Matt Osborne, better known to wrestling fans as the original Doink the Clown, was found dead on Friday in Texas at the age of 55. If you’re of a certain age you’ll no doubt fondly recall Doink clowning around in the WWF ring in the early-90s in his neon green fright wig. The height of Doink’s popularity came at a weird time for the then Federation which is mostly forgotten, aside from rising stars Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. It’s hard to imagine many folks sit around remembering the greatness of the Repo Man.
As it was, Doink was part of the overly-cartoonish era in the WWF after the height of Hulkamania and all the vintage stuff from the 1980s — Andre the Giant, Roddy Piper, the Iron Sheikh, etc. He also came before the WWF ushered in the so-called ‘Attitude Era’ with Stone Cold Steve Austin, DX and all the fun that was the Monday Night Wars when wrestling was briefly considered “cool” again.
The emergence of Doink, a wrestling clown that got over well with the crowd, also paved the way for WWF to usher in some of the most forgettable gimmicks the canvas has ever seen. After Doink we saw guys like Man Mountain Rock, a dude who played a WWF-shaped guitar, The Goon, a evil hockey player and the Godwinns — wrestling pig farmers. Oh, there was also Bastion Booger who had the gimmick of … fat, disgusting human being if memory serves correct.
The above clip captures the absurdity of the early 90s in a nutshell, with Doink and his team of clowns — including Men on a Mission and the Bushwackers — in greasepaint celebrating their 1993 Survivor Series win over Bam Bam Bigelow singing Tag Team’s “Whoop There It Is.” Yes, this really happened — on a Pay Per View no less. Osborne was fired right around the time this happened and replaced by others in the WWF using the Doink gimmick.
Anyways, a sincere thanks for the memories Doink.