Wrestling & MMA

Before going viral, how did Geoffrey the giraffe end up wrestling at Florida Supercon?

WWE alum Gangrel (left) and Jimmy Jannetty played integral roles in the Geoffrey the giraffe angle that went viral during the JJ Rumble of Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling on Friday, July 13, 2018 at Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. Jannetty, an ECW original who portrayed the FedEx delivery man, is one of the trainers at Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum in South Florida. Will Geoffrey, formerly of Toys-R-Us, return for FSCW at the Raleigh Supercon from July 27-29 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, N.C.?
WWE alum Gangrel (left) and Jimmy Jannetty played integral roles in the Geoffrey the giraffe angle that went viral during the JJ Rumble of Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling on Friday, July 13, 2018 at Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. Jannetty, an ECW original who portrayed the FedEx delivery man, is one of the trainers at Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum in South Florida. Will Geoffrey, formerly of Toys-R-Us, return for FSCW at the Raleigh Supercon from July 27-29 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, N.C.?

A genius move by Mike Broder and Alex Chamberlain went viral as Geoffrey the giraffe, the former mascot of the now defunct Toys-R-Us, found work on July 13 competing for Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling in Fort Lauderdale.

The crowd of more than 1,500 erupted, and the video went viral — seen on social media, on TV and online.

Here’s my longer video of the Geoffrey segment.

When Geoffrey entered the FSCW ring at Florida Supercon, show commentator Rick Sanchez (Dave Garreau) from Rick and Morty joked, ”Is this the biggest comeback in the history of commerce?”

Could be.

Here’s Geoffrey leaving, after being eliminated...

How did this occur?

Broder, the founder and chairman of Florida Supercon, met with Chamberlain to discuss FSCW.

Here is Chamberlain’s insight on the formulation of the idea and the angle.

Chamberlain, one of the directors of FSCW, said: “We were tossing back-n-forth [ideas]. Oh, this would be funny to do this and that. We then happen to see a Geoffrey meme, ‘It would be awesome, if we could have him,’ and Broder’s like. You could see that spark...I talked to Dan [Parella], our other director on the show, and was like, ‘We’re gonna do this.’

“We planned the whole thing out with the irony of the Amazon package delivered from Fed-X like right on the spot, and we wanted Gangrel to do it, because we thought he would [do] it the best. We just wanted to create a really special thing.”

Mission accomplished.

Showtime

During day two of Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center, FSCW featured the JJ Rumble, a Royal Rumble style battle royal dedicated to the late Jackie (John) Johnson, a fan and friend to many wrestlers.

Geoffrey was a surprise entrant at No. 29 of 30 wrestlers in cosplay. A unique and successful creation, FSCW is trained pro wrestlers in cosplay.

Indie wrestler Eddie Taurus from the Tampa area wore the Geoffrey costume. A large under-taking, he moved very well in it as you will see in my video.

Fresh on everyone’s minds, Toys-R-Us just closed its doors to the dismay of many, and sad photos and memes of the kid-friendly Geoffrey made the rounds via social media.

Broder, founder and chairman of Florida Supercon, and Chamberlain, one of the directors of FSCW, were brainstorming one day, when the idea formulated of using Geoffrey in a show.

Finding the right mascot suit, authentic, was Step 1.

Thank you eBay.

Check.

Finding the right wrestler was Step 2.

Chamberlain, also a well-traveled indie wrestler, had Taurus in mind, first and foremost, to become Geoffrey.

Check.

Next, Chamberlain wanted WWE alum Gangrel to do the honors of eliminating Geoffrey, but not before Geoffrey clotheslined Star-Lord (Impact Wrestling’s Caleb Konley) and chokeslamed Dovahkiin (indie wrestler Mike Monroe).

What talent did and said

In the ring, Star-Lord was torn. A kid at heart, he did not want to wrestle Geoffrey, yelling, “Wait. I don’t want to do this, but I have to…No…All right,” and then he rushed the yellow animal.

An angered Dovahkiin followed by quipping, “You never did like Skyrim,” referring to the Dovahkiin game Skyrim, which he claimed was marked down too many times at Toys-R-Us.

The night ended for Geoffrey when he went neck-to-face with Gangrel.

This wrestler and trainer asked those at the announce table for a cell phone, taking one from guest commentator Guy Hutchinson. Gangrel then called FedEx, and a FedEx driver (portrayed nicely by indie wrestler, trainer and Gangrel friend Jimmy Jannetty) quickly appeared, handing him an Amazon Prime box.

“He actually used my cell phone to call for the Amazon package,” an excited Hutchinson said. “So my phone was actually in that viral video, which I love, but then he threw it back to me, and I dropped it, and the screen cracked, but it was still the greatest night of my life.”

