American Psycho, part 1 of 2

A friend recently linked me to a YouTube video of Indy wrestler Joshua Daniels giving a promo.  Wearing a suit and speaking in gentle tones, with a piano playing soothingly in the background, he explains how his mask of sanity is slipping and he can no longer control his “lust for violence.”  It is at once chilling and provocative as he basically confesses he is turned on by hurting people.

Calling himself the “American Psycho,” Daniels has modeled himself after the anti-hero in the movie of the same name starring Christian Bale.  The character from the film is also handsome, physically fit, well dressed, metro-sexual — oh, and also a homicidal maniac.

Following this sexy speech, Josh is seen in the ring working over muscle-man Tony Neese and demonstrating that he is indeed a “cold, cruel, and unscrupulous machine of pain and destruction.” Neese meanwhile absorbs the pain beautifully.

Josh Daniels even channels Hannibal Lector, first strangling his opponent, and then gnawing on his skull.

Daniels takes his own sweet time, pausing frequently to fix his hair and smile in pure bliss.  Similar to the serial killer in American Psycho (both the 1991 book by Brett Easton Ellis as well as the 2000 film), he is careful to maintain a well-groomed outside appearance and also quite matter-of-fact about the pain and destruction he unleashes.  He is the ultimate sociopath.  Neese, meanwhile, is great at portraying a body, laying very still and allowing the American Psycho to inflict whatever postmortem torture he wishes.  (Nice biceps on Daniels, by the way, and don’t get me started on Neese’s abs.)

Joe from the Ringside at Skull Island blog has a knack for describing the unique appeal of each hunk he profiles, capturing their very essence in a few sentences.  Here is what Joe said about Josh Daniels in his article, My Kind of Heel:

If I had to build a heel, I’d have to use Daniels as my blueprint.  Suavely arrogant and gleefully heartless, he has the face of a clean-cut Madison Avenue exec from the ’50s and the body of a gym bunny.  I love the guy’s sunny disposition as he disposes of his competition.

By the way, if you want to see more screen caps of Tony Neese getting slaughtered by the American Psycho, check out the Musclemen of Wrestling gallery.

Daniels’ wrestling debut was in 2000 (the same year the American Psycho movie was filmed.)  He stays in tip-top shape, always works hard in the ring, is highly entertaining — he is yet another talented Indy worker who has not made it to the Big Show.

In American Psycho, Christian Bale portrays yet another label-wearing Wall Street executive, totally inter-changeable with his fellow Yuppies.  Several times in the film, he is mistaken for another executive and called by the wrong name.  To try to establish an identity, to differentiate himself from the other mindless, shallow drones, he begins murdering people.  Both Daniels and Bale therefore use violence and psychotic actions to try to break free of the pack.

In the film, Bale has achieved the American Dream, yet remains bored and unsatisfied.  He and the people in his world are wealthy and comfortable, mindlessly consuming the latest fashions and fads, while homelessness, prostitution, and poverty are just down the street.

The film vilifies the greedy, amoral 1980’s. Bale’s vicious, uncaring actions demonstrate what happens to Man if selfish, mindless consumption becomes his only goal in life.  He becomes bored, unsatisfied, uncaring, and even homicidal.  He feels as much compassion for his suffering victims as our society in general feels for the poor, homeless, and mentally ill.  The message of American Psycho is that greed is bad (at least for the soul), not “Greed is Good” as we were taught in the 80’s.

So fast-forward to today and Daniels’ American Psycho wrestling gimmick makes a lot of sense.  The gap between rich and poor has only gotten wider since the 1980’s.  The One-Percenters don’t care that people in the lower classes are suffering, being laid off or foreclosed upon.  Just as Josh Daniels smiles in satisfaction as he’s crushing a skull between his thick thighs, so too do the rich and powerful smile as their greedy actions net them another million.

The banks’ careless lending practices and bundling up of worthless mortgages are like a pair of strong legs applying a deadly Headscissor, slowly crushing our necks between them.  All of us common people, you and I, are their Jobbers.

Meanwhile, we line up to mindlessly consume the latest iGadget which was produced in a huge factory by some very poor, very over-worked folks in China (but who really cares about them?)  We turn the Chinese peasants into our jobbers, causing them to suffer so we can have our shiny new hand-held device.

Josh Daniels’ wrestling gimmick reminds us that we haven’t heeded the warnings in the novel, American Psycho.  Our mindless consumption is like a strangle-hold, turning all of us into Heels.

To Be Continued

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2 Responses to American Psycho, part 1 of 2

  1. Stay Puft says:

    Nese at his hottest!!

  2. BNA says:

    Is there video of the Neese/Daniels match anywhere?