Wrestling: Dungeon of Doom
The rarely seen WCW Dungeon of Doom shirt.The Dungeon Of Doom
was a Professional Wrestling Power Stable
that existed in WCW
from May 1995 to July 13, 1997. It developed out of the short-lived Power Trio
the Three Faces of Fear (Kevin Sullivan
, the Butcher [Brutus Beefcake
] and Avalanche [John Tenta
]) which existed from late October 1994 until April 1995. At WCW Slamboree 95
, May 21, 1995, Sullivan d. The Man With No Name (Butcher). After the match, the Master ("King" Curtis Iaukea
- no relation to Mike "Prince Iaukea" Haynor) appeared on the video screen ranting about Hulkamania
and how it needed to be stopped. Sullivan ran through the crowd and out of the arena. This led to a vignette showing Sullivan running through a forest with the Master calling for him. Then Sullivan disappeared and reappeared at the Master's feet inside the Dungeon, with the Master talking about how the "warriors were gathering." Sullivan said that he didn't want to disappoint the Master, but "no one can defeat the Immortal Hulk Hogan, no one." The Master told Sullivan, whom he called his "SONNNNNNNNNN
," to take "the final step," leading to Sullivan running toward another area of the Dungeon. He reemerged in a red robe as "The Taskmaster," calling the Master "Father" and saying that he knew what his "Father" meant when he said that it was etched in STOOOONNNE!!!!!
Over the next few weeks on WCW TV, the Master would present different warriors to be used to destroy Hogan, starting with Kamala
(his WCW debut), the Shark (Tenta), the Zodiac (Beefcake), Meng
and, most importantly, the centerpiece, The Giant
During the feud with Hulkmania, the Yeti and Lex Luger
were added to the Dungeon's lineup. Additionally, The Shark would be kicked out of the group after he decided to go after the WCW World Title even though it was held by The Giant, and Zodiac would quit after it turned out he was a spy working for Hogan sent to infiltrate the group. After the New World Order
angle took off, the Dungeon languished as the home of midcard and lower midcard heels who weren't doing anything better at the time. During this period of time Hugh Morrus
, The Barbarian
, The One Man Gang
, Loch Ness
, Maxx Muscle, Braun the Leprechaun, Konnan
, and managers Jacqueline
and Jimmy Hart
would join. The Dungeon officially disbanded when Kevin Sullivan lost a career vs career match with Chris Benoit
in mid 1997.
Jimmy Hart would form a Spiritual Successor
stable called the First Family (reviving the name of his stable from when he was a top heel manager in Memphis in the early 1980s) with Dungeon alumni Meng, Hugh Morrus and the Barbarian, along with Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs
and Jerry Flynn. Although Meng was the initial Centerpiece of the stable, he'd get arbitrarily kicked out of it at the start of 1999 and the stable never found a replacement Centerpiece. The First Family seemed to be in line for a fairly significant push, but a combination of injuries to its members and the hiring of a new booking staff headed by Vince Russo
caused the stable to quietly disband.
Sullivan would form a second DOD in USA Pro (later renamed USA Xtreme) Wrestling in New York City with Gangrel
, Luna Vachon
(who got her start in Sullivan's Army of Darkness in Florida in the 1980s), the Wall (Jerry Tuite), "Psycho" Sam Dudley (Mark Vartanian- who had teamed with Big Dick Dudley, thus giving him a connection to the Dudleys
) and "Hardrock" Ken Sweeney.
Championships won by DOD members while IN the DOD:
Not to be confused with the Roguelike The Dungeon Of Doom
" THESE TROPES HAVE BEEN ETCHED IN STOOOONNNE, MYYYYYYYYYYYSONNNNNNNNNN!"
- Acrofatic: "The Laughing Man" Hugh Morrus
- Alliterative Name: Lex Luger, Maxx Muscle, Big Bubba
- Animal Motifs: The Shark
- Also, the Master referring to Hogan as "the rare white Bengal Tiger"
- Arc Words: "For it is etched in stone..." The Master and Sullivan repeated this over and over again, saying that it was predetermined that the Dungeon of Doom would defeat Hulk Hogan and destroy Hulkamania, which, of course, didn't happen.
- Arch-Enemy: Hulk Hogan, of course, Randy Savage, Sting, later Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit
- Artistic License – Geography: In the original DOD vignette, the Master announced "the warriors are gathering, on the four continents and the seven oceans." There are officially seven continents, North and South America, Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe and Oceania. However, as the Americas ARE connected, Europe and Asia are connected due to Russia and to Turkey, and Africa and Asia are connected via The Middle East, and Antarctica and Oceania are completely separate landmasses, it could be suggested that the Master was not entirely wrong.
- In the vignette that introduced the Shark, the Master referred to "The Seven Seas and the four oceans."
