The following confession is probably going to drown me in hate mail, but I was never, ever a fan of the WWF Magazine. While the magazine was no doubt the best looking wrestling publication until WOW Magazine hit newsstands, it just did nothing for me. RD Reynolds? Always an Apter Mag guy. Give me Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Inside Wrestling, The Wrestler. I’d even take a few of the lesser mags, like Sports Review Wrestling or Wrestling USA.
Now with that said, it’s not like I didn’t pick up a few copies of Vince’s rag here and there. I have some buried in my closet from years gone by, but thanks to the wonders of the inter webs, I was able to find a website that had every single cover of every single WWF Magazine ever. It’s rightchere.
Some of these covers are ok, but a lot of them dredge up terrible memories for me personally. And many of them are just plain awful all on their own.
Hey, wait a minute!
I run a website covering the very worst in pro wrestling!
Why don’t a do a write up of the absolute dregs of their archive, focusing on the decade of the 1990s? Wouldn’t that be fun?
Eh, maybe not, but that’s what you’re getting this week!
A bit of history first. The very first WWF publication was entitled World Wrestling Federation’s Victory. I thought this thing would go for at least five bills, but no – you can pick it up for under $100 on eBay if you play your cards right. Its cover featured “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka doing a very impressive leap frog. Also, it appears his groin area has vanished into thin air.
Unquestionably creepy…but hey, if that doesn’t say “Collector’s First Edition” I don’t know what would!
After a scant two issues, Victory was dropped, and it became WWF Magazine. This of course is the magazine many of us remember from our youth, and I do as well, so long as we can all agree that “youth” would count as “16 years or older”. Why on this cover here, we got fine art representations of men such as Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, as well as King Kong Bundy truly living up to his name by scaling the Empire State Building!
Maybe that $89 for the first issue with Snuka’s vanishing taint was beyond your grasp, but this one in which the Hulkster is sporting a tuft of wayward hair on top of his dome, which someone did using BRUSH STROKES (!!!), is a steal for $20.
However, it pales in comparison to this little number, with Sgt. Slaughter celebrating Christmas in a camouflaged sleigh. Legit if Mrs. Deal wouldn’t kill me, I would Photoshop my head on that and we’d have our family Christmas card for 2016. To be fair, I can’t blame the girl for utilizing her veto power, as I know that I’d leave both “The Faces of Wendi” and “Cheesecake for You, Beefcake for Me” on there.
That would make for some bothersome conversations at the holiday get togethers.
Ok, time to get to the complete and utter insanity on display today – the worst of the 1990s WWF Magazine covers!
You may look at this one and think, “RD, come on – it’s Warrior after he won the belt from Hogan at WrestleMania VI. That is an iconic moment. You’re an idiot and have never been funny. I have no idea why I am here reading this. I must have no life whatsoever.”
Oh now don’t be so hard on yourself, and remember what I wrote above: “a lot of them dredge up terrible memories for me personally.” You may read that and think I was a closet Hulkamaniac (no) or that I thought Warrior winning the belt was a stupid idea (also no). Believe it or not, I was actually in favor of Hogan dropping the title to Warrior, just because I felt the company needed to freshen things up. One thing they did not need to revise, though, was the classic intro for the flagship show at the time, WWF Superstars of Wrestling. But they did and ho boy howdy was it…
You know, we need to make up a new word for it. How about “supercalitragialistic”?
I mean seriously, what kind of drugs were the WWF TV crew on at the time?
Yeah, I don’t know either dude.
I mean, in comparison, this cover from 1992 in which he appears to be cross-eyed (!!!) seems perfectly sane.
And I’m not sure about you, but this old boy is going to rip this sucker open and head straight for “The Undertaker – Preparing Berserker’s Plot.” Did those two feud and I somehow blocked it from my brain?
If so, can I learn to utilize this special ability for like 75% of the stuff on Raw these days?
