Previously on Jesus Christ, Superstars: We watched The Executive Experience get shitted on, cheered our hearts out for “Tantanka,” and were introduced to the Cuban immigrant who believes the streets of America are paved in gold, Razor Ramon.
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Here’s what you missed 27 years ago on WWF Superstars for June 20, 1992.
Jobbers Of The Week
We’re at the end of a set of tapings so the only hands we’ve got left are the dynamic duo of Rock Werner and Butler Stevens, who look like the 1992 direct-to-VHS version of Chad Gable and Bobby Roode. They main event the episode in a losing effort against Money Incorporated.
Research tells me that Rock Werner also wrestled under the names Bob Werner, Mark Warner, Rock Wagner, Rock Warner, and Rock Werner, meaning either his wrestling persona was created like in that Eddie Izzard Engelbert Humperdinck joke, or one of those is his real name and nobody cared to double check what they’d heard before they made him a graphic.
As for Butler Stevens, who I’m 99% sure is named after a character in The Remains of the Day, all he ever wanted to do was fit in. Look at him. That’s how he looked between 1989 and 1992. He should be a southern wrestling star, at least on the independent level wrestling Nikita Koloff at an armory somewhere. He’s got the robe, the hair, the mustache. By the time 1995 rolls around and he’s got an enhancement talent spot on Raw, he’s suddenly wrestling in basketball shorts and a tank top that looks like somebody cut arm holes into a garbage bag.
I can’t find anything about him after 1995, but you know if he wrestled into the 2000s he’d suddenly be wearing kickpads and trying to hit people with Burning Hammers. What would his 2010s gimmick be, a comedy wrestler you also have to take seriously who kicks out of everything?
Magical Mirror Theories Of The Week
Consider this section a “choose your own adventure,” where you get to pick the jokey, rambling tangent that best suits your particular brand of uncool.
1. In 1991, Shawn Michaels superkicked his old tag team partner Marty Jannetty and tossed him through a male stripper’s barbershop’s window — he didn’t “superkick him through the window,” you’re remembering it wrong — and decided to focus on constantly glorifying himself as a singles star.
That run started to come together in 1992, when he teamed up with Sherri Martel, who’d come into possession of … well, the Mirror of Erised. If you aren’t up on your Harry Potter lore, that’s a magical mirror that shows you “not your face, but your heart’s desire.” Basically it shows you the thing you want the most. Here, Shawn looks into the mirror and says he sees the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Champion. A few months later:
The boyhood dream was magic all along. Plus, this was Michaels’ first championship in WWF/WWE, as he came in as a tag team wrestler but didn’t win the Tag Team Championship until ditching his partner. Michaels is 100% Slytherin, by the way. Everyone in D-X is, except for Billy Gunn, who is Hufflepuff.
2. If you’re a longtime reader of the Best and Worst of NXT, especially back in the pre-Network Hulu days, you know about the NXT Oculus. It’s a mirror at Full Sail University that causes you to become evil if you stare into it for too long. It’s also responsible for 45 deaths. You may have seen the WWE Studios film about it. It’s at least partially (primarily) responsible for transforming Shaul Guerrero from a normal woman into a psychotic “Ultra Diva,” corrupted Adam Rose’s fun-loving lifestyle, turned Sasha Banks into “The Boss,” made Becky Lynch stop Riverdancing and take herself seriously, and so on. It’s always “different mirrors,” but it’s always a mirror.
Who were the first WWF Superstars to be corrupted by a mirror? Of course there was the Narcissist Lex Luger, who only found the strength to become a fan favorite again when he stopped looking in the mirror and started looking into the faces of AMERICA, and Shawn Michaels, driven to such an emotional madness by his own reflection that he’d eventually leave the company because of extremely sadness. How does this connect? Well, who’s currently one of the most important and influential people in NXT?
He probably gave the mirror to Full Sail in the first place. Its dark power drew him back there, and now he decides who looks into it and who can never. IT’S ALL COMING TOGETHER.
Doomsday Device Of The Week
I don’t know what this little boy did to deserve being clotheslined to hell, but post-apocalyptic street justice can be cruel sometimes.
Yoga Lesson Of The Week
The Legion of Doom take on the crackerjack duo of Tom Bennett and Barry Hardy, and Hardy — whose name is a great way to describe the portion sizes in Hungry Man® dinners — gives us a lesson in how to safely and elegantly let a 300-pound Chicagoan with a spider painted on his forehead pick you up on his shoulders so a second 300-pound guy from Chicago with an opposite mohawk can jump off the top rope and collapse your windpipe with his forearm.
Behold Hardy’s three crucial yoga poses:
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Really hoping there’s more of an overlap between a yogi audience and one who wants to read jokes about what the Road Warriors were doing on weekend morning children’s TV 30 years ago than I’m imagining. Anyway, the Doomsday Device with make sure people namaste down.
Bad Analysis Of The Week
While Sgt. Slaughter wrestles human strawberry Red Tyler, this exchange occurs on commentary.
Pre-corded Mountie, screaming: “IN THE GOOD OL’ USA YOU CELEBRATE FATHER’S DAY … WELL, FORGET IT, SLAUGHTER, ‘CAUSE WHEN WE MEET, IT’S GONNA BE THE MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES!”
McMahon: “The mother of all battles … now, where have I heard that before?”
Perfect: “I give up, where, McMahon?”
McMahon: “I think … uh yes, the words of Saddam Hussein. Seems to me as though the Mountie and uh, Saddam Hussein have a little something in common.”
Perfect: “Yeah, maybe.”
