Welcome to the fifth installment of the Professional 3 here on 411mania.com! I'm Jon Harder and I've really appreciated all the positive and negative feedback I've received towards the P3. On a side note, after last week's Jack Tunney column, "irrehensible" will never be used in one of my columns. Too much controversy revolved around that word, especially with a discussion with my girlfriend and I. Bottom line, you guys were right and I was wrong.
Before we go any further, please check out this week's Hardway Podcast on TheJonHarder.com, as Good News Hughes and myself host the State of the Hardway Address, which is a lead in for WrestleCon and a live interview there with former WWE developmental contracted competitor Bill Carr. Also, we want everyone to be ready for next week's episode, THIS IS YOUR LIFE, GOOD NEWS HUGHES! For more information on how you guys can be involved with this particular episode, check out http://bit.ly/TimLife to get involved. We want ALL the "praise" in the world for the Last Survivor of Old School.
Now, we are DEFINITELY in WrestleMania season. People are talking about the greatest and worst WrestleMania moments of all time. Certain people have discussed WrestleMania's top 3 opening matches. (AHEM). Regardless, people are going back and into the archives to check out WrestleManias of old. However, there was one match from WrestleMania's past that truly caught my eye. A match that was literally a blip on the radar at the second of two back-to-back WrestleManias in Atlantic City, WrestleMania V. Right before the Mega Powers Exploded, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan, wrestling's greatest manager, faced off with the one...the only...RED ROOSTER.
After that short of a match and what ultimately came down to fruition with the legendary bird based character, I have to say it: I HATED THE RED ROOSTER. Terry Taylor literally showed no passion for that character during the Rock-N-Wrestling Era. Even if it wasn't the greatest of characters, there could have been more passion behind the Red Rooster. The Rooster should have been snuffed out immediately. Surprisingly, after that 30 second contest, I started to laugh and think about the Professional Taxidermy Company.
Leon St. Giovanni and I, in Inter Species Wrestling, are taxidermists. While LSG is the hunter and gatherer of the crew, I am the Nigel Thornberry, the one who looks for rare game and in search of a victory. We implore the Snuff 'Em -N- Stuff 'Em strategy. It has worked in the past, and most definitely in the future, it will work for us in bigger and badder ways.
Yes, that is what my life has come down to.
Despite my rant, I immediately started to think about what would happen if the Taxidermists were able to exterminate the Red Rooster from the WWF in 1989. We probably would have saved Terry Taylor's career for starters. In fact, dare I say, LSG and I would be heroes to the WWF audience back then. Better yet, there could have been a plethora of animal based characters all over wrestling that we could have exterminated once and for all...
Which leads to this week's Professional 3. This week, I have taken the time to go back into the annuls of the crazy and daring gimmicks of yesteryear and find out what animal based characters existed. I then decided on my least favorite ones and use them in this week's P3. So without further adieu...
THE PROFESSIONAL 3: Worst Animal Based Gimmicks
1) BATTLE KAT
Brady Boone was a journeyman in the world of professional wrestling, working primarily as an underneath wrestling in the WWF in the late 1980s, until he received his big break in 1990. Trying to match the great success of Tiger Mask in Japan, Brady Boone became Battle Kat, a high flying athlete underneath a unique costume. The topper: a furry cat mask. I'll be completely honest: I dug Battle Kat as a kid. He was much different than all of the other WWF Superstars in 1990. He could fly, do cool moves, and wear a mask. However, despite being undefeated, Battle Kat lost the last of his nine lives and was released in 1991. Sad, but sometimes, that's the way it works sometimes. Brady Boone was a talented competitor, but Battle Kat just didn't pan out the way it should have.
2) YELLOW DOG
After SuperBrawl 1 in 1991, Brian Pillman lost a Loser Leaves WCW match against Barry Windham and was forced to never be seen again. Approximately a few weeks later, a man who a similar body type and style to Flyin' Brian made his WCW debut...the Yellow Dog. Fighting out of the Kennel Club, the Dog was accompanied to ringside by...a yellow dog named Man's Best Friend. Crazy as it sounds, it was. The Yellow Dog was one of Jim Herd's failed attempts to create a gimmick in his reign at WCW. The Dog was ultimately euthanized and what seemed like literally the next day, Flyin' Brian returned to WCW. There are just some ideas you can't make up. At least he wasn't this one.
3) GOBBLEDY GOOKER
What more can you say? The biggest bust in wrestling history. After hyping up for months that a giant egg was going to hatch at the 1990 WWF Survivor Series, fans bared witness to the hatching...of a turkey. The Gobbledy Gooker was born at Survivor Series and unleashed a reign of terror onto the WWF...for about 10 minutes. The Gooker disappeared but always lived on in infamy. WrestleCrap named its yearly awards after the Gooker. Mean Gene made fun of the incident at his 2006 Hall of Fame induction speech. So much mockery as taken place because of this character; however, there are two notes that have never been discussed about the Gooker.
1) The original idea was for the Gobbledy Gooker to be the official mascot of the Survivor Series from that point on.
2) IT MADE SENSE. A bird hatched from an egg. Come on, at least it wasn't a swerve.
Now, those are my personal WORST animal based characters. But before I close it out, what was my favorite of all time?
TERRIBLE TED THE GRIZZLY BEAR
Yes, I know it was an actual animal, but it was established as an actual wrestler. IT WORKED THE TERRITORIES! Georgia, New York, San Francisco, and most notably, Stampede Wrestling. Bret Hart has told stories about the bear licking the feet of the Hart children when Ted lived in the basement of Hart House. Most importantly, Terrible Ted was exciting for the fans who wanted to see something different and entertaining. Things like this are missing nowadays in the sport i.e. the carny feel. This was something that was a special attraction and would really strike a local fan as a MUST SEE event. Terrible Ted was one of a kind and he really made the most of his career.
Columns like this make me love wrestling, both the good AND the bad. See you next week.