Corporal Kirchner failed to wow the WWF audience as a military hero

In the mid-1980s, the WWF started to lose some of its early icons who were big just as the national expansion began. Yes, Hulk Hogan was the star, but right underneath him playing important babyface roles were Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Sgt. Slaughter.

When Snuka left the federation, Vince McMahon tried to replace him with look-a-like “Superfly” Sivi Afi, but the problem was Afi didn’t have the charisma or unique moves of Snuka, so the fans turned on him.

When Slaughter left for the AWA and the short-lived Pro Wrestling USA, McMahon again tried and failed to create a copycat American hero: Corporal Kirchner.

The WWF claimed Kirchner was a member of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division — I have no idea if that’s true. Regardless, Kirchner also suffered from a lack of ring presence and working ability. He was not smooth in the ring and seemed to be one of those wrestlers, kind of like WWE diva Kaitlyn, who didn’t quite click while working.

The crowds didn’t turn on him like they did Afi, but you won’t find any records of classic battles, such as the Slaughter-Iron Sheik boot camp match, under Kirchner’s name.

Kirchner eventually left the WWF and had more success long-term working for some of the Japanese hard-core promotions, such as W*ING, as the character Leatherface.

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One comment

  1. modew's manager

    Foley tells the story of Kirchner teaming as one of two Leatherfaces (his gimmick had been given to someone else while he was serving a jail term) in a hardcore match. After the match, he ripped a piece off a bed of nails, placed it on Hiroshi Ono’s neck and dropped a leg on it.
    Then he powerbombed Ono on what was left on the nailbed.
    Nice guy.

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