R.I.W: Top 60 Best Luchadores

I have been a fan of Pro Wrestling for as long as I can remember, and alongside Horror Movies, Video Games, Rock Music and Comic Books, it’s still something that I enjoy to this very day…sure WWE’s product has been lacking on the creative front for decades with only hints of great booking in stories like The Fiend and the heel turn of Roman Reigns. Over the years I have seen many wrestling events live from companies like WWE, WCW, ECW, Rockstar Pro and many indie federations. I grew up not only watching the above mentioned on TV but also GWF, AWA, NWA, GCW, Impact, ROH, WCCW, AAA, CMLL, FMW, New Japan, All Japan, XPW and so many more thanks to broadcast as well as home media formats. Who remembers the VHS Wrestling Tape Trades that allowed fans to see matches and wrestlers from all over the world? One style of wrestling that has been my favorite from the first time I saw it is Lucha Libre as the fast paced moves and amazing grapplers with superhero style looks and characters has always been my go to for wrestling. For this update I am going to countdown my personal picks for the top 60 Luchadors aka my personal favorites!

While working on Rotten Ink, I started to think about ways to bring in other subjects that I love as well as fun themed updates that I can bust out from time to time stuff to join the likes of Horror Host Icon, SOV Flashback Classics, Sports Mascots Countdown, Talk Back and a few more. So I decided to create R.I.W. that stands for Rotten Ink Illustrated and is a play off of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (P.W.I) that was my favorite wrestling magazine growing up. And with these R.I.W updates, I am thinking that I will not only be doing Top 60 Countdowns but might also talk about PPV events and break them down and who knows maybe even will cover some live events…as I am not sure really just yet what I want to do for these themed updates.

Keep in mind this list is just my opinion and these rankings are just how I am feeling now. Ask me in a year or two and I am sure it could and would change! The rankings for this are based on me seeing matches of these Luchadors and their character and look.  I am ruling out two icons El Santo and Blue Demon as they are the kings of the ring and while I have seen very little of their matches, I grew up watching their films on Commander USA’s Groovie Movies. Oh and by saying “seen matches” I mean watching on TV, Seen Live, Online Matches and old Tape Trade VHS. So if you are ready, let’s head to Rotten Ink Arena and let’s talk Luchadors…and yeah I added one extra for the fun of it!

# 61

Mr. Iguana
Started: 2009      Companies: AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

The super popular Mr. Iguana has made a big name for himself in AAA and is hands down one of the most popular wrestlers with kids in the promotion! Mr. Iguana started in the indies, and after an injury set him back, he quickly made a name for himself upon his return to the ring and got the attention of AAA and was signed to compete in the company. While he is not a main eventer and is a Mid-Card lucha, he is very entertaining to watch in the ring. Mr. Iguana is one that I have seen thanks to AAA’s social media that has allowed me and other US fans to see these guys wrestle. While he is not one of my favorite current Luchadors, I will say he is one that I am going to keep my eye on as I think he could become a very interesting wrestler if given the right feuds and matches.

# 60

El Mosco
Started: 1995      Companies: AAA & WWE     Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

El Mosco, who is now known as X-Fly, was a Luchador I first saw on WWE TV as he was part of their short-lived team up with AAA to help kick off their Lightweight division. He was a big deal in Mexico and ran a faction called “Los Rudos De La Galaxia” up until he left the promotion and his then-name Mosco De La Merced was given to another wrestler. During this time is when the El Mosco character was born, and he went on to work not only for Indie Federations but also at WWE, WCW and ECW many of times wrestling under different names and this started in 1997 and he still takes bookings to this day! And in 2010 he returned to AAA until 2012 and was a part of a major storyline that had him teaming with Halloween and Damian 666. He’s a very skilled Luchador, who I mostly knew from his short WWE run and was one I found myself cheering for. And man, he has had a ton of other in ring names that include Winners II, Pierroth Jr., Johnny and Juan El Mosco to name a few.

# 59

Super Calo
Started: 1990      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Super Calo was a Luchador that I first saw on WCW as part of the Mexican superstars that were showing up to help push the cruiserweight division, and while a super skilled wrestler, he failed to capture my attention like many of the others brought in, but keep in mind that I still enjoyed watching him in matches. Super Calo started his in ring career in 1990 working some indie federations before landing at AAA in 1992 where he became a very popular wrestler and a draw with his rapper gimmick.  His run lasted until around 1995 as by 1996 he had been signed to WCW and helped showcase Lucha Libre to American fans. Super Calo would be used as enhancement talent and would stick around WCW for a few years before heading back to Mexico to work for the Indies. In 2007, he returned to AAA for another brief run and would then go back to the Indies as well as opening his own promotion called FSW.  While Super Calo might not have been a main eventer here in America, he is a well respected Lucha in Mexico.

# 58

Sin Cara
Started: 2011     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok, I know what you readers are saying: why is Sin Cara this high on your list as everyone knows that he was considered a failure in WWE and even had two wrestlers under the mask during his run.  But let me explain.  While he had some very botch filled matches while in WWE and even never really captured a Main Event Spot and was barely a Mid-Carder by the end, he helped paved the way for other masked Luchadors to be signed to WWE and be able to keep their masks on! And I am not going to talk about the history of Mistico or Hunico the two who played the gimmick and will more just talk about Sin Cara in general. In 2011 the WWE held a press conference to talk about the signing of Sin Cara as he was built up to be the next Rey Mysterio Jr. for the company and so much hype and push was placed on him as he was slated to be a main eventer even having him team with the company’s top star John Cena…but sadly his star quickly started to fade as injuries, bad attitude and botches made him fall down the card and with his title wins coming along side fellow Luchador Kalisto when, as the Lucha Dragons, they won the NXT Tag Team belts once. He was let go from the WWE in 2019 and has since made an appearance in AAA and now is going under a new name. While he might not be the best of the WWE Luchadors, he is one I enjoyed seeing on TV and at Live Events.

# 57

Tigre Uno
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes  Seen Live: No

This Luchador started his career like so many working the Indies and making a name for himself.  He did so at California’s WWA (World Wrestling Association) promotion and during this time as well he became more of a Hardcore Wrestler using chairs, tables and ladders in his matches. In 2006, he got the call and joined AAA and climbed his way up the card winning not only some championships but also tournaments. And during this time Impact Wrestling ended up signing Tigre Uno in 2013 where he would become an attraction in the X-Division a belt that he would end up winning in 2015! Tigre Uno would stay with Impact until 2016 and after this he once more went to the Indies and has been there since entertaining fans worldwide. Tigre Uno is one of those wrestlers I have seen a little of his Impact matches and would like to see more of his work as well as see him live in person. Over the years Tigre Uno has also wrestled under the names Tyger Mask, Extreme Tiger, Ultimate Tiger and Xtreme Tiger.

# 56

Kalisto
Started: 2006      Companies: AAA & WWE      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Kalisto is a wrestler who I was happy to see in NXT and WWE as he was a masked Luchador that they allowed for the most part to wrestling in that style…well that was up until his call up to the main roster. Kalisto started his wrestling career working the Indies by the name of Samuray and making a name for himself that ended up leading him to a job with AAA and going from Samuray to Octagon Jr. as he became the student of one of his biggest inspiration Octagon himself! He was in AAA from 2011 and left in 2013 as he became a very in demand wrestler in the Indie scene all over the world and during this time he returned to the Samuray name and worked for companies like CZW, Dragon Gate and AAW! But later in 2013, WWE came calling and hired him to be part of their NXT brand. This would lead to a move up to the main roster in 2015, and during this time he became the United States Champion as well as the Cruiserweight Champion and has been part of the Tag Team “The Lucha Dragons” with Sin Cara and “The Lucha House Party” with Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado and remained a fun draw for American fans who enjoy the Lucha Libre style of wrestling. He also went under the names Bello Greco Jr., The Son Of Superzan, Jordy Stone and Love Warrior. He was let go from the WWE in 2021.

# 55

Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Started: 1994     Companies: WCW & WWE     Active: Yes   Seen Live: Yes

Chavo was born into one of Mexico’s royal families of wrestling, the Guerrero’s! He started wrestling in the indies and even landed himself matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling mastering his craft and building a name for himself. He would be brought into WCW in 1996 as part of the wave of Luchadors being brought in to build the cruiserweight division and he would be a contender off and on throughout the years for the belt even winning it twice and even capturing WCW Tag Team Gold once with partner Lash LeRoux! He would also have a gimmick in WCW that would see him go crazy and carry a stick horse around he called Pepe.  He would leave WCW in 2001 after the company was closed down and would start working for WWE and was part of The Alliance story angle.  During his WWE run, he was mostly used as a Mid-Carder with his biggest run coming when teaming with his uncle Eddie to win the WWE Tag Team Titles twice! He would also win the ECW Championship once as well as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship four times…he would also have one of the worst gimmicks ever while in the WWE when he changed his name to Kerwin White and denounced his Mexican heritage. Chavo would leave WWE in 2011 and would start working for the Indies like WWC before landing at Impact Wrestling in 2012 and would slink around there until 2013 and would make another appearance for them in 2019. After Impact and still taking Indie bookings, he also worked for Lucha Underground as well as the very short lived Nacion Lucha Libre, a federation he co-created with Alberto Del Rio in 2019 (they closed in 2020). While Chavo is still wrestling, he also has gone on to do other media releases like Acting, Comic Books and Podcasting. While Chavo is a still worker, he just never fully captured my attention and never truly lived up to the Guerrero name. He is currently working for AEW.

# 54

Texano Jr.
Started: 1999     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes    Seen Live: No

The bull rope carrying Texano Jr. started his in ring career in the indies under the name Kempo Kid, and it was during his time in the indies during a “bet matches” that Kempo Kid had to unmask and became Texano Jr. as he was the son of Luchador legend El Taxano! Very quickly after unmasking Texano Jr. would go to CMLL.  He started in 2003 and was placed in many big stories as well as feuds and would even have factions like “Perros Del Mal”! But things came to an end for his CMLL run in 2011 when he decided to leave and join Perros del Mal Producciones, an indie promotion created by the iconic Perro Aguayo Jr. and he would leave them the same year and join AAA, where he still is to this day. Texano Jr. has a great look as he reminds me of the cowboy wrestlers of the 80’s and 90’s like Stan Hansen and Outlaw Ron Bass, not to mention he is very skilled in the ring and one I enjoy watching on AAA events.

# 53

Bestia 666
Started: 2009     Companies: AAA & WWA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Bestia 666 is the son of Damien 666 and started his career not only in the indies but also in Perros del Mal Producciones.  This would lead to a small run in AAA that allowed him to team with his father as well as his long tome friend Halloween as a stable, all the while he was still working for Perros del Mal Producciones.  In 2012 he quit them and decided to start his journey of working the indies in Mexico as well as America that would lead him to work such federations as MLW, Lucha Underground, GFW, UWF and EWF and would allow him to get a tryout match in the WWE (he would get two) but sadly he was not signed. Bestia 666 has a great look and is super skilled in the ring, and I for one enjoy watching his matches on YouTube and would like to see more matches as well as would like to see him get signed to one of America’s top four federations WWE, AEW, Impact or ROH. Over his career he has also went under the ring names Leo and Bestia.

# 52

Bengala
Started: 1995     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Not to be confused with the CMLL Luchador named Bengala, I am talking about the one who is working for AAA and has the white tiger look that I discovered thanks to YouTube and AAA’s social media as well as Lucha Underground that has allowed me to see his matches and become a fan! Bengala started like every other wrestler making his mark on the indies and building a name for himself and once his dues were paid, he was signed to CMLL in 1998 and would become a lower card Luchador who would rise to being a popular mid-carder up until he left them in 2003. Because of CMLL he got to work many matches in Japan for Toryumon Japan promotion and even held the NWA World Welterweight Title.  He would wrestle in Japan off and on for many years even when he became signed to Pro Wrestling Noah in 2003 and stayed until 2015 as a featured star for the promotion. He would then come back to Mexico off and on working for AAA from 2007-2008 and again from 2013-2017, and during this time with AAA the Bengala character was born! Starting in 2016 Bengala was played by another Luchador until 2019 when he as well left the company and as of now ended Bengela’s run. While not a household name when coming to Lucha Libre stars, he was an entertaining one that I enjoyed seeing in the matches I watched.

# 51

Abismo Negro
Started: 1987     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: No

First thing I want to say is R.I.P Abismo Negro, who sadly passed away in 2009 as the world of Lucha Libre lost an amazing talent. Like all wrestlers Abismo Negro began his career in the indie scene and in 1991 he was signed to CMLL and only stayed there until 1992 as he left to join the new promotion AAA and this would be his federation that he would stick with for his career, and during this time he would have name changes landing on Abismo Negro in 1997.  He was part of many factions, held many titles and even represented AAA in a tournament that was being held by Impact Wrestling. Abismo Negro was an amazing Luchador and was an amazing Rudo who would use fire in his entrance and captured the attention of every fan who seen him. Sadly I have only been able to watch his matches online and have not got to see many, as I am sure if I was able to have seen him live or even more matches Abismo Negro would have easily made his way into my Top 10 on this list! Over his career he had also went by the names The Winner, Pequeno Samurai, Furor and Alex Dinamo.

# 50

Espiritu Maya
Started: 2017     Companies: Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

In my opinion one of the best Luchadors going in the indies here in America is Espiritu Maya, who has been building a name for himself at many promotions and has been growing his fan base and reputation as a Lucha star. Espiritu Maya has captured titles at many of the promotions he has worked for and has even had some matches with wrestlers from Impact as well as legends at these events. Espiritu Maya is an up and coming Luchador that is one that you should all keep an eye on as he could get the call up to NXT or AEW in the future. Espiritu Maya is also a main stay at Rockstar Pro Wrestling the local Dayton, Ohio federation that I work for, and I have had the privilege of watching him wrestle many times.

# 49

Heavy Metal
Started: 1988     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

I first saw Heavy Metal in WWE as he was one that took part of the AAA team up that lasted a short time in the 1990’s as he even had a match at the 1995 Royal Rumble! With a brief run in some Mexican indie federations, he truly started in CMLL and would stay there until 1992 when he jumped ship and started to work for the newly formed AAA.  He would became a mainstay and big draw for them even being apart of a talent exchange between AAA and WWE and later Impact. During this time with AAA, he would win many titles like The Mexican National Welterweight Championship two times and AAA Campeon de Campeones Championship once not to even talk about all the Bet Matches he was apart of. Heavy Metal would leave AAA in 2004 and by 2005 he was breifly working for IWRG (International Wrestling Revolution Group) and then went back to CMLL from 2005 to 2010 and was once more a big name for the promotion. But AAA came calling again, and by 2010 he was back with them and would stay around for many more years, until going and working indie shows. While Heavy Metal is not the major star he once was, he is still an icon and legend in Lucha Libre, and still to this day I have his AAA figure from 1994! Over his career he also went by the name Canelo Casas.

# 48

Humberto Carrillo
Started: 2012     Companies: WWE & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Humberto Carrillo started his in ring career in the Indies and he is apart of the Garza Family Tree and proved that he was just as skilled as the rest of his family as he became a main attraction at events and even won many belts and tournaments and would compete for federations like Chilanga Mask, The Crash Lucha Libre, Casanova Pro and Lucha Libre Azteca. Humberto would float around the indies from 2012 through 2018, and in 2018 he got his big break by being signed by WWE and wrestling for NXT until being brought up to the main roaster as apart of the 205 Live brand in 2019 and by the end of 2019 he was brought up to be featured on Raw during a draft and this started his push to become a main star on the roster.  Well that was until the out of touch Vince McMahon lost interest in the superstar and moved onto the next wrestler he could push and crush in a short time. Humberto is a great Mid-Carder who puts on top notch matches in WWE and if given the chance, he could easily becomes a mega star just like Rey Mysterio Jr.! Other names Humberto has used in his career is Ultimo Ninja and Humberto Pidorasio, and I should note that when WWE House Shows and Live Events returns to the Dayton area I hope to see Humberto in action.

# 47

Pagano
Started: 2008     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Mexico has many wrestling clown Luchadors and one of the biggest and most popular is Pagano, who started his career in 2008 and was a hardcore wrestler who would wrestle in Mexico and America in the indies that included feds like WWA4, FULL and IWRG before getting signed to AAA in 2016 and being flung into a main event spot and being in the group “La Familiar Fonteriza” alongside Damian 666, Halloween and Psychosis that would last for awhile and as well allowed him to get into feuds with Psycho Clown and Pentagon Jr. and o this date Pagano is one of AAA’s big stars featured in many high profile matches. While working for AAA, he has also been featured on Impact Wrestling as well has fought and won a MMA match…and has won many belts and tournaments for AAA that including the AAA World Tag Team Championship with partner El Mesias. Super entertaining to watch and a Lucha that puts on great matches both in skill and in brawls Pagano is surly going to be a legend in Lucha Libre when he retires. Pagano has also wrestled under a mask before settling on his classic face paint look. I have mostly seen his work in AAA thanks to their social media and YouTube.

# 46

Andrade
Started: 2003     Companies: WWE & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the biggest recent wasted talents in WWE is Andrade, who is a super skilled Luchador who went from being a Main Event prospect all the way to being a Mid-Carder that was then barely thought about thanks to Vince.  It was a shame as he has all the makings of being a great world champion who could play the rudo role. Andrade started his career in 2003 working for many of the indie promotions in Mexico and started when he was just a teenager and built up his skills as well as impressed those who watched him in action. By 2007 he was signed to the big leagues in Mexico as he got a contract with CMLL and quickly rose up the ranks and became a main eventer and would be placed in many main featured matches and would capture many belts, win bet matches as well as tournament wins! During his run with CMLL he would also have a small run in New Japan Pro Wrestling and during this time is when he caught the eye of WWE. Andrade would leave both CMLL and New Japan in 2015 as he signed with WWE and would make his debut on NXT and would make it to the main roster on 2018.  In his WWE career, he captured the NXT Championship once and the WWE United States Championship only once until he left the company in 2021.  He now wrestles for AEW.  During his career this far he has also wrestled under such names as Brillante Jr., La Sombra, Rey Azteca and Guerrero Azteca to name a few.

# 45

El Dandy
Started: 1981     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

El Dandy is known in America for his run in WCW as part of their Cruiserweight division as well as a member of the stable L.W.O., but for many he is also known for that classic Bret Hart promo that had Bret saying “Who are you to doubt El Dandy?” when he selected him for a match.  I saw El Dandy take on Scott Norton on a WCW Saturday Night taping live here in Dayton, Ohio and a fan behind us was all about cheering El Dandy on during the match. El Dandy, like all pro wrestlers, started his wrestling career in the indie scene starting in 1981 and was quickly respected by fans and fellow workers for his hard work in and out of the ring, and by 1981 he got his big break being signed to CMLL where he was a big star and a numerous champion holding several titles including the CMLL World Middleweight Championship a total of three times! He would be involved with many bet matches as well as was able to take indie bookings as well as work for WWA out of California. But when WCW needed wrestlers for their cruiserweight division El Dandy was called up in 1997 and would be used as an enhancement talent his whole time their losing almost all of his matches with many being squash matches. By 2000 El Dandy was released from WCW along with many of the other Luchadors, and this allowed him to wrestler for not only indies but also a short run in AAA as well as IWRG and he would retire from wrestling in 2014. While he was one of Mexico’s top wrestlers during his run, he sadly never caught on in America and was used as a jobber. El Dandy is awesome and I for one am glad I was able to see him wrestle live a few times before he retired.

# 44

Angel Garza
Started: 2008     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Another member of the Garza family and another that shows that Lucha Libre is alive and well in America when allowed to shine in one of the main companies! Starting out in the Indies, Angel Garza got the attention of many federations including Impact and AAA with the latter signing him to a contract in 2015. He would make his mark on the company by putting on great matches as well as being involved in some high profile ones, but by 2017 Angel had left AAA and started working for the Indies again as well as worked with Impact Wrestling and during this time is stock was rising even more as he was able to get the attention of WWE who signed him to a contract in 2019 and placed him on NXT and then 205 Live before making his main roster debut in 2020 when they placed him into a short tag team with Andrade, managed by Zelina Vega. After the team broke up, he has been used on the mid-card with teases of breaking into the main event soon. So far in WWE, he is a one time NXT Cruiserweight Champion. With tons of skill and a legacy family name Angel Garza could become a big star if given the chance. Over his career he has gone by the names El Hijo del Ninja, Garza Jr. and Humberto Garza.

# 43

Laredo Kid
Started: 2003      Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Laredo Kid is a super popular Luchador who is one of AAA’s top main eventers that puts butts in the seats. Laredo Kid started his career in 2003 and worked the indies until 2005 where he signed with AAA and rose his way to the top of the card with fast paced and impressive matches! During his time in AAA, he was also allowed to make appearances in Impact and AEW as well as even had a tryout match in the WWE! He is the winner of many AAA titles as well as tournaments and bet matches and will surely become one of the company’s futures Hall Of Famers if he stays the path to greatness as he is now. I have mostly seen his matches in AAA as well as a few of his Impact matches thanks to YouTube and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the coming years as he is one to truly watch.

# 42

Taurus
Started: 2005     Companies: AAA & Impact       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Taurus is a Luchador that I first discovered on Facebook and quickly watched many of his matches on YouTube and then have seen him on AAA and Impact events via TV and social media. Taurus started out working indies in Mexico before being signed to AAA in 2012 and would work as Machine Rocker as part of the group Los Inferno Rockers and would work as this character until 2015 when he was repackaged as Taurus, but by 2016 he left AAA and worked for Lucha Libre Elite as well as other indie federations, that was until he once more signed with AAA in 2018 and this has also allowed him to work matches in Impact, MLW and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as has made appearances in many American indies. While he is not considered a main eventer in AAA and has not captured any belts yet, with his cool look, skills in the ring and great rudo attitude, it’s only a matter of time before he climbs the card. I also think that if Taurus was around in 1996 he would have been brought into WCW and would have been a great addition to the Cruiserweight division. Over the years Taurus has also went by the names Machine Rocker, Semental, Black Taurus and Black Tauro.

# 41

Lizmark Jr.
Started: 1991     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as his stint in the company is how I became a fan of Lizmark Jr. as well as was able to see him live during a taping of WCW Saturday Night! Lizmark Jr. started his career in 1991 and worked for a few indie promotions in Mexico as well as had a short AAA run before going to WCW in 1997 as apart of their big boom of Luchador talent being signed in order to build their Cruiserweight division. He would stick around in WCW for a while and sadly was mostly used on the lower card and enhancement talent and never won a WCW title. In 2000, he was let go from WCW and Lizmark would return to Mexico and start working for CMLL and would end up turning Rudo and would lose his mask in a bet match in 2007 after being pinned by Blue Panther. Lizmark Jr. would go onto to capture his first belt in a major federation when he won the CMLL World G1 Heavyweight Championship. Lizmark also started working for Lucha Libre USA on MTV2 in 2010 and would capture the LLUSA Heavyweight Championship from them as well! In 2011 he would go back to AAA and have a small run and is now working on the indies all over Mexico and from time to time the USA. I think Lizmark Jr. is a talent that sometimes gets over looked here in America as his run in WCW was less then stellar, but do yourself a favor and watch some of his matches and you will see why I am a fan.

# 40

Chessman
Started: 1996      Companies: AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of the greatest rudo’s in modern Lucha Libre hands down is Chessman and only a few other names come to mind in AAA that can match him in his ruthless behavior! Chessman started his time in the ring in the indies in 1996 and became a Luchador to watch as he was making a major splash with his style and appearance he adopted in 2000 known as Chessman. And with the name and appearance change AAA came calling and signed him in 2001 and his long and awesome career as one of Lucha Libre’s top Luchadors started and would have him see many title wins, many bet matches and have him mix it up with wrestlers from Impact. He would be in many stables and groups like Los Hell Brothers, La Secta and The Black Family to name a few. He has been loyal to AAA over all these years just like The Undertaker has been to WWE and Sting was to WCW showing that Chessman is surely a AAA Hall Of Famer when he retires from in ring action. Like many of the AAA Luchadors, I have seen so many of his matches thanks to the company’s social media accounts. He’s a true amazing Luchador to watch in action and one that deserves his position in the company. Before being Chessman he also wrestled in the indies under the names M-357, Magnum and Quinto Elemento.

# 39

Octagon
Started: 1981      Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Octagon is a true legend in the world of Lucha Libre and is a Luchador that I can remember buying grey market Best of VHS tapes of as well as seeing him in the pages of wrestling magazines all through my youth. Octagon started his wrestling career in 1981 and was able to blend his martial arts background into his Lucha Libre style and took the indies by storm.  By 1982 he was working for CMLL, and by 1989 he was a super popular and top star for the promotion being in several high profile matches as well as captured the fans’ attention. When AAA started in 1992, one of the Luchadors to leave CMLL for the new promotion was Octagon who was a major star for the company for many years and was one of the companies main attractions, but by 2014 his place on the card was falling slightly and this caused Octagon to leave AAA and sadly caused a major rift between them over the rights to the name, look and back pay! He would then go onto wrestle for CMLL as well as other Indie feds over the years. While his in ring career has slowed down, he still is active from time to time. He truly is a legend in Lucha Libre, and I wish he and AAA could bury the hatchet and patch things up so that he can have a proper retirement match when he is ready to hang the boots up. Over the years he has also gone under the names Dragon Dorado and La Amenaza Elegante.

# 38

Aero Boy
Started: 2003      Companies: Indies & CZW     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Aero Boy is one of the best unsigned Luchadors in the indies going as he can wrestling the classic Lucha Libre style as well as work hardcore matches! He is a true journeyman wrestler as he has wrestled all over the world and has made a name for himself in every nation he has performed in, and he as well as captured many of the belts including the Intergalactic World Championship from Rockstar Pro Wrestling. Aero Boy is a Luchador I have had the pleasure of seeing live many times and if he comes to your town, make sure to see him in action as you will not be sorry! Over his career thus far as well he has faced many names in the business and it’s crazy that he has not been signed to Impact, CMLL or AAA as they don’t know what they are missing with his guy!

# 37

Drago
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Drago is a Luchador who has one of the coolest looks in the business as his mask is fantastic! Drago is one I discovered while watching AAA videos on YouTube and reading their Facebook page, and he quickly became one of my favorites! Like all before him, he started his career on the Indies and would quickly be signed by AAA the same year in 1998 and would be saddled with other masks and names like Jimmy Boy, Alan and Gato Eveready and while they had a following and fans it was in 2011 when he became Drago that his career in AAA really took off and he got the main event push he had been fighting for his whole time with them! And because of this new look, name and push it lead to him representing AAA in federations like Lucha Underground, Impact, Global Force Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and getting more eyes on him across the world. At one point a rumor was going around that even WWE was interesting in signing him to NXT! Drago in AAA has won many belts, bet matches and tournaments and still is a very popular Luchador for them.

# 36

Perro Aguayo
Started: 1968     Companies: AAA & UWA     Active: No    Seen Live: No

One of the biggest draws in Lucha Libre history in Mexico is the rudo everyone loved Perro Aguayo! This Luchador was like none other as he had such a presence in the ring and was such a brawler that set him apart from everyone working in Mexico at the time! Perro is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market VHS tapes that I would see him on as well as later YouTube and DVDs from HighSpots Video. Perro reminds me of a very early version of a Hardcore wrestler who would bleed and brawl all over the ring and would have the fans on the edge of their seats doing so. Perro Aguayo started his career in 1968 working for the indies before being one of the top Rudos in UWA the place he would make the name for himself and would even feud with the likes of El Santo! The crazy thing being while he was a rudo, he was a draw as fans would often cheer him over the tecnico he was facing. He was such a draw that UWA would spotlight him and have him in all types of high profile matches against the companies top stars. During this time as well he would work matches for CMLL and was a major headliner. In 1992 he would leave UWA and help build AAA and would be a big star for them as well and during his time in AAA he would also work for WWE in 1997 as part of the talent trade the companies made. In 2000 he would leave AAA and sign with CMLL and would stay around for awhile and was a draw for them as well, he would loose a retirement match and would remain gone for a while until returning to team with his son for a time before heading back into retirement in 2001. During his time in the ring he would be a main-eventer, a respected rudo, win many belts in AAA, CMLL, UWA and even was the first ever WWE Light Heavyweight Champion (even if WWE does not have it on the records now). Not to even mention he is in the AAA Hall Of Fame and took part in so many Bet Matches. Sadly Perro Aguayo passed away in 2019 at the age of 73 from an infection. While gone his legacy is still very much alive in Mexico and his popularity and drawing power is still stuff of legend.

