INDUCTION: WBF vs. WWF – A Tug of War Booked by Lewis and Gilbert!

20 Submitted by on Thu, 18 June 2020, 20:00

WBF-WWF, 1992

This may come as a shock to you, but I think it is possible that Vince McMahon has something of a muscle man fetish.  I’d attempt to explain further, but instead, let’s just go with this legendary GIF to best showcase it:

I know, I know, we’ve all seen it 1,000 times.  But in many ways, it really does illustrate just how gaga Vince really is about the human (primarily male) anatomy.  That he would launch a bodybuilding company should have never come as any real surprise.  

That it would be an unmitigated disaster, which has been inducted here several times already, probably also should have been expected.  

But you have to give the guy some level of props for trying to make it work as hard as he did.  He churned out a weekly television show (Bodystars!), two pay-per-view events, and even a line of supplements (also…inducted). It sure didn’t flop due to a lack of Vince’s attention. 

In fact, it would seem that during the time the WBF was in existence, he took his eye off his main prize, the company that gave him the cash to go off on this lark: the World Wrestling Federation.  Were the folks in the WWF annoyed that they were no longer the apple of Vince’s eye?  Was anyone competing in the squared circle wanting to show how much tougher they were than a bunch of guys with “show” muscles?  And the big question…what would have happened if the two companies squared off against each other?

Shockingly…they DID!

Sometime in late 1992, Vince put personalities from both companies on a beach and decided they should go at it in the manliest of manners possible: a good old fashioned TUG OF WAR.  I can only imagine Vince frothing at the mouth thinking of all those sweaty, glistening biceps when he came up with the idea.

While a tug of war is definitely a team effort, each side really should have a mouthpiece, a team captain as it were.  But who was going to lead the WBF team to victory?  Would it be Gary Strydom?  Jim Quinn?  Aaron Baker? (Those being the first three names that came up on a Google search of “WBF roster 1992”)?  Surprisingly, the head honcho was none of those men but rather the embodiment of the WBF itself…

…Hacksaw Jim Duggan!

Yeah, I don’t know either.  But there he was, wearing a WBF tank top and everything, so that’s what we get.  I guess if he could be the world’s goofiest looking king, imagining him heading up a body building troupe isn’t that far out of the realm of possibility.

For those keeping score at home, this would be your WBF lineup.  

I have nothing more to add really, but since I went to the trouble of doing a screen grab and cleaning it up in Photoshop, I figured I should probably go ahead and post it.

Hacksaw meets with his team and goes over the logic of what they need to do.  A master strategist, Duggan the group the following sage advice: “PULL! PULL! PULL!”

On the other side of the…rope…would be the leader of Team WWF, Mr. Perfect.  He tells us that it doesn’t matter what any of those “big dummies” have to say, his team has the perfect strategy.  Hopefully it’s better than Duggan telling the bodybuilders to PULL.

I mean, if you want to apply some logic to this, you COULD have strategy in a tug of war.  As I think back to 1992 WWF, there were some big dudes on WWF cards.  Therefore, I have to believe part of that “strategy” would be to have guys like Crush, maybe Legion of Doom, Earthquake and Typhoon, Davey Boy Smith?  Perhaps have Papa Shango there to be the anchor and maybe curse one of the bodybuilders into vomiting Warrior-style onto his partner’s back.

I put too much thought into that.  Rest assured, Perfect didn’t.  Check out THIS line up:

Because when you think, “strong man for tug of war”, you think IRWIN R. SCHYSTER (otherwise known as IRS).

As the WWF guys go into their final preparations (ie, tying the rope around Berserker’s waist), we get a shot of the crowd.

And let me tell you, these kids (and it is an audience of at least 95% children) are absolutely booing the ever loving crap out of the WWF guys.   I can only assume Vince gave them copious amounts of sugar and twenty dollar bills to get such a reaction.

If he could get 1/100th of the passion of this group of kids when WWE is able to start having live crowds again, Drew McIntyre will be the next Hulk Hogan Vince has always been looking for.

The scales tell us that the WWF has a decided advantage in this battle, as the wrestlers weigh over 200 pounds more than the bodybuilders.  By my math, that’s almost an extra dude.  

