Wrestling is great, truly the highest form of art and most virtuous of sports. Paraphrasing every Wikipedia article on every wrestling show ever, it is a literal battle between good and evil, acted out by men, women, and non-binary people who have sworn blood oaths to the lighter or darker sides of human nature. The squared circle is a battlefield upon which our very souls are at stake, so when you think about it it’s kind of amazing that it doesn’t take more than five and a half hours to sort everything out.
Last night, the Jericho Appreciation Society went to war with the Blackpool Combat Club, Ortiz, Santana, and Eddie Kingston. Usually when a wrestling announcer or journalist or promoter uses a cliche like “goes to war,” they mean that suplexes and chops were exchanged. Here, “goes to war” means that ten dudes bled prodigiously as a consequence of doing some really dumb, really cool shit to each other in the name of appreciating or destroying Chris Jericho.
The guy most invested in destroying Chris Jericho, Eddie Kingston, triggered the match’s climax by stalking his way to the ring in a bloodstained New York Yankees tank top, a can of gasoline in hand.
Look. Wrestling is no stranger to gasoline cans, charcoal starter, and lighter fluid. Normally this shit is brought to the ring and unintentionally starts a twenty minute saga where a bunch of fire juice is poured onto a table and it won’t light because God abhors a wasted banquet table. It makes the spot, the wrestlers, and the concept of wrestling seem small, which is the opposite of its intended effect; making wrestling’s battle between good and evil seem more “real” by virtue of simulating attempted murder in a more complex way than punching somebody in the face for twenty straight minutes.
Rather than go that route, Eddie Kingston took his gasoline can and poured it out on Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson. Danielson stopped Kingston from lighting the match, but you don’t need to set a guy on fire to make your point. Eddie Kingston’s demons don’t just swim, they swim in gasoline.