The Horror Heavyweight Championship: Part 1
Everyone knows the villains and icons of the horror genre. But what we did in this article is give the best of the best in horror their rightful prize: the Horror Heavyweight Championship. In this 5-part series, we will go back through time and reward the best in horror with the championship title made specifically for the ones who deserve it. From Dracula in 1931 all the way to current horror villains, just about every villain that scared their way into homes is represented here.
However, there are two rules that apply to championship contenders. First, the championship can only be held by a singular, physical living or undead person. A possessed person also counts. That means that no ghosts, spirits, animals, aliens, inanimate objects, or groups of villains (hordes of zombies, gangs of cannibals, etc.) can challenge for the title. Secondly, the Horror Heavyweight Championship does follow what is known as the “Freebird Rule” in professional wrestling. This rule allows the title to be challenged and/or defended by more than one person if they represent the same villain or are a part of a close-knit stable. For example, Ghostface from Scream is represented by two people and either can challenge or defend, but not together. It must be one or the other.
THE HORROR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP – PART 1
Count Dracula – The Original Champion
On February 14, 1931, Count Dracula appeared on the scene and was looking for a challenge. And he didn’t have to wait too long. Just a few months later, Frankenstein’s Monster arrived and set up our inaugural championship match on December 1, 1931 in London, England.
The match was a dramatic one that saw each challenger go back and forth and it eventually came down to one huge mistake in the monster’s corner. After nearly an hour long fight, Dr. Frankenstein came down to the ring and slid a chair in for the monster to use on Count Dracula. But when the monster objected to this, Dracula saw an opportunity and hit Frankenstein’s Monster with his finisher, the “Nail in the Coffin.” With this victory, Count Dracula became the first ever Horror Heavyweight Champion and would go on to hold the title for a long, long time. And in that time, he faced stiff competition from six challengers. Here is a brief list of his biggest title defenses.
Count Dracula’s first title defense came in 1932 against The Mummy, aka Imhotep. The match was held in the pyramids of Egypt, The Mummy’s homeland, seemingly giving The Mummy an advantage. But Count Dracula was no match for the slow Imhotep and won easily in a quick match.
The next challenger for the championship gave Count Dracula a tougher time. On January 2, 1942 in Wales, the champion faced-off against Lawrence Talbot, aka The Wolf Man. The match took place in the mist-covered forest and Dracula was having a hard time getting any offense going. The Wolf Man pounced on the champion and was just about to put Dracula in the “Lone Wolf” submission hold when the full moon disappeared and the champion reversed the hold and finished The Wolf Man off with his own finisher.
Count Dracula was a traveling champion and continued to do so when he ventured out the Black Lagoon and faced off against The Gill Man in an Amazonian Raft Match in 1954. In this match, the winner is the last man standing on the wooden raft that is floating down the Amazon River. The action was tight in this match and Dracula knew he had to win as he was the clear-cut favorite. And he would do just that as he transformed into a bat just as he was about to fall off the raft. He then pestered The Gill Man enough that he fell off of the raft, giving the victory to Count Dracula.
Count Dracula wouldn’t fight again until 1960 when the horror world was starting to look a little different. That year he took on Norman Bates, the crazed owner of the Bate’s Motel. The fight took place in London, giving Dracula the advantage. He wouldn’t need it however as Norman Bates never got the upper hand in the fight and quickly surrendered to Count Dracula. The match ended in a count-out as Norman walked away from the fight looking confused. After the match, Count Dracula was asked about his opponent and responded by calling him a “Mother’s boy.”
After the debacle of a fight with Norman Bates, a Stairway to Hell match was set up between Dracula and Regan MacNeil, aka The Exorcist, on New Year’s Eve, 1973. However, this huge fight was dropped after the demon that consumed MacNeil’s body was miraculously exorcised. Count Dracula’s next challenge wouldn’t come for almost another year as he was set to face Leatherface on December 25, 1974. In a huge battle of past meets present, Count Dracula seemed tired and not as sharp as he once was. Whether it was the layoff in title fights or the years of battles finally catching up with him, Count Dracula seemed doomed to lose almost from the start. And he eventually did lose as Leatherface overpowered the champion and got the win after he hit Dracula with the “Chainsaw Clothesline” finisher. And so began a new era for the Horror Heavyweight Championship.
