Wrestling's Biggest "WTF?!" Moments of the Decade
Face it, wrestling fans: We love the bizarre.
Don't believe me? Take a look at the picture to your left. Those of you who were watching wrestling in 1999-2000 will probably remember this man as Mideon. For all you younger fans, just refer to him as "Epic Win."
I bring this up because somewhere in the bowels of Titan Towers, someone thought this would appeal to the wrestling fan base.
Yes, apparently all the marketing and demographic data the bean counters at WWF came up with predicted that throngs of teenage boys would love nothing better than to see Mr. Win streak across RAW with a fanny pack covering his Parts Unknown.
And we did. And by we, I mean me, because that's just how I roll.
When people ask me today why I love wrestling so much, I just leave this pic on their Facebook with a " ;-) " in the comment box.
In that weird, Guy-Who-Drives-a-Van-for-a-Living sort of way, this list celebrates those moments that just leave you scratching your head and somewhat embarrassed at the time you tried to tell the girl next door that "it's like a bloody ballet. "
All of these incidents occurred behind the camera sometime this decade, because only there could we possibly find weirder content than a tattooed Mideon's bare ass. As a general rule, I don't cover deaths, for obvious reasons, or Chyna, because I never, EVER want to remember the time I torrented her "video" with X-Pac.
Don't ask. Tequila and PEZ were involved. On with the list.
Shane Douglas Misses the Mark
Whether Ric Flair likes it or not, Shane Douglas was a revolutionary.
Douglas, alongside Paul Heyman and Tod Gordon, helped consummate the marriage of wrestling and Gen-X culture when they launched ECW.
But, like all revolutionaries, Douglas was eventually left behind. Lured out of ECW in 1999, Douglas floundered about between WCW and TNA for the first part of the 00's before riding off into the sunset, pride and accomplishments in hand.
Too bad he stopped by at a Target on the way, because he eventually wound up working there.
Irony weaves a muddled web, but even Alanis Morrissette couldn't predict that the man they called “The Franchise” would've wound up managing a chain store.
A Franchise at a chain.
It's like rain on the Gen-X/Wrestling wedding day.
In an even bigger twist, the man who once told the NWA Board of Directors that history could “kiss his ass” left Target to return to New Brighton, Pa., as a history teacher.
For his sake, I can only hope he realized that Abraham Lincoln's middle name was not “Pickled*ck.”
Brutus Beefcake: International Man of Terror
Ed Leslie. Anthrax. Cocaine. Public Transit.
South Park might consider this a Family Guy joke, but in 2004, no one was laughing when the guy Hulk Hogan once called his “Bionic Butt Brother” caused a bioterror scare in the Boston subway.
Okay, a lot of people laughed, but for all the wrong reasons.
By that point, Leslie had fallen on hard times, and had taken up a job collecting fares for the Boston Metro.
I'm never one to knock someone for what they do for a living, but I AM one to knock them when they leave a suitcase full of cocaine unattended at their place of work.
Don't blame Leslie. That kind of thing happened all the time at Titan Towers in the '80s. But this wasn't the '80s, and this wasn't Stamford. These days, a bag full of white powder on a subway train in a major city is gonna cause a full-scale sh*tstorm.
I could make a Scott Hall joke here. Or a Jake Roberts one. But I won't, because the idea of the Disciple riding the cocaine night train all the way to a supermax prison is good enough to stand on its own.
Leslie did check himself into a rehab center after the incident, and considering as how he hasn't been on CNN since, I hope he's stayed sober.
After all, no one wants a Barber with a pair of shears and a twitchy arm.
The Iron Sheik Hates Brian Blair...and Sanity
If you're laughing now, you know exactly where this is going.
Wrestling has always been a sideshow, and it's this fact that has kept Vince McMahon awake many a nights.
When the Iron Sheik video surfaced, he no doubt considered dousing every piece of footage from the 1980's and calling it a day.
The video begins innocently enough: “What was your recollection of wrestling at the Silverdome for Wrestlemania III?” asks our befuddled interviewer.
What proceeds is a five-minute tirade that employs a perfect blend of carnie, kayfabe, and batsh*it crazy.
Sheik (who is dressed in a Kurt Angle shirt and carrying a flea market copy of the WCW title...yeah) spends the entire interview bashing Brian Blair, insulting the former member of the Killer Bees with language so foul that I can't even begin recapping it here. If you want to see the video, just type “Iron Sheik Brian Blair” on YouTube. I'll wait.
What really sets the piece apart is how Sheik really believes that he's still “defending the business” by remaining in kayfabe at all times.
At least it starts off that way, and it's amazing to see the two sides of the man battling it out for airtime as they wax poetically about homosexuals like “Michael Jordan...err, Michael Jackson.”
This piece not only borders on bizarre, it loads up on artillery, invades its neighboring states, and “humbles” the local population.
The interview has sparked new life in the Sheik's career, who has since garnered a bit of a cult following.
Brian Blair later hosted a roast of the Iron Sheik, and was slapped in the face for his troubles.
Further shoot videos were filmed, including an interview where he, a drunken Honky Tonk Man, and a drunker New Jack discussed the ways Chris Benoit could have spared his son while still killing his wife.
I...you know what? I give up. Move on.
RVD WWE Title Reign Goes Up in Smoke
When driving across state lines, it's always advisable to familiarize yourself with the guidelines of that particular area.
It's NOT advisable to turn to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" as your traffic handbook.
Throughout their careers, Rob Van Dam and Sabu had brought out the very best in each other.
When Van Dam played the prissy, arrogant sellout, Sabu played the hardcore misfit.
