On February 18th 2014 Nelson Frazier, Jr. -- better known as Mabel, King Mabel, Viscera, "The World's Largest Love Machine", and Big Daddy V -- tragically passed away at the age of 43. Having created a niche for himself in the WWE as one of the most colorful and controversial professional wrestlers for over a decade. Most fans today grew up with a variety of Frazier's characters. He ranged from an inner-city hip hop enthusiast all the way to a massive Superstar with an equally massive libido.
While not all of his characters were what most would consider "good" (heck, some of them weren't even considered tasteful) Frazier took it in stride and used the most of what he had to create a memorable and noteworthy career. In times of grief -- even for those we only know vicariously through our television sets -- it's good to reminisce about the memories they created in the short time they were on this goofy planet. So in honor of the big lug who gave us so many memorable moments over the years -- both good and bad -- let's take a look at the ones that helped define his career and carve him out a spot in the memories of all WWE fans of the last few years. Here they are in chronological order.
7. Men on a Mission: Welcome to the WWF
Frazier entered the WWE (then WWF) as one half of Men on a Mission. Paired with Moe -- a man who looks like the Universe's first draft of CeeLo Green -- Men on a Mission are what happens when you get a group of white early 90's executives in a room and tell them they need to come up with a product for the urban youth market. Wearing parachute pants (or in Mabel's case, just a parachute) the duo were given a rapping manager named Oscar and placed in the tag team ranks and given a push as solid faces.
Despite the fact that Men on a Mission were a poor amalgamation of The Sugar Hill Gang and MC Hammer, they became very popular with the fans, mostly because of Mabel's unusual size. Even in an organization that prided themselves on large characters, Mabel stuck out due to his height, girth, and Mohawk. If someone had shown you a picture of Mabel before he debuted, you'd swear you were looking at Yokozuna's negative.
The group was introduced via vignettes as rappers who were coming to the WWF to make a positive change in inner-city neighborhoods, and what better way to do that than by wrestling French Canadian Mounties for golden belts? Despite the fact that they didn't really have any impact on things that mattered, they at least caught the imagination of the wrestling audience through hand-waving and stereotype progressing.
6. The Four Doinks
In 1993 Doink the Clown was embroiled in a feud with Bam Bam Bigelow probably over who had the sillier name. Because wrestling feuds that involve people with clown makeup always have to end in the most ridiculous way possible, Bam Bam and Doink were set to lead two teams into Survivor Series to settle their differences. Bam Bam recruited The Headshrinkers and Bastion Booger (think the human interpretation of Gluttony of the Seven Deadly Sins if you need a visual) to take on whatever weird surprises Doink had conjured up for his team.
Unfortunately for Bam Bam, Doink didn't show up. Instead he sent out four Doink-avatars; two Doink's that walked while raising their arms up and down and couldn't stop licking people, a short black Doink, and a big fat Doink who looked like something straight out of a child's nightmares.
The match was every circus clown troupe in wrestling history rolled into one. Water balloons were thrown, banana peels were slipped on, and children were kidnapped from their seats. You know, basic clown stuff. The Doinks swept Bigelow's team and Mabel made his mark as a member of the most disturbing Survivor Series team ever.
5. WrestleMania X
The WWF was in a weird state of flux in the early 90's. They no longer had their usual bankable stars, and were showcasing new, flashier gimmicks that were hit-or-miss at best. It's probably not hard to figure out that a guy wearing goggles and making nuclear death puns wasn't going to work out in the long run, but the 90's were a time of creative experimentation, not tact. However, even though the product wasn't up to it's usual standard, being a part of the WrestleMania card was still consider an honor, and one that could make-or-break someone's career.
During the tenth annual event, Men on a Mission took their swing at immortality when they challenged the Quebecers for their tag team titles. There was no denying at the time that Men on a Mission were probably the most popular tag team the WWF had, but being popular doesn't always translate into in-ring skills, so the match ended with a count-out victory for Mo and Mabel. Unfortunately count-out victories in wrestling mean "You win but not really" in title matches, so the Quebecers held onto the gold. Mo and Mabel would eventually win the belts a month later, but only held onto the titles for two days before losing them back to the Quebecers during a tour of the UK.
Even though the moment was tainted by formalities, Men on a Mission proved they were ready for the spotlight, even if their matches were the pits. Aside from watching a giant fat man perform an Avalanche Splash, Men on a Missions matches were never showstoppers. Being a part of WrestleMania is an honor most WWE Superstars aspire to, and Mabel wasn't just a part, he had a match. The Undertaker didn't even get on the WrestleMania X card, and that dude basically owns WrestleMania. Being part of the Super Bowl of wrestling is a much bigger accomplishment than holding a fake award for two days, and it showed that Mabel was ready to be invested in.
4. All Hail King Mabel
Arguably Frazier's most memorable accomplishment was becoming the 1995 King of the Ring, re-dubbing himself "King Mabel", and used a farm club wrestlers powered throne for transportation. At this point in his career Mabel was a singles star on the rise, and Mo was regulated to being Mabel's right hand, doing his bidding as King Mabel's own personal knight. I don't think I have to tell you why a 500 lb man wearing a crown and robe who screams at people while wildly waving a sword as four burly dudes struggle to carry him around on a mobile throne is wonderful, but just in case I do, re-read that last sentence over and over until the imagery sinks in.
