Friday, January 21, 2011

WRESTLING BLOG: NFL Playoffs - Who are their wrestling counterparts?

A couple days ago, I was listening to The Herd on ESPNU, as I do most mornings, and he basically compared the Steelers' team culture to that of a heavy metal band.

That got me thinking: What wrestlers best exemplify the teams who will be playing in this weekend's AFC and NFC Championship games?

Plenty of teams have a culture that could be portrayed as a wrestler. The New England Patriots, for example, are the equivalent of Rey Mysterio. They're undersized and mask a lot of their actions, and yet they stay in the title picture because of an offense-heavy style and good cerebral strategy.
Other teams can work like this too.

The Indianapolis Colts are like Christian (exciting and easily title-worthy, but injuries keep preventing them from getting back to the top).

The Atlanta Falcons are The Miz (the new kid in the title picture, incredible potential but still lacking in areas that keep them prone to defeat).

The Kansas City Chiefs are John Morrison (relatively young, quick, exciting and appears poised for a title run sometime in the next few years).

And the Seattle Seahawks are Santino Marella (no discernable skill and undersized, and yet have done everything but win a World championship).

So what about the teams still in it? Well here's my thoughts:

Pittsburgh Steelers = Triple H

Tell me that when you don't hear the opening chords to Motorhead's "The Game" or "King of Kings" you wouldn't think of something as tough as Pittsburgh.

Triple H is seen as a true champion (12 World reigns) as is Pittsburgh (6 Super Bowl titles).

More importantly, Triple H is seen as one of the guys who is an absolute monster in the ring. He has a hard-hitting but still technical style, he's charismatic but mostly prefers to do his talking in the ring, and if you give him trouble he's not afraid to hit you over the head with a sledgehammer.

I could see the Steelers entering to Motorhead and doing similar mannerisms because they are Triple H, royalty in a sport of greats.

New York Jets = Kane

This one seems very fitting. The Jets are seen as the No. 2 squad in New York while Kane is considered No. 2 in the Brothers of Destruction. Kane likes to talk up a big game and get in his opponents' heads, just like the Jets.

However, that does not mean he isn't skilled. Kane has an amazingly powerful style that can knock opponents backward and tends to get emotional with defeat, making things between him and his opponent "personal."

Kane and the Jets had been floundering in the middle of the card for a while, but have seen revivals as of late, and are now legitimate title contenders.

Chicago Bears = Mark Henry

Personally, I feel like this is the ideal look for what the Chicago Bears are. They always seem to be missing that one element of their game to make them complete, and they lack that finesse to make their style look less ugly.

However, their size and power, much like Henry's, always makes them a threat to win.

This reminds me of when Mark Henry returned to WWE in 2005. He was made to be this unstoppable force, and with Melina on the microphone for him, it really felt like he would make a good World Champion. But then Batista got hurt, Melina left and he was exposed with matches against Kurt Angle and the Undertaker.

Henry still can be a credible threat at times, but in WWE's evolving environment it's much harder. Same with Chicago: They can still be a threat, but when you lack an elite quarterback in an offense-driven league, you have to be that much better with everything else.

Green Bay Packers = Randy Orton

I think this comparison may be the most fitting of them all. Orton is the epitome of a well-rounded machine. He does everything well, but nothing necessarily better than anyone else.

His name doesn't come up first when talking about elite brawlers or technical guys, and his style makes it nearly impossible to have a 5-star, Match of the Year.

However, he also doesn't have any weak points. There's nothing in his game where WWE could have said "Oh he can't be champion, he does this badly," and while his style doesn't allow for great matches, he also is nearly incapable of bad matches.

I see the Packers the same way. Passing game, running game, defense, special teams and coaching. They're not the best among the remaining teams in any of those categories, but they're good at all of them, and that makes them hard to gameplan against.

I've been talking for a while, so let's just preview these games as if they were on a WWE PPV.

Kane v. Triple H - Yes, yes; Katie Vick does come to mind, but forget that for a second. Whenever these two feuded, Kane was always seen as a legitimate threat, and on multiple occasions Hunter relied on outside help to win.

In most every situation you would say H wins this, but after being plagued by injuries all year and after Kane's spike to the grand stage this year, it can be taken that if Kane's ever been poised to win, it's now.

Randy Orton v. Mark Henry - Under most every circumstance, Orton's the man in this match, but you have to remember that Henry's power does grossly outclass Orton's. It's enough of an advantage where a cheap pin is easily a possibility, especially with any outside interference (other people, weather), but it's still a question whether that much of a gap in power and any outside factors still match up with a guy as complete as Orton.

Good luck to all four teams and may you make good runs at making your Wrestlemania, the Super Bowl. Now I'd like to ask: What are your wrestling equivalents for teams, let me hear them in the comments at the end of the article.

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