My Dinner With Mantaur

Dinner With Mantaur

It’s time for WWE to hire back Vince Russo.

Now now, before you think I’m about to go on another anti-Russo rampage, before you think I am about to start complaining that TNA makes no sense, before you think I’ve lost my mind, a second to explain. I am not joking. And the reason I am not joking is due to this:

In case you hadn’t heard, WWE has a brand new magazine dubbed “WWE Kids.” As you might possibly be able to surmise from the title, it is targeted at the children’s demo, and thus, contains stuff like puzzles and pranks. PUZZLES AND PRANKS!

If Mr. Fuji isn’t at least a contributing editor, this world has no justice.

Anyway, but this point you may be asking, and rightly so, is what does all this have to do with Vinnie Ru. Well, this:

That would be a copy of the WWF Magazine from September of 1995. It was a time during which none other than Vince Russo was the editor of the publication, a gig which led to him being the lead creative writer for the company. If you’re still confused how point A gets us to point B in today’s story, then allow me to present you this:

That would be the table of contents header for the magazine. Look like something from the vaunted “Attitude era”? Or something you’d see in today’s WWE Magazine? No, of course not. And that’s because prior to stuff like Val Venis screwing other guys’ wives and the Godfather bringing out ho’s and smoking doobies, the WWF, and particularly WWF Magazine, were targeted at the same kiddy demo they are now rediscovering.

And while we may scoff at “How to Throw a Wrestling Birthday Party” being a feature in the new mag, I don’t. And that’s because I’ve seen, and have stacks of, official WWF publications that contain far, FAR stupider stuff than that.

Like this issue that I hold in my very hands at this moment.

Now make no mistake – this thing is targeted at kids. I get that. But the level of stupidity on display here is actually pretty mind-boggling. But still, it is for kids, and just in case you were confused about that, the letters section contains not just scribblings from seven-year olds, but honest to goodness drawings as well. Some are good. Some are bad. Well, actually like one is good and the rest are bad. And then you have some that are good and bad at the same time. For instance, this pencil sketch of King Kong Bundy:

Now I’m not sure why young Franklin D. Miller of Cardington, Ohio, decided to put his penny pencil to paper and render Mr. Bundy as there is no letter printed alongside it. No, there’s just the drawing of Bundy randomly on the page. And while I could spend the next 3,000 words pondering what was going through Franklin’s mind as he put his Bundy sketch into an envelope with nothing else, instead I want to take a closer look at the drawing.

Namely King Kong’s chest.

At the risk of sounding like David Crockett, look at that! Upon closer examination, it would appear:

a) Bundy is having some type of palpitations

b) Bundy’s sternum is being pulled apart, the very same ailment that meant death for my beloved Stretch Armstrong when I was a kid


c) In the valley between his mammoth man boobies, Bundy has a vagina

Not sure which one it is, but I do know that he should probably see a doctor post haste.

Anyhoo, this would be far from Bundy’s only appearance in the magazine, as he also appears in a Stridex ad:

Maybe that’s why Franklin drew it. Perhaps he was acne-ridden, and now, thanks to the winning combination of King Kong Bundy and Stridex, his face is now smooth as silk, and thus contracting STDs from the vamps on the playground. I wonder if Bundy (or Stridex) would have any cures for that?

So let’s say you are just plain idiotic and are still wondering if this was REALLY a kids mag, then allow me to present my next item of evidence: those being trading cards. And what better card could you get than this, a ROOKIE CARD for Tekno Team 2000!

Ah yes, Tekno Team 2000, the team of the future. They weren’t FROM the future, they were just OF the future. According to the back of the card, “Travis and Troy of Tekno Team 2000 are reckoned to be a force in the World Wrestling Federation for this century and perhaps many more to come!”

I should note they lasted approximately six weeks, so sadly we won’t be thrilling to their exploits in say, 2164 A.D. as the card suggests.

Next up, we get “Advice to the Lovelorn”, a romance column of sorts starring the odd couple of Shawn Michaels and Alundra Blayze.

