I wanted to take a break from the serious, analytical material I typically produce each week and simply focus on something fun, yet still thought-provoking at the same time. I came up with this.
It's completely subjective. You don't have to agree. And whether you do or you don't, I'm curious to see your "Top Five" lists. You can leave them in the comments section below, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet them to me @RealityofChris.
In no particular order, here are the top five "characters" I enjoy watching the most on pro wrestling television these days.
DISCLAIMER: These are not necessarily the top superstars or wrestlers in WWE or TNA. Most of them are not, in fact. The following five people are the ones that entertain me the most, right now, each week. It's a light-hearted list, people, and no one gets a prize for being included. If I leave one of your favorites out, don't yell...simply add them to your own list and send it to me.
#5. Santino Marella
He's been over for a while, but it was those final moments in the Elimination Chamber match that solidified his place with the fans. There simply was no denying his popularity at that point.
I'm happy he won a title; I just don't want to see the responsibility that comes with it cost Santino the time and ability to get over like he always has. He needs to continue being given mic time and funny segments on a consistent basis.
If you lose those, you lose Santino.
Santino is one of those cheesy gimmicks that are often hard to relate to if you're over the age of 12. But his delivery is exceptional and he's one of my favorites to watch each week.
#4. Austin Aries
He honestly reminds me of CM Punk.
Austin Aries is one of the few that are better suited for TNA than WWE. The X Division needs work, and more focus, but it's doing right by him. There aren't enough credible challengers, but that's not his fault. He's just that good.
WWE has nothing close to a comparable division for Aries to work. And there's already two of those feel-good stories of independent wrestlers that actually make it to the top of WWE in the two world champions. And to Vince, that's probably two too many.
Aries should stay right where he's at. TNA will at least appreciate and utilize his talent. WWE wouldn't offer him the same treatment.
#3. Daniel Bryan (and A.J.)
Soap operatic love stories that require a lot of "real acting" don't always work in pro wrestling. And that could be the reason some of you don't like what's going on between Daniel Bryan and A.J. on Smackdown each week. I love it.
I'm adding A.J. in this because it's needed, in my opinion. Bryan was getting over without her, but not to this extent. It was after her inclusion that made me see Bryan in an entirely new light. It's his interaction with her that makes me and others truly despise the character he's become.
The transformation of Daniel Bryan has been fun for me to watch. I put him down often six months ago. I couldn't care less about his in-ring ability that the "smart fans" ranted and raved about. He simly didn't entertain me, then.
I still don't care about his in-ring ability. But he entertains me. A lot.
#2. Bully Ray
This is another pill hard for me to swallow. It goes against everything I believe in. I'm not a fan of praising people that I genuinely dislike.
Personally, I think Mark LoMonaco is a d*ck. Not always, but in general. I'm not the only person who feels that way; I'm not the only person who has had the displeasure of being around him. He's not impossible to get along with -- he's just a lot harder to get along with than others.
I don't like to work that hard.
But it's the reasons I dislike Mark LoMonaco that makes me love watching Bully Ray so much on Thursdays.
He's a great heel. Probably because it comes so easy to him.
#1. The Rock
If I'm given the options of a) The Rock, a little or b) The Rock, none at all, I'm taking "option a" everytime.
Since the match between John Cena and The Rock was announced nearly one year ago on the Monday Night Raw after WM 27, I give Rock a ton of credit. He showed up just enough for most of the year to hold our attention, and as soon as it was time to push hard for the big event, he's been available every week.
You would expect rust! There's been hardly any.
The Rock is a BUSY Hollywood actor. He's in high demand, believe or not, despite a lot of mediocre kid movies and inconsistent box office numbers. The fact that he came back at all is a testament. It's a testament to his love for pro wrestling.
The Rock is sensational. He's absolutely one of, if not THE reason to watch pro wrestling right now. But it's bittersweet, too. He reminds me of what's missing in pro wrestling when he's not around. It's unfortunate.
But I'm happy to have him when I can get him. And working John Cena certainly doesn't hurt.