NEWS: Brooklyn Brawler Opens Up About Portraying Doink The Clown, Facing Shawn Michaels in a Title Match
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NEWS: Steve "Brooklyn Brawler" Lombardi was a recent guest on Sean Mooney's Prime Time podcast. Lombardi opened up about what led him to don the clown nose and white face paint as Doink the Clown:
My phone rings at home and I hear ‘How ya doin’, pal? It’s Vince.’ I go ‘yeah, Vince, whatever you need.’ and he goes, ‘Haha, I know you’ll take care of it.’ I said ‘what do you need?’ and he said ‘I need you to fly to Calgary, and wrestle Bret Hart in the main event… as Doink.’ That’s what he told me. I never had paint on my face, I never did the Doink character, nothing. I said ‘Vince, I have no problem wrestling Bret, I’ve wrestled him before, but the paint job?’ He goes ‘No problem, we’re going to fly you to Stamford with Jill the makeup girl who’s going to teach you the paint job. [She’ll] give you a diagram, whatever you need. Then we’re going to fly you to Cleveland and you’re going to get the Doink suit from Matt Borne’s wife, and then from Cleveland we’re going to fly you to Calgary and you’ll wrestle Bret Hart.’ That was a tall order.
This is all in one day; fly to Stamford, go to the studio, get the lesson, give me a picture, give me all the paints. Then fly to Cleveland, go to baggage claim, get the handoff for the suit, get back on the plane, and go to Calgary. Get to Calgary, gain three hours in Calgary—that’s what made it possible, because you get the time difference—oh my God. The scariest thing was the paint job, because Doink was the hottest heel at the time. Once the music hit, you just go out there—Doink was over at one time—as a heel. It was incredible.
Lombardi also spilled the beans on how he was able to secure a championship bout against Shawn Michaels, despite being an enhancement talent for the entirety of his career:
We’re wrestling in Madison Square Garden and they have a battle royal. I’m in the battle royal, but I’m just a guy that’s going to get thrown out. So all of the sudden—Ken Shamrock was scheduled to win the battle royal—Shamrock injured his sternum and his chest, like the bone in his chest; he got injured. So the agents—they call them producers today—they walk in and tell Vince ‘Shamrock can’t go over, he’s hurt. He can’t work.’ Vince takes his glasses and puts them on the tip of his nose and goes, ‘Put Brooklyn Brawler over. He’s local.’ not realizing that he promised the winner of the battle royal wrestles the World Champion at the next [Madison Square] Garden show. Nobody was remembering that, except for me. I went to the ring, I had the match, and all of the agents are coming to me like ‘you won’t get your match.’ So I walk into Vince’s office and I say ‘Vince, do you realize that you advertised the winner of the battle royal wrestles the champion at the next Garden show?’ He stops for a minute and he looks at me, with those little half-moon glasses, and he goes [in Vince McMahon’s voice] ‘You’ve got your match!’ Just like that! And when he did that, I was like ‘holy shit!’
Transcription Credit: Bill Pritchard, WrestleZone