Clowin’ Around In The WWF
There are plenty of people who while growing up or even their entire life, have a fear of clowns. It’s understandable considering the often creepy face paint, fake big red nose and usual annoying high pitch laugh.
Naturally, the World Wrestling Federation took the time to develop a wrestling character that looked to hit that nerve amongst their kid demographic in the early 1990s. The character they created would be known as Doink the Clown and he made his debut in the fall of ’92. Doink’s official debut would be on the October 31st edition of Superstars. He would often be seen in the crowd pulling pranks on fans, but soon he would pull tricks on WWF wrestlers.
On the December 13th edition of Wrestling Challenge, the first prank was done by Doink as Bob Backlund slipped on a banana peel on the entrance way after his match. The following week, Doink presented the Nasty Boys with replica WWF World Tag Team Championships since the Nasties had been unable to beat Money Inc. for the championships. He also gave them a picture of Ted DiBiase, IRS and Jimmy Hart.
There was one wrestler at this point that was not enjoying the pranks that Doink was doing, and that was the big Hawaiian, Crush. On the January 2nd edition of Superstars, Crush confronted Doink on the aisle way and twisted Doink’s arm after Doink had thrown a ball at a child in the crowd. Earlier in the same episode, Doink teased throwing a bucket of water at Marty Jannetty, but the bucket was empty.
Two weeks the later the pranks turned rather violent. Crush confronted an “injured” Doink who had his arm in a sling. Doink presented a flower to Crush as if to apologize and after taking the flower, Crush turnaround to walk away. At that point, Doink removed a prosthetic arm and hit Crush over the head with it. Doink delivered several shots causing Crush to be stretchered out and put in an ambulance.
Doink wouldn’t make his in-ring debut until the January 31st edition of Wrestling Challenge where they showed an insert promo where Doink stated he was armed and dangerous, making reference to his attack on Crush previously.
On the February 27th edition of Superstars, Doink competed in a singles match against Big Bossman, which would be Bossman’s last WWF appearance until his 1998 return to the company. Doink sprayed a green substance into Bossman’s face that led to a Bossman victory via a reverse decision.
Leading into WrestleMania IX, Doink was working house show matches with Randy Savage and Tatanka often times losing those matches due to spraying his opponents in the face with a substance. Doink would continue his pranks by having Kamala open an empty box on the March 21st edition of RAW and won the match by count-out.
At WrestleMania IX, Doink would win his first feud by defeating Crush with help from a second Doink. This would lead to several occurrences where there would be several Doink’s at one time and the announcers would act confused as to which one was the real Doink.
It would actually take quite some time for Doink to lose a match on WWF television, which looking back at it kind of surprises me. His first loss came on the May 24th edition of RAW losing to Mr. Perfect in a King of the Ring qualifying match. Doink had previously wrestled Perfect to a time limit draw leading to the rematch. At the King of the Ring, Doink would not let his feud with Crush go away as he cost Crush a chance to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship in a match against Shawn Michaels.
Doink would have a memorable best two out of three falls match against Marty Jannetty on the June 21st edition of RAW. Doink wouldn’t be able to prevail, but the match showcased Doink’s in-ring ability against someone who had a good work rate at the time. Doink would have a minor television feud with Randy Savage which would see Savage earn a victory over Doink on August 2nd on RAW and the debut of the Macho Midget to combat the random Doink’s.
SummerSlam ’93 would see Doink replace Jerry Lawler for a singles match against Bret Hart, which Doink would lose by submission. Doink would dump water on the Hart Family at ringside prior to the start of the match.
It was around this time that the original Doink, Matt Bourne, would be fired from the WWF due to personal reasons and over the course of the next two years several different people would play the Doink character including Steve Lombardi and Steve Keirn. Also at this time the previously evil Doink would transition into being a good hearted baby face clown. I think it is safe to say that the heel Doink had plenty of legs left and wasn’t fully used to the best of his abilities.
On the September 26th edition of Superstars saw the official baby face turn for Doink as he dumped water over the head of Jerry Lawler after Lawler said that Doink was going to be his court jester and take orders from him.
The second victim of the new Doink was the Beast from the East, Bam-Bam Bigelow and his main squeeze Luna Vachon. On the October 2nd edition of Superstars, Doink dumped confetti onto Bigelow followed by a pale of water for Luna Vachon. Doink wouldn’t stop there as he set up a trip wire to cause Bigelow to fall over the wire on the entrance way.
At Survivor Series 1993, Doink wouldn’t wrestle but he had Men on a Mission and the Bushwhackers dressed in his attire to get in the mind of Bam-Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booker and the Headshrinkers. Doink would appear on the big screen and Bigelow yelled at the screen.
Doink would have a high profile match with Shawn Michaels at Madison Square Garden on November 27th where his feud with Bam-Bam Bigelow would be advanced. Bigelow and Luna Vachon attacked Doink, but Doink fought back causing Bigelow to accidentally hit a diving head butt on Luna and Doink would dump a pale of water on Luna followed by Bigelow tripping over himself unable to get his hands on Doink.
On December 6th edition of RAW, Doink had a new sidekick to combat Luna Vachon in his feud. A dwarf wrestler known as Dink would make his debut alongside Doink the Clown, fully making the duo a comedy act. Bigelow and Doink would have their first televised match on the February 6th edition of Wrestling Challenge with Doink winning by count out thanks to Dink head butting Bigelow in the crotch causing Bam-Bam to fall to the floor unable to make the count.
Doink and Dink teamed up to square off against Bam-Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon on March 3rd in Anaheim, CA at a house show. Doink and Dink managed to win the match due to Dink hitting a low blow on Bigelow which allowed Doink to pin Bigelow with a rollup. Seventeen days later, Bigelow and Luna seemingly won their feud by defeating Doink and Dink at WrestleMania X.
Following WrestleMania X, Doink started a feud with Jeff Jarrett on the April 9th edition of Superstars. Dink had come out to argue a reverse decision that a match Jarrett had with Sparky Plugg, but was soon chased away from the ring by Jarrett. Doink appeared on the aisle way and dumped water over the head of Jarrett. Jarrett would get a measure of revenge by costing Doink a KOTR qualifying match against Owen Hart when he distracted Doink after an attempted abduction of Dink at ringside.
Doink continued to do pranks during this time including a time when Doink booby-trapped the briefcase belonged to IRS. After their match, which IRS won, he opened his briefcase and a small explosion went off. This occurred on the July 2nd edition of Superstars.
The feud between Jarrett and Doink would come to an end on the October 17th edition of RAW which Jarrett would come out victorious following interference by Jerry Lawler. This would lead to a Survivor Series match with Doink leading a team of dwarfs against Jerry Lawler and his team of dwarfs Lawler’s team won the match rather easily.
Doink would stick around for most of ’95, but was primarily used as enhancement talent putting over the guys he previously feuded with in ’94 along with new superstars Skip (Chris Candido) Hakushi, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
Personally, the heel Doink is the best version of the character and was cut far too short. Once the character became a babyface the character became the typical corny comedy act and the character soon lost its interesting character traits.
What are your memories or favorite moments of the Doink the Clown character in the WWF?
Thanks for reading.