March 30, 2006
Where are they now? A look back at WrestleMania 13's stars
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling
As WWE readies itself for WrestleMania XXII, the exaggerations are once again
starting to roll in.
Among these nicknames are some that are pretty truthful, such as the "SuperBowl
of Wrestlinng." Others, such as "The Grandaddy of Them All" and
"The Greatest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment" are debatable.
One moniker that has stuck out, at least in this writer's opinion, is that
'Mania is, "where legends are born." If you look at WrestleMania XIII -- the last one held in Chicago -- this statement looks to be very true.
Looking up and down the roster, there are numerous examples of grapplers who
went on to become big stars in the industry. This includes eight wrestlers who
went on to capture the top title in either the WWF or WCW, five of which had
not had previous title runs.
Of course, not everyone can come out of 'Mania a champion. There truly have
been some dissapointing post-WMXIII careers.
Let's now take a look back at what happened in the careers of WrestleMania
Match 1: 4 Corners Elimination #1 Contenders match: Headbangers (Mosh/Thrasher)
vs The Godwins (Henry O. Godwin/Phineas I. Godwin) vs Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon
vs The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Bradshaw/Blackjack Windham).
Where are they now?
Mosh - Following the breakup of the tag team, Mosh became Beaver
Cleavage and later Chaz in two less than memorable gimmicks in WWE, the latter
of which involved a domestic abuse element. He was let go before WrestleMania
Thrasher - Glen Ruth suffered a career-ending injury during the Headbangers'
run in the Fed and was released in the late 1990s.
Henry O. Godwin - Though seemingly put out of commission in 1998 after
suffering a neck injury, H.O.G. has recently resurfaced in Ohio Valley Wrestling,
leading to speculation that he'd be back with the Fed.
Phineas I. Godwin - Though the Godwins gimmick would soon become Southern
Justice, Phineas stayed with the Fed long after his partner was forced to retire.
He became the first member of the Ministry as Mideon. His run would include
a European Title reign. After the (Corporate) Ministry dissolved, Mideon fell
into a streaker gimmick, one that didn't last long. Since then, Godwin has made occasional indy appearances.
Doug Furnas - The team of Furnas and LaFon had a decent but brief run
in WWE, unfortunately becomindg just a footnote in WWE's history. Following
this run, the two went to ECW. Furnas retired a few years ago after a career-ending
Philip LaFon - LaFon, now a Calgary resident, has taken on a few indie
bookings here and there since he and teammate Doug Furnas were forced to go
their separate ways following Furnas' injury.
Blackjack Bradshaw - Oh how this story took twists and turns. Bradshaw
went from wannabe cowboy (which was just a variation of his original gimmick),
to a member of the Ministry in the Acolyte tag team with Faarooq (Ron Simmons). The two would
later become the APA (Acolyte Protection Agency) as beer-swilling bodies for
hire. Bradshaw would eventually turn on his comrade and become JBL. Through
all this, Bradshaw, aka John Layfield, has held multiple titles, including
the Tag Team belts (with Faarooq), the Hardcore title and the WWE Championship.
Blackjack Windham - It wasn't long before Windham turned on his partner
and joined up with a returning Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett, ironically, was becoming
the head of an NWA faction and Windham was the proverbial enforcer. The group
wasn't long for the WWE, and Windham was soon released. He had a brief return
to WCW before retirement.
Match 2: WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rocky Mavia vs The Sultan.
Where are they now?
Rocky Maivia - Not very long after this contest, Rocky seemingly dissappeared,
emerging some time later as part of the Nation of Domination. Soon, he would
oust Faarooq as the leader of the organization and become one of the most recognizable
faces of the Fed during the Attitude Era. Becoming The Rock, Maivia would hold
the Triple Crown of the WWE (Heavyweight, Intercontinental and Tag Team titles).
He also broke into the movie business with a role in The Mummy series as The
Scorpion King. Though he has not officially announced his retirement from the
ring, Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) has not been on WWE TV in quite some time.
The Sultan - The Sultan would soon return to the desert and re-emerge
as a sumo wrestler. This sumo wrestler, known as Rikishi Phatu, would eventually
become a rump-shaking dance machine. Released by WWE only a couple years ago,
"Keesh" now runs a wrestling organization in Italy and has made a
few appearances at North American indie shows.
Match 3: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Goldust.
Where are they now?
Hunter Hearst Helmsley - Oh what became of the Greenwich blueblood you ask?
