This week, the It’s Always Sunny gang goes lower than ever before using the current trend of professional wrestling to serve up a tribute to the troops. The result is infinitely more entertaining and contains better wrestling than anything Monday Night RAW has kicked out in the past few months. Even better, the gang hits several new lows, Artemis makes another appearance (as does wrestling legend, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper) and Frank quite possibly kills Rickety Cricket!
In a rare act of charity, the gang decides they want to host a benefit for the homecoming troops Want to give back to the troops. As usual, there’s something in it for each of them: Charlie and Mac use it as an opportunity to bust out their old backyard wrestling gimmick, The Pigeon boys and Dennis insists on becoming the third member; Frank wants to promote Paddy’s and try out his brand new gimmick: The Trash Man; and Dee wants to use this as an excuse to get closer to the hot vet she met in a chatroom who’s coming home Stateside.
Mac, Charlie, and Dennis line-up a wrestler living out of his stationwagon known as The Maniac (Roddy Piper), getting him to appear on the benefit card for their show for $50. The guys are a bit apprehensive about having hired The Maniac when he demolishes Paddy’s payphone in a fit of anger after a promoter stiffed him out of $15.
Piper, having acted before (most famously in the horror/sci-fi/camp classic They Live) does a great job with creating the character of The Maniac. One part Mickey Rourke’s Randy “The Ram” Robinson, and one part crazed Jimmy “Super Fly” Snuka, and one part the Ultimate Warrior at his most ramblingly unintelligible, The Maniac is a walking wrestling cliché of the washed up performer who sticks around for too many chair shots.
While the guys have locked in an appearance by The Maniac, Dee tries to lock in a date with Ben, the returning veteran who she had been chatting with online under the handle “Desert Rose.” Tarted up in a red dress with green tights, Dee totes her own boom box cued up to play Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” when Ben dismounts from the plane. Frank is hanging out along with her, bearing flyers to the Paddy’s wrestling promo event and gifts in the form of a pair of denim shorts.
When Dee sees Ben in a wheelchair, she pretends she’s not really Desert Rose and hightails it away in a display so disgusting even Frank is appalled. Dee, in her own way, attempts to make things right by pawning off Ben on a willing Artemis who cops to having dated handicapped dudes before. (“I love the power!”) Artemis shows up in a purple and green ensemble which Dee dubs “Desert Grape.” After musing whether or not Ben’s dangly parts are a hot mess since he’s in a wheelchair, Artemis still deems him do-able and saunters over to his table in a flurry of pure comic glory. (Have I mentioned before how It’s Always Sunny should make Artemis a regular?) She reveals herself to be Desert Rose and makes out with Ben on the spot. Even better, Ben can walk! He had twisted his knee getting off a plane in Germany and was in the wheelchair to keep off of it. Seeing that the otherwise hot vet isn’t a cripple, Dee attempts to claim him again while Artemis declares “No changies!”
Back at Paddy’s, the Frank, Dennis, Mac, and Charlie are all trying out their respective gimmicks. The Pigeon Boys are redubbed the Eagles and have one more member with Dennis. The trio attempts to write a theme song about being Bird Men and the soaring lifestyle of being an Eagle and regurgitating food into the mouths of their young, which comes off only slightly less lame than the Bad Street U.S.A. theme the Freebirds had. Meanwhile, Frank tries out his new gimmick “The Trash Man” on them. Chucking a full garbage can into the pub and wearing a one-shouldered black singlet (à la Andre the Giant, even more ironic when you consider Danny DeVito is all of five feet tall!), Frank starts eating the trash. The rest of the gang shoots down his gimmick and relegates him to referee status claiming “No one wants to see a 60-year-old man eat garbage!”
The day of the benefit show, the gang runs into a problem when The Maniac is carted away in a police car for his unpaid parking tickets. This leaves the show without a star and a main villain. As a last minute addition, Frank enlists Rickety Cricket who creates a hilariously offensive (blonde) terrorist stereotype as his in-ring persona.
The benefit show begins with Dennis, Mac, and Charlie trotting out their new Birds of War gimmick with painted on abs and giant chicken feather wings. Sporting Garth Brooks-style headsets, they lay an egg with their entrance theme containing such awesomely bad lyrics as “Yes we have feathers… But the muscles of men!”
Not the only ones to sing, Dee volunteers to sing the national anthem to serve her own hidden agenda to wrest Hot Vet Ben from Artemis who’s not having it. Dee starts singing but halts the Star Spangled Banner after a few bars and tells the A.V. guy to flip the tape over. Revealing herself as the real Desert Rose, she launches into the Seal song, but gets clobbered in the face by Terrorist Rickety Cricket! Pandemonium ensues as Dee sits in the ring with a broken, bloody nose and Rickety Cricket beats the crap out of the Birds of War, spouting crazy gibberish all the way. Frank takes it upon himself to save the day and breaks out the Trashman gimmick and wails Cricket on the mat with the garbage can. Cricket is gushing blood from his neck in the middle of the ring, which doesn’t look too good. Frank remarks to himself “I knew this $h*t wasn’t fake!” as he raises his hands in victory and Hulk Hogan’s vintage “Real American” theme plays.
Just when you think the It’s Always Sunny gang has out-grossed and out-shocked the audience, they go and take it to a whole new level. This episode ranks up there as one of my favorites of the season along with trolling at funerals and Gail the Snail. So far, Season 4 of It’s Always Sunny is the best of the series to date.
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