Someone once asked me which of the stories in Zero Hour was my favorite. That's a difficult question to answer as each of them is special to me in its own way. However, I can say without reservation that, of the fifteen stories, I probably had the most fun writing "The Alabama Hammer."
Watching wrestling is a weekly family ritual in our house. Sure, the storylines are prewritten, and the outcomes are very often (possibly always) predetermined, but that's not necessarily a detriment. Other TV shows and movies are also prewritten with predetermined outcomes...it's called fiction, and if you take wrestling on those terms, it can be quite enjoyable (although I'm sure that at least some of the injuries they sustain are quite real). In fact, after a stressful week at work, a little Friday Night Smackdown can be downright cathartic.
Of course, there are some people out there who believe that everything shown on wrestling is real. That provided part of the thrust for the story. Another part came from one of the staples of wrestling--a reigning champion holding a microphone and challenging anyone who dares to take him/her on. Suppose, I asked myself, someone who didn't know any better took such a challenge seriously? And of course, if you think you detect a hint of 1 Samuel 17 in this story, you wouldn't be wrong.
Who did I model my wrestling character upon? The Alabama Hammer is really an amalgamation of wrestlers. In terms of his popularity with the fans, think John Cena. Although I didn't write much of a description of his appearance, I guess I'd have to picture one of my all-time favorites, the recently retired Adam "Edge" Copeland. There is a reference to a move called the Lynyrd Lunge...if you know anything of wrestling, think of that as Edge's signature move, the Spear, with an Alabama-themed nickname. As for the nickname of the wrestler, "Alabama Hammer" simply had a nice ring to it.
In regard to his opponent, I once again got inspiration from an old genre-based TV show. I'm not a huge Star Trek fan, but there was an episode of the original series entitled "Arena" that helped inspire how Garnackus would look.