Okay so now I live in a world where this is a real thing….
I’m seven shades of confused right now (which I suppose is apropos) as an epic internal geek out battle between my 7 year old self and my 30 something self are trying to determine who is more geeked that the picture above is a real thing. A real episode of community based on the GI Joe animated cartoon. I mean how fricken obscure are we trying to make this show that we are basing episodes on a cartoon from nearly 30 years ago?
Not that I’m complaining, I just simply don’t know how to process this.
“Given that knowing is half the battle, it’s about time you received more intel aboutCommunity‘s animated episode. Airing April 3, “G.I. Jeff” pays tribute to the ’80s animated series G.I. Joe, and you can take your first peek at the Study Group reimagined as figures of action in the photos above and below: There’s Jeff (Joel McHale) as Wingman (yes, he has a backpack with wings), Annie (Alison Brie) as Tight Ship, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) as Buzzkill, and Shirley as Three Kids.”
This is like some random dream mash up that I had but is actually a real thing. What is left for this show?
Noticeable by his absence in the article of course is everyone’s favorite mental patient to be Abed. He’s emotionally detached, can’t relate to people…I’m thinking Snake Eyes is the best fit for him!
And yes I know the characters listed aren’t exactly lining up with true Joe/Cobra counterparts but lets do the rest of the main cast. Maybe Hickey can be Hawk, Professor Duncan can be Major Bludd or Tomax/Xamot, Chang would be Zartan, Troy (yes Troy why can’t I bring him back for my imaginary episode?) can be Stalker…(man that wasn’t supposed to be racist I promise, but he’s friends with snake eyes and uh…likes hip hop…or something…)
I’ll be really upset if Dean Pelton doesn’t play half Destro/half Baroness…
But then who plays Cobra Commander you ask? Who can pull off that impossible combination of power and paranoia, desired but despised, well off but whiny…Pierce Hawthorn ladies and gentlemen…
This is like a full on “serenity now, serenity now” moment for me.
Yes I’m late to the game on this reveal, traveling for work will do that to a guy, but I can’t ignore the shoe above. Yes boys and girls that is the Air Jordan 2013 aka XX8 and no Virginia… apparently there isn’t a Santa because if there was he wouldn’t allow us to have that atrocity represent the Jordan line. Look I get it, you have reached a point where the shoe will sell on the Jordan name alone and by positioning it as the cutting edge tech shoe each year you can sell it for well in excess of $200 and make some cash (rumored to be over $300 with the special Nike + functionality, also known as the $70 stupid tax that Nike has been tacking on to their signature shoes) but why oh why does it have to come at the cost of design?
Seriously, look at that thing. I know it was “inspired” by stealth but does stealth really mean a $300 shroud for my foot? It’s almost the absence of design when its zipped up and when zipped down…is that really a look? Inspired by lazy people who don’t lace their shoes or something? And why oh why is the first colorway black and alien green? What is so terribly wrong with sticking to the classics? And an 8 inch high top which doesn’t actually offer any support but instead “integrates the shoe with the athlete for a visually distinct look”. Hey alot of things are visually distinct…it doesn’t mean they are good…
I guess I should at least share what it is that makes this shoe so gosh dern special at least…
Zoom units in the forefoot and heel
Dynamic fit technology uses straps and laces together for support that moves with the foot
Flight plate technology uses a Pebax tm moderator plate that maximizes the responsiveness of the zoom units through compression and deflection for optimal performance.
If you understood that last bullet point…congrats you must be a member of the Jordan marketing group…sounds like a glorified catapult system to me.
Blame the excruciating pain I have been in over the last few days but a pic of the “final” Kobe VIII’s hit the interwebs and I totally missed it:
I say “final” because what seems to happen with each new Kobe is that we get a pic of the final shoe in a colorway that is anything but final so who knows what the end result will be for the yellow and black urban camo effect (1988 Storm Shadow aka one of the greatest figures of the GI Joe line would approve no doubt).
Not fully sure on all the tech here but you can assume zoom air (wishful thinking has it as double stacked full length zoom but I don’t buy it) and “engineered mesh” which I’ve heard is a mix between fuse and flyknit engineered for basketball…or something like that.
My take? Well it looks a lot like the VI’s and I was a fan of that. I think of this as a revised VI with today’s tech. And we know they are going to do innovative things with the colors/patterns on the upper. So at the moment I’m giving it a hesitant thumbs up.
Also, while I don’t know if they are calling this a “system” like the VII’s I do expect different inserts and materials to be used for the rumored four different versions of the shoe. In addition to what I assume is the base version above there will also be an Elite and Elite + which I would guess would sport some kind of ankle insert and Nike + functionality respectively. Aside from those three it looks like we are also going to get a “lifestyle” version of the shoe in more traditional, off the court, leather based material. Take a look at the first pic of those (complete with atrocious colorway) below.
The first glimpse of the upcoming Kobe VIII has finally been released on an unsuspecting public thanks to Counterkicks.
This is an early sample so as always we will reserve judgment until the final specs release as both tech and design can change. If we have learned anything from the preview pics of the last few Kobe’s its that this designed pictured above is likely far from final. What we have though is an obvious evolution of design that we have seen from the Kobe IV-VII. The big buzz word with this release is “Engineered Mesh”. While it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue quite like hyperfuse or flywire this new mesh technique promises performance maneuvered manufacturing for a lighter weight body, maximum ventilation in function, and a sport specific upper.
