I like how everyone and their brother is complaining about Jinder Mahal randomly being thrust into the main event scene. I mean, sure, I’ve brought it up too, viewing this as one of the ultimate troll jobs Vince McMahon has ever perpetrated, just to get all of us hardcores in a tizzy. Look, I’ve heard all the reason for the Mahal title reign, how WWE is hot to make major inroads into India, all that stuff. So there is a business reason behind it.
Compare and contrast that to our induction today, in which another guy who was basically a jobber at the time was put into the main event of WCW’s biggest annual event. After all these years I’ve finally mustered the courage to spend the time and go back to take a look at the time Starrcade, the legendary granddaddy of them all, was main evented by none other than Ed Leslie.
For the uninitiated, I would be referring to this gentleman:
You know him, I’m sure. Brutus Beefcake aka The Barber aka the Zodiac aka the Man with No Name aka Dizzy Hogan aka The Booty Man aka The Disciple aka…
…the man who wore this ridiculous mask and helped to ruin the WWF’s biggest show of the year back in 1993.
But hey, why stop there? Especially when you are one of Hulk Hogan’s best friends, and thus, therefore, three dots in the form of a triangle gifted main event spots just by being in his posse?
So yes, the year after WrestleMania IX in which Hogan and Beefcake stunk up the joint in a tag match, the two would once more reunite, this time in WCW, this time as foes. At the time, Hogan was in the midst of attempting to put Ric Flair away once and for all, leading up to a retirement match between the two at Halloween Havoc. You had to kinda think the Nature Boy would want to get out of dodge, as at every single turn Hogan made him look like a total chump, never allowing him to get an upper hand.
Hogan did that with pretty much everyone. No wonder people wound up hating him during this run.
In the build to the match, Hogan would randomly be attacked by a mysterious masked assailant, who everyone in the world knew was Arn Anderson. He moved like Arn, he walked like Arn, he attacked like Arn. All this made sense – he was Flair’s buddy after all.
So imagine the shock and dismay when he was finally unmasked and revealed to be Hogan’s lifelong buddy, Brother Bruti. Bobby Heenan stated that Brutus had “butchered a friendship”, and thus the name stuck. In the span of about 3 minutes, we were beaten over the head that Brother Bruti was dead – and here comes the Butcher!
Seriously – they were going to main event the legendary Starrcade with Brutus Beefcake!
What on earth were they thinking?
Yeah, I don’t know either dude.
And hey, you were in WCW once upon a time – why didn’t you ever have a WCW guitar?
The question remained – could this match live up to past Starrcade main events such as Flair vs. Race?
SPOILER ALERT: No.
To show that he was in fact a horrible, despicable man that everyone should hate, he took Hulk’s shirt and tore it.
Wait, didn’t Hogan do that in every single one of his matches as the people cheered?
I am so confused.
The Hulkster comes to the ring, and I will be totally honest – the crowd is very rabid for the guy. I mean, these geeks painted their torsos for him even though they appear to be totally constipated and thus had far larger issues. That’s dedication to their fandom.
Ditto this kid, who has a foam hand/ear combo. At least I think that’s what it is. I could be a hand holding picture of a deformed fetus of some sort. Maybe like the child of Squidward.
What, you have a better idea of what the heck that’s supposed to be? $10 PayPal to the best response in the comments section below.
And let’s not forget the guys who printed out HULK RULES on their DOT MATRIX PRINTER ON MULTIPLE FANFOLD PAGES. I seriously wanted to save the file above as a .BMP instead of .JPG just to honor them.
Finally, we get these two skanks who absolutely, positively had to have been related to someone on the WCW crew. Or banging someone on the WCW crew. I’m guessing the latter, and my money is on Eric Bischoff.
Hopefully someone asks him about them the next time he’s on a podcast.
Michael Buffer gives us the introductions, explaining that this has been, and I am quoting here, “a glorious evening of WCW professional wrestling.” This card that featured such show stoppers as Kevin Sullivan versus Mr. T, I might add. His definition of that word and mine are apparently very different.
Anyway, he screws things up but not to any great degree as he often did. I mean, sure he tells us that The Butcher grew up in Venice Beach with Hogan (news to me, he was always billed from San Francisco) and that Hogan is the king of “HULK-MANIA” (think you forgot a vowel there buddy), but this is pretty low key botchery by his standards at the time.
After playing Hogan’s theme once more (no idea why, maybe the sound guy just really liked it), the two go to work on each other with chops and shoulder blocks. Within seconds, the “action” spills outside the ring, with Beefer stealing Hogan’s favorite move, the BACK RAKE. Unlike the Hulkster, Brutus apparently thought it was a legit attack – look at Hogan’s poor back! Jeez kid, this isn’t a shoot!
Oh wait, sorry, that’s just Hogan’s post ‘roids physique playing tricks on my eyes. His back is just kinda flabby now. Sorry about that.
Brutus grabs a microphone cord and attempts to strangle Hogan. Tony goes into detail about how this is the cord is actually for Gary Cappetta’s microphone, which prompts Bobby Heenan to quip, “Of course it is, it isn’t his umbilical cord!!”
I know a lot of folks (myself included) thought that WCW Bobby wasn’t quite as great as he was in the WWF, but him saying that and following it up with telling us how watching this was just like Andy attacking Aunt Bee is strong evidence we may need to reconsider such a stance.
Back in the ring, Butcher drops to his knees in front of the Hulkacrotch. Hogan ponders giving him a punch, but instead also falls to the mat and gives him a big ol’ smooch.
Oh, he’s BITING him, not kissing him.
Not sure which is worse, honestly.
Butcher gets the heat by choking the Hulkster and then gently massaging his shoulders with what is allegedly a nerve hold. Schiavone tells us that this is a good strategy as Brutus’ finisher is the sleeper. Gotta give Tony credit here for at least trying to bring some kind of drama to this dreadfully boring match.
As Tony predicted, we get the sleeper.
As everyone on planet earth would also predict, Hogan’s arm drops twice but not three times and he begins Hulking up. Anyone want to guess how this ends?
Yep, leg drop and the 1-2-3.
The only difference between this and the normal formula is that here Hogan stopped before doing so to beat up Avalanche (our buddy Earthquake John Tenta) and Kevin Sullivan. Eh, they should have just made it a three-on-one handicap match if they were going to do that.
After the match, Randy Savage comes out to save Butcher and Co. from further beatings, eventually shaking Hogan’s hand in the process in a very non-Megapowers handshake kinda way. Poor WCW, they couldn’t even do a handshake right.
Moving on from this, Hogan would enter into a hot feud with Vader. Note I say “enter”, because in their first encounter, Vader power bombed him and he immediately no sold it to kill that poor guy off.
Next, Hogan teamed with Savage. Believe it or not, Hogan actually was beaten down pretty good in the match, so Savage dropped an elbow on him to revive him. You know, because he always no sold Savage’s finisher too!
Ahh, WCW. You’ve been dead of 16 years, yet I’m still not even close to strip mining all the WrestleCrap you brought to the world!