10. Honky Tonk Man
I hated this guy as a kid. He would come out every week on WWF Superstars, swiveling his hips like some shitty Elvis impersonator, fight like poo, then right before he was going to lose, his asshole manager Jimmy ‘Mouth of the South’ Hart wold distract the ref and the Honky Tonk Man would slam his guitar in the back of his opponent. Rendered helpless at that point, Honky Tonk would do his finisher, the ‘Shake, Rattle, N’ Roll’, and close the deal. Damn it was so annoying. The worst part was he was a big deal back in the day; Intercontinental Champion for a good amount of time and was a guest on Mean Gene’s interview show a lot. I couldn’t avoid this dude at all. ‘I’m cool, I’m cocky, I’m bad’. I agree with the last part at least.
9. Sgt. Slaughter
This guy was originally packaged a good guy, then when the Iraq War started in 1991, for some reason he decided to side with Saddam Hussein and thus became a bad guy. It really made no sense other than the fact he was such an unpopular and uninteresting character as a simple ex-NCO, he felt the need to be edgy and become anti-American. They even made a GI Joe of the sarge. It really never worked. Sgt. Slaughter was more like Sgt. Carter from Gomer Pyle; all bark and no bite sans the humor.
Pro wrestling dwells in racial stereotypes, and Kamala is the creme de la creme of this. Kamala, from the well used ‘parts unknown’, was supposed to be some mysterious tribal warrior who, for some unknown reason, decided to cut his teeth in the squared circle, wrestle other racial stereotypes, and slap his belly after victories. The reality is Kamala was just some fat black guy from America who never became big enough to win a belt.
The only thing stupider than Kamala being from Africa was this guy being from Africa. Akeem the African Dream, originally the One Man Gang, was just some fat white guy from America who never became big enough to win a belt. Obviously the WWF used this a joke, and in defense of them it was sort of funny. Akeem would walk around, moving his hands around in jive-like fashion with his manager the Slickster, and pretty much be laughed at the entire time. But it was funny like Plan 9 From Outer Space is funny; yes we laugh at it but it is sort of cheap.
IRS, or Irwin R Schyster, was a character that….yes….played the role of an IRS agent. Obviously he was a bad guy. He would enter the ring with a short sleeved shirt, a tie, and suspenders. Seems sort of like an odd thing to wear, but was fairly effective because….you guessed it….he would use the suspenders to choke his opponent when the ref was not looking. Genius!! Anyway, IRS surprisingly lasted a long time in the WWF, because I would have initially thought this character would die off in about 2 matches. What kid would get excited about hating a guy who is out to audit unexpecting innocent tax payers? I would think the majority of youth would be well removed from seeing IRS as a relatable foe.
This guy was the creepiest wrestler in the history of wrestling. In interviews, he would act as some sort of androgynous weirdo and blow dusts of gold out of his hand, hence the name ‘Goldust’. His character made no sense. Was he some sort of spirit? Was he from this world? Was he an alien? Well, in reality he was none of those. He was just a mere mortal named Dustin who comes from the famous ‘Rhodes’ wrestling family. This is obviously how he got his foot in the door in this line of business. I just wish he would get his foot out of the door so I never had to experience this sexually ambiguous spirit demon that haunts my sleep to this very day. Apparently Goldust still is peddling his unique blend of creepy and supernatural in wrestling to this very day. Glad to see him scaring a whole new generation of children.
4. Doink the Clown
First off, we can all agree clowns are generally off-putting. They mime, they pull stupid pranks like dumping water on people’s heads or throw confetti at the crowd, then they laugh at their own idiotic antics like they are really killing it. We all hate clowns. So it is natural for a wrestler, who dresses as a clown, who acts like a clown, would be high on this list. Now I know there is a case to be made for Doink; clowns are often viewed as sinister (thanks John Wayne Gacy) and that evil aura can be compelling to the wrestling world. But no. Sorry. Doink was neither evil or edgy. He was just simply annoying. He would run into the ring doing stupid clown shit to audience members, dance around his opponent and mocking him in typical annoying clown-like fashion, not do anything athletic because the character was played by a fat uncoordinated old white guy from the local trailer park, and then win. Why would he win? Well, this shit is fake, so Vince McMahon wanted him to win. To make matters worse, there were multiple Doinks. YES!!! There was not just one, there were several of these fools running amok in the WWF. When one of the guys playing Doink would quit, or OD, or whatever wrestlers do, there would be another waiting to e the call to don the unitard of Doink. You just couldn’t get rid of this guy.
3. Brother Love
‘I love yooooouuuuu’. This was Brother Love’s calling card. ‘I love yooooouuuuu’, as he zoomed his big fat red face into the camera with a chorus of boos behind him. ‘I love yooooouuuuu’, would be shouted at a wrestler during his aptly named show ‘The Brother Love Show’ before said wrestler would be blind-sided by one of Brother Love’s stable of bad guy wrestlers (not sure why anyone would want a guest spot on that show). Inspired by crooked southern televangelists, Brother Love was no wrestler nor was he an agent of God; he was just a pure charlatan. In one episode, Brother Love ‘faith healed’ a man who could not see or walk. What did any of this have to do with wrestling? I’m not sure. But it was pretty good entertainment for a 13 year old. However, so was Crocodile Dundee II, and that movie was stupid. So goes it with Brother Love; funny as hell but also stupid as hell.
2. Red Rooster
The Red Rooster, aka Terry Taylor, originally came into the WWF as….uh…Terry Taylor. In other words, just a hunky buff dude who could fake fight. I guess that was not compelling enough for the WWF masses, so he came up with the Red Rooster. So what did he do as this fowl character? He had red spiked hair, strutted into the ring like I guess a rooster would, and wrestled like shit. Honestly a real rooster would have fared much better than this guy. The Red Rooster was neither interesting nor successful. He would enter the ring, cluck around like a ‘volunteered’ audience member from a hypnotist act, and just lose. Thanks a lot Rooster for those god awful memories.
1. Gobbledy Gooker
Staying within the poultry family, I would be derelict in my duty not to mention the Gobbledy Gooker, the single stupidest idea in the history of not just the WWF, but possibly of mankind. Originally hatched, yes he literally hatched out of an egg, in 1990 at the Survivor Series, his purpose to this day in unclear. There was a huge promotion for the Survivor Series (always set during Thanksgiving time) about this ‘big mysterious surprise’ that was going to be revealed during said event. This ‘surprise’ came in the form of a big egg laid on a platform to the side of the ring around the end of the Survivor Series. What could be in this egg? I mean this has been hyped for months, it had to be something good. Actually, no, it does not have to be something good. When hatched, a man in a turkey suit squeezed out of his ovoid prison, and…well..it turned out to be that thing in the picture above; the Gobbledy Gooker. After this birth, the fans in the arena were both perplexed and angry, booing loudly at this bizarre nightmare of a promotion. Moments later, the Gooker started to dance with Mean Gene to ‘Turkey in the Straw’, then left. This character, or whatever the hell it was, continued on tour for a few months before the guy playing him busted his knee entering the ring because his mask was positioned wrong and he couldn’t see. A proper end to this absolutely strange story.