Hey folks, I'm back and ready for some crappy wrestling! I've often been accused of being unfair towards WCW since all of my wrestling posts have by and large been aimed at them. While it's true, I was a much more of a fan of the WWF than WCW, that doesn't mean that I think every move that Vince McMahon has ever made has been a good one. In fact, some of the worst gimmicks ever have come out of the WWF, including today's entry, often considered the Queen Mother of bad wrestling gimmicks (I still call the Shockmaster the worst).
Let's set the wayback machine to Thanksgiving night, 1990. It's a chilly night in Hartford, CT and the WWF is putting on its annual Survivor Series pay per view. For months on end, the WWF had carted around a giant egg to all their TV tapings, claiming that the only way to see what was inside was to order the show. Exactly why this egg was so important was never explained, but people were certainly interested. Given that the WWF had a good track record of delivering surprises, most fans probably assumed it was a new wrestler (and they were half right, but more on that later).
So the show went on, with fans itching to know what was inside. Finally, "Mean" Gene Okerland was dispatched to ringside, or eggside on this occasion, for the hatching. Gene teased fans as to what could be inside, suggesting a dinosaur, balloons or even the Playmate of the Month! Much to the chagrin of the fans, it was none of the above, although had this happened during the "Attitude" era (1997-2002), a Playboy Playmate probably would have hatched out of that egg. Nope, instead, this happened...
I think the video above is all the evidence you need to know that this whole thing went over about as well as a fart in church. I mean, look at that thing; it looks like a muppet on crack! It's hard to explain the motives behind the Gobbledy Gooker, but if I had to guess, the WWF probably thought that having a mascot might be a good way to appeal to a younger audience. They already had a lot of success marketing to children through toylines, clothing, video games, even an ice cream bar! A man in a turkey costume seemed like the next logical step. Either that or Vince McMahon had decided that conquering most of the known wrestling world at that time wasn't good enough, so it time to take on Sesame Street! Sadly the gimmick failed, thus robbing us of a Gooker/Big Bird match at Wrestlemania.
With the Gobbledy Gooker being a huge failure, the WWF dumped the character, refusing to even acknowledge its existence for many years. However, some vignettes, like the one below, were taped with the Gooker before hand, but it's unknown if they ever actually aired.
In the spring of 2001, fans were shocked to see that the Gooker was included in the Wrestlemania 17 Gimmick Battle Royal. The real shock, however, came in the positive reaction the crowd gave him. Wrestling is kind of funny like that. Crap that we hated twenty years ago can sometimes be remembered fondly as a nostalgic sign of its time. And in case you're curious, that's Hector Guerrero, the older brother of the late, great Eddie Guerrero, who donned the feathers and whiffle balls that fateful night.
And as for the fans being half right about a new wrestler being the big surprise. Later on in the evening, former WCW jobber "Mean" Mark Calloway carried an urn for the first time, making his debut as the Undertaker, one of the most successful gimmicks of all time. See that? The show wasn't a total loss.
Well, that's all for today. I hope y'all enjoyed this latest wrestling entry. I don't know if I'll post again this month, but if everybody behaves themselves, I might post a Thanksgiving treat for everybody. Take care, and I'll catch y'all later!