The Wrestling Genius: Breaking Bad and the WWE
It is obvious that I love wrestling, seeing as I watch and write about it. However, it isn’t my favorite thing on TV. No, that distinction goes to Breaking Bad. No show is as tense, funny, or well acted as Breaking Bad. What’s that, you want to know my five favorite non-wrestling shows on TV, ok I’ll tell you.
5. Mad Men/Game of Thrones
4. Sons of Anarchy
3. Walking Dead
1. Breaking Bad
I can’t help but find parallels between wrestling and everyday life. I can’t help it because I’m an idiot. So, it isn’t a surprise that I can find parallels between Breaking Bad characters and wrestlers in the WWE. WARNING: Included in this column will be Breaking Bad spoilers so if you aren’t interested in finding out about Breaking Bad you can leave me, I won’t be offended I promise.
Paul Heyman is Saul Goodman: Paul Heyman portrays a sleazy jerk with a nefarious client list. He blurs the line between what’s allowed and isn’t allowed both in the ring and on the mic. Saul is all of those things but pushed even further, maybe. Do I think Paul Heyman would do business with a meth dealer or send a couple of goons to a house to scare someone, yes, yes I could see that. Saul and Paul make their characters work because we love to hate them. We hate ourselves for liking these sleazy men who will do anything to get ahead. Saul isn’t afraid to push buttons to get what he wants, and we all saw Paul is willing to take a beating from HHH to get what he wants. To Paul and Saul the ends justify the means and we hate ourselves for watching, but it’s just so much fun.
Daniel Bryan is Jesse Pinkman: Both had success before their partnerships but neither reached their full potential until they teamed up. Obviously, Daniel Bryan is a great wrestler. No one can deny that he is fun to watch in the ring, but it wasn’t until he teamed with Kane that we got to see just how entertaining he could be. Jesse was a low-level meth maker and dealer and wasn’t going anywhere but probably to jail. It wasn’t until Walter White showed up and asked to cook meth with him that Jesse showed his true potential. Jesse like Daniel became a better worker after he teamed up. Did Daniel Bryan need Kane? No, but Kane helped him reach a higher level of fame than even winning the World Heavyweight title. Did Jesse Pinkman need Walter White? No, but he certainly wouldn’t have become a millionaire. Both Jesse and Daniel would have survived without their partners, but they are infinitely better thanks to their partnerships.
John Cena is Skyler White: John Cena doesn’t break the rules, he seems like a nice guy, and he stands for good qualities like Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect. Skyler White never broke the rules, loved her husband unconditionally, and was a great mother. Both are characters we are supposed to like and root for. Yet, fans seem to revolt against them. John Cena is everything a face should be and yet he get’s booed everywhere he goes. Even while taking on guys who have employed people with as little integrity as Paul Heyman. We are supposed to cheer for him, but we don’t. We are suppose to like Skyler and root for her, but we don’t. We root for a guy who cooks meth, lies at every turn, and has killed people. We root against Skyler but why? We call her a bitch, but in her defense I think she handled finding out her husband is a meth selling, murderer quite well. She never went to the police; Hell she even started helping him launder their money. John Cena doesn’t cheat, he takes his vitamins, and he does great charity work. Yet, we boo him when he wins clean and cheer when he loses. Sorry Skyler and Cena sometimes we just don’t like you. No matter how hard you try or how virtuous you are.
CM Punk is Walter White: Now it might seem weird associating a meth dealer with a straight edged superstar but I’m going for it. Early on Walt was a good guy who had a difficult circumstance. He had no money, and he had cancer. Punk didn’t have those kinds of circumstances but he was still a good guy who we rooted for. Punk early on was a face who didn’t break the rules and went about his business while aspiring for bigger things. Walt was happy as a middle of the road meth maker and didn’t seem like he ever wanted to leave his lab to go for bigger things. Heisenberg (Walter White’s meth making alter ego) slowly changed Walter into something entirely different. Walter slowly started thinking outside his lab and wanted to build something beyond his millions. One of the best lines in the history of Breaking Bad was “I’m not in the meth business, I’m in the Empire business.” Boom that right there was the moment Walter White became Heisenberg. To build that empire Walt killed, he lied, and he threatened his way to the top. He killed off his biggest competition and his employer. Nothing was off limits to Heisenberg and the further from Walt he got the harder we cheered for him. CM Punk never transformed into a different name but his character certainly changed. CM Punk won the WWE Title but he wasn’t content with just being another champion. No, Punk wanted an empire, and to get that empire he had take short cuts. CM Punk became the longest reigning champion in modern wrestling history (his empire) and to do it he had to cheat for more than half of it. He did everything he could to hold on to that title. He lied, he cheated, and he burned bridges all to stay WWE champion. However, like with Walt we still rooted for him. The link came full circle when CM Punk walked away from the WWE (for a while). He walked away from it all just as Walt walked away from his empire. It took catastrophic circumstances to do but both knew when to walk away. Now, we know CM Punk will come back and we know Walt will come back but Walt’s comeback will be vastly different from Punks. There are only eight episodes of Breaking Bad left and they will air this summer, so I can’t tell you in what way Walter will come back but I’m positive his story won’t end as well as CM Punk’s story will. What I do know is this; we will be rooting for these two bad guys no matter what they do.
Well that’s all for me this week thanks for reading, post your thoughts, comments, opinions and feedback below! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @JaredGebhardt.