Thursday, November 10, 2011

Silly Sidekicks

Al Snow, Head, Mankind, & Mr. Socko (WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

From time to time I like to take a break from scrutinizing the performances of Impact Wrestling and WWE and post something I file under the "Random, But Awesome" column on the My 1-2-3 Cents website.  In the past I've written about some of my favorite animals in the wrestling world, today I'm going to look at some of the non living sidekicks wrestlers have adopted through the years.

Mr. Socko is probably my favorite of these inanimate objects.  I'm pretty sure he made his debut during the Mr. McMahon hospital skit with Mankind.  The sock puppet was so over, Mick Foley began using Mr. Socko in his matches.  He would pull the sock from his tights and cram it into his opponent's mouth as he applied the dreaded mandible claw.  The idea was that the sock was the disgusting and sweaty footwear of Foley and having it put into one's mouth was the ultimate insult to injury moment.

Meet Mr. Socko!
Of course the sock was popular and it became something the WWF was able to market.  Soon kids everywhere could have their very own Mr. Socko.  But really, they could have just made it at home, after all it was literally a sock with a sharpie created set of eyes and goatee.  Socko was also instrumental in the creation of the Rock 'n Sock Connection with Mankind and the Rock.  And that lead to the highest rated segment of all time on Raw, the This is Your Life skit.  The Socko gimmick worked and it caught my attention.  I still from time to time will put a clean sock on my hand and pretend it's Socko.  Yes, I just admitted that.  Don't judge me.

George Steele & Mine (WWE)
Another one of my favorites goes back to the 1980's.  Prior to 1985, George "The Animal" Steele was a savage beast.  He was brutal in the ring, hence the name "Animal."  However, he changed his ways and developed a soft side after being attacked by the Iron Sheik and Nikolia Volkoff.  Captain Lou Albano soon started managing George and revealing the Animal was more like a manchild than a monster.  So of course with the whole PG thing in full effect and the global scope of the WWF, it only made sense to market some sort of toy, right?  That's where "Mine" comes in.  He was basically a plush version of Steele.  He had a hairy body, just like George.  Mine had a bald head and a green tongue.  All like the Animal.  George would carry him to the ring and yell "Mine!"  I never owned one of these critters, but I will admit again, sometimes I will just shout "Mine!" when no one is around, just like the Animal did.  Again, don't judge.

Al Snow and his gal, Head (WWE)
Who doesn't like a little head?  We all know Al Snow did.  His mannequin head was just as popular as he was back in the day.   Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Head made her debut in the original ECW.  Snow's character was a bit crazy, and he used to carry the bodyless figure around and talk to her.  Both Snow and Head had the phrase "HELP ME" written backwards on their foreheads.  Snow would use Head from time to time to whack an opponent and pick up a victory.  The gimmick was so popular, Snow's theme song in the WWF started off with "What does everybody want? Head!  What does everybody need? Head!"  This of course was the height of the Attitude Era were such double entendres were acceptable.  Eventually Head would make way for a live sidekick for Snow, his dog Pepper.  And we all know what happened to Pepper.  Seconds on that pepper steak anyone?

Ugh, it's Rocko
So those are my three favs.  I guess honorable mentions can go to Perry Saturn's "Moppy", Chavo Guerrero's horse "Pepe" in WCW, and the Legion of Doom's dummy Rocko.  Although I will NEVER understand the whole point of that gimmick.  That one was soaked in lame sauce as far as I'm concerned.  Maybe that's a post for another day.

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