I love Professional Wrestling. Or as my Grandaddy called it ‘Rasslin’. Part of my love for pro wrestling comes from the memories and nostalgia of being a kid and watching my favorite wrestlers with my Granddaddy on Saturdays. When he would ask “is rasslin on?” I would fly to the TV to turn it on as fast as Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. That is probably why I still watch it at the ripe age of 40. The memories of watching it with my Granddad and Dad come to mind every time I turn on the current pro wrestling show (my favorite is AEW). I can only imagine what Grandaddy would think of the business today.
There is one major takeaway that has been true for almost all of Pro ‘Rasslin’ history. There is a good guy or “babyface”, “face” and a bad guy or “heel.” The Bad Guy’s job is to wind up the crowd against him. The Bad Guy would use “ring psychology” to show how he is the Bad Guy. He is usually very cocky, arrogant, cheats, wins by any means necessary, breaks all the rules, and is very rude to the fans and the city that they are wrestling in. The Good Guy’s job is to be the defender, the warrior, he is perfect in all ways and is the polar opposite of the Bad Guy. His job is to give the Bad Guy what he deserves so that the fans can live vicariously through him. A lot of times the Bad Guy wins. Truth be told, the Bad Guy sometimes becomes a fan favorite and is often very cool. One of the best Bad Guys who fit this mold was Scott Hall “Razor Ramon.” He was actually referred to often as “The Bad Guy.”
Scott Hall was one of my favorite Bad Guys in wrestling. His role in establishing the wrestling faction the nWo at World Championship Wrestling (WCW) is legendary. As I read a few weeks ago about his death, all the memories of watching him as the Bad Guy in rasslin came to memory. One memory however stood out the most. It was his Hall of Fame speech and the last two lines in a pearl of wisdom that he was giving from what he learned in life.
“Hard work pays off. Dreams come true. Bad times don’t last. But Bad Guy’s do.”
“Bad times don’t last.”
“But Bad Guys do.”
These last two lines slammed into me like a Macho Man Randy Savage Flying Elbow Drop. Scott Hall may not have been a theologian or a preacher but for me, at that moment he might as well have been.
Bad Times Don’t Last
Let’s face it. Life is wonderful but it is filled with bad times. As sinners, as humans, we are always dying. However, there is one human who was counted as THE Bad Guy, THE Sinner who did not stay dead.
- "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)
- "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor 5:21)
- "We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him." (Romans 6:9)
When Christ returns, all of the sad things will come untrue as well as Scott Hall’s words “Bad times don’t last.” It will be nothing but good times when Christ returns.
- "And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)
- "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
- "…in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed." (1 Cor 15:52)
Read the passages about The Wedding Supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19:6-9. One of my favorite things about this feast is that there is no mention of when it will end! Bad times no more!
But Bad Guys Do
Do Bad Guys last? For Christ’s sake, they most certainly do! We are all sinners, we are all Bad Guys.
- "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
- "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
- "Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection." (Romans 6:3-5)
Do we sinner’s last? Romans 4:5 says that we do and I like how the Berean Study Bible translates it to say “However, to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Maybe the Scott Hall translation would read “Hey Yo, to the guy who doesn't work, but believes in Him who justifies the bad guy, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
The Bad Guy Exchanged for the Good Guy
On the cross Christ was counted as the Bad Guy while Barabbas was counted as the Good Guy a few moments earlier. This is a scandal worse than what happened to Bret the Hitman Hart in Montreal. Barabbas is mentioned in all four Gospels: Matthew 27:15–26; Mark 15:6–15; Luke 23:18–24; and John 18:40.
This interaction between Barabbas, Jesus, Pilate, and the crowd reminds me of a wrestling interview or “promo.” Barabbas in one corner and Jesus in the other corner. Pilate gave the crowd a choice. The one chosen to be the Bad Guy will be condemned as the Bad Guy and the one chosen to be the Good Guy will be released as the Good Guy. Crowds have turned against wrestling Good Guys in mid-match several times. It is a weird transition to behold. It feels wrong and the Bad Guy will usually do something to try to turn the crowd back against him. In Barabbas’ case we don’t see that happen. Barabbas does nothing other than walk home, we assume. Barabbas the Bad Guy is sent home as if he were the Good Guy and Jesus is sent to the cross as if he were the Bad Guy. Our story looks a lot like Barabbas’ except for one major detail. In Christ, we are not only sent home like we are the Good Guy, but we are given the righteousness of Christ as if it were ours.
On the cross, Jesus would die as the Greatest Bad Guy that ever lived. For all of our sin was placed on him. He became your sin and became the greatest sinner of all time. He was declared to be so. He died the death that all of us Bad Guys earned. Three days later Christ rises from the dead. He is our champion and defeats death for us. His death and resurrection is our salvation, reconciliation, forgiveness, atonement, justification, sanctification, and promised glorification. We became the righteousness of Christ because God declared it to be so. This was all done for us. Not only do we Bad Guys last we are also counted as the Good Guy courtesy of Christ. Believe that!
Scott Hall’s friend, Kevin Nash, said this after Scott Hall was taken off of life support.
“My life was enriched with his take on life. He wasn’t perfect but as he always said ‘The last perfect person to walk the planet they nailed to a cross’.”
Sounds like Scott Hall was a preacher after all.