Operation Gimmick Impossible – Mission 4: Bastion Booger

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Cpl. Dick Peters is back with another mission straight from the Top Secret Super Classified Operation known as Operation Gimmick Impossible. This week we are going to debrief a fairly large nose goblin known as Bastion Booger. But before we can get to my Booger pick this week, we have to touch base on another character all together. I guess you could call this a double mission.

Operation 1: From Friar to… Sewer Creature?
Bastion Booger, aka Mike Shaw, came into the WWF in 1993. His most memorable runs on a national scale were likely in the NWA/WCW under a few different gimmick names during 1989 & 1990, including “Norman the Lunatic” & “Trucker Norm”. Prior to his run with the NWA, Shaw had a long, successful run in Calgary’s Stampede Wrestling, where he performed under the name Mukhan Singh, and feuded with the like of Owen Hart. Believe it or not, Shaw & Owen stole the show on many occasions up in Canada. Following Shaw’s run in the NWA, he headed down to Dallas, Texas and the Global Wrestling Federation, where he returned to the Mukhan Singh character by claiming the happy-go-lucky Norm character in NWA was all a ruse. GWF backers would pull out of the company, and the more recognizable names like Shaw were soon released from their Global “contracts”. And that brings us to…

FRIAR FERGUSSON
Originally, the character’s name was to be the “Mad Monk” (a heel version that attacked Typhoon during an untelevised angle), but Vince McMahon would alter the character before it made it to air. If you ask me, the only thing MAD about this gimmick, was it’s creator thinking it was a good idea. The Monk would return at the next taping under the moniker “Friar Ferguson”, where he would make his television debut by coming to the aid of an enhancement talent that was being mauled by Bam Bam Bigelow following a squash match. This appeared to have set up a future match between the two big men, but it was never meant to be… or was it? We’ll get to that later. The following week (the same tapings) on Raw, Friar Ferguson would have his first, and last, wrestling match. Check out the Friar as he has some fun with Chris Duffy below.

What an awesome name by the way. Friar Ferguson? Had a great ring to it. However, the gimmick wasn’t meant to be. The Catholic church diocese of New York City didn’t care for the gimmick, and in hindsight who really did? So back to the drawing board Vince went. He already had Shaw under contract, and now he was forced to ditch the Monk gimmick. And I for one can’t thank the Catholic Church enough. But there were other gimmicks brewing in the mind of the mad-genius McMahon. Oh, yes there was.

Operation 2: I’m the…..Booger Man
After Vince caved in to the Catholic diocese complaints, he would brainstorm ideas for Shaw’s new character, but it wouldn’t take long. There was one brainchild that McMahon had in his mind, just sitting there waiting to be born. That my friends, was Bastion Booger (Sebastian Booger was the originally proposed name based on some reports)! The Booger character’s original draft was to feature a hideous mask, complete with horns and other ugly features. The costume was to be silver, with scales or spikes made into the gear. In short, Vince had planned for the Booger character to be a “Sewer Creature”. Sounds great doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to see those blueprints? If the Friar didn’t get over, this thing sure would! McMahon took one look at Shaw and realized, he didn’t need the mask and the gimmicks to look hideous, this would save Vince some money! Shaw was built for the character, bald where he needed hair, hair where he should be bald, a giant hump on his back, and well over 400 pounds by this point in his career, Mike Shaw would make the perfect Bastion Booger. With the Friar gone, a couple of months later we were treated to the debut of the Booger Man.

I guess he was meant to be some gargoyle type character, according to Vince’s commentary. With a theme song that started off in the baritone of “I’m the BOOGER MAN”, to the hideous fart and snot noises that followed, it was evident from the beginning of the character, that the “Booger man” was going to be nothing more than a low card gimmick after he lost his debut match to Virgil on WWF Superstars (aired 6/19/93). Though Bastion would avenge this loss by defeating Virgil the following week, he really was nothing more than enhancement type talent that would be used to put over the upper level guys. Perhaps Booger’s biggest moment in the World Wrestling Federation would be when he defeated “The Rocket” Owen Hart. Now this isn’t the Owen Hart that came around after Survivor Series 1993. No, at the time the Booger character beat Owen Hart, Owen was being used as enhancement. While these two had thrilled fans in Stampede some years earlier, Booger’s weight prevented them from doing the same in the WWF. Below is the video featuring Booger’s biggest accomplishment in the World Wrestling Federation…

Operation 3: The Booger has been picked

Months went on, and Booger would do jobs for everyone from Marty Jannetty to the 1-2-3 Kid. Bastion would make his only WWF PPV appearance as part of the 1993 Survivor Series, where he teamed with The Headshrinkers & Bam Bam Bigelow to take on the “4 Doinks”. Leading into this PPV, the real Doink had defeated Booger in a match on Raw, then spiked Bastion’s pizza (which laid in the corner of the ring) with hot sauce. After losing the match, Booger needed a quick pick-me-up so he reached for his pizza, took a big bite, and BURNED HIS MOUTH! Now if anything constitutes a feud, it’s putting hot sauce on my pizza, damn it! Booger would continue his infatuation with eating over wrestling as he entered the Survivor Series match gnawing on a turkey carcass on his way to the ring.

