While all of us piss and moan about Nipple H and Skippy being given so much TV time over the past few years on WWE television, it must be noted that nepotism is nothing new in pro wrestling. Just look back at WCW: when Dusty Rhodes had the book, he did everything possible to get his son in the spotlight. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Erik Watts getting a totally underserved push when his daddy, “Cowboy” Bill, had the reigns.
While it’s nothing new, it can still be damn annoying. Just ask any fan of the AWA during the mid 1980’s. They were forced to watch time and again as Verne Gagne pushed his beanpole of a kid Greg into main events. Rumor has it that he even tried to put the AWA World Title on him on more than one occasion, with those in charge literally threatening to quit if he actually made the move.
The problem wasn’t so much Greg’s ability in the ring. Ok, that’s a total lie, sorry. It had a lot to do with Greg’s ability in the ring, because in reality, he had none. Beyond that, there was one other major problem. He just looked like a total wuss. He was a total stringbean who legitimately made Kendall Windham look like Brock Lesnar. He just looked like…well, I think Blade Braxton put it best: “He looks like a freaking walking penis.”
Despite his unquestionably phallic look, he was given push after push, most notably as one-half of the High Flyers, who went on to hold the AWA tag belts. Unfortunately for Greggles, in the summer of 85, Jim Brunzell, the true talent of the team would leave to make some real money in the WWF as a Killer Bee. It was then that old man Verne decided it was time for Greg to go solo and make his ascension to the top of the wrestling world.
After taking a good look at his son and realizing he had all the charisma of a used kleenex, he decided to make him a clone of their newest arrival, Sgt.Slaughter. And thus Greg was sent to Camp Slaughter to learn how to be tough.
Rambo Gagne was about to be born!
The first lesson Greg would learn was to sneak around underwater. Not sure who this is supposed to make one tough, but I guess holding your breath until you’re blue in the face is the sign of true manliness.
Despite his new found machoness, as Greg emerged from the depths below, all I could think was that he looked like he would have got his ass kicked at the kiddie pool by a fussy three year old.
I mean, come on, couldn’t you just picture him with some floaties?
Yeah, I knew you could.
After Greg…excuse me…RAMBO GAGNE splish-splashed ashore, he took off running up a nature trail. I find it hard to believe that even a squirrel would bother changing direction to get out of his way.
Running along with Sgt. Slaughter, our young hero shows his toughness by…falling flat on his face?
To review, not only does he look like a total wuss, he’s also completely uncoordinated.
Can you believe people did NOT want him as champion? For shame.
Back to the training. In order to become a bad ass, Slaughter had RAMBO lift some rocks from one pile to another. If rearranging gravel wasn’t bad enough, Slaughter also took the opportunity to scream incessantly at his young recruit.
As Greg screamed back , all I could think was that it was reminding me far too much of the Hogan-Mean Gene training sessions, and trust me, that’s not a good thing.
Next up on the schedule was throwing logs. Why? Who the hell knows.
But I do know, for a FACT, that Greg’s ability to loft those logs so high into the air was due to him successfully duplicating Lamar Latrell’s limp wristed throwing style.
Finally, the hard work was over, and Rambo Greg Gagne was unveiled to the world, complete with tattered headband. It just doesn’t work without the tattered headband, you know.
To show the world just how much he had changed, he let loose with this vicious promo.
DISCLAIMER: RAMBO GREG GAGNE PROMO HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CAUSE DROWSINESS IN TEST SUBJECTS. DO NOT LISTEN TO RAMBO GREG GAGNE PROMO WHILE DRIVING OR OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY.
Anyway, here’s the promo.
After a while, Greggy would break away from Sarge to test the waters of his solo popularity. Verne must have known he wasn’t ready for the big time because soon enough Greg was back to having other people make him look good, this time with Curt Henning given the unenviable task. Poor Curt was even forced to put on the camo for a brief period when they were known as Gagne’s Raiders. Nice to see Verne and Greg were so modest.
Anyway, you can imagine how well that went over. Henning would ditch Greg for a title run with Scott Hall and then take off screaming for the WWF, leaving Greg alone to deal with his anorexia for the rest of the 80’s.
Sounds of love…Greg Gagne style!
Rambo Greg Gagne: “Sarge, I want to thank you. If I can possibly do that, the way I feel inside about you. I can only go back in my mind, the way any athlete can…*SNNNNNNOOOOOOORRRRRREEEEEE*…”