Tag Archives: Retro Wrestling

[Video] Stand Back! It’s The 1987 WWE Slammy Awards!

Ahh, the Slammy Awards. First introduced in 1986 in a mockumentary-style of the prestigious Grammy Awards all to promote the Rockin’ Wrestling conjunction WWF Wrestling Album, Vince McMahon rode that wave of world wide domination success and made his own damn awards show for his Superstars. While most of the show was of course scripted and meant to entertain much like the matches themselves, there was some seriousness to it which became more-so later on in the following years where getting a Slammy was indeed, a great honor in the sport. But, yeah- it didn’t really start out that way and I got the receipts to prove it.


I could stop right here but that isn’t any fun now is it?

Despite being billed as the “37th Annual Slammy Awards“, the program returned on December 16th, 1987 with hosts “Mean Gene” Okerlund and Jesse “The Body” Ventura in a perfect nuance of entertainment announcing while the likes of McMahon (above), Jimmy Hart, and of course, the Honkey Tonk Man performed (or lip synced rather) some umm.. original musical hits. Ending on a “high note” with the entire roster in attendance clapping and singing to their new hit, “If You Only Knew”. Again, all in the name of promotional purposes for the entertainment giant’s second sophomore album (I can’t believe I just said that) “Piledriver”.

The Fink led us into this wild ride with wrestlers showing up in ambulances, motorcycles, dressed to the nine for the all-inclusive Black Tie Spandex Event. Well, except for the Ultimate Warrior; ask him to put on a tux and you’ll essentially just get him in his bicycle ribbons and underwear.

Awards like the Best Performance by an Animal, Best Manager (heh), and Best Ring Apparel were pretty much spoofs and set ups for some comedy entertainment. However, awards like the Hulk Hogan Real American Award presented to Superstar Billy Graham and The Woman of The Year that went to Miss Elizabeth (albeit the setup for that was comedy gold as well), were actually heartfelt and well deserved pat on the backs for these sports stars.

But let’s talk about the real stars of the show here: Hacksaw Jim Duggen and King Harley Race. With the award for Best Ring Attire up for grabs, Duggen was at the podium announcing the nominees along with presenting the award. Now, of course, upon opening the envelope to see his long-time feuding opponent Race has won, has Duggen a bit underwhelmed and doesn’t even want to say his name; forcing the stage-hand co-presenter to mutter the words of the winner. Accompanying the “King” onstage to accept is manager, Bobby Heenan, he ridicules Duggen and proposes the “peon” bow to his superior. Well, we all know we have a better chance of seeing Hacksaw straightening his lazy eye out than watching him bow to the likes of this fucker; so the brawl begins and last throughout the entire damn program.

Starting on the stage and making their way all around the building, the pair throw everything they have at each other, including LIVE CHICKENS and a giant fish. Heh. Still to this day hearing Gorilla Monsoon say, “OH BIG FISH RIGHT IN THE KISSER!” is the celebrated commentator’s Magnum Opus.

Also, why the hell was there just a random donkey hanging out backstage?

Good times.

Watch the entire ham and cheese program, especially if you need a good laugh today, right here with a big shout out to Scott’s Wrestling Collection Youtube channel for uploading this masterpiece.

Just Because: Here’s The “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s Wild And Weird Bachelor Party (1991)

Listen, growing up the WWF (yeah ok WWE) served as the ultimate soap opera for kids and young adults. It had everything; drama, ass-kicking, comedy and yes even love stories. The biggest of which during the 80s’ and 90s’ was the long and drawn out love and war tale of the “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. One, I might add, I was fully invested in a young girl as Elizabeth was like a real life Barbie doll in the middle of all the chaos. I would get totally upset when she was treated like an asshole, whether it by Savage himself, or some other dickhead like the infamous push from the Honkey Tonk Man on Saturday Night’s Main Event.


