Induction: The HLA Match – As believable as Mrs. Doubtfire, and almost as sexy!

29 Submitted by on Thu, 21 November 2013, 21:00

WWE, 2002

September of 2002 was without a doubt the gayest month in WWE history. It seemed that every show that aired that month was designed to make viewers say out loud, “This is so gay!”

Gay, that is, meaning literally homosexual. If we here at Wrestlecrap wanted to express that something was being embarrassingly stupid, we wouldn’t stoop so low as to call it, “gay.”

Anyway, week after week, WWE bombarded viewers with really gay story lines and stunts (that just so happened to be embarrassingly stupid) such as Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo getting married and two “lesbians” performing something called HLA (which had nothing to do with the human leukocyte antigen, and everything to do with two no-name women hesitantly pawing at each other).

As hard as it is to believe, one feminist group took offense to the hot lesbian action segment and picketed Raw the next week. Since WWE thinks that every activist group is as gullible as GLAAD, Eric Bischoff invited them to the ring, which we all know is the safest place to be at a wrestling event, especially one with a heel authority figure. hm01
hla32 In case you don’t remember, this was the period on Raw when 3 Minute Warning, consisting of two super-heavyweights from the famous Samoan wrestling family, had been viciously beating an impressive list of victims, including “Jimmy Snuka, the WWE Hall of Famer, Jeff Hardy, lesbians…
Bischoff was just about ready to sic 3 Minute Warning on the women, who apparently didn’t watch WWE enough to see that sort of thing coming. Ridiculous, right? As it turned out, the feminist group wasn’t what they appeared to be, but merely a ploy to let Stephanie get revenge on Bischoff for sabotaging that Thursday’s gay wedding. No elaborate costumery here, just Stephanie in a wig and a kick to the crotch. hm02
lowkick (Future McMahon-delivered crotch-kicks forwent the wigs altogether)
Billy and Chuck, fellow victims of Bischoff and 3MW, rushed in soon after. The former life-partners paid homage to the Road Warriors by hitting Bischoff with the Dooms-gay Device while Stephanie screeched like a banshee. hm03
hm04 Bischoff’s goons lived up to their team name by taking approximately 180 seconds to finally storm the ring and help out their boss, only to be fended off by the only tag team to ever be endorsed by GLAAD.*
*not a joke
Eric, despite the intense pain, managed to cook up a special stipulation match between his team and Steph’s, where he either had to smooch Stephanie McMahon’s fanny (note to UK readers: that means bum) or watch her get fondled by another woman. And here you thought he was just some pervert. hm05
hm06 Stephanie agreed to the stipulations the next Thursday on Smackdown, which figures, because a McMahon will never miss an opportunity to show their bare butt. I don’t know what it is, but the whole family really resents having to cover their asses (like when they had to create the Wellness Program).
The Rock may have left for Hollywood the month before, but that wouldn’t stop WWE from promoting a major pay-per-view match via satellite. In the face-off, Bischoff scoffed at the idea of kissing “McMahon tush,” while Stephanie teased that if she had to perform HLA, she “just might like it.” I bet Triple H told Steph that night that he had this crazy idea (“Hey, what do say you keep the title on me for basically the next three years?” I didn’t say the idea had to do with lesbians). hm07
hm08 That Sunday’s Unforgiven pay-per-view thus hosted the first-ever HLA match, which was also WWE’s third-ever Kiss My Ass match.
It’s common for wrestlers’ entrance themes to start off with a sound bite, but 3 Minute Warning’s music kicked off with perhaps the worst sound bite in WWE entrance history. It’s Eric Bischoff asking a question about himself, stealing the audience’s attention away from the subject at hand. Am I the only one who finds that sort of thing really distracting? Well, am I? hm09
hm10 Billy & Chuck’s choice of entrance music wasn’t much better, as they still came out (so to speak) to the same love song they used back when they were gay.
Speaking of gay, Rico was on the receiving end of chants from the few fans who weren’t enlightened by Billy & Chuck’s stint as a couple.
hm11

Rico’s not gay, for the record. Why, here’s a picture of him with 2 lesbians on his lap. So, uh, case closed.

hm12 Billy, clearly not learning his lesson from the Smoking Gunns’ battles with The Headshrinkers, attempted to double-noggin-knock the Samoans to no effect, only to get a double-headbutt in return. “That’s a lotta head,” said Tazz in a statement that would have meant something completely different for Gunn two weeks earlier.
Despite their best efforts, Billy and Chuck ended up on the losing end (The blame really lies with Stephanie for picking a man who was 0-1 in “Kiss-My-Ass” matches to represent her). That meant that it was time for HLA for HHH’s S&M BFF. hm13
hm14

She may not wrestle, but I’d love to see her box! Nah, she’s probably not any good at that sport, either.

