INDUCTION: Canvas Back Cat – Garfield Grapples to the Delight of No One

21 Submitted by on Thu, 21 April 2022, 20:00

Cartoon, 1992

Sometimes I question if I get a bit too obscure with the inductions I pen, and this is definitely one of those times. While children of the 80s and 90s remember Garfield, I sincerely doubt most anyone else does. I mean, the last major item featuring Garfield was a pretty horrible movie in 2004, which by my count is almost 30 years ago.

I’m not very good at math.

For all of you unfamiliar with him, Garfield is a fat, lazy, sarcastic cat who likes lasagna. He’s the pet of Jon Arbuckle, who also has a hyper active dog named Odie. Penned by Jim Davis (from right here in Indiana, thank you very much!), he’s been on the scene since 1978 and featured in comic strips, books, cartoons, and movies.

Some folks even find him funny. I mean, I don’t, like, at all, but if you do, more power to you. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla and all that jazz.

Being around for so long, it’s almost inevitable that he’d wind up in a wrestling ring at some point and that, kids, is what we’re here to talk about today. From the 1992 season of Garfield and Friends, time for us to all get home from school, open up some Fruit Rollups, and watch Canvas Back Cat!

Wait a second…maybe that is my issue with Garfield. I would have never watched him as a kid – when this originally aired, I would have been 23 years old. So I wouldn’t have been eating Fruit Rollups.

I mean who on earth would? We’re all in agreement that those things sucked, right?

Ok, I’ve delayed enough. Time to dive into the most mindless thing on TV.

Pro wrestling!

And here you thought I was talking about Garfield.

Which I kinda am, since this is a Garfield episode about pro wrestling.

Oh, and Garf…you think pro wrestling is stupid?

Well, the joke’s on you, cat – you’re getting inducted at WrestleCrap!

So we get our prototypical grappler, the Masked Mauler, cutting a promo, talking about how he doesn’t know who his next opponent will be because everyone is scared of him. After watching just a few minutes, Garfield and Odie have had enough, and they and Jon head out to the local pizza parlor for some dinner.

And who should be there but…

…yep, you guessed it, the Mauler. His manager is also there, sadly giving his protege some bad news: he needs to retire because no one wants to wrestle him. But it’s not because they think they’ll lose, but rather because, and I am quoting here, “you don’t follow the script.”

Remember that absurd match where Goldberg wasn’t following the script and no one in WCW knew what to do? And Tony mentioned they would now have to “ad lib”?

Now you know where Russo got the idea!

(DISCLAIMER: I’ve not talked to Russo about this theory, but let’s all pretend I did. Feel free to report this as fact!)

Mauler is so angry about his situation that he slams his fist on the table, which causes his pizza to go flying…flying right into Garfield’s awaiting mouth. “Anyone can eat them one slice at a time,” he notes.

See, Garfield is lazy and he’s fat but he can eat.

A lot.


Mauler determines he actually has just found his next opponent…and runs up to Jon to confront him about Garfield eating his pizza. Mauler tells Jon that he better show up tonight for a match or he will hunt him down, no matter where he may try to hide.

“Mauler has challenged me to a match tonight,” Jon ponders. “It looks like I have an important decision to make.”

That decision whether to go to Argentina or Portugal, which he makes in a jump cut to a travel agency.

Ok, that was cute. Not sure it actually made it all the way to “funny”, but I’ll give it at least minor props for making me force a wry smile across my face.

At this point, Jon goes on a soliloquy about how maybe he should get in the ring and take up Mauler on his challenge.

Then he decides he is NOT going to do that.

Then he thinks he is going to fight him.

Then back again.

I know this cartoon is only a half hour long, but this feels longer than Titantic at this point.

Before he can change his mind six more times, some goons show up and take him hostage, throwing him into the manager’s car and whisking him away to the arena.

Did I mention it’s the SPLEEN ARENA?

We need more arenas named that!

To ringside we go where, we are informed that “Turnbuckle Arbuckle” will be attempting to end Mauler’s 940 win streak.

I keep telling you – it’s GOLDBERG.

Russo saw this.

Report it as FACT!!!

So Jon attempts to get in the ring and somehow gets tangled in the ropes.

Was comedy for kids always this unfunny in the 90s?

Or was it just, you know, Garfield?

So the match starts, and Jon immediately faints.

We are told this is a wise strategy.

I mean, if it’ll get me out of watching the rest of this, maybe I should try it too.

Mauler tosses Jon’s carcass out of the ring, but wouldn’t you know it, his mutilated frame winds up catapulting GARFIELD INTO THE RING!



Garfield does his best to run away from the Mauler, as the crowd boos the masked man unmercifully. Note to any perspective heels out there – you want heat, there’s your ticket.

If you see MJF attacking a cat next week on Dynamite, you can report he stole the idea from this here site as fact too.

Just as it looks like curtains for our feline friend, he discovers that Mauler is allergic to cat hair. Garfield yells for Odie to come into the ring and start blowing his fur all over the place, thus causing Mauler to sneeze so hard…

…his mask blows off!

This causes the audience to erupt in laughter, because Mauler is apparently so incredibly ugly.

I mean, these people should look in a mirror some time – they’re quite hideous themselves!

Mauler runs for the exit as Garfield is declared the victor.

“I won by a nose,” he tells us.

WrestleCrap Radio crickets, you around?

Sorry to bring you out of your peaceful retirement, but there’s really no other way to end this induction!

Thanks for reading another WrestleCrap induction! We sure would appreciate your support on our Patreon for our twenty two years (!!!) of Crapitude. Just a couple bucks means the world to us, so please consider it, won’t you? 🙂

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21 Responses to "INDUCTION: Canvas Back Cat – Garfield Grapples to the Delight of No One"
  1. Steve McMahon says:

    Michael Cole: “Oh my! This is not good!”

