Continuing our week of Scott SUUUUUUUUUCKS, I’d like to defend a match that, unlike Scott, is being unfairly maligned. I think I’ve done this before, but why not do it again. It’s a story I like telling.
Samoa Joe vs Rainman
You’ll find people who hate on this match. Hate on it because it’s far shorter than most matches in the tournament, hate on it because it’s featuring a guy who’s not nationally well known but ended up going far, hate on because they’re hating haters who hate. These people are wrong, and should not be trusted with your garbage, much less your wrestling opinions.
To truly understand this match, you’ve got to put yourself in Rainman’s shoes.
You’re having the weekend of your life; coming in as a completely unknown outsider with no rep, you’ve upset cleanly a TNA guy, and you’ve got a fluke win over a local star, though you’re not letting yourself think about flukes right now. Most people didn’t think you’d make it out of the first round – maybe even you, a little bit – and now you’re only one match away from getting to the final, being the story of the tournament, and making yourself a big name in less than 48 hours.
Only, the thing is, the guy on the other side of the ring is the scariest man in the world. It’s Samoa Joe. As much self confidence as you might have at the moment, Samoa Joe still out of your league – out of your universe. This is going to take more than reversing a top rope cross body. You’re not fast enough to dream of tiring him out, you’re not strong enough to wear him down (is that even possible?), your only advantage over him coming was how everyone knows what Samoa Joe can do, but no one knows what you’ll try. Except this is your third match, and you don’t really have any surprises.
Still, just getting in the ring with Samoa Joe raises your status. Survive as long as you can, try not to fall over in pain when he hits you, and sneak in a few shots where you can. You know the longer it goes, the less chance you have, but maybe you can last eight minutes and get some respect from the fans for doing it. Maybe Joe will shake your hand. People will pat you on your back on your effort.
On the other hand…
You know strange things can happen in the first moments of a match. Joe’s gotta be overlooking you, thinking about who’s he going to be in the final. You know he’s a dangerous man and even scarier angry, but if you can hit him before he’s thinking about you, if you can throw everything you have at him in the first minute (because either way, it’s not going two), if you get a tiny bit lucky – well, likely, you’ll still get killed and be finished in a laughable time, tainting everything you’ve done this weekend. People won’t remember the times you won, just the overwhelming way you lost.
Think about it. What do you choose: the people’s respect or a razor thin chance of winning.
They got THAT story over in a minute. You can do all the flashy moves you want, but I’ll pick something you can draw four paragraphs from any day of the week.
related: TPI Day 2, 2004 by Scott Christ