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Stone Cold Stubble: July 21, 2017

Ahoy, true beardlievers! Welcome back to Stone Cold Stubble, your WWE beard report for July 21, 2017. Last week, A.J. Styles elevated the United States Championship, Sheamus and Cesaro finally pinned the Hardys, and Bray Wyatt won TWO MATCHES??

If you haven’t waded into the Stone Cold Stubble waters before, what we do here is pretty simple. We talk about WWE and it’s ever-growing beard culture. Each edition starts off with a power ranking of that week’s top 10 bearded superstars, before diving into other, somehow even more niche, beard-centric topics of discussion.

Currently, the parameters for what we define as a “beard” are, “prominent facial hair where the sideburns, mustache and goatee all connect.” This definition however, is constantly re-interpreted as is needed (including in this very edition of Stone Cold Stubble!)

It will all make sense as we go, I swear. Now, let’s make like Tye Dillinger and Aiden English at Battleground, and kick things off!

Power Rankings (7/21)

1) Braun Strowman (last week: 2)

After being absent from last week’s Raw in a classic case of “DNP: Ambulance Crash,” Braun returned to wreak unmitigated havoc. You see, he’s just not finished with Roman Reigns. He’ll never be finished with Roman Reigns. I hope these two beat the shit out of each other forever, because it keeps managing to be breathtaking television.

This week, Braun tossed Roman into the ring from the floor outside the ring, and Roman threaded the between the top and middle ropes, before ultimately crashing and burning in the ring. Not as spectacular as throwing him off of an ambulance, but still cool! And this was during a number one contenders match between Reigns and Samoa Joe, so Samoa Joe took his fair share of lumps too.

Not even the combined powers of the two would-be number one contenders was enough to stop Braun, as he powerslammed them both into oblivion. The only negative of this whole sequence was that Braun didn’t end up powerslamming Roman onto Joe. But it’s okay; I’m sure he’s saving that move for when he wins the Universal Title match at SummerSlam he now needs to be a part of.

2) Kevin Owens (last week: unranked)

I think this may have been the first time ever that Kevin Owens was involved in one of those Teddy Long, two-feuds-in-one tag team matches (where two good guys go up against two bad guys) and not only didn’t get pinned, but actually scored the pinfall. A big win for the Old New Face of America, only days ahead of his Battleground match against the New New Face of America. If he’s victorious, Owens will become a three-time New Face of America. One can only hope that this match will settle once-and-for-all who is the true New Old New New Old New Face of America.

3) Elias Samson (last week: unranked)

Here’s a quick lesson: never take a walk with Elias without looking both ways first. He is a legitimate crazy person. He took the only thing that makes him a distinctive personality and smashed it over Finn Balor’s head.

Stay tuned for next week when Samson gets introduced as he normally does, only this time he’s attempting in vain to play a completely smashed guitar. Trying so hard to hold back tears, Samson cracks, and breaks down in the center of the ring. He’s realized something. By hastily smashing Finn over the head with his guitar, he has killed his one true friend in this world… Is it too late to re-do the Emmy nominations?

4) Rusev (last week: 8)

On one hand, Rusev attacked John Cena and made him pass out from a submission hold this week, so he’s definitely not winning that Flag Match at Battleground. On the other hand, Rusev attacked John Cena and made him pass out from a submission hold this week, so he’s definitely not winning that Flag Match at Battleground.

I mean, come on. Is John Cena really going to lose a match that is centered around defending the honor of America? Frankly, I’ll be shocked if when Cena does win, a bald eagle doesn’t fly out from the rafters and land on his arm. This is his Civil War and it’s his 9/11. You’ll get the next one, Rusev.

5) The Revival (last week: unranked)

The Revival were legitimized months ago, when they debuted on Raw, beat The New Day, and broke Kofi Kingston’s ankle. Soon after however, Dash Wilder broke his jaw, and the team was put on the shelf for months. In their first in-ring action on Raw since though, The Revival were immediately re-legitimized, beating down the Hardyzzzzzz.

