Heels has never shied away from the brutality of devoting your life to wrestling and the damage it can do both physically and mentally — just look at the mess that is the Spade family. In “Heavy Heads,” two other characters, at two very different stages in their careers, come face-to-face with some of the consequences of the industry, and both come to similar conclusions: They just can’t quit professional wrestling.
I’m sorry, but Wild Bill never disappoints. Whether he’s saying something outrageous about his leaking sphincter, shamelessly flirting with women who run state fairs, or stripping down on an airplane to stick it to the man, Bill is somehow offensive and charming all at once.
The ridiculousness only works, though, because we’ve also gotten to see other layers to Bill (and because Chris Bauer can pull off all shades of the guy). This episode teaches us a lot about Bill.
He and Diego head to Florida for a Super-Fan Wrestling Convention, and as sad as this event seems, Wild Bill thrives here. He says he’s putting on a good show because happy fans mean more money for him, but, come on, the guy clearly needs this kind of attention to survive.
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When Bill runs into some former wrestling buddies from the good ol’ days, it becomes even clearer that while most of his contemporaries have moved on either by choice or because they hit rock bottom, Bill’s entire identity is wrestling, and to give it up would be worse than death (he’s a drama queen, but also it’s probably true?).
When Bill and Diego sit down with Alvin (who used to be known as “Man Beast” before retiring and running a bunch of fro-yo franchises with his wife) and Jimmy John (a husk of a man who has suffered some severe brain injuries) to record an episode of the podcast, you can see the horror all over Bill’s face as he sees before him two versions of a non-wrestling future.
He certainly doesn’t want to become so injured he can barely function in society, but he seems to take more umbrage with Alvin, a man who chose to give up wrestling and live a smaller life.
He tries to goad Alvin into an argument, but Alvin sees through all of the bravado and meanness. None of their peers have come out of wrestling unscathed; they were all addicted to the high of wrestling and it’s why he understands Bill’s inability to let it go.
Bill gave himself over to his gimmick years ago, but Alvin never wanted that. And believe it or not, Alvin’s happy now. “I cheer for you, but I don’t wish I were you,” Alvin tells Bill. It is a gut punch.
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The change in Bill when his old friends finally leave is heartbreaking. He refuses to accept that his future might look like either of theirs. He’s disgusted by the fact that Alvin would “get off the horse,” and almost in tears, he yells at Diego (only because he happens to be there) that he’ll “never get off the damn horse.”
It’s such a telling moment — Alvin’s right about Bill, he has nothing else but the sport. There’s not really a Bill Hancock anymore, just Wild Bill. For the first time maybe, Bill has to confront what that might mean for his future. Did all of this sound super-depressing? Great, because it was. It was so depressing!
Then there’s Crystal. She’s just starting out. She is full of big dreams and has a ton of growing and learning to do. Her hard work has pushed DWL to form a Women’s League, in which she’ll be the shining star! Her picture is up on the wall of champions at the Dome! Right now, everything seems thrilling and full of possibilities.
The thrill, however, is knocked right out of her when, thanks to her first opponent in the Women’s League, Crystal, too, gets a nice, long look at what might be waiting for her if she keeps at the wrestling thing.
Elle Dorado, also Tanya, arrives in Duffy to “put Crystal over,” as they say (it means to make her look good). Elle seems great. She’s patient with Crystal and seems genuinely happy to have a job. She’s good at what she does. Crystal is immediately intimated by how good.
But all of the imposter-syndrome stuff is in Crystal’s head. It doesn’t take long for Elle to become an ally. Crystal learns a lot from her, not just about the form — but about what it really means to be a woman in the industry.
Elle has to travel all over the place to join promotions and get enough work to pay her bills because most places run out of story lines for the few female wrestlers they have pretty quickly.
And then there’s the physical toll: Elle’s pretty young and yet she’s kicking back six ibuprofen before practice because her knee is so busted it probably needs surgery, and her neck and shoulder are next in line.
Unfortunately, because work is so scarce, Elle doesn’t have health insurance to cover any of the medical bills. Success is a whole lot less glamorous than it might seem in Crystal’s head. And yet still, Crystal remains undeterred to make a name for herself in the business.