What kinda sanctioning body would allow such a mismatch?

Before we get to the yanking, Gene goes to each of the WBF guys for some final words.

Tom Platz, the WBF’s anchor, notes that he has some of the strongest backs the world has ever seen in front of him.  Also he is planting his legs really hard.

I’d like to think that he was just sitting criss-cross applesauce with the rope in his lap and Duggan yelled at him to stop doing that.

“Giant Killer” Danny Padilla chimes in next, snarling that “We can’t lose, we can’t lose! Bodybuilding is at stake!’

So does the WBF disband if they lose?

Okerlund warns Aaron Baker if his team falters, he could wind up “in the drink”!  Baker does an incredibly falsetto chuckle and then lets us know “I hope those guys like water skiing, because they’re gonna glide!”

Not 100% sure what he meant (and I am guessing he didn’t either), but Gene nearly wets his trousers in laughter.

The living embodiment of 1992 shows up next in the form of the Zuke, Troy Zuccalotto, who explains to Gene that this is going to be child’s play.  

No, sadly Chucky does not make an appearance.

Tony Pearson lets Gene know that the “Jet Man” is fired up and has some power ready and he wants to rock.  If you asked one of the 10 year olds in the crowd to cut a pro wrestling promo, this would be it.

Finally, we get to the front man, Jim Quinn, who spends his interview time complaining that he his feet are in mud while Flair’s are in sand, which is completely unfair he notes.  He also says he won’t lose to a guy who uses “sun-in and mousse.”

I legit have no idea what this man is talking about.  I don’t think Gene does either, as he doesn’t even give a courtesy laugh.  Instead, he notes that “perhaps we should call an attorney!”

No clue what THAT meant either, but I will say having a Jerry McDevitt run-in wearing nose cream and flip flops would be a win.

Duggan then shows up and explains that his team will win and “those WWF guys” are going to wind up in the water!  Before I can even note, “Wait, aren’t YOU a WWF guy?” we get a quick cut to more psycho fans chanting WBF in front of an ICOPRO banner.

There’s never been an animated GIF in the history of the internet that screams 1992 more than that one.

Before we head over to the WWF side of things, it’s time to meet the official overseeing this encounter.  With the Good Lord Above as my witness and I am NOT making this up, it is none other than…

BILL ALFONZO!

I gave up swearing ages ago, but if ever I was going to drop an f-bomb again, it would be between the words “Bill” and “Alfonzo” above.  

For now, just imagine me with the same look as the kid over Fonzie’s shoulder – slack jawed bafflement.

Gene gives Bill about three seconds to cut a promo (which is honestly about four seconds too many) before cutting him off, noting that he hopes DiBiase hasn’t bought him off.

Finally, FINALLY, it looks like we’re in line for a can’t miss promo as Gene steps up to talk to the WWF’s lead, Ric Flair.  “We’re going to eat these guys just like we eat the Macho Man, Geno!”

Well, so much for a “can’t miss.”

Da Mountie is next, and he explains that he always gets his man.  

Did I mention there’s not a lot of effort being put in here?

“This next man isn’t too far from his home, the Everglades, it’s Skinner!”

And indeed it is Skinner, wearing a goofy WWF hat and even more ridiculous sunglasses.

“I’ve jerked bigger alligators out of the water than these geeks!  That guy with the big ears is going SWIMMING!”

Jim Quinn, I think he’s talking about you.  Your rebuttal?

Yep, that’s what I thought.

IRS is up and explains that everyone in the crowd as well as everyone in the WBF are nothing but…care to guess?  That’s right, TAX CHEATS.

And to this day, people STILL bash me for inducting this idiotic one-note gimmick!

Ted DiBiase bellows in Okerlund’s face next, noting the other team is nothing but a bunch of Cadillac bodies with Volkswagen brains.  I think that in 1992 that was an insult.  

He also tells us that in order to win a tug of war, you need to use finesse and leverage (there’s our strategy!), which the wrestlers will have and the bodybuilders won’t.  Not idea if that’s true, but it sounds logical enough, so ironically I am buying what the Million Dollar Man is selling.

We get our last interview as Gene gets some words from the Berserker.

