Monthly Archives: May 2012

It was as I began peeling away the plastic wrapper on the first of today’s packs that something hit me: I can’t take much more of this. I’m feeling my lowest, guys. I had a thought, back when I first came up with this sorta-daily bit, that this might happen. How little I knew, my friends.

Damn you, Ted Turner!

I haven’t organized all the cards I’ve gone through just yet, so I don’t know if I have a complete set here, but it’s certainly starting to feel like I’ve seen all there is to see in this series. This is a card set consisting of 162 cards, with only 13 individual wrestlers, 4 tag teams (making that a total of 21 wrestlers represented), and 3 non-wrestling talents (two managers and an announcer). You’d think they would’ve tried to do more than just make 13 individual Sting cards, but alas, here we are with 13 cards devoted to the Stinger.

Now, I did a little research, and using Mike Rotunda (Mr. Wallstreet) as a marker, I was able to figure out that the period of time represented on these cards must be between roughly June 1990 and January 1991. I came to this conclusion upon learning that Rotunda turned heel and became Wallstreet in mid-1990, and then left WCW for the WWF in early 1991. By January 1991, any WCW rosters I can find online do not list Rotunda or Wallstreet.

If we can go off of this, we can determine during the period of time represented in this set, there were between 36 and 44 wrestlers on the WCW roster. Guys like Junkyard Dog, the Iron Sheik, the Nasty Boys, “Mean” Mark Callous (the Undertaker), and Vader. If you have Vader on your roster, why the hell do you not include him in a card set? Were there legal issues involved?

Now here’s what throws my theory about the time period into complete disarray: Dutch Mantell doesn’t show up on a WCW roster until March 1991. Now, if I am to believe the rosters I am finding online (which of course is risky, since it’s, you know, the internet), that means Dirty Dutch and Mr. Wallstreet weren’t even in WCW at the same time! Fuck!

So I don’t know what the hell was going on with these cards, obviously, but for some reason they only had 21 wrestlers they could use. That does not seem like a particularly good thing if you want to put out a set of trading cards.

Impel could’ve done something they had previously worked into the Marvel Universe trading card series by devoting cards to famous matches, or perhaps big feuds or stables or even showcased more of the non-wrestling talent, but instead this is what we got.

So I’m feeling it, friends. I’m feeling my lowest. I’ve seen it all! And if I haven’t, I have yet to encounter a sign that I’m wrong.

I can’t look at another card of Ricky Morton’s sad, disheveled face. I can’t handle another poor attempt to make El Gigante seem like a serious competitor. No more, I say. Please.

But I must finish opening this second pack. I have to.

Folks, while the title of this blog series is a clever joke referring to smoking cigarettes, I have to tell you that I’d rather risk lung cancer than open this pack of WCW cards. But here we go.

First, let me make a sacrifice to the deadly Black Scorpion, so that he may bring me good fortune in this pack…

Where’s Robocop to save you now, Stinger???

Okay, pack opened… Nothing, nothing, nothing… wait.

Legolas! What do you elf-eyes see?!

It can’t be! It’s impossible!



It’s me, Gibson! It was me ALLLLL ALONNNNG!!!!

Dutch Mantell, you sonufabitch! You magnificent bastard! You dirty scoundrel! You and your glorious poncho have saved me from certain doom, just so you can prolong the torture? To what end? To. What. End???

I will play your game, Dirty Dutch. But to defeat you, I must learn your secrets! I must become you!

Hm, it appears I need to pluck my unibrow again…



Bonus stuff:

  1. Sting vs. the mysterious Black Scorpion
  2. Sting gets a helping hand from Robocop

Presenting my almost-daily thing that I do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you, complete with cheap, lazy jokes at the expense of the professional wrestlers involved. Enjoy!

Scratch that. Monday was a holiday, so I didn’t open any packs. Hey, even a bum like me needs a day off.

But it took me awhile yesterday and today to get to the usual 2PaD action, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the arrival of the newest issue of the best wrestling fanzine around, The Atomic Elbow.

Robert, the gentleman behind the zine, always packs each envelope with more than your money’s worth of stuff. Seen here is the zine itself, along with a poster, a handwritten note from Robert, a sticker for “The Old School Wrestling Podcast” (which I have never listened to but will certainly check out now), and three trading cards (in addition to the “limited edition” pin inserted in the middle of the zine).