# 35

El Pantera
Started: 1985      Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

One of the best things for me during the WWE Attitude Era was the Lightweight division that was sadly overshadowed by Jerry Lawler screaming Puppies and the never ending feud between Stone Cold and Vince McMahon that ate up so much airtime. And what made it so cool was not only seeing the cruiserweights get some time to shine, but was also cool to see some Luchadors on TV again in WWE! One of my favorites was El Pantera who was played as a rudo and always put on great matches. El Pantera started working the indies in Mexico in 1985 and by 1992 he was working fulltime for CMLL and would win a few belts and become a solid Mid-Carder who had his fair share of fans and even had a few high profile matches that helped build his name in Lucha Libre, but by 1996 he left CMLL and after leaving he started to work some dates in Japan as well as for IWRG and this is also when he had a short run for WWE that lasted from 1997 and ended in 1999. While still working for IWRG he would also be sent back to CMLL as the companies had a talent exchange and he would stick around for a short time and even win a title, before setting his sites on only working for IWRG, while not as active as he once was El Pantera is still working the indies from time to time as well as for IWRG. Over the years El Pantera has also gone by other names like El Manaya, Pantera II, America, Triyon and Tanaka.

# 34

Guerrero Maya Jr.
Started: 2005     Companies: CMLL & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Guerrero Maya Jr. is a Luchador that I have had the pleasure of not only seeing live at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, but is also one that I was lucky enough to chat with before and after the event. His match against Zachary Wentz was the best on the card as it was highflying and high impact! Guerrero Maya Jr. started working the indies for a short time in 2005 and by 2007 he was working for CMLL and was wresting under the names Samba and Multifacetico and it was in 2009 that he got the name Guerrero Maya Jr. and that is also when his popularity and position on the card was on the rise. He even was part of the Crocket Cup in 2019 as he represented CMLL alongside Stuka Jr. and sadly they lost. Guerrero Maya Jr. would go on to win titles in CMLL like the Mexican Trios Championship a total of three times with Delta and Atlantis. To me it’s crazy that AEW, Impact nor WWE have not signed Guerrero Maya Jr. yet as he is a great talent and one of my favorite Luchadors I have seen live over the years!

# 33

Hector Garza
Started: 1992     Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Hector Garza is another member of the Garza Family and is one that I first saw in action thanks to WCW when they brought in many Luchadors for their Cruiserweight division as well as mid-carders. I was lucky to have seen Hector Garza in action at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Dayton, Ohio and he showcased why the Luchadors was why I was a big fan of WCW during that time! Sadly Hector passed away in 2013 and it’s a shame as the world of wrestling lost a super talented Luchador. Hector started working the indies in 1992 and would spend sometime in FILL and his in ring rudo style got the attention of CMLL who signed him in 1994 and this would only last until 1996 when he left and signed with AAA that lead to him also being able to work a few WWE events as part of their talent exchange and even was showcased at the 1995 Royal Rumble and even got a win on T.L Hopper on an episode of Superstars, but in 1997 his time with AAA and WWE came to an end when WCW came calling and he joined them from 1997 to 1999 and while in WCW he became a member of the L.W.O as well as got a clean pin fall victory over Scott Hall in a short lived storyline. Once let go from WCW in 1999 he returned to AAA and worked their as well as a few dates for Impact and had a big feud with Heavy Metal, Latin Lover and Perro Aguayo Jr. for many years. But he once more left AAA to this time return to CMLL in 2005 that allowed him to have his star keep rising in Mexico and also let him wrestle in New Japan! And always a Luchador on the move in 2011 he left CMLL and started working for Perros del Mal Producciones the federation he would stay with until 2012 when he was forced into retirement due to being diagnosed with lung cancer. After his death Hector Garza was inducted into the AAA Hall Of Fame and has left a massive legacy in the world of wrestling. In his time in wrestling he had won multiple titles in many companies like AAA, CMLL, Luca Libre Azteca, Perros del Mal Producciones and many more.

# 32

Villano V
Started: 1976      Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as they are how I first saw Villano V as well as his brother and partner Villano IV, and while they both were skilled workers it was Villano V that was my favorite of the team! Before he was named Villano V he was Rokambole and worked the indies as well as being trained by his father and brothers who where known as The Villano’s and he had to earn his number in the family. And by 1983 he had earned the name Villano V and along with his brothers worked for many promotions like CMLL, AAA, UWA and IWRG before he and his brother Villano IV landed jobs with WCW in 1996 were they were used not only in the growing cruiserweight division but as well as the tag team division as they were perfect rudos, but sadly they were used as enhancement talent their whole run.  When Villano IV was injured and out for a time Villano V was used as a jobber but would become a member of the L.W.O! Villano V would leave WCW in 2000 after being let go and would return to Mexico and would work for the likes of CMLL and would even have a retirement event in “2013” that was not truly a retirement match as shortly after the event he was taking bookings and still does to this day. Over his long career he has won many bet matches, belts and tournaments and is one of the best rudos as he is so unlikable and wrestles dirty. While he lacks the flash of so many other Luchadors on this list his pure rudo ways is what made him one of my favorites to watch.

# 31

Ciclope/Halloween
Started: 1990     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

Ok let’s get this out of the way now, Ciclope was the renamed Halloween for when he came to WCW during the Cruiserweight boom of the late 90’s, and his in ring skill and his spooky Horror themed character is what made me a fan…plus seeing him live also helped make me a fan. Halloween started his career in 1990 and worked for the Indies up until 1996 when he was hired by WCW to grow their Cruiserweight division and was called Ciclope and was used on the undercard and booked against the bigger names in the division to help get them over and his lackluster run came to an end in 1999. Working the indies after his WCW run, he would lose his Ciclope mask in a bet match and would quickly go back to his Halloween character and would then lose Halloween mask in a bet match causing him to paint his face like a Jack-O-Lantern. While working the indies for many years and having matches for companies like FCW, XPW and USA Pro Wrestling before landing at CMLL in 2002 teaming with Damian 666, Rey Misterio Sr., Nicho el Millonario and valet Lady Victoria as “La Familia de Tijuana” to become one of the biggest rudo stables at the time and would be off and on with CMLL until around 2009. And by 2010 he was working with AAA and would be apart of a few big matches and by 2012 he left and would end up in IWRG, but Halloween would still do matches for AAA and would stick around for awhile before just going back to the indies. Halloween while not as well known around the world like so many Luchadors before and after him, he is a true icon of the ring and a good worker who should get more respect. Halloween also cannot only work the Lucha Libre style but can also work the Hardcore style. Over the years of wrestling besides the name Ciclope he has went by Rocky Boy, Cyclope and Elvis Gonzalez.

# 30

Dr. Wagner Jr.
Started: 1985     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Dr. Wagner Jr. is a true legend in Lucha Libre and has had so many great feuds and matches over the years with one of my favorites being the one he had with Blue Demon Jr. in 2019 that even lead to Dr. Wagner Jr. losing his mask! I first saw Dr. Wagner Jr. matches on grey market VHS Tapes I would buy off Ebay and at conventions and also over the years have watched his matches in AAA and man I must say he is super entertaining and I would even say at one time he was Lucha Libres best rudo going! Like everyone, after training to become a Luchador he worked the indies in 1985 going under the name El Invasor for a short amount of time before taking the name Dr. Wagner Jr. in 1986 as his father was of course Dr. Wagner! After a terrible accident that left his father in a wheelchair, Dr. Wagner Jr. signed with UWA (Universal Wrestling Association) in 1987 and would be one of their top stars until they had to partner with CMLL in 1993 and this allowed Wagner Jr. to work their and captured belts and even more attention from the fans. Dr. Wagner Jr. was so popular that when facing tecnico’s the fans would cheer him as he was a rudo! This would also lead him to have matches in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling and helped build his legacy is wrestling. But in 2009 CMLL and Wagner Jr. split ways and he would end up at their rival AAA and he would become a major player for them until 2013 when he left to travel the Indies for a short time and then would go on to have matches in CMLL and they back on and off with AAA up until 2020 were he retuned to the indies. And who knows when Dr. Wagner Jr. will show back up in CMLL or AAA, but one thing is for sure wherever he goes he will be one of the biggest Luchadors in the federation.

# 29

Atlantis
Started: 1983      Companies: CMLL & New Japan     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of CMLL’s biggest and most iconic Luchadors in modern time is Atlantis who has spent almost his whole career with them as one of their top draws and most respected stars. In 1983, he started working for many indie feds in Mexico, but by 1994 he was signed to CMLL and quickly rose through the roster to became one of the company’s main draws who was placed in many big matches, won so many belts including the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship twice as well as a number of tournaments and bet matches. He would also travel for CMLL and have matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Michinoku Pro Wrestling! While spending almost his whole career as a Tecnico, he has turned Rudo before adding more layers to his legacy, and giving fans more passion to see what Atlantis was up to. Like all classic Tecnico Luchadors, Atlantis has also been the main characters in films as well as had action figures made of him, in fact one of his figures is in my living room right now! While his in ring career will be winding down soon, you cannot deny that Atlantis is truly one of Mexico’s most legendary Luchadors of the ring.

# 28

El Solar
Started: 1975     Companies: UWA & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the greatest Luchadors who was a great mat wrestler as well as a submission artist is the legendary El Solar who is still wowing fans in his 60’s. El Solar is an amazing Luchador who I have had the honor of watching live in the ring as well as chatting with at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, and it was such a great moment for me as well as my friend Jason Young. El Solar started in 1975 and worked the indies as well as for UWA where he would stay up until the promotion closed even winning many titles as well as being apart of groups and high profile matches. In the dying days of UWA, El Solar would also go and work for AAA and oddly they would change his character to El Mariachi and this was a very silly move.  When he left AAA, he would join CMLL and as well become El Solar again and would be a star for them up until around 2000 when he would once more head back to the Indies of Mexico as well as America from time to time and even wrestled for the very short lived MTV2 and Hulu wrestling federation called “Lucha Libre USA” and would be joined by the likes of Lizmark Jr. and Super Crazy. While El Solar is working the indies still to this day he still makes some appearances for AAA and IWRG and locking his place in Lucha Libre history. El Solar is a master of his art and his art in classic Lucha Libre mat wrestling with skillful submission moves. A True legend and one that I feel you should go and see if he is in your city before he retires.

# 27

Silver King
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Silver King was another of the Luchadors that I was introduced to thanks to WCW and was also able to see live in action because of them and he was pretty damn great in the ring! And when in 2019 I heard of his passing, it was a sad day as he was such a great wrestler and one I also enjoyed watching. Silver King started his career in 1985 working the indies as El Invasor for a short time before becoming Silver King who originally wore a mask and landed working for UWA and during this time he mostly worked the undercard but did have a bet match against El Hijo del Santo where Silver King lost his mask! Once unmasked, the fans got to see that he was in fact one of Dr. Wagner’s sons and that means Dr. Wagner Jr. is in fact his brother! But becoming unmasked helped him rise up the card and with a stable he called Los Cowboys and along with tag partner El Texano they won the UWA Tag Team Champions and well as Tag Champs for WWA and these wins let them be part of the NWA World Tag Team Championship Tag Team tournament that was held at WCW’s Clash Of The Champions XIX, they lost in the first round to the Free Birds. In 1994 he left UWA and ended up working for CMLL as well as had matches in IWA in Japan, but when WCW came calling in 1997 Silver King signed on to help try and build the growing Cruiserweight division, but sadly like many of his fellow Luchadors, he was used at enhancement talent and would stay on the mid-card level with his big claim to fame being a member of the L.W.O. He was let go by WCW in late 2000. Once leaving WCW he would go back to CMLL and would also work New Japan Pro Wrestling under the Black Tiger character he would stay with them until 2006 as by 2007 he quickly had a run in All Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2008 he would go to AAA and have a very big run and would win the AAA World Tag Team Championship once and would find himself in many high profile matches. In 2018 Silver King would leave AAA and start working the indies up until his death in 2019. I also want to alert you readers that Silver King also played Ramses in the 2005 film Nacho Libre that stared Jack Black. During his time as a wrestler Silver King also went by the names Silver King 1, El Bronco, Silver Cain, Dr. Wagner Jr. and a few more.

# 26

Puma King
Started: 2006     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Puma King is a Luchador I have gotten to see live in action at Rockstar Pro Wrestling as well as got to film is promo for the event, and this guy is a great talent! Puma King started his in ring career working the indies as well as for IWRG and got the call from CMLL in 2008 and would team with his older brother Tiger Kid and would mostly be used on the undercard, he would however be involved in many tournaments as well as bet matches. Puma King would leave CMLL in 2018 and would quickly sign with AAA and by doing this he is also able to work for the Indies as well as take matches in such federations as Impact, IWRG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and MLW to name a few. Thus far in his career he has won some tournament and bet matches and captured gold once in CMLL when he won the Occidente Light Heavyweight Championship! Plus in 2019 he won the Impact World Cup Of Wrestling for Impact Wrestling with his partners Psycho Clown, Aero Star and El Hijo del Vikingo as they defeated the team of Sami Callihan, Fallah Bahh, Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards! Puma King is also the son of Luchador legend El Felino and being only in his early 30’s still has lots of time to climb the ranks of Lucha Libre and capture more gold.

# 25

Lince Dorado
Started: 2007      Companies: WWE & Chikara     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Nowadays the WWE show 205 Live is a shell of what it was, but when it started for me it was must see TV as they had so many great and talented workers on the roster and one of my favorites was Lince Dorado! Like all wrestlers and Luchadors starting out, Lince started his in ring career working the indies and would sign with Chikara in mid 2007 and would work for them as well as many other indie promotions over the years like Dragon Gate USA, IGNITE and even had a tryout for Impact. Lince would work for the indies up until 2016 as that year he would be signed to WWE as part of their Cruiserweight Division and help get their new show 205 Live off the ground to showcase the wrestlers who weighted 205 pounds or under. Lince would get title shots for the Cruiserweight title during this time but was mostly booked on undercard matches and was sadly hardly on TV at times. His big break came in 2018 when he joined Kalisto and Gran Metalik and they became the stable known as The Lucha House Party and they would go from 205 Live to being featured more and more on Raw and later Smackdown putting Lince on the main roaster. While he and Gran Metalik are still teaming and they are used as undercard talent, I for one am always a mark to watch them in action. Thus far in WWE he has only won the 24/7 Championship once, but during his career in the indies he has captured may titles as well as tournament wins. A solid working and a skilled Luchador it’s a shame WWE does not know how to book Lince Dorado right.

# 24

Alberto Del Rio
Started: 2000     Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Alberto Del Rio was a Luchador that could have been the guy who in the 2010’s that could have brought American mainstream a big star from Mexico and could have been the next Rey Mysterio or Eddie Guerrero if only his backstage attitude did not stink so bad! I was a fan of Alberto’s when he started working in NXT and was brought up to the main roster of WWE as he had a great Million Dollar Man meets JBL gimmick with a Latin flare! Alberto started his Lucha Libre career in 2000 fast track working for AAA and while there he was also making appearances in Japanese promotions all the while gaining in ring skills he worked for the likes of All Japan and Pro Wrestling Zero1 and for all promotions at this time he was going by Dos Caras Jr, but in 2002 he left AAA and in 2004 he left the Japanese promotions. He also in 2003 would try his hand in big time MMA and would have a few fights in Pride, both he would lose. In 2005 he would sign with CMLL and would become a major star for the company and would win the companies World Heavyweight Championship as well would win the 2006 La Copa Junior tournament. But he would leave CMLL in 2009 when he got a contact with WWE who would send him to FCW for matches before also having him wrestle on the main roster shows Raw and Smackdown in Dark Matches and House Shows. And at first they allowed him to wear his mask but quickly they unmasked him and Alberto Del Rio was born who was a rich Mexican aristocrat who would drive expensive cars to the ring and had his own ring announcer for a time named Ricardo Rodriguez and quickly climbed the ladder and became a main eventer and even would win the WWE Champion, the World Heavyweight Championship as well as big matches like the Royal Rumble and the Money In The Bank ladder match. But a bad attitude and a physical altercation with an employee after a bad racist joke lead to his firing. He would then head back to Mexico and sign with AAA in 2014 and would become a main eventer off the bat and even would win the AAA Mega Champion! But AAA was not the only promotion he started working for in 2014/2015 as he also worked for World Wrestling Council, Wrestle-1, Ring Of Honor, World Wrestling League, Lucha Underground and all these federations pushed him as a main star…but all those companies would be left behind in 2015 when he resigned to work for WWE again and on his first night back he would win the United States Championship from John Cena at the Hell In A Cell PPV, and this would also lead to him to be apart of a group called The League Of Nations along with Sheamus, Rusev and Wade Barrett…but this run would end almost as soon as it started as he would quit in 2016. He would end up working for Impact Wrestling in 2017-2018 and was booked as a main event and even won the GFW Global Championship while there, he was fired from Impact when he no showed a big event. And after this Alberto worked the indies up until 2020 when a legal issue halted his in ring career. While Alberto seems like a very terrible person, his in ring work was always something I enjoyed when watching WWE, and that’s all I have to say as his out of wrestling life would give him a negative rating on here. During his time in the ring he also went by some of these names El Patron, El Dorado and El Hijo de Dos Caras to name a few. Again need to stress it sucks that his out of control life is overshadowing his work in the ring.

# 23

Psycho Clown
Started: 2000     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

For me the best Luchador having the clown look is Psycho Clown, and I feel also that he is one of the biggest draws for AAA right now as he is super popular with the youngsters as well as the adult Lucha Libre fans. Psycho Clown started his Lucha Libre career working for the Indies up until 2003 when he signed with CMLL and this only lasted a short time as he was used on the lower card and was still very green and needed more training. By 2006 he had left CMLL and by this time as well he had already had two in rings names Brazo de Plata Jr. and Kronos and joined AAA who by 2007 rebranded him Psycho Clown and had him join a new stable they were creating called “Los Psycho Circus” that would over the years have such members as Monster Clown and Murder Clown and this was a big break for Psycho Clown as this stable became a draw and placed him in many big matches! And in 2015 this also allowed Psycho Clown to become a main draw wrestling single and would lead to many bet, tournament and title wins in AAA as well as their partner companies like Impact Wrestling. Hands down Psycho Clown is one of AAA’s most popular Luchadors and it would be great to see him wrestle in AEW or even WWE (as long as they leave his character and mask alone) and he surly will be in AAA’s Hall Of Fame once he retires. Check out his matches as many can be found on YouTube.

# 22

Super Crazy
Started: 1988      Companies: ECW & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Any one who grew up watching ECW knows the name Super Crazy and also WWE fans should know him as he was on the roster for years! I am a Super Crazy fan as he can wrestle the Lucha style as well as can do hardcore matches and his matches with Tajiri in ECW were legendary! Super Crazy started his wrestling career at the age of 14 in 1988 and worked for many indie federations like UWA and would sign with AAA in 1996 and was a mid-carder that would also get a few WWE matches per the talent trade the company had, Super Crazy would leave AAA in 1997 and would start working for Promo Azteca and would also still make some appearances on WWE TV as apart of their Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. In 1998 Super Crazy signed with ECW and quickly became a fan favorite and was placed in many great matches with names like Tajiri and Little Guido and became a mainstay and star for them up until 2001 when ECW went out of business. So starting in 2001 Super Crazy floated around the Indies as he would wrestle for companies like CZW, XPW, IWA, ROH, New Japan, Impact and even did a few matches in AAA! Finally in 2005 WWE signed him to a contract and had him appear on their ECW One Night Stand PPV and then placed him in a stable with Psicosis and Juventud Guerrero called The Mexicools and once the team was broken up in 2006 Super Crazy started a singles run on the mid-card. Super Crazy would leave WWE in 2008 and would make his return to the Indies and would became a draw and even would go and have matches again for AAA, Pro Wrestling Noah, All Japan Pro Wrestling and NXL. Super Crazy over the years also performed under the names Histeria, El Locco, Super Virus and Super Loco.

# 21

Espectro Jr.
Started: 1974      Companies: Indies      Active: No     Seen Live: No

Ok this is a hard one as several Luchadors have played the gimmick of Espectro Jr. over the decades as hell there are several working the Indies in Mexico and America going right now! But I could not leave him off my list as over the years I have found myself watching matches of this Luchador from all generations on YouTube. And while AAA owner Antonio Pena played Espectro Jr. it’s Jose Elias Pinceno version that has always got my attention. And this one is super hard to track down his history as its seems at times they all get mixed together so its almost impossible for me to due his write up justice, so what I am going to do here is talk a little about why Espectro Jr. has captured my attention all these years. First off he has a Horror gimmick as he is like a spirit and at times would even come from coffins at the start of his matches, he had a classic Lucha Libre style and when wrestling Rudo he was great as fans hated him. His green and black mask for some reason reminds me of the Halloween season and the masks grinning smile is perfect for this type of character. Espectro Jr. also has a legacy as I have said before so many other wrestlers have taken the name or some sort of variation of it. One part of history I would like to share is that in 2007 Espectro Jr. lost his mask in a bet match to Blue Demon Jr. and that Jose Elias Pinceno is now unmasked, and that he is also the Nephew of the original Espectro. Also look up Espectro Jr. matches on YouTube as they have many of his matches on there from all the Luchadors using the name.

# 20

Pierroth
Started: 1984     Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: No     Seen Live: No

I first learned about Pierroth via WWE when he was an entrant in the 1997 Royal Rumble and for some reason my brother for years always talked about pin fall victories he had over random wrestlers (ones he never did) and would do so in the voice of Gorilla Monsoon. But because of this over the years I have seen many of his matches on grey market VHS tapes as well as now on sites like YouTube. And I have to say Pierroth is a legend in Lucha Libre and one that helped a younger me really become a fan of Luchadors. Like all who start out in the biz Pierroth would work the indies for a short time starting in 1984, but by 1985 and while at the start he was on the lower card and only working from time to time he rose to the top of the card pretty fast and also started his path of capturing titles for the company. By 1995 Pierroth left CMLL and signed with AAA and was a star from the start and of course would capture titles and be put into high card feuds. While working for AAA they had a talent exchange with WWE and this allowed him to wrestle for them on Monday Night Raw as well as make an appearance at the Royal Rumble, but by mid 1997 he would leave AAA and would do a short stint on the Indies before going to IWRG and would be their first Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and would also start wrestling for WWC in Puerto Rico that was run by Carlos Colon and he would stay working these two federations until 1999. Pierroth would then sign back with CMLL and would stay with them until 2008 and was of course was a main eventer and was in big feuds. Sadly Pierroth suffered a stroke in 2008 and forced him to retire from the ring. It’s shocking that AAA has not placed Pierroth in their Hall Of Fame yet as he deserves it for all the years of hard work he has done in the world of Lucha Libre not to even all the titles he has held. A true legend Pierroth is and one that I owe lots to when it comes to making me a fan of Lucha Libre. During his time in the ring Pierroth also went by the names Pierroth Jr. and Comandante Pierroth.

# 19

Gran Metalik
Started: 2005     Companies: WWE & CMLL       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Gran Metalik is in my opinion one of the best Luchadors under contract to WWE and is a superstar I am looking forward to seeing live at an event when they come around. I first became aware of Gran Metalik when he was part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament and quickly became a fan. Gran Metalik started his Lucha career in 2005 and worked very shortly for the indies before becoming apart of CMLL’s roster and quickly made his way up the card and became a main-eventer and was given big profile matches as well as many title belts! Gran Metalik was a mainstay at CMLL and was one of the companies big stars for many years that was until he left them in 2016 to join the WWE as apart of their new rebirth of the Cruiserweight division. But before he was a WWE Superstar while working for CMLL he was also working for New Japan Pro Wrestling off and on for many years and was making a name in Japan for himself as well, he would work for them from 2010-2016. When first in WWE he was pushed as one of the best Cruiserweights and Luchadors in the world and was called “The King of The Ropes” by the announcers, but as time went on he was shown less and less on TV as well as was losing matches to less skilled workers on the roster. Just like Lince Dorado when he became a member of the group Lucha House Party in 2018 he received a short-term push before becoming an undercard member of the roaster once more. WWE bookers have zero clue how to use Luchadors and it’s a shame as they have so many talented workers on their roster that are being misused and not used at all. Gran Metalik thus far has used the following names as well Plata II, Metalik and Mascara Dorada.

# 18

Konnan
Started: 1987      Companies: AAA & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Konnan is another of the Luchadors that I knew about thanks to WCW who showcased him for many years in the company even making him member of such groups as The Dungeon Of Doom and nWo Wolfpack! And one thing you have to give Konnan lots of credit for is the fact he is the one over the years that has gotten his fellow Luchadors work in companies like WCW and ECW. Konnan started his career in 1987 and got his first major indie gig with UWA and quickly he would be in many high profile main event matches that would lead him to working for CMLL as well as a few matches for WCW in 1990 and while also working dates in Japan he got a call from the WWE who wanted to sign him on to play a costumed character called Max Moon, and after a few tryout matches and was apart of the WWE. In 1991 while also still working for CMLL Konnan would loose his mask in a bet match against Perro Aguayo, he would also be the first ever CMLL World Heavyweight Champion as the company was originally called EMLL. In 1992 Konnan left CMLL to join AAA and would also leave WWE as many in the company did not like his bad attitude and when he started no showing events that was the final straw, but his time in AAA was during a big boom in Lucha Libre and he became super popular and was a major draw in Mexico. In 1995 he started working for ECW for a short time and even helped co-promote an event that had both AAA and ECW wrestlers together. But in 1996 WCW came calling and he would be booked strong at first winning the United States Championship before loosing it and being forced in the silly Dungeon Of Doom stable for a short time, but when in 1997 they put him the nWo and his popularity and WCW run would kick into full gear and during his WCW run he would win some titles as well as join the group “Filthy Animals” and team with rapper Master P! But in 2001 WCW went out of business and Konnan would head to work for the indies and even wrestled for XPW, World Wrestling All-Stars and this would lead to him working for Impact Wrestling in 2003. While working for Impact he would also sign back with AAA in 2004 and was a featured wrestler in both being involved in the main event spotlight and in Impact even fourmed the LAX group. And these two federations were he would stay working now as a manager and taking a back stage role. During his time in the ring he has also went by the names Conan The Barbarian, K-Dogg, El Centurion, Latin Fury, Max Moon and Konnan The Great to name a few. While I am not a super mega fan of Konnan I do respect his hard work in and out of the ring, I mean at one time he was called the Hulk Hogan of Mexico!

# 17

El Canek
Started: 1972      Companies: AAA & CMLL       Active: No     Seen Live: No

When you think of legendary names in the history of Lucha Libre, one of the names has to be El Canek as he is on my list at least and should be on yours! I first heard of El Canek thanks to WWE when he was apart of the AAA talent exchange and he wrestled a few matches for them including a three-man tag at the 1997 WWE Royal Rumble as he teamed with Hector Garza and Perro Aguayo, and later I went on to buy a Grey Market VHS tape off Ebay that had many of his matches on it as I was a fan of his from seeing him in action. Also its awesome to see a bodybuilder from that time be a Luchador! El Canek started his career in 1972 and worked for the indies for a year before wrestling for CMLL and started his build to be a main-eventer in Lucha Libre as he would be featured in many high profile matches. By 1975 El Canek would leave CMLL and would join Universal Wrestling Association and this is were he would become the legend as he was in many big feuds, won many titles, got the attention of the NWA was sent to New Japan Pro Wrestling and would even win the UWA World Heavyweight Championship a total of 15 times and would even defend the title after the company went out of business in 1995! While working for UWA he was also sent to CMLL for another run in a talent exchange and would become a staple at their events as well placed in major matches with big time feuds, this would last until 1994. But in 1995 he would start working for AAA and during this time as well he would make appearances at WWE events due to a talent exchange, and during his time in AAA he as well was a main event star and was in many high profile matches and would even win the “Rey de Reyes” tournament. El Canek would leave AAA in 2003 and would then find himself at IWRG and even CMLL again off and one for years and would even have a small return to AAA in 2013 and worked for some indie federations over the years! During his career he has also gone under the names El Universitario, Kanek and Principe Azul. Make sure to go to YouTube and watch some El Canek matches.

# 16

Cibernetico
Started: 1992     Companies: AAA & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

WWE strikes again as thanks to them and the 1997 Royal Rumble is how I first discovered the Luchador known as Cibernetico who had a crazy neon and black mask and almost a 80’s Metal vibe to him, and over the years I have always kept up on his career. Cibernetico started his Lucha Libre career in 1992 working for UWA as he was a student in their training gym, and his bodybuilder background helped him stand out at the events he was featured at. While in UWA he started out as a tecnico but by the companies closing he was a rudo and was being built to be one the companies top! When UWA closed down for good in 1995 he found himself going to AAA and would have a very long a successful run with them finding himself the winner of many titles and was featured as a main event star! He would also work a few matches for WWE during this time starting in 1996 through 1997 as apart of AAA’s talent exchange adding more to his growing fan base. In 2004 Cibernetico would lose his mask in a bet match against La Parka! Cibernetico would stay in AAA until 2008 when he would leave for a year and start working for the indies in Mexico before landing back in AAA and having another long run and big matches and feuds before leaving again in 2015. That same year he would start a short run working for Lucha Libre Elite and would become the companies inaugural Heavyweight Champion, he would leave them in 2017. His last major run was in 2018 when he returned to CMLL for a quick time. Cibernetico is awesome and not only is a popular Luchador but has also appeared in his own comic book as well as was featured in a Mexico Burger King ad! I should also note that it stinks they took the mask off him in 2004 as his mask was very cool.

