If you were around for the inception of WrestleCrap, you might recall the first column I ever wrote centered on a wrestling match between Brad Armstrong and Mike Rotundo. I reminisced about a classic battle between two guys who were simply in the ring doing what they do best – wrestling. I found it interesting that the two had the crowd in the palm of their hands by doing that.
Apparently, bookers in both WCW and the WWF didn’t feel that was enough, though, so they created goofy personas for each man, and both men saw their careers suffer for it. Rotundo would go on to become a millionaire (Michael Wallstreet), a boat captain (Cap’n Mike), and a tax agent (Irwin R. Schyster, aka IRS). Armstrong would be a candy peddler (The Candyman), a rip-off of his more famous (yet infinitely less talented) brother Brian, aka the WWF’s Road Dogg (Buzzkill), and a blatant Spiderman knock-off.
What? You don’t remember Arachnaman, Armstrong’s short-lived web slingin’ superhero persona? Well then load up those web shooter cartridges, and let’s take a swing down memory lane.
Armstrong came to the ring firing webs and moving about nimbly, just like your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. In fact, it seems the only difference between the two was their place of origin. Here’s Jim Ross to tell you more (in the lowest point of his career…well, at least until he went to the WWF and he had to wear a toga).
Yes, kids, he hailed from Web City. WEB CITY. I don’t know about you, but the next time someone asks me where I am from, I am going to say Web City. That or WCW Special Forces. It’s a toss up.
Sadly, Armstrong’s mom (or maybe it was Ole Anderson, who really knows) screwed up while doing laundry. Armstrong’s outfit was washed with some new towels, and the red and blue of his Spiderman Underoos shifted to purple and gold. Therefore, only the colorblind portion of the audience bought into the character, and that wasn’t enough to get Arachnaman over.
While we may find all this humorous, Marvel Comics did not. They filed a lawsuit against WCW for copyright infringement, and even the dimbulbs running the show at the time knew they were in the wrong. Arachnaman headed back to Web City, presumably to fight villains such as Enigmatico, the Emerald Elf, and Mr. Misfortune.
Jim Ross (shilling as best he can): “Very interesting ring attire…look at the spider on the top of his head there. And of course, and appropriately enough, he hails from Web City.”