As you can see the shoe also is once again going to be part of a “system” ala the VII as seen by the ankle sock structure. Just exactly what options will be part of this system are yet to be seen.
Perhaps one of the most shocking elements of this shoe, or rather the most shocking absence, is the lack of flywire. Flywire has of course been a staple of the Kobe line since the IV. Perhaps the most obvious design element of the shoe pictured above is one that perhaps will not be staying. The Swoosh, which gives a bit of a dynamic feel by being placed so far forward towards the toe box, will instead be returned to a more traditional position along the side of the shoe from everything I have read.
As is the norm, the internet at large seems to be crapping all over the early design of the VIII but for once I like what I see at this early stage. Lets hope that continues…
Or everything that was interesting in shoe news three weeks ago…
But I digress…there has been a bit of shoe news pop up over the last couple of months and while not timely anymore I feel obligated to pass along the news to those of you who may not be scouring the internet (or watched the Olympics DOH!) for the latest shoe news
First up…its the long awaited but not really because the season just ended and holy cow how are they already releasing the Lebron X?
Thats the special “Gold Medal” Team USA colorway of the shoe complete with special golden, anti establishment, backwards facing swoosh. I’ll let the marketing buzz speak for itself:
“The design of the LeBron X is inspired by the diamond, an unbreakable gemstone forged by time, heat and pressure. LeBron’s latest is constructed for dynamic containment, impact protection and responsiveness to assist one of the game’s most explosive players.”
Uhh right. I thought the 10th anniversary was aluminum, not diamond?
Anywho from a tech standpoint the shoe features the first full-length visible Nike Zoom unit, dynamic Flywire technology, Hyperfuse construction and Nike+ Basketball. Rumors abound that a special Nike+ basketball edition will feature additional sensors and run over $300.
I also wanted to touch on the Olympic colorway of the Kobe VII because hey this is Droppin and I’m all about the Kobes. When it was first unveiled I didn’t think much of the rather boring design and so I never posted on it. Then they released the pics of the “Gold Medal” edition:.
HOLY COW! That gold swoosh makes all the difference in the world to an otherwise boring colorway. I could do without the gold gradient/splatter on the heel counter but other than that its a very cool take on the VII.
A few new colorways of the Kobe VII have been unvieled, a couple of which have a unique twist that I wanted to share.
First up, the animal themes continue but this time instead of a venomous snake the Kobe VII takes the theme from another dangerous reptile, the poison dart frog:
The shoe features a black/mint candy colorway that mimics the “aposematic” pattern the deadly frog uses to warn off predators. These are scheduled for an Easter weekend release I believe and further info leads us to believe that both a Royal Purple and Blue/Red colorways will also be releasing with this pattern down the road.
Second, we have the “Invisibility Cloak”:
This colorway features an “iridescent” effect which changes the color from purple to turquoise depending on the light. My brother in law had an old 90’s Firebird with the same paint job. These bad boys actually came out on February 18th in limited release so you if want a pair, overpaying is probably the only way to go at this point.
I for one love the creativity nike is droppin on the Kobe VII with the innovative patterns and textures being used on the upper. Unfortunately that makes regular releases like the new Kobe VII Laker Home seem a bit bland by comparison but its certain made for some epic releases thus far.
Yes I know its been months since I posted pt 4 and what was originally supposed to be a one week, 5 part ode to the craziness of Joe has turned in to an epic saga of delays in typical Seven fashion.
But I couldn’t handle the craziness, I thought I could but after posting the 1993 review of craziness I looked in the mirror and I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. So I stepped away and like Zartan waiting in Zen like fashion at the doors of the Arashikage clan I have prepared myself for the end…
And here we are. If you’re new to the game be sure to check out part 1, 2, 3 and 4 at their respective links but I wouldn’t suggest digesting them all in one setting for fear that you will lose your grip on humanity as well. If you really want to hit the way back machine check out the article that started it all, the top 15 wussiest GI Joe figures of all time here.
All of that brings us to 1994. Putting together the list for this year was more depressing than crazy. See by 1994 the GI Joe line was on its last legs. Dwindling sales and no cartoon presence on the horizon meant kids were no longer down with the Joe. Years of neon colors, crazy sub lines, ninjas, astronauts, toxic avengers, druglords, street fighters, cyborgs, mega monsters and play doh armored marines had taken their toll. Aside from all of that though was the simple fact that the successful Joe line had outlived its fanbase. After 12 years every kid who had lived and died with Joe in the 80’s (myself included) had stopped playing with toys and the next generation hadn’t latched on. You could say they were a victim of their own success or you could simply realize that most toy lines don’t last that long.
Either way the craziness factor was ramped down a bit in 1994 probably because the designers were spending more time polishing their resumes for the power rangers and Star Wars. All of the designs were ramped down. The line featured many previous characters brought back in rather bland redesigns.
That’s not to say there wasn’t any crazy here though. In fact, to say goodbye to the craziness that was GI Joe in the early 90’s I’ve come up with 10, YES 10, crazy examples instead of the standard 6. Overkill? Maybe but if you think I’m not the type of guy to beat a gimmick into the ground, dig it back up and then beat it into the ground again….well you don’t know me very well.
