Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
Glacier in WCW
Currently Known For:
1996 - 2000
Professional wrestling has given us some truly unique gimmicks, but then there were some that were ripped straight from the annals of pop culture. One of those gimmicks was Glacier, a WCW star that immediately drew comparisons to Sub-Zero, a character from the Mortal Kombat series of video games. The man behind the Glacier character was Ray Lloyd, who you might be surprised to learn has had a lot going on over the years.
Lloyd grew up in a family of public service, including a couple of police officers, but Lloyd was more interested in a career in athletics. Lloyd had been practicing martial arts at a young age, and was not only good at that, but he was also a solid football player. Lloyd gave up martial arts to focus on his football career, and he played on the offensive line at Valdosta State, graduating with a master’s degree.
He could have had a career in just about anything else, but Lloyd was a lifelong pro wrestling fan that started training when he got out of college. It didn’t take long for the talented Lloyd to get a contract with WCW (NWA at the time) where he started using the name “Sugar Ray” Lloyd, but after not moving up the ladder for a bit, he decided to move to Japan. Lloyd would find some decent success there until the promotion he was signed with went out of business, so he returned to the United States in 1996 at the request of Diamond Dallas Page.
This time around, Lloyd was able to use his martial arts expertise as part of his gimmick, and his re-debut under the new Glacier moniker was incredibly hyped up by WCW management. The company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Glacier’s entrance and ring attire. The only cheap part of his new design was the blue contact lens and blonde hair dye. Unfortunately for Lloyd and WCW, the gimmick didn’t make quite the splash they were hoping for.
After just a few matches, WCW decided to cut down on the production costs of his entrance, and he was taken off television for a couple of months while a cheaper entrance was designed. Once returning, Glacier would continue to win matches, but none of them were really high profile. The gimmick was going nowhere fast, and he was relegated to the lower part of the midcard with almost no storylines to speak of.
Bad luck would then rear its head in 1999 as Glacier injured his knee that sidelined him for months before his character came back, only to continue losing and was ultimately scrapped. Lloyd was then given a new gimmick called Buzz Stern, a coach that was inspired by his time as a high school football coach in his early wrestling days. Needless to say, the gimmick didn’t last long and Lloyd was released from WCW later in 1999.
Many of the former WCW talent had made their way to WWE over the next couple of years, but Lloyd ended up in the independent circuit. WCW did bring Lloyd back for a brief time to play the Glacier character once again, but this time around it was a parody of his old gimmick. He left the company once again just weeks before they were bought out by WWE, and he headed back to the independent circuit without winning a title in the company.
Lloyd wouldn’t appear in any major wrestling promotions for several years following his departure from WCW, and even tried to start an acting career. He appeared in the independent film “Blood Bath” shortly after leaving wrestling, and even worked at Disney World as a stuntman in the “Indiana Jones” stunt show. You might have also spotted Lloyd on “Burn Notice” as he had a guest role.
In 2008, Lloyd ultimately decided to get back into pro wrestling, joining CHIKARA for about a year, but was happy only wrestling part-time. “After my run in WCW, I was at the point where I wanted to go back to a normal life,” he said. “I knew for the first few months of being a teacher that I was going to have to constantly answer questions like, ‘You’re Glacier. Why are you teaching school?’ But I prepared myself for that.”
Outside of teaching, Lloyd has also been overseeing a production company in Florida that works on advertising and marketing called Maus Media Group. “We’re doing anything from a small informational video to a full-blown infomercial for small businesses up to corporate level clients,” he said. “Some of our accounts include Sears…and we just signed with Harley Davidson.”
Lloyd has wrestled in a handful of matches since 2014, with a trio of matches in 2017 alone. His most recent appearance came in August 2017 with Ring of Honor where he lost in a battle royal that included more than a dozen other wrestlers. When he does get into the ring, it’s mostly for charity events as he’s been putting on golf tournaments and wrestling shows to raise money for various causes.
Even though he knows that the gimmick is a goofy one, Lloyd still wrestles as Glacier in these rare events. Glacier wasn’t his idea in the first place, but instead WCW showrunner Eric Bischoff’s. They apparently had about 150 names, and Stone Cold (which was adopted by Steve Austin) was one of the 10 that made the cut. “Wrestling usually mimics what’s popular in society, what’s out there that is making money for society,” he said. “Mortal Kombat was a huge thing…and that was really what happened was (Ted) Turner saw an opportunity to capitalize on something that they felt was a good risk.”
He added that “And as I look back on it, no one knew then that the time might’ve needed to be a little bit earlier. But then again, no one knew that nWo was gonna take off the way it did. You can’t predict something like that.” Lloyd explains that the entrance was cool, but he didn’t embrace it at the beginning. Willing to do whatever it took, though, Lloyd was ready to mimic a video game character, even if it makes him laugh these days.
Lloyd’s life certainly hasn’t been a cautionary tale compared to some of the other wrestlers from his era, but he does look back on his time as Glacier as positive for the most part. “Was it everything I really wanted it to be and envisioned it to be? No, but I don’t know any wrestler whose career turned out exactly how they wanted it,” he said. “I always try to concentrate on the positive instead of the negative. I had a great run with a great bunch of guys. I’m extremely thankful for that.”