Welcome back to the rebooted Jobber Of The Week column here at the new and improved WrestleCrap. I was sitting back thinking that I really should profile a well-known enhancement talent for the big return. Iron Mike Sharpe? The Mulkeys? Sorry, those guys will have to wait for another day. I’ve been on a Bill Watts’ UWF kick lately. The real UWF, by the way. Not that Herb Abrams abomination. Ah, the good old UWF, where men were men and jobbers…
…literally looked like homeless guys. The WWF’s enhancement guys had flashier wardrobes. WCW guys totally knew how to feather that mullet that complemented their bitchin’ 1985 Camero. The UWF ham n’ eggers, well, Bill Watts looked like he plucked the mangiest guys that were alternates in the Unabombers’ police lineup.
Today’s inductee, Gustavo Mendoza, fit the prototype Bill Watts’ jobber role to a t. Evil. A foreigner. And cannon fodder for his roster of red blooded Amrican heroes like “Dr.Death,” Steve Williams, Ted “Not quite the Million Dollar Man yet in 1986″ DiBiase and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
It was with Dr.Death that Mendoza had his biggest moment. In the summer of 1986, in the middle of a UWF tv episode, Bill Watts was laid out and had the Russian flag draped over his lifeless body by Eddie Gilbert and Korchenko. You remember Korchenko, right? I believe he was the only Russian not related to the Koloffs in wrestling history.
Following the infamous assault on Hank Aaron’s all-time favorite wrestler, an enraged Dr.Death hit the ring for the finalmatch of the night. With foreign nation rage on overload, Doc set his sites on his opponent, the cigar smoking, camoflauge-clad Cuban, Mr.Mendoza. What followed was a squash of course, but perhaps the most amazing use of a prop by a jobber in the 80’s. Mendoza actually was able to keep the cigar in his mouth for over 75% of the match.
As stiff as Dr.Death could be in the ring, this is arguably as astonishing a athletic feat as the Bret Hart- Shawn Michaels iron man match at WrestleMania 12. Backdrops, punches, clotheslines, Doc could not unlodge Mendoza’s stoggie in what would be the greatest cigar moment for over a decade, until Bill Clinton one-upped the Castro-loving grappler in 1996.
Despite his steel jaw clinching abilities, Mendoza was not long for the UWF and would vanish from the American wrestling world by 1987. Gustovo Mendoza, proving that a life/career in pro wrestling can come and go in an instant, so smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!!