Jesus Christ, Superstars: Yoko, Oh No! (October 31, 1992)

Previously on Jesus Christ, Superstars: Nailz teased a confrontation with The Undertaker but is never going to actually step to him, because it’s THE UNDERTAKER, and he is “Nailz.” Also, Jason Helton debuted 1992’s best wrestling move.

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Here’s what you missed 27 years ago on WWF Superstars for October 31, 1992.

Debuts Of The Week

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This week, WWF Superstars takes a sharp right turn. Apparently the show had been getting record low ratings, so instead of just filling up the hour with jobber squashes and Mooney-logues about which superstars are ready to “reach the top here in the World Wrestling Federation,” they actually make an attempt to do things with their hour-long. Weird, right? That means a big match featuring actual stars, a few returns, and a handful of character debuts.

In fact, the closest thing I can find to a Jobber of the Week is this guy, Joe Bevins, who looks like they cast the manager of Empire Records to play Mean Gene Okerlund. Bevins — real name Joe Aiello, not to be confused with the gangster — did some announcing work with Manitoba’s International Wrestling Alliance and got his WWF gig through the legendary Nick Bockwinkel, the thinking man’s Ric Flair. He pops in to give the common man’s Ric Flair, Ric Flair, an interview alongside Mr. Perfect and Razor Ramon. Aiello is currently in charge of WINNPEG’S BEST ROCK, which I assume is just Fozzy.

Who’s the week’s most important debut, you ask?

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How about the goddamn Yokozuna, making his first appearance on WWF television in a literal squash of Bill Jordan.

If for some reason you aren’t familiar with his work, Yoko is a very Samoan and very obviously not Japanese man who moves like a cat despite weighing a legit 500 pounds. By the end of his run, he was peaking at about 640. To put that into perspective for you, that’s 120 pounds more than the billed weight of Andre the Giant. Yoko was killer in the ring, too, eventually becoming a 2-time WWf Champion. He’s probably the best under-the-radar WWF champ ever, because he competed in an era where dudes like him weren’t appreciated. Long story short, this kid is me watching a Yokozuna squash:

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Literally my only complaint about Yokozuna is that they didn’t keep his far superior AWA name, Kokina Maximus. And that the slow zoom they did at the end of this match didn’t keep going until they were inside his eye like one of That’s So Raven’s visions. Somebody make that edit.

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Murray, one small thing? When you bring me out … can you introduce me as Doink?

The camera cuts away from Tatanka vs. Dale Wolfe to catch a weird clown in the crowd, and surprisingly it’s not just a guy trying to get himself over: it’s Doink the Clown, the CROWN PRINCE OF (pro wrestling?) CRIME. We’ll learn more about him in the coming weeks, but all you really need to know right now is that the World Wrestling Federation was surprisingly ahead of the time when it came to child-antagonizing clowns, at least in the sense that it was still mostly relegated to Stephen King and murderers. It hadn’t become a thing we sold Funko Pops at Target about yet.

Doink is, of course, named after the sound of a Tonberry stabbing you.

Returns Of The Week

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Bam Bam Bigelow is coming, and he’s thankfully able to let us know from the set of a Burger King commercial. You can tell he’s flame-broiled because of the lines.

Per B.B. Bigs, he chose the WWF for a return here because (1) the independent scene in 1992 was exclusively the jobbers you see on Superstars episodes, (2) WCW had signed a deal with New Japan, so New Japan wasn’t bringing in on re-signing any gaijin stars, and (3) he wanted more exposure. This run would end up being most notable for him losing to a non-wrestling football player’s jumping punch, but he’d get a WrestleMania main event out of it, so good for him.

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This week’s most important return is from Marty Jannetty, the “Marty Jannetty” of the Rockers, who hadn’t been on TV since Shawn Michaels turned heel, superkicked him, and tossed him through a barbershop window. The best part of that phrasing nobody mentions is that it wasn’t a “barbershop window” at all, but a window in a reformed stripper’s pretend barbershop set for his mid-wrestling-show talk show. The more specific you get, the funnier it sounds. Dude definitely did blow off that chair more than once.

Michaels is supposed to have a match against Steve May, but freezes when he sees his former partner’s ghostly (?) image in his personalized heart mirror. When he turns around, Jannetty powers up like he’s Fred Flintstone about to sprint and delivers some sweet PRO WRES JUSTICE until the denouement: Sherri pulling a Blondie and being felled by a heart of glass.

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Sherri sells the Valentine’s Day massacre with a stretcher job, which (as was reported at the time) gives her some time off the road to spend with her family. Good old Marty Jannetty, somehow turning even a simple, righteous return punching into an abject failure. Still, it’s a great segment, especially in place of Steve May trying to take a teardrop suplex without his balls ending up in his throat.

Tag Team Turmoil Of The Week

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The main event of the week (and its opening match) is a Tag Team Championship match between the champions, the Natural Disasters, and the challengers, Money Inc. It’s such an important match that Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect SIMULCAST the event with Wrestling Challenge anchors Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon, which is manna from God to your ears if you grew up watching wrestling in the 80s. Sure not missing out on hearing how Earthquake is “obviously a devoted follower” of the ICOPRO program, or whatever. Plus we get hilarious moments like Gorilla calling the Disasters’ double splash in the corner a, “sandwich job,” which is just delightful.

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If you read last week’s column, you know this was supposed to be the Nasty Boys challenging the Disasters, but Jimmy Hart made the executive decision to replace them with another team at the last minute. The Nasties are understandably pissed, and show up to have words and waggled fingers with Hart and Money Inc. DiBiase and IRS try to buy peace with a stack of hundred dollar bills, so the Nasties pocket the money, pretend like everything’s fine, and then kick their asses. Big pop for the face-turned Nasty Boys, and now Money Inc.’s at even MORE of a disadvantage.

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This evens out thanks to interference from the Headshrinkers, the tactfully named Samoan tag team that eats raw fish and rarely ever shrinks any heads. This causes Typhoon to accidentally leave Earthquake to the wolves, and he gets put to sleep in the Million Dollar Dream. We have new Tag Team Champions and two instant, ready-made feuds: the Disasters vs. the Headshrinkers, and Money Inc. vs. the Nasty Boys. What is this, a 1998 Raw?

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To make sure the allegiances and feuds are clear, the Nasties do a followup interview where they send Jimmy to Pitty City and press him onto Money Inc., formally ending the already pretty weird-when-you-think-about-it allegiance of post-apocalyptic street punks and 1950s record producer. Hart managing a rich guy and the rich guy’s accountant makes sense, at least, as he’s gotta have SOMEBODY around to embezzle money from Elvis, or whoever.

Next Week Of The Week

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The weird trend of “things happening” continues as Damian Demento debuts, Money Inc. defends their new WWF Tag Team Championship against High Energy, and a special “interview” with the Big Boss Man where he isn’t actually asked any questions. BE THERE!