Hey look, it’s Elizabeth! Now you may be questioning why on earth I would say this is one of the worst covers of the 1990s and the answer is quite simple: that is one bizarre picture of Liz. I mean, I don’t know what the deal is, if it’s the strange earrings or the hair that looks like she just jammed her big toe in a light socket (which would be extra painful, since she’d be upside down), but this image is anything but flattering. Still, at least she doesn’t look completely horrified…
…which is definitely an upgrade from this 1989 cover.
Oh who am I kidding, the best Liz was WCW Liz:
Always dressed in black, skin delightfully orange…good times all around.
Wait, where was I?
Oh yeah, horrible WWF Magazine covers! Sorry, WCW Liz has a distracting nature on this old boy. Also distracting – Papa Shango: Man, Myth, & Magic! I don’t know what’s more baffling, honestly – that someone thought this would be a good wrestling character, or that someone thought that this would make a good wrestling magazine cover. On the plus side, this would be before he cast a spell that made Warrior vomit all over the place on WWF television.
With some of these others, I am kinda surprised a wide-mouthed Warrior with pea soup spewing out never graced a cover.
Hey Nailz – pull my finger!
(Pretty sure the great Troy Lowe used that joke back in his Pro Wrestling Desecrated days…come back, Troy! We miss you!)
You know who else we miss? Mr. Perfect.
So why are we featuring him in this induction?
Because a mere two months later, this magazine had Yokozuna on the cover with the EXACT SAME POSE. I mean, seriously, what kind of quality control is that? Had to have been a rib on Curt, right?
Put on your goggles (even if they do nothing) – it’s Adam Bomb’s 10 Megatons of Terror! Did you know there are people who thought this was a good gimmick? They did! I bet they even bought those little footballs that looked like bombs that the WWF sold at the time. Anyone remember those?
Yep. They sure did make them. Worse yet, they called his fans “The Bomb Squad”. No wonder the guy wound up doing a dope smoking gimmick as KroniK (which also was horrible…and led to this absolutely atrocious match).
Also of note is the fact this magazine features a Video Game Review with text so tiny that I legit thought you had to open up the magazine to find out what it was. Upon closer inspection, it’s Eternal Champions.
I hope they mention Larcen’s finisher where he has an old Chicago gangster ride come by and mow his opponents down gangland style. That rocked.
Even if his opponent doing a weird dance prior to his demise didn’t.
You’d think a cover with Doink throwing a tantrum would be cause enough alone to appear here today, but read that text under his right arm pit: “Clown Sale? Is Doink Next on DiBiase’s Wish List?”
While your mind would rightly be boggled at the thought of a “clown sale” (umm, what?), even I must admit that Doink rolling around as The Million Dollar Clown may have prevented WCW from ever winning any weeks in the Monday Night Wars.
Also, this magazine features “Supper with the Shrinkers!” Come and get it indeed!
There are a million jokes to be made here, but honestly, haven’t we all had enough Fun with Tammy?
Then Blade and I better get back in the studio to record a new WrestleCrap Radio. By my count, we have approximately 48 hours of material to try to catch up with all her recent lunacy.
Wait a minute – I know I’ve seen this image of Sid before.
In fact, I’ve seen it on this here website before!
It was in a Halloween costume induction we put together eleven years ago (and yes, it’s in the archives, thanks for asking so I could plug it thusly)! Seriously, that is the exact same image, and it is seriously creepy. Would it look even creepier if I used some rudimentary morphery skillz?
I say yes!
Also, I feel like I’ve just unleashed some type of inherent wrong upon this world with that image. Sorry for the nightmares, kids!
SPEAKING OF NIGHTMARES, here’s a WWF Magazine immortalizing Ahmed Johnson’s way, WAY too tiny trunks via a cover. I can’t help but note that a vast portion of this publication’s audience were kids.
They didn’t need to see this. Would someone please think of the children?
And by children, I do mean any and all humans “16 years or older (or younger)”?
And the decade ends with this. Remember kids – to all you who bemoan the fact we are currently mired in the PG-era, things could be worse.
We could return to the days of Billy Gunn shaking his keister at us on a weekly basis.
How on earth did we all make it through the 90s?
And what horrible covers did we miss?
Discuss your favorite WWF Magazine memories below!