The Universe – Entry Ten: FML

Three simple letters. Colloquially used to describe a less than savory situation for an individual. What happens when the term is used to reflect back on one’s entire life? If you’re looking back on your life, and all you have to say is “FML”, it’s time to change some things around. This week we’re going to look back at a professional wrestler that may have used that term to reflect on his career; essentially their respective character’s “life”.

I’m Brian Andrews; welcome to The Universe. Let’s get started.

 

10. FML

When looking back on a professional wrestling career, I would assume the athlete or entertainer in question would have a few or even several specific things to reflect upon. The length of career, levels of success, public failures and embarrassments, perceived success versus actual success, etc. would be some good things to think about. With these points (and more as I think of them) in mind, let’s dive in one such depressing situation.

shawn stasiak text

A second-generation wrestler, Shawn had fairly large shoes to fill. His father was former WWWF Champion Stan “The Man’ Stasiak. With a champion’s pedigree, Shawn had high hopes in his professional conquests.

Yes, it says MEAT on his tights.

He had humble beginnings in the WWF to be sure. After relegated to participating in some of the muckier programming of the Attitude Era, he was allowed to compete under his “real” name of Shawn Stasiak. The WWF did give Shawn a little bit of nice billing, with the commentators mentioning that he was a champion’s son. Unfortunately, Shawn Stasiak’s WWF career came to a screeching halt after it was known that he recorded an argument between Davey Boy Smith and Steve Blackman.

While he did later become a three-time WCW World Tag Team Champion, this is, sadly, no indication of actual success as WCW was tanking quick. Keep in mind, this was the period of time when the WCW World Heavyweight Championship would change hands four times in a week, sometimes twice in a day. David Arquette and Vince Russo would become World Heavyweight Champions in this era. Titles meant diddly to put it simply.

Success.

Stasiak did have one more go in the WWF before retirement. This is my favorite Shawn Stasiak. A bumbling fool. An idiot. A moron. Comic relief. I’m sure he had higher hopes than this, but this is where he fit best.

Wait for it. Waaiiittt for iiiitttt…. BAM! Unfortunately, there isn’t much of Shawn’s best work on the WWE Network yet. Rest assured though, it’s all of comparable quality to the example shown above.

After an injury, Stasiak returned with what seemed like a post-Perry Saturn, pre-Heidenreich beta test character. Though he won the WWF Hardcore Championship several times, Stasiak was granted an early release from his contract in late-2002.

There it is. A career begins, and a career ends. I would think that Shawn hit his “FML” point for his career about the time when he realized that being a middle-man for Hardcore Championship victories is not exactly a springboard to stardom. I mean, one of The Godfather’s hos(hoes? ho’s?) was a Hardcore Champion. Winning the Hardcore Championship is akin to catching a Rattata On Route 1. It’s insanely easy to do, and if you stick around, it’s all you’ll do.

Pokémon Hardcore Championship.

Did Mr. Stasiak deserve better? I have watched enough Shawn Stasiak to last me until the rest of my life. I could have very well done 3000 words on Shawn Stasiak, with some left over. I’ve watched Shawn as MEAT, I’ve seen him as a Natural Born Thriller, the Mecca of Manhood, the moronic stumble bum, billed from Planet Stasiak… I’ve seen much of it all. There is a reason I am not doing 3000 words on Shawn Stasiak. In all of his iterations, everything he’s done or tried, he’s just boring. His character’s are not engaging, his promos are robotic, his ring work is stiff and predictable. His greatest assets were his body and his willingness to look like a fool.

The real sad part of this story is that if he had come up five years later, he most likely would have been a World Heavyweight Champion. He could’ve been a Jack Swagger or a Mark Henry or a Dolph Ziggler or a Great Khali or a King Booker or a Kane or a Christian… He could of been one of those “some guy who has the belt for a bit” in that WHC era. If they scripted his promos and told him which five moves to do in any given match, he could’ve been something, damn it!

Hey, it could’ve happened…

Of course, I’m being facetious. The guy was aloof, and a goof. He was an aloof goof, and that’s the troof. I have learned that Shawn is now a Doctor of Chiropracty. Good for him. He holds no ill will towards professional wrestling, nor has his life become tragic like so many in previous professional wrestling generations. His real life is not an FML. I applaud you, sir.

In the context of kayfabe, however, Shawn Stasiak’s career was a series of disappointments and failures. A clear-cut case of FML.

So from PMS to FML, let’s take a look at a confusingly odd series of what is labeled highlights of “The Mecca of Manhood/The Perfect One”, “Perfect” Shawn “MEAT/The Star” Stasiak!

Yes, those were some great “highlights” to be sure. Let’s all try to remember Shawn Stasiak in this spirit.

/endsermon

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