I’ve profiled a lot of enhancement talent, doing this column every week. We’ve laughed, cringed, and ultimately paid a long overdue tribute to many a curtain jerker here at the Crap. But this week’s JOTW is different, and very dear to my heart. Not only was he my favorite jobber ever, at one time in the 80’s I considered him my favorite wrestler – period. There have been thousands of guys from Parts Unknown. There have even been hundreds of wrestlers going by the exact same name. But if you grew up watching the WWF in the 80’s, then you know that there is only one man who truly should have a trademark on the 24th letter of the alphabet. The one, the only – the mysterious Mr.X.
Our masked menace first debuted in the WWF in early 1985. At first glance, there was really nothing special about him. He was a small guy, barely 6’0″ and a little over 200 lbs. His ring attire was exceptionally bland. Just a plain red mask with red tights, and a hideous satin ring-jacket that looked like he was the coach of the Parts Unknown Little League baseball team.
Yep, it appeared that this jobroni was just gonna be another masked guy who was here today, gone tomorrow. But then a strange thing happened. Every week on WWF TV, he kept showing up and displaying his better-than-average jobber skills. Beatdown after beatdown, he kept coming back for more, and soon it appeared that Mr.X was here to stay.
The summer of 1985 would be a noteworthy one for X. When Bobby Heenan placed a $25,000 bounty on the head of Paul Orndorff, who do you think was one of the many who stepped up to try to collect? No get-rich-quick bounties were collected though. X only received a priceless Orndorff piledriver.
Next up, he tried to conquer MTV. When the WWF released The Wrestling Album and filmed the video for the song “Land Of A 1000 Dances,” X, along with frequent tag-team partner Barry O, were two of the very few jobbers allowed to be in the video. Unfortunately, they were unable to snag any solo vocal spots. Despite a musical performance that rivalled that of Rob and Fab from Milli Vanilli, I still cast my write-in vote for Mr.X for the Slammy category of Best Performance In “Land Of 1000 Dances.” It was the wrestling equivalent of voting for Ralph Nader for President. No, check that. It was like voting for Nader’s hair stylist as your choice for this nation’s leader. Needless to say, despite my lone vote, it was Piper who took the award home that night at the Slammys.
As 85 drew to a close, X continued his losing ways. Whether on his own, or teaming with wrestlers like AJ Petrucci and Steve Lombardi, it seemed X was destined to never win a match. Every month, when I picked up the latest issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, I always checked the arena reports to see how many times X got his ass handed to him. When I picked up the Year End award issue in December of 85, I expected much of the same. That’s when I saw it – the unthinkable. Mr.X defeated Salvatore Bellomo. FINALLY!!! My favorite wrestler won a match. Things definitely were looking up as he entered 1986.
Despite defeating the WWF’s resident Italian chef, not much improved in the following year. Mr. X did however receive an invite for the then untelevised, 2nd Annual King Of The Ring Tournament. Incredibly, X made it to the second round!!!! Well, um, he kind of did that because there was an uneven amount of guys in the tourney, and he was one of the few who received a first round bye. Billy Jack Haynes saw to it in the quarterfinals that Mr.X would not be leaving the ring that night as royalty.
Blown chances at the Intercontinental and Tag-titles were a constant during the year. But as the year closed, X did it again. He won his second match, this time over fellow jobber Rudy Diamond. I still held out hope for success for X. Hell, on my X-mas wishlist I gave to my Grandma that year, I even put a Mr. X Wrestling Superstars figure at the top of my list, in the event a miracle happened and they actually made one. Sadly, there apparently was strict drug-testing at the LJN plant, and no one was stoned enough to make my wish come true. Christmas came and went and as 1987 dawned, not only was there no Mr.X action figure, there was soon no Mr.X. As mysterious as he arrived, he left the same way. Time went on, and I soon took up new favorites, but always wondered what happened to Mr.X.
By the dawn of the internet age some ten years later, I finally got my answer of what happened, but who he was as well. Mr. X was none other than the evil WWF referee, “Dangerous” Danny Davis. I couldn’t believe it. It seems Davis, who had started his career in the early 80’s up in Canada, had been playing a dual role as both referee and Mr.X for a while. But when he was suspended for life from refereeing due to his favouritism to heels, he retired the mask and joined Jimmy Hart’s stable. With the gimmick of “referee-turned-wrestler,” Davis was able to get over very well, making appearances at WrestleMania’s 3 and 4, and Survivor Series 87 and 88. In time though, the gimmick wore off and he became more or less a jobber-to-the-stars, ultimately making a return to refereeing in the late 80’s. He would hold that position through the early 90’s, then he headed back home to Canada where he is now retired from the sport.
There’s an old saying, “X marks the spot.” Hell, if you had been watching WWF with me in the 80’s, you would have “spotted an X mark.” Judging from the requests I’ve received, there’s quite a few of them out there still. Wherever Parts Unknown is, they should erect a statue in honor of it’s finest representative.