Jesus Christ, Superstars: Down With The Clown (December 12, 1992)

Previously on Jesus Christ, Superstars: Bob Backlund wore a jacket that made him look like a patriotic disco pirate, Marty Jannetty dressed up like a Starburst, and WWE Network took five months to upload new episodes. Thank God we’re back!

If you’d like to watch this week’s episode, you can do that here, and you can support the column (so we’re allowed to keep writing it) by reading previous installments on our Jesus Christ, Superstars tag page.

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Here’s what you missed 28 years ago on WWF Superstars for December 12, 1992.

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Jobbers Of The Week

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The last time we saw “John Richner” on Superstars, he fell victim to Papa Shango’s dreaded voodoo leg cramp. This week, he’s back with the actual spelling of his name — John Rechner — and teaming with the Brooklyn Brawler. Say what you will about the Brawler, but tagging with a face from WWE’s Mount Rushmore of jobbers is a major step up from jobbing to a spooky Charley horse.

It’s also worth noting that despite having one of the worst haircuts in Superstars history, he topped it by shaving off just the middle of his scalp merkin. So now instead of having a big drain clog on the top of his head, he’s got two, smaller clogs. I think he just left a tuft in the back so Sags would have a handle while relentlessly raking the man’s face in Brian Knobbs’ razor burn.

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Anybody else bothered by the Nasty Boys doing a “gross armpit” spot but shaving their armpit hair? Isn’t the hair getting stinky and gross what makes it disgusting? It’s not like all the other parts of Knobbs and Sags’ bodies aren’t sweaty. This and other observations from the guy who once wrote an entire paragraph arguing that Mr. McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass Club” isn’t as gross as they pretend because he just makes them rub their nose against his butt cheek, which is funny gross, but not gross gross like if they actually went up in there. Basically you’re just kissing his leg. What, is the lower back disgusting? It’s biologically equidistant. Butt cheek grossness is a social construct.

Please unread the previous paragraph before proceeding.

A Brief Aside About Capitalism And Classism

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Not to derail Jobbers of the Week as soon as we got it back, but I have to mention this week’s green-screen promo from Money Inc. on the Nasty Boys. Sean Mooney, gift from God that he is, prefaces it with the statement, “Now when you are Tag Team Champions there is hardly time to dream; and considering the tough competitors out there in the tag team ranks, there is no rest for the weary, or the very rich.” SOCIETY!

IRS goes full MAGA while describing the Nasties:

“I’ll tell you something, Million Dollar Man. We know why they call them the Nasty Boys. They nastily stink, they nastily smell, they’re just nasty, nasty people. But we know how to deal with nasty people: we just put them back on the STREET where they belong!”

Bonus points for using some variation of “nasty” six times in four sentences to describe a team choosing to call themselves the “Nasty Boys.” Mooney sticks the landing with a deadpan, “compassion certainly not a trait of Money Incorporated.” GREED CERTAINLY NOT A TRAIT OF PHILANTHROPY LLC.

Okay, back to the jobbers.

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Speaking of haircuts and terrifying armpit grossness, Gus Cantankerous is back this week, and he’s grown out his hair from when we saw him back in October. He’s on “Lance Cassidy” duty, whom you may remember as the World Wrestling Federation’s brief attempt to make Steve Armstrong a southern heartthrob with a vague “guns and mullets” vibe. Shit’s rough when you’re the fourth best wrestling Armstrong.

Harlem Globetrotters Bit Of The Week

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we live in a society

Half Beatle John Paul returns as well this week, losing to Bam Bam Bigelow. If you aren’t familiar with Bigelow (and/or haven’t been reading the Best and Worst of Nitro) Bammer’s basically what would happen if you made the Nasty Boys into one guy and set him on fire.

Unfortunately the match is all about the encroaching Doink the Clown, who brings out a bucket during the match and drinks from a bottle of water inside the bucket to … show us the bucket has water in it, somehow? Don’t think about it, it’s like doing a submission hold on a table. It hurts more. The bucket’s got water in it. But anyway, if you’ve never seen a Harlem Globetrotters game and don’t know where this is going, Doink threatens to douse fire-type Bam Bam with water, only for the bucket to be filled with harmless confetti. Swerved!

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That’s only the first half of the bit, though. Once you’ve established that you’re pretending the bucket of confetti is water, you have to flip it. So after Marty Jannetty defeats future Light Heavyweight Champion (no really) Dwayne Gill, Doink returns with the bucket.

Marty, having the deductive reasoning of a trout, is like, “haha, what a cool confetti bucket!” And then … well, you know.

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The look of absolute, unfathomable betrayal is the funniest part of this entire episode. Dude wasn’t this shook when his tag team partner kicked him in the face and threw him through a stripper’s barber shop window.

Debut Of The Week

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Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s WWE career is one of the few seemingly infinite things in the world, but have you ever wondered where it began? On this December 12, 1992, edition of Superstars. The best part? He’s debuting right now because the Royal Rumble is coming up, and it has “Royal” in the name. No, really.

