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The Thread Count: A Fashionable History of Wrestling Hillbillies

By 07.10.14

Rocky Mt. Thunder

Oh my god, Rocky Mt. Thunder. I wouldn’t really include him on the list as he didn’t really have much of a personality, but I am utterly fascinated by maybe one of the worst wrestlers ever. The character was supposedly meant for someone else (a football player named Greg Boyd), but when he didn’t show, a California indie wrestler took the helm, and went on to live in infamy as the least-searchable motherf-cker of all time. What he should actually be known for, besides maybe nearly killing his opponents by putting the gory in Gory Neckbreaker, is playing a pivotal role in ending the run of Curt Hennig in the AWA. This allowed Hennig to go on two WWE to become Mr. Perfect, one of my very favourite wrestlers, and basically the opposite of Thunder.

I am including him, however, because if you happen to see him on ESPN Classic AWA reruns, his look is glorious. Black tank top, okay. Flowing, shaggy mullet? Beautiful. Greasy mustache to rival AWA Scott Hall’s? Incredible. His pants were held up by a rope and he carried a sack on a chain to the ring and it is everrrythiiiiing.

Now for Brandon to take over, because again, The South, and because nobody loves G.L.O.W. more than Brandon.

Babe the Farmer's daughter


Babe The Farmer’s Daughter (And The Farmer’s Other Daughters)

And now, the concept of the “lady hillbilly.”

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling were into drawing very thick, black lines around its characters; this lady is an evil Russian, this lady is a nerd, this lady loves America, and so on. It was the 1980s so it HAD to have a hillbilly, but there weren’t any big fat dudes missing teeth to put in overalls and Country Bears hats.

Via The Beverly Hillbillies came the Ellie May Clampett stereotype, the idea that while the iconic male hillbilly is a bumbling yokel, the iconic female hillbilly is the “mountain beauty with the body of a pinup girl and the soul of a tomboy.” You may also know it as the Daisy Duke look. Short, cutoff jean shorts, a flannel shirt tied up just below the boobs, maybe pigtails. It maintains the important “these people don’t have culture” touchstone without the troublesome, hard-to-wank-to “these people don’t know how to read.”

Babe and her partner Tulsa (like the city in … oh you get it) had a recurring segment where they’d discuss their opponents and/or boys with that charming Hee Haw ignorance and inability to understand basic words or phrases you need from your hillbilly lady. The fashion difference between Babe and Tulsa was shirt ruffles. It was like Dolly Parton got split into Dolly Parton Red and Dolly Parton Blue.

Babe was “my” Farmer’s Daughter — they’re like The Doctor, basically — but there were two others: Sally and Amy.

Maybe GLOW should’ve given one of them a fez.

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