# 15

Fenix
Started: 2007     Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Fenix is a Luchador that I had not only the pleasure of seeing wrestle live at Rockstar Pro Wrestling but also was able to film with for a un-finished episode of the Horror Host show I do called Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. He is a super talented Luchador and a super nice person and if you ever have the chance to see him wrestle, go and do it! Fenix started working the indies in 2007 and was quickly signed to AAA in 2011 and was quickly put into big matches as well as feuds as the fans seemed to really be behind Fenix, and while working for AAA he was also working dates in Japan in federations like Pro Wrestling Noah. AAA would also lead him to work for Lucha Underground starting in 2014. But things would end for his AAA run in 2016 and this would allow Fenix to work the indies in Mexico and America as well as a few in Japan. Fenix was building a huge name for himself around the world and was being said that he is one of the best Luchadors going today! In 2018 Fenix would find himself signed to many major wrestling federations and working them all around the same time as he would work for Impact Wrestling, MLW, CMLL and would return to AAA and once more was a main eventer and a big attraction for each showing just how popular he is. In 2019 he was signed to AEW and is currently working for both AAA and AEW and is a major star in both. Fenix this far has captured gold in many of the places he has worked as he has held belts for AAA, Impact, Lucha Underground, MLW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Pro Wrestling Revolver to name a few. He also has used the names Rey Fenix, The King, King Phoenix, Fenix el Rey and Mascara Oriental.

# 14

Essa Rios
Started: 1994     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Essa Rios is a Luchador that I became a fan of in 1997 when he was brought into the WWE as apart of there Light Heavyweight division going under the name Aguila and later in 1999 he would go under the name Essa Rios.  He was a high flyer in the world of giants, plus he was the man to introduce the WWE Universe to Lita as she was his manager! Essa Rios started wrestling in 1994 and worked the indies in Mexico before getting a contract with WWE in 1996, wrestling under a mask and called Aguila he was a featured highflyer in the growing Light Heavyweight division. By 1999 the repackaged Aguila and unmasked him and started calling him Essa Rios and partnered him with a female valet named Lita. Essa would capture Light Heavyweight title, and sadly after losing the title he would find himself falling down the card and being used as enhancement talent and by 2001 he was no longer working for WWE. But while gone form WWE he quickly found work in AAA working for them from 2001 to 2008 and was a semi main-eventer who also got to work a few matches for Impact due to a talent exchange starting in 2004 and this would only be for a year. Essa would leave AAA in 2008 and would take a little time off as well as working a few Indie dates, but in 2010 he would sign with CMLL and would an upper card roster member used in some great storylines and put in some bigger matches. He would stay with CMLL until 2017 as he would return to AAA that same year and stay for a bit, before heading back to the indies. During his run in wrestling Essa Rios has also went under the names Aguila, Mr. Agulla and Papi Chulo. While he might not be a household name, he still is a great worker who has captured many belts and has entertained for many years in the ring.

# 13

Damien 666
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Once more I have to pay respects to WCW for introducing me to Damien 666 as he was you guessed it apart of the Cruiserweight division boom of 1996! And because of WCW, I was also able to see him live at a Saturday Night tapping and have followed him in the indies. Damien started in 1985 and was working the indies as well as places like WWA and in 1991 he was signed to FMW in Japan and learned the Hardcore wrestling ways and would be a mid-carder and a favorite for fans to watch, during this time he as well would work a few matches for AAA. His run in FMW would end in 1996 and Damien 666 would find himself in America and doing a very short run for ECW, and in 1996 is also when WCW came calling and Damien 666 was added to the Cruiserweight division and was used on the undercard as well as an enhancement talent, he would never hold any belts in WCW but did become a member of the LWO. Damien’s WCW run would come to an end in 1999 and along with Halloween they become the tag team “Mexico’s Most Wanted” and work the indies as the team and would even be featured on XPW and would win the federations Tag Team titles. In 2002 Damien would sign with CMLL alongside Halloween and they would be in major programs and would became draws, Damien 666 would leave CMLL in 2008 and would then find himself in AAA and once more was pushed up the card and became a rudo star for them, he would also work a few matches for IWRG at this time. Damien 666 would capture the AAA World Trios Championship before leaving AAA in 2012 and would wrestle for IWRG for awhile and then would return to the indies were he is at currently. Damien 666 in his career has also went under the names Caballero 2000, Ultraman 2000, Ultraman II, Amigo Ultra, Damien and Galaxy. When Damien retires from the ring he should be remembered not just for his Hardcore Wrestling but also his Lucha Libre style.

# 12

El Felino
Started: 1987     Companies: CMLL & AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Felino is a Luchador that I knew about thanks to wrestling magazines as well as grey market VHS tapes, in fact the first Arena figure I ever bought was El Felino that I got for the Horror convention Cinema Wasteland. El Felino is awesome in the ring and when masked his look was fantastic and very eye catching. El Felino started in 1987 and worked the indies as well as UWA and in 1989 he got the call to go to CMLL and became one of the companies biggest stars and was placed in many major matches and feuds and would capture many belts during his run, and he was truly one of the most loved tecnico’s for CMLL! Shockingly El Felino left CMLL in 1999 and signed with AAA for a very short run in the main event scene teaming with his brother Heavy Metal. Less than a year away El Felino signed back with CMLL and once more was pushed as a big star and would go from tecnico to rudo and back again and would even loose his mask in 2004 in a bet match he lost to La Sombra and who is known now as Andrade in WWE. El Felino continues to work for CMLL and still to this day is a main draw! I also would like to say for a short while he also used the name Babe Casas. If you are a fan of Lucha Libre, I am sure you know who El Felino is and I am sure you know just how iconic and great he is, and if you don’t look up some of his matches and give them a watch.

# 11

Mil Mascaras
Started: 1963      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: Semi     Seen Live: No

One of the biggest names in Lucha Libre history is Mil Mascaras, the Luchador that is know by the nickname Man Of 1000 Masks who is a true journeyman in the sport. At a very young age I knew who Mil Mascaras was due to his film career as well as his classic matches in WWE as well as his work in WCW. I would always cheer for Mil in his matches as he was a true superstar of the ring and is an icon and WWE Hall Of Fame member. Mil started his career in 1963 and worked all over the world as he would have stints in All Japan Pro Wrestling, WWE, International Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Council, WCW, WWA, Legacy Wrestling Enterprises among so many others and he was a trail blazer and brought the Lucha Libre highflying style to American fans and lead the way for all those that followed in his foot steps. The thing about Mil is that he never stayed in a federation long enough for him to become stale, and this made him stand out and really feel like a big attraction when he is on a card in the main event. Over the years Mil has also has his fair share of critics has he has been legendary hard to deal with for promoters and fellow wrestlers alike, but while this may be true you can never take away just how great Mil is in the ring and all the barriers he broke in American wrestling.

# 10

El Hijo del Santo
Started: 1982      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Santo is hands down the biggest name in Lucha Libre history, and his son El Hijo del Santo is on the path to be just as iconic and respected as his father. El Hijo del Santo is a Luchador I learned about via wrestling magazines, grey market VHS tapes as well as his comic books and movies. El Hijo del Santo started his in ring career in 1982 working for the indies of Mexico and would spend much of his very early career working for WWA and UWA and by 1983 he started working some matches for CMLL and during this time he was quickly a draw and main eventer, and not just cause who his dad was but because he had great in ring skills. Through the 80’s he had many big feuds against the likes of Espanto Jr. and Negro Casas. In 1997 El Hijo del Santo made his first tour of Japan working for Universal Lucha Libre making a name for himself outside of Mexico and in 1992 he started working for AAA and had some amazing matches with the likes of Octagon, Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr. In 1995 after having some creative issues with AAA, he would go to CMLL and during his run for the first time El Hijo del Santo would turn rudo and would even have bloody matches against El Dandy.  The rudo turn helped CMLL draw big money and over time El Hijo del Santo would turn tecnico and become one of the company’s top stars up until he left in 2004. In 1998 El Hijo del Santo also had a small run working for WWE as apart of their very short-lived Super Astros program that features Lucha Libre and WWE Cruiserweight stars. El Hijo del Santo then started working for the indies and would even start booking his own shows in Mexico as well as even England and his fame was at an all time high! And still to this day he wrestles all over and is a true icon of Lucha Libra. Lucha Libre has so many amazing talents and El Hijo del Santo is one of them, and to be honest I would love to see his own son who is wrestling under the name Santo Jr. to work for the WWE and have some great matches with their current NXT talent. I should also note that El Hijo del Santo has also wrestled under the name El Korak when he first started.

# 9

Vampiro
Started: 1984      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Semi      Seen Live: Yes

I first learned about Vampiro via a CMLL action figure that was at a dollar store in Sugercreek, Ohio back in the early 90’s and then read more about him in the pages of wrestling magazines and then became a huge fan of his when I got to see him wrestle in WCW both on TV and once live! Vampiro is one of those Luchadors who has been all over and everywhere and started working in 1984 for International Wrestling out of Canada as an enhancement talent and would stick around the indies for a while. In 1991 he would head to Mexico and started working for CMLL who originally hired him to be a silly character, but his looks and limited move set for some reason got over with the fans and he found himself climbing up the card very fast. He would find himself in many bet matches as well as would be in tournaments as well as getting title shots! While working for CMLL he has would be working some dates for UWA as well as working matches in Japan. In 1996 he would leave CMLL and work dates for AAA, IWRG and Promo Azteca but would return in 1998 to CMLL before getting his big break in America. You see Vampiro got the call to come to WCW in 1998 and was used as a mid-carder who would have feuds with some of the companies big stars like Sting, Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and would even be in teams with the likes of Raven, The Great Muta and musicians The Misfits and ICP. When WCW went out of business in 2001 and was purchased by WWE his contract was not picked up and he found himself heading back to Mexico and working for CMLL as well as taking matches in other federations like World Wrestling Council, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Xtreme Pro Wrestling and would continue to work some of theme even after leaving CMLL in 2005. From there Vampiro would sign with AAA and work on and off for them until 2020 and while from their he would also work for Lucha Underground, Wrestling Society X, CMLL and Juggalo Championship Wrestling and every place he has gone Vampiro is a star! It’s crazy that WWE never signed him as I would have loved to have seen him feud with the likes of The Undertaker, Kane and even Mankind. While not what you would think of as a Luchador to me Vampiro is a great one who has been one of my favorites sense I was a teen. Vampiro has also went by the in ring names Vampiro Canadiense, Casanova, Gene Anderson, Ian Richards, Vampiro Casanova and a few more.

# 8

Eddie Guerrero
Started: 1986      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

For many when you ask the question “Who Is The Best Luchador Ever” they will quickly say Eddie Guerrero and to be fair they are not wrong as he really was one of the best. I first knew of Eddie thanks to WCW and even ECW and followed him all the way up until his death as he was hands down one of the best minds and workers to step foot into the ring. I mean who else could make lying, cheating and stealing look so cool? Eddie started in 1986 working for the indies but was quickly picked up by CMLL in 1987 and was a popular Luchador to watch and would even work a few WCW matches as part of a talent exchange, but in 1992 when AAA was created he left CMLL to join them. While working for AAA he was a big star and would also work a few dates for New Japan Pro Wrestling and would be placed in many big matches for AAA. But in 1995 he would head to America and wrestle for ECW and would have some of the companies best technical and fast paced matches against the likes of Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio. But that same year WCW came calling and signed Eddie to a contract that would see him become a mid-card attraction and would win some titles as well as be apart of groups like LWO and the Filthy Animals. But after years of being misused and held back by aging wrestlers worried about their spots on the card Eddie would leave WCW and sign with WWE in 2000 and would appear with other wrestlers who left WCW for the same reason and those wrestlers were Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn and they became known as The Radicalz! Eddie would become injured at the start of his WWE run but would came back fast and become a future wrestler feuding with the likes of The New Age Outlaws, Chris Jericho and X-Pac and would have an angle that he was in love with Chyna. But in 2001 he was fired from WWE when he was battling addiction and was arrested for drinking and driving. Eddie would start working Indie dates in 2001 and worked for ROH, WWA and New Japan Pro Wrestling and was proving that he was still as talented as ever and was getting himself clean. Eddie would get a second chance in WWE as they resigned him to a contract in 2002 and he would be put into a team and later a feud with his nephew Chavo Guerrero as they were called Los Guerreros. After this Eddie became a contender for the belts and would end up winning the WWE Champion in 2004 by beating Brock Lesnar! And even after losing the belt he stayed a contender and a main event draw up until his death in 2005. While Eddie is gone he will never be forgotten, as he truly is one of the best Luchadors and Wrestlers to ever walk the Earth. Eddie in his career also used the names Black Tiger, Mascara Magica, El Caliente, Gory Guerrero Jr. and Eddy Guerrero.

# 7

Pentagone Jr.
Started: 2007      Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No 

Pentagone Jr. for me is the best modern day Luchador working in Mexico and America today as he can wrestle the rough Lucha Libre style as well as a very bloody hardcore style his hardcore matches with Sami Callihan and OVE in Impact Wrestling was some of the best things in wrestling at the time. Plus whenever Pentagone Jr. is in a match, it’s must watch TV for me as you know you’re in for one hell of a good match. Pentagone Jr. started in 2007 working the indies in Mexico and would get his first big break in 2010 when he signed with AAA and started out as a mid-card attraction and with hard work and sky rocketed up the card winning big matches and would win some belts as well as worked for Lucha Underground, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and worked the Indies building his name and showing the world how good he really is. Pentagone Jr. would leave AAA in 2017 as they two sides clashed over creative ideas and freedoms. After leaving AAA he would still work a year for Lucha Underground and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as would work for other federations like MLW and Impact Wrestling with the later him really making a name for himself in America with. In 2018 he would return to AAA and once more was booked as a main draw and would also still work the indies as well as would sign with AEW and he is still working to this day in AAA and AEW and continues to wow fans with his style. In his career he has also wrestled under the names Zaius, Dark Dragon, Pentagon Dark, El Hijo del Cuchillo and Penta El Zero M to name a few. If he keeps it up Pentagone Jr. will surely be in many Hall Of Fames when he retires from the ring as his hard work is building a massive fan base.

# 6

La Parka
Started: 1982      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

La Parka is a Luchador that I discovered thanks to WCW and their big boom of hiring Cruiserweights for their budding division. And La Parka was one that became a favorite of mine due to his awesome mask and fun loving yet hard hitting style and even got to see him wrestle live a few times in WCW. La Parka started his in ring career in 1982 wrestling and would wrestle under his real name as well as the names El Gringo, El Asesino de Tepito, Principe Island and Invasor del Norte and would travel the indies up until 1992. AAA started in 1992 and it’s here that La Parka was born and quickly became one of the company’s biggest draws even though he was a Rudo! He would also have many big matches during this time and was even apart of the WCW and AAA event called “When Worlds Collide” in 1994. He would also capture gold winning the Mexican National Light Heavyweight title and holding it for over 200 days! La Parka would also appear on ECW while still working for AAA as apart of a talent exchange. La Parka would leave AAA in 1996 and would sign with WCW and would become a mid-card attraction for the booming cruiserweight division, and would later be called the Chairman of WCW as he would bring a chair to the ring and play it like a guitar and even dance around it! He also became a member of the LWO and was treated as a comedy character in the late 90’s. La Parka would leave WCW in 2000 and was let go by the company alongside many of the other Luchador talent. La Parka would start working the indies after being let go and still does to this day working for the likes of X-LAW, MLW and many more. In 2003 LA Parka now under the name L.A. ParK signed with CMLL as he had to change his name as AAA would claim the trademark in Mexico for the character’s look and name and would be a draw from them as well as he was involved in high profile matches as well as held many titles. La Parka would leave CMLL in 2008, ending a good run that helped build his legacy. In 2010 he would have another run in AAA and would feud with the company’s La Parka on who was the real deal that lead to a match to see who would be known as La Parka…they both ended up able to use the name in the end but him still using the L.A. Park name for AAA. He would leave AAA in 2013 and by 2014 would be back in CMLL for a very short appearance run and was let go by CMLL in 2015 for violating their rules of crowd treatment. L.A. Park would stick working for the indies until 2018 when he once more started working for AAA and he is still with them as of this update as well as still working the indies. L.A. Park or the original La Parka if you will is an icon of Lucha Libre and will surely be placed in a Wrestling Hall Of Fame in Mexico as well as America when retired from the ring.

# 5

Blue Panther
Started: 1978      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Panther is a legendary Luchador who is a true journeyman who has wrestled all over Mexico and America and is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a teenager and he became one of my favorites of classic Luchadors. Blue Panther started his in ring career in 1978 working the indies and made a name for himself very quickly and by 1981 UWA came calling and worked his way up the card as a Rudo and by 1984 won his first title with the company, and he would become a major draw for them up until left in 1990. In 1991 he would have a very short run for CMLL and was one of the company’s top rudos and would capture some gold as well was the one who unmasked The Love Machine in a bet match, and the world seen Art Barr was the man under the mask. By 1992 Blue Panther left CMLL for AAA and this would have him turn tecnico and he as well was a draw for AAA as fans and his fellow Luchadors respected his skill in the ring, and he of course would win titles, be involved in big matches and even feuded with Art Barr once again when he jumped companies. He would be with AAA up until 1997 and then would go back to CMLL and work for them still do this day along with his son Blue Panther Jr. and would become a true legend with them as he would win titles and compete in bet matches and sadly lost his mask in 2008 when he lost a match to Villano V! Even during this time Blue Panther was taking some indie bookings and even would go on to open his own wrestling school in the 1990’s and has been responsible for many great Luchadors like Texano Jr., Ephesto and Cynthia Moreno to name a few. Blue Panther is awesome and if you get a chance make sure to watch a few of his matches and see his classic style, hands done one of my favorites.

# 4

Juventud Guerrera
Started: 1992      Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Juventud is a Luchador that I first saw in ECW but became a fan of when seeing him in WCW as he was one the of top Cruiserweight stars and had a super fast and highflying Lucha Libre style! In fact while at a WCW Saturday Night taping at Hara Arena is Dayton, Ohio while waiting in line for a drink Juventud came out of a door and cut in front of me in line to grab a drink! Even cutting me off in line Juventud thanked me and for the cut and went back through the door, it was funny and awesome. He is the son of Lucha Libre legend Fuerza Guerrera and sadly he had a falling out with his father many years back. Juventud started his wrestling career in 1992 working very briefly the indies but was really a star for AAA right off the bat and he was pushed to the stars and was in a very epic feud with Rey Mysterio Jr. for the AAA Welterweight Title as they would pass it back and fourth. While wrestling for AAA he would also appear in early 1996 at ECW events and by mid 1996 he left AAA and signed with WCW as apart of their blooming Cruiserweight division. Juventud was pushed as one of the breakout stars by WCW and even would win the Cruiserweight title for the first time in 1998 beating Ultimo Dragon and he would hold it off and on a few times as well as always be a contender. In 1998 he would also loose a bet match in WCW to Chris Jericho causing him to lose his mask! Juventud would go on to join groups like LWO and The Filthy Animals and would even be in the film “Ready To Rumble” showing that he was one of the Luchadors they were pushing. In 2000 Juventud was let go from WCW due to an incident at an overseas tour that involved drugs. Once gone from WCW Juventud decided to do a small world tour and took matches in companies like XPW, AAA, Impact, FWA, CMLL and Pro Wrestling Noah building he name value even more and allowing fans from many federations to see him in action. But in 2005 the tour ended as he would sign with WWE and was teamed with Super Crazy and Psicosis to become the team known as The Mexicools and they would go for the Tag Titles as well as The Cruiserweight Championship. But in 2006 Juventud was let go from WWE for not listening and doing banned moves in a match. After his WWE run he would return to work the indies were he is still working to this day as well as had a number of short burst runs in AAA and remains one of Lucha Libres most popular Luchadors and a draw for indie promotions. It’s crazy that Juventud is not in the WWE Hall Of Fame and who knows once he retires from the ring maybe they will put him in as he deserves to be. Juventud over his career also wrestled under the names El Hijo de Fuerza Guerrera, Fighting Youth and Fuerza Grimm.

# 3

Blue Demon Jr.
Started: 1985      Companies: NWA & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Demon Jr. is one of the most iconic Luchadors who is still active today and is a draw for any company that brings him in as he is a true journeyman as well who has wrestled all over the world. Blue Demon Jr. is one that I first discovered on grey marker VHS tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a youngster and became a major fan of, and give that fact I was a fan of his father Blue Demon it was a no brainer that Jr. would become one of my favorites. I even got to meet Blue Demon Jr. once at a Monster Bash Convention and while we had a language barrier, he was a super nice Luchador. Blue Demon Jr. started his Lucha career in 1985 working for the indies and building his own legacy that would go alongside his father’s, be was a draw almost right off the bat and would even have a few matches off and on for major Mexican promotions just bringing fans into the matches. In 1996 he would sign with AAA and would be a major draw and would have some big high profile matches. He would stick around AAA until 2001 and then he returned to the indies and being a journeyman and not until 2008 did he sign with NWA and became the companies first Mexican and Masked wrestler to hold the NWA Heavyweaight Championship as well as was running his own company called NWA Mexico. He would stay around in the NWA until 2010 and then would go to Pro Wrestling Revolution and would win their Heavyweight Title and would even team with his biggest rival El Hijo del Santo to win the Tag Titles! He would stick around until 2013 with Pro Wrestling Revolution and by that same year he signed back with AAA and has become a major draw for them in many high profile matches including an amazing feud with Dr. Wagner Jr. that set the world of wrestling on fire. In 2014 while still working for AAA he also started working for Lucha Underground and was there for a year and was one of the main focuses of that season. Blue Demon Jr. is still active as of this posts upload and his working for AAA as well as takes Indie bookings. A true legend of the ring and really is one of my favorite Luchadors ever to step into the ring.

# 2

Psicosis
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Psicosis is a Lucha that I first discovered in the pages of wrestling magazines and finally seen him in action thanks to WCW who brought him in during the massive Cruiserweight boom. Once I seen him in matches I became a mega fan and would watch his old matches in Mexico and in ECW thanks to the tape trade market. I have also been very lucky to have seen Psicosis wrestle live both in WCW as well as in WWE and he is one of the best Luchadors I have ever seen live! Plus his mask is so awesome and he was one of the wrestlers I always played as in WCW/NOW Revenge on the N64. Psicosis started his career in 1988 under the name El Salvaje and worked the indies and by 1989 he would go under the name Psicosis and he was a rudo draw as he would have matches with some of the top upcoming stars like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera as well as legends like El Hijo del Santo and by this time as well he was signed and working matches in AAA even showcasing his style at the 1994 pay-per-view “When Worlds Collide” given American fans their first look at him, and this lead to him making appearances in 1995 for ECW. In 1996 Psicosis would start working for WCW and would become one of the featured Cruiserweights and would be come the champion as well as would be a member of the L.W.O. and would even lost his mask in a bet match against Billy Kidman, though Psicosis had lost his mask in Mexico to Rey Mysterio Jr. before this but his face was not seen in WCW it was and he would wrestle unmasked for the remainder of his time there. In 2000 Psicosis was let go from WCW and would return very briefly to ECW and from their would wrestle for many federations like XPW, All Japan, World Wrestling All-Stars, Impact, CMLL as well as NWA. Psicosis who had to start wrestling under the name Nicho El Millonario due to AAA and him having rights issues over the name as they had given the name to another known as Psicosis II and in 2005 he returned briefly to AAA in order to battle for the name and even Super Crazy got involved in the feud for the name. But he would leave AAA that same year and would sign to WWE and would be teamed with Super Crazy and Juventud Guerrera and became a group called The Mexicools, but his run would be short lived as he was fired in 2006 due to legal issues. But he would not be out of work for long as he would have a year run in CMLL before signing back with AAA in 2007 and would once more be a featured rudo in many big matches. During this run he would also put the mask back on and wrestle as Psicosis again in Mexico, but by 2014 he was once more released from AAA. He would return to the indies and is still working for them to this day, but did have a very small run once again in AAA starting in 2016 and by 2017 he was gone again. Really if you are a younger fan of Pro Wrestling and Lucha Libre, make sure to watch some of Psicosis matches and make sure it’s the original as you will see why he is one of my all time favorite Luchadors.

# 1

Rey Mysterio Jr.
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok I had to pick Rey Mysterio Jr. as my # 1 spot cause well he is Rey and a true legend of Lucha Libre as well as brought the Mexican style to a mainstream pro wrestling fan her in America. Rey Mysterio I saw first thanks to WCW and I have seen him live several times not only during his WCW run but also in his WWE one. He is one wrestler that I have always cheered for and even the short time unmasked I was still a fan, but I will say thank goodness for WWE being smart and putting the mask back on him…and shame on WCW for unmasking him. Rey Musterio Jr. started in 1989 working the indies of Mexico and by 1992 was signed to AAA and was becoming one of the biggest rising stars in Lucha Libre, he would even have matches in ECW while with AAA and Americans would get their first look at Rey in action. In 1996 Rey would sign with WCW as part of their growing Cruiserweight division that was bring together some of the worlds best in that weight class. Rey would be one of the biggest breakout stars in that division and would hold many titles from the Cruiserweight Title to the Tag Titles, would be in such groups as the L.W.O., Filthy Animals and the No Limit Soldiers, he would also be unmasked by Kevin Nash and would be one of the company’s biggest mid-card attractions. Rey would stay with WCW until it closed in 2001 and then would work for CMLL as well as the indies until 2002 when WWE came calling and Rey signed with America’s biggest wrestling promotion. Rey Mysterio Jr. from the start was a big deal in WWE as he had a major fan base and he would be in main event matches as well as win titles like WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Cruiserweight Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship as well as Tag Team Champion with such partners as Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam. He would also win the Royal Rumble and would have big matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, JBL and so many more. Rey would leave WWE in 2015 and would take indie bookings as well as would return to AAA for sometime as well as took matches in Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2018 Rey Mysterio Jr. would return to WWE and is still there as of this update and is working alongside his son Dominik and is a true WWE Legend and for sure will be in the Hall Of Fame when he retires. Rey Mysterio Jr. is an amazing Luchador and even after years of injuries as well as age he still can out wrestle almost all the youngsters in WWE today. Get the WWE Network and watch many of Rey’s older matches and see why he is my # 1. Rey Mysterio Jr. has also wrestled under the names El Nino, Colibri, Super Nino and Rey Misterio II.

This list was way harder to compile then I ever would have thought as many times while writing it and even getting it ready to post I changed the order of many of them. And it was tough to choose was going to be my number one as it went to Rey Mysterio but it also was so close going to go to Psicosis and even Blue Demon Jr. was considered for that spot! And to be honest I could have done a Top 100 as there is many other Luchadors that I am a fan of that didn’t make the list with the likes of El Zorro, Electroshock, Charly Manson and Dark Ozz to name a few and they could and should off if I had more slots on this countdown. Well for our next update we will be leaving Lucha Libre behind and will be once more taking a look at the world of Horror Hosting and will be talking about The Moon and Narrator who first hosted TNT Monstervision! So until next time, watch a Lucha Libre match or three, read a comic or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for some MonsterVision!

Wrestling’s Original Sunny Days!

The world of Pro Wrestling over the ages has been filled with many great companies with WWE being the top and companies like IMPACT, AEW, Ring Of Honor, AAA, New Japan, NWA, CMLL, All Japan, Rock Star Pro, Wrestling Revolver and MLW as well delivering top notch wrestling to fans worldwide. Not to mention companies like AWA, WCCW, WCW, XPW, GWF and ECW all companies that are gone now but also brought so much to the table when it came to Pro Wrestling. But one federation brought female wrestling to the front and that federation was GLOW who had such talent as Little Egypt, Babe The Farmer’s Daughter, Corporal Kelly, Draculetta and Matilda The Hun to name a few. And this update is about one of the female grapplers from GLOW, the fan favorite Sunny The California Girl! This will be a short and fun update as her career was very short lived. So let’s get ready for some singing Knock, Knock jokes and see how well Sunny goes from the ring to the comic pages.

