Rick Achberger signs a great 'Deal'
With the help of a few WWE champions -- and much to the dismay of a few other Superstars -- Rick "Sign Guy" Achberger walked away from Deal or No Deal $106,000 richer. The episode was viewed by more than 11 million total viewers, making it the highest-rated Sunday episode in the show's history.
As Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel introduced Achberger to the audience, "Sign Guy" made it quite clear that he's a huge WWE fan.
"I'm obsessed with WWE -- World Wrestling Entertainment. Not only do I watch the programs all the time each week, I go to probably about 30 or 40 live WWE events pretty much all over the country," the Dallas native explained.
"I'm the ‘Sign Guy,' the WWE ‘Sign Guy.' I bring about 15 or 20 signs, and try to sit as close as I can to the ring. I just hold up signs and yell at the bad guys, and they get so agitated," Achberger went on.
Mandel joked that Achberger didn't really get too spiffed up for his NBC game show debut, but Achberger explained his outfit choice.
"I wear this same red hat and blue shirt so [the Superstars] know ‘Oh, it's that moron Sign Guy again.' They come over, they rip signs up, they dump water on me," Achberger said. "It's a blast. It's an adrenaline rush. I'm just obsessed with it, man!"
Once the game began, Achberger had to pick one numbered briefcase out of 26. He chose the briefcase marked 23, in honor of the upcoming WrestleMania 23. As the game went on, Achberger repeatedly said "No deal" to several of the banker's offers, while holding up his arms in a DX symbol.
Eventually, Achberger chose the dreaded $1 million case, which was briefcase 10, held by Anya. (Little known fact: Anya has a six degrees of separation-type connection to WWE. She was recently featured as a party girl in the Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial starring WWE Dive Candice Michelle.)
Achberger soldiered on, and surprise -- a few hecklers appeared in the studio audience: Edge and Randy Orton, holding anti-Achberger signs. When Mandel asked who they were, a shocked Achberger replied, "Two of the biggest crybabies in WWE -- that is Edge and Randy Orton." But just as the Raw duo entered the Deal or No Deal stage to taunt Achberger, behind the briefcase-toting models appeared WWE Champion John Cena and ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley.
"The cavalry has arrived," said Lashley to a cheering audience.
As they stormed the stage, Cena pointed at Edge and Orton and said, "The reason why you're upset is because Rick here has been to over 1,000 WWE events, which basically means he's seen you guys get your butt whipped over 1,000 times."
The Deal or No Deal audience went wild as Edge and Orton retreated to their seats at the urging of Cena and Achberger. On the side of the stage, WWE Champion/World Tag Team Champion Cena and ECW World Champion Lashley joined Achberger's supporters, his mom, sister and best friend. Mandel asked the Superstars if they happened to recognize Achberger.
"We see him everywhere. We actually classified him as an official ninja," Cena joked. "He just pops up and then he's gone.... He's unbelievable."
As the game continued, Cena and Lashley cheered on Achberger, urging him to have the confidence to say "No deal" to the banker's low offers. Meanwhile, Edge and Orton tried to convince him otherwise.
"You wear the same thing every time we see you. How much money do you possibly need? Take the money," Orton taunted.
As the banker's seventh offer came up, Mandel revealed that it was big -- six figures big.
"It could mean a lot more wrestling events for me," Achberger smiled.
After the $106,000 offer was given, Achberger asked his supporters for help, and they unanimously agreed he should take the high offer. His mom said the money would "solve a lot of problems for him." Lashley said he couldn't go against a mother's wishes and had to agree.
"I'm going to walk away a winner," Achberger said, hitting the "Deal" button.
As his supporters joined him on the stage, Cena and Lashley held up Achberger's arms like a champion, and the audience began chanting, "Rick! Rick! Rick!"
Mandel opened up Achberger's case, No. 23, and it held just $100. Clearly, he made a great deal.
Finally, as the credits began to roll, Lashley looked to Edge and Orton in the audience, trying to get a supportive cheer for Achberger, but no such luck. Edge could only grumble, as Orton sat in his seat smirking with his arms folded across his chest.