Bring it Back!: Wrestling cruises

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June 12, 2012

WWE Classics hits the high seas with the WCW Bruise Cruise and the WWE Wrestle Vessel.

There once was a time when sports-entertainment fans had the opportunity to play a game of shuffleboard with Scott Steiner, enjoy a midnight buffet with Johnny B. Badd and battle “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk in a limbo contest. It was the early ’90s — a glorious age when a wrestler could wear a neon fanny pack without fear of ridicule — and not one, but two wrestling-themed cruises were troubling the waters. (PHOTOS)

It began in 1991 when a group of WCW competitors embarked on the wonderfully named Bruise Cruise. In retrospect, it should have been a disaster. The Atlanta-based company mixed infamous troublemakers like big Scott Hall and The Fabulous Freebirds with hundreds of WCW fans, added water and waited for the reaction. But, to everyone’s surprise, it turned out pretty well. So well, in fact, that the Bruise Cruise sailed off and on for the next eight years with the likes of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Nitro Girls on board. Not only that, but WWE decided to launch an ocean liner of their own in 1996 with the debut of the Wrestle Vessel.

“I was always jealous of those fans, because I never got to do it,” Zack Ryder told WWE.com when asked about WWE’s foray into ocean travel. “You got to tan. You got to meet your favorite Superstars. It seemed like a dream come true.”

As far as WWE Classics can tell, it kind of was. While some celebrity conventions skimp on the big names, WWE went all out with the two Wrestle Vessels, sending future WWE Hall of Famers like Shawn Michaels, Bret “Hit Man” Hart and Sunny to sea on the ship’s voyages. Even Good Ol’ J.R. made the trip. By all accounts, those excursions followed WWE’s family friendly standards (well, except for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin who wore a shirt that said “Take Me Drunk I’m Home”) with Superstars participating in autograph sessions, volleyball tournaments and a communal viewing of Monday Night Raw. (WATCH) The inaugural WCW Bruise Cruise, on the other hand, sounded more like a floating frat house than a vacation for the kids.

“It was a good time,” said Michael “P.S.” Hayes — a guest on WCW’s first expedition and a man who appreciates the freedoms of international waters. “Me and Jimmy 'Jam' [Garvin] started a food fight one night. A couple of tops came off in the pool. We drank and played cards. It wasn’t PG at all, but it was pretty cool.”

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Zack Ryder Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Scott Steiner Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles The Fabulous Freebirds Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles

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