Gorgeous Ladies Of Wresling (GLOW) started in 1986 and was a pro wrestling federation that was made up of all female talents and was owned by Meshulam Riklis and was the brainchild of David McLane. Back in the day McLane worked for WWA and pitched his idea of a female run wrestling federation to owner Dick The Bruiser who turned down the idea as he thought that it would not work in their base area of Indianapolis. So after thinking about it, McLane decided to try it again and ran an ad in Hollywood and got a massive amount of responses. After casting and training done by Mando Guerrero they decided to hire wrestling veteran Princess Jasmine to wrap up the training as well as be a member of the roster with a name change to Pepper. GLOW would go on to then lock a TV deal as well as find a location for their events that was at the Riviera Hotel And Casino in Las Vegas. Most of the wrestlers on the roster were models, actresses and athletes who wanted to use this as a way to rocket their careers. And with the TV deal also came the signing of Sylvester Stallone’s mom Jackie Stallone who played the fake Owner of GLOW on screen. The live events for GLOW were used for the TV Show and over all it did well lasting 4 seasons and ending its first run in 1990. Glow would try and make a comeback in 2001 under new ownership, and it as well only lasted a short time. And in 2017 the wrestling federation became a show on Netflix that will air its fourth and final season this year. While GLOW is ranked among the worst wrestling federations, it still delivered some good matches and interesting female grapplers for viewers to enjoy.

Sunny The California Girl started her wrestling career around 1986 and was originally a model, actress, and athlete and worked as a councilor. Growing up watching pro wrestler and being pushed by her father, she join the new federation called GLOW. Sunny was known for her singing of knock, knock jokes and was one of the popular grapplers in the ring. She had a bubbly and easy going personality and a classic 80’s style female wrestler in ring work. While she was never a true main eventer she still put butts in the seats and worked hard to climb the rankings. After GLOW closed in 1990, she never did go on to work for the likes of WWE or WCW and would only make small appearances mostly at GLOW reunion shows. While she might not have been the biggest name in women’s wrestling nor was she ever a champion, one thing is for sure those who watched GLOW all loved Sunny and her cheerful jokes and in ring style.

So as you can see, both GLOW and Sunny The California Girl had a very short run in the world of Pro Wrestling, but both managed to make their marks in the industry. And now I think it’s time to dive into the comic book based on Sunny that was released by Squared Circle Comics. I got it via their Kickstarter to fund it. I would like to remind you that I grade this issue on a standard 1-4 star system and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready to step into the squared circle with Sunny, let’s see what this bio comic has in store for us.

Sunny The California Girl  # 1 *1/2
Released in 2019     Cover Price $8.00    Squared Circle    #1 of 1

Patricia Summerland was born in 1964 and was raised by her Aunt and Uncle with her cousins being like her brothers. Patricia was very athletic growing up and competed in so many sports, and while swimming, her never back down nature left her drowned and flat lined for four minutes before she was brought back my paramedics. With a new outlook on life she took up a modeling career and during this time as well she learned about her real parents and was angry and set on a life of partying in the LA scene. But once back home, she was pushed by her Uncle to tryout for a new wrestling league called GLOW and after some hard work she was selected for a roster spot and took the name Sunny The California Girl with her character being based on actress Jayne Mansfield. Her first match was a tag team bout that took place on a Nevada gambling boat where she lost due to her opponents cheating. Her biggest feud was with Big Bad Mama, a wrestler who used her voodoo powers to beat Sunny in their big match. In 1988 Sunny’s father fell very ill and she took time away from the ring to visit him on his death bed, and once he passed she attempted to return to GLOW, but the federation had closed and so ended her in ring career in 1989. While retired, Sunny wants the world to know that she could come back to the square circled any time and could once more try her best to climb the ranks of any federation that hires her.

This wrestling bio comic in my opinion is very loose and does not pack much of a bite, let alone really let us into who Sunny is and what she had done for the world of Pro Wrestling. In fact the comic has very little dialogue and does a very poor job of telling us readers anything really about her at all in and out of the ring. The issue’s story briefly touches on Patricia Summerland as she rises from model to wrestler and her part in GLOW before retiring just as quickly as she began. The little tiny amount we get to know about Sunny shows that she was a hard worker who grew up loving and respecting wrestling, she also was a family person who loved her adoptive parents. There is not much to say about this comic besides it pretty lackluster and that’s a shame as I enjoy all the other Squared Circle Comics I have read up to this point. The cover for this issue is pretty cool and eye catching for fans of Sunny. The interior art is solid indie art done by Rich Perotta who seems to be the company’s in house artist. Over all this is a so-so comic and I would say if you are a fan of GLOW and Sunny The California Girl give this a read, otherwise I would stay clear. Check out the art work below to see the style of Perotta.

While this Squared Circle comic was not very good, I do recommend them as they have done some great issues based on classic wrestlers like Bruno Sammartino, The Rock & Roll Express, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Fantastics to name a few, and yes many of these will be getting an update here on Rotten Ink. But for my next update I am going to leave the world of pro wrestling behind and will be taking a look at the world of short lived and overlooked superheroes as Black Bow and his friends will be the topic. So until next time, read an indie comic or two, watch a wrestling PPV or two and as always support you’re local wrestling federation! See you next time for an unknown hero good time.

The Turkey Day Labors Of Hercules!

Happy Thanksgiving friends, family and readers, and thanks for spending a part of your holiday with me here at Rotten Ink once again. As we all are sitting here waiting for the turkey, ham or whatever your main dish choice is to cook and while Football is on the TV, I want to reflect that this year will be the seventh time I have covered the one and only Greek Mythology hero Hercules. With this go round we will be covering a comic that showcases his 12 Labors! The tale of Hercules is one that I have always enjoyed, and I can remember renting many books from the library and even buying some all about Greek Mythology as it has always captured my attention as well helped fuel my creative mind, not to mention the classic Sword And Sandal films were staples of my viewing when I was a youngster. So if you’re ready to go on another Turkey Day Adventure with Hercules and myself, we should start our amazing adventure and see how Herc conquers his 12 labors and delivers another special update.

One of my favorite Hercules films of the 60’s has to be the one called “Hercules Against The Mongols” from 1963 that had Mark Forest play the role of Hercules! The film follows Hercules as he takes on the heirs of the conquerer Genghis Khan and shows why good always beats evil. But while this is a fantastic Sword and Sandal fantasy adventure film that showcases the power and noble was of Hercules, the sad fact of the matter is that this film was not originally a Herc film and was only dubbed one in the USA when distributers thought that the name meant more to movie goers than Maciste, the real hero behind this film as well as many of the Hercules, Samson and Goliath films here in America. The thing I like about this film is that Hercules takes on an army of bloodthirsty warriors who just want to conquer, take over and kill…and they don’t stand a chance against the pride of Olympus. Mark Forest makes a pretty good Hercules, and while he is now Steve Reeves, he captures the cocky hero nature of this demigod hero. This movie can be found on VHS, DVD and even plays on TV Station Comet TV from time to time, so if you love Hercules flicks, make sure to check this one out.

While we are talking about the film Hercules Against The Mongols, we should take a few moments and talk about actor Mark Forest who played the title role. Lou Degni was born on January 6, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York and began his bodybuilding career at the age of 13 as he knew that becoming a strong man was his calling. This lead to him opening his own gym in Long Island so that lifting would always be a part of his life. But during his adult life, he also tried his hand in acting and auditioned to play Tarzan in a film and did not get it but did end up taking a gig in Las Vegas playing one of Mae West’s musclemen and even helped earn his status of strongman by entering and winning weightlifting competitions including Mr. Muscle Beach in California. In 1958, the world of cinema changed when Hercules starring Steve Reeves hit cinemas around the world and the sword and sandal films became big business! And the second American actor approached to travel to Italy and make these films was Mark Forest who made his first film in 1960 with “Goliath And The Dragon” and many more would follow like “Son Of Samson” (1960), “Mole Men Against The Son Of Hercules” (1961), “The Lion Of Thebes” (1964) and “The Terror Of Rome Against The Son Of Hercules” (1964) and many more. During this time of course Lou Degni took on the stage name of Mark Forest, and this was the name he was best known for. Mark would ride the short lived popularity of the Sword and Sandal genre until the end, and afterwards got involved in opera in Italy and later became a vocal coach in California. Mark Forest is one of those classic actors that I hope someday soon Monster Bash Convention brings in so that I can meet him, while long retired from acting and weightlifting, Mark is a true legend of Cinema strongmen.

Remember in our first update about Hercules when we took a look at the DELL Comic and the Steve Reeve movies? Well we also talked about WWF Wrestler Hercules Hernandez during that update, and for this update I want to briefly talk about another Pro Wrestler who went by the ring name Hercules Ayala and was a monster of the squared circle. Hercules Ayala, whose real name is Ruben Cruz, was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on July 14, 1950 and upon moving to the mainland of the U.S., he meet NWA wrestler Angelo Savoldi at a gym and was trained by him to become a wrestler himself and had a very brief run in the WWWF. He then would go on to wrestle in such federations as Stampede Wrestling for around 8 years and even won the Tag Titles with Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart! Also during this run, he worked for smaller Canadian federation Lutte Internationale where he became their Heavyweight Champion beating David Shultz and losing it a month later to Abdullah The Butcher. He would return to Puerto Rico and would join WWC and as well would capture their World Title beating Randy “Macho Man” Savage! He would go on to feud with Carlos Colon and would lose a loser leaves town match in 1989 and was written off from WWC. A few years later, he would show up in AWF and become a World Champion again for a short time. He would go on from there to work sport appearances in Puerto Rico even for WWC again. While he is not a huge name here in America, he does have a big name around the world and his many title wins in many federations show that he made his mark in the world of Pro Wrestling.

So I am sure many of you readers are wondering about the Hercules Comic that I was writing and my friend Jeff Potter was doing the art for that was going to be released by Sparkle Comics as part of the Sword And Sandal Comic line…well sadly the comic has been placed on the back burner for now as the first release in the series Samson was not the mega hit we had hoped for causing some shifts in the production line, and Potter and I worked on bringing back classic superhero Black Jack back to the comic world instead! But while on the backburner for now, it does not mean that this Hercules comic is 100% dead as at some point Jeff and I will return to it and unleash it onto the indie comic reading masses as I am proud of the story I wrote and I know Potter’s art will kill it! So for those of you Hercules comic fans know that we will be releasing this comic soon it was just not in the cards for 2019. Below is some very early concept art that Potter did for the series so you can see the style we were aiming for.

So I think it’s time for this update that we take a look at the graphic novel of Hercules and the 12 labors set before him, and this one is a great pick to showcase Hercules in all his heroic glory. I want to thank Amazon for having this in stock and making this update possible. And as always I want to remind you all that I grade this comic on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s head out and see just how Hercules can complete his 12 labors!

Hercules: The Twelve Labors  **1/2
Released In 2007     Cover Price $8.95     Graphic Universe   #1 of 1

Zeus, the King of the Gods, had an affair with a mortal woman that spawned the demigod Hercules who was hated by his stepmother Hera! When Hercules was a youngster the evil Goddess even sent venomous snakes to his crib to kill him, but they were no match for his power. As an adult Hera, masking herself as Zeus, makes Hercules pledge himself to his cousin King Eurystheus who is jealous of his powerful cousin, and with Hera whispering in his ear, they come up with labors for Hercules to do. The first labor has Hercules going to Thebes and killing the man-eating lion with the thick hide with his bare hands, and when he does so, he skins the lion and makes himself a new cloak! His second labor is to go to the swamps of Lernea to take out the Hydra! Once in the swamp Hercules and his nephew figure our how to defeat the Hydra and do so. The third labor is to bring back a golden deer, that King Eurystheus thinks Hercules will kill and bring down the wrath of the gods for killing it…but Hercules is too smart and brings it back alive! After each finished task, King Eurystheus is getting more and more angry at his cousin and Hercules with ease finishes the next that are to kill a massive Boar, clean out multiple stables in a single day, chase off killer birds who are tormenting farmers, steal a angered white bull from a King, later steal a pair of horses that are being abused by a king that are now cruel and man eaters and his ninth labor has Hercules at was with the Amazon Women as he is tasked with getting the queens golden belt! And after each task King Eurystheus grows more frustrated, and Hercules himself gets more disappointed as he does not like being a thief for his greedy cousin. The tenth labor has Hercules stealing cattle from a Monster that he ends up killing. With his eleventh labor he must get a golden apple from a tree that he needs the help of Titan Atlas to do so and must switch places with him holding up the sky for a short time! With his twelfth and final labor, King Eurystheus send Hercules to Hades to bring back the three headed dog Cerberus and with the blessing of Hades, he tames the beast brings it to King Eurystheus and ends his labors!

This graphic novel is a great kid friendly read that brings the legend of Hercules alive for readers. The plot is simple and has Hercules having to do labors that are impossible for most in order to please his greedy cousin who is a King with the hopes that Herc will die as that is what Goddess Hara, who is the one who set this up, wants. Hercules is very prideful, noble and respectful to the demands of the Gods as he does what he is asked even if he disagrees with it. Plus I feel like the Hercules has the feel of Hercules from the old Sword And Sandal films, making it a very fun adventure to read. Hara is the issue’s main villain as she gets joy out of trying her best to kill and ruin Hercules and his legacy. She pushes so much for his downfall that she herself gets outsmarted by Hades who figures out that she is the one who has set this all up. The second baddie has to be King Eurystheus who is just a cruel and jealous man who hates his cousin cause he has the power and respect that he wishes he had! The side killer animals are great as well as who don’t love the Nemean Lion or Cerberus! The pacing of this graphic novel is also very fast and teaches you the story without dwelling on the small details, making it a cool action comics mixed with a little history in folklore. It’s also very cautious of showing any violence as it’s clear this is meant for all ages and to be used as a teaching comic. The cover reminds me of something you would find at a School Book Fair and is eye catching for youngsters, but not so much for adult readers. The interior art is done by Steve Kurth and is good stuff and has a real Marvel/Star Comics appeal. Over all this is a great read and one that could help get kids into Greek Mythology as it delivers a fun time. Check out the art below to see the style of Kurth!

Thanks for spending another Thanksgiving with Hercules and myself here at Rotten Ink, and as always Sword And Sandal comics will always have a home here on this site….but I am sad to say that next year will be the last time, at least for a while, that I will cover Hercules on a Thanksgiving update as I felt I have talked about almost all I can about this iconic mythology hero. Now don’t get too sad as I will continue to do Thanksgiving Day updates as many of you readers seem to enjoy them on this holiday, so next year I will be taking a look at Hercules Unbound from DC Comics and this will wrap up this tradition of Herc on Turkey Day! I hope you enjoyed this update and that you are having (or had) a great Thanksgiving as holidays with loved ones, something you should never take for granted. Our next update will start our countdown to Christmas Eve and we will be taking a look at the GoBots, those underrated changing robot toys from the 80’s! So until next time enjoy your turkey, watch a football game or two and as always cherish your loved ones. See you next update for a robotic good time!

The 9th Wonder Of The World Of Wrestling: Chyna

When I was a kid, 80’s pro-wrestling was filled with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Lex Luger, Kerry Von Erich, Jerry Lawler and so many other amazing superstars who drew large crowds to the arenas for sold out matches and drove up Pay Per View buy rates. When it came to the female wrestlers, names like Wendi Richter, Fabulous Moolah, Jumping Bomb Angles, Sherri Martel and Rockin’ Robin were used as special attractions, and Richter was one of the first non-valets used as eye candy and a role model for young woman around the world as she gave it her all in the squared circle even becoming the Woman’s Champion. By the early 90’s, female wrestlers in the WWF were becoming respected by the fans.  Many amazing talents were competing like Alundra Blayze and Luna Vachon, and they paved the way for the likes of Sable, Lita, Trish Stratus, Ivory and the one who made a major impact in female wrestling, the 9th Wonder Of The World Chyna! Wrestling fans in the Attitude Era enjoyed Chyna as she broke the boundaries of what a female wrestler was supposed to be and even was a manager and a role model for young women the world wide. Love her or hate her, Chyna was a major player for WWE in the Attitude Era, and it’s my pleasure to talk about her on this Rotten Ink update.  So get a ring side seat as we are going to take a look at the life, career, death and comics of the one and only Joanie “Chyna” Laurer.

Joan Marie Laurer was born on December 27th 1970 in New York and had a rough childhood after her parents separated.  Besides moving a bunch, she also had three different stepfathers and no stable life. Joan learned how to play cello and violin and developed an eating disorder as a teen! Joan and her mom had a falling out, and she moved to Spain with her father and finished school there. She went to the University of Tampa and graduated in 1992 and joined the Peace Corps and even was stationed in Guatemala. Back home, she took a few weird jobs like a waitress in a strip club and a phone sex operator for a 900 number line! But in 1995, she found her calling in life, to be a Pro Wrestler.  She was trained by the legend Killer Kowalski and started working the independent wrestling scene under the name Joanie Lee. In 1996, while at a independent wrestling event, she met WWF Superstars Triple H and Shawn Michaels who wanted her to come to the WWF and become their bodyguard for DX.  At first Vince McMahon was not hip to hiring her until he heard WCW was thinking of bringing her in to be a member of the n.W.o and this made him hire her.  She started in 1997 as Triple H’s manager and bodyguard before DX was formed. She spent the next years helping HHH and HBK win matches.  Her main move was the low blow, and she was the muscle that helped back up DX’s mouths. She would be the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble as she drew number 13 in 1999 while in DX. She would later turn on Triple H and DX and join Kane and Vince McMahon who at the time was feuding with DX and would jump back to DX and then turn on them again this time with Triple H as they joined The Corporation a group of “company” guys that was being lead by Vince McMahon.

After a while The Corporation split up, and Chyna went her own way leaving Triple H behind as well.  She was the first female to enter the King Of The Ring tournament and also was able to earn a spot for a run at the WWF Championship that she sadly lost when she lost to Mankind. She would go on to a feud with Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental Championship and would also gain a valet Miss Kitty during this time.  At No Mercy in 1999, she won the belt form Jarrett and became the first and only woman to win this belt! She would go on to wrestle Chris Jericho to defend the belt and would lose and win back the belt during this feud.  At one time, the two had to be shared champions as they both pinned each other at the same time! After losing the belt to Jericho again, she would move onto teaming with Jericho for a short time before moving onto the next chapter of her WWF career.

In 2000 she would go on to manage and team with Eddie Guerrero who would call her his “Mamacita” and the pair would go onto have a weird angle with the Intercontinental Championship after Chyna won it again after beating Val Venis and Trish Stratus in a intergender tag match at SummerSlam. But she would lose the belt two weeks later in a triple threat match against Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle when Eddie picked up the win! The pair split later in 2000 when she caught Eddie in the shower with two other women! From there, she would go onto have a program with Ivory who was a member of the Right To Censor group who were upset over Chyna posing for Playboy Magazine. She would win the Women’s Championship from Ivory at Wrestlemania X-Seven and would defend the belt later against Lita.  Chyna won the match, but this proved to be her final match in the WW.  She vacated the belt after being taken off TV and was later let go from the company after she had a breakdown in her personal life when she found out her boyfriend Triple H was having an affair with the owner’s daughter Stephanie McMahon! 2001 was the end of Chyna’s WWF run ,and sadly she would never come back to the company and this also was the end of her major wrestling career.

In 2002, Chyna would show back up in wrestling as she appeared in New Japan Pro Wrestling refereeing and even wrestling a few matches including against Masahiro Chono with her final match for that company being a tag match were she and a Fake Great Muta lost to Hiroshi Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenzo Suzuki. She started with them in 2002 and also ended her run in 2002 giving her less than a year with the company. She took many years away from the ring, and in 2011, she showed up in TNA where she was the associate to Kurt Angle and entered one battle royal and only had one major match with them as she teamed with Angle to take on Jeff and Karen Jarrett.  Chyna got the win when she made Karen tap out. This was the final match Chyna would ever wrestle and sadly, both runs in New Japan and TNA were both very short and no other federations wanted to take a chance on her like Ring Of Honor. So while her time in the world of Pro Wrestling was pretty short, she was a trend setter as she was the first female to be Intercontinental Championship, be in the Royal Rumble and King of The Ring as well was the WWF Women’s Championship showing that she was a true WWF Superstar. Sadly on April 20, 2016 Chyna was found dead in her home in California at the age of 46; the cause of death was an overdose of alcohol and anxiety drugs.

Chyna’s biggest Wrestlemania match was at “Wrestlemania X-Seven” where in a squash match she defeated Ivory for the WWF Women’s Championship! The lead up for this match has Ivory, who was a member of the group Right To Censor, trashing Chyna for being in Playboy Magazine and even having Ivory beat Chyna at the Royal Rumble as she injured her neck causing her to lose the match. This rematch was hyped as Ivory made Chyna sign that if she hurt her neck again, the 9th Wonder Of The World could not seek legal action and the rest of Right To Censor was banned from ringside. The match would have Chyna dominate Ivory and “Chynabomb” her, only to raise Ivory at the two count to press her over her head with a massive slam and then go for the three count that had Chyna win the WWF Women’s Championship! This match showcased that Chyna was a force to be reckoned within the women’s division and that she could bounce back from a injury and take the biggest prize in the company for the female wrestlers at the time. This match only also helped seal Chyna’s popularity as Ivory was a major heel at the time who was loud and annoying trying to tell the WWF Universe what they should watch and like. While the match was super quick, it just showed you how powerful and popular Chyna was in the WWF.

Besides being a wrestling superstar, Chyna also appeared in TV shows as well as movies! She appeared in such shows as 3rd Rock From The Sun, The Howard Stern Show, Fear Factor, Hollywood Squares, Robot Wars: Grand Champions 2002, The Surreal Life, My Fair Brady, Larry King Live, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and Celebrity Boxing where she took on Joey Buttafuoco and sadly lost to the scumbag. She also starred in some low budget films like Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy, Alien Fury and Illegal Aliens. She was on reality shows like Cristina’s Court where she went up against a dog breeder. While Chyna never made it in Hollywood and many of her appearances on TV were in bad lights from Rehab to Boxing a convict for low pay, she will best be known for playing Officer Janice on 3rd Rock From The Sun in a total of 3 episodes. While she made cameo appearances in many other shows, she just never was considered a great actress but she was always well liked by her fellow actors.

2004 marked the downfall of Chyna’s wrestling career and the birth of her becoming a full fledged porn actress after Red Light District Video bought the rights and released a homemade porn she had made with her then boyfriend X-Pac that was called “1 Night In Chyna” and this made her become an in-demand actress in such titles as “Another Night In China”, “Backdoor To Chyna”, “Chyna Is Queen Of The Ring”, “Avengers XXX: A Porn Parody” where she played She-Hulk and her last adult film was “She-Hulk XXX that was released in 2013. Many could say that she got her first taste in the world of adult entertainment when she posed nude for Playboy in 2000 and again in 2002. Many people have a theory that her adult film acting is what has kept her from going into the WWE Hall Of Fame, and while this I am sure is partly true, I am sure her odd and erratic behavior, her drug abuse, her outspoken nature and history with Triple H are also major factors on why she is not in. Say what you will, but Chyna should be in the Hall Of Fame as she did lots for the women division in WWE and made her mark on the world of Pro Wrestling. Oh yeah, and do you like the Little Roddy Piper heads I used to cover her naughty bits?

Chyna has had her fair share of amazing merchandise like all great Wrestling Superstars of the past and still to this day have. She has graced T-shirts, posters, mugs, magazines, VHS tapes, books, action figures, video games, DVDs, valentine cards, trading cards, dinner plates, photos, stickers, comic books and so much more! She was one of the first female wrestlers I could think of who had so much merch that she rivaled some of the bigger male superstars in just the sheer amount the WWE made with her image. It’s crazy to think about just how much they pushed Chyna and how fast they dropped her and down played her impact in the WWE after she was upset over Triple H and his affair with Stephanie McMahon.  After her release no other merchandise was made nor was she signed to a Legends Deal. Growing up a wrestling fan (keep in mind way before the Attitude Era) I did have much of Chyna’s merch from DVDs, VHS, magazines, her book and video games, and if your wondering, I did indeed have the Playboy of her in it as a friend of mine got it for me as a gift cause he thought it was funny! So I am sure if you loved wrestling in the late 90’s and 2000’s you owned something that had Chyna’s image.

Speaking of video games, I am a mark for buying wrestling games and have picked up every WWE game when released, many of the times even special ordering it so that I could get it on day of release! Chyna has been in many of the games with her first being “WWF Attitude” that was released for N64, Dreamcast and Playstation in 1999. She would also appear in “WWF Wrestlemania 2000” for the N64 in 1999 putting her in two games in the same year. In 2000, she would be in “WWF Smackdown!” for Playstation as well as “WWF No Mercy” for the N64 with her final game, also released in 2000 when Playstation delivered us gamers ,“ WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role”! I owned all these games and while she was in them, I never really remember playing her against friends or the computer as while I enjoyed her in ring work, I was still more into playing as wrestlers as The Undertaker, Essa Rios or Bret Hart. I do however remember my friend Jason Gilmore playing as her in No Mercy and Attitude and being pretty good with her tossing opponents around. So did or do you own any of these games, and do you find yourself playing as Chyna?

So as you can see in her short wrestling career that really only lasted from 1995-2002, Chyna made a major impact and broke the mold of what a female wrestler should be as she won belts held by only male wrestlers up to that time, was the first ever female to enter the Royal Rumble and was a role model for young girls who wanted to be a pro wrestler. She was not a “Diva” and while not ground breaking in the ring, she could hold her own with both females and males in matches. She also broke the mold of women wrestlers at the time having to be super model looking and embraced the fact that she was different and sent the message out for anyone to be who they are. I know that she had many surgeries to make her appearance more feminine after “fans” claimed she looked too much like a man, but that was in real life that she felt the need to change for society to accept her, while her character was more confident in who she was. With female wrestling being very big in the WWE right now with talented wrestlers like Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Naomi and so many other top notch ladies on the roster, all I am sure look at Chyna, Trish Stratus, Ivory and Lita as the performers who paved the way for “Divas” to become wrestlers.

So now that we chatted a little about Chyna and who she was, I am sure many of you friends and readers are remembering her career in wrestling while others who didn’t watch wrestling are learned a little about her and I hope want to learn more.  I would suggest reading her autobiography book called “If They Only Knew” if you do want to know more about her. So now it’s time to take a look at the comic series of Chyna that was done by Chaos Comics starting in 2000 and had two one shot issues that make up the series. I want to thank Lone Star Comics and Game Swap Kettering for having these issues in stock.  The Ref just walked by and wanted to tell us these rules “I grade these on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story.” So lets get our ring side seat and see what Chaos Comics has to offer to the legacy of Chyna and her comic book series.

Chyna # 1  **
Released in 2000     Cover Price $2.95     Chaos Comics   # 1 of 1

Chyna arrives in Chicago just in time to save Jamie Banks, a young girl who is being kidnapped by masked members of The Death Cult! Chyna uses her fighting ability and takes out the masked goons and meets her father Elliot Banks who wants to hire Chyna as his and his daughter’s bodyguard as he claims that he has very powerful enemies.  She decides to take the job and becomes close to Jamie but soon finds that Elliot is nothing more than a rich scumbag. The Death Cult leader Kassandra is upset and sends more troops to the Banks Mansion, and while Chyna deals with them, others come in and kidnap Jamie! Elliot orders Chyna to go save his daughter, and Chyna does as she asked not for money but for Jamie and soon finds out that the reason The Death Cult has kidnapped the young girl is because Elliot screwed them on an illegal weapons deal and they have been priming Jamie into being unwilling killer as her Nanny was a part of the cult! Chyna fights tooth and nail as they take Jaimie back to her father who is given a speech to his backers and just as his young daughter is about to stab him Chyna appears beats up Kassandra and saves the day and warns Elliot to get out of the arms business and be a father or she will kick his butt! Chyna then takes Jamie home to put her to bed and so ends this action adventure of Chyna.

This is a fun and yet kind of bland action comic to feature a WWE Superstar that is not a bio comic but an adventure one that takes Chyna out of the ring and into a battle with a cult. The story has Chyna as a bodyguard to a crooked rich man and his daughter who have crossed paths with a evil cult on a deal gone bad.  So the cult wants revenge and has a plan to brain wash the daughter into killing her dad, and Chyna must stop this from happing. Chyna comes off cold as ice and uncaring for human life besides that of the young girl whom she has started a bond with. She is skilled in hand to hand combat and seems to have the power and strength of Hercules as she can toss around many grown men at the same time. So her powers are being cold and strong and have no real personality as she is a woman of few words. Elliot Banks is your typical sleazy corrupt businessman who deals in firearms and don’t care who he hurts or rips off as he thinks money can buy him out of any trouble. Jamie Banks is just a nice young girl who is stuck with a terrible father and has no one to really watch after and is being used to be a killing machine thanks to a cult…wait, is she the female Michael Myers?! The Death Cult and their leader Kassandra are many but seem to be easily beat by one woman…so how dangerous are they really? This comic is a good read but really does lack a solid plot and at no time did I feel Chyna was in trouble nor did I feel that she was all that likable as a comic hero. The cover I have is a photo one and is cool if you’re a fan of Chyna.  The interior art is good and done by Eddy Barrows who does his best at trying to capture the look of Chyna. Over all, there’s not much to say besides this is a mediocre comic based on a one time super popular wrestler. So let’s move on and see what Chyna II has in store for us.

