Football and wrestling have always seemed to go hand in hand. Whether it’s longtime greats like Wahoo McDaniel or Jim Duggan coming to the mat from the gridiron, or just cheap publicity stunts like the Wrestlemania 2 battle royal, there is a definite connection there. It’s like chocolate and peanut butter, man. Or Bert and Ernie. Something like that.
So here I am, the week before Super Bowl, trying to think of a new entry for this week. I spent all week trying to think of something. Droz? Too tragic. Otis Sistrunk? Great idea, but I couldn’t find jack squat of his wrestling career on tape. It occurred to me that even with all the Mr. Hole In One Darsows, Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartzes, and Goons, neither the WWE or WCW really ever seemed to go all out with a football gimmick. Sure, they played up Mongo McMichael’s former career, but there never seemed to be that one guy that came to the ring in full football regalia, ready to beat his opponent into submission.
And then it hit me like explosive diarrhea. True, it was only for one match, but it was someone out there that I’m sure would just LOVE to remember this quick moment in his career.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Steve Austin: Footwrestleballer.
During his first feud in USWA, with his teacher “Gentleman” Chris Adams, the two escalated their hatred to the point that they had one of those nice little “anything goes” matches. So naturally, being the former high school football player he was, Austin showed up with pads, jersey and helmet.
Adams showed up with a black belt and a kendo stick. (you know, I’ve never understood the appeal of the kendo stick as a weapon. Sure it makes a nice sound, but really…if you have the option, which one are you going to use: a thin stick that goes THWACK or a nice solid aluminum Louisville Slugger?)
So anyway, suddenly because he’s wearing a helmet and shoulder pads, Austin turns into friggin’ Superman. Adams hits him over and over again, with no effect, as Austin just shrugs the blows off. Well, at least until Chris wises the hell up and smacks the Stunning One in the knee. You really should have splurged and bought the whole uniform, Steve.
Anyone who ever wanted to see Stone Cold turn into Hacksaw Jim Duggan need look no further than this match to see the future superstar forgetting all of his technical expertise in favor of lots of shoulder tackles.
Stunt Granny’s cousin does not approve.
The still near-invincible Austin thinks he’s Superman again and leaps off the ring at a prone Adams, misses, smacks his face into the bare floor and by this point is probably rethinking wearing his helmet for this stunt.
That was pretty much the end for Austin in this one, as his helmet fell off and Adams got the bright idea to use it as a weapon. Oh the irony! But Austin gets post-match revenge, laying out Adams and letting his manager Percy Pringle (aka Paul Bearer, aka the flying blur in the photo) hit a few axe-handles on the babyface.
So there you go, sports fans. Your official WWoW for Super Bowl weekend. Football star Austin + Karate Kid Adams + Pissed Off Percy = ….well, something. Go watch the half time show.