I can’t believe it’s already been a year since Roddy Piper passed away. He was as big a personality in the world of entertainment as he was in wrestling. But for every They Live or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia memorable part that Piper had a hand in, there were other lesser-known roles that he was just as entertaining in. Such is the case in this episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. RIP Hot Rod.
With Netflix recently announcing that they’ve ordered a comedy series based on everybody’s favorite female wrestling league from the 80’s: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), I figured I’d finally get around to reviewing the quintessential 80’s women’s wrestling movie, American Angels: Baptism of Blood.
Some people stand in the darkness. Afraid to step into the light. Some people need to help somebody, when the edge of surrender’s in sight. When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside, you gotta take a stand it don’t help to hide. I am a real American. Forever and always, I’m always here.
Just as I was able to seamlessly mash up “Real American” and “I’m Always Here”, so were the producers of Baywatch who brought together two of the most popular, half naked, blondes of the 90’s.
In the late 80’s/early 90’s, Hulk Hogan wasn’t the only household wrestling name when it came to outside film and TV projects. In fact, Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura were in A LOT better movies than Hogan was. I’ll always choose Jesse Ventura in The Running Man over any Hogan vehicle, except for maybe No Holds Barred. That movie is an undeniable classic to seven-year-old me. And Roddy Piper is basically pro wrestling’s Samuel L. Jackson, he’ll take any role so long as the check clears. As of this writing he has five projects in post-production.Yet, Ventura and Piper’s combined star power wasn’t enough to get their one-hour pilot, Tag Team, picked up for a full season. Which is a shame when you consider Thunder in Paradise ran for 22 episodes.
Peter Engel, famed TV producer who brought us Saved by the Bell and California Dreams decided he needed to extend beyond suburbia and reach these keeds living in the big city. Basically, AC Slater and Lisa Turtle weren’t “urban” enough so out came City Guys in 1997. City Guys was a more diverse Saved by the Bell set in the concrete jungle of New York City. This particular episode came out in 1999 during the height of the Attitude Era and features ECW’s Rob Van Dam.
If you’re a regular live-tweeter during Raw or WWE “special events”, or if you’re someone who just happens to peruse the twitter timeline of WWE-themed hashtags, chances are you might’ve stumbled across tweets from Melissa Joan Hart, A.K.A. Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All A.K.A. Sabrina from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, in which she tweets about said WWE-themed hashtags.
And if you’re anything like me, you instantly started following her on Twitter because her love of wrestling instantly made you forget about her Who’s the Boss? reimagining Melissa & Joey. Turns out Melissa’s love of wrestling might date back to the Attitude Era when she wrestled Billy Gunn on an episode of Sabrina.
80’s Television. It was nonsensical, over the top, cheesy, and most of all, terribly awesome. So it would make sense that a show like The A-Team would have wrestling’s Hulk Hogan guest star as wrestling’s Hulk Hogan. This episode alone could serve as the sole time capsule that epitomizes everything 80’s about 80’s TV shows.
What’s wrestling without its larger than life characters? It’s the only medium outside of a comic book where clowns, space travelers, battling cats, and mythical man-beasts can all do battle in the name of good vs. evil. Sometimes those characters are so much more larger than life that they exist outside the parameters that govern the real world, and extend to the great beyond. Or somewhere great beyond adjacent. These paranormal grapplers may call upon the spirit of the dead, live off of human blood for sustenance, worship the devil himself, or just like Bray Wyatt showed us at Hell in a Cell, produce hologram images via possessed lanterns. And as cool or absurd as it might seem at first if it’s at least moderately successful, like all other wrestling gimmicks, it’ll certainly be done to death (Thank you, thank you).