Chyna II # 1  **
Released in 2001     Cover Price $2.99     Chaos Comics   # 1 of 1

Chyna is at a party and saves a woman named Shelly Marko from a hit that was placed on her by a crime lord Nicky Decampo as she is going to testify against him in court. After she saves her, the police hire Chyna to get Marko to the district attorney so that they can bring Decampo down. Chyna and Marko begin their quest and along the way they find out that some of the cops are dirty and been paid off and that they have been tracking them via Marko’s cellphone. Once into town and after beating up some bad guys, Chyna soon finds that she has been set up as Marko is really there to kill the district attorney and that she herself is to be killed! After Chyna makes short work out of the assassin she is also able to stop Marko from killing the district attorney as it has been a double cross as Chyna knew she was being set up and was hired by the district attorney who knew the hit has been placed on her.

This is another Chyna is a badass bodyguard comic adventure and this time has her acting as a double agent as the bad guys think they have tricked her into helping them and really she is working with the good guys in order to set up them up! Much like the other issue this comic just really is a basic plot with over the top action and one liners that brings us readers a mediocre adventure. Chyna in this one is snarky and a woman of few words besides some terrible lines she delivers to come off tough. Chyna in this one as well is super powerful, has the skill of s stuntman and the wit and smarts of a trained military leader. Shelly Marko is a sneaky young woman who at first comes off as a scared witness who wants to do the right thing, but really is a cold hearted woman who really wants to help her crime lord friend and is willing to kill many to do it. The rest of the bad guys are useless and get knocked around like a crash test dummy. Sadly I can see why this comic series based on Chyna only lasted two issues with both being first issues as it offered nothing new and really fells like a generic comic that you could have added any character into the role of Chyna and it would not have mattered. The comics didn’t capture the nature of Chyna, and I get they were trying to play up on her bodyguard role for Triple H and DX, it’s just they didn’t get her attitude and over all personality right. The cover on Chyna II that I own is the photo cover and I must say that it looks more like a workout video pose and not a pro wrestler one! Mike Deodato Jr. did the interior art and it’s pretty good and in many panels he did a great job of capturing Chyna’s look. Over all this wrestling comic series is mediocre at best and while enjoyable for the most part, I really wish they would have brought a little more of a wrestling theme to this comic series and maybe even added Miss Kitty as a sidekick. Check out some art from this comic series to see what Chyna looks like as a comic book character.

So while Chyna’s time in the world of comics might not have been as memorable as her time in wrestling, she still was able to get her time at being a comic hero. Cool thing is in the coming years, we will be taking a look at more Chaos! Comics based on WWE wrestlers like The Undertaker, The Rock, Mankind and Stone Cold Steve Austin and we will see if these comics hold up to what I remember or if they will be mediocre adventures like Chyna’s was. But our next update will take us out of the ring as we will finally make our way to The Mummy’s Tomb and talk all about the Universal Monster series and the Dark Horse Comic adaptation. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a local wrestling match or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update.

 

Kevin Nash The Master Of The Jackknife Powerbomb

Here on Rotten Ink we have covered some big men of the squared circle of Pro Wrestling like Andre The Giant and King Kong Bundy, and now I think it’s time we take a look at another as we step into the ring with Kevin Nash who hands down was one of the most popular wrestlers of the late 1990’s and through out the 2000’s in both WWF and WCW and even made his mark in TNA as being a main-eventer and a wrestler who put asses in the seats. Nash has been a very topical wrestler as some fans, critics and fellow wrestlers don’t like him and claim that when he was WWE World Heavyweight Champion, he was not a draw and that he was lazy and only knew a limited move set.  Others put him at the top of their favorite wrestlers and find his matches entertaining. Here on this update I will try and cover it all from his biggest match as Wrestlemania XI, to the Finger Poke Of Doom and even ending Goldbreg’s winning streak, it will all be covered! So once more lace up your boots and step over the top rope as we take a look at another big man of Pro Wrestling and the Image Comic based on him.

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Kevin Scott Nash was born on July 9th, 1959 in Detroit Michigan and had a pretty normal life besides sadly losing his father in 1968 from a heart attacks.  Kevin was only 8 years old. Nash was a great student and went to the University Of Tennessee where played center for the basketball team from 1977-1980 even making it to the NCAA Sweet 16, but his prankster attitude and clashes with authority took him out from playing for a fourth year. After moving to Europe and playing pro basketball for many years, he tore his anterior ligament, and this caused him to have to retire.  He took many other odd jobs overseas like 202nd Military Police Company where he guarded a NATO facility, and back in the US he managed a strip club and worked for a Ford factory. Nash eventually decided to try and become a Pro Wrestler and was trained by Jody Hamilton aka Assassin # 2, and in 1990 Nash was able to get a job with WCW.

With grease paint on his face and an orange Mohawk, he became Steel and teamed with his partner Iron to become The Master Blasters that would spend a few months feuding with Mike Rotundo and Tim Horner. But Iron was not working out and was replaced by Blade, and the team was undefeated for a time making them a tag team to watch as they had the power and look.  Their first loss came by the hands of Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman. Even after the loss, they ended up getting a tag team title shot against The Steiner Brothers and would not be able to take the straps from the champs. By 1991, their push as a tag team came to a end and so did the tag team as Steel would now just be called Master Blaster and would have single matches against the likes of Brian Pillman and Junkyard Dog only to lose.

Master Blaster was gone by February 1991, and Nash would get the second gimmick of his career as he became Oz! As Oz he had a weird old man Halloween mask, silver hair, dressed in green, was managed for a short time by The Great Wizard and was based on the book/movie The Wizard Of Oz.  He was a powerhouse of power and made his debut at the 1991 Clash Of The Champions where he started his short undefeated streak…that was until The Great American Bash 1991 when he faced Ron Simmons, and after this loss he became a jobber for the wrestling stars like Dustin Rhodes, Rick Steiner, Bobby Eaton and Bill Kazmaier. And 1991 went that way for Oz, as what was supposed to be a big grand gimmick turned into a cheesy one that was used as enhancement talent. Rumor has it that Oz’s push came to an end over money, and it was also said that the whole gimmick was a rib (prank) on Nash to try to get him to quite WCW. I can remember watching that Clash Of The Champions when Oz premiered and thinking just how amazing his entrance theme was…while the gimmick was lame, it still is one I remember.

At the start of 1992, after Oz was sent packing back to the Emerald City, Nash got yet another change this time becoming a wise ass gambling mobster type named Vinnie Vegas who was quickly placed in the A Half-Ton Of Holy Hell stable along side Vader and Mr. Hughes and was managed by Harley Race. But as fast as this stable was created it was also disbanded a month later.  Vegas ended up going to the stable The Diamond Mine along with The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) and Scotty Flamingo (Raven), and their leader was Diamond Dallas Page! This stable lasted for a short while, and after they broke up, DDP and Vegas formed a tag team named The Vegas Connection.  This lasted until Page was fired. Vinnie Vegas floated around for a while longer losing matches and being forced into teams with such wrestlers as Big Sky. But his luck was about to change as he had some powerful friends in the WWF, namely Jim Ross and Shawn “HBK” Michaels, and they pulled some strings so Nash was able to get out of his contract and his wrestling career was about to blow up! Kevin Nash’s first run for WCW saw him as an orange Mohawked goon named Steel, then the silver haired Oz and ended it being a parody of a mobster named Vinnie Vegas…say what you will about his first run characters, but they are what makes wrestling fun with their cheesy outlandish appearances. Check out below for pictures to see the evolution of Kevin Nash in WCW wave one.

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Kevin Nash entered the WWF in 1993.  He grew out his hair and dawned black leather and became “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel, the bodyguard for Shawn Michaels.  The pair became Two Dudes With Attitudes, and he helped Michaels deal with good guy wrestlers who were looking to beat up on the Heart Break Kid. In the 1994 Royal Rumble, Diesel entered the Rumble at # 7 and lasted for 18 minutes and tossed out seven men that included Owen Hart, Rick Steiner, Bob Backlund and Billy Gunn. Over the months Diesel would win the Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon and with Shawn Michaels captured the Tag Team Titles from The Headshrinkers, making Diesel a double champion!! This was a short feat as he would lose the IC belt back to Razor, and after a tag match his partner, HBK landed a super kick to his chin, breaking them up.  They forfeited the belts and Disel was no longer his bodyguard.  This marked his turn from heel to face as the crowd began cheering Big Daddy Cool. Things were going great for Diesel as he would go on to win the WWF World Heavyweight Champion from Bob Backlund in 8 seconds at Madison Square Garden only three days after breaking away from Shawn Michaels. He would defend his belt and retain it via a draw against Bret “Hitman” Hart at the 1995 Royal Rumble that would see Shawn Michaels winning the Rumble and getting a title match at Wrestlemania XI that we will go more in detail about a little later in this update. Diesel would hold the belt for a little while and would defend it against the likes of Sycho Sid and Mabel.  He would also reform his friendship with Shawn Michaels, and they would go on to capture the tag team titles again and with HBK also being the intercontinental champ, the pair held all of the major titles! But this time at the top was coming to an end as he and HBK lost the tag titles to Owen Hart and Yokozuna on a technicality and Diesel would lose the WWF World Heavyweight Champion on November 19 1995 to Bret “The Hitman” Hart as Survivor Series.  With this loss, Diesel turned heel again and had matches against the likes of The Undertaker and Bret Hart and would leave the WWF after WrestleMania XII losing to The Undertaker and jobbing at house shows before his contract expired. Kevin Nash’s first WWF run lasts from 1993-1996, and while many would say he was a low drawing champion, he certainly made his mark in the promotion’s history with multiple title wins and some classic matches as both a face and a heel.

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With WWF owning the rights to the in ring name Diesel and not wanting to return as Vinnie Vegas or Oz, Nash made his return to WCW on the June 10, 1996 episode of WCW Monday Night Nitro when he joined his pal Scott Hall (formally Razor Ramon) to form the invading tag team known as The Outsiders and simply went by his real name Kevin Nash! You see WCW was now going head to head with WWF on Monday Nights, and the storyline at first acted as if WWF had sent the pair over to cause chaos and to bully their talent. But after the WWF threatened to sue them, the storyline changed that they were just there to take over WCW and they had a mystery partner waiting to come out and help with the takeover. At the PPV Bash At The Beach, Kevin Nash along with Scott Hall teamed with a mystery partner to take on Sting, Macho Man Randy Savage and Lex Luger, and it was soon revealed that Hulk Hogan was the mystery partner.  The world of pro wrestling’s biggest face turned heel, and so began The New World Order (n.W.o).  Kevin Nash would become one of the biggest draws for the company winning the Tag Team Title as well as the World Heavy Weight Title and would have feuds with the likes of The Giant, Lex Luger, Rey Mysterio Jr., Goldberg.  Nash became one of the company’s biggest draws and flipped many times from being heel to face and back again. Not only was he a part of The Outsiders and n.W.o but also was the leader of the n.W.o Wolfpac, which had such members as Sting, Lex Luger, Macho Man Randy Savage and Konnan. Nash was a staple of WCW Nitro and Pay Per Views and was always a main event attraction. And unlike his first run with the company, he held the cards and was able to control the creative control of his character and was making the most money of his whole pro wrestling career. But also during this time WCW was beating WWE in the ratings and almost put them out of business.  Kevin Nash was one of the pro wrestlers leading the charge of bringing in the ratings, but when the tide turned and the end started to come crashing down on WCW, they ended up the ones being closed and bought out by their rivals, and Nash sat out his contract instead of jumping onboard and joining the WWE for the Invasion storyline. Kevin Nash’s second run for WCW was a major success and lasted from 1996-2001. And while this tiny history lesson on his second run for World Championship Wrestling might not be 100% in detail, I suggest you do yourself a favor and get the WWE Network and watch old WCW events and live or in most cases relive the history of his run.

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After WCW closed in 2001 and was bought out by WWE, many wrestlers who had long-term contracts with Time Warner had decided to stay home and not sign new contracts to wrestle for WWE during the WCW Invasion angle. Nash decided to stay home and collect his guaranteed money for the remainder of his contract and made his return to WWE in 2002 as part of the n.W.o alongside Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall who were also making their return to the company as part of Vince McMahon’s plan to poison his own company because he had to share the power of running it with Ric Flair…or so the storyline went. The n.W.o stayed around for a short time feuding with the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin and even Hulk Hogan as Nash and Hall turned on him after he lost his match at Wrestlemania X8 to The Rock. But a string of injuries left Nash out of action, and by this time Hall was let go from WWE.  The n.W.o was no more when he returned, and instead he was put into an angle that had two of his best friends Triple H and Shawn Michaels at odds with each other.  This lead to a feud with Triple H that gave him title shots that he was unsuccessful at capturing. His next major feud was with Chris Jericho, and his final match was in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship against Goldberg, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. Nash was the first to be eliminated, and after neck surgery, the WWE did not renew is contract making his second run with the company lasting from 2002- 2004.

After being let go and healing from his surgery, he went to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and made his debut along side Scott Hall to help Champion Jeff Jarrett retain his title at the 2004 PPV called Victory Road. Nash, Hall and Jarrett called themselves “Kings Of Wrestling” which lasted a short time until Hall left in 2005, and Nash wanted his shot at the title and turned on Jarrett to feud for the title. And just like before, Kevin Nash became a major draw for TNA and had matches against some of the company’s top talents like AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Monty Brown and Randy Savage. Nash also not only wrestled for them but also acted as an on-air character delivering comedy bits and showing his joker side. Nash had some solid matches, and his fans stood beside him during his time with the company that seen him as a member of such groups as The Band and Main Event Mafia and would have him in the spotlight in main events as well as helping push younger talent. Kevin Nash’s run for TNA was not as iconic as his time with WWE or WCW but it was entertaining and him being with them helped make them seem like a major player in the world of Pro Wrestling. Nash worked for TNA from 2004-2011 and from what Nash has said in interviews, his time there was just not a highlight of his career.

Kevin Nash as Diesel made his return to WWE on January 30, 2011 at the Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant and did not win. Nash was given a WWE Legends Contract and made appearances for the company off and on and had a few matches during his return most notably against Triple H who was feuding with CM Punk at the time.  Nash interfered in a match causing Triple H to turn on his friend who was trying to help him win. He would induct Shawn Michaels into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2011, helped in NXT as a guest match commissioner from late 2012 to early 2013, entered the 2014 Royal Rumble and lost again as well as inducted his long time friend Scott Hall as Razor Ramon into the Hall Of Fame and made many more appearances on Monday Night Raw as well as WrestleMania. Kevin Nash himself was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2015, and he still is under a Legends deal with the company as of this update. While his return to WWE might not have had him as a main eventer and had him in very little matches, it is nice that he is home in WWE, a company they he belongs in and who helped make him a household name.

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Over his long career as a top draw in the world of Pro Wrestling, Nash has had his share of drama and moments that live on that anger some and entertains others. The first being that he was a member of a backstage group called The Kliq in WWF alongside Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Triple H and 1.2.3 Kid who are said to have bullied talent and manipulated Vince McMahon into big contracts, screwing over other wrestlers like Vader, The Patriot and Shane Douglas, to name a few, from getting their proper pushes. When he left WWF on May 19 1996 at Madison Square Garden, Nash as Diesel on his last match in a steel cage against Shawn Michaels broke character at the end of the match when Diesel and Triple H who were “heels” hugged Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon who were “faces,” and this allowed people to see that Pro Wrestling was….you know the F word….I don’t want to say it as I have respect for what all wresters do to entertain and much like Horror Hosts I like to have the veil over my eyes. Lots of wrestlers would go on record and claim that he held them back from getting bigger pushes as he was worried about his spot at the top. He is said to have smacked Rowdy Roddy Piper in the face backstage in WCW in front of management and talent causing the legend to back down, breaking his tough guy image…or so Nash says. He is the man who many claim pulled strings to be the first to beat Goldberg in WCW, who was on the worlds longest winning streak in pro wrestling. Nash is the man who in WCW de-masked the luchador legend Rey Mysterio Jr.! Nash was considered to be very lazy by many dirt sheet writers who claimed Nash would put no effort in his matches in WCW and was handed titles due to his high-end contract. Many wrestlers and managers behind the scenes have had very harsh words about Nash and his attitude and ability like Jim Cornette, Matt Bourne, Ricky Morton, Ultimate Warrior and Bob Holly to name a few. But one thing he did in his career has been said to have been the final nail in WCW is the “Finger Poke of Doom” where Kevin Nash oversold a finger poke to the chest by Hulk Hogan to put the belt back on the Hulkster and start up their n.W.o friendship once again.  People saw this as once more being a lazy move and storytelling by Nash and the bookers. But say what you want about Nash and his mixed bag of popularity with fellow workers and critics, but this Pro Wrestling fan was always entertained by his matches and gimmicks, below is a gif of the infamous Finger Poke of Doom.

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The build up to Kevin Nash’s biggest WrestleMania match was played out for almost a year before it happened.  It was between him and HBK, and their on and off again friendship had to come to a massive end and this match was to be it. Kevin Nash, as Diesel, had Pamela Anderson in his corner taking on Shawn “HBK” Michaels with Jenny McCarthy and Psycho Sid in his for the WWF World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XI that took place on April 2, 1995 at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut. The match’s set up was Diesel was the champion, and he had to defend against his one time best friend Shawn for the final match of the feud as HBK had become jealous of the way the crowd was more behind Diesel.  He felt that it took the spotlight off him during their friendship. The match was the second main event of the PPV and was a back and fourth match that showcased Diesel as a powerhouse as well as made it clear that Michaels could hang with the bigger wrestlers in top main event matches. The matched ended with Diesel using his finisher the Jackknife power after about a 20 minute match that in the end had Diesel leaving with both Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy and locked in as a true world champion. While this match would never be on anyone’s top 5 list of best WrestleMania matches, it still was a good solid match and was Kevin Nash’s best at the worlds biggest pro wrestling event.

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Besides Pro Wrestling Kevin Nash has also found his calling in acting and has been in a number of TV shows as well as movies. His first movie role came in 1991 when he played Super Shredder in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze”, with the next playing Quixo in the 1992 episode This Old House Of Mayan for USA Network show “Swamp Thing”! 1992 also saw him act in the TV show “Super Force” playing the characters Lau and Iau in two episodes. And 1995 saw him play a Male Phone Caller in the made for TV Film “The Weinerville Chanukah Special”.  In 1997, he had a cameo in a TV Show playing The Giant in the episode The Crucible on “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and later that year would play Jackhammer Guy in the film “Family Plan” and be an unaccredited character in the Indian film “Aar Ya Paar”. Nash played a character named Rocky Williams on a 1998 episode of “Love Boat: The Next Wave” and would follow that up with starring as The Big Easy in two episodes of the show “Nikki” from 2000-2001. One of his biggest roles in a film came in 2004 as The Russian in the comic book flick “The Punisher,” and this helped mark him as a true actor as he was praised by fans and critics for this role. This lead to roles in films like “The Longest Yard” 2005 remake, “Grandma’s Boy” the 2006 comedy, “DOA: Dead Or Alive” as Bass Armstrong that was as well released in 2006, 2011’s “Monster Brawl” and “Rock Of Ages” in 2012 to name a few. His next big role was as well in 2012 as he played the male stripper character Tarzan in the film “Magic Mike” and would reprise the role for its 2015 sequel. And these titles are just a drop in the hat as he has been in many other films as cameos and through out this year of 2017 is also on tap to act in all types of flicks. So not only did Nash conquer the squared circle he also made his mark in acting.

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Kevin Nash as well as his ring name Diesel has had much merchandise made in his image and had made it into his fans and collectors hands. He has graced the covers of many magazines from WWF Magazine all the way to Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He has had VHS and DVD’s made about him, showcasing his “best” matches. He has had action figures made in his image by such companies as Toy Biz, Mattel and Jakks Pacific as well as has been on Pogs and Slammers, posters, t-shirts, video games and so much more! Growing up, my favorite Nash merchandise I owned was a long sleeve n.W.o Wolfpac shirt that I wore for years until bleach and age caught up to it. So of you’re a fan of Nash’s lots of great stuff is out in the world to add to your collection.

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For as long as I have owned a video game system, some of the must-buy releases for me are wrestling games, and Kevin Nash has made many appearances in them with many companies from WWE all the way to TNA. The first game I can remember him in was “WWF Raw” that came out for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and a number of handheld systems, all made by Acclaim. I can remember him in two WCW games for the N64 “WCW vs. n.W.o: World Tour” that was released in 1997 and “WCW/n.W.o Revenge” that was released in 1998 and both released by THQ. For the Sony Playstation, I remember him in the 1998 game “WCW Nitro” as well as “WCW Thunder” that was released in 1998 as well, both made by THQ. Later on for Playstation and N64 I remember him in the EA games “WCW Mayhem” from 1999 and “WCW: Backstage Assault” released in 2000. From here Nash would show up in WWE games on the PS2 for the Smackdown series and has made many appearances in the WWE games made by THQ and 2K and has been on systems like Game Cube, WII, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. And he’s even in the most modern game WWE 2K17! Nash also was a part of the “TNA Impact!” game made by Midway and released on PS2, PS3, WII and Xbox 360. So as you can see, if you’re a gamer and a Nash fan, you can have him in your modern storylines in WWE 2K’s Universe Mode and maybe just maybe make him take a fall by the finger poke of doom!

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As you can see, Kevin Nash has made his impact in Pro Wrestling, acting, video games and merchandise and even made his leap to comic books, thanks to Image Comics! Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the wrestling boom caught the eyes of comic companies big and small, and many titles were made based on wrestlers like The Rock, The Road Warriors, King Kong Bundy, The Undertaker and more so why not give Kevin Nash his own comic series that had him act as a vigilante. I want to thank Dark Star and Lobe Star Comics for having these issues in stock, and the referee is wanting me to remind you all that I grade these on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s climb into the ring with the man who named himself Big Sexy and see if he can jackknife powerbomb himself into having a solid comic series. I want to also note that Image Comics released a preview issue for Nash that was nothing more than a write up and unfinished pages from issue # 1 so I decided to skip it for this review.

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Nash # 1  **1/2
Released in 1999     Cover Price $2.95     Image Comics     #1 of 2

The world is coming to an end all thanks for a secret Cabal called The Citadel run by the evil Cyrus Storm who has made the worlds food supply run short and he and his goons are keeping the poor down and wanting them to die off! Citadel driver Seventeen is on a run when he finds some poor starving people and kills off the old woman and is about to kill her grandchild when Nash comes to the youngsters aid and makes a bloody mess of the driver. But even for the rich things are not all that well as Storm is in a power struggle with Minister Parch who’s food truck has gone missing! Storms daughter Tara takes the message that Parch and his men are going after the truck and are going to kill Nash who is out in the wasteland with the poor starving people. The Minister sends his right hand man Trax and a fleet of airships and soldiers to kill Nash and this legend of the wasteland fights them all off and just when he thinks he has won the fight someone shoots him several times in the back, ending out first issue on a cliffhanger as the shooter is in the shadows and Nash has been wounded bad.

The first issue of Nash will take you by surprise as not once is it said that he was once a Pro Wrestler and in the comic he is more like Mad Max as he wanders the wasteland and wants to help the weak and poor while sticking it to The Citadel. The underline plot of the comic is a statues war as the rich who are all members of a church have all the water and food while the normal low income people are forced to live in the wasteland a place were no food will grow and water is contaminated. The only hope for the poor is Nash a man whom the powerful fear and the weak idolize. Nash in the comic is a man who is trying to do the right thing but his macho ego still makes it hard for him to connect to those he is helping, he also loves the ladies and seems to 100% knows how to defend himself and will get as brutal as he needs to be. The Citadel clearly are people who crave the power over others and use their God as a way to justify their terrible deeds of killing and looking at the poor not as humans but as bugs that need to be exterminated. I kind of like the fact that they have not touched on the fact Nash is Kevin Nash from WCW and superstar of Pro Wrestling as this makes Nash’s violent acts more believable as well as fitting in the world the story has created. Another thing I like about this issue is that it has some bloody moments from an old woman taking a shotgun blast to her guts all the way to Nash blowing up the head of one of his enemies and each kill shows blood and slight gore! The things that don’t work for me as a reader is the fact the story seems very cookie cutter and seems like writers Kevin Nash himself and Marat Mychaels rented a bunch of Post Apocalyptic movies from Blockbuster Video and took elements they liked and mashed them together like potatoes on Thanksgiving. The art done by Marat Mychaels is ok but has that 90’s dated look and is in the style of early Image Comics. Over all this issue was a fun way to kick off the series and makes me wonder how they are going to wrap it up in one more issue? So with that lets see what they have in store for us in issue # 2 and who the man is that shot Nash in the back.

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Nash # 2   **1/2
Released in 1999     Cover Price $2.95     Image Comics     #2 of 2

Nash has a few slugs in his back and it was Trax who shot him and as Nash is about to embrace death his enemy turns on his own men and kills them! Trax tells Nash that he can only die when he allows it and that he himself is trying to gain power and will take down Minister Parch when he is ready. As Trax returns back to the city Nash and the poor come together to become an army and try and fight back against The Citadel and as they are on the move Tara Storm in a warship beams Nash up and informs him that he can end all this fighting and killing if he would just forget about the poor and join them once more and be a warrior for Storm! Nash turns down her offer and once placed back down with the poor people he decides that he needs to have sex with many of the women in the group, only to wake up and find almost all of them dead besides one who is an assassin for Minister Parch and has been hired to kill him! Nash and the female killer fight back and fourth and this leads to the young boy he saved in issue one being killed and Nash in a rage kills the female killer and promises that he is going to bring Minister Parch down once and fore all.

This second issue was suppose to lead to an issue three that never came to the light and left the story of Nash vs. The Citadel unfinished and questions never answered. The story this time around has Nash learning that Trax wants to be a player in ruling this new world as well as finds out that Tara Storm loves him and wants him to rejoin The Citadel and ends the issue having to kill a female killer who has been hired to kill him off in the name of The Minister. Nash in this issue is filled with even more ego and spends more time wanting to bang women than to protect and fight alongside the poor. It’s great as Kevin Nash once more was the co-writer and he in both issues has it that he is scoring with women and even that he has made it with Tara Storm the daughter of the series main bad guy! But while this is laughable bad that he would make himself a ladies man, it also is fitting for Nash and his style of humor. The female assassin is cold blooded and not only kills a few women but also kills a young kid all the while doing these acts in a tank top and panties, silly! Trax as well is cold as ice as he guns down his own men in order to fail on his mission on purpose so that he can use Nash as a tool to upset Minister Parch who he wants to overthrow. One odd thing is that Nash is spoken about as if he is a legend and savior but in both issue people die around him and again he seems more interested in scoring than defending. The art is once more done by Marat Mychaels and looks just like last issue with that pure 90’s Image cheese look. It’s a shame that this series just ended before the full story could have been told as I wonder what Marat Mychaels and Kevin Nash had planned to bring The Citadel down….I am guessing that it just would have had Nash bedding ladies till he finally could power bomb Minister Parch through a table all the while Tara Storm and random women giggled about Nash being a legend in bed. I am sure I am not to far off on my guess, but it really would have been nice for Image and Next Entertainment to have finished the story. This issue as well has some bloody moments and to sum it all up “Mad Nash: Beyond Wasteland Food Shortage Dome” as I have dubbed it was a fun read and took a Pro Wrestler and turned him into a comic book hero. Check out the art below to see the style this comic has to offer, and I would say if you’re a fan of Nash and cheesy end of the world comics you might want to give these two issues a read.

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So while Kevin Nash might not have taken the comic shelves by storm like he did the world of Pro Wrestling, it’s still very cool that he added his touch to series based on wrestlers. But it’s time to leave the wrestling ring and step back into the world of Horror Hosts as out next update is one I am super hyped to bring to you. It will be about The Creeper, who hosted Moraine Playhouse Theater here in Dayton, Ohio via public access in the late 80’s! Until next time make sure to read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and support your local pro wrestling federation! Next update prepare to meet The Creeper as he is a true favorite Horror Host for this monster kid.

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Pro Wrestling’s Master Of The Five Count: King Kong Bundy

When you think of the big men of Pro Wrestling, names like Andre The Giant, Big John Studd, Big Van Vader, Haystacks Calhoun, Kevin Nash, One Man Gang and a small amount of others come to mind, but at the top of that list for any old school wrestling fan has to be the one and only King Kong Bundy! The walking condominium, as Gorilla Monsoon use to call him, has made his mark in the WWF and independent scene throughout the 80’s and 90’s and was one of the sport’s most hated bad guys as his feuds with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Hillbilly Jim and The Undertaker encouraged boos from fans worldwide. For this update, we will take a look at TLW Productions comic based on King Kong Bundy as well as the man himself and his career. So lace up your boots and make sure your tights are on right as we step into the ring with the master of the five count, the man who delivers the most brutal avalanche splash to anyone in his way, the legend of pro wrestling’s big men King Kong Bundy who was billed as weighing 458 pounds!

