At a Long Island Police Precinct
"Hey Barone!" shouts the chief. "Here's the furlow from Latham, Massachusetts. This one requires parental supervision."
"What? A juvie?" asks Officer Robert Barone. As he finishes the question, in walks a complaining, hand-cuffed George Costanza.
"The one good thing about prison... finally had the buffer zone... and now they have to escort me... George is gettin' upset!"
"Settle down. Your folks are outside. Let's go."
Robert escorts George outside, and to his waiting parents. When Estelle sees her son handcuffed, she erupts. "What are you doing to my Georgie?! You've got him chained like a common criminal! He's not an animal!" Estelle runs up and starts hitting Robert with her purse.
"Hey, lady! Ease up, alright! I've got the key right here."
With that the two sets of parents tear into each other in an effort to protect their sons, who wisely withdraw.
So Dave, which dysfunctional duo dominates?
Frank & Marie Barone vs. Frank & Estelle Costanza
DAVE: While the two sets of parents match up fairly evenly in terms of size and age, I'm going to give the edge to the Costanzas. Whereas the Barones are inclined to use guilt or other passive tactics on their sons and each other, the Costanzas take a more aggressive approach: screaming like banshees. Clearly, the Costanzas are just plain meaner. I don't like to invoke the Rage (tm) very often, but rarely has its presence been so obvious.
Frank Costanza is the true superstar of this match. First of all, he's no stranger to fighting. He fought in the Korean war (true, he was a chef, but he still must have undergone basic training). Also, if you'll recall, the holiday of Festivus was born from Frank "raining blows" upon some poor sap who reached for the a doll at the same time as him. And those Festivus Feats of Strength (tm) have surely kept him fit and powerful into his twilight years. Frank Barone is doughy and slow; Frank Costanza will tear into him like a bowl of kasha.
Estelle Costanza is no pushover either, especially where her only son is concerned. She has demonstrated that she's willing to go the distance to keep him safe and happy. She propositioned the judge who presided over his trial. She straightened George out when he converted to Latvian Orthodox. She even makes him the Jell-O with the bananas in it (tm). She'll have no trouble rolling up her sleeves and doing some dirty work on this occasion.
The Costanzas win this one in under five minutes, and for the Barones, there is no serenity now.
BRIAN: You were actually doing OK for a little while there, Dave... until you hit the part about the Korean War. Granted, you're Canadian, so I would expect any mention of war to frighten and confuse you, but we still need to straighten things out.
First, as you weakly try to dance around, Frank Costanza did not fight in the Korean War. The only thing he fought was a bout of mass food poisoning, and he lost. Frank Barone, however, DID fight in the Korean War. So much so, that he's one of those veterans that gets a little "crazy" whenever the subject comes up. If Frank C. makes any reference to Korea (or even worse, if Frank B. recognizes him as that chef that made him hurl for 3 days), the wires in Barone's head will short, much like when Cousin Eddie gets near a microwave. Except he won't be disoriented, but rather filled with a repressed memory fed Rage. (See, you aren't the only one that can pull out the cheap ones.)
Of course, we're minoring in the majors here. The real battle comes down to the mothers, and it's just no contest. Marie Barone is the most powerfully manipulative person since David Koresh. And nothing short of a federal agency will stop her, either. She routinely turns her own family members against each other -- you think she couldn't easily do the same to a bunch of neurotics like the Costanzas? Plus, all she has to do is say "Boo!", and her near mind control over her sons will bring both back into the fray to end things quickly. Ever seen Robert bust out his pistol whipping moves? It ain't pretty.
On the other side, you have Estelle. What does she have going for her, other than a disturbing physical similarity to Heat Miser? If only she had his powers, then she might have a chance against that other fiery menace from hell.
DAVE: The participants in this match may be in their retirement years, but it's you who are showing all the signs of senility, Brian. If a slight resemblance to an animated character is the best argument against Estelle that you can pull out, well... let's just hope Grudge Towers is stocked with plenty of Geritol and Depends Undergarments (tm).