Why does any of this matter to you? Well, a couple of things come to mind:

  1. You might find the zine interesting, and therefore might purchase yourself a copy. (Go get one right now! Hurry!)
  2. It’s because of this guy that 2PaD exists. See, I had forgotten all about those 1991 WCW trading cards until I received a handful of them with the first issue of The Atomic Elbow. Then I sought out a sealed box. Then I had to figure out WTF I was going to do with a sealed box of wrestling trading cards from 21 years ago. And then BAM! the idea struck me like a knife-edged chop to the chest.

So there you go. Now what?

Now, let’s look at the cards he sent me this time! There’s only three of them, but they’re not from the WCW series I’ve been covering. That’s right, we have new challengers!

Card Numero Uno:

What better example of the struggle of working as a professional wrestler, trying to make ends meet with his meager pay and mounting health care costs, than one who has to pull double duty as a garbage man?

The WWF was weird in the 1990s. Before Stone Cold Steve Austin started drinking beer and throwing middle fingers all over the place, the Fed was populated by a lot of dudes who apparently had to have secondary careers in addition to being wrestlers. You had Sparky Plugg, the wrestler who supposedly also drove stock cars; you had The Mountie, who was a Canadian Mounted Police officer that somehow was allowed to make extra cash beating up other dudes in the ring; you even had the Repo Man, who seemed to just be a plain ol’ kleptomaniac rather than a professional repossessor. It was like everybody that wasn’t already a big name had to have a gimmick beyond just being an awesome grappler or technician, and that gimmick had to be some shitty job.
That’s how you end up with a guy like Duke the Dumpster. Duke is a garbage man. He has the uniform and everything, and here he is pictured with garbage. Of course, I am confused about his name. Is he also a human garbage can? Does he consume garbage? I don’t know!

As you can guess, Duke the Dumpster was a huge success, and eventually became World Wrestling Federation Champion. Kids just couldn’t get enough of their favorite trash-collecting superstar, and he went on to bigger and better things, like films, multi-platinum albums and a mansion filled with fake-breasted bimbos who he pays $100/hr to wrestle in his living room.

No, wait, he’s a training a conditioning coach for a high school football team now. Well, at least that’s probably better for his health.

Card Numero Dos:

One of these guys is dead. The other now works for TNA, which is almost the same thing.

“Unexpected Turn of Events” might be the best way to describe getting a card with the late, great Eddie Guerrero on it.

If you’re unfamiliar with Eddie, check out some of his matches on youtube. Fantastic work.

This card is a from an ill-fated attempt by the WWE to cash in on collectible card games. How could such a thing not do well? I mean, what better way to partake in your favorite sports entertainment than by recreating it at your local comic shop, where you lose horribly to a 9 year old who calls you gay slurs while sipping his 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew—

Wait, that sounds remarkably like playing WWE ’12 on XBox Live, except it’s in the form of a card game. Even better.

Eddie, your epic matches with Kurt Angle deserve better than this.

Card Numero Tres:

Actual cock-smoking

I give you… Big Van VaderI wish there were Vader cards in the set I’ve been posting. The guy is ridiculous. You can’t understand half the shit that comes out of his mouth, he usually works stiff (which means he doesn’t give a shit if he actually hurts anybody when he’s wrestling them), he wears a g-string on his face, AND he was part of a stable in New Japan Pro Wrestling that was managed by Takeshi “Beat Takeshi” Kitano (you know, the comedian, TV personality, filmmaker and creator of Takeshi’s Castle). The guy is a monster and he’s crazy. There’s just so much to work with when you have devoted your days to writing cheap, lousy jokes about wrestlers.

But honestly, let’s just look at the time he assaulted a TV host in Kuwait when asked if wrestling is fake. (That host later sued the WWF and Vader for the incident)


I honestly don’t know what Vader is doing on this card. I know what it looks like. It looks like he’s so crazy and unpredictable that smoke is actually coming out of his crotch and suffocating his opponent. But that’s the easy joke!

I’m not sure if he’s showing us his “OH” face or if he’s saying something rude about my mother. Knowing Vader, it could be both.

You know what? Fuck it, I’m going with the easy joke.

Presenting my almost-daily thing that I do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you, complete with cheap, lazy jokes at the expense of the professional wrestlers involved. Enjoy!

So what did I find this time?

Well, I was going to approach this the way I usually do, but then I discovered something special about today’s packs. Today, I have the largest assortment of ridiculous facial expressions I have seen in a sampling of 24 cards.

Now, I’ve seen most of these cards before in previous packs, but not all in one place. I’d like to say it’s unprecedented, thus making me sound like one of those airheaded TV blowhards on the news shows, and maybe this happens more often than I have actually noticed, but let’s just go with it.

