Monday, February 27, 2012

Black History Month: Men on a Mission

Men on a Mission (WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

In the early to mid 90's, the WWF probably hit rock bottom.  At least it did in my opinion.  This was mostly from the fallout from the steroid scandal and for some unknown reason (at least to me) we were given a cavalcade of unusual characters, including the likes of Kwang the Ninja, TL Hopper, and Freddie Joe Floyd.  There was also the rapping group Men on a Mission or MOM.  Mo, Oscar, and Mabel "entertained" the fans with raps and wrestling.  Entertained is the operative word.

While I was never a real big fan of this threesome, I know they were over with some fans at least.  In 1994, the beat the Quebecers fro the WWF tag team titles.  But from what I've read about the incident, it was a fluke victory and the Quebecers soon regained the straps.  Mo and Mabel did all the wrestling, while Oscar provided the rapping.  The three of them wore purple and gold, it was truly a site to see.

Not too long into their run though, Mo and Mabel turned on Oscar, taking him out with a couple of big splashes.  I don't remember exactly what the story line was, as I was in college at this time and not watching as regularly as I liked to.  But now Mabel and Mo were on their own, and despite losing Oscar, the duo kept the Men on a Mission name.

King Mabel
But if I remember correctly, the two of them didn't team for long as Mabel got a singles push and won the 1995 King of the Ring tournament.  (This was, in my opinion, the worst tournament ever, but like I said times were tough back then)  As the king, Mabel appointed Mo as Sir Mo, but I don't remember him being around too much longer after that.  Mabel did go on to face Diesel for the WWF title at Summer Slam 95, which again, IMO the worst Summer Slam main event ever.

With Mo out of the picture, Mabel went on to feud with the Undertaker, even "breaking" the deadman's face with Yokozuna.  Remember that rad face mask 'Taker briefly wore?  Mabel left the WWF the first time around shortly after losing a casket match to the Undertaker.  It was during his hiatus from the company that I saw him at an independent show in Florence, Alabama.  He wrestled Tommy Rich in the main event of the night.  I don't remember much of the match, but recall that Mabel was one huge dude. (as if we couldn't tell that from TV)

Eventually, Mabel was brought back to the WWF, this time as an ally of the Undertaker (who was now heel).  He changed his name to Viscera and wore white contact lenses and black lipstick.  He was no evil, and a part of the Ministry of Darkness.  He paired up with the former pig farmer Phineas I Godwin, but the duo never had a whole lot of success.  He was released again from the company after a brief run as Hardcore champion.  While away, he wrestled on the indy scene and in TNA before coming back to the WWE again.

Squeal like a pig (WWE)
Briefly, he was Viscera before an incident turned him into a likable love machine, known as Big Daddy V.  There was a mini angle going with Lilian Garcia at the time, where Big Daddy was trying to win her love. He wore silk pajamas to the ring and played the role of a ladies' man.  It was comedy relief, but clearly not going to elevate his career.  He and Val Venis teamed up for a while, getting a few shots at the tag team titles, but never going anywhere.  Of all the characters played by Nelson Frazier, Jr. (his real name) I think I actually did enjoy this one the most.  However, I like his persona after he turned heel and paired up with Matt Striker as his manager.  He was that big, monster heel type that I think wrestling needs more of, but he just wasn't all that dominate this time around either.

Viscera has been gone from the WWE for a while now, competing once again on the indy scene.  And while I wasn't a huge fan of all his personas or characters, I can admit that he did get out there and entertain the fans the best that he could.  I hope this post wasn't too negativity, I really didn't intend for it to be.

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