“All of this talk about royalty, the Royal Rumble, it’s only natural that the true royalty of wrestling should appear on the scene.”

As you might imagine, having Bobby Heenan and 1992 Jerry Lawler on commentary at the same time is like letting Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets call your show. McMahon is a perfect intermediary, though. If you’re going back and watching the episode, watch his eyes when Lawler says, “You don’t have to refer to me as Mr. Lawler, King will suffice nicely.” It’s BUG-EYED DISBELIEF followed by a moment of pleasant acceptance followed by BUG-EYED DISBELIEF.

Goodbye Of The Week

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The seven-month WWF career of justifiably angry ex-convict Nailz ends this week with a win over Repo Man’s used car salesman cousin, Mike Collins.

As we’ve mentioned before, very few people have as dramatic an exit from WWE as Kevin ‘Nailz’ Wacholz. The most reliable third-party story we have on the incident is from Bret Hart, who in his autobiography recalled that Wacholz got The Berzerker to watch the door so he could corner Vince McMahon in his office and scream at him for fifteen minutes over a pay dispute. A loud crash was heard, which turned out to be Wacholz, “knocking Vince over in his chair, choking him violently.” He was fired, of course, which led to him filing a wrongful termination lawsuit and claiming that McMahon had given him steroids, made him do steroids, and sexually assaulted him. Also he saw McMahon in the closet making babies and he saw one of the babies and the baby looked at him.

Nailz would go on to have a storied career in World Championship Wrestling — calling himself “The Prisoner” to lose his first match to Sting and immediately disappear — and would, believe it or not, team with Ron Simmons in New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Super Grade Tag League (now the World Tag League) in 1994. See you never, Nailz. Heaven needed someone to put on Herman Munster shoes and choke a cop.

Positive Affirmation Of The Week

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Slick, the Reverend who somehow just now found religion, delivers a surprisingly timely sermon comparing life to the Royal Rumble:

“You know in comparison, sometimes my friend, life can be just like the Royal Rumble. Every couple of minutes, things all around you are just changing. You don’t know how to trust. Trouble coming from every direction. And I want to say unto you today, this is the reverend with a message of hope: say to yourself every day, I’m going to have a happy day. I’m gon’ have a happy day, though my sky may be clouded and gray, I’m gon’ have a happy day.”

Saturday morning Slick promos for children just hit different in quarantine.

Planet Hollywood Event Of The Week

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One of this week’s most interesting time capsule packages is a video about the World Wrestling Federation having a Make-a-Wish fundraiser at Planet Hollywood, featuring Macho Man Randy Savage, Ric Flair, and others. John Cena’s also there somehow, but I think they just CGI’d him in. Yokozuna arrives via what Sean Mooney calls “traditional transportation,” which he adds is, “much to the driver’s chagrin.” Who needs legs anyway?

I should also quickly note that WWE had a guy named “The Undertaker” pull up to a Make-a-Wish event in a hearse. Thank Christ for context.

Starfleet Command Of The Week

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This week we learn more about Max Moon than we’ll ever learn again. He arrived in the WWF, “after battling many various enemies throughout the universe” — thank goodness he’s fought VARIOUS enemies — and is, “totally focused and FOOLY prepared for the task ahead.” What’s that, you may ask? “To blast my opponents right out of the ring, and launch them into orbit.” I wish his promo had just been, “I HAVE FOUGHT SO MANY ALIENS AND NOW MY JOB IS TO KILL A BUNCH OF WRESTLERS AND SEND THEIR DEAD BODIES INTO OUTER SPACE.” I also wish that he’d succeeded at least once, and that I could write the sentence, “Gus Kantarakis was then launched into orbit, where he suffocated in the vacuum of space and was never seen again.”

Also, did you know Max Moon supporters are called his “Star Fleet?” I bet those fans were really disappointed to see him get Roddenburied.


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This week’s main event segment is a “special interview” featuring a condor in Liberace’s bathrobe screeching at a Canadian drum major. [squints] Sorry, this is Ric Flair interrupting Bret Hart to scream at him about how the Royal Rumble’s coming up, which means Flair’s probably going to be champion again. Have you SEEN the 1992 Rumble? This of course ends with Flair and Razor Ramon attacking the champ 2-on-1 until professional turncoat Mr. Perfect arrives to make the save.

Later, Bret does his standard great “how DARE you” promo where he calls Flair and Ramon a “pack of wild jackals” and goes full Canadian with, “I don’t care if it’s one’a ya, or both’a ya!” He also calls Ramon “Mr. Match-IS-mo,” which is delightful. Challenge them to a fight in your dad’s dank gym!

Next Week Of The Week

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Bob Backlund, Genichiro Tenryu, and Carlos Colón. Also El Gigante is there dressed as a giant naked man with fake muscles and airbrushed-on He-Man underpants. I’m not making any of this up.