Surprisingly, as a young kid, my favorite wrestler was actually a heel. Kind of figures. He was the infamous, Don "The Magnificent" Muraco. His interviews were epic. Each one always had a different vibe. He never went with the sadistic, barbaric role. Instead, he'd fuse these comedic taunts with this unbridled arrogance. The crowd would fire back with chants of "Beach Bum, Beach Bum." Obviously, a reference to his origins of Sunset Beach, Hawaii. Newsflash, he really was from Hawaii - I googled him. Not like Texas-born Ivan Putski who claimed to be from Krakow, Poland (that guy had to be the worst, most uninspired main-eventer in the history of the WWF). And how about the token, masked weirdo from Parts Unknown? I'd have to say that "parts unknown" is the ultimate location of origin.
Here's a truly, classic moment. Muraco's wrestling one of the more memorable scrubs. His name was Frankie Williams and I do recall he hailed from Columbus, Ohio. How about that? I always had an appreciation for the scrubs - rare for an 11 year old kid.
This is the pure embodiment of Vince McMahon. It's his serious, snarling voice that really added to the credibility. And I love the way Vince pontificates... "Well, I don't know if there's anything specifically stated in the rulebook that prohibits consumption of a meatball sub during a match... but it is highly unorthodox." Classic. I think it's the forgettable Pat Patterson who keeps saying, "Hmmm, another bite." But it's all Vince. He's just so disgusted with Muraco's nonchalant, blatant effrontery. How dare he! Say what you will about Vince McMahon (unprincipled, ethically challenged, steroid distributing, etc.). But he might be the greatest salesman of all time. Trump? Iacocca? Barnum and/or Bailey? Fugetaboutit. It's not even close. This was Vince in his prime.
And how about at the end when Captain Lou Albano "slips" on the meatball sub. I honestly don't think this part was scripted. Maybe he was drunk. Although I doubt it because they usually taped the preliminaries during the afternoon. If you watch closely, I think Muraco's genuinely concerned that Albano may have hurt himself. And who could not love the manner in which McMahon ridicules Captain Lou. "Albano is furious! Look at that fat slob! He's disgusting. Ohhh, look. There it is. There's the rest of the meatball sub. That's just gross! That's horrible!"
I'll never forget when a title holder was being pinned and Vince would deliriously count it out... "One... Two... We-have-a-new..... NOOOO!" Honestly, that's some great shit. He was a millisecond from saying the word "champion." Damn, it was that close.
I miss old school television production where you didn't have all those annoying musical blips in the background. Actors and commentators actually had to earn their keep. I'd take the authenticity of 80's pro wrestling over the "Real World's" synthetically manufactured crap any day of the week. Nowadays, you get all this uninterrupted "zany" background music (for those incapable of comprehending that it's a silly moment). Or even worse, when the music gets all dark and disturbed. Yes, this would denote a sad or heartbreaking moment. Give Vince credit where credit is due. You didn't hear some nonsensical, edited-in "slip on banana peel" music when Albano bit the dust. All you heard was the mastery of McMahon - "Look at that meatball! Look at it! That's disgusting! That meatball makes me sick!"
And one last link. We all remember when Roddy Piper smashed the coconut over Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's head during a torturous interview on Piper's Pit. But do you remember this one? It's the rowdy one interviewing the aforementioned scrub wrestler Frankie Williams. Definitely worth checking out. Incredible!
"Just when they think they got the answers, I change the questions." - Roddy Piper