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10 Not-so-scary Superstars
Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon once threatened to chop up the body parts of AWA competitors. Abdullah the Butcher attacked his opponents with a rusty fork. Vader bit off a piece of Mick Foley’s face. For all the truly terrifying Superstars that have terrorized the ring, there have also been a number of competitors who weren’t quite as frightening.
An 8-foot man in a furry bodysuit, a bleached-hair religious zealot, a mummy named after a snow monster who turned into a ninja. These are just some of the performers who failed marvelously at horrifying sports-entertainment fans. In tribute to these Superstars who were about as terrifying as wearing your winter coat over your Halloween costume, WWE Classics scared up this list of the 10 least frightening competitors to ever go bump in the ring.
Which Superstar frightened you the least? Vote now!
For several years in the mid-1990s, WCW's most villainous force was the demonic Dungeon of Doom. Led by “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan and his father, The Wizard, their roster of baddies included champions like Big Van Vader and bizarre personas like Loch Ness. The one component this motley crew had in common was that they were committed to ridding WCW of Hulkamania once and for all.
Leading to Halloween Havoc 1995, Sullivan had alluded to The Dungeon’s “insurance policy” to guarantee The Giant would defeat Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. On the edition of Nitro before the event, an enormous figure burst out of a block of ice as the program went off the air. The identity of this monster was revealed at the conclusion of the pay-per-view’s main event. With utter carnage strewn about the ring, WCW fans got their first glimpse of the “man” called The Yeti as he made his way down the aisle.
Referring to this beast as “The Yet-ay,” WCW broadcaster Tony Schiavone surveyed the scene in shock as the towering monster climbed over the top rope and into the ring with ease. One might assume that a massive man called The Yeti recently thawed from a block of ice would resemble some sort of abominable snowman, but he was inexplicably dressed as some sort of Egyptian mummy.
Things went from bad to worse as the intended crowned jewel of The Dungeon of Doom quickly became a laughingstock. With Hogan locked in a bear hug by The Giant, The Yeti decided to join in the fun by grabbing The Hulkster from behind and convulsing his entire body. “Look at the size of The Yet-ay!” Schiavone instructed. Bobby Heenan responded by proclaiming that we were witnessing “the end of Hulk Hogan.” In fact, we were witnessing the end of The Yeti. He made only one more pay-per-view appearance, this time dressed as a ninja and he was later appropriately renamed The Giant Super Ninja. Not so scary.
The ECW Zombie
In 2006, longtime ECW fans were clamoring with anticipation for the famed organization's re-launch. The hardcore faithful were thrilled that cult favorites like Sabu and Balls Mahoney would once again be raising hell on their television screens. On ECW’s world premiere on Syfy, the Extreme brand attempted to appeal to their new science fiction–based home by unveiling a grappler known only as “The Zombie.”
Looking like a cross between something out of “The Walking Dead” and a wandering hobo, The Zombie lurched to the ring while ECW broadcaster Tazz wondered, “Is this a rib?”
The Zombie took the microphone from Justin Roberts and performed one of sports-entertainment’s most riveting interviews by proclaiming, “Auuuuuugggghhh.” He followed that up with, “Oooaahhhgggh.”
“What the hell is that?” Joey Styles asked.
And Tazz said what was on the minds of each and every fan, “This is ridiculous.”
Thankfully, fans were soon put out of their misery as the only and only Hardcore Icon, The Sandman, made his way to the ring through the crowd. The beer-swilling brawler had seen enough. He clocked The Zombie across the skull with a Kendo stick and proceeded to deliver one of the most vicious beatdowns in ECW history. And it was effective. The Zombie was never seen again. Not so scary.
For several weeks in spring 2004, brief videos on SmackDown built anticipation for a bleached-haired fiend called Mordecai. Dressed in a long white robe and standing at an altar surrounded by candles, Mordecai declared, “You can’t hide your darkest thoughts from me.” The enigmatic brute added, “Your thoughts of blasphemous harlots will cast you into a lake of fire or will drown you under the flaming waves of hell.” Uh, say what now?
