with a Slight Historical Bend
The Simpsons showed us with Gorgeous Grampa that it’s possible to have an entire show with a professional wrestling theme. However, it’s not the only television show to throw out nods to wrestling fans. CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, has, on several occasions included references to the amusement of wrestling fans and, more likely, for themselves. The premise of HIMYM (that’s what we call it) revolves around a Dad – in the near future – telling his kids about his adventures from his days spent in New York City with his friends and how all of his life experiences led to meeting their mother and, thus, their present future. If all this past/present/future speak just made your brain hurt, don’t worry about it. It’s a narrative device, not Looper.
What is important to know is that the HIMYM writers love wrestling. Each of the 5 main characters has had a wrestling moment over the course of HIMYM‘s 8 Seasons: Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), aka Future Dad, involuntary competed for the Winged Eagle Belt in “Third Wheel,” where he may or may not have won a “tricycle race” (We’re trying to keep this PG).
The gang played a guessing game in “Old King Clancy” when Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) revealed that she had an interesting “tryst” with a famous celebrity only to reveal that it was Canadian Pro Wrestler The Frozen Snowshoe (Seriously, really trying to maintain PG for this). Hey, he’s no Y2J but it still counts!
A flashback in “The Front Porch” showed that Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) and Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) fully committed to attending Wrestlemania when Ted’s college girlfriend brought it up. They dressed as The Ultimate Warrior and a Macho King Randy Savage / King Hacksaw Jim Duggan combination in anticipation of the action.
And Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), in addition to having the Winged Eagle Belt from “Third Wheel,” also purchased a suit called the “The Dibiase” in “False Positive.” It was decked out in diamond pinstripes and clearly a nod to the Million Dollar Man’s wardrobe.
All these references would have been enough wrestling cred for any show. But not HIMYM. They even incorporated their squared circle enthusiasm into one of its recurring themes: doppelgangers.
In “Robots versus Wrestlers,” Ted is conflicted between two events: crashing a party with attendees like New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz, Huffington Post Editor-In-Chief Arianna Huffington and Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, OR going to see Masked Wrestlers take on Robots. We don’t share Ted’s dilemma; when presented with the option of seeing a Wrestler face a Robot, we went. But we don’t know share Ted’s knowledge of wine puns and Dante’s Inferno (apparently, it’s not just a videogame) in the original Italian, something Ted recited at the gathering instead of going to the show. Which is a shame because Ted missed out on the gang’s discovery. During an epic brawl between man and machine, a luchador’s mask came off, only to reveal that he is Ted’s doppelganger. Undeterred, Mexican Wrestler Ted turned those machines to scrap by, fittingly, delivering bionic elbows!
With that, the Fourth Doppleganger was found, adding to the pantheon alongside Mustached Marshall, Alternative Lifestyle Robin, and Exotic Dancer Lily (Barney’s Doppelganger has yet to be found but there’s still a season left before the series ends for him to be discovered). Upon the reveal, Ted fled his highbrow gathering and vowed to never miss Robots versus Wrestlers again.
Once again, this would have been enough for any show to prove that they are fans of wrestling but this Monday at 8pm, “The Time Travelers” reminds Ted of his ‘Robots Versus Wrestlers’ promise.
Okay, so the show’s a little like Looper. But still: Robots versus Wrestlers!