Greetings and salutations, you follicle faces. It’s time for another edition of Stone Cold Stubble, your WWE beard report for July 14, 2017. Last week, Enzo launched himself all over the place, Curt Hawkins was once again great at getting his ass kicked, and, lest we forget, Braun Strowman punted Apollo Crews.
If this is your first jaunt into Stone Cold Stubble, we are pretty much here to talk about one thing and one thing only: the ever-growing beard culture in today’s WWE. That means power rankings of that particular week’s top 10 bearded superstars, as well as a rotating stable of other beard-centric features and discussion.
At the moment, the parameters for what defines a “beard” boil down to “prominent facial hair where the sideburns, mustache and goatee all connect.” This is a definition however, that is always open to be re-interpreted as circumstances dictate.
It will make sense in time, I promise. Now, let’s make like a vase over Sami Zayn’s head, and get crackin’!
Power Rankings (7/14)
1) A.J. Styles (last week: 3)
A handful of hours after last week’s edition of Stone Cold Stubble was posted, A.J. Styles beat Kevin Owens for the United States Championship at a Madison Square Garden house show. (For my dad and others not in the know, a house show is a non-televised live event.) Titles rarely change hands at these events, so A.J.’s win came as a huge shock to many, myself included. If I had known A.J. was going to win a championship like, eight hours later, I probably would have put him in the top two of last week’s rankings! Well, I’m writing this earlier than I normally do this week, so let’s see A.J. try and accomplish something that invalidates all of my hard work now! Mwahahaha. MWAHAHAHA. MWAHAHAwhat’s that? A.J. Styles just rescued a cat from going over a waterfall? Two cats? AND a St. Bernard puppy!? God damn, he really is phenomenal. Good thing he’s already in this week’s top spot!
If rescuing adorable animals from certain death weren’t enough, Styles also brought back the U.S. Championship Open Challenge, basically ensuring that he will be defending his title against someone every week, should someone want to try and take if off him. It could be John Cena, it could be Sin Cara, it could be Max Moon, it doesn’t matter. Whoever it is, A.J. Styles is going to wrestle them. The United States Championship has become the most important title on Smackdown! Live by far. Honestly, it’s probably one more prolonged Brock Lesnar absence with the Universal Championship away from becoming the most important title in all of WWE.
2) Braun Strowman (last week: 2)
At Great Balls of Fire, Braun Strowman bested Roman Reigns in an Ambulance Match. Seemingly done for as Roman Reigns geared up to Spear him into the ambulance for victory, the Monster Among Men ducked out of the way of the maneuver like the agile kitten he is. Who says big men can’t dance? Roman comically flew into the ambulance, Braun shut the door, and that was that.
Welllll, until it wasn’t. Roman Reigns threw what I would call a hissy fit, if it didn’t involve him beating a man up, throwing that man into the back of an ambulance, and then trying to commit murder by backing that ambulance into a truck at high speed. Glad I cut all ties with that psycho last week.
But, Reigns’ temper tantrum wasn’t enough to keep down Braun and his beard. After the fire department showed up (causing us all to miss the finish of the impromptu Curt Hawkins/Heath Slater match) and pried the ambulance doors open, Strowman emerged, bloodied and pissed off. Refusing medical attention, he stumbled off under his own power, into the night like a wounded sasquatch, not seen nor heard from since. His current whereabouts are unknown…
3) Bray Wyatt? (last week: rambling incoherently in the desert)
I can’t believe this is happening, but much like Bray Wyatt winning a match at Great Balls of Fire and on RAW, and seemingly going over in his feud with Seth Rollins… uhhh, yeah, I can’t believe this is happening. It’s so unexpected, I can’t even form a cohesive sentence to describe it. Turns out Bray Wyatt isn’t a god though, he’s just a conniving jerk that likes poking people in the eye, in order to disorient them long enough to be knocked silly and pinned.
4) Jinder Mahal (last week: 8)
Is the WWE Championshp becoming more meaningless by the week? Perhaps. But answer me this: If Jinder Mahal pinned “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger on Smackdown! Live this week, does that not make him “The Perfect 11?” Is the WWE Championship now becoming more meaningful by the second. WHO’S TO SAY. All I know is that my WWE Championship is around the waist of The Modern Day Maharajah, Jinder “The Perfect 11” Mahal.
5) Finn Bálor (last week: 9)
Finn takes what is perhaps his last walk with Elias on this week’s Raw. It’s sad to see these two end their song-and-dance relationship with each other already, especially seeing as Finn did not perform the Coup de Grâce on Samson’s guitar we all wanted. But, onto to bigger and better for both I suppose. Samson has already gone up against two former top champions, so I guess up next for him is… Kurt Angle?
