Thanks to the WWE Network, even lifelong wrestling fans can discover material they’ve never seen before. For fans outside of the British Isles, that would include pay-per-views like Insurrextion and Rebellion that, in addition to being synonyms, were exclusive to the UK.
Since the events were barely promoted in the US, scarcely anything noteworthy happened on the shows, and the results were seldom acknowledged on television.
In the case of today’s induction topic, that was certainly a good thing.
See, whenever WWE did a pay-per-view in the UK, they would typically feature a British performer on the card.
Not so at 2002’s Rebellion PPV. So WWE did the next best thing and came up with a gimmick match specially for the fans in Manchester. What was this revolutionary match type?
The Kiss-My-Arse Match. Get it? Because “arse” is what English people say instead of “ass.” Sure, the British viewers might not have noticed because, after all, “arse” is just an everyday word for them, but it was surely a riot for all the viewers in America (of which there were none).
|Vince got Rikishi, the chap with the biggest bum on the roster…|
|…to face Albert, the bloke with the hairiest Tijuana Brass on the roster (and who, to Tazz’s shock and confusion, did not shave his ass like any normal person in his experience. You’ve got to wonder what kind of neighborhood Red Hook is.)…|
|…and despite the two having no storyline history, had the two duke it out for the prize of sticking their ass into the other guy’s face.|
|Predictably, Rikishi came out on top…|
|…but A-Train understandably wasn’t about to pucker up to Fatu’s fanny (which, for the benefit of readers in the UK, is a tame and childish word for “butt” in the US)…|
|…giving Rikishi a low blow when it came time to make good on the stipulation.|
|He did, however, feel the urge to give himself a wedgie so his butt could steal a kiss from his opponent.|
|But, of course, Rikishi delivered a low blow — the very same thing Albert had done thirty seconds earlier but still never saw coming —|
|— and gave him the stink face instead.|
|As far as Wrestlecrap goes, this match is an open-and-shut case — no ifs, ands, or asses about it. Sometimes, there are angles or characters that are borderline-crap, mixed bags of good and bad that might make for fun write-ups but are still pretty ambiguous as far as deserving the label of “Wrestlecrap.” Not so with the Rikishi vs. Albert.|
|So, on the one hand, you might have something iffy like “Wildman” Marc Mero…|
|[And for those who don’t understand why the Wildman might be considered for induction, recall that the former Johnny B. Badd left WCW after objecting to being paired up with Kimberly Page, real-life wife of Dallas Page.|
|It’s a good thing Marc was so committed to his marriage vows, because a less committed man would have been more than a little miffed at being handled so poorly, he’d wind up in the fans’ eyes as Mr. Sable.|
|It wasn’t that Vince and company lacked confidence in Mero. Sure, neither Vince McMahon nor Todd Pettengill could pronounce his (four-letter) name, but Mero had a lot going in his favor.|
|Dubbed, “The Wildman,” he would pull off daredevil stunts out of nowhere in his matches, but, unlike the Teddy Harts and Jack Evanses of the world, he was big enough so that his moves looked like they actually did damage. It didn’t hurt his career that his wrestling style gave Vince McMahon an excuse to say the phrase, “high-risk maneuver” at least three times per match.|
|So the upside was that “Wildman” Marc Mero was a spectacular athlete. The downside was that he was also a colossal dork.|
|First of all, there were his goofy promos, into which he tried to shovel as many “jungle” references as possible. Not helping matters were his and Vince’s talk of answering the call of the wild, which I think meant he had to go to the bathroom.|
|Then, there were his constant reminders that he was indeed wild. This phenomenon popped up in WWF Magazine, where he answered seemingly every interview question with the word, “Wild,” or, rather, “WILD!”|
|Highlights included his favorite snack (chocolates silk pies from Perkins – “They drive me WILD!”),|
|…his favorite TV show (“Seinfeld. Kramer wrote the book on being WILD!”),|
|…the person he would most like to meet (“President Clinton. I have some WILD ideas for him!”),|
|…and his favorite video game (“Tetris — it drives me WILD!”).|
|(although he declined to name a favorite band, instead philosophizing that “I answer to my own beat… a much different beat… a beat that many would never understand.” It sounds for all the world like Mero is confessing to some unspeakable animal fetish not unlike Troy McClure’s, but with jungle predators. That might explain the big cat pattern on his ring gear.)|