Marie is no manipulative genius. Does anyone in her family even take her seriously? Consider that the Barones were able to raise at least one normal, functional son, whom everybody loves, or so it's said. Now consider the vortex of pure deceit and self-absorption that is George Costanza. Do you think normal parents could have spawned such a being of pure malevolence? While the Barones fall squarely on the "harmless" side of the sanity scale, the Costanzas land somewhere east of Margot Kidder and Ted Nugent.
The Barones live in a fairly insulated little universe, where nothing truly challenging ever happens. The Costanzas, on the other hand, always get involved in situations that test their resolve. Whether it's pursuing the Seinfelds to Del Boca Vista, developing support devices for the male bosom, or spying on Korean manicurists, Frank and Estelle are out there, taking their lumps from the school of hard knocks, while Frank and Marie sit and watch life go by from their recliners.
The Barones are going to be slaughtered, and it won't be pretty. At the very least, Frank Barone will be able to see it coming.
BRIAN: I may be senile, but at least my attention span is longer than a gnat's. By the time you got to the end of my previous comments, you clearly had mentally moved onto something else. I'll talk to Shane about having all shiny objects removed from your cubicle. You see, Dave, the Heat Miser thing wasn't an argument against her at all. It was just the best thing going for her. That's how desperate I was in the search for quality arguments for the Costanzas.
Your selling Marie so short is almost mind numbing. Do you even watch the show? First of all, neither son could be qualified as normal and functional. Heck, just look at your misinterpretation of the title of the show. It's sarcastic; a sarcasm based on Robert's deep-seeded anti-Raymond psychosis; a psychosis based on Marie's decades of mental impact. Really, anyone that questions the powers of the two mothers just needs to look at the actions of the sons. George pretty much hates his parents. He goes to great lengths to get away from them. That, along with his desperation for sex, are what drive him. Robert and Ray, on the other hand, can't get away. They are trapped. Entranced. Brainwashed. One time, Ray involved his whole family in a web of complicated lies, just so Marie wouldn't know he willingly skipped dinner with her. That's fear incarnate.
And as far as bringing up other roles for the actors, that may have been your fatal mistake. Guest spots on X-Files aside, do you really think that some geezer that lives in his daughter's basement has any shot against Young Frankenstein's monster? Here's a gum wrapper, Dave. Go crazy.
Editor's Note: Since our hosting service zapped us in the middle of the match, most of the initial responses were lost. As such, it is much smaller than usual. Plus, many of the below responses draw on our week long absense and file loss as a source of material.
Irony of freakin' ironies. In my original response, I declared that the Barones would win because Frank Barone, as seen in The Santa Clause 2, moonlights as Father Time, and thus could simply manipulate the timestream and ZAP! Victory before anybody knows what's going on. What happened then? The Barones were behind in the vote totals, and the site had its plug unceremoniously pulled. Clearly we've POed Father Time something awful. Let's not make the same mistake twice. For the good of the site, vote Barone.
P.S. I've taken the liberty of adding an article about Grudge Match to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Check it out! Feel free to point out all of the glaring errors I've likely made.
- Oxymoron - Let's NOT do the Time Warp again
Gotta give it to the Costanzas, here. Marie Barone can be very manipulative in her passive, guilt-trippy way. Estelle can also trip a pretty good guilt in her explosive, emotionally damaging way. So it comes down to the two Franks. Obviously Frank Costanza wins out. Frank Barone takes it from his wife way more often than he dishes it out to Raymond. Frankie C. not only dishes it out to Estelle but he dishes it out to George in spades. He invented a freakin' holiday to celebrate dishing it out (the "Airing of Grievances" being a time-honoured tradition of Festivus). The Costanzas dish it out so much, to so many people (themselves included), that they create a "Vortex of Guilt" (TM) where no pride can survive. To really see who does the most damage, though, simply look at their sons. The Barone sons have wives, careers, and though there is some dysfunction, they seem reasonably happy. Compare this to George; a mess to end all messes. Maybe he'd be better off if he was more like that nice Lloyd Braun.