Well, he stayed with his female bodyguard, and soon the two found an ally in
a Playgirl model. He would later abandon this partner for a sex-tape star, a
mooner and an SOB (Son of a Bullet). Again, he would turn his back on his loyal
friends and join a millionaire and a deadman's crew, only to later marry said
millionaire's daughter in a Vegas wedding. With sledgehammer in tow, the two
would later divorce after a variety of shenanigans, including almost losing
his pet bulldog. On his own, he would have sex with a mannequin, repeatedly
beat up an announcer and have bodybuilding contests. Later, he would team up
with a Nature Boy, a third-generation superstar and a former nightclub bouncer.
Again, however, in turn he'd abandon his loyal friends. Now, this man who has
held every major title in WWE history, returns to Chicago to try to reclaim
a title he has held on numerous occasions. Yes, this man is our dear friend,
Triple H, aka Mr. Stephanie McMahon.
Goldust - After 'Mania, Goldust took a few twists and turns. Along the
way through his first WWE run, he would become a bizzaro version of the character,
joining up with Luna Vachon. This period included a brief run as Stardust, which
was a send up of a masked character his father had in the NWA. Eventually, Goldust
would dissappear and Dustin Runnels would emerge. This didn't last long, naturally.
After a few more struggling months, Goldust was released and was headed to WCW,
where he was slated to be a mysterious character known as Se7en. The character
never made it to the light of day, however. Runnels would eventually come to
WCW TV simply as Dustin Rhodes, and at one point even teamed with his father
in a feud against Jeff Jarrett. When WCW folded, Runnels would head to Dusty's
Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling promotion. Soon, however, he would return
to WWE and form a very successful tag team with Booker T. Once the team split,
however, Goldust got lost in the shuffle. His only claim to fame during this
latter part of this run was an electocucion angle that somehow resulted in him
getting Tourette's syndrome. After the second run with WWE, Runnels spent a brief
amount of time in TNA before returning to WWE in 2005, once accompanying Coach
during his bout with Batista at Taboo Tuesday, and later gaining a full-time
contract, starting at the Royal Rumble.
Match 4: WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs Vader & Mankind
Where are they now?
Owen Hart - Despite being one of the most popular heels of the 1990s, Hart
was unable to capture the WWF Heavyweight Championship. He did, however, hold
every other major title (save for the Hardcore belt) he was eligible for before
passing away tragically in 1999 during an entrance stunt at Over the Edge.
British Bulldog - Along with Hart, Davey Boy Smith would join Bret Hart
in the Hart Foundation almost immediately after 'Mania. He would stay in this
crew, along with Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman until the Survivor Series, when
he left the Fed in protest of what happened on that faithful night in Montreal.
Along the way, Smith would hold the European and Tag Team titles with Owen.
Smith would join Bret in WCW, but his stay would be uneventful. Injured in a
match due to a trap door in the ring, Smith found himself released by WCW and
in dire straights. Eventually, he would return to WWE in pursuit of the Heavyweight
Title, but his run there would be brief. Sadly, after years of drug abuse, Smith
passed away a couple years ago, a few nights after teaming with his son, Harry
Smith for the first time, at an independent show in Manitoba.
Vader - Some say Vader never got a fair shot in the WWF. They may very
well be right. After teaming with Mankind, Vader did little of note in the Fed
before leaving in the late 1990s. He would head over to Japan where he became
one of the top foreigners in the Far East. Though he has wrestled sparsely in
North America in this decade, he did make two appearances with WWE in a supporting
role for Coach in the mini-feud with Batista.
Mankind - Well let's see... he won three WWF Heavyweight Championships,
was the first-ever Hardcore Champion, was a Tag Team champion with both Terry
Funk and The Rock, battled Undertaker in the infamous Hell in the Cell match,
assumed the role of Dude Love for two brief periods, brought Cactus Jack to
the WWF, served as the WWF's commissioner, wrote two best-selling autobiographies
and three fiction books...yep, looks like Mick Foley had a pretty good run.
Too bad we can't say the same about his partner. Foley will be at WrestleMania this year, battling Edge.
Match 5: Submission I Quit match: Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs "Stone Cold"
Where are they now?
Bret Hart - After 'Mania, Bret turned on the U.S. fans and launched into
a heated feud with Austin. The feud, unfortunately, would be moved around as
The Patriot (Del Wilkes) entered the picture to counter Hart. Later, Hart would
feud with The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, during which time he held the WWF
Heavyweight Title. By year's end, Hart was in WCW, where he would hold multiple
titles including the WCW World Heavyweight Title and the United States title
before retiring. Anything else? Well, there was Survivor Series in Montreal,
an errant thrust kick that caused his retirement, a horrible stroke,
divorce and remarriage, a run as Aladdin in Toronto... oh yeah, and he's being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his opponent at this particular 'Mania.
