The American Wrestling Association was long known for its dedication to the more scientific aspects of the sport. Despite his penchant for pushing his waif-like boy into the main event scene, for the most part Verne Gagne liked to promote a product that was steeped in mat-based action, featuring technically sound grapplers from around the country. Men like Nick Bockwinkel and even Verne himself were prime examples of the AWA’s preference for finesse over flash.
Despite the fact that some fans preferred this to the cartoonish aspects of the WWF, by the late 1980’s many fans became bored with the product Verne was presenting. Having already let too many talented guys go onto the greener pastures of New York, Verne attempted to re-invent his company by featuring the same kind of over-the-top characters that his biggest competitor had made popular. One of the most notable was John Nord, who came into the company as Nord the Barbarian, hailing from Norwegia. Umm…ok.
At some point, however, Nord headed into the woods and…you know what, here, I’ll just quote from his interview in Sports Review Wrestling from May of 1990: “Being up there in the Yukon with the fresh air, snow, and all the wild animals made me realize what life’s all about. There’s just not time for all this violence and evil.”
Yep, the Barbarian had turned babyface. And above and beyond that, HE HAD FOUND GOD.
Now everyone knows that nothing good has EVER come out of a wrestling storyline with religious connotations. Brother Love? Friar Ferguson? Need I say more?
Anyway, upon his return to the AWA, Nord had a completely new (and dare I say idiotic) look, wielding an ax named Bertha and wearing a moose-skin pelt on his noggin.
That’s weird. I didn’t think “bury a hatchet into a defenceless animal’s skull” was the answer to those WWJD bracelets.
Now look at the picture to the right. Doesn’t it look like The Nord is saying, “Ayyyyy! Sit on it, Potsie!”
Sadly, no, that’s not the case. Instead, he is doing a wolfcry. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.
Nord even had a zany fun new finisher: the guillotine legdrop.
To execute said manoeuvre, he’d run the ropes 10 times or so then stop and drop the leg.
Because as everyone knows, a legdrop in which the guy runs back and forth for thirty seconds like an idiot is far more devastating than a normal one.
What’s even more fun than a “Yukon” John Nord interview, you ask? A “Yukon” John Nord interview conducted by the one and only Easy-E, Eric Bischoff!
Would you just look at that man’s hair? If I didn’t know better, I would have said that Nord had brought back a badger and placed it atop Eric’s cranium.
“Yukon” enlightens us with his New Year’s resolutions, screaming about how he’s going to read the bible. This interview is very frightening, as Nord is almost reaching a Brian Knobbs decibel level here.
Now THAT would be fun: Knobbs and Nord screaming Psalms at each other at the top of their lungs.
Of course, Nord wouldn’t stay Yukon John for long. Like most of the AWA roster, he would wind up in the WWF following the promotion’s collapse. Originally debuting as the Viking, Nord would soon become the Berserker we all know and love. His chants of “huss huss” still echoes throughout the halls of the Crap to this day.
He’d eventually wind up doing all kinds of wacky skits on various Coliseum home videos, including one in which he helped Mr. Fuji throw a party. As if that weren’t WrestleCrappy enough, he’d also throw fellow inductee Jameson off the roof of Titan Towers during a Prime Time telecast.
Not quite sure where in the Bible it states “Thou shalt loft nerds from the highest mountain to thine death”, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.
– “Yukon” John Nord: “Hooooowwwwllll!”
Greg “Be thankful I’m just commentating” Gagne: “There’s the wolf call. And listen to the fans, they’re all howling.”
Eric Bischoff: “Happy new year John Nord, way to start out the new year, you and Bertha still undefeated in the AWA. Do you have any resolutions you want to share with us?”
“Yukon” John Nord (in BOLD because he’s SCREAMING): “I GOT THREE RESOLUTIONS! NUMBER ONE! READ THE BIBLE! NUMBER TWO! READ THE BIBLE! NUMBER THREE! CLEAN UP ALL THE DIRTY ROTTEN SCUM IN THE AWA ME AND BERTHA!“