wrestling and football. He attended the University of Oklahoma (which might not jibe with everyone in Dallas, though the city does have it’s fair share of OU alums), where he set a NCAA record for pins in a single season as a senior. He rightfull… Read more...