One of the things I really loved about the early days of WrestleCrap.com was the sense of being able to prove to long-time fans that horrible wrestling angles and characters they thought they could have only imagined did in fact exist. As the site has grown to its current gargantuan state over nearly two decades, it’s tougher to find such hidden nuggets. Every once in a while, though, I get lucky – the last induction I wrote, covering the infamous Basket Case, saw us flooded with emails and PMs, ranging from “I have zero recollection of this” to “I have no recollection of this.”
Really – those were pretty much all the responses.
Turns out, WCW Saturday Night from 1999 to the end of its run was a program that most folks had long abandoned during the era of the Monday Night Wars. What was once WCW’s flagship show dove headfirst into irrelevance, with no major stars making appearances and little of note ever taking place. But the company still had to fill that time, and they did so with stuff so bad it couldn’t even make it to Thunder.
Let me repeat that: what happened on the show was so horrendous it couldn’t even make it to THUNDER.
The show that featured DDP vs. THE MACHINE!
That, kids, means it is a veritable goldmine for us. Basket Case may have been the first such item we unearthed, but it won’t be the last. For tonight we dive back into something even I didn’t remember, Barry Darsow being stricken with AMNESIA.
For the uninitiated, Barry Darrow was most famous for being one-half of the a very beloved tag team in the late 1980s, that being Demolition. I may not have been the biggest Demo fan back in the day, but even I was well aware that Ax and Smash were in fact walking disaster.
But if you are like me, one of the WrestleCrap faithful, we love him for something more obscure. To me, though, it is every bit as great:
Oh my how I love this man.
This…this REPO Man. Sneaking around, taking bikes from kids whose parents were such deadbeats they made payments on them, all while wearing a lone ranger mask and prancing around in glee ala Frank Gorshin as the Riddler.
Man was he great.
But eventually, Mr. Darsow left the WWF and wound up in WCW. And that, friends, is where we start today. But if you think we’re going to do this chronologically, no no no. Don’t worry though – we’re still going to cover all his characters in the company.
Confused? If not, you will be. And I bet you won’t even have to get smacked in the noggin with a tag belt to get there.
So the year is 1998, and Mr. Darsow is toiling around the aforementioned WCW Saturday Night. Naturally he wouldn’t be competing or Smash or Repo Man. Titan owned those lock, stock, and barrel. Not to be held back, Darsow invented a new character, as the world’s greatest golfer. Yes, a pro wrestling golfer. And did I mention he was a heel?
Behold Mr. Hole In One!
Long-time Crappers will remember his induction years ago (and yes, this is my usual shill for the archives, which you can access here). If you’ve never read it (for shame!), Barry would come to the ring but before locking up, he would roll out his portable putting green.
He would then ask for the crowd to be quiet (even holding up a QUIET sign!), then offer his opponent a choice: if his foe could sink a putt, he’d win. Miss? Then Darsow would hit the pay windah. In this instance with young Johnny Swinger, the geek missed (twice!) and Mr. Hole in One kicked him in the gut for such utter failure.
It was a great gimmick, with Mr. Hole in One noting weekly that he was still waiting for his PGA card to come in the mail. Man that was awesome. For whatever reason, though, he eventually discarded his putter and became…
I mean, just plain old Barry Darsow.
No mask. No putting green. No nothing. Just a black singlet and black boots, all holding in a very generic mean guy demeanour.
But get this – he had a finisher! Yes, one he actually WON MATCHES WITH – the Barely Legal arm bar.
How on earth was this man never brought to ECW? I mean, they named a PPV after his finisher! I never thought I’d say this about Paul E, but seriously, what an idiot.
Do you have any idea how over the freakin’ REPO MAN would have been in the bingo hall?
I mean, I don’t either, but I bet it would have been a LOT.
Speaking of Paul E, Barry would next wind up teaming with one of his former Dangerous Alliance proteges. And while he won the WCW tag titles during this run, he is a man who will be better remembered throughout the ages as one-half of the legendary Midnight Express.
None other than Bobby Eaton.
Or as the chyron listed, Darrow Eaton, who was teaming with Barry Bobby. I think this is where I am supposed to write something like, “Could WCW ever do anything right?”, but I will refrain from such antics. I’d never stoop to such levels.
Despite being paired with one of the greatest tag team wrestlers ever, fortune did not change for Mr. Darsow, as he would wind up taking a horrific beating, finding himself getting clobbered all over the ring in the duo’s first match together versus Harlem Heat.
Following this brutal beating at the hands of Booker and Stevie Ray, wherein the 10-time WCW tag champs leveled him with their title belts, poor Barry wound up seeing stars. Unable to regain his feet following the match, he was helped to the back.
It would only get worse from there, as we would soon learn he’d come down with a dreaded malady known as AMNESIA. Yes, Darsow hadn’t just lost a match, he’d done lost his memory too!
As he was introduced during a future episode, Barry was nowhere to be found. Referee Charles Robinson ran backstage to find him. Sure enough, there he was…but something was different. Decked out in a USSR jacket and wacky hat, we learned that Barry Darsow wasn’t there…
…but KRUSHER KRUSCHEV was!
COMRADE! We missed you!
If you weren’t around 30+ years ago, this would be his gimmick from his very first WCW run (when it was part of the NWA), in which Darsow was an American turned communist sympathizer, hanging out with the likes of Nikita and Ivan Koloff.
They even held the six-man tag titles, for crying out Gorbachev!
And just in case someone didn’t quite understand what was going on, Barry…or KRUSHER, I guess…quickly began to rundown all of us filthy Americans!
While Scott Hudson was begging for Magnum TA to come out (!!!!), Krushev bested Al Greene with an over the shoulder back breaker. While it looked good, him not winning with the dreaded RUSSIAN SICKLE was a real missed opportunity.
Still, his hat was so awesome that all is forgiven.
I also like the fact he was hanging out backstage before the match with the Villanos. I’d like to think they were planning some type of hostile takeover of the US of A together. In my minds eye, I see them discussing how to achieve their political goals utilizing some unholy combination of sombreros and vodka.
Does that sentence revoke my politically correct card?
If so, can I point to the fact that I’m writing about Minnesotan turned evil Russian Krusher Krushev in 1999 as a way to get it back?
Thankfully, Barry didn’t appear next as Krusher Krushev. You may think that means he regained his memory, but NET! Instead, he would next grace us on WCW Saturday Night under a different persona, this time as…
…The Blacktop Bully!
Holy crap, this would be his mid 1990’s WCW alter ego, where he was, as best I can explain, a truck driving meanie. When I first started the site, there wasn’t a week that went by in which I wasn’t pelted with requests to cover his infamous King of the Road match with Dustin Rhodes, in which the two fought on the back of a rolling 18-wheeler. (And yes, that also is in the archives.) Sadly, before he could challenge anyone for such a match, another week passes and we get the return of…
…Mr. Hole in One!
But before he had the opportunity to win too many more putting challenges, he lost his marbles yet again, and one more time morphed into…
…the Blacktop Bully!
And such he remained until the very end of WCW itself. (After which, he began appearing on the indy scene as Demolition Smash once again.)
How all of this remained on WCW Saturday Night, never making it to Nitro nor Thunder, is a total crime. It may have been silly and craptastic, but it was definitely entertaining. Sure, it wouldn’t have turned WCW’s fortunes around, but for sure folks would have talked about it.
My only regret? This could have been better if he’d have shown up, just once, as Murray.
What? You don’t remember Murray?
Then that my friends is an induction for another day!