In 1994 GI Joe decided to once again repeat the “success” of 93 and give us the base line of 3 seperate sublines, the now standard Battle Corps, the space themed Star Brigade and the Shadow Ninjas. I’m proud to say our crazieness carries over to all three lines. Metal Head here was part of the generically named “Battle Corps” meaning he worked for a corporation that battled or something like that. His claim to fame was that he was Cobra’s walking Anti-Tank weapon. Apparently they only needed one since he was an individual and not part of a random viper squad. Aside from the garish color scheme which harkened back to the Mindbender years and the armor-plated, laser proof (a must as the Joes only shot lasers you know) chest cover Metal-Head’s name wasn’t some funny spoof on his character, no he had a metal freaking head. More specifically an “eye-implanted, brain-integrated, targeting sight. Now I’m sure you may ask yourself why a dude carrying an anti tank rocket launcher would need a brain integrated targeting system, well its simple, with this awesome system linked to his rocket launcher all he had to do was yell “fire” and BOOM, no more Joe tank…or something like that. We can’t have our soldiers squeezing triggers or pushing buttons after all.
Oddly enough his file card also shares some more about the man that is Stuart A. Finlay AKA Metal-Head. Like how he enjoys skiing with the jet set on the slopes of New Hampshire, how hes a suspected member of the secretive Susu-Gar martial arts clan (making him a perfect human rocket launcher I might add) and how his secondary cobra specialty is Hockey Fight Analyst…hold up Cobra has a hockey team important enough to need someone to specialist as the Analyst? Not announcer but Analyst? Does he host Cobra Hockey Night on ESPN?
And what is up with that freaky grin he is sporting? Is that some kind of side effect from the implants? I got nothing…
Lets try a little word association here.
When I say Viper, whats the first thing that comes to mind?
A Snake? A car alarm? A sports car? The infamous episode of the GI Joe cartoon where the window washer with the accent called someone at GI Joe to tell them he was coming to clean the windows and said “The wiper is coming” but thanks to his accent they all thought he said “The Viper is coming” and hilarity ensued like an episode of Saved By the Bell?
How about Cobra’s elite fighting force?
How about the purple, gray and red clad Joker henchman up there?
Leave it to the makers of GI Joe to take a perfectly good character design, which actually looked a bit militaristic (go figure), fit Cobra to a T and blow it out their rears with this batch of awfulness.
So he’s an awful figure, why does that put him in the hall of crazy? Well alone it wouldn’t be enough.
I know its hard to tell in that picture but he comes with a red version of Mondkeywrench’s pitchfork gun which I can forgive for a dreadnok, they are supposed to be insane, but to think that Cobra was so freakin impressed by Monkeywrench’s homemade weaponry that they then commission thousands of them to be build in order to outfit their grunt force? That’s like the US military seeing Dave’s homemade glove weapon in the Tough Bret’s episode of Flight of the Conchords (which I sadly don’t have a picture of but if you imagine a gardening glove crossed with Freddy Kruger only the blades are replaced with wooden spoons and silverware I think you get the point) and commissioning every soldier to have a pair…
To top it all off, he of course comes with the 90’s standard spring loaded missile launcher, however it had a name! THE MASTER BLASTER!!!!
I think I’ll stop now, I can’t take it anymore…
ICE CREAM SOLDIER
Pop quiz time. The Ice Cream Soldier is:
A- A member of Cobra
B- A member of GI Joe
C-The freakiest paramilitary ice cream man the world has ever seen.
You’d be sane if you guessed C and while yes he looks like one of the mindless viper corps he is not. What our faceless friend is in fact is GI Joe’s 1994 fire operations expert, who apparently also likes Ice Cream. See its ironic because he deals with fire and he likes Ice Cream, ironic or stupid one of the two.
See but the name is a red herring if you will, as according to his file card “The last thing you would expect from GI Joe’s fiercest flamethrower commando is for him to be called ICE CREAM SOLDIER” (yes in all caps for some reason). His file card goes on to say “Its a perfect cover for him because when Cobra hears the Joes are sending in a guy to battle with a code name like that, they don’t expect much more than a sweet-toothed kid with chocolate ice cream stains.” Yes because the Joes are sending little kids with chocolate ice cream out on the battlefield of course. Oh and I had no idea before every Joe/Cobra battle that the two side shared rosters with each other ahead of time like the starting lineups for a baseball game. “Oh hey guys the Joes are throwing ICE CREAM SOLDIER (yes in caps) out there today. EAAAAAAASY OUT!!!!”
To keep the baseball analogy up, ICE CREAM SOLDIER, in addition to the standard flame throwing gear you might expect, comes with 3 Molotov designed baseball grenades. Now perhaps baseball grenades are a real thing, I wouldn’t know since my military expertise was garnered from GI Joe but that seems a bit odd to me for an ICE CREAM SOLDIER. You mean to tell me that Captain Grid Iron gets his own football shaped grenades to fit his gimmick but they couldn’t be bothered to make poor ICE CREAM SOLDIER (who’s name by the way is Tom-Henry Ragan, yes Tom-Henry with the hyphen for his first name…insert picture of facepalm here) ice cream cone grenades and instead gave him crappy baseball grenades…how in the heck do those fit his M.O. exactly?