When the two teamed up, Van Dam played Hogan to Sabu's Savage.
And when Rob Van Dam won his first WWE title, Sabu was right there to channel Cheech to match his partner's Chong.
Armed with a trunk that would've made the Good Dr. Thompson's teeth chatter, the recently crowned WWE Champion and his running mate were busted outside of Hanging Rock, Ohio, in July 2006 with 18 grams of marijuana, five Vicodin pills, and nine tablets of Testolactone.
That's it? On second thought, this was a glass of water in the middle of the night for Dr. Thompson.
The results were a surprise to no one: RVD lost his belt, ending his only championship reign in WWE after a mere 22 days.
But one has to wonder what kind of conversations went on in the back of the police cruiser, as Rob Van Dam and Sabu no doubt giggled uncontrollably and pondered why any rock would hang out in Ohio.
My guess is to avoid the g*ddamn bats in the desert.
And to All a Good Nightmare
One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong.
After having his career nearly wrecked in both WCW and WWE, Bill Goldberg finally left the squared circle in 2004 to pursue a career in acting.
Someone should’ve told him that playing job boy to HHH’s sledgehammer was probably the apex of his decade, because in 2005, he starred in Santa’s Slay, a B-grade horror flick about Lucifer’s most famous offspring, Santa Claus.
Go back and reread that last paragraph. Let it sink in. Ponder the callousness of a universe that could unleash such a horror.
Now begins the task of unraveling this Rubik’s Cube of a logic puzzle.
Bill Goldberg – who was arguably the second biggest star of the ‘90s behind Steve Austin – was now relegated to playing a demonic Santa Claus who gets off on punting dogs into ceiling fans and drowning an immolated Fran Drescher in a bowl of egg nog.
And that’s not saying anything of Goldberg’s Jewish heritage, which goes well beyond the realm of irony and into "Oh God, are they serious?" territory.
Battle of iconography aside, the film was a fun romp, if only because Goldberg played the part perfectly. It’s a cheesy good laugh, and it’s obvious that no one took this clunker seriously at all.
So, to recap: A Jewish wrestler plays Satan’s Son Santa and kills Chris Kattan and Fran Drescher in the film’s opening scene, and then proceeds to kill a whole bunch more people for the next 75 minutes.
Hey, I never said that “weird” and “awesome” were mutually exclusive.
Man, this Bread is Justin...Pretty Good!
No one can argue that Justin Credible’s ride through the professional wrestling circuit has been anything short of…well, incredible. *self facepalm*
After breaking into the business as Aldo Montoya, the Portuguese Man-O-War, Credible found his niche in ECW, where he became one half of the tag team champions with Lance Storm in a team called The Impact Players.
After eventually winning the ECW title, Credible left for the WWF and found himself stuck in a stable with Heat Repellent Extraordinaires, X-Pac and Albert.
All of this became too much for the one-time Kliq buddy, and he soon packed his bags and found sanctuary baking bread at an Olive Garden.
It’s true. In 2008, Justin Credible hung up his Singapore Cane for a rolling pin and found employment at America’s favorite pseudo-Italian chain.
Sadly, the prospect of all the free salad he could eat was not enough to keep him out of the ring.
Credible has since left Olive Garden and returned to wrestling action, which crushed my dreams of him rolling one long piece of dough into a Singapore Cane and using it to threaten anyone who complained about the pasta fagioli.
Then again, with the Douglas at Target and Credible at Olive Garden, this might give the Sandman a chance to pick up where Credible left off.
So c’mon, Sandman. There’s a spot in this list for you come 2020 if you follow through.
Perry Saturn Goes on the Lam
As you can probably tell, this decade hasn’t been kind to ECW alumni not named “Dudley” or “Van Dam.”
After years of toiling away unnoticed, Perry Saturn finally broke into the WWF in 2000 as part of an exodus from WCW that included Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero.
And…well, that’s about it.
Saturn came and went, and was eventually let go in 2002 while nursing an ACL injury.
And…well, that’s about it.
In April of 2004, Saturn was shot in the neck three times while attempting to break up a rape. Instead of being rewarded for his heroics, Saturn disappeared for the next four years, and it was reported a few times that he had expired.
For years, the Perry Saturn sightings trickled in. It was reported that he was living in an apartment owned by former WCW manager Sonny Onoo in 2007. At one point, he was purportedly working at a door-making factory.
In that time, he missed the funerals of both Chris Candido and John Kronus, who he was believed to have been on good terms with. His absence only fueled the speculation that something was seriously wrong.
But nope. In November 2009, the picture of Perry Saturn on your left emerged, proving that he has not only found a new calling as one of the Three Amigos, but had ridden the world of Martin Short by eating him.
For a man who has done so much for the common good, a shirt like that hardly seems like a fitting reward.
Now a return appearance on RAW to show John Cena how to properly execute a Death Valley Driver, however…
Mr. McMahon and His Ass
Our list concludes with one of the strangest pieces of film to ever escape the mind of Vince McMahon and wind up in public.
Or should I say, his ass. Because according to this 2006 cartoon, not only was Vince McMahon large and in charge, but he possessed a derriere that doubled as his own personal workout buddy.
I mean, really. What do you want me to say? That this thing was in good taste? That is wasn't offensive? That a sentient ass with a Pilgrim hat and muscley arms ISN'T something I want to highlight in my "Why Wrestling is Great" presentation?
This list began with talk of Mideon's ass. Eight slides later, I think we've finally found its superior.
My only regret is that this probably wasn't shown at the shareholder's meeting. But dammit to Hell, a man can dream...and according to this short, an ass can store and carve an entire turkey.