If Poker Stars were 80s Wrestlers Who Would They Be?

It's the year end so a little bit of a fun column. To make it a little easier we'll assume that the wrasslin' was real. This will be a multi-part column.

Let's start with an easy one:

Greg Fossilman Raymer - King Kong Bundy

If Greg ever goes full bore and shaves the pate totally, he won't have too much heavy lifting to get to King Kong Bundy's physique. I'm not sure he'd have to "get into shape" as much as stay out of shape. King Kong Bundy was actually a pretty smart guy. The Fossilman wore his funky shades on his way to his Main Event bracelet and fooled everybody in thinking he was dumber than he really was. Both are giants but both seem to be teddy bears at heart.

John Juanda - Ricky the Dragon Steamboat

Okay, David the Dragon Pham was too obvious. The Dragons may share a nickname but that's about it. Ricky the Dragon was one of the more underated wrestlers out there. He took bumps with a generation of greatness, when his peers were Hulk Hogan, Randy Macho Man Savage, Rick Flair and others. Just wasn't enough room under the spotlight to truly appreciate him. Something Juanda shares in common with Steamboat as he pals around with Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivy, and Allen Cunningham. They both share a very similar look, and by look I don't mean appearence, it's a kind of a studied gaze when eyeballing their opponents.

Eskimo Clark - Hillbilly Jim

I've been in Eskimo Clark's vincinity. You'd know it by the smell. While there are probably a great many wrestlers that might have the funk (Terry Funk for one) Hill Billy Jim looks like he bathed the least. They also share a beard. Their names for whatever reason probably generated more recognition than their talents warrant. Sure, Eskimo has won some, but if he was just Paul Clark I doubt he'd be as recognizable. Same goes for Jim minus the Hill Billy. Gimmicks work in poker as well as wrestling.

Rowdy Roddy Piper - Mike the Mouth Matusow

I think Mike the Mouth looks a little bit like Ralph Malph/Mouth from Happy Days. Just dye the hair black. He looks even more like EPL manager Martin O'Neil. He looks absolutely nothing like Roddy Piper but both guys started out something as villians and for the most part both have transitioned into lovable rogues. Sure Mikey rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but he's kind of the smart ass in class who's too funny to get detentions. He and Roddy are loud, short-tempered, and have the energy of a black hole.

Daniel Negreanu - Eric Bischoff (alright 90s count too)

Both are little guys. Both have a lot of sway. Negreanu is a prominent voice in all the poker issues, perhaps with a little more sway than he deserves. Purely as a hero-villian the comparison fails. Bischoff was a villian and Negreanu is most fans white hatted cowboy. But bear with me, both always have the last word and all the answers. Both zig when their opponents are zagging. Bischoff's smarminess came with a smile and Negreanu never seems to be without his "I'm smarter than you" giggle. One day Negreanu will start sporting a black leather jacket and you'll see.
Patrick Antonius - Mr. Perfect
If only we could get the personality of cardboard to add the spit-the-gum-in-the-air-and-hit-it-trick of Curt Henning. Otherwise, the Brad Pitt of poker simply lives up to the wrestler's name because the ladies think he's perfect. Plus he plays near perfect online and live. The dude's living a perfect life too. Doubt he could go 10 for 10 from the foul line or smash home runs as Mr. Perfect claimed he could, but the Swede is poker's Mr. Perfect.
Jimmy SuperFly Snuka - Scotty Nguyn

It's all about the mullet baby.

--More to come



Matt Bryant said…
In the 90's, on Regis and Kathy Lee, I saw Mr. Perfect throw an extremely deep football pass and catch it himself.. Stunning
CC said…
Mike Caro = George the Animal Steele. The Animal was secretly a college professor if I remember correctly. And he had a green tongue and ate the turnbuckle.

Also, mixing generations like Mr. Perfect who was much later than Hilbilly Jim doesn't work for me. I would have gone with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff instead for that comparison.
C.S. said…
Hill Billy jim started in the WWF in 84 and was there until the early 90s. Henning actually precedeed him (82-84) and but was back again in 88.

That being said Paul Mr. Wonderful has a spot in a future post, I think. I also updated part two to include 90s wrestlers as the parallels between the two powerhouses of both "sports" is too much to ignore... but WCW didn't rise until the mid 90s.
C.S. said…
Oh, and I like the Mike Caro, George the Animal Steele, comparison I think I'll use it. According to wikipedia George was a teacher, so it works. Will have to tie it into "tells" somehow as Caro is best known for that. Maybe the animal's base instinct for micro-expressions to get an edge on his opponent?

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