"No more shines Billy. Maybe you didn't hear about it, you've been away a long time, they didn't go up there to tell ya. I don't shine shoes any more."
Last night's edition of Monday Night RAW, for this pro wrestling fan, was a means to an end. I kind of knew going into the three-hour broadcast, which emanated from 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, that I was there for one purpose.
That's the kind of thing that will keep me up at night, whereas I usually get my RAW fix on Tuesday morning, when I can zip through the commercials and 642 replays of footage I've already seen a dozen times. After all, last night was special because well, Bray-fucking-Wyatt.
Everything else was just gravy.
That's why I didn't mind slogging through some of the waste that was polluting the bottom half of the show. I'm still not sure what transpired during that clusterfuck between Sin Cara, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler, but it was a clunky, disjointed mess.
That's not all.
Curtis Axel came out to play bad guy and ended up cutting a promo that sounded less like a top heel, and more like an angry nerd trying to return something at Radio Shack without a receipt. I'm not even sure Paul Heyman can save that guy, which is a shame, because he can work.
But I digress.
Bray Wyatt finally made his television debut last night along with his partners in crime, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, beating down longtime veteran Kane while doing all kinds of cool shit, like walking out with a lantern and sitting on the ramp in a rickety ol' rocking chair.
The segment was well executed and (almost) perfect.
What nearly spoiled it was a handful of "fans" who felt the need to start chanting "Husky Harris," which is the name Bray Wyatt operated under as part of NXT. That's like walking into see "The Matrix," and chanting "Ted Logan," because hardy-fucking-har, Keanu Reeves -- as "Neo" -- used to play a brain-dead teen back in the late eighties.
Get it? Funny, right?
I am of the opinion that when you pay for something, you have a right to critique it in the way you see fit. It's not cheap to see RAW in person, so when you drop that kind of coin for a night of violent theatrics, go ahead and say what you want. You've earned it.
Except when you cross that line and go from paid attendee to annoying heckler. And make no mistake about it folks, heckling is a less fancier word for saboteur. There is no other purpose of heckling than to sabotage someone who is out there trying to entertain you.
And it's wrong.
Husky Harris was not in Baltimore last night. Windham Lawrence Rotunda was. He was in "Charm City" trying to entertain the "Universe" with the character he signed on to play, and that's Bray Wyatt. It's impossible to plead "typecasting" after such a brief stint in NXT.
And you only get once chance to make a first impression.
I've heard some of the feedback in the wake of last night's show, and some fans are having difficulty differentiating between a crowd that chants "Husky Harris" and a crowd that chants "ECW" or "Golllllldberrrrrg" when Ryback was trying to find his sea legs.
Not even in the same ballpark.
When a performer gets an "ECW" chant, it's a term of endearment, a way for the fan to let the talent know that "Hey, we saw you back in the day, you kicked ass, and we haven't forgotten about you." When Ryback was showered with Goldberg chants, it was the crowd's way of telling the organization "Been there, done that."
At least it was honest feedback.
The Wyatt debacle is akin to fans labeling Big E. Langston -- a terrific talent -- "Ryblack" when he first made his debut. The good news is, it came from behind the Twitter curtain and held no real weight. But trying to torpedo the S.S. Wyatt before it even left port was a cruel, disgusting display of antipathy.
But not toward Wyatt.
No, that type of resentment can only come from the self-loathing barnacles like the bêtes noires in Baltimore, who cling to the nearest surface and beat their awful appendages to attract any and all attention within reach. Nothing would please them more than to learn how many of us were bummed out by their antics.
Go ahead, have a free one on me.
In the end, I'll move on and likely enjoy the upcoming program from Wyatt and his cronies, while the wannabe hijackers, who probably went out for a beer after the show and bragged about "going into business for themselves," will slither home and try to figure out why their lives are so incomplete.
If they can't be happy, then no one else should be, either.
But that's a fool's errand, because I'd venture to guess that a majority of current fans have no idea who Husky Harris is. That includes my 10 year old daughter, who is pretty sharp for her age, but still couldn't even make out what they were saying.
That's when she looked at me and asked (louder than she should have): WHAT?