The sprinkles on the ICE CREAM (in all caps) is that he comes with a “melt proof” face shield (a technical term I’m sure) and bullet-proof shin shields. Why he would only need bullet proofing on his shins is beyond me, perhaps that is the ICE CREAM SOLDIER’s Achilles heel? Come to think of it, you definitely don’t want a hole in the bottom of your ICE CREAM CONE or else all the innards will fall out so I guess that makes sense…
I didn’t even get to his awesome biker storm trooper from ROTJ helmet or color scheme but I can’t take any more from our ICE CREAM SOLDIER…NEXT!
My reaction to Major Bludd’s 1994 makeover…
To quote DJ Dynasty Handbag
OOOOOOOOO EEEEEEEEE TIARA!!!!!
I’ll be honest, Major Bludd has had a rough go of it over the years, what with his Tom Selleck mustache, eye patch and Stahlhem style (google it) helmets. From an image standpoint, he has never had a chance but at least his two previous incarnations (1983 and 1991 aka El Super Grenedico) had some level of military usefulness. The same can’t be said for his Dr. Mindbender makeover here. I mean he is wearing a purple karate gi with a crimson thong, metal ankle bracelets and a metal spiked helmet with a giant red target eye patch. Does that mean he can never take his helmet off since the eye patch is build into it? El Comandante Hombre Loco might be a more appropriate name for Sebastian Bludd.
Mindbender do you have anything to add?
“No, no I don’t”
Anywho I can’t just walk away from the Major without sharing some of my favorite tidbids from his file card. Like his weaponry which features a “personalized, hidden elbow spike”. Personalized like it had his name engraved on it or something? He also comes with a “Rapid-fire “Bludd” launcher” which I can only assume is the giant black bazooka. I’m not sure if its actually supposed to shoot “Bludd” himself since technically its large enough to catapult the Major across enemy lines but I can’t see the need to have that be rapid fire, unless there is actually more than one Major Bludd that is.
Night Creeper Leader
I featured the original night creepers, Cobra’s techy ninja army, in my 1990 crazy review here, so its only appropriate that four years later the Night Creeper Leader would make the crazy list on his own merits. I’m going to go out on a limb and say from a visual standpoint that you don’t need me to tell you why the Night Creeper Leader is crazy. I know that the Night Creeper Leader actually made his first appearance with the 1993 line and that tiger themed atrocity was probably good enough to get him on the crazy list for 93 but this 1994 repaint really takes the cake. At least his tiger themed outfit could have been passed off as something intentional, like he wanted to scare his foes into thinking he was a shirtless tiger but this one? I don’t know why he felt the need to redo his wardrobe in purple and yellow. Maybe he liked Mardi-Gras? Maybe he was a die hard LSU or Laker fan? Maybe Dr. Mindbender got a hold of him but he’s missing the obvious metal touches of a Mindbender redesign.
“Boy he is really taking a beating in this conversation…”
Errr..all I know is the color is crazy and so is the fact that dude is wearing a “eye-masking” bandana. You would think that a guy blindfolding himself with a bandana would require some sort of explanation but none was to be found with our Night Creeper Leader. I guess by 1994 we were supposed to believe thanks to GI Joe the Movie and the comic books that all Ninja’s could see without eyesight.
Top it all off with his patented “Slice Proof” zubaz hammer pants and his “computer locking shock gun” and I think you have a not only a crazy figure, but the leader of the crazies himself. The only thing that makes even less sense is that our Night Creeper leader wasn’t a part of Ninja Force but was instead part of the Battle Corps…I mean come on! The guy has Ninja in his freaking name and he’s not part of Ninja force but Zartan was and Road Pig was going to be?!!?
Poor Cobra Commander. Things started off so promising for the leader of the Cobra forces in 1982 when his awe inspiring silver faceplate was revealed to the world as a mail in exclusive.
In 1984 he topped himself with the elusive, regal looking, hooded version which was never released in stores.
Then in 1987, the inexplicable “Battle Armor” redesign took a turn for the worse. The downfall continued with our already covered the 1991 “genie” inspired, mini-plane firing redesign but in 1991 CC also pimped his hooded visage out as part of the “Talking Battle Commanders” dropping such inspiring lines as “I’ll get you!” and “Vipers Attack!”. Its no wonder his lackeys tried to replace him with Serpentor…
1993 finally saw the supreme leader take step back to where he should be with a semi normal repaint of his Talking Battle Commander hooded redesign.
But in 1994, he went out with a whimper with this awful space redesign as part of the “Star Brigade” sub line.
So what is the one thing you think of when I say Cobra Commander? If you said the fact that his face is always covered you would be correct. So why oh why after 12 years of hiding his face would he agree to be packaged, sans helmet in all his buzz cut glory? And why oh why did he need a “Cobra Space Crawler”, aka crappy suction cup back pack, to fight the Joe’s in space? Sure it helped little jimmy stick him to the mirror and watch him fall prey to gravity a little bit more slowly then just dropping him, but what good would it be in space? “Quick! I need to suction cup myself to the nearest metal surface so I don’t drift off into space!!!”
Oh and why did Cobra Commander go to space you might ask? As his file card says “Because he failed so far in his plans to take over earth.” He was such a loser by 1994 that they put him in a rocket and sent him off to space folks.
Hardly the proper sendoff our Cobra Supreme leader deserved.
