Monday, June 11, 2018

The Wrestling Blog's OFFICIAL Best in the World Rankings for June 11, 2018

A veritable titan
Photo Credit: Travel Channel website
Welcome to a feature I like to call "Best in the World" rankings. They're not traditional power rankings per se, but they're rankings to see who is really the best in the world, a term bandied about like it's bottled water or something else really common. They're rankings decided by me, and don't you dare call them arbitrary lest I smack the taste out of your mouth. Without further ado, here's this week's list:

1. Anthony Bourdain (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - Okay, I lied in the last entry. I have a small eulogy for Bourdain, who for someone who watches more food-oriented television than is healthy, was a titanic figure. He really had a great love for food and for people, and it showed in everything he said and did, and it has come off in an almost near universal effluence of praiseful remembrance that has blessed his name. The fact that the only attempts at trying to smear the dead so immediately after his passing have been so inauthentic (the douchebag mad that Bourdain called him out over making awful jokes at the expense of terrorism victims, irony-poisoned bros bringing up a half-hearted endorsement of intervention in Libya on a radio show ten years ago, vegans mad that he didn't like them) showed that he was objectively a force in his life. Inauthentic is a good way of describing the things he didn't like, so it should follow critiques of him would ring just as hollow. He wasn't a food snob (he loved Waffle House and In 'N Out), but he wondered aloud how one could call rib meat scraped off chicken bones and chemically processed could be called food. He had no prejudices based on demographic, but hoo boy, if your grabs for power, fame, or money were transparent, he had a thing to say about you, especially if you engineered war crimes in a neutral country during the Vietnam War.

People often mistook the thirst for authenticity for snobbery, but that just goes to show the haste in which a human mind can act to be sure of something for its own validation. Bourdain showed through countless hours of footage and even more off camera that validation is useless without experience to back it up. He didn't just go to the glitzy and trendy places at the center of attention for food. Sure, he didn't necessarily eschew those kinds of pretentious-seeming venues, but places like West Virginia, Lebanon, Sardinia, Cambodia... those places that many of his peers looked down upon or even flat-out ignored, he would go and find people to talk to, not to display as sort of a freakshow or as a sherpa to White America, but to genuinely try to understand their cuisine, their culture, their problems. One could say that his attempts at documenting the food cultures around the world wasn't so much a travel advertisement, but a way to make the world smaller, to make the average Westerner feel brotherhood with peoples their governments say are evil, or to make the city-dwelling American stop looking at the man in Appalachia as an other and more like a sibling.

Few people in entertainment are as important as Bourdain was, and even fewer appear to have even a tenth of his capacity for empathy. It's a shame that all the good ones end up in early graves. Even if 61 remains on the blurry edge of "old" and "young," in the modern world, it's still too young to die, suicide or otherwise. While I can't pretend to know what drove him to end it, it's worth noting that the world is such a cruel and hostile place for the average person, even moreso for ones who feel as much empathy as Bourdain did. Either way, the life he lived was just mammoth, and the good he did felt unprecedented for a celebrity of his caliber. Rest in peace, rest in power, rest with no reservations.

2. Kagetsu (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - The new World of STARDOM Champion earned her title on the nicest day of the year (6/9) by upending TWB favorite and Tiny Hat Enthusiast Toni Storm. Honestly, all titles should change hands on 6/9, or for those not in America, 9/6 (which is written as 6/9 everywhere else BUT America). Why does the United States feel the need to be at loggerheads with the rest of the world on shit like this? First the metric vs. imperial systems and now this. Ah well, Kagetsu kicks a ton of ass, whether English or metric, so hell yeah.

3. Malcolm Jenkins (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - The Eagles were set to visit the White House last week, but since only one player and a few coaches wanted to go, President Shitty Drawers, I mean Trump cancelled the visit and made a huge stink about how the Eagles knelt all season to disrespect the troops specifically. Of course, forgetting how patently false Trump's statements were, the Eagles were better off not getting Trump's Grandpa Stink all over them anyway. The team's social and spiritual leader, Jenkins, went above and beyond, answering all reporters' questions at voluntary mini-camps afterwards with signs highlighting the injustices Black people face in Trump's America. I know it's hokey, and I'm sure more than a few players on the team have skeletons in their closets, but at least at that point in time, I was proud to be an Eagles fan for reasons other than football.

4. Alexander Ovechkin (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - The Capitals winning the Stanley Cup has been worth it just for all the various pictures he's taken of himself with said Cup. When the Caps start next season, their Cup hangover will probably be literal, considering how much booze Ovechkin and the rest of the team has imbibed in the last week or so.

5. Hiromu Takahashi (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - The former Kamataichi has not only saved the world from the horrors of Will Ospreay as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but he showed a valuable lesson in emotional honesty to El Desperado. Good on Takahashi for being upfront and frank.

6. Allison, The Danny DeVito Cardboard Cutout Prom Goer (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - She took a cardboard cutout of Danny DeVito to her prom, which shows initiative if you couldn't get a hold of the real thing. Of course, DeVito got wind of it and decided to pay appropriate tribute. This is what happens when you think outside the box; you get to have a vicariously cardboard relationship with a comedic legend.

7. Nikki Cross (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - I'm not saying NXT is better off for having her split away from SANitY for the time being to purvey her brand of psychosexual hysteria at Shayna Baszler and to an extent Dakota Kai, but at least she's still doing her thing while the three lads are victims of Vince McMahon's bullshit whimsy.

8. Brian Pillman II (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) - Only Brian Pillman II among all other wrestlers knows that bees dying at an alarming rate is a first-class issue facing the world like the rest of the inveterate shitposters on Twitter Dot Com do. That enough is worth the digital dap that comes with appearing in this list.

9. Tempura-Fried Foods (Last Ranking: Not Ranked) OFFICIAL HOLZERMAN HUNGERS SPONSORED RANKING - I don't know what it is about tempura frying that's so much better than all other kinds of frying, but my God, I had some tempura chicken and vegetables for dinner Saturday, and it was so good. That being said, I kicked myself because the table behind my party ordered some tempura shrimp sushi roll with all kinds of stuff on it and it looked really goddamn good. Ah well, always next time.

10. Oney Lorcan (Last Ranking: 10) - And in the end, the porkin' you make is equal to the porkin' Oney Lorcan takes.