Finally, Mordecai made his debut at Judgment Day. Approaching the ring with a large staff adorned with some sort of demonic symbol, Mordecai removed his robe as Michael Cole told us everything we needed to learn about this unique new competitor. “Normally we do our job as announcers and seem to know everything about these Superstars,” Cole said. “We know very little, if anything at all, about Mordecai.”
Mordecai made quick work of Scotty 2 Hotty in an impressive victory, and continued to demand, “Hear me! Fear me!” from the SmackDown locker room over the following months. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), the zealot had only two more televised matches in WWE. He defeated Bob Holly at The Great American Bash before Mordecai fell to Rey Mysterio on an edition of SmackDown. WWE fans never saw Mordecai again, but he somehow remained a thorn in their side. Not so scary.
In summer 1995, The Master introduced Zodiac into The Dungeon of Doom as “a warrior who knows neither pain or pleasure” and “the brother of lightness himself.” We’re not entirely sure what that means, but Zodiac arose wearing zebra-like black-and-white tights with similarly designed face paint. Having joined The Dungeon's cadre of spooksters including Kevin Sullivan, The Shark and Kamala, Zodiac shouted “Yes! No! Yes! No!” out of his big painted black lips and held up his arms to form a right angle, but the gesture’s meaning was never revealed.
Hailing from The Land of Yin and Yang, Zodiac took on Randy Savage at Halloween Havoc and also battled Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger in The Dungeon of Doom’s quest to put an end to Hulkamania. We’ve never met another competitor from The Land of Yin and Yang, but we hear that’s where The Hulkster’s barber lives. Not so scary.
“What is this?” then-broadcast Mr. McMahon exclaimed when Mantaur made his debut on “WWE Superstars” in early 1995. Accurately described as a “half-man, half-beast,” Mantaur approached the ring wearing a ridiculous stuffed animal head with large horns that resembled some kind of mythic beast. His entrance music sounded like an avant-garde recording of rumbling ambiguity and loud animal noises.
After removing the absurd accessory, Mantaur was revealed to be nothing more than a bearded, doughy man who barely had any animalistic tendencies at all. Mantaur’s opponent for his debut was Walter Slow, who ironically might have been the fastest competitor in the ring.
Mantaur battled Razor Ramon, Bob Holly and Bam Bam Bigelow before leaving WWE later that year, but WWE Classics is still searching for that animal head.
“Don't be afraid,” Jerry Lawler assured during Mantaur’s debut. Don’t worry King, we weren’t. Not so scary.
A key player during WWE’s Attitude Era, Goldust was one of most bizarre competitors to ever step foot in the ring. But the Shattered Dreams of Goldust hardly compared to what Dustin Rhodes followed up with when he ventured to WCW in 1999.
Appearing in several videos on WCW programming in full white makeup and dark contact lenses, the ominous persona that would come to be known as Seven promised to haunt the dreams of WCW fans when he finally debuted. On a November edition of Nitro, Seven floated through the air to the ring in a long black trenchcoat and black hat while smoke and fire filled the entranceway. With his face completely stark white, Seven looked like some kind of absurd cross between The Undertaker and a character from the 1995 hit movie “Powder.”
WCW broadcaster Tony Schiavone, always a wordsmith, reminded us that Seven had been “talking about darkness falling over WCW.” He concluded, “Literally, here it has.”
After landing in the ring, Seven’s words were so controversial that Turner Broadcasting’s standards and practices department insisted that he never make another appearance. Not so scary.
The Executioner (1996)
During the 1970s, The Executioners were legendary former World Tag Team Champions Killer Kowalski and Big John Studd. In 1985, The Executioner was “Playboy” Buddy Rose who competed in the first-ever match at WrestleMania. In 1996, The Executioner was The Fabulous Freebirds’ Terry Gordy under a hood.
