It’s been five days since we’ve been able to watch sports. One source of entertainment that is going strong is professional wrestling. AEW will continue with Dynamite from their headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida and the WWE will continue with their programming of Raw, Smackdown, and NXT from their performance center in Orlando, Florida. In a former life, I worked in the professional wrestling industry for a brief time as a referee. During our quarantine of the Coronavirus, I present to you the Philadelphia Flyers as AEW and WWE wrestlers.
This is an easy one to start with. Travis Konecny is “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. They both have the personality to electrify a sold-out arena. Flair is a master of delivering an over the top interview and Konecny has some legendary chirps, especially at the Pittsburgh Penguins. Woooooooooooo!
He’s someone that has been fantastic in his role for several seasons and never underperformed in his career. Sean Couturier has blossomed into the premier two-way forward. Any team would be lucky to have him. He hits hard and has smooth handling to shake goaltenders. With that kind of precision and production since 2013-2014, Couturier is “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles.
The face of the Philadelphia Flyers for the better part of a decade. Claude Giroux is the captain of the Flyers, so he will have to compare to someone well-known, even to casual wrestling fans. His jersey sales have been best selling. Simply put, Giroux is John Cena. Sports fans who don’t watch hockey know of “G,” just like how the non-wrestling fan knows who Cena is.
Jakub Voracek has a strong personality but isn’t shy to break the ice and crack a joke. A lot of times in 2019-2020, fans were quick to jump on his back when the veterans weren’t producing. One look at his numbers and anyone realizes just how important he has been to his team. Daniel Bryan has been sly with his references to AEW when on Smackdown and is a leader in the WWE locker room. Bryan matches with Voracek.
This one may be easier than Travis Konecny’s answer. Kevin Hayes is “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan. Speak with anyone on the Philadelphia Flyers social media account. Book it. He’s “Hollywood” Hayes, brother!
James van Riemsdyk
This is James van Riemsdyk’s second run with the Philadelphia Flyers. That has to be taken into consideration when selecting. He is a second-line forward and one point away from being included in the top-five scorers on the Flyers. Rey Mysterio matches with van Riemsdyk. Mysterio also made his return to the WWE in Philadelphia, so it fits that “JvR” returned to the Flyers.
He’s one of the new guys on the Philadelphia Flyers roster but made an impact. He had some buzz about helping while short-handed. A new contract could be an option. I’ll refer to AEW for this one and select Colt Cabana. Cabana arrived at AEW Revolution to aide SoCal Uncensored, who were short-handed by the attacking Dark Order.
See, it’s almost exactly like hockey.
Not too long ago, during the nine-game win streak, Travis Konecny said that a lot of his chirps is what Scott Laughton has already said. This was while Konecny was a guest on the 97.5 The Fanatic morning show. Laughton is someone who has done his research to get inside his opponent’s head. That has to be Kevin Owens.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel is explosive on the ice. He’s a physical forward and makes hits on bigger players. Aube-Kubel scrapped for his playing time in the NHL and earned a roster spot on the Philadelphia Flyers. He has the tenacity of Jon Moxley. NAK will find a way to make an opponent pay before the final horn sounds.
Joel Farabee shares the same hometown as AEW’s own, Trent. They’re both from Cicero, NY. So, what is the connection to the Philadelphia Flyers? Trent’s tag team partner, Chuck Taylor, is a fan of Philadelphia sports. Farabee is still Trent because they just happen to be from the same city.
Tyler Pitlick has been a player who works hard for each game, earning twenty points. That’s good for the second-best season of his career. Someone who is a journeyman who is also in a career renaissance fits Pitlick’s description. “Pits” is Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler is a capable WWE wrestler who has proven to be an important part of any show he is on (or team to relate to Pitlick’s time with the Dallas Stars.)
Michael Raffl has been exactly as good as Tyler Pitlick in 2019-2020. The difference is that Raffl isn’t a journeyman, playing his entire career with the Philadelphia Flyers. Someone who is just as good as Dolph Ziggler, in my opinion, is Orange Cassidy. Not many people would guess that Raffl scores the first goal of the game for the Flyers, but not many people think Orange Cassidy is as good as he is. At the end of the day, they both deliver.
The Philadelphia Flyers traded for Nate Thompson because of his playoff experience throughout his career in the NHL. In a need for veteran leadership and experience on the road to the Stanley Cup, Thompson was selected. Just like on the Road to Wrestlemania, WWE looked to a veteran. He is The Undertaker. Thompson would probably just be around for this season only with the Flyers, kind of like how The Undertaker only will be around for Wrestlemania.
He’s the best defensemen on the Philadelphia Flyers and spent his four-year career only in Philadelphia. Ivan Provorov could be in his prime now or entering his prime, but we all expect him to play at a high level for years to come. He is one of the premier defensemen on the powerplay. “Hangman” Adam Page is one of the premier wrestlers in any company today. Page and “Provy” would be the best at what they do no matter what team they are on.
Matt Niskanen has had his fair share of scars this season, including the time he gave a post-game interview with his face still in stitches. To be a defenseman who continues to get the job done on the powerplay and still dishes the hits while taking punishment, Niskanen needs a more hardcore comparison. He has been beloved on any team he has been on in the NHL. “Nisky” is Jeff Hardy. He would sacrifice his body for a high reward, like a playoff run.
Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers compliment each other so well in their defensive pairing. Sanheim has been with the Philadelphia Flyers for three seasons and consistently blocks shots on defense. In his pairing, he does a lot more of the finesse work. Sanheim is the calculated one. He is The Blade from AEW.
Unfortunately, by the time the Philadelphia Flyers played the Boston Bruins, Philippe Myers was injured. This meant that Justin Braun would see more playing time as Shayne Gostisbehere was brought back into the defensive rotation. Braun is the kind of defenseman who hits more often. Myers would have been The Butcher to The Blade in this comparison. It’s a simple choice for Braun, as he carries the same name as Braun Strowman.
He has been throwing his weight around all season long. He’s an ironman. Robert Hagg is a defenseman that wasn’t supposed to see playing time but became a regular in the Philadelphia Flyers rotation. Hagg never turns away from contact on the ice. In return, he is an accurate representation of NXT UK’s Walter.
Injuries have defined Shayne Gostisbehere this season. It’s no secret that he was a trade piece for the Philadelphia Flyers as the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline approached. Flyers fans are waiting for Gostisbehere to produce as he did in 2017-2018. This has been his worst season with Philadelphia. In a lot of ways, “Ghost Bear” replicates Samoa Joe’s 2019-2020.
He is the wholesome content that we all need. Carter Hart is looked at as a savior because of his goaltending, which lacked in the Philadelphia Flyers organization. There is a wrestler that was looked at as a savior by the WWE a few decades ago. Now that he is a WWE Hall of Famer, I can say that Hart reminds me of a young Bret “the Hitman” Hart. The namesake helps, but both were world-class at early stages in their career and “Cahta Haht” could be a Hall of Famer at the end of his career if he keeps playing at this rate.
Onto the last Philadelphia Flyer to compare. This time, I am riding directly with AEW. Brian Elliott is a fantastic mind to help groom Carter Hart at this stage in his career. Elliott won the William Jennings Award in 2011-2012. To be able to still compete a decade later at a high level, he’s timeless just like Chris Jericho.
Are there any other wrestlers that you would compare our 2019-2020 Philadelphia Flyers to? Comment below with your answers and I might even tweet about it @EricReesePSN. Give me a follow on Twitter and @PhiladelphiaSN for more sports content.