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    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    "Survivor" Series: Share ALL The Nicknames!

    Welcome to "Survivor" Series, our weekly column focusing on the adventures of one John Hennigan, a.k.a. Johnny Mundo, Johnny Impact, John Morrison, Johnny Nitro, on the islands of Fiji as a castaway on Survivor: David vs. Goliath. The season kicked off this past Thursday (Manila time) with an epic premiere. And as promised, this column will zero in on how The Mayor of Slamtown maneuvered his way through the game, for better or worse.

    Let's start this off with the question everyone's dying to know about The Shaman of Sexy.

    Did John Hennigan get voted out first?


    Technically, nobody has been voted out of the show yet because the first boot was a medical evacuation for the most bizarre reason to date. While the David Tribe, who had lost the Immunity Challenge, was being transported back to their beach, a cyclone hit the island pretty hard and rocked their boat to the point that one member, Pat Cusack, was sent back with a force that gave him tremendous back pain. It required him to be pulled from the game, sparing the David Tribe of going to Tribal Council that night. This is officially the weirdest and most unusual medevac the show has seen.

    Okay, but did Johnny Mundo get to hit someone this week?

    As a matter of fact, he did!

    During said Immunity Challenge, there was a portion where the players had to make their way through an obstacle course. What made this section unique was that both tribes shared the same obstacle course, which meant they would inevitably collide with one another. They were also allowed to physically prevent one another from advancing as part of their strategy. Sooooo this happened.

    That's our boy basically dropkicking Gabby Pascuzzi—my winner pick, by the way—right in the face. Damn, John. 'Wag sa mukha.

    In that same challenge, he also got really physical with Pat and Davie Rickenbacker of the David Tribe, who he literally held down at the legs. 

    How was he portrayed on the show as a whole?

    Seeing as how the Goliath Tribe didn't lose the Immunity Challenge, they didn't get as much screentime as the Davids did. However, this premiere focused on establishing all the players and their characters more than recent episodes did, so the Wednesday Night Delight got a fair amount of exposure.

    His best confessional was of him enumerating all of his ring names and nicknames—I counted 14 overall. For reference they are:
    • Johnny Blaze
    • Johnny Spade
    • Johnny Nitro
    • John Morrison
    • Johnny Mundo
    • Johnny Impact
    • Johnny Ultra
    • The Shaman of Sexy
    • The Monday Night Delight
    • The Ambassador of Abdominals
    • The Maharaja of Manliness
    • The George Bushy of Tushy
    • The Mayor of Slamtown
    • Mr. AB-raham Lincoln (while pointing at his own abs)
    Shit, that's waaaay too many. Frankly, I'm more surprised he didn't call himself the Wednesday Night Delight on TV, seeing as how he's on two network television programs airing at the same timeslot every week this fall.

    An edit like this basically places him in the mold of previous characters like Benjamin "Coach" Wade or Phillip Sheppard—borderline villains in the context of the story because of their lack of self-awareness, penchant for nicknames, and delusional point of view towards their game. Johnny Mundo himself doesn't come across like that entirely, but his confessionals in the episode give off a smug vibe that may precondition viewers, especially non-wrestling fans, to root against him.

    That said, as a wrestling fan, I am TOTALLY going against the grain and rooting for Johnny Blaze. Screw your preconditioning tactics, CBS.

    Did The George Bushy of Tushy recognize Ned Schneebly—err, Mike White?

    Photo by David M. Russell for CBS and Entertainment Weekly

    Yes. He recognized him as early as the preseason lockdown phase at Ponderosa, the resort where the cast and crew stay before the game starts and after they've subsequently been voted out.

    He didn't acknowledge this on the show itself, but mentioned it during the Survivor preseason podcast, First One Out.

    Did Johnny Mundo find a Hidden Immunity Idol?

    Nope, but Mr. AB-raham Lincoln did actively look for one, along with the rest of his tribe. It started with Mike White's obvious disappearance as he went on his own Idol Hunt. Eventually, everyone else followed suit, and someone else from the Goliaths, Dan Rengering, ended up finding it... and stuffing it in his pants.

    Does Johnny Impact have any idea what he's doing out there?

    I'll go out on a limb and say that he actually does. In his infamous confessional where he enumerates all of his nicknames and ring names, he says something pretty smart. "None of those characters that I play in the ring are going to win this game," he shares. "I'm playing as John. I'm playing as me."

    That's a great place to start because it shows he has some form of self-awareness about himself. In an earlier confessional, he also talks about how other players may perceive him as a dumb jock because of his frame. But he also reveals that he graduated from University of California, Davis as a film major, so he plans to downplay his intelligence to surprise the others. 

    His confessionals are clearly him playing up the archetype he was cast as on the show. You have to remember that John Hennigan has been on television for the better part of the last 16 years. This guy knows how to play it up for the cameras, and that's exactly what he'll do. But how he conducts himself in front of the other players is a different story altogether. 

    Based on the first episode, The Shaman of Sexy seems to be doing alright. Now, here's to hoping he isn't the first person to be voted out of Survivor: David vs. Goliath.

    What did you think of The Maharaja of Manliness' debut episode on Survivor? Do you want to see him hit his End of the World finisher on someone out on the island? 

    Drop a confessional in the comments section and sign it with all of your nicknames!

    Screenshots from CBS


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: "Survivor" Series: Share ALL The Nicknames! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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