- Badass: Meng, the Barbarian
- Bald of Evil: The Master, Taskmaster, Z-Gangsta, Konnan
- Be Careful What You Wish For: After spending a year attempting to destroy Hulkamania, believing that "no Hulkamania" meant "no Hogan," Hogan did the Heel Turn of the year at Bash at the Beach 96, launching the NWO and destroying Hulkamania, and disproving Sullivan's theory.
- Beard of Evil: The Master, Taskmaster, Kamala, Shark, the Giant, Meng, Hugh Morrus, the One Man Gang, Barbarian, Loch Ness, Big Bubba, Braun the Leprechaun
- Berserk Button: Sullivan would point to Kamala's opponents during squashes and yell "Hulkamania!" to get him to focus.
- The Berserker: Braun the Leprechaun
- Big Bad/The Evil Genius: The Taskmaster
- Bigger Bad/Evil Mentor: The Master. Although he had more of a defined character than most Bigger Bads, his involvement in the Dungeon angle was mostly limited to promos and vignettes, as he was long-retired from in-ring competition by that time.
- Big "YES!"/Big "NO!": The Zodiac shouting "YES! NO! YES! NO!"
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The Yeti, real name Ron Reis. Of course, he was actually a Mummy. Then he ditched the mummy bandages and dressed up like Scorpion as the Super Giant Ninja. Yes, it made just as much sense in context.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Lex Luger
- Brawn Hilda: Jacqueline and her muscles were portrayed as scary rather than unattractive, but same general idea.
- British Teeth: Loch Ness and Braun the Leprechaun
- The Cameo/Celebrity Star: Actor Tommy "Tiny" Lister, best known as "Zeus" in Hogan's 1989 movie No Holds Barred, as Z-Gangsta and actor/wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson (Bane in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin) as the Ultimate Solution as members of the Alliance to End Hulkamania (Ric Flair/Arn Anderson/Taskmaster/Lex Luger/Meng/Barbarian/Z-Gangsta/Ultimate Solution) in the Doomsday Cage match against Hogan and Savage at WCW UnCensored 96. Yes, 2 guys against 8, where the 8 guys have no chance of winning.
- Carry a Big Stick: The Master had a staff that he held in the early vignettes, waving it to bring out Kamala and the Shark.
- Catch Phrase: (The Master): "TASKMASTER, MYYYYYYYYYYYSONNNNNNNNNN!"
- "IT IS ETCHED IN STOOOONNNE!!!!!''
- "SHARK ATTACK! SHARK ATTACK!"
- (The Zodiac): "YES! NO! YES! NO!"
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
- The Master disappeared without any reason given and was never mentioned again.
- The One Man Gang left after SuperBrawl VI in February 1996 after dropping the WCW United States Heavyweight Title to Konnan and was never seen or mentioned again.
- Maxx Muscle disappeared at some undetermined point in 1997 as well.
- Loch Ness and Braun also disappeared into thin air without official explanations. The real reasons were, respectively, cancer-related health issues, and complete failure to get over.
- Cobweb of Disuse/Extremely Dusty Home: The Master had some cobwebs on him in the early vignettes in the Dungeon, and, as the Dungeon looked to be built inside of a cave, it probably could have used a good dusting.
- Cool Shades: Jimmy Hart
- Covered with Scars: The Master's forehead, as King Curtis was notorious for having perhaps the most scarred-up head in wrestling history from years of bloody brawling.
- Dark Action Girl: Jacqueline. The last-ever member of the DOD, her role was to accompany Sullivan to the ring for his squash matches and beat up his opponents.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: This was their goal, defeat Hulk Hogan and destroy Hulkamania.
- Demoted to Extra: After the NWO became the top heel group, and, especially, after the Giant joined them.
- Department of Redundancy Department: In the vignette that introduced the Shark, the Master said that he had "surfed a tidal wave from the South China Sea to Waikiki." When the Shark walked in, he said the same thing.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Tony Schiavone would often just pronounce Hugh Morrus' name as "humorous".
- Double Agent: Lex Luger turned heel at Halloween Havoc 95 and sided with the Dungeon. However, he and Sting defeated Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) for the WCW World Tag Team Titles on the January 22, 1996 WCW Monday Nitro, which meant that he was aligned with both a top babyface and a top heel group at the same time. WCW finally resolved this by turning Luger face in the Doomsday Cage match at UnCensored in March, because they needed him as a face due to what was coming two months later.
- Duality Motif: The Zodiac had a zebra striped face and gear. In the vignette where he debuted, the Master said that he "knows neither pain nor pleasure. Has walked in darkness, has walked in light."
- Dungeon: Well, yeah.
- Evil Laugh/Laughing Mad: The Master, in the entrance music, Taskmaster, also Hugh Morrus, of course, and Braun the Leprechaun.
