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  • Iestyn Withers

Parts Unknown: What Do We Know?

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

Since the dawn of civilisation, man has seemingly discovered and surveyed every inch of land on this planet. As the years have gone by, the most enticing and picturesque destinations have become hotbeds for travellers and tourists. Yet there is one place so evasive and mysterious that it has remained undetected to this day: Parts Unknown.

For decades, many residents have ventured from their mystical origins to bring Parts Unknown into the mainstream. And it is safe to assume that professional wrestling may well be their national sport... After all, Parts Unknown's finest exports have made an indelible mark on the wrestling industry. But still, the exact location of Parts Unknown is one of the most heavily guarded secrets known to man. After hours and hours of scouring through maps, geographers have still not located the elusive paradise; a place as mysterious and enigmatic as the wrestlers that come from it. Not much factual information has been learned about Parts Unknown, or the origins of its residents. We are left to our imagination. Perhaps each individual Superstar who calls the land home hails from one individual part or county. Perhaps these residents are business owners and proprietors in their homeland. Perhaps Parts Unknown is the Utopian and idyllic abode mankind has consistently pursued yet failed to find.

That said, what little we know about the place is contrasted by the deluge of information we have about their citizens. Seemingly serving as a microcosm of the society within Parts Unknown, the majority of their exports have been heinous and evil in nature, and all have shown the diverse and inclusive community that Parts Unknown houses.

By definition an eclectic bunch of citizens, Papa Shango was arguably the most enigmatic of the bunch. A voodoo priest that arrived on the wrestling scene to bemusement and confusion, Papa Shango was reminiscent of the Loa spirits of Haitian voodoo. It remains unknown whether voodoo is a widely practiced religion in Parts Unknown, but it is safe to say that voodoo followed Papa Shango wherever he went. Carrying a smoking skull to the ring, Shango had the ability to not only control the lights within an arena, but also put curses on fellow wrestlers. In fact, one of Shango's fiercest rivals was a fellow enigmatic Parts Unknown resident, The Ultimate Warrior. Likely a feud spawned from childhood resentment within Parts Unknown, the two leviathans brought an intensity to the World Wrestling Federation. Utilising voodoo to his advantage, Shango sought to defeat his long-term enemy by casting spells and curses on the Warrior, causing him to vomit and bleed. Papa Shango's current whereabouts are unknown, and though some suggest he moved to the Red Light District or became a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Shango may well have returned to his homeland to further hone his voodoo skills.

Aforementioned for his weakness to voodoo magic, The Utimate Warrior arguably forged the most successful wrestling career of any Parts Unknown citizen. A former WWF World Champion, The Ultimate Warrior was a frantic and energetic superstar that would sprint to the ring and shake the ring ropes. It is said that such a ritual is considered a sign of intimidation and warning in Parts Unknown, though this has never been proven. An intense and fierce competitor, the Warrior - much like Papa Shango - wore face paint to the ring, suggesting a desire for Parts Unknown residents to hide their true identities. Upon leaving the WWF, The Ultimate Warrior would scarcely be seen and likely returned to a hero's welcome in Parts Unknown. That said, he made a triumphant return to Vince McMahon's 'playground' to be immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Seemingly incapable of producing anything other than behemoths and giants, Parts Unknown is also the birthplace of Hell's Favourite Demon, Kane. Supposedly the brother of fellow wrestler, The Undertaker, geographers were hopeful that Kane's family tree would lead to the discovery of Parts Unknown's location. After all, it is well known that The Undertaker hails from Death Valley in California, suggesting that the duo's father Paul Bearer may well have visited Parts Unknown for a tawdry sexual affair in the past. Unfortunately, this research has thus far proved unfruitful and the untimely death of Paul Bearer has perhaps led to a dead-end. Another superstar that sought to hide his identity, Kane would wear a mask to the ring due to being allegedly burned by his brother as a child. However, when Kane was unmasked there was no scarring to be seen. Perhaps this adds further proof to the Parts Unknown residents' desires to remain incognito, or showcases a unique and anomalous ability to recover from injury. Is this an ability that all Parts Unknown citizens have? Following his unmasking, Kane went on a maniacal rampage of torment and torture, but sought to restore his image by becoming the suit-wearing Corporate Kane. Since then Kane has become Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee and it is difficult to decipher whether this is an escape from Parts Unknown, or an attempt to bring down the United States from the inside.

Whilst the WWE has often been the landing spot for Parts Unknown residents - and yes, landing spot suggests Parts Unknown may be another planet unto itself - others have sourced wrestling careers elsewhere. Perhaps the most dangerous of this group was the monster of a man named Abyss. One of the more recent competitors from the Parts Unknown lineage, Abyss arrived in Total Nonstop Action wrestling to wreak havoc on its roster of superstars. Unstable is an understatement when talking about Abyss, with the psychotic and deranged superstar seemingly revelling in the pain of others and himself. Yet another Parts Unknown resident to conceal his face in the wrestling world, Abyss showcased his true-self through his barbaric actions. As much as researchers would love to find Parts Unknown, it is unlikely that any would dare ask the demented Abyss about his origins.

