In the first ever “Real Deal Ramblings“, I spoke of a match between Mike Rotundo and Brad Armstrong. It was a great match, with tons of near falls and a hot crowd. And why was the crowd hot? They were into the wrestling, not the gimmicks. After viewing this match, I asked rhetorically why bookers felt the need to repackage these two with silly gimmicks, when flat out workrate could get them over.
So it should come as no surprise that on the very first match on the very first Nitro of the very worst year in the existence of WCW, we had not just Mike Rotundo rehashing the decade old Varsity Club gimmick, but also poor Brad Armstrong in his worst personna since Arachniman.
Armstrong was Buzzkill, a complete rip-off of the WWF’s Road Dogg. As you may or may not know, Road Dogg is actually a guy by the name of Brian Armstrong…and is in fact Brad Armstrong’s brother. When booker and all around nutcase Vince Russo first arrived in WCW, he pulled Brad aside and told him to call his brother and ask him how to “grow a personality”.
Russo apparently decided that to do this, Brad would need to duplicate his brother’s antics as closely as possible. He began to make drug references, and started doing mic work on the way to the ring. In fact, even his entrance music soundly very familiar. Why, just take a listen!
Russo even had Brad grow out his hair and braid it. Well, actually, poor old Brad wasn’t given enough time to do that, so he just wore a wig with the braids built in! Of course, when big bullies like the Harris boys beat up Buzzie, he would often lose his wig, as pictured above.
It seems a shame that a guy with the talent of Brad Armstrong was never allowed to get over by doing what he does best – wrestling. Maybe one day bookers will learn that they need not resort to silly gimmicks to get guys over.
But let’s hope not, because then we would run out of material for this site.
Buzzkill (with music so similar to Road Dogg’s entrance theme it appears to be one and the same): “Greensburg, South Cakalaki! It’s me, it’s me, it’s that B-U-Double Z! Oh yeah, live and in tie-dyed living color!”