Jervis Cottonbelly and The Hobo are currently one of the top tag teams appearing on CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM HOLLYWOOD. Collectively they are known as Friendship Express. Both men have traveled as singles around the U.S. making a mark for the last 3-4 years in very colorful characters. It is impossible to miss that the Hobo’s voice makes him a dead ringer for Rowlf the Dog (played famously by Jim Henson). On that concept I saw for a long time trying to decide if Jervis was Fozzie, Kermit, or maybe even Gonzo. It was the Rowlf and Fozzie performances that helped me cement the choice though. It took me a long time to finally buckle down and take the concept from idea to drawing, but I did and Jervis and especially Hobo truly loved it and now I share it here on PCS.
Since BrayFabe hit my brain as a concept I’ve done many many drawings. They’ve been shown love by the wrestlers they featured even, as I posted them to Twitter and such. Folks like Kassius Ohno, Ultramantis Black, Dasher Hatfield, Tim Donst, The Young Bucks, Kobald…. so yeah, basically the guys who really acknowledge and appreciate their fans (not that big wrestlers don’t). Although I’ve haven’t done much WWE stuff.
One of the earliest ideas I got but not really formulated was what if Isaac Yankem, DDS stuck around despite a bad win/loss record found his footing, became a machine and then after many years of destruction realized he has to dominate and one way to do that was to build a stable. The first person he turned to was the man who brought him into the WWF, “The King” Jerry Lawler, someone who could help guide him and advise him on this new step. Through the power of certain things that just happen no matter what universe you’re in he first found himself aligned with the former Sixx-Pac… now working as X-Tract after going to dentistry school and learning everything Isaac knew. Although shortly after this Glenn found a kinship with a force so powerful he could not ignore it. A man who could rival his own strength and fortitude, a beast, a Latino beast, David Batista, the dentist from the South (of the border)… DENTISTA. Insulted and slightly angered that Isaac was “rejecting” him as a second in command, X-Tract demanded he got to add an x-ray technician who would also be X-Tract’s own right hand man. The entire wrestling world was shocked (or maybe dismayed) when brought in an unhinged man who Isaac knew back in his college years, a man who had also followed the wrestling path, but as the years got worse he lost his mind, and his name. Once known as Al Snow, he was now operating as an underground dentist himself, trying to prove himself, called Oren Kornpett (for those unfamiliar with cinematic dentists, combining the names of the sicko from “Little Shop of Horrors” and the dragged into adventure from “The In-Laws”) and X-Tract gave him just that chance. At first Isaac was really angry, but he soon warmed to the idea and the five men now rule their own universe as….
THE DENTAL ASSOCIATION
Art by The Wrestling Cartoonist (with a logo designed by Reid Harris Cooper)
The year was 1999 and The Undertaker was about to marry “The Billionaire Princess” Stephanie McMahon, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin interfered in the nuptials. Later, Hunter Hearst Helmsley would fake marry Stephanie and proceed to real life marry her and become the second most powerful individual in the now WWE. That isn’t how it HAD to happen though.
Imagine a universe where Austin is embroiled in other affairs, so absolutely no one stops the wedding vows of the Dark One, Hell’s Other Favorite Son and the Spoiled Brat of Boobage. Now take a step further and imagine that because of this fake marriage, Mark and Stephanie fall in love and his career runs in slightly different states with different angles and story-lines. It all ends with him at the top hiring people, creating television and making WWE a bigger market than ever as the COO facing a cadre of implants from the UFC with Brock Lesnar only being the start of dangerous men.
- Artwork by The Wrestling Cartoonist
Before that though in 2011, The Dead Man already in a position of power although not officially used his influence to make sure Wrestlemania would be the of the biggest and bestest WM ever. In the time-line envisioned here many other things have happened, putting various individuals in stories unexpected.
In this universe for example in 1995 before UT saw the arrival of long lost brother Kane, a dentist by the name of Issac Yankem, DDS came into the WWF and unleashed hell. So much damage that he never went away, he ended up building his practice, and sticking around, allowing a time rift in which both he AND Kane existed, but that’s another story for another time.
Many stories are for another time actually, as between 1999 and 2011 this new WWE went through some of the most amazing events of almost unfathomable unexpectedness but The Undertaker would still achieve his legacy held streak of being undefeated at Wrestlemania. After many years of amazing opponents taken out left and right, who was left? Who could actually challenge The Dead Man? The call went out as they looked for someone with the right enough of chutzpah, grandeur, legendary aspect and a man who Undertaker had never faced before.
