Have we had enough Green Ranger controversy yet?
Adding on to the pile this year, we have a puzzling interaction between two martial arts action stars near the shallow end of the popularity pool, both of which having gained a sizable chunk of their notoriety in the early 1990s. Belgian entertainer Jean-Claude Van Damme for his plethora of cinematic actioners in the age of neon and slap bracelets, and actor-turned-MMA-fighter Jason David Frank of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fame. While we’d like to believe this conflict started when someone challenged them to count up the letters in the multitude of names between them to see which one has the lengthiest identifier, we’re afraid this well runs a bit deeper.
It’s actually been a few years since the feud of the initial-named butt-kickers first began. As far back as 1995, a rift had been formed, at the premiere for the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, in which charming, polite high school kids help out in their neighborhood and just generally don’t act like teenagers in any way (and isn’t that why some of us liked them?). Sadly, the real world had to be a little more dramatic, and JDF challenged JCVD to a fight in 2010 to end the ill-defined dispute started years earlier when they had bumped into each other at the premiere event.
After years of silence on that front, Frank had issued his fair share of challenges to others, including WWE star CM Punk, and his own Power Rangers co-star and fellow tri-named martial artist Austin St. John.
Finally, the 43-year-old Frank was given another chance to execute his public challenge, when asked unexpectedly to share a green room at one of his many yearly convention appearances with the Muscles from Brussels himself. Things turned salty from there, as Mexico City’s La Mole Comic-Con got more action than it bargained for when the two men spoke.
The Blast reports that 57-year-old Van Damme asked to converse with his green room buddy but, according to Frank, it was to demand an apology for being called out several years prior. A piece of the former Ranger’s response was captured for posterity, in a move proving Frank to have more “attitude” than his teenage character.
JCVD reportedly agreed to an MMA-style match with JDF, but froze up in surprise when grabbed, not expecting an actual fight on the spot. Security eventually broke up the argument and the whole confusing scene was mercifully ended faster than you could say “back to action”.
This conflict comes on the eve of Van Damme’s new show, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, the first season of which comes to Amazon on December 15, 2017.