In case you start to believe that Heels has recently turned into the greatest bummer of a show, in zip-lines Ace Spade. No, truly. Honestly, I roared with laughter when Expert uncovered his new contrivance. Con Damned (or Con-Cursed? Con Cursed? I really want to see that ridiculous name recorded as a hard copy, please), yet I wasn’t giggling at him as such — I was chuckling on the grounds that Heels is having some good times with Pro and we as a whole, him particularly, could utilize it.
Expert has been stayed in Jack’s carport since getting back from his short visit to track down himself. The depiction he gives Gem with respect to where he’s been — “Took the long strategy for getting around to no place, tumbled off a bluff” — is great. At the point when Jack lets him know that he needs them to truly, genuinely share the DWL this time, Pro lets him know that he needs to find an exit from wrestling.
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Then, at that point, Pro goes through the day with Thomas … and it’s sort of awesome? At the point when Thomas inadvertently loses Tom’s prop crown that Pro has been hauling around since the State Fair, and it gets squashed by cars moving the opposite direction, Expert handles what is going on impeccably.
In letting it go, in saying without holding back that it’s, as a matter of fact “just texture and plastic,” he appears to understand that it he’s expected to do from the start. While hanging out, Thomas tells Expert that he won’t ever wrestle since he’s excessively little, and Pro returns to show his nephew that he could be an extraordinary grappler if he has any desire to do that.
He puts him over and allows him to have a success and an extraordinary evening, and it can’t be lost on Expert that he is giving Thomas something that his own dad never needed to give Pro.
Expert grins, and it’s hard not to think this is on the grounds that he’s at last letting himself out of the strain his father put him under. Truly, might you at any point envision Pro in any event, suggesting the topic of his Con-Cursed (Condamned? CoNdAmneD?) trick with Tom Spade? That man would snicker him out of the Vault.
All things being equal, Pro — letting it be known is somewhat silly, yet “infantile is [his] claim to fame” all things considered — has Precious stone color his hair and, in spite of the fact that we don’t see it, clearly goes to Jack and presents him with a major thought.
Toward the finish of the last occasion tag-group match that week, in which the enormous cross-advancement with Oppressed world starts off, as Chicken and another Oppressed world grappler called The Opening (a name a grappler could, truth be told, pick!) spread the word and clear the ring, the lights go off and a hooded figure zip-lines from the rafters.
In a regulated voice, he says he is “a spirit looking for recovery” and won’t stop until he has it. It’s so beyond absurd I praised. Heels is doing incredible stuff with character improvement and using this modest community world it’s worked to recount profound stories, yet it likewise doesn’t fail to remember that wrestling can be — ought to be — beyond preposterous. Heels can have some good times as well. More zip lines generally, I say!
What’s Willie up to? We see her getting out the money in the DWL protected and afterward giving it over to a lady who works for the district. She is either so pushed by it or has such an excess of responsibility that she ends up drinking herself into a power outage and resting on her room floor. Staci sees a ton of this trickiness go down, so maybe she’ll be requesting a few responses from Ms. Willie soon.
Fun reality! Elle Dorado is played by AJ Mendez, otherwise called her WWE and Ladies of Wrestling persona, AJ Lee, who incidentally turns out to be hitched to Phil Streams, who is otherwise called his expert wrestling persona, CM Punk — yet you could know him as Ricky Rabies. Heels is a family undertaking!
Gem advises Bobby that he doesn’t have anything to stress over with her and Pro, yet Bobby didn’t see the looks they were giving each other as she colored his hair in the shower.
I trust we’re working our direction toward Chicken getting back to DWL. The Chicken Jack scenes we’ve gotten this season, particularly in this episode, have been perfect. Jack needs somebody to advise him that he comes up short on minimal mindfulness now and again.
Chicken conveying a promotion tearing Jack separated that was composed by Jack after Chicken conveyed him a few hard insights was a particularly incredible second for the two of them.
Charlie Ravine might be a genuine dick, yet man, does he have Jack’s number. As Jack falters about doing a cross-advancement since it will not actually work with DWL’s narrating energy, Crevasse needs to advise him that “it’s wrestling, it’s not Faulkner.” Tune in, I value extraordinary composition and great stories, yet Chasm is correct — ease up, my fella!