Once they found their man though, it was kept secretive, as mysteriously dark videos started to debut that seemed to announce the arrival of one man who had walked both the dark side and the side of the angels. A man everyone in the WWF should fear as most of them if not all had never had to deal with his unleashing. A man who was fast as a cat and big as a bull, a man who walked rafters and the underground effortlessly. No one knew for sure why The Stinger was coming, but all hints said he was on his way. Then one cold night in February he made his motives known. He was after one thing and he would do whatever he could do to achieve it. Sting would cement his legacy by ending The Dead Man’s, by hell or high-water, Undertaker would burn and Sting would rise to the pantheon.
Art by Nik Towers
TO BE CONTINUED….
In the next issue, another universe, another possibility, The Tough Enough Crew (preempted if better images/ideas/possibilities come from the amazing assortment of folks who have helped me see this become a reality)
Undertaker-COO by The Wrestling Cartoonist. Check out more of his awesomeness on Facebook.
Sting vs. The Undertaker by Nik Towers. For more Nik check out the Zine, CALLING SPOTS, his art collective Pencil Tree and on Twitter @PencilTree.
Through the power of The Mandible Claw and the minds of The Atomic Elbow, Danielle Matheson and the writers at Chikara a concept has actually been created for the entire Brayfabe Universe to exist. While originally the concept was simply the idea of “What If?”/Elseworlds comics expanded into any idea, but the time travel conundrum of Archibald Peck causing multiple timelines like Back To The Future presents us with the intriguing possibility of true expansion. These are not hoaxes, imaginary stories, but actual events that happened in another universe. One could even consider that there is an Ultimatesverse version of wrestling where it ALL got redone even. In JJ Abrams’ Star Trek it’s even been established that that is NOT a reboot of The Original Series, but an actual alternate timeline which can interact WITH TOS. So the possibilities for the future of BRAY FABE are endless. Hulk Hogan vs. Terry Boulder? The tag team of Blue Blazer and Owen Hart? Colt Cabana, Colt Cabunny and CP MUNK vs. Necro Butcher, Joker and Matt Classic? All of this can happen and more in BRAYFABE!
First happening in Brayfabe is me showing off how I’m not really an artist, but I am a great visualizer. One my first ideas for Brayfabe, was “What if CM Punk wasn’t straight edge?” Now obviously storyline wise that would change the entire course of his life, his career and even more, but I decided in this particular timeline… all it would do is make him keep his mohawk forever and end up with completely different tattoos as the years went on. Here is what I came up with:
- His new tattoos are:
Johnnie Walker, Autobots, a Beehive, a Coop Devil girl, Pirahhana, A Robot Unicorn, the words NEVER ENOUGH on his stomach, SCUM*BAG on his fingers and AMY on his neck
The future of BrayFabe is unknown. It may be more art from me. Just articles. Who knows, but it shall continue.
Throughout the history of professional wrestling there have been monumental events, angles, stories, character and gimmicks that could’ve easily gone another direction and either drastically the change the course of the future or having very little change but that one change still being constant.
Within the confines of DC Comics and Marvel this idea has been constantly explored. In DC they call it Elseworlds. In Marvel it was known as “What If?’. Some of my favorite comics stories of all time have come from these particular annuals, graphic novels and series. It is something could easily be applied to wrestling in many major ways.
Here’s a small list of some of the ideas I’m playing with:
What if the Issac Yankem gimmick was successful and got expanded to a stable with a X-ray tech and an anesthesiologist?
“What if James Storm joined Chris Harris in ECWWE?”
“Fallen Angel doesn’t get injured in Nitro debut”
“CM Punk never went straight edge”
“Kevin Nash and Scott Hall never left WCW/never left the WWF to go back to WCW”
I have a short dream list of artists based purely on their previous wrestling illustrations, none that have agreed to be part of the project as of yet, but it is a dream.
(special thanks to Sam “Eddie Phoenix” Fines for helping come up with the concept and cementing it in stone with a name.)
(My first follow up will be me fleshing out one of the actual what if’s further and drawing one of my own to get the ball rolling… also research into other artists who not only draw wrestlers but understand and LOVE wrestling…I don’t want just cool illustrations, I want the passion of folks who get what they’re doing, not just photo referencing stuff)