I have a confession to make tonight: I was, at one time, the absolute worst fan of professional wrestling imaginable.
It would have been the mid 1990s. My friend Casey (Trash Losagain) and I would go events at the Tyndall Armory in downtown Indianapolis and heckle virtually everyone on the show. If you were skinny, we yell “buggy whips” at you. Because, you know, you had arms the leather they used to use to get horses to giddy up.
While noodle arms was always an easy target, the guy that got it worst, though, was promoter Jeff Cohen. He always wore these super nice double breasted jackets and looked like a million bucks. Perfect hair too. Probably out of jealousy, me and my likewise slovenly pal were determined to knock him down a notch by incessantly chanting “Nice suit Jeff, is it a rental?”
See, we weren’t only annoying, we also weren’t funny. It was a lethal combination.
Finally, though, Jeff had enough of us. Instead of having security escort us from the premises, though, he offered us a “job” – write wrestling programs for him and get them printed. The programs were programs in name only, as they were essentially a double-sided 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper folded over to make something he could sell for a buck to folks coming into the shows.
It was ghetto, but Casey and I were thrilled – we were over the rail and “in the business”. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have much earlier realized Jeff knew that I worked for a printing company…so therefore, I probably was given this opportunity due to my ability to get things printed for free.
Well played, Mr. Cohen. Well played.
In the end it didn’t matter – I was doing something in a business that I had loved for years and years…and in the process wound up with a friend for life in not only Casey but Jeff as well.
In addition to programs, I was also given the task of creating flyers and posters to be hung up around town to promote events. During this time, most wrestling posters were garish rainbow eyesores that looked something like this:
I am pretty sure someone somewhere ran approximately 10 trillion of those blank rainbow sheets and printing companies throughout the US bought them solely to create wrestling posters. Sadly I don’t have any that I created saved anywhere, but they most likely looked like that, only with pictures of myself and Casey on them somewhere despite the fact we didn’t even know at the time we printed them if we’d even be allowed to be on the show.
TL;DR: I made goofy wrestling posters and that makes me an expert on our subject this evening.
That or I just needed 400 or so words to pad this induction. You be the judge!
Great American Bash 1996
I’ve heard rumors of this being listed as one of the worst wrestling posters of all time and to anyone who says that I politely say UP YOURS. This is one of my all-time favorite posters of all time. Not just wrestling posters, all time posters of any genre! Seriously, you have Bobby Heenan going full Brain while Mean Gene has raw hamburger shaped into WCW logos!
Can life possibly get any better than this?
In fact, to honor this incredible meat based display, I will throughout the rest of this article rate everything by the number of WCW hamburger plates in comparison to the original…which for the record I am giving a full FIVE:
Great American Bash 2000
Sticking with not only WCW but the Bash itself, we now go to the polar opposite end of the spectrum with a completely bizarre cartoon promoting what would be the final WCW Bash in history. Holy smokes, where to even begin?
Sid flying through the air? Trying to figure out what on earth is on the side of Hulk’s trunks? Attempting to decipher what a SHADOW WARRIOR is and how Vamp achieved such status? Wasn’t that a crappy first person shooter back in the day?
I’ll go with the obvious instead: what type of ailment has caused Hogan to have what appear to be turtle shells attached to his belly? How do we as society avoid such this disease? I strongly suggest we all be concerned as its blatantly contagious, as Vamp’s tummy is disfigured in the exact same manner.
Probably too early to go negative, so we’ll just give a one and see where we go from here.
Spring Stampede 1998
This Spring Stampede poster is clearly the laziest design of anything we will be examining tonight, as whoever they had manning PageMaker simply got a stock image of a bull, slapped a crude null sign around it and called it a day. Granted, it wasn’t like in 1998 you could just Google that and download it, but still.
On the plus side, it does fit in perfectly with our ratings theme. For that we’ll split the difference and give it two and a half WCW burgers.
Halloween Havoc 1990
One of my all time FAVORITE posters ever, this one featuring Sid Vicious as FRANKENFREAKINSTEIN. Or technically his monster for all of you getting ready to correct me in the comments section.
