No intros or stories, so let’s get right to the rankings. We saw some upsets this week and one complete slaughtering in the NFL, so there has been some shake up in the rankings. In honor of the passing of Captain Lou Albano last week, I decided to assign the teams pro wrestlers from the old WWF. I only went with guys back before it was renamed the WWE, and before the recharging during the late 90’s with guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker or Mankind. I stuck with pure 80’s and early 90’s guys. Those were the guys that I had about 40 of the 6” high rubber figures, and the strange thumb-wrestling toys where you stuck your thumb in the middle of their back.
1. Saints (last week: 3) – Hulk Hogan
The greatest wrestler of all time goes to the best team in the league. The Saints smacked the Giants around in the Big Easy to cement their place as the best team in the league. The Saints first playoff appearance in franchise history came in 1987, the same year I saw Hulk wrestle in person from the front row and caught his famed “Hulkamania” shirt that he threw into the crowd. Sometimes you see the VH-1 show and his hot but extremely tall and solidly built daughter trying to have a music career and you forget what a superstar he was in the 80's.
2. Colts (2) – Ultimate Warrior
Peyton Manning is the Ultimate Warrior and I just hope he is taking less steroids than the wrestler. And if Peyton did decide to paint a mask on his face, he would have a pretty big surface area on his forehead to get creative with. And I’m pretty sure he won’t even need the Warrior Press Slam this week against the Rams.
3. Vikings (4) – Hillbilly Jim
In honor of the country bumpkin persona that Brett Favre likes to play in front of the media. Second time in three weeks the Vikings have gotten away with a win they should have lost. Yet they have found a way to win and as long as Favre keeps up, they have an extremely dangerous offense and stout defense.
4. Giants (1) – Junkyard Dog
The G-men are the junkyard dogs of the league. Scrappy team without many real superstars and fights through injuries. Got their lunches eaten by the Saints last week, and the question is whether their 5-0 start was a product of a JV schedule.
5. Broncos (5) – Big John Studd
Josh McDaniels is proving to be the biggest stud from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Although I’m not sure he could grow the beard to match Big John Studd – he would look sweet with that long mullet.
6. Falcons (6) – Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Ooooooh, yeah!! Matt Ryan is the Macho Man, and while I have no idea if he’s got someone as talented as Miss Elizabeth in his corner, he has taken the step to the elite QB level. Last week he gave Jay Cutler the flying elbow drop off the top rope.
7. Steelers (13) – Big Boss Man
Big Ben is the Big Boss Man as the Steelers have officially transformed from a running team to a passing team, relying on Ben’s arm. Ben took the night stick to the Browns this week and faces a much tougher test with the Vikings this week. Polamalu does not appear to be fully back, but will likely try to gut it out.
8. Patriots (11) – “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
The ultimate bad guy or heel, Ric Flair “Whoooo!”’d his way to superstardom for a long, extended career, using the complicated figure four leg-lock as his finishing move. A perfect comparison to Bill Belichick, the biggest heel in the league with a complex offense that appears to be rounding into perfect form.
9. Bengals (8) – Rowdy Roddy Piper
You never knew what you were going to get with Piper – a good guy, a heel, a talk show, or just crazy talk. Well, it’s pretty much the same thing with Chad Ochocinco and the Bengals. Just when you think they’ve arrived, they lose to the Texans.
10. 49ers (14) – George “The Animal” Steele
Can’t you see Mike Singletary losing his mind and eating a turnbuckle?
11. Packers (15) – Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
The Packers could use The Barber’s garden sheers to cut their entire offensive line if they don’t get better quickly. Shutting out the Lions looked good on paper, but there were many red zone trips that ended in field goals and the running game is almost non-existent.
12. Bears (10) – Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Jay Cutler has the body and the arm of a pro bowl QB in the NFL. Unfortunately, he has the mental make-up of a politician. He’s enough to keep the Bears close, but with their poor running game and average defense, they will struggle to beat good teams. Well at least Cutler can run for governor of Minnesota when he retires.
13. Ravens (12) – Animal & Hawk, “The Legion of Doom” or “The Road Warriors”
Well the Ravens Legion of Doom defense has lost its spikes on its shoulder pads lately because their secondary has been lit up more than John Daly at the Miami clubs.
14. Jets (9) – Fatu/The Sultan/Rikishi
Similar in stature to the fiery Jets coach, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want Rikishi or Rex to give you “stinkface” finishing move. Rex needs to lean on his running game and not force things with his rookie QB who has looked like he just got a stinkface during their 3 game losing streak.
15. Cardinals (19) – Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
Superfly was a high-flying aerial wrestler who was in his 40’s when he was in his WWF prime during the 1980’s. Kurt Warner continues to impress with his aerial skills as he nears 40 with the Cardinals. Let’s hope that Kurt never dons those crazy tiger-striped shorts.