McMahon: “Their attitude, among other things.”
Hey, you know who might have more in common with Saddam Hussein than The Mountie?
There’s also the whole “Vince McMahon running shows for the benefit of Mohammed bin Salman’s progressive new Saudi Arabia” propaganda arm, so maybe lay off the hyper-optimistic, positive self-talking Canadian police officer who just wants to get his jollies tasing horrible-looking wrestler chumps?
Believable Cuban Accent Of The Week
We get another look at the soon-to-debut Razor Ramon, who really Halls around in his custom Cadillac. He’s also cutting a promo on Meng for some reason. “Check my ride, Meng, it’s a Cadillac, Meng, custom made for Razor! Nobody telling Razor Ramon what to do, Meng!” It’s either that, or a white guy from Maryland named Oliver shouldn’t be playing your Cuban character, one or the other. I have extremely hot takes about a successful wrestling character from 27 years ago!
Anyway, one of the interesting things I’ve picked up about the early Razor Ramon vignettes, as opposed to the Razor we eventually got used to, is that he’s sorta lisping to get the accent right. “Nobody … going to THOP me!” It’s weird, and you can see how less than a year later he’s just hitting those S-sounds and being the guy we know and love. I’m excited to get to next week’s vignette, which is the one where he dumps a lady mid-video and philosophizes about how he broke her heart. If you haven’t seen it, don’t look it up until you read about it in here.
Sign Of The Week
From the creators of NOBBS, TANTANKA, and I DON’T THINK SO comes their latest front row sign event: REST IN PEACE. That family got a hell of a lot of TV time just for buying a pack of letter stickers from Michael’s before they went to the rasslin’ matches.
This one’s held up during The Undertaker’s sacrificial murder of Duane Gill. They’re still calling him “Dwayne” Gill despite him having “DUANE” tattooed on his arm. Undertaker wins because it’s 1992, and 1992 Undertaker vs. any year Duane Gill is like a Howitzer vs. a screen door.
The Ballad Of Robert And Lucretia, Part Three
My dearest, Lucretia;
I believe it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who said, “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
It feels like this show will run forever. We’ve been here for almost a month now, wearing the same clothes, taking turns wandering through the ebb and flow of Kentuckian sub-humanity to prowl the concession stands for leftover pretzel shards, scraps of paper with nacho cheese residue, or “souvenir sodas” to mark the era and let whomever comes next know that we, strong and proud we, were here. If only for a moment. I’m so hungry I almost stopped one of those arena workers who keeps walking up and down the steps trying to sell plastic bags full of clown pubic hair for ten dollars.
It won’t last forever, though. Though I have several snarky rants about Crush, the faults of his incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest. Soon the WWF will be gone. We’ll go back to our beautiful but comparatively shallow lives in the hovels and dug-out towns of rural Kentucky and search for meaning, ever searching, while our bodies loosen and rot from within. One day the WWF might not even be called the WWF. Crush might be called something different. Maybe The Brooklyn Brawler will seem more important to the history of the promotion than Crush. Maybe even soldiers as powerful as Road Warrior Hawk will slip and fall into nothingness, and be gone.
Though I’ve previously written to you of love, Lucretia, I need to open my heart to you, one last time, and tell you the truth; that “love” isn’t what we think it is when we’re young and it’s 1992. Sometimes you fall out of love. Sometimes you stop going to wrestling shows for a long time, and come back to it 20 years later, when something interesting happens and your ears perk up again. Your heart lifts a little, because you remember what it was like to watch living super heroes trade blows only a few feet in front of you, on a square stage, performing their most honest interpretation of humanity and conflict in the round. You lose, and you win. It’s the best, Lucretia, but it is also the worst, and it makes my heart raw.
I’m pretty bored with this Crush match, because, Jesus, Crush, so I’ll close my eyes and listen to the sounds of children laughing, grown men cursing, and foam hands sliding over their realer, smaller equivalents. I’ll think about you, Lucretia, and what love meant when our veins were tight and our hearts beat unbroken. In my mind’s eye, it looks a lot like pro wrestling. When I open them, maybe you’ll be beside me again.
Goodbye for now,
Hot Hahn Of The Week
This week’s most important development is the continuing Curse of Papa Shango, which so far has given a man a violent stomach ache, burned another man’s boots, and made Mean Gene Okerlund leak oil from his arm. This week’s victim is none other than Chris Hahn, who you may remember as “Chris Hawn,” the guy with a quail on his head from a few weeks ago.
Hahn shows up to face Papa Shango and is wearing a suspicious amount of accessories. When he gets in the ring, Papa Shango “lights his hand on fire.” I’m not putting this in quotes because it seems faker than, say, using voodoo magicks to give a man a hot foot, but because the camera catches a ring attendant literally striking a match in his hand. Watch the right side of the screen:
It’s not even remotely subtle, but still, Papa Shango wins a match by … fatality? Too bad they got Chris Hahn to play this role, and not Master Fire Avoider Mike Samples.
On the positive side, I’m glad they got Hahn for this instead of Repo Man’s opponent Brian Costello. You put an open flame anywhere near that guy’s body and the entire arena’s going up in flames.
Next Week Of The Week
Superstars heads to sunny Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, as the Legion of Doom “get back to their roots” by fishing creepy-ass toys out of a burned down building, Virgil almost kills one of the Headbangers, and we’ve got a whole new batch of jobbers to make fun of.
Also, more McMahon vs. Mr. Perfect wordplay battles they did some blow and cranked out 40 of in an afternoon.
See you then!