Tonight, live from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, WWE presents the 29th edition of it's fall spectacular Survivor Series. In preparation for the event I found myself watching the 1998 iteration of the sports-entertainment staple. Amidst the theatrics and admitted boredom due to the sobering realization that pilgrimages in purple are still months away, I'm watching these colorful characters and briefly think to myself, "What City players can I spot here?" It's evident that soccer and professional wrestling are miles apart in terms of composition but there's a certain flair exhibited by a few of our Lions, so naturally I'm going to humor myself by discussing a select few.
Kaka = Mankind
First off our captain, the internationally known Kaká. The beloved Brazilian shares great parallels with a wrestling and hardcore legend, Mick Foley. Now hear me out. Kaká is beloved by many, even if he has to soak in his adoration in the background while others shine in the spotlight, as he had many times during the second half of the season.
Ricardo Izacson dos Santos is best known throughout his career by Kaká, a mononym not unlike former WWF Champion Foley went by as his character Mankind. Like the aforementioned masked superstar, Kaká showed bits of aggression and grit as the season went along, a likely result of failing form and phantom disciplinary actions levied by Pretty Repugnant Officiating. Number 10 grew out a shadowy beard as well, a reflection of the darker persona he was bringing out onto the pitch. He's also been known to tell people to "Have a nice day!" on more than one occasion.
Darwin Ceren= Randy Orton
Our tough El Salvadorian midfielder Darwin Ceren, brings one thing to mind: deadly. When he's in good form, and he was most of last season, he was very focused and an integral part in many of our successes. Most of assists and goals occurred out of nowhere akin to Randy Orton dropping an RKO on his competitors. With 2016 on the horizon, I fully expect Ceren to embrace the "Viper" moniker I've bequeathed onto him as he continues his cold-blooded mean streak in MLS.
Rafael Ramos = Stone Cold Steve Austin
It gets no colder than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The ferocity, aggression and overall drive to do whatever it takes to gain the victory, brings me to the most unlikely of comparisons in our young fullback Rafael Ramos.
From his short stint with us during the USL Farewell Tour into the 2015 season, we've seen an evolution. From quiet professional, to driven hot head that refuses to get slighted by anyone he's marking or whatever official pulls out a card on him. Off the pitch the young man is an Instagram aficionado who doesn't miss an opportunity to profess his love for his fiancee, but on the pitch he is a catalyst for the controlled chaos that is the Orlando City counterattack.
Still disagree? Take a look here and be at a loss for words. The resemblance is uncanny.
Kevin Molino = Seth Rollins
Kevin Molino's season ended with a sickening knee injury after only 7 appearances during Orlando City's maiden voyage into the MLS. It was a huge loss that was mourned for the duration of the season. Just as it was a huge loss for WWE when WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins recently went down with a knee injury of his own. Like Rollins, the speedy Soca Warrior is the present and future; the Architect of our Lions who appeared to be hitting his stride just as misfortune befell him.
The fans in the Citrus Bowl will undoubtedly be heard amongst the heavens upon Molino's return.
Cyle Larin = The Rock
Electrifying. People's Champ. Rookie of the Year. At first thought, one could easily be led to believe that this an introduction to praise about The Rock. Is that what you think?
It doesn't matter what you think.
We're talking about our very own charismatic striker, Cyle Larin. Following a difficult March, a month which saw a goal drought of cringeworthy proportions, the brass ring was within the big Canadian's grasp and he snatched it running.
Once saddled with a starting spot, he made damn sure there was no doubt as to who Dat Guy is. In his 27 appearances he found the back of the net a rookie record-breaking 17 times and has shown no signs of slowing down. Off the pitch, his style is as flashy as that of The Great One, and on the pitch he's equally as savage. On any given match day you can hear the fans chanting his name...Larin...Larin...Larin...
Adrian Heath = Triple H
The gaffer, the man most know as Adrian Heath, may be diminutive in stature but lives up to his Mastermind nickname.
Like WWE superstar Triple H, Inchy is a Cerebral Assassin using his wealth of knowledge about the game in order to attain success. His superior tactics on the touchline, and with the media, have produced positive results and he's done well to celebrate those successes amongst the supporters.
It's all about the game, and how you play it, and with season one in the books, mere points from missing out on the playoffs with a completely retooled squad from opening day, Inchy has shown all skeptics why he's that damn good.