|Just how wild (excuse me, WILD!) was Mero? Just look at him do this hip dance move!|
|I think this is supposed to be channeling Pulp Fiction, but every time Mero did this double-peace-sign across his eyes, he looked like Adam West doing the Batusi.|
|So just looking at his presentation, the Wildman was setting up to be a major goofball. Throw Sable into the mix, and now the male fans had even more reason to boo Mero.|
|Jim Cornette, who was writing for the WWF at the time, could not understand the logic in giving a babyface like Marc Mero a female valet. It’s not just that it would make women lose interest in him, as in the standard rule for rockstars (“Women are going to want to have sex with you, and we want them to think they can”), but the men in the audience would resent the jungle boy for having a hot piece of tail in his corner.|
|The WWF had had women in men’s corners before, but with the exception of Dusty Rhodes with Sapphire, none of those men were babyfaces. Bam Bam had Luna, Skip had Sunny, HHH had his valets, Goldust had Marlena, and Macho Man, Honky Tonk Man, Ted DiBiase, and Shawn Michaels all had Sherri Martel, but their women were there:
|— and decked out in those cat trunks, Mero looked like a big enough pussy already.|
|The closest parallel one can find is Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth, but most of the time Savage was a heel who mistreated Liz to get heat, eventually turning heel again over her. Watching the WWF from 1996, one gets the very strong feeling that Vince was trying to create a new Macho Man and Liz for a new decade.|
|At every opportunity, Vince fawned over Sable and how doggone classy she was (while heel Jerry Lawler just complained about how much of a dog she was). If fans couldn’t tell on their own how classy Sable was (and believe me, they couldn’t), Vince was all too happen to jam the idea down their throats.|
|How exactly Vince knew that Sable was classy was always a mystery. Was it the classy way she rubbed Mero’s chest?|
|Or was it her classy vinyl cat suit?|
|Or maybe it was the classy cat-of-nine-tails she brought to the ring with her, rounding out the S&M motif already established by her faux-leather gear and whip-filled entrance music. Sable and Marc’s initials even spelled, “S&M.”|
|Whatever it was about Sable, Vince sure made everybody know what a classy lady she was, perhaps thinking of that Jimi Hendrix song.|
|And let’s not forget Jimi’s entire album about Rena Mero called, “Electric Ladyland.” The Stepford Wives ran on electricity, right?|
|Not since Homer Simpson’s misguided optimism about his FOX biopic had anyone been so wrong about “classy.”|
|Vince even changed the Meros’ attire for a few months, coincidentally putting Marc in a robe and Sable in a gown. Remind you of anyone?|
|Sable would spend the whole match standing around looking classy, occasionally mimicking the human facial expressions of concern and fear…|
|…then celebrating a Mero win with the obligatory Batusi. But she would never, ever distract the referee or hand her man a foreign object, which is to say that she served no purpose but to make the men in the crowd wish death upon the goober she was sleeping with.|
|While McMahon and Lawler had no qualms about discussing Sunny’s “assets,” Vince spoke of Sable as no less than a paragon of virtue.|
|Vince tried in vain to package the two as “the picture of class,” “two very special people,” and “the WWF’s one-two punch”…|
|…and the fans responded by cheering as Mero got punked out by the cooler heels like Stone Cold Steve Austin.|
|Also, by telling Sable to show her boobs.|
|Not to say that they never cheered Mero; they would go nuts after he pulled off a flippy thing (even if it didn’t make a lick of sense, like this sunset flip)…|
|…then promptly remember that this was the same guy who got driven into a frenzy by Tetris and silk pies and who tried to sunbathe in the Gund Arena.|
|Ultimately, Marc Mero faded into obscurity while Sable’s popularity soared, making way more money than her husband ever did.|
|So you could say that the WWF didn’t work out well for Mero, who got divorced from Sable in 2004. Then again, he probably got half Sable’s money out of it, so decide for yourself how bad the Mero’s handling by the Federation hurt him in the long-run.]|
|…and on the other hand, you have a match where two grown strangers aspire to stick their butt cracks into each other’s faces for the sake of a stupid reference to local slang.|
There’s no comparison.