INDUCTION: Zeus on The Arsenio Hall Show – Straight Outta Compton!

40 Submitted by on Thu, 15 September 2016, 20:00


Syndicated TV Show, 1989

When I first came up with the idea for WrestleCrap, I kinda had in my back pocket what I knew would make up the core of the site originally.  You had your Shockmaster and your Black Scorpion and your Red Rooster and your Papa Shango and all the other horrible characters you’d expect.  Ridiculous angles?  Those were also in the playbook from day one.

Right up there with those items were the chance for me to “review” movies starring wrestlers, namely Hulk Hogan.  I am something of a movie fiend; if I am not headed to the Skyline, the drive in theater I am blessed to assist with arcade support (yes, really), I am sitting around watching one of the 2,000 or so flicks I have in my Plex or scouring Netflix or Hulu for more.  From an early age, I loved to write reviews of films.  In fact, one  lingering memory from high school is my English teacher telling me I would be a “great, yet unreasonable, critic.”  On April 1, 2000, I gave myself the chance to be as unreasonable as I wanted to be.

So we opened the Hulkster’s filmography and even I didn’t know just how many horrible films he had to his credit.  I knew of Santa with MusclesSuburban CommandoMr. Nanny, all the usual suspects.  I made the mistake of going back and checking out Thunder in Paradise, and I could only make it through a couple of those before giving up midway through an induction and reviewing a 1960s lucha movie instead.  But the creme de la crap has always been, and always will be, No Holds Barred, a movie rumored to have been written by Hogan himself and Vince McMahon while on a weeklong bender in a hotel room on righteous amounts of cocaine and who knows what else.

Make no mistake about it – that movie absolutely sucked.  But it sucked in a goofy, campy way that made it a perfect target for my (at the time) new site.  In an odd way, I kinda owe Hogan and Vince for coming up with it.

But all the crap surrounding it following the release?  With Zeus actually getting in the ring to battle the Hulkster and various partners?  Not so much.

Today we cover something I had no clue actually existed until recently.  That’s the beauty of this here internet, that you find young eggs can email me or PM me on Facebook or Twitter to throw suggestions my way.  Such was the case when I was told that not only did Zeus compete in a WWF ring, but also made his way to be a guest star on The Arsenio Hall Show, which was a huge deal for a year or two in the late 1980’s.

It’s suddenly hit me – this is a very long introduction for a 15 minute talk show segment featuring ZEUS.

Certain things on this website deserve monumental builds.

This?  Not so much.


So we come back from a commercial break (sponsored by GRAPE NUTS!!!!), with our host looking a bit sheepish, asking “Are you ready for this?” in a manner that has one questioning if he’s preparing his audience or himself for the train wreck that is about to take place.  A smattering of applause follows, before he continues: “My next guest manages not one, but two of the World Wrestling Federation’s…” and then just stops.


And shakes his head.

Oh no you don’t pal.  If we have to suffer through this, you do too!

Finally he composes himself and finishes with “NASTY MEN.”  He then brings out his guest, Sensational Sherri.


She comes out, and kinda sorta forces Arsenio to spin her around in a scene so reminiscent of Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen in White Christmas I’m now humming “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” much to the chagrin of my fellow travelers.

Also to the chagrin of my fellow Crappers, whom I guess maybe .00002% would understand that reference.  Maybe I should go more modern.  Let’s see, recent musicals…does Chicago count?


I mean, Catherine Zeta Jones…still considered a hot ticket, right?


Whatever from you anyway.  You’re like 12.

Oh, and sorry about your hubby.  Wasn’t like I predicted that or anything.

So Sherri spins around a bit, finally landing on the couch, with Arsenio quipping, “You’re a manager right to the end.” Sherri looks on at our host suggestively, and replies in a sultry manner, “From one end of my body to the other.”

I think I speak for all of us when I say I have no desire to know what that means.


Sherri’s makeup for the evening, by the way, is pretty much par for the course for her during this period: spider webs on her skull which look to have been applied via Sharpie.  For the uninitatied, this is actually a very subdued look for Sherri.  After all, who can forget when she debuted her “cat crossbreeds to Bride of Frankenstein” ensemble at Summerslam 90?


Why that was even in the WrestleCrap Book of Lists!, coming in at number two on…


2. Sherri Martel Cat Face, SummerSlam ’89: We’ve had plenty of sug- gestions for the guys, but what about you gals? Look no further than perennial fashion fatale Sherri Martel, who determined that it would be most beneficial to do up her mug to look exactly like an outcast from Cats. Maybe she had just seen the show on Broadway. Maybe she imagined that a wrestling ring revival of Cats would cause her opponent to fall to the ground and quiver in fear — much like the real show — thus making for easy prey. Whatever the reason, this is one look that absolutely must make an immediate return.

