How Tugboat Was Supposed To Headline A 'WrestleMania'


Over the course of World Wrestling Entertainment's history, plenty of storylines hit the cutting room floor, and the only way the WWE Universe ever gets to hear about them is through superstars' books or interviews.

Well, one such interview just revealed something that should blow pro-wrestling fans' minds — Tugboat was supposed to headline a WrestleMania. No ... seriously.

During Ric Flair's recent episode of his "WOOOOO! Nation" podcast, as reported by, the two-time WWE Hall of Famer spoke with veteran of the business and ex-WWE producer Bruce Prichard, who dropped the bombshell about the massive former superstar.

Prichard explained that Tugboat, who was also the Shockmaster in World Championship Wrestling back in the day, was originally scheduled to headline WrestleMania VII in March 1991, as Vince McMahon wanted him to turn heel and reinvent himself as the Sheik Tugboat — and idea that came across "like a fart in church," according to Prichard.

"The idea was that we'd have a red-hot heel take the title from Warrior and then Hulk [Hogan] would come in, all American type [of] deal, and face the champion in front of 107,000 people," Prichard said. "This super red-hot babyface that was going to be turned to this super, just ungodly, red-hot heel to go to WrestleMania and fill 107,000 seats was Tugboat. Big Fred Ottman who's a sweetheart of a guy, a great guy, it was Tugboat."

Good lord. Can you imagine how awful that would have been? Instead, McMahon and the then-WWF came to their senses and had the main event pit Hulk Hogan against Sgt. Slaughter in what was quite the feud. Tugboat wasn't even on the card.

The company did make good on its vow to make Tugboat a heel, anyway, though, as he turned on the Bushwhackers to recreate himself as Typhoon, joining Earthquake to become the tag team the Natural Disasters.

The team, which nearly tipped the Richter scales at a combined 1,000 pounds, went on to capture the WWF tag team titles, having memorable battles with the Legion of Doom. However, shortly after the team lost the straps, Tugboat was never to be found in the company again, setting his sail for good.

Toot! Toot!

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