As for Finn, it’ll probably be Bray Wyatt I guess? That could actually be good. Bray can reuse all of his Seth promos about inner demons, and Finn can dust off his off his Demon persona just in time for WWE to make a boatload of money off it before Summerslam. Hmm, what else? Man, Finn’s character is so thin right now beyond “look cool,” that I’m actually discussing his future instead of coming up with anything clever. Oh! How about this: Uhhh, hey, eat some chocolate cake! What’s your body fat like two percent!?
HA! Nailed him.
6) Sheamus and Cesaro (last week: unranked)
Over the course of one 30-minute Ironman match, Barsaro managed to pin the Hardys more times than they had over the last three months combined. Actually, I don’t think they ever pinned them until this match. Remember, their one win was a steel cage match, where you win by escaping the cage. Yeah, this honestly might have been the first time either Sheamus or Cesaro actually pinned a Hardy. Wow, what a terribly booked feud!
The only “good” things coming out of all of this, are that maybe now the Hardys will finally become “broken,” and that Sheamus’ beard has remained vibrant and luscious throughout. But Cesaro, buddy, you’ve got to stop trimming your beard. You and Sheamus would look at least ten times more badass in your cool jackets if you both had prominent facial hair growth to boot. It’s no wonder you’ve been downgraded from being called “the Swiss Superman” (Superman being one of the most iconic, beloved superheroes of all time,) to being called “the Swiss Cyborg” (Cyborg being a superhero I didn’t even know existed until Warner Brothers announced the Justice League movie, and one of the main characters was someone called Cyborg.) It’s a downgrade, and you deserve it with this ho hum, Roman Reigns-esque devotion to being a part of the burgeoning, worldwide beard community. Do better. Beard better.
7) Enzo Amore (last week: 1)
Before getting his ass summarily kicked by Big Cass, Enzo Amore delivered yet another awesome in-ring promo. He’s such an amazing talker, Enzo should be out here running for President, verbally slamming his opponents, kissing babies wearing Enzo Amore wigs, winning in a landslide, and leading America to where it needs to be. Instead, he’s getting literally thrown out of the ring and pinned in a matter of minutes. That’s life.
8) Rusev (last week: unranked)
Last week on Smackdown! Live, Rusev returned from injury to set up a “Flag Match” at Battleground against John Cena that he’s going to lose. This week, Rusev, along with Kevin Owens, interrupted a Cena/A.J. Styles confrontation to set up a main event tag team match straight out of the Teddy Long playbook playa.
I’ve mentioned previously that wrestling is something I’ve only semi-recently started watching again on a regular basis, but here’s what I know about Rusev:
- He loves Bulgaria.
- He hates America, and by extension, John Cena.
- According to his tights, he’s a BRUTE.
- He’s got a “Flag Match” at Battleground pitting his beloved Bulgarian flag against his two biggest enemies, America and John Cena, and he’s going to lose that match while wearing his tights that say he’s a BRUTE.
Yep, that about covers it. Looking forward to learning more about this brute who loves Bulgaria, but hates America and John Cena in the weeks to come!
9) Seth Rollins (last week: 5)
When you lose to Bray Wyatt twice in two nights via the exact same tactics, and everything starts spiraling.
10) Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (last week: unranked)
Okay seriously, what is going on? Anderson and Gallows not only appeared on television, but they got a win too?! I’d say, “Too sweet me, broski” but I’m too scared to touch anything and risk altering the timeline any further than it clearly has already been.
And now an appreciation of Bo Dallas, continuing his reign as the undisputed King Of Fashion
Great moments in Curt Hawkins jobbing history
As previously mentioned, we discussed last week that Curt Hawkins is the best in the game at getting his ass kicked. But did you know Curt Hawkins has a long history of losing, or “jobbing” to opponents long before the WWE? It’s totally, 100 percent true. This section will delve into some of those instances in order to paint a clearer picture of Curt Hawkins’ career of glorious losing.
May 7, 1989: “The Shot”
Despite being a role player off the bench for his Cleveland Cavaliers, Curt Hawkins was on fire in Game Seven of his team’s opening round series against the Chicago Bulls. Hawkins led his team with 24 points that day, including scoring a crucial basket to put the Cavs up 100-99 with only three seconds remaining. Three seconds to go, and Curt Hawkins would be a hero of Cleveland sports, an icon. But, being the hero is not what Curt Hawkins was put on this earth to do. For Hawkins would be guarding a man destined to come out on top and do great things: Michael Jordan.
In those last three seconds, Jordan caught the inbounds pass, cut towards the center of the court, and rose up to shoot. Hawkins rose up to defend the shot, doing his best to contend it. It was all he could do to make the inevitable look that much more impressive.
That image, Jordan rising up over the outstretched arm of Hawkins to drain the improbable dagger, has gone down as one of the first of many iconic playoff moments in Michael Jordan’s storied career. Some say it was “The Shot” that was the catalyst for the Bulls dynasty of the 1990s, a dynasty that changed the face of basketball. If that’s true, then we know who to thank for being the man to push Jordan to the brink, but allow him to come out on top looking like a million god damn bucks: Curt Hawkins.
Until next time, true beardlievers!