Thursday, July 7, 2011

Five of Wrestling's Top Face Palming Moments

When wrestling goes bad, it hits rock bottom. Join me on this journey of five terrible ideas the world of pro wrestling offered us through the years.

On Sunday June 19, the WWE held its Capital Punishment PPV in Washington, D.C. Since it was being held in the nation’s Capitol, the WWE aired some goofy promos for weeks leading up to the event featuring real life Barack Obama press conference footage edited with WWE superstars. I thought that this gimmick would be done by the time we got to the actual PPV matches, but no. Vince McMahon and his WWE cronies just love political humor, even though a majority of wrestling fans generally hate politics, so he hired an Obama impersonator for all of the backstage and some in-ring antics. 

First of all, and no offense to the impersonator, yes he sounds like Barack but he looks like a chick in drag due to his makeup and costume. Whether it was foolish time killers, such as talking to WWE talent backstage or doing Barack-aroonie spins with Booker T in the ring, the Obama angle was extremely annoying and worthy of one major Face Palm. The wrestling action was above average, but the impersonator clogging up everything in between took away from getting some other talent valuable air time, like Zack Ryder for example. Ryder or Riot.

Face Palming at the Obama segments made me think back to the many times in my life when wrestling promoters have tried to be too cool but failed miserably in the process. This gave me an idea to discuss a list of face palming moments from wrestling past. This list could be a mile long but I decided to just leave it at 5, in no particular order. Luckily I have current WWE talent The Miz to come along my trip down memory lane and offer his commentary. Here are today's hosts:

Me: You ready, Miz?


Miz: “I want you to stand up out of your seat, I want you to get up and do what you should have done a long time ago! I want you to admit that you were wrong!”

Me: But I haven’t even started yet. Please, Miz. Stay focused for a few minutes with me if you can. Ok let's go...

 Robocop at WCW’s Capital Combat  (WCW, 1990)

WCW’s Capital Combat instantly came into my mind due to the fact that this one took place in D.C. as well. The major difference here is that while WWE used Obama to promote Punishment, WCW used "Robocop" to promote Combat, which in turn was promotion for the upcoming film Robocop 2. For weeks on end, all the viewers heard about on WCW programming was Robocop would be at the PPV and how he would be making an impact. Great.

Since world champion heir apparent Sting was not fully recovered from his knee injury, WCW threw Lex Luger in the main event match versus "Nature Boy" Ric Flair as a placeholder. Luger was robbed in the previous Wild Thing PPV main event a few months back due to interference, so this time the match was to take place inside a steel cage to prevent that from happening again. Of course, the Four Horsemen would find a way around the cage deal to help Flair, so thank goodness Robocop was there to keep things in check like Busta Rhymes.

Some kind soul on YouTube was able to edit all of the Robo footage into the video below for your enjoyment:


Miz: “Awesome!”

Me: You are out of your damn mind, Miz. That was horrible even for WCW standards. All Robocop did was rip the cage open? At least they could have had him go to the ring and shoot blanks at the Horsemen or do something not so lame.

 David Arquette wins the WCW title (WCW, 2000)

Back in 2000, Eric Bischoff and WCW released a wrestling-focused film entitled Ready to Rumble, which actually made some dough, believe it or not. It starred David Arquette and Scott Caan alongside a ton of current WCW stars and was heavily promoted on WCW programming every week. The (absolutely god awful) booker at that time, Vince Russo, thought it would be a good idea to marry the film and sports entertainment by having Arquette appear on WCW TV and eventually placed in a WCW World Championship match. A match in which he won! I'll give you a second to go vomit....ok, you back?

A prestigious title held by legends such as Lou Thesz, Harley Race, Ric Flair, and Ricky Steamboat was won by an actor. Now, I like David Arquette, so this is not a knock on him. The problem is with WCW, which I had all but abandoned for WWF full-time at this point. And this is a major reason why the company continued on a nasty decline until being purchased by Vince McMahon.

Look for yourself…


Miz: “I am the guy that worked the hardest and dedicated himself each and every day. When people say this job is too hard or we’re on the road too much, I’m the guy saying ‘I need more media’ and ‘I need more outlets’ and ‘Give me every spot you have.’”

Me: Dude did you take too many hits to the head with that Money In The Bank briefcase? Do you want the “spot” of letting Dewey from Scream beat you in a wrestling match? Come on man, get it together.

“Mongo” joins the Four Horsemen (WCW, 1996)
 For everyone who jokes about Paul Roma being the worst Four Horseman in history obviously did not watch WCW programming between 1996-1997. Former Chicago Bears player Steve “Mongo” McMichael began his WCW career as a commentator on Monday Nitro, while holding his dog Pepe in his lap no less, playing “face” to fellow commentator Bobby “The Brain” Heenan’s heel role. No matter how consistently he was terrible on the mic, they kept him in the booth. I don’t know what the love affair between Eric Bischoff and Mongo was at the time, but for some reason, Easy E. thought it would be a great idea to make Mongo a Four Horseman in 1996 to replace, gulp, the departed Brian Pillman. The most storied stable in all of American pro wrestling history added an ex-football player, who could make a hundred full Botchamania episodes with clips of his matches and promos alone, to its ranks. He wrestled for WCW for around three years and was a Horseman for a little more than two in his tenure as a pro wrestler. Hell, they even gave him the United States Heavyweight Championship back when that title actually meant something. I could not find a lot of Mongo clips on YouTube, since I guess I am not the only one trying to black out the bad memories, but I did happen to find a promo of his greatest angle ever: feuding with Jeff Jarrett over the affections of that jezebel Debra McMichael.


