Classic Induction: Phantasio – Fruit Pie Was a Better Magician!

27 Submitted by on Wed, 10 September 2014, 15:00


WWF, Mid 90’s

Quick note from RD Reynolds:  This one is a true blast from the past, one of the original inductions I ever wrote.  Seems only appropriate that we post it here on our anniversary!

Once again we travel back to the majesty of the mid 90’s WWF, where it seemed that every worker had a part time job. Whether you were a plumber, a race car driver, or a garbage man, it seems that the take home of the average WWF superstar simply wasn’t enough to put food on the table. So it should shock no one that the WWF had its very own wrestling magician. Phantasio, who actually worked in the old USWA for many years under the guise of the Spell Binder, cast a spell on WWF fans the world over.

Phantasio would come down the aisle wearing a top hat and toting a cane. If he only had a monocle, he’d have been the spitting image of Mr. Peanut.

Once he hit the ring, the magic would begin.

That is, if you replace the word “magic” in the above sentence with your favorite synonym for feces.

Phantasio not only had a mask, but wore face paint as well. Now why anyone would want to wear both is beyond me. When you add in the fact that the mask looked identical to the face paint, confusion abounds. And when you factor in that the mask made him look more like a mime than a magician, well…pass the Excedrin.

Anyway, the master illusionist (JR’s words, not mine) would remove his mask to reveal that he was chewing on foot after foot of foil.

I don’t know where you come from, but where I live, that’s magic, folks!

In a move not unlike Bret Hart, Phantasio would give his mask to some kid in the front row.

In a move very unlike Bret Hart, Phantasio’s souvenirs came equipped with slobber.

The sorcery would continue as Phantasio threw silly string about the ring.

Ya know, when you’re stealing bits from The Juicer, it’s probably time to hang it up.

All of this mischief and mayhem led up to what is arguably the worst finisher of all time:


For his greatest feat of magic, Phantasio would reach into the back of his opponent’s tights, and pull off his rival’s underwear. The rival, rightfully stunned, would then be prey to a schoolboy roll-up and pin.

In this audio clip, Good Ol’ JR sells his soul to the devil by attempting to put over the move.

And just because he was a wacky fun zany kind of guy, Phantasio would pull off the referee’s underwear as well.

There’s probably a Pat Patterson joke to be made here, but since we’re not into low brow humor at WrestleCrap, we’ll let that one go.

Shortly after his debut, Phantasio did something truly magical: he disappeared, never to be heard from again.

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27 Responses to "Classic Induction: Phantasio – Fruit Pie Was a Better Magician!"
  1. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    I always liked this gimmick.

  2. Forest George says:

    Two years before the Sting Crow gimmick. WWF had money and didn’t know it.

  3. James S says:

    I think we need more Wrestling magicans

  4. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Here’s a Fruit Pie The Magician commercial (with special Guest Star Twinkie The Kid!)


  5. BaltoJim says:

    Phantasio stole the matching mask/face paint gimmick from a really bad KISS album:

  6. Forest George says:

    Was this a joke gimmick or something?

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      Well, no more so than a lot of the other gimmicks at the time.

      • Forest George says:

        Monsoon actually sounded like he was enjoying the foolishness, while Ross was doing his best to just to sell it. Monsoon had become quite the ham in his final days as a announcer.

        I wish WWE Universe would post a video on Who. I want to hear Vince, Ross, and Perfect do the full who joke during his matches.

  7. Lee W says:

    I dare say one of the reasons Phantasio never really gained traction was due to his finish of removing his opponent’s underwear. Now, in the 25 years I’ve been watching wrestling I dare say that 9 times out of 10 give or take if a guy’s trunks/tights are pulled down during the course of a match (Ric Flair & Shawn Michaels being the worst serial offenders) he isn’t wearing any underwear at all.

    • BaltoJim says:

      It’s probably a good thing that Phantasio never gained any traction with his underwear gimmick, ‘cuz then there’d be skid marks.

  8. Pete S says:

    Phantasio was a pioneer. Sting didn’t even do the “wear facepaint under an identical mask” gimmick until 2010

  9. Time Lord Soundwave says:

    This must’ve been a blink and you’ll miss it gimmick, because I was watching WWF in the mid 90’s and I don’t remember ever seeing Phantasio.

  10. Eric Walker says:

    It wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. I think with the right marketing strategy by WWF and getting the….

    Ok, I tried, This was crap,

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, this was the very definition of wrestlecrap.

  12. Jay says:

    The guy that did this gimmick was SUPER young(like 21). He’s only 40 now. They ought to bring him back on one of the ‘old school’ Raws. Only about 12 people would get it….

  13. Mister Forth says:

    Now I want to know the person that thought this was a good idea.

  14. Chris says:

    I remember watching this match at the time it was broadcast in the UK on Superstars, I think on a Saturday afternoon.

    I don’t what it was about this guy, but he stayed in my mind much longer than he had any right to.

    I don’t think he ever appeared again after this one match, I remember looking out for him every week as a kid, and apart from that one match, he never wrestled again on a WWF show that I recall.

  15. Christ says:

    If only he’d removed the female wrestlers’ underwear instead he’d probably have gone on to beat Honky Tonk Man’s IC reign.

  16. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I see Fantasy Wrestlecrap Versus – Phantasio and the hypnotist/magician-guy-who-was-on-Tuesday-Night-Titans-and-I-can’t-remember-his-name…

  17. Porter "Budsgrand" Sultzbaugh says:

    So Phantasio looked the same with and without the mask on.
    What is Erick Rowan’s excuse ?

  18. Juan Valdez says:

    They never even say where he learned his magic trick if he was even actually doing them at all.

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