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Christopher Alan Pallies was born on November 7, 1957 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and did not start his wrestling career until 1981 when he began working for World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) where he was named Big Daddy Bundy and would wear a rope belt to hold up his blue jean pants.  He was a fan favorite who was friends with the Von Erich Family, that was until a dispute broke up the friendship and Bundy began to be managed by Gary Hart and started to wear his signature black singlet and changed his name from Big Daddy to King Kong and went from good to bad in a blink of an eye! During the feud he would loose his hair in a match that would lead to Bundy’s final transformation into a monster heel. In 1982, King Kong Bundy was selected to be the final opponent for Fritz Von Erich who was Texas’s most iconic wrestler and the owner of World Class. Bundy would travel after leaving World Class and wrestle for the AWA, NWA, Japan and Mid-South where he would start his 5 count request to add heat from fans during matches against jobbers and fan favorites. In 1985, King Kong Bundy would sign to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and be pushed as a giant heel that was managed by Jimmy Hart and would go to the first WrestleMania and defeat veteran S.D. Jones in nine seconds! In late 1985, Jimmy Hart traded King Kong Bundy’s contract to Bobby “The Brain” Heenan for both The Missing Link and Adrian Adonis as Heenan wanted Bundy for his stable called The Heenan Family. Bundy began a feud with Andre The Giant that became so heated that Bundy broke Andre’s sternum after a series of massive big splashes.  This lead to many matches finally settling in a match called “The Colossal Jostle” that saw Andre beating Bundy all during the match until Bundy was saved by fellow Heenan Family member Big John Studd. His next feud was with WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan after Bundy once more used his weight to crush Hogan giving him bruised ribs.  They settled the war in a steel cage at WrestleMania II where Hogan defeated his massive opponent. Bundy’s next major fight would come at WrestleMania III where Bundy along with midget wrestlers Lord Littlebrook and Little Tokyo took on Hillbilly Jim and his partners Little Beaver and Haiti Kid.  The match would have Bundy and his team losing by disqualification after Bundy body slammed and elbowed Little Beaver causing his own team to even turn on him! In 1987 on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Bundy would beat Hulk Hogan via count out, but by the rematch in 1988 on the next Saturday Night’s Main Event special, Hogan would beat Bundy.  This also marked the end of Bundy’s in WWF. During this run, Bundy was able to feud with wrestling’s top two stars with Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant and was a part of the major boom of pro wrestling in the 80’s,  Love him or hate him, King Kong Bundy helped put butts in the seats and delivered some fun and entertaining matches.

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After leaving pro wrestling behind for about six years, King Kong Bundy would return as part of Ted DiBiase’s group called “The Million Dollar Corporation” alongside other wrestlers like Irwin R. Schyster, Bam Bam Bigelow, Tatanka and The Fake Undertaker. His first Pay-Per View match was at Survivor Series where The Million Dollar Team beat the Guts And Glory Team lead by Lex Luger, with Bundy and Bigelow being the only survivors. Bundy would be in the 1995 Royal Rumble, coming in at # 15 and only lasting three minutes after being tossed out by Mabel. After floating around and doing the dirty work of The Million Dollar Corporation, his final WrestleMania was XI where he was defeated by The Undertaker and became number four of the Streak. Bundy’s second and final run in the WWF came to an end in late 1995. While his second run was not as impactful, it did introduce him to a new generation of wrestling fans, and he did a great job of putting over younger talent and will forever be on the books for losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania and become a notch on the legendary Streak.

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After leaving WWF in 1995, Bundy started working for independent promotions and became an attraction wherever he went! He wrestled for such promotions as USA Power Pro Wrestling, USWF, JCW and NBW, and while at an independent show facing Primo Canera III, the ring broke after he delivered a Bundy Splash! On October 10, 1999 for the Heroes Of Wrestling PPV, King Kong Bundy teamed with Jim Neidhart to defeat Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Yokozuna in an impromptu to tag match after Roberts was in no shape to wrestle.  Bundy and Yokozuna came out to try and save the match from stinking up the place. During this independent run, Bundy would feud with the likes of Koszmar Polski, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Tom Brandi and Doink The Clown. While slowing down nowadays, you can still find Bundy from time to time at wrestling conventions as well as comic and horror ones! At the age of 58, the idea of his return to WWE or even wrestling for TNA is very doubtful, but one thing is for sure, the master of the five count could still pin many of the worlds wrestling stars.

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On March 1, 1986 on the fifth Saturday Night’s Main Event special Hulk Hogan was defending his WWF Championship against The Magnificent Don Muraco when King Kong Bundy interfered in the match causing Hogan to win by disqualification, but this also lead to Bundy crushing Hogan’s ribs and causing the champ some major pain and forcing him to be carried away on a stretcher. This was one of the classic wrestling moments that stuck with me as Hogan was the Real American and the ultimate baby face in wrestling, and watching him get crushed was shocking! This moment lead to the Steel Cage Match at WrestleMania II, where, for the first time, kids of the 80’s truly thought that Hogan could lose the WWF Title.  I mean Hogan was going in the match with taped up ribs, and Bundy not only had the weight advantage but also had that weasel Bobby Heenan in his corner.  It was as if Hogan had the odds against him! Not to mention Bundy was on a 300 win streak that had him pinning people with his trademark 5 count instead of the normal 3. The steel cage was the classic thick blue bars and was not the terrible chain link fence they use now and looked more unforgiving even if it was probably just hollow metal. Calling the match was Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes and Horror Hostess Elvira Mistress Of The Dark, who was looking as ravishing as ever.  Even as a youngster, I always thought Elvira was one hot goth beauty. The match itself was brutal and a blood bath as Bundy was busted open and Hogan was able to get the win after climbing over the top of the cage to the arena floor. The match might not have been one of the best in the history of WrestleMania, but it will forever be one that I remember.

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But Bundy was not just a pro wrestler, he was also an actor and in 1988 he starred in “Moving,” a comedy starring Richard Pryor where he played moving man Gorgo who is the brute force for the rude movers who in the end gets punked out by Pryor’s character after everything goes wrong. Also in 1988, Bundy was on the TV Show “Married With Children” where he played Uncle Irwin, the brother to Peggy Bundy and would later be on an episode where he played himself and wrestled Bud Bundy who was dressed as a bee. Lesser known acting roles are the 2002 short film “Bill’s Seat” where he played Big Swede, and in 2008 he was in a film called “Fight The Panda Syndicate” where he played Otto Belmar. Besides acting, he also became a comedian and has tickled the funny bones of all who have seen him. While he might not be box office gold like The Rock, his roles in movies and TV have entertained many, and I must say Moving was a film my brother and I watched a lot.

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Vendex Computers with their HeadStart line in the late 1980’s hired King Kong Bundy to promote their product in TV Commercials as well as in Print Ads.  This is what is said that lead to Bundy leaving the WWF for the first time as Vince McMahon was upset that Bundy made the deal without telling the WWF and therefore, the story goes, he did not get a percent of the money Bundy earned as he was under contract with the WWF. But the argument would go that Bundy being an Independent Contractor could take out sourced jobs like that to make extra money but Vince did not see it that way. Bundy was the face for the computer brand for a short amount of time, but this was the final straw and the WWF and Bundy parted ways all over him make extra money on the side…or as I have said so the story goes. So what do you think should Vince have a right to part of his wrestlers pay for acting and promotion work? Did Bundy do the right thing by leaving the WWF in 1988? Would you have bought a Vendex Computer cause of King Kong Bundy endorse it? Is this even a real drama issue between Bundy and Vince that is said to still burn between the two till this day? Or is this just a wrestling rumor told through the ages? So many questions with so many answers!

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Like any wrestling legend Bundy has had his share of merchandise. Some of the most notable include the LJN figure as well as Thumb Wrestler and Bendie and the official WWF Bundy t-shirt. He would appear on trading cards, magazines and VHS tapes. He would have official action figures as of late as well as some none-WWF figures from smaller toy companies. He had a comic book series and video game appearances and posters. Growing up I had both the large and bendie Bundy figures, and me and my friends use to make jokes about how you could kill a person with his figure as it was one wide and heavy piece of rubber. I have lots of memories throwing that Bundy figure around and acting like Hulk Hogan or Andre The Giant were body slamming him. So if you’re a Bundy fan, there is stuff in the world that you can get to make your collection complete and show the world you stand with King Kong Bundy.

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King Kong Bundy has been in a few video games like Legends Of Wrestling series that had a total of three games that were released for PS2 and Xbox by Acclaim. In WWF/WWE games he has appeared in WWE 2K14 for 2K Sports and Legends Of WrestleMania for THQ both of those games were released for PS3 and Xbox 360. That’s right, you can relive King Kong Bundy fighting Hulk Hogan in a steel cage in many of these games or even have him try and Bundy Splash the likes of Ricky Morton, Mil Mascaras or Mike Von Erich in the Legends Of Wrestling Series. So pick up your controller and demand a five count when putting the Smack Down on the computer or a friend.

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So I hope you learned a little about King Kong Bundy or even took a trip down memory lane with this update so far as it’s been fun looking back and remembering some of these moments in his career. I want to thank Jason Young who gave me issues one and two of this series for Christmas in 2015 and sparked me trying to find the other three issues in the series in order to do this update. I also want to thank TWL for sending me the missing three issues so that this update could happen! So before we get into the ring with the Master of the Five count, I need to remind you all that I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s step in the ring with the walking condominium and see what kind of comic adventures he will have.

King Kong Bundy Comic 1

King Kong Bundy # 1  **1/2
Released in 2001    Cover Price None    TLW Productions    # 1 of 5

The Iran Sheik is upset that all the kids around the world are cheering for King Kong Bundy, and while Bundy gets the tough fights, the Sheik feels he is getting no real competition. So a match is set up for Bundy to fight the Sheik that has the madman from Iran cheating to try and win by loading his boot, using the ring bell and even knocking out the referee. The Iran Sheik’s cheating ways leads to him loosing the match by disqualification. The rest of the comic is filled with short stories like two adventures of Lil’ Bundy that has King Kong Bundy as a kid going trick or treating.  The second story is him fighting with his teacher that he big splashes! Another story has Bundy at a bar throwing a man who was beating up his girlfriend through the front window for disturbing him while he was drinking! One has him buying a white suit that makes him look like a famed super villain called The Kongpin and being attacked by masked heroes.  While another has him accidentally drinking a experimental liquid right before a match that turns him to skin and bones, but even with the weight loss, the master of the five count puts a beat down on his opponent Tang Eater Smith! The final story has Bundy in the main event taking on another big man named The Volcano! The match is heavy handed but in the end Bundy gets the five count!

Wow, this is a mixed bag of comic stories all revolving around King Kong Bundy, and strangely enough they are pretty entertaining and have a true independent comic feel to them. The main stories are the book ends and showcase Bundy in fights with the first being againstThe Iran Sheik, who is the only other real wrestler to appear in one of the stories.  The second one has him fighting a parody of The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) named Volcano who is a big heavy set guy who spits red mist to show the eruption. King Kong Bundy is the star of the comic and is shown in two different lights, one being a good guy who, while edgy, loves his fans.  The other side is pure heel with him claiming to be the best wrestler in the world and even chasing off an abused woman all because her fight with her boyfriend annoyed him while he was drinking. Odd to have Bundy shown in a positive light as he has always been a heel when I used to watch WWF as a kid, managed by the likes of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. It was nice seeing The Iran Sheik in the issue as he is the perfect bad guy for any wrestler turned comic hero to fight! Plus the issue’s other baddies, The Volcano and Tang Eater Smith, are pretty funny generic wrestlers who are just stacked up for Bundy to squash and get the five count on. The part that works the most for me about this comic is for some reason, just as Jason Young said, it reminds me of the old Rock N Roll Comics by Revolutionary Comics with its art style and charm.  Plus the cover is fantastic and would be eye catching to any fan of pro wrestling or independent comics. The art is done by Brien Cardello, and one segment is done by Marco Dileonardo.  Both are fitting and bring the mood and feel of this wrestling comic alive!One other cool aspect of this comic is there are one page features that breaks down big moments in Bundy’s wrestling and acting career complete with art and facts.  So sum it up, this first issue is lots of fun, and I am still amazed that this series exists and can’t wait to see what issue two has in store for me! 

King Kong Bundy Comic 2

King Kong Bundy # 2  **1/2
Released in 2002    Cover Price $5.00    TLW Productions    # 2 of 5

King Kong Bundy keeps making short work of sleazy manager Herbie Swartz and making his style look cheap and dated. So to get his revenge on Bundy, Swartz finds an old government robot war machine that looks like Bundy and books a match between the two. While at first it looks grim for Bundy, his never give up attitude proves too much for the robot showing the fans that no one can beat Bundy, not even a robot version of himself! Next up Bundy is upset as the crowd is booing him during his last match but soon finds out that the real match is the next day, and he actually beat up Metallica at their very own concert! The next adventure of Lil Bundy has him training Chuck Brown into beating the kids of Family Circus to death! In a quick story Bundy scares everyone out of the ring during a battle royal. The final story has midget wrestlers being mad about the way Bundy treated Little Beaver at WrestleMania III and want him to wrestle Smalley Biggs, a midget wrestler who has never lost.  After many sleepless nights of them disrupting his sleep, he and a college professor make a midget clone that is known as Mini-Bundy, and he wrestles the match and wins!

This second issue is much like the first, a fun read about a wrestler who by all accounts is underrated by current fans of the sport. Like the first issue as well, this one is packed with lots of mini stories about Bundy that has him cloning himself into a midget all the way to beating up Metallica at their own concert. King Kong Bundy is still loved by the fans for the most part but does do lots of bad things including, as a youngster, teaching a kid to beat weaker kids to death! But Bundy is the type of character that would pick on the weaker man as he is so powerful and bigger than most that survival of the fittest was his attitude even in WWF, just go ask S.D. Jones. Herbie Swartz is a great low talent manager who I hope shows back up in a future issue as his lame stable of wrestlers could be used more to be a thorn in Bundy’s side. Smalley Biggs and his fellow small wrestlers are good at being annoying and keeping the full size Bundy from getting sleep, but are no match for the tiny Bundy clone. My favorite story in this issue has to be the opener called “Enter Mecha-Bundy” as it reminds me of the film King Kong Escapes that pits a Mecha-Kong, a robot version of King Kong, against the real deal and that’s what this story is about as well. The cover for this issue is amazing and fitting as it’s dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks and has Bundy standing tall holding the American flag. The art in this issue is done by many talented artists that include the likes of Andy Macdonald, Lou Platania, Sal Cipriano, Oliver Drac and Brien Cardello, and all do fantastic work on their segments. This issue also does a segment that takes a brief look at wrestler Big John Studd, and this made me wish they also would have done a full comic series based on him! Over all this second issue is just as great as the first, and I can’t wait to read issue three and see what its all about.

King Kong Bundy Comic 3

King Kong Bundy # 3  **1/2
Released in 2002    Cover Price None    TLW Productions    # 3 of 5

Captain Bodyslam is stuck in traffic, and this leaves Steve The Promoter without an opponent for King Kong Bundy.  But fate is on his side as he finds Frank, a big man who is an elevator mechanic, and offers him the match. Steve tells the Ref not to stop the fight as Frank fights very dirty and during the match Bundy takes a hammer and wrench to the head and finally gets mad when he finds out The Promoter told them not to stop the fight no matter what! By the time Captain Bodyslam shows up for the match, he is crushed in a accident caused by Frank and a counter weight! Bundy, Frank and the crew just walk away and get a beer. The second story has the comic creators trying to explain just how big King Kong Bundy is by comparing him to things ranging from bags of M&Ms all the way to Playboy bunnies. The third and final story has King Kong Bundy being harassed by superheroes like Superman, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Thor and by the end walking away in frustration.

King Kong Bundy is back to bring us readers three stories as well as more moments in his long wrestling career. I am still amazed that this comic series was made and also very happy to see it made as I think more comics about pro wrestlers should make their ways to comic book stores. In this issue Bundy is still well loved by wrestling fans and just looks forward to squashing his opponent in the ring in order to get the five count. Bundy also seems to showcase his short temper and doesn’t like it when he feels people disrespect him.  He also seems to not be bothered when a fellow wrestler is killed in the ring…oh that Bundy, he so crazy! Captain Bodyslam is so cheesy and reminds of a wrestler that you would see in a match at a high school gym and that’s what makes him such a fun ,yet gone-to-soon character. The opening story is my favorite as I like the idea of a crazed normal guy getting into the ring with Bundy and trying his best to cheat to win, but yet still can’t. Over all this is another good solid issue and shows that Bundy has more stories to share, and I really like the highlights of his career as this issue breaks down his matches with Razor Ramon (Scott Hall), The Undertaker and Diesel (Kevin Nash), and you can tell that artist and writer Brien Cardello is not a fan of Hall and Nash!  Let’s see what Bundy has planned next for us, shall we?

King Kong Bundy Comic 4

King Kong Bundy # 4  **1/2
Released in 2003    Cover Price None    TLW Productions    # 4 of 5

King Kong Bundy travels to Japan as he has been challenged by the undefeated Osara, a man that is the size of Bundy and who is filled with honor and the thrill of the fight! The match is sold out, and during the event, the promoters are cheating using robotic machinery to trip and hold Bundy in spot! By the mid-match Osara figures out that cheating has been involved in the match, and he awards Bundy the winner of the match as the crooked promoters run off. Bundy and Osara become friends after the match and enjoy a very healthy dinner of chicken! The second story has ninjas sneaking into Bundy’s hotel room with orders to hurt him a little to keep him in Japan so that a rematch can be made between him and Osara.  This of course backfires as Bundy thinks they are hotel workers helping him, and in the mayhem, he ends up hurting them badly enough that they quit! The third story takes a look at Bundy’s tag team match at the failed Heroes Of Wrestling PPV that had him and Jim Neidhart teaming up against Yokozuna and a trashed Jake Roberts! The fourth and final story has Bundy using puppets to explain why this issue was a year late!

More great stuff that features the squared ring!  This time around Bundy travels to Japan to face a challenger who just might have been able to beat him! Three of the four stories are really great in this issue with the fourth story being the weakest – but really it’s more of a comedy skit than a wrestling action one. While it’s hard to choose, I think my favorite story in this one has to be the Heroes Of Wrestling PPV as the depiction of a drunk Jake Roberts made me laugh as they made him look so rough that I laughed out loud! If you ‘ve ever seen that PPV, you realize that Jake ruined not only his match but also the main event! The comic acts as if Bundy was so mad about Jake’s antics that he came out to beat him up and that Yokozuna was bored with not beating anyone up yet and marched down to the ring as well. King Kong Bundy once more has lots of pride and when challenged travels to Japan for honor, yet he also beats up an old lady who is buying chicken for her little dog as he says he needs the protein! I think that’s what people should understand about Bundy in this comic, it’s his way or no way and he doesn’t care to hurt anyone who gets in his way! Osara is a mountain of a man, and by the looks of him, could have given Bundy a ride for his money.  But he’s also a man of honor; when he finds out cheating was involved, he quickly stops the match. This was a very fun issue and has art done by not only Brien Cardello but also Kris Renkewitz and Tom Lyle, and each gives their own touch to the look and legend of Bundy. The cover is also well done and reminds me of looking at the independent comic boxes at Mavericks Cards And Comics and buying some with the oddest looking covers in the mid 90’s. I’m still chuckling over the drawings of the bolding Jake Roberts, fun stuff indeed.

King Kong Bundy Comic 5

King Kong Bundy # 5  **1/2
Released in 2003    Cover Price None    TLW Productions    # 5 of 5

King Kong Bundy is at home watering the flowers in his front lawn when the paperboy throws the paper, hitting Bundy in the head and causing him to turn the hose on the paperboy and knock him into the neighbor’s garbage cans! Bundy soon finds out from neighbor and friend Chuck that the paperboy is the son of famed mobster Vito The Cobra! During the weekend poker game, a message of roses and a dead fish is sent to Bundy as a warning.  Then, during a TV broadcast at the local college during a battle royal, Bundy is attacked by henchmen in the ring but as always Bundy comes out the winner! In the end Bundy meets Vito, and the pair make peace as it’s clear his son in the instigator in the turmoil taking place in the neighborhood. The second story is about King Kong Bundy wrestling Jerry “The King” Lawler in an epic match that has Bundy pinning The King with the help of Rick Rude and Jimmy Hart, and oh yeah, a pair of brass knuckles. The third story has Bundy and his pal, fellow wrestler Warthog, in the costume room trying on all types of outfits making Bundy look like everyone from Hulk Hogan to Wolverine of the X-Men, but in the end Bundy just wants to be Bundy. The fourth and final part has King Kong Bundy answering questions from fan letters and ends up leaving on a date with Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

This was the final issue in the “Worlds Best Wrestling Comic” as the issues say and by all accounts while it might not be the best it sure as hell was one fun of a read! This issue has four stories with the best being the first as Bundy’s run in with the mob is a fun adventures that pits the odds against Bundy who never shows fear as his life is on the line. Plus it was cool to see the comic book version of the famous Jerry Lawler vs. Bundy match making this issue another hit with this comic and pro wrestling fan. I have to give major props to TLW Productions, Brien Cardello and all the other artist who worked on this series as they took a heel pro wrestler and turned out a solid well done comic that would please fans of wrestling as well as independent comics. King Kong Bundy through out the series shows many different sides of his personality as he can go from doing the right thing to getting pure joy on hurting people and it seems as if fans in the comic still always cheer him for almost anything he does good or bad. Plus I like that while his attitude might slightly change from story to story, from issue to issue Bundy acts like the same character, and this is the sign of a good character and good writers. In this issue we get to see the likes of Jerry “The King” Lawler, Jimmy Hart and Rick Rude, and throughout the series we also got to see Big John Studd, Iran Sheik, Yokozuna, Jim Neidhart and Jake “The Snake” Roberts all who added to stories and were great to see as comic characters.  For some of them, it was the very time they appeared in a comic.  Art is by Brien Cardello and looks pretty dang good and has a Box Brown, Chester Brown and Jason Young charm to it. The cover is over done and very pink, but heck it still is eye catching and fun. I would say if you’re a fan of pro wrestling from the 80’s and early 90’s, a fan of King Kong Bundy or just like smaller press comics, check out this series for sure as I am glad I got the chance to review it here on Rotten Ink.  Below is some artwork from the series, so give it a look for at least a five count!

King Kong Bundy Comic Art 1

Before I wrap this up, while doing some research for this update, I came across this picture of King Kong Bundy with hair and just had to share it with you readers as this is a sight most of us never have seen before.  The Bundy many of us know and love or hate was bald, so take a look at this!

King Kong Bundy With Hair

So I hoped you enjoyed this look at wrestling legend King Kong Bundy and that you learned something new or some of it triggered your own memories of his matches and career. Now I am sure I left some major things out including feuds and groups he was in, but I tried to focus on the things I remember him for as well as what would be considered his highlights. I want to also thank TLW Productions and Jason Young again for getting me these issues and making this update possible! For our next update we are stepping out of the ring and into the holiday of July 4th for a look at a patriotic superhero named The Shield.  So make sure to join me back here for that! Until then, read a comic or three, play a video game or two and support your local wrestling federation.  See you back here on July 4th!

On a side note TWL Productions is working on a new King Kong Bundy series that is currently looking for help funding via Kickstarter! The first issue being pitched will also have wrestling legend One Man Gang in it! So if you have a little extra cash and love classic wrestling like I do make sure to give and help it come alive.  

Archie The Shield Logo

Hercules and The Three Stooges Save Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s once again that time of the year for family, football and good food, and as you longtime readers know, its time for my Turkey Day Hercules update.  This year we will be looking at when Hercules met the princes of slapstick comedy, The Three Stooges. But before we get silly with this update I want to get serious for a moment and say that I am thankful for my family, friends and readers all of whom make my life way more fun! Plus, I want to dedicate this update to family and friends I have sadly lost over the years as each of them have helped make me the person I am today and they are all missed. I should also state that once more this year I am over at my parents house this Thanksgiving and waiting to eat some amazing home cooked food and enjoy good conversations with my family. So here is hoping that the belly full of laughs from this update doesn’t counteract your belly filled with food as we take a trip down memory lane with The Three Stooges.

Three Stooges and Turkey

It’s crazy to think that I have been doing this blog for several years now, and I have yet to talk about The Three Stooges, comedians I grew up watching alongside my Dad and brother and whose classic movies and shorts still entertain me to this day. The Stooges started out in 1925 as Ted Healy and His Stooges that consisted of Ted, Moe, Larry and Shemp, and the group toured around entertaining the masses and even made a feature film called “Soup To Nuts”. Shemp left the group in 1932 and was replaced by Curly, and a brief time later The Stooges broke away from Ted Healy in 1934 after making several short films and became The Three Stooges! Ted Healy died in 1937 from unknown and mysterious causes. One thing that should be noted is that Moe, Curly and Shemp were all brothers and all had their own wacky style of slapstick style humor. As The Three Stooges much work came their way in the form of short and feature length movies, and the threesome became one of America’s top comedic acts with Curly becoming the fan favorite for his silly faces and childlike behavior. But while things were good for the Stooges, bad luck caught up to them in 1946 when Curly suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to work, and up to the stroke Curly’s health was on a decline. Time passed, and The Stooges retired for some time hoping that Curly would get better, but the signs of him coming back were growing slim so they asked Shemp to rejoin.  He did for some time, and even was a part of The Stooges’ first ever TV appearance on “Texaco Star Theater” in 1948. But once more some bad news was coming The Stooges’ way in 1952 as Curly passed away at the age of 48 from a cerebral hemorrhage caused by more strokes.  They also lost some of their supporting cast when Columbia, the studio they were signed to, decided to downsize its short film department and the short films of the Stooges were being done cheaper and faster. Then in 1955, Shemp passed away from a heart attack on his way home from a boxing match; he was 60 years old. I should also note that in many of The Three Stooges films, a stand in was used for Shemp in shots who would wear a wig; this term was called Shemping and is still used to this day. In 1956 The Stooges hired Joe Besser as the new member who was a character who was goofy and would also fight back against Moe who was the dominate Stooge.  During this time The Three Stooges lost steam, and Besser was considered the weakest link in the trio.  After only three years with them his time came to an end, and in 1959 it appeared The Three Stooges had come to an end or did they?! The old Three Stooges short films were now being aired on TV and aimed toward kids.  This gave Moe and Larry an idea to try and launch a quick comeback with new Stooge named Curly Joe, and the trio launched into making movies again, this time aimed at the young and young at heart in the 1960’s.  They became one of the highest paid acts in Hollywood and even got turned into an animated cartoon series in 1965 called “The New 3 Stooges” and even tried their hands at becoming a weekly TV show that would have been called “Three Stooges Scrapbook”. In 1969, they were given another chance at becoming weekly TV stars with a show that would have been called “Kook’s Tour” that would follow the Stooges as they traveled the world, but this was not to be as Larry suffered a heart attack ending his run with the trio as well as ending The Three Stooges.  Even a dark comedy film written by Moe’s grandson called “Make Love, Not War” or “Make Mine Manila” and was about Moe, Curly Joe and Emil Sitka (a regular in Stooge movies) being POWs of World War II trying to escape never could get a green light from a studio. In 1974 Larry at the age of 72 suffered a stroke that put him into a coma, and sadly a short time later he passed away. Moe tried so hard not to let The Three Stooges end even after the death of his long time comedy partner and tried to get many movies off the ground but never could.  His last idea was a movie called “Blazing Stewardesses” but before it began Moe fell ill with lung cancer and had to retire from acting and passed away in 1975. Curly Joe still performed for years with a group he called The New Three Stooges that consisted of Mousie Garner and Frank Mitchell that went on till 1979. Joe Besser passed away in 1988 at the age of 80 from heart failure; Curly Joe passed away in1993 at the age of 83 from pneumonia, and Emil Sitka who was the only Stooge replacement never to be in a movie or show as a Stooge passed away in 1998 from a stroke at the age of 83. The Three Stooges are icons in the world of comedy, and now that I gave you a brief history on who they were, next I will share some memories of watching them!

The Stooges 1The Stooges 2The Stooges 3

I can remember even as a young child my dad watching old Three Stooges shorts on TV, mostly on WGN, a TV station out of Chicago that use to air them a lot on Sunday mornings. I used to laugh at the silly ways The Stooges would smack each other and all the silly faces they would make when they were worked up over whatever was annoying them at the time. While my Dad liked The Stooges, my Mom was the opposite and was not amused by their slapstick antics and was by no means a fan. I think my brother liked them like I did because I can remember watching them with him and him laughing at them as well. Besides the short films, I also really enjoyed watching the Three Stooges movies with my favorite being, of course, them meeting Hercules.  I can remember watching this film on TBS and loving every cheesy sword and sandal moment.  I can also remember watching the cartoon at my grandparents’ house with my cousin Nathan on VHS. I also always wanted 3 ¾” action figures of The Stooges that I could have had as characters in my Toy Wars.  Imagine Moe slapping Han Solo or Larry poking the eyes of Captain Power; that would have been some epic stuff. Even at the age of 36, I still find myself really enjoying The Three Stooges and can say they were a part of my childhood that was good memories watching with my Dad and brother.