Can I please go kill the people who run the server you got kicked off of? PLEASE? I sent in a good response. A great response. A (dare I say it? Of course I do!) ROTW-worthy response! And now it's gone! GONE! Never to be thought of or written down again! Oh, the virtual humanity! That being said, I'm giving it to the Costanzas. TV Guide has never steered me wrong, and TV Guide named "Seinfeld" the greatest show ever. It's simple enough logic... Seinfeld should always win. I never liked that other show anyway. Everybody does NOT love Raymond!
- Scotty J. - insert a jazzy little bass line here
Great, just great. I had a ROTW Gold worthy response sent in the first time. Do you know how long I worked to polish that? Feh. That was your only chance, mister. I'll wait for the next fight to give my A Material to. That'll teach you to just carelessly leave my responses lying around.
I knew that these two families were screwed up ... but apparently they're so high on the wacko-scale that bringing them together caused Grudge-Match.com to fall apart!
Anyway, I voted for the Costanzas, because NOBODY loves George.
Everybody Loves Raymond; therefore, everyone will vote for his parents.
- Sam I Was, Sam I Am, and Sam I Will Be
Well, I'd have to say that the dysfunction of the Barones and the Costanzas are obliterated by the dysfunction of Grudge Match and its former web host. If only the contestants could harness the combined RAGE of the Grudgies for this outrage.
- They Might Be Matt
In the spirit of this match, I'm going into summer reruns, and recycling an old answer from last year's "Telemarketers versus Spammers" match:
"Give it to the telemarketers. Telemarketers are aggressive; spammers are just passive-aggressive. All passive-aggression can do is threaten; the aggressive can kill. - Dr. Stones"
Now, just take out "telemarketers" and put in "Costanzas." Take out "Spammers" and put in "Barones." That pretty much sums it up, because the same basic premise holds.
- Dr. Stones
Frank Costanza went on to play the father in law on king of queens. Raymond has hung out with the king of queens. Thustly two of him exist in this example and give his team the advantage.
- ex agent
Isn't this a bit like comparing a spark to a raging active volcano?
- Shaun The Other White Meat
I've got some news for you at the WWWF. The real culprits behind your recent hosting problems are the dognappers that have already given you so much aggravation.
Or could it possibly have been the same nefarious villains who tried to wipe Grudge Match out of existence? Hmm. - Ed.
Yes Just give me a bottle of aspirin and 2 quarts of NyQuil and don't wake me in the morning. Okay?
- gotta headache...so go away
Everybody Loves Raymond(TM) is on CBS(TM). Seinfeld(TM) was on NBC(TM). Both families can gain allies in their fellow programs. Thanks to the mishmash that is today's television schedule, you have invoked the Reality Show Factor(TM), and the Barones must win!
From NBC(TM)'s The Apprentice(TM), the best that the Costanzas can gain for assistance is "The Donald"(TM) Donald Trump(TM) Obnoxious Omarosa, but they can't beat the heavyweights that CBS(TM)'s Survivor (TM) brings in! There's Richard Hatch, who's fat, naked, gay and Evil(TM). Thanks to TOC V's Gold Response, he also gains the power of Darth Maul(TM), and the Force(TM)! Sue Hawk! She's tough-as-nails, and can only be beaten by Richard, but he's an ally. She, thanks to the same response, is granted the power of the Blues Brothers(their TM became null and void with Blues Brothers 2000), and therefore, God(TM), who's a Grudge Match(TM) Champion(TM) through Moses(TM). We then have Shii-Ann Huang with the RAGE(TM), Amber with the BABE Factor(TM), Boston Rob with the Mentos-level Coolness Factor(TM), and Big Tom with the Fluffy(TM) Factor, and given all the Survivor (TM) contestants over the years, led by Rupert(TM), we may as well have the Chihuauas(TM) assist them, and Rupert(TM) is about as tough as a Rottweiler(TM), so the Costanzas are the French Army(TM) to Survivor(TM)'s English Soccer Hooligans(TM). Oh, yeah, CBS(TM) has The Price is Right(TM) with Bob Barker(TM), another Grudge Match(TM) Champion(TM). Sorry Costanzas, the Tribe has Spoken.
- GreenNinja, who knows WAY too much about Survivor(TM) than any man should.
