What a week for wrestling! What a week for FanFyte! We hope you’re enjoying what we’re doing here, because we certainly are! This is the first edition of FanFyte’s Best of the Week, where we list our favorites from wrestling in the last seven days. This week, Hunktears, Colette Arrand and Mer have curated three perfect things, and only one of them is a wrestling match.
Colette Arrand: NICK GAGE VS. KRIS STATLANDER (Beyond Wrestling Uncharted Territory 10/3)
I love intergender wrestling, but one of the issues that plagues the genre is that the stories revolve around how men are stronger and bigger than women. That’s not at all the case here, as Nick Gage is the kind of wrestler who doesn’t do story at all, let alone one about traditional gender roles. That kinda thing is beneath him. So he goes to war with Kris Statlander the same as he’d fight anybody else, which is to say that he hits her really hard with doors and piledrivers, and she does the same, and it’s like watching a supercut of scenes where buildings dramatically explode behind Arnold Schwarzenegger or Vin Diesel or whoever ends up surviving at the end of a movie where an illegal underground tournament of some sort ends with the world being saved somehow. Statlander is already a star in Beyond and will probably be a star everywhere pretty soon if her string of great performances against indie stalwarts continues.
Mer: CESARO’S CAPRIS (WWE Monday Night Raw 9/30)
This week brought us several unforgettable moments, but there was just one that truly stood out among the rest. There was one thing that may just give a company the edge needed to prevail in these uncertain times; Cesaro’s killer outfit on Monday night RAW. Those little jogger capris were absolutely the look of the night. He paired them with dark sneakers and a brown belt to complete the ensemble, a look surely worthy of an afternoon green carpet at the Kids Choice Awards. Watching a 6’5” man wrestle in pants that don’t even come to his ankles was a transcendent experience. How is he pulling off these kicks? How are the pants not ripping? Incredible quality and fit. Please Big Tony, drop the link so that we may also know bliss.
Hunktears: KANA CHAN TV (YouTube)
Asuka’s run on WWE’s main roster may have been a pretty big disappointment compared to her historic winning streak in NXT, but that isn’t stopping her from quietly developing the best wrestler channel on YouTube. Asuka and recent tag team partner Kairi Sane have been off TV for a while, so I was thrilled to see the launch of Asuka’s gaming-focused YouTube channel last month. This week, though, she really hit it out of the park with two incredible videos. The first, Camping Alone, features her setting up a tent in her backyard and cooking skewers of meat over a very slow to get started charcoal grill. Even edited down to just over 10 minutes, almost nothing happens. It’s a testament to her charm and magnetism that it’s as enjoyable as it is.
The second video of the week is a whopping 16 minutes of American Truck Simulator gameplay. Where many other wrestler gaming videos are loud, frenetic and chatty, Asuka playing American Truck Simulator is quiet and soothing. A stock audio of applause chimes in when she figures out how to use the windshield wipers. The hum of the simulated diesel engine and Asuka’s narration (“stop,” “turn right,” “use the mouse”) create almost an ASMR effect. Even her (spoiler alert) crashing and flipping her big rig on its side isn’t able to ruin the relaxing energy of watching the video. Watching Asuka do basically nothing in videos she makes is infinitely preferable to her doing nothing at someone else’s direction. Maybe that’s the point.
Honorable mentions: Nyla Rose vs Riho on AEW Dynamite, Shayna Baszler vs Candice Lerae on NXT, the Malcolm Bivens Watch Along bingo card, Orange Cassidy cosplayers, Kagetsu thirst traps.