Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat – I have been looking forward to inducting the 1987 Slammy Award since, well, forever. I remember very vividly the absurdity contained within this fiasco, and how stupid – and yet at the same insanely humorous – it all was. In fact, the unadulterated goofiness of this show may well have planted the seeds for WrestleCrap.com before I ever bought my first computer.
A bit of backstory. The WWF had released its second record album, dubbed, ingeniously enough, The Wrestling Album 2: Piledriver. The album and its subsequent video have been covered here at the Crap, which should tell you just how horrid the whole thing really was.
Shortly after the release of the album, a series of music videos were shot, the highlight of which (aside from the one with Slick eating fried chicken while getting chased by a kid on a Big Wheel) was If You Only Knew, a veritable campfire sing-a-long featuring damn near everyone in the WWF at the time. My hero and yours, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, lent his voice to the proceedings…
…as did the Jive Soul Bro himself, the Slickster, who appears to be working against a blue screen. In fact, were this shot within the past year or so, I’d think he was going to be digitally inserted into a movie. Why I can just picture it now…
You know what the saddest part of this is? Believe it or not, it’s not the pathetic joke itself, or even the horrible Photoshop job, but rather the fact that this image makes just about as much sense as what George Lucas did with the newly released DVDs.
Back to the video.
As previously stated, this thing was a Who’s Who of the WWF. Everyone – and I does mean everyone – was in this thing.
Just take a look at the shot to the left. I spy Sam Housron, Jim Powers, Lanny Poffo, SD Jones, and Outback Jack. And that’s just on the babyface side of things! Factor in a heel contingent containing such legendary figures as Killer Kahn and Tiger Chung Lee, and you’ve got a choir that is welcome at the First Holy Church of WrestleCrap on any Sunday of its choosing.
And all of these Superstars would be vying to bring home that most coveted prize – the Slammy Award for Best Vocal Performance.
Yes, Virginia, this was an actual, real live honest-to-goodness awards show, See, soon after the release of the video, the allegedly the 37th Annual Slammy Awards was set to take place. This despite the fact that there had been just one before. (Never let the truth get in the way of the old comedy gag number “37”.)
The event, taking place in Atlantic City, was truly a black tie affair. Here’s hometown hero King Kong Bundy, looking not unlike the world’s most out of shape Chippendale.
And here’s the Slickster, decked out in his best “Willy Wonka, Street Pimp” garb.
Finally, the red carpet welcomes the Ullllllltimate Warryah.
Why no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – he’s actually WEARING SUSPENDERS. Even with face paint, those are never a good look.
But hey, this ain’t a fashion show – it’s an awards show! So let’s get right to them.
The winner of the Jesse “The Body” award for best physique goes to Rick Rude, who proceeds to celebrate his victory with a strip tease. Before things can get too out of hand, Gene Okerlund runs out with a towel, just as the Ravishing One drops his undies.
I’d ask why, exactly, Gene Okerlund was backstage with towel in hand as Rude was swiveling his hips, but nah, I’d rather not go there.
Next up is the Hulk Hogan “Real American” Award, won by Billy Graham, who was attempting a comeback following hip replacement surgery. Make no mistake about it, Graham is a true legend in this sport, but his late 80’s WWF run is something best left forgotten.
And call me loopy, but if you listen to Hogan’s speech, I’d have sworn he was talking about anyone who’d sat through even one of his movies.
Of course, no wrestling awards show would be complete without a backstage brawl, and this one was capably handled by Hacksaw Duggan and “King” Harley Race.
Extra special super kudos to Bobby Heenan, who sold a cardboard box to the head as if he were hit with a dumptruck full of bricks.
But awards and backstage brouhahas weren’t what this show was to be all about. Oh no. This was to be a MUSICAL TRIBUTE to the WWF, with the Superstars showcasing their vocal skills. While the aforementioned If You Only Knew closed out the show (and no, we never did find out who was the best vocalist, doggone it), it was far from the highlight of the evening.
For starters, we had Jimmy Hart crooning the Girls in Cars. But it wasn’t just the Mouth of the South on stage by himself, oh no. It was an elaborate song and dance routine, featuring…
Girls…girls in car…err, girls on scooters?
