The 8-Ball 09.21.12: Top 8 Ugilest Foreheads in Wrestling
Posted by Ryan Byers on 09.21.2012
From Dusty Rhodes and Abdullah the Butcher to New Jack, Steve Corino, Carlos Colon and more, 411's Ryan Byers salutes the art of blading as he breaks down the top 8 ugliest foreheads in wrestling history!
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 8-Ball. As always, I am your party host, Ryan Byers, and I am here on this lovely post-King of Trios week to once again bring you my opinions on the world of professional wrestling, conveniently placed into a list format.
What will we be counting down this week? Read beyond the banner to find out . . .
Top 8 Ugliest Foreheads in Wrestling
Blood always generates a lot of conversation in professional wrestling. Even among non-fans, there is always the question of how wrestlers produce it, i.e. whether they are legitimately busted open or simply smashing blood capsules over their heads. Those who follow the "inside" of the sport, though, have long known that most blood in wrestling matches is the real deal, albeit typically inflicted intentionally through the use of razor blades. Even when we know the source of the blood it still gets people talking. As examples, the fact that blood is by and large banned on WWE television galls certain people to no end nowadays, and certain matches are famous almost entirely based on how much of the vermillion liquid was spilled, like the Tully Blanchard/Magnum TA "I Quit" match or the Keiji Muto/Hiro Hase bout that gave rise to the "Muta Scale."
I have to admit, blood in wrestling captivated me for quite some time as well early in my fandom. I went through my deathmatch wrestling phase, and one of my favorite online features when I first got on the web was the DDT Digest History of Blading and blading gallery.
However, as I get older and realize that just about everything in life has its consequences, I realize that blading, too, is not without its side effects. Chief among those side effects are the wickedly scarred foreheads that many grapplers sport, which have essentially replaced the cauliflower ear as a true sign that you participate in wrestling. This week, we take a look at the eight most unsightly of those foreheads.
8. Tarzan Goto
Tarzan Goto was one of the kings of deathmatch wrestling in the 1990s in Japan, and he's got the scars to prove it. As most folks who have learned something about blading know, the commonly accepted technique is to cut horizontally, trying to follow the natural grooves in your forehead so as to reduce scarring. Goto, though, looks like he completely missed that memo. His forehead is a patchwork of unsightly vertical scars, meaning that either he's been blading completely incorrectly for years or the crazy stuff that he's done in his deathmatches has busted him up pretty well without the need for a blade.
7. Steve Corino
Most fans associate heavily scarred foreheads with a past generation of professional wrestlers as opposed to guys who are currently on the scene. Steve Corino, the "King of Old School," is the current wrestler who defies this trend. Given his moniker, it only makes sense that he's got a forehead that looks like it was ripped out of the territorial days despite the fact that he is a wrestler who achieved most of his fame in the twenty-first century. In addition to being a pretty damn good talker, Corino's willingness to bleed and bleed heavily was one of the main things that first got him national attention was part of the ECW roster, and the trend continued after his time in ECDub drew to a close, particularly in his blood feud with Homicide in the early days of Ring of Honor and, more recently, his time as WWC Universal Champion in Puerto Rico. The end result is a forehead that only a mother could love.
6. Dusty Rhodes
One of Dusty Rhodes' most distinguishing physical characteristics is not on his head . . . it's the distinctive purple "splotch" that appears on his stomach. Though it's most likely a birthmark, I still don't think that I've ever heard an official explanation for what exactly that thing is. Why do I mention the splotch? It's because, during his prime, Dusty's forehead actually resembled the splotch to a degree. The American Dream's forehead wasn't just impressive because it was scarred. It was impressive because, more than most foreheads on this list, Rhodes' forehead was actually swollen and, if you caught him on the wrong day, it would be both swollen and purple. It almost looked like an eggplant was just under the surface of his skin, waiting for its opportunity to break out.
5. Carlos Colon
Carlos Colon wasn't just a wrestler in Puerto Rico. Carlos Colon WAS wrestling in Puerto Rico, and, in some ways, he still is. Colon almost single-handedly defined pro wrestling on the island, and he defined it as a blood and guts spectacle that involved much more brawling than it did mat tactics. Colon was going toe-to-toe with the Bruiser Brodies and Abdullah the Butchers of the world, taking an extreme amount of damage that left his forehead looking like a road map of the New Jersey turnpike. Colon's scars look particularly surreal if you see him these days, as, in aging, he's begun to resemble Wayne Brady . . . or at least a version of Wayne Brady that's had a cheese grater run across his cranium for a few hours.
4. King Curtis Iaukea
In terms of a sheer number of scars, I don't think anybody could beat "King" Curtis Iaukea, a major star in the territorial days of wrestling who tore things up primarily in Hawaii and Australia. I didn't actually see much of Iaukea wrestling in his prime, but I saw him managing in his later days, as "The Wizard" in the World Wrestling Federation and as "The Master" of the Dungeon of Doom in WCW. At that time I was fairly young, and, though I could identify the fact that this man did not look normal, I could not exactly put my finger on why. Now looking back at him in retrospect, I realize that a good deal of it had to do with his face, which was pug ugly and topped off with a huge old bundle of scar tissue. (Also, on a completely unrelated note, go hunt down some audio of Iaukea promos if you've got a minute. He's one of the great underrated interviews of all time.)
3. Villano III
This man could play a Klingon without the need for any prosthesis whatsoever. 'Nuff said.
2. New Jack
I don't think that there's any debating the fact that New Jack is a scary mofo. Based on his actions outside of the ring, he would be a scary mofo even if he had the movie star good looks of a Will Smith or a Jason Statham. He's made even scarier, though, by the fact that he has a face that will haunt your nightmares. Of course, that face has a severely damaged forehead that goes alongside it, and, if you've ever seen New Jack wrestle, you should have no question as to why. He almost exclusively relies on blood and weapon shots to get through his appearances, and, though he has a reputation for taking some liberties with opponents and cutting them too deep or hitting them too hard, a close examination of his scars shows that there are very few things that New Jack has done to opponents that he wouldn't do to himself.
1. Abdullah the Butcher
Abdullah the Butcher tops this list for one simple reason. Most of these men have scars all over their foreheads. Abby doesn't have as many scars as some. In fact, if you're going to count, he only has a handful. However, the Butcher's scars aren't just scars. They are veritable TRENCHES. Aside from perhaps his massive girth, the single most prominent physical feature of the Madman from the Sudan is the series of four to five incredibly long, incredibly deep permanent gashes which run parallel to each other along his noggin. There is nothing else like them in professional wrestling, and they are absolutely disgusting, particularly if you've had the privilege (?) of seeing them drenched in fresh blood or seen them holding coins. Yes, he actually does that.
That's it for this week's 8-Ball. If you can't get enough of Ryan, follow him on Twitter here.