You’ve just snagged the current ECW champion. A man who is as big as a superheavyweight, but flies around the ring like a luchador. A man who has made name for himself demolishing all competition in his path. A man by the name of Mike Awesome.
All this was the case when WCW signed Mike Awesome. In fact, he wasn’t a former ECW champ, he was the CURRENT ECW champ! The heat the guy felt from fans was tremendous, as they hated Awesome for “selling out” to the evil WCW empire. I was actually on hand for Awesome’s final ECW appearance, and let me tell you, the crowd wanted to absolutely rip the guy to shreds. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my 20 or so years of following the business.
Leave it to WCW, then, to take Awesome from being the hottest free agent in wrestling to no impact comedy figure in record time. Within 6 months of his arrival at Turner, Awesome was no longer a career killer – he was that 70’s Guy.
Bedecked in a leisure suit, gold chains, and feathered back hair, Awesome looked as though he had just hopped off the dance floor with Tony Manero.
He looked, in a word, ridiculous.
To help move the gimmick along, WCW gave Awesome his own talk show segment, the Lava Lamp Lounge. It was, of course, really terrible, as Awesome’s unproven mic skills were put to the test, complete with horrible pick up lines for his female guests.
Deciding for some reason that they really needed to punch things up, WCW even got Awesome a bus painted to look just like the one from the Partridge Family…
…and imported former Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman to act as a stooge. Ah, if only they could have gotten Todd Bridges out of jail and resurrected Dana Plato, they might have been on to something.
Of course, this gimmick was actually the follow up to yet another terrible gimmick WCW came up with for Awesome – that of the “Fat Chick Thriller”.
But that, kids, is a story for another day.
That 70’s Guy: “Welcome to the Lava Lamp Lounge. I am your host, Mike Awesome. Now everybody knows I love the ladies – big or tall, fat or small, it really doesn’t matter, because there’s enough vitamin A to go around for everyone. And that ‘A’ stands for ‘Awesome’.”
That 70’s Guy: “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?”
Pamela Paulshock: “That’s pretty good, Mike, but you’ve got to give a better line than that.”
That 70’s Guy: “Umm, ok, well then…are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only 10 I see…”