Anyways, throughout the pair’s tumultuous journey in the WWE, the real life married duo were set to tie the knot at an over-the-top spectacle at Summer Slam 1991 as part of the “Match Made of Heaven” and “Match Made in Hell” promos for the Pay Per View event. The ceremony took place at the tail end of the show and set up for one of the GREATEST and severely underrated wrestling feuds of all time-which also led into a grand slam babyface turn for one of the industries most legendary superstars, (Don’t worry, I have an entire piece dedicated to this coming next week). So more on that coming soon. But, how about the goddamn glorious Bachelor Party that was thrown for Savage a week prior to the Main Event?!

If you don’t remember, get ready for a wild ride.

Broadcast on the USA network as part of Prime Time Wrestling on August 12th, 1991, a weird and wild bachelor party was being thrown for the televised groom-to-be by and was shown in increments in-between matches throughout the program. Supposedly all to be set up by the weasel Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, he lives up to his nickname as he of course, weasels out of the manual labor aspects leaving it up to the likes of Mean Gene Okerlund, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Sean Mooney.

The guest list at the party includes some of the WWE’s whackiest bunch of the time including The Bushwhackers, Koko B. Ware, the Slickster, and the ultimate life-of-the-party Roddy Piper! I mean, who wouldn’t want to throw back a few beers with the Rowdy one?! Especially after that “Sherri Fish” remark that was made after her crash appearance. Bless those memorable Rowdy ad-libs. There were also a few, of what I assume behind the scenes workers dressed up and thrown in as fillers, including a very nerdy dude shown throughout the party. No clue who he is and I can’t recall ever seeing him prior or after so if anyone knows who this dude is, drop a comment below.

Finally the party gets started when the Macho Madness arrives and madness indeed it is as dancers begin to show up to drive these guys, as Gorilla Monsoon would say, BANANAS. As indicated in one scene where one of the dancer’s back is to the camera and shows the guys her goods. Make sure to pay special attention to Piper’s reaction because it’s damn priceless .

Besides the fact we get to see The Bushwhackers dance with a stripper in all its gloriousness, the Bachelor Party does as a matter of fact, serve a purpose in the storytelling lines for upcoming drama between Jake the Snake and Randy Savage as Jake is denied entry into the party from security. Reason being Savage gives the excise that Elizabeth hates snakes and therefore, his presence is a no go. Behind the curtains, the real-life marriage was on the rocks and headed for divorce, so albeit all for show, kind of funny how much she’s got him by the balls here even she isn’t around- and it’s about time! Considering for years he really did her treat her like dirt on camera. However, the victory for the little lady ended up turning into almost a year-long feud between the two wrestlers with some of the most shocking stunts portrayed on television to date.

Worth noting is the intermediate promos for the 900 Hulk number. $1.49 for the first minute, and .99 cents every additional minute! Gotta love those hotlines back in the day that caused many an ass whoopings.

OK, enough rambling. Here it is in all it’s glory with a thank you shoutout to Youtube Channel Kingdom Of Madness for uploading this long-lost treasure! Stay tuned next week as we dive into the feud that flamed from this incident!

The Thanksgiving Miracle Nobody Wanted: The Gobbeldy Gooker

Ahh, Thanksgiving 1990. An Italian family gathering I remember quite well as the entire clan was not only unbuttoning our pants to make room for the 12-course-meal that awaited, but for the beerfest that was assuredly going to happen with the adults in conjunction with the highly-anticipated Survivor Series! And this PPV event brought on by the glorious WWF at the time would both mark the debut of one of the greatest Wrestling Superstars of all time, while also bringing about the company’s greatest blunder- the goddamn Gobbeldy Gooker.

Recently, I went over the great introduction of the phenom, The Undertaker, which marks his 30 years in the WWE. Now, let’s dive into this weird gimmick that really pissed people off. Oh, how I miss the days where we only had men dressed up as giant turkeys to be upset about.

Hey man, I’m just a Gooker trying to make a living!

Well, anyways the WWF promoted this “Big Surprise” they had in store for us that would be revealed at the Thanksgiving Survivor Series via promos and displaying this oversized egg at live events leading up to the big day. So of course, we were all riddled with anxiety, placing bets on what exactly was inside this damn thing.

I’ll never forget the reaction from my family when the moment finally came where Mean Gene debuted this monstrosity. It may as well had been an episode of The Steve Wilkos Show in the Butrico house.