Want to know what number one is?


After causing Arsenio some palpatations by suggest they wrestle (you know, like IN BED), he attempts to right the interview by questioning how Sherri stacks up to, say, Elizabeth.  “That’s a very dirty word,” Sherri huskily responds.


She then proceeds to explain how she has the body of a Greek goddess and that all men should be salivating over her.  The best part of this is Arsenio staring at her backside in manner in which to say, “Ummm, no.”

Hey, look.  Sherri was a great performer for the WWF in that you truly believed she was utterly insane and probably could beat you to a pulp.  Like if I ran into Sherri back in the day when I was scrambling to get pics with as many of the WWF roster as possible, I’d have likely run the other way as I could see her going nuts and clawing my eyes out.  Today’s WWE could use more folks like her.

But comparing Sherri to the lovely Elizabeth?  That’s like comparing WWF Liz:


To WCW Liz:


No comparison.


Winner by unanimous decision, WCW Liz.

(Debate if you wish below.  Just know that I am right.)

Sherri goes on to explain that while Liz needs multiple men (wha?), she only needs one: “Macho Man” Randy Savage.  This despite the fact that she is going to be there with, you know, ZEUS.  This lack of logic forces Arsenio to explain to Sherri that two is in fact more than one.  


He does so by literally counting with his fingers.

To be fair, if I were her, I would want to ignore Zeus as well.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she used the same tactic when managing Stevie Ray in Harlem Heat.

All of this scintilating conversation leads to Arsenio asking the question we all wanted answered: did Randy Savage ever fornicate with Stephanie McMahon.

And by “Stephanie McMahon”, I do of course mean “Sensational Sherri.”

And by “fornicate”, I do mean “do the wild thing”…which has me having flash backs to this fantastically 1990 promo from WCW featuring the worst rapping you ever did hear.

Arsenio then mentions he was recently at a WWF house show (!!!) where Hulk grabbed Sherri and asks why he would do that.  Sherri explains that Hogan wants her.

You know, to manage him.

Shew.  That’s another image I don’t need to see.

The events of the match are laid out in detail in such detail that I have to believe Arsenio was in the crowd with a note pad.  Apparently Hogan gave Sherri an atomic drop, a body slam, then rammed her head into the ring bell.  Before you scoff, Hogan did that kinda thing all the time.  And yes, he was a babyface.


Apparently all this brutality did something to Sherri, as she goes into a complete spaz attack as she yells about “hearing it!  hearing the madness!”

You see that and you kinda understand why one would be legit scared of this woman.

Eventually she calms herself down, as Arsenio quizzes her about Zeus.  Sherri notes he is a magnificient “human wrestling machine” and also the REAL star of No Holds Barred.  I know that was the running idea behind the storyline feud between Zeus and Hogan, but a question if I may: why would anyone even want to claim that?


Finally, the big man comes out, in full Zeus getup, making his boobies dance and then punching himself in the chest.  If Arsenio does this whole thing in character and asks him about THE BATTLE OF THE TOUGH GUYS, all will be forgiven.

Arsenio, obviously intimidated by this display, timidly begins with “Zeus?”

Zeus replies: “MISTER Zeus.”

Ok, that was funny.


And I’m not the only one who thinks that, as even Lister himself breaks character and starts laughing.  Never thought a random appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show – as ZEUS!!!! – would pass the scene in The Dark Knight where he throws the detonator off the ferry as my favorite Tiny Lister moment, but there it is.

Also never thought I would be RANKING TINY LISTER MOMENTS, but sixteen years running this site has changed a lot of perceptions of how I thought my life would go.

Zeus settles himself down and regains his composure.  And then starts beating his chest again.  Apparently that keeps him calm. Anyway, he bellows about how he was way better than Hulk Hogan in the film.  He then throws a foot rest across the set, which I guess means he trained using that old Ultimate Warrior workout VHS I inducted years ago.  (It’s in the archives, kids – help us out and sign up!)


Screaming about SummerSlam follows, wherein we are told there will be no one there to yell “cut” to save the Hulkster in the match.  With this opening, Arsenio asks Zeus (Zeus: “MISTER ZEUS!!!”) if he has the wrestling skill to battle Hogan.  This leads to another fantastic moment in which Zeus bellows “I’M FROM COMPTON!!!!” to rabid cheers from the audience.

