WWE is asking us to cheer for Jack Swagger and his manager/adviser Zeb Colter.
What have they done to earn said cheers? Not much. But when Lana and Rusev came parading down to the ring a few weeks back and took a steaming Soviet shit all over the good ol' U.S. of A., Swags & Co. were the only ones to come out and raise a stink about it.
Probably because "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan is either too old, or too busy filming the sequel to Legends House.
But wait, Swagger and Colter ... aren't they the bad guys?
Well, they were. And they said and did some pretty heinous things as heat-seeking heels prior to the Russian invasion, which is why some pro wrestling fans -- including our beloved Geno Mrosko -- are stiff-arming this angle for its insincerity.
From The General's RAW recap:
"It also sucks that people are buying into Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger as the babyface team because they're still 100-percent awful in every way other than 'hey, we'll take on the asshole Russians.'"
Geno also argues we're wrongfully cheering them because babyfaces shouldn't be preaching values to us, perhaps overlooking our nation's insistence on reciting the pledge of allegiance as children. You know, that whole "United We Stand" spiel, which is exactly why we should be cheering for them.
They're one of "us" (my apologies to our international readers, bear with me).
America is filled with heroes. Just as it's filled with villains. I live on a nice block in a suburban neighborhood and the folks around me are terrific. But there is always some asshole at the bagel store who gets the last cinnamon-raisin, or a jack-off who cuts in front of me at the gas station when I'm running late.
I'd like to whoop both their candy asses.
Same goes for the scoundrel who broke into my car at the gym and stole the $40 I had in my glove box. But you know what? If Rusev and Lana sent their armies to conquer the states, and guerrillas with machine guns started parachuting down from the heavens Red Dawn style, I would stand arm-in-arm with the bagel bandit and the high-octane asswipe.
I'd even share a foxhole with the car crook.
That's what's great about 'Murica. We're a nation full of crazy sons a' bitches and most of the time all we do is complain about how annoying everyone is. But when the shit hits the fan, those same cliches that draw groans from the smarks, are the ones that bind us together.
American as apple pie!
Truth is, most apple pie nowadays tastes like shit, because it's mass produced (Fuck you, Denny's). The days of momma/big momma baking a pie from scratch with fresh ingredients is about as antiquated as the idea of leaving it on the windowsill to cool.
That era has come and gone.
But the values it represents are steadfast. Colter was able to get a pop from the "Lone Star State" during Monday night's promo, talking about dads showing their sons how to fish, and moms teaching their daughters how to cook. How much of that stuff still goes on these days?
Not much, I'd reckon.
That wasn't the point. The point was unity. Yeah, Swagger's a jerk and is generally awful onscreen. But our love for America should always supersede our hate for some of the Americans who populate it. As spectators, we're limited to patriotism by proxy, which is not unlike watching soldiers on the televised battlefield from the safety of our couches.
Jack Swagger is standing up for America.
It may be his version of America, one that is perhaps vastly different from yours or mine, but that's what America is. A conglomeration of varying opinions, attitudes, and beliefs. We can't prioritize our values when they don't mesh with the values of our neighbors.
United we stand, divided we fall. And Swagger is willing to take a beating from Rusev to prove it.
Isn't that worth cheering for?