1998 Sony Playstation vs. 2022 Social Media
Recently on old man social media (ie, my Facebook page), I noted how sad I was that MC Skat Kat was not available on Cameo. It was nothing more than a stupid joke about a rather ancient Paula Abdul video, but amazingly it got a ton of attention. I mean, you have to grade it on a scale, it’s the RD Reynolds Facebook. While Bryan can post Dynamite ratings with no additional notes and generate 100,000 comments in the span of a minute, I’m happy to get my 80 or so smiley faces or comments. I really do appreciate all of them – I’m a simple man, what can I say.
Before you ask, yes, I actually did head over to Cameo to see if that cartoon cat was for hire to make a video call to strangers. Of all social media ventures, I think I find Cameo to be the most intriguing. Think about it – you can now pay celebrities to say your name or your kid’s name or your dog’s name and have them wish ’em a happy birthday. That’s equal parts cool and absurd.
Feeling down? A mere $110 will get you a pep talk from Chris Sabo.
ONE HUNDRED AND TEN BUCKS.
It should come as no surprise that our favorite wrestlers are also on the service and honestly, good for them. There’s a market out there for this and if people are willing to pay for them to record a 45 second video on their phone, they should do this. When I was younger, I’d have extracted bone marrow to have a video of Randy Savage saying something like “You’re named Randy too? That’s cool, dig it! Oh yeah!”
Wait, did I just break kayfabe?
The fourth wall?
As I was goofing around on Cameo looking for Paula’s rapping kitty, I had YouTube playing in the background. As it is wont to do, it was just feeding me whatever autoplay crap it felt like shoving down my throat. I had it on merely as background noise but on this day, something magical happened…it started playing the intro rants for an old Sony Playstation game called WCW nWo Thunder. Now anyone who ever played those WCW games from Sony’s first console will immediately remember that gimmick from the character select screen. Whereas games such as Mortal Kombat would feature photographs of the combatants, the WCW games would take it a huge step forward with, get this, VIDEO. You may scoff now, but back then it was a pretty big deal. In the past, you’d just have to look at Hulk Hogan, but now he was telling you why you should choose him.
The comical thing is that I don’t think anyone in the company, either those filming or those cutting the promos, knew exactly what they were supposed to be saying and they sure as heck weren’t given any scripts. Gotta believe the guys running the cameras told the guys, “Give us a 15 second promo….GO!” and everything was done in one take.
I remind you, the promo was to entice the player to choose them to be their representative in the game.
Fast forward twenty-four years, and a lot of these guys are now on Cameo, using those promo skills to entice the public to empty their PayPal account so little Colton has a special birthday surprise.
If you step back and think about it, it’s the exact same thing.
Before we dive into these, a quick disclaimer – I am not going to say anything about how much older anyone looks then they did in the game. It’s been nearly a quarter of a century, and ain’t none of us look like we did back then. I look in the mirror and half the time I think the Crypt Keeper is staring back at me.
No, instead I’ll take the high ground and simply answer two questions after watching these videos:
Would I play them in WCW Thunder?
Would I pay them for a Cameo?
Let’s find out!
Brutus Beefcake – Cameo is Here
Our first contestant would be none other than Hulk Hogan’s one-time best friend, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Naturally when he came to WCW, he had to undergo a name change, and in his case, he underwent like 47 of them. Bootyman, Zodiac, Butcher, Brother Bruti…it seemed every other week the guy was giving himself a makeover to recapture the glory he had in the WWF.
At the time of the game, he was The Disciple, the follower of his pal Hogan. Eventually, things would change and he would be brainwashed by the Ultimate Warrior and he would become HIS Disciple, joining One Warrior Nation. Get it? It’s nWo but spelled backwards!
Maybe that’s where Rellik got his name!
Enough backstory, time to vote!
WOULD I PLAY? No. For one thing, it sounds like he is threatening me. No no no, Brutus – we are supposed to be on the same side! Why would I pick someone who wants to beat me up?
WOULD I PAY? I mean, I was never the biggest Beefer fan, so eh, probably not. But he seems eager, like he’d be a funny guy to get a video from and not just sleep walk through it. Plus a few months back we messaged back and forth about something (don’t even remember what) and he told me the same thing John Tenta once told me – “if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?”
Good for him, he gets it.
Bret “The Hitman” Hart – Cameo is Here
Oh man, Bret Hart.
Without question, Bret was my favorite wrestler of the 90s. Pretty sure if it wasn’t for him, I’d have given up on pro wrestling during those dark WWF New Generation days. We all have a hearty har har now about TL Hopper and Sparky Plugg, but trust me, living through those days as a fan was no fun.
Bret made it worthwhile. His matches always made sense, his interviews were believable, and he, well, he just looked cool. Bret was the man.
WOULD I PLAY? After that build up, how on earth could I say anything but yes? I also love this little video as you could tell he had people in the back so awestruck as to never correct him about anything. You want to call it “THE WCW” Hitman? That’s ok by us!
WOULD I PAY? Even Bret’s most ardent supporters would sometimes note that he didn’t always give his all in the ring, and this Cameo video would cause you to surmise that for $150 you may not get the greatest video either. Love ya Hitman, but gotta pass.
