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Thanksgiving Misgivings (9/26/03) --
For as long as I have known of the gimmick, I always assumed this would be prime Leonardite.com material. This site, in its short tenure, and me in general, have always thrived on ridiculing truly ridiculous things. If anything fell into that category, it would have to be the Gobbledy Gooker.

Ah, the Gooker. The consummate example of wrestling gone wrong. Oh? You don’t know of the Gooker? Well, brother, you are missing out.

In the fall of 1990, the WWF was parading a giant egg around to each of their arena shows. It had question marks all over the base and its contents were to be revealed at the Survivor Series. They could have used a box, a crate, or a sealed envelope. It really didn't matter. But instead, they used a ridiculous egg.

Strike One.

But alas, it’s not the package; it’s the contents, right? They could have rolled out a giant piñata for all anyone cared, it was what was inside that was what was important. Now, I am too young to remember this angle at the time, but I can only assume that there was great speculation involved in what was going on with this egg. Can you imagine if Paul Tagliabue was bringing an egg around to every Monday Night Football game? Would you not want to see what the hell he was hatching up? (Believe me, I am sorry for that)

My point exactly. As ridiculous as the carton was (Again, I apologize), as a fan of the NFL, you’d have to get excited about what was coming up at the Survivor Series. And wrestling fans were soon about to get a very big hint as to what was coming.

Or so they thought.

The Million Dollar Team, led by Ted DiBiase, was going into the Survivor Series with only three men on their four-person team. “Aha!” shouted the average wrestling mark. “I bet whoever or whatever is in that egg will be the fourth team member for DiBiase’s group.” But as the Million Dollar Team’s match (and subsequent introduction of the Undertaker to the WWF and to wrestling in general) came and went, fans soon realized that wasn’t meant to be.

Strike Two.

Finally, the moment came, when Mean Gene Okerlund was stationed down by the egg like an embedded reporter outside of Saddam Hussein’s gold urinal. He spoke in excited tones about the allure of this spectacle. “What could be in the egg?” pondered Mean Gene. Is it a new wrestler? “Is it the Playmate of the month?” asked Gene, to the roars of the crowd. No, ladies and gentlemen, the contents of the egg were this:


The crowd sat in stunned silence for five seconds, before a huge chorus of boos enveloped the arena. Yes, it was the Gobbledy Gooker, the inane creation of Vince McMahon. While the wrestling public was hoping for wrestlers or hookers, the WWF delivered a giant turkey. Suh-WISH!

The fans wanted this....
If their dialogue wasn’t bad enough, the two headed down to the ring where they danced, pranced, and made damned idiots of themselves to a rock version of “Turkey in the Straw.” The whole moronic spectacle lasted eight uneasy minutes. Gorilla Monsoon kept trying to tell us how much the kids loved it, while our own eyes were able to see these very kids in the front row bored to tears. The only people that were clapping were the 70+ audience and since we know how crucial this demographic is to wrestling success, one can’t help but think that this angle paid off in spades.

Yes, it was the glee above that I had hoped to bring to you. I was already assuming that the Gobbledy Gooker would be one of the charter members of the Leonardite Legends series and that we could all enjoy and giggle at the Gooker’s goofiness.

But as I sat and watched my rented copy of Survivor Series 1990 for the first time a few weeks back, a strange and unsettling pit formed in my gut. Yes, this whole thing was blatantly ridiculous. There definitely were some major laugh-out-loud moments, like when the Gooker’s turnbuckle salute was met with a solid round of boos from the crowd. But yet, there was a part of me that was not feeling right about this whole thing. That’s when the truth finally dawned on me.

....and got this
The WWF will always have their screw-ups and their misguided angles. It’s just the way the business is. But the nature of these screw-ups has changed immensely. The Gooker debacle was intended for the kids. It was Thanksgiving Day and the WWF had hoped to deliver a child-friendly character that the kids in attendance would get a kick out of. A giant mascot who talked in gibberish and danced to a holiday song would be a huge hit, right?

Yeah, the idea is ridiculous. But you know? It was a well-intentioned idea. After sitting through two hours of a show, this would give the kids a different form of entertainment. Obviously this failed miserably, but one can’t fault the intentions, even if you can fault Vince for thinking it would work.

But today, World Wrestling Entertainment’s screw-ups are more along the lines of the Katie Vick angle. When Kane and Triple H were feuding, Vince thought that the angle that was going bring people back in was his now-infamous, “Necrophilia” angle.

Get down, Gene. Get down.
You see, this time Vince was going after my demographic, the 19-29 year-old range. And he thought the way he would do it, was to play out this storyline. Triple H, in all his growth-hormone glory, sat in the ring and regaled us with a tale that included video. He showed us Kane, in his younger years, with his cheerleader girlfriend, Katie Vick. To make a long (and very, very uninteresting) story short, Kane killed Katie Vick by accident.

Naturally, Kane wasn’t done with her.

No, instead we were treated to “Kane”, who was actually Triple H in a mask, climbing into a casket and having faux intercourse with a doll. He actually partook in this for so long and so vigorously, that he apparently knocked her brains out as he lifted out a handful of spaghetti.

Mortified yet? The entire wrestling world was.

The funniest part about this, was that Vince actually had very high expectations for this angle, thinking it would be the one to bring the masses back to wrestling like in the late 1990’s. Instead, he managed to sicken the entire wrestling community that remained. There was an overwhelmingly negative reaction to this horrible idea and it was quickly scrapped and forgotten.

This is what all sat wrong for me. In 1990, we had the WWF using poor judgment and sending out a turkey to try and dance for kids.

In 2002, we had WWE have its champion simulating intercourse with a doll, in a coffin, to try and entertain adults.

And they wonder why their ratings are in the dumper.

Yes, the Gobbledy Gooker was completely ridiculous. It was just a silly idea that clearly bombed the moment he popped out of the egg. Even Katie Vick doesn’t diminish that. The Gooker, will more than likely, still get his place in the Leonardite Legends series. But upon seeing this video thirteen years later, knowing what I know now, you can’t blame me for wishing the Gooker would come gobbling back onto my screen.

Either him or Tugboat, I’m not a picky guy.

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Dedicated to The Stick