USA Network, 2016
Any American who has watched Raw in the past few years knows about Chrisley Knows Best.
(It’s like Hogan Knows Best, except the host is allowed on WWE TV)
Yet despite the bombardment of ads on the USA Network for the walking sass-machine Todd Chrisley, I’ve never been tempted in the slightest to actually sit down and watch the thing.
But like any other scripted comedy, it has its own “wrestling episode”, so I kind of have to watch it, don’t I? In this case, the wrestling is brought to us (or, hopefully, just me — please don’t watch this show) by All-Star Wrestling, presumably because Dramatic Dream Team found the premise too unrealistic.
On this episode, the Chrisleys’ son attends a wrestling school to learn how to sports-entertain.
No, not 19-year-old Chase, the resident idiot.
I mean nine-year-old Grayson.
Suffice it to say, the Chrisleys haven’t won any Parent-of-the-Year awards (or Emmys).
But in the world of Chrisley Knows Best, taking bumps is just a perfectly normal weekend activity for a little boy, not unlike Boy Scouts or Little League.
Not that we see Grayson take any actual bumps here. The trainers at All-Star Wrestling all handle Grayson with kid gloves (mainly because he is, in fact, a kid). For them, letting a child live out his dream, plus getting a check from the USA Network for playing along with this nonsense, is its own reward.
Instead of the brutal, repetitive back bumps we’ve seen on Tough Enough, Grayson performs lite fare like rolls and baseball slides.
As compelling as it would have been to see Bill DeMott handle this Chrisley brat at the WWE Performance Center, the Chrisleys don’t live in Florida (despite claiming to do so for years in an alleged tax evasion scheme), nor would I imagine WWE, with its new, responsible corporate attitude, wanting to touch this kid-wrestling storyline with a ten-foot pole.
(And we’ve seen what kind of crap they will touch with a ten-foot pole)
Believe it or not, the idea of the Chrisleys putting their small child in the ring with adults was deemed worthy only of a sub-plot in this episode. The main plot must be outrageous, right?
In fact, the main story on this episode is that daughter Savannah doesn’t want to spend much time with the Chrisleys. I think we all know how that feels.
Savannah, who lives in a luxury high-rise condo while she attends college, wants to spend more time with friends. Scintillating!
The Chrisleys make a surprise visit to the condo, where Savannah claimed she was studying, only to find it empty except for the camera crew that apparently lives there, too.
Todd is appalled that the condo is in mild disarray: dishes in the sink, food in plastic bags, magazines!
But even the finicky neat-freak has nothing to say about his daughter’s elaborate Oreo arrangement.
The Chrisley patriarch gives Savannah a stern talking-to when she returns to her fairly neat home. To Todd Chrisley, family is so important that he moved his family from Atlanta to Nashville just to be close to Savannah while she’s in college (and to avoid paying Georgia state income taxes).
Todd and Julie then mull over the situation with their daughter in a variety of settings, including their own bedroom.
Unlike Hogan, Todd is clearly aware of the cameras.
Later, Savannah intentionally messes things up at home to try to get her parents not to want her around. Case in point: this burned bag of popcorn that stinks up the Chrisley mansion.
Hey, did Todd steal Savannah’s Oreos and put them in his kitchen? Now there’s a storyline that needs exploring.
Because this is a television show, and since something interesting has to happen every week to each Chrisley child…
(except for the ones they don’t acknowledge on the show anymore)
…Chase gets involved in Grayson’s wrestling adventures. After some allegedly spontaneous dialogue, the show’s designated dimwit gets baited into joining his little brother at the wrestling school.
There, he learns a few basic moves, like the flying cross body. He’s no Jeremy Piven, that’s for sure.
This leads to a match at the upcoming All-Star Wrestling show pitting Chase against Grayson, who, at nine years old, could very well be the youngest person to compete at an indie show (excepting, of course, American Premier Wrestling’s infamous Kids’ division).
But don’t worry: it’s really a bonding experience, as explained by this expository dialogue.
The house is packed with people wanting to be on TV, all of whom appear to give big reactions to the two barely-trained Chrisley kids and their, uh, whimsical entrances.
The match supposedly ends with a flying cross body, although Chase clearly kicks out at two to continue the match.
But hey, if the post-production people want to pretend that the match ended right there and didn’t last any longer, I’m happy to play along.
After the match, Grayson shows off his belt, or, as he insists on calling it, a “title”. There just might be a future in WWE yet for Grayson Chrisley.
Then again, remember the last time a promoter put a belt on a kid with only a few weeks of training just because of his rich, flamboyant father?
Judge for yourself who runs the ropes better.
The episode ends back in the bedroom, where the Chrisley parents have a match of their own.
Todd goes right to the finish.