Since the two “lesbians” weren’t required to take bumps this time, WWE could reach beyond the wrestling world and use models far more attractive than the ones used in the first HLA segment.
No offense to the original “lesbian” couple, but these women were solid 9s, while Jenny and Tanya were each maybe a 4 out of 10. Bret Hart certainly wasn’t impressed. hm15hla00
hm16 King may have enjoyed the lesbians from Raw enough to squeal throughout the whole night, but the ones on this night were enough to drive him to a focused, Zen-like state of perviness.
With “Peaches” and “Cream” in the ring, Bischoff next brought out the losing GM. Now, Steph’s team may have lost the match, but she still got at least two men to kiss her ass. “Look how hot she looks!” said Lawler about Stephanie. “There’s no doubt about how hot she looks,” said JR. Listening to the commentary, you’ve got to wonder how long Steph has been scripting everybody’s dialogue. hm17
hm18 As JR talked about knowing Stephanie since she was a little girl, Jerry replied with this nugget: “When she was a little girl, she might have had her girlfriends sleep over, who knows!” Did The King just fantasize about a grade-school Stephanie McMahon experimenting sexually with her friends? Ooooh yeah, he did. Now I understand why Lawler is always excited about the Divas dressing as schoolgirls. (Just kidding. I put the pieces together long ago)
Lawler may have savaged the viewers with his perverted commentary, but Ross at least did his part to shut The King up. How is it that whenever JR imitates other people, it’s awesome, but when other people imitate JR, it’s always repulsive?  hm19
hm20 Yeah, I don’t know either, Peaches.
(Luckily for King, he didn’t have any facial disfigurement for anyone to take cheap shots at, now that he had gotten that eye-job) hla09
hm21 Before the fans got to see what they paid for, Bischoff once again put an abrupt halt to the festivities, sending the two hired hands to the back, then telling Stephanie that she would be doing HLA with a special guest.
Bischoff claimed to have found a “lesbo” who was so hideous that Stephanie couldn’t possibly enjoy the proceedings. Surprisingly, Eric didn’t use any other insults you hadn’t heard since third grade, like “gay-wad.” hm22
hm23 Cue WWE’s stock porno music, and enter Hildegard, a woman who viewers could have sworn was just Salofa “Rikishi” Fatu in a dress. The announcers didn’t seem to see the resemblance, though, and for good reason.
See, as much as this “lesbian” may have looked like Rikishi in drag, as the cameras zoomed in on “Hildegard,” one thing became apparent: the announcers were complete morons, because of course that was Rikishi in drag. hm99
hm24 Stephanie looked like she had just seen the script for Triple H’s upcoming promo in the funeral home.
Then, to the Raw GM’s shock, Stephanie slipped the giant lesbian the tongue and appeared to play Twister with Hildie as the mat. hm25
hm26 The super-sized Sapphist then nailed Eric with a savate kick before taking off her wig and peeling off her makeup to reveal…
…the exact same face but with different hair. hm25
hm27 Bischoff must have had the worst eyesight known to man; not only was he the only person in the world not to see Warrior’s reflection in the mirror, but he couldn’t figure out that “Hildegard” was just Rikishi with a wig after seeing him up close and personal (twice).
Near-sightedness was the least of Eric’s problems on this night, though. Just like the previous match with a “kiss my ass” stipulation, it ended with a man’s head stuffed up a fat, non-regulation butt crack. hm28
hm29hm29.1 Stephanie and Rikishi then partied like it was 1999 (or, considering the hideous mess of makeup rubbed off on Steph’s face, 2000).
hm30.1

Stephanie clearly inherited dad’s dance skills.

hm30

Fortunately, after Unforgiven, WWE abruptly shifted away from the sort of embarrassing nonsense that had been plaguing its programming for weeks. Smackdown did so by for months presenting some of the most consistently great wrestling ever broadcast on free TV, while Raw built their main feud around necrophilia.

hla35

Come to think of it, maybe Gay September wasn’t so bad.

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 currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
29 Responses to "Induction: The HLA Match – As believable as Mrs. Doubtfire, and almost as sexy!"
  1. John says:

    Yeah Stephaine “Elaine” McMahon-Helmsley-Levesque seems just like her dad while cutting the rug (oops no HLA pun meant there…GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I think this idiot junk was when my weekly WWE viewing habits began to really drop off. Thankfully I can slip into the old NWA shows and the MSG/Boston Garden house shows for the good old fun.

  2. Mr. Glen says:

    I agree with the last part about consistently great wrestling. However, because it was Paul Heyman writing it and not a McMahon, that was nixed pretty quickly.

  3. Sir Thomas says:

    Apparently Eric Bischoff’s health plan doesn’t include vision.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Isn’t “Peaches” one of the Miller Lite Catfight girls that wasted time with a pantsless Coach at WrestleMania XIX? That’s two pieces of Wrestlecrap for the price of one!

    • The Great Gouki says:

      Why, yes!!! The “self proclaimed” Tera Patrick look-alike, Kitana Baker! Had it not been for her terrible scarring around her nipples (due to sketchy boob job) I’d say she was a step away from being perfect…she’s also on some of those terrible Backyard Wrestling DVD’s you’d used to see on those late night infomercials. And, of course, a random assortment of Cinemax soft porn.