Space does funny things to a guy. For example, one might think its a good idea to strap on the yellow and green themed flightsuit above and call himself Blackstar when participating in futuristic military combat in space…
Aside from the fact that his name sounds like an early 90’s rap group, Blackstar is more than just a crazy outfit. You see GI Joe crossed a line sometime in the 90’s that they could never come back from. A line where they stopped being about pretend military combat and started being about something…less believable? Blackstar has crossed that line. His story is downright insane and I can only do justice by quoting the whole thing here:
“Cobra Commander has formed an alliance with the Blackstar forces, a secretive legion of space pilots whose origins remain unkown. This particular COBRA BLACKSTAR is the best pilot out of all the Blackstar ranks. He, like all Blackstars, behaves as if space was his natural habitiat. They have incredible agility in zero gravity zones, climb planetary craters with ease (anyone want to fill me in on what a planetary crater is? Is that the whole left behind after the death star blows up Alderan?) and instinctively avoid asteroid belts while engaged in stellar dogfights. No one has ever seen a Blackstar up close, and rumors have spread throughout the galaxy that they might not even be human!”
Might not be human? KATIE BAR THE DOOR THE ALIENS ARE A COMMIN!!!!!
What is really crazy about the Blackstar? Somehow they resisted the overpowering urge to create a whole team of Blackstars, you know like the Blackstar leader, the Blackstar mercenary, etc…
Okay I got to be honest, the first reason I decided to add Effects to the 94 crazy list has nothing to do with being crazy. It has everything to do with what an awful figure he is. Look at him. His bland design, color scheme, and constipated expression looks like something out of the CORPS, not GI Joe.
So he is awful sure but does he belong on the crazy list? Well thankfully, in 1994 one doesn’t have to look far to find a dose of crazy in their Joes. As you can probably tell from his code name, his secondary military specialty was “Special Effects Coordinator” I kid you not. GI Joe had a special effects coordinator on their payroll, presumably to design all the battles you saw in the cartoons and comic books. The worst thing about Effects is that the special effects that came with his figure were two awful plastic flame orbs that he would fling from a rubber band catapult. Who was he supposed to be fooling with that? Think he had a previous career as the Special Effects Coordinator for the SyFy channel?
I know what you are thinking at this point. 1994 was pretty crazy but at least the Ninja Force wasn’t stinking up the joint with their crazy antics. Oh ho ho but they were my friend, they were. You see the ninja force alone could no longer cut the crazy quotient in 1994, they needed something more and something more was what they gave us with SHADOW NINJA FORCE! For those of you not familiar with Shadow Ninjas let me explain. You see each Shadow Ninja figure had “INVISO POWER” which meant they turned INVISIBLE!!!! Oh actually I mean they just changed color when exposed to water and light…
Sure it sounded cool but…well it wasn’t so cool. At least not for some of our Ninja friends like Bushido here. Bushido, according to his file card, trained in the shadow inviso powers under Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes and then…well apparently they shipped him off to Iceland to become the SNOW NINJA!!! They were all like, “hey Bushido, you know where we could really use some Ninja Force Shadow Inviso powers to combat Cobra? ICELAND BUDDY! Here is your plane ticket. Oh what its one way? Oh sorry about that our mistake don’t worry man we’ll get you a return ticket when you get there…”
I wish I was making this crap up I really do…
So with that we have said goodbye to the craziness of the early 90’s GI Joes in style with 9 of the craziest examples I could come up with. I’m sure you have had all you can take of my…wait what? I said 10. You think you want more crazy? Okay you forced my hand. I didn’t want to come to this but I have one more entry to add…
Just remembered you asked for it.
I give you the craziest trio of characters to ever grace the GI Joe line and a resounding splat to the ending of GI Joe.
Straight from the Lunartix Emprie…no seriously…
(* not to be confused with the Transformers of the same name)
Told you it could get worse…
The sad part is the line was scheduled to get really crazy in 1995 before it was canceled, like Flint and Road Pig joining the Ninja Force, a new Dr Mindbender redesign, the replicators; a batch of Joe and Cobra characters who were replaced by aliens and had switchable heads and the infamous Manimals. But sadly the world would never know this craziness and so we must end…
Next up? Well I think we need to do some kind of list with the vehicles don’t you?
January, for some it means making resolutions of how to change our lives for the better. For others, January signals something of more significance, what wrestling fans refer to as “The road to WrestleMania”. In recent years the WWE Hall of Fame inductees is as big a deal as the WrestleMania event itself and the January-March time frame consists of a slow burn of unveiling of each years candidates.
As a big wrestling fan in the 80’s and someone who still keeps tab on the product thanks to the beauty of internet recaps, its always fun to scour the memory banks and try to predict who should get into the Hall of Fame each year. The WWE Hall of Fame is a veritable who’s who of the wrestling industry, or at least a who’s who of past performers that got in the good graces of Vince McMahon just long enough to get inducted. Looking at the list you see the legends;Andre The Giant, Billy Graham, Bret Hart, Curt Henning, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund, Hulk Hogan, Harly Race, the Briscos, Jesse Ventura, Jim Ross, Pat Patterson, Nick Bockwinkel, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Terry Funk, The Von Erichs, The Road Warriors, Verne Gagne the list goes on and on.
For the most part, every inductee is memorable, their mark on the sport undeniable, their resume for induction undeniable. But for others…well how can I say this…well Koko B Ware is in the freaking hall of fame…the guy whose only claims to fame are Frankie the Parrot and his singing performance in Piledriver is in the hall of fame.
