Induction: Pierre, The Hardcore Reindeer – Did we ever see him and The Barbarian in the same place?

36 Submitted by on Thu, 19 May 2016, 20:00

WWF, 1999

The year 1999 was a hard one for Al Snow. For one thing, that was the year Wal-Mart stopped selling his action figure because it came packaged with a toy mannequin head.

See, according to two professors of Communications, the woman’s presumably severed head promoted “the brutalization of women” to young, impressionable boys.

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(If only they had seen this horrifying display at Macy’s!)

It sounded as silly and ill-informed then as it does now. Fortunately, these days, concerned citizens with worthless degrees target more genuine displays of misogyny…

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…such as the fact that Batman’s cape tends to make his ass harder to see in video games.

But it turns out that Al Snow really did carry around a severed head for a brief period in 1999 — although this one belonged to a reindeer and had been stuffed and mounted well before Al took possession of it.

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The story behind this week’s induction starts at Backlash 1999, when Al Snow challenged Bob Holly for the Hardcore title in what wrestling experts universally hail as a very long match. And I mean, loooong. Remember when Crash Holly defended the title 24/7, so his whole life was just one long title match? This match felt longer than that.

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Al Snow may have won the match officially (and anticlimactically) by hitting Hardcore Holly with his mannequin head and pinning him, but in his mind, it was Head who actually made the pin.

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When Hardcore Holly stole Head the next night and demanded a title shot as ransom, Snow claimed he couldn’t give anybody a title shot because Head was the real champion. This, of course, made zero sense: Al Snow’s mannequin head was not an official participant in the title match and therefore couldn’t win the match or the title. Yeah, yeah, it also didn’t make any sense that an inanimate object could win a championship in the first place, but someone with Al Snow’s experience should at least have known the rules of wrestling, regardless of whether he thought Head was a real person or not.

But under Snow’s logic, before he could defend his Hardcore Title against Hardcore Holly, Al had to “win it back” in a match from Head. This was but the first time Holly would be snubbed in favor of Al Snow’s mannequin head.

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(The second time being in Acclaim’s WWF Attitude, where Head was included as a playable character, but not Hardcore Holly)

So with Holly as the referee…

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…Al Snow worked a kayfabe-destroying match against Head…

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…the highlight of which was when Head somehow moved out of the way of a moonsault.

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Would Snow get fined for this today?

Between this match and the one where he wrestled himself, Al Snow practically invented the Dramatic Dream Team style of wrestling.

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In Head’s absence, Al Snow had started hanging out with his new friend, Pierre.

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No, not him. This Pierre had one eye and wore a patch. Uh, and he was a deer head.

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And wouldn’t you know it: when referee Holly counted the pinfall (on a mannequin head with no shoulders), it was Pierre who made the cover.

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That meant that Al Snow still couldn’t give Holly a title shot, since his hunting trophy was now the rightful Hardcore champion.

If all this sounds like fun to you, your name isn’t Jim Cornette, who could barely hold back his disdain as he recapped the events of the past month with all the bewilderment of a dissatisfied Dairy Queen customer.

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Hardcore Holly was fed up with this nonsense, too, taking matters into his own hands by wrapping poor Pierre around the ring post.

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With Pierre dead, Al Snow held a mock-funeral in the middle of the ring on Raw and announced that the late Pierre had willed him the Hardcore title. Jack Tunney never would have let that stand.

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The good news for Hardcore Holly was that he could now get his much-anticipated rematch against Snow for the Hardcore title. So finely-crafted was this Russo-penned narrative that only war correspondent Michael Coulthard could truly do it justice.

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At the pay-per-view, Al Snow sported a black “Pierre” armband and a memorial T-shirt for the “Hardcore Reindeer” en route to victory.

Snow’s luck with friends would only get worse as the year wore on.

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First, Snow’s Head got a spike driven right through him (appropriately enough, by Prince Albert).

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Then, his dog Pepper was kidnapped, killed, and served to Al as food by the evil Bossman.

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And even worse, Mick Foley wrote jokes about Al in his book.

But the biggest slap in the face to poor old Al was that Wal-Mart, the same store that refused to carry his action figure, hung up his dead friend Pierre to advertise their hunting rifles.

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Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
36 Responses to "Induction: Pierre, The Hardcore Reindeer – Did we ever see him and The Barbarian in the same place?"
  1. Mortuary Matt aka Headlessvhseyes says:

    In one, or both, of the Smack Down games for Playstation One, Pierre was a usable object in hardcore style matches. I believe you could even make it so custom characters could walk to the ring holding him or something. Spent a loooong time playing those games, but it’s been a looong time since I’ve played them.

