What’s up everybody? I’m Geddy Cahoon. You might remember me from such films as Christmas Ape andChristmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp. Today, I wanna talk about volatility in wrestling and Dolph Ziggler’s ex-bodyguard, Big E. Langston.
Volatility is perhaps the only constant of pro wrestling and pro wrestling fandom. Things can and will change at ANY given moment. Champions, gimmicks, and even opinions. I’m a very strongly opinionated guy, which means that while I voice a lot of my opinions very loudly and strongly and sometimes angrily, I’m just as quick to change an opinion I may have just spent 2 days harping on (I was very vocally anti-Fandango when he first appeared on RAW – Eventually I decided I wasn’t gonna hate something entertaining just for being inherently dumb).
This happens to me a lot with wrestlers, and a perfect example is one Big E. Langston.
I was actually at the RAW waaaay back in December of 2012 when Big E. made his debut. The best word to describe my feelings at the time? Confusion. Since you can’t hear the announcers at live shows and I don’t watch NXT, I had absolutely NO idea who this dude was, or what was going on with that haircut. Literally the first thing I thought when he made his way down the ramp was, “What the hell is Ryback doing out?” In my defense it was super dark in the arena and he didn’t enter with any music. Anyways he laid out John Cena and for me the show ended on a really awkward note. Then my natural critic kicked in.
The whole car ride home, all I did was bitch and moan about how stupid this was. First off, I hated Big E.’s look with something of a passion. The aforementioned haircut as well as his not-quite-as-silly-looking-as-Ryback’s-but-still-pretty-lame singlet just weren’t doing it for me.
A quick look at the dirt sheets upon returning home revealed to me Big E.’s name as well as the fact that everyone backstage was apparently insanely high on him. He was also NXT champ at the time. A week later, he actually opened his mouth and it was like all of my issues with him were confirmed. Back then, the man could not talk to save his life. We were treated to an embarrassing pseudo-promo wherein he accepted a challenge from John Cena… For Dolph Ziggler. He fumbled his words, his voice was silly, and he seemingly had no sense of delivery or inflection.
In my mind, Big E. was an absolute flop on every front. Awkwardly debuting and with nothing going for him but the sheer size of his muscles (Obviously he wouldn’t make his in ring debut for a few weeks), I couldn’t wait for them to minimize this dude’s active TV role. Well, WWE would go on to do just that.
I actually struggled to even remember what Big E. did in those ensuing weeks and months. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that he actually pretty much did nothing until April. Honestly, this was the best possible course of action. It was clear that he needed some time to hone his mic skills and work on connecting with the larger-than-NXT live RAW and SmackDown crowds. I really started to dig Big E. once his role was downgraded. Over those months, his singlet shrunk and my appreciation of him grew. He put on decent TV matches that, while nothing to write home about, showcased the fact that he was at least a notch above other guys his size.
When his TV role did become more involved, I certainly didn’t mind him as much. In fact, I was sort of actively pulling for he and Dolph Ziggler to capture the Tag Titles in Langston’s ‘Mania debut. I loved his role in the “Kaitlyn’s Secret Admirer” storyline from a few months back. His street clothes are just as absurd as his wrestling gear. And his line delivery and comfortableness with speaking in front of a live audience are improving every week. Barring one spectacularly bad match with Alberto Del Rio back in April or May (I can’t remember which RAW specifically – This was during Ziggler’s concussion break so Langston and Del Rio were wrestling each other about a million times a week – but it really needs to be seen to be believed) all of his TV outings have been pretty alright. At this point, he’s even upgraded to an honest-to-goodness feud with his former protectee, Dolph Ziggler. It’s not the greatest feud ever, and may involve two very average divas, but it’s been decently entertaining thus far.
The strange thing about Big E. is that it’s not even his in-ring ability that concerns or appeals to me. What makes me love Big E. is that from an aesthetic standpoint, he’s an incredibly unique character. I mean sure, when Big E. first debuted waaaaaaaaay back when, I was quick to write off his admittedly out there look as nothing but silly nonsense. But the longer he was around, and the more I warmed up to other aspects of his persona, the more I realized how much he stands out from the rest of the roster in the best way possible.
I’ve seen people write Big E. off as unintimidating because of his relatively short stature. I’ve seen countless people pull for him to rethink his haircut, or just make his singlet a little bit longer (Seriously, it’s like that thing get’s shorter and shorter every week. I think at this point I’ve seen Big E.’s ass more times than my own). And I’ll admit that I used to be in that boat too. But if Big E. didn’t look like such a freak, he wouldn’t be Big E. Langston. Yeah the singlet can be a bit too revealing at times, and I think I’ve already said multiple times in this article that his haircut is questionable, but they set him apart. You know exactly who he is. There’s no forgetting Big E. Langston or his ass.
In fact, what comes across initially as silliness actually serves to make Big E. more intimidating in the end. I mean think about it. Here’s a man who’s roughly 5’11 or an even 6 feet tall. He wears the most revealing ring gear of all time and features one of the silliest haircuts in wrestling history. But at the end of the day, he’s got muscles the size of over-inflated basketballs. You can make fun of his singlet or his hair, but he will still rip you in half like a wet napkin. Langston doesn’t attempt to present himself as anything even resembling a sane, normal human being. But he can back it up.
So there’s my two cents on Big E. Langston and why he’s really grown on me as both a character and a performer since his awkward debut. WWE obviously sees big things in the future for Big E., and I’m inclined to agree with them. Big E. Langston is an insanely memorable, unique young star full of potential and with nowhere to go but up.
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