Alongside Abyss, TNA also housed another superstar from Parts Unknown, although the arrival of Suicide was slightly different to that of his predecessors. Originally thought to be a fictional character in the TNA video game, Suicide had in fact been able to transform into digital form and infiltrate the video game world. Could this possibly be a sign of advanced technology in Parts Unknown? The truth remains hidden. Suicide returned to the physical realm in 2008, and unlike those before him, Suicide wrestled a highly acrobatic and high-flying style. Often leaving TNA before resurfacing for scarce appearances, little is known about the masked aerialist. Lesser informed wrestling fans have often said Suicide reminds them of former TNA stars Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. Some have even suggested similarities to former WWE Cruiserweight Champion, TJ Perkins. Furthermore, it is argued that Suicide also operated under the moniker of Manik between 2013 and 2016, though this has never been proven. In fact, Manik is another high-flyer to originate from Parts Unknown, potentially acting as a pre-cursor for more to come.

Whilst TNA housed the aerial assault of Suicide and the unstable assault of Abyss, the WWF housed a similarly unstable and ruthless competitor from Parts Unknown in the 1990s. Doink the Clown brought Coulrophobia out of the WWF's audience. A despicable and malevolent character, Doink played cruel jokes on both the audience and his opponents, gaining a sick amusement from their despair. Often accompanied by a miniature version of himself, Dink, it is unknown whether the clown attire was Doink's profession or an attempt - much like his fellow countrymen - to conceal his identity. There may well be a large clown population in Parts Unknown, though there is no factual evidence to back that up. Doink has sporadically popped up in the wrestling world since the nineties, seemingly developing a sense of empathy and cast aside his previously flagrant acts.

Concealment of identity appears to be a common occurrence when discussing the residents of Parts Unknown, however Giant Gonzalez was a rare exception to that rules. Standing at eight feet tall, Gonzalez was the ultimate colossus to come out of Parts Unknown and it is likely that he would have been recognised regardless of any disguise. A giant in both name and appearance, Gonzalez had a peculiar fashion sense. Often seen in a full length bodysuit complete with air-brushed muscles and huge mounds of hair, many have questioned whether this is a traditional attire in Parts Unknown. Others have even suggested that it may be a costume that is associated with power and dominance in Gonzalez's homeland. Again, neither have been proven. One of the most impressive and intimidating specimens to ever originate from Parts Unknown, Gonzalez spent a very short period in the WWF and likely returned to Parts Unknown to exert his dominance.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that Parts Unknown produced ruthless competitors, and that is definitely the case when discussing a tandem from the region that went by the name of Demolition. The duo, individually named Ax and Smash, were one of the most dominant tag-teams that the wrestling business has ever seen. Complete with the customary Parts Unknown disguise, the two brutes would lay their opponents out with ferocious strikes. Later down the line they were joined by a third member, Crush, though it is unconfirmed whether he was a true Parts Unknown citizen or a mere impostor. After all, Crush has also claimed to be from Hawaii. Unfortunately, there was little information on the lives of Ax and Smash after the tandem disbanded in 1991. Reports have suggested that both Ax and Smash chose to live under aliases, with Repo Man and Axis the Demolisher the most frequently reported. However, after 16 years Ax and Smash were reunited in the ring and continued to demolish every superstar in their wake despite what society would normally deem 'age limitations'. Is the ageing process different in Parts Unknown?

Like its name suggests, Parts Unknown, along with its coordinates, is an anomaly cloaked by ample mystery and secrecy. Despite providing us with an array of superstars, the wrestling world understand that the true location and origin of Parts Unknown remain 'taboo'. Whilst experts have attempted to utilise all the information at hand to finally discover Parts Unknown's location, could it also be true that they are too fearful to 'truly' investigate.

Very few have ever spoken out about Parts Unknown, and those that have done so are often misplaced in ther beliefs. In the WWE DVD release The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, Chris Jericho claimed "after doing some extensive research, I've actually found Parts Unknown. It's not in Nepal, it's not in the Fiji Islands … it's actually right next to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It's Parts Unknown, Wisconsin." Despite Jericho's track record and penchant for sarcasm, this may have proven a valuable lead for researchers. However, Jericho was quick to follow up by saying: "I've tracked down the city but you can't find it on the map and it's not in the GPS. I've tried a couple times after shows in Sheboygan or on the way to Green Bay and I get lost every time." Had someone from Parts Unknown scared Jericho enough to get him to through further doubt into the mix, or was this just a plucky upstart trying to make himself famous? Whatever the case, Jericho's words only served to further cement and verify the conundrum surrounding this phantom, mystical land. Whilst we may not be any closer to discovering Parts Unknown, a look at the competitors to come from there suggests we may not want to discover its location anyway.

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