A Beginner's Guide to ACW Wisconsin WaterCity WrestlingCon 2019, Part 5: Gust vs. Gangrel
In Part 5 of our series in looking at the matches on the card for ACW Wisconsin WaterCity WrestlingCon 2019 (which we will be a part of, and make sure to say hi at our booth!), we take a look at the Vampire’s Ball Match between Raging Dead Nathan Gust and WWE icon Gangrel.
There are times in which professional wrestling parallels real world events. There are other times where wrestling rivalries have hints of Shakespearian drama. And then there comes a time when a zombie fights a vampire.
Ladies and gentlemen, Gust vs. Gangrel is the latter, and it’s going to be incredible.
Gust vs. Gangrel is the tongue-firmly-in-cheek type campy bout that can live only in either Saturday morning cartoons or in professional wrestling. This type of match was at its height in the 80’s and early 90’s, where wrestlers were more caricatures than flushed out characters with depth and motivation. This was the era in which The Undertaker, Doink the Clown, Big Boss Man, The Great Mountee, and many others filled the roster of many promotions.
While more “realistic” storylines became more in vogue in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, there were still more campy characters that still made their way onto airwaves. Right to Censor, The Spirit Squad, and The Oddities are just a few stables that were highly entertaining but lacked any real depth. One group that had gotten over very well with the fans during this time were The Brood, a trio of vampire-like entities that debuted in 1998. Their style was a mix of Blade’s adversaries and characters from an Ann Rice novel, and whose members were Edge, Christian, and Gangrel. While Edge and Christian would change their characters later on in their career, Gangrel would stick with the vampire motif, and it served him quite well throughout the years.
Independent wrestlers are more apt to take on instantly recognizable character tropes, for it helps them immediately connect with an audience (which comes in handy if that wrestler is participating in multiple wrestling promotions). Being instantly recognizable as a certain type of character makes it easy for a first-time audience member to connect with what is motivating that wrestler during a match. The ACW Wisconsin wrestler that has been most successful in getting his caricature gimmick over with the crowd has been Raging Dead Nathan Gust, a wrestler that, for whatever reason, is a zombie.
Is there a shred of realism in his portrayal? Absolutely not. Has there ever been any origin or backstory provided to flesh out his character? Nope. Does it matter? Not in the slightest, and that’s because every time he comes to the ring he is so entertaining that the audience just accepts that they are watching a wrestling zombie. And that’s all you need to know.
Gust vs. Gangrel is going to be a Vampire’s Ball Match. What is a Vampire’s Ball Match? I have no clue. And I don’t need to know, because what I do know is that a zombie is going to be fighting a vampire in front of 3,000+ people in Oshkosh, WI, and it should be an absolute blast to watch.
Come back for Part 6 of our series when we look at the match-up between Delirium vs. The Dream Police
Originally published on April 22, 2019