5 Most Traumatic WWE Moments Of The Early 90's
I grew up in the 1980s. Long before bicycle helmets became a requirement, we would spend our summer days outside, playing baseball, and sliding into home with shorts on.
When we didn't have a field to play in, we would play in the streets, only stopping the game to make way for oncoming traffic.
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We skinned our knees, came home with bruises, played with fireworks, went swimming on our own, and spent our days exploring.
Well before cell phones came into existence, we lived on a dream and imagination. Long before Al Gore invented the internet, our parents rolled up their sleeves and worked themselves out of the lackluster Carter economy. We waited all week for Saturday morning cartoons and along with them, professional wrestling.
We had WWF Superstars on Saturday morning and WWF Wrestling Challenge on Sunday. Both one-hour programs were directly marketed to children.
Along with GI Joe, Masters of the Universe, and Thundercats, they were a regular part of our cartoon regimen.
We were quite aware that the tale of Prince Adam was a fable, but, to us, professional wrestling was very much real.
The word 'kayfabe' was never uttered and we didn't have online dirt sheets to reveal (and ruin) plot lines. Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior were larger than life superheroes, but unlike Superman and Batman, the WWE's dynamic duo were not confined to a fictional universe.
To us, they were very much real and always inevitably confounded the forces of evil. Often led by the likes of Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase, evil did its best, but ultimately good prevailed and all was right with the world, at least on our early morning weekend television sets.
Vince McMahon (whom we thought was only an announcer) didn't have a publicly traded company and had fewer advertisers to appease. The WWE television of the early 1990s would never be marketed to children of today.
The company wouldn't be able to get it passed focus groups and the letter writing campaigns of angry suburban moms would be enough to cause advertisers to put pressure on the company to change its ways. Things have certainly changed since then.
In the early 90s, there were moments that were truly shocking and left WWE's viewers (mostly children) with jaws agape.
Some of the most shocking moments could even be described as traumatic. We didn't have the internet to go to for comfort or spoilers.
The most traumatic moments were left as cliffhangers, at the end of a one hour show. We had to wait another seven days to find out what happened next. Seven days is a long time for the imagination, especially the imaginings of children.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as I unpack the 5 Most Traumatic WWE Moments of the Early '90s.
#5 The Ultimate Warrior Is Cursed
The Ultimate Warrior was Parts Unknown's answer to Hulk Hogan and he had some interesting things to say, I think.
To put it simply, much of what he said was unintelligible. We didn't really need to understand him because he wore blindingly bright neon, ran like a bat out of hell, and made an amazing Hasbro action figure. That was enough for us.
Warrior was almost always associated with the bizarre. He once mumbled on about tearing open a cockpit door and crashing Hulkamania's proverbial plane. This was before the 9/11 era, of course, and before the company was publicly traded.
Warrior once talked about nightmares being the best part of his day and pontificated on the joys of being run over by a lawnmower. After a barely clothed man in tassels openly talks about his penchant for torture, there isn't much left to shock us, right?
Enter Papa Shango. Better known for his role as The Godfather during the Attitude Era, Charles Wright first entered the WWE landscape as a terrifying voodoo priest.
The 330-pound Shango would make his way to the ring while donning a top hat, a skull that would ooze smoke, and a terrifying magical staff. His body would gyrate uncontrollably. He was our version of American Horror Story's Papa Legba, only he arrived on the scene twenty plus years earlier and dominated a children's show.
Even more terrifyingly, Shango's opponents seemed to be under a voodoo curse and Shango would vanquish the vast majority of them with relative ease. Surely this voodoo magic wouldn't work on The Ultimate Warrior, or so we thought.
Even the Warrior; however, wasn't safe from Shango's encroaching black magic. The Ultimate Warrior took to to an episode of WWE Superstars to assure children all over the world that he and his little Warriors were safe from Papa Shango's evil spells.
Warrior actually went as far as to say that his Warriors (adoring young fans) were the force behind his inability to be cursed. That's when all hell broke loose.
Suddenly, The Ultimate Warrior, under Shango's curse, began bleeding from his forehead. Of course, he didn't have normal red blood. His green lifeblood dripped all over his brand new WWF jacket. That alone was traumatic. Do you know how expensive that merchandise was?
The announcers screamed, "What is that? Where did that come from? What's going on." The crowd went silent, as children became painfully aware that despite what their Warrior had just said, they were actually powerless against Papa Shango and the forces of darkness.
Children looking for assurance from The Ultimate Warrior found none. Instead, Warrior's blood now turned red, dripped onto his palms. A mesmerized Warrior simply screamed, "Warrior," as the segment came to an end and children all around the world found their way to therapy.