It hasn't been a good year for the Washington Wizards. They've lost games, respect, and quite a bit of Ted Leonsis' money in the form of dead weight contracts this season, and the team's short-term future really doesn't look all that good. Even if John Wall comes back healthy and the Ws start coming, the fact that they were this bad without him says a lot about the current roster's talent (or lack thereof). Shelvin Mack is back and I guess that's pretty cool, but anyone who thinks a player of Mack's caliber is going to make that much of a difference to a team that's three and infinity is deluding his or herself.
There's really not that much you can say about the team right now. They're just bad, and they're not going to get that much better any time soon. Rather than continue to dwell on the on-court problems of a team that, let's face it, hasn't been legitimately good since the 1970s, I thought it might make sense for us as a community to take a moment to turn our attention to the only sport other than professional basketball that truly matters: professional wrestling. In the spirit of the WWE's return to the Verizon Center on Saturday, December 29, here's a guide to each Wiz kid's wrasslin' counterpart.
A.J. Price is Jack Swagger Neither is particularly good, healthy, or important to their organizations. Price was handed the reigns to the Wizards when Wall got hurt and the results were about as pretty and memorable as Swagger's World Heavyweight Championship run.
Bradley Beal is Ryback Beal and Ryback are complete opposites in terms of physical appearance, yet they share one thing in common: They're both rookie performers with high expectations whose success or failure could have an enormous impact on their respective organizations.
Chris Singleton is Daniel Bryan The American Dragon struggled out of the gate, but he eventually found his way once the WWE tweaked how he was presented. Is that really all that different from how Singleton has had quite a bit more success as a smallball power forward than he did as a rookie wing? Plus, Singleton's online tee shirt store gives him a level of indie cred that can only be matched by Bryan's pseudo-veganism and luscious beard.
Emeka Okafor is The Big Show They're both big, they're both practically the definition of average, they both peaked in their early 20s (when Okafor was an NCAA player of the year and Big Show was winning titles from Hulk Hogan), they're both veterans and no one really loves or hates them.
Jan Vesely is The Miz Mike "The Miz" Mizanin is still semi-famous overseas due to his earlier professional experience, has a ridiculously attractive girlfriend and still hasn't quite clicked with fans. Jan "The Airwolf" Vesely is still semi-famous overseas due to his earlier professional experience, has a ridiculously attractive girlfriend and still hasn't quite clicked with, well, anyone.
John Wall is CM Punk Wall and Punk are young guys you could build a promotion/team around and who are out-of-action with knee injuries. While Wall's not as quotable as Punk, the current WWE champion could learn a thing or two from Wall's distinct cadence and Southern accent.
Jordan Crawford is John Cena Both J.C.'s are occasionally electrifying, frequently infuriating performers who you can't take your eyes off of. While Cena's been at the top of the WWE during one of the worst eras in the company's history, Crawford has been the best full-time player on one of the worst Wizards teams in recent memory.
Kevin Seraphin is Kevin Nash Big Sexy only knows four wrestling moves and can barely walk, making him one of the most predictable wrestlers in history. Seraphin only does two things when he catches the ball - take a hook shot or take a turnaround jumper - making him the most predictable player on the team, if not in the entire NBA.
Martell Webster is Kane Webster and Kane are both veteran performers who have had surprisingly solid years. Is playing really good for a bad team the basketball equivalent of being the tag team champions in 2012?
Nene Hilario is Mr. Perfect One of the top guys in the industry who excels at everything and who's only real weakness is that he's spent half his career on the sidelines? Yep, the late, great Curt Hennig (who missed years of his prime with back injuries) and the effortlessly excellent Brazilian have quite a bit in common. There are also more than a few unfortunate similarities between the over-the-top awfulness that the Wizards have provided glimpses of this year and unwatchably bad WCW years that Mr. Perfect had to endure in the late 90s.
Shelvin Mack is Chris Jericho Like Y2J, Mack will return to the team with a little bit of fanfare, then proceed to be on the losing end of almost everything he's involved in.
Trevor Ariza is R Truth Similar to the situation Trevor Booker is in right now, Ariza is a guy who's not really a huge part of the organization's long-term plans but who is too talented to just bench. They're also both out with injuries and had very brief periods where they were almost household names, with Ariza's fame coming from his Finals runs with the Lakers and Truth's coming from his Survivor Series tag team match against The Rock and John Cena last year.
Trevor Booker is Booker T Aside from the name, both Bookers are just sort of there and not doing anything these days, even though they're still technically employed.
Ted Leonsis is Ted Dibiase This one is too easy.
Ernie Grunfeld is Hulk Hogan Like Hogan, Grunfeld is a guy who probably should have been unemployed years ago, yet he's stuck around in a position of power at a major organization solely due to his ability to justify any and everything that goes wrong when he's around. Where's Sting when you need him?
Andray Blatche is Kurt Angle Seven Day Dray used to claim to have a work ethic that was similar to the OCD gold medalist and eventually turned into a parody of a well-meaning but completely full of it athlete. Like Angle with TNA, Blatche has also found success with another company but still finds time to occasionally trash his former employers.
Gilbert Arenas is Scott Hall Like Hall, Gil is an obscenely talented embarrassment to his former employers and didn't exactly leave on the best of terms. No, he's never had to struggle with substance abuse like the former Razor Ramon, but does anyone really doubt that we'll eventually see a 30 For 30 on Agent Zero?