Monday, August 28, 2006
More Quotent Quotables: Sports Review Wrestling, March 1987
Time for some more 1980s wrestling history disseminated via quotations. Yesterday, instead of reading my usual periodicals -- The Journal of Comparative Politics, American Prospect, Tricycle, and Tiger Beat -- I decided to thumb through some older Apter magazines. As most of the loyal readers of Arabian Facebuster know, Apter rags (Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling, Sports Review Wrestling, etc.) are legendary for their made up interviews with wrestlers (always in character) and fake letters to the editor and fan/rube/mark correspondence. Yes, kayfabe was alive in well in professional wrestling magazine publishing in the 1980s. This particular issue of Sports Review Wrestling covers the matches, angles, feuds, and all around silliness in pro wrestling, circa November 1986 . . . with none other than the Ugandan Giant Kamala on the cover. Onto the quotes.
--"I loved your special section on the Top 50 [wrestlers] in the WWF . . . [however] Adrian Adonis should have been number 40 at best. Number 19 is ridiculous because this fat homo has no wrestling ability whatsoever." Letter to the Editor from Russell Welch, Philadelphia PA. Welch currently serves as the Communications Director for Sen. Rick Santorum's reelection campaign.
--"I'm a very enthusiastic and zealous black teenage fan of the WWF, UWF, and NWA . . . Speaking of all of the fiery wrestling fury in the NWA, why not do more cover stories on The Kansas Jayhawks? Bobby Jaggers and Dutch Mantell are loaded with dynamite wrestling maneuvers and scientific knowledge, combined with cunning, brawling skills, stamina, brute strength, and great courage." Letter to the Editor from Kenneth Williams, Chicago IL. Seconds after this letter was mailed: (1) The Kansas Jayhawks, after countless failed attempts to defeated Ivan Koloff and Krusher Kruschev for the US Tag Titles, vanished from the NWA; (2) Williams was arrested by Chicago's finest for the possession and usage of crack cocaine.
--"If what everybody is saying to me is correct, I'll be wrestling -- even dominating the sport -- for the next 20 years. I appreciate the complements, but have to follow my own conscience." Babyface Lex Luger responding to the question of the month "Do you yourself still wrestling 10 years from now?" Sadly, for millions of Lex Luger fans across the county, the prognostications of his collegues and contemporaries proved false.
--"One Man Gang is considered one of the worst technical wrestlers in the sport, but he has two things going for him: 468 pounds and a killer instinct nurtured while growing up on the streets of Chicago." Sports Review Wrestling futilely tries to explain why the One Man Gang has somehow retained the UWF Heavyweight Championship despite the relentless challenge from Dr. Death Steve Williams.
--Bill Apter: "Tony, you're incredible. All of these years in the sport and you're in better shape than ever. How do you do it?" Tony Atlas: "Thanks Bill. You have to remember, my man, that I'm a former Mr. USA and I have a certain responsibility to that title. It wouldn't look too good now if Mr. USA was walking around with a beer belly and flabby arms, would it?" Tony Atlas argues persuasively that the most effective way to maintain one's strapping physique is to capture the title of Mr. USA and use its psychologically imposing sense of prestige and obligation to fend off the flab. Take note, Jeff Hardy.
--"The two grapplers then locked up in a fight that, if unchecked, promised to go on to the death." Non-hyperbolic recap of the Starrcade 1986 main event for the NWA World Title, Ric Flair vs. Niktia Koloff. Both men were disqualified for shoving referees. Thankfully, wrestlers from the back separated the two grapplers before any in-ring fatalities could occur.
--"The Hulk Hogan-Kamala war is sure to go down in history as being distinguished by uncommon levels of sadism, brutality, and viciousness. Wrestling skills don't count here. It's survival of the fittest. If Charles Darwin were alive, the WWF's front office celebrity-hunters might enlist him as a special referee -- that is if he wasn't completely astounded by the very fact of the Ugandan giant's existence. Indeed, Kamala's existence is a riddle. He is a pure savage, a throwback to the time when jungle instincts ruled the world." Sports Review Wrestling envisaging the unprecedented level of violence that would occur once the cowardly Hulkster finally climbed into the ring with the barbaric Kamala. Fortunately, we now know that streaming bland, home-recorded music across the internet is the only known distraction capable of taming Kamala's cannibalistic instinct and primordial thirst to bludgeon and disfigure any stranger that dares cross his path.