FAVORITE FOREIGN/INTERNATIONAL OBJECTS

Posted September 11th, 2010 by 1Wrestling News Team

Ringside Remembrance — Favorite Foreign/International Objects

Jay Shannon draws upon his four decades as a devout wrestling fan to look at the past, present and future of pro wrestling.

“Let him that is without stone among you cast the first thing he can lay his hands on” — Robert Frost

I’ve been in a foul mood for the last several days. It may have to do with some negative interactions that I’ve had with some local “Pros” in the Reno area. Maybe it’s this darn toothache. Whatever the reason, I’ve been at less than my most positive. I thought I’d use that to my advantage, in this week’s column. I decided to look at the best foreign objects that I’ve seen used. The opening title is a tip of the hat to WCW, who decided that “foreign” had a negative connotation to it, so they replaced the term “foreign object” with “International Object”. It got laughs from the fans, at the time. Anyway, these are the “toys” that I always loved to see show up.

The Mist –

It’s been used by several wrestlers, mostly Japanese. The first person I remember seeing use the mist was The Great Kabuki. The Great Muta, Kendo Nagasaki and Tajiri have also utilized the eye-irritating spray. The most common color for The Mist has always been green. That color is the easiest to be seen from the “cheap seats”. Great Muta expanded the Rainbow of Pain to also include Yellow and Red. The Red Mist was supposedly the “deadliest”. Cherry Jell-o will do that to you. Yes, the mist, in many cases, was Jell-o powder. When the wrestler spits the powder, it looks impressive. The wrestler’s saliva allows for the remaining residue on the other grappler’s face. In recent years, with the fear of AIDS and other diseases, The Mist has all but been eliminated. It was always so cool to see the spray explode.

Fireball –

James Storm recently unleashed one of the circular balls of Hell into Jeff Hardy’s face. That was the first time that I’d seen a fireball in a long time. The Sheik was one of the earliest men that I saw pitch the fire. Jerry Lawler was also a master of the fireball. General Skandor Akbar almost got lynched when he let loose his fire in the old Mid-South. The trick, as I understand it, was to use Flash Paper. The stuff is what old-time cameras used to make enough light for the lens. Magicians have used the same stuff in their magic acts since the turn of the last century. In the current “Family Friendly” environment of wrestling, fireballs just don’t fit in. That’s a bit of a shame. They were impressive and only passingly dangerous to the wrestlers.

Barbed Wire –

There are so many uses for barbed wire. Twisted around a bat has become a very popular “toy” in Hardcore Matches. I’ve seen the ropes wrapped in this devilish steel product. Barbed wire even replaced the ropes in the infamous Sabu v Terry Funk match that caused Paul Heyman to swear he would never book again. The same Barbed Wire Ropes matches are occasionally used in Japan. When I think of Barbed Wire, I think of small lengths used to rip open an unsuspecting victim.

The Golden Spike –

It was Kevin Sullivan’s favorite weapon, during his Satanic days. It was an old railroad spike, spray-painted gold. Kevin would often drive the iron spike into the throats of his opponents. It was amazing how well he could hide the thing. Kevin also used the spike to rip open the foreheads of unsuspecting foes. As Sullivan moved away from his satanic character, the spike was retired.

The Choke Chain –

Jerry Lawler was so good at slipping out the small chain, wrapping it around his fist and blasting his rival in the skull. Lawler was then able to secure the chain without the ref knowing a thing. Most people think of the long lengths of logger’s chain that were used in Chain Matches. I liked the smaller one.

Forks –

It has been Abdullah the Butcher’s favorite weapon for decades. Abby could slip the weapon of mass destruction in and out of his waistband faster then a man his size should be able to. He would carve a road map of destruction on his opponent and slid the pronged piece of silverware back into its hiding place. Just look at the foreheads of Dusty Rhodes and Carlos Colon and you can see what an artist Abby has been. Some artists work in clay, others in oil. Abby worked with steel and blood. Others have also used the fork as a weapon but none with the grace and precision of Abdullah the Butcher.

