Last week the excited shriek of what many believed to be a little girl was heard for miles as I turned on my Roku device and quickly discovered that Hulu had added many marquee 90’s shows in their series entireties . The shriek in question actually belonged to me, a grown man who lived every Friday night of his childhood in front of the television delving into my favorite shows via ABC’s long tenured Friday night “TGIF” lineup of programming. As many wrestling fans must have, I quickly grabbed the remote and cherry picked the numerous wrestling related episodes available for stream and thought I would pass along the love to you, our amazing readers…some of which may have been too young to enjoy these shows when they were new to the world. Grab your popcorn, a cold drink and get ready for a ride in “the wayback” machine as I guide you through the best of TGIF and their inner mixing with this sport we so dearly love.
Boy Meets World : Season 2, Episode 21 : “The Thrilla in Phila’”
In this episode Cory Matthews decides to join the John Adams High School wrestling team in an effort to gain the attention of the other students. Boasting that he is the only one in his weight class, Cory is almost braggadocious while explaining he will never have to fight because there are no wrestlers in his weight class. Unfortunately for Cory “The Cory” Matthews, his long time bully Joey The Rat has a similar idea. While Corey is able to win the initial bout out of pure luck…Joey challenges Cory to a rematch. When the rematch happens we get our first glimpse of wrestling star Vader playing bully Frankie’s (played by Ethan Suplee) father. I will not spoil the ending but this is by far one of my favorite appearances of a wrestler in any television show. Vader plays Frankie’s father so well. I am glad this wasn’t the last appearance of Vader in the BMW universe.
Step By Step: Season 5, Episode 13 : “Beautiful Ladies of Wrestling”
In this episode Frank (Patrick Duffy) and his son JT (Brandon Call) will do anything to win tickets to the Packers game. Through a radio contest, they are told all they have to do is dress up like cheerleaders and meet at a location where they arrive and realize they have to challenge a tag team of lady wrestlers who are primed and ready to keep the duo away from the big game. This episode boasts an appearance of former GLOW girl “Salt” who ironically plays “Battery” in a fictitious tag team called “Assault & Battery”.
Boy Meets World: Season 4, Episode 9 : “Sixteen Candles and 400 lb Men”
My favorite of the BMW wrestling cameos came in season 4 as the soft-hearted bully turned friend Frankie (Ethan Suplee) asks Cory and Shawn for help in bonding with his father. Frankie is the poetic, sensitive type while his father wishes he would drop the sensitivity and follow his footsteps into the squared circle. Cory offers to lend Frankie some advice during Vader’s big match with Jake “The Snake” Roberts but quickly realizes he has to be in two places on the same evening. Attend his girlfriend Topanga’s 16th birthday party or help Frankie bond with his father? This episode also features the best Vader “Woof” of all time courtesy of Frankie’s odd little brother, Herman.
Family Matters : Season 5, Episode 18 : “The Psycho Twins”
The show opens up with Eddie and Waldo reading wrestling magazines as Carl notices one of Eddie’s favorite wrestler’s is an old friend of his. Eddie uses this to get Carl to take him down to the TV station for the night’s big match between the fictional team “The Psycho Twins” and WWE Hall of Famers “The Bushwhackers”. While at the station, Steve Urkel leaves behind a water bottle full of “snooze juice”; an elixir that makes you sleep for extended periods of time which is consumed by the Psycho Twins, rendering them unable to compete in the night’s bout. With a lawsuit hanging in the balance, Steve and Carl throw on the outfits and try their luck in the ring. If we learned anything from this episode it is that the Bushwhackers “hate cops!”.
Full House: Season 8, Episode 23 : “Michelle Rides Again pt. 1”
While it isn’t technically a wrestling episode, Jesse and Joey gear up to do a show where they attempt to do extremely odd jobs (sort of like Mike Rowe) and are gearing up for a big match up with “The Swedish Spleen Stompers”. An Olsen twin hits her head, gets amnesia, yadda, yadda, yadda…and here is where I plug an even better “Fuller House” wrestling episode available on netflix. The Tanners go Lucha-Galore in that one.
Boy Meets World: Season 7, Episode 2 : “For Love and Apartments”
Everybody is breaking up in the “boy meets” world so the logical thing to do is wrestle over an apartment. IMDB this episode and that is almost legitimately the plot synopsis. Boasting an appearance from the hardcore legend Mick Foley, this episode definitely gets the cheap pop from the entire TGIF universe and dulls down our hatred for the final BMW seasons where Penbrook took a steel chair to everyone’s story arcs.
To talk more about these episodes or read more articles be sure you follow me @NicholasGrooms on Twitter! Happy binge watching, wrestling fans!!!!
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