MBDYONA EC001

On January 26, 1962, Columbia Pictures released a comedy sword and sandal film that mixed the Greek hero Hercules with the slapstick goofballs The Three Stooges that consisted of Moe, Larry and Curly Joe at the time. The film had The Stooges helping a down and out scientist with his experiment to create a time machine, and by accident The Stooges, the scientist and his girlfriend are flung back to ancient Greece and come face to face with an evil king and his henchman Hercules. The film was filled with lots of moments of silly comedy, and the Stooges played off Hercules who was the prefect straight man who had no time for their silly antics. The film starred Quinn Redeker, Vicki Trickett, Samson Burke and Emil Sitka and was, and still is, my favorite of all the Three Stooges movies. The plot is filled with lots of fun surprises, but I figured we would save that for the comic adaptation made by Dell. I used to not only watch this film on TV but also on VHS and later on DVD.  So do yourself a favor and check it out if you’re into sword and sandal films and Three Stooges comedy.

The Stooges 5Three Stooges Meet Hercules PosterThe Stooges 6

In 1965, Saturday Morning Cartoons as well as after school kids programs on TV were very import to stations as they tried to lock viewers for their station over the other and many production companies took advantage of this as they made syndicated programs and so was born The New 3 Stooges that combined live action segments to intro the cartoon and was distributed by Normandy Productions. Each episode ran for 30 minutes and had a total of 4 seasons and 156 episodes with 40 live segments shot making many of the cartoons use the same intro, confusing the viewer. The cartoon was a pretty big hit at the time and reruns can still be seen on TV to this day on Me-TV and Boomerang as well as can be found on many cheap dollar DVDs and VHS as well as all 156 episodes on DVD thanks to Image Madacy Entertainment. It should also be noted that many of the episodes are in the Public Domain and that for some time The Stooges were in a legal battle with Normandy over the show’s profits. So I am sure if you grew up watching classic cartoons, you have seen a few episodes of this series and have fond memories of it.

The New 3 Stooges

In 2012, someone in Hollywood decided that the world needed a new Three Stooges movie that would have three new actors step into the shoes of Moe, Larry and Curly as well as recycle plots from many of their short films. This time around Chris Diamantopoulos played Moe, Sean Hayes of Will & Grace fame played Larry and Will Sasso of MADTV played Curly. The plot had The Stooges having to go into the cruel world in order to get money to save the orphanage they grew up in after they could not afford the insurance due to all the accidents the Stooges have caused. During this adventure, they stumble on a murder for hire plot as well as go their separate ways after a fight leaves them at odds. In the end, they stop the murder, patch up their friendship and get the money needed to save the day thanks to Moe and MTV…yep, the one time music station. I saw the film in the theater with Josh Weinberg, and we both thought it was okay.  I watched it again with my Dad when I bought it for him for Christmas. The film did $54,819,301.00 at the USA box office for 20th Century Fox, but was trashed by the critics. I should also say that The Three Stooges showed up on WWE Monday Night Raw and got booed by the crowd, and they only cheered when Kane choke-slammed Curly!

THE THREE STOOGESthe three stooges 2012 posterNew Stooges 2

So I am sure you are wondering who played Hercules in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules…it was Samson Burke.  Now I am sure some of you are now asking who is Samson Burke, well I am here to tell you a little about him. Samson was born on April 8, 1929 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and got a degree in physical education as well as wrestled and swam for Canada in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games. In the 1950’s, he became a bodybuilder even winning Mr. Canada, Mr. Montreal and Mr. Muscle Beach, and his pure power also lead him into becoming a pro wrestler where he went under the name Sammy Berg and wrestled such legends as Lou Thesz, Nick Bockwinkel and Johnny Valentine. Samson also got bitten by the acting bug and started to appear in sword and sandal films like “The Revenge Of Ursus”, “Toto vs. Maciest” and “The Three Stooges Meet Hercules”. When the sword and sandal genre faded, he continued to act in such films as “The Triumph of Robin Hood” and “Sartana The Gravedigger”. In the 1980’s, he moved to Hawaii and retired from acting in the late 80’s, and as of 2009 he ran his own fitness business. Samson, who is 86, still makes appearances at conventions and is a beloved icon of Three Stooges lore and remains one of the only actors to play Hercules not as a hero but as a jerk!

Samson Burke

So before we take a look at the Dell Comic adaptation, I will pause for a moment to let you get another plate of food…go on, I can wait…. you good? Okay, let’s continue then, shall we? I want to thank an Ebay seller for having this issue in stock even though they had it listed as in great shape but it came complete with water damage and mold and a very strong rotten ink smell.  So yeah, great shape it is not! Before we get to the review I want to thank you for spending a part of your Thanksgiving with me.  I should also note that I grade this issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s get on that time machine with Moe, Larry and Curly Joe, and let’s not forget our turkey leg and see just why Hercules is being a henchman jerk to a evil ruler. I am going to guess he is upset because someone ate the last corn on the cob, but that’s just a rumor.

The Three Stooges Meet Hercules 1

The Three Stooges Meet Hercules # 1  **1/2
Released in 1962    Cover Price .15     Dell Comics     #208 of ??

Moe, Larry and Curly Joe are working at a drugstore that is being rocked by the next-door neighbor inventor Schuyler Davis whose experiment to make a time machine is going a little crazy. While The Stooges like him, the owner of the drugstore, Ralph Dimsal, hates him and wants him to fail in his attempt to time travel and even tampers with his plans. Schuyler is in love with Diane Quigley, and she gives him only two more days to get his time machine done before she walks away from their relationship because he is spending all his time on it and not her. All the while Curly Joe has made some pills that calm things down, and they use it on Schuyler’s machine.  After the Stooges try and help, it causes them as well as Schuyler and Diane to travel back in time to 900 B.C.! They land in the middle of a battle and meet Odius and his right hand man Hercules and help them take the crown of Ithaca from Ulysses when his men flee that battle. Odius takes a liking to Diane and has a feast for his new friends, but when Schuyler figures out they helped an evil man get into power he has The Stooges set Ulysses free after he had been captured. Ulysses escapes, and The Stooges and Schuyler are punished to work the rest of their lives on a slave ship, but after some time they are able to taste freedom when Schuyler gains muscle mass and a King thinks that he is Hercules and asks them to kill a two headed Cyclops that has been eating the kingdom’s live stock! With the help of the pills, Schuyler beats the Cyclops, the Cretan Bull and a Hydra and builds the name of Hercules. Meanwhile the real Hercules is not pleased with the fake and gets his chance to challenge Schuyler to an arena fight when The Stooges and he come to the castle to stop the wedding of Odius and Diane. In the arena Schuyler manhandles Hercules and makes him promise to turn good and help Ulysses reclaim the throne.  He along with The Stooges save Diane and head to the time machine and return home, only in the end for Schuyler to punch out Dimsal!

This is one of those adaptations that does a great job of capturing the silly story and the goofy characters that made the film such a classic in the first place. The plot of the comic is a great mix of many genres like comedy, sword and sandal and science fiction, and they make them all blend so well together. The plot has three dim whit drugstore workers as well as a scientist and his girlfriend being flung back in time to ancient Greece, and by doing so they change history and must make things right before they return to modern times.  To make things worse, Hercules is not the hero icon we all believed but is an ego driven creep who works for the side of the evil King. The Stooges are screw ups, but their heart is always in the right place.  If not for Curly Joe’s pills, they all would be in serious trouble many times. Moe is the hotheaded and smarter of the group, Larry in this just seems like a bit player who is around to get smacked and deliver jokes and Curly Joe is the dumb one who might not be as dumb as everyone thinks. Diane is just a sweet beautiful young woman who acts as the love interest to both the film’s hero and villain. Schuyler is the main hero who turns from nerdy wimp to strong nerd and even matches strength with Hercules and brings down the evil king. Hercules is a smug ego driven super strong man who reminds you of the bully jock in high school, and funny enough he is beaten down and made to look a fool by a man who he viewed as weaker. Hercules in this comic’s good guy legend was really built by Schuyler, who forces him to stop being a jerk and be the hero he can be. King Odius is a cruel man who doesn’t get much time in the comic to show his true evil ways but is given enough for the reader not to like him. As always with most Dell Comics I could not find the artist’s name, but I must say it’s very cartoonish in nature and while good, at some times it appears like a talented 10 year old did it, but I still found myself enjoying it. Over all this is a cool comic adaptation, and while not as good as the Steve Reeves Hercules comics by Dell, it still was a perfect read for this Thanksgiving update. Check out some samples of the artwork below and see the cheesy cartoon nature of this fun issue.

Stooges art 1stooges art 2stooges art 3

It’s weird that The Three Stooges didn’t meet more Greek and mythology icons. I mean who wouldn’t want to see “The Three Stooges Meet Samson” or “Maciste and The Three Stooges Save A Roman Holiday” or better yet “Three Stooges and a Strong Man”…so many missed opportunities. Well our next update will be in December, so I am thinking that we will do something fun and toy-related so let’s take a look at Starriors, a robot toy line that was created by Marvel Comics and Tomy Toys that had a four issue mini series. So until then I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and remember to read a comic or three and support your local horror host.

Starriors logo

The Baseball Hustle Of Pete Rose

Welcome back to the Rotten Ink Ballpark, a place we will be showcasing a comic book that is based on the legend of Cincinnati’s Mr. Charlie Hustle himself, Pete Rose of Reds’ fame! Baseball is considered America’s favorite past time, and while it’s still a popular sport, it has slipped quite a bit and has never bounced back after the strike that happened in 1994-1995 when players demanded higher pay and the player pay cap, making many fans upset over the greed and the lack of games because of this strike. My dad has been a baseball fan for a long time and enjoyed listening to the games on the radio, watching them on TV, playing the sport at school and with friends as well as collecting the trading cards (that his parents would later throw in the trash – including cards that became worth lots of money).  As he got older got married to my Mom and they had my brother and me, he ended up even taking us to Red games as well as minor league teams like The Columbus Clippers and watched games on TV and even collected Topps cards alongside us. But sadly while it was a fun time bonding with my Dad, I just could not get into baseball and found the game kind of boring and things like comics, horror films and video games more interesting. One thing I will say is that while my Dad is a jock, he never has judged me for not liking sports like he does and even bought me Captain America comics and VHS as well, even horror films like Hellraiser III, when I was a youth. As I’ve gotten older, my Dad and I watch MMA, boxing and NFL Super Bowl together and have a great time. But back to baseball – when I was a kid, my favorite players were Eric Davis and Barry Larkin, and I can remember trading baseball cards with my neighbor Kelly who was a very cool and sweet person, and going to Bills Baseball Den in Waynesville and Bookie Parlor in Kettering to get cards and packs. It’s odd to think that while I barely watched the game, I still spent time and effort collecting cards for sport stars that I knew very little about, but I think that was part of the MLB magic, that it was able to make a strange monster kid like myself want to buy trading cards.  Plus I think it came down to trying to fit in with friends and having a good time opening packs with my dad, mom and brother at the kitchen table. This update is for my Dad and friends like Josh Weinberg, Nick Wiget and all the others who love this classic sport and respect all that Pete Rose has done for it. This update will be about Pete Rose, baseball and my ties to this game.  So get your ball glove ready and your cap on because we are here till the bottom of the 9th and we are ready to hit a Rotten Ink home-run!

Pete Rose Card 1Pete Rose Card 2Pete Rose Card 3

To talk about Pete Rose we must first talk about The Cincinnati Reds, and I am going to do my best to get the facts right and give that ball team the respect it deserves in a quick yet fun manner, so here’s a crash course on the history of the Reds! In 1869 a baseball team called the Cincinnati Red Stockings was the team that would morph into the Reds and did so in 1881 and became a American Association team in 1882.  In 1890, they joined the National League and became a true pro baseball team. The team has won five World Series in the years 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990 and have played in many home town ballparks like Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium and Great America Ball Park they currently call home. In 1970-1976 under the manager George “Sparky” Anderson, the team went under the nickname The Big Red Machine and had lots of big name ballplayers on the team the included Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver and Lee May to name a few.  The team won two World Series and it became one of the biggest most popular times for the team in it’s rich history. Another big time for the Reds was in 1990 when they went wire to wire and won the World Series with players like Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Chris Sabo, Paul O’Neill and the pitching team nicknamed “The Nasty Boys” who were Rob Dibble, Norman Charlton and Randy Myers.  This team was managed by Lou Piniella. The Reds are still going strong in 2015, and while they have made it to the play-offs many times over the past few years, they have not been able to make it to the World Series, but if you ask guys like Josh Weinberg they will tell you that this year is the year they will take it all and if not, the next year or maybe the next year…yeah, you get the point.  Fans of the Reds are very loyal and have tons of respect for their team even if they do lose. So while this team has such a rich and amazing history, this tiny write up is just some of the highlights.  If you want to learn more about The Reds, check out the team’s Wikipedia or read a book based on the ball club. I should also note that the team’s mascot is Mr. Redlegs who is a baseball headed ball player.  For most of his time on the team Mr. Redlegs rocked a mustache, but when I was younger he had none and was a pretty popular mascot at school in Waynesville. Over all while I might not be a big watcher of sports, I can still respect and cheer for our home state teams and hope that sometime very soon The Reds once more become champs!

Mr Redlegs 1Reds LogoMr Redlegs 2

I am by no means an athlete.  When I was younger, I was okay at playing football and basketball, but I could have been the worst of the worst when it came to neighborhood baseball and could have had the worst batting average among my friends! One summer my dad bought us a wiffleball bat and ball.  We would play in the backyard, and it would almost always be me and my brother against our parents in a battle of home-runs hit over the roof of the house; we lost almost all the games. In the neighborhood, we would play baseball at Brad Burns’ or Mike Cessna’s house, and I can remember that being a lot of fun as all the kids from around would come and play, and even Mike’s dog Barney would join in on the fun! At my grandparents’ house I would play ball with my brother Bryan and cousins Nathan, Stephen and Tony.  While some times this was pitching, most of the time it was T-Ball. In school, we played baseball in gym, and I can remember one time we where playing outside and I so wanted to impress the girl I had a crush on my whole tenure in Waynesville and was hit in the head with softball from a pitch thrown by Ryan “The Bull” Jones.  The impact made me blackout for a second and I fell to one knee, but I was lucky and was able to shake it off! I should have probably gone to the nurse after it, and for months after I had massive headaches that would come and go, but that didn’t bother me as much as the fact I looked foolish in front of her! So as you can see my baseball “career” was very lame and filled with defeat and heartbreak!

Wiffle Bat and Ball

So at this time I think I am going to ask one of my best friends and one of the biggest Reds fans I know, Josh Weinberg, 5 questions about his love and respect for the Reds. I have known Josh for so many years now and from the first day I met him, he has always worn Cincinnati Reds and Bengals shirts, hats and jerseys as well as Ohio State gear so when writing about Pete Rose I knew I had to have my pal involved. I mean he is the guy who bought VHS tapes from a Goodwill Outlet that had the Reds winning the 1990 World Series.  So here we go, 5 Questions with Josh Weinberg!

Josh Weinberg Reds Fan

Me:  Welcome back, Josh, to Rotten Ink.  You are a legend among my friends I write about here on my slice of the web.  So how long have you been a Cincinnati Reds fan?

Josh: I have been a Reds fan since 1990, the year that they swept the Oakland A’s in the World Series. Ever since then I was hooked. I remember being at my dad’s shop listening to the games.

Me: Always cool to hear how sports brought families together.  Who are your 4 top favorite players for the Reds of all time?

Josh: My top 4 Reds players of all time are simple number 1.) Barry Larkin 2.) Chris Sabo 3.) Jose Rio and (4 Sean Casey.

Me: Barry Larkin and Eric Davis would be two of my favorites too.  Did you every play baseball for school or Little League? If not, have you ever thought about it?

Josh: I played little league growing up as well as umpiring for kids’ leagues. I had to stop because I could not keep up my grades.  Such is life.

Me: Those pesky grades and school standing in your way of being a baseball legend! So how many Reds games have you been to in your lifetime thus far?

Josh: I have probably been to between 20 and 30 games in my lifetime. With many more to come.  My ultimate is going to opening day.

Me: That’s way more games then I have been to.  If I am lucky, I think I have been to 4 or 5.  Last question for you Josh, should Pete Rose be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, and why or why not?

Josh: Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame for one single reason: the hall is about what you did on the field not what you did off the field. He is the hit king, Charley Hustle, and deserves to be in the hall. There are plenty of things other players have done back in the day and are in now. If he had not lied about it, he would be in.

Me: I agree Pete should be in for all he has done for the sport! Thanks Josh! Do you have any closing words for the Rotten Ink readers and fans of the Reds?

Josh: Last thing I have to say is Go Reds! One of these days they will win it all again…hopefully before I die!

While I don’t think they will do much this 2015 season, sometime soon I am sure the Reds will rise to be champs again!

Reds Bumper Sticker

Pete Rose has also been involved in another sport, Pro Wrestling, where he had a feud with the Big Red Machine Kane that spanned a few WWE WrestleMania’s as well as earned Rose a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame! Pete Rose at WrestleMania XIV was the guest ring announcer for a match between The Undertaker and Kane and for some reason became the target of Kane who gave the ball player a tombstone pile driver before the match even started. The following year at WrestleMania XV, Pete Rose wanted revenge on Kane and dressed as the San Diego Chicken to attack the wrestler from behind.  This did not work as once more Rose was knocked out with a tombstone pile driver, and Kane went on to wrestle his match against Triple H. At WrestleMania 2000, Pete Rose once more tried to get the upper hand on Kane and after his tag match against DX, Rose tried to hit Kane with a baseball bat but was choked slammed! After this, Rose did a commercial for WWE No Mercy PPV and was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by Kane in 2004. Pete Rose in 2010 was a guest host of Monday Night Raw and set a match between Kane and Shawn Michaels, after Kane lost he once more attacked the aging ball player. After this appearance, Rose has been mentioned on air as well as did an interview for WWE.COM on Kane’s attacks on him. While Pete Rose never wrestled a match for WWE, during his appearance he made some great moments in wrestling and it was nice to see a baseball player of his caliber not take himself too seriously.

WWE Kane and Pete Rose

So from the ball field to the wrestling ring, Pete Rose has proven time and time again that the man is a legend and is a very interesting person who has worked for his fame the hard way by given 110% every time. He has also proven that he is a marketing machine as his image has graced the likes of RC Cola cans, collector drinking glasses even one from Gold Star Chili, action figures from the Starting Line-Up a series made by Kenner & Hasbro, comic books, trading cards, collector coins, video game for Atari 2600/7800, TV Commercials, t-shirts among many other products and goods! The ones I remember the most are the video game for Atari 2600 that was a solid cheesy baseball game and the Starting Line Up figures that looked nothing like him and had very little articulation. But if you were a Rose fan, the world is filled with enough collector items to keep you very happy!

Pete Rose Drinking GlassPete Rose Starting LineupRC Cola Pete Rose

As I have stated before, I am a Monster Guy who loves comic books and this year (2015) I have gone through a stage where I am reading lots of 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s Spider-Man comics.  I am talking Amazing, Spectacular and Web Of and have gotten issues all over from Mavericks all the way to Lone Star Comics and many of the issues are coming bag and boarded to protect and keep the issue safe. Well one of the WORST places that bag and board their issues has to be Half Price Books as they clearly use the cheapest bags and boards and some of the worst tape in comic collecting history! When trying to open your comic the tape sticks to the plastic bag and rips holes in the bag and can even bend your comic as you try to get it open.  This has caused many annoying late night readings of Spidey and lots of curses toward these cheap bags. Also when writing this update, I was listening to Billy Idol’s 2014 release “Kings & Queens Of The Underground.”  It’s a pretty solid album.  While it’s by no means a classic, I still am glad that Billy is making music as he has been one of my favorite music artists sense I was a kid alongside Alice Cooper, Motley Cure, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella. In fact one of the best birthday presents in my adult life that I ever got was from Juliet as she got us close seats to Billy Idol at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering in 2010! The best tracks off this CD are the title track Kings & Queens Of The Underground and Eyes Wide Shut. The odd part about this disc is that almost all of the songs are ballads and not the fist pumping tracks one would expect from Billy Idol. So a special thanks goes to Marvel Comics for Spider-Man and Billy Idol for helping me while writing this update. I should also thank The Angry Video Game Nerd as I had episodes playing on the TV while I wrote and Billy Idol’s CD was done.  So I think it would be safe to say that Idol and AVGN acted as the soundtrack to this update and Spider-Man entertained my mind before I went to bed almost every night.

Billy Idol cd and Spiderman Comics

It’s Masstar Comics turn at bat, and I can’t wait to see what this bio Comic is like. I am wondering what direction they will take with his suspension from the sport and what kind of stories off the field they will share. I have never heard of Masstar Comics, and this will be my first read for one of their comics so this should be interesting. I want to thank a vendor at Peddlers’ Mall for having this comic at their booth as well as thank Jason Young for taking me there to look around. Oddly during our time at the Peddlers’ Mall, Jason and I found lots of Pete Rose merchandise and after that Mavericks even ended up putting out boxes of Rose’s ball cards, making me think that it was my calling to do this update. I should also remind you that I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So let’s see if Masstar can slide into homebase as they team up with Pete Rose and Rotten Ink to bring you this fun read at the ballpark, oh and um can I get some peanuts and a hotdog…and maybe one of those foam oversized hats?

Pete Rose 1

Pete Rose  # 1   **1/2
Released in 1992     Cover Price $2.50     Masstar Comic     # 1 of 1

Pete Rose or Pee Wee as his father called him was a young man who grew up in Ohio and was a fan of sports with baseball being his passion with football coming in second. His mother and father encouraged him to try harder at everything he did and thanks to his Uncle who was a baseball talent scout he was able to get a tryout for the Cincinnati Reds in 1960 by being put into the minor leagues and he once more busted his butt in order to impress the scouts and to get better at the game he loved. As he became better and better he finally catches the eye of Reds couch Freddie Hutchinson who hires him as second base man and allows him to prove that he has heart, but this upsets the older players who act as if Pete is not even alive and his only friends on the team are Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson who as well were ignored by teammates cause the color of their skin. Rose was not a super star from the start but season after season he became better and better and even turned up the intensity in the way he played and would go on to win the MVP Award for the year 1973 and in 1975 and 1976 he helped lead them to World Series wins. In 1979 Pete Rose turned down a contract from The Reds and took one from the Philadelphia Phillies and had some solid good seasons with them. Rose returned to The Reds in 1984 after a short time with the Montreal Expos and back with the Reds he broke hitting records and even became the teams Manager. While things looked great for Rose in 1989 it all came crashing down as he was accused of illegally betting on baseball games and the MLB Commissioner banished him from the game he loved.

Pete Rose is a ball player that is beloved by fans and has a mixed reaction from players and higher ups within the MLB all for his gambling issue. But this comic does a great job of making Rose a likable underdog who proved that hard work and support from your loved ones can make you a superstar of whatever your profession is. This bio comic follows Pete Rose from a youngster playing ball with his friends all the way to playing for the Reds coaching them and being banned from the game that he loves. The plus side to this comic is that the story is very fast paced and highlights all the major events in his life without dragging along, but the downside is the fact most major events are done in a couple of panels and don’t show much of his friendships nor rivalries with his fellow Reds and that’s a letdown. It was interesting to see why Rose left the Reds to play for Philadelphia and even more so how when he first joined the team all the older players didn’t like him so they ignored him and treated him like he was a ghost. The comic ends with Rose being suspended from baseball and leaves it making it look like he never bet on baseball when in fact he did and lied about it for years. The cover is pretty eye catching and shows Rose through the years as the art inside is pretty well done and makes Rose look like he should and is done by John Tartaglione who you can tell had fun drawing this comic. Over all this was a fun Unauthorized Bio comic on an iconic baseball player and was well worth the read and purchase. Check out the art below done by Tartaglione.

Pete Rose Art 1

We made it to home base and scored the winning point thanks to Pete Rose and Masstar Comics, and along the way I found a new respect for baseball and now understand the appeal it has for all its fans, as it’s a sport that is filled with a rich history and gives people pride in their favorite team and something to talk about around the water cooler at work. While I may or may not ever go see a Reds game again at the stadium I still have the good memories of going to them with my Dad, brother Bryan and my dad’s best friend John in my youth. Well our next update is going to take us out of the ball field and into the world of self-defense as I am going to take a look at an Atlas Comic based around the secret world of the martial arts called The Hands Of The Dragon! So make sure to come back for that one but until then enjoy the summer and read a comic or three.

Hands Of The Dragon Logo

Andre The Giant The 8th Wonder Of The Comic Book World

Welcome to Rotten Ink’s main event for the night as we witness First Second Book’s own Box Brown step into the ring with the one and only 8th wonder of the world, Andre The Giant! It’s no surprise that growing up I was a huge fan of pro wrestling, and you long time readers know this about me.  One of the biggest names around when I was a kid was Andre The Giant who was always billed as the biggest man in the world and seeing him dwarf the likes of King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd and Killer Khan was a sight to behold. So this update will be all about the man, the myth, the legend known around the world for being the biggest athlete in sports entertainment, Andre The Giant! So get ready to cheer for Andre as we take a look not only at the bio comic but also the man who was the true giant of pro wrestling!

Andre The Giant 1

Andre Rene Roussimoff was born on May 19th 1946 in Grenoble, France, and by the age of 12 he weighed 240 pounds and was 6’3” and dropped out of school by the 8th grade to work on a farm as well as other manual labor jobs. By age 17, he became a pro wrestler after a promotor saw that he could make money off Andre’s size and the fact he was a true giant thanks to the fact he had gigantism. Going under the name Great Ferre, he wrestled for promotions in France, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. In 1970 Andre, under the ring name Monster Roussimoff, dominated the Japanese federation International Wrestling Enterprise even winning the tag team titles with Michael Nador. After Japan Andre went to wrestle in Canada as well as a few dates for AWA (American Wrestling Association)  In the US, he meet Vince McMahon Sr. who turned him into Andre The Giant and changed the character into a unstoppable monster, and together they made lots of money in the WWF as well as off other federations that Vince would lend him out to. Andre The Giant started WWF in 1973 as one of the company’s top good guys and had many great feuds with many great and talented wrestlers like Killer Khan who he defeated in a Mongolian Stretcher Match, Big John Studd who he had a body slam challenge match against as well as had his long afro hair shaved off by Studd, Ken Patera and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd even got Andre suspended during this run, and he returned as a masked wrestler called Giant Machine and teamed with the tag team The Machines. Durning this run as a good guy Andre was also the king of Battle Royals even winning one at Wrestlemania II by throwing out Bret Hart. Beloved by fans, Andre was a top draw as well as a main attraction for the WWF, but something was about to change!

Andre The Giant 2Andre The Giant 3Andre The Giant 4

In 1987, Hulk Hogan was WWF Champion, and Hulkamania was in full swing.  On Piper’s Pit, the interview segment hosted by Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hogan was given a trophy for being champion for three years. And during this time of celebration Andre The Giant came out with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and ripped the shirt off Hogan as well as his cross necklace and challenged him for the title, changing himself from a fan favorite to a heel in the matter of minutes! Hogan and Andre clashed at Wrestlemania III, and Hogan won under some controversy. After Hogan’s win, he also began a feud with Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase who could not beat Hogan but wanted the title.  So DiBiase hired Andre to win the belt for him, and he did in 1988 making it the first and only time Andre was the WWF Champion.  But this win was also very controversial, and the belt was taken away from him and put up for grabs at Wreslemania IV in a tournament that was won by Randy “Macho Man” Savage. This sparked fights between the Mega Powers (Hogan & Savage) and the Mega Bucks (Andre & DiBiase) that ended with Mega Powers getting the upper hand and would spark the next major feud for Hogan as he and Savage split off. Andre from this point on was stuck in tag team matches and feuds with such superstars as Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Ultimate Warrior. He would also team with Ted DiBiase for a while as well as Haku, who he would win tag team gold with under the name The Colossal Connection. In 1990, they lost the belts to Demolition at Wrestlemania VI, and at this point Haku and Bobby Heenan turned on Andre who ended up beating up his partner and turned from Heel to Face.  This ended Andre’s major role as a full time wrestler for WWF. And besides some angles with Earthquake and Jimmy Hart, Andre’s health was so poor that he left WWF in 1992. His last TV appearance was for WCW during their Clash Of The Champions XX event on TBS. This is the era of Andre that I remember the most, and boy when I was younger, I thought no one could beat him.  When they did, I was awe struck! I mean other wrestlers in the back would call Andre The Boss because they all respected and some feared him. Andre was a strong good guy but in my opinion was a way better bad guy and his feud with Hulk Hogan was legendary. Now being a grown up and watching old matches on VHS and DVD, I find some of his later in ring work very sad to watch as you can tell he was in pain just barely moving around and had to use the ropes to walk around the ring. It’s sad to see Andre The Giant in that kind of shape, and you could really tell he was in the twilight of his career and his health was in decline. I should also say that sadly Andre died in his sleep on January 27th 1993 from heart failure while in Paris to attend his father’s funeral. This update is dedicated to Andre who entertained this pro wrestling fan all through my youth, not just in the ring but also in movies and TV.