The Top 10 Facial Expressions of the 1991 WCW Trading Card Series (so far)

10. Arn “Double A” Anderson


This might be the saddest face I’ve ever seen on Arn Anderson. This is a man who usually shows all the emotions, from serious business to scowling.

9. Scott Steiner

Scott just saw what he’s going to turn into in 20 years.

It’s not everyday that you see “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner, the Genetic Freak, the Big Bad Booty Daddy, crying like a little baby. But remember this was when he was only ‘roided up like your average wrestler, before he attempted to turn himself into a real life kaiju.

8. Butch Reed

“It’s all good!”

Butch Reed is just a nice guy, even when he’s bodyslamming you.

7. Sid Vicious

“Who does Number 2 work for?!”

Fiber, Sid.

6. Flyin’ Brian Pillman

“Watch the balls!”

5. Arn Anderson, again


My cat Hugo makes this face at me frequently. I don’t know what his deal is.

4. Sid Vicious redux


3. El Gigante

El Gigante does his best impression of someone watching an El Gigante match.

Turns out making this face was El Gigante’s best talent.

2. Ricky Morton

Morton realizes his career has already peaked.

Don’t worry, Ricky. It gets worse.

1. Ric Flair

I make the same face when I remember that time when Flair’s son tried to be a wrestler.

You probably can’t tell this from the cropped photo, but at this moment, Flair has his opponent in the Figure 4 Leg Lock. So what I’m saying is that this is the face Ric Flair makes when he’s winning.

That’s it for this week. See you on Monday for more 2PaD!

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo

No, Lex Luger hasn’t been caught off-guard! He’s simply doing his best attempt at the Humpty Dance.

Sadly, I would not be surprised if Lex actually did get busy in a Burger King bathroom.

I just hope he was able to get his shirt off.

2. Best Outfit

Man, two straight days of Freebird bashing. I don’t feel bad, because in reality those guys were epic as far as old school tag teams go (so badass they’re in the opening sequence of the first Highlander flick).

But man, what was up with the puffy shirts in WCW? Was the costumer for the company a low talker or something?

Talk about outdated pop culture references… sad. Just sad.

Hey, I’m trying here.

3. Best WTF Bio

Okay, so I know I’m a big atheist and all, so my Biblical knowledge might not be up to snuff by some standards, but I thought Goliath was supposed to be a bad guy. I’m getting mixed signals, because there’s no way a decent person over the age of 9 would actually list Sting as their favorite wrestler, but at the same time he loves Janet Jackson.

I just don’t know what to think anymore, guys.

4. Who???

The only people that probably don’t know who Teddy Long is are probably people who haven’t watched wrestling (at least not in the past decade). Incidentally, I know that I have an umber of readers who fit that description, so I think it’s fair to give him this spot today.

Okay, I’ll be honest: I only really picked him just to show off his fashion sense again.

But who is he?

Teddy Long has worked in the business since 1985 as a referee and a manager, starting with Jim Crockett Promotions (WCW), and working today for the WWE. His prime managing years were in the late ’80s and ’90s for WCW, where he managed Doom (his “clients” at the time this card was released), as well as the likes of Johnny B. Badd (aka Marc Mero) and The Skyscrapers (a tag team that included Mark Callous, who would go on to become the legendary Undertaker in the WWF).

In the late ’90s, Teddy joined the WWF as a referee, and then eventually became the “General Manager” (an on-screen “boss” role) of WWE Smackdown!

He likes saying “playa” when addressing people on the show. I don’t know why. It’s endearing, I guess.

But look at that outfit. It’s like he bought one of Vanilla Ice’s old suits at Goodwill and paired it with a crusty bandanna.

5. Jim Ross Gives Zero Fucks About Lex Luger


Man, who else can look so cool and composed while a ‘roid-headed boob like Luger is screaming incoherently right next to him? Jim motherfucking Ross.

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo

What in the wide world of sports is going on in this picture? Is Brian having a seizure? Is he wrestling with the world famous Invisible Wrestler? I don’t know!

2. Best Outfit

That is one fabulous freebird.

Hold on, this picture isn’t big enough…

My god, it’s full of stars…

3. Best WTF Bio


4. Who???

Okay, so I’ve made fun of Ricky Morton before, mostly because he looks tacky and kinda sad. Little did I know that he’s won 79 championships over the course of his career.

