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Bring it Back!: Animal mascots

WWE Superstars have always had animalistic tendencies, a notion backed up by monikers like “The Texas Rattlesnake,” George “The Animal” Steele and, more recently, “The Funkasaurus.” But if you watched WWE in the 1980s and 1990s, you’ll remember that grapplers like Jake “The Snake” Roberts, The British Bulldogs and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat lived up to their monikers … literally.

The '80s and '90s were truly a golden age for WWE animal mascots, as they were about as prevalent in those days as long hair and brightly colored tights. Since then, however, it seems that mascots have all but disappeared from the ring, and WWE.com demands that they be brought back!

WWE Superstars have always had animalistic tendencies, a notion backed up by monikers like “The Texas Rattlesnake,” George “The Animal” Steele and, more recently, “The Funkasaurus.” But if you watched WWE in the 1980s and 1990s, you’ll remember that grapplers like Jake “The Snake” Roberts, The British Bulldogs and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat lived up to their monikers … literally.

The '80s and '90s were truly a golden age for WWE animal mascots, as they were about as prevalent in those days as long hair and brightly colored tights. Since then, however, it seems that mascots have all but disappeared from the ring, and WWE.com demands that they be brought back! ( PHOTOS)

For longtime WWE Universe members, names like Frankie, Damien and Matilda immediately conjure fond memories. OK, maybe not so much “fond” with Damien, but still. The WWE Universe shivered just thinking about Damien, the prized python utilized by Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Later on, Damien’s successors, Lucifer and Revelations, were also used to gain the upper hand against opponents by instilling in them a crippling – and completely justified – fear.

But, hey, if Andre the Giant was afraid of snakes, anyone could be.

While Damien could strike fear in the heart of any adversary, there were certainly other scary animal sidekicks. Take the 200 pounds worth of Harlem Sewer Rats, kept at ringside by Bad News Brown in an effort to thwart Roberts during their match at SummerSlam 1990.

However, not every animal sidekick was terrifying. There were happier mascots, as well. Like Matilda, The British Bulldogs’ mascot, who would accompany the legendary tag team to the ring. And who didn’t love Frankie, WWE Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware’s beloved pet parrot? Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, another WWE Hall of Fame member, got into the mascot mania, too, occasionally entering the ring with an actual Komodo Dragon who was, unfortunately, unnamed.

Even The Deadman himself, the Undertaker, was not opposed to bringing a mascot to ringside. At WrestleMania IX, The Phenom entered to his familiar funeral dirge. But, in addition to Paul Bearer, there was another creepy cohort at his side – a giant-winged Black Vulture. Perhaps the enormous bird of prey was a symbol of things to come, as the legendary Superstar went on to defeat Giant Gonzales that day, improving his record to 3-0 on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

Finally, who could forget Torrie Wilson’s puppy, Chloe, and her signature move, the Chloe Tush Push? Chloe was such a popular presence, in fact, that she became the first animal to ever have a Superstar profile on WWE.com. And, really, who doesn’t love puppies?

So, WWE, we implore you – bring back animal mascots right now! Maybe an actual eagle for Jack Swagger, or a hell hound for Kane, or a real cobra for Santino. On second thought, that last one sounds like it might be a bad idea.

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