CLASSIC INDUCTION: WWF Mania, Episode 1: An Hour Straight of Todd Pettengill…That’ll Be Good, Right?

25 Submitted by on Mon, 16 February 2015, 16:00

WWF, 1993
Text by RD Reynolds

So a few weeks back, WWE surprised a lot of folks by announcing a new show called Saturday Morning Slam. It’s a show that the company has designed first and foremost with children in mind.

It’s nothing new.

In fact, you could argue that the WWF’s flagship show during its 1980’s glory days was also targeting kids and also took place primarily on Saturday mornings: WWF Superstars of Wrestling.

Yes, believe it or not, Vince actually used to have the word “wrestling” in the titles of his shows!

In the early 90’s, however, the show began to lose its lustre, and the company shifted its focus to Monday Night Raw. The rest, as they say, is history.

But what you may not remember is that around the same time Raw launched, the company also launched another show, hoping no doubt to capture that Saturday morning kids audience.

And from week one, it was obvious this show was definitely NOT the second coming of Superstars.

In fact, it was pretty awful.

The intro to the show lets you know what you are in for here: goofiness a plenty.

I mean, look to your right and give this a listen.

It’s like they had a bet amongst the WWF music guys to see how many completely irrelevant sound effects they could slam on top of a 15 second music clip.

And so the show is…

Wait a minute.

Can we rewind to the 5 second mark and loop for a second and a half?

Hmmm.

Yeah.

But hey, if you thought this show looked bad before, sneaking around the corner in a manner that would have any decent neighborhood watch calling for the cops is your host, TODD PETTINGILL!

You know, I just watch that, and I want to punch him in the face.

Actually, I want to punch someone, ANYONE, in the face.

Stare at that image for 2 seconds, and you will want to do the same.

And for the record, when I first came up with the idea for WrestleCrap.com, one of the first guys I wanted to induct was him.

Egads was he awful.

See, he was ‘hip’, ‘off the cuff’, and every other cringeworthy catchphrase you never can think of.

And to show just how ‘fresh’ (again, yuck) Todd was, we get…

…a Reverend Jim impersonation.

You know, the guy from Taxi.

A show that ended its run in 1982.

Todd, right on the bleeding edge, was doing this in 1993.

BTW, here’s Justin Henry’s take on this GIF:

“It’s like Fred Savage impregnated Judy Garland, and she smoked every single Marlboro on the planet while he was in utero.”

So Todd hangs out in the studio, and throws us to various video packages, the first of which feature…

…Doink the Clown!

And it’s the original HEEL Doink, who proeeds to smack Tatanka (BUFFALO!) with a mop…

…and throw a bucket of water at Marty Janetty’.

I don’t care if Matt Borne is 95 years old, him playing heel Doink needs to be brought back immediately.

I’d pay top dollar to see him throw water in John Cena’s face.

We also get a behind the scenes interview with Crush in which he explains that his grandfather was, in fact, a clown by trade.

Seriously.

I am not making this up.

Grandpappy Crush worked hard, made people laugh, and was a real pleasure to be around.

I don’t think I ever heard this backstory before. Maybe I just blacked it out.

No, no – I really don’t think I could have forgotten such a ridiculous line.

Which is too bad, because I know I would have been much more emotionally invested in this feud had I known about Crush’s Hawaiian clown ancestory.

Back to the studio we go, as Todd explains that George, the chubby guy with the horrible sweater, would look just like Doink if he dyed his hair green.

George, for his part, looks like he really, REALLY wants to punch Todd in the face (just like me!), which makes him my new favorite person on the show.

Todd then treats us to yet another impersonation. Give it a listen, and then guess who it is.

I’ll pass the time whilst you ponder it byscatting IRS’s theme music.

Clickclickclickclick clickclickclickclick clickclickclickclick clickclick

DING!

Clickclickclickclick clickclickclickclick clickclickclickclick clickclick

DING!

Clickclickclickclick clickclickclickclick clickclickclickclick clickclick

DING!

Ok, give up? It was Vince McMahon.

No, seriously.

Next up, we get a WWF Mania Exclusive!

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Repo Man!

Justin Henry Fun Fact: “They were teammates at Summerslam 89.”

RD Reynolds Fun Fact: Repo Man vs. Jim Duggan is probably not something I would put on my first show as “EXCLUSIVE!” in attempts to get repeat viewership.

As for the match itself, it has everything you’d expect from such an encounter.

PUNCHING!

NECK WRENCHES!

CLAPPING!

AND THE WORST CLOTHESLINE YOU EVER DID SEE!

Oh, and we also got an appearance by a vaguely heel Lord Alfred Hayes, who made fun of Todd’s name.