That weird anger, although I certainly understand it, I feel was misplaced. It certainly wasn’t the Thanksgiving surprise anyone expected; or even wanted for that matter. However, over the years Vince McMahon had said this was something more for the kids and not the adults. It seems to me while ol’ Vince might be savvy to what we wanted to see in regards to Wrestling, it’s pretty clear he was kind of out of touch with what us kiddos wanted. I mean, I wasn’t really impressed. I was eight-years-old and more confused than anything. That thing with its protruding golf ball eyes was umm…. a little terrifying actually.

JUST LISTEN TO THOSE BOOS! Looking back as an adult, I feel really bad for this poor guy (later identified as Hector Guerrero) as the blame really falls on Vince and the higher-ups for this debacle. It’s quite clear the trio of Okerlund along with Piper and Monsoon announcing tried to make the best of this now awkward situation. It was and still is, so damn amazingly cringe-worthy.

Courtesy of Scott’s Wrestling Collection

While most of us know by now that Hector Guerrero of the infamous Guerrero wrestling dynasty donned the outfit, it was acknowledged pretty recently that The Undertaker himself was scared to death thinking that HIS debut was going to be not as the iconic dead man, but this awful gimmick instead as he described in Steve Austin: The Broken Skull Sessions:

“So about the time I got my phone call, they were doing this promotion where, on the show — back then they’d do three or four weeks in a row — they had this gigantic egg on the set.  So this egg appears on the show, right? And all of a sudden my mind just starts going like, ‘Aw, man, they’re going to bring me in — now this is how outlandish the gimmicks were back then too — I’m going to be ‘Egg Man.’ I had convinced myself, to the point where my stomach hurt, that I’m going to be ‘Egg Man.'”

I mean, that would have fucking sucked for Mean Mark Calaway.

Instead, Guerrero pulled on the Turkey get-up and according to an interview with Sports Illustrated, he has little regrets about it and seems to have embraced the big Razzie Award of the WWF. He also recalls just how awful and visually limiting that costume really was- I mean, looking at it are we really surprised by that?

The Gobbledy Gooker is called the biggest flop in professional wrestling history, but it wasn’t meant for the adults. It was for the children. Vince wanted to do something noble, which I take my hat off to and respect. But the circumstances were not favorable. I couldn’t see. The eyes were outside and they were bubbled out—it was almost like they drilled holes through golf balls.

I had to get in the egg early before the show. There was a box under the egg, and I had a fan down there to keep me cool. I had a light, I had a monitor, and that’s where I was. As soon as I came out, you heard the boos—the real bad ones, and a lot of them. Gene Okerlund went through our routine, and he worked really hard, even going in the ring with me. I was flawless and didn’t miss a cue, but the stares and looks from the crowd made me feel like the biggest flop in the history of wrestling. That’s just the way the people reacted. I was in a bad situation, and you don’t blame the boss. You blame the performer.

We went to Madison Square Garden two months after the Survivor Series flop. We shouldn’t have showcased the Gobbledy Gooker at Madison Square Garden. I came out cold turkey, and they told me they’d spotlight me when I walked out. The building went black and they shone the lights on me, and all I could see was white. I couldn’t see down, up, left, or right. I tried to feel my way to the ring. I handspringed into the top rope, but I couldn’t see the floor. I landed on my bottom, and then they finally turned the lights on and I went through my routine—cartwheels, high-fives, a little jiggle-jiggle-jaggle, and dances with the kids. I get back into the dressing room, and they were giving me the dirtiest faces. Vince wouldn’t even look at me and then he walked away. I started to undress, and Gorilla Monsoon walked in and said, ‘We finally figured it out. You couldn’t see, right?’ You think? Everything was wrong. They wanted to put me in a spot, but I was blind and couldn’t see.

Hector Guerrero

So now that we know all that, do we really have to continue this undefined hatred for the Gooker? I think enough time has passed where we can learn to embrace the whacky Thanksgiving mascot and I for one would love to see the gimmick one more time for Turkey Day via the WWE.

So, let’s partner up with The Bushwackers, Tugboat, and others to show some love for the Gookster this holiday season!

Credit via WWE