Musings on Jackets in Pro Wrestling (Small Package) | Smark Out Moment

Musings on Jackets in Pro Wrestling (Small Package)

Posted by Anthony Mango Monday, January 14, 2019
Welcome all to another edition of Small Package, where we keep things a bit lighter and free to chat about whatever's going on in my mind right now that I feel the need to yak on about.

To be honest, one of the things running along in my brain at the moment is jackets—and yes, this does tie into WWE and even AEW, rather than being an All Talk Show rambling (which I totally want to bring back sometime this year, by the way).

It's winter, it's cold outside, yours truly just recently purchased a heavier coat for the season that I'm particularly fond of and the good folks over at On the Go Sports reached out to me to pass on the knowledge that you can design your own custom jacket on their site, and my immediate thought upon checking them out got me thinking for the second time this week about two people's jackets in wrestling in particular: Finn Balor and Chris Jericho.

Saturday at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, Jordan Devlin took Travis Banks out of competitive condition before their match could even begin. As a response to that, Johnny Saint and Sid Scala announced that he'd face a replacement opponent, and out came Finn Balor.

These two look so much alike and it was interesting to see the two face each other, not just because of their strikingly similar appearances, but also because they're teacher and student and two of the few Irish stars in WWE today.

But as cool as it was to get that swerve, I've seen a few people buzzing online about how they wish Balor had come out in the face paint as Demon Balor, rather than his normal self, because that would have been an even bigger moment, since we rarely see that form of his character.

To me, as much as I think Balor in a leather jacket isn't as interesting visually as the Demon Balor shtick, I disagree with their assessment. This wasn't a time for Demon Balor (who is literally the same in every way other than the pure baseline visual). Demon Balor should be saved for WrestleMania and really big matches for Finn himself, not for Finn's opponent.

Devlin has his name on the front specifically so you don't go "Hey, is that Finn Balor?"

This was definitely bigger for Devlin, and when the two of them look so much alike, WWE did the right call playing into that by keeping the parallels to really illustrate how Devlin's patterned himself much after his mentor.

Leather jacket Balor was the right way to go, 100%.

That also got me thinking about Chris Jericho, though, because Y2J has been in the news recently after having signed with All Elite Wrestling.

We recently recorded an upcoming episode of Smack Talk of the 2013 Royal Rumble Fannounce Table commentary track and in that, the #2 entry is Jericho, sporting his light-up jacket. You'll see when that episode comes out that I asked if this was the first time he debuted that, as I had forgotten when that came about, but Jericho has been having custom coats for what, a decade now?

His latest getup with New Japan Pro Wrestling at Wrestle Kingdom 13 has had plenty of critics and supporters. I'm more of the critical side who thinks it's less A Clockwork Orange and more "teen you snicker at when you walk by them smoking in front of the entrance at the mall looking like they dread the sun."

When Jericho makes his true AEW debut, seemingly at Double or Nothing, what is he going to be wearing? Is he going to have a different light-up jacket of sorts (even though he said in an interview recently that he wasn't feeling that), something that is on the weirder side like his NJPW gear, or will he actually bring it old school and redo something from his WCW days and ditch jackets all together?

I have no idea, but I'm so used to a Jericho silhouette being a WWE thing that if we see another light-up jacket for his entrance in AEW, it's going to feel very, very strange to me.

Also, insert a Hulk Hogan "let me tell you something, jack(et)" reference, because I couldn't think of one and you know me, so you know I gave that stupid joke idea a few tries, at least.

What do you think? Drop a comment below!

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The founder, editor-in-chief, head writer, podcast host, and more for Smark Out Moment and all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. Tony Mango is not just a pundit/analyst, but also a creative director/consultant, media manager and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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