Jesus Christ, Superstars: Rocco’s Modern Life (July 11, 1992)

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what dummy booked this

Previously on Jesus Christ, Superstars: Razor Ramon spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool.

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 27 years ago on WWF Superstars for July 11, 1992.

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Jobbers Of The Week

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Holding down the jobber fort this week with a loss to WWF Tag Team Champions Money Incorporated are Los Bore-icuas members Bobby Perez and Angel Vega.

In my continuing effort to build a people’s history of early ’90s pro wrestling enhancement talent, I’ve gotten gentle confirmation on social media that Perez and Vega — who have no real record of service online besides a Wrestling Database page saying Perez stuck around and jobbed for a few years — found a second life on the adolescent independents as former CZW Tag Team Champions Angel Vera and Bobby Muniz, the “Brothers Of East LA.” The CZW Tag Team Championship Wikipedia page doesn’t know who they are, but Cage Match confirms the names and the connection to Vera on Superstars, so HOORAY FOR ME, I’M A JOURNALIST.

The only other jobber appearance of note is the return of The Dublin Destroyer, who loses badly to Tatanka while the dude screams at the camera about his “hot Native blood.” So I’ll move on from the ethnic hierarchy of ’90s pro wrestling success and ease into the haunted dolls portion of the program.

Nightmare Fuel Of The Week

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From the June 27 edition of Jesus Christ, Superstars:

Also returning to their roots this week are the Legion of Doom, who visit a dilapidated house in Chicago at the request of Paul Ellering and discover an old, completely undamaged ventriloquist dummy Hawk and Animal identify as the “wrestling buddy” they used to wrestle with as kids. Ellering believes that since the doll “taught them to be a team” they should fix it up and carry it with them wherever they go, and oh boy, if you though the Beverly Brothers made cogent points calling them the “legion of sissies,” wait until they’re literally carrying around an emotional support doll.

If this is your first time hearing about the Legion of Doom having a Jeff Dunham character managing them, meet Rocco. He gets fixed up as a 1950s greaser, as the World Wrestling Federation writers were like, “you know how everyone loves the Road Warriors as buys them as bad-asses? What if we made that way harder for everyone?”

Rocco makes his formal debut alongside the Legion of Doom this week as they take on Glass Joe (Kerry Davis) and Von Kaiser (Barry Hardy), and it’s a complete nightmare. First of all, it’s a ventriloquist dummy that’s been made up to look like Danny Zuko in a Legion of Doom jacket. Second of all, the camera keeps cutting to these terrifying extreme close-ups of Rocco while Paul Ellering murmurs off-screen in a classic movie gangster voice you can barely even hear. This is easily as frightening as anything Papa Shango ever did.

I know the Road Warriors want to strike fear into the hearts of their opponents, but I don’t think “the dolls with the spirits of dead teenagers trapped inside them are going to come alive in the night and murder me” is the type of fear they were going for.

Regional Horror Of The Week

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If you were a kid at a wrestling show in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1992, you might’ve though the Tunnel Snake puppet was “funny.” Maybe the terror you feel is of a more “I DON’T UNDERSTAND CULTURES DIFFERENT FROM MY OWN AND BELIEVE THEY EXIST TO DESTROY ME” variety? If so, you’ll enjoy Kamala (via Harvey Wippleman) threatening to stab Mean Gene Okerlund to death with a spear and presumably eat him if Gene doesn’t show Harvey a little fear-respect. Why, the sight of an African savage might be enough to make you sob into your mother’s zebra blouse!

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She killed a zebra, she should know everything about surviving in the Veldt!

Thankfully Gene maintains enough business professionalism to cower (in a professional way) and get Kamala off his back, but there are an awful lot of random stabbing and arson-related murder attempts on this A.M. pro wrestling show for babies.

Fulfilled Destiny Of The Week

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Former convict who was mistreated by a prison guard while he was in prison turned pro wrestler who still dresses like a convict to get revenge on that prison guard who became a wrestler but still dresses like a prison guard — whew — Nailz squashes Big Dick Johnson. The announce team tries to put over how stunned and in awe the crowd is as Nailz’s clumsy platform shoes and exclusively choking-based moveset to explain why they aren’t reacting. That’s the key double-talk of being a WWE Superstar: if someone is booing you because you’re bad at your job, you’re “getting a reaction.” If they don’t make ANY noise and you get no reaction, they’re reacting by not reacting. Because you’re so scary and good. Or something.

