Wrestling’s greatest love story…
There has been a lot of wrestling storylines and angles based around love interests. Currently on RAW you have an angle (that I hate) involving a young lady named AJ who is trying to vie for the attention of C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan and previously Kane. In the past we have had iconic marriages such as those of Billy & Chuck, Macho Man & Elizabeth, and Uncle Elmer & some broad. Romances budded between Eddie Gilbert & Missy Hyatt, Hurricane and Super Molly, and Jimmy Garvin & Precious. We have also seen bitter feuds over women such as Macho Man vs Ric Flair, Matt Hardy vs Edge, and Jake Roberts vs Rick Rude. However, no other story tugged on our heart strings nearly as much as the romance between Colonel Robert Parker and Sister Sherri Martel.
World Championship Wrestling was where the big boys played, and it always had a rather competitive tag team division. Teams throughout the industry struggled and fought to earn an opportunity to wrestle for WCW World Tag Team Championship and this is how our love story begins. Fresh off of a win on the pre-show to the 1995 Great American Bash, Bunkhouse Buck and Dirty Dick Slater along with their manager Col. Robert Parker were being interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund. This interview was interrupted by Harlem Heat and Sherri Martel, and Sherri ran down the Colonel and his team. The Colonel was in no mood for this and just assumed that Sherri was lashing out because she secretly yearned for the touch of southern gentleman. To help Sherri out, the Colonel pulls Sherri to him and he plants a big kiss on her. Despite the Colonel’s best intentions Sherri take umbrage to this and slugs him. Three weeks later on WCW Pro, a melee breaks out during the Nasty Boys vs Bunkhouse Buck/Dick Slater match involving Harlem Heat, The Blue Bloods and the two teams already in the ring. Sensational Sherri is on the ring apron directing her men when she is accidentally knocked off the apron. Instead of crashing on to the floor though, she was caught in mid-air by Col. Parker and once again he kisses her. Sherri, still not flattered by the Colonel’s actions, bites him in a non-playful way.
During the July 22, 1995 edition of WCW Saturday Night, The Colonel’s team of Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater received a tag team title shot against Harlem Heat. At the end of this very competitive match, the referee loses control as all four men are in the ring. As the chaos ensues Dick Slater removes one of his cowboy boots to use as a weapon, Sherri realizing what is about to happen jumps on the ring apron to grab the boot. As Sherri grabs the boot as Booker T attacks Dick Slater and all three of them fall to the floor.The referee goes to the floor to contain the situation; Col. Parker enters the ring grabs Slater’s boot and knocks out Stevie Ray allowing Bunkhouse Buck to get the cover for the title change. The following week, Sherri interrupts a Col. Parker interview to demand a return title match for Harlem Heat and she mentions that she could whip his ass. Col. Parker being the greatest promoter in history came up with a brilliant idea, a 6 person tag match, Harlem Heat and Sensational Sherri vs Bunkhouse Buck, Dick Slater and Col. Rob Parker. The stipulation being that if Sherri’s team won, her men would get a return match for the title. The stage was set for the Clash of the Champions and Sherri was ready to get her hands on the Colonel. Towards the end of the match Parker is tagged in, but unfortunately for him Harlem Heat beat him down and then tagged in Sherri who starts to take it to him. Sherri gets the Colonel in a compromised position and goes to the top rope for a splash, the Colonel being very savvy manages to roll out of the way and Sherri falls to the mat, hitting her head and knocking her out cold. When Sherri woke up, she immediately jumped onto Parker but instead of attacking him she kisses him, the Colonel is stunned and doesn’t realize that his shoulders have been counted down. Sherri had fallen madly in love with the Col. Rob Parker.
Throughout WCW’s various shows leading up to the scheduled match between Harlem Heat and Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater, Sherri began to appear ringside during their matches. She would try to get to Col. Parker and thought that he was her boyfriend. The Colonel seemed confused by this, not knowing if Sherri was playing a mind game or not, but he always seemed interested in her advances. When we arrive at Fall Brawl for the WCW World Tag Team title match, everything seems to be normal as both managers are focused on their team. It seemed that nothing was going to come of the seemingly budding romance between the two, but late in the match Col. Parker and Sensational Sherri’s eyes met across the second ring (Fall Brawl having two rings for Wargames). The Colonel climbed up onto the apron and Sherri entered the ring and began to seductively crawl towards him. The Colonel bursting with excitement jumps into the ring, and when Sherri reaches him the Colonel plants a huge kiss on her; Sherri is receptive and the two begin to make out. However, while this was happening the Nasty Boys came down to the ring and knocked out Bunkhouse Buck allowing Harlem Heat to win the titles. Harlem Heat’s title reign would be short lived; on the very next Nitro they had an impromptu match with The American Males. During the match Col. Parker rushes to ring side at the same time that Sherri is about to hit Marcus Bagwell with her shoe, however instead of following through with the attack she decides to fall into the arms of Col. Parker and to start making out with him. With this distraction the American Males were able to pick up the win and dethrone the champions after only a two day reign.
Over the next few months Col. Parker and Sherri would show their love for each other. They would come out for each other’s matches sometimes getting involved but always sneaking away with each other. The teams they managed were often upset when their manager would leave mid-match, but this didn’t matter for Col. Parker or Sherri because they were truly in love.
On the December 4th, 1995 edition of Monday Nitro there was another match between Harlem Heat and the American Males. During the match, Col. Parker walks down the aisle with a present in his hand. When the Colonel eventually gives the present to Sherri she is overjoyed. As they begin to walk away from ringside during the match, it is revealed that the gift is a ring. The Colonel and Sherri were engaged to be married!
January 23, 1996 is the big day, WCW Clash of the Champions was at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV and it was to be the night that Colonel Robert Parker and Sherri Martel were to be married. The Colonel had a rough day at the tables and had lost a lot of money, which meant that the wedding had to be scaled back a bit, also he was heard talking to his “fried pie” on his cellphone and you could tell there was some trepidation on the part of his “fried pie”. However when we see Sherri later that night you can tell she is full of love in her heart (or drunk off of her ass) and Gene alludes to the phone call from earlier, but Sherri seems confused by the question. Once Gene walks Sherri down the driveway to the drive thru chapel window, both the Colonel and Sherri are thrilled and the ceremony begins, but right before Sherri was supposed to say “I do” Madusa interrupts the ceremony and slaps Sherri. Obviously chaos ensues and the wedding is ruined.
The aftermath of the wedding lead to a very brief feud between Madusa and Sherri, but it was cut short when Sherri was fired by WCW. Several months later though, Sherri was rehired by WCW and she was back with her love Col. Parker. Sherri and Col. Parker would try to work together in managing teams but while there love was strong at first you could see fissures occurring until finally they had a bitter break-up resulting in Sherri beating up the Colonel. Now you are probably asking yourself how such a bond could be destroyed. Perhaps as part of being rehired by WCW, Sherri was not allowed to drink as much or perhaps the effects of her concussion wore off… we may never know. Unfortunately for every viewer the greatest wrestling love story had come to an end.
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