Ani: It has been said by one K to the third that 1995 was the year she quit watching wrestling.
Triple Kelly: Right you are, my friend. I still get douche chills thinking of what I watched that year.
RD Reynolds: I can honestly, and happily, report I have no idea what “douche chills” could possible mean. A part of me wants to Google the term, just to find out, but another part of me knows the perils of the internet and the horror that may lie within, so I will pass.
Ani: A meeting between a patriot and a descendent of a pilgrim in a cage of molded steel was the last grasp for this fair maiden as she set her sites on better things like the E of CW.
Kelly: The fact that you know so much about me kinda creeps me out. And here I thought Barry Windham was The Stalker.
RD: “Douche chills”, you say. Sorry, I’m still hung up on that. I’ll try to shake that from my mind and join in here in a bit.
Ani: Alright, enough you two. Look, Kelly, you may have tapped out, but real men like me and RD stuck through the mid 90’s WWF. An era of men acting like cows, garbage men and rockers with guitars shaped like corporate logos…
OK, enough with the faux Alistair Cooke accent.
1995 was really a legit memorable year for me. Oh sure, I can’t remember 99% of the matches that happened but this was the year my father, sister and I attended the Wrestlemania XI fanfest up in Hartford Connecticut. I marveled at all the spectacles around me: A clown being dunked into a tank for charity, HBK super kicking Ted Dibiase at the “Heartbreak Hotel” among others. Although the more popular wrestlers autograph lines were busy, I still got to have wrestlers and personalities such as Bull Nakano, Howard Finkel, and King Kong Bundy autograph my book. I also pinned my father in the ring…clean! Just ask Tim White!
RD: Dunk tank = Epic Win. Seriously, no matter how lame something is, a dunk tank always makes it better. In fact, if there was a dunk tank at King of the Ring ’95, people would still be raving about it to this day.
Ani: But it wasn’t just clowns and dunk tanks, RD. We took home a lot of crap along with the autographs. Among the crap was the 1995 WWF merchandise catalog. Woo boy. It was filled to the brim with stuff that in the day was certified “rad” that the WWF merchandise machine peddled stuff to the kiddies so that they could bug their parents for their birthdays. I recently dug up this catalog again and wondered if the stuff in there would hold up the test of time…
Step into the real chamber of horrors, kiddies!
First is this water bottle which is sold to people in one of the most awesome ways ever as it promises an “END OF DEHYDRATION!” Perfect for the Sons of the Desert I think.
Kelly: You just made a Laurel and Hardy reference. I bow to you, sir.
RD: I’m just wondering if this could somehow help Kelly with her “douche chills”. Or maybe it would cause them?
Next is the official WWF fanny pack, which is sold in the catalog as a “waist pouch.” Clean it up all you want, it’s still a fanny pack. Maybe it’s good for hobos but…
Kelly: No fair – Blade’s not here to defend himself.
RD: I just wonder if they had a stockpile of these things unsold in the warehouse, which was led to Vince coming up with this:
Remember, kids – unsold merchandise is a dangerous thing.
A VERY dangerous thing.
Ani: Hey, it’s the WWF’s attempts to cash in on Stretch Armstrong. Shown here is the Michelle McCool model Bret Hart figure. With the Stretch Armstrong movie coming out, I wonder if little Tyler Lautner played with these as a child.
Kelly: Yes, when I see the shirtless Native American werewolf from Twilight, I think the blonde surfer dude toy that stretches across the room.
Ani: Oh well, if the movie has Vac Man I’ll still pay full price to see it, sorry Kel.
RD: I actually owned not only a real Stretch Armstrong as a kid, but the Stretch Monster as well:
These days, those two go for like $3,000 each. Maybe Blade will find one in his basement, like he did with that wacky Nintendo game.
Ani: I don’t know about you, but I don’t see how a hat can make headline. Maybe “Generic Hat Reaches Audience of None” would be one way it could.
Kelly: Right next to the Obituaries and “Dear Abby”.
RD: Perhaps if the hat decapitated someone. Maybe the hat fell into the hands of Oddjob or Raiden at some point.
Kelly: Two weeks in a row of inductions with Raiden references! Woo hoo!
Gee thanks WWF, I never would’ve known how to count without this. Thou art truly a lifesaver.
Kelly: Oh no, you’re stuck in “Read like a Bible Verse mode.”
RD: Don’t know the arrows showing how to count in sequence, Ani. Without those, the audience may have thought his name was a 3-1-2 Kid or something.