16. Eagles (7) – King Kong Bundy
I’m not sure who’s rounder, King Kong Bundy or Andy Reid. And I’m not sure who’s more of a big fat heel, Bundy or the Eagles for losing to the hapless Raiders. They Eagles are the week’s biggest fall as a result of that embarrassing showing.
17. Texans (22) – Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff
I really have no reason for the connection between the team and the wrestler. Orndorff was actually a college football player, but didn’t make it in the NFL because he failed physicals after being drafted in the 12th round. He was a major part of feuds with Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy, yet never was the main character. The Texans seem to be in the mix, but never consistent enough to be a key player.
18. Dolphins (18) – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
The Dolphins have used a wacky approach to get themselves back into the fringe of the playoff picture. Hacksaw used a wacky approach of marching around the ring, swinging a 2x4, and giving a thumbs up while screaming “Hooooooooooo!” Little known fact, Duggan was the first ever winner of a Royal Rumble match in 1988.
19. Cowboys (17) – “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase
The Cowboys spent billions of dollars to build their new stadium, but unfortunately they still have a bumbling coach and Romo Pyle at quarterback. Yet they were the only NFC East team not to lose last week….because they were the only team not to play.
20. Chargers (16) – Tito Santana
The Chargers have not been able to give a flying burrito to anyone this year. Tremendous underachieving team that should be a ton better than they have been. Maybe it’s just hard to focus when you’re living in the southern California weather and would rather spend time on the beach.
21. Jaguars (21) – Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Maurice Jones-Drew continues to be the hammer for Team Hyphen and they continue to be a mixed bag of results. A generally boring wrestler yet he seemed to be a part of some pretty big story lines when he teamed up with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
22. Seahawks (20) – Koko B. Ware
Right there with the Chargers, Jaguars and Texans, they are completely baffle me on a weekly basis. They have colorful uniforms and are named after a bird, so they remind me of the colorful Koko B. Ware and his bird, Frankie.
23. Panthers (24) – British Bulldogs – Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid
The Panthers found their dynamic 1-2 punch in the running game last week with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The Bulldogs had their pet dog that they brought to the ring with them, and the Panthers have their moody little pet in Steve Smith who is getting more and more frustrated by the week.
24. Bills (28) – Classy Freddie Blassie
No one questions Dick Jauron’s class, but he runs a dinosaur offense that is incapable of real success in the NFL any more.
25. Lions (23) – “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels
The Lions continue to make minor progress and are tremendously better than they were a year ago, despite their record barely budging. However, they continue to face heartbreak by having their QB and WR miss time with injuries, ensuring that they won’t be using the Sweet Chin Music finishing kick until those guys are healthy.
26. Raiders (31) – Bam Bam Bigelow
They somehow managed to jump up and bite the Eagles this week, proving that there is some talent on the team. And the fact that Louis Murphy threw 2 key blocks on Zach Miller’s 80 yard TD proves the team hasn’t given up. But they still have a big fat heel in Bam Bam Bigelow playing QB, which limits their upside. Do you think he tattooed his head to look kind of like hair once he became a wrestler, or did he tattoo his head and then realize that the only thing he could do was be a wrestler?
27. Browns (27) – Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Think Mangini wishes he was the former Belichick assistant that Bill still respects and is successful? Think Brady Quinn wishes he was able to get himself out of town like Braylon Edwards did? Maybe Quinn should go punch someone from Zydrunas Ilgauskas’s posse to expedite a trade.
28. Titans (26) – Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart
Jeff Fisher strangely resembles Hart with the mustache and mullet. Though he won’t need a megaphone if he gets canned in the offseason, he might want those shades to not have to watch Vince Young take over at QB.
29. Chiefs (29) – “Ravishing” Rick Rude
The perfect picture of steroid use and a white guy’s gerry-curl, Rude was a heel in the stable of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. No real reason to link them to the Chiefs, who finally got their first win by beating the Redskins……the same way the Lions and Panthers did already this year.
30. Redskins (25) – The Iron Shiek
The ultimate heel in wrestling, with his pointy, curled boots and Middle Eastern background, the Iron Shiek held the WWF World Championship belt until losing it to Hulk Hogan in 1983 in what was billed as the birth of “Hulkamania.” He also had a great finishing move with the “Camel Clutch.” The Redskins are the east coast version of the Raiders and their entire franchise is a mess.
31. Buccaneers (30) – Sergeant Slaughter
The Buccaneers continue to get slaughtered by everyone in the league and have a legit shot at going winless this year.
32. Rams (32) – “Iron” Mike Sharpe
Not many people probably remember Mike Sharpe, and no one is going to remember the 2009 Rams unless they go winless. The only reason I remember Mike Sharpe was that he was the guy who got his tail kicked in by Hulk Hogan at the 1987 match I saw live. He was the guy that everyone beat up on, much like the Rams.