It’s a little weird that this is now the main tag team feud on Raw because like, where are the champions? Sheamus and Cesaro haven’t been on TV in two weeks. Presumably they’re out at flea markets looking for more flair to adorn their jackets with, but who really knows.

Anyway, The Revival: TOP GUYS. TOP BEARDS. (Scott Dawson doesn’t have a chin goatee portion to his, but the mutton chops-mustache combo he’s got going on is way to glorious to ignore.)

6) Maria’s Husband, Mike Kanellis (last week: unranked)

After weeks of doing substantially nothing aside from saying, “And I’m Mike Kanellis, Maria’s husband,” Maria Kannelis’ husband Mike Kannelis actually got into the ring. And due to a distraction from Maria, he won! Mike got his ass kicked by Sami Zayn for 99% of their match, until Maria stepped in to turn the tide. Later on in a backstage interview, she also answers a question for him. Maria does everything! I see now why Mike took her name in the marriage.

7) A.J. Styles (last week: 1)

Styles didn’t hold his Open Challenge a week after announcing it, and got pinned by his rival, Kevin Owens. Who cares though, because A.J. and Shinsuke Nakamura are totally going to go up against each other sometime soon! And it’s going to be… what’s the word I’m looking for? Like awesome, but moreso… Oh yeah! Phenomenal!

8) Finn Bálor (last week: 5)

Right, so turns out Finn hasn’t quite taken his last walk with Elias. Last week’s match was really only a set up for this week’s match, which after it’s guitar-smashing DQ finale, was really only a set-up for NEXT week’s match. (That match will have no disqualifications.)

Weird thing is, Bray Wyatt popped in to deliver an acid-trip soliloquy to Finn after his match with Elias ended. So in actuality, next week’s match between Finn and Elias is really only a set-up for a feud between Finn and Bray, which, as covered last week, yadda yadda Finn’s Demon King persona at SummerSlam, etc. etc. *cha-ching cha-ching* for WWE.

9) The Singh Brothers (last week: unranked)

This would normally be Jinder Mahal’s spot, but he was too busy this week, both turning into a corn cob as Randy Orton verbally owned him, and not knowing the rules to the Punjabi Prison Match.

Luckily, the Singh Brothers were on-hand to do something aside from stand next to Jinder, or get put through announce tables by Orton. Thanks to the Singh Brothers, noted Punjabi Prison match scholars, we all now know the rules to the Punjabi Prison match. I’m sure none of us need a refresher, but here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Escape the prison to win.
  2. Doors can open, but also those doors can close.
  3. In some cases, there are no doors.
  4. There are no rules.
  5. Abide by the rules or you cannot win the match.
  6. ???
  7. These are the rules.

Wow, so clear and concise! With an understanding this thorough and deep, why, I feel as though even I could win a Punjabi Prison Match!

10) Enzo Amore (last week: 7)

Boy, this feud went from “Wow Enzo is going to come out of this as the star” to “Huh, I guess Cass really is just better,” real quick, huh?

Enzo continued his promo hot streak, saying how much of a coward he is not, for forcing Big Cass to finish beating him up in their Great Balls of Fire match. But, then he ran from the ring when Cass showed up, and literally hid behind a child while the Big Show (Wellllllllllllllllllll) attacked Cass? There’s only ONE WORD to describe that behavior, and I’m gonna PROPERLY SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU: Soft.

Baron Corbin Beard Watch: Chad Gable Edition

Normally, this section would be strictly reserved for tracking Baron Co-Co’s beard growth. Unfortunately, his face seems to be locked in some sort of holding pattern. So instead, we’re going to focus on another superstar in need of some facial hair consulting: Chad Gable.

