In short, I hate it.
For months, Christian Cage has bodied a mostly-absent Jungle Boy on the mic, insulting his deceased father Luke Perry and offering to sleep with his mom. It’s been great. Seriously. I’m a big fan of Christian, particularly as a heel, and his turn as a Bond villain-looking scumbag who thirsts for nothing less than complete emotional domination of his enemies is some of his best work, up there with his “one more match” run against Randy Orton.
Two weeks ago, Jungle Boy returned from injury, chasing Cage from the ring before taking the mic and launching into a profanity-laden tirade that climaxed with him calling his former mentor a pussy.
When I texted this news to friend and Fanfyte contributor Robert Newsome, he replied that someone should murder Jungle Boy. I laughed because one of the things I know Robert to be passionate about is that wrestlers shouldn’t cuss in the ring, but I can’t say I much liked it in the moment, either. When I was young and started swearing, my mom tried to get me to stop by saying that swear words didn’t sound right coming from me. There were people who could say “motherfucker” and people who couldn’t, and according to her, ear tuned by years of factory work, I didn’t cut it.
I didn’t listen to my mom then and say “motherfucker” all the time in casual conversation now for reasons I will not examine here, but in thinking about Jungle Boy cussing up a storm in primetime on wrestling’s mothership, TBS, I must echo my mother’s sentiment: cuss words don’t sound right coming from him.
More Professional Wrestling
- In 2022, Vince McMahon Found Controversy He Couldn’t Escape
- Dropping The Bar: An Ode to Sheamus and Cesaro
- In Order to Make Its Future, Professional Wrestling Needs to Forget Its Past
The issue is that he’s too clean, a white meat babyface cut from the same cloth as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, a nice guy who could get intense when it came to matters pertaining to Ric Flair or Randy Savage, but never to the point where he’d call the Macho Man a pussy.
It’s fine for Jungle Boy to be mad about Christian betraying him, to yell and threaten violence. If I got my head smashed in with a chair, I’d be a little upset. But Christian Cage hasn’t worked blue since turning heel; he’s an elite-level hater because he digs into something obvious but impolite to say, like Brian Pillman, Jr. failing to live up to his father or Matt Hardy playing second fiddle to his brother, and goes beyond what fans expect, like MJF without the air of the worked shoot or the desperation of a young wrestler with something to prove.
That’s tough to respond to, but, dude, calling someone a pussy? In the Year of Our Lord 2022? Being proud enough of this to get a shirt printed up that reads “Christian is a pussy” in Impact font?
I don’t know, man. Like, it’s probably a reach to attribute the crowd at a local show last weekend chanting “Pussy” at a heel to Jungle Boy saying it on TV, but it did not feel good to be in a crowd of drunks screaming the word like it was a knife they could stab the wrestler with. Frankly, given my experiences of misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia in AEW and WWE crowds, giving mainstream fans a new word to roll around in their heads, the same idiots who think “Grab his dick and twist it” is the peak of humor, is probably going to end well.
These little reviews are supposed to be funny, I know. Sorry. I just think pussy deserves better.