|Curry Man is Ichiban|
posted by B on 3/12/01
Most Monday nights, eight o'clock rolls around and I sit, hands on knees, through at least an hour of World Championship Wrestling's Monday Nitro. Unlike most net fanboys who show an unexplained allegiance to one major federation, I'm more a fan of the "sport" in general. I appreciate the athleticism and the showmanship that goes along with standing in your underwear in an arena full of people. As wrestling's popularity grew from something jaded rednecks talked about in quiet times to a "college dorm get-together," I watched the quality of the shows and the efforts of the "superstars" recede and crumble into choreographed dust.
You could imagine my surprise when, on a recent edition of Nitro, Christopher Daniels sauntered out to little reaction. The thousands of people in the arena began reaching into their pockets to find change to buy a hot dog, maybe one of those big soft pretzels. Meanwhile, a 21 year old man was in his underwear on the couch, jumping up and down like he'd just won a bubble-bath with Jewel in the Alaska State lottery.
It doesn't help that Daniels looks so normal. Big time superstars like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin have larger than life images and personalities...they create whimsical diatribes about hermaphrodites or hunt people down in the building with a forklift. Christopher Daniels looks like a guy who might sell you a small cup of Pineapple Passion Fruit Sorbet at the local TCBY. He wears little bicycle shorts and a clerical collar. Not exactly the image of a guy you want to cheer for. On most guys I'd be wishing for some sort of respiratory mishap.
But not Daniels. I've considered naming my kids after the man. Why?
It's very, very simple. Yet with a complexity that grabs the frontal lobes of your brain and gives them a big fuckoff elbow drop.
As the legend goes, Curry Man was the idea of Japanese wrestler (or "Rassrer") Jinsei Shinzaki, who is most famous in America for writing all over himself. The character is based on a Japanese cartoon character named "Curry Cook," who I believe is seen very infrequently, what with not being a lesbian or a school girl or a robot cat.
Daniels adopted the persona of a guy in yellow spandex with giant teeth who wrestles with a big bowl of curry on his head. Seriously, it's not REAL curry, of course, but it's got a side of rice.
My first exposure to Curry Man came through some painfully immoral bootlegs from the land of soy milk and hentai. The first time he danced onto my screen I kinda tilted my head like a dog and tried to figure out what was going on. Over time, I got past the fact that he had a plastic bowl of food on his head and noticed his superior ability and charisma....
Here was a guy wrestling in front of a socially repressed culture full of stereotypically weird ass motherfuckers and impressing me on so many levels that I can't begin to understand it. He wasn't dressed like a big turtle and acting stupid...he was executing some of the coolest moves I've ever seen.
Curry Man's Best Moves
The Spicy Drop
The Spicy Drop is Curry Man's big finisher, an inverted Death Valley Driver. Allow me to subdue my normally hateful and misanthropic self to say that he THANKFULLY doesn't pull a Kenta Kobashi and drop the guy directly on his head. He picks up his victim, does a little dance, and then flips them over onto their stomach. It probably could hurt more, but it's an effective way to win a match. With a gimmick like "Curry Man" he could've been shafted with one of those bizarre Japanese finishers, like INSTANT MURDER SUPER FIRE CONVOY DEATH EXPLOSION SUPLEX or poking your opponents butthole with your finger.
In America, people who use the "catch phrase" as a crutch often think of the dumbest things to get the crowd to chant. Chris Jericho believes that "WOULD YOU PLEASE...SHUT THE HELL UP!" is witty, The Famous Rock mutters things about candy and monkeys and nipples and such, I'm not sure, I always change the channel. Curry Man is different, though.
Curry Man's catchphrase: "I'm Hot...I'm Spicy...I Taste Great!"
William Shakespeare couldn't have written something more pleasing to the ears, even if he wore yellow spandex. Which he might've. Remind me to check. All I know is that he's in LOVE OMG THATS THE BEST MOVIE EVER FOUR STARS!
