Anyone who watched the end of Raw Monday night saw The Miz come out dressed up like The Rock and viciously attack his Wrestlemania 27 opponent, John Cena. Even though it was quite obvious who it was from the get go, the comedy of the gag stretched far past the impersonation, adding another depth to the growing persona of The Miz.
That got me thinking about some of the best pro wrestling mockeries and impersonations wrestlers have pulled on each other. While DX is clearly the king of these shenanigans (and The Rock being the butt end as well), some other worthy acts popped back up on my radar. When used sparingly and written sharply, the mock segment can be one of the most effective tools in advancing mic skills, collecting audience approval, and adding substance and variety to the brute and brawn of most pro wrestling feuds. Please, relive some of my personal favorites.
[adinserter block=”2″]1. Degeneration X as Nation of Domination – Forget just impersonations, this ranks as one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on WWE programming. Everything was on point here; Road Dogg and his D-Lo Brown head bobble, Triple H‘s painted on eyebrow and stylistic mannerisms of The Rock, and even Jason Sensation mimicking the late Owen Hart, whose voice work was uncanny. And let’s not forget having X-Pac, one of the smallest athletes at the time, dress up in black face as Mark Henry, one of the largest athletes in the company. Even though Bad Ass as The Godfather was forgettable, it still didn’t matter. The sketch was short and succinct, the zingers were fresh and all the guys looked like they had tons of fun performing it.
2. Degeneration X as The Corporation – In what felt kind of like sequel, this wasn’t nearly as funny as the NOD skit, but Jason Sensation returned, this time as Shawn Michaels, and really stole the show. Surprisingly, X-Pac’s Ken Shamrock was funny for different reasons…he channeled the psychotic rage of a large, hulking Shamrock and did it with conviction. Road Dogg’s Vince McMahon was decent, but once again Bad Ass brought up the rear with his half-assed version of Shane-O-Mac. Even though the skit as a whole was exaggerated and cartoonish, DX did a serviceable job dressing down the vilified Corporation.
3. The Undertaker as Kane – I loved this one…Undertaker carbon copied some of Kane’s signature moves from back in the day, with everything from his stiff uppercut to his flying right hand to his rope mechanics. While not a comedic element, masked Kane was always one of the more convincingly scary characters in the company, so the ruse makes this all the more powerful to an audience seeing Triple H getting beat like a rag doll. It’s just too bad Kane can’t get back his old school look. Equally impressive was the makeup work in this role reversal, Kane as Undertaker.
4. nWo as The Four Horsemen – The impressions aren’t all that accurate but the extreme caricatures of Ric Flair (Syxx; man, Sean Waltman is all over these parodies) and Arn Anderson (Kevin Nash) make this so bad that’s it’s good. The one liners are just as ridiculous: Flair’s jab of “You know, I’m out here screamin’ at the top of my lungs and I don’t even know why! WOOO!” and Anderson on being approached by a heavyset groupie, “Same fat broads that’ve been followin’ the Horsemen for 20 years!” Unfortunately, this predates the original DX run of parodies, so I’m thinking when Waltman left for the WWF to join DX he brought this idea with him. Even if it’s considered the rough draft, taking down the Horsemen’s credibility with those screen printed t-shirts at the end would have been worth the price of admission. Part 2 here.
[adinserter block=”1″]5. Blue World Order as Hogan, Nash and Hall (nWo) – I’d be remiss without mentioning the bWo, ECW’s parody version of the newly formed New World Order in WCW. Part of the allure was that this was kind of a risky move for the company—if there is one thing that old school ECW fans don’t like, it’s inviting the mainstream into their brand of wrestling, and you don’t get much more mainstream than Hulk Hogan. We could have used less of Stevie Richards on the mic and more of The Blue Meanie’s hilarious Scott Hall rendition. His psych up move gets me every time. Also, props to Joey styles on Meanie: “and that’s a chicken bone in his mouth!”
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