Now that his America Alpha partner Jason Jordan has headed to Raw to pursue a full-time career as Kurt Angle’s illegitimate son, Chad Gable is stuck in a rut. He’s had a couple of recent entertaining singles matches for sure, but where does he go from here? Who can Chad Gable become? We here at Stone Cold Stubble have a few ideas.

Look Chaddy, can we call you Chaddy? Chaddy, we think that in order to truly break out and reach new heights, you need to be as bold and as daring as possible.

Obviously, Stone Cold Stubble is very beard-centric, but don’t let that concern you! Rest assured, while these ideas will require you to grow some facial hair, you won’t have to go all-in, Braun Strowman-style, for any. Clean-shaven, as offensive to our eyes as it may be, is clearly your look. As such, it doesn’t make sense to have you do anything too far outside of your comfort zone. Hopefully, in these carefully researched and peer-reviewed pitches, we can strike a balance.

What’s the deal with…

The first idea actually wouldn’t require you to grow any facial hair at all, beyond maybe like five days worth of growth. You’ve already shown to be quick-witted, what with the creating nicknames for people, and convincing Kevin Owens you recently moved to Columbus. Take those inherent skills and become, “Chad Gable: The Smackdown! Stand-Up.”
Chad Gable performing stand-up

“Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid having to watch your sorry be-hind wrestle, OH!”

The promos practically write themselves! You’d probably need a better catchphrase zinger than “OH!” but we’ll leave that side of the business up to you.

Such a maaaaan…

Our next option requires little more than a mustache and a construction helmet. It’s a current day take on William Regal’s classic Real Man’s Man” gimmick:

Chad Gable as a construction worker

You’ve already got the whole “Ready, Willing, and Gable” thing going, so here’s the logical next step. Billed from Main Street, USA, Chad Gable works on a construction site, has two Golden Retrievers named Stars and Stripes, and is up for any challenge that’s thrown at him. Because not only is Chad Gable “Ready, Willing, and Gable,” he’s also a man.

ARGH!

Your third option might seem like a big risk, but sources tell me Pirate of the Caribbean is huge right now, so this is a can’t miss! Yep, Chad Gable is taking to the high seas as “Captain Gable!”

Chad Gable as pirate

Think of it like this: After you beat your opponents, you can take them to a body of water nearby whatever arena you’re at, and make them walk the plank into it. The WWE Universe loves it when they get to see things put in the water that normally aren’t in the water. This could be huge! Maybe you could even turn heel somewhere down the road, and make Jason Jordan walk the plank off the top of Hell in a Cell. The ultimate revenge for abandonment!

Plan D

Or, whatever, just grow a fu manchu, dye it black, slap some triangles on your mug and call yourself the 3rd member of The Ascension.

Chad Gable in The Ascension

Lord knows those guys need any sort of help they can get.

Reader Mail

Davis from Greensboro writes:

“First off, love SCS. It’s kept me up-to-date and informed on beards in WWE, in ways I never could have imagined. But, something has been nagging at me: We have no idea what Jeremy Klein looks like. He himself might be one of these “clean-shaven heathens” he seems so intent on speaking out against. What if he is one, and he’s intentionally trying to lead the bearded community astray? How do we know we can truly trust him and his opinions on beards in WWE?”

Hi Davis! Your concerns are understandable. I will admit, it’s true that I’ve never let my beard grow out too much before. It has remained untouched however, since the founding of Stone Cold Stubble five weeks ago. I plan to continue to let it grow until such a time that Stone Cold Stubble stops, or my beard gets so big that it becomes a sentient creature, and devours my head whole. Gruesome for sure, but what a way to out, eh? I’d for sure get my name in the papers for that.

And finally, to assuage your fears of me being a “clean-shaven heathen” here’s a picture of me that’s definitely me, and not some random picture I found on Google by searching “five weeks beard growth.”

Pictured: Totally me

See you next week, follicle faces! Oh, and let Davis be a lesson to all of you to NEVER SPEAK OUT AGAINST ME AGAIN.

 

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