S2020Q01:: The Wrestling Stable Edition
Who is in your wrestling gang?
Monday, May 14th, 2020
AF, Yahoo Sports!
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THE J.O.B. SQUAD::
32. Denver Broncos ( LR #18 )
31. Philadelphia Eagles ( LR #24 )
30. Indianapolis Colts ( LR #23 )
29. Miami Dolphins ( LR #31 )
These are the only four teams that I am legitimately surprised when I check the weekly scores and see they won a game. In recent years, it doesn’t occur often, and it’s clear the teams have fallen quite a bit from the Dolphins Super Bowl win, the Colts Super Bowl win, the Broncos AFC Championship, and the Eagles, well, the Eagles days when they at least had a QB. The Dolphins play the role of Al Snow, who is clearly more talented than the group he’s hanging out with, so it’s unclear why he can’t break free from the shackles that have been holding them down. The Colts play the role of the Blue Meanie because, well, their jerseys are very blue and their GM is kind of a meanie. The Eagles play the role of Bob Holly, who has some potential but it’s unclear if they will ever accomplish much and you get the gut feeling that even if they do it will be a bit title, like an NFC East title or Hardcore Championship, and not a Super Bowl win. The Broncos are Gillberg, who sort of just feel like an imitation of an actual threat in Goldberg, or brother Jason Arnold’s Redskins. I don’t ever expect Kellen Moore to win anything, not even a division title.
28. Minnesota Vikings ( LR #26 )
27. Oakland Raiders ( LR #14 )
26. Seattle Seahawks ( LR #7 )
25. Atlanta Falcons ( LR #28 )
This stable consists of four very talented rosters and four very talented GMs, so it’s not clear why they are where they are. Nonetheless, the Falcons are likely the role of Raven, one of the bigger underachievers in RZL history. Once having good company with Ricky’s Texans and Dave’s Chiefs, it appears the Falcons now stand alone as the biggest underachiever. There is time to turn it around, but they better move quick in the competitive NFC South. The Seahawks, Raiders, and Vikings are some combination of Saturn, Kidman, and Kanyon. All of those guys have a ton of potential, but at this point, it doesn’t look like they will realize it.
THE HART FOUNDATION::
24. Cincinnati Bengals ( LR #32 )
23. San Diego Chargers ( LR #13 )
22. Cleveland Browns ( LR #22 )
21. New England Patriots ( LR #17 )
Travis and the Bengals are Bret Hart, who will go down as one of the best ever, but has clearly seen better days. Rock and the Chargers are Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart, who everyone seems to universally like, but it’s hard to tell how good he would be if it weren’t for Bret Hart. Paul and the Browns play the role of Owen Hart, who broke out of the shadow of their big brother when they won an RZL Super Bowl and have remained competitive, but have struggled so far in 2020. With a bit of an older roster, you have to hope that the Browns run won’t be cut too short, the same way Owen’s was. The Patriots play the role of Brian Pillman, a fan favorite who never really reached his potential. These guys are all too talented to rule out for 2020, but time is running out.
19. New York Giants ( LR #19 )
20. Arizona Cardinals ( LR #29 )
18. New York Jets ( LR #20 )
17. Jacksonville Jaguars ( LR #15 )
These are four evolving franchises that each have a lot of talent, but are just having a hard time realizing it. On paper this group looks like they’d have the potential to become one of the best stables in history, but for whatever reason they will likely end up as a foot-note in RZL history. Expect the stable to split and leave a very forgettable 2020 behind them before going on to very successful solo-careers. The Jaguars play the role of HHH, whose better days are probably ahead of him still, despite some recent success. The Jets are Randy Orton, a young roster that could go on to be one of the best the league has ever seen. The Cardinals are Batista, a team that looks really good on paper and SHOULD be a threat to win it all, but they don’t quite realize they’re a bit older than the rest in the group and their window is closing. The Giants are Ric Flair, who have been one of the best teams in RZL history, winning more division Championships than anyone else around, but right now they are no threat for the next.
16. Chicago Bears ( LR #5 )
15. Houston Texans ( LR #30 )
14. Buffalo Bills ( LR #4 )
The bosses. It’s obviously a shock to see these guys this low, but it’s early. Ricky and the Texans are the RZL’s incarnation of the Big Boss Man, a talented, high-effort, underachiever. He will bounce around, experience a fair share of wins, but likely retires without any major RZL Championships – but hey, he carries a big stick. Neal’s Bears are struggling after missing out on a few good opportunities the last few playoff tournaments. Much like his Corporation counterpart Ken Shamrock, everyone fears Neal’s Bears, but we’re not quite sure why. Everyone knew how talented Ken and Neal are, so they always get a lot of respect in their matchups, but maybe winning the big one is just not in the cards. As for Joe, he has been a main eventer in RZL for some time, and is obviously The Rock in this group. While he remains without belt at the moment, he still resides as the “People’s Champion”, and it shouldn’t be too much longer before he wins the actual RZL Championship. It’s still far too early to rule out any of these guys for 2020.
