Weight: 403 lbs
Glory Days: 1991-92
Fun Fact: Paul ‘P.N. News’ Neu is the cousin of fellow ‘Icon of Wrestling’ Mike ‘Mantaur‘ Halac.
Bio: The fabled Jim Herd era in WCW is rarely celebrated – largely because almost every idea, concept and gimmick that emerged around this time was a big steaming bag of shit. However, our glasses are half full today so let’s look at one of Herd’s best ideas – no, not turning Ric Flair into a Roman Gladiator – I am of course referring to The Rapmaster; P.N. News!
Weighing in at a lean 403 lbs while sporting a neon outfit and bizarre rattail vs. fade haircut, the understated Rapmaster was as subtle as he was talented. You see, Jim Herd had a unique vision for WCW where all his wrestlers would have a trade to fall back on. Rather than the outlandish notion of a wrestling tax inspector or prison guard, in P.N. News WCW were graced with the original wrestling rap star.
Pre-dating ‘Men On A Mission’ by two years – and John Cena by over a decade – P.N. News was the first, and best, pro-wrestler on the hip-hop band wagon. In no way a lame attempt by WCW to appeal to an “urban” market, News just happened to appear at a time when family friendly rap was at it’s zenith… by sheer coincidence. While The Fresh Prince got his own TV Show and Kid n’ Play got their own cartoon, P.N. News got his very own action figure…. prototype.
In the ring, the rotund rapper was known for spitting lyrics before and after his matches and his ‘Broken Record’ finisher – a top rope splash. Ever the wordsmith, his most memorable rap was “yo baby, yo baby, yo!” which was in no way similar to Vanilla Ice’s “go ninja, go ninja, go!” from the Turtles movie. News was so proud of placing these two words in that order that he had them emblazoned all over his wrestling gear.
As a wrestler, News’ ‘biggest hit’ was competing in a tag team Scaffold Match at the 1991 ‘Great American Bash’. He teamed with Bobby Eaton to defeat his rival Stunning Steve Austin and Terry Taylor in possibly the least memorable Scaffold Match of all time. His feud with Austin – TV Champion at the time – was mainly played out on house shows, although was resurrected at ‘Clash of the Champions XVII’ in November. Unsurprisingly, the fat rapper lost. In fact, away from squashing jobbers and the occasional house show victory over Johnny B. Badd, News’ biggest singles win would come in one of his last matches for WCW. He defeated future WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page at ‘Clash of the Champions XVIII’ in January ’92.
In other P.N. News from 1991; his feud with Axl Rotten never really got off the ground due to Rotten’s brief stay in the company. News also recorded possibly the best rap based PPV promo by a wrestler… ever. ‘Bash Rap’ was used to hype ‘the Great American Bash’… for a few weeks. In it he references Ric Flair, who was booked to face Lex Luger for the WCW Title. Unfortunately Jim Herd fired Flair two weeks before the PPV, rendering poor Rapmaster’s rapping promo thing redundant.
Upon leaving WCW the artist formally known as P.N. News would revert to his previous gimmick of ‘Cannonball Grizzly’ – save for a few appearances for ECW in late 1999 where The Rapmaster would join ‘Da Baldies’ and lose a high percentage of his matches.
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