Induction: The Stormtrooper – Featuring Super Mario (sort of)!

23 Submitted by on Thu, 12 December 2019, 21:30

For most people, the only wrestling stormtrooper is and always will be The Shockmaster…

…who famously tripped through a wall during his debut and dropped his glittery Star Wars helmet.

But the Stormtrooper I’m talking about today had a gimmick that harkens back not to the famous Star Wars, but an earlier war called World War II.

This Stormtrooper was significantly less fun than the Shockmaster.

The Stormtrooper debuted in 1988, rappelling into a steel cage to beat up Bob Armstrong. The masked man who goose-stepped to the ring waving a Nazi flag and wearing swastikas all over his body promptly joined the heel stable managed by Ron Wright.

I bet Mello Yello really appreciated the product placement.

The following week, Gordon Solie had stern words for the Stormtrooper’s manager – not because his new wrestler was an authoritarian racist fanatic, but because he cheated. This was a trend throughout the Stormtrooper’s career – commentators would just gloss over his whole gimmick and instead play up how he broke the rules and used cheap tactics in the ring.

I mean, I can’t be the only one picking up kind of a Nazi vibe from this guy, can I?

Far be it from me to praise GLOW’s Gestapo match, but at least Dave McLane really drove home the simple but effective message that Nazis are bad.

Maybe none of the announcers could figure out that the Stormtrooper was a Nazi, given how crappy his swastikas looked.

Seriously, look at these things. No Nazi would be proud of this ring attire, and the stuff they are proud of (to paraphrase Moe Szyslak) is disgusting.

The swastikas he sported looked like he drew them on his shirt himself, while wearing the shirt…

…and that includes the one on his back.

Then there’s this half-hearted one that looks designed for not-so-plausible deniability by Smoky Mountain Wrestling. (“It’s not a swastika, it’s a gammadion!”)

And this thing that looks like a backwards swastika is just an ancient symbol for good luck, I’m sure.

As for his Nazi salute, half the time Ol’ Trooper here was too ashamed to do the real thing, instead opting for a William Regal wave.

Promoters seemed a little hesitant to see a wrestling Nazi get his hand raised, so the Stormtrooper usually ended up jobbing in short order.

Take his debut match in Smoky Mountain Wrestling against Brian Lee, who took out the Nazi-symbol-wearing creep in a matter of minutes.

After the show, I bet he celebrated with his buddies, the Harris Brothers.

Later on in the same promotion, the Stormtrooper showed up on TV again. Fans booed as the masked man posed with symbols of his racist, oppressive ideology. That is, until Scott Armstrong rushed to the ring decked out in Confederate flags came to save the day.

They were in Tennessee.

Perhaps the Stormtrooper’s biggest test was against Super Mario. No, Trooper didn’t get put into a video game, not even Wolfenstein. Instead, Mario stepped into the wrestling ring.

You may be surprised to learn that no fewer than three wrestlers have donned the Super Mario get-up, and that doesn’t even include Phineas Godwinn.

There’s of course Captain Lou Albano, the only official Mario of the bunch…

…West Virginia’s spherical Super Mario…

…and the copyright-skirting Super Duper Mario of ICW.

Super Duper Mario deserves some credit – after all, he was so popular with the youngsters that they’d rush the ring when he won a match.

Dude was years ahead of Public Enemy.

SDM was once voted Wrestler of the Month and chatted with host of the Teen Report, Dawna (Yes, it’s spelled like that. I checked).

He even carried a hammer, much like Jumpman himself in Donkey Kong.

But it was the West Virginia version of Super Mario who’d be the one to take on the Stormtrooper. This extra-portly version of Mario wore tie-dye instead of red, suggesting that any mushrooms he ate were of the hallucinogenic variety (and also deep-fried).

Perhaps Super Mario’s highest profile match was against Gorgeous George III…

…jobbing to the future Maestro in just over a minute. I hope the Gorgeous One appreciated the favor, as it’s not easy for a worker as proud as Super Mario to lie down for someone…

…or get back up, for that matter.

So how did Mario fare against the Stormtrooper? Unfortunately for our favorite plumber, he’d have a hard time picking up a victory, as the match went nearly eight minutes – way longer than Super Mario’s typical match (which he would also lose).

Every other time Mario went beyond 400 seconds, he would actually drop dead.

The unofficial gag order on mentioning the Stormtrooper’s Nazi predilections seems to have been lifted by 1994, as the announcers pointed out that the Trooper claimed to be a neo-Nazi but – and here’s the incredible part – they couldn’t be sure because of that swastika mask obscuring his face. It was a mystery for the ages!

