During the lovefest that was our 15th anniversary celebration last week, I meant to discuss some of the fun we’ve had over the years with readers or onlookers who’ve gotten very upset with some of the inductions we’ve posted. While most everyone agrees stuff like the Gobbledy Gooker or The Ding Dongs were WrestleCrap, other characters were not so clearly defined. It still happens to this day (and if you don’t believe me, I urge you to check out the comments on the Bret Hart-Vince McMahon Wrestlemania fiasco), but nowhere near the level of ferocity as in the first few years of the site.
Seriously, my inbox had what may be best classified as death threats for the temerity I showed in thinking the Double J gimmick was crap of the wrestle variety. I guess a heel who planned to use pro wrestling to propel a fledgling country music career in Las Vegas (???!!!!) struck a chord with some folk.
Perhaps the same people who thought my “chord” joke in the prior sentence was high comedy.
But good ol’ Double J (ha ha ha) was just one such character that garnered a baffling level of defense. There were plenty of others. Take, for example, Mike Rotundo’s vile tax collector, Irwin R. Schyster. Or as Howard Finkel would say, “Irwin R. Schyster, otherwise known as IRS!” You know, typing that and hearing it in Finktone, I am almost reconsidering my stance on its WrestleCrappitude.
Nah. That gimmick was idiotic.
Still, it seemed the guy was around forever and feuded with everyone, claiming they were all tax cheats. Which, if true, meant the baby face WWF roster in the mid 90s was pretty unscrupulous. Anyhoo, Irwin implored that everyone needed to pay their taxes.
Even if they were dead!
Really. Irwin headed out to the graveyard one Sunday and explained to us that…you know, 10,000 of my words won’t do it justice, so just give it a listen by clicking here.
Upon learning that being six feet under is, in fact, not a tax shelter, was it any shock that we got the feud no on earth possibly could have wanted: IRS vs. The Undertaker?
Really, this feud really happened. Because, well, I guess Taker wasn’t paying his taxes on the urn he and Paul Bearer carried around. Should also note that IRS felt he had the upper hand in the feud, as he had bought off the DRUIDS.
Again, take a listen.
Yep…somehow >>>>I<<<<< was the idiot for inducting the tax man.
But hey, don’t fret. Undertaker would soon announce that he was going to defend the recently departed, in this case Mr. JOHN DOE. While some may view this as a commentary on Taker defending those unable to pay for funerals, I’d prefer to think it was his uncle, good ol’ Uncle John.
Which could make the wrestler’s full name Undertaker Doe.
I watch this stuff then I write that stuff and all the more I feel as though I am getting stupider with each passing sentence I write about a tax man, a dead man, and the deceased Mr. Doe.
I again present the audio so you don’t assume I am making any of this up.
Whatever. It all led to a featured match at the 1995 Royal Rumble.
Yes, The Undertaker battled IRWIN R. SCHYSTER on the second biggest WWF show of the year. Looking back, I can’t even fathom how folks questioned WCW not standing a chance with Nitro. The more I go back and revisit mid 90’s WWF, the more I wonder how this company ever survived until the Stone Cold cavalry came charging over the hill to save the day.
(I’m also very glad the 2015 creative crew wasn’t around twenty years ago, as they probably would have told Austin to call his fans the “Stone Cold Cavalry.”)
So the match starts and Vince and Jerry Lawler go back and forth about how Undertaker is indeed fighting for JOHN DOE as Irwin hits Taker in the back of the head with a pretty nice looking drop kick…
…which is promptly no sold. This causes IRS to roll to the outside and wander around ringside for a good two minutes. You’d think that Undertaker would just roll out and catch him, but the early portion of the match is a demonstration of how much faster Irwin is than the dead man. Won’t lie, it’s been a long time since I watched any early Undertaker matches, and I’d forgotten just how slow they were. Made sense, I get it, he was the undead zombie. But jeez louise did that make for some hideous matches. Kinda like this one.
Eventually Taker does catch the tax man, though, and begins pummeling away. This includes an old school rope walk…which is not called as such because, well, it was still kinda fresh at the time of this match. With Irwin taking a massive beating, Ted does the only thing he can…
…he summons the druids!
This pays dividends very quickly as Taker once more goes for
old new school, and the druids shake the ropes causing him to fall to the mat. This causes Lawler and Vince to ponder who the men under the hoods may be. Druids with rope shaking action? I think we all know who it would be, right?
That’s kinda hypnotic.
Also, far more entertaining than this match.
This match that features IRS attempting to beat The Undertaker via an ABDOMINAL STRETCH.
As you might suspect, that doesn’t work. After another couple of minutes of equally scintillating action…
….Taker writes off poor Irwin with a choke slam.
See what I did there?
Eh, best I could do with the material given to me. Sometimes even puns aren’t funny. Sorry.
Following the match, no less than King Kong Bundy showed up to distract Taker while Irwin took off with the urn. Which led to another phenomenal angle in which members of the Million Dollar Corporation took turns stealing the urn for the next six months, eventually with Kama melting it down into a necklace.
I’d go further into this, but honestly, I have my own taxes to do this week…and that sounds somehow more entertaining than continuing down this craptastic path.