  2. John C says:

    If only there was a way like in Being John Malkovich to get inside Vince’s mind. What was the thing about being named Pierre and only being able to have one eye? Quebecer Pierre came first and then Dead Deer Pierre becomes a thing. Was there a person in Vince’s life named Pierre that only had one eye that somehow wronged him? It’s making me do The Corny Face just thinking about it.

    • Art0Donnell says:

      I don’t know how I missed the Pierre/Pierre connection, but now I’m adding that into the article and pretending it was always there.

      • John C says:

        When the day comes and One Eyed Wrestling Pierres’ becomes a Jeopardy category you know I’ll clean up on that section.

        • John Q Occupier says:

          I now have a horrible vision of WWE writers reading this page and using “One-Eyed Pierre” as a euphemism…

        • Ze Frenchie says:

          I’ll take the One-Eyed Pirate Wrestlers from Louisiana named Jean-Pierre category for 200$, Alex.

          And, for some reason, I’m now thinking that we really need a wrestling version of SNL. Maybe SMEL?

      • Al Lobama says:

        That was an in-joke by Al Snow. During the deer head’s first appearance, Snow tried to ride down the entrance ramp in a soapbox derby car (a lame attempt to poke fun at Bob Holly), but the car tipped over on the way down and Pierre was damaged when he fell out and hit the ground, losing an eye. In it’s next appearance, the deer head was given an eye patch and officially named Pierre as a result.

    • The Doctor of Style says:

      Dead Deer Pierre–the best DDP in wrestling?

  3. Alexandru says:

    Man the AE sure did have some bizarre stuff. If anything, it’s a bit overrated. 1999 seemed a bit too over the top especially. But WWE could get away with this since WCW started imploding at this point

    • Jelly Boobies says:

      WWF’s writing didn’t need to be great, it just needed to be better than WCW’s writing. Even though it still had its share of absolute garbage like this, they were wise enough to (for the most part) keep it away from the top of the card. They gave the lower and mid-card guys interesting and identifiable characters and quirks, and made it clear what their place was, while making sure those in the world title picture were given more gravitas. Not to mention that those at the top were mostly guys people wanted to see in comparison to the boredom setting in at WCW. They put the younger and fresher guys at the top (Austin, Rock, Triple H, Foley), threw other talented guys a bone with the IC and European titles (Jericho, D’Lo, Jarrett, Venis etc) and kept the entertaining but ultimately lower-card guys in the Hardcore division. Unlike WCW which kept its old, stale guys at the top for so long that the fresher mid-card talents also ended up being stale because they were just fighting among themselves and also had the stupidest angles to work with.

      • Alexandru says:

        Good point about the lower/midcard guys actually having interesting characters. That’s what has what has hurt the main event scene now i.e. there is no one over enough to elevate

  4. AK says:

    I do believe it wasn’t instituted when the Hardcore title was first created but if they had the 24/7 rule at that time then technically Head or anything, or anyone for that matter could have become the champion presuming they brought along their own referee. Since Head didn’t bring its own referee to perform the pinfall, that would in theory nullify its win but just writing all that made my head spin.

  5. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    Regarding the whole Anita Sarkeesian reference, I have to say, by and large she has a point about the way women are depicted in games, but saying shit like that whole “why can’t we see Batman’s ass?” thing make her hard to respect. She’s essentially the Michael Moore of video games – make a good point as a whole, but mess with the facts in order to do so.

    • Jelly Boobies says:

      No, she’s not making a good point at all. She’s a professional victim who’s also a complete agitator. Her views are beyond idiotic and most gamers, male and female, know this. The only reason she has a pretence of respectability is because she bans any comments that call her out on her pre-60’s sexist nonsense and she has a compliant, mostly white middle-class male liberal media desperately trying to overcompensate to the point that they delude themselves into thinking her views are anything other than the inane ramblings of a one-track minded misandrist.

      Congratulations to Art, who in the past has picked on angles he’s deemed to be chauvanistic or racist, for being able to see the difference between legitimate grievances and inane, attention-seeking sabre-rattling dross like Sarkeesian. Mainstream gaming outlets should take note and stop pandering to bigots.

      • The Gil-Monster says:

        Not making ‘a good point’ at all… professional victim who’s also a complete agitator… her views are beyond idiotic, most know this… pre-’60s sexist nonsense… a compliant liberal media desperately trying to overcompensate for her inane ramblings, falling into self-delusion… a one-track-minded misandrist… attention-seeking, saber-rattling dross… the mainstream should stop pandering to bigots. Interesting. Sounds a lot like that horrible Ann Coulter to me.

        I spent years wondering how folks like you would react to a left-wing version of that camera-starved psychopath. I now know how it makes you feel: you can’t even let an ultimately negative remark on a comedic professional wrestling website slide without launching into LET ME TELL YOU WHO THE *REAL* RACIST IS. This has made my day. Thank you!