Ani: HONGI! That’s Maori for “we’re on our last legs” I believe.
Kelly: Or “We were main eventers on Family Matters!“
RD: Or “You think we’re bad now? Just wait til you see us take on Sheik and Volkoff at Heroes of Wrestling!”
Ani: You can also have the shirt, which looks like it’s had a bite taken out of it. I know The Brain would talk about how uncouth they were but this is ridiculous.
Kelly: If I ever saw anyone wearing the matching Bushwackers hat and t-shirt set, I would think they were looking to be shunned by the world.
RD: I’ll never forget meeting these guys in Indy around WrestleMania 8. They actually gave Trash a big dog kiss. Rumors that he still hasn’t washed his face are completely unsubstantiated.
Ani: The catalog also features candid images such as this photo of Lex Luger pretending to care about the fans.
“Man this is bad. The only way this could get worse would be if I scoop up animal poop as community service for possessing drugs, then WWF blames me directly for the accidental overdose death of my girlfriend, I get stuck in a t-shirt and the video becomes a lasting internet meme…NAAAAAH! That’ll never happen!”
Kelly: And what is this “and friends” crap? Is it “friends” as in you go to the movies with them or “friend” like having film director Kevin Smith as your “friend” on MySpace?
RD: I wonder what I’ve done more recently – updated my MySpace page or updated the Ramblings section. Oh wait, I just updated the Ramblings. Enjoy the Russo book review, kids!
Ani: Man, I just never understood the appeal of collectible plates. A plate is meant to be eaten on, not displayed like it’s a deer head trophy. The catalog says that these plates are numbered and will not be offered again! Gee, where have I heard that before?
Woops, wrong Don West.
Ah there we go.
WE’VE GOT GEM MINT 10 PLATES HERE! BE DIALIN’, PEOPLE! BE DIALIN’!
RD: Sorry, guys, but Don West had nothing on Barry Didinski. Anyone remember him? And does anyone remember that ancient mailbag where he ‘guest hosted’ and everyone got really ticked?
Kelly: Good times.
RD: In the words of David Lee Roth, Damn Good Times.
Ani: Here’s the Hitman begging you to eat your veggies. FRUSTRATED IS NOT THE *** **** WORD FOR IT! THIS LACK OF VEGGIE EATING IS BS!
Big Daddy Cool wants you to eat your pasta fazool!
Kelly: Actually, with his finger in the air like that, it looks like he is saying, “Check, please!”
Ani: “Eat your meatloaf…so I can rest…in…peeeeeeeeace!”
RD: It’s really too bad that Hogan wasn’t still around – I would have paid top dollar for a plate with is on it.
License to print money.
Ani: Finally here is Razor Ramon, no doubt wondering why he’s on a plate and not on a WWF beer stein instead.
Kelly: Or a shot glass.
RD: Laugh all you want – I still have my Nitro Grill shot glass. It’s on my mantle. No joke!
Ani: Remember when Jerry Lawler used to say how ugly Alundra was when she had her feud with Bertha Faye, Queen of the Trailer Park. This shirt really brings out the nose in her. Time to throw it in the trash, Madusa!
Kelly: Yeah, seeing that shirt, you can’t really blame her for getting the hell out of that company and dumping the Women’s title belt in the garbage.
Ani: I get RAW on Monday Nights? Why would someone who wants to have friends wear this? Only way it could be worse is if it was on a pair of boxer shorts.
DEAR SWEET NEPTUNE, GOD OF THE SEA, WHY!? This should be sold with Randy West’s wrestling porno movie, not in some crappy WWF merch catalog!
Kelly: Yes teenage boys out there, this will not ruin the mood for your potential virginity-losing conquest at all.
RD: And Mrs. Deal makes fun of me for thinking that my Pac-Man playing skills would get me women back in the 80’s. Wait ’til I show her these!
Mrs. Deal: If you wore those AND played Pac-Man at the same time, I would be willing to bet the act of procreation would cease on earth.
Not just for you – for all mankind.
Ani: Wow, a Mrs. Deal cameo! Nothing can top that, so finally, I leave you with this.
The most EPIC shirt of all time.
A shirt that speaks to the masses.
A shirt that will live you breathless.
A shirt that can cure all that’s wrong with life.
A shirt that says “I can have my nephew in 3rd grade make a watercolor shirt, so why not!”
Mr. Bob Backlund chicken winging a random jobber somewhere in the universe.
Kelly: Wait a minute….how is he breathing in outer space?
RD: Duh, Superman IV.
I thought you watched the classics, Kelly!