MORE Wrestling Meets Talk Shows!
By Dave Newman on 14th August 2021
Some more cases of wrestlers appearing on different shows. Calling an audible and going to skip doing the World Championship Wrestling episodes in-depth so that I can do an overall review of the Midnight Express/Horsemen feud on Monday seeing as the episodes themselves aren’t actively bad, but are dry as toast.
Yokozuna on the Big Breakfast
A bit of tragedy here, because this was recorded during the tour of the UK where Yoko suddenly died. He’s massive here, in a black robe that hides a bit but he’s as big as the bed. He tells his kayfabe background of being a sumo champion who moved into wrestling while Denise namedrops Big Daddy and then teases him about his real name being Rodney, with some Only Fools and Horses impressions in the background (“Rodney, you plonker!”). This is just a short bit that somebody must’ve spotted and got a tape in the video recorder to catch, but Yoko was an engaging enough speaker and if his weight and health wasn’t out of control would doubtless have been given some chances on a bigger scale.
The Twin Towers and Slick on Arsenio Hall
Some more of the big boys. A funny preview clip of the Big Boss Man beating up a jobber with the nightstick while Slick and Akeem dance in front of the referee to block him. Boss Man is pissed off as ever while the other two are doing the handshakes. Arsenio questions Akeem’s presentation, with Slick describes him as “a real brother” and predicting he’ll be “the first black WWF champion”. As relaxed as they are, Boss Man is on edge, standing up, but biting his lip a bit to stop from laughing.
After a commercial, Slick plays up to being the Doctor of Style before Arsenio asks him and Akeem how they felt when they saw “Hulk Hogan kicking (Boss Man’s) ass”, prompting Boss Man to launch up and Arsenio to run. Slick makes a case for why Boss Man should be the champion and even feigns going to hit Arsenio when he talks about throwing a chain in (Akeem: “He ain’t a real brother, either!”). Slick says there’s not disqualifications in a cage match, so he’d throw a .357 in if he could… Not sure where Jesse Ventura would stand on that! No real finish, as Arsenio says he’ll see them wrestling tonight, but Slick was fun throughout this.
Kevin Nash on Jay Leno
Big Kev never looked right to me with blonde hair. A bit of a non-story from a lame question about his Big Sexy nickname, then a review of his previous gimmicks. Vinnie Vegas was a gimmick he came up with himself after how bad Steel and Oz were. He’s been 6’10” since he was thirteen. Jay gets a knock in his roots, so Kev gets one back about the roots not being grey. Of note, Pamela Anderson was the previous guest and they make no reference to their prior connection.
Talk switches to kayfabe and an angle with Bret Hart being a wild card. They show a tape of him attacking Goldberg, who was supposed to be there. Jay tries to poke holes in the scenario, so Kev just lets him get out of his system. He throws out a challenge to Bret to wrestle him on the Tonight Show, which never happened. In fact, I think Bret was heading to the Tonight Show when Owen died, hence why it was never followed up on. This was very much a non-starter overall.
Razor Ramon on Jerry Springer
This is from before Springer became like the WWF. Hydeia and Tyler are his guests, children who both had AIDS (both are thankfully still alive and doing OK). Tyler is posited as a fan of the WWF and specifically Razor Ramon, so he is brought out to meet them both, giving them gifts and being very nice to them. He agrees with Jerry that both kids are far tough fighters than any wrestler could be with what they’ve gone through. He invites both to WrestleMania with first class treatment and then presents them with the IC belt in a nice gesture before heading off. Scott Hall has talked about how the handlers got annoyed about him letting people get their hands on the belt, but he was adopting a “better to apologise than ask permission first” approach. He’s also talked about how he’s kept up with the kids now that they’re adults.
Raven and Konnan on Donny and Marie
Konnan has talked about Raven used this as a total ego trip for himself, which I’ll get to. Raven is dressed like a rock star, while Konnan is in his wrestling gear but looks like he should be on the back of a bin wagon. Marie has a prepared question for Raven about being a reader, with him lying out of his arse about reading “three or four books a week, plus five magazines cover to cover”, which sounds impressive except it’s three or four COMIC books. Then he’s on about being a straight A student without studying, plus having a 143 IQ, which he has himself admitted was a total work.
Konnan, who’s as stoned as ever, talks about being in soap operas in Mexico and having the biggest crowds in Mexico and LA for his matches. Raven then promotes Superbrawl, which Donny mishears as “Superbra”. They then do a mock fight between all four. This was just a total farce.
Hulk Hogan on Arsenio Hall
This isn’t his infamous appearance, although the circumstances are pretty embarrassing. Hulk is dressed as his Suburban Commando character Shep Ramsey, which begs the question of why some space age soldier has such a plain name. He talks about crossing over into movies and wrestling less while spending more time with his family… Didn’t quite work out that way. The term sports entertainment comes up, with Hulk being one of the first to start admitting wrestling was a work. Back to his family, Hulk names Linda as his wife and Brooke and Nick as his kids, then a big whopper of how both kids watched the film from start to finish. A bit more honest when he doesn’t talk up his guitar playing as Metallica-level. Arsenio then prompts him to get into full Hulk Hogan character, with him promoting Suburban Commando like he’s about to head to the ring with an Andre the Giant or Randy Savage. This was fine, Hulk might be a bit of a Don Quixote but he knew what to do to come off as a nice, engaging guy.
Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan on Regis and Kathie Lee
This is the day of Summerslam ’89. Regis explains what the Rude Awakening is for the benefit of Kathie Lee in a bit of foreshadowing. Rude comes out first in what I believe is the debut appearance of his black and gold robe and black and yellow boots. Rick is directing his attention towards Kathie Lee from the start with the lascivious looks, Regis keeping her in place for the gag. Bobby Heenan then joins them, offering for him and Regis to leave Rick and Kathie to it. Bobby then invites a young lady from the audience to join Rick for a Rude Awakening. Regis imitates Rick with the hip gyrations over the lady, despite having a bad back and a support band around it.
Where this then goes to another level is Rude takes the robe off and shows tights with Kathie Lee on the front and Regis on the arse. She tries running off to the top of the staircase on set. Of course, the staircase leads nowhere as it’s just a set, but Rude runs up to her and corners her, then she runs back down and out of the studio, with Rick commenting on how quickly she moves as Regis thanks him and Bobby for coming. This was pretty funny with Kathie Lee’s obvious shock, and I believe the Brain talked in his book about how she was running for her life because she didn’t want to get into trouble with Frank Gifford over it.
The Meltdown: Some good WWF appearances and some crappy WCW appearances, quelle surprise!