  5. RD Reynolds says:

    LOL at the Peaches/MMR throwback!

  6. Bill Richy says:

    Oh man… I don’t even know where to begin with this one.
    Let me see if I’ve got this straight.
    Eric Bischoff challenges Stephanie McMahon to a match with a lesbian act stipulation riding on the success of their respective teams.
    Eric Bischoff’s team wins, forcing Stephanie to perform HLA.
    Eric provides the lesbian for Stephanie, but the lesbian turns out to be Rikishi in drag.
    This means that Stephanie knew her team would lose, so she placed Rikishi (a member of the Smackdown roster) undercover as a lesbian, because she also knew that Eric wouldn’t be able to resist using someone unattractive for his HLA stunt and Bischoff just happened to pick Stephanie’s undercover plant as his lesbian, instead of bringing in his own girl like he did every other time he introduced an HLA segment.

    I’m all for the suspension of disbelief, but eventually you come to a point where you just can’t suspend any further.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This entire series of events was like a dream sequence in a John Waters movie. You can tell they just completely gave up trying to have anything make even the slightest bit of sense after WCW folded and the Monday Night Wars were over.

  8. hulk6785 says:

    At the time, I didn’t get UPN, which aired SmackDown! back then. I could only see RAW. So, instead of seeing some of the greatest wrestling ever broadcast on free TV, I had to see the necrophilia. So, yeah, Gay September wasn’t so bad.

  9. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    If memory serves, that 3 Minute Warning theme didn’t last too long, and was replaced with a rap song by 2 Skinnee J’s:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpv1VFh3hWE

  10. Gordie says:

    Hey we had one week without someone mentioning the induction of the No Limit Soldiers………dammit!!!

  11. Alan says:

    …and the IWC constantly wants TV-14 back. I rest my case.

  12. WC Fan says:

    I completely forgot about this, which was a good thing. This made absolutely no sense at all. Another good induction, Art.

  13. John Matrix says:

    The Attitude Era sure produced a lot of Wrestlecrap, didn’t it?

  14. Michael Maiello says:

    Samoans getting their heads bashed together, heads slammed into turnbuckles or heads slammed into mats and then retaliating with a no-sell and a head butt is one of my favorite things, though. I loved the Samoan Swat Team for that. I also loved that their opponents, who would otherwise “well scout” the SST would continuously try to break their unbreakable skulls.

  15. John Darc says:

    I ctrl+f’d for “Hildegard’s Large Ass” and saw it’s not in this induction. Wasn’t that the explanation they gave for HLA that week?

  16. CaptainRon says:

    You know, when they did the HLA angle, I remember thinking, “Well, at least this is the very bottom of the barrel. They can’t possible do anything worse or dumber than this.”

    Yep.

  17. adamclark52 says:

    Oh god…that banshee voice…Nipple H…derp…

  18. TheDude says:

    stuff like this was by no means good, but i loved the absurdity factor back then. tv-14 needs to come back, because even with silly stuff like this, its miles ahead of the polished turd it is now.

  19. Escape says:

    Weren’t Billy and Chuck given the team name Code Red for like a week or two? I think it was right after this and they were just a regular tag team with some generic WCW-style entrance music. Off to youtube I go…

  20. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I reckon Nipple H is going to feature heavily in the Gooker of the Year – All Things Nipple and Triple H featuring:

    Nips’ bad acting
    Trips v Brock
    The Vickie Guerrero Job Revue
    Hypocrisy of Nipple H i.e. bullying
    Nips on the mic
    Badly booked fueds
    A cavalcade of crap faces

    I rest my case

  21. The Kid from Iowa says:

    Remember BIlly and Chuck, but not HLA. You know this is around the time I stopped watching on a consistent basis. Never stopped liking wrestling these past ten years,but my interest largely leaned towards old school. It wasn’t until last summer that I once again started watching RAW weekly. This induction is so indicative of the post-Monday Night War suck.

  22. David says:

    I went to Unforgiven 2002 and apparently, the crowd was full of Lawlers because the possibility of Steph making out with another women was all everyone wanted to see, judging by non-stop HLA chants outside the arena before the show. Hard to think of a more crushing letdown for everyone at Staples Center tonight….oh wait, nevermind, there was the more crushing letdown of a no-contest finish in the main event of a show people paid $100 to see. I guess all the “bullshit” chants conveyed that that too was a letdown.

  23. David says:

    I went to Unforgiven 2002 and apparently, the crowd was full of Lawlers because the possibility of Steph making out with another woman was all everyone wanted to see, judging by the non-stop HLA chants outside the arena before the show. Hard to think of a more crushing letdown for everyone at Staples Center that night….oh wait, there was the no-contest finish in the main event of a show people paid $100+ to see. I guess all the “bullshit” chants conveyed that it too was a letdown.

  24. Zeb's Moustache says:

    “She may not wrestle, but I’d love to see her box!”

    *in my Peter Griffin voice* That means two things!

  25. Ripplin says:

    Aww, man…just when I’d forgotten about Linda kicking J.R. in the crotch… :p

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