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 - Charles Laffere   

Hippy, We Hardly Knew Thee

Get sick, get well
Hang around an ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is going to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write Braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But users, cheaters
Six-time losers
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool

“Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Bob Dylan.

Well Bob, the Hippy was actually in the Navy.

Hello, my name is Charles Laffere, and welcome back to my spot here at Kayfabe Memories. Several months ago, Captain Vince Fahey asked his columnists to address the theme of job guys, jobbers, and enhancement talent. Whatever you care to call them, these workers were an integral part of all the territories during the fiefdom days of pro wrestling in the United States. 

One of the many notable things about the Universal Wrestling Federation was that it had some of the best job guys around. Unlike most televised wrestling programs of the time, where the jobbers were easy to spot because they had little charisma nor physique, the UWF had capable wrestlers such as KM’s Art Crews, Jeff Raitz, Ken Massey, and Skip Young. One such grappler, Gary Young, even enjoyed a “Rookie of the Year” push with a string of victories. These fellows were good workers and had builds that suggested that they at least spent some time in the gym. Thus, the results of the television matches had some element of uncertainty in regards to the outcomes. This might not sound like much, but this simple thing set the UWF apart from the heavy diet of TV squash fed to us by the World Wrestling Federation, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the American Wrestling Alliance around the same time. In fact, UWF TV would sometimes open with a job guy vs. job guy match-up…

“Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune 
Something to make us all happy 
Do anything take us out of this gloom 
Sing a song, play guitar 
Make it snappy”

“Dear Mister Fantasy,” Traffic.

Well, I don’t know if Mike Boyette played guitar, but he could make fans happy. Boyette, a.k.a The Hippy, was a preliminary worker in the UWF in 1987 that the company promoted weekly on television as having the longest losing streak in wrestling. At 0-23, he was mocked by the announce team of Jim Ross and Magnum T.A. during a match with Barry Windham.  At 0-99, Boyette had a chance to break The Streak against Sting, but after dominating the early portion of the match, the Hippy suffered his 100th defeat. During this time, even Mike Jackson, the perennial Alabama Junior Heavyweight champion, was credited with a victory over Boyette. Sam Houston, Chavo Guerrero, Buddy Roberts, Savannah Jack, Dr. death Steve Williams, Chris Adams, Steve Cox, Rick Steiner—all entered the ring against the Hippy, and all exited victorious. 

During one UWF broadcast, graphic was posted on the screen showing that the Hippy was up to something like 0-65. Jim Ross interviewed Boyette, and the atmosphere was electric. The Hippy was psyched, telling Ross that he'd been working really hard, and he could feel it, tonight's the night for that long-awaited victory. The Hippy was bursting with hopelessly misguided confidence when he yelled,” Tonight, I'm gonna win! I'm gonna win!" He then ran to the ring with unquestioned vigor.

Jim Ross did a slow turn to the camera, and, almost poignantly, said, "Folks, Mike Boyette's opponent tonight is Terry 'Bamm-Bamm' Gordy. I don't think he's gonna win." Can’t a brother catch a break?…

“Beautiful loser, where you gonna fall? 
You realize you just can’t have it all.”

“Beautiful Loser,” Bob Seger. 

The epitome of Mike Boyette’s UWF futility occurred in his match against Gary Young. Young gave the Hippy an arm drag during a televised match and Boyette landed on his head. Boyette was out cold, as Young looked momentarily stunned, then covered the Hippy for the win. Even in the strictly kayfabe environment of a Bill Watts promotion, it was obvious that something goofy had occurred, something that could only happen to the Hippy…

“Beautiful loser, never take it all
’cause it’s easier, faster when you fall”

After a commercial break, Boyette was carried out of the arena on a stretcher. The “stretcher job” wasn’t edited out, which I suppose was an example of Bill Watts attention to detail in order to illustrate that UWF action wasn’t “staged” like the product being offered up by Vince McMahon and the WWF. Jim Ross and (I think) Michael Hayes reinforced the notion by putting over the fact that a wrestler could be hurt by any move at any time.  More...

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