Steve Austin - As if the story needs to be told. One of the top headliners
in wrestling history, Austin became the face of the WWF, quite literally, midway
through this match. Though he has never retired from wrestling, his in-ring
career has pretty much concluded. However, Austin has been with WWE over the
last couple years in a guest-spot capacity, some of which have been smoother
than others. In any case, Austin is on good terms with the Fed, will be inducting
Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday and is set to start filming a movie
for WWE Films.
Match 6: Chicago Street Fight: Amhed Johnson & Legion Of Doom (Hawk/Animal) vs The Nation Of Domination (Faarooq/Crush/Savio Vega)
Where are they now?
Ahmed Johnson - Johnson would soon become a member of the NoD. His stay
wouldn't last long, however in WWE. Like many send-offs, Johnson would eventually
come to WCW as Big T. Here, Johnson would team with Booker T's brother, Stevie
Ray, and soon engage in a meaningless feud with the "Bookerman" over
the right to have the letter T in their names. Soon after this debacle, Johnson
would leave WCW and wrestling.
Hawk - The L.O.D. would stick around the WWF for some time after 'Mania,
including one final run with the titles. After being dubbed the O.L.D. by the
New Age Outlaws, the team would start a downward spiral, which included a gimmick
that included Hawk hitting the bottle. The Road Warriors, now joined by Darren
Drozdov, arguably reached their low-point here and soon left the Fed. The team
would return for one final match in the new millenium, mere weeks before Hawk
Animal - The suriving Road Warrior has come back to the Fed, teaming
recently with John Heidenreich before venturing off on his own and entering
into a biker-esque gimmick that he uses today. Since WMXIII, Animal had one other solo run. That one took place in WCW, close to its demise.
Faarooq - As noted earlier, Faarooq was eventually ousted from the Nation
of Domination by The Rock. He would later team with Bradshaw and become a popular
figure in the Fed. Once the team split, however, due to the brand extention,
Faarooq was pretty much a lost soul. The team would eventually re-unite, however,
for a brief time before the man known to most as Ron Simmons would retire from
wrestling just a couple years ago. He works for WWE in a public relations role now.
Crush - Crush went from ex-convict to the leader of the Disciples of
Apocalypse shortly after 'Mania. His stay in this role would be short-lived,
however, as he left WWE following the Survivor Series. He would soon join WCW
and become part of the nWo in a less than memorable run, and have an even less
memorable run as the initial KISS Demon, before being replaced by Dale Torborg.
Eventually, Crush, now known as Brian Adams, would team with Bryan Clark to
become Kronik. The two were a dominant force in WCW's tag team division and
were picked up by WWE in the WCW purchase, though they would quickly find themselves
without work. Adams hasn't been heard from virtually since he was let go by
Savio Vega - Like Crush, Vega soon departed the N.O.D. and formed Los
Boriquas. The run here was notable in the WWF Gang Wars, but was not a long-lasting
proposition. Vega later returned to Puerto Rico, where he is now still in "the
Match 7: WWF Championship: Undertaker vs Psycho Sid.
Where are they now?More on WrestleMania 13
More on WrestleMania 22
Undertaker - The Deadman's story is a bit twisted to say the least. Soon
after 'Mania, we would start to learn about 'Taker's brother, Kane. The two
would battle, or team up (depending on what day of the week it was) on and off
until 2004. In the interim, 'Taker became a quasi-Antichrist as leader of the
Ministry, a biker and an American Patriot before returning to his original gimmick.
Throughout this time, 'Taker has had numerous feuds with top WWE stars such
as Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mankind, Brock Lesnar and others. He held
the tag team titles and World Heavyweight title on numerous occasions in this
span, while maintaining his undefeated streak at WrestleMania.
Psycho Sid - Not long for WWE following this run, in part due to softball,
Sid would find himself back in WCW under his old moniker of Sid Vicious. Touted
as the company's Millenium Man, Vicious would hold the WCW World Heavyweight
Title during (what looks to be) his final major run. Near the end of the Atlanta-based
company's run, Vicious would injure his ankle in one of the more gruesome sights
in the company's history. The injury, thought to be career-ending, would keep
Sid on the sidelines for quite some time. Determined to come back, however,
Vicious has made a few indy appearances over the last couple years.
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WWE - The History of WrestleMania DVD
Since WM14, Jon Waldman has attained a high school diploma, two university
degrees and a cult-like following in his wrestling, sports and other writing.
The SLAM! Stat-Master has also transferred between Winnipeg and Toronto. For
more on Jon, visit www.jonwaldman.com.