    Garfield, on guest commentary: “I know. This sandwich has no mustard.”

  2. CF says:

    Yes, ’90s cartoons sucked — the only good one was _Animaniacs_; and yes, it did a PW-themed sketch as well… titled “FAKE”….

    • Thomas Moffatt says:

      The Ren and Stimpy Show was brilliant – and their PW episode kicked ass.

      The flying butt pliers was the greatest thing ever and should any wrestler be able to replicate it then it would be sure to rocket them to stardom – it could do the likes of Jinder Mahal, Baron Corbin and the walking Halloween mask Von Wagner intense favours and even get them across (!)

    • Michael says:

      Woah woah, I am not taking this attack on my childhood lightly. The 90s gave us lots of excellent cartoons like Batman, X-Men, Doug, Rock’s Modern Life, Gargoyles, Darkwing Duck, Beast Wars & the golden age of Simpsons.

  3. Sean Bateman says:

    Now Deal, you gotta do the Simpsons episode that they found Grandpa’s hidden past as a pro wrestler at a storage locker that they won.

  4. Andrew Herlan says:

    Another Russo idea has its origins.
    The match is Mauler vs Jon. And the winner is Garfield, who wasn’t even in the original match.

    • Preparation Triple H says:

      If WCW just stuck around a little while longer, we could have seen a Lasagna On A Pole Match.

  5. Cuthbert says:

    So many absurd things in this.

    Everyone finds Garfield funny, and always have.
    EVERYONE loves Fruit Roll-Ups.

    You tried way too hard to be controversial here and it backfired completely.

    • MJI says:

      I used to find Garfield funny, but you can only take a one-dimensional comic so far.

      I will agree about Fruit Roll-Ups. I’m 31, and those still hit the spot whenever I get my hands on one.

    • Shill-Slayer says:

      Sadly, nothing in the induction is as absurd as your attempts to troll it.

      It would be best to do some research next time before making sweeping general statements like “everyone love Garfield.” There is a MASSIVE community of people whose entire work is built around explaining why the format of the strips is basic to the point of parody and how it’s overly sadistic towards Jon. Watch the below video and get educated so you don’t embarrass yourself any further.

      As for Fruit Roll-Ups, I highly doubt that everyone loves them since not everyone likes candy in general, or would even be able to eat it due to diabetes or fructose intolerance among other things. Plus they’re not available everywhere, the world’s a lot bigger than just America. Learn to pick your fights a bit more wisely and nuance your claims.

      You tried way too hard to be controversial here and it backfired completely.

      • Paul says:

        Sorry to be the pedantic contra-contradictarian, but what Shill is saying is just has absurdly lopsided as the comment he is lambasting.

        Garfield has been a merchandising juggernaut for decades now, and despite being well over it’s peak of popularity, it’s still a success currently, with new material and off-shoot coming out. Reruns of the CGI series produced last decade where still present on morning cartoon runs on a TV Channel I get as recently as last year.

        Sure there is the internet phenomenon, memes and de-construction of the source material, but that pales to the amount of people who get, or still get, a little chuckle while reading the comic strip on the newspaper in the morning, or later on the internet. Saying that Garfield is more hated than loved is just as blind and reductive as saying that Big Bang Theory is an unpopular sitcom, despite it having pulled such big ratings over an entire decade.

        Garfield is simple, kid-friendly and generally fun, meant to be consumed in micro doses. The provided link to ”What The Internet Did To Garfield” is an interesting view, but also way too much over-analysis for a silly cartoon strip with very loose continuity, and the internet memes are a subculture viewpoint on Garfield, not the mainstream view on Garfield.

        Nothing is universally loved or hated, but there are trends, and Garfield is GENERALLY liked, even if not as relevant and omnipresent as it used to be.

  6. Al Boondy says:

    Don’t be surprised is Garfield is more popular with the youths than you might imagine, RD … The fat cat has taken on a whole new relevance in the world of memes (go to YouTube and look up the video “What The Internet Did To Garfield” for some truly horrifying examples!)

  7. Todd The Bod says:

    Aww, I love Garfield 🙂 There’s a Garfield Pluto TV channel that shows the same 6 episodes non-stop and this is one of the episodes that they show all the time (along with the super weird TV special “Garfield: His 9 Lives” that features the most depressing segment in the history of film called “Diana’s Piano.” Trust me, I cry every time I see this segment or even think about it. Go watch it now, just make sure you have tissues handy. Darn, now I made myself sad).

  8. Jake Yayger says:

    Talk about…me-owch!


  9. Preparation Triple H says:

    Mr. Deal, if you hate Garfield, you might get a kick out of “Garfield Minus Garfield”. It’s a webcomic where Garfield has been removed from the original strips, leaving Jon talking to no one.

  10. Statistician says:

    STATISTICALLY… this is the 30th thing from 1992 to be inducted. 1992 is now exactly as Crappy as 1989 and 1998, and Crappier than 1994 or 2001.

  11. Ron Turnbuckle says:

    Two things

    1.) That’s a REALLY jacked nerd… I’m sure some company in the 90’s would still hire him

    and 2.) Apparently Garfield is a Viacom property now because my brother was playing that Nickelodeon All-Stars Battle game or whatever it’s called and Garf is one of the fighters?

  12. Ryan says:

    Garfield and Friends was my jam lol

  13. Sid says:

    There was a wrestling episode of Heathcliff long before this Garfield episode and it was equally awful. Sorry to pique your curiosity…

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