I’d make fun of their suggestions on how to handle the opposite sex, but honestly I am too mesmerized by the photo of those two to do so. I’ve always thought Madusa Micelli (Blayze) was pretty hot way back to her early 90’s WCW days, but the combination of that haircut with the flannel shirt? I guess they were not only appealing to kids, but the lesbian demo as well. If Shawn didn’t have his little beard, I’d for sure think he’d be the “catcher” in this relationship.

As it was the “New Generation” era in the WWF at the time, several pages are dedicated to the fresh young talent on the scene. Young talent like…

Dok Hendrix!

Have you ever wondered if Blade Braxton, the bizarre hobo that shares duties with me on WrestleCrap Radio, is just a gimmick? Consider this. When I told him I found a picture of Dok Hendrix in this magazine, he said, and I quote, “I’d like to party with Dok Hendrix.” And I said, “Well, Michael Hayes has that rep. You two would get along well.” He then spent the next 20 minutes explaining that while he knew Michael Hayes and Dok Hendrix were the same person, he didn’t want to party with Michael Hayes, he wanted to party with DOK HENDRIX.

I’d make fun of him for this, but you know what? Looking at that suit he’s wearing up there, I kinda want to party with Dok too.

And just in case you hadn’t gotten enough Tekno Team 2000 with the trading card, we get another 400 words vaunting their talents. Sheesh, talk about a hard sell.

Did you know the WWF used to have a blimp? I did! But then I totally forgot, forgot until I saw this image in the magazine. Yes, they had a real dirigible, a zeppelin they flew around to cities to promote events. I always wonder why now that WWE has countless millions on hand they don’t go buy another one. Then I remembered:

I know Vince isn’t a man of God or anything, but really…when that thing crashed, shouldn’t he have taken it as a sign?

Back to the magazine, as we get a personality profile of our old pal Kevin Nash, then known as Diesel. Not only do we learn that his hobbies include “being a couch potato” and the person he would most like to meet is Jesus, we learn this fascinating tidbit about him:

Please note: I did NOT Photoshop that in there. That is what it actually says on the pages of this magazine. If ever there was a secret talent that needed to be exploited on WWF TV, it was this one. Hell, I bet they could have tripled their buys (meaning they may have broken 1,000 for the show) if they had made that SummerSlam match between Big Daddy Cool and King Mabel a karaoke contest.

Let’s see, what else is in here…oh, a “For Women & Kids Only” page, dedicated to none other than Todd Pettingill’s old running buddy, Stephanie Wiand!

Just for fun, I thought I would try to dig up some info on ol’ Stephers, and was horrified when I discovered this listing on the Voice123 website:

“I have a clean sound that can go in many different directions. For commercials and industrials I have done cheerful, perky, upbeat, excited, neighborly, quirky, earnest, reassuring, entitled, motherly, confident, concerned, honest, nostalgic, wry, sexy, sultry and even sultry/motherly!”

The thought of a “Sultry/Motherly” Stephanie Wiand was nightmare-enducing enough, but the “Additional talents” section may have scarred me for life:

“I can sing like a chipmunk, cackle like a witch and growl. Animal voices include: sheep bleat, parrot, cat meow, mourning dove. Recently played a European Vampire/Dominatrix.”

Nice to know this far in advance what the loser of this year’s Colts-Lions bet is going to have to watch. Knowing Blade, though, he’d be into Stephanie Wiand in black leather. In fact, she may wind up his new favorite (insert size here) nippled vampire.

Back into the magazine we go, for pinups of your favorite superstars. For instance…oh man, you’ve got to be kidding me.

Travis of Tekno Team 2000? How many freakin’ pages of this stupid magazine are they going to dedicate to those two? Did they have incriminating photos of Russo or something?

While all this stuff we’ve looked at already was in fact dumb to varying levels, none could compare to our main event of the evening, namely…

And yes, kids, that would be Triple H, the Game, the King of Kings, in that photo above. As has been covered countless times on this website, before his big push as part of DX, he was a haughty-taughty American Blueblood, more at home on the polo field than asking grown men to “Suck It.”

