Marvelous, “Boxer”, White Little Richard
There were a lot of bad gimmicks in the 1990s and even more bad wrestlers. In the WWF, 1993-1997 were mostly periods of characters who will never…..
….join the Hall of Fame. Its not that the wrestlers were even necessarily worse than those in the 1980s, many of whom were nothing to shake a stick at. Instead, the mid nineties had an identity crisis. They did not know what they were or what they wanted to be. In most cases, the same tropes and tried and true storylines of the 80s were continued, to lesser success
And that brings us to our man of the hour, Marc Mero aka Johnny B. Badd. WWF wasn’t the only organization throwing shit at a barn’s wall to see what stuck. WCW, the former NWA, struggled through the late 80s, trying to be the alternative of the WWF juggernaut, before finally becoming a much worse version of the WWF around 1991-1993. This was the time that gave us the wonderful GAY? superstar Johnny B. Badd. Badd was a mixture of all the things that are wrong with professional wrestling. First, it was accidentally racist, as wrestling still is today.
You see, Marc Mero is a white man with olive skin tone. His character is an obvious lifting of Little Richard transposed in all its glory in the wrestling ring. Just like we always asking for.
On top of his oddly never mentioned blackness, Badd was also extremely flamboyant and over the top, a gimmick which worked for Adrian Steele and killed Adrian Adonis. (not literally) And it kinda worked for Johnny B. Badd. He shot confetti, smiled and danced down the ring. For early 90s WCW, this gimmick at least had some shot of getting over….
And while Johnny was eventually toned down and did find some success as WCW Television Champion aka the title literally anyone can have, his tenure in WCW was mostly forgettable. His feuds read like a who’s who of who is that. Remember the glorious feud between Johnny and Maxx Payne?
Near the end of his WCW tenure, Badd’s toned down character had his greatest success with a series of matches with Diamond Dallas Page. Badd claimed Kimberly, the first of many wrestlers to steal DDP’s wife and get cheered for it.
He even had a feud with Arn Anderson and the Four Horsemen, which is really a judgement on where the Horsemen were in 1996 than anything else. But all this prepared him for the big leagues (not really in 1996), when Mero debuted for the WWF.
WWF Mero was different. Firstly WWF realized very quickly that a gay blackman was a terrible character (this from the organization that gave us TL Hopper) for a white man and instead tried to make Johnny cool by calling him Wild Man Marc Mero. He even had pretty decent music…later stolen by his wife.
This promptly led to Mero winning his first and only intercontinental championship defeating the then punished HHH. His win was due in no short part to the injury which Ahmed Johnson sustained by being terrible.
Mero was the fill in.
What WWE didn’t realize at first and subsequently scrambled to fix is that Wild Man Marc Mero was neither interesting, nor a good wrestler. His spots were mostly average and his promos were wildly average. (see what I did there)
So, Mero did what any mediocre male wrestler who is kinda attractive does, he gets some eye candy. Enter Sable.
Sable is both the best and the worst thing to happen to Marc Mero. Mero, without Sable, probably would have faded into obscurity within a year of entering the federation. With Sable, it only took two years for him to fade into obscurity and he got to lose a match to her. Hot DANG! He literally spent more time being jealous of Sable of screen (also known as all about Sable) than he did being his own character. Oh and he lost to her…
Mero transitioned into the Marvelous Marc Mero persona, which if it existed today would be looked as an obvious punishment.( See Damien Sandow) Heel Mero was even less dynamic than face Mero. He complained, danced around the ring like Muhammed Ali and still couldn’t wrestler. He had a “boxer” gimmick, due completely to Mero’s previous history as an amateur boxer and led no where fast and Mero faded out of the organization by 1999.
And that’s it. That is the career of Marc Mero. His career last less than 10 years professionally. And in it, his best work was as this character:
Some men are just better as characters, although its sad to say when this is someone’s best work
Now that’s a BADD Video.
Only Way it Happens
Mero, since his retirement has appeared on many news organizations talking about the dangers of steroids and giving his unwanted two cents about Chris Benoit.
However, he is also a supposed super positive guy and perhaps when WWE runs out of alive people, Mero could step in and cheer everyone up! He is after all, the Happiest Person on Earth. Huzzah!
Is WWE Stupid enough to actually do it?
No, Happy or not, Mero is too small of a bit player and has burned all his bridges. He doesn’t exist as far as WWE is concerned. And thank god, as do we really need this image etched in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Chances of induction
2 out of 10