Count Dracula’s Championship Reign: 43 years, 24 days
Leatherface – The Modern Era Begins
After ending the record reign of Count Dracula, Leatherface didn’t waste much time in getting his match setup. He battled “Billy”, the unseen villain from Black Christmas that same year and won easily, showing the horror world that he wouldn’t go down without a huge fight. And he lived up to that with three huge fights during his reign.
The first of these three fights was a Triple Threat match between Carrie White and The Town That Dreaded Sundown‘s own The Phantom. The match took place on November 26, 1976 in Carrie’s hometown at the Bates High School gym. With all of the exits locked, the three villains engaged in an all-out brawl that saw Carrie use her telekinetic powers to get the two men to fight each other while she looked to take advantage of their carnage. But once she became distracted by a few teenagers that were inadvertently locked in the gym as well, The Phantom knocked her out by hitting her in the head with a metal bucket. But when he turned his attention back to Leatherface, the villain from Texas hit him with his “Chainsaw Clothesline” finisher and got the win. Leatherface then turned his attention to Carrie and threw her through the door and walked out. But The Phantom got back to his feet and attacked Leatherface before he could leave. He pummeled Leatherface and vowed to return one day.
But Leatherface took on Carrie and The Phantom, he knew that his next fight would be against the Pluto, one of the savages from the “Hills with Eyes”. Pluto had won a #1 Contender’s match in 1976 and got his championship opportunity in 1977 in the West Texas desert. Leatherface knew that Pluto would be a tough challenge, especially considering that Pluto’s family members Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter would all be hiding out in the desert, waiting to assist Pluto. And they did just that. The match seemed like a handicap match with Leatherface having to fight off all four of them. But in the end, Leatherface got the win and walked away from the desert with the title still in his hands.
The third huge fight for Leatherface however would be his downfall. On October 31, 1978, in Leatherface’s own home, the Halloween killer from Haddonfield, Michael Myers, took on Leatherface in a match that included chainsaws, knifes, and everything else, including the kitchen sink. Myers and Leatherface battled throughout the entire house, demolishing all of skeleton furniture and artwork made by Leatherface and his cannibalistic family. The end came down to Leatherface dropping his chainsaw after being stabbed in the arm and Myers hitting him with the “Pumpkin Smasher” finisher. Myers got the win and became the third Horror Heavyweight Champion.
Leatherface’s Championship Reign: 3 years, 10 months, 6 days
Michael Myers – The Horror from Haddonfield
Michael Myers reigned as the Horror Heavyweight Champion as the 70s turned into the 80s and the horror genre began to grow rapidly. And in his first title defense, Myers was put to the test in a Four Corners match against Mrs. Voorhees, “Maniac” Frank Zito, and Jack Torrance, in Torrance’s own personal hell, the Overlook Hotel.
Although Torrance had the clear cut advantage with the fight taking place at the Overlook Hotel, this fight wouldn’t be his best. The fight took place in May of 1980 and when the opening bell rang, Torrance went straight after Zito while the champion stalked Mrs. Voorhees. Torrance and Zito battled like the two crazed men that they were and Torrance got the upper-hand when he locked Zito in the mysterious room 237. Meanwhile, Myers caught up to Mrs. Voorhees and she tries to talk her way out of the fight. But she then attacks Myers and he dispatches her rather quickly. Then, Torrance shows up and lures Michael outside. However, this backfires as Torrance ends up freezing to death and Myers gets the easy win.
Michael Myers’ next matchup was with a man named Axel Palmer, aka The Miner. Palmer was granted the match and then given the chance to name the stipulation. He chose the dreaded Coal Miner’s Pickaxe match in the coal mine on Valentine’s Day, 1981. This however did not phase Myers a bit. Myers walked into the coal mine and brought the fight to The Miner. Myers quickly blocked the exit of the mine and stalked The Miner until getting the win quickly. Heartbreak struck The Miner once again as he failed to win the title he so desperately wanted.
