OHHHHH we’re back baby. The NBA season is in full swing, and coincidentally or not, the road to Wrestlemania starts this Sunday with the Royal Rumble in St. Louis, Missouri. For those of you that are just catching on, I started writing the WWE for a NBA Fan at the very bottom of my lockout doldrums. With no basketball to keep my mind sane, I started drawing parallels between various NBA fan bases and the WWE stars I thought they would most identify with. Even as a deal was struck and real ball was played again, the WWE for a NBA Fan series has soldiered on. Presented here is part 5 of 6, the Northwest Division.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Cody Rhodes
For the Wolves and the great (and long-suffering) fans of Minnesota, I had to think of a guy who would carry the requisite features of the greatest sports stars of the state. I was trying to think of a salt of the earth type guy, someone who looks like he could grow up next door to you. Someone who would succeed with a blue-collar work ethic. Someone like a Joe Mauer, Jack Morris, Kirby Puckett, Kevin Love or Kevin Garnett. So I came up with John Cena.
But that’s obviously not who we’re going with. He’s too much of a larger than life person, too much of a transcendent pop-culture figure. I need a guy a little understated, a little more demure.
But then I realized that for Minnesota, that hasn’t touched gold since 1991 with the Twins and hasn’t seen a championship round in any sport since then, they needed a guy to follow with a certain amount of swagger contrary to what they’ve always worshiped. They need a guy who’s got a little bit of an edge to him, with a little more confidence than smarts. They need all this, but also for him to look like he could have been your buddy in high school.
Enter Cody Rhodes. Son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, Cody looks like a normal guy (albeit, a extremely jakked normal guy…and maybe a little douchey). He’s come up through the ranks of the WWE with various tag teams and playing different characters, paying his dues at the bottom of the card. He’s had to earn his way to his spot, even though he emerged through the door his father undoubtedly opened for him. He’s improved as a wrestler every year since his introduction to the company. But even more impressive than his physical work ethic, is how he’s worked on the extracurricular features of his game. When he first came into the company, Cody was lifeless and uncharismatic. He was the skinny son of the larger than life personality (and human) Dusty Rhodes. Cody couldn’t speak, and even when he did, he had a noticeable speech impediment. However, several years later, you have to struggle to hear hints of it when he cuts weekly killer promos running down his latest opponent.
He’s moved his way up the corporate ladder the right way, the way a Timberwolves fan could identify with. But he’s also got that championship swagger that they long to feel.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is the stupidest name in the WWE. The Thunder have the logo and colors of an amateur basketball squad. This comparison is already bearing fruit.
Beyond the simple facade of names and colors, these two entities have far more in common. Ziggler is one of the WWE’s shining young stars. He has limitless talent and a comparable amount of potential. In his current gimmick, Ziggler brags about being a so-called “show-off”. He claims that every single night, his match will be the one you remember most. He thinks he has the most dynamic move set, co… Read more...