To that end, I guess that would make Barry Windham Dr. Frankenstein, and thus Ric Flair as IGOR…all while the disembodied head of Sting floats above!
You may question why I’m not going the full monte on this, but it’s frankly missing something…
She was right there, guys. RIGHT THERE!
Halloween Havoc 1999
I do my best to never swear, but I must ask: WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS?
Ok, upon closer examination it appears that this bizarre creature was at some point in its furry existence one BILL GOLDBERG. At least I’m pretty sure that’s his nose and goatee. Beyond that, I have zero idea what kinda beast we are gazing upon here, as that mouth is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Is that a tongue or a half chewed Laffy Taffy?
A for effort I guess.
No wait, F for that effort.
Time to break out the negatives!
Badd Blood 1997
And here you thought this was going to solely WCW prints? Trust me, the WWF had tons of stupid posters too, including this one where Undertaker somehow chopped his own head off and is carrying it around. Note how Torso-less Taker is staring downward, no doubt thinking, “This is sponsored by that Playstation In Your House game? I hope no one buys that, it completely sucks!”
Still, I give it props because it reminds me of this:
I mean, it’s nowhere near as good, but any excuse I get to post that is worth a triple and then some.
Continuing the theme of lopped off noggins, we get this SummerSlam poster featuring the cast of Jackass….who opted out prior to the event due to the Benoit tragedy. Yeesh, I don’t even want to make a joke there.
In need of a distraction, I give you this Huey Lewis video. See if you can pick out any similarities!
That video plus the Elvira clip above now has me wormholing to THIS Huey Lewis tune:
I love Huey, but these are my two least favorite songs of his ever. Thus I can only give two WCW burgers.
From burgers to hot dogs we go for the self professed “biggest party of the summer”. I’m generally a fan of horrible Photoshoppery so good on the company here. Plus I’ve gotta give it up for the fact this poster features, no joke, THE SPIRIT SQUAD. That’s worth a patty all on its own.
But SPEAKING OF PATTY, who on earth decided that Trish, in a bikini mind you, was worthy of approximately 1/16″ of display?
Was it that important that Hunter had his giant sausage consuming the bottom quarter of this thing?
With that in mind, you’re lucky to even get this:
One look at this monstrosity and you have to ponder how on earth there are people in this world who don’t understand why Mox left WWE for AEW. Seriously, look at this stupid thing. Are they singing to each other?
OH! And I should add that is actually the SUPERIOR of the two posters released for the event. Take a look at THIS:
I swear, if I didn’t have the karaoke version, I would legit have no idea who Hunter was even facing there.
Still, stuff like this did drive Mox insane and thus running for the hills so I can’t go negative
I also can’t go higher than…
Money in the Bank 2011
I don’t know the backstory here, nor do I want to honestly. Anytime we get Big Show reading Hornswoggle a bedtime story from a magic book while they both wear nightcaps is worth an easy four and a half!
Survivor Series 1993
So much to unpack here, but I will try my best:
Jacques Rougeau ready to stab someone with a knife.
Ludvig Borga brandishing a fork.
The man now known as PCO (but then known as Quebecer Pierre) also has a fork…but he’s seemingly trying to use it as an electric razor.
You’d think that would be the stupidest thing on display, but we also get Yokozuna whose plan is apparently to eat the entire turkey…with chopsticks!
But wait! This wasn’t the only poster released for this event as we also get a babyface version!
While no doubt the plan was for everyone to focus on Lex Luger, I simply can’t.
LOOK AT TATANKA (BUFFALO!)!
I cannot stop staring at him. Tell me you have ever seen a happier look on anyone’s face ever. This Thanksgiving I urge everyone to run to the table with that exact same wide eyed, wide mouthed expression, and make sure you are carrying a fork and knife whilst you do it. It’ll be something the family will talk about for years to come!
I mean, you’ll never be invited back, but for comedy like that it’s a small price to pay.
Thus concludes our first ever look at goofy wrestling posters. Hopefully you enjoyed it and it brought you some laughs. That said, I generally grade myself of a scale.
Yeah, that seems about right.