King Mabel passed away today, aged just 43.
I always liked Mabel.
From the first time I saw photos of Men On A Mission in WWF Annual ’94 and saw two huge guys wearing purple and yellow foil outfits I loved them because they looked like cartoon characters come to life. Where else other than wrestling are you going to see two guys look like this unashamedly:
I never saw King Of The Ring ’95 as a kid (probably for the best), so my first introduction to watching Mabel actually wrestle was Survivor Series 1995, with Todd Pettengill helpfully hyping the Mabel/Undertaker feud before his match:
I still get mild goosebumps at Todd’s delivery of ”He would defeat all challengers that night to become…KING…MABEL!” because after being raised on a diet of Saturday morning cartoons, I assumed Mabel had transformed into another, stronger being. Mabel and King Mabel were two completely different entities and now Mabel had won the crown, cape and sword he was so strong his NAME HAD CHANGED.
And to make matters more impressive, he’d pinned the Undertaker and Savio Vega in one night whilst being ‘only’ Mabel. Now he was King Mabel, he was capable of destroying the Undertaker’s face so badly he had to dress up as the Phantom of the Opera. So I figured during the Survivor Series match, Mabel was going to destroy Undi so badly he’d come back dressed as Darkman. Especially as he had that sword to stab him with, all I could think was ”is he going to leg-drop or cut his legs off first?”
Of course, Mabel would retreat rather than get taken down by Undertaker and would lose the Casket Match the next month. If Nash is to be believed, Mabel had ran his course due to his ability to injure headliners with the greatest of ease but seeing as he’d started feuding with the Undi’ they thought ”well, lets finish this and then get rid of him.” Making sure to have Diesel squash him on Raw in the mean time.
That being said, WWE kept on bringing the big guy back over the next few years. Either as the cool-as-fuck-looking Viscera, Love Machine Mabel or as the surprisingly-well-booked Big Daddy V he’d make appearances so a new guy could pin him and the commentators could go ”oh man, this new guy just beat former King Of The Ring winner Mabel! This new guy must be great!”
Regardless of gimmick or name, he’d always be King Mabel to me…the man so swag he slayed the Undertaker in purple and yellow foil.
What’s your favourite Mabel Memory?