Since the very first post here at the Crap, one request has made it to old RD’s inbox more than any other: the frosty phenom known as Glacier. And with good reason – here was a character that WCW hyped for months on end, going so far as to promise that just by his mere arrival, the world of puny mortals such as you and me would change forever. I mean, sure, other wrestlers may have shown up and won titles, but had any of them ever CHANGED THE WORLD FOREVER? I think not.
It was a hype job to end all others. In fact, I don’t remember any character in WCW’s history that had as much interest prior to his debut. The only guy in history, in fact, that even comes close in my memory would be Outback Jack. And no, that’s not a joke – I remember very clearly waiting in line to get tickets to a WWF show prior to WrestleMania III, and the number one topic on everyone’s lips behind Andre-Hogan was, unbelievably enough, was the gap-toothed Aussie.
Of course, getting folks interested in a character was all well and good, but in reality, none of that means much if, upon his arrival, the wrestler fails to deliver the goods.
And that’s why Glacier’s here at WrestleCrap, and not in some wrestling hall of fame.
When Glacier showed up, well, let’s just say his awesome intro videos weren’t the only thing he shared with Outback Jack. To be honest, that’s the real reason I put him off for so long: despite all the hype, he just wasn’t that interesting, even in a crappy way.
But boy were those intro vignettes something else. In fact, I’ll go as so far to say those videos were among the best WCW ever produced. They were high tech, glossy, and just grabbed your eyeballs by their very retinas. They actually put the WWF’s hype pieces at the time to shame, and that’s really saying something, as I find the WWF’s post-production pieces to be pretty phenomenal – I mean, seriously, check out the hype packages prior to any WWF/WWE PPV. They really get you in the mood to watch a show, even if it’s main evented by JBL vs. Undertaker.
Not only were the promos gorgeous, they were aired for months and months. That’s something else that’s missing from wrestling today – slow build ups. WCW’s most successful program ever, Sting vs. Hogan, was a match that was built up for over a year. Anticipation was a large part of why that buyrate was so huge, and, believe it or not, the same was true in the case of Glacier. After seeing months of promos, fans couldn’t wait to see what WCW was about to unleash on the wrestling world.
Again, the message was clear – our world is about to change, and blood is gonna run cold. DAMN cold. Like absolute zero cold, man. Fans began to wildly speculate as to just who this Glacier was and what he might look like. And just about everyone came up to the same conclusion:
It was Sub-Zero of the very popular videogame Mortal Kombat. Although the MK series was nowhere near its peak, it still had a fairly loyal following after the Playstation One release of MK3. One of the main characters was Sub-Zero, an ice throwing mad man who had the penchant for ripping guy’s heads right off their shoulders, with spine attached.
So was everyone right? Had Sub-Zero come to life in grappling form? You be the judge:
I dare say the mask gives away the answer.
But while Sub-Zero had the ability to perform fatalities on his foes, Glacier has something in his corner as well: blue lights, lasers, and snow. Lots and lots of snow. In fact, an entrance so elaborate hadn’t been seen in a WCW ring since Oz trumbled down to ringside with a midget wizard and a trained monkey.
Sadly, Glacier never pissed his name in the snow.
WCW commentator Larry Zbyszko claimed that Glacier brought many different disciplines to the table, among them the “soft style” and the “hard style.” While I may never know what that means (sounds to me like the guy needs some Cialis or something), upon reviewing several Glacier matches prior to writing this, I am pretty sure it means he liked to kick a lot.
And those kicks…well, people didn’t care about them. They didn’t seem to care about much of anything Glacier did, in fact. It just seemed for such a sensational build up, the end product was so…blah. It wasn’t that he was horrible in the ring…it wasn’t that he was awful on the mic. The fans, having waited so long for his arrival, wanted something special. They truly expected the world to change.
Instead, they were given Glacier.
Despite the fact that no one cared, WCW continued to shove their answer to Snow Miser down fans’ throats. Glacier picked up win after win, including several victories over evil manager James Vandenburg’s heel duo of Mortis (Chris Kanyon) and Wrath (Bryan Clark). Eventually, though, the odds were too great, and Glacier had to call somebody’s mama; yes, it was thanks to Glacier that Ernest “The Cat” Miller was unleashed upon the world.
As if you needed another reason to hate the guy.
Finally, it became clear even to Eric Bischoff that Glacier was going nowhere fast. He was shuttled back down the card, and was later injured in a match with Bill Goldberg that saw Glacier frozen in his tracks for quite some time.
Upon his return, all hype had disappeared. In fact, the character had become such a joke that a storyline was made up in which Ray Lloyd (the man who portrayed Glacier) sold off his gimmick to Kaz Hayashi. Lloyd repackaged himself as manager “Coach” Buzz Stern.
You’d think this would be the end of the gimmick, but it wasn’t. In 2000, promos once again began to air featuring the Glacier logo, promising that the world was about to change…um, again, I guess. Thankfully, however, this time the promos were cut short, and Glacier made his return to the ring, although this time, for only a handful of matches prior to WCW’s closure in 2001.
These days, Lloyd wrestles sporadically for various southern wrestling promotions. I’m thinking these promotions probably cannot afford to stage his old, elaborate intro, which is a real shame.
After all, that’s all Glacier really ever had going for him.