Girls on skateboards?
Maybe I missed a chorus someplace.
Let’s try this again…
Girls, we love girls…
…dressed as cars?
Aw screw it, that’s close enough.
After all, it’s certainly closer than “Girls dressed as busses wearing roller skates.”
Just when it looked as if things couldn’t get any more stupifying, the sound of revving motorcycles filled the pavillion. Off come the helmets to reveal…
…Rick Martel and Tito Santana, aka Strike Force!
Poor Jimmy Hart – apparently not only did the Hart Foundation lose the WWF tag belts to these dorks, but there must have been a “Loser Sings the Winner’s Wimpy Ass Theme Song” clause in the contract too.
Up next we have Koko B. Ware, singin’ a touching ditty about how love is like a piledriver.
You know, in all the relationships I’ve ever had, even the really bad ones, I never once compared it to being dropped headfirst to the ground while being tucked between another man’s thighs.
Nor did I ever contemplate picking up chicks while wearing a hardhat and swinging a sledgehammer. Maybe if I had, I would have avoided those three straight years of celibacy back in the 90’s.
Or maybe I’d have been anally raped by a man wearing face paint and shoestrings around his arms, who knows.
I jest, of course. See, midway through the song, we get a glimpse of true love, as Koko, in a dream sequence, is out with his cutie pie in a fine eatery.
Well, I guess “fine eatery” is probably an overstatement, as most restaurants I’ve ever been to would make you keep your pet bird outside.
A lone rose later, and you can bet she’s flappin’ right on over to Koko’s (love) nest.
After all, what woman could possibly say no to this face?
Now I know what you’re asking: how could anything follow such major tuneage by wrestling’s self-proclaimed Birdman?
Well, I admit it would require something very special. And we’ve got just the thing.
How about a band with a brass section featuring Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake, and Jake Roberts on trumpet?
And a sax trio of Junkyard Dog and the Killer Bees?
Can you say Hulk Hogan on bass?
How about George “The Animal” Steele on tamborine?
Who on the planet earth could possibly be worthy of such an incredible backup band, you ask?
Oh yes – it’s none other than Vince McMahon himself, belting out Stand Back.
According to the song, when he was just a boy, everybody told him what he should do, and who he should be.
Personally, I’d tell him not to waddle like a duck in the name of entertainment…
…nor to do the pee pee dance mid-song.
Like he’d listen to me. Just look at him.
He’s in the zone, baby!
Vinnie Mac is on FIRE!
By God, he’s reachin’ for the sky!
In case you haven’t picked up on it quite yet, by now, there can truly be no denying it:
VINCE McMAHON IS A DANCING MACHINE.
You know what the most amazing thing about this whole performance is? It’s not how silly Vince looks prancing around on stage, crooning at a Shatneresque level. It’s really not that. It’s that he not only had the balls – grapefruits, if you will – to go out and dance like a fool, and at the same time, offer fair warning to everyone watching him.
Make no mistake about it. If you look at the lyrics for Stand Back, Vince basically is telling everyone that he was going to do things differently, and if others, be they fellow promoters or even his own wrestlers, didn’t like it, then the hell with them. Not only that, but he could – and most definitely would – be a total goofball doing it.
Back in 1987, virtually everyone on the wrestling planet saw this and thought Vince was totally out of his mind. I mean, come on – just look at him dancing in that animation up above! Was this any way for the head honcho of the biggest wrestling promotion on the globe to act?
What an idiot, everyone thought.
And yet, here we are, 17 years later, and who’s the only guy left standing?
Stand back, indeed.
Hulk Hogan: “You know, the Hulkster didn’t come here tonight to get this applause, man. This applause is for somebody else. Somebody who has suffered, somebody who has suffered through the hard times and survived, man.”
Gorilla Monsoon: “Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan, what a slime! That donkey should have sat right on that ass Heenan!”
Vince McMahon: “When I was just a boy, everybody told me, what I should do, and who I should be / I got so tired of free advice, I finally had to say STAND BACK – STAND BACK”