13. Green Bay Packers ( LR #25 )
12. Dallas Cowboys ( LR #11 )
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( LR #1 )
Say hello to the bad guys. The Buccaneers are once again playing pretty well, but there is an underlying feeling around the league (and perhaps even within the building at One Buc Place) that the Bucs are just past their prime, much like “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan was when he started the nWo. Once a feel good story, someone who worked hard and was revered by his peers, the true American Hero has fallen from grace in recent years and is clearly a shell of the GM he once was. John Stanley and his Cowboys play the role of Kevin Nash, a world champion who despite hanging around with the bad guys is pretty much universally liked. Big Daddy Cool could pretty much do whatever he wanted, but he was loyal to his friends and stuck with the nWo through thick and thin. Much like with Hogan and the nWo, Kevin Nash would eventually become the leader of the group without actually being acknowledged as such. In the same way, the Cowboys are wearing the title and are the most likely to do it again, it’s just hard to tell because the Buccaneers are the loudest. JP plays the role of Scott Hall, the original bad guy, who has had his run-ins with personal demons and controversy, but someone who undoubtedly would leave our league a much less fun place without him. Scott Hall never held the big title, which led many to believe he was a career mid-carder, but that is a very deceiving way to look at it, since he has always possessed as much talent and passion for the business as anyone else. Even his enemies are pulling for him in some capacity, understanding he always gave maximum effort each week.
NATION OF DOMINATION::
10. Detroit Lions ( LR #27 )
9. Baltimore Ravens ( LR #21 )
8. San Francisco 49ers ( LR #6 )
These are three teams that nobody could have expected would be (3-1) at this point, but nonetheless they are. Each team had a pretty good offseason, and it’s highly likely that at least ONE of these teams are the real deal. The question is who is Rocky Maivia (who will go on to win championships), who is D-Lo Brown (who will be a perennial mid-carder), and who is Ron Simmons (who has already peaked and doesn’t know it, and will later be nothing more than a comedy figure who says the word “DAMN” a lot). Valid questions, and if I had to guess I’d say that Hansen is Simmons, who had his brief 15 minutes a few seasons ago during back-to-back-to-back division titles that also included a Super Bowl appearance, while Olly is probably D-Lo with a world of potential, that will mostly go unrealized. That would seem to leave Jay to become the Rock, who goes on to Championships, but I think the more realistic comparison is Kama. While Jay is a good member of the RZL community, the move to San Fran does about as much as repackaging Kama as the Godfather, or Papa Shango – we know what to expect – a high effort mid-carder who occasionally will experience some success. And besides, we already saw the Rock is in the RZL Corporation.
7. Washington Redskins ( LR #16 )
6. Kansas City Chiefs ( LR #8 )
5. St. Louis Rams ( LR #12 )
This is a group of individuals who really don’t care what anyone thinks, and they are going to do what they want, when they want. They are here to have fun, and they don’t really mind at whoever’s expense. Each of these franchises have very storied histories as a perennial loser, so much like the bullied kid at school who gets the huge growth spurt, now that all three teams are legitimate threats to win the Super Bowl, the rest of the league will know about it. Arnold plays the incarnation of X-Pac, who smokes, drinks, makes adult movies, and says whatever he wants, coming a long way from his jobbing days as the 1-2-3 Kid. You could also say Arnold could play the role of Rick Rude, and while it might not be a pretty sight, I’d bet he has a pair of skin tight trunks at his home with his wife’s face on them. Jeffery Hunter Hearst Helmsley Downey and “the Heartbreak Kid” Dave Bauer have been best buds for some time, and have both come leaps and bounds since Jeff was lowered to hogpen matches with the Duke “the Dumpster” Droese, as has Dave since he super-kicked Terry Gall through the barbershop window. Dave has the Chiefs playing as good as ever the last few years, and Jeff has won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls.
4. Carolina Panthers ( LR #10 )
3. Tennessee Titans ( LR #2 )
2. New Orleans Saints ( LR #9 )
1. Pittsburgh Steelers ( LR #3 )
These four have had some of the best clashes in RZL History, ranging from divisional bloodbaths stretched across a decade, to grueling and perpetual playoff clashes, to Super Bowl meetings. Nic and BB have been two of the pillars in the AFC over the life of the RZL and appear to be right on track to continue that trend in 2020. The Saints and Panthers have also been staples of the NFC, especially the NFC South, and while the Buccaneers grab headlines, these two teams continue to work year in and year out, and one has to believe their time is coming. With the 15th anniversary of the RZL Super Bowl on the slate this year, it’s a fair guess that at least one of these four teams will be representing in that game. BB, the greatest GM the madden community has ever known, obviously plays the role of Ric Flair in this stable. Kev would play the reliable Arn Anderson, a longtime league enforcer. KVW would be Barry Windham and Nic would be Tully Blanchard.
Thanks for reading! This will be a QUARTERLY feature! Would love to hear your thoughts!