Remembering The Life of Matt Osborne With a Definitive Retrospective on Doink The Clown.
When we saw the search term “Doink the Clown” was the No. 1 trending topic on Yahoo! on Saturday, we knew there was little chance it was in regards to something positive. Our fears were confirmed when we learned that Matt Osborne (read: the original wrestler to portray the famous 1990s wrestler persona Doink) became just the latest in a long string of '90s pro wrestlers to die far before their time.
According to numerous reports Osborne, 55, died in a Plano hospital after being found unresponsive by his girlfriend at her apartment.
As of now his death is being ruled an accident.
Of the numerous obituaries/news reports we've read in the wake of the tragedy, we think Deadspin best summed up Osborne's impact in the world of sports entertainment when they wrote the following: “In 1992 he moved to the WWF, where he was slathered in greasepaint and dubbed Doink the Clown, a malicious prankster who never managed to win any matches of importance, but somehow became the most notable oddity on a roster that included an IRS agent, a mountie, an alligator hunter, an evil barber, and a voodoo priest.”
For us, though, the biggest revelation from the story were the facts that multiple wrestlers portrayed the Doink character (not counting, of course, Doink 2, Doink 3, Doink 4 and so forth). Seriously: How did the prepubescent version of ourselves not figure that one out? Also of note? That Osborne had, at least recently, been living within such close proximity to us.
To that end, we've decided to pay our respects to the fallen icon by combing the net for as many of Doink's vital stats and fun facts as we could find to cull them into a single page.
Name: Matt Osborne.
Aliases: Matt Borne (sometimes “Maniac” Matt Borne); Big Josh, a rugged outdoorsman who was sometimes accompanied to the ring by a live bear; Doink the Clown, his most enduring persona; Borne Again, his first post-Doink persona for WCW, who would sometimes dress his opponents up as clowns and taunt them post-victory; Reborne Again, which was basically just the Doink character whose face paint was just a shoddy attempt at Heath Ledger's Joker makeup.
Billed height: 6'0″.
Billed weight: 243 lbs.
Billed from: Parts unknown (during his run as “Doink,” at least).
Finishing moves: The Stump Puller (as a heel) and The Whoopie Cushon (as a face).
Entrance music: “Doinkin' Around.”
â€¢ The Doink character was said to be inspired in part by Pennywise the clown from It, as well as Jack Nicholson's portrayal of The Joker in Tim Burton's Batman.
â€¢ His “Doinkin' Around” theme song was based on “Entry March of the Gladiators” by Czech composer Julius Fucik.
â€¢ While still on the independent circuit, Osborne wrestled, as himself, against Ricky Steamboat in the first ever Wrestlemania in 1985.
â€¢ Osborne only portrayed the Doink the Clown persona in the WWE from 1992 to 1993, after which he was fired for abusing cocaine.
â€¢ After Osborne's firing, the Doink persona was portrayed Steve “Brooklyn Brawler” Lombardi (1993, 2007-2012), Dusty Wolfe (1993), Ray Apollo (1993-1995) and Nick “U-Gene” Dinsmore (2003). During matches with two Doinks, the second clown was portrayed by Steve “Skinner” Keirn.
â€¢ Several other wrestlers “disguised” themselves as Doink as part of their story arcs, including “Double J” Jeff Jarrett who donned the costume to mess with Doink's miniature clone, Dink. Men on a Mission and The Bushwhakers, meanwhile, competed as “The Four Doinks” during the 1993 Survivor Series, and Chris “Y2J” Jericho revived the look for a match in 2001.
â€¢ Osborne was a second-generation pro-wrestler active for 35 years. His father was “Tough” Tony Osborne.
â€¢ Posted on June 27, his final Facebook status read, “I HAVE SOO MUCH GOING ON THIS SUMMER dON'T KNOW IF i'M COMING OR GOING!”
He will be missed.