The Wrestling Episode: Steve Urkel And Carl Winslow Take On The Bushwhackers On ‘Family Matters’


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 Family Matters. What Is It?

In 1989, Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett teamed up for one of their greatest productions: creating a blue-collar Cosby Show for a sitcom world not yet blessed with Roc. The result was Family Matters, about what would happen if the cop from Die Hard and a supporting character from Perfect Strangers tried to raise a family in suburban Chicago. Despite the gentle hearts and opportunity, the show wasn’t really a success until midway through the first season when we met the family’s nerdy, clumsy, cheese-obsessed next door neighbor Steve Urkel.

By refocusing on Steve and his Black Order of gags and catchphrases, the show became a massive success. After nine seasons and two networks, a simple show about the struggles of the African-American middle class and the bigger love of family had turned into a serial sci-fi absurdist romance about a cartoonish man-boy in nerd’s clothing with the power to alter space, time and reality by destroying everything he touched.

I’ll put it to you this way. The first episode is about a character wanting to go to a party and his grandmother moving in and bossing everyone around. The final episode is part two of a two-parter about that same character getting shot in the chest, and Urkel almost dying in orbit after accidentally creating an invention that slammed a satellite into a space shuttle. The final episode on the original network was a time-travel adventure about pirates.

So, There’s A Wrestling Episode?

There is!

Is It Also About Steve Getting Into A Farcical Situation Because Of Something He Invented And Almost Killing Himself And Others?

[checks notes]



The episode — season 5’s ‘Psycho Twins’ — starts with Eddie Winslow and his incompetent but well-meaning friend Waldo Geraldo Faldo hanging out in the living room reading magazines, like you do.

Eddie’s father, Carl (still getting over shooting a kid in Los Angeles oh so many years ago) sits down between them and recognizes one of his friends from high school in the pin-up on the back of Eddie’s copy of WWF Magazine. Because the WWF used the back cover of its magazine for full-color pin-ups of wrestlers who aren’t in the WWF. It turns out one of Carl’s buddies from the high school wrestling team went professional and became one half of the “Psycho Twins,” the best tag team in the world and the current Federation of Worldwide Wrestling Tag Team Champions. And funny enough, Eddie reveals that the Twins are defending their titles tonight at “Wrestle-Rama” in Chicago.

Everyone agrees they should go and say hi. You know, Crush is on the COVER of that issue. How much better of an episode would this be if Carl recognized Crush, went to visit him at a WWF house show, found out about the Disciples of Apocalypse and decided to join the Nation of Domination?


Anyway, enter: Steven Quincy Urkel, who at this point in the show had invented a homemade jet pack and a robotic version of himself and a potion that fundamentally changes you via “cool genes,” but had not yet invented cloning technology and the ability to read minds and a juice that literally turns you into Bruce Lee. His current invention is “Snooze Juice,” the cure to insomnia, which he brings with them to the wrestling arena in a sports bottle because ABSOLUTELY NOTHING COULD GO WRONG IN THIS SCENARIO.

Urkel Puts The Wrestlers To Sleep, Doesn’t He

what, have you seen this one before


Carl, Eddie, Eddie’s stupid friend and God inhabiting the stretched out body of Emmanuel Lewis hit up the famous Chicago venue Sports Arena for Wrestle-Rama, because (1) the Federation of Worldwide Wrestling tapes its big shows in local TV studios that hold like 50 people, max, and (2) fans are allowed to just walk in and say hi to the wrestlers before the show starts.

You don’t need a big explanation here. Carl’s Psycho Twin friend invites them to sit in the front row that night, Urkel accidentally leaves his Snooze Juice on the ring apron, and the Psycho Twins, being pro wrestlers, drink an unidentified liquid without checking to see what it is first.

I Noticed That One Of The Psycho Twins Is A Big Fat Guy And The Other Is A Little Spindly Nerd, That Can’t Be A Coincidence, Can It?


Absolutely not. When the Winslows (who have too many Urkels on their team, hence their name) arrive at Wrestle-Rama, the crooked promoter who had no problem letting strangers into the arena before his live TV show and stood around while his star wrestlers got roofied accosts Carl and tells him he’ll sue him — somehow, on some basis — because the Psycho Twins are currently knocked out backstage and unable to be woken up. Police officer Carl Winslow’s response to this is, “Steve and I will be the Psycho Twins instead and wrestle in your show’s main event, despite not being wrestlers,” instead of something a cop should say, like, “you need to take those unconscious wrestlers to the hospital, and also I’m going to take you to jail for threatening a cop, and also hahah what.”

