Badseed's Bottomline Supplemental #3
By R.D. Reynolds and Randy Baer
Published by ECW Press
Vince McMahon is a genius. He has a multi-million dollar company that has beaten all its competitors and put his company in the position as the only real power in professional wrestling. And to reward his fans for sticking with the WWE and helping him become number one, McMahon has presented us with Kerwin White, a Mexican wrestler who thinks he is white and hates all non-white grapplers; The Boogeyman, a wrestler who wears a laughable costume and thinks he is the stuff of our nightmares; Heidenreich, an oversized Bushwhacker who somehow found himself paired with Animal to form the new Legion of Doom; two wrestlers fighting in a ladder match for custody of a child. It’s all something we have seen before from the WWE and it is as plain as the mole on Jillian Hall’s face; or is that just WrestleCrap.
R.D. Reynolds and Randy Baer have presented wrestling fans with a great book taking a look at the very worst gimmicks and storylines in professional wrestling history. Cleverly titled WrestleCrap, after a website of the same name, the book spans a long and storied history of not just the WWE, but touches of the AWA, the NWA, WCW and of course, the WWE when it was known as the WWF. This is a complete look at such wonderful gimmicks as Kamala, the cannibal who savaged his opponents until he found religion and became a babyface; Tony Atlas, a wrestler who was down on his luck and needed a job with the WWF, only to get a gimmick of an African wrestler who carried a spear and shield to the ring and performed an African tribal dance; The One Man Gang, a white wrestler with a motorcycle bad boy gimmick, who decided to find his African roots and became Akeem, the African Dream and so much more.
The book begins with a foreword by John Tenta, a fan favorite who has been fighting a long battle with cancer and has suffered his own bouts with WrestleCrap, having first been part of a highly successful run as Earthquake where he had main events against Hulk Hogan and a tag-team title reign with Typhoon, as the Natural Disaster, before suffering the worst fate of his life wrestling in WCW as The Shark, complete with painted teeth on his face and his hand constantly placed on his head to possibly portray a feeling of Jaws. Then he went back to the WWE and wrestled under a mask as Golga, a member of a “special” group of carnival-style wrestlers known as the Oddities. Perfectly suited to write the foreword of the book, Tenta sets us up for a really memorable and joyous ride through wrestling’s past.
The authors of the book begin their tale with the biggest pile of steaming WrestleCrap that takes us back many years ago to when the WWF was preparing for Survivor Series and had a giant egg in the arena that was to hatch and provide us with a grand surprise. Fans should have known that nothing good could come from a giant egg, but speculation of a new star or returning great filled everyone’s mind until the egg hatched and fans were treated to the debut of the Gobbleygooker, which was Hector Guerrero dressed in a turkey costume. He danced around the ring. Announcers proclaimed he was loved by the fans, but the fans absolutely hated him and felt let down, leading to the Gooker’s quick departure from the company.
But the best is yet to come. Go down memory lane as the authors discuss Papa Shango, a wrestler who performed voodoo rituals and caused Ultimate Warrior to vomit in the ring; Outback Jack, an Australian wrestler whose finishing move was a clothesline to the front and one to the back that he called the boomerang; the entire Hillbilly family that may have paved the way for the Dudley Boys; Bastion Booger, a wrestler whose entire gimmick was that he was disgusting; an entire line of wrestlers who has other jobs, becoming evil plumbers, dastardly dentists, a Repo Man, a former hockey player who was kicked out of the league for being too violent and a baseball player during the strike.
The list goes on and on; most were not successful, but some of the strangest gimmicks got over such as Honky Tonk Man, an Elvis impersonator who didn’t even know Elvis existed and ended up having the longest IC title reign in WWE history; Adrian Adonis, a former tough guy who became a cross dressing wrestler who worried more about his flowers than his matches and ended up entering a high profile feud with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Doink the Clown, an evil clown who ended up getting over with the fans only to have the WWE screw up a good thing and turn him face, virtually ending his career and The Undertaker who took such an outlandish gimmick and made it work for 14 years and three world title reigns. Then there were instances that ended careers, such as Terry Taylor, an accomplished grappler who was dubbed the Red Rooster in the WWF, complete with painted red mohawk and actual clucking in the ring. Taylor was a big time star and the Red Rooster gimmick stayed with him his entire career, never again to be taken seriously.
Of course, even the biggest stars get skewered. An entire chapter is devoted to Hulk Hogan’s failed movie career, including such films as Mr. Nanny and Santa with Muscles. An entire chapter is devoted to the ramblings and strange thought processes of the Ultimate Warrior. Mentions of how the WWE tried to ruin Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat’s career and that of Tito Santana’s are also mentioned.
The book is not only about the WWF/WWE. The struggling ship that was WCW is also discussed including such gimmicks as two wrestlers with hunchbacks so they can’t get pinned, which was scrapped in favor of two wrestlers who carry a bell to the ring and ring it constantly throughout the match; the Renegade, an Ultimate Warrior imposter and an entire look at the many failed faces of Brutus Beefcake . And then the success of the NWO that led to the demise of WCW and the reign of Vince McMahon is also discussed in great detail including Vince Russo’s reign on top that included him winning the world title and also allowing David Arquette to hold the belt and devalue it to the level of a joke. If you remember the gimmick or storyline, it is in here and if you didn’t remember it, you will be surprised.
WrestleCrap is a very humorous book that allows fans to relive such horrible gimmicks that have become unforgettable in wrestling lore. This is an enjoyable read that holds the fan’s interest and keeps him or her glued to each and every page, never wanting to put it down and always looking for an excuse to pick it up. WrestleCrap has changed the way we look at wrestling. Future editions are sure to follow so TNA won’t be left out with gimmicks like Trytan and the Flying Elvises. WrestleCrap is everywhere. Just wipe your feet before you leave the arena.
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