The brainchild of "The Real Deal" RD Reynolds and "The Worldwide Menace" Merle Vincent, WrestleCrap
was created as a "hall of shame" for professional wrestling
, a place where they could stretch their comedic muscles by poking fun at the pseudo-sport. It has since grown into wrestling fandom's anti-serious business
, a place where people can remind themselves that wrestling is inherently silly. In short, it's the conscience of the Internet Wrestling Community.
Each week, the WrestleCrap staff post an induction that tears one of wrestling's stranger or sillier gimmicks, feuds, or storylines apart. The site also has classic inductions as well (the full archive is available for members only). Originally, the inductions were written by RD (or Merle Vincent, before his suicide); RD handed head writing duties over to his protégé Triple Kelly for a couple years. Triple Kelly subsequently left the site, and now the inductions are mainly written by Art0Donnel and occasionally Justin Henry.
WrestleCrap has grown greatly since its inception, and has come to host the following additional features:
- Current content:
- Former content:
- Burgan's Gimmick Table: Derek Burgan's look at the wrestling merchandise that never was. Retired as of the 2013 site redesign.
- Weird World of Wrestling: Formerly a separate site, Madison Carter would take a look at the weird stuff that happened in the independent circuit. Retired as of the site redesign.
- RD's Ramblings: A section where RD gave his thoughts about the current events in pro wrestling. He would also response to emails that he received. Retired as of the site redesign.
- RD's Book and DVD Reviews: A section where RD would review wrestling related books and DVDs. Retired as of the site redesign.
WrestleCrap also gives out an annual Gooker Award in the first couple of months of a new year to the most horrid thing to happen in wrestling in the previous year. The award is named after The Gobbledy Gooker
, which was possibly the worst thing ever in the World Wrestling Federation
: they hyped the hatching of a giant egg for months going into Survivor Series 1990
, where it finally hatched and gave us Hector Guerrero in a bad turkey suit dancing with "Mean" Gene Okerlund (yeah, it wasn't pretty). With the exception of the 2001 and 2002 winners (which were chosen by RD himself), all of the winners have been decided by polling the site's visitors. The list of winners of the Gooker Award is practically a list of the worst modern pro wrestling angles ever:
- 2000: David Arquette, WCW Champion.
- 2001: The InVasion.
- 2002: The Katie Vick debacle.
- 2003: Al Wilson, Torrie Wilson's father.
- 2004: The 2004 Raw Diva Search.
- 2005: Jim Ross' (kayfabe) firing and the resulting colonoscopy skit.
- 2006: WWE's exploitation of Eddie Guerrero following his death, a.k.a. "Eddiesploitation".
- 2007: Hornswoggle is revealed to be Vince McMahon's son.
- 2008: Mike Adamle's stint in WWE.
- 2009: The Chavo Guerrero/Hornswoggle feud.
- 2010: The NEW Monday Night Wars.
- 2011: All things Michael Cole.
- 2012: TNA's Claire Lynch angle.
- 2013: Heel Dixie Carter.
- 2014: The Bella Twins feud / Vince's "brass rings" (co-winners)
Not only has WrestleCrap become a popular online destination for wrestling fans, but its name itself has entered the smart mark
lexicon. It's also gathered quite a following inside the business, as several wrestlers have written in to say how much they love the site, including no less than Chris Jericho
. John Tenta, known to fans as "Earthquake", gave the site an exclusive interview and wrote the foreword to RD's first book.
Book? Yes, there have been two books based on the site, WrestleCrap: The Worst of Wrestling
and The WrestleCrap Book of Lists!
, and the notoriety gained from the site allowed RD to co-author the book, The Death of WCW
Every December, the site has posted inductions of some of the worst Christmas movies of all-time, including Hulk Hogan
's Santa with Muscles
, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
, the Mexican movie version of Santa Claus
, a 1986 remake of the classic holiday operetta Babes in Toyland
(featuring Drew Barrymore
, Keanu Reeves
, Pat Morita, and an actor named Gorgy Gress as Georgie Porgie with a cameltoe), and a Goldberg-as-a-murderous-Santa
film called Santa's Slay
The site was redesigned in 2013 to become more of a blog format. In February 2013, Maffew of Botchamania
became a regular contributor to the site, including debuting new Botchamanias there.
