The Wrestling Episode is our cleverly-named feature wherein we watch non-wrestling shows with wrestling episodes and try to figure out what the hell’s going on in them. You’d be surprised how many there are. You can watch the episode on Amazon Prime here. If you have any suggestions on shows that need to be featured in The Wrestling Episode, let us know in our comments section below.
I’ve Never Heard Of Grimm. What Is It?
You’ve never heard of Grimm? If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you may have had better things to do on Friday nights than watch a fantasy-driven police procedural drama inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales. (Sadly, I did not.)
Quietly airing on NBC for an impressive six seasons and 123 episodes, Grimm follows homicide investigator Nick Burkhardt, your typical procedural white meat babyface, who discovers he’s from a long family line of hunters (and sometimes protectors) of supernatural creatures. Every episode he and his partner Hank try to get to the bottom of why Portland has so many murders going on that week and after enough people turn up super dead they sort out “oh! It’s probably this German cougarman from my monster research that’s doing this” and things go back to being hunky dory after they’re captured or killed the bad guy. These creatures can often live their lives in human form and there was even this insane semi-throwaway thing they did where it was revealed that Hitler was essentially a werewolf. No really, they even put it in the opening credits for a little bit.
YOU THOUGHT ADOLF HITLER WAS BAD BEFORE? WHAT IF WE TOLD YOU HE ALSO HAD THIS BILL HADER AS A WOLFBEAST THING GOING ON TOO? God, this show is so stupid. It’s fun stupid, but it’s also the type of show that tries to make Turbo Hitler into something like it’s f*cking Wolfenstein 3D. Hitler’s shorthand for evil. Everyone gets this. No need to add anything on top of that, Friday night television show.
And There’s A Wrestling Episode? God, I Hope Hitler Wasn’t In That
There is and no he’s not. (Which must be crushing news for the Harris Brothers.) In season 5, viewers like me were treated to an episode titled Silence of the Slams. I swear to Christ that’s the real name of the episode and that should set the table for what’s to come.
Let’s Get To The Episode
Right, we meet a luchador named Goyo (played by guest star Joseph Julian Soria) who’s unhappy with his lot in life as enhancement talent for the company’s more popular stars. Goyo considers himself a better fighter than his peers and he’s sick of his steady diet of Ls. His local maskmaker Benito and the company’s promoter both try to remind him that his job is to lose, but that’s not enough for Goyo. He not only wants to win, but he also wants a mask like his heroes because they never lost. Goyo’s also a bit of a dumbass because the maskmaker (voted #1 by readers of The Portland Mercury presumably) makes a fuss about how those masks have a tremendous cost BEYOND MONEY and Goyo doesn’t really pick up on the whole “you’re about to get Goosebumps‘d here, buddy” tone.
We’re taken to that night’s wrestling card which is taking place in what I guess is network’s TV answer to Lucha VaVoom because there’s a bit of burlesque lite going on. As is customary with TV shows doing a wrestling episode, the bulk of their crowd is not in $35 t-shirts and they express approval for things by waving their arms in the air like a Neo Geo fight game background character. His opponent? The mighty El Mayordomo played by Chavo Guerrero Jr.
After eating nothing but offense from Mayordomo, Goyo is soundly defeated and has a bit of a hissy fit in the locker room. As one does when they’re in a sour mood, he makes an unannounced late night trip to the mask shop to borderline demand a special mask no matter the price. Benito goes from reluctant to creepily onboard for custom crafting this frustrated jobber a suspicious mask of mystery and bad things. There’s even a contract that’s rolled out.
“It says you’ll pay me half of what you earn for as long as you wear it. And then when you’re done, you have to return it to me,” he explains to this dummo that should figure out something bad is afoot.
Goyo signs the contract in blood (SPECIAL MASK RULES) and when he splits we discover that Benito is a snakeman on top of running a successful wrestling mask company in Oregon. Benito later monster bites an alleyway mugger and cuts his face off for mask purposes.
Wait, Are The Main Characters Even In This Episode?
Yeah, but it’s a bit who gives a sh*t. There’s a lot of romance drama, questions about if a human man can love a Hexenbiest (a witchlike creature) and a multi-episode political assassination plot that doesn’t involve Chavo Guerrero wrestling in a tuxedo t-shirt (as a studly butler?) so let’s move on.
Our buddy Goyo gets the mask, it tightens on his face in a very kinky fashion and he’s given a stern warning from Benito not to wear the mask outside the ring. Said mask has a Venom-esque symbiotic relationship with its wearer/host and it turns Goyo into an aggressive nasty dude. Does he break the rules immediately for some masked weightlifting? Of course he does. Dammit Goyo!
Speaking of which, our lead detectives Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) are looking into the whole a guy had his face cut off thing and try to sort out if there’s a pattern to go along with face cutting off unpleasantness elsewhere in the country. As is the case with all things Grimm, Nick comes to the conclusion that it’s not your standard human face-cutter-offer.
Under his new mask and persona, Goyo faces Mayordomo again and completely pisses all over the agreed upon match dynamic. Goyo growls like an animal, throws stiff clotheslines and is generally just being an angry dick. Going against script, he beats Mayordomo with a submission and is pretty darn proud of himself. Mayordomo tries to somewhat politely give Goyo a dressing down in the locker room only to find the promoter is super happy Goyo shot on Mayordomo because the crowd went wild. (Read: They sounded the exact same as their other match.) Mayordomo confronts Goyo in an alley afterwards, things escalate, Goyo puts the mask on and OH NO! Chavo’s beaten to death. Well, that’s a bummer.
After Mayordomo’s corpse is found, Nick and Hank check in with the promoter who’s very happy to give all the necessary information in a loudmouthy way. (He also mentions Black Tiger which is either a New Japan + Eddie Guerrero nod or a friendly coincidence.) After a bit of detective work, Nick and Hank head to Benito’s mask shop where Benito is super dead thanks to Goyo going crazy from undiagnosed evil mask brain. Nick and Hank hassle their friends to come do a ceremony so Goyo can be demasked. Some boiling water and book reading later we get an unmasked Goyo and he feels super bad about killing all those people. As he probably should.
Is The Wrestling Any Good?
It’s… It’s okay, I guess? Like a lot of wrestling episodes, the product isn’t meant to look like a technical marvel. It’s all designed to be super accessible with body slams and cross bodies being presented as some of the big sexy moves. For what it’s worth (Meltzer™), the in-ring action is shot in an appealing style and the show presents pro graps as a semi-reputable form of entertainment as opposed to yelling underwear fights for rubes. (I mean, it’s also that, but there are like levels to it, y’know?) Essentially, Grimm seems to have a much higher opinion of wrestling than Animaniacs. Grimm is also a show about solving Grimm-inspired mysteries, so take their criteria for what constitutes quality entertainment as a mileage may vary situation.
So What Have We Learned?
- Portland has a booming luchador maskmaking industry.
- Even on regular ol’ television, Chavo will also get a raw deal.
- White guys saying “culo” is always a touch skincrawly.
- Even when you see a guy turn into a monsterman and superkill his colleagues he still doesn’t seem like he’d be on the Mount Rushmore of evil wrestlemen.