The Last Rites
A move that's getting stolen by everyone from WCW's "Natural Born Thrillers" to one of those dorks on the "Best of Backyard Wrestling," the Last Rites is a reverse spinning neckbreaker done at break neck speed in an attempt to break necks. Getting off the subject here for a second, I think I might rather have my finisher stolen by some butt plug wrestling in his backyard than by a "Natural Born Thriller." Ever seen the "Shawn-Ton Bomb?" The guy ripped off the WWF's RHYME SCHEME for God's sakes.
What a horrible thing to do, especially in a fed with such strong finishers as Disco Inferno's "Cone Stole Stunner" or Booker T.'s "Bock Rottom."
Biting People in the Face
"The Amazon" from that old Nintendo "Pro Wrestling" game used to bite people in the face with his teeth, but surprisingly Curry Man does not. Possibly because they are only made out of fabric. But having fake body parts never stopped anyone before. Even nude-Internet/pop-singing sensation Britney Spears knows that when you have a giant gross mouth you should attack people with it.
I guess Curry Man is a friend of humanity, and not a foe. But if he lost about 200 pounds and dipped his head in a big vat of make-up he WOULD look just like Christina Aguilera.
Take a minute to let that one soak in.
Sitdown Moonsault Press
Curry Man jumps up swinging his legs over the top rope then using the ropes leverage to vault himself into a backflip onto his opponent. It's another one of those moves that's highly unnecessary and doesn't do much damage, but it looks hella cool. Lots of American high-flyers use this move as well. ECW's Rob Van Dam uses a variation of the move out of the corner, and the WWF's Jeff Hardy uses a variation where he misses the guy by like four feet and then limps away quickly holding his crotch.
On a related note, I'm not sure if Chef Boyardee makes curry. I wish they did, though, because that stuff FEEDS THE NEED. Indeed!
"In March of 2000, we saw the loss of one of Japan's greatest and spiciest talents."
The Super J Cup is a prestigious tournament held every few years or so as a showcase for tiny wrestlers who enjoy flinging themselves into things at high speeds. 2000's Super J Cup became the "C-Cup," as Daniels showed up to treat us to another healthy plate of illogical goodness.
Curry Man's first opponent was "The Vengeful Ghost" Onryu, who is REALLY only the old amusement park proprietor with powder all over his face. About four seconds into the bout, Onryu just kinda dropped dead in the middle of the ring. I haven't seen many Japanese wrestling tapes, but it's not that improbable for a society that eats dogs. Plus they've got vending machines that give out school girl panties. But anyway.
Curry Man beat the foink out of Onryu forever and then hit the Spicy Drop and went for the pin. Somehow, due to a SECRET OF PRO WRESTLING that has YET to be REVEALED, Onryu stopped the three count by actually grabbing the referee's arm. Curry Man had won the match, but the ref (like American referees) had severe down syndrome and allowed the match the continue. Onryu rolled up Curry Man from behind and got the three count. He'd lost. My hero had lost. And nothing would be the same again.
In a post match interview, Curry Man (in broken Japanese and surprisingly broken English) about how Michinoku Pro (the organization he worked for), the Ultimo Dragon (the mentor of many of Curry Man's partners and friends), the Super J Cup committee, Mothra, King Ghidora, and Pee-wee Herman's Japanese penpal were all against him. In a fit, Curry Man stormed off...and was gone.
So now, as World Championship Wrestling begins it's seventeen-thousand and fifty-ninth attempt to rebuild, I anxiously await the next appearance of Christopher Daniels, of Curry Man, in any form. His exploits have pleased me in almost every way that a wrestling fan can be pleased.Ways a Wrestling Fan Can Be Pleased
1. Great matches 2. A winning personality 3. Humor on a whole 'nother level
5. Naked women.
So maybe if Chris shows up on the next Nitro as a naked woman doused in beer, our Lord and Savior on highest Jesus Christ the great I AM heavenly father will descend to Earth and bless Daniels as the new king of kings.
In my heart I know that, aside from the guy who created plastic pig keychains that poop, he's already my king of kings.
Thank you for the plastic bowl of food, Christopher Daniels. You've given me reason to curry on.