Some feuds and angles just don’t get the play-off that they deserve and the same can be said for certain wrestlers. Today we take a look at a number of superstars whose time on our screens came to an end without a proper farewell before they departed for good.
In pro wrestling, the end to a feud, angle or character is what is known as a “blow off.” Back in the day, the easiest way to have a wrestler leave a territory was have one wrestler beat another wrestler in a loser leaves town match. As wrestling grew and evolved, bookers and writers came up with more creative ways to blow off a character. This piece will just focus on the specific characters who were given the blow off and more often than not…were never used or seen again. Some were obviously more creative than others.
Shinja aka Akio Sato was the manager of Hakushi in the WWF back in the mid 1990’s. After Hakushi’s feud with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, the way they ended the feud and the character of Shinja…was have him attack Bret Hart after a match on Monday Night Raw. Bret would gain control and start beating up Shinja…thus ending the character’s run by piledriving him in the middle of the ring. Akio Sato would return to wrestling in Japan.
Brother Love aka Bruce Prichard was a manager/talk show host for the WWF from the late 80’s til the early 90’s. In 1991, during his talk show segment aptly named The Brother Love Show, Love interviewed the Ultimate Warrior. Love continually insulted the Warrior until he snapped. The Warrior destroyed the Brother Love Show set and then dragged Love to the ring where he beat up Love until he was stretchered out. It would be the last we would see of the character until Prichard returned to the WWF in 1993. In between WWF stints, Prichard went to the GWF (Global Wrestling Federation) as a manager/commentator.
The Spirit Squad
The wrestling male cheerleader team known as the Spirit Squad debuted in 2006. They went on to hold the WWE tag team titles using the “Freebird Rule.” When the gimmick became stale and tiresome….the Spirit Squad was booked in a match against DX. Dx not only defeated all 5 members…but DX then took the squad and threw them in a large case and placed a sticker on there that said, “OVW, Louisville, Kentucky” and were shipped off.
While the faction was never again seen together on WWF television….some members were repackaged (Kenny, Nicky) and other were eventually released…(Mitch, Johnny and Mikey)
We have already covered the short but controversial career of the Muhammad Hassan character here on the blog. The way he was written off TV, was to have the Undertaker viciously assault Hassan and power bombing him through the floor. The last we ever saw of Hassan was being attended to by medical personnel.
Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael
The football player turned wrestler had quite the career in WCW. First, as one of the voices of the original Monday Nitro announce team with Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan. Then a wrestler who somehow got a spot in the elite faction known as the Four Horsemen. He even won the WCW United States title on one occasion.
His career blowoff came during a match involving Ric Flair against the NWO. Hollywood Hogan came down to the ring with a bucket filled with bleach and threw it into the eyes of Mongo. It was the last we saw of McMichael in WCW.
Jackson Andrews was briefly the massive bodyguard of Tyson Kidd in the WWE. Feeling he wasn’t ready for the opportunity and also for personal reasons…Andrews was written off TV by having Mark Henry manhandle him by giving Andrews repeated World’s Strongest Slams. That was the very last we saw of the character.
The Ding Dongs
The Ding Dongs were WCW’s (in particular Jim Herd’s)idea of a young, hip tag team. The problem was WCW fans instantly hated the team with a passion and not in a good way. The only logical thing to do was to kill off the gimmick by putting them in the ring with the monster team of the Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious and Danny Spivey) It was nothing more than a squash match with the Skyscrapers repeatedly powerbombing the Ding Dongs and then unmasking them…ending their brief run.
Outback Jack was the WWF’s answer to the big Australian craze in the mid 1980’s after the Crocodile Dundee movie came out. The main problems were Outback Jack just didn’t get over with fans and was also losing eyesight in one of his eyes. The WWF blew off the character after he had a match with Killer Khan on Wrestling Challenge back in 1987. Khan spit green mist in the eyes of Jack and then choked him out using his manager Mr. Fuji’s cane.
After nearly 10 years with the WWF, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan was looking to take it a bit easier. Instead of simply retiring from the business…he and Gorilla Monsoon came up with a big blow off for his WWF character. In 1993, while co hosting Monday Night Raw…Heenan began insulting WWF President Monsoon. After being warned by Monsoon himself, Heenan continued to insult Gorilla.
So, Monsoon went over to the announce table and fired Heenan on the spot and threw him out of the building. Bobby wouldn’t stay retired for long as WCW came calling with big money and a lighter work schedule and the rest was history.
After becoming arguably the WWF’s biggest star….Hulk Hogan’s last TV appearance came in 1993 at the King of the Ring pay per view. A Japanese photographer aka Harvey Wippleman shot a fireball in Hulk’s eyes costing him the WWF title and Hulk disappeared from WWF rings until his return in 2002.