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Ring jackets from the WWE vault
There’s a lot more than just a few unsold copies of “Big Apple Takedown” in the WWE vault. From Ric Flair's signature golden robe to a WWE Championship designed specifically for The Rock, our rarely opened archives are filled with more bits of wrestling history than Matt Striker's cerebrum. Well, almost.
Now, WWE Classics is giving you access to the only room in WWE Headquarters that’s harder to get into than Mr. McMahon’s office. Once a month, WWE archivist Benjamin Brown is opening up the vault to show us priceless pieces of sports-entertainment's past and shout at us when we run with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake’s scissors.
This month, Brown lets us try on a unique assortment of ring jackets once worn by "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, Mr. McMahon and other ring icons. Let’s just hope no one notices the mustard stains we left behind. ( PHOTOS)
Chris Jericho has always looked the part. Taking fashion notes from David Lee Roth, Shawn Michaels and Hasbro’s Lite-Brite, the Fozzy frontman was rocking yellow fringe and faux leather as far back as his rookie days in the frozen armories of western Canada. During his two decades in the ring, his look has evolved to include three-piece suits and light up jackets that cost more than most compact cars.
The top seen here was slung over the shoulders of The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla when he faced one of his greatest influences in Michaels at WrestleMania XIX. The man Y2J modeled his look after when he was just starting out, HBK, in his leather and chainmail ensemble, out-dressed Jericho that night before outwrestling him. ( WATCH FULL MATCH) After that, Jericho saw to it that he was never shown up again. ( PHOTOS)
The jacket may appear wrinkled and limp on the mannequin we nicked from WWE Shop, but there’s no mistaking this iconic, red blazer. ( PHOTOS)
The coat worn by Mr. McMahon during his early days as a WWE announcer, the blinding blazer helped establish The Chairman’s penchant for business attire — the only time you’ll see Mr. McMahon go casual is when he’s showing off his upper body development on the cover of Muscle & Fitness.
Back when Mr. McMahon actually wore this monstrosity, WWE’s announce teams would coordinate with matching blazers. So, when The Chairman popped onscreen with his biceps bulging from this daiquiri-colored number, Bruno Sammartino would be standing right next to him looking equally as uncomfortable in a matching jacket. It was such a bizarre visual that WWE.com dedicated an entire article to reviving the concept. ( FULL STORY) After all, who wouldn’t want to see Michael Cole and Josh Mathews wearing these?
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
Few Superstars color coordinated like "Macho Man" Randy Savage. The only competitor in the locker room who ensured that the design on his sunglasses matched the one on his cowboy hat, the former WWE Champion may have been the most flamboyant Superstar in all of wrestling — and that’s saying something.
“Macho Man’s” wardrobe was ever-changing, but the frilled coat seen here is especially unique because it’s the one Savage wore in his final match on The Grandest Stage of Them All. ( PHOTOS) At WrestleMania X, he fought the imposing Crush in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, which Savage won after tying his opponent up somewhere in the bowels of New York City’s Madison Square Garden. ( WATCH)
It was a solid victory for Savage, but it’s the image of WWE's "Macho Man" standing on the turnbuckles in The World's Most Famous Arena draped from his cowboy hat to his wrestling boots in checkered black and white that's easier to recall.
Long before he lied, cheated and stole his way to the WWE Title, Eddie Guerrero was one-half of the most hated tag team in all of Mexico. Dubbed "Los Gringos Locos" (loosely translated: The Crazy Americans), Eddie and his partner, Art Barr, enraged the fans of Mexico City’s AAA promotion by bashing their idols while flaunting U.S. culture in ostentatious red, white and blue coats.
Donated to WWE archivist Benjamin Brown by Vickie Guerrero, the jackets were on the backs of Guerrero and Barr when they headed to the ring at AAA’s landmark When Worlds Collide event in 1994. Produced in conjunction with WCW, the pay-per-view special gave American audiences their first look at lucha libre stars like Rey Mysterio, Konnan and Psicosis. But the highlight of the show was a Two-out-of-Three Falls Hair vs. Mask Match, which saw Los Gringos Locos lose their locks to Mexican icons Octagon and El Hijo del Santo. ( WATCH)
Eddie would later wear the jacket in his early ECW matches against 2 Cold Scorpio ( WATCH FULL MATCH) and Dean Malenko.
WWE fans know him best as “The King,” but Harley Race went by the nickname “Handsome” long before he ever donned a crown. It may seem like the wrong nickname for a kid who was kicked out of high school for beating up the principal, but Race’s curly blond hair and easy smile may have belied the street tough underneath.
Acquired from the WWE Hall of Famer himself by archivist Ben Brown during a recent visit to the Harley Race Wrestling Academy in St. Louis, the jacket was worn by Race in the AWA where he formed a hard-hitting tag team with “Pretty Boy” Larry Hennig — father to WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect and grandfather to current WWE Superstar, Michael McGillicutty.
While in town, Ben also got his hands on the former world champion’s iconic red, white and blue robe, but that’s another story for another time.
Much like The Sisters of Mercy and the World Martial Arts Heavyweight Title, The Federettes seem to be one of those odd bits of sports-entertainment trivia that has been lost to time. Hell, they’re not even in the WWE Encyclopedia! But pop in an old VHS tape of WWE’s “Wrestling Challenge” from 1986 and you’ll see them.
Basically WWE’s answer to the ring girls of boxing, The Federettes could be seen grabbing Superstars’ robes, shimmying to The Junkyard Dog’s entrance music and snacking on WWE ice cream bars. In truth, they didn’t do much of anything, which may explain why they disappeared from the squared circle in a little more than a year's time.
Still, for some unknown reason, the WWE vault is stocked with their satin jackets. Finally, we have a reason to dust the cobwebs off. We just won’t mention whose phone number we found in the pocket of the purple one. ( PHOTOS)
Guinness has never put out an official statement on the issue, but it’s hard to believe that anyone in the world has more airbrushed blazers than Jimmy Hart.
The brains behind baddies like The Honky Tonk Man, Earthquake and The Nasty Boys, “The Mouth of the South” donned flashy jackets as far back as his days with Jerry Lawler’s Continental Wrestling Association in the early ’80s. But it was in WWE that Hart began tailoring his coats to match his clients.
First painting pink hearts on a white blazer while guiding The Hart Foundation of Bret “Hit Man” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, the WWE Hall of Famer continually went more elaborate with his wardrobe. At different times, he airbrushed The Quebecers’ trademark fleur-de-lis on his sleeves, The Hulkster’s face on his back and, as seen here, piles of currency in honor of Money Inc. ( PHOTOS)
Dink the Clown
It may look like someone left one of Doink the Clown’s ring jackets in the dryer for too long, but this coat actually belonged to Doink’s little person sidekick, Dink.
Born Claude Giroux in Quebec, the diminutive competitor first competed in WWE in the 1980s under the name Tiger Jackson. But he is remembered today for his turn as Dink the Clown — a troublemaker who was just like Doink the Clown, only smaller. Together, the merry pranksters were involved in some of WWE’s most ridiculous bouts, including a Traditional Survivor Series Match where they recruited two diminutive doppelgangers named Pink and Wink to battle Jerry “The King” Lawler and his little people’s court of Sleazy, Queasy and Cheesy. ( WATCH)
The coat seen here was worn by the jester at WrestleMania X, where he teamed with Doink the Clown in a losing effort against the beastly Bam Bam Bigelow and his main squeeze, Luna Vachon. ( WATCH) We’re guessing the tear in the jacket’s shoulder came from Luna’s dangerous hands. ( PHOTOS) The pie stains we've yet to trace.