The WWF was a zoo in the 1980’s.
Amongst all the birds and snakes, there was an even bigger problem. The dog population. You had the Junkyard Dog, the British Bulldogs, and Matilda. Just when you thought it was long overdue that Vinnie Mac called in the dog-catcher, guess who showed up? This week’s mangy Jobber of the Week, Johnny K-9.
Our lovable mutt made his fist impression in the sport when entered the Hart’s Stampede Wrestling in the early 80’s. Main booker Bruce Hart got him off to a great start by giving him the ominous name of…Orhan Turgedan, the Terrible Turk. Say that wonderful name five times real fast and you’ll come up with more turds than a wrestling video loaded with Ed Leslie classics. Thankfully, Johnny left Stampede (and his too-close-to-sounding-like-feces name) behind and headed south to the greener pastures of the WWF.
Once there, he finally used the name he always wanted – Johnny K-9. While it may seem like a play on the word canine, according to Johnny, not so. After a public disturbance which landed him and some friends in a police van, he looked out the window and spotted a police car which was numbered K-9. A lightbulb went off, and a future enhancement talent was born. All I can say is, thank God the Canadian police used letters AND numbers to identify their squad cars. I think only Vince Russo could have had any use for a potential wrestler named “Johnny K-Y.”
Despite the origin of the name, once in the WWF, Johnny did become rabid. When introduced by the announcer, he would often spaz out, sometimes bark, and always drop to his knees and do his trademark crossarm pose. And when it came time for tag-team action, his more animal friendly partners, such as jobber Frank Marconi (seen below), were certain to pet their doggie friend in hopes of encouraging him to success. Johnny panted on in happiness.
The puppy love from his partners was the only happy times for him though. For the next four years in the WWF, despite possessing a powerlifter’s physique and tons of charisma, Johnny would be spanked more than an 8 year-old unpotty-trained poodle. Despite becoming somewhat of a cult-figure among enhancement talent, Johnny was ready to move on to bigger and better things. After leaving the WWF and going on a world tour that would see stops in Japan and various places, it was time for a tough decision. One all pet owners must inevitably face. He decided the best fate for his Johnny K-9 persona was for it to be put to sleep.
Rechristened by Jim Cornette as Bruiser Bedlam, he would reverse his losing fortunes and in 1994, claim the Smoky Mountain TV title. Unbelievable pinfall victories over Randy Savage and Jake “the Snake” Roberts would follow. After leaving that area, the Bruiser continued his “Jobber’s Revenge Tour” of the 90’s by defeating Greg Valentine for the Ontario-based ICW Heavyweight title in 1998.
In recent years, periods of inactivity, as well as rumored run-ins with the law have been the only news on Johnny. However, much like that annoying, garbage rummaging neighborhood mutt that somehow evades the dog-catcher, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of this legendary, flea-ridden brawler.