Just when it would appear that things are going to get patched up in DWL something else comes along and puts a monkey wrench in the whole thing. It was easy enough to realize that the aftermath of the match between Jack and Ace wasn’t over yet, but digging deeper into the Spade’s past we get to see their father and his inexplicable ending as he shoots himself within the first few minutes of the episode. Worse still, Ace was the one that found his father, which could explain a lot when it comes to his own breakdown at this point since the trauma of finding out that someone close to you has committed suicide is bound to mess just about anyone up. There’s no doubt that Tom Spade had issues that caused him to do something so drastic, but the fact that it damaged his family beyond repair is easy to see. But after taking control of DWL it doesn’t feel as though there was anything that was going to make them a tightly-knit unit if that was what they’d been in the first place.
Ace has more than one issue, but a lot of what we’re seeing in the show might stem from the breakdown that’s been building since the death of his father. The unfortunate fact that he’s a very vain and selfish individual doesn’t help considering that he wants Jack’s belt and is willing to do anything to get it, except turn heel. There’s plenty that Jack knows about wrestling that Ace takes for granted, but the truth is that while Ace is ignorant and incredibly naive, Jack is doing everything he can to keep the business going, but is also sitting on talent that might help him in a number of other ways. Rooster, for one, is more than willing to jump into the main event and wants the belt just as much as anyone, but pushing him aside so that Bobby can take the main even with Ace, who finally turns heel, feels like it would be taken as a sign of disrespect and/or neglect that Rooster continues to struggle with.
One problem with Ace going heel is that he’s a one-speed type of individual that acts the same outside of the ring as he does inside of it, for the most part. Ace wants to be the hero, the person that people look up to, and in the previous episode it’s fair to think that he was someone people looked up to, but thanks to his drunken stint in the bar and the disrespect he gave to his hometown, there was no way he was going to be seen as a face when he returned to the ring. The thing about wrestlers outside of the ring is that they can be themselves, no matter if they’re breaking kayfabe. It’s breaking kayfabe inside the ring that’s a huge no-no since the people want to believe in the show, and they want to know that their heroes are still heroes and the villains are villains. Outside the ring, things can change since people do need to live their lives. As an example, some of the meanest and nastiest wrestlers in the business today are actually among the kindest and gentlest when they’re outside of the ring and are actually willing to take time to meet their fans.
The problem with Ace is that he’s a one-speed kind of individual, or so it would appear. As a face, he was bound to be nice to everyone and act like the hero he was supposed to be. As the heel, so far, he’s lashing out at everyone and using that negative energy in a way that’s bound to keep him from being the type of wrestler and person he could be if he really tried. But as I said, Ace is the kind of guy that’s bound to go all-in, likely because he doesn’t know how to exist any other way. The fun part of the episode was the arrival of CM Punk as Ricky Rabies, an aging wrestler that in a way kind of looks like white trash and even talks like it but is a respected member of the wrestling community that’s been around for a while. The manner in which he treats his female valet, which is kindly and with great respect, initially gives Crystal hope that she might be able to get Ace to be the same way.
It’s kind of hard to watch her heart drop when it’s revealed that Ricky’s valet isn’t his wife or companion, especially since Ace had already told her that they weren’t a couple and had just about written her off. Turning heel wasn’t something that Ace was ready for obviously, but it created a great match that left the people satisfied.
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