From Argentina’s La Mumia to the real Chucky showing up in WCW to feud with Rick Steiner (oh man, wait until we get to that one), monsters and pro wrestling often go claw in hand. This episode, we’ll delve into the Bastard Son of 1,000 Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Nightmare Freddy.
Portrayed by Doug Gilbert, son of noted Memphis referee Tommy Gilbert (who originally used this gimmick and gave it to Doug) and brother of booker/wrestler/crazy legend Eddie Gilbert, Nightmare Freddy first showed up in Memphis. A babyface, if you can believe that, he feuded with the Master of Pain (who you may better know today as The Undertaker). He even set him on fire once.
Yes, a child molesting monster can be a good guy, but I should caveat this statement by saying that Memphis is the strangest wrestling territory this side of DDT, with Kane starting as the Christmas Creature, Ta-Gar Lord of the Volcano (pretty much a wrestling version of Skeletor that shot fire) and Adam West showing up to battle Jerry “The King” Lawler. It’s where Andy Kaufman wrestled, after all.
Gilbert kept the gimmick going, all the way to W*ING in Japan. He won the tag belts there with our last entry, Leatherface. Later, in a match teaming with The Boogeyman (his brother Eddie under a Michael Myers mask), they proceeded to rip their masks off and proclaim their loyalty to All Japan Pro Wrestling and Giant Baba (which made no sense, as they weren’t getting jobs there after this). According to shoot interviews (and let’s add allegedly and other lawsuit avoiding terms here), Eddie believed that the Jason the Terrible in this match (yes, we’ll get to wrestling Jason soon) had stolen the Leatherface gear from his house while he was in jail. Plus, the Moondogs got booked on this tour by the Gilberts and they didn’t want them to lose to a Jason who was also a thief. Whew.
That said — Doug took the gimmick to IWA Japan and had some success with it, feuding with The Cryptkeeper, who for some reason wore a baseball jersey. He then started using his Dark Patriot gimmick and put away the bladed glove (which he used to do an awesome iron claw) before retiring in the mid 2000s for a job working on Tennessee road construction.
No one’s really done the Freddy gimmick since, but Alexa Bliss has worn his clothes in NXT, Finn Balor has wrestled a match dressed as the Springwood Slasher and indy wrestler Jason Gory often wrestles matches in costumes that pay tribute to Kruger.
The biggest secret I’ve learned since writing this article is that Rey Mysterio Jr. was Freddy’s stunt double for the boiler room fight in Freddy vs. Jason!
Stay tuned, wrestling and fright fans. We have articles coming up featuring plenty of rasslin’ mummies, Frankensteins, vampires and oh-so-much more!