Jannetty added; ”It was a blast. I’m standing in the back with Gangrel, talking about it, and we had a plan from the beginning, and it worked out well for us...The crowd seemed to really understand what we were doing without any kind of predisposition to it. So I was really happy with that.”

Gangrel took the package and tapped Geoffrey on the neck. When Geoffrey turned, Gangrel yelled, ‘Amazon Prime B#$%&*” and blasted him with it, causing Geoffrey to topple over the top rope.

The response, a collective groan from the audience inside the FSCW Arena.

Referee Bruce Owens helped Geoffrey to his hooves, and the audience cheered for the lanky combatant, while commentators Rick Sanchez and Zorg (Elgin David), guest commentators Dana Snyder and Hutchinson and ring announcer April O’Neil (Heather Reicher) were cheering and chanting from ringside.

Having Geoffrey involved is one thing, but the entire angle, amazing

Eliminated prior to the surprise entrant, crowd favorite Master Roshi, played by veteran Florida indie wrestler and trainer Flex Stud Magnum, hobbled around ringside as Geoffrey made his way toward the ring.

Magnum said: “I think it was great. The crowd absolutely loved it. That’s a lot of the fun of doing the cosplay wrestling. You get to be some wild, outlandish character. You get to take liberties with it. Geoffrey the giraffe, the T-Rex [from Jurassic Park], since it was Friday the 13th, they had Jason involved in the [JJ] Rumble. There were thousands of people who loved it and were into it, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The video of Geoffrey provided by FSCW after the show went viral with more than 1-million views in one day, 2-million views in two days and 3-million views in three days. It elicited mainstream media attention.

Also, because of it, Gangrel received messages and phone calls from many, including people from his past long ago.

“The next day I had people yelling ‘Amazon Prime’ at me,” Gangrel smiled. “I’m not an abuser of animals or anything like that, mascots, but then you got this 8-foot giraffe that comes in, and I watch him chokeslam one cat, clothesline the other one.

“I had no other choice but to call my loyal FedEx driver, Amazon Prime, to get me a weighted box... I had to get him out of there. I wasn’t going to fight a giraffe. Heck, I didn’t know if they were like llamas and gonna spit on you...It was a very cool experience, and I was surprised at how much it caught on.”

Geoffrey the giraffe speaks

Actually, Eddie Taurus, the wrestler who was Geoffrey.

Taurus said: “The experience of playing Geoffrey the giraffe at FSCW was amazing. I was headline to be playing Kingpin, and I was brought to the back to look at a large box by Alex Chamberlain, and when you opened it, I immediately thought how awesome it would be for this Premiere at the show. So when I was asked if I’ll consider doing it, I jumped at the opportunity because again the story was pretty original, and I thought I will get really over with the crowd the way it was planned out; so in the back when I was test riding it, it was pretty hard to move in it, considering, and it was very hot in there.”

He continued: “Especially with the whole suit and hooves that came with it, I wasn’t sure with my limited vision -- which was the size of scuba Goggles -- if I could jump over the rope, but it all worked out. Plus the reaction of the crowd was an amazing moment. I peaked my head out. I immediately heard people going crazy with excitement, even with my limited vision. I could see the faces of the crowd, and it was great.”

He noted: “So when we were going over everything in the locker room, talking to Gangrel, especially going over the Amazon Prime bit, it was cool because he knew that this will get over as much as I did and the rest of the staff, and of course the whole goal was to get it viral.”

He added: “When everything came together, the reception was amazing. Even after the show ended, I decided to go out and do a little meet-n-greet in costume, and so many people came up to me and were so happy and appreciative. Overall, it was a great, great idea and even better response.”

He concluded: “Over 3-million hits, it has gone viral through so many social media outlets and of course being on ESPN, it has been phenomenal. The reaction of people knowing that local independent wrestler Eddie Taurus was playing Geoffrey the giraffe was even more entertaining.

“I have friends and family in the business who asked me who played the character, and I tried my best not to say anything about it, but of course it leaked out, and I have embraced it because overall it was a great idea, and I give credit and all respect to all the members of FSCW and all the talent that was there. Credit to Caleb Konley and Mike Monroe for taking the clothesline and chokeslam plus also respect to Gangrel for his involvement and making ‘Amazon Prime b**tch,’ a new catch phrase, and of course to Dan Parella and Alex Chamberlain for the opportunity and chance to be a part of this great moment.”

Will Geoffrey return for revenge at FSCW?

Taurus: “No comment.”

FSCW will be in Raleigh, N.C. for the Raleigh Supercon starting Friday at the Raleigh Convention Center.

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