Tomorrow will see the release of WWE 12, THQ’s revitalisation of the popular wrestling video game series. To celebrate this step forward, I thought it would be a novel idea to recount some of the wrestling business’ greatest steps backwards, in my countdown of the top 5 moments in wrestling that made rednecks worldwide shout “WHAT THE FRICK?!*”
*Foul language removed for the benefit of Cena fans.
5. The Shockmaster debuts; falls over.
The brainchild of Dusty Rhodes, “The Shockmaster” was intended to be the next big babyface of WCW, teaming up with the likes of Sting and Davey Boy Smith as their mystery partner in an upcoming eight-man tag match.
Unfortunately that didn’t go to plan, as Shockmaster’s debut involved him falling through a wall and losing his helmet (essentially a Stormtroopers’ covered in glitter), before delivering a badly dubbed promo that sounded like a mixture between Christian Bale’s Batman and the lizard from Fern Gully.
WCW would later try to remould the Shockmaster as “Super Shockmaster”, the nephew of the original Shockmaster who was intentionally clumsy. It didn’t work.
4. Robocop saves Sting
Nowadays you only have to endure the odd promotion from Snickers during WWE broadcasting, but back when Robocop 2 was released WCW went all out in backing the new movie.
In the May 1990 PPV “Capital Combat: The Return of Robocop”, Sting found himself under attack by the Four Horsemen, who threw him into a cage on the outside of the ring. Fortunately for Sting, Robocop (yes, Robocop) was there to save the day, as he made his way into the arena and awkwardly tore the cage door off its hinges, sending the Horsemen running away in fear.
Sting was saved! Unfortunately, Robocop was not so lucky: upon exiting the arena, it was clear that in the excitement (or whatever robots feel) of the moment, his left leg had somehow fallen off. Also, Robocop 2 was an absolutely terrible movie.
3. Light-hearted necrophilia with HHH.
The thing that the rest of the entries on this list share in common is that even though they’re mind-numbingly ridiculous, they’re also funny. However, the Katie Vick storyline wasn’t funny. Not at all.
The story went that Kane’s girlfriend, Katie Vick, was killed in a car accident that Kane survived. This was also how Kane got his “scars” (this was before Kane was unmasked and it was revealed that Kane wasn’t burnt at all, he was just plain old-fashioned ugly).
What could’ve been a moderately compelling dramatic angle for the WWE writing team to take quickly devolved into censor-baiting lunacy as Triple H, donning a Kane mask, entered a funeral home and proceeded to “rape” a mannequin he pretended was Katie. Triple H would later reveal in a shoot interview that a real funeral was taking place in the room next door to the scene, with staff regularly having to interrupt the shooting in order to tell him to keep the noise down while he was indulging in the raping of a pretend corpse.
2. What’s in the egg, Gene?
Mean Gene Okerlund earned his paycheque during WWF’s Survivor Series in 1990, when he was given the unenviable task of finally revealing the contents of a giant egg that had been on display at WWF events months prior to the PPV.
All the excitement surrounding the egg was finally put to an end when it was revealed that it contained a man (Eddie Guerrero’s brother Hector, no less) dressed in a turkey costume. “The Gobbledy Gooker”, as he was called, engaged in an impromptu dance-off with Gene before disappearing into obscurity.
He would later reappear at the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven, where he was the second to be eliminated.
1. Mae Young gives birth to a hand
There are three pivotal moments that frequently get brought up when people talk of WWF’s Attitude Era, and they are as follows:
1. DX invading WCW
2. Mick Foley being thrown from the top of the Cell
3. That old woman giving birth to a hand.
That old woman was Mae Young, a pivotal figure in the development of the Women’s division and, as she grew older, a Professional Punchline for the WWE writing staff, who came to the conclusion that getting the elderly to degrade themselves on national television was a great way to get ratings; over 10 years later and Simon Cowell is still doing just that.