These Three Wrestlers Aren't That Bad

I might turn this into a regular thing where I list three random wrestlers/bands/movies unjustly traduced by headlong, expressive fans.  Today, professional wrasslers are on the docket.  Observe as I continue to curtail my chances of ever finding a soulmate.

GIANT GONZALEZ (seen here exchanging catty glances with God)

Well, this pick shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me on an uncomfortably personal level.  Gonzalez served his purpose at Wrestlemania 9.  He provided the PPV with spectacle, a long-forgotten component of sports entertainment.  The match wasn't an emulous rumpus (you'll have to trust me on that one), but it didn't need to be an amateur wrestling exhibition.  It was stapled to the card to make children coo with awe and stupefaction.  Hell, that's why Gonzalez was brought in from WCW in the first place.  I will concede that the 7-foot-6 human narwhal was not a supple cruiserweight, but lately, I've been reading quibbles that send soldier ants marching into my pecker hole.

Whenever The Great Khali (or The Punjabi Playboy, if you prefer...puke) fumbles his way through a match on Raw, smart marks convene to allege that "he still isn't as bad as Giant Gonzales."  Woah.  I'm seeing this bullshit way too much.  Jorge (the man behind the gimmick) could actually move in his younger days.  Khali has never been able to execute a dropkick, much less a competent vertical suplex.  Moreover, the former El Gigante had a responsive (you might even call it "demonstrative") face, which helped him get over with dimwit rednecks.  Inferior to Khali?  African-American, please.

PHANTASIO (seen here administering a magical armbar)

1995 was the year of stillborn characters, at least for the World Wrestling Federation.  The majority of these gambits deserved to miscarry, but I always thought that Phantasio had some modicum of potential.  What was his deal?  He was a wrestling magician.  Think less "Criss Angel mindfreak" and more "the guy you hire for birthday parties."  Sure, the tricks were corny, but the crowd dug his act.  If you look up his match on YouTube, you'll notice that he didn't struggle to secure a babyface reaction.  Yes, I used the singular form, as Phantasio's TV debut conjointly functioned as his swan song.

Did he spurn Pat Patterson's advances?  Did he despoil an underage Stephanie McMahon?  Did he give the rest of the locker room nightmares (look at him, for Christ's sake)?  Who knows?  The New Generation Era was kid-friendly, so I have no doubt that Phantasio would have prospered in the midcard.  It's somewhat baffling that he didn't go on to compete for WCW.  Speak of the devil...

DISORDERLY CONDUCT (seen here understanding each other's plight)

Tough Tom and Mean Mike, the most insignificant tag team of the Monday Night Wars.  They had a habit of facing off against towering scamps in handicap matches.  And losing.  If I'm not mistaken, Tough Tom was also a member of The Texas Hangmen, a separate jobber tag team.  While it's true that the lads in Disorderly Conduct were not that fucking bad, their subsumption is primarily comedic in nature.  There, I admitted it.  I can't imagine an overwhelming number of people absorbing this whole column.

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