By Will Pruett, ProWrestling.net Senior Staffer (@wilpruett)
Today, in weird blogs I’ve been thinking of for months, I give you the 2018 Best Picture nominees as professional wrestling personalities! These movies are listed by my preference, with the worst movie made this decade at the end. Let me know what you think, folks!
Lady Bird: Becky Lynch
It’s more than just the red hair and Irish heritage in common with the star, it’s the plucky never-say-die love represented in the story. Greta Gerwig put love and attention (they’re the same according to this film) into every inch of Lady Bird. Becky Lynch is the best babyface in WWE. Everything she does, both in the ring and behind the scenes, seems motivated by the love of doing what she does. It’s easy to compare Saorsie Ronan and Becky Lynch here. They both play the best protagonists of their respective mediums.
Get Out: The New Day
It looked like a genre film with a racial slant, but nothing more. It became an insightful analysis of race in America. The New Day regularly subvert the longtime racist narratives in wrestling and blew up the wrestling scene like Get Out blew up the box office.
The Shape of Water: Finn Balor
Look, if you asked me for the wrestler most likely to transform into a fish monster and be hunted down by the feds, the answer would be Finn Balor. He’s just barely a step away from having gills. Perhaps that one woman should be holding a sign that says “Fish F*ck Me Finn!”
Call Me By Your Name: Kenny Omega
It starts like a beautiful “look how fun Summer in Italy” type of film, but it quickly becomes a wonderful gay love story. Kenny Omega spent the last two years saying “look at how I’m the best wrestler in the world” and then dropped us in the middle of a perfect gay love story. Who among us wouldn’t look at Kota Ibushi and want to be called by his name?
Ground breaking spectacle, a serious story, and a lack of speaking ability tie Ricochet and Dunkirk together. Who needs to talk when you can wow with in-ring physicality or realistic spectacle? The story is in the movement.
Phantom Thread: Neville
As we learned in 2017, Neville is one of the best wrestlers in the world. He’s capable of playing an absolutely brutal heel. He’s capable of carrying a brand (even one as awful as 205 Live was for most of 2017). He’s capable of anything. Neville is the temperamental auteur, just like Reynolds Wookcock, the protagonist of this film. Both men pursue perfection, but get quite upset when it is not achieved. Would you be shocked to find out a wrestling version of Woodcock walked out on a gig?
The Post: John Cena
The Post featured all the building blocks one could ask of a Best Picture. Meryl? Got her. Hanks? F*ck yes. Spielberg? You bet your sweet bippy he’s here. Journalism? Here’s a bevy of 1970s printing press money shots. Just like John Cena, this film felt like the best of 2005-2013. It’s a little past its prime, but it’s still good.
The Darkest Hour: Randy Orton
This is the second worst best picture nominee. It’s a standard biopic where the star wears a ton of makeup and people go gaga for it. Oldman is a problematic personality. The film’s climax is a complete work of fiction. It’s trash. Randy Orton is a fine wrestler that one can easily get excited for, then remember he’s both problematic and regularly boring.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Jim Cornette
You think there’s some talent and maybe a great message, but it turns out the core is super racist. This describes both Cornette and this garbage pile of a film about the redemption arc of a couple racist cops to a tee. When the torturing of minorities is used in a story as a prop and a fully three dimensional minority character is never introduced, all a film can be is racist. Anyways, Cornette has said some awful things as well and is unapologetic. It’s a bad film. He’s a bad human.
Will Pruett writes about wrestling and popular culture at prowrestling.net. Of interest to him are diversity in wrestling and wrestling as a theatrical art form. To see his video series “What I Love About Professional Wrestling” subscribe to his YouTube channel. To contact, check him out on Twitter @wilpruett, leave a comment, or email him at email@example.com.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...