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Raw Memories: My grandmother thought Mr. Ass was ridiculous

She wasn’t wrong.

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With Raw 25 approaching, we’ve been talking some of our favorite Raw moments. (Cain got the ball rolling talking about CM Punk winning the world title from Edge.)

However, this isn’t exactly that. If I were writing my favorite Raw moments, I’d talk about the Pipe Bomb, or Bryan vs. Wyatt in the steel cage, or the Brothers of Destruction saving Lita from the Two Man Power Trip.

This is a memory I look back on fondly now though at the time, a tad less so. It’s one that only exists because pro wrestling at its core is ridiculous and the fact that the Attitude Era was ridiculous at it’s peak.

It was 1999 and I was 16, and as you can probably guess, I was really into wrestling. I wasn’t watching for long. Really just a year. But I was all about it.

So when I was at my grandmother’s house visiting with my mother that August, I asked I put on Raw to see what was going on when my mother, grandmother, and I were all in the same room. Even at that time, I knew pro wrestling could be ludicrous, and I was aware it was a risk watching it with my mother and grandmother there. But still, I had to see what was happening. I just kept my fingers crossed it wasn’t something too outrageous.

It was.

The segment was a promo segment with Billy Gunn, who was officially going by Mr. Ass at that time. He walked down to the ring with Chyna, got into the ring, looked at the camera and said “I’m here to talk about ass.”

Oh dear. Looks like crossing my fingers didn’t do much.

A reminder that Billy Gunn officially went by Mr. Ass
WWE Network

Billy then went on to do just that: Talk about his ass and the Rock’s ass for a good two minutes. It felt like every other word out of his mouth was “ass.” The man legit stood there and talked about how his derrière was so much better than the Rock’s for a good two minutes. Mr. Ass then claimed to have a picture of Rocky’s backside that he took in the shower, which is weird enough as it is. He proceeded to play a video of a very large arse on the Titantron. (I’ll spare you a still picture of that in case you’re reading this at work or in front of your grandmother.) Then the Rock popped up on the Titantron and he talked about ass a bunch too.

(To the surprise of no one, WWE’s YouTube doesn’t have this clip. But I encourage anyone with the WWE Network to pull up Raw from Aug. 2, 1999 and cue up to the 42 minute mark to experience the Attitude Era at it’s best... or worst?)

And let’s not forget Billy Gunn’s music. Granted, today it’s considered an overlooked classic, with lines such as “So many asses. So little time. A little tight one can stop me on a dime. I’m a lover of every kind. The best surprises always sneak up from behind.” But it’s still outrageous.

This was the not the way any self respecting grandson would want to represent himself in front of his grandmother, watching this immature stupidity. Sure, my mother was in the room too, but she already knew about how dumb the programming I watched was. It was new to my grandmother. But luckily it seemed like my grandmother wasn’t really paying attention. She was in and out of the room anyway. Surely, she didn’t take much notice.

Or so I thought.

My mother told me later that as my grandmother was cleaning up in the bathroom, she went in there. She found my grandmother washing her face while shaking her head and muttering to herself in a combination of shock, confusion, and probably disgust about Mr. Ass. Apparently she saw most of it. I guess when your formative years were spent watching Gable and Bogart, Billy Gunn isn’t your speed.

I often think about this time when my grandmother watched in abject horror as Billy Gunn played a video of someone’s extreme large buttocks while wearing a shirt with lips that read “Mr. Ass.” It’s become a very fond memory of mine. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have a few ideas.

This is an extreme example of how wrestling fans have often felt. We tell people “Hey, we like wrestling” and they finally agree to watch with us and a segment like this comes on that we have zero explanation for. It also stands as great reminder of how absolutely beautifully ridiculous wrestling can be. Sometimes it’s serious. But sometimes it’s Billy Gunn talking about his bottom as a build to the match at one of the biggest shows of the year.

I never would have believed sitting there, looking down slightly ashamed at what I was watching in front of my elderly grandmother, that almost 20 years later, I’d pull that very scene up on my computer to watch it again as research for a retrospective of that very moment. But that’s what this genre will do to you. It’s outrageous, entertaining, funny, serious, and sometimes a bit embarrassing all at the same time.

And that’s why we love it.

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