King Mabel was easily the most successful character Frazier ever performed. He main-evented SummerSlam (which is an honor in it's own right) feuded with The Undertaker, and led his own Survivor Series team. King Mabel might have just been the rapping fat guy from a year prior, but there's no denying the effect a plastic crown can have on a person's career. Hell, Jerry Lawler made a career of it. But, in January 1996 King Mabel left the WWF, as did Sir Mo. Nobody really knows what happened to the knight of Mabel's court, but it's rumored that Mo got ketchup on his skin the same day Mabel forgot his lunch, and that was the last anyone ever heard of him.
3. Say Hello to Viscera
In 1999 Mabel returned to the WWF full time as a brainwashed disciple of The Undertaker and became the enforcer of his Ministry of Darkness stable. Decked out entirely in black (because it's so slimming!) chains, and sporting white contacts, the newly dubbed Viscera was the new default mode for every overweight goth kid with a Hot Topic gift card.
His initial run with his new title wasn't exactly noteworthy. He followed Undertaker around and did whatever he was told, and occasionally tag teamed with Mideon, a man who later would become best known for digging the European title out of the garbage and wrestling naked. But even if it was uneventful, his re-branding was important to his career; Frazier would use the Viscera name and those white contact lenses for the next eight years.
However, during this run Viscera did add another accolade to his trophy case. At WrestleMania 2000 he became Hardcore Champion in the Hardcore Battle Royal. The title was up for grabs in a match that had a 15 minute time limit, and it changed hands several times in that small window (pretty sure Big Vis only held it for a little over a minute) but nonetheless, it's an honor that only he and about ten other guys from that night can claim. So that's something!
2. World's Largest Love Machine
In 2004 Viscera once again returned to the WWE, and eventually found his way into usefulness when Trish Stratus recruited him in her feud against Lita and her then storyline husband/captor Kane. Playing the part of Trish's muscle who was paid in sex, Viscera began his transformation into "The World's Largest Love Machine" and begun his descent into delusional sexual debauchery. Changing his attire from black gimp suit to suede pajamas and given an entrance theme that would make Marvin Gaye blush, "Big V" became less concerned with winning matches and more concerned with hitting on Divas and butt-raping Superstars.
No seriously. Look--
Viscera then began a tour of sexual innuendos by grinding the air and trying to bang every woman on the WWE payroll. He was especially smitten with Lilian Garcia, and pursued her with the rapey charm of Pepe Le Pew. Eventually Lilian gave into his charms (presumably out of exhaustion) and even went as far as to propose to Viscera in the middle of the ring. However, this being wrestling and no engagement/wedding ceremony can ever go according to plan, the love birds were interrupted by notorious wrestling pimp The Godfather who offered Big V all the prostitutes he could swallow as long as he embarrassed Lilian on national television. Never one to turn down a chance at chlamydia, Viscera bailed on Lilian to go hang with a couple of sex workers while she cried her eyes out. What a Romeo!
And that wasn't even the worst thing he did to Lilian. Some time later Viscera was battling Charlie Haas over Lilian's affections, Viscera was temporarily blinded. Because seeing isn't necessary for stomping, Big V blindly picked up the nearest humanoid form he could find and Samoan-dropped it to death. Unfortunately the person he grabbed wasn't Haas, but Lilian because everyone is in disguise when you can't see. After realizing his mistake what did Viscera do? Did he:
A) Seek out medical help?
B) Break down in tears and apologize profusely?
C) Shrug, laugh it off, and leave her dead in the ring while he and Haas left together as new BFF's?
If you guessed anything except C, than you clearly don't know how WWE treats women.
1. Big Daddy V
In the summer of 2007 WWE had milked all they could out of the "Fat Black Man Who Molests People" gimmick and repackaged Frazier as Big Daddy V, which echoed his Viscera run, only less gothic makeup as well as pectoral support. V stopped covering his torso, instead deciding to share with the WWE audience his voluptuous figure adorned with several tattoos. Seriously, the sun on his chest was so large opponents would get caught in it's orbit. If you stared at the moon on his other pectoral, you'd see a little man waving at you from a cheese farm. Nothing against the guy's figure, but holy cow did it make the audience pine for the pajama and gimp suit days.
Big Daddy V debuted on the ECW brand as an enforcer for Matt Striker, and became a dominate force in the ECW title hunt. At this point Big Daddy V seemed like he was finally starting to learn how to wrestle like a big man should. He started using his size believably instead of trying to do spinning heel kicks with the grace and speed of a dump truck. He stuck to power moves that would set off car alarms when he would hit them. It's a shame that when he finally started getting it together that WWE decided to finally cut him loose for good, even if he couldn't stop playing with those damn suspenders.
At the end of the day Vicera's legacy shouldn't be the good and bad characters he portrayed in his long career; it should be that of a man who when given a gimmick that can't be seen as anything except ridiculous took it in stride and had fun with the cards he was dealt. Nelson Frazier, Jr. was a man who made the best out of every horrible situation he was handed and got the most out of every moment. At the end of the day, he gave us his best. That's all we can ever ask of anybody.
Rest in peace, big man. You've left a hole in this industry no one will be able to fill.
Tumblr: Andrew Johnson Is A Robot