“Hammer had two things working against him. One, he was given a push well before he was ready for it, and two, he was given the gimmick of a heavy metal guitar player, even though he couldn’t play a lick.” – Mick Foley, Have a Nice Day
Thank you, Mick. I couldn’t have put it much better myself. Van Hammer (it’s like Van Halen, geddit?) arrived in WCW in the early 90’s amidst much fanfare. He was given music videos to trumpet his arrival that played on nearly every WCW broadcast for months. And when he arrived…well, we all found out that he was nothing special.
In fact, to paraphrase Def Leppard, he sucked sucked til he dropped. Sucked sucked, never stopped.
|I mean, sure, his video looked just like something from MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, with his long blonde hair flowing in the wind as he laid down a killer riff…|
|…and he had dorky, headband wearing bandmates like the guy to the right (and how pathetic is your career when you are playing BACKUP for Van Hammer?.|
|He even brought a flying V guitar down the ramp with him and acted like he was playing it. Once in the ring, he would bang his head in the ring like a 13 year old girl at a Poison concert. |
Oh yeah, he was a site to see.
|He probably even had the best physique of anyone in WCW at the time (shown here as he emerges from a lake in his music video…odd that he appears completely dry).|
.But none of this could mask the fact that once the guy got in the ring, he really sucked. I mean, this guy sucked to a frightening Ted Arcidi-esque level.
It was obvious that he was plucked from the Power Plant way before he was ready for TV, due to his look and the promotion’s dire need for fresh marketable talent. Apparently, he didn’t endear himself to anyone in the back, either…
“Hammer was also a natural heat getter with the boys. He didn’t mean to, he was actually a nice guy, but he had a tendency to bury himself with his ways. Statements like “I came here to save the company” didn’t sit well with guys who’d busted their asses for years and didn’t have their own $25,000 music video.” – Mick Foley, Have a Nice Day
Van Hammer did go onto feud with Mick, and Foley was able to get some decent matches out of the guy. However, after his feud with Foley ended, he was left floundering around the bottom of the card, with his only notable feud being against Southern rocker JT Southern, who had the gall to claim that Hammer couldn’t even play the guitar!
Shortly after this, Hammer left the company and wasn’t heard from for years, until he resurfaced in the mid 90’s as a member of Raven’s flock.
And he still sucked just as bad as he did his rookie year.