Season 3, Episode 7
Disgraced Harvard philosophy professor, Jack Griffin, winds up teaching high school A.P. Biology while probably learning very little from his students, aside from coming up with more ways to make fun of them. This episode is no exception when one of them is forced to reveal his desire to become a pro wrestler.
What the World is Watching highlights a wrestling episode from a non-wrestling show and explores that particular episode’s use of the tropes most commonly associated with wrestling episodes. Does that make sense? You can watch this episode on Peacock.
The Wrestling Episode
The episode starts with Jack Griffin exposing one of his A.P. Bio students, Anthony, for lying to his grandma about receiving after-school tutoring lessons. Anthony refuses to reveal what it is that he’s actually doing during these “tutoring lessons.” It doesn’t take long for Griffin to discover that Anthony has been taken under the school’s janitor Hans’ wing as his wrestling protégé. Yes, Hans is apparently a legend of the squared circle within the local church gyms of Toledo.
However, Anthony is nothing more than a prop to Hans’ King of Diamonds persona, Deznel Midnight. Being Deznel’s literal footstool is all Anthony is allowed to be until he can come up with a better gimmick than Luther Phoenix: Bird of Pain. That’s where Mr. Griffin and the rest of the class step in to help Anthony come up with the perfect wrestling gimmick, like Aces Wild or Tony Flamingo, The Two of Hearts.
Does one of the show’s main characters have to wrestle?
Not necessarily. Anthony actually wants to wrestle. More than anything, he wants to be the “baddest daddy to ever walk that aisle.” In reality, his wrestling gimmick is human ottoman. Anthony’s not even the Virgil to Deznel’s Million Dollar Man.
Did they enter a contest to wrestle for prize/money?
No. This is a life-long dream it seems. Looks like Anthony is solely doing if for the love or wrestling, seeing as these shows are taking place inside a local church gym. Given that Hans is a main event player and still a high school janitor by day, goes to show that there is little to no money being made here. The only real prize is hearing the cheers of the 50 or so people who attend the shows.
Is the wrestler an actual professional wrestler making a cameo appearance?
In this case, there are quite a few professional wrestlers making cameo appearances. Technically, you can count Ron Funches as a pro wrestler after making his recent pro debut at GCW’s Highest in the Room on September 18, 2021. Funches shows up as “The King of Diamonds” Deznel Midnight, but since he’s also a show regular as high school janitor Hans, I guess he doesn’t count as a “cameo appearance.”
Other wrestlers making actual cameo appearances include Aron Stevens (f.k.a. Damien Sandow). He shows just how much range he truly has as Tennessee Ronnie Log. A character that can only be described as Big Josh, but as a male stripper. Delilah Doom shows up as Delilah Doom defeating Katarina Waters (f.k.a. Katie Burchill, sister of pirate Paul Burchill) in the opening match of the first night. Leader of The Wingmen and AEW’s Hollywood Hunk, Ryan Nemeth, makes a brief cameo in a losing effort to Ronnie Log.
Is there a masked wrestler present?
Surprisingly, not a single one.
Is the wrestling predetermined or legitimate?
Definitely predetermined, but after Griffin gets into the ring and gets in Hans’ face, Hans maintains kayfabe and puts Griffin in all kinds of legit holds, including some tickling. However, during his match with Anthony, Hans breaks character and calls out a few spots, including changing the finish of the match on the fly.
Was an airplane spin performed?
No, but a powerslam that would make Goldust proud was.
- The main event match could’ve gone a bit longer given the backstory and crowd reaction. This was basically Bruno Sammartino vs Larry Zbyszko II.
- Lilian Garcia shows up as the ring announcer.
- An opportunity for a crossover was left on the table by not having Glenn Howerton (Jack Griffin) reprise his Bird of War wrestling character. Which might make a return for season 15 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. At least we can pretend the Trash Phoenix persona was an homage to The Trashman.
- Anthony’s vision of his ultimate pro wrestler self is basically Roman Reigns: long hair and always looking kind of wet.
- “Let’s b–b-b-bodyslam homelessness with a new or gently used coat.”
- “Neanderthal gymnastics.”