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post #31  quote:

The next inductee is a Icon in the WWE. The first ever Intercontinental Champion. Pat Patterson.

Pierre Clemont (born January 19, 1941 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian former professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Pat Patterson.

Pat Patterson debuted in Montreal, Quebec in 1958 as "Pretty Boy" Pat Patterson, an effeminate wrestler who wore red lipstick and pink trunks and was accompanied by his pet Poodle. Patterson wrestled frequently for affiliates of the NWA throughout the 1960s, and was a ten time tag team champion in San Francisco with a variety of partners.

In 1970 and 1971 Patterson wore a mask during his matches, and would cheat by placing a foreign object under the mask to add power to his Head butts.

In 1975 (and again in 1981) Patterson won the Cow Palace Battle Royal in San Francisco. The Battle Royal, an event held annually throughout the 1970s, is often cited as the predecessor of the Royal Rumble.

In 1979 Pat Patterson debuted in the then World Wide Wrestling Federation, and on June 19 of that year he defeated Ted DiBiase to win the WWF North American Championship. On September 15, 1979, Patterson allegedly won a tournament held in Rio de Janeiro, unifying the WWF North American Championship with the "South American Championship" to create the WWF Intercontinental Championship in the process. It is, however, widely believed that the aforementioned tournament never actually took place and was invented to add legitimacy to the Intercontinental Championship. In later years, Patterson apparently made an inside joke for "smark" fans by wearing a T-shirt bearing the legend "Rio de Janeiro 1979" while on camera. Patterson held the Intercontinental Championship until April 21, 1980 when he was defeated by Ken Patera in New York City, New York. The match ended in controversial fashion after Patterson placed his right leg on the ropes just before the three count was made.

In April 1981 Patterson faced Sergeant Slaughter in a brutal "Alley Fight" in Madison Square Garden.

Patterson retired in 1984 and became a color commentator, as well as hosting an interview segment known as "Le brunch de Pat", where he would politely ask questions in English but furtively mock his guests in French. He began working backstage as a road agent, and is credited with inventing and booking the Royal Rumble match.

In 1992 Patterson was accused of sexual harassment, and released from the company until the charges were dropped, when he was promptly rehired.

In 1997 Patterson became a "stooge" of Vince McMahon, turning heel as a result of his involvement in the Montreal Screwjob. He and Gerald Brisco became comedy heels, aiding Vince in his rivalries with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind and The Rock. Patterson and Brisco were members of both The Corporation and The McMahon-Helmsley Faction, and used the Jimmy Hart written power ballad "Real American" as their entrance music to mock Hulk Hogan. They would also parody Hogan's flexing routine as they approached the ring.

On June 12, 2000 the McMahon-Helmsley