Yeti Sighting: WCW Cult Characters Making Shocking Return

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Photo: McAloon Productions

If you’re in Atlanta, Georgia over Super Bowl weekend, there’s going to be some fun wrestling on the Friday and Saturday night, courtesy of McAloon Productions. They’re running two events, Ultimate Bar Brawl, on Friday night at Wildpitch Underground, and Come Hell or High Water on Saturday night at Espacio Discotheque, both of which will be airing live on Fite.tv. The big news out the gate was the return of Ken Shamrock, who is facing off against one of the indie’s rising stars in Major League Wrestling (MLW) and former UFC fighter “Filthy” Tom Lawlor on the Friday night show. The weekend shows will feature Lawlor and Shamrock on both nights, plus the likes of Joey Ryan, Penelope Ford, ODB, Lucha Underground‘s Mil Muertes, The Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett), DoomFly (Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom), Darby Allin, Priscilla Kelly, Matt Cross and many more. But there’s a couple of names that have recently been announced that are sure to excite WCW fans – two of the most legendary “cult” characters are making returns to the ring.

Glacier, aka Ray Lloyd, had started making a bit of a regional comeback in 2015, working with WWE Superstar Luke Gallow‘s WrestleMerica promotion until it closed in 2017. But it was his appearance at the first Joey Janela’s Spring Break from Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) over WrestleMania weekend in 2017 that really captured the public’s imagination once again. Since then, Glacier has returned to action, competing for the likes of Ring of Honor (in the 2017 Honor Rumble), Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW), CHIKARA, and more. Glacier’s announcement this past week was another fun moment in his small comeback.

As if Glacier wasn’t fun enough, seeing Sunday night’s announcement of the return of The Yeti was the icing on the cake. One of the most horrific character creations of WCW during the company’s rise in the early 1990s, The Yeti (pronounced Yeah-TAY) was only briefly seen in WCW before being immediately repackaged and removed, but over the past few years, The Yeti has developed a cult-like following for it’s Ed Wood-type absurdity. For those who don’t recall, The Yeti was a character portrayed by Ron Reis, a young indie wrestler from the West Coast, but a giant trained by former WWE Hall of Famer “Big” John Studd. He made his WCW debut in October of 1995, emerging from a block of ice as the new “insurance policy” of The Dungeon of Doom, Kevin Sullivan‘s menagerie of the macabre that included the likes of Kamala, The Giant (Big Show), Vader, Meng (Haku), The Shark (Earthquake) and The Zodiac (Brutus Beefcake), all determined to bring down Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania.

The Yeti made his most infamous appearance at Halloween Havoc ’95, when he emerged to help The Giant against Hogan, in the bear hug that looked oddly like an awkward dry hump.

The Yeti’s bandaged costume was quickly changed to ninja gear, then a name change to The Super Giant Ninja, before settling on Big Ron Studd, but when the Dungeon crumbled, the character disappeared. Reis would make a return to WCW in 1998 (with his name respelled Reece) as the new enforcer for Raven’s Flock. But to many WCW fans, Ron Reis’ most iconic role – much like how Fred “Tugboat” Ottman will forever be The Shockmaster to many – is that of the 7 foot tall bandaged Yeti in WCW. Reis retired from pro wrestling many years ago, but McAloon has convinced the big man to don the bandages once more and return to the ring for Come Hell or High Water on February 1, 2019.

 

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