Heck, just look at your misinterpretation of the title of the show. It's sarcasm based on Robert's deep-seeded anti- Raymond psychosis
I'd like to see Estelle fight with her head nailed to a coffee table, or see what kind of fight Frank C. could put up while the full Doug itinerary is being unleashed on his sorry, leathery hide: dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes, hyperbole, satire, the list goes on.
They'll be no rescue for the Costanzas; Superintendent Harry 'Snapper' Organs of Q Division is currently starring in The Producers as Franz Liebkind.
- Springtime for Mixmaster Flibble
Serenity now! Serenity now! Serenity NOW!
- Evil Homer
The deciding factor is Peter Boyle. He's been a huge, brutish Frankenstein, so a good pummeling will be no problem for him. He can also call on his powers as Jesus Christ (The Dream Team), and his predictions about the death of the Costanzas will be quite accurate (X-Files episode: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose). Not to mention Boyle is by far the funniest of them all. Peter will go to town on the both of them.
The real winner of this will of course be the pair that will WANT to work together. True, some people will say that the involvement of their children would be enough to bring any weird couple together to fight, but we are talking about the Costanzas and the Barones. Now let us think about these two families, they both are always arguing, but that is a prerequisite, the real determining factor is how close they are. As anyone that consistently watches either of these shows would know, the Barones don't exactly do a lot together, whereas the Costanzas have been proven to want alone time, for umm, whatever reason. So they will be the ones that are most likely to team up and use their combined wits to beat the opposition. This also means that they will be the ones that will care about each other if one of them gets into a difficult situation, and they will try to save each other. The Barones will not do this, since they don't even like each other, so they will not waste time saving each other, and they will be triumphant. This of course could be changed assuming Kramer enters the mix.
- A "Home Improvement" Watcher
Both groups are dysfunctional. But the question is which group is MORE dysfunctional?
- Murphy The Dog
In looking at this, we obviously have two deranged couples. But the Costanzas are a random force whereas Marie does it on purpose, hence her ruining Robert's Lucky Suit(tm) for example on his way to an interview with the FBI. So the Barones would dispatch of the Costanzas but then, Kramer.
"Jerry, is there any food here?"
"Not now Kramer," Marie hears someone asking for food and cannot resist going to her kitchen with Kramer following along. Jerry and Raymond then are left making wisecracks as the Costanzas take care of Frank then lay hell to the kitchen. At the end, Frank makes dinner, someone throws up and he freaks out at the end of our show.
- James Halen
George Costanza ducks out of sight and Jason Alexander ducks into his greatest role: Duckman, who returns to the fray with his bizarre crew. He yells out "what in the name of all that's oiled, naked, and sliding up and down a pole is going on here?"
His partner Cornfed, who for some strange reason sounds like the guy from Dragnet, replies "This is the WWWF Grudge Match, Duckman. This month's battle is between the Barones and the Costanzas, and under WWWF guidelines, characters involved in the match can switch to other roles played by the same actors".
"That's right Mister Duckman!" chime in Fluffy and Uranus. Duckman grabs the two cute little teddy bears, stuffs them in the garbage disposal where they scream in agony as they are mulched. Meanwhile the Siamese twins Charles and Mambo hotly debate the morality of downloading music thru KaZaA.
Marie Barone exclaims "All that screaming is giving me a headache". Duckman's teenage son Ajax offers his sympathies saying "Sometimes I feel like my head is in a vice, which is usually exactly what it turns out to be". King Chicken lurks in the shadows as Grandma-ma cuts the cheese. The overbearing Aunt Bernice verbally assaults Duckman, calling him a sweat stain with glasses. Duckman yells "SHUT UP, you iron pumping, steroid popping sideshow wannabe!"
The insane perverted alcoholic bespectacled duck detective turns to the Barones and demands "What the hell are YOU staring at?" Frank and Marie bolt, check themselves into a nearby mental hospital, and spend the rest of their days gobbling Prozac in a padded room wearing second hand straight jackets.
I'm about the size of Frank Barone.
The last time I was afraid of someone the size of Frank Costanza was when I was about Frank Costanza's size.