I legit feel like I’ve somehow stepped into some alternative dimension hearing that one.

Also, he notes that he has a “PHD in hurtin’ people!”

Wait, if he has a PHD, shouldn’t he be DOCTOR ZEUS?

(Must not make terrible Cat in the Hat joke…already did that before when Candice Michelle dressed up as Catwoman…)

It gets even stranger as Arsenio asks about his personal life.  “Did you parents name you Zeus?  Were you Zeus from birth?”

This does not please Zeus.  Nor does his follow up plea to be friends and “kick it, man.”


Zeus finally has had enough and starts beating his chest yet one more time, as Arsenio and his crew flee for their lives, as if Godzilla himself were smashing through Tokyo.

Eh, if they’d have been smart, they’d have done that before this bit ever started.  As would I.

Then again, if I hadn’t penned this, I wouldn’t have had the chance to prove yet again that WCW Liz > WWF Liz.


Yep.  No contest.

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
40 Responses to "INDUCTION: Zeus on The Arsenio Hall Show – Straight Outta Compton!"
  1. Mister Forth says:

    He was also in a jerky ad where he beat up a mean-spirited soda machine to get a fellow employee her water. It was actually awesome.

  2. mfm519 says:

    always loved as a kid when wwf stars went on talk shows.

    few months ago, found bobby heenan on bob costas’s old show (not the hbo one, but the one on nbc in the late 80’s)

    anyways, heenan was great (and in kayfabe), costas was alright, based on some of the topics appears episode was taped around summerslam 89 (and iirc, they were promoting the snme where the brainbusters won the wwf tag belts)

  3. Carl Zayas says:

    Zeus’ proclamation is funnier than when my uncle drunkenly stated at a wedding that he was a Gangsta straight outta Compton. My uncle who is very, very white…and from Bristol, Il.

  4. Adam says:

    Unfortunately, it was years too early for Zeus to bust out a Die Hard reference about his name.

  5. Hitmonchan says:

    I’ve long suspected that the Abraham Washington show was based on RD’s take of the Arsenio Hall show. Also did Arsenio lose fame for a rape joke?

    • CP says:

      The way I understand it Arsenio booked Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam for a show and the backlash it got, combined with his already slipping ratings due to CBS re-entering the late night game with Letterman, killed him off. First I’ve heard of rape jokes.

  6. Geoff says:

    I thought he was awesome in Fifth Element. You know come to think of it, he would’ve been a perfect replacement for Dave Arquette in WCW as the World Heavyweight Champion. Yep, bring in another no name star to become World Heavyweight Champion. Give the guy a belt even though he has no wrestling skill and is more of an actor than a wrestler. But that never stopped the Rock either. That also probably would’ve put WCW in the ground a lot faster too. Going back to Fifth Element tho, if WCW used him, they should’ve gotten rid of the Zeus moniker and just called him Mr. President. Maybe even paired him with Mr. Hughes. A secret service pairing ala the Acolyte Protection Agency. He is a better actor tho. A note about Sherry: an over the top Sherri is better than no sherri. “Oh Sherri holds on…” (yep I’ll see myself out now)

  7. Kev says:

    I thought I was the only one who thought WCW Liz was way hotter than WWF Liz. Speaking of hot, I always thought Sherri Martel was one of the most gorgeous women in the history of the business. She was a sexy beast right until the very end when she tragically passed away.

    RIP Sherri. You were sensationally scary.

  8. Jay says:

    That Sting hugging Liz is gold.

  9. Brandon says:

    To me, WCW Liz was hotter than most everyone in wrestling at the time, with the exceptions of Sunny circa 1996-1998 and Torrie Wilson.

  10. Gold Standard says:

    For Tiny Lister and wrestling… can’t forget Slammed (2004). I don’t know for sure but I think you inducted this. If you haven’t, you need to add it to your really bad movie reviews that you do about wrestling. Tiny Lister, Sylvester Terkay, Brian Kendrick, Looney Lane, and Aaron Aguilera.

    Right up your alley R.D.

  11. RD Reynolds says:

    Very happy to see folks on here proclaiming I am, in fact, correct about WCW Liz. There’s a certain person around these parts who disagrees.

    • Gold Standard says:

      Sorry, but I have to fall into the WWF Elizabeth category….anybody who was doing Lex Luger is an instant fail in my book.

