For many weeks, viewers of WWE Monday Night Raw sat with bated breath, wondering what Erick Rowan had in his cage covered by a sheet.
OK, I’m probably overstating this. From what I could tell, most people couldn’t care less about that particular plot point. I’m sure somebody out there was in fact interested in this whole thing. Certainly members of the Rowan Family had to be wondering, Right?
Well, No Way Jose and his friends were wondering about it, and they were nice enough to ask Erick Rowan what was in his cage in a polite manner. So, Rowan showed them his friend.
Honestly, there isn’t much that could have been in that cage that would have lived up to the high expectations people had for Erick Rowan’s cage. “A giant tarantula” seems as good a choice as any, and joins the ranks of great insects of wrestling history.
You know I had to find five better ones, right?
Brad Armstrong was a tremendous in-ring talent, and a funny son of a gun outside the ring. For whatever reason, any charisma he might have had as a human being didn’t translate to his “Brad Armstrong” wrestling character. So WCW kept putting him in different personas like Fantasia/Badstreet, The Candyman, and this Spider-Man that was so obviously a Spider-Man knockoff that Marvel Comics threatened legal action and nipped the character in the bud.
4. Tara’s Tarantula
Poor Rowan. He isn’t even the first wrestler to carry around a tarantula! Tara, previously known as Victoria in WWE, appeared in TNA in May of 2009. We quickly found out that “Tara” was short for “Tarantula”, and she liked placing a tarantula named “Poison” on her fallen adversaries. I kinda liked it, but I was biased in favor of Tara/Victoria for most of the 2000s. Solid worker, good look, and you could buy her as somebody into weird insect stuff.
3. The Killer Bees (tag team insects!)
Now we’ve hit the good stuff! Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell was quite the tag team specialist. He & Greg Gagne ruled the AWA tag team scene for years as the High Flyers. Brunzell made the move to the WWF, and since Greg obviously wasn’t leaving the AWA, he needed to find a new partner. B. Brian seemed like a solid choice, there were a lot of Bs in their names, and the rest was history. The Bees were a solid tag team through the mid-1980s. Even though they never won the Tag Team Championship, they gave teams like the Hart Foundation fits during classic arena show matches.
2. UltraMantis Black
There are few creatures on Earth more devious than the praying mantis. Once they procreate, the female consumes the male whole. And I don’t mean in the figurative way where the male acts like a dunce in the presence of a female, I mean that the male ceases to exist. So it should be no surprise that one of wrestling’s most evil & devious insects is a mantis. You have to be in order to survive as a male mantis. UltraMantis was one of the original CHIKARA students and was part of the company for most of its first eighteen seasons. He seems to pop up on random shows once in awhile these days, but I wouldn’t expect the rumors of his being the Dark Order’s Exalted One to come to pass.
1. The Colony (marching insects)
One thing CHIKARA has been known for through the years is featuring their younger talent in masked personas. It makes sense on a couple levels, as kids tend to love masked wrestlers, and the younger wrestlers benefited in the long run from having their earlier matches under personas where nobody knew who they were. Of course, some CHIKARA talent ended up wearing hoods for most of their career because the characters got over. You wouldn’t think that ants coming out to “Ants Marching” would get over…who am I kidding, of course you would think it would get over!
There has been rumor and speculation about the identity of Fire, Soldier & some of the other ants over the years. I can not confirm or deny any of this rumor or speculation, all I can say for sure is that the ants have had pretty successful careers considering that they started out at the bottom of the insect food chain as ants.