Marko Stunt | Weaponizing A Weakness – What You Need To Know About 1/3 Of AEW’s The Jurassic Express
Marko Stunt, in spite of being a pretty innocuous lower carder on the surface, has become a point of contention in the IWC. This is not due to any scandals, poor performances or really even anything that he could control. Instead in 2019 we’re still finding ourselves having the same size and believability debates that have been going on for decades.
Marko is after all very small, not just for a pro wrestler but in general. Mr. Fun Size is 5’2 and his weight is listed as ‘undisclosed’, but it’s accepted that he’s in the 100 pound range. And not only is he small, but he’s a literal baby face. In no uncertain terms, Marko Stunt just looks like a kid. He’s a 23-year-old that, by his own admission, could play an 11-year-old.
This naturally sends many in an upheaval over the very idea that he could even be a professional wrestler. Not a headliner or a solid mid carder, but that he would even be allowed to step into a ring at all. The floodgates only widened as he made his debut on national television with AEW Dynamite this past week, and in fact got to be in a competitive match with high level stars.
But for everyone decrying Marko Stunt for his size as if they think they’re the first to notice it, I find one thing that begs to be pointed out. Something obvious to me, but seemingly completely lost on so many.
Marko’s supposed weakness is his greatest strength.
At his size, he’s extremely, frighteningly easy to send flying. But more than that, he’s incredibly easy to get heat on. It’s difficult to see him get pounded on and not feel sympathy for the boy. I can tell you that for me atleast, when I saw him just stand in the same ring as Pentagon Jr., I got uneasy. Honestly, I was concerned for what I was about to see, even knowing what a safe worker Penta actually is. I just expected to witness a demolition. Now granted, that’s probably got something to do with first seeing Pentagon as a brutal destroyer in Lucha Underground. But even when he was in there against Sexy Star, I didn’t have that same immediate feeling.
Anyone, and I mean anyone can play a bullying heel to Marko Stunt and make it work. Bryan Alvarez managed to play this part and with great success! This has everything to do with not only his size, but his look in general.
This is not some detriment, it’s what gets him over and he knows it.
It’s pretty obvious, the way Marko Stunt styles his hair, the way he dresses, his Fortnite dances… none of it is an accident. Whereas others would always try to disguise their size in some way, Marko is playing up his childish appearance. He utilizes and weaponizes this.
His defenders might bring up the likes of Rey Mysterio in his tiny early 90s days, and others of his ilk. But the difference is that back then, Mysterio, Guerrero, Malenko and others were signed, at times begrudgingly, in spite of their size. Their stature held them back, but their talent made up for it. With Marko the narrative is wholly different. This is not to knock his ability, my every impression is that he’s just fine as a worker. But with Marko, he might not have ever been signed to AEW at all if not for his small, nonthreatening look. It’s an asset, not a weakness.
The effectiveness has already been proven in AEW alone.
I’m not just speculating or going off what’s worked on the smaller level. We’ve already seen this work, and against some staggering odds no less, on national television. Look no further than the first few seconds of the Jurassic Express/Lucha Bros match, Marko’s debut on TNT:
The audio quality here is far from perfect but good enough to demonstrate the point. And just to make things perfectly clear, the Lucha Bros are remarkably popular with AEW’s audience. Matt Jackson of all people got some pretty major heat for unmasking Pentagon in desperation back at All Out. And in particular, singalongs with the Cero Miedo taunt tend to be utterly deafening.
But when Penta opened this match with one, in a clever move, he did so by putting his hand to Marko’s forehead and bullying him into the ropes. And in doing so, for perhaps the first time ever, the Cero Miedo gesture got booed.
That’s crazy. That’s basically the AEW equivalent of Daniel Bryan trying to start a Yes chant to a cacophony of jeers. It’s just not supposed to happen. Push around Marko with it though, and it’s a total heel move. Again, Lucha Bros are a very beloved act, one that I don’t think the AEW audience is interested in treating as heels at all. And yet, to get some heat on Marko Stunt, Pentagon didn’t have to pummel him, didn’t have to drop him on his head or bust him open, didn’t even have to break the rules in any way.
A shove. All he needed was one shove.
And if you don’t see that as a powerful thing, then you can’t be watching all that closely. Just imagine the reaction if Shawn Spears or MJF or PAC shared the ring with the kid…
And that’s just an isolated, one-on-one experience.
As a singles wrestler, I see Marko Stunt as becoming a Mikey Whipwreck-style cult figure. Whipwreck for months on end didn’t get a single bit of offense on anyone, was picked apart by everyone on the roster, and became a massive underdog babyface as a result, enough that he eventually managed to become ECW Champion. Whether or not anyone bought him as winning a fight was sorta irrelevant when he was just getting his ass kicked for a living anyway. Marko, frankly, has the potential to be a much bigger deal in AEW than Whipwreck was in ECW, as he has an even easier time getting sympathy.
That’s as singles. In tag team action the ceiling might even be higher. As things stand, Jungleboy & Luchsaurus is the star pairing of the Jurassic Express, I won’t argue that. But it’s hard to miss the Rock ‘N Roll Express quality that Marko and Jungleboy have together. Of course as handsome young men they have the teen heart-throb appeal going on, as well as an exciting fast-paced style and innovative tag moves. But moreover, could you imagine a more effective Ricky Morton in today’s day and age then Marko? It’s easy to picture the hot tags just being absolutely unreal with a little work.
Undoubtedly, that’s something that’d be greatly hindered if he was 50 pounds heavier or a few inches taller. His size is what makes him so effective as a babyface. His ‘weakness’ which everyone harps on, is in fact his greatest strength.
If absolutely nothing else, Marko Stunt is unique.
Uniqueness is a helluva trait in professional wrestling. It’s what stars are made of. And I think it’s fair to say that there’s really no one else in the business quite like Marko. For my money, that alone is more than enough reason to give him a shot.