After Paul Bearer turned on longtime ally The Undertaker, the ghostly manager recruited The Executioner to assist his new client Mankind in their rivalry with The Deadman. Approaching the ring carrying a plastic ax, The Executioner convinced few fans that he would be cutting his way through opponents. At In Your House: It’s Time, The Executioner faced off with The Undertaker in an “Armageddon Rules Match,” a precursor to WWE’s Last Man Standing Matches.
Dressed in garb that made him look like a luchador from medieval times, The Executioner didn’t do much executing in WWE, and Gordy left WWE later that year. Not so scary.
Braun the Leprechaun
Sergeant Buddy Lee Parker was well-known by wrestling fans as the head trainer at WCW’s Power Plant training school. But years earlier, Parker was just one bizarre member of Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom as Braun the Leprechaun.
A far cry from Hornswoggle, Braun dashed around ringside with the speed of a gazelle and the demeanor of a rodent. Clad in knickers, high socks, a vest, a green tailcoat and something resembling the “puffy shirt” from “Seinfeld,” the diminutive grappler was meant to strike fear in the hearts of opponents, but mostly struck laughter among WCW fans. For such a little guy, the self-proclaimed “leprechaun” sure was intense and physical, and once even bit Todd Morton in the armpit after a victory.
But Braun barely lasted a few months in WCW, and Parker soon adopted the more well-known Sarge persona. Not so scary.
A draftee of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the 8-foot Jorge Gonzalez debuted for WCW as El Gigante in 1990 and battled the likes of Sid, One Man Gang, Cactus Jack and Ric Flair. Originally thought to be the second coming of Andre the Giant, Gonzales proved to be far from “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”
In 1993, the enormous Argentinian arrived in WWE as Giant Gonzales and quickly targeted the legendary Phenom, The Undertaker, during that year’s Royal Rumble Match. But it wasn’t the former baller’s assault of The Deadman that WWE fans remembered, it was his bizarre outfit. For some strange reason, the giant wore a full jumpsuit adorned with faux fur and airbrushed muscles.
Looking like a rejected character from “Harry and the Hendersons,” Gonzales didn’t need John Lithgow to provide his comic relief. In fact, the beast could barely move. He lurched from side to side during his few matches on television, and barely ever left his feet.
Stunningly, it was Gonzales who nearly ended The Undertaker’s legendary WrestleMania Streak. With the irritating Harvey Wippleman by his side as manager, The Deadman barely got by Gonzales at WrestleMania IX.
The ape-like monstrosity departed WWE later that year and took his absurd wardrobe with him. Not so scary.
Declaring himself to be the true star of WWE’s film “No Holds Barred,” Zeus entered WWE to confront Hulk Hogan in 1989. In his WWE debut, Zeus appeared on “The Brother Love Show.” We’re not sure if the “No Holds Barred” star had some sort of glandular issue or severe asthma, but he was gasping for air, unintelligible and sweating up a storm. This was typical for Zeus.
At SummerSlam, Hogan united with close friend Brutus Beefcake to dispatch Zeus and his new ally “Macho King” Randy Savage. Later that year, Zeus & Savage were again defeated by Beefcake & The Hulkster in a Steel Cage Match during a special pay-per-view broadcast.
For some reason, Zeus wasn’t through with sports-entertainment. He entered WCW in 1996 as The Dungeon of Doom’s Z-Gangsta and competed in only one pay-per-view match, but it was a doozy. In the infamous “Tower of Doom” steel cage bout at Uncensored 1996, Z-Gangsta teamed with seven other competitors including Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Meng in a massive team called The Alliance to End Hulkamania. Despite outnumbering their opponents more than three times over, the crew was defeated by Hogan & Savage. Zeus was thankfully never seen in a WWE or WCW ring again. Not so scary.