But no, the Federation for Worldwide Wrestling is locked in a ratings battle with Championship World Wrestling or whatever, so Steve and Carl step into the bodysuits, leotards, and masks so bad you can be easily recognized by people who don’t watch wrestling to face future WWE Hall of Famers The Bushwhackers.

The What Whackers



To keep their bio short, Luke Williams and Butch Miller are “The Bushwhackers,” a pair of oafish New Zealand cousins who love to lick each other’s hair and, until they became part of the World Wrestling Federation and were booked as comedic characters in the late ’80s, were known as bloodthirsty sheep-fuckers.


In contrast, the Psycho Twins’ gimmick appears to be that they’re a pair of guys locked up for violent outbursts who are promised vague sexual favors by the sexy nurses from the mental institution if they win. Somehow this is even weirder than Fuller House‘s situation of an uptight mother having to team up with a jaguar-themed little person to defend a pair of skeletons from some evil chickens.

Carl waits until they’re all in the ring and about to wrestle to tell Steve that the promoter “talked to the guys” and let them know they aren’t wrestlers, and that the Bushwhackers have promised to do all the heavy lifting and make them look great. I was going to make a joke about how unrealistic this was, and then I remembered every time a celebrity has ever wrestled in WWE.


Sure enough, things go smoothly for a while, with the Whackers putting themselves into headlocks, running into outstretched arms to pretend to be clotheslined, and losing their remaining teeth on charges into the corner to put these fake boys over in their hometown. That is until Cousin Luke strikes up a loud conversation with Steve in the corner and finds out that Carl Winslow … is a cop.

It turns out the Bushwhackers HATE cops, partially because Luke’s mother was arrested by one last night, so Luke and Butch go into business for themselves against Carl Winslow and Steve Urkel. That is the entire plot of an episode of Family Matters. Urkel accidentally drugs a couple of wrestlers and ends up having the Bushwhackers shoot on him.

Carl starts getting taken to the woodshed, so Urkel briefly decides he knows how to work.

Wait, WHAT


Add a standing shooting star press to Butch after that trip with a two count and you’ve got a sequence that could easily fit into any current tag team match. You know the United Federation Of Wrestling Planets or whatever was on the phone that night trying to poach this dude.

Carl and Urkel actually manage to fight back until Urkel goes for Meteora and accidentally hits Carl. That allows the Bushwhackers to regain control and military press Steve into the crowd, where he’s conveniently caught by Eddie and Waldo. They compliment him on how real it all looks and what a great match they’re having, and Urkel’s like, “IT’S NOT A GIMMICK, BROTHER, THEY AREN’T WORKING, IT’S A SHOOT. THE BUSHWHACKERS AREN’T GOOD BROTHERS.”


Eddie and Waldo’s response to this is to charge the ring. The rest of the crowd joins in, and a simple roofie misunderstanding leading to a pair of wrestlers trying to seriously injure a cop turns into a riot. That, for all intents and purposes, is where the episode ends.

So What Happens Next?


In the final scene before the credits, because hundreds of people worked on this episode about Steve Urkel having a full wrestling match with no other story, it turns out Steve and Carl are both seriously injured and pissed at each other. That is until Harriette walks in and tells them the promoter’s on the phone.

It turns out they were a big hit, and the promoter wants them back for the next show, which I guess is also in Chicago, because “Worldwide” is pushing it. It’s like the Bozo Show, but wrestling. Carl and Steve outright refuse until Harriette tells them the guy wants them to wrestle “the nurses.” Why would THAT be the next match? The Bushwhackers shoot on a fake Psycho Twins, so the next step is the Psycho Twins fighting their own valets? Shouldn’t the story of the Chicago Screwjob be the REAL Psycho Twins waking up and beating the shit out of Carl and Steve? Ugh, what kind of creative does the Federation of Worldwide Wrestling have? I’m going to go on whatever constitutes The Internet in 1994 and complain.

Want Me To Leave You Alone?


So, What Have We Learned?

  • you can’t trust pro wrestlers around drugs
  • local promoters will do ANYTHING to rip off a crowd
  • intergender wrestling is the next big thing in ’90s Chicago indie wrestling
  • Waldo Faldo is the Liv Morgan of Family Matters

And As A Bonus …

If you get the joke, this is still one of the funniest videos on the Internet.