The Fourth of July is right around the corner. Heck, you can almost smell the neighbor’s house burning down due to some wacky Roman candle mishap. Now, while I love fireworks and all, to me the real explosions of summertime occur on the movie theater screen. You just don’t get anything bigger or more bombastic than Hollywood’s annual 3 month onslaught of the brightest stars and the biggest budgets. Speaking of summer blockbusters, the current movie flavor of the week is Tom Cruise starring in H.G. Well’s War Of The Worlds. Now, while I’m sure it’ll be a fine movie, I prefer to think of Tom back in the old days, before he became a rabid Oprah Winfrey couch jumper and resident Scientology weirdo. Like around the time of his first summer blockbuster – 1986’s Top Gun. Yep, those were the good ‘ol days, when Tom was truly the “Top Gun.” Back then, Tom could do…..what a minute….I just forgot something. Mr. Cruise may have been on fire decades ago, but by no means was he the lone Top Gun of the 80’s and 90’s.
World, say hello to this week’s Jobber Of The Week – Cuba’s Top Gun. Alright, now I’m a little confused. How can there be room for two Top Guns at the top? Having two guys lay claim to the name seems to devalue the fact that they are THE true Top Gun. I guess there’s only one thing to do. Have the first annual Wrestlecrap Battle Of The Top Guns to see who should rightfully own the title.
We’ll start our Top Guns competition with our first category – coolness. Back in 1986, Tom Cruise was only just beginning his rise to super-stardom. Playing the role of Maverick, the young and cocky Navy jet pilot with a penchant for wearing sunglasses 24/7, Tom was on fire. Whether he was flying, playing a hideously homoerotic game of beach volleyball, or crooning a godawful karaoke version of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to 80’s babe Kelly McGillis, Tom was the epitome of being young and cool.
Cuba’s Top Gun (played by the Cuban Assassin – Fidel Sierra), well, I think we’re gonna have a problem here. For one, unless he’s trying to pick up the Spider Lady in the local Parts Unknown watering hole, he’s not helping his sex appeal out any by wearing that ugly looking mask. And while Tom may have won girls hearts over by singing “You Lost That Loving Feeling,” judging from his waistline, the only singing Cuba’s Top Gun has been doing is reciting Weird Al’s “Eat It,” while scarfing down one too many plates of chimichangas.
Yep, looks like we’re gonna have to award the first competition to Tom.
Every Top Gun needs someone to watch their back. Therefore, our next category is who has the better sidekick. Now both guys have questionable partners as far as I’m concerned. All the way up in the sky and with his life on the line, Tom has to rely on this guy:
Why it’s none other than the Goose aka Anthony Edwards aka Gilbert from Revenge Of The Nerds. Geez, you’d think if Tom was gonna get a dorky looking Nerd to fly in his cockpit, he’d at least try to recruit Lamar Latrell. Afterall, Lamar was all about the “cock.”
For what it’s worth, Cuba’s Top Gun went out and at least tried to get a sidekick with a name almost as bad as Goose. Enter his longtime running buddy, Aldo Marino aka Ricky Santana aka the only Aldo in WWF history who didn’t wrestle with a jockstrap on his head. Now this is truly a tough one. Both sidekicks sucked, but ultimately Tom gets the nod here, as Goose was polite enough to go and get himself killed while ejecting himself from a jet, thus allowing Tom to move on with life without his moronic tag-a-long. Whether it was together with Aldo as the Barrio Brothers or Los Especialistas, Cuba’s Top Gun appears to be stuck with his enhancement talent partner for life. Poor guy. Score another one for Tom, as he now leads 2 -0.
Every Top Gun needs a rival, in order to show the world he can face up to a challenge. Therefore our next category is that of best enemy. Tom’s nemesis would come in the form of Val Kilmer’s Iceman. Not only was Iceman equally as cool, equally as skilled a fighter pilot, and equally as homoerotic of a four-way male beach volleyball player, he possessed one thing Tom could only dream of. Jaws, Richard Kiel, and Gangrel, eat your heart out. Witness the intimidation power of Iceman’s Death Chomp…
(That’s scary. Now while Cuba’s Top Gun really didn’t have a main nemesis (he was a jobber, afterall), I guess you’d have to say his greatest challenge and his biggest moment in the sun would be when he faced off in a handicap match with Johnny Swinger to face the Giant in primetime on Monday Nitro in February of 1997. The Giant took less than sixty seconds to finish both guys off. That’s almost as scary as Iceman’s chomp. I guess this one’s gonna come down to their individual acting skills, and I’ll sum it up real quickly for you. In the movie Wonderland, portraying pornstar legend John Holmes, Val Kilmer got blown. The Big Show, in his acting stints as the Showster and Showkishi, well, he simply blew. Score another one for Mr. Cruise.
It’s all academic now, as Cruise has a commanding 3 – 0 lead, but never the less, here’s our final category anyway – longevity. Cruise’s Top Gun came out of the gates with a bang, spawning a hit soundtrack, as well as video games, and ultimately earned over $140 million dollars at the box office. That’s a pretty outstanding total considering the movie was released in the 80’s. And despite some hard times with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, Cruise’s career has been pretty steady and unbelievably successful since that fateful time in 1986 when he first stepped into Kenny Loggin’s “Highway To The Danger Zone.” Cuba’s Top Gun, despite initially winning the Pacific Northwest tag-team title with a pre-Raven, Scotty The Body, never really achieved liftoff. He would remove the mask and go at it as the enhancement legend Cuban Assassin for the better part of the late 80’s and early 90’s, only to return under the hood for a brie f WCW stint in late 95/96. Despite being one hell of an underrated and talented heel wrestler, as the Top Gun he definitely took a nosedive. Score this final round for Tom, as he sweeps Cuba’s Top Gun 4 – 0.
In closing, there’s no question that that Tom Cruise’s Top Gun is the winner and true undisputed Top Gun here today. In true Cuba’s Top Gun spirit though, he got dominated from the start and was totally blown away. Looking back though, both guys do have one thing in common. Cruise’s character “felt the need, the need for speed.” Cuba’s Top Gun felt that “need for speed” as well. He was always sure to get squashed in a speedy fashion.