The Wrestling Episode: ‘Animaniacs’ Proves Wrestling Isn’t Fake


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The Wrestling Episode is our cleverly-named feature wherein we watch non-wrestling shows with wrestling episodes and try to figure out what the hell’s going on in them. You’d be surprised how many there are. You can watch the episode on Hulu here. If you have any suggestions on shows that need to be featured in The Wrestling Episode, let us know in our comments section below.

I’ve Never Heard Of Animaniacs. What Is It?

In the late ’80s/early ’90s, Warner Bros. Animation got into the television animation business an experienced a renaissance, creating Batman: The Animated Series — unarguably the greatest weekly episodic children’s cartoon ever — the entire line of DC Comics animated shows that are still without hyperbole a billion times better than the DC movies, and a batch of new-generation Looney Tunes like Tiny Toon Adventures. They also created Histeria! and Freakazoid!, which are like #1 and #2 on the list of most underrated kids shows of the ’90s. If you said Gargoyles, that only existed because Disney wanted their own Batman: The Animated Series.

The best of these shows to not feature a man dealing with PTSD by dressing up like a bat and beating up strangers in the dark is Animaniacs, about three siblings of indeterminate species who live in a water tower at a movie studio and occasionally break out to make everyone’s lives miserable. Inspired by the old black and white cartoons of animation’s yesteryear and the “I don’t get that reference, it’s from the 1940s” comedy of early Looney Tunes, Animaniacs was like a sketch comedy show for kids that was too smart for its own good and also not afraid to be like, “hey kids, born in 1988? Here’s 15 minutes about Jerry Lewis.”

Oh, Right, That’s Coming Back, Isn’t It?

It is. Hulu is planning to bring the show back in 2020 with brand new episodes. Topical!

And There’s A Wrestling Episode?

No, but 1/9 of an episode is a wrestling episode!

Animaniacs is presented like a variety show, with 1-3 major segments per episode with short bumpers or scenes between them. This episode’s title is ‘I’m Mad/Bad Mood Bobby/Katie Ka-Boom: The Blemish/Fake,’ and it’s episode 69, originally aired at the end of season two. Season two … nice.

Let Me Guess The Plot … The Main Characters Go To A Wrestling Show But One Of The Wrestlers Get Injured, So The Main Characters Have To Fill In For Them, Which Has Been The Plot Of Every The Wrestling Episode So Far

No, actually. It’s about how they hate wrestling because it’s fake.

They Hate Wrestling?

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The Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) do. The episode opens with ‘I’m Mad,’ the show’s first theatrical short — released before Thumbelina AND Major League II — about the Warners’ “p-psychiatrist” Dr. Scratchansniff taking them on a long car ride. They complain the entire time, but it turns out he’s taking them to the circus. They have fun, and as soon as they’re done, they start complaining again. This short’s original name was, ‘Don’t Have Children, Stupid.’

Anyway, the episode ends with an unofficially linked part two called ‘Fake,’ wherein Scratchansniff takes the Warners to see Quarrelmania Pro Wrestling Championship Of The World. That’s “Quarrelmania,” not Carlmania, which we covered on Family Matters.

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The Warners are embarrassed to be there because they think wrestling is fake. Scratchansniff gets mad at them because it’s still real to him, dammit.

So, Who’s Competing At Quarrelmania?

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The Quarrelmania Pro Wrestling Champion Of The World (and Dr. Scratchansniff’s favorite) is Lardo. As you can see, Quarrelmania Pro put the strap on him to keep his enormous gut from popping out. He’s up against Ironhead McCann, who looks exactly like Lardo minus the hair. Wrestling’s a cosmetic business, sorry we can’t trust you with the 10 pounds of gold, Ironhead.


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The match starts with a brutal strike exchange, making me wonder if Dr. Scratchansniff had somehow drove them across the Pacific Ocean to the Tokyo Dome. Scratchansniff points out how stiff they’re being, and the Warners shake their heads, because as Scratchy puts it, they “don’t know anything about wrestling.”

Lardo makes a big comeback, weathering Ironhead’s blows to hit a big suplex. He starts putting the heavy boots to his opponent, and the Warners are still unimpressed.

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Vinton and Bubba would be chanting “THIS IS AWESOME” right now, but these anthropomorphic smark water-tower children can’t follow the psychology.

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With the Warners openly questioning what’s going on in the ring, Dr. Scratchansniff finally flips out on them, screaming at them that wrestling isn’t fake. The crowd dies down at the commotion just as the word “fake” hits, causing the wrestlers to do the very actual pro wrestler thing of challenging Scratchy to a fight. “Get in the ring and I’ll show you HOW FAKE IT IS!” Yes, basically this is a Warner Bros. Animation re-imagining of the time Dave Schultz smacked the shit out of that guy from 20/20.

So A Main Character DOES End Up Wrestling!

Well, not so much “wrestling” as “dragged out of his seat and beaten violently in front of everyone.”

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Also, the Warner Brothers are real jerks for acting like that when their psychiatrist got them FRONT ROW SEATS to Quarrelmania.

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A few moments later, a mangled Scratchansniff gets thrown back into his seat from the ring, and here is where the Warners realize wrestling’s not fake. It’s very real, as long as you trick one of your friends into bothering the wrestlers so much they leave the ring during a major championship match to beat them up. See also any time a fan jumped in the ring during a WCW show.

And that’s the episode!

So, What Have We Learned?

  • wrestling is real
  • don’t buy your friends good seats to wrestling if they don’t like wrestling
  • don’t bring children to wrestling shows, especially if they hate you
  • there should’ve been a ‘Pinky & The Brain’ segment about a stupid mouse meeting Bobby Heenan, who I assume would be a weasel
  • Dean Ambrose learned how to wrestle by watching this episode

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