1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 6 (USA)
26 x 60 minute episodes
This CBS cartoon series featured the escapades of the stars of the WWF (World Wrestling Federation).
Heading up the good guys of “The Face” were Hulk Hogan and Mean Gene Okerlund, who were joined by Andre the Giant, Hillbilly Jim, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Junkyard Dog, Tito Santana, Wendi Richter and Captain Lou Albano.
Rowdy Roddy Piper headed up the bad guys (“The Heels”) which included the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Big John Studd, Mr Fuji, Bobby Heenan and the Fabulous Moolah.
Most of the action took place outside the ring – in fact, wrestling itself was rarely featured or even referenced in the cartoons. It was merely a plot device to determine the heroes from the villains.
The stories were overtly moralistic, reinforcing that good triumphs over evil and cheaters rarely prosper, and educating the kids at home on health and good citizenship, and not to take dishonest shortcuts in life.
Stereotypes proliferated – The Iron Sheik wore the traditional Arab headdress and had an exaggerated hook nose and heavy black eyebrows, while his animalistic sidekick, the bald and burly Nikolai Volkoff wore a fur hat and “USSR” printed on his t-shirt.
Even less fortunately, Hulk’s sidekick Junkyard Dog – a jive-talking black wrestler – wore a long chain around his neck as if he had been chained to a fence (like a dog) until he managed to break away. What did that convey to children?
Interspersed between the cartoon segments were live-action comedy vignettes featuring the actual WWF cast. The wrestlers in the cartoons, though, were voiced by professional voice actors.
Hulk Hogan (1)
Brad Garrett (2)
‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper
Superfly Jimmy Snuka
The Fabulous Moolah
Captain Lou Albano
Andre the Giant
The Iron Sheik
Big John Studd
Mean Gene Okerlund
Gene Okerlund (1)
Neil Ross (2)