A criticism regularly thrown at WWE is that their sense of humour is awful. That when they try to be funny, it often misses the mark or appeals solely to Vince McMahon’s childish or bullying ways. Joylessly humiliating talent is a staple of WWE programming. But has it always been this way? This is the 1991 video release WWF’s Funniest Moments, an hour long compilation of some of the funniest – according to WWE – things that have ever happened in the ring.
1: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan vs The Big Boss Man in a Ball and Chain Match
The background to this match isn’t explained at all. Bobby is alone in the ring, with a microphone. Bobby Heenan was one of the all-time funniest people in the wrestling business, so this should be gold. Should be.
He apologises to the Boss Man’s mother repeatedly. Like a million times. But we’re not told what he’s apologising for. It’s not vintage Bobby by any stretch, as he just apologises over and over. The Boss Man joins him in the ring, lugging a ball and chain behind him.
Bobby apologises more and more, then cheap shots Boss Man with the microphone. The match starts, Boss Man knocks him to the ground and pins him with a foot across the throat. The whole thing lasted 3.1 seconds.
The Ball and Chain come into play now, as Boss Man hits Bobby in the stomach with the ball. It seems like the Ball and Chain wasn’t really a stipulation, just a suggestion. Mr. Perfect comes out for the save, but Boss Man casually throws him out of the ring as well.
Light on the laughs here, and really, really light on explaining why any of those things happened.
2: Please Welcome The Gobbledy Gooker
I always thought that the Gooker showed up at that one Survivor Series, was booed, and went back into storage for years. But no! This is him doing essentially the same shtick on an episode of Wrestling Challenge, but without the egg.
Gooker dances, cartwheels and runs the ropes. You can see the crowd losing interest as this goes on forever. He dances with the ring announcer. Then cartwheels and runs the ropes. This just does not end. It’s kind of amusing in a “what were they thinking” sort of way, but I don’t think that’s what they intended.
The only real highlight is the Gooker leaning towards the camera and saying “gobble gobble”, while moving the lips on his ridiculous costume. The crowd is so flat by the end, it’s a relief when he finally goes back behind the curtain.
But then they show it all again from another show, only with The Fink as his dance partner. Dance, cartwheel, run. Dance, cartwheel, run. It’s like a form of Hell.
3: Rhythm and Blues (Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine) vs The Bushwhackers
I’m not sure what the joke is here, unless you find the Bushwhackers incredibly amusing. I mean, they’re fine and everything, but aside from that weird march that the crowds adore, there’s not a lot going on with them.
Greg Valentine has dyed his hair jet black for this tag team run. He looks a bit daft; like he’s gone grey and is really, really in denial.
Him and Honky start out by singing an awful rendition of “Honky Love”, but the Bushwhackers interrupt. One of them grabs a mic and aims a “greaseball” chant at Valentine. The crowd eats it up.
They then wrestle for 12 minutes – a not very exciting back and forth match that sees all four going through the motions. It feels very padded. The Bushwhackers get up to their usual antics, waving their arms around in ‘that’ way.
After what feels like forever, Honky and one of the Whackers brawl backstage. Is it a double countout? No! Valentine was the legal man, so Rhythm and Blues pick up the win. Afterwards, the Bushwhackers beat on Valentine two-on-one, so they get to stand tall and their music plays at the end.
I really don’t know what this achieved, or why this match in particular was picked. The Bushwhackers were such a strange combo, and it’s amazing to see how much the adults in the crowd bought into their ways.
4: The Buddy Rose Blow Away Diet
I think this skit is well known. It’s presented as a fake advertisement for a mail-order weight loss product. Late-era Buddy Rose is shown as a massive, cake-eating slob, who uses the Blow Away Diet. It looks a lot like talcum powder or cocaine, and he throws it over his protruding stomach. He sits in front of a fan (an electric one, not a man), and watches the fat literally blow away. The joke is that he looks no different afterwards.
This is accompanied by Buddy Rose vs Mario Mancini, a perennial loser.
Buddy comes to the ring with a set of scales. When the Fink announces him at 317lbs, he protests and uses the scales to “prove” he’s only 217lbs. Fink doesn’t buy it, and claims the scales show 317.
The match starts, and mostly a one-sided affair, with Mancini soundly out-wrestled.
Commentary by Lord Alfred Hayes is brutal, and he spends the whole 5 minutes destroying Rose for being fat and out of shape: “He really is a porker”, he chuckles. The crowd are onside with this too, chanting “Fat Boy!” and “Lardo!” while Buddy tries to do his job.
It’s safe to say that this segment hasn’t aged brilliantly, but Vince has a real joy for fat people taking their clothes off on TV, as we’re about to see.
5: The Brother Love Show with Rowdy Roddy Piper
For the first time, the video actually shows a bit of context to this clip. Previously on Brother Love’s talk show, Roddy Piper was attacked by Ravishing Rick Rude. Rude sprays “mouthwash” in Piper’s face. I’m not sure what it really is, but it looks an awful lot like a jug of piss.
The Brother Love show is introduced, but Love doesn’t appear. Vince is on commentary, and he’s shocked by this turn of events. A second introduction is made, but still no Love. Finally, Roddy Piper takes the stage, carrying a long rope.
“I loooooooove yoooooooouuuuu”, Piper mocks. The glint in his eye is amazing, I just love Roddy doing anything. Piper explains the ‘Rude’ awakening he got last week, and shows us the other end of his rope. It’s tied around what appears to be either a ghost, or a man wrapped up in a bedsheet.
Piper removes the bedsheet to reveal Brother Love wearing a nappy. Vince, and possibly nobody else in the world, is in hysterics at the fat man. Love runs away, but Vince is laughing and laughing. Absolutely delighted. Vince McMahon is a fascinating man.
6: Mean Gene and the Bushwhackers
This is probably the funniest part of the whole video. Gene was a wonderful personality. This is all recorded in one take, with Gene trying not to laugh as the Bushwhackers shout nonsense at him.
The three are supposedly in New Zealand, outside the Bushwhackers’ home – a hut in the desert.
Gene mentions one of their opponents, and the Whackers just babble hilariously back at him. These clips seem to come from another Coliseum Home Video release, because they literally have Gene say “let’s see that match now…”, but the matches have been cut. I’m not complaining, I can’t imagine the matches are more fun than this.
The Whackers BBQ a buzzard. Gene eats the meat, and starts twitching and having minor convulsions. He disappears out of the shot, and comes back… dressed as a Bushwhacker and doing their mannerisms. I laughed and laughed at this – a welcome relief!
7: The Brother Love Show with the Ultimate Warrior
This guy again. This is the last of the original run of Brother Love Shows. Wikipedia is weirdly vague about the circumstances behind it ending, saying that Love was released due to “personal and private issues”, without explaining what they were.
Love introduces the Ultimate Warrior as a “has been”. Warrior quickly rambles about Macho Man Randy Savage, promising to beat him at Wrestlemania 7 (yes) and end his career (no).
Annoyed at being called a has been, Warrior delicately smashes up the Brother Love Show set, tearing down the curtains and destroying the podium. Love tries to run to the ring, but Warrior follows him, and hits him with all his moves. Warrior actually looked exhausted here.
The video ends with Brother Love getting stretchered out of the arena. LOL!
Is this video funny? No. But it is an insight into both what Vince finds amusing, and the things that crowds got behind in those olden days.
The Bushwhackers still amaze and amuse me, except when they’re wrestling. The “fat guy gets naked” thing is definitely the pinnacle of what Vince’s childish and mean sense of humour.
And the most important thing is that Mean Gene and Bobby Heenan were absolute treasures and are rightfully missed today.