Vince made a hilarious disgusted face at the entire entrance. As you’d imagine, the match was a complete joke, Booger would set one of the Bushwacker Doinks up for his finisher dubbed “A TRIP TO THE BATCAVE” (there is not a more fitting of a name for a finisher). Booger would stand over top of his opponents face, do a little wiggle dance, then drop to his knees, thus thrusting his bubble crotch into his opponent’s mouth and seemingly smothering his opponent in the process.

In this instance, instead of going for the pin the guy got up so he could eat a banana. After eating the banana he tried the Batcave move again but it didn’t work out as well the second time around. Booger was ultimately eliminated and sent back to the locker room in a memorable Series appearance that had nothing to do with his wrestling. The best moment that Shaw had on the show was during a scene that he wasn’t even a part of. Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan were talking about the “superstar of the year” and after talks about some of the names up for it, like Bret Hart and Lex Luger, Bobby Heenan looks at the camera and says “Booger is my pick!”. Classic Bobby.

At the turn of the year, just into 1994, there was a tag team encounter pitting the Smoking Gunns vs. Booger & Bam Bam Bigelow. During the match, Booger took a fascination to Bigelow’s “main squeeze” Luna Vachon on the floor. Bastion left the match and began to grope on Luna, drawing Bigelow into the mix. The result ended with the Smoking Gunns grabbing a count out victory after Booger & Bigelow got into a brawl on the floor. This would lead to a match between the two a week later (we finally got the Bam Bam vs. Friar payoff) on the 1/10/94 episode of Raw where Bigelow basically squashed Bastion in under 3 minutes. Booger would continue on, even joining guest commentary for Raw on 2/7/94. Believe it or not, in the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” department, Mike Shaw was quit witted and fairly humorous on the mike, so guest commentary was a perfect fit. Booger was scheduled to be a participant in the 1994 Royal Rumble but pulled a storyline no-show due to an “upset stomach”, with Vince claiming he had eaten too much. In reality, they had Booger skip the Rumble match to leave his spot open with no entry to make the fans think that Bret Hart was too injured to participate. For the next few months Booger would be relegated to putting over guys like Owen Hart, Sparky Plugg, and the Earhquake. Booger teamed with Yokozuna a handful of times heading into WrestleMania X to go over on Men on a Mission, I don’t even know what to think about that. Booger’s appearances at house shows would slowly dwindle month-to-month, and his TV appearances were almost nonexistent after February, save for one match against Koko B. Ware in April (Booger jobbed). Booger’s last few months were spent putting over new comers and tryout guys like Duke Droese & The Cuban Assassin on the house shows. By August 1994, Booger had been picked clean, and the character would disappear off into the sunset, or up someone’s nose, or maybe Booger was just flicked… It’s unclear.

Debriefing Mission 4: Bastion Booger
The Booger character was used mainly as enhancement talent for upper level stars and it worked in that sense. I personally think the Friar Ferguson gimmick would have been a more amusing character in the long run, but it was obvious that Bastion Booger was Vince’s pick (pun intended). WWF ran New York a lot in those days so they probably took the complaints of the diocese seriously and that is why the Friar gimmick was quickly dismissed. With a name like Bastion Booger, the gimmick was designed and utilized to be disgusting, and mission accomplished when it comes to that. Starting off with his snot, fart, whatever the hell those sounds are as entrance music, the constant eating of food in a slobbish manner, all the way down to his “Trip To The Batcave” finisher where he dropped his leg rolls and junk right in the face of his opponents. Everything about this guy was disgusting and in that sense the gimmick was a complete success. However, a gimmick shouldn’t be designed to gross out the audience and that be it. If the gimmick is disgusting but accomplishes something else then great, but when the sole goal of a gimmick is to make you throw up then you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. All in all, this is one of the worst of the worst as far as gimmicks are concerned and thankfully it didn’t last to long. This is living proof that you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, MAYBE you can even pick your friend’s nose in this day and age, but only Vince McMahon can pick… BASTION BOOGER! Mike Shaw himself had went on record that he felt bad about his WWF run because he got a lot bigger weight wise and he couldn’t do what was used to doing. Shaw said he felt he didn’t give Vince everything he had. Sadly, Mike Shaw passed away on September 11th, 2010 of a heart attack at the young age of 53.

Since that mission has been picked and flicked it is time for yours truly, Cpl. Dick Peters, to head back to headquarters and find out what the Commander has in store for me next week. Until next time CrazyMaxers, this is Cpl. Dick Peters, standing at attention.

1 COMMENT

  1. I’ve been catching up on some these and man I can’t stop laughing out loud. I forgot how bad some of these mid 90’s gimmicks were. Thanks for doing these write ups.

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