A lot of people are talking about the Final Four but without the Syracuse Orange there, is it really a big deal? Instead let’s focus on the true big event of the sports weekend and that’s WrestleMania. Now even if you aren’t a fan of sports entertainment the fact that this year’s event is in Syracuse Stadium South (aka MetLife Stadium) makes it something we wanted to recognize. Maybe in a few years we’ll see Orange alum Omari Palmer on the card but until then let’s take a look at some Syracuse athletes and their WWE counterparts.
We’ll start off with Eric Devendorf as Stone Cold Steve Austin. I’m not sure if Eric was downing Devoweisers at an alarming rate but if there’s any trash-talking, ultra-confident athlete in Syracuse history it’s definitely him. Besides which player could you see doing something like this to Jim Boeheim?
Jim Brown- Ric Flair
The GOATS. Both of these guys are reverred even though they have some unsavory events in their past. They’ve transcended their sports and generations as they continue to impact
Carmelo Anthony-The Rock
Hyped before their arrival, they both delivered on the expectations (even though it took The Rock more time). They’ve been gone for a while but have remained so regarded that they can return at any time and be welcomed with open arms. If you smell what the Melo is cookin!
Donte Greene- Roman Reigns
Two guys who showed up and were marked for stardom because of comparisons to previous legends (Donte to Carmelo and Roman to The Rock). Each of them were pushed despite being out-shined by teammates Johnny Flynn and Seth Rollins. Despite doing everything that you’d want them to do, neither of them were embraced by the fans. At some point you hope the hate turns to recognition that “Hey they weren’t so bad after all”.
Tiana Mangakahia- Becky Lynch
The breakout stars of the past year. They went from highly regarded in their own division to consideration for the best overall through their competitiveness and ability to captivate the crowd. Now it’s time for Syracuse fans to demand that people outside of the area notice Tiana as she returns for a final season.
Andy Rautins- The Miz
Were seen as not really belonging upon arrival. They worked their way from afterthought to stardom and we’re pretty sure The Miz would describe Andy’s beard as “Awwwwwwesome!”
Alyssa Manley- Ronda Rousey
These two athletes are known for shutting down their opponent’s offense. They attack with aggression and aren’t backing down. Manley might be on track to add a US Olympic team appearance to her 2015 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, something Rousey, a former Olympian in judo and UFC Champion is familiar with.
Marek Dolezaj- Mick Foley
Willing to risk injury to do whatever’s necessary to win. They don’t crave the spotlight but earn the respect of their peers for their commitment and from what we know Marek might be known as Dude Love around campus.
Jamal Custis- Kofi Kingston
Great athletes who waited a long time to get their chance to shine but through perseverance they’ve worked their way into a starring role. Custis took advantage of his opportunity last Fall and is now a NFL prospect. Kingston gets his 1st ever title shot on Sunday and is determined to make it count.
I’ll end my comparisons there, but feel free to add yours to the comments. Bonus points to all who suggest good comparisons for Mike Rotunda.