As I sit down to write this induction, a look at the calendar shows that the date is, in fact, April 1, 2010.
A decade down the drain, indeed.
Yes, this induction will mark the be the first of our double digit years. Since the launch back on April 1, 2000, the inductions have always been the lifeblood of the site. There have been other sections, some of which have come and gone, others of which will hopefully never leave, but these inductions have been here since day one. They are our foundation, and rest assured, they will be here until will call it a day.
So the big question heading into our celebration was this: what induction could possibly be worthy of launching the next decade of WrestleCrap? It’s gotta be something big, we thought. It’s gotta be something truly crappy, and something that everyone remembers. As you look over my, Kelly’s, and Blade’s Top Ten lists, you’ll see obscure inductions to be sure; we love a lot of stuff that folks don’t remember. This one, though…this induction was going to be a major one. And it had to be something that everyone could point at and say, “Egads…I remember that, and it was HORRIBLE!”
I was also hoping we could find something that put whomever was involved in the unenviable position of being given something that could not possibly work. Again, a day one decree of the site was that we weren’t going to mock the performers who were given stupid gimmicks and angles, but to call out those who put the guys and girls in unwinnable positions. I like to think of that as the John Tenta Rule; I was really hoping we could tip our hat in some way to the late, great Quake, and it is with much happiness that we are able to do so.
So without any further adieu, let’s get to the topic of the day.
Ladies and gentlemen, give me an S for the Spirit Squad!
One of the common complaints of today’s WWE, and of pro wrestling in general, is the complete lack of new stars being created. Go back and look at the last five years of WrestleManias, and who is always on top of the card? Cena. Hunter. Undertaker. Orton. Wouldn’t it be nice to see new folks instead of the same feuds we’ve already seen a hundred times?
At some point, that has to happen. Eventually Undertaker will retire, Cena and Hunter will get injured again, and Randy Orton will destroy another hotel room and get locked away for a few years. Until that time, though, we’re probably going to continue to see companies destroying their youth movement by giving them stupid gimmicks and stop-start-stop pushes.
In other words, we’re going to see the Spirit Squad.
Go ahead, laugh. We can’t blame you for doing so, because that’s exactly what WWE told its fans to do when they debuted five pretty darn talented guys from Ohio Valley Wrestling in early 2006.
As a single group.
As male cheerleaders.
And as we’ve asked seemingly nonstop since first click of the keyboard back in 2000, we ask again: “Who the hell thought this was a good idea?”
Before we get too far, let us say for the record that these guys tried. And we mean they tried REALLY hard to make it work. And amazingly, they almost succeeded!
The group debuted at the Royal Rumble when they interrupted Lillian Garcia. This act, which in theory should’ve made the crowd break out in applause, instead garnered them massive heel heat.
And it immediately set the stage for their persona: loud, obnoxious and preppie.
So very, very preppie.
All things every red-blooded American wrestling fan would despise on sight.
Don’t hate them yet? Then take a listen to this (in fact, why don’t you loop it?) and watch that GIF to the right.
Ready to start throwing haymakers yet?
How about now?
The Spirit Squad was actually AWESOME in their role. They were so ungodly annoying that you just wanted to see anyone beat them into oblivion. We’d even go so far as to argue they were the greatest heels this side of Vince McMahon.
Even better, they became WWE World Tag Team Champions when Kenny and Mikey defeated the team of Kane and The Big Show.
Wait, Kane and The Big Show were a “tag team”? Anyone remember the good ol’ days when tag teams were actually, you know, TEAMS, and were together for years? Midnight Express, Hart Foundation…where are you when we need you?
Anyways, under the “Freebird/Demolition Rule”, any 2 members could defend the title. And as always happens, this brought them even MORE heat.
Their tag team division dominance even lead to Joey Styles’ infamous “worked shoot” promo where he told off everyone in the WWE and “quit” because The Spirit Squad was going to make him call the matches wearing a Katie Vick outfit.
Sadly, that would be the least embarrassing thing Joey would have to do, as soon enough he had to pretend that the “ECW” reboot under the WWE banner was a great idea.
BTW, we should note that now that Jim Ross is gone…again…WWE still has Joey Styles under contract.
Yet they have MICHAEL COLE doing commentary.
Time for a quick copy and paste:
“Who the hell thought this was a good idea?”
Interestingly enough, The Spirit Squad would go on to hold the title for 216 days, the second longest since Owen Hart and the British Bulldog in 1996 and 97 at 241 days. But while they were good at defending their title from most other “tag teams” (i.e. one random guy and another random guy teamed up for the week or month), there was one team they just couldn’t get past.
Gee, who could that be?
Shocking, we know.
Hey, Sheamus – if you happen to be reading this, you may want to stop now.
We don’t want to spoil the ending for you.
It was the perfect chance to give these guys their push, and the perfect guys to do it. The storyline, too, made sense, as The Spirit Squad had been recruited by Vince McMahon to annoy and humiliate Shawn Michaels, who Vince and son Shane were feuding with at the time.
Triple H had been in cahoots with The Spirit Squad before eventually turning on them and reforming D-Generation X, and what a reformation it was. 40 year old henpecked dads acting like they’re teenage rebels and engaging in very homoerotic behavior.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Unfortunately, this D-X reformation would be The Spirit Squad’s downfall and a message would be sent to all the young guys out there that wanted to make a name for themselves in the WWE, much like Hunter and Shawn had done 10 years earlier.
Now don’t get us wrong: we often find D-X amusing. Their parodies of Vince and Shane were admittedly quite awesome.
And we won’t even mention that they’re basically the only guys who could get away with doing it without being canned or de-pushed.
Oh wait, I guess we just did mention it.
Soon enough, D-X got the upper hand, not only pummeling the guys in the ring, but dumping crap all over them.
And by ‘crap’ we do mean feces.
D-X looked on and fans laughed like it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen since kids would get slimed on Nickelodeon’s Double Dare.
If you thought this would be a back and forth feud with both teams gaining an edge, well, you haven’t been following WWE forvery long.
D-X crushed them on a fairly consistent basis, be it at the Vengeance PPV or Saturday Night’s Main Event, as they would consistently defeat them in handicap elimination matches, despite widespread heel interference.
Heck, we were thinking at some point Shawn and Hunter might just throw them in a box and bury them.
Which they did.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The Spirit Squad would keep on being crushed by D-X yet still retain their World Tag Team titles until losing to certified wrestling legends, Roddy Piper and Ric Flair at Cyber Sunday.
We’d go so far that this hot new tandem of Ric Flair and Roddy Piper were actually of a greater combined age than the entire Spirit Squad, but we don’t have time to look that up and we’re not good at math anyway.
The end for The Spirit Squad finally came when they were defeated in a 3 on 5 handicap match (notice a pattern here?) by Hunter, Shawn and Flair.
The feud – and sadly, the Spirit Squad themselves – would conclude with Hunter and Shawn cramming all 5 members of The Spirit Squad in a trunk without any air holes and slap a sticker on the trunk that had to have been completely lost on at least 97% of the people in the crowd and at home.
The final insult comes as the “OPS” Guy…wait a minute. OPS?
Wouldn’t OOPS be a better gag?
Took us, no joke, 5 seconds to come up with that. No wonder people keep coming back to this site!
Anyway, the delivery guy, who’s apparently played by Lance Storm’s wormy Doppelganger, asks if they want to insure the package.
“Nah, this isn’t worth a crap.”
Oh, contraire, Mr. Levesque. It certainly is.
A Tenth Anniversary Crap, that is!
Here’s to our next ten years!