79. Seventy-nine.

He was most famous as one half of the Rock n’ Roll Express with Robert Gibson (no relation, as far as I know), with whom he won the NWA World Tag Team belt four times. They frequently feuded with their evil counterparts, the Midnight Express, appeared in the WWF very briefly (and lost their NWA titles to the Headbangers, of all the horrible tag teams to lose to, while appearing in the WWF), and also managed to capture some other regional titles along the way. Not bad.

Still, you look at the cards for this guy and you go, “How the heck was this guy popular?” Well, by 1991 he wasn’t really all that hot, but back in the 80s? See, as shown in this match from 1987, things were a little different. For one thing, mullets were still cool.

These days, however, Morton is still trying to wrestle so he can pay off back child support that he owes. Yikes!

5. Best Picture of Arn Anderson Probably Saying Something About Somebody’s Mother


He mad.

I probably should not admit to anybody on Earth that I have spent most evenings for the past month watching VR Troopers on Netflix, and yet here we are. Even when I’m completely sober, I still want to watch it. And I swear, when I was a kid I didn’t feel like this.

In the period of time between then and now, my interest in Japanese “tokusatsu” shows has grown exponentially, mostly due to the internet and an increase in my awareness of such things.

As a kid, I figured out pretty quickly while watching my first episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that the footage with the actual Rangers, Zord, and monster were not shot by the same people that shot all the stuff with the dumb teens and Bulk & Skull. Granted, I had prior exposure to Masked Rider and Kikaider when I was about 3 or 4, living in Honolulu, but my memories of that were barely existent by the time I saw Power Rangers; what mattered was that I associated this kind of stuff with Japan, so I pretty much put 2 and 2 together and figured out that Power Rangers was just Americanizing Japanese live action shows.

And let’s be honest: it is not unfair or wrong for me to make that kinda of connection. The television programs aired in Japan are so purely Japanese on just a basic cultural level, while Americans in the TV industry here were until recently not nearly that creative, and it was bizarre to see this kind of stuff on American television. Stuff that wasn’t made here still sticks out like a sore thumb.

So as a kid when this show was coming out, I only had a passing interest in it, and the only reason any existed was because I knew it was Japanese in origin. I only ever saw it when I was home, sick from school, and nothing else was on TV, and when I did, all I remember is the Japanese stuff.

Anyway, what am I getting at? Well, I guess I’ve been hammering on the fact that fans of Tokusatsu might have an interest in watching this, and should.

The other part? If you like things that are insanely bad, you should probably watch this as well.

While the awesome, cheesy, lower-image-quality parts of the show with Grimlord, all the robots/mutants, and such are what drew me in initially (and certainly entertain in that area), seeing the ways the American producers had to adapt the original material becomes even more entertaining.

See, for the first season, they took two distinct, separate Japanese series (Spielban and Metalder*), borrowed the action footage (all the stuff involving the metal hero in question and/or the various monsters) and then shot new footage with American actors to fill everything in-between (this is the same practice used for the Power Rangers series), creating new shows in the process. It was kind of a more extreme take on the method used to create Robotech. So right off the bat, whatever was going on in that footage, the American producers and writers had to make what they came up with connect with it. This gets really entertaining when you see the writers coming up with a subplot involving the Troopers’ alter egos that mirrors or parallels the plot of the original footage.

But better yet, it becomes more entertaining when the Japanese episode footage involves a kidnapping.

These episodes exist in every tokusatsu series, from Iron King to Go Ranger to Supaidaman to Power Rangers; somebody close to our hero is kidnapped by the bad guys, and the hero has to fight the baddies and rescue that person. Frequently that person is a potential love interest, while more often it is a child, perhaps a younger brother, nephew, cousin, or family member of a close friend. Since it’s Japanese, that person is pretty visibly Japanese as well.

That’s where the fun begins.

There are at least two episodes in the first season of VR Troopers that involve the kidnapping of a boy, and so each time you get to watch the folks at Saban find some way to introduce an Asian boy into the story. One episode, it’s just some Little League kid who’s some kind of baseball phenom who just happens to be asian; and the next, it’s Tao(the owner of the local dojo in the American footage)’s visiting nephew. Somebody was put in charge of dressing each kid in a costume that matched the costume worn by the kid in the Japanese footage.

Naturally, you could also assume that somebody was given the job of finding a kid that matched the kid in the Japanese footage. And that is where you would be wrong.

In particular, look at the episode “The Couch Potato Kid,” where you somehow end up with two child actors that look nothing alike. The only things they have in common are that they’re Asian and they’re boys. It’s actually pretty ridiculous how different they look.

