For those who may not know, I’m a huge mark for pro-wrestling.
Before Vince thought creating a rival football league was a smart thing to do, he created a bodybuilding federation, The World Bodybuilding Federation to be exact.
At first Vince said he was just going to start up a magazine and supplement line, ICO-PRO. But then at the 1990 Mr. Olympia, Vince, along with former Mr. Universe, The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz, began handing out fliers about the new federation. They signed 13 of the best bodybuilders of that day, or at least the ones willing to take a risk. The Weider Brothers, who owned and controlled the IFBB, which basically meant they owned bodybuilding as they also owned two of the biggest publications, FLEX and Muscle & Fitness, they blacklisted any and all who signed with the WBF. Honestly, it was a shitty move of the IFBB, because pro-bodybuilders give their entire lives to this sport, and if you aren’t placing high in competition, or getting big sponsorship contracts, you aren’t making much.
Well, Vince came along and offered contracts in the 6 figure range. Guaranteed money. A chance to be a big fish in a small pond for once, and quite a bit of money, who the hell wouldn’t sign on the dotted line?
It only lasted for two PPV events however, and folded within around 18 months or so after it started. The second event was suppose to see the return of Lou Ferrigno, taking on WBF Champion Gary Strydom. However, this was during the time Vince was being indited by the Feds for steroids [selling, possessing]. So, Vince had all his guys go off the gear. Lou basically said “Fuck this” and bailed, heading back over to the IBBF.
There’s a lot of other great stories from this era, but we’re hear to talk about the debut event, which a lot of people were looking forward to. However, from the jump it was apparent that Vince may have respected bodybuilding, but his presentation of it….well, was lacking.
The show opens up with what appears to be the Ace Rothstein Dancers from Casino. It’s not short either, it’s a little over 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. From there, our host, Regis Phillbin, introduces our first bodybuilder: ‘The Flexing Dutchman’ Berry DeMey. Before each posing routine we get an introduction video, almost like you’re watching a dating video service for bodybuilders, and you quickly realize why Arnold became a star. Well, Berry likes cooking, and running. His posing routine starts off with all these chicks in towels, like they’re in a sauna or something, in the throw’s of ecstasy, as Berry comes down, wearing a hand-towel, then gives it to’em in a posing routine. He’s got some great shoulders, and thick spinal erectors, which is something I’ve always been after and admired.
Afterwards it’s Aaron Baker. I mean, wow. He has this giant mane of hair, and keeps reminding me of a very effeminate version of Sho Nuff from The Last Dragon. He talks about his artistic side, and of course his whole ordeal is a superhero. He parades around in this very exaggerated Dracula cape with sequins before a Phantom of the Opera-esq chick comes and removes it. Really, why on Earth Vince thought we needed this with our bodybuilding is beyond me. Perhaps he was trying to duck the federal charges by making an insanity plea. Regardless, Aaron Baker has a hell of a body, and is one of the most underrated of the 1990’s. I think a reason for that is because of the constant rumors that he was Gay. No sport is without it’s bullshit politics. Baker was sporting a massive, very detailed back here, with super thick arms. Unfortunately they don’t focus too much on his legs, but from what I see they’re keeping up with the rest of him. The only thing I think he needs is more upper chest.
Last up for part 1 is Troy Zuccolotto. His video once again displays why Arnold became such a stand out star, as Troy explains with the zest of cardboard his love of Vollyball, and washing his car. He comes out with a surfboard and some chicks in bikinis, being one of the lucky few to not have to be forced with the identity of a bodybuilding space alien or something. Great body though. Huge biceps, super wide lats, and very thick traps. He’s also pretty damn vascular.
Alright, that wraps up our look at part one, come back in a day or two and we’ll have a look at part 2, which starts off with one of the all time greats, Mike Christian. Who is now known of course as the Iron Warrior. Cripes.