Tag Team Appreciation Month

THE MULKEY BROTHERS

Randy & Bill Mulkey

1986 - 1990

 

Written by Adam Zimmerman

An unassuming duo from Anderson, South Carolina, Randy and Bill Mulkey were regular "job guys" for Jim Crockett Promotions' Mid-Atlantic territory in the mid-80s. 

 

Like most job guys; no one really knows where they came from or how they started out. They just sort of showed up on TV one week. No one really paid attention much until you continued to see them week after week. 

 

One thing that made them noticable was the fact that not only did they lose every week; they took an absolute beating! I believe footage exists of them being beaten in under a minute, at least three dfferent times, by The Road Warriors. Some of the bumps they took, flying from the ring and crashing down to the floor, give Mick Foley a run for his money. I'm honestly not sure if they even knew how to wrestle. That's how little offense I've ever seen from them. They obviously knew how to bump but I'm not sure they knew how to wrestle. 

 

Also, like a lot of the "enhancement talent" from JCP in the 80s, they looked like they didn't belong anywhere near a wrestling ring. Looking tall, pasty white, lanky and yet still somehow "soft as dough"; Jim Cornette has been quoted as saying that "they didn't have a muscle that showed". I'd say that's a good way to describe them.

Speaking of Jim Cornette, He's the one that is credited with starting "MulkeyMania" when he made an offhand comment while doing commentary during a match the Mulkeys had with The Midnight Express. While the Mulkeys were taking a beating in the ring, Cornette made the comment that "MulkeyMania is running wild!". 

 

The next time the Mulkeys wrestled, "MulkeyMania" signs started popping up in the audience. Dusty Rhodes, who was the booker at the time, even booked a match between the Mulkeys and The Midnight Express for the United States Tag Team titles for a house show in the Mulkeys hometown of Anderson, South Carolina. 

 

As far as the Mulkeys role on television; they continued to lose although the fans continued to get into the spirit of "MulkeyMania". In Febuary of 1987, the Crockett Cup (JCP's big tag team tournament) was begining to take shape. A few weeks were spent on television, hyping up a special tag team that was going to participate in a qualifying match; The Gladiators. The Gladiators were supposedly the "west coast tag team champions" and definitely not just George South and Nelson Royal under masks and full body suits.

Regardless of who they may or may not have been; The Gladiators were considered heavy favorites in their qualifying match against The Mulkeys. Somehow, though, The Mulkeys won the match in the exact same manner they'd lost a majority of their matches; in under a minute and with absolutely no offense. The crowd went wild! You'd think they'd just won the tag team championships. 

 

Unfortunately for The Mulkeys; they lost in the first round of the tournament to Denny Brown and Chris Champion, the latter of whom was still sort of floating around the territory after the break up of The New Breed. 

 

Sadly, I don't recall seeing The Mulkeys much after their tournament loss. If they were still being used, it was nowhere near the top ever again. It's a shame because regardless of how they looked, they had the support of the fans so Jim Crockett promotions really could have run with the "MulkeyMania" idea a little longer instead of just giving them one fluke victory over an unknown team. Regardless, they got their time in the spotlight even if it was only "for a cup of coffee".

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