Soon both Costanzas will reach their final resting place when Frank Barone scrapes them off his shoes. And if George has a problem with that, he'll be on the bottom of one of Robert's big clodhoppers. It's suicide by cop, really. As they walk away, Frank Barone will be heard to say, "Holy crap Marie, I can't believe those idiot dwarves thought they could take us!"
- Mr. Silverback-- This just in: Flipper the Dolphin is suing John Kerry for trademark infringement.
Great reference to Weird Al in the teaser guys! I... um... oh, wait, there's a match going on... sorry...
- A New Cynic
The Barones will win for three simple reasons. One, Marie has the power of aroma. Her food is always very good (with her illegal spices from Italy) and Mrs. Costanza's food will have no chance. Seeing the good food, George will be brain-washed to the Barones side. Once he's on their side, George will use his brain-warping mind tricks against his own parents on promise of more of the "good" food. Second, Mrs. Costanza only has one child, whereas Marie has two sons, one a police officer, and the other with a wife that has almost as much brain-washing power as Marie, not to mention two annoying children, and one angelic child. With this dream team, The Costanzas have no chance. Finally, Frank can tap into his Rage(TM) as Brian rightfully said. With this Rage(TM), Frank will maul Mr. Costanza. With this three reasons, The Costanzas have no chance.
Where the hell is the "parents forget argument to show naked pictures of the kids when they were babies" button.
- Funr For All
This is a fairly even match between the two teams. But, only one will win. Let's take a look and see who will emerge victorious. Since I am not really a fan of either "Seinfeld" or "Everybody Loves Raymond", the best way to decide this is to compare the actors and actresses on each team.
Frank Costanza was played by the talented Jerry Stiller, father of Ben Stiller and the husband half of the legendary 1960's stand-up comedy team of Stiller and Meara. Such talent would give Mr. Costanza a slight intellectual advantage over Frank Barone.
But, don't count Mr. Barone out of this. He is played by Peter Boyle. One of his more famous roles was as the monster in "Young Frankenstein". Only large people play Frankenstein monsters. Also, he played Joe Carron, a violent factory worker, in "Joe". This gives him a physical advantage over Mr. Costanza.
The differences are also decisive on the female side. Estelle Costanza was portrayed by Estelle Harris. Looking over her acting record, most of her work consists of playing aunts, grandmothers, and mothers. Nothing that much out of the ordinary.
However, her opponent is a different story. Marie Barone is played by Doris Roberts. Doris Roberts first came into prominence on "Remington Steele" in the role of Mrs. Krebs. Mrs. Krebs used to work for the powerful IRS. A connection to such a powerful force would be enough to ensure victory, but there's more. Also on "Remington Steele" was Pierce Brosnan - the current James Bond. So, Marie, through this connection, can call on James Bond himself, as well as the minions of the IRS as allies. Such a combination would be virtually unstoppable.
Despite appearing even, this match will end quickly when Frank Costanza, drawing on Jerry Stiller's intelligence, realizes that with Mr. Barone's physical brawn and Marie's alliance with both the IRS and James Bond, the match is unwinnable and either beats a hasty retreat or surrenders. Estelle Costanza, having such a boring background, would agree with her husband's assessment of the situation and give up also.
- The Demented Astronomer
Carl Winslow sees it all go to hell, and kicks all their asses. Seriously, either that or he uses Urkel's transformation machine to become Bruce Lee...
- David, Master of Disaster
Costanza's a cooler sounding name. That was the deciding factor for this ignorant teenager, who only watches animated stuff.
- Katrover Swatroad
Didn't Estelle die in the last series of 'Friends'?
- Snake Griffin
Personally, I would have thought that the last match, with Kenny and Wily Coyote with all that dropping of massive tonnage around, that would be the most likely match to knock the Fabled Grudge-Match offline. Then again, Santa versus the Teamsters did knock Grudge- Match offline as well, but I'm willing to chalk that one up to the Teamsters shadowy connections to the Y2K/CI HOST Jihad.
