The biggest story in wrestling in 1999 was the defection of WWF lead writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara to WCW. It shook everything up, and it lead to the belief that WCW was about to catch up to the WWF in the ratings war.
Little did anyone know that one byproduct of the move was that Russo and Ferrara now had the stage to grind axes with their former employer.
And apparently, neither was too fond of the WWF's Jim Ross.
Thus WCW fans were made witness to the character Oklahoma, a parody of Ross played by Ferrara. Ed came out bedecked in a black cowboy hat and spouted off JR style commentary. He would use JR's catchphrases, and would call moves in triplicate like Ross tends to do. (Hey, maybe he came up with the Berserker's chant!) In a move of incredibly poor taste, Ferrara even made fun of Ross' Bells Palsey. WCW even brought in long-time Ross ally "Dr. Death", Steve Williams to help push the character.
Sounds like it may have been at least a little funny, right? And it was - for all of one show. The problem was that Oklahoma became a RECURRING character, and was given more than his fair share of TV time each and every week. In fact, after a short period of time, Oklahoma started to wrestle...
Now it was getting way out of hand. Ferrara even put himself over much more talented competitors on his way to becoming WCW Cruiserweight Champion! That's right, the classic battles of 1996-1997 contested by such greats as Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio Jr., and all the other luchadores were now being replaced by a fat booker with an even fatter ego.
And what was his finisher? Glad you asked. It was a bottle of BBQ sauce. See, Jim Ross had been in the process of bringing JR's BBQ sauce to stores nationwide. Of course, only the most inside of internet marks would even KNOW about this, but that was good enough for Ed. Hell, they even had that idiot Tony Schiavone put over just how lethal the sauce could be!
Fortunately, after a few months of this, Oklahoma has seemingly been put to rest.
A note to Russo & Ferrara: If you're going to do parodies, do them of someone people DON'T like. By making fun of a guy who is thought of as the best commentator currently in the business, he doesn't look stupid - YOU do.
Now if the WWF were to do a parody of Russo...
Thanks to Victor Szanyi for the following info:
Believe it or not, Ferrara is actually a trained wrestler. He was trained at Slammers Wrestling School, and wrestled as "Beautiful Bruce" Beaudine. The site below has more pictures, but beware, they contain dangerous amounts of body hair.