8 Great is our extremely original listicle series where we take a break from snark and negativity to focus on the positive, and list eight of our favorite examples of something great from pro wrestling. Matches, performers, shows – whatever is helping us enjoy wrestling in a particular week, that’s what this feature is all about.
This column is about pro wrestling positivity, so this week we wanted to take a minute to show some love to the very good boys and very good girls, yes they are, yes they are so good, who’ve graced pro wrestling TV over the past 40 years. It’s a countdown of some (but not all) of the best dogs in wrestling.
This list is dedicated to actual dogs, by the way, so you won’t be seeing the Junkyard Dog, the Moondogs, Mad Dog Vachon, the Yellow Dog, the Big Dog Roman Reigns, or any other wrestlers with “dog” in their name. Although that sounds like a pretty good followup …
Anyway, please enjoy this list of 8 Great dogs in pro wrestling history. If we didn’t include your favorite on the list, make sure to drop down into the comments section and let us know. All dogs are welcome and will be treated with love and excited, childish typing. YES THEY WILL, YES THEY WILL WITH THEIR CUTE FACES.
If you’re a longtime wrestling fan and saw the title of this piece, your brain immediately went to Matilda, stalwart and hyper literal mascot of Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid, the British Bulldogs. Matilda’s job was to sit on an elevated platform at ringside, watch the matches (without accidentally getting dropkicked), and sometimes chase the Bulldogs’ opponents around the ring. On rare occasions, they’d go full Jake ‘The Snake’ and let Matilda take the pin.
Matilda’s most famous moment has to be the time the Islanders and Bobby Heenan kidnapped her:
Matilda was missing for several weeks, igniting a time of unprecedented international tension, and WWF President Jack Tunney suspended Haku and Tama until she was safely recovered. Thankfully this story avoids going full Jake ‘The Snake’ and having a very heavy person squash Matilda with their butt.
This spot also includes some love for Winston, who accompanied Davey Boy to the ring during his 1991 singles run.
The most famous pro wrestling pup of the 2000s is probably Chloe Wilson, Paris Hilton-style accessory dog to WWE Hall of Famer Torrie. Chloe was there to facilitate the era’s two most prevalent booking tropes — call people “bitch,” like a dog (get it), and boobs being “puppies” — and was most notable as the smallest member of a four-person team of angry Divas filled out by Candice Michelle and Victoria. She had her own action figure, her own Superstar page, and her own signature hold: a stink face.
As of a few of years ago when WWE.com did a “where are they now” update, Chloe was living a happy life as “queen of the house,” spending her days “laying around in the sun, eating treats.” GOOD GIRL, CHLOE.
3. Pepe McMichael
Like a site this obsessed with WCW Monday Nitro was going to get through a list of great pro wrestling dogs without mentioning Pepe McMichael, an original member of Nitro’s announce team. Pepe would provide cuteness, occasional threats of violence, and intense costuming from the lap/arm of Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael. Technically I believe Pepe is the first and only non-human member of the Four Horseman entourage.
Pepe costumes of note included birthday boy, Elvis Presley, sailor (pictured), drunk nerd, googly eyes, Filthy Animal, stripper, cowboy, cow-print cowboy, Stan Marsh, hipster, Dracula, Raggedy Ann, billionaire dog, and Ice Cube.
As Pepe did not get his own Where Are They Now? video, we had to do some digging of our own. Debra McMichael talked about him to us in an interview a while back, and thanks to the homie @RFelixFinch, we got confirmation from Mongo; Pepe lived a happy, charmed life.
Fairing less successfully in his attempt at a wrestling career/life is Pepper, Al Snow’s chihuahua acquired during the height of the Taco Bell chihuahua craze. Pepper was promptly dognapped by the Big Boss Man, heinously murdered, and fed back to Al as “Pepper steak.” For those not in the know, this was inspired by the time legendary WWF manager Mr. Fuji did this in real life.
Actual Pepper was fine, of course, and his sacrifice gave us KENNEL FROM HELL, a deadly HELL IN A CELL PLUS RABID DOG ATTACKS concept that turned out to be a really terrible Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man match surrounded by a bunch of adorable good boys and girls humping it out and pissing everywhere.
5. Lucy McMahon-Helmsley
Honestly, I think Chloe might be the only WWE dog with a happy ending.
Meet Lucy, described by Stephanie McMahon as, “the ugliest, smelliest, fattest dog I’ve ever seen in my life … you’re not even like a dog, you’re like a pig, farting all the time, snorting all the time.” So, a beautiful, perfect angle. If you’ve ever wanted a reason to boo Stephanie McMahon’s character, hating an affable fat bulldog is #1 on the list.
The upcoming WrestleMania main event was supposed to be Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho versus Triple H, but it quickly became Triple H vs. his estranged wife Stephanie, with Jericho kissing her butt and walking the dog. You know, WrestleMania main event build stuff. Jericho gets tired of Lucy, ties her to the door of a limousine, and accidentally gets her backed over. Just like Pepper, this whole thing was embarrassing and weird, but Lucy was a very good girl who is so cute, yes she is. Some say Lucy Helmsley started the doggie revolution, yes they do!
6. Dog Ziggler
The Rusev/Lana/Summer Rae/Dolph Ziggler love rectangle didn’t have a lot of memorable moments, but it did contain one very good boy: Dog Ziggler, gifted to “Hot Summer” to show how smitten Rusev had become with her. The explanation for the name:
“Well, his name, judging by his ugly looks, by his skinny legs, the fact that he pees on his self, and … the fact that he’s neutered, I say let’s name him DOG ZIGGLER.”
Can’t argue with that!
The segment also featured Rusev gifting Summer a fish, giving us the immortal line, “take the fish,” as well as this animated GIF of Rusev launching said fish down the ramp like a javelin:
Remind us to come back to this when it’s time for 8 Great Fish In Pro Wrestling.
The Ladder vs Cocolo
DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship match
April 1 , 2007 pic.twitter.com/W5o1Xgetpz
— fady mohsen (@FM_358) July 21, 2018
To my knowledge, the only dog to hold a championship in professional wrestling is Cocolo, miniature dachshund and 694th DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion. Cocolo pinned 3-time champion “a ladder” at a April 1, 2007, event in Tokyo, Japan, to win the belt (seen above). She managed to hang on to the strap for an astonishing 45 days before being pinned by referee Megumi Grace Asano.
For anyone unaware, the Heavymetalweight Championship has been held by some of the top stars in the business, including current WWE Superstars like Shayna Baszler, Asuka, Ricochet, Drew Gulak, and Rey Mysterio. It’s also been held by an inflatable love doll, a pair of chopsticks, a printed-out e-mail, and multiple invisible wrestlers. And, uh, me?
Pro wrestling’s current canine king and Goodest Boy is without a doubt Pharaoh, unofficial Elite mascot and Cody Rhodes’ patronus. Pharaoh is not only a marketing, merchandising, and fundraising machine, he’s able to communicate via sternly worded letters that quote former British Prime Minster Benjamin Disraeli. No, really:
Honorable mention goes to the Cheese Boys, who are just as good of good boys, yes they are, but without P’s media presence. That presence will surely only grow when All Elite Wrestling goes live on TNT next Wednesday.