Ahh folks remember the 90's? A decade defined by grunge, President Bill Clinton definitely not having sexual relations with some woman, and oh, and a strange Sprite ad consisting of a pro-wrestler gleefully kicking a poor child's ass? Considering I, your friendly neighborhood Cracked zoomer, was approximately three years old when this strange commercial first graced TV screens everywhere in 1999, I don't, but the collective internet sure as heck does.
Earlier this week, several Twitter users and the writers at Boing Boing happened to rediscover the gloriously cursed commercial, blessing our feeds with its vintage surrealness. Our scene opens in what seems to be a suburban neighborhood, a child, no older than 12, opening the front door of his home to see a late 90's wrestling icon waiting on his front step.
"Wow, the Stinger!" says our wide-eyed young protagonist, Timmy, portrayed by a young Michael Angarano of This is Us fame at the sight of the face-painted wrestler standing in his doorway.
"Timmy, I'm. from the dream-come-true fantasy contest," says the future WWE Hall of Famer. "You ready to wrestle?"
"You bet!" Timmy excitedly, before alerting his nearby parents of the wrestling legend in their midst, prompting them to clear their living room of all furniture hindering their son's impending match. Yet before they begin their battle, young Timmy pauses. "Hold on, hold on," he says, taking a swig of a suspiciously opened Sprite bottle sitting atop a rustic chest of doors. "Ok, now I'm ready." Bearing the unparalleled fighting powers of a lemon-lime flavored, carbonated soft drink, our preteen underdog is prepared to come out on top ... that is, until, Sting serves him an ass whooping for the ages, slamming him to the ground, chucking him through an open bay door, and using his body to sweep a myriad of decorative objects off his parent's mantle.
Speaking of which, I'm sure you're wondering, where, exactly, are dear Timmy's parents amid this chaos, a famous wrestler kicking their son's unwitting butt while destroying their home? Well, both Mom and Dad are gleefully watching their living room deathmatch, even commemorating their son's brutal beating via camcorder. "It looks so real," his mother says at one point, a highly-suspicious grin plastered on her cheeks. Welp, I guess. we know who won 1999's mom of the year award.
"Don't count on Sprite to do anything but quench your thirst," a narrator says atop footage of Sting presumably body-slamming Timmy from his home staircase. Ouch. But hey, what were we really expecting in a head-to-head match between a man who WWE once named the best Non-WWE wrestler of all time, and, well some child actor?
Despite Angarano's straight-up embarrassing on-screen loss, it seems he's since redeemed himself, starring in Disney's hit 2005 superhero flick, Sky High, Cinemax's critically acclaimed medical drama, The Knick, and on a more personal note, recently getting engaged to Pen15 star, Maya Erskine. Even with these successes and personal victories, it seems the Emmy-nominated actor remembers his humbling roots. "favorite thing i've ever done," he wrote on Instagram alongside a clip of the commercial back in 2017. ".... @stinger was and always will be my favorite wrestler .... also, i always preferred sprite to coke."