Lawsuit diminishes chances of ECW, tag team stars
For WWE action figure collectors, news that former talent is filing a lawsuit against the WWE is never welcome.
That pretty much ensures they’re going to be on the magical blackball list Mattel execs frequently reference, but never discuss in detail. Koko B. Ware was originally scheduled to be in Elite 44, but due to his pending lawsuit, he was not surprisingly removed from the release schedule. For WWE figure collectors, he’s about to get a lot more company.
A lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of 55 former WWE stars. The lawsuit alleges the promotion hid long-term effects of neurological injuries from the performers. The sucky thing is these guys who broke their bodies and severely affected their post-wrestling lives for our benefit are in the same boat as a lot of ex-NFL players. At least the NFL stars get treated with respect for their work.
You can check out the lawsuit here.
What that means for Mattel WWE collectors is a bleak outlook for the stars listed. There’s little chance any of these guys will get released in figure form for the foreseeable future. Fortunately in some cases, they’ve already gotten figures from Mattel. I put those guys in bold.
In other instances, we didn’t quite get the version we wanted but it looks like we won’t ever see a trunks version Superfly Snuka or a One Man Gang. Those guys that had better or other gimmicks still on the Mattel drawing board I put in italics and the other gimmick/variant in brackets.
Tag teams are the surprisingly the groups that affect collectors hardest. Kronik, The Killer Bees, Doom, The Powers of Pain, The Godwins, The Beverly Brothers and The Bolsheviks are pretty much out of the running now for Mattel Flashback treatment.
Probably the most frustrating is the inclusion of Shane Douglas and Sabu. Two of the main ECW pillars spent most of their prime battling in ECW, not under the WWE banner.
* Joe Laurinaitis (Road Warrior Animal)
* Jimmy Snuka (through his guardian, Carole Snuka)
* Paul Orndorff
* Chavo Guerrero Sr.
* Chavo Guerrero Jr.
* Bryan Clark
* Ahmed Johnson
* James Harris (Kamala)
* Dave Hebner
* Earl Hebner
* Chris Pallies (King Kong Bundy)
* Ken Patera
* Terry Michael Brunk (Sabu)
* Bill Eadie (Ax)
* Barry Darsow (Smash) [Repo Man]
* John Nord (The Berzerker)
* Terry Szopinski (The Warlord)
* Stone Havea Vailahi (The Barbarian)
* Jonathan Hugger (Johnny The Bull)
* Jim Brunzell
* Shane Douglas
* Marc Copani (Muhammad Hassan)
* Mark Canterbury (Henry Godwin)
* Mark Jindrak
* Marty Jannetty
* John Heidenreich
* Michael Halac (Mantaur)
* George Grey (One Man Gang)
* Susan Green
* Angelo Mosca
* Jim Powers
* Mike Enos
* Butch Reed
* Carlene Moore-Begnaud (Jazz)
* Rodney Begnad (Rodney Mack)
* Sylvain Grenier
* Omar Mijares (Omar Atlas)
* Don Leo Heaton
* Victoria Otis (Princess Victoria)
* Judy Hardee (Judy Martin)
* Bernard Knighton (Axl Rotten, through his estate)
* Bobbi Billiard
* Larry “The Crippler” Oliver
* Timothy Smith (Rex King)
* Tracy Smothers
* Rick Jones (Black Bart)
* Ken Johnson (Slick)
* Ferrin Jess Barr (JJ Funk)
* Lou Marconi
* Rod Price
* Donald Driggers
* Ronald Scott Heard (Outlaw Ron Bass)
* Boris Zhukov