Induction: Mr. Rocko – Val Venis rocks out with his sock out

17 Submitted by on Thu, 15 February 2018, 20:33

WWF, 1999

This week’s induction stems from WWF Raw’s highest-ever rated segment (or at least its highest-ever rated segment with no wrestling), the much-celebrated “This is Your Life” segment put on by Mankind for The Rock.

Over the past two decades, WWE has repeatedly attempted to recapture the magic of this first “This is Your Life” segment…

…with each version winding up funnier and more entertaining than the last next.

But what most people forget is that, rather than being a total waste of time that popped a huge rating, the segment was simply a near-total waste of time that popped a huge rating, as it actually advanced two different feuds.

First, Triple H, who was set to defend his title that night against The Rock, cut the festivities short by running into the ring a mere 25 minutes into the segment with a sledgehammer…

…and proceeding to get stuck in the balloons.

Second, there was the matter of Mr. Rocko, the sock puppet Mankind had airbrushed with his Rock’n’Sock partner’s face.

The gift somehow ended up in a trash can and then, as hidden camera footage revealed later that night…

…down Val Venis’s pants.

The next Thursday on Smackdown, Mankind made some unusual demands of Val Venis, insisting that the adult film star reach into his pants and whip out that thing Mankind was looking for.

You know, the thing that was white, *this* long, with a cute little head.

Obviously, he was talking about Mr. Rocko, but to Val Venis (who never found out he was on hidden camera) and to the announcers (who obviously hadn’t been paying attention on Raw), it sounded like Mankind was making some rather forward requests.

Once Mankind threatened to grab the item in question and jam it down Val’s throat if he didn’t stick it in his hand, Val was confused. He never knew that Mankind was “like this”.

And by like this, I assume he meant a sex criminal.

But once Mankind rolled the footage, all Venis’s questions were answered… and a few new ones were raised, such as why he needed to stuff himself down there when adult video store patrons around the country already knew what he was packing.

Mankind tried to take matters (i.e. Val Venis’s nob) into his own hands…

…before Val understandably fled and promised to deliver the goods later that night.

The Rock may not have known who Val Venis was…

…but he did spur on Mankind to retrieve Rocko, using such strong language as “jabroni” and “cockamamie,” both of which ended up censored on the WWE Network.

Why, that’s completely…

ridiculous!

That night, Venis appeared to set things right with Mankind by returning his beloved sock, but instead assaulted Foley in a manner most heinous…

…debuting his new finishing move, the testicular claw.

Yes, it was another of Val Venis’s patented unnecessary heel turns.

One month, Val was replacing Steve Blackman’s nunchaku with sex toys, and vice versa…

(truly the swords-into-plowshares metaphor of our time)

…and the next, he was using a sock puppet to squeeze another man’s testicles (without consent).

To make matters worse, he botched the joke he was supposed to make, so rather than telling Mankind, “I never used to think you were crazy, but now I feel you’re nuts!”, he told him, “I always used to think you were crazy, but now I just wanna feel your nuts!”

The Dudleyz, who had found The Rock’s brand new Rock’n’Sock jacket in a garbage can, ran in to further brutalize Foley and Stevie Richards. The Rock, who had presumably thrown away both gifts in the first place, never bothered to make the save for his tag team partner. Gee, Rock was an a**hole.

Over the next few weeks, Venis taunted Mankind and The Rock by hanging the precious sock out of the crotch of his pants.

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but it looked like it was his penis.

Val even implied that he had used Mr. Rocko as a prophylactic during his many escapades with his co-stars, which is not recommended by the CDC.

And Mankind was nearly helpless to do anything about it. Despite several attempts to physically liberate Rocko from his phallic prison…

…Mankind always ended up blindsided, allowing Venis to steal the sock right back.

Along the way, Val trounced his future Right to Censor leader Stevie Richards and incapacitated him with the claw.

Just an hour before the No Mercy pay-per-view, where the Canadian was scheduled to take on Mankind (or, as his Prime Minister likes to say, “Peoplekind”)…

…Mick Foley walked into the men’s room and gave a copy of his new book to a disembodied set of feet with jeans around his ankles that he assumed belonged to The Rock .

After stepping out of the restroom and doing a double-take – How did The Rock get out of the bathroom so quickly? And why did he change pants?

 – Foley returned to the lavatory to be ambushed by his opponent that night. See, it was actually Val on the toilet, meaning that WWF fans had now seen Venis doing…

…#1…

…#2…

…and, of course, #3.

This feud may have required a sudden heel turn by the fan favorite Val Venis, and may have involved countless absurdities, but it would all be worth it if he and Foley put on a killer match.

They didn’t.

What they did do was engage in a lengthy tug of war for Mr. Rocko, which Mankind won… only to celebrate too long and lose the sock once more, allowing Val to stuff Dwayne Johnson’s face back into his crotch.