This website provides examples of:
- Accentuate the Negative
- Affectionate Parody: "To Haku!", a series of articles in which Harley Race, Fit Finlay, William Regal, Terry Funk, and Ron Simmons tell stories about the Tongan giant in the style of the classic "Bill Brasky" sketches from Saturday Night Live.
- The Alcoholic: Blade in the early days, did the WrestleCrap Radio podcasts wasted. He's better now.
- April Fools' Day: One year when April Fools Day was on a Friday, RD wrote "inductions" for Ric Flair and Chris Benoit. There was even an "induction" for the Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle match at WrestleMania 21, when actually it's mostly agreed to have been one of the best matches of the event.
- Kent Jones, or any so-called YouTube "shooter"; they really look down on them.
- They also declared war on former wrestler Damien Demento, who took a shot at them in his YouTube videos. They've since reconciled.
- Averted with Vince Russo. While the website is one of Russo's fiercest critics, he and RD are actually on good terms, leading to RD appearing on Russo's podcast and Russo plugging the 10th anniversary edition of The Death of WCW.
- Author Appeal:
- In this case, bad cinema. Every Christmas, RD spends an update or two dissecting terrible movies, with an annual tradition of inducting a horrible Christmas movie in lieu of a wrestling angle/gimmick.
- This occasionally applies to pro wrestling personalities; RD himself has said several times that he loves Trish Stratus.
- Ban on Politics: One of the major rules on the message board is to never discuss politics or religion, though the rule was temporarily relaxed during the 2008 Presidential Election.
- Butt Monkey:
- "Like most Wrestlecrap inductions, this one is about Kane..."
- Blade is the regular victim of potshots from the rest of the staff, including Triple Kelly. When someone makes a reference to (filthy) hobos, a remark that "Blade isn't here to defend himself!" will usually follow.
- Deconstruction: Of the very concept of WrestleCrap itself, if you can believe it. It was the 2006 Gooker Award winner: "Eddiesploitation." Aside from regretting offering it as a nominee, knowing it'd be the most difficult induction he'd have to write, RD noted that the site's tagline is "The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling." And "Eddiesploitation" was just that.
- Defeat Means Friendship: While they never really "defeated" Vince Russo, RD and the site were certainly critical of him, but he has been on their podcast, and quite cordial, twice. Once for an interview over how he got in the business and why he did what he did, and another to talk about anything out of the oridinary.
- Description Cut: Twice in the "Eddiesploitation" induction. First, after Chavo turns heel on Rey Mysterio:
"Well, at least they didn’t do something really dumb, like make Eddie’s widow (Vickie
) a heel or something."
(2 weeks later)
"So now Vickie Guerrero turns heel, clobbering Rey with a steel chair."
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Gay Popeye and Angry Jim Ross.
- Footnote Fever: The occasional "Note from RD" appears in inductions done by someone other than him.
- Fun with Acronyms - "Nathaniel Edward Rodham Davis," "NERD" a none to subtle shot at IWC who worship TNA Impact.
- G.I.R.L.: The message boards were pranked by the the "female" poster "Miss Kendrick" in 2009, and by "Starwolf" (who was dubbed "Starwang" by some posters) in 2007. This post pretty much describes it:
ravenm: "Pretend to be a girl. Starwolf, Miss Kendrick, etc. Everyone will hate you..."
- Grumpy Old Man:
- Mic Check, the TNA correspondant is an old man who has lived forever and working in the radio market.
- Angry Jim Ross.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?:
- When the 2004 Raw Diva Search won the Gooker Award, RD noted that his fanbase was primarily males who (presumably) enjoyed women. That didn't stop them from voting the Diva Search as the worst of the year, however, because when you tune into a wrestling show, the first thing you assume you'll see is...well, wrestling.
- He has mentioned in separate inductions about the WWE Divas and WCW's Nitro Girls how wrestling has the uncanny ability to take some of the most gorgeous women and make them almost unwatchable. He's not sure how they do that, but they do.
- Hypocritical Humor: Used intentionally in the beginning of the Cena vs. Laurinaitis induction to point out that John Cena is unfairly criticized for most of the things that he does.
- Memetic Mutation:
- Almost all of the (forced) wrestling memes were born on their message board (Lex Luger, Dennis Stamp, etc.)