- Evil Redhead: Braun the Leprechaun
- Expy: The Undertaker's Ministry Of Darkness drew comparisons to the Dungeon, and not positive ones. As a general rule, when someone says that [X] is like the Dungeon of Doom, he or she is saying that, in that person's opinion, [X] is stupid.
- Face-Heel Turn: Jimmy Hart, Hogan's manager, turned on him during Hogan's match with the Giant at Halloween Havoc 95, costing Hogan the WCW World Heavyweight Title as it was later revealed that Hart had set up the contract so that the belt could change hands on a DQ. To add to this, Lex Luger, who had come back from WWE a month earlier and was immediately distrusted by Randy Savage, turned on Savage after both guys had run into the ring, presumably to help Hogan.
- Facial Markings: The Taskmaster, Kamala, Zodiac, the Ultimate Solution
- Finishing Move:
- Taskmaster: Tree of Woe (Running knee to opponent upside down in the corner) followed by the Double Stomp on the Stomach.
- Kamala: Big splash
- Shark: Shark Attack (running clothesline)
- Zodiac: Top-rope knee to the back of opponent's head
- Giant: Chokeslam
- Meng: Asian spike (thumb to the throat nerve hold), Tongan Death Grip
- Lex Luger: Torture Rack
- Hugh Morrus: No Laughing Matter (moonsault)
- The One Man Gang: Splash
- Barbarian: Kick of Fear
- Loch Ness: Elbow drop
- Maxx Muscle: Swinging Full Nelson neckbreaker
- Big Bubba: Bubba Slam (sidewalk slam)
- Konnan: Tequila Sunrise, Cradle DDT
- Braun the Leprechaun: Top rope kneedrop
- The Giant. Yes.
- Runners-up: Kamala, The Yeti, the One Man Gang and Loch Ness
- Gimmick Matches: The most prominent ones were the Hogan-Giant Monster Truck Match at Halloween Havoc 95 and the Hogan/Savage-Alliance to End Hulkamania Doomsday Cage Match at WCW Uncensored 96. Aside from those, a lot of early Squash tag matches where it was the Shark with Kamala and/or Zodiac would be unofficially turned into handicap matches, where Shark would have to do almost all the work himself, since Zodiac would be saying "YES! NO! YES! NO!" when Shark looked for a tag and Kamala wouldn't want to even get in the ring. (For the Reality Subtext, see Screw This, I'm Outta Here! below.)
- Heel-Face Turn: The Shark was kicked out of the Dungeon after the WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant defeated him and Big Bubba shaved off half of his hair. Shark abandoned the gimmick and went back to his own name of John Tenta for the remainder of his WCW run.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Announcer Tony Schiavone pronounced the Yeti's name as "the Yeh-TAY," so that has become the official pronunciation.
- Large Ham: The Master, the Taskmaster, the Shark, the Giant, Jimmy Hart
- Leprechaun: Yes. Full name Braun the Leprechaun. Real name Dewayne Bruce, better known as Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker of the Jobber-to-the-stars tag team the State Patrol and as a trainer at WCW's wrestling school the Power Plant. He lasted about a month. His TV debut can be seen here.note
- Lightning Bruiser: The Shark, Meng, Barbarian
- The Master: Well, duh. It was only King Curtis Iaukea's Stage Name here.
- Mighty Glacier: Kamala, The Yeti, Loch Ness
- The Mole: After the Zodiac left the group in February 1996, he was repackaged as The Booty Man (sort of like Billy Gunn's "Mr. Ass" gimmick), now a Face and a Friend of Hogan. Hulk explained that he had sent him into the Dungeon as a "mole." However, it actually DOES make sense when you consider the finish of the War Games match between the Hulkamaniacs (Hogan/Savage/Sting/Luger) and the Dungeon of Doom (Kamala/Shark/Zodiac/Meng) at WCW Fall Brawl 95, September 17, 1995. The Hulkamaniacs won when Hogan forced Zodiac to submit. Hulk had to have Zodiac be the one to submit, since he was the weakest guy on the team, (also because Kamala didn't speak, Meng was/is a legitimate Badass Monster and the Shark was too big) and because it would have looked suspicious if Hulk had fought with the other three guys but left Zodiac alone. The two might have planned for Hogan to not actually apply any pressure when he locked on the submission (so as not to hurt his friend any more than he had to), but for Zodiac to submit anyway (to give his friend Hogan the win against the DOD team). Kind of like a less stupid version of the Fingerpoke Of Doom.
- Monster Heel: The majority of the stable. Loch Ness, The Giant, The Yeti, The Shark, Kamala, Hugh Morrus, Maxx Muscle, Big Bubba, Meng, and The Barbarian all weighed in at over 300 lbs.