Andre The Giant 5Andre The Giant 6Andre The Giant 7

So I should get a little more into Wrestlemania III, the pay per view event that shattered attendance records for a live sporting event as well as truly brought WWF into the main stream culture. Wrestlemania III took place on March 29th 1987 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan in front of 93,173 fans locking it in as the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America! The card was filled with many great matches like Ricky Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Belt, Billy Jack Haynes took on Hercules in a Full Nelson Match and Honky Tonk Man took on Jake “The Snake” Roberts who had rockstar Alice Cooper in his corner! But the main event was Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant for the WWF Championship, and I can remember all the build up for this match.  All the while WWF did a fantastic job of making Hogan look like the underdog having Andre best him on many altercations that happened before the match. During the match, it was clear that Andre was not in the best of shape and Hogan was having to carry the match for the most part, but when Hogan tried to slam Andre for the first time and buckled under the weight and was almost pinned, the odds really did look against the champ! But later in the match when Hogan slammed Andre and hit him with the atomic leg drop and got the three count, the torch was passed and Hogan’s star shined brighter. I can remember many kids from school who were WWF fans talking about the slam heard around the world and the feat of Hogan picking up Andre seemed something straight out of a comic book or greek myth, but as I grew up and became wiser to the world of pro wrestling I found out Hogan had slammed him before when Andre was good and Hogan was bad early in his career.  Also to slam Andre was El Canek and Harley Race. No matter who you were in 1987, you knew that Hogan slammed Andre, and WWF was the major force in pro wrestling.  But we have covered Andre in wrestling so it’s only right we cover his acting career briefly!

WrestleMania III magazineHogan slams AndreWrestleMania III Poster

Besides being a pro wrestler, Andre was also an actor, and one role I remember him playing was the Bionic Bigfoot in the TV show The Six Million Dollar Man. Andre played Bigfoot in two episodes called “The Secret Of Bigfoot I & II” that had Steve Rogers running into the famed creature and after doing battle with it finds that it’s a robot! The original episode aired in 1976, and the follow up aired in 1976 as well. Even after Andre stopped playing the role, the Bionic Bigfoot continued for three more episodes and was played by Ted Cassidy, better known for playing Lurch on The Addams Family. The episodes and character of Bionic Bigfoot were so popular that action figures at the time was made based on his likeness. If you watched Six Million Dollar Man, I am sure you remember Bionic Bigfoot like I do!

Bionic Bigfoot 1Bionic Bigfoot 2Bionic Bigfoot 3

Andre’s most popular acting role was the 1987 comedy fantasy film “The Princess Bride” where he played Fezzik the loveable giant friend of Inigo who helps in the kidnapping of the Princess as well as later helps rescue her along side Westley the film’s lead. Fezzik turns from a bad guy to a good guy and was loved in the film for being loyal to his friends and having a big heart. Growing up, I loved this film and watched it many times.  One of the best Andre lines from the movie has him offering peanuts to other characters. It’s funny to think that in 1987 Andre was in this move as a loveable character and also turned on Hulk Hogan and became one of the most hated men in pro wrestling!

Fezzik 1Fezzik 3Fezzik 2

One role many people do not know about that Andre The Giant played was that of the horn God Dagoth in the 1984 fantasy film “Conan The Destroyer”! That’s right, one of the world’s top pro wrestlers wore a rubber suit and fought Arnold Schwarzenegger who was playing Conan in a fake blood drenched scene….and I must say that’s awesome! And in fact, I did not even know Andre played that part until recently, and this helps add to my enjoyment of this film. I loved the Conan movies, and I will tell you readers this when the new Conan movie comes out in the coming years, a Marvel At The Movies Conan edition will be going up!

Dagoth

Andre The Giant was also an animated superstar as he was used in the fun Saturday Morning Cartoon “Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling” as one of Hogan’s good guy friends along side the likes of Junkyard Dog, Wendi Richter, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Hillbilly Jim and a few other WWF wrestlers. The cartoon would have Hogan and the gang having to stop evil plots by the bad guys lead by Rowdy Roddy Piper and aired for 26 episodes lasting two season starting in 1985. The series was made by DIC Entertainment who also made such cartoons as M.A.S.K., Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors, The Real Ghostbusters, COPS, Camp Candy, The Legend Of Zelda, Swamp Thing, Street Sharks and so many other classics that entertained the youth. Andre in the cartoon was portrayed as a dimwitted giant who would fumble and bumble around all the while never meaning to harm nor break the stuff he did.  So in looking back, he was the slapstick goof of the cartoon.  He was voiced by Ron Feinberg, who also lent his voice to such characters as Ming The Merciless in Defenders Of The Earth and Vladimir Goudenov Grizzlikof in Darkwing Dunk. Growing up I loved this silly cartoon and watched it any chance I got and that was mostly on USA Cartoon Express.  While Andre was silly and goofy, he still was one of the characters I liked. While the cartoon has long been off the air and has not been released on DVD or Blu-Ray, you can find episodes on VHS and the grey market.

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So Andre was a part of TV shows, movies and even cartoons, but he also tackled music videos when he had a cameo in the video for Cyndi Lauper’s hit song “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” where he played a genie from a bottle who runs off debt collectors played by the likes of Roddy Piper and Iron Sheik! This video is epic for many reasons, and I will share them all with you real quick! The first thing about this video that I loved when I was younger was Cyndi Lauper herself as I found her cute as well as fun to watch as she could sing her heart out and never took herself seriously. The second thing was the fact that it starred Pro Wrestlers as characters and some of the WWF’s best bad guys were great running around as pirates…imagine Iron Sheik as a pirate! The third amazing thing about this video is that it’s attached to The Goonies, one of the most iconic adventure kids films of the 80’s and one I loved, not to mention The Goonies themselves show up to help Cyndi get away from the pirates! I guess I should also explain what the music video is about; Cyndi and her family own a gas station and are about to lose it when Piper and the rest of his goon squad show up to take it away! Cyndi has a map to treasure that could help save the gas station, but while on the hunt Piper and goons become pirates and try to stop her until The Goonies show up and help.  In the end, she uses a lamp and frees Andre The Giant dressed as a genie who runs off the bad guys, and they save the gas station. It’s a great music video for a catchy song that will get stuck in your head after you hear it.

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Honeycomb was a popular kids breakfast cereal in the 80’s, and the one and only commercial made about it that would air during Saturday Morning Cartoons that I remember had Andre The Giant playing a giant and trying to grab kids and their robot while they were eating Honeycomb in their club house. The kids are scared of the giant, but when they share some Honeycomb with him, he mellows out and they gain a new friend! I should also say that after they share the cereal, the cheesy jingle starts that goes “Honeycomb’s Big….Yeah Yeah Yeah! It’s Not Small…No No No! Honeycomb’s Got..A Big Big Bite! Big Big Taste In A Big Big Bite”…you’re welcome. The jingle will be in your head all day now. I always liked seeing Andre in this commercial, and it has always stuck with me; thanks to Youtube I can watch it again!

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Because he was one of the biggest superstars in WWF history, Andre had a lot merchandise come out that used his likeness, and much of that came out via WWF itself and could be bought from their catalog like posters, magazines and the classic t-shirt with his red handprint on the front. LJN had three Andre The Giant figures come out for their WWF Wrestling Superstars series.  One Andre had the afro hair, the next had short hair and the third was the bad Andre. Hasbro made an Andre The Giant action figure come out via their WWF line, and not to mention tons of other stuff like VHS tapes, trading cards, drinking glasses, DVDs and much more! My favorite Andre toy I owned was the short hair LJN figure that I would bring to school and win matches during the WWF events we would have at recess, a great figure with Andre’s good guy smile intact. So if you like Andre The Giant, there are some great collectibles out in the world for you.

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Andre The Giant has also been in some video games, starting with WWF Wrestlemania for NES and even in the most recent WWE Game, WWE 2K15. Also Andre was in the arcade game WWF Superstars that had your team having to will a series of matches to take on Andre and Million Dollar Man to win the game. But the one I played the most was WWF Wrestlemania made by Acclaim in 1989 for the NES, and I must say Andre was one tough cookie to beat and Hulk Hogan was the only character that was able to slam him! One odd Andre The Giant in video games has to be the 2011 THQ game WWE All Stars where Andre was overdone as were all the wrestlers, who look like cartoon characters. So if you’re a gamer and like wrestling, there are many games out in the world that you can play as the one and only 8th Wonder Of The World.

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Before we get to the comic, I should also talk about the underground phenomenon known as Andre The Giant Has A Posse created by Shepard Fairely for the skateboarding culture and beyond as an experiment of phenomenology. Stickers, flyers and posters of Andre The Giant with the phrase Has A Posse began popping up in Rhode Island and then went around the USA and spread like wildfire. The craze went on for many years and even when WWF tried to sue over it, the stickering did not not slow down. Over the years the sticker has changed and now has a closer image of Andre’s face and instead of him having a posse, it now reads “Obey”. I can remember seeing these stickers around town when I was younger and always getting a chuckle from them.

Andre Has A Posse

So now that we have talked about Andre as a wrestler, actor, video game character and everything in between, I think we are ready to look at him as a bio comic character! I need to thank Mavericks for getting this graphic novel in stock for me and also should remind everyone that I will grade this on a standard 1-4 star rating and base it on how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s lace up the boots and step into the ring with the 8th Wonder of the World, Andre The Giant, and First Second Books.

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Andre The Giant: Life And Legend  *** Released in 2014   Cover Price $17.99   First Second Books   #1 of 1

Andre lives in France and when he was 12 years old, he already was a giant and could not even ride the school bus and had to catch rides in the back of people’s pick up trucks. Years pass, and Andre just keeps growing and taking odd jobs around town.  By the late 1960’s he became a pro wrestler in his homeland and became a major attraction cause of his large size. Andre leaves the European wrestling behind and heads to Japan to make a name for himself and then goes to Canada where he starts out as major star selling out events, but his attraction starts to run thin and he finds that fans are sick of seeing him. Andre goes to the United states and with the help of Verne Gagne and Vince McMahan Sr., he becomes a super star as they travel him around from territory to territory and make him unbeatable in some cases even beating two men at the same time! This also starts Andre’s run working for WWF, where he was one of the company’s top baby faces. But while things were looking good for Andre, around this time his health began to decline.  He was drinking a lot, and he had many run-ins with fans and fellow wrestlers like Bad News Brown and Black Jack Mulligan outside the ring. During a feud with Big John Studd and Bobby The Brain Heenan, Andre takes some time off to get surgery on his back to release pressure and pain due to the fact his giantism disease is causing him to still grow, causing much pain in his joints and bones. During his time away from wrestling, Andre also takes a role in Princess Bride, and then he gets the call from Vince McMahan Jr. that he wants him to come back to WWF and be a bad guy and wrestle Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania III! Andre comes back to wrestling and becomes one of the company’s biggest bad guys and is in pain but does so due to his friendship with Vince. Andre sticks around in the WWF for a while even after his feud with Hulk Hogan ends until his body just can’t take it any longer and the fans could see the pain in Andre’s face when he moved. Andre after WWF went to Japan one last time and did a few gimmick matches before his death in 1993.

The first thing I want to say about this comic/graphic novel is that the artwork is not what I would want for this style of comic, but it does hold a very Jason Young of Veggie Dog Saturn look to it so that makes it a little cooler. But while I feel the artwork is a little weak. I know many fellow comic readers who loved its style though.  What makes the comic good for me is the fact that the story of Andre’s life is nicely wrapped up in a little 240 pages bundle and most of his life highlights are showcased. In fact my write up leaves some elements of his life out as I would really encourage you, if you’re a fan, to give this graphic novel a read. One thing I really enjoyed about this comic is that lots of it focused on Andre’s life outside the ring from his medical issues all the way to how he treated fans showing that while he was larger than life in the world of Pro Wrestling, he still was real person with issues. At times Andre comes off lovable, while other times he comes off a a jerk by being rude to his fans, starting fights at parties and even telling inappropriate jokes on the tour bus that cause drama among some of his fellow wrestlers. One thing I learned from this comic is that after leaving the WWF for the last time, he did a few matches in Japan and was in no shape to do so but did them for a paycheck. The book ends on a higher note with Andre on a plan playing poker against a fellow wrestler and only in a small paragraph mentions that he passed away from heart issues.  This was the right way to end it as I feel to go all the way to his death would have really been a downer. It also has lots of humor like Andre watching Princess Bride with Terry Funk over and over again while Funk kept falling asleep! Box Brown did a fantastic job with this Bio-Comic, and I would love to see him do some more like it based on wrestlers like Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior or even Big John Studd. Reading this made me very nostalgic and miss the days of classic wrestling.  So if you’re a fan of independent bio comics or of Andre The Giant I would recommend checking this one out I am glad I did.

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Even if you don’t like Pro Wrestling, or as it’s called now Sport Entertainment, you still have to respect the performers who go from town to town and entertain the crowds of people who pay to see them. Much like the Road Warriors, this update was one comic I was happy to bring to you, and I can safely say look for other wrestling-inspired comic updates in the future. One other thing I should bring up about Andre The Giant is that I remember when Hulk Hogan and Andre had to sign a rematch contract for Wrestlemania IV.  With the encouragement of The Million Dollar Man, the 8th Wonder Of The World used Hogan’s head as the stamp of approval and tipped a table over on him.  Now that’s when wrestling was wrestling! Well our next update will take us out of the squared circle and into the woods along side comic strip icon Andy Capp.  So with that I am going to end this update with Rest In Peace Andre The Giant, and thanks for all the memories.

Andy Capp Logo Preview

The Road Warriors Pro Wrestlings Top Tag Team

“Ohhhhhhhhh What A Rush” it is to bring you another update to Rotten Ink and this time it’s all about Hawk and Animal The Road Warriors or is it The Legion Of Doom the world of wrestling’s most powerful and dominate tag team! Growing up I loved pro wrestling and spent many of time watching it with my Grandpa, Dad and Brother and besides WWF we watched allot of NWA/WCW and one of my favorite tag teams of all time was The Road Warriors two muscle bound face painted wrestlers who mowed down the computation and took no prisoners. I can remember having Remco action figures of The Road Warriors as well as the AWA Thumbster of Animal as also posters of them taking from Pro Wrestling Illustrated hanging on my walls. So with this update I want to give you a run down of their career as well as talk about my memories of them in wrestling, the main attraction will be the reviews for the comic series based on them called Fifth Force: Hawk & Animal made by Antarctic Press so lets get into the ring with The Road Warriors and hope they don’t knock our heads off with their finisher The Doomsday Device.

LOD Doomsday DeviceIn 1982 in Georgia Championship Wrestling Paul Ellering introduced a stable of wrestlers he called The Legion Of Doom that consisted of Jake “The Snake” Roberts, King Kong Bundy, Matt Borne, Arn Anderson, The Spoiler, The Sheik, Iron Sheik and The Road Warriors. The group was short lived and the name was taken from the old Super Friends Cartoon and later the name Legion of Doom was just given to The Road Warriors and manager Ellering who dominated the tag team division and would win the federations tag titles a total of three times. They left in 1984 to find bigger and better things. During this first run is were they got the reputation of being rough, no sellers who did what they wanted when they wanted.

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In 1984 they joined the AWA (American Wrestling Alliance) were they quickly captured the Tag Titles and went from bad guys to one of the companies top draws. They feuded with the likes of The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane & Steve Keirn) as well as The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts) and would dominate the federation for a few years. While in the AWA they would also make appearances in Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling as well as the NWA and for both they were major draws. The Road Warriors left AWA in 1986 with their final appearance being at the Wrestlerock event.

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From AWA to NWA took place in 1986 and upon entering the federation the won the first ever Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament by beating the team of Magnum T.A. and Ronnie Garvin. And from this moment on they were major attractions for all the companies events even fighting in a Scaffold Match against The Midnight Express and later feuding with the likes of The Four Horseman who was the biggest Heel stable around. While there they turned from Good to Bad to Good again and even was around when Ted Turner bought NWA and turned it into WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and had many great feuds with teams like Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed), Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious & Dan Spivey), The Varsity Club (Steve Williams & Mike Rotunda), The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Samu) among many other great teams. They left in 1990 after not seeing eye to eye with Jim Herd who was running WCW at the time. And with this also marked the true end of them being know as The Road Warriors as the next places they landed had other ideas for them.

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In 1990 when they left WCW they landed in the WWF were they were known as The Legion Of Doom and quickly teamed with The Ultimate Warrior and began a feud with Demolition (Ax, Smash & Crush) that was short lived. They then won the Tag Titles from The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) and held them until they lost to the team of Money Inc. that’s members were Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and I.R.S. in 1992 and after this lose they left the company for a short amount of time only to come back this time with Paul Ellering and a ventriloquist dummy named Roco who was the teams inspiration. This terrible gimmick lead quickly to Hawk quitting the company and this ending the Legion of Dooms first WWF run, as Animal stuck around and filled out the teams contract now teaming with a repackaged Crush. During this time Animal also injured his back severally taking him out of wrestling for awhile.

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Hawk in 1992 after leaving WWF and his partner Animal behind went to Japan again and started a team called The Hellraisers alongside his new partner The Power Warrior (Kensuke Sasaki) and together they became a top tag team in New Japan Pro Wrestling. They even won the tag titles from Scott Norton and Tony Halme and would later feud with the team known as The Jurassic Powers (Scott Norton & Hercules) this team up also helped launch The Power Warrior from a mid-card draw to a main event star. In 1996 after his back injury healed Animal joined his old partner and The Power Warrior in New Japan for a very short run.

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1996 Hawk and Animal once more went back to WCW for a very short run and took on teams like Harlem Heat and The Steiner Brothers and even got a number of title shots against Tag Team Champions Sting and Lex Luger, but never did win the belts back. The Legion Of Doom quickly left again when they claimed that Eric Bischoff who was running WCW at the time lied to them over money.

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For a year Hawk and Animal wrestled for small independent companies till in 1997 they once more reached a deal to come back to the WWF and once more proved they were the top tag team in the world when they beat the likes of The Godwins, The Headbangers and even was placed in a feud with the heel stable The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog and Brian Pillman) having to team up with the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Goldust and Ken Shamrock. They even won the world tag titles in 1997 and shocked the world when they lost them to a new tag team later that year named The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg), The Legion of Doom tried several times to get the belts back but couldn’t and in 1998 on Monday Night Raw the partners and friends brawled with each other on television and disappeared for awhile.

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Later in 1998 sporting a new look that consisted of helmets, normal hair and a new manager Sunny The Legion of Doom became L.O.D. 2000 an updated version of themselves. Sunny left the team pretty quickly and they were joined by Droz a wrestler who could puke on demand who was acting as a manager for them. Paul Ellering also returned and was now the manager for a biker tag team called the D.O.A. who was feuding with the LOD at the time. During this time they did a storyline were Hawk always seemed to be drunk or high on drugs and this was causing tension among the team as Droz was having to don the makeup and shoulder pads and help Animal. This segment ended with Hawk looking as if he jumped from the Titantron committing suicide or even that maybe Droz pushed him off leaving everyone to question was Droz the one giving Hawk the drugs. The storyline went nowhere and the team floated around for awhile and left in 1999, and began floating around the independent wrestling federations.

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In 2001 with Hawks health in question Animal resigned with WCW to become an enforcer for champion Scott Steiner who called his stable the Magnificent Seven that’s other members included Rick Steiner, Lex Luger, Jeff Jarrett and Buff Bagwell. Animals introduction to the group was a surprise as he wore a mask all the way up to his debut. The stable was short lived and later that year when the owner of WWF Vince McMahon bought WCW, Animal’s contract was not picked up.

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In 2002 Hawk and Animal signed very briefly with TNA (Total None Stop Action Wrestling) as part of a group that was fighting one time WWF writer Vince Russo who had a stable called Sports Entertainment Xtreme. Sadly The Legion Of Doom only got to wrestle one match before leaving in 2003.

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Hawk and Animal made their final WWF appearance in 2003 when they took on the tag team champions Rob Van Damn and Kane, while they loss the crowd was clearly happy to see them back. The Legion of Doom was hoping that this appearance would lead to a contract but sadly on October 19th 2003 Hawk passed away from a heart attack at the age of 46, marking a sad day for wrestling fans and the end of the original Legion of Doom. Animal however in 2005 would return to WWF with new partner Heidenreich the New Legion of Doom would last till 2006 when Heidenreich was fired. Animal would stick around as a solo wrestler for awhile and would simple be called The Road Warrior Animal and would drop the makeup as well as the shoulder pads from his gimmick. In 2006 Animal was released from his contract.

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This was the last major run for Animal as he would go onto make some appearances for TNA, Independents as well as even for WWF as he and Hawk made it into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2011. His last televised match was in 2012 on WWF Smackdown as he took on Heath Slater in a match he dominated. At the age of 54 it appears Animals full time in ring career is over but damn did he and Hawk have a good run. For those of you wondering Hawks real name is Michael Hegstrand and Animals is Joe Laurinaitis.

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While both of them were bad asses, Hawk is the one who was more of a loose cannon and did some funny and great stuff outside of wrestling like the following things. Hawk and Randy Savage got into a fist fight backstage at a wrestling event rumored over a piece of pizza that would continue some years later backstage at a Kid Rock concert. It’s also said that Hawk beat up on Eddie Guerrero backstage and that Hawk was clearly just being a bully. Hawk also beat up a fellow patron at a movie theater when he found out that the guy’s brother killed a cop from his hometown. Hawk was also a bouncer at a bar and took pleasure in throwing out the drunks that got out of hand. Hawk also claimed that Vince McMahan and Shawn “HBK” Michaels were gay lovers on the Road Warriors RF Shoot Interview. During the 1998 WWF attraction called “Brawl For It All” were WWF Superstars boxed and grappled in real life Hawk faced Droz to a draw. Hawk also was battling alcohol and drug addiction during the LOD 2000 and Droz angle and the writers wrote this into the storyline. Say what you will but Road Warrior Hawk was a great wrestler and entertainer and I was so sad when I heard about his passing as the sport of pro wrestling truly lost a major talent.

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One NWA story line for some reason that has always stuck out to me was when Road Warrior Animal suffered an eye injury at the hands of The Powers of Pain (Barbarian and Warlord) during a weightlifting computation, causing Animal to miss some matches and later return wearing a Hockey Mask to protect his eye and ready to battle those who injured him. The feud ended when The Powers of Pain quit the NWA after not wanting to do a series of Scaffold Matches that they feared they could be hurt in real life doing. When Animal first came back wearing the mask my brother and I thought that it was not the real Animal and was another wrestler filling in for him, and for some reason the image of him wearing the mask has always stuck in my mind.

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The Legion Of Doom has been so popular over the ages, they have had a ton of merchandise based around them such as t-shirts, posters, stickers, trading cards, magazines and even fruit drinks called WWE Bodyslam. They have been in many video games like WCW for Nintendo and WWE 13 for PS3 and Xbox 360. They have had VHS and DVDs showcasing their careers made as well as books written about them. They have filmed shoot interviews for companies like RF Video and Highspots and have appeared at wrestling themed conventions. Many toys have been made based on them by companies like Remco and Hasbro allowing kids to make them tag champions of their toy wrestling leagues. Some of my favorite toys growing up were my AWA Road Warriors that were the size of He-Man and that I would use as bounty hunters to try and capture He-Man and they also would wrestle the likes of Ric Flair and Rick Martel. If you’re a fan of the LOD there is plenty of great stuff for you to collect.

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So you just had a quick crash course all about The Legion of Doom and just how impactful they were as a tag team. I mean they were the first team that was able capture the Tag Titles in all three major federations (WWF, WCW, AWA) as well as hold the belts of many other minor and major promotions. So some time back when I found out that a comic book series was made about them I was pretty hyped to track them down, and thanks to Mavericks and Lone Star Comics, I was able to read them for the first time just for this blog update! And I must say I am pretty hyped to see what kind of action and story they come up with for this tag team. So before we enter the ring, I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that let’s get ready to rumble and witness Hawk and Animal do what they do best and that’s kick some butt.

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The Fifth Force: Hawk & Animal  # 1   *
Released in 1999   Cover Price $1.99   Antarctic Press   # 1 of 2

Mr. Dart is a shadow faced trench coat wearing henchman for Dr. Rancid who use their corrupt powers to frame The Legion of Doom as cheaters! When Hawk & Animal show up in Japan they meet with manager Vern who tells them they are under investigation for cheating to win the Tag Titles, and this means they are banned from wrestling and all their money is being tied up until things can be figured out. The Legion of Doom are upset and that’s when they get a visit from Mr. Dart who tells them he can make it all go away if they wrestle tonight and loose the belts; he even gives them money to help smooth over throwing the match. Hawk and Animal give it some thought and don’t see any other way out because they want to wrestle and go into the match against rivals The Kabuki Men with losing on their mind. The match is one sided as Animal takes a beating from Kabuki Men and just when all looks lost, Hawk wants to tag in and issue one comes to an end.

The Legion Of Doom are ass kicking machines who have always seemed to play by their own rules in every federation they have wrestled for so why in the world would issue one have them thinking of throwing a match all cause of some chumped up charges of cheating? Plus what the hell….so in Japan if they think you cheated to win wrestling belts, they can not only ban you from the sport all over the world, but can also tie up all your money…what federation are they working for, one ran by the Yukuza?! Hawk and Animal in the issue come off as wrestlers who have two thing on their minds and that’s wrestling and being champions, but man they also come off as mindless drones as they just go along with what a shadow faced man tells them he can do for them. Neither Dart nor Rancid come off as a big threat making this comic kind of just spin in neutral. The art is pretty cheesy and not the style I like as it has an amateur style mixed with American style Manga and is done by an unknown artist because I could not find their credit anywhere in the issue. Over all this is a very disappointing comic, and the only real appeal is the fact its about The Legion Of Doom.  So let’s not waste any more time on this simple silly comic and move onto issue # 2.

Fifth Force Hawk & Animal 2

The Fifth Force: Hawk & Animal  # 2   *
Released in 1999    Cover Price $2.50    Antarctic Press    # 2 of 2

Hawk and Animal decide during the match that they are not going to lose the belts to the Kabuki Men and pin them in the ring fair and square. After the match, Hawk and Animal get into the limo and are knocked out by gas and taken to a secret base where they are locked in a metal crate and sent to the bottom of the ocean. Mr. Dart and Dr. Rancid are also frozen and punished by Mr. Yamiyuri who in turn is blown up by the Mob for not bullying The Legion of Doom into losing the belts like they were told. In the end the news is running a story about the missing wrestling tag team champs.

Wow, this second issue is more worthless then the first.  I really hate saying that, but man, this comic series seems very pointless and it goes nowhere. The point of this issue is that The Legion of Doom will not take a fall and that this all has been set up by the mafia who for some reason really wanted the tag titles off Hawk and Animal. All the characters are the same as before, and none of them are fully fleshed out making them all just seem bland and one-dimensional and making you wonder why you should even care on what’s happing. The issue also has the same art and for some reason has a .51 price increase for the same low amount of pages. Not to mention the issue ends on a cliff hanger with The Legion Of Doom missing and at the bottom of the ocean…and the 3rd issue in the series never came out making one wonder what happened to the famed wrestling tag team. Plus I am sure that poor sales and bad reviews are why this series was dead in the water after only two issues. To sum it all up, I would say that this could be one of the worst comic series based on real life pro wrestlers ever made and even die hard Legion of Doom fans like myself will be disappointed in the comics story and quality.

Fifth Force Art 1Fifth Force Art 2

The Legion of Doom aka The Road Warriors deserved a better comic series than this and to find out that Animal had something to do with it makes it all so much worse. From what I understand the comics were going to be a way to introduce a comic series that would promote healthy living and working out, but when the first two issue bombed, the third issue that was going to lead to this plan was cancelled. This could be the biggest disappointment thus far doing this blog as I really hoped it would at least be entertaining, and all I got was a lame poorly drawn and written comic with no direction. I need something good for the next update to get this terrible comic series out of my brain so I think we will take a look at something a whole lot better as we tackle the 3-D BlackThorne Comic adventures of Bravestarr based on the classic 80’s cartoon made by Filmation! So until then, watch WWE Monday Night Raw and read a comic or two and remember the rush you got watching the LOD dominate the world of Tag Team Wrestling.

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