Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Remember “Gillberg?”

Before I get started, I figure I should give credit where credit’s due and thank my brother for reminding me of this retarded episode in wrestling history.

Anyway, for those who are unaware, the puny and borderline mentally deficient individual you see marching down the ramp in the clip above is professional wrestler Duane Gill AKA Gillberg.

Throughout his career, Duane Gill belonged to a special fraternity in the wrestling industry that is referred to that of the “enhancement talent.”

That is to say, his mission upon stepping into the ring, was to put other wrestlers over, to lose to them and enhance their image in the process.

Operating in numerous tag teams and as a soloist under his real name, Gill served as a staple of the WWF’s jobber division throughout the 90’s, even getting drafted into The J.O.B. Squad, a stable made up entirely of talented jobbers such as Hardcore Holly and Al Snow.

During this time, The J.O.B. Squad members all achieved a certain level of notoriety, leading to Hardcore Holly being given his own faction in the form of a team-up with Crash and Molly Holly, Al Snow being shoveled gimmicky storyline after gimmicky storyline in an attempt to somehow keep him relevant, not the least of which being that one time he fought himself in a hardcore match.

That was awesome by the way.

Duane Gill however, at least for a brief moment in time, went on to bigger and better things.

In 1997, WCW introduced to the world a wrestler that was arguably the only superstar the organization ever raised from the ground up under Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo.

That man, was Bill Goldberg.

Just so we’re clear, that was awesome.

In short, during his prime, Goldberg was the hottest thing going in WCW.

He was an unstoppable force that went undefeated in 173 consecutive matches, a marketing angle that has rarely been attempted, let alone successfully.

In response to Goldberg’s popularity, the WWF decided to create a puny parody of the character in the form of casting Duane Gill as “Gillberg.”

As you might have guessed from the clip at the top of this post, Gillberg was a total fucking joke.

His entrance laughably mocked every aspect of Goldberg’s right down to the sparklers and fire extinguishers in place of legitimate pyrotechnics.

His wrestling style could be described as “squirrel-y” at best.

Despite this, Duane Gill’s jobber skills made him fun to watch on occasion, largely due to the flexibility of his undersized frame.

Take a look here at his match with Essa Rios AKA “That One Talented Guy That Was Popular For About 5 minutes But Ultimately Became Overshadowed By His Escort, Lita“:

Both WCW and the WWF would create numerous parody characters of each other’s talent in a decidedly lowbrow attempt to chip away at their rival’s reputation, but in my eyes, Gillberg was one of the more successful attempts.

Week to week, Gillberg would come out, be pathetic, and make people laugh, however unlike WCW’s “Oklahoma,” Gillberg would do so without doing harm to anyone’s reputation.

He was a mockery of Goldberg, yes; but at the end of the day he was just a clown, plain and simple.

That being said, due largely in part to a lack of interest/competition in the Light Heavyweight division at the time, (these days it doesn’t even exist) Gillberg actually managed to acquire the Light Heavyweight Championship at one point.

Oddly enough, said lack of interest in the division resulted in Gillberg carrying the belt for well over a year, making him the longest reigning Light Heavyweight in WWF history.

So there you have it:

Gillberg, the pitiful jobber who was a joke from beginning to end, yet somehow managed to achieve a historic title reign.

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Remember When Vince Russo Ran WCW Into The Ground?

The above clip was a moment of wrestling history that I was not fortunate to have seen live, but one that affected me in my youth nonetheless.

Actually, it wasn’t really this moment specifically, but rather the era in which it took place in as a whole.

It was the year 2000, and the modern generation of WCW had pretty much run it’s course.

All through the 90’s, my brother and I had spent our Monday evenings clicking back and forth between WCW and the WWF, but by 2000; it became increasingly apparent that WCW was rapidly losing it’s audience.

Many reasons have been cited as to the cause of WCW’s demise, though most would agree that poor management and booking were chief among them.

Despite boasting an immensely talented roster of wrestlers that were often capable of outperforming the WWF stable, the most visible reasons WCW failed; at least to me, were the fact that the writing was vastly inferior, and there were far too many older, big name wrestlers that were being paid too much to do too little.

Seriously man, as much publicity and brand recognition as guys like Hulk Hogan can bring you, at the end of the day if they take the biggest paycheck and only wrestle once a month; it’s probably not gonna’ be worth your while to rely on them to sell your program.

That being said, one of the other commonly known elements of FAIL that contributed to WCW’s downfall, was a booker named Vince Russo.

Formerly in the WWF’s employ, Vince Russo is regarded as having been instrumental in the rise of the WWF during the Attitude Era with his chaotic and consumately MTV/Jerry Springer-style of writing.

Despite bringing the same “edginess” of his WWF writing to WCW, for whatever reason; it just didn’t work.

Under Russo, character arcs moved uncomfortably fast, titles changed frequently to the point of making them irrelevant, and to top it all off; David Arquette was given the opportunity to own the world title, however briefly.

To this day, I STILL don't know how he became famous...

For those keeping score, that last part is regarded as one of the darker moments in wrestling history.

Anyway, the clip above is from Bash at the Beach 2000 in which Jeff Jarrett lays down before Hulk Hogan, resulting in Hogan cussing out Russo and the WCW as a whole for their insolence.

From what I understand, this whole operation was basically a sloppy means to remove Hogan from the company due to his excessive  price tag.

It worked, but not without the instigation of a few FCC violations.

Apparently, Hogan refused to lose the aforementioned match against Jarrett, (I don’t blame him. Jeff Jarrett’s a piece of shit.) ordering a rewrite as per a creative control clause in his contract.

Anyway, after Hogan’s blow-up, Russo would surprise everyone by coming out and proceeding deliver his own profanity ridden, unscripted promo:

That’s what I call professionalism!

While Hulk Hogan did in fact get the boot from WCW, this silly wildly over-the-top gesture proved to be for naught, as WCW would end up folding within the next year.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Now, for something stupid:

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