And yeah, that was pretty much heel Alfred – he was never blatantly evil, just more like he got out of the wrong side of the bed in the morning.

In fact, that’s a great name for him.

Henceforth, any induction in which he appears in this capacity, he will be known as “Rolled Out of the Wrong Side of the Bed” Lord Alfred Hayes.

Nice.

Back in the studio, Todd hassles another employee, this one named ‘Slim’, who he says looks just like Elvis.

I’d say he looks more like George, in that he also wants to beat Todd within an inch of his life.

I mean, seriously, look at George and Slim. There’s no way, NO WAY, that the WWF went out and hired actors who looked like that. So they probably really were guys just working in the studio at the time.

Now imagine YOU were in their position, and Pettengill came in blathering all his lame comedy and outdated impressions.

Wouldn’t you want to do the same?

I mean, I want to hunt him down RIGHT NOW and do that.

Especially knowing that this is his current day look.

If I could find George and Slim, we’d make an awesome posse.

An awesome Todd Pettengill pummelin’ posse.

Back in the arena, we are introduced to George Anderson.

I’ve always felt the best jobbers were what I would describe as “doughy”, and George seriously looks like he just rolled out of the Pillsbury factory.

Here’s to hoping he takes an incredible beating.

Thinking that’s a pretty safe bet here.

And apparently this girl agrees, as she is so horrified for Mr. Anderson’s well being that she begins to eat her own hair.

I know she’s just a kid and everything, but seriously, what a weirdo.

And yeah, Yoko kills him in a pretty boring encounter, in which the only thing of note was Jerry Lawler talking about his Royal Rumble strategy of bodyslamming Yokozuna.

Which he didn’t do.

But think about how killer it would have been if HE had been the guy to show up in the helicopter on the USS Intrepid.

Next we get a promo for Headlock on Hunger, a charitable relief effort the company took part in to aid those in Somalia.

I know I rag a lot on Vince, but I couldn’t even fathom how much he’s helped various charities over the years.

I also can’t fathom how much more they would have been able to help the folks in Somalia had they not used…

…Paul Bearer and the Undertaker as spokesmen for the cause.

Take it away, guys!

From there we go to Shawn Michaels vs. Jim Brunzell, who is wearing tights that appear to be made from your grandma’s 1973 family room curtains.

Still, it’s Shawn vs. Brunzell, so as you’d expect, it’s pretty good.

And it is also likely the last time on the big stage we ever got to see that awesome dropkick that earned him the name “Jumpin'” Jim!

Still, poor Brunzell has zero chance against the Hearbreak Kid, who picks up the duke with…

…Sweet Gut Music!

No wonder he was playing around with using the teardrop suplex as his finisher back in the day.

Yeesh.

And now time for another WWF Mania Exclusive!

And it’s Ray Rougeau interviewing “Big Purple Zubaz” Owen Hart about his exploits with Koko B. Ware.

Really!

Why do you keep doubting me?

But hey, it’s just a setup for Razor Ramon to show up and pummel poor Owen.

I do have to admit, I laughed at Razor asking if Stu taught him how to take a beating.

What a meanie.

Our Royal Rumble Report is next, notable not for Gene Okerlund being there, but because the classic Rumble theme is!

And Gene shilling for ICOPRO!

Yay!

That’s awesome on every conceivable level!

Main event time, as we get a Mr. Perfect match.

Ok, this can’t be bad.

Or can it?

I mean his opponent, WrestleCrap inductee The Berserker, comes out ring wearing horns, a giant shield, and a SWORD, do you have any doubts?

Rightly so, as he grabs his sword and attempts to decapitate poor Curt.

I’ll be honest: not even a Ric Flair run-in can save this.

Maybe if Flair had come out swinging the sword and they called him Spartacus or something.

One Perfectplex later, it’s all over for the Berserker, who is no doubt off to plan parties and smoke doobs with Mr. Fuji.

Another WWF Update is next, brought to us by WWF Magazine featuring Undertaker asking Nailz to pull his finger…

…and ICOPRO (yes, again) which is now wishing us a happy new year.

Can a medical supplement really bestow holiday greetings?

Seems kinda forced to me.

We get the same Narcissus crap we got that I covered in the Raw #1 induction (and think about how horrible it must be for me to say something with Bobby Heenan is crap!), but this time we get a bonus:

MEAN GENE READING FROM A DICTIONARY!

FINALLY, Todd bids adieu with the world’s worst Kamala impersonation

…and then taking off his shoes and ‘skating’ away.

Sadly, Tonya Harding fails to make an appearance.

Wait a minute.

