Mark for War

Mark For War: Curbed

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Mark for War BannerThis week, it was announced that WWE Champion Seth Rollins will no longer be allowed to use his finisher, The Curb Stomp. We were reassured of this ban when Rollins finished off Dolph Ziggler last night with a lame-ass DDT, the go-to finisher for the non-creative soul.

Immediately an explanation was leaked as to why Rollins was no longer allowed to use the Curb Stomp. Apparently, the move leaves its recipients heavily susceptible to concussions. I actually buy that, to some degree. But if the Curb Stomp falls in to this category, wouldn’t several other finishers? Ziggler’s “Zig Zag” comes to mind. The move is literally taking the back of someone’s head and slamming it against the mat. Or how about the Bray Wyatt’s “Sister Abigail,” a move that literally results in a dude’s face being slammed against the canvas. Or how about all these DDTs?

I’ll be honest with you: when I heard that the Curb Stomp was going to be banned, I immediately assumed it was because of the finisher’s name. In the late 90s, the movie American History X was released. Edward Norton was nominated for an Academy Award for his roll as a leader of a Nazi gang in California. Arguably the most brutal scene in the film (and there are several) has Norton “Curb Stomping” an African-American guy he catches breaking in to his car. From then on, it seemed that the term “Curb Stomp” became synonymous with this scene.

Of all people, I am TOTALLY qualified to comment on this topic. In the early 2000s, when I was 15 years old, my friends and I were dumb enough to name our high school band Curbstomp. Like all aspiring metal bands, we were looking for an aggressive name. We thought Curbstomp fit the bill.  In theory, it did. However, we immediately realized that the name preceded us. We were occasionally seen as a band of Nazi sympathizers, or something else undesirable. We played Chicago’s legendary Fireside Bowl back in the day. About a week after the show, our friend’s brother, who happened to be an anti-racist skinhead, said that he and his friends almost showed up to the gig to kick our ass based on the name alone (they probably got drunk and forgot).

The irony: Rollin’s finisher isn’t a Curb Stomp. He doesn’t force his opponents’ head into an odd position, or put their teeth on anything. That said, I am totally baffled as to why Rollins would opt to give the finisher such a name in the first place. Rollins should have known that nothing good could have come from the name. I am certain that Rollins has seen American History X and was also fully responsible for naming his finisher. There’s no way WWE creative would have come up with that title.

Also ironic: I am defending the existence of a finisher that I think, quite frankly, isn’t that cool to begin with. It’s stomping a dude’s head into the mat. It’s super primitive. Rollins in his ROH days was known for using his Small Package Driver as his finisher, a brutal modified brain buster. I always thought the Curb Stomp was a massive step down from that.

The reason I’m defending the Curb Stomp is because it finally seemed to get over with the fans. Once that happens, I’ve usually hit my acceptance stage of grieving. I remember having the same feeling with the Mandible Claw, which all things considered may be the worst finisher by a main eventer in the history of wrestling. By the time Mr. Socco arrived, I knew there was no use fighting it any longer.

But finishers can always be reinstated. For years, The Undertaker was not allowed to use his famous Tombstone piledriver. He switched to the inferior “Last Ride” Powerbomb. Eventually, the Tombstone came back from the dead. As for Rollins’ Curb Stomp resurrection: I think it’s got about the same chances as a Curbstomp Reunion show.

Love to hear your thoughts on this banning below.

Match of the Week: Me vs. CracKerman

No match of the week this week.

Instead, I wanted to address something dumb that happened this past week.

The following video went viral this week. It’s footage of a band called CracKerman playing a lame daytime talk show, and reeking havoc all in the name of Howard Stern.

Howard Stern is a hero of mine. I am all for displays of Howard Stern fandom, except when it goes down like this, which falls in the category of “Complete and Utter Hackfest.”

Let’s just put this all in perspective.

A Las Vegas band called CracKerman (either a racist reference or an STP reference) is booked on this talk show. They obviously have intensity and pride themselves on their “hardcore” delivery. But a hardcore look or attitude must always been taken in context. For example, if you wear a dog collar, eye makeup and a fishnet thong to your grandmother’s house for Sunday dinner, you’re probably going to be seen as the most hardcore person there. If you ware that same getup to a death metal show, you’ll probably be seen as the least hardcore person there. It’s pathetic when bands exploit how hardcore they are in a purposely out-of-context fashion. Honestly, if a band like this played a normal hardcore/metal show in Chicago (where I’m from), they’d either be laughed off the stage, or everyone would think it was hacky and walk out. Seriously. 

But I digress.

Prior to their performance, CracKerman is interviewed by a naive (at best) anchorwoman. Of course, CracKerman come off poorly in the process. The singer, and apparent visionary, states something about liking homosexuals, which comes off as beyond-crass, and in turn almost has the opposite effect of any positive message they may be trying to send. If I walked down the street saying, “I love black people,” would you actually think I love black people, or think I’m saying something to overcompensate for something I’m hiding?

Then they begin their performance. The song is a joke. It’s fucking terrible. It’s something I expect a band of sixteen-year-olds to write, not a band of thirty-somethings. There is some type of lame communication or cue on stage between the ringleader and his bassist for the destruction to occur. I wouldn’t expect anything less. God forbid they actually have some type of spontaneous emotion on stage. If that would have happened, maybe they would have destroyed the good guitar cab, and not the rigged prop that they found in the alley of their practice space.

All fine and dandy until they drag Howard’s name in to this shit show. Their mentality is that Howard will get a note on his desk tomorrow morning saying, “Band goes apeshit on talk show in the name of Howard Stern.” Little does Howard know that it was a hack band, on a hack show, doing it strictly for Stern to validate their existence. Almost every show, Stern admits that he knows little about popular music, and damn near nothing about any type of underground music. For all he knows, CracKerman is the next Metallica, and deserve validation. When in actuality, they do not.

The singer of CracKerman called in to Stern a few months back, which I heard.

He told Howard that his band won a prestigious honor at some Las Vegas music award show, and during their acceptance thanked Howard. The clip was played. I rolled my eyes at this immediately because, unlike Howard, I know what these “award” shows actually are. Basically, some sleaze ball, usually in a band himself, arranges some bullshit award show which bands apply to be in (of course accompanied by a registration fee), and then they attend a poor man’s award show, all hoping to network and maybe go up to a podium and claim a prize. The sleaze ball promoter will be smart enough to throw in a few legit bands in the running of categories, giving the illusion that the award is legit. Said good bands don’t pay the registration fee, don’t show up, and more often then not, don’t even know they’re nominated. CracKerman won for “Best Creative Direction.” Well done, CracKerman. 

I HATE when shit like this happens. It’s a ploy, and an annoyance. It’s the same when a lame band meets CM Punk in a Denny’s at 2 a.m. and asks him to take a pic holding up their lame ass, crumpled band shirt, to post on every social media outlet (you see how I tied in wrestling to this rant?).

Bands: Please, I beg of you, put your music WAY before your moronic stunts to get noticed. 

Also, don’t throw around the names of people and legacies I love in the process of said moronic stunts, or I will throw you under the bus. Hard. 

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