Miz: “I remember when I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, after I was done with The Real World… I had this mirror and there was a string and his action figure was hanging from it. I remember talking to myself in the mirror, going, ‘What do I want to do with my life?’ And I saw the action figure and was like, ‘I want to be a WWE superstar.’ So he’s kind of the person who made me want to be a WWE superstar. Now I get to go toe-to-toe and actually surpass him.”

Me: Ok, first of all Mongo is retired so you are not going toe-to-toe with him. Secondly, he is the wrestler that made you want to get into the business? What, because you’d figure if he could do it anyone could and it would be impossible to worse? That makes sense, Miz.

Fake Diesel & Razor Ramon in the WWF (WWF, 1996)

The desperate decision to do this angle came to fruition after WCW just kept easily beating the hell out of the boys in Stamford week after week. Two crowning moments that officially started the legendary "Monday Night Wars" occurred when Scott Hall (aka Razor Ramon) and Kevin Nash (aka Diesel) left WWF for greener (as in "green" cash) pastures in WCW to form The Outsiders and then the nWo. Razor and Diesel, especially Diesel, were two of the biggest draws for the Federation at the time, and their departure left some gaping holes in the WWF’s roster that they were not prepared to fill.

In an attempt to draw viewers away from an upcoming episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Jim Ross announced that he was going to bring Diesel and Razor Ramon back to the WWF on RAW. Well he certainly did alright. Sort of. Since Vince McMahon owns the two characters’ copyrights, he had two wrestlers dress like them and come out with their original theme music playing…to either complete silence or a chorus of deafening boos. Glen Jacobs played the new "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel while Rick Bognar played the new "Bad Guy" Razor Ramon. I don’t think the whole deal lasted longer than a couple months, with their last appearances being at the 1997 Royal Rumble. Of course, as the old saying goes, "From of the ashes rises the Phoenix". And in this case, the Phoenix was Jacobs, who was repackaged into mega superstar Kane later on that year. Here is a clip of Ramon's debut and one of Diesel's entrances as well...


Miz: “I wondered who was going to play him. I figured they needed a tall, blonde, kind of big, muscular guy—who are they gonna get? Maybe they should get The Miz.”

Me: Did you do one too many keg stands on The Real World? Neither of these characters had blonde hair and this happened about 14 years ago. So what do you mean they should have used “The Miz”? You were probably like 15 at the time. Besides Jacobs, I feel bad for anyone remotely attached to that fail of an angle.

The Gobbledy-Gooker Debuts (WWF, 1990)

Poor Hartford, CT. Not only did the ‘90’s see them lose their precious Whalers NHL club, but their hosted 1990 Survivor Series was the victim of what could be noted as the worst angle/gimmick ever. For months leading up to Survivor Series, a gigantic egg was shown on all televised live events. The WWF fans were promised a “big surprise” at the annual PPV event, because that was when the egg was due to hatch. What a coincidence. Now, this egg was not just merely “mentioned” on WWF TV, it was “hyped” more than the actual PPV itself! I was expecting half of the WCW roster to pop out of the thing with how excited the Federation was trying to get us about this sucker. I mean, the time dedicated to this egg must have a massive payoff, right?

Fast forward to the Thanksgiving Day Survivor Series' big reveal. The egg cracked open and out popped…drum roll please…someone wearing a giant turkey outfit, named the Gobbedly-Gooker. (cricket sounds) The Gooker made all kinds of gobbling sounds and danced around the ring for eight minutes. Eight minutes of precious PPV time flushed down the pisser!! Mean Gene Okerlund looked embarrassed. Even commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper were at a loss for words as the crowd heavily, and rightfully, booed the hell out of the Gooker. What was it supposed to be? A new wrestler? A manager? A terrible idea? Yeah it was easily the last one. Look at the train wreck debut and the resulting vignettes for yourself :

Miz: “Really?....Really?....Really?....Are you being serious right now?!”

Me: Finally we agree on something. Hector Guerrero was the poor man behind the mask, or should I say turkey, and donned the Gooker outfit for this debacle. Vince laid a huge egg (pun!) for WWF fans to suffer through, which goes to show you sometimes he is not a genius. Like keeping the red hot Zack Ryder off TV because Vinnie Mac hates the internet. Did I just mention the Woo Woo Woo Kid again? Oh well, Ryder or Riot. Just saying!

If you have any scars from terrible pro wrestling ideas and booking, I’d love to hear them. Last time I did this for crazy-gimmick wrestlers, there were some great responses and hilarious memories that we all enjoyed. So please feel free to share your stories of bad pro wrestling angles here!  


Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review


allison said...

I was so sure you would crudely photoshop your face onto at LEAST one of those wrestlers.

Strange Kid said...

Hahaha, man... some cheeseball moments if I ever seen 'em. I remember being pretty excited about the Ready to Rumble film... until I saw it. Damn you Arquette!

Fred [The Wolf] said...

There are so many face palming moments in wrestling, it's not even funny. These are pretty great choices though. I don't think anything can top David Arquette though. Even Kevin Federline was booked better, and that's pretty sad.

Geof said...

Allison - I should have. This is a series so maybe in the next one? I don't think I can afford to have The Miz back.

SK - that film got on every last nerve, even though a lot of rasslin' fans back then begged me to see it. Never have I wanted to punch Arquette or Caan in the face so hard in my life. Never.

Fred - Haha! K-Fed was awful. I remember him receiving zero pop when he popped up on the TitanTron. Maybe that will show up in the episode two. These were just the first five that came to mind and I threw in the post.

the jaded viewer said...

Awesome feature Geof. I never saw the Robocop Sting video before.

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