Gator Hater

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May 22, 2007

Contrary to popular opinion, crocodiles and alligators are not one and the same. Crocs sport elongated, V-shaped snouts and an interlocking jawline (making their fourth upper tooth visible), as opposed to alligators' shorter, U-shaped proboscis and overlapping upper jowl. Plus, their habitats are literally worlds apart—the modified salivary glands on crocodiles' tongues place them in the salt waters of tropical regions throughout Africa, Asia and Australia, while freshwater-dwelling gators are located primarily within the Americas and China. Regardless, we can all agree that no one in their right mind desires getting close enough to differentiate between either species—that is, no one but the predatory huntsman-turned-WWE Superstar, Skinner.

Long before "Crikey" achieved legendary TV catch-phrase status, Skinner was a crocodile hunter as ferocious and unpredictable as the testiest of reptiles, and his conduct was far more reprehensible. Rather than study or educate others to the behavioral intricacies of all 23 remaining species of Crocodylia, this tobacco-droolin' bottom feeder from Florida's Everglades lived for stripping—and wearing—the pelts of his scaly-armored prey. In the late summer of 1991, however, the predator with gator-pawed neckwear opted to hunt a different kind of game. Abandoning his swampland habitat, he claimed the squared circle as his new territory, thereby causing justifiable apprehension among WWE's Superstars and announcers.

Though he never sported the leather hide of a WWE championship, the bowie knife-wielding Skinner often proved a cut above many opponents, baiting and ultimately subduing them into unconsciousness with his reverse-DDT Gatorbreaker. He'd then add a personal touch by spitting his wad of chaw onto his "fresh kill," in effect grossing out all the fans watching from a relatively safe distance. This marauder from the marshes would continually go jaw-to-jowl against WWE's finest until early 1993, when he finally slinked out of the ring and back home to the Everglades—or so we assume. To be honest, WWE.com is hesitant to track down its No. 9 Wildest Superstar, lest we become the latest notch on his gator-skinned belt.

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