“Salt” –

Yokozuna and numerous other Japanese wrestlers often used salt in their ceremonial entrances. They would also pitch the irritant into the eyes of their opponents. Actually, what they threw was not actually salt. Salt just doesn’t show up on camera well. What was most often tossed into the air, or in the face of opponents, was baby powder. From the cheap seats, the salt arched into an awesome display. Occasionally, the announcers would say that the non-Japanese wrestlers had tossed “Medicated Powder” into the face of the opponent. If you watch old videos of slat and powder being used, you’ll notice that they look the same.

Chairs –

It’s the most simple of weapons. Steel folding chairs are all over the place at most wrestling shows. Cahones (aka Balls Mahoney) is considered the U.S.’s chair-swinging expert. La Parka holds the Mexican title as Chair-man of the Board. Edge and Christian were Canada’s best chair experts. Over time, chairs were incorporated into a regular part of Extreme Wrestling. Chair shots drew a lot of heat after the death of Chris Benoit. Several medical experts claimed that the repeated shots to the cranium had injured Benoit’s brain. It was hypothesized that the brain injuries may have been a cause for Chris’ murderous rage. Chair shots to the back and ribs are still used, regularly, but shots to the head are becoming less used.

Manager’s Canes –

The most memorable cane to be used was Freddie Blassie’s cane. Blassie’s cane was used to wallop Barry Windham and help the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff to win the World Tag Team title at Wrestlemania. “Father” James Mitchell also used his cane to aid him men. Konnan also lent his cane (used after surgery) to his legion of men in Mexico. The cane seems like such an innocent thing but it can be used to trip the opponent or club them. Since I occasionally have to use a cane, due to a botched knee surgery, this one is a personal favorite.

Jim Cornette’s Tennis Racket –

This was Linda’s (my first wife’s) favorite illegal object. She jokingly called Cornette “Mr. Fuzzy Tennis Racket” for years. Cornette swaggered around the ring with the racket like it was the most normal thing to have at a wrestling show. He often smacked (or had his men do it) opponents across the back. It didn’t do all that much damage but the distraction allowed Cornette’s men to polish off their competition.

Jimmy Hart’s Megaphone –

It was the most annoying “foreign object” in the history of wrestling. Hart cackled and taunted through the ear-splitting thing and then pitched it to his man to blith-whap the foe. The refs never seem to catch on that the darn thing wasn’t there to be sure the guys in the nosebleed section could hear Hart’s rants. It was there to give his men the unfair advantage. I hate megaphones, always have. That one really irritated me, but it was just so effective.

Paul Heyman’s Cell Phone –

Using a cell phone as a foreign object just wouldn’t work today, unless, maybe, you were trying to shove it down the opponent’s throat and choke him. Back in the 80s, Paul waltzed around the ring with one of the old “Brick” phone. The thing weighed a ton and was a decent club. Over time, Paul switched over to the more usable cordless phone (though it was still called a cell). When he left WCW, he left his phones behind.

The Loaded Boot –

When I think of a loaded boot, the first man that comes to mind is, of course, The Iron Sheik. Sheik would wait for the ref to be distracted and then he would bump the toe of his boot on the mat. This, supposedly, slid lead or some other heavy object into the curled end of his boot. Iron Sheik would then hit a Big Boot on the opponent, knocking him out. The Grappler would use a similar move in the World Class area. Others tried the stunt but only Sheik and Grappler ever made it look realistic.

In Conclusion –

So many things that used to be illegal objects were made mainstream in the Hardcore/Extreme mindset. Tables, Ladders, Chairs, Trash Cans, Hockey Sticks, Street Signs, etc… were all included. I really miss the good old days when a man (or woman) had to slip out a chain, pop the guy in the face and quickly hide it away. Unfortunately, times change and the innocent days of old are long gone…but never forgotten.

Remember, my e-door is always open for your comments and remembrances.

Peace

–Jay Shannon
Jade89512@yahoo.com

Category: Wrestling.

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