After giving our choices for Ohio State’s greatest villain last week, we are pretty much going the opposite route this week. Over the weekend, pro wrestling’s Super Bowl took place in Dallas, with WrestleMania 38 bringing in packed crowds on Saturday and Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. The biggest event in pro wrestling wrapped up on Sunday with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns squaring off in the main event, marking the third time they have headlined WrestleMania.
The main event of WrestleMania is usually reserved for the hottest rivalry in professional wrestling at the time. You’re probably wondering how this ties into Ohio State. The Buckeyes have been part of numerous intense rivalries over the years. Bo vs. Woody, Mike Hart’s diluted confidence about what he is going to do against Ohio State vs. Reality, and the Buckeyes against upset losses to Michigan State on the football field are just a few examples of some of those fiery rivalries.
Everybody should have their shot at a WrestleMania moment. There’s no feeling like challenging someone that has been the ultimate thorn in your side to a match on wrestling’s grandest stage, and picking up a hard fought victory. Even though that person may have gotten the best of you in the past, now is the time to make up for those setbacks. The stakes might even be amplified even more with the match being a steel cage match, or a slobberknocker with no rules. We want to know who has really chapped you in the past to where you want to throw hands with.
Today’s question: Which Ohio State nemesis are you challenging to a grudge match?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Desmond Howard
I’m not going to pretend to be all up in arms about Desmond Howard hitting the Heisman pose in 1991 after returning a punt for a touchdown in Michigan’s 31-3 victory since I was all of six years old. Howard pretty much already had the Heisman Trophy locked up. The pose allowed Howard to give his school a moment that will live in infamy against Michigan’s most hated rival.
Howard would go on to play in the NFL for a decade before he had to figure out what was next for him after he retired. Unfortunately for Ohio State fans, Howard became a part of ESPN’s College Gameday crew. It didn’t take long for Howard to make a fool of himself, as before the Texas-Ohio State game in 2005, he thought it would be funny to go up to the top of Ohio Stadium with one of the losers from 98 Degrees and sing the Michigan fight song.
For the next 15 years, Howard didn’t really say much of anything that was noteworthy while he was on TV. Over time we became used to Howard’s schtick of making some stupid predictions that we all knew were wrong, and it would only be a matter of time before they were proven wrong. I’m just surprised that Clay Travis didn’t recruit Howard to become a part of his stable of losers, but it is hard to give up that ESPN coin.
Then for the first time in a decade, Michigan beat Ohio State on the football field. A few weeks later, Desmond Howard made a fool of himself on national television, taking a shot at Ohio State’s offensive line with quarterback C.J. Stroud standing just feet away from him. Did the Buckeye offensive line deserve the criticism for not being able to stop Aidan Hutchinson? Yes. On stage at the Heisman Trophy ceremony wasn’t the place for that though. Even worse was to double down on thinking your joke was funny after getting criticism for it. Not surprising Howard can’t read the room.
Bring WrestleMania back to Detroit and I’ll take on Howard there. I don’t care, I’ll be the bad guy and go up into enemy territory. He can have the home field advantage, but I get to choose the match. As a Buffalo Bills fan, you already know where I’m going with this one. TABLES MATCH! Somehow, some way I’d put Howard through a table with a spinebuster that would make Arn Anderson blush. Go Bucks, Michigan sucks.
Meredith’s answer: Trevor Lawrence
I have a confession to make (please don’t be mad, Brett), but I did have to look up what WrestleMania actually is in preparation for this week. Further, (seriously, don’t be mad), after having researched it, I can confirm that I would likely have a better time at a NASCAR event than WrestleMania — and that’s saying something.
With that, I would challenge none other than Trevor Lawrence to a grudge match, purely because of that time Clemson beat Ohio State. While I really do hope that Trevor has a successful NFL career and that he bounces back from the dumpster fire that was this past season for Jacksonville, there will always be that one time when Lawrence crushed the collective soul of Buckeye Nation in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. The heartbreaking loss meant Ohio State got shut out of the final game of the College Football Playoff.
Of course, Clemson would eventually lose to Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers, so in some ways, Ohio State still got the best of Lawrence.
Further, the grudge became a little more professional after the next season, when Justin Fields et al got their real life grudge match against Lawrence in a rematch of the CFP semifinal game from the year before. With that win, it became a lot easier to wish Lawrence all the best in his future endeavors.
In terms of the actual wrestling match, no offense to Trevor, he doesn’t exactly have the right build to be a WrestleMania champ.