Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wrestlers of Yore: The Nasty Boys

You know those stupid mullet-hawks that have been all the rage among Tampa players and fans? Little has been said about the source of that product-of-a-low-sperm-count-buttfuck hairstyle, but I, your intrepid reporter, have cracked the case, and now present you with the inspiration behind the worst hair development since Flock of Seagulls was poisoning the radio airwaves:

The two men you see above are Brian Yandrisovitz and Jerome Saganovich, better known as Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags, who comprised the wrestling tag team “The Nasty Boys.”

You see, because Tampa is a low-rent joke of a town, Brian “Knobbs” serves as their unofficial mascot, sitting fourth row at every Rays game when he’s not babysitting the Hogan children (and we all know how well they turned out). Yes, the best celebrity that Tampa can muster is a fourth-rate wrestler who happens to be friends with Hulk Hogan, clinging to a moronic haircut in an effort to get independent wrestling bookings at the age of 44. So Tampa’s got that going for them.

But what made Brian Yandrisovitz famous in the first place? A resident of Allentown, Pennsylvania, the portly Yandrosivitz moved to Minnesota after high school to be trained by aging AWA promoter Verne Gagne. Yandrosivitz and high school friend Saganovich formed a tag team called “The Nasty Boys,” and adopted the Knobbs and Sags monikers. Due to the glory of ESPN Classic, I’ve been able to recently view the early career of the Nastys, and suffice to say, they sucked immensely. Sporting oversized cutoff T-Shirts with Jackson Pollock-esque stains, the Nastys weren’t especially solid technically, nor were they athletic enough to compete with the Midnight Rockers or the Rock N’ Roll Express, who were the top teams in the AWA at the time. Through their AWA tenure, the Nastys were Just Another Tag Team, not sticking out in any particular way. In fact, the only thing that made the Nastys stick out was their “Pit City” maneuver, in which one Nasty Boy would rub an opponent’s face into the exposed armpit of the other Nasty Boy. Classy.

Knobbs and Sags moved on to the dying Florida Championship Wrestling territory, developing a brawling style that helped them gain two tag team championships. They then moved on to World Championship Wrestling, where they feuded with the athletically superior Steiner Brothers, unable to wrest the United States Tag Team titles from them. Over time, the Nastys developed a reputation for being solid “brawlers” who worked “stiff,” which is to say that, rather than pulling their punches and strikes, the Nastys would actually hit their opponents very hard. Wrestler Mick Foley noted that the Nastys were “sloppy as hell and more than a little dangerous.”

From WCW, the Nastys moved onto the WWF, where they would most earn my personal ire under the managership of Jimmy Hart, the most annoying man on the planet. I have always been a fan of technically sound tag teams like the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs, as well as physically dominant teams like the Legion of Doom. Now here came a team of fat, out of shape heels with no discernable talent and dumb haircuts. So it was mentally traumatic to the young GHABB,Y when the Nastys defeated the Hart Foundation at Wrestlemania VII, cheating by bashing in Jim Neidhart's skull with a motorcycle helmet behind the referee's back. This outcome absolutely ruined an otherwise fun Wrestlemania for me, and I pouted for weeks that the bad guys had beaten my Hart Foundation.

Retribution came at Summerslam 1991, to this day my single favorite wrestling event in history. The Macho Man married Miss Elizabeth, Virgil won the Million Dollar Belt, Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior ended the Iraq War, the Mountie was forced to go to jail, and Bret Hart beat Mr. Perfect in the best wrestling match I’ve ever seen. But the cherry on the Awesome Cake was the Legion of Doom, owners of spiked shoulder pads and kickass face paint, winning the Tag Team titles from the dastardly Nasty Boys in a Street Fight.

From there, the Nastys would languish in both the WWF and WCW, feuding with such middling tag teams as Money Incorporated, the Blue Bloods and Pretty Wonderful. The Nastys’ nadir came at Fall Brawl 1995, where they lost to the American Males, who had a male stripper gimmick and dressed like this:

Outside of the ring, the Nastys were just as big a pair of douchebags as they came off on TV. They once jumped Ken Shamrock from behind after harassing a female friend of his at a nightclub. They turned a fake wrestling match against Scott Hall and Kevin Nash into a shoot, or a real fight, during a 1997 television taping. And worst of all, they once fought Ric Flair, the greatest human being currently walking the earth, in a Manhattan night club. Knobbs has been recently seen trying to soak up the last of his fifteen minutes of fame by making random appearances on “Hogan Knows Best” and at Tampa area sporting events, playing a bumbling, irresponsible goof in a constant state of arrested development. Not a huge stretch.

So when you watch tonight’s Sox game and see Rays and fans alike sporting clownish mullet-hawks, remember where they came from: a mediocre, out-of-shape wrestler named Yandrisovitz that rubbed people’s faces into his armpit, lost matches to male strippers, and fought Ric Flair in a nightclub. Ray Hawk indeed.


Hazel Maes Landing Strip said...

This is possibly the greatest thing I've ever read in my life.

Dubs said...

Thank you for this...

Pepster said...

Jose Canseco used to wrestle?

Grimey said...

Best picture of Buff Bagwell ever? Best picture of Buff Bagwell ever.

Hazel Maes Landing Strip said...

Even Barry Melrose thinks that mullet is out of control