Okerlund: “I know what this guy’s been training on – GARLIC!”

Crickets: “Chirp. Chirp.”

Berserker: “The Berserker was born standing up and he ain’t been knocked down since! Huss! Huss!”

If I made any of this sound even remotely interesting, I owe you all an apology.  

Before we get to the “action”, let us first go over the RULES.  Because I guess you need specific instructions for something as complex as a tug of war.  So it’s 2 out of 3 falls, with no time limit.  Was there really a concern this could somehow go more than like, I dunno, thirty seconds?  

Hey Fonzie, we about ready to start this thing?

Wait, what?

This stupid thing is where Alfonzo got the idea for the whistle in ECW?

MIND.

BLOWN.

Finally…FINALLY…the whistle is blown and the action begins.  The “action” in this case meaning the WWF guys just let go of the rope entirely and watch all the WBF guys fall on their keisters.

Now if you are watching that and think that looks familiar, well…that’s because it is blatantly stolen from the classic film Revenge of the Nerds!  

Yes, apparently Gilbert and Lewis booked this iconic battle.  Tell ya what Vince – if you had Betty Childs there cheering for the WBF, I would have never inducted this.

Despite having a good chortle at being so nefarious, this would effectively put the WWF down 0-1.  Could our heroes (or heels – I think – in this case) possibly make a comeback?

The teams dig back into the sand as Fonzie gets round two going.  This time, Flair and company decide to actually attempt to win, hurking and jerking as best they can.  Eventually, though, the WBF proves to simply be too strong, pulling the flag over to their side and winning in two straight falls.  Well, that was kinda anti-climactic.

But wait, here comes Ric Flair who notes that in all the tug of wars he’s been in, most of them on national television (“which this one should be too!” he adds), if someone sits down they are immediately declared the losers.  

Does anyone else recall any of these legendary tug of wars with the Nature Boy?  I must have somehow missed them.  Hopefully they show up as Hidden Gems on the Network at some point.

We go to the instant replay, and sure enough, Flair is right – the Jet Man was on his fanny giving the WBF a completely unfair advantage.  Seeing this, Alfonzo awards the second round to the WWF, which sets up a climactic final round in which a victor must be declared!

But before we get to that, let’s do a way too tight zoom in on the crotches of everyone on Team WBF!

I can only imagine what Vince McMahon’s reaction would have been when he saw this.

Good call, Tiffany.  

Been too long girl.  

Don’t be a stranger.

The third round sees Flair, Mountie, and the rest of the WWF nogoodniks doing everything they can to win this titanic struggle.

The WBF will not relent however!  And so they pull.

And pull.

And pull.

And pull.

I made that joke about no time limit above, but this round feels like it was about six (expletive deleted) hours long.  And no one wants that.

Especially not me.

At long last, the flag is pulled across…and the WWF is victorious!  I should also note that somehow despite the blatant evidence you see above that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt the WWF has won fair and square, the WBF guys all claim Alfonzo can’t see and was bought off. 

Yes, the company that Vince created to show off mighty muscles and power was thwarted in a test of strength by THE MOUNTIE, SKINNER, AND IRS.

As the WWF guys celebrate their victory, some quality trash talking at last begins.  The Berseker of all people gets the line of the night telling Padilla, and I quote, “I’ve taken pills bigger than you!”  Probably not the wisest thing to say what with the steroid trials hovering over their heads, but it did make me laugh so good job John Nord.

Also making me laugh:

Vince’s early 90’s outfits, which were always patently absurd.  An induction of his 1991-1994 wardrobe is woefully overdue.

Oh, and if you’re like me and wonder how a tug of war over a body of water could have ended with no one getting wet…

…yeah, Gene was thrown in for no good reason.

And that, my friends, was the only time the WWF and WBF squared off against each other.  I suppose it is ironic that the WWF would wind up victorious over…hold on, wait a second.

Whaddya mean hey also faced off on Family Feud?

One hundred people surveyed, top three answers on the board.  Name someone who isn’t going to induct that.

ANSWER: RD REYNOLDS.

Survey says you are right!


