Icons of Wrestling #24 – Glacier


Glacier WCW
Jamie Lithgow

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 245 lbs
Hometown: The Netherrealm?
Glory Days: 1996 – 1999
Fun Fact: Before ‘Glacier’ was selected, the name ‘Stone Cold’ was on the short list for WCW’s answer to Sub-Zero. This was in early 1996, when Steve Austin was still ‘The Ringmaster’ in WWE.

Just where did WCW get their ideas from?

Just where did WCW get their ideas from?

In mid-1996 WCW began airing mysterious promos claiming that “our world is about to change” before finishing with the tag-line ‘Blood Runs Cold’. Apparently produced by the Lin Kuei, these promos prophesised the entrance of a warrior codenamed ‘Glacier’ into Earthrealm. Rather than defeat Shang Tsung, Glacier’s immediate mission within WCW was not clear. What was clear, however, was Glacier’s striking similarity to another Netherrealm warrior: Sub-Zero

Glacier’s debut was long awaited, if not much anticipated. With the concept for the character drawn up in early 1996, WCW were ready to unleash Glacier upon its fans that summer. However, the landscape in WCW had changed significantly since the ‘Blood Runs Cold’ promos had begun to air in the Spring. In July Hulk Hogan had turned heel and given birth to the New World Order. This monumental event steered WCW in a different direction, towards more reality based characters and stories. So, where did that leave the wrestler inspired by a magical computer game character capable of freezing his opponents?

Waiting in the wings for what seemed like an eternity, Glacier’s promos ran for months before he finally made his debut in September. With all that hype did the martial arts man debut at a PPV? A live episode of Nitro? Oh, maybe a Clash of The Champions? Nope. The man with the four month build debuted on an episode of WCW Worldwide against The Gambler – one of WCW’s resident jobbers.

Glacier vs. Mortis

Glacier vs. Mortis

Given that Glacier was not part of the nWo angle, which was dominating WCW at the time, one could understand his low-key introduction. However, this is before one considers just how much money was sank into the Sub-Zero lookalike. For starters, the total cost of his outfit – including helmet and body armour- was a cool $35,000. Then there’s the small matter of his elaborate, albeit freakin’ awesome, entrance. All those lasers, fake snow and lighting effects cost WCW over $400,000. According to Glacier himself, WCW had to fork out around $10,000 dollars every time he made his entrance on TV. In hindsight, while his entrance is still very cool, it is nothing out of the ordinary when viewed today. That said, back in 1996 Glacier had quite possibly the best and most unique entrance in all of wrestling.

With all that money spent on the character, you would think WCW had big plans for Glacier? Well, not really. In his two and a half year run with the company, Glacier is probably best remembered for losing to Goldberg on numerous occasions and his rivalries with fellow Mortal Kombat rejects Mortis, Wrath and Ernest Miller.

Just as Sub-Zero has Scorpion, Glacier had Mortis; a mysterious pit fighter who was trained in Asia. Decked in similarly Mortal Kombat inspired attire, the masked Mortis was soon joined by Wrath to oppose Glacier. The backstory to how these men knew each other was never revealed, only that they did have a history and they did not like each other. Given that Glacier was a carbon copy of Sub-Zero, it probably wouldn’t be too much of stretch to suggest that Glacier killed Mortis, only for the masked man to return in undead form to exact his revenge. Or, WCW just couldn’t be bothered explaining their connection.

Kaz Hayashi aka the second Sub-Zero.... I mean Glacier

Kaz Hayashi aka the second Sub-Zero…. I mean Glacier

Eventually Glacier was joined by fellow martial arts enthusiast Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller, in order to further the rivalry as a tag team affair. Bizarrely this feud had its own name; ‘Blood Runs Cold’, which was borrowed from Glacier’s introductory promos. By late 1997 the four men had gone their separate ways. Wrath disappeared for a while; Mortis evolved into Kanyon; Miller became even more annoying; and Glacier joined the ranks of the many WCW wrestlers in 1998 who were just there, and not a lot else. Other than jobbing to Goldberg, Glacier’s most high profile outings post ‘Blood Runs Cold’ were against Saturn, whom he had a short feud with. The more highly regarded Saturn won, obviously.

By 1999 Glacier had grown tired of his Sub-Zero gimmick and sold it, outfit and all, to Ernest Miller and Kaz Hayashi. Sony Onoo tricked the gullible Hayashi into overpaying for the helmet and armour, but he seemed to like his purchase all the same. This final twist allowed WCW to kill off the original Glacier character, but just like the original Sub-Zero – who died after the first Mortal Kombat – another fighter carried the gimmick forward…. well, for a couple of weeks at least.

All previous ‘Icons of Wrestling’ can be read here.

6 thoughts on “Icons of Wrestling #24 – Glacier

  1. Who doesn’t remember this guy? All of the hype that came with him as it looked he was going to be this awesome character. Instead, it was a total dud. The timing of it was bad because of the nWo. I got more into the nWo and could care less about Glacier.


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