When I was between the ages of 10 and 14, I used to watch professional wrestling regularly. It was always easy to spot the villains. Sometimes you could even tell them from their names.
If a wrestler had a German name, a Japanese name, or a Russian name, he was a villain. If a wrestler wore a hood or mask, that was another reliable sign.
Wrestling villainy must keep up with the times. At WWE, apparently it has.
Check out the video below. It features a group of masked thugs armed with baseball bats and pipes invading the arena (or studio) and causing havoc. The thugs are dressed in black and wear hoods to cover their faces. They engage in various acts of vandalism and even beat up a female bystander who, I assume, is neither a bystander nor beaten up.
Here are the invaders in action (I particularly enjoyed their final stunt and the final, unintentionally ironic image):
These hooded guys (and a gal, I think) stand for Antifa, as clearly as Fritz and Waldo Von Erich stood for Germany. But the Von Erichs were wrestlers who posed a threat only to the likes of Bruno Sammartino and Bobo Brazil. America had vanquished Germany years earlier.
The Antifa style gang members aren’t wrestlers (at least not as they appear in the video), they are anarchists. They threaten WWE itself and, by extension, the American way of life.
The WWE executives who came up with this theme are brilliant. It’s almost enough to make me start watching professional wrestling again.