SI Vault
Franz Lidz
September 15, 1986
Bam Bam Bigelow gave up bounty hunting a year ago after a fugitive in Mexico pumped a slug into his back. Though the bullet barely made a dent in Bam Bam's 6'3", 390-pound frame, he decided to try a less dangerous occupation. He chose pro wrestling, in which at least the seats are tied down to inhibit the citizens from hurling them at you.
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September 15, 1986

Want To Be A Pro Wrestler? Learn The Ropes At The Monster Factory

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Pretty Boy is developing Bam Bam's persona and moves. "He's a natural," says Pretty Boy. "He can do cartwheels, monkey flips and dropkick a guy six-foot-six right in the chin." Under Pretty Boy's guidance. Bam Bam has perfected the Nuclear Splash. It's a variation on Jimmy Snuka's notorious Superfly move. "The difference," says professor Pretty Boy, "is that whereas Snuka weighs 240 pounds, Bam Bam weighs 390." To create the Splash, Bam Bam slams his opponent to the mat to stun him, climbs up the ring post and then hurls his body at the prostrate victim. This usually has the proper chastening effect.

Bam Bam is a fairly fearsome sight to see diving at you. He is not only large, he is impressively decorated. His shaved head looks like the front end of a nitro-powered dragster. His pate is tattooed with a multicolored ball of fire that cost $4,500. And it's only half-done. Up and down his arms is a catalog of mythic and symbolic beasts: a hawk, a griffin, a black panther, a cobra. The most sentimental tattoo has the words "Mom" and "Dad" carved in a fiery heart, an anniversary gift to his parents. The sole of his right foot is inscribed "nuclear"; his left has "splash."

Pretty Boy teamed up with Bam Bam in May for a tag-team match in Connecticut. They were pitted against a couple of newcomers who call themselves The Boys From New York City.

Bam Bam entered the ring wearing black trunks, a black undershirt and a sneer that invited alteration with a brick. The crowd found him endearing. They chanted: "Get out of here, you fat pig." Bam Bam slapped himself in the face, like Curly confronted by Moe's snarl. "Shut the hell up," Bam Bam barked. "Shut the hell up."

The tag teams performed a routine of nutcrackers, pile drivers and four-figure grapevines. One City Boy nearly pinned Pretty Boy, but Bam Bam clotheslined him and snapped him out of the ring. Upon the City Boy's return to combat. Pretty Boy greeted him with a face lock and flung him down. Then Bam Bam mounted the turnbuckle and took one of his 390-megaton plunges. The unfortunate Boy From New York City stayed welded to the mat for the count. "He got squashed," said Bam Bam. "He got real squashed. Thank God, ribs are flexible."

Especially since the City Boy is one of Pretty Boy's lesser alums and may need to be reinflated at the Factory for upcoming matches.

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