I figured as Wally George came up during the review of wrestling on the Morton Downey Jr. Show that I’d have a look at some of the appearances of wrestlers on his show. Wally was a loudmouth ultra-conservative who comes across as a total raspberry-blowing buffoon, but totally knew how to whip up the crowds into a frenzy of uber-patriotic idiocy.
The first clip (above) is from Grunt! The Wrestling Movie. Yes, it’s fictional, but it’s no less fake than the “real” show. He shows a clip of a Russian wrestler dropkicking the head off an opponent. Of course, the opponent is a dummy, and because the wrestler is chubby he doesn’t hit all of it and they have to use a rope to pull the head off completely. Behind Wally, the American flag and a picture of a rocket taking off with the moniker “USA is #1”.
Wally has a DJ on who actually uses a record player to demonstrate a possible subliminal message. He gets dragged off. Then a so-called doctor, who looks like he’s an expert on chemicals and pharmaceuticals, furthers a storyline of “The Mask” being “Mad Dog Joe”. The Mask comes out with his manageress, with big hair and big boobs and a masked poodle. The Mask won’t open up about his identity, so they resort to wrestling on the table. Pretty ropy.
Next, infamously bad wrestler Don Ross, AKA Ripper Savage. As a bodybuilder he’s got a great physique, accentuated by a leather vest and chain, but he has a hairstyle that looks like a punk rock chicken. He’s not lacking for confidence and is a motormouth, but the insults are pretty lame (“You’ve got yourself a nice little group of idiots over here!”). Wally objects to him calling them animals, “you animal!”. Ripper gets philosophical: “Who is the bigger moron; the moron, or the moron who follows the moron?”.
Ripper has this weird way of squinting when he’s getting angry. He’s angry that Wally maligned wrestling. Wally takes about five minutes to spit out any responses, so they get into which one of them is a resident of West Hollywood and whether Wally wears a wig (I’m with it). He says that Wally George is Boy George’s grandfather, which might cancel out Wally being gay himself. Ripper has a tape of himself “wrestling”.
The tape shows a poorly strung together sequence of moves from a stomp to a nervehold to a backbreaker, which Ripper doesn’t know how to apply properly, but still gets the submission from. He threatens more of the same for Wally. All they have in common is a desire for money, while Ripper fights for it and Wally lies for it. They go to a break as Ripper takes his vest off to do some poses.
Ripper would come back again with shorter, totally blonde hair, and a female bodybuilder, Kay Baxter, as his bodyguard. She’s all in leather as well as a ridiculous pair of red goggles. She only seems to know how to move from pose to pose. Ripper has also either bleached or shaved off his eyebrows. He’s brought the bodyguard not to protect him but to protect everyone else from him. They go on about any man that’s weaker than a woman is wimp. They finish by posing together. Sadly, as cheesy as they were, both would be dead before they were out of their forties.
Next, a woman that’s bigger and stronger than most men, Dee Booher, AKA Queen Kong or Matilda the Hun. She was doing a lot of press when GLOW came out on Netflix about her offbeat wrestling and phone sex businesses. Total worker. She comes out to stripper music, with nobody showing much enthusiasm for her stripping. Wally’s not sure she’s even a female, with her rebutting that Wally wouldn’t know one if he saw one. He thinks she’s a disgrace to womanhood. She says she became a wrestler by beating up wimps like him and threatens to kick some ass right now. Wally comes round to talk her down and she’s taller than him when she stands up.
She’s followed by female wrestler Charli Haynes. She supports Queen Kong’s thoughts about women wrestling men. She wants to specifically wrestle older men, i.e. senior citizens, so how about Wally first? Good zinger! Wally says he won’t wrestle anyone older than himself. Charli talks about how she’s in love with him and would do anything to get hold of his body. Definitely not picky, that girl. He can’t complete a thought before the clip cuts off.
A combination of clips now, first with massive black wrestler the Harlem Warlord, not to be confused with Terry Szopinski. He stomps and growls his way onto the stage while looking like Bob Sapp if he trained on cheeseburgers, not the gas. He’s going to take the wig off Wally’s head and stick it up his ass. I believe they call that a slingback merkin. He says something that sounded good, but gets bleeped. Wally comes to the bizarre conclusion that he’s a transsexual. Warlord’s response is that Wally’s daughter is Boy George. What did O’Dowd keep on doing to upset people, except everything? Wally says that everything under Warlord’s jacket is flab, not muscle. Warlord responds by ripping it off and showing a big par of moobs, showing even Wally can be right every now and again.
Then the first Ripper Savage clip is replayed, but with the Grunt! footage over top.
Finally, XPW announcer Kris Kloss comes on to debate wrestling with Wally a few months before the latter kicked the bucket. Wally is much dilapidated by this point, with no energy. Kloss talks about how he wants Wally to push his audience to watch the XPW show, which is on the same channel. He acts all pervy when George talks about all the girls with their tits out. Kloss pushes Supreme and Sean Waltman, who by this point had taken a massive fall from being a champion for that group. Kloss gets his final push in by saying XPW is like nothing else and will be heading soon to PPV. Wally tells him he’s “outta here” as they finish the part. Kloss played along well as the stooge in this bit.
The Bottom Line: Hardly Dick Cavett talking to Orson Welles, but hopefully some of you will find him and his group of nuts amusing.