My guess is somehow Estelle's shrill voice must have resonated at just the right frequency to shatter the servers chips or something. However, that would also be likely to blow out any street lights in the general area as well. Frank Barone just happens to be standing near a street light arguing with Frank Costanza when the light shatters. This also happens to send an ark of electricity thru the air, and his him directly in his old neck bolts, for he is the Monster from Young Frankenstein. Receiving this extra charge, the Barone Monster goes ape-shit on Costanza, and rips his arms out by the roots, then picks Frank up and tosses him several blocks to the East River. Marie, seeing that the Old Frank is charged up again, and they will have a night of Passion like they did when they was young, picks up Costanza's right arm, and beats Estelle senseless over the head with it. Frank then picks up Marie and carries her off into the sunset, with Marie gently caressing Frank's schwanzstucker.
Witnessing all of this, George says, "Well, George wish's he had seen that before spending all that money on that wacko therapist guy." Robert deadpans, "Well at least you don't have to try to sleep tonight knowing at that very moment, your parents are having sex."
- BIGMRG74 -- Now I bet that sick thought of your very own parents having sex is stuck in your heads as well.
All I know is that George's parents paid him money after they found him sleeping with a girl on their bed, and his mother injured herself after she saw George masturbating to glamour magazine. I also know that Marie may be the toughest motherfucker alive, seeing as how she got caught in a bear trap and was still able to beat the shit out of Kenny Rogers. I don't know what will happen, but I am fairly certain that it will be rated R.
- Potman the Predator (All I see is George fucking the pie Marie brought for Raymond)
You seem to be missing the obvious. Where are these people fighting? In front of a police station. Obviously, as soon as the fight breaks out 20 cops will pile out of the station, surround the combatants, and get into good viewing positions. The embarrassment to Robert will be too much and he will try to save his parents. Debra will then guilt Raymond into helping his parents. Raymond will be the unfortunate victim of Frank Costanza's backhand (by humorous accident, of course). Marie will flip out and cut Costanza into little pieces. She will then put him in a dish and serve him to Raymond ("No, Robert, it's for Raymond.") By now George has slipped off to Jerry's to tell him the whole story. This will aggravate Estelle enough to forget her husband and Marie and Estelle will trade recipes and complain about their children (not Ray, though).
- Joe Blow
What's scary isn't what would happen if this quartet of quarrelers got in an all-out brawl. What would be scary is if they all teamed up, because there isn't a movie out there made in the last 20 years that one of them isn't in.
Thank god for in-laws.
Where's the "Both Mangle and Kill Versus.com" button?
- The (no longer) Unpublished Soldier
The descent into chaos was cut short as an Italian climbed out of his family's black, bullet-ridden 4x4, approached the station, and began singing his soul out. All combatants paused to admire the heart-rending rendition of Rossini's "Otello," as a toupee-wearing accomplice slipped into the jail...
The performance ended on several levels with a detonation from the area of the holding cells. The makeshift audience turned in confusion to see a scowling matron emerge from the smoke with a now-tommy-gun-toting son. A rare hint of a smile crossed her face as she called out, "Thanks, my boy."
The smile came more readily to her second, more operatic son. "It's okay, Mama," gushed Jake. "I owed you one. And, this was a lot more enjoyable than playing pirate with those Meddling Kids(tm) in Astoria again."
"Aw, crap," moaned Robert. "Another jailbreak by the Fratellis. Chief, you'd better get back-up!"
"I wouldn't try that." Francis waved his firearm.
"Put that thing away!" scolded Estelle. "Didn't your mother ever tell you that you can't go around shooting people on sit-coms?"
"She's right, Franky," acknowledged Mama Fratelli. "Sloth," she called out to a misshapen man wearing a "Superman" outfit by the truck, "go to town!"
[Due to graphic nature, the following scenes have been judged too harsh for a network prime-time audience...]
- Matt Bricker
Within the 1st 5 minutes of hearing the Costanzas argue, Frank stands to his 7 foot glory and smashes both of them over the head with a folding chair. Marie screams about the mess that will be left on her new rug, so he bludgeons her to death with the nearest lamp. With a sigh of relief he sits down in his recliner and rests his eyes.
- Ninja (alek) MN
I was going to vote for the Barones, for reasons I won't go into. Because then, I remembered something: this is supposed to be the summer of George.
- Rabbi Jesus
If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:
Next Match: The kings of cellulite.
If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:
Next Match: The kings of cellulite.