Top Five Random Wrestling Memories

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Jamie Lithgow and Craig Wilson

As people, we all have random memories of seemingly inconsequential events or moments that have, for some reason, stuck in our heads. Forget about Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker’s streak, Shawn Michaels’ boyhood dream coming true or the Montreal Screwjob because everybody remembers those moments. Today’s Top Five is all about the obscure, largely inconsequential, random wrestling memories that have stuck in our heads.

Jamie:

Does this make him a white meat babyface?!

5. Mr. Perfect Slaps a Chicken

An early memory for me here. It was Survivor Series 1992 and Perfect, along with Macho Man I believe, was cutting a promo on Ric Flair, Razor Ramon and Bobby Heenan. Perfect used actual chickens/turkeys to represent his foes, Thanksgiving and all that I guess. The main memory for me was when Perfect slapped the tiny little chicken (which represented Heenan) and it pinged off camera. I can still remember the hollow sound it made and I have no idea why. I sure hope he washed his hands after this by the way!

4. “I’m Gonna Be The Guest Referee”

So many of my wrestling memories are soundbites. Jim Ross has provided plenty through his amazing commentary; “Good God almighty, that killed him!” after Mankind was thrown from the Hell in a Cell is a particular favourite. Vince McMahon also provided loads of sound bites. He is infamous for his “you’re fired” catchphrase or “what a manoeuvre” line on commentary. However, the quintessential Mr. McMahon quote in my head came some time in 1999. I can’t even remember when exactly he said this, but in full Mr. McMahon hyperbole he declared “I’M GONNA BE THE GUEST REFEREE!!!” When I do a Vince McMahon impression that is my go-to phrase, after “hey pal”.

This is not how I remember it

3. X-Pac’s Pixelated Forehead

The only people who might relate to this will have to be from the UK and be of a certain age. Remember when Channel 4 got the rights to some WWE shows? Namely Sunday Night Heat and, I think, four PPVs? If you do then you will remember how utterly shit their coverage was. I specifically remember Backlash 2000 being broadcast on a 50-minute delay so that their censors had time to blur things like blood and also insert commercials. Being a WWE pay per view held in 2000 I’m sure Backlash was a cracking show, but my abiding memory of it is X-Pax’s pixelated forehead after he juiced following a shot from the ring bell. By the way, this would have been around 2am UK time yet Channel 4 still felt the need to censor blood.

Not exactly a healthy image to remember…

2. Shamrock Saves Stephanie

Remember when The Undertaker abducted Stephanie McMahon? I think most people who watched WWE in 1999 will remember the “Where to Stephanie?” moment at the end of Backlash. Well, this was Taker’s second attempt. A month prior The Ministry of Darkness got hold of the Billion Dollar Princess and hid her in the basement of the arena. Not for long though, because Shamrock – who was enlisted by Mr. McMahon – rescued her. The moment stuck in my mind was when a psychotic Shamrock, who was covered in blood from a bloodbath, made Christian spill the beans as to Steph’s whereabouts by applying his ankle lock at ringside. Because a bloodbath had just happened, all this went down just as the house lights had come back on. It was quite a visual, especially considering that this was only the second episode of Raw I had ever seen. The feeling of ‘what the hell am I watching?!’ has stuck with me ever since.

1. Summerslam ’89 Intro Video

I remember this vividly for many reasons. Firstly, the random nature of the video. It featured some wrestling action with inserts of random people doing vaguely summery activities such as riding a bike, eating a watermelon and jumping into a swimming pool. Secondly, Tony Schiavone introduced the package by reciting a very Vince McMahon line in the most monotone, unenthusiastic voice imaginable; “can you feel the heat?!” Thirdly, the music used is considered by most people to be the classic Royal Rumble theme. I say most people, but in my head, it is the Summerslam ’89 theme and always will be.


Craig:

Who remembers Barbarian matches? Craig does…

5. The Barbarian vs. Tito Santana at WrestleMania 6
Now this is a random one, who remembers a Barbarian match, right? But I just vividly recall this one for reasons, I guess, only I know… but, Christ, even looking back now, what a savage and vicious looking assault the Barbarian had. His top rope clothesline, which not only resulted in Santana landing on the back of his head but also ended this one. Yeah, I have a memory for Barbarian matches, want to make something of this?!

4. Billy Gunn runs into the Rumble with one boot on
I’m maybe just a mark for the New Age Outlaws, I don’t know. The 1999 Rumble was the first PPV after getting sky installed at home so was always going to be special – Sky being the means that allowed us UK-based fans to watch WWF. Earlier in the night, the Corporation’s Ken Shamrock had held the IC title against Billy Gunn in a submission match, in part kayfabe injuring his ankle. Fast-forward to the Rumble match and the Road Dogg, entrant number 12, is getting a beat down in the ring by a number of superstars, including Shamrock. The buzzer goes for number 20 and fans hear the familiar refrain of ‘oh you didn’t know’ and out runs, well on one leg, Billy Gunn to the ring. Such a non-significant moment… But, yet, almost two decades later, it is one that’s stuck with me.

3. Papa Shango and black liquid
Come 1992 and I was weaning myself, or being weaned, off the WWF. One of my final memories of that time was Papa Shango. The future Godfather, playing a Voodoo Gimmick, was a terrifying prospect to young pups like me as well as fans, and on the face of it, superstars he faced. One part of his terrifying act was to set fire to his opponents – that darned voodoo – as well as resulting in a black liquid oozing from his opponents. Was both weird and freaky but it freaked me the hell out and remained in my head for years.

2. SummerSlam 1992
What a buzz in the UK back in the summer of 1992, 16 years ago, for this. I didn’t have Sky TV, see previous mention of Sky and how it allowed us UK-based types to watch the grappling, but a kindly next-door neighbour did. Over the course of a few days, various tapes were brought down to me ranging from the preview and all coverage in the build-up through to the event itself. A hark back to innocent days? Perhaps. A random memory? Perhaps not by the definition but certainly a memorable, and enjoyable, one.

Jobbers but not if you’ve solely seen Survivor Series 1988

1. Conquistadors at the 1988 Survivor Series
Anyone who watches the huge tag team match at the start of the 1988 edition of the Survivor Series may be forgiven for being confused as to who the big teams are and who are the jobber filler teams. After all, not only did the Young Stallions perform well but the Conquistadors lasted right till the end. The gold clad team came nowhere near gold during their run with the company yet held their own here. This event is one of the first shows I ever got on tape and, even at a young age, I remember being curious about this team. Yet, I can safely say I don’t think, even now that I own the Network, I have ever seen another one of their matches. So, yeah, random eh?


You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.


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