Wrestlemania 25 is scheduled for this evening in Houston, and whenever the WWE's signature event arrives each year it's a time for nostalgic bliss for fans of a certain age.
Hogan slamming Andre in the Silverdome, or taking out Macho Man to defend the honor of Miss Elizabeth, or taking the fall against The Ultimate Warrior (a moment that's still seared into the memory of millions of impressionable prayer-saying, vitamin-taking Hulkamaniacs).
Steamboat vs. Savage in one of the most intense matches in wrestling history. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Brett "The Hitman" Hart in the bloody no-submission match in Wrestlemania 13.
Hart is, of course, part of the legacy between professional wrestling and hockey, having been a founding owner of the WHL Calgary Hitmen. Hockey historian Joe Pelletier took a look at the hock 'n' wrestling connection, and turned up these strange tidbits:
Body checks to body slams - Former Pittsburg Penguins defenseman Peter Taglianetti failed in a $20,000 charity attempt to body slam Yokozuna. (Ed. Note: Link leads to, we kid you now, a Jaromir Jagr Brand Peanut Butter story.)
But our favorite connection is, perhaps, the most direct: When Vince McMahon dressed up jobber Bill Irwin as a hockey player named "The Goon." Coming up, witness the glory of his debut.
Keep in mind that the then-WWF had a fascination with vocational themes for its disposable talent: garbage men, plumbers, accountants (Irwin R. Shyster, anyone?), race car drivers, tugboat captains, dentists (Dr. Issac Yankem ... wow), and, of course, Doink the Clown. The eeeeeevil clown!
"The Goon" was part of that proud tradition, as you'll see in the following YouTube classic in which fans were introduced to a very short-lived gimmick:
"Hey, slashing, give me a break!"
We think you'll agree that hearing Vince McMahon drop a Claude Lemieux reference is audible bliss. Although we're not convinced that The Goon indeed makes the Hanson Brothers look like Kathy Lee Gifford.