A lot of you probably weren’t around for the cornucopia of crap known as the mid 90’s WWF. For all the whining, bitching, and moaning going on about today’s product, trust me – it’s heaven compared to what all us hardcores went through to satisfy our habit prior to the Monday Night Wars.
Stuff like Who, Abe “Knuckleball” Schwarz, The Goon… why you young whippersnappers likely think we made all this up for your amusement. Trust me, nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s truly a testament to just how much we love pro wrestling that we made it through it and STILL watch to this day.
During this era, it seemed as though WWF creative simply thought to themselves, “What gimmick has we not come up with before? Evil dentist? Check. Clown? Check. Evil twin brother of Santa Claus? Check.”
At some point, right before the very bottom of the creative barrel was scraped, and the Quebecer formerly known as Pierre was turned into a swashbuckling pirate.
Yes, a pirate. Like Capt. Hook or Popeye.
What’s that? Popeye wasn’t a pirate? My bad. He always said he sailed a boat, so I guess I just got confused. Although, come to think of it, how often did Popeye actually sail a boat? I mean, I have probably seen every Popeye cartoon ever made, and I think I can count on one hand the number of
times he actually went out to sea. Maybe that trip to Goon Island scared him off. Think about it – the guy sings, he moves pianos, he works construction, he does all this other crap, but then he always claimed to be a sailorman. As much as I love the guy, I have to think he was working us marks.
Even if he was a sailor (and I guess we will go under the assumption that he was, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary), Popeye wasn’t a pirate. Hmmmm…he did have that bad eye thing going for him, so that likely added to my confusion. You can’t be a real pirate without a patch covering one of your eyes. It’s preferable that you also have a parrot (which should also be wearing an eyepatch, according to The Big Book of Pirate Stereotypes).
While Popeye may not have been, make no bones about it, matey: Jean Pierre Lafitte was definitely a pirate. He had that eyepatch. Sure, he was missing the parrot (couldn’t he have just swiped Frankie?), but everything else was there.
Well, except maybe a boat. Which is sad, because you have to think that the WWF still owned those old ring carts at the time (remember those – the ones that carried people to the ring at WrestleMania III and VI?), which could have easily been outfitted with some wood on the sides and a Jolly Roger flying high. In fact, here’s an artist’s rendition of said vehicle:
Even without the boat and parrot, Jean Pierre did do some very piratey things. Like stealing. But he wasn’t looking for gold deblooms. No, he was looking for something much more valuable. Like Bret Hart’s leather jacket. Seriously, he stole the Hitman’s jacket and that catapulted him into the only notable feud of his WWF tenure.
Bret beat his ass shortly after the crime, retrieving the stolen bounty. Following this, Jean Pierre Lafitte was given a one way ticket to Davey Jones’ locker.