- Basically, their message board is one of the pro wrestling equivalents of 4Chan, the other one being 420chan's /wooo/. Batista was (and likely still is) their Photoshop poster child.
- Forced Meme: In 2009, RD tried to force "Basketball Jones" (Triple Kelly's nickname for Batista) as a meme, even going as far as to filter Batista's name as "Basketball Jones" on the original forums. It failed.
- Message Board: After much demand, The Craphole was created on May 2011, around half a year after the website and its old message board (now The Freakin Awesome Network forums) parted ways in October 2010.
- News Parody: The "Headlies" section.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Whenever there is something in an induction that sounds too far-fetched, an audio clip and/or screenshot will be used to confirm that the story is indeed true.
- The Other Wiki: RD had a huge disdain for Wikipedia. This disdain was due to some claims the site made which he considered to be some of the most outrageous things he has ever read and for declaring that he has died three times. He has since let up though he still takes an occasional shot.
- Punny Name: Mike "Mic" Check. A radio DJ who rambles about the good old days and whether he would play well in your market. Almost all spellings of the name is "Mike" and not "Mic".
- Retcon: Stubby's death. He was killed in a BBQ fire, but brought back, somehow. When questioned about it he spun a double entendre-laden story about being snatched by a beaver.
- A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: In the induction for TNA's Last Rites Match from 2007, on the matter of Sting describing death as a "choice" where one of those choices is, in fact, life, RD calls the meaning and exact point of Sting's remarks a "riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a crummy TNA storyline".
- Rogues Gallery: The TNA Correspondants, Johnny 6, Johnny 4, Megatrolla, Angry Jim Ross, Viewing Booth Bill Cosby, Nathaniel, Honky Tonk Mailman, Stubby, Mic Check and others.
- Running Gag:
- After writing an induction about Man Mountain Rock, he of the WWF guitar, RD began using an image of him shrugging complete with the caption "Yeah, I don't know either, dude." This is usually when RD or someone else asks a question regarding one weird moment in the induction.
- After writing an induction on her, RD now uses an image of a happy Tiffany, former General Manager of WWECW, with the caption "YAY!" to show fake enthusiasm or joy. This was inspired by her notorious promo in which she cheerily declared the death of ECW wasn't "a bad thing; in fact, it's a good thing. No, it's a great thing!"
- Stephanie McMahon got her own image, as well.
- Whenever WWE or TNA trot out the hoary old candelabras and coffins (usually for Sting or The Undertaker), you will see a grinning picture of Liberace.
- Second-Hand Storytelling: Blade always has some kind of story about his childhood friend Don........Don Mason. Such stories include having Don using the date rape drug on himself at a concert, taking a trip to a farm and seeing a man have sex with a horse, molesting Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, among other wonderful topics.
- Self-Deprecation: Remember, folks, no matter what sort of crap you actually bought, you'll never be as big a dork as RD and Blade, who shelled out $200 for Katie Vick's cheerleading outfit — signed by Triple H.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: The /wooo/ board on 420chan.
- Small Reference Pools:
- Any Todd Pettengil segment.
- Note to self – ask around to folks not as ancient as I if Austin Powers references are now considered nostalgic or simply dated. I like to think the former…but fear the latter.
- Art's "Carnac the Magnificent" gags, and RD's non-stop Simpsons references.
- Speak of the Devil: "Speaking of" segues turn up in the inductions and radio shows.
- Take That!: The character Nintendo John was made specifically to dig at John Cena who one night came out on Raw and made numerous references to Nintendo games to crowd cheers. Any time Nintendo John would even mention Nin-Ten-Do!, applause would play.
- Westminster Chimes: The sound effect used for the short-lived Clocktrolla device on the WrestleCrap Radio podcast.
- What Could Have Been: The "Rewriting the Book" columns are usually an example of this. For example, "What if Goldberg had defeated Kevin Nash at Starrcade?" or "What if the Montreal Screwjob never happened?" In universe... well, on website.
- What the Hell, Hero?: According to Art0donnel's induction of the HLA segment, one of the most troubling things about it was how all the male wrestlers had previously been seen to be staring at the backstage tv monitors to watch the lesbians, yet when Eric Bischoff told 3 Minute Warning beat the lesbians up, none of them (not even the main eventer faces) bothered to go out to the ring and help them.