So with that in mind I’ve come up with my “Top 15 wrestlers that should be inducted into the Hall of Fame long before Koko B Ware” or TFWTSBIITHOFLBKBW for short…
As with any list, I have some self imposed criteria for my list that I may or may not follow depending on what I feel like. Hey its my list I can do what I want but here are few points I want to make clear on the selection criteria I tried to follow:
Most pro sports claim a grace period between when an athlete “retires” and when they are eligible for the Hall of Fame. Pro Wrestling however has more comebacks and re-retires than you can shake a stick at so this becomes a little more difficult. So I’m attempting to apply a 5 year retirement rule to my nominees and wrestling in your 60’s at an indy show doesn’t count. That’s 5 years since they last had main stream exposure.
While I know the WWE HOF houses many wrestlers who never graced the WWF/E my fandom in the 80’s was purely WWF based so my list likely will be a bit 80’s WWF focused. Many wrestlers from pre-1980’s probably deserve to be in but I just don’t know enough about them to put them on the list. Again its my list.
This year the nominees so far are Edge (who the WWE must be really confident is never coming back since he hasn’t even been retired for a year) and the 4 Horseman. This is notable because it marks the second time Ric Flair will be inducted. For that reason I am making eligible tag teams that may may already be in as singles.
We all know Bruno Samartino isn’t in the HOF and we all know why. So I’m not counting him as one of my 15 but he and Bob Backlund should definitely be in. The Hall of Fame should be named after Bruno. He held the World Heavyweight title for a combined 4040 days. That’s 11 years people, longer than most careers.
No celebs or non wrestler athletes on my list. So no David Arquettes or Bob Barkers here.
Last but not least, there are way more than 15 wrestlers who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame before Koko but there just isn’t enough time to list them all.
15. Brutus Beefcake
Claim To Fame: Cut peoples hair with gardening shears
Finishing Hold: The sleeper hold.
Titles Held: 1 – Tag Team Championship with Greg Valentine
Peak: 88-90: Fued with Honky Tonk Man for IC title. Main eventing SummerSlam 89 with Hogan vs Savage and Zeus. Becoming the first person to pin Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania VI
Memorable Because: Turned on the Dream Team at WrestleMania III to become the barber and turn face. After being attached by Outlaw Ron Bass and his spurs (including some of the first blood shown on WWF TV in the 80’s) missed his IC title match at SummerSlam vs Honky Tonk Man and launched the carreer of the Ultimate Warrior. Missed a year due to a serious parasailing accident and returned briefly with a furry mask. Hosted the Barber Shop talk segment in 91-92, known for moments like Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through the plate glass window. Being best buds with Hogan and following him wherever he went.
Why isn’t he in? Impact on the sport has been minimized over the years. Probably won’t get in unless Hogan gets back in Vince’s good graces and pushes for his friends to get in.
14. King Kong Bundy
Claim To Fame: He was really fat
Finishing Move: The Avalanche
Titles Held: None
Peak: 85-87: Shortest match in WrestleMania history beating SD Jones in 9 seconds at WresteMania. Main evented WrestleMania 2 in a steel cage with Hogan. Squashed Little Beaver at WrestleMania III
Memorable because: Key member of the Heenan family. Would tag with Big John Studd in matched vs Andre The Giant. Broke Andre’s sternum and Hogan’s ribs with his splashes and Avalanches.
Why isn’t he in? His body of work is too short but he was a monster.
13. Rick Rude
Claim To Fame: His abs
Finishing Move: The Rude Awakening
Titles Held: 1- WWF IC Championship, 1 WCW US Championship, 3 WCW International World Championships, 1 NWA Tag Team Championship.
Peak: 87-93: Feud with Jake Roberts over his wife, Feud with Ultimate Warrior in 1989-90 over IC and World titles. Holding the WCW US Championship for 14 months, Defeating Ric Flair and Sting for the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship
Memorable Because: His airbrushed tights, winning the Jessie the Body award slammy. Participating in a “Super Posedown” with the Ultimate Warrior at the 89 Royal Rumble.
Why isn’t he in? I’m guessing his little jump to WCW during the Monday night wars rubbed Vince the wrong way but you would think his death would have eventually smoothed that over. He’ll get in eventually.
12. Rick Martel
Claim To Fame: The Model
Finishing Move: The Boston Crab…or Quebec Crab as I think he called it in WCW
Titles Held: 1 AWA World Heavyweight Championship, 1 WCW TV Championship, 3 WWF Tag Team Championship (2 times with Tony Garea and once with Tito Santana
Peak: 85-89: Winning the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. The Can-Am Connection. Beating the Hart Foundation for the WWF Tag Team Championship with Strike Force. Heel turn to The Model.
Memorable Because: Tag Team specialist with the Can Am Connection and Strike Force. Had his own brand of cologne as The Model called Arrogance which he would spray in opponents faces. This led to the infamous blindfold match with Jake Roberts at WrestleMania VII. Fought in a “No punching in the face” match with Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam 92.
Why isn’t he in? No idea actually, seems like a perfect fit for one of the filler bids.
Claim To Fame: Sadly the squeegee incident and his softball career which I realize doesn’t make him sound like a great candidate for the HOF.
