This induction is dedicated to Blade Braxton and all the other members of the WrestleCrap family we’ve lost along the way.
On April 1st, 2000, WrestleCrap.com first arrived on the internet. The intervening twenty-one years have provided the site with never-ending fodder for our famous inductions, whether it be old footage uploaded to Youtube or new, ridiculous angles and characters presented on TV every week. This year, it falls to me to commemorate this momentous anniversary.
Before I get to this week’s induction, I have to set the scene and talk a little bit about The Berzerker.
Before War Machine gave WWE the full viking experience, Berzerker was the only openly Norse wrestler in the company’s history.
The ‘Zerker’s specialty was chucking jobbers over the top rope and winning by countout – in fact, that’s how he picked up each and every one of his televised victories during his two-year run with the company.
With such a literal over-the-top style, it’s no wonder he won the 40-man battle royal on Prime Time Wrestling. It’s also no wonder that he never won a championship (though I’m sure Hulk Hogan wasted countless hours trying to convince Berzerker to let him put him over).
But before he was The Berzerker, or even “The Viking”, John Nord was Nord the Barbarian…
…which brings us to this 1987 video tape, “A Day in the Life of Nord the Barbarian”.
Designed to promote Nord’s wrestling career and/or his dad’s used car dealership, the tape opened with the Barbarian suplexing a customer through a windshield for missing a payment.
Our host, an expert psychiatrist, was there to prove that Nord, “America’s foremost barbarian” was just an ordinary man. A sensitive man, even.
As a barbarian, Nord had to contend with the stereotypes and wildly inaccurate history taught in Minnesota public schools. “I think I learned about barbarians in school“, said an elementary-aged boy. “They raped and pillaged most of northern Minnesota.”
You hear that? Besides garbage history, kids in the ’80s were learning awful words like, “pillage”.
But real-life barbarians like Nord were men of depth and feeling. Just ask his ex-girlfriend, who revealed that not only was Nordy a terrific kisser, he was also a passionate and poetic soul. In fact, they once read Rod McKuen poetry until Nord was moved to throw her through a windshield. Honestly, if I had to listen to “Seasons in the Sun” all the way through, I’d have thrown myself through a windshield. (Ask your grandparents about that one, kids)
He was also a graceful and artistic athlete, said his college gymnastics coach.
But if testimonials weren’t enough to convince you of the Barbarian’s humanity, cameras followed Nord for an entire day, from when he picked an outfit from his wardrobe…
…to when he ate his combination Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles…
…to when he stopped off at the bank.
After approving his request for a $3000 loan for food…
…Nord the Barbarian needed to show some ID to prove it was really him and not some other barbarian (Sione, for instance).
Next it was time to go shopping at Jerry’s Meat Market…
…where Nord double-fisted shopping carts and stocked up on the entire cast of Babe, including the old farmer.
Nord interrupted his cholesterol orgy to stop and smell some pretty flowers…
…and pick up his favorite vitamins.
Then it was off to work at the family car dealership…
…where he beat the piss out of deadbeats.
After a brief workout, it was time for Nord to hit the ring for his famous night job. Walter Becker was on hand to ask Nord about his recent babyface turn. “I’m big, and I’m unique!” said the body-positive Barbarian. “Fatso fatso pants on fire!” he then yelled at his opponent.
“Gotta go to work now!” he grunted to no one in particular. I used to do that every morning at 7 until my neighbors told me to shut up. (I’m kidding; in fact they asked nicely)
Some Rocky-esque music soundtracked his match with Soldat Ustinov, in which Nord did the impossible by actually pinning his opponent. This obviously called for a celebration at the local bar…
…which brought in two full kegs in preparation.
Before Nord could imbibe any (root) beer, his wife called up asking for him. Fortunately, his buddies at the bar covered for him.
All in all, the 20-minute tape was a real hoot, which is why you’ll never, ever see it inducted on this site. But the point is, by the time Nord established himself in the WWF, his hair had grown much longer and wilder.
Despite the change in hairstyle, though, his attitude remained the same. The same could not be said for the subject of this week’s induction, Dolph Ziggler.
In 2011, WWE didn’t think Dolph Ziggler would ever be credible so long as he wore slicked-back bleach-blond hair…
…so he cut it, dyed it brown, and wrestled for the next six weeks as The New and Improved Dolph Ziggler, with a new look and a new attitude.
Everyone hated it.