Wrestling / The Gobbledy Gooker

"This may have been the single greatest bit of promotion not just by Vince McMahon and the WWF, but in the entire storied history of this great business. You may laugh, but I speak in earnest. Think about this: for months, the WWF carted around a giant egg. All the company ever said was that the egg would hatch at Survivor Series. That was it - they didn't say something magical was going to be inside, nor that it would change the course of mankind. Heck, they didn't even say it would impact the show itself. They just said, "We have an egg, it's going to hatch." That's it. Now think about this - there were people who were actually intrigued by this and spent money to see an egg - a GIANT EGG! - break open at a wrestling show. If that isn't evidence enough that Vince is, in fact, the greatest promoter who ever lived, I don't know what is."
RD Reynolds, WrestleCrap

"Everybody has speculated as to what might be in the egg. Is it a dinosaur? Is it a rabbit? Balloons? Is it the Playmate of the Month? Heh, who knows? Well, the way it sounds to me right now, the speculating is all over! Oop, stand back! I think that egg is ready to blow!!"
"Mean" Gene Okerlund, Survivor Series 1990

And blow it did: Out from a gigantic egg that had been carted to WWF events for weeks - which fueled tons of rumors about a new wrestler debuting, or something even bigger - came Hector Guerrero (Eddie Guerrero's brother) dressed in a gigantic turkey costume, complete with googly eyes and a muted, garbled speech upon being interviewed by Okerlund. The crowd response was a stunned silence, followed swiftly by a section of boos. Okerlund carried on with the segment by dancing in the ring with the Gooker (to "Turkey in the Straw") while Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper tried to remain enthusiastic on commentary, which did little to conceal the awkward silence from the Hartford, Connecticut crowd. (Perhaps they were expecting, for instance, the egg to hatch out dozens of frozen turkeys that would be donated to families of servicemen stationed in what was then Operation: Desert Shield, or some other charitable activity, rather than a poorly executed segment that was poorly conceived in the first place. To them, although the "hatching egg" thing would be a bit over the top, perhaps that would have been better.)

The character was rumored to be something of a mascot for the WWF, and Gooker segments with Koko B Ware, Tugboat and the Bushwhackers were taped around the same time. Almost immediately after this reception, however, the Gooker gimmick was canned by the WWF, and not mentioned again except as a bit of Self-Deprecation on the part of the company. The Gooker made a return at WrestleMania XVII for the Gimmick Battle Royale (played once again by Hector, who was the second wrestler eliminated, after Repo Man.) WrestleCrap's yearly award for the worst gimmick/storyline in wrestling is referred to as the Gooker Award, and RD Reynolds made the whole incident the first chapter in the inaugural WrestleCrap book.

Through all the running gags, nostalgic chuckles and speculation on why it happened or where it would have gone, it remains one of the most infamous moments in WWE history.


Tropes associated with the Gobbledy Gooker include:

  • Aborted Arc: Whatever was planned for the Gooker, and there was definitely something planned, it wasn't followed through with.
  • Alliterative Name: Gobbledy Gooker
  • Blatant Lies: "They didn't know what to think of him at first, but I think he's won the heart of Hartford!" Uh... sure, Piper.
  • Dance Party Ending: Between the Gooker and "Mean" Gene Okerlund at the end of the segment. There were a few audience members who stopped booing and imitated the Gooker's dance before the camera cut off.
  • Egg MacGuffin: A giant egg that hatched but ultimately amounted to nothing but material for jokes about how useless it was. One could have replaced it with a giant box, a truck with tinted windows and achieved the same effect.
  • Enemy Mine: Was the second wrestler eliminated from the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven, after Repo Man, with all of the 17 other guys all lifting him up to eliminate him, with the honors going to Tugboat. Made even funnier by the fact that he was a fairly normal sized guy, since in battle royals the usual approach is to get the biggest guys out first.
  • Epic Fail: Perhaps the most infamous one in Professional Wrestling history.
  • Expy: Jack Swagger's Swagger Soaring Eagle, which was another Guerrero in a bird costume.
  • Fun Personified: At least, that's what WWF brass were hoping, but Hartford didn't see it that way.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Sort of... it was on Thanksgiving.
  • Non-Action Guy: Many of the men who have donned the suit in the years afterwards for one-shot gags have been great wrestlers, or at least intimidating ones not afraid to get physical. The Gooker itself has no wrestling ability.
  • Put on a Bus: For over a decade. After Survivor Series, the gimmick did not appear again on live television until the Gimmick Battle Royal...in April 2001.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Turkey in the Straw"
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Months of build up, seconds to tear down, years before it was ever acknowledged again.
  • The Unintelligible A Turkey that communicates through sign language, apparently.