Since we started this nuthouse seven some years ago, we’ve inducted well over 350 of the most laughable ideas ever in pro wrestling. Most of the time, the reasons are fairly self-explanatory, be it the fact that the character was a bad idea to start with (example: a wrestling plumber named TL Hopper), was a good idea to start with but failed in execution (example: Dink ruins Doink), or was nothing more than a midget blowing crap up with a bomb (example: Cheatum…or, hmm, Hornswoggle; some folks just never learn).
So when you look at the picture above of Paul Burchill dressed as a pirate, you would think that it would be pretty clear why we’ve seen fit to induct him this day. After all, we’ve already inducted Jean Pierre Lafitte, so the precedent for wrestlers pretending to be pirates is pretty much set.
In this instance, though, dear reader, you’d be incorrect in your assumption.
To wit: I loved Pirate Paul. Now don’t get me wrong: a dude pretending to be Johnny Depp pretending to be a pirate was never going to be a world champion. In fact, he was probably never destined to be more than mid-card comedy filler.
But if you consider that was job, his lot in life, well…he was pretty damn awesome at it.
See, Paul didn’t start out as a really bad egg (drink up me hardies, yo ho). Instead, he was just Paul Burchill, tag team partner to William Regal. Following a few losses, however, the pair decided it was time to split up.
Cue Palmer Cannon, “network executive”. Remember him? He was a character who showed up one week claiming that Smackdown was in need of a makeover, and that the network had made it his responsibility to make sure changes took place to lure in viewers.
His major contribution, you ask? The Juniors division, in which talented minis from Mexico bounced up and down on couches pretending to be 3 year olds.
The fact I’ve never inducted that may be the greatest crime ever perpetrated upon you, my dear Crappers. Rest assured, that will be rectified soon.
Back to our story today. So Palmer hears about the split up and is concerned. Not about Regal, so much (after all, the guy is royalty), but rather Paul Burchill, who he felt was bland and wouldn’t be able to connect with the audience (kinda like half the roster these days, come to think of it).
Burchill, though, knew something Cannon didn’t: namely, that he was a long lost relative of Blackbeard the Pirate!
Cannon loved the idea of a rummy scalawag pillaging his television show. Soon enough, our erstwhile buccaneer was using his sword to carve up shit all over backstage.
Take that, you lousy white sheet hanging up for no reason other than to be sliced to ribbons!
Pirate Paul Burchill has arrived!
And his entrance? He didn’t walk the plank, err, aisle, like some land lubber. No, he headed to the ring in a manner that would make grandpappy Blackbeard proud: by swinging to the ring on a giant rope.
Note to WWE Creative: having trouble getting someone over? Have them SWING TO THE RING ON A ROPE LIKE TARZAN.
Honest to God, that would get anyone over.
And Glamazon, I’m looking at you.
In the ring, Burchill was no slouch. An awesome technical worker, Paul could also fly around with the best of ’em, and had a fantastic looking finisher dubbed the C4.
Now while I said this move was “fantastic looking”, I also must admit that it pretty much defied all laws of physics. In fact, it came in at number two on our list of “The Five Moves that Simply Make No Sense Whatsoever” in the upcoming WrestleCrap Book of Lists!:
“2. The C4: It’s too bad that the pirate known as Paul Burchill had such a short tenure in WWE rings; we’d have loved to have seen him attempt his finisher on anyone larger than say, 150 pounds. In the move, Burchill locks his opponent from the front, much as the Rock would do with a Rock Bottom (or for all you hardcore marks reading this, a uranage). Instead of simply lifting the opponent in the air and driving him to the mat, though, Birchill propels himself skyward, doing a complete 180 degree move into the air, all the while somehow carrying his opponent with him. Logic would dictate that Burchill would not, in fact, be able to accomplish such a feat without some assistance from his “foe.” Stupid logic.”
Despite the fact that he was starting to connect with the fans, his former tag team partner was not down with his piratey antics. The two soon became embroiled in an awesome feud.
How awesome, you ask? One match between the two had a stip that if Regal won, Burchill had to stop being a pirate. If Burchill won, then Regal had to dress up however Burchill saw fit.
Pirate Paul picked up the duke, and soon had Regal dressing up as a gorilla (had to have stolen that idea from Dusty), a chicken, and, in the coup d’ gras, as his “buxom wench”.
Sadly, Lady Regal wasn’t quite as adept in his entrance.
Yes, certainly, Pirate Paul had the world at his feet, especially with the upcoming release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. If ever there was a perfect opportunity for a monster push, this was it.
Just one problem, though.
Vince McMahon, having never seen the movies or the Captain Jack Sparrow character on which Pirate Paul was based, didn’t “get” the character. Vince was confused, and felt that a wrestling pirate should be a bad guy (like aforementioned inductee Jean Pierre Lafitte). When the creative staff attempted to explain the character, Vince decided if he hadn’t seen this “Pirates” movie, likely no one else did either, and poor Pirate Paul walked the plank.
So while other folks have been inducted for pretty standard reasons on this site, this may be the first time ever that an induction happened solely due to Vince McMahon being forever stuck 10 years behind the times.
– Paul Burchill: “Well listen mate, this is how it works. My mother’s second cousin’s great great great great…great grandfather was the second lieutenant to Blackbeard the pirate, the fiercest pirate on the seven seas!”
Palmer Cannon: “And you want to bring this to Friday Night Smackdown? You want to bring this to my network?”
PB: “Picture this…SWASHBUCKLING ON SMACKDOWN!”