Wrestling Salvage Yard: Van Hammer

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Last month in The Overtimer back channels, our CEO and co-founder posted a video of a WCW music video for “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer. 

Now, I thought it was badass. He was rocking out and there were chicks—the works for a gimmick based around 80s and early 90s glam metal. 

Never mind that glam was on the way out in the early 90s, WCW invested in getting people interested in Van Hammer. As a matter of fact, WCW invested a lot into music videos and mini-movies at this time. 

Unfortunately, Van Hammer didn’t really live up to the investment put into the gimmick. Was there somewhere he could’ve been salvaged? 

WCW Career 

This might be a brief salvage because WCW is where the bulk of Hammer’s significant work took place.  

First off, Van Hammer was a heavyweight with size and a physique. In-ring he was average. Most would say he was bad or mediocre there have been a few matches—most tag bouts—where you could see that he wasn’t entirely bad. 

The problem with most of his run was mainly in how he was used. Well, that and he was in a ring work-first company loaded with talented, exciting wrestlers.  

If he couldn’t match a lot of these guys in-ring, he needed to bring some charisma and razzle-dazzle, be willing to take risks, or know someone with some stroke. 

As you probably guessed, none of this was the case. Well, actually Dusty Rhodes was big on him but that was a six-figure lapse in judgment. 

WCW booking on his return pretty much kept Van Hammer in the same type of gimmick. 

Hdid show more personality as a member of Misfits in Action as Major Stash…because he didn’t want to be a private. 

Hammer was also a member of Raven’s Flock but he was more like Reese. He was definitely there but he wasn’t one of the notable members. 

I mean in the goon rankings he’d be right there with Reese below Riggs who was a Flock member featured regularly on TV. 

Salvaging Van Hammer 

Honestly, he went as far as he was going to go with WCW. The company had brought in several hot talents, a bunch of AAA luchadorsand several former superstars from WWE. 

He never really set himself apart from the rest of the pack even with WCW pushing him and putting him in favorable positions.  

Hammer had a superstar look for the 90s and salvaging him would require going all the way back to him signing with WCW and booking him with a more timeless gimmick. 

The “Heavy Metal” gimmick was one that just wasn’t going to last long. 

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