Buff Bagwell – Cameo is Here
All hail the man who truly helped to kill WCW once and for all, Marcus Alexander Bagwell! Who can forget that infamous night in Tacoma, Washington when Bagwell faced off with Booker T on Raw in the first ever WCW title match in the WWF? Despite Arn Anderson telling us it was going to be “bigger than the moon landing”, the bout was a total disaster and freaked Vince McMahon out to the point that he essentially killed off all plans for WCW going forward.
Did I ever tell you how much I hated the Invasion? Sure I did – it was the only Gooker winner only >>I<< voted on!
WOULD I PLAY? Based on the video? Nah. But I always dug that Blockbuster finisher of his. After he hit it, he really should have looked to the camera and said, “Be Kind – Rewind!”
See, because it was Blockbuster.
That’s video store humor.
I’ll show myself out.
WOULD I PAY? It’s pretty amazing, both of the videos here have the same basic promo in them with the same catchphrase and everything! Gotta give props to the guy for staying true to his gimmick. Also, the guy can talk your ear off – I won’t lie, I kinda gave up about halfway through.
Still, for the budget conscious among you, for $56 the guy will apparently do a three hour video. That’s barely minimum wage!
Scott Steiner – Cameo is Here
If there’s one man I severely undersold during late 90’s WCW, it would be none other than Big Poppa Pump. Pretty sure I was just so baffled by the change from Steiner Brothers Scotty to Big Bad Booty Daddy I was unable to comprehend just how incredible he was as a performer. He was also amongst the last of the men in this great sport that legitimately scared me. For instance, I wouldn’t be scared to tell Sammy Guevara he’s a dork, but I’m pretty sure even looking the wrong direction at Steiner would land me in the hospital.
Wrestling needs more characters such as Poppa.
Wait, did I say “character”? I meant elite athlete.
Please Mr. Steiner, don’t beat me up.
WOULD I PLAY? Kinda a blah video in the game so probably not. You could tell he was still trying to figure out himself who or what exactly the Booty Daddy was going to be. Listen closely to the end and you will hear him refer to himself as the “Superstar”, which was an idea for the persona originally.
WOULD I PAY? Were it anyone but Steiner, I’d tell him to learn how to center himself in the video. Like 2/3 of the screen is that hideous brown curtain. C’mon man. That said, who wouldn’t pay to have a 200pixel tall version of Steiner give a shout out to their “loooooooovee”? That’s money well spent right there!
Raven – Cameo is Here
The man who embodied not only ECW but the entire attitude of the mid 90’s. I think in a lot of ways, Raven was short-shafted by the industry. Dude obviously did himself no favors with the massive drug issues, but there was a whole generation that owe a lot of who they are to the guy.
Plus, you know, he introduced us to Beulah McGillicutty (in storyline at least), who was unquestionably the hottest woman in wrestling until Trish Status hit the scene. So we owe him for that too.
WOULD I PLAY? Absolutely. This is the quintessential Raven promo, with his legendary whatever/who cares tone. I still completely buy into it.
WOULD I PAY? Again, absolutely. If for no other reason than he makes fun of Tommy Dreamer then seems to end with a question: “Quote the Raven? Nevermore?”
DDP – Cameo is Here
There were a lot of people who lambasted Dallas Page during his WCW run, myself included. While he was a hard worker, I never thought he was worthy of the top shelf status the company gave him. That said, he wound up being a really good worker and put on a lot of great matches. He also overcame some horrendous booking in WWE, eventually becoming a cult hero of sorts. Indeed, who will ever forget the time he helped young Jennifer in this incredible video? He’s talking about the importance of stretching there, so gotta believe that was the start of DDP Yoga.
Jokes aside, DDP Yoga makes a huge difference for a TON of people. Good for you, Page. Good for you.
WOULD I PLAY? Sorry, no. What did I ever do to you that was worthy of dubbing me “Monkey Boy”?
WOULD I PAY? DDP is a good dude helping people, so what the heck, why not. Also, he apparently saw Buff’s video and said “hold my beer”, rambling on for days on end. And unlike Buff, he’s almost coherent!
Kevin Nash – Cameo is Here
Saving our best for last! For years, Nash has been lambasted as being the laziest man in pro wrestling, as well as one of the accessories in the murder of World Championship Wrestling. You can say whatever you want about the guy, but you cannot say he’s not entertaining. Anytime he talks, he almost always makes me laugh, as you can tell that if the guy ever gave two squirts, he don’t care at all no mo.
And never has his attitude been more crystal clear than in the videos I’ve stitched together above.
WOULD I PLAY? Apparently not – according to Nash himself, I have neither the mental skills nor the dexterity. I wasn’t planning on picking him anyway, but since I am now being instructed to absolutely NOT choose him, I’ll take Sick Boy or someone.
WOULD I PAY? What can I say? This is one of the funniest Cameo pitches I’ve ever seen, wherein the big guy tells me he’d do his best Christopher Walken impersonation to wish me a speedy recovery for gall bladder surgery. He’s here for whatever our needs may be. Verbally. I’d say it was a slam dunk he’d get my money, but I’m pretty sure he just woke up and he’s stark naked.
If I was gonna drop coin for nudie vids, Kevin Nash wouldn’t be at the top of my list.
And there you have it! Pretty safe to say I ain’t breaking open the piggy bank to get a ton of these Cameos, but by all means, I am in earnest when I urge you to support these guys and others if you think that kinda thing is cool.