Anyway, today he is joining Jim Cornette and his protege Mantaur, with the idea that Hunter can teach Mantaur some dinner table etiquette. “Could I, Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, teach a beast from the wild the proper way to utilize a fork and a spoon? Surely I could.”

Cue the laugh track!

“Beginning at the sound of the dinner bell, I immediately realized this was not going to be a walk in Bruce Park (that is an exclusive park in my hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut – a park that all of you would definitely be prohibited from using). Upon their entrance into the dining area, the first element that stood out like a dirty spot on a piece of fine crystal was the dinner attire of both Mantaur AND Mr. Cornette! Who in the name of Waterford (that’s the most exquisite and expensive crystal in the world – to all you paper cup users) has the gaudy taste to wear a PURPLE ensemble to a dinner appointment? Mr. Cornette looked like a pregnant plum, for the love of polo!”

Ok, time out. If Hunter ammended his catchphrase so it was “For the love of polo, I am that damn good!” he would immediately become my favorite wrestler of all time. Something to keep in mind, Paul, as I know pleasing me is high on your list of priorities.

“Before I began to gently cut my tossed salad, I explained to Mantaur, ever so politely, the proper way to utilize the fork and the knife. I spoke to him ever so slowly, pronouncing each syllable with the class of a dignitary. After carefully listening to my instructions, I suggest that Mantaur try his…ahem…claw at it.”

“GROOOWL! The sounds coming from Mantaur as he consumed his roughage reminded me of my bidet (ask your mothers for the meaning) when it backs up!”

Sadly, we get no pictures of TL Hopper jamming his plunger (which was named Betsy, and I feel like the world’s biggest geek for knowing that) onto Mantaur’s face.

“Once Mantaur had licked his plate clean, I ordered the appetizer – shrimp cocktail. Now any man knows that peeling shrimp is only a job for peasants. Therefore, rather than get my hands dirty, which I wouldn’t even dream of, I called upon a lowly waitress to undress my shrimp.”

Whoa whoa whoa – “I called upon a lowly waitress to undress my shrimp.” That’s gotta be slang for something. Sounds to me like Trips was hitting on the help.

“Before I even got the chance to show him the proper dipping technique (note from RD: on that poor waitress, no doubt), he took a handful of the boiled babies and shoved them in his enormous mouth – shells, tails, and all! Never in my wildest dreams had I ever seen such a pathetic slob. To make matters even worse, Cornette was picking on the leftover shrimps that had fallen from Mantaur’s jowls!”

Ok, Hunter +50 points for using my favorite word ever, “jowls.”


“While I tried to show Mantaur the proper form to successfully cut his baby back ribs, he grabbed the dripping meat by the bones and gnawed on it like a primitive beast! The next entree, filet mignon, didn’t even stand a chance!”

Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t seen too many high faluting restaurants that the likes of Hunter would go to that serve PORK RIBS. “Ah yes, we would like the caviar, the Florette Sea And Earth salad, and for my entree, I’ll take a slab of ribs slathered in Sweet Baby Ray’s.”

“Dessert, this was my last chance. Perhaps something I had done or said had rubbed off on Mantaur along the way. “Waitress, the cream pie!””

This is getting way, WAY too sexually suggestive for my liking.

“In one dashing motion, I grabbed Cornette by his greasy, uncombed hair and dunked him headfirst into the cream pie. Then, just as I was reprimanding Mr. Cornette, he slid his finger across his ungodly face and proceeded to pop his dirty pointer into his mouth. “Not bad, banana cream,” he said.”

You know, after reading this particular article, suggesting that Russo head up development on the WWE Kids magazine was probably not my best idea.

After all, I could make a joke about Cornette “popping his dirty pointer into his mouth”, but I think my work here is done.

Wait, no, that was a horrible way to end this induction.

FOR POLO’S SAKE, my work is done!!

Much better.

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