Another great mystery was how Super Mario managed to hit a dropkick on the Stormtrooper, putting the Nazi no-goodnik away for the 1-2-3.

That called for a celebration, even if Super Mario never did find the hard camera.

What are the odds we’d see a match like this in a ring on national television today? Unlikely. First of all, it wasn’t even on national television then. And while we can never say never about another wrestling Mario, what with The Elite’s hobby of video game cosplaying…

…we can pretty much rule out a Stormtrooper-like gimmick popping up in a major promotion.

Then again, as much as I’d like to say that these kind of blatant references to Nazis wouldn’t fly today…

…both WWE and AEW regularly feature advertisements for a product called “Nugenix”, so who knows?

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
23 Responses to "Induction: The Stormtrooper – Featuring Super Mario (sort of)!"
  1. C Boz says:

    He sure ain’t no Adolf Hitner. That’s Hitner, spelled with an N. There is one and only Hitner (see what I did there?).

    And I love the Nazi vs Confederate Battle Flag donnin’ Armstrong. Imagine that match in 2019.

  2. Tempest Fennac says:

    It’s ironic that Jim Cornette spends so much time ranting about (admittedly idiotic) modern gimmicks when this sort of thing happened in Smokey Mountain Wrestling.

    • Dr.Gonzo says:

      Cornette didn’t go to SMW until 91. He was either in wwe or wcw when this was going on.

      • Tempest Fennac says:

        Sorry about that (I didn’t know it existed until Jim started it).

        • Blake says:

          It didn’t. The start of this article is talking about the Continental Wrestling Federation, owned by Ron Fuller. That promotion went out of business in 1989 and it seems SMW more or less replaced it in the area.

      • Steamy Ray Vaughn says:

        Cornette founded SMW so he booked The Stormtrooper. I’m not sure what the original promotion was in which this gimmick debuted but when it made it’s way to Smoky Mountain, that was under Cornette’s watch.

  3. Gerard says:

    Why hasn’t there ever been a supermario wrestling game we got mario racing, mario golf, mario tennis, mario baseball even that time mario teamed up with mike tyson for the punchout game!! there have been 100s of mario games since donkey kong first came out back in 1981 but not one wrestling game?? you could even have a tagteam option where mario and luigi take on all-comers to win the mushroom kingdom tagteam titles. and why not have princess toadstool as a playable character?? hey if tessa blanchard can fight againest the guys why not have the princess wrestle a koopa or even fight the champion…who else but…king koopa himself!!

    • Al Boondy says:

      There almost was … It was called Super Mario Spikers and was billed as “a hybrid of volleyball and wrestling”:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_Spikers

  4. John C says:

    Baron Von Raschke seems pretty subtle compared to that fiasco.

  5. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Bona Fide wrestling legend Adrian Street rejected a job with WWE as a manager because they wanted him to portray a neo-Nazi managing a tag team named the British Skinheads….

  6. CF says:

    Speaking as a Military Historian by training:

    “HOLY JESUS! WHAT IS *THAT*!? *WHAT* *THE* *F—* *IS* *THAT*!?”

  7. Mr. Boing says:

    I am GLAD You picked up on the Nugenix reference being like Eugenics.
    you obviously know your WWII history as do I.

  8. Joe Levinsky says:

    As a man of Jewish descent I was not outraged by this gimmick as I was just very, very annoyed that Nazism was merely a tool garnered for cheap heat.

    I also recall a time when WWE Toyed with World War 2 gimmicks at one point wanted to make Heidenreich a Nazi SS Officer brought back to life or something along the lines.

  9. Acolyte of Glorious La Parka~ says:

    I guess you could say, The Stormtrooper caused a fuhrer.

  10. System Error says:

    You say Mario drops dead after 400 seconds, but his first game always fast counts on him, so it’s lije way less. Also the Star Wars were technically way earlier. Aftee all, it takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

    Silly things aside, man. Territory days were weird, all allowing something like this as long as their announcers didn’t acknowledge anything, then giving excuses when they did. I have so many other questions here though it’s ridiculous.

  11. Jacob Blaustein says:

    “Later on in the same promotion, the Stormtrooper showed up on TV again. Fans booed as the masked man posed with symbols of his racist, oppressive ideology. That is, until Scott Armstrong rushed to the ring decked out in Confederate flags came to save the day.”

    To them the flag is “southern pride”. Totally different (cough cough)

  12. Ze Frenchie says:

    Man, Spherical Mario could have his own satellite due to his gravitation pull.

  13. MrMaddog says:

    Looks like the Stormtrooper’s costume was designed by Morton Downey Jr…

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