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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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The Underrated: Big Boss Man

By Speed on the Beat (@SpeedontheBeat)

Once upon a time, there was a prison guard who became more known for beating the snot out of opponents than actually enforcing any laws. Over time, said former prison guard made a name in WWF, AJPW, WCW, and other promotions. But, even though many may remember Big Boss Man, his in-ring accomplishments pale in comparison, having held the WWF Tag Team Titles once with Ken Shamrock, the Hardcore Championship four times, and a title with UWF. But, let us look at some of Big Boss Man's work.

First, any man who can do an Enziguri at 6'6" automatically gets props.

The Big Boss man was quite agile in an era where big guys were supposed to be more like Earthquake and less like Randy Savage. Now, Boss Man wasn't a technical genius. But, he could hold his own with just about anyone. His promo skills were pretty legitimate, probably because he'd actually seen some hard times (RIP Dusty). Speaking of hard times, some of BBM's early moments featured him squaring off against Dusty in JCP, just off of the strength that Dusty saw something special in the young man from Cobb County.

After a reign in UWF, Big Boss Man made his way to WWF. His work with Akeem helped set up the groundwork, storyline-wise for THE MEGA POWERS EXPLODING! Had the feud between The Twin Towers and the Mega Powers not been booked the way it was, Hogan versus Savage may not have become as etched into our memories. However, this main event rub was cut short, since The Twin Towers feuded with Demolition and BBM ended up getting suplexed off the top of a steel cage by Hogan. But, at least we still got to see him beat the crap out of jobbers and low-card wrestlers when he won a match. Let me tell you something (brother): seeing a cop figure do that, in "real life," as a kid, a few years out from Rodney King? It made me hate BBM, therefore making him an incredibly effective heel in my eyes.

As time went on, BBM started to get less and less of a push, culminating in his Nightstick on a Pole match against (mortal enemy) Nailz. By 1993, Boss Man was in WCW after a short stint in AJPW. I'll be honest. Even though Big Boss Man is an underrated talent and could go with just about anyone, his work with WCW was mostly trash. It probably didn't help that he, like most WCW talents, switched from heel to face more than Big Show circa 2010. He could still go and was still agile, but there was a big of a lost glimmer on his work for me in WCW.

Upon his return to WWF, and after his "lynching" by Undertaker (ugh), we got the infamous Kennel From Hell angle. See, the angle itself was gross. But, the action in it (aside from the Kennel from Hell match itself) was solid. Two underrated talents beating the crap out of each other and forcing people to care about the dog in the middle of the feud? That takes talent. Screw the main match between them, because, bah gawd, it was horrible. But overall, the feud's matches are something to take a look at.

After this, we got Show vs. BBM. I'm not touching it, since I already spoke on it. It's good to know that even your favorites can get involved in wonky matches and gimmicks. But, it still sucks. Upon his release from the newly renamed WWE, Boss Man worked with a smaller Japanese promotion before his death in 2004 at 41.