    • Hitmonchan says:

      She wasn’t hotter in WCW than in WWF, just… more exposed. But then again had she and Macho remained in WWF up until the Attitude Era she would’ve ended on Playboy, feuded with Mrs. Brock Lesnar, and signs of “Hey Elizabeth, SNAP INTO MY SLIM JIM!” would be around the arena while Ramdy takes them out of jealousy and elbow drops them in the ring. But yeah she showed more skin in WCW, though at the expense of her relative usefulness as a valet compared to her time in the Fed. ‘Tis a dying form of art in wrestling nowadays.

  12. Woooooolhouse says:

    WCW Liz is only hotter than WWF Liz because we never got to see Ric Flair’s centerfold of her at WrestleMania VIII. I am convinced that would have shifted the favor to WWF Liz.

  13. OneManChainGang says:

    R.D. Have you heard of a movie called Wrong Side of Town? It’s a direct-to-video starring Batista and Rob Van Dam

    • AK says:

      I don’t know about R.D. but not only have I seen the movie but I own it..That probably isn’t something to be proud of but whatever.

      It does star RVD but to say it stars Batista is a bit of a stretch since he doesn’t have all that much screen time in the entire movie. He is front and center on the cover of the DVD and all the promotional work for the movie so there’s that.

      On a completely unrelated note, while I haven’t seen all of Zeus’s filmography, I believe his best work is hands down voicing Finnick and making the sounds for Little Toot Toot in Zootopia. I will assume it’s the most actual script he’s ever worked with but man does he make me hold out hope that they will make a Zootopia prequel or spinoff or whatever with just his character. Heck maybe they could bring in Hulk Hogan for some bizarro No Holds Barred reunion thing.

      Make it happen Disney and give Vince McMahon directorial credits!

  14. ClawsomeMan says:

    That Wild Thing promo had worse rap than PN News. Think the rapper in the commercial was related?

  15. John Q Occupier says:

    I fear I have what is probably an unpopular confession to make- I always preferred Sherri to Liz…

  16. John C says:

    “That’s actually Dr. Zeus, Arsenio, I didn’t attend The Brell Medical School to be called Mr. Zeus. I have a PHD in hurtin’ people but I minored in canine gyncology, it was sure rough.”

  17. RobVanDamIsABallerina says:

    Let’s settle this right now on this Liz debate…the correct answer is Kimberly Page.

  18. RD Reynolds says:

    Extended cut. Final argument. Case closed.

  19. Gerard says:

    Sherri Martel wasn’t a bad looking lady, I still don’t know why the WWF told her to put all that junk on her face!!! And I have a tiny Lister reference for you as the President of either America or the world in the fifth element!!! Weird to see Zeus calm and carrying on a full conversation I don’t think he raises his voice once in the whole movie??

    • Craig says:

      Because that was a big part of her gimmick. She was “Scary” Sherri the crazed madwoman, the bizarre makeup and face paint was to sell the scary part.

  20. El Atomico says:

    I thought Sherri was very sexy, and i remember this episode, well, at one point Arsenio was quite smitten with her.
    Arsenio was cool in that he had a lot of wrestlers on his show (Hogan, Savage, Slick and the Twin Towers, jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Brown [why so many heels?]) but it was always one of those kind of awkward to-kayfabe-or-not-to-kayfabe interviews where half the audience would be into it and half the crowd would snicker and roll their eyes and the host wouldn’t know which direction to take.

  21. Jeremy says:

    Ya know, if they had to have that tag team main event match at Summerslam ’89, I wish instead of Brutus Beefcake, they would’ve had Hercules as Hogan’s partner instead. Its a travesty we never got a Hercules-Zeus feud or tag team around that time.

  22. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    Reason forty million I always marked out for Sherri. She sold the shit out of that gimmick and did a hell of a job doing it.

    I really miss Arsenio’s show, too. Only guy who’d regularly have wrestlers on. His second try just wasn’t the same.

  23. CF says:

    If he’s “Doctor Zeus”, wouldn’t that make him a monkey?

    On second thought: Let’s *NOT* go there…. 😛

  24. Brad says:

    Somehow Zeus played the calm, levelheaded president in The Fifth Element… lol
    I kept picturing him punching cinderblocks while letting out high pitched noises

  25. Dr. KillGood says:

    The correct answer is to have both WWF and WCW Liz 😉

  26. Jeff says:

    Sherri reminded of Maureen Ponderosa from Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Damn Sherri was awesome!

    This might be a stupid questions but did Miss Elizabeth get the boobies done?

  27. Felicity says:

    Sherri was cool!

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