Jason The Terrible
If you ask a non-horror movie fan to name three horror movies, Friday The 13th will probably be on that list. The immortal hockey mask wearing, machete wielding serial killer is an iconic pop-cultural image that transcends generations and fandoms. If you can have Simpsons episodes littered with Friday The 13th references, why couldn’t you have wrestlers of the same influence?
Photo credit: TheSportster
Multiple wrestlers have worn a Jason mask and called themselves Jason The Terrible, but perhaps none were more well-known than Karl Moffat, a Stampede Wrestling original, and Hart family dungeon graduate. Obviously, being based off of (and basically exactly copied from) one of the world’s most popular horror villains, Jason was booked as a monster heel, wielding baseball bats, axes and 2x4s that he would use both in vignettes and in matches. Surprisingly, though, the gimmick really got over in NWA, WWC and CRMW, eventually granting him a babyface run that he’s perhaps most well-known for.
Moffat planted the seeds for having a monster work in wrestling, as he was a talented worker, but also a believable character. The crowd would pop when he hit a northern lights suplex or a diving headbutt, but pop even louder when he would no-sell a move by sitting up after being dropped, as if he had become reanimated from the dead.
In the last few decades, Jason The Terrible has sort of received the Doink treatment, and the gimmick is basically public domain. If a backyard promotion needs a monster heel, just stick a hockey mask on them and call them Jason The Terrible. This fact, however, shouldn’t take away from the character’s more contemporary connotations.
Jason The Terrible is almost exclusively a deathmatch wrestling name right now, and why shouldn’t he be? Why would a serial killer apply a hammerlock to his opponent, when he could just rip their flesh off with a clump of barbed-wire? How much lamer would Friday The 13th be if Jason just did scoop slams and arm drags? Actually, I take that back. That would be fucking awesome.
Despite Jason The Terrible being one of the carniest gimmicks you could possibly think of, both iterations of the character work surprisingly well. But why shouldn’t they? Both horror fans and wrestling fans know that what they watch aren’t always objectively profound works of art, but a way to just shut their brain off for a little bit and have some fun. Not every horror movie needs to be treasured cinematic genius like Psycho. Sometimes it just needs to be a bunch of hungry sharks inside a tornado ripping through a city. Similarly, not every match needs to be an hour-long Okada vs. Omega technical masterpiece inside the Tokyo Dome. Sometimes it just needs to be Jason The Terrible vs. Mr. Pogo in a barbed-wire coffin deathmatch.