Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena as a Tale of Gay Obsessive Love
Something for my smart mark ghetto nerd wrestling fans.
I am very excited for this weekend's pay-per-view where John Cena and Brock Lesnar will finally get it on here in Chicago. The WWE has done a great job these last few months of finally, after all of these years, creating a "must watch" feeling on Monday nights. We will never return to the heyday of the Monday Night Wars. But, Raw's 3 hour special earlier this week was one of the best shows in recent memory--I have gotten into the habit of fast forwarding through the show--and was more than worth watching from beginning to end.
If I had the book Brock Lesnar would lose to John Cena this Sunday. After utterly beating the living life out of Cena, Lesnar would get distracted for a moment and get taken advantage of by Cena for a quick pin, and what was a decision aided by a sympathetic referee. The follow-up would then be that Brock actually had pity for poor old John. This angle could also play nicely off of Steve Austin's genius loss to Mikey Whipwreck back in ECW, where the former just got more over, and developed the "Stone Cold" character more fully, after such an improbable turn of events.
The build up to Cena-Lesnar also has another compelling dimension to it, one that many pro wrestling fans are likely loathe to admit. In much the same way that Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was an open love letter of gay obsession and slash fantasy in which Kirk and Khan can be imagined as star crossed lovers, there is something mighty obsessive and homoerotic about Lesnar's "desire" to "destroy" John Cena. Professional wrestling (as most male dominated sports) has always been homo-social: the angle between Brock and Cena is bordering on the transparently homoerotic and is a tale of same sex loving, destructive lust.
Popular culture is compelling precisely because of how audiences can reimagine and reinterpret texts for their own purposes, and on their own terms. To point, watch Lesnar's first promo and then compare it to the legendary "Booty Warrior" Fleece Johnson of Lock Up fame. You tell me, is there not something mighty similar between Lesnar and Fleece Johnson's energy here?
Doubling down, Lesnar's most recent interview is colored by wonderful, gay obsessive love. This is actually a complement to Brock Lesnar as he is channeling emotions that are utterly exaggerated and melodramatic...but nonetheless real. Brock is playing the leather daddy power top in this segment.