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20 Responses to "INDUCTION: WBF vs. WWF – A Tug of War Booked by Lewis and Gilbert!"
  1. The Doctor of Style says:

    This brought back bad memories of that Sgt. Slaughter/monster truck tug of war Art inducted a few months ago…

  2. Jimbolian says:

    Awesome remix Mr. Deal! Hats off to the original induction by Triple Kelly, but I enjoy having a second look at legendary Wrestlecrap.

  3. Plastic Diver Guy says:

    I don’t recall seeing Tony Pearson in any episode of Chōjin Sentai Jetman. Just because you also wear spandex does not mean you can call yourself the Jet Man.

  4. C Boz says:

    Betty Childs. I find what happened to her in the third act of “Revenge of the Nerds” to be so wrong. It made me massively uncomfortable back in 1984, and I haven’t looked at a Darth Vader mask the same way since.

    Then again, I remember that movie well enough to actually recall the lyrics to the Pi serenade to the Tri-Lambs. “Hello Lambda, we’re the Pis, and we’re here to say…” Not as catchy as The Mountie’s entrance song, but close.

    Back to the induction – I remember this tug-of-war contest, too. Or at least I had forgotten about it until you reminded me of it tonight.

    So all in all, a great induction wrapped around some not-so-great memories but that happens. Bit of light during these darker days of Covid. Or, to put it another way, like Donald Gibb’s Ogre who goes from the dark side of Alpha Beta to the light side of Lambda Lambda Lambda. But wait, the Lambdas were rather villainous and shady, and there was that Darth-y helmet on Lewis during *that* scene. I am so confused.

  5. Paul R. from Spook Central: The Ghostbusters Companion says:

    Of course, Anderson and Gallows would also steal from Revenge of the Nerds… or more specifically, Donald Gibbs’ Ogre: NERDS!

  6. Christopher Haydu says:

    If I remember correctly, the WWF Magazine had a few pages on this toward the back. What was that section called? Private Eye, I think. Anyway, I guess since it was the wrestling magazine, most readers would cheer for the WWF guys even if they were heels. At least that makes a little sense. Unlike Vince having the wrestlers beat the WBF guys. The only thing I can think of is that since they were going to compete on Family Feud, this tug of war was a kayfabe way of starting an angle that would lead up to the Feud episode. Otherwise, it was completely retarded to have the heel wrestlers beat the WBF guys when he was trying to get them over to a new audience.

  7. Jerry says:

    The heels going over to close the show? Please tell me, there was a dark segment of Hogan coming along and defeating the evil WWF team on his own, so that the crowd can go home happy.

  8. Roland Smitts says:

    I get the sense Flair’s previous tugs of war were not suitable for television and involved the fairer sex.

  9. Larry says:

    In the spirit of being fair to both sexes, would you please post the original gif of Stacy Kiebler dancing around to make Vince explode like that?

  10. jey says:

    The repeated skank and ho references in your columns have always been cringe-inducing but are in especially poor taste today.

    • RD Reynolds says:

      Fair enough. I’ve removed them from this induction and will work to not use them going forward.

      • Matt says:

        Seriously RD? Please don’t tell me that Wrestlecrap is now a snowflake site. I find it funny when you called Stephanie her nickname of Nipple H. Now this site has got “offended”.

  11. Gold Standard says:

    Man, a Dusty Finish in a tug of war? In the second fall? Inconceivable!

  12. Matt says:

    Right around the time WBF was around is when Shawn Michaels turned on Marty Janetty to do the boy toy stripper gimmick. There is no doubt in my mind that Vince is bisexual.

    • Thomas Moffatt says:

      I’m convinced there are certain ‘stars’ past and present in WWE who have got their push by either bumming Vince McMahon or being bummed by Vince McMahon…

  13. Guy Incognito says:

    Is this on the Network?
    Those screen grabs look like good clear quality.

  14. Doc 902714 says:

    Jim Quinn was actually mentioned on RAW by Michael Cole as Shane O Mac’s trainer
    for his match vs Taker at WM 32.
    It was the only time any WBF star had been mentioned on WWE programming since
    the WBF’s folded in 1992.

  15. Acolyte of Glorious La Parka~ says:

    When I saw “Gilbert” in the title, I thought Disco Inferno booked it.

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