        Back to the topic at hand: a week ago I remembered that I owned the Al Snow figure, and I couldn’t remember why I bought it- I had fallen out of wrestling because I wasn’t a fan of the Attitude era. Thank you for refreshing my memory! It was my Yuck Fou to Wal-Mart.

        • middle ground says:

          I am neither left nor right, I stand against both Sarkeesian and Coulter for their ass backwards ways of thinking… the only reason why I think anyone even ignores Coulter is because she can take a (figurative) punch and deal the venom back double unlike Sarkeesian who likes to hide behind the profiteering of professional victimhood.

          It’s one thing to have a strong opinion, it’s another to have the guts to back it up and face your opposition head on and stand your ground… I have respect for neither person in this example but I can see at least one of them will laugh off criticism while the other one will just whine about how the world is bullying them just because some people don’t agree and have evidence that contradicts their arguments.

          But yeah you’re right, both have legions of idiots who will hang on to their every word… though I’d compare FemFreq to Morgan Spurlock instead of Michael Moore. (I do think it is an accurate comparison though)

          • Al Boondy says:

            Hmm, wonder if the author realized that an innocent off-hand link in an article about a wrestling deer’s head would lead to such rhetoric …

  6. Hulk6785 says:

    God bless Al Snow. His WWF run was so delightful. I look forward to more Al Snow inductions.

  7. Mister Forth says:

    What a mess.

  8. Gonzo says:

    Reminds me of a tag team match between Too Much (before they became Too Cool) against Al Snow and Head (seriously) with Jerry Lawler as guest referee, with Christopher pinning Head attaching it to a bottle of Head and Shoulders (again, seriously)

    Forgot which event it was though

    • Scrooge McSuck says:

      King of the Ring ’98. Funny ending aside, that was one awful match that deserves induction. JR burying the whole thing, Snow “fighting” for a contract that Lawler kept promising he could get him, Too Much… Too Much. Head being a legal participant of the match…

    • Doc75 says:

      King of the Ring ’98

  9. Arya Witner says:

    Al Snow vs Head is still my favorite comedy match of all time, just after Al Snow & Head vs Too Much

  10. adam says:

    “Put the electrical things on him! Get the salad tongs!”
    “… It’s been dead a long time.”
    “What do you mean?!”

    Gotta give it to Al, no matter how dumb the bit, he’d commit to it.

  11. Doc75 says:

    thank God Vince never had an inanimate object battle royal. can you imagine Head VS Pierre VS Mitch the Plant VS i will stop there. i could go on for a long time lol.

    • Doc 902714 says:

      No. But they did have it in print (more specifically in the WWE Magazine) where they had what was called a “Gimmicked Object Battle Royal” featuring among other items Head, Flair’s robe, Legion of Doom’s Spiked Shoulder pads, Big Boss Man’s Knight Stick, Brutus Beefcake’s shears and Honky Tonk Man’s guitar to name a few. The end result was it had been won by Flair’s robe….Woooooooh!

      • Doc 902714 says:

        Bonus! Fun Fact: T.L. Hopper’s plunger and Outlaw Ron Bass’ bullwhip both shared the same name of Miss Betsy?

  12. Jelly Boobies says:

    Whatever happened to Pepper? In real life, I mean. Was he ever used on any other shows? Was he owned by someone who worked for the WWF?

  13. Gerard says:

    Can I have some of whaevadafak it is wwe writers are smoking please cause it must be some really good shit to think up crazy ideas www.rudolphtheheadlessreindeer.com I bet that URL is not taken!!

  14. Mark Smart says:

    gotta say, most of the hardcore stuff and anything Al Snow was involved with was garbage. Until he won the European title. he was the perfect guy to hold it. he was a joke wrestler and it was a joke title. he got away from the Head gimmick and was coming to the ring in lederhosen to represent Germany or carrying a picture of Tony Danza to represent Italy.

    and yeah there was a lot of bizarre crap from the late 90s, not just in the WWF but in wrestling as a whole. and even though they came up short with stuff like this, at least they had the balls to try something strange. now it’s safe and predictable to make the stockholders happy.

  15. Jimbolian says:

    I think it’s safe to say that Head was the most disturbing character in a wrestling video game ever. Not only was it unsettling to see a floating mannequin head with only hands and feet, his (or her?) voice made things even worse. Add more nightmare fuel if you turn on the squeaky voices mode.

  16. Buddy McKay says:

    Glad DDT was mentioned; just yesterday I learned about that fed’s Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship, which is like the Hardcore Title on acid, crack, smack, or whatever drug one would jokingly use to finish that sentence.

  17. Sean O says:

    I’ve heard of this but only now do I get the honor of seeing the legend that is Pierre! Thanx!

  18. Si says:

    Reminded by seeing it mentioned: has any footage or print escaped into the wild of Michael Cole’s actual journalistic career?

  19. Lee W. says:

    I sure as hell didn’t want head then

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