Anyway, the best part of this match (for me, and presumably nobody else) is that Nailz is wrestling Rick Johnson, who looks like a big fake Sting. Why is this important? It’s not, but Nailz’s only match in WCW as “The Prisoner” at Slamboree ’93 was against Sting. So in a weird way, Rick Johnson accidentally fulfilled his own destiny.

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It’s the little things.

Note: To follow up on the Nailz plot, someone in the World Wrestling Federation keeps calling The Big Boss Man at home to make sure he’s still alive and coming back to wrestling after getting beaten up by one guy for like five minutes. He says he’ll definitely be back for revenge, which is punctuated by Mr. Perfect repeatedly calling him the “Big Bruise Man,” an insult riddle that wouldn’t be solved until 1997 when Hollywood Hogan came up with “Big LOSS Man.”

Cane Vs. Undertaker Of The Week

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The Undertaker wins a hard fought match against Bruce Mitchell, that guy whose pants look like the case a blank VHS tape comes in, and is quickly attacked by The Berserker and Mr. Fuji. The highlight, unless you consider watching a 7-foot-tall undead wizard brutally 69 a sad looking man in decorative leggings a highlight, is Mr. Fuji throwing salt in Paul Bearer’s eyes so hard that it sends the 300-plus-pound Bearer flying backwards.

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Fuji saves Berserker from being defeated by an important character by attacking Undertaker with cane — something Paul Bearer would start doing a few years later — and by giving Berserker backup salts to throw in Taker’s face. Taker isn’t thrown backwards by the salt, and instead chooses to sell it like he just walked out of a room without the thing he went in there to get and is trying to remember it before he gets too far away.

These two will settle the score at WWF Superstars TakeOver, or wherever the hell these stories go.

Good Advice Of The Week

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Oh, that’s why my entire body doesn’t look like a testicle. Because I didn’t want it.

Dining Etiquette Of The Week

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In the latest Razor Ramon vignette (which you can watch here), Razor gets mad at a restaurant waiter for expecting him to pay for food he just ate at the restaurant. Because he’s RAZOR RAMON, chico, and there’s nothing in life that can’t be solved by threatening retail and food service workers. He truly was an immigrant who understood the dream of middle class America.

“Scott Hall” maintained Razor’s voice and mannerisms, so it could be suggested that these Razor Ramon vignettes are actually a look at what life’s like for a character like this in his prime, when he’s a big fish in a small pond, and WCW Hall’s descent into addiction and irrelevance could be seen as what happens after that character grows up and gets everything he ever wanted. He destroys it with self-sabotage, because good drinks, good food, and fun chicas can’t fill that fulfillment-shaped hole in your heart, and even your friends turn into business associates you’ve got to heel out on and abandon.

Someone give me the money to make a “Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling” about Razor Ramon immediately.

Accurate Fan Critique Of The Week

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Shawn Michaels and his girlfriend who is a big Harris Twins fan defeat Chico Martinez, who can’t even defeat his jaw long enough to keep his tongue in his mouth.

There’s not much to say about it, but Shawn looking into a mirror while Sherri approves with a hard cut to this rank, Poochie-ass dude in the crowd and giving him a big waggy thumbs down while wearing a backwards cap and dark sunglasses at night, indoors, is a perfect pro wrestling visual. The guy having a broken finger is one of those wonderful little details you’d only expect to stumble across in an Errol Morris documentary.

Vince Tells A Guy To Do Something And Then Buries Him For Doing It Of The Week

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Vince McMahon: “Hey Duane, you’re putting over Tito tonight, you should do a bull fighting thing with the cape before the match.”

Also Vince:

“OLE! HA HA! What, is this guy Duane Gill soft or what? I mean, why would he charge the cape?”

Next Week Of The Week

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The main event of SummerSlam ’92 is announced, so forget all that shit we’ve been building with Papa Shango and the Ultimate Warrior for the past few months. Also anything we were doing with Flair and Savage. Plus, the Big Boss Man returns using the power of a CHILD’S FRIENDSHIP. All this and more on our worst column, next week!