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Inside The Dungeon of Doom: Kevin Sullivan’s take on wrestling’s wackiest group

October 31, 2013

In summer 1995, one year before the emergence of The nWo, WCW was stuck in a seemingly inescapable limbo. The era of Ric Flair’s thrilling rivalries against Vader, Sting and Ricky Steamboat was  in the rearview mirror. Hulk Hogan had arrived one year prior, but he wasn’t being accepted by Atlanta crowds with the same maniacal frenzy that had stirred up WWE fans in the ’80s.

The lead producer of WCW at the time, Kevin Sullivan – a Boston-bred veteran brawler – needed to come up with something. He needed to do it fast. And what he came up with might be the single most absurd narrative that has ever unfolded in one of the major sports-entertainment organizations — The Dungeon of Doom.

View photos of The Dungeon of Doom’s members | Watch the absurd videos inside The Dungeon’s lair

A cadre of cartoonish villains that assembled in a haunted fortress, The Dungeon grew and grew to amass no fewer than 20 individual members, each more ridiculous than the next. Watching the group’s television segments today is a surreal experience and plays like a B-movie out of the mind of Troma’s Lloyd Kauffman. There were bizarre sci-fi elements like teleportation, Hogan’s turn to “the dark side” long before going Hollywood and even the first on-screen appearance of Big Show.

With the rise of YouTube, the group’s run has developed a cult following thanks to its cheap production values and endlessly quotable lines like, “It’s not hot!” Fascinated by the the macabre world of The Dungeon of Doom, and the notion that its existence overlapped with the intense realism overlapped with The nWo, set out to discover the inside story. We sat down with Kevin Sullivan, the Dungeon’s Taskmaster, to find out what made the group tick and why it even happened at all.

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