WWF Magazine, January 1994
It may make a lot of folks angry, but I have a confession to make: I always kinda despised the official WWF Magazine.
I guess that isn’t a big shock, as I grew up on the likes of the Apter mags, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling. As a fan during the late 80’s, this was where you got your news. Sure, the vast bulk of it was just made up fantasy booking crap and ratings seemingly pulled out of a hat, but it was all fun and helped to expand my fandom. Getting to meet and become actual friends with the legendary Bill Apter years later only helped cement my loyalty to those mags I’d pick up every week from the local drug store.
(What’s funny is now I’m also pals with one of the main writers of those old WWF Magazines, speaking of your friend and mine, the infamous Vince Russo, with whom I now do a weekly Batman podcast with called Joker’s Mustache, available exclusively at channelattitude.com.)
Looking at the official mags, they should have held all the cards to make them the preferred publication for every wrestling fan – the WWF ones were in full color on slick paper and looked like a million bucks compared to my preferred publication that looked like they were printed on whatever the local landfill had gotten in last Thursday. WWF Magazine would feature all the biggest names in the business (well, the ones Vince employed at least) and you’d get incredible photography throughout.
The problem, though, despite having the best production values, it all felt kinda…soulless?
By golly, that sounds like the WWF itself!
Regardless, I just came upon a treasure trove of these things…I mean a ton of ’em. And the first one I want to look at today features something dubbed “The Inaugural Dubious and Distinctive Achievement Awards for 1993”.
At least I think that’s what it says.
I’m far from the world’s best designer, but that is some horrible typography even by early 90’s PageMaker standards. If my formal education taught me anything, it would be that the first goal of any layout would be for it to be readable. This monstrosity features black text on a dark background…then a white duplicate of the first layer of text..then another layer in the form of a drop shadow beneath all that! Just looking at it I feel like I am going cross-eyed.
But hey, let’s ignore that for the moment and tackle the real matter at hand – this is an awards section for one of the most WrestleCrap-tastic years in the company’s history. I can’t wait for our resident statistician to tell us where 1993 ranks in the annals of induction lore in the comments below.
I love that guy!
The first page of this should tell you everything you need to know, as fully half of the folks pictured here were among the original inductions I penned all the way back in 2000!
We get not only Adam Bomb and Double J (and yes, I stand firm in the belief that while Jarrett himself is quite good, the Double J character who wanted to use wrestling stardom to further a country music career was idiotic), but also two gold standards of Crap, with Bastion Booger and Giant Gonzalez wasting no time getting award nods.
And what clever honors they are, with Booger getting The Best Pick and Gonzalez cornering the Tall Order Award.
See, because on guy picks his nose…and the other is…tall.
You said it, Goblin from the Harry Potter ride at Universal!
Glad you’ve made your long-awaited debut around these parts!
In comparison, page 2 is relatively bereft of horrible gimmicks, although I did laugh at Jack Tunney apparently being such a gargoyle that he’d crack Mount Rushmore with his ugliness. No idea who he ticked off this week.
Still, I think there’s only two inductees here, with Mabel (inducted with Mo and that rapping fool of a manager Oscar as part of Men on a Mission) and Ludvig Borga being in our hall of shame. Despite Borga being one of the most nonsensical gimmicks I’ve ever known (an evil Finnish environmentalist??), I will say that graphic of him there is absolutely fantastic. With that weird sneer he looks just like Dr. Finkelstein from The Nightmare Before Christmas!
And I am not kidding, I’ve spent the last hour trying to determine what verbiage is being censored there. Is he saying “You F***** Americans I’ll F**** You”? Because if he is, that’s not only profane but seemingly poorly translated as well.
And who on earth uses a quotation mark as part of their censoring alphabet? I’ve only seen asterisks used in the past.
Well, asterisks and whatever Q*bert wants to use.
The following page has zero, count ’em, zero inductees, but it has Johnny Polo securing the Identity Crisis Award. Considering he would resurface as the complete opposite of Johnny Polo in the form of Raven less than two years later in ECW, that’s almost Nostradamus levels of prognostication.
Kinda like what is directly below him, where we get a reference to Vince McMahon’s antics in the USWA! This was absolutely mind-blowing at the time, because 1) the WWF would never, ever acknowledge there were any other wrestling promotions and 2) it was Vince’s first foray into being a heel. If you’ve never experienced the WWF invasion of Memphis, dude (or dudette)…go on a YouTube deep dive for it and thank me later. It’s worth just for Howard Finkel being a total a-hole to the hillbillies in Tennessee.
Speaking of, here’s Jerry Lawler with a Burger King reference…anyone remember when Tiny Tim called him the Dairy Queen? No? Probably just a fever dream I had.
Oh, and while I’d normally spend some time making fun of the Smoking Gunns…
…the included catalog like a dozen pages later does a better job at that than I ever could.
We wrap things up with another WrestleCrap inductee in the form of Well Dunn who get a trophy for eating at Sizzler apparently, but no actual award by name. Kinda fitting for those two. I remember when I wrote their induction over twenty years ago thinking I would never top “Bow ties and thongs – a lethal combination.”
Not sure I ever have honestly.
Jim Cornette, 123 Kid, and the Headshrinkers get awards for this, that or the other before we bow our heads and take time to solemnly honor the passing of Kerry von Erich and Andre the Giant.
I should note this fine publication honors their very real life passings by putting them on the same page as The Undertaker (with a DEATH award) and Paul Bearer (same).
Well, what do ya know. This trip down memory lane sure didn’t change my opinion of the WWF Magazine.
And due to that, I am now going to be doing a new semi-regular feature on the site called “From the Pages Of…” wherein I will tear into these shabby rags and search for utter nonsense to mock for your delight. This column will pop up from time to time on the site, and it will be in addition to all the other fun we are now having, including our new columns Art Is War, Squash of the Week, and the return of RD’s Mailbag.
What can I say? It’s a good time to be a Crapper, kids. 🙂