Next up for Michael was another Four Corners match in 1981. Myers faced The Prowler, Cropsy, and Jason Voorhees. The Prowler and Cropsy, both relative unknowns, went after each other at the start of the match while Jason attacked Myers, seeking retribution for his mother. Eventually, Jason and Michael paired up and formed a temporary team and knocked Cropsy and The Prowler out of the picture. Then, Jason turned on Myers and got a near fall. But, Myers fell out of the ring and when Jason followed him, he was stunned by a chair shot. Myers got back in the ring and when Jason followed him, he was stunned to see his mother’s head. He stopped everything to “listen to mommy” and when he did that, Myers took advantage and hit Jason with the “Pumpkin Smasher” for the win. Jason immediately sat back up and stared a hole through Michael letting the champ know he would see him again soon.
The rematch between Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees would take place on August 13, 1982 at Camp Crystal Lake, Jason’s home. Voorhees, with a completely new gimmick that included a hockey mask, came ready to fight and gain revenge against Myers, the man who beat his mother in a match and then tricked him just a year ago. The two battled all over the campgrounds and each got in some good shots. Myers looked as though he would retain the title after pushing Jason into the lake, but Voorhees sprang out of the water and didn’t stop attacking Michael until he got the win. Jason used every move in his arsenal and finally put the unstoppable Myers down for good after hitting the “Crystal Lake Slam” for the three-count. Myers would eventually make a return, but he was out of action for a while after this match while Jason began his first reign of championship terror.
Michael Myers’ Championship Reign: 3 years, 9 months, 13 days
Jason Voorhees –The Hockey-Masked Assassin
Jason’s Horror Heavyweight Championship reign was put into question by the bookers and they decided to try to ridicule him in his very first title defense. The match was labeled “Camp Crystal Lake vs. Sleepaway Camp: The Rumble in the Woods.”
The match pitted Jason against Angela, the twisted counselor from Sleepaway Camp. The match was set for November 18, 1983 and the bookers were sure Jason would be disgusted by this choice of a challenger. But what they didn’t realize was that not only is Jason always in a bad mood, but he hates teens and sex. So, once he realized that Angela was actually a boy raised as a girl, Jason lost his mind. Teens and their sexual habits was one thing. But a girl with boy-parts down there drove Jason over the edge! This was just too much for Mrs. Voorhees’ baby boy to handle. In one of the quickest matches in the title’s history, Jason demolished Angela and dragged her down to the bottom of Crystal Lake.
Jason’s next title defense was on November 9, 1984 against the “Killer Santa Claus” Billy. The match was at Ira’s Toy Shop and it was another relatively easy win for Jason. Billy started the match by grunting his infamous “Naughty!” line and charging at the champion. Jason’s side-stepped Billy’s attack and stared blankly at Billy’s attire. Feeling as though Billy was infringing on his gimmick of punishing the bad, Jason laid into the “psycho Santa” and beat him with little effort.
On November 16, 1984, Jason had his next biggest battle against the man that would become his greatest adversary, Freddy Krueger. Krueger had made a splash in the “Dream World” wrestling scene and was looking to make a name for himself in the heavyweight division, despite being much smaller than Jason. The fight was held in Freddy’s Dream World and despite Jason’s best efforts, he could not stop the “Dream Master”. Voorhees fought with everything he had, but eventually succumbed to the “Krueger Sleeper Hold” and a new champion was crowned. Many critics blame Jason’s loss on one of two things. One criticism was that Jason became overconfident after beating Angela so easily. They also looked at the match Jason had against the “Killer Santa” Billy less than two weeks prior. But no matter what happened to Jason, it was clear that Freddy was the better villain on this night and was now the new Horror Heavyweight Champion.
Jason Voorhees’ Championship Reign: 2 years, 3 months, 3 days
Please come back next week for Part 2 of the Horror Heavyweight Championship as we begin with Freddy’s title reign and move on through time. Thanks for reading!
Daryl Karpinski Jr.