Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Mega-Maniacs vs. Money, Incorporated – WWF, 1993
It was February 1st, 1993. Vince McMahon came out to the ring and announced the return of an “all-time great.” Unfortunately, it was Brutus Beefcake. Beefcake (real name Ed Leslie), had had a great deal of success in the WWF (mainly due to his friendship with Hulk Hogan). However, in the early 1990’s Beefcake had been walking down a beach and been struck in the face by a hang glider’s legs. Beefcake was forced to undergo facial reconstruction surgery which had also taken him out of the ring. Beefcake, however, had simply begun doing an interview show – the Barber Shop (best known for being the site of Shawn Michaels’s turn on Marty Jannetty and subsequent destruction of the Rockers).
Brutus took the microphone and announced that he was making a return to the ring and the crowd went mild. He talked about the problems he’d had in life, including nearly dying in the hospital (which caused a fan in the crowd to yell at Beefcake to kill himself), only to be turned around by Hulk Hogan (which caused more of the crowd to start booing) who gave him the encouragement he needed to come back.
Later in the night, Money, Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster (Mike Rotundo) ) came out for an interview. DiBiase was displeased and said that Beefcake’s first match could be against himself or IRS. Despite manager Jimmy Hart’s protests that this was a bad idea, DiBiase won a coin toss and the match was set.
On the next episode of Raw (two weeks later), the match was on. DiBiase was in firm control when IRS made his way down to the ring. When DiBiase sent Brutus into the ropes, IRS cracked him with his briefcase for the DQ. That brought IRS into the ring to have some fun with a beatdown. Jimmy Hart tried to stop them, but Money, Inc. just tossed him aside. They finally left with Vince McMahon talking about how Brutus was literally holding his face together. Hart stayed in the ring calling for help.
The next week Hulk Hogan made his return to the ring… for an interview. Hogan thanked Jimmy for protecting Brutus, which brought out Brutus himself. He echoed Hogan’s sentiments, then they said declared war on Money, Inc., saying they would seize their assets. Asset #1? Their manager, Jimmy Hart. Jimmy called that day the greatest day of his life, then Hogan coined a team name – the Mega-Maniacs.
The excitement continued the next week as Money, Inc. came out for an interview. They accepted the challenge for Wrestlemania, and now called the briefcase the Beefcase, complete with a picture of Hogan glued to the side. They put the WWF tag belts on the line, and blew off losing Jimmy Hart.
On the next episode of Raw… nothing happened. Well, they aired ads for Wrestlemania focusing on Hogan’s return to the ring – does that count?
On March 22nd’s Raw, we had Money, Inc. taking on Scott Rich and Jeff Armstrong. Easy win for IRS and DiBiase.
That brought us to a Sunday special – the March to Wrestlemania. We got a quick recap of the feud to this point, and then went into a match with Money, Inc. taking on Jerry Sabin and Reno Riggins. Another easy win for the champs.
Immediately after that match, we went to Gene Okerlund, who had Hogan, Beefcake, and Hart standing by. Basically they said that they’d win at Wrestlemania.
One week later we were at Wrestlemania IX, notable for Jim Ross making his WWF debut. Anyway, we finally got to the title match. Hogan and Beefcake took control early, so IRS and DiBiase started to the back. That caused referee Earl Hebner to begin counting the champions out, with the stipulation that if they didn’t make it back in by 10, they lost the titles. DiBiase locked the Million Dollar Dream in on Hogan while IRS distracted the referee. That enabled Beefcake to lock in a sleeper of his own on DiBiase, resulting in both Hogan and DiBiase dropping. Hogan woke up first and tagged in Beefcake. DiBiase grabbed the briefcase and clocked Beefcake with it. Beefcake managed to recover after having his protective mask (worn because of his facial injuries) pulled off and locked the sleeper on IRS, which resulted in the referee getting knocked out. While the referee was out, both Money, Inc. members got clocked with Beefcake’s mask. With no referee, Jimmy Hart slid into the ring and counted the pin himself. Real referee Danny Davis ran out and disqualified Hogan and Beefcake for the use of the foreign object. And that was it.
Later in the night, Hogan would insert himself into the main event (Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna) and wound up winning the WWF title.
This was a sad commentary on the WWF’s talent roster at the time. Hogan was past stale at this time. DiBiase was injured and would soon be forced to retire from the ring, and Beefcake also had no business in the ring after his face was completely rebuilt. Of course, everything was going to change by the end of the year anyway.
Where are they now?
Hulk Hogan wound up losing the title back to Yokozuna at King of the Ring and wound up disappearing. After a brief time in Japan, Hogan showed up in WCW in June of 1994. Hogan still makes occasional WWE appearances, and currently has his own reality show on VH1 called “Hogan Knows Best.”
Brutus Beefcake jumped to WCW soon after Hogan won the WCW title from Ric Flair, now calling himself Brother Bruti. He would spend the rest of his WCW run going from failed gimmick to failed gimmick (Zodiac, the Man with No Face, the Bootyman, and the Disciple). Today Beefcake still competes on the occasional independent show (and reportedly offers haircuts to fans for $20.00).
Ted DiBiase wound up suffering a neck injury the following January, and was forced to retire from active competition. He returned that spring as a manager with his own stable – the Million Dollar Corporation, whose members would grow to include Nikolai Volkoff, Bam Bam Bigelow, IRS, Tatanka, and the 1-2-3 Kid. In 1996, DiBiase’s Corporation was gone, but he had a new protÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©gÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©, the Ringmaster (better known as Stone Cold Steve Austin). The Ringmaster wound up losing a Caribbean strap match to Savio Vega, which meant that DiBiase was gone. He wound up going to WCW (as the funding behind the NWO), managed the Steiner Brothers for a while, and wound up disappearing. Today DiBiase is a Christian speaker who recently returned to working for the WWE as a backstage road agent. His website is http://www.milliondollarman.com .
Irwin R. Schyster (Mike Rotunda) jumped to WCW in 1995 and returned to his old gimmick of Michael Wallstreet. He joined the NWO, and wound up going to Japan in 1997 when the NWO began disintegrating. He returned in late 1999 as part of Vince Russo’s rejuvenated Varsity Club. Rotundo returned to Japan and announced his retirement from the ring in 2004. Today Rotundo runs a security company with his wife.
WCW learns a hard lesson about Rock `N Wrestling.