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?

  • Chilean Sin Cara

    My favorite memory was back in 2008. WWE made its debut in Chile, so after long years watching WWF in vhs and sometimes in our national Tv(from 99-01, and then from 04 until today).

    So, in the ME was Undertaker vs Big Daddy V. We were wall crazy about seeing Undertaker live, but Big Daddy V made a great impression, performing as a great heel.


    • Levikeinz

      I was at that show too. Although it was vs. Mark Henry, and Big Daddy V interfered. I remember a mom who took her kid to the show being so disgusted by Vis’ physique.

      I never cared that much about Big Vis as a worker, but I remember him fondly as Viscera while growing up watching the Attitude Era. He will be missed.

  • Codster9

    I liked his Ministry Viscera look. Reminded me of a character from the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ movie. RIP

  • Loved him teaming up with Val Venis back when he had the love machine gimmick and wore silk pajamas in the ring. Those two were destined to be a tag team, though by the time they did, it was probably five years too late for them to get any real push. RIP Big Vis.

  • Lie Maid

    He was one of the first wrestlers I ever saw, back in 2000 on Heat on Channel 4 when I was 12-13 and for a few weeks thought it was real. I’ve always had a soft spot for him as a result. He may have been a lousy wrestler, but he seemed like a professional as well as a nice man.

  • BigMikeyStyle

    Anyone else remember him as one of the Four Doinks from Survivor Series 93? It was the first time I ever saw Men on a Mission and they were wearing Doink outfits. I remember marking out like crazy at 6 years old when they did the club sandwich to Bam Bam Bigelow.

  • Very Breaky Bishii

    He’ll always be King Mabel to me too. But I did love The World’s Largest Love Machine and when he stole some fan’s nachos. It’s kinda funny that during the finals of King of the Ring in 95 people were chanting ECW in protest for the main event. This was apparently when Vince decided that he ought to check out ECW. So, in a weird way, King Mabel was somewhat responsible for the attitude era.

  • Sin Botcha

    I really enjoyed his Love Machine Gimmick, I think the Big Daddy V was a great gimmick aswell, but the name ‘Big Daddy V’ was terrible.

    I kind of enjoyed the Boogeyman/Big Daddy V feud he had, they were just literally beating the shit out of each other to try and get a push.

  • Percy Chuggs

    When I was 11, I begged my mom to order King of the Ring ’95 because I really wanted to see the Jerry Lawler vs Bret Hart “Kiss My Foot” match. She eventually relented, and we got our very first PPV wrestling event. Savio Vega went on to steal the show with a great KOTR run, before he got CHEATED out of being King by that asshole Mabel. I’ve hated him ever since.

  • Chronologo

    I grew watching him as Viscera when he was part of The Ministry. But one of the fondest memories was when he was chasing Shelton Benjamin’s mom all around the arenas just to bang her, and his awesome heel work as Big Daddy V

  • Disgruntled Rentacop

    My favorite memory has to be during a top rope elimination match; Viscera and Mark Henry stopped clubbing smaller opponents then stared at each other from across the ring while the fans cheered and went nuts when the two collided. I think Vis was ganged up on and eliminated after that.