It’s really quite beautiful, and I think it’s entertaining in the same way that watching stupid people try to function is. Added to that are the ridiculous premises of each episode. One episode sees the bad guy, Ziktor/Grimlord, kidnap a litter of puppies. Another sees him interfering with go kart racing, while yet another involves Grimlord creating an obstacle course for his minions to run because he was inspired by the Troopers doing the same thing for the local kids.

This is a show that will actually begin with the main character rescuing a stray kitten, and somehow have it lead to robot dudes fighting each other and blowing up.

But what makes it better is that it’s combined with that weird, crazy Japanese action sci-fi stuff, complete with dudes doing karate in crazy rubber and chrome suits. What’s not to love about that?

And the combination? It only gets better when the Japanese footage contains this many explosions. Seriously, shit blows up on this show. Ryan Steele/Metalder is jumping around in a nondescript rock quarry-esque set, dodging lasers and missiles, and then about 13 different explosives go off in the background. These dudes duel with laser swords and blaster guns, and then each fight shot is capped off with a handful of big, fiery explosions. Michael Bay wishes he was this efficient with pyro.

My recommendation is the aforementioned episode “The Couch Potato Kid,” because it also happens to be the coolest episode of the bunch. See, this episode shows the lead bad guy, Grimlord, making all of his mutant/robot/cyborg minions fight it out to determine who will have the honor of fighting the VR Troopers on Grimlord’s behalf. What you end up with is a crazy, kaijin-infested episode of Takeshi’s Castle, as all of the foam rubber robot monsters try to survive an obstacle course as they’re broken into Laff-A-Lympics-style teams. It’s pretty cool, especially when you think about how rarely you get to see all the cool monsters in any of these shows get this much screen time.

Is it good TV? Oh hell no, but it’s insane, and not in the same way that Toddlers and Tiaras is insane.

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo

If this particular shot had a Brazzers logo on it, things would look quite different.

2. Best Outfit(s)

He looks like a guy that frequents a local bar here on karaoke night, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

I’ll tell you what, though: I might be willing to commit murder for a Doom t-shirt like that.

3. Best WTF Bio

I have chosen Mr. Taylor’s card this time for one reason and one reason alone: If you have listed “Winning the World TV Title” as your greatest accomplishment, things aren’t going so well for you.

4. Who???

Mr. Wall Street, aka Michael Wallstreet, aka V.K. Wallstreet, aka Captain Mike, aka Mike Rotunda, aka Mike Rotundo, aka Mike Drond, aka Irwin R. Schyster, aka I.R.S.

Is that enough pseudonyms for one guy? Well, that’s not the most that a single wrestler has had, but it’s an awful lot. Mike Rotunda was a pretty solid wrestler, and bounced around between the NWA, AWA, WCW, and WWF for years. He was part of quality tag teams, namely the U.S. Express with his real-life brother-in-law, Barry Windham, and Money, Inc. with The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase.

At the time this card was released, he had taken on a new gimmick, that of a wealthy investor named Mr. Wallstreet. We’ve looked at previous cards related to this angle. Modeling himself after Gordon Gekko, Wallstreet and Ms. York formed the York Foundation and acted like evil, greedy people. Rotunda eventually left WCW and joined the WWF, where he became Irwin R. Schyster (IRS), an evil tax collector who would threaten the audience with a handful of tax forms. Surprisingly, he went over pretty well. I have no idea why, beyond the typical hate people have for doing their taxes.

5. Best Pandering to WCW’s Target Audience

WCW was formerly Jim Crockett Promotions, was based out of Atlanta, GA, and aired on Ted Turner’s TBS Superstation (back when Ted still owned it, before it was turned into a lukewarm “comedy” channel where Conan is the best thing on their schedule). Wrestling is a staple of the South. So it makes sense that, you know, they’d try to pander to that audience.

Hence the Southern Boys tag team, with their cute little CSA uniforms and mullets. That shit makes sense to me. It’s dumb, but whatever. But now I’m supposed to believe that the high-five is a “Southern thang?” Fuck you, WCW.

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo

I present the return of the Dutch! I’m sorry! I swear I am truly sorry, but this guy is too glorious not to showcase every time he shows up on a card. Especially this card, where his hair and beard unite to create an ungodly mane of Mufasa proportions.

So last time we saw Dutch, the writers of these cards were unsure if he was the hairiest man in wrestling. Now it appears they’ve sealed it. The thing is, though… I am far more interested now in why he named his bullwhip “Shoebaby.” It must have been quite a big deal. I mean, WCW thought it was necessary to trademark the name.

2. Best Outfit(s)

Okay, who ordered the Confederate strippers?

Also, how did I not already know that Confederate strippers were a thing?

Man, I bet this is what Strom Thurmond saw when he died.

3. Best WTF Bio

I am beginning to wonder if perhaps El Gigante had a special card writer from his home country of Argentina, who was given the specific task of writing each El Gigante card in this set. That’s the only explanation I can come up with regarding WTF is going on here.

4. Who???

So who is Doom? Doom is a tag team consisting of Butch Reed and future World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons, who has sadly spent the past 20 years (give or take) since then being treated like a chump by both the WWF and WCW. Simmons and Reed started in the NWA/WCW as the tag team Doom, and garnered plenty of accolades. In this card set, it appears that they were intended to be enemies of Sting in particular.

Regardless, Simmons shortly went into singles competition after Doom had a reign as Tag Team champs, and he managed to earn a title shot via lottery to face Big Van Vader, who he actually defeated, making him the first African American world heavyweight champion in wrestling (according to the WWE). He held the title for five months, which probably makes his reign longer than most of the championship reigns in the later Monday Night Wars-era WCW. Hell, that’s longer than modern title reigns seem to run anymore.

And what happened? He later ended up in the WWF/WWE, where he showed up on the midcard, at best. He’s better known by wrestling fans today as the black dude who randomly shows up backstage and says, “Damn!”

Oh ,and Butch Reed? Oh, he only went a full 60 minutes with Ric Flair in a no-DQ match in 1985.

So yeah, Butch Reed and Ron Simmons? Legitimate badasses.

5. Worst Ric Flair Impression

I tell you, I am beginning to hate Terry Taylor. Who the hell is he kidding in that thing?

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo (Tie)

I will stop picking the Steiners Bros. when I stop getting amazing Steiner Bros. cards. This one was a tough call, so I just picked both cards, BECAUSE DOGS ARE AWESOME.

Dogs make almost everything better. Beer commercials? Better with dogs, as proven by Spuds McKenzie. Christmas songs? Better when sung (or howled) by dogs. Superheroes? Better when they have dog sidekicks (Krypto is probably my favorite thing from Superman comics).

And wrestlers? Better when they’re accompanied by dogs (Except when the dog in question is actually a person)!

Fuck yeah dogs! Oh wait…

Thanks, WCW and/or Impel, for helping promote the bad image unfairly associated with pit bulls. Because, you know, pit bulls totally eat people. Dicks.

2. Best Outfit

I was feeling down after that last card, but then Ricky Morton showed up with his outer space pirate shirt to cheer me up! I’m glad to see he learned to accessorize since our last encounter, and he’s really nailed it here: nothing goes better with that strange assortment of rags than a puffy blouse made out of Apollo 11 astronauts.

I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you look like Joel Hodgson’s less-talented white trash brother.

3. Best WTF Bio

I will tell you right now, every Mr. Wallstreet card is insane. This one is just the tip of the iceberg.

I don’t know what to focus on: the likely unintended sexual innuendo (he’s “plugged in to her data base,” *snort*) or the fact that he’s using the magic of computers to beat his opponents. I bet it’s really exciting to watch.

I bet it looks just like this. Just with less Penn Jillette.

4. Who???

No, that’s not Garrett from Community. That’s Tommy Rich, and I have no idea who the hell he is or why somebody thought we needed a trading card of him. Turns out, the guy was once, back in the early 80s, NWA World Heavyweight Championalbeit for only 4 days, as he dropped the belt to Harley Race, the previous holder of the title (in what Harley Race claims was a move by Jim Barnett to maintain some level of control over the NWA).

In what should be no surprise by now, Rich was actually quite popular in the Georgia and Memphis territories in the 70s and 80s, and by the time WCW brought him in he was an accomplished veteran (for those not in the know, WCW, owned by Ted Turner, was based out of Atlanta and worked to maintain the following it had built in the South by enlisting well known stars from the region). Sadly, he was quickly relegated to mid-card status as a member of the York Foundation (the same stable that was home to the aforementioned Mr. Wallstreet, along with Terry Taylor), and then was dropped to the bottom of the card once that stable broke up.

And now I am sad again. I’ll just watch this to feel better.

Feelin’ better already!

5. Best Use of Limerick

Considering how legendarily horrible the late El Gigante/Giant Gonzalez was in the ring, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ric Flair simply burst into flames when they faced each other.

That’s it for this week, see you all next week for more exciting WCW action!

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