Induction: Rambo y sus titanes – Your childhood action figure fed come to life!

15 Submitted by on Thu, 29 April 2021, 20:44

Argentinian TV, early 1990s

Wrestling has had its fair share of cheesy action movie tie-ins:

There was WCW’s Robocop cameo…

…and WWE’s less-embarrassing (but just barely) Terminator cameo…

…but Rambo just may be the biggest offender, spinning off into such unauthorized gimmicks as Greg “Rambo” Gagne and the NWL’s John Rambo. But that’s nothing compared to the lunacy documented in this induction.

The Rambo franchise, based on the novel First Blood, spawned five films:

  • First Blood
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II
  • Rambo III
  • Rambo
  • Rambo: Last Blood

…and is so famous that you probably didn’t bat an eye reading any of those improbable movie titles.

Even more improbably, the series of violent R-rated films spawned a children’s cartoon, complete with an action figure line.

In Argentina, these action figures were so popular that toy company Jocso turned them into a TV show. Another TV show, that is. And not just any TV show, but a live-action wrestling show called, «Rambo y sus titanes» (Rambo and His Titans).

To recap: Saturdays at noon in the early 90s, Argentinian television aired a wrestling show based on toys based on a cartoon based on a movie based on a book.

The show featured Rambo heroes and villains who decided to step off the battlefield and into the TV studio to have wrestling matches. Characters such as TD Jackson…

…Sgt. Havoc… 

…Turbo… 

…X Ray…

…and the man himself, John Rambo. Not every wrestler here was a dead ringer for their action figure counterpart, but for the title character, nothing less than a perfect likeness would do. The show’s solution?

Slap a grotesque vinyl mask on Rambo. Now he looked just like the action figure! Which was made of plastic!

The mask was disturbing enough when skin-tight, but by the end of matches it would sometimes peel off and look as if he’d melted in the sun.

Rambo wasn’t the only grappler to get a skin-mask:

There was also Mad Dog…

…Col. Trautman…

…General Warhawk…

…and this early version of TD Jackson, who resembled a corpse unsuccessfully re-animated by a perverted German count.

These guys weren’t the only ones giving off Elena Hoyos vibes, though. There was also Numbskull.

Doesn’t ring a bell? That’s because he wasn’t on the Rambo cartoon. He was on the Police Academy cartoon (based on a different R-rated film series, and comedies at that).

Jocso, which owned the rights to both toy lines, threw in several Police Academy characters…

…such as Carey Mahoney…

…to fill out the roster. Frankly, the resemblance to Steve Guttenberg is uncanny. Joining Mahoney were a number of Locademia de Policia villains, including the aforementioned Numbskull… 

…King Pin…

…and Flung Hi, the samurai (whose name in Spanish was pronounced Floon Hee).

There were also two good guys from the cartoon and movies who were inexplicably bad guys on «Rambo y sus titanes», joining the villainous Skorpion camp. Those would be Tackleberry…

…and House. Note: There are not many black people in Argentina.

As for the matches themselves, they all lasted less than five minutes, and not one of them was contested under First Blood rules. They did, however, take place in an innovative octagonal ring.

That’s not to say it was a very well-built ring.

For one thing, the ropes were attached right to the ring posts, which threatened to collapse upon impact.

With no ring apron to speak of, it was easy to trip on the edge.

As merchandising was the name of the game, the ring itself was turned into a toy (a toy based on a wrestling show based on a toy based on a cartoon based on a movie based on a book).

The show featured two referees. There was babyface referee Colonel Trautman (or “el coronel Trautman”, as Spanish has an odd habit of spelling things the way they’re pronounced)…

…and there was the heel referee, General Warhawk, who sometimes called the matches down the middle…

…sometimes blatantly cheated for the bad guys, and once, inexplicably, cost King Pin a match by fast-counting him despite accepting his bribe.

Adding to the confusion was that both referees sometimes counted pinfalls in their heads rather than slap the mat.

Whichever referee was off duty in a given match, he would usually be at ringside to manage and sometimes brawl with the other referee.

Calling the action was this ring announcer / commentator, who was the only on-screen talent not based on a toy.

You would think that a show this absurd would be a massive flop, but it was not. On at least one occasion, the promotion ran a live Saturday night show out of the Super Domo (that’s Super Domo, not Domo de Plata), drawing a reported 3000 fans. Every child at that show was given a free WCW action figure for some reason.

But it wasn’t just children attending these shows, nor did the wrestlers make much of an effort to keep things kid-friendly…

…and I don’t just mean the bazookas and automatic weapons that the wrestlers often carried to the ring. 

Mad Dog in particular liked to flirt with the mujeres

…and wasn’t averse to flipping off the audience…

…or pushing kids down.

During one wild brawl, referee General Warhawk chucked Chief right into a kid.

In 1992, «Rambo y sus titanes» tracked wins and losses to determine its international wrestling champion. While I don’t know who ended up winning, it’s a safe bet that Rambo himself came out on top.

After all, he was a big hit not only with the kids…

…but with the ladies.

And who could resist this ruggedly handsome face?

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
15 Responses to "Induction: Rambo y sus titanes – Your childhood action figure fed come to life!"
  1. The Doctor of Style says:

    Comedy gold! Great find, Art.

    Next time some Argentinian claims, “Oh, we’re so highbrow–Jorge Luis Borges came from our country”…just show them this induction!

  2. Sean Bateman says:

    and I thought that Turkish Rambo was batshit insane

  3. Preparation Triple H says:

    “A toy based on a wrestling show based on a toy based on a cartoon based on a movie based on a book.”

    Ay caramba!

  4. CP says:

    So that’s where Impact got the six sides from.

    I’m with you, Art. I find it incomprehensible that they made a cartoon based on Rambo.

    Fun fact, the same company also made the Mr. T cartoon. With the single most annoying theme song ever.

  5. Mav says:

    Those masks are really disturbing. What a terrible idea.

  6. Alfonzo Tyson says:

    Speaking of Rambo rip-offs, does this mean we’ll be finally seeing a Corporal Kirchner sometime soon?

  7. Jerry says:

    Definitely on the fun end of crap. Feels like something, I would have liked a lot as a kid too.

  8. ClawsomeMan says:

    Well, this is a first. A wrestling federation from Argentina? I bet if they had those guys instead of Messi, they wouldn’t choke in the FIFA competitions.

    • Nicholas DeLarge says:

      Argentina has a long history of completely insane, cheesy wrestling – look up Titanes en el Ring. They had a mummy who was actually a main eventer, an invisible man, guys in animal suits… just total wackiness. And it was the most popular thing on TV!

    • Thun Fish says:

      Oh, trust me: their choking is divine pumishment. Rubber John Rambo would get even more rubbery if he ever dared to try soccer.

  9. Mr Boing says:

    Those masks all I could think of was Michael Myers

  10. Kevin Lonergan says:

    Guess we’ll never see the Rambo/ G.I.Joe crossover with Rambo and Sgt. Slaughter taking on General Warhawk and Cobra Commander or Serpentor!!!

  11. williamcampbell says:

    “…and Flung Hi, the samurai (whose name in Spanish was pronounced Floon Hee).”

    The Spanish pronouncing is actually closer than how you good people pronounce in the US. Sort of like Ninja Gaiden is Ninja GUY-den instead of Ninja GAY-den.

  12. williamcampbell again says:

    … not that there ever was a samurai (or any Japanese person, for that matter) called Flung Hi.

leave a comment