Did I just make a TONYA HARDING JOKE?

Screw you, Pettengill – look what you’ve done to me!

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
25 Responses to "CLASSIC INDUCTION: WWF Mania, Episode 1: An Hour Straight of Todd Pettengill…That’ll Be Good, Right?"
  1. Jimbolian says:

    Case you’re still wonderin’, Pettengill can be heard on the radio in the mornings on WPLJ in New York or if you want the “pleasant” visuals, he can be seen on Dish Nation on syndication.

  2. dave says:

    “Your daddy teach you that, Rocket?”
    One of my favorite RR moments ever.

  3. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    WetStunnedMarty.com! I bet that URL’s not taken…

  4. Vincent says:

    Knowing now that he’s a radio ‘personality’, EVERYTHING about Todd Pettengill makes sense, including how much I hated him at such a young age.

  5. Christopher Haydu says:

    In Todd’s defense, I think 1993 was the year that Taxi premiered on Nick @ Nite. Nick @ Nite was a lot better back in the early nineties, so, in that way the Jim Ignitowsky impersonation was current for the time.

  6. Geoff says:

    crush’sgrandpappywasaclown.com. Even if I had to pay something, I would pay to see this website.

  7. Thomas Moffatt says:

    If I recall Todd Pettengill left WWE in 1997 and Michael Cole arrived – I blame that on Todd so another black mark against him.

  8. John C says:

    You’d think people called The Undertaker & Paul Bearer would be rooting for more death rather than doing a pitch on preventing it. “Hey brudda it’s me Hawaiian Crush and I come from a long line of clowns. Doink no more clowning around wid me brudda or I’ll squeeze all the pineapple juice from you, brudda. Cause I’m from Hawaii, brudda.” That has to be the Toddster doing a Marv Albert impression when he says, “Yes!!!” Lastly I have been and always will be your mortal ememy Pettingzoo.

  9. Brownie_the_3rd says:

    Crush’s Grandpappy being a clown certainly would explain the fondness he had for facepaint throughout his career

  10. Doc75 says:

    Todd Pettengill for WWE Hall of Fame……….eh theyve done worse.

  11. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    Taker used to be their go-to guy for so many PSA announcements during that era. I’ll never forget the time they used him as part of an anti-drug commercial with a little kid who won a WWF-sponsored anti-drug essay contest and they had him utter the immortal line “there’s no hope…with dope.”

  12. Rob Hill says:

    Excellent and worthy induction – heck, ANYTHING with Pettingill in it needs to be inducted – but sadly Matt Borne passed away two years ago.

  13. Chris says:

    True story: I got most of my introduction to professional wrestling through this show. Saturday morning was Mania morning, and things were never quite the same once I could no longer get my fill of the Toddmeister.

    No wonder I spent so much of my adult life in therapy.

  14. The Scanian Maniac says:

    “WWF Magazine featuring Undertaker asking Nailz to pull his finger”
    LOL! :-)

    BTW doesn’t the present-era Saturday Morning Slam with its ban against head and neck moves ranging from a simple headlock to an RKO, and where dropkicks were censored, deserve an induction?

    Even the children’s cartoon “Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling” and their hero the Hulkster’s signature maneuver (legdrop) would have been banned on that show.

  15. Stephen says:

    I can barely even look at Todd Pettengill, let alone listen to him. How old was he when he was working for WWF? About 16?

    The image of his present-day form is even more horrifying.

  16. Barry says:

    Matt Borne isn’t 95 years old, sadly, he’s no longer with us.

    Passed away in 2013.

  17. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Speaking of crappy announcers/presenters/backstage interviewers/irritating wankshafts, isn’t former WWE waste of space Tony Dawson now eligible for a Wrestlecrap induction?

  18. Doc 902714 says:

    George looks like Miz’s father.

  19. C Boz says:

    Wow. This was a cavalcade of wrestlers and managers who are unfortunately dead: Matt Borne, Brian Adams, Rodney Anoa’i, Curt Hennig, Owen Hart, William Moody, Alfred Hayes. And probably a couple of other folks from that show are no longer with us. Sad, really.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Pettengill was an absolute hack. What an annoying turd.

    • Surfer Sandman says:

      He made me change the channel more than the crappy excuse for wrestling that they had around ’93-’96.

      The only saving grace of WWF from this era was the video games. As primitive as they were, I couldn’t get enough of the special moves each wrestler employed, especially Doink’s big hand slap.

  21. lipe says:

    man! having to watch this jackass makes me feel like Michael Cole is actually a great announcer.
    Could you imagine this SOB as the replacement for good old JR? thank god they replaced him, even with Cole

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