Top Rope Back Blast: Tugboat stands back up!

September 16, 2020//Aldrich Elementary//AO- Top Rope//Approx. 60 degrees Fahrenheit//

Pax: Zero Res, Armbar, Patton, Othello, U-Haul, Kielbasa, Hardhat, Griswold & Tugboat

Q: Tugboat

Warm O’ Rama – Tugboat’s Babyface Debut

Pictured – The OG Tugboat

Today’s workout was a tribute to YHC’s namesake, the pro wrestler Tugboat.  YHC explained how Tugboat was first introduced to the WWF as a “babyface” good guy character who was always high fiving the fans and teaming up with the other good guy pro wrestlers.  Hence, we performed the following warm-up exercises which were selected for maximum fun:  

1. Ravishing Rick Rude Imperial Walkers – Traditional IW in 1-2-3 cadence with the “Rude Awakening” sexy hip swivel at the conclusion of each rep

2. Giant Choke Slam – One-armed sun gods followed by a Bobbie Hurley where you mimic choke slamming an invisible opponent.

3.  Bonnie Flairs – Bonnie Blairs with your lower body while styling and profiling with your upper body – loudly “Whooooooooo!” after each complete rep.

4.  RKO’s Outta Nowhere – Hold a deep air squat until YHC yells “RKO Outta Nowhere”, then the entire group does a jump tuck while simulating the act of performing a RKO against an invisible opponent.  Return to deep air squat upon landing.

Pre-Thang – The Heel Turn – Tugboat Becomes Typhoon

Pictured – Typhoon:

For the next portion of this beatdown, YHC explained how Tugboat abandoned his good guy ways and became a bad guy (referred to as a “heel” in pro wrestling parlance) by turning on his fellow babyface teammates the Bushwackers in a tag team match.  He then became “Typhoon” and formed a tag team called “The Natural Disasters” with another gigantic heel wrestler named “Earthquake”.

Video evidence of that heel turn is available here:

https://youtu.be/Mn8WPIL2ats

From this point forward, he was a bad guy.  To focus on his change in personalities, the pre-thang tried to get a little nasty with a wall-sit bearcrawl relay along the west side of the elementary school.  The pax performed deep wall sits and lined up side by side while each pax bear crawled across the length of the line one at a time.  We went through several successions and eventually quit when we reached the opposite end of the wall.

The Thang: The Shockmaster

The Natural Disasters enjoyed great success in WWF, but eventually their contracts ran out and Typhoon left the WWF to join its rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW).  WCW was preparing for “War Games” which was one of their biggest pay-per-view events of the year.  The War Games main event was going to be a steel cage match with the heel group of Big Van Vader, Sid Vicious and the tag team Harlem Heat against the face group of Sting, Dusty Rhodes, the British Bulldog and a mystery teammate.  WCW changed Typhoon into “the Shockmaster” and planned to insert him into the main event as the mystery teammate.  

The week before War Games, WCW was on national television with a live broadcast of a separate event called “Clash of the Champions”.  Shockmaster’s new outfit included a plastic Star Wars stormtrooper helmet which had been painted and covered in glitter.  In his introduction segment, Sting and British Bulldog were having a face-off with Sid Vicious and Harlem Heat and were supposed to introduce Shockmaster in dramatic fashion.  The plan was for Shockmaster to literally break through a wall like the Kool Aid man and scare the bad guys with his intimidating bulk, his scary helmet and a voice-over promo provided in a spooky voice.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t see out of the helmet and he stumbled breaking down the wall and fell over on national TV.  His fancy helmet went flying off and revealed his true identity.  With the exception of Sid Vicious, all of the other wrestlers involved in the interview broke character and had to regain their composure.  Because this was live TVthey had to find a way to finish the interview, but he had suffered an embarrassing humiliation.  

A tragedy in three parts:

Available on video here:

https://youtu.be/Fahljd_0xjA

To recreate the Shockmaster’s debut, we split into groups of 2 and performed a 2-man grinder.  YHC placed cones approximately 75 yards from the school.  The partners performed the following exercises, with one PAX doing the exercise and the other PAX running uphill from the cone to the school, touching the school and then running back to the cone.

50 burpees

50 hydraulic squats

50 hand release merkins

These exercises were selected to recreate Shockmaster’sexperience falling to the ground and then picking himself back up.  The partners counted cumulative reps until they finished one exercise and then they would move to the next exercise.  At the conclusion of the sequence each group would rinse and repeat.  This continued until YHC called OMAHA.

Mary:

15 flutter kicks

15 LBC’s

15 box cutters

12 “Tugboat” American Hammers – a standard American Hammers with your upper body performing a rowboat rowing motion instead of the normal side to side shimmy

COT: 

The performer who wrestled as Tugboat, Typhoon and the Shockmaster was a man named Fred Ottman.  YHC explained how he loves listening to podcasts with former pro wrestlers and how he has researched the Shockmaster incident extensively.  Mr. Ottman has said that the night after his Shockmaster debut he was super angry and he just wanted to drink a case of beer by himself in his hotel room.  But after that first rough night he was able to put it behind him.  Now he looks back on the incident and he still wants to drink beer, but instead it’s because he was happy to be involved in something that so many people remember despite how personally embarrassing it was at the time.

The fact of the matter is that the Shockmaster was just a stupid idea.  Even if he had stayed on his feet breaking through that wall, it still would have been just dumb as hell.  If it wasn’t for him falling down the way he did, there would be no reason to remember War Games 1993 even among die hard fans like myself.  Fred Ottman could have chosen to let this accident ruin his career, but instead he put his helmet back on and finished the scene to the best of his abilities.  27 years later, no one thinks of him as the Shockmaster (unless it’s a nerd like me or a select community of my internet pro wrestling fans, in which case we remember him fondly).  He is instead remembered as either Tugboat or as Typhoon.  So YHC’s advice for the PAX was to be prepared for failure and personal humiliation but to not let it define you.  Follow Fred Ottman’s example and take a night to be angry but then get back to work and put it behind you.  If you can show the world that you’ve moved on then eventually the world will move on as well.  

Have a great day! – Tugboat

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