T-Shirt Hell


Opinion Outpost

The Official Website of National-Level Bodybuilder Gerri Davis

Gerri Davis Banner, NPC National Level Heavyweight and Masters Female Bodybuilder

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Worst Horseman: Roma or Mongo?

The Four Horsemen were, unquestionably, one of the greatest factions in the history of professional wrestling, if not THE greatest. There has been debate over which version was the greatest: the original group consisting of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Tully Blanchard, or the version featuring Ric, Arn, Tully and Barry Windham. It's a debate that has been going on for a long time, and there are certainly valid arguments for both incarnations.

At the same time, there has been a long debate about who the worst Horseman member of all time was. Let's face it, even the greatest groups of all-time feature a weak link once in a while, and the Horsemen were not exempt from that. Over time, while some felt certain members were less deserving than others, the two that seem to top everyone's list are "Pretty" Paul Roma and Steve "Mongo" McMichael. Dubbed "The Horseshit of the Apocalpse" by many (okay, just me), Roma and Mongo have unquestionably become the worst two members of the groups history.

 However, there can only be one truly worst of the worst, and with this column, I hope to answer that question once and for all. I will take a look at each wrestler in a variety of categories, covering the issues that are most important in pro wrestling, with each wrestler earning one point for every category they are not considered the worst in. The wrestler at the end with the least amount of points will be declared the official-well, at least in my book-"Worst Horseman in History". And now, let the games begin.

ROMA: Before becoming a member of the illustrious group, Roma spent six years in the WWF, mostly as half of glorified jobber tag teams like the Young Stallions (w/Jim Powers) and Power & Glory (w/Hercules). Although he was a mainstay on WWF television and PPV pretty much that entire time, he still rarely won matches, and was usually nothing more than fodder for guys much higher on the card. Despite initially receiving a push with Hercules, Roma's fortunes didn't last long, with him and Hercules even being squashed by the Legion of Doom at Wrestlemania VII in under a minute, one of the shortest 'Mania matches in history. From there, Roma left WWF for WCW, and was instantly made the newest member of the Horseman on an episode of A Flair for the Gold.
MONGO: Before his time with the group, McMichael had no experience. Aside from a one-off as a Lumberjack for Lawrence Taylor at Wrestlemania XI, he wrestled one match against Flair and Arn Anderson with fellow football player Kevin Greene as his partner. During the match, McMichael's then-wife Debra came out and handed him a briefcase full of money, money that the Horsemen offered him to join the group. He immediately took it and cost his team the match after cracking Greene over the head with the case.

Despite the fact that Roma was mostly a jobber prior to his induction, at least he was a wrestler. McMichael only became a wrestler after joining this group, and his total lack of experience showed throughout his career.

ROMA: Regardless of his ability or track record, based on looks alone, it's easy to see why Roma had a job in major wrestling promotions for so long. He was a very good-looking individual, had a great physique and played the "cocky, pretty boy" role very well. 
MONGO: While Mongo was a football legend prior to wrestling, we're not going to focus on pre-wrestlingdays here. In the marketability department, Mongo had an average-at-best, overweight-at-worst body, a dumbass ponytail for a hairdo, and he used to dress up a chihuahua in costumes while doing commentary. The only thing marketable about him was his wife.

ROMA: While he would never be mistaken for Frank Gotch or Lou Thesz in the skills department, Roma was at least competent in the ring. What moves he did use were pretty crisp, and he had considerable agility for someone his size.
MONGO: Thanks to already being nearly 40 by the time he debuted, time already was against him. Aside from that, Mongo was a total clutz in the ring, never being able to learn moves more complex than a bodyslam or a clothesline (and even those, he did poorly). Had he actually taken a year or two to train before getting in the ring, things might have been different, but WCW was insistent on getting him TV right away and keeping him there, never giving him the time to actually learn to wrestle as a result.
ROMA: Again, Roma would never get mistaken for a legend in this area, such as fellow Horseman Ric Flair or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. That being said, Roma's promos were at least clear, coherent, and he seemed comfortable speaking in front of a crowd.
MONGO: The best way I can describe Mongo's mic skills are that he sounded then like Scott Steiner sounds now, only much less entertaining.

ROMA: Early in his career, Roma was pretty popular with fans, namely the females, due to his build and good looks. However, as his career kept going, fans cared less and less. When he was inducted into the Horsemen, he was nearly booed out of the building, and was more or less simply written out of the group later that same year. It also didn't help that he was replacing original member Tully Blanchard, who was expected to re-join the group but was instead fired from WCW for failing a drug test.
MONGO: When Mongo joined the group, the Horsemen were once again full-fledged heels, and just associating with them got you booed. As time went on, despite Mongo's skills never improving whatsoever, fans warmed up to him a little bit and more or less completely accepted him as a Horseman. Maybe not the smartest decision of the fans, but that's what happened.

ROMA: Roma did manage to rack up a few title wins in his career, including the CWA World Middleweight title, the IAW Heavyweight title, 3 IAW Tag Team titles, and the WCW World Tag Team titles 3 times, once with Hall of Famer and fellow Horseman Arn Anderson, the other two with Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff. He also won the "Most Improved Wrestler" award in 1990 Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
MONGO: A former WCW United States Champion, having won the belt off Jeff Jarrett, a wrestler fans cared even less about than Mongo. He also picked up the very prestigious "Worst Television Announcer" award in 1996 from the Wrestling Observer newsletter. 
ROMA: Prior to wrestling, Roma briefly competed in professional bodybuilding, a sport more grueling than most realize. Fortunately for him, Vince McMahon loves bodybuilding, and WWF soon came calling after that.
MONGO: Mongo was an All-American in football at the University of Texas. From there, he was drafted by the New England Patriots and then traded to the Chicago Bears, where he helped lead them to a Super Bowl Championship in 1985. He played for the NFC Pro Bowl teams in both 1986 and 1987, and spent a bit of time with the Green Bay Packers in 1994 before retiring. 

While both sports commonly produce pro wrestlers, those that have come from football backgrounds generally see more success and have more longevity in wrestling. As a result, Mongo gets the nod this time around.

*I know this one doesn't really matter, but just thought I'd add it for fun.
ROMA: Roma attempted to return to the WWF in 1997, working a house show match alongside Alex Roma, a student of Mr. Fuji. No contract was ever offered, and Roma began focusing on other ventures. In 2006, he returned to wrestling, first as the commissioner of the now-defunct Connecticut Championship Wrestling, then as a competitor for IAW, where he saw some championship success, a promotion he still works for today.
MONGO: Aside from a one-off appearance for TNA in 2008, Mongo has completely stayed away from wrestling and instead gone back to football. He currently hosts the Bears pre-game show for the ESPN affiliate in Chicago, and is also the head coach of the Chicago Slaughter of the Continental Indoor Football League. In 2010, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Sounds like Mongo's had more success overall, and managed to bow out of wrestling semi-gracefully, pointless appearance for TNA notwithstanding. 

Well, despite the fact that both were pretty awful overall, thanks to a highly scientific process by Yours Truly, Mongo gets the nod as "Worst Horseman in History", narrowly losing to Roma in a score of 5-3.  
I think this photo pretty much says it all. Congratulations, Mongo, you are the winner. Although in this situation, there really are no winners. 

No comments:

Post a Comment