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WBF's wildest Bodystars!
In 1991, the World Bodybuilding Federation was formed to create a greater awareness for competitive bodybuilding. The concept was simple — mix traditional competitions with the spectacle that made WWE the greatest brand in sports-entertainment.
Although the organization lasted only two years, it featured many popular bodybuilders who let parts of their personality shine through in their posing routines. From “The Giant Killer” Danny Padilla to “The Flexing Dutchman” Berry De Mey, these one-of-a-kind athletes took the body game to another level. Two decades since these men took professional bodybuilding by storm, WWEClassics.com hit the weight room to judge the most outlandish WBF Bodystars!
Berry De Mey
Today, Berry De Mey is a renowned weightlifter and fitness specialist. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, the Dutch competitive bodybuilder impressed fans and judges with his impressive physique and Hollywood good looks. Known in bodybuilding circles as “The Flexing Dutchman,” De Mey let some of the more eccentric sides of his personality shine when he joined WBF in 1991.
One of his introductory videos on an episode of WBF Bodystars featured De Mey as a James Bond knock-off. However, when he competed at the WBF Championship, he and his entourage of lovely ladies chose towels for their wardrobe. Somewhere along the line De Mey transformed from international super-spy into Val Venis.
Nevertheless, De Mey placed third in the WBF Championship in 1991 and fifth in 1992, proving that a schizophrenic personality was second to a top-notch physique.
Coming into the WBF, Danny Padilla was already known as “The Giant Killer.” Padilla stood only 5-foot-2, but his outstanding physique often placed him ahead of much larger competitors.
His WBF routine took “The Giant Killer” moniker to new and silly heights. As Padilla came out to pose for the judges, there were giant mushrooms on stage to accentuate the bodybuilder’s size. Padilla performed his routine in an overly dramatic fashion, but it was when he was interviewed by “Mean” Gene Okerlund that things got silly.
As Padilla answered Okerlund’s question, a very large individual dressed up like a giant charged the bodybuilder. Avoiding the giant’s attack, Padilla took the big man down with a bizarre karate chop before his attacker ran off stage in fear.
The wackiest Bodystar in WBF was undoubtedly “Dark Angel” Aaron Baker. Sporting a mullet that makes an early-90s Billy Ray Cyrus look tame, Baker descended to the WBF stage from a lift, draped in sparkly red and black cape with a ludicrously high collar. He actually looked more like a vampire than an angel.
Most of the Bodystars ditched their accessories before posing, but Aaron Baker awesomely made the cape part of his routine. While it’s easy to applaud Baker for originality, part of competitive bodybuilding is showing off a perfected physique. For a good portion of his posing routine, “Dark Angel’s” back was hidden beneath the cape and his chest was covered by the large straps holding the costume in place.
Though Baker didn’t place in the top 5 at the 1991 WBF Championship, WWEClassics.com salutes this outrageous icon of the early’90s.
Johnnie Morant was a regular in bodybuilding competitions during the 1980s and ’90s. His hard work and dedication inside the weight room was clearly evident in his physique, but he was never crowned champion in international competition. Nevertheless, one look at Johnnie Morant and you’d run in the opposite direction. When he competed in WBF, he was dubbed “The Executioner” and posed near a guillotine while wearing a silly mask that made him look like a medieval cartoon character.
Morant’s Executioner persona was a bit outlandish, because he didn’t quite slay the competition. Perhaps he should have been dubbed “Superman” after an episode of “WBF Bodystars” caught him crushing the gym while wearing Clark Kent glasses. Busting out of a phone booth as part of his posing routine would have been much better than a guillotine and pointy mask.
Bodystar Vince Comerford wasn’t just in-tune with the physical and mental demands of competitive bodybuilding, he was also aware of the spiritual demands. Sporting one of the finest mullets in bodybuilding, Comerford stressed proper technique and form when lifting weights. He wasn’t wrong, but his philosophy makes his choice of nickname and wardrobe in WBF quite quizzical.
Rather than being an obnoxious gym teacher with a whistle, Comerford was dubbed “The Phoenix” and wore face paint and a waistcloth. Comerford was clearly trying to show the judges that he was one with nature, but posing while dressed up like Tatanka didn’t help his chances in the WBF Championships.
A championship bodybuilder in the 1980s, Troy Zuccolotto had the physique and the looks that made him a popular poser during the height of his career. Competing in the WBF Championship in 1991, Zuccolotto let his surfer personality shine through. As “California Personified,” the bodybuilding legend was everything that was awesome and bad about the 1990s.
He made his entrance to the WBF Championship with a bizarre answering machine message explaining he was at the beach with the ladies. Totally rad. He then appeared on stage flanked by beach babes while carrying a surfboard with “Wave Tools” emblazoned across the top. Though Zuccolotto was impressive in stature, he didn’t look like your average surfer — more like what would happen if Zach Morris had AC Slater’s penchant for fitness.
WBF’s biggest star was also its only champion — the one and only Gary Strydom. The South African bodybuilder was one of the most popular in the world in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Strydom’s stock was on the rise when he joined WBF in 1991. Although the organization was short-lived, it certainly exposed him to a broader audience.
While Strydom didn’t really have an outlandish personality on display during his posing routine, he entered the WBF Championship with a top hat and cane, signifying that he was the top of the crop when it came to competitive bodybuilding. Strydom’s mammoth size and incredible physique was truly representative of what WBF was all about — the peak of human perfection.