- Monster Mash: Invoked, as Sullivan and the Master assembled the various monsters/giants/oddballs for the purpose of destroying Hulkamania.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A wrestling shark?
- NOOOOO INDOOR VOICE: The Master, the Taskmaster, the Shark, the Giant, Jimmy Hart. Hart's was high-pitched, as opposed to the more booming voices of the Master, the Shark and the Giant.
- No Sell: The Giant and Meng both regularly no-sold things. Kevin Sullivan also no-sold a lot when he'd wrestle jobbers on the syndicated shows.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: In the theme music.
- Parts Unknown: Of course.
- "The Taskmaster," from "The Iron Gates of Fate"
- The Shark, from "Tsunami," later changed to "The Great Barrier Reef" (it exists, but, obviously, no human actually lives there as it's underwater.)
- The Zodiac, from "The Land of Yin and Yang"
- In the vignette that introduced Hugh Morrus, Sullivan said he was from "The Isle of Nowhere," although he was never announced as being from there. Michael Buffer did once announce him as being "from Parts Unknown, height unknown, weight unknown", however.
- Punny Name: Hugh Morrus.
- Ring Oldies: Taskmaster, Kamala, Zodiac, Meng and the One Man Gang all started in the 1970s; Loch Ness started in 1967
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kamala (w/Zodiac in his corner) was originally scheduled to face Randy Savage at Halloween Havoc, but quit out of frustration with WCW legitimately not paying him. Sullivan explained that Kamala had told him that he was "afraid" of Savage so Sullivan beat him up and sent him back to Uganda. Savage subsequently Squashed Zodiac.
- Shout-Out: A somewhat jokey one. As part of Cactus Jack's anti-hardcore pro-WCW Heel campaign in ECW in late 1995, he wore a self-designed "Dungeon of Doom" T-shirt, with a hand-drawn picture of the Shark, Kamala and Zodiac on the front and the words "DUNGEON OF DOOM" with a big heart around them on the back for the Tommy Dreamer/Terry Funk vs. Raven/Cactus main event at ECW November to Remember 95. The crowd chanted, "HATE THE SHIRT CACTUS HATE THE SHIRT!"note
- The Sixth Ranger: While not an official member, Big Van Vader was loosely affiliated with the DOD, as the Master and the Taskmaster sent him on a "Roadkill Tour" leading to his match with Hogan at Bash at the Beach 1995. This tour saw Vader go on a long streak of Squashes and even make a cameo in Jerry Lawler's United States Wrestling Association in Memphis, TN, which was affiliated with WWE at the time.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: The DOD were not immune from their own members turning on them, as three members all quit for the NWO. First, the Giant switched, after Hogan had defeated him for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. His reason? Money.
- On the December 16, 1996 Nitro, the Faces of Fear (Meng and the Barbarian) d. WCW World Tag Team Champions the Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) by DQ when DOD member Big Bubba ran in and hit Meng with the Bubba Slam, thus joining the NWO.
- Konnan broke away from the DOD in June 1997, though his re-debut with the NWO was on July 14, 1997, the night after the DOD collapsed. See below.
- Jacqueline turned on Sullivan, costing him his Career vs. Career match against Benoit at WCW Bash at the Beach 97, July 13, 1997, thus ending the DODnote . (Sullivan went back to work in the office, though he did not compete again until Starrcade 1999. In fact, he was actually stripped of the CWA (Century Wrestling Alliance in New England) Heavyweight Title after losing this match. Though why he was holding a title in a New England promotion for over a year-and-a-half while wrestling for and booking a promotion based in Atlanta, GA was never explained.)
- Slogan Yelling Megaphone Guy: Jimmy Hart
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's Hugh Morrus, not Hugh Morris.
- Squash Match: Many DOD matches not involving Hogan, Savage, Sting, the Steiners, Harlem Heat or Benoit would fall into this category.
- Tag Team: The Faces of Fear (Meng and the Barbarian)
- Take That: The August 10, 1996 episode of WCW Saturday Night, which aired live before the first WCW Hog Wild (later renamed Road Wild due to a trademark issue) PPV, featured a vignette where, in part, the Taskmaster brought out Braun the Leprechaun, calling him the DOD's answer to Chris Benoit.
- Unfortunate Name: Actor/wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson was brought in for a one-shot appearance as a member of the Alliance to End Hulkamania. His character was originally going to be named the Final Solution (also Hitler's name for the Holocaust), before common sense prevailed and the name was changed to the Ultimate Solution.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Jimmy Hart had a variety of jackets that he wore while seconding various DOD members, though the "Taskmaster" one is the most famous.
- Unrelated Father and Son: The Giant was introduced as the Kayfabe "son" of André the Giant.
- Wild Tongan: Meng and the Barbarian.
- The X of Y: The Dungeon of Doom, the Faces of Fear