In 1987, the United States Hot Rod Association released “Blood, Sweat & Gears,” a 37-minute tour-de-force of souped-up engines and general vehicular carnage.
There were tractor pulls…
…monster truck races…
…a car being dropped onto a bunch of other cars from a giant crane…
But this VHS didn’t just feature the heavy-duty car-killing machines of the USHRA; it also featured the AWA’s Sgt. Slaughter, who had this message for famed monster truck Bigfoot. This fiery, unintelligible message.
I literally couldn’t figure out what language Sarge was even speaking (my first guess was Welsh) until I listened to it about ten times.
Here is my best guess as to what he actually said (blacked out for those who don’t want to read spoilers):
“…haul that you get all bogged down talking about those machines again.”
Even that transcript doesn’t make complete sense; it seems whoever edited this video couldn’t make heads or tails of Slaughter’s message either, picking up his promo mid-sentence.
Viewers were then taken to the desert of the American southwest, where Slaughter trained his Battle Battalion for a solid week in preparation for their showdown with Bigfoot. And of course, this training included many classic anti-monster truck cadences.
Sarge’s men and women were a model of military discipline, minus their attire. I don’t recall short-shorts ever being standard issue in the army, but then again, I never served in the military like Sgt. Slaughter.
Let me rephrase that: Like Sgt. Slaughter, I never served in the military.
Now, if I were to dedicate a week of my life to the seemingly impossible (and certainly pointless) task of beating a monster truck in a tug of war, I’d better have a damn good motivation.
Lucky for the troops, Sarge knew what was really at stake: nothing less than the future of the American worker.
“Hard times are when a man has worked at a job thirty years. Thirty years! They give him a watch, kick him in the butt, and say, ‘Hey, a monster truck took your place, daddy.’”
That night, man met machine in a dirt-filled arena.
First out was Slaughter’s Hot Pants Battalion.
Bigfoot then made its entrance by jumping over a line of cars…
…but in an hilarious blooper, it didn’t jump far enough and ended up crushing the cars! How much did that screw-up cost!?
Sarge’s team responded by tipping over a car, displaying a combined strength of 1 BSu, or Braun Strowman unit.
This tug of war would be contested as a best two-out-of-three affair, and just for good measure, nobody would be able to tell what the hell was going on thanks to the lights being turned off.
In the first heat, the humans pulled and pulled…
…Bigfoot’s wheels spun in place, and if anything at all happened beyond that, the cameras didn’t catch it.
Even though neither team appeared to budge an inch, everyone on Sarge’s team thought they had clearly won and celebrated accordingly.
All except this guy, who thought his team had clearly lost and who then cut a promo on Bigfoot’s driver Jim Kramer, accusing him of a false start.
The referee didn’t buy that excuse and awarded the first round to the truck.
Truck 1, Humans 0
In the second heat, the same hothead in hot pants executed a back bump out of the blue, then got super-pissed at Bigfoot’s driver as if he were somehow at fault.
He then went AWOL, abandoning his post to jaw with the driver. Luckily, Slaughter jumped in to pick up the slack.
It wouldn’t be a wrestling show (or in this case, a tug of war with a monster truck) without an impossibly dumb distraction finish, and Blood Sweat & Gears was no exception.
Bigfoot’s driver, who merely had to put his foot on the gas pedal and keep it there, got sidetracked and lost the second round.
A true sportsman, Slaughter chewed out his insubordinate subordinate, pushing him a bunch of times to the applause of his band of jocks in jockey shorts.
Sarge refused to accept the tainted victory, insisting that they run the second heat over again. But, the referee explained, such a reversal would have violated the monster truck tug-of-war rulebook.
Truck 1, Humans 1
The third and final heat featured a veritable blitz of camera changes and impossible close-ups…
…designed to distract from the fact that nothing really happened.
The troops yet again celebrated, but the referee declared the final round a draw.
Truck 1.5, Humans 1.5
It would then be up to the fans to choose the winner via applause.
This ended up being of no help, as the audience made exactly as much noise for both parties.
But to the referee, the winner was obvious. And that winner was…
He never said.
I guess the USHRA didn’t dare pick one side or another and risk offending their viewers, whether their loyalties lay with their fellow human beings or with the kick-ass monster truck.
Were the creators of Blood, Sweat, & Gears going to leave us hanging with that cheap non-finish? No way, as Sgt. Slaughter returned to close out the video tape in style.
Pop quiz: What do Sgt. Slaughter and Major Stash have in common? If you said, “pretending to be in the armed forces”, you’re wrong. Stash over there actually did serve in the Navy.
No, what they both have in common is pretending to play guitar….
…though Van Hammer never had the honor of shredding on a custom Budweiser model. Has there ever been a more awesome six-string in the history of Wrestlecrap?
Sarge didn’t just get a beer-logo guitar…
…he got a whole troupe of dancing girls in bikini briefs *and* a guitar solo *and* psychedelic video FX.
And lest you think that whatever drugs the producers of this video tape were consuming must have been of the consciousness-altering variety, the closing theme was called, “Big, Bad, and Blow”, a phrase repeated dozens of times until the credits rolled.
Building off the momentum of this rockin’ tape, “Seargant” Slaughter would temporarily put down his ax and win the WWF title.
The fact that he’d have to drop that title to this poseur was a travesty.