Watching Foley struggle around the ring and rely on comedy spots, it was hard to believe this was the same Mankind who had wowed the crowds by twice falling off the Hell in a Cell roof the previous year…

…or who took eleven unprotected chair shots to the head a few months after that…

…or who got his head smashed through a chair in a throw-away spot on a regular old episode of Raw…

…or who, well okay, when I list these bumps off, it starts to make more sense.

The match came down to a duel of claw holds, mandible vs. testicular, with Teddy Long allowing Val Venis to get away with it…

…as if it were as legal as his other submission move, the Porn Pretzel (or so it was called in Acclaim’s WWF Attitude).

At the Democratic Convention in 2016, Michelle Obama famously stated that “when they go low, we go high.”

At No Mercy 1999, Mick Foley exposed the flaws in that strategy.

In the end, each man passed out to the other’s claw hold, with Val landing on top and winning via pinfall.

Jim Ross pointed out that all those punishing shots that Venis had delivered to Foley’s head were wholly unnecessary to the finish of the match.

Brain damaged or not, Foley rose to his feet before the victorious Venis and stole away Mr. Rocko before attempting a double-claw on Val’s upper and lower regions.

Venis wisely bailed out of the ring (and this feud)…

…allowing Foley to reclaim his advance copy of Have A Nice Day before Val could defile it by, uh, I don’t know, highlighting in it or something.

Venis’s upper-mid card push soon petered out, with Venis reverting back to a babyface and beating the British Bulldog for the European title in late 1999, which would have been a big deal for anyone two years earlier.

Mick Foley retired shortly thereafter, coming back to the ring now and then to give the rub to Triple H, Randy Orton, and, in Foley’s last match ever, Santino Marella.

You know, after watching this Mr. Rocko angle again, that sock-duel with Santino doesn’t seem so absurd.

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Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
17 Responses to "Induction: Mr. Rocko – Val Venis rocks out with his sock out"
  1. The Doctor of Style says:

    The helium balloon: Triple H finally meets an opponent he can’t hold down.

  2. Dial J for Jordan says:

    Heh. “Petered out.”

  3. Sean Bateman says:

    As a Canadian, I am offended for Art insulting Canada’s Perfect Man, or PM. His good looks are a distraction

  4. John C says:

    Say what you will about Val, but he sure had a lot of socks appeal.

  5. C Boz says:

    All you had to do was type “Val Venis” and it would Wrestlecrap.

  6. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    /inserts Joey Ryan joke here.

    I was a huge Mankind mark back in the day but I absolutely don’t remember anything about this part of the angle at all.

  7. Dan Sheldon says:

    Are we just going to ignore the fact that Mick Foley put the sock back on his hand after it had been in Val’s pants for weeks? I would have just let Val have the sock…..

  8. ChunkyLover53 says:

    I was a hardcore mark back then(as with everyone else who watched it) and I don’t remember this feud AT ALL. I remember Rocko and that GTV segment where Venis stuffed his pants with it, I just thought it stopped there.

  9. #OPC says:

    Any excuse to talk about Steve Blackman is a good excuse.

  10. E-Squared says:

    I actually wonder if the creative team saw some potential in elevating Val Venis at this point. Yes, an upper-card talent in a program with a midcarder is not unheard of, but with Mick Foley having been in the main event scene for a good part of 1999 and even some parts in the previous year, and in the early parts of 2000 before he retired, but it seemed like the bookers tried to make Val into a borderline main eventer. He was in a match with Steve Austin on Smackdown for crying out loud! After that, it seemed that push just faded.

    • Fred says:

      ‘Creative Team’? This was just left over scraps from Vince Russo and his Jim Ross looking buddy Ed, because when you look at the aftermath of the feud, Val never got anywhere near that level beyond that brief IC feud with Rikishi in 2000

    • Evan Waters says:

      Yeah I wasn’t paying much attention to storylines or PPVs at the time but I remember Val always being on TV. A career midcarder if there ever was one (not that there’s any shame in that.)

  11. Al Lobama says:

    And we also get a cameo of a future induction, Stevie Richards’s brief period as Dude Love Version 2.0.

  12. Larry says:

    Poor Val. He had a good look and could actually work in the ring but with that porn star gimmick, nobody could ever take him seriously. Plus it would be the same thing every time. He’d seduce someone’s valet/girlfriend/wife and get beaten up in revenge at the end. Even his promos became redundant.

    “Hello Ladies! You know the Big Valbowski is a lot like a (random household object). You see I (explain the way you’re supposed to use it), and then I (turn it into a sexual double entendre).

  13. CF says:

    Sign Of A Bad Angle: When “eleven unprotected chair shots to the head” is the *LEAST* offensive part on an induction….

  14. AdamX says:

    My mind had somehow forgotten about this…

  15. Jay says:

    Reminds me of the part in Foley’s 2nd book where he went over this; ‘I went to pull out Mr. Socko and wound up pull out Val’s Mr. Cocko. Oops. sorry Sean.”

    I had to put the book down and walk away for a while after that.

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