Finishing Move: Powerbomb
Titles Held: 1 WCW US Championship, 2 WCW World Heavyweight Championship, 2 WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
Peak: Hard to say in a carreer full of ups and downs but 96-98 featured his two WWF Championship runs and main eventing WrestleMania 13
Memorable Because: had a run in WCW as one of the four horseman. Main evented WrestleMania VIII vs Hogan in what was billed as Hogan’s last match in the WWF. Got into a real life fight with Arn Anderson in 1993 where both men supposedly stabbed each other with scissors. Had a sad near career ending leg injury with WCW in 2001 in what was seemingly one of the final nails in the coffin for the failing promotion.
Why isn’t he in? I doubt he cares enough to suck up to Vince for the invite.
10. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Claim To Fame: The snakes
Finishing Move: DDT
Titles Held: None
Peak: 88-92: Fueds with Honky Tonk Man, Ravishing Rick Rude over his wife, Andre the Giant, Ted Dibiase, The Model, and attacking Randy Savage with a Cobra.
Memorable Because: Well his snakes first and foremost. Having the best short arm clothesline and knee lifts in the biz. Master of mind games. Always found himself in memorable feuds although rarely challenging for a title, a feat that would be near impossible today.
Why isn’t he in? His life has been in shambles in recent years. Vince probably wants to avoid any potential bad press.
9. The Honky Tonk Man
Claim To Fame: The greatest Intercontinental champion of all time
Finishing Move: Shake, Rattle and Roll
Titles Held: 1 WWF IC Championship
Peak: 87-88: Wins a fluke victory over Ricky Steamboat to capture the IC title and held it through DQ’s and count outs for 1 year and 3 months.
Memorable Because: Elvis impersonator gimmick that was surprisingly successful. Had a memorable fued with Jake Roberts where Roberts became victim to one of the first guitar shots in the WWF. Memorable fued with Macho Man over the IC title led to the formation of the Mega Powers. Honky indirectly caused Macho’s first WWF World Title reign when he famously refused to drop the IC title to Savage causing a reshuffling of plans that led to Savage getting the World Title at WrestleMania IV. Great theme songs.
Why isn’t he in? I heard a few years back that he was a lock for the HOF but Honky always speaks his mind and drives a hard bargain, two things Vince isn’t fond of.
8. Demolition (Ax and Smash)
Claim To Fame: Being WWF’s answer to the Road Warriors
Finishing Move: Demolition Decapitation
Titles Held: 3 time WWF Tag Team Champions
Peak: 88-90: Ended the reign of Strike Force for their first WWF Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania IV. Memorable fueds with Powers of Pain and the Brain Busters. Feud with Powers of Pain and Brain Busters. 3 WWF Tag Team Championship reigns.
Memorable Because: While nobody will ever admit it, they started as WWF’s version of the Road Warriors before becoming very successful in their own right. Have the record for longest Tag Team Championship reign in WWF/E history at 478 days before losing to the Brain Busters in a shady 2/3 falls match where one fall ended in a DQ. Also held the titles for a record number of 698 days. Added Crush as a third member in the later years where they defended the titles under “Freebird” rules. Had an awesome theme song which declared, “Here comes the Ax, Here comes the Smasher, Demolition is a walking disaster, pain and destruction are their middle names!
Why aren’t they in? It seems like Vince wants us all to pretend Demolition never happened and he’s content to have the Warriors in.
7. Lex Luger
Claims To Fame: Horsemen, Being the heir apparent to Hogan and the first big surprise of the Monday night wars.
Finishing Move: Torture Rack and Running forearm Smash
Titles Held: 5 NWA/WCW United States Championships, 2 WCW World Heavyweight Championship, 3 NWA/WCW World Tag Team Championship, 2 WCW TV Championships, winner of the 94 Royal Rumble.
Peak: 88-91: Run with the horseman, 1st World Championship & 95-97: Jump to WCW and feuding with NWO.
Memorable Because: Membership and fued with the Horseman when that meant something. Was the only person anyone remembers with ties to Vince’s WBF in 92. The Narcissist gimmick and his push as the mega face to replace hogan. The Lex Express. The famous urban legend that he was booked to win the title at WrestleMania X before he blabbed and Vince changed his plan altering his path to become the next Hogan. The Allied Powers. Becoming the first bombshell of the Monday night wars that signified that Nitro was must see TV.
Why isn’t he in? Had some legal issues throughout the late 2000’s but that seems to be cleared up and hes in good graces with the WWE so I would imagine sooner than later he’ll be in.
6. Owen Hart
Claim To Fame: Being a member of the Hart family.
Finishing Move: Sharpshooter
Titles Held: 1 WWF Euro Championship, 2 WWF IC Championship, 4 WWF World Tag Team Championship ( 2 with Yokozuna, 1 with The British Bulldog and 1 with Jeff Jarrett.
Peak: 93-97: Feud with Bret, winning the tag titles with Yokozuna and Bulldog. The Hart Foundation stable.
Memorable Because: Tragically because of his death. Being Bret’s little brother and being one time where the matches in a feud delivered everything they should have with Bret. Won the USWA World Heavyweight championship during an invasion from the WWF. Being the King of Harts winning the King of the Ring. Of course being the Slammy Award winning Owen Hart. Not being a nugget and breaking Steve Austins neck and very nearly altering the course of all Pro Wrestling in the process.
Why isn’t he in? With Bret back in the WWE fold you would think it would be a surefire bet to put Owen in but rumors suggest his wife won’t allow it and hates Vince McMahon.
5. The Hart Foundation
Claim To Fame: Feud with the British Bulldogs and launching the career of Bret Hart.
Finishing Move: Hart Attack
Titles Held: 2 WWF Tag Team Championships
Memorable Because: Being my most hated team when they robbed the Bulldogs of the title. Led to some of the greatest tag team matches ever. Brutalized the Bulldogs in a steel cage at a house show I attended in 87 where I legitimately thought they killed Davey Boy by slamming his head in the cage door. Their two reigns put them on third of the longest period of time as Tag Team champions in WWF history at 483 days. And come on, they were the Hart Foundation, they had great matches with everyone.
Why aren’t they in? Well Bret already is and chances are everyone just forgot about the Anvil.
*He’s rumored to be getting into the HOF this year so he may need to be removed from this list soon.
Claim to fame: sitting on people and “ending” Hulkamania
Finishing move: The Banzai Drop
Titles Held: 2 WWF World Heavyweight Championship, 2 WWF World Tag Team Championship
Peak: 93-94, Main eventing WrestleMania IX & X. Ending Hulkamania in the WWF for 9 years.
Memorable Because: He was perhaps the heaviest wrestler ever topping out around 700lbs during his WWF run. Involved in one of the shortest reigns ever at WrestleMania IX. Took out Hogan at King of the Ring after Hogan “supposedly” vetoed dropping the belt to Bret Hart. Also took out the Undertaker in a casket match where the Undertaker made a double wide casket for Yokozuna. Also had memorable tag title reigns with Owen Hart. Was the first long term heel champion in the WWF since the 70’s signaling a shift in booking style from the Hogan dominated 80’s.
Why isn’t he in? Guessing its just timing, he’s rumored to be part of the upcoming 2012 class.
3. The Ultimate Warrior
Claim to fame: being absolutely insane…that or WrestleMania VI
Finishing Move: Big Splash
Titles Held: 2 WWF IC Championship, 1 WWF World Heavyweight Championship
Peak: 90-91: Winning the title from Hogan at WrestleMania VI, feud with Randy Savage and winning a career ending match at WrestleMania VII
Memorable Because: Was completely roided out beyond belief at all times. Beat the Honky Tonk Man in 13 seconds at SummerSlam for his first IC title. Was pushed as Hogan’s replacement and faced him at the Ultimate Challenge at WrestleMania VI in what may have been both men’s best match ever. Pinned hogan to hold both the IC and World championships at the same time. Started the trend of color matching title belts. Also gave the most insane interviews ever..no really check this out:
Why isn’t he in? Legal issues with the WWE and burned bridges galore make this unlikely but maybe someday.
2. The British Bulldogs
Claim To Fame: being the best tag team ever…
Finishing Moves: Combinations of slams and diving headbutts.
Titles Held: 1 WWF World Tag Team Championship
Peak: 85-87: Winning the Tag Team titles from the Dream Team at WrestleMania 2 and fueding with the Hart Foundation.
Memorable Because: The most underrated team ever. One of the most innovative teams of the 80’s they wrestled a style years ahead of its time. Title run was abruptly ended when Dynamite Kid severely injured his back. They then fought the Hart Foundation where Dynamite took a megaphone shot before the match started to hide his injury and get the titles off of the Bulldogs. Every match with the Hart Foundation was a gem. Had a mascot named Matilda who was then kidanapped in story by the Islanders. After they got her back the WWF launched the “Get Well Matilda” campaign where fans could send letters to Matilda wishing her well, in reality this was just a clever ploy by the WWF to fill out their mailing lists for the WWF catalog. Injuries and legitimate issues between Dynamite Kid and the Rougeau Brothers cut short a promising tag team.
Why aren’t they in? Dynamite has been critical of the WWE and pro wrestling in general for years and I doubt he wants anything to do with it. I’m guessing Davey Boy will get in someday as its hard to piss McMahon off when you aren’t alive but maybe there is something there I’m not aware of since it seems like he has the resume to already be in.
1. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (and Elizabeth while you are at it)
Claim To Fame: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH YEAH!!! DIG IT!
Finishing Move: Flying Elbow Drop
Titles Held: 1 WWF Intercontinental Championship, 2 WWF World Heavyweight Championship, 4 WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Peaks: 87-92: WrestleMania III with Steamboat, winning the World title tourney at WrestleMania IV, explosions of the Mega Powers at WrestleMania V, Macho King and fueds with Warrior, Jake Roberts, and Ric Flair.
Memorable Because: He was the greatest wrestler of all time. Nearly every fued he was in was memorable. Perhaps the greatest combination of in ring ability, mic skills and charisma ever. Too many memorable moments to name.
Why isn’t he in? Depends on who you believe. Whether its just some long seeded anger regarding money and McMahon or a more dubious wrestling urban legend many thought with Macho’s untimely passing last year and the WWE’s willingness to get back in the Macho fold that this might be his year. Who knows.
Nike seems to be in the habit these days of putting together horrible colorways of their signature b-ball shoes and putting them out in extremely limited releases to drive demand for these awkward colorway that if put out as general release would probably be ignored by the world at large…
Well you certainly can’t say that with this next Kobe VII release…behold the BIG BANG:
Credit, in case you can’t tell, goes out to the always first, always awesome marqueesole.com. I for one am really digging this space themed colorway. I’m hoping that translucent sole on the bottom is glow in the dark. That would really set it off.