Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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May 6, 2003

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As the resident expert on professional wrestling, I've been asked to give you an insight into something in wrestling that has always given me a small (pardon the pun) smile when I see it -- midgets in wrestling.

In the 1940s midget wrestling was introduced. Like wrestling in general, midget wrestling started as a gimmick at carnivals as audience attendance was getting low. Promoters decided to get the fans back they'd get midgets to wrestle. This was not the first time they tried a gimmick like this, they had also gotten women to wrestle but wrestling at carnivals was not as popular as when they started.

WrestleMania III was an important time for midget wrestling.

For much time midgets were not often used by promoters and once televised wrestling events began they were pushed aside all together but every now and then promoters would return to the gimmick.

WrestleMania III was an important time for midget wrestling. In a mixed, six-man tag team contest, Hillbilly Jim teamed with midget legend Little Beaver and The Haiti Kid to take on his long time rival King Kong Bundy, who was accompanied by Little Beaver's arch-nemesis Lord Littlebrook and Little Tokyo.

Midget wrestling disappeared from WWF pay-per-views for several years until 1994 Survivor Series where midgets made their glorious return to our television screens, as Doink the Clown teamed with his three midget buddies Dink (Tiger Jackson), Wink and Pink to take on Jerry Lawler's midget triumverate of Cheezy, Sleazy and Queasy. In the end, Lawler's midgets saw the light when Lawler refused to stop beating on Dink, and all six of the little guys left the ring together.

It was another few years until midgets came back to our screens, this time in the guise of the delightful Mexican Minis. The WWF signed a co-promotional deal with AAA out of Mexico, which gave them access to several of AAA's midgets. The Mini versions of WWF stars were created -- Mini Vader, Mini Mankind, Mini Goldust, and countless more. The real star of the show, however, was Mascarita Sagrada Jr.

Little Beaver
Little Beaver -- died 1995, inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame 2003.

In the summer of 1997, Mascarita Sagrada Jr. was back in the WWF -- this time billed as Max Mini, and with several friends and enemies in tow. Max Mini, Mini Nova and Mosaic tore the roof down with their trios wars against El Torito, Piratita Morgan and their army friend whose name escapes me right now. When the tragic death of Brian Pillman caused a 15 minute gap in the scheduling of In Your House: Badd Blood in October '97, it was the dependable Minis who were summoned to fill the gap. When Shawn Michaels called out Bret Hart to face him on a Raw following the Survivor Series in 1997, it was an anonymous mini in a Bret mask that came out to take the fall to The Heartbreak Kid.

Midgets are not only used in a wrestling capacity. These days, stars like The Rock use midgets to mock their opponents. During a recent feud The Rock brought out a midget version of Booker T, which then mocked all of his patent catch phrases and moves. This was highly amusing to watch and was named one of the WWE's Top 5 Humorous Moments of 2001. Unfortunately, midgets are most often used as sideline amusements such as these in today's wrestling, but even so, the use of midgets still gives us the amusement and curiosity originally intended so long ago.


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