Man, I don’t know if it’s just nostalgia blinding me or if things really were different way back when, but it seems like heel mannerisms — the little actions or details that set one wrestler apart from another — are a lost art these days in the WWE.
Sure, Daniel Bryan has his “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant, and sometimes Dolph Ziggler does a handstand during his matches. But I can remember the trademark mannerisms of so many more bad guys from the 1980s WWF scene. For example:
- “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff flicking the sweat off his brow onto a vanquished opponent.
- Ravishing Rick Rude doing his “What I’d like to have right now…” announcement followed by his male stripper gyrations before each and every match.
- Barry O — uncle of Randy Orton and brother of Cowboy Bob Orton — standing on the middle rope and playing orchestra conductor as the crowd chanted, “Boring! Boring!” during his prelim matches. Anyone who attended a WWF house at the old Boston Garden in 1985 will remember O’s act.
- The Iron Sheik saying, “Camera man, zoom it,” before doing a ridiculous bodybuilding pose.
- His partner, Nikolai Volkoff, singing the Soviet national anthem before matches, back when the former USSR was a constant, yet vague, threat to the United States.
- Mr. Fuji throwing ceremonial salt in the corner prior to the bell ringing for a bout.
- King Kong Bundy’s great five-count gimmick, during which he made the ref slap the mat five times instead of three when Bundy pinned a jobber.
- An overweight Playboy Buddy Rose doing a one-armed push-up.
- Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s crazy cackle while he stroked his equally crazy goatee.
- Mr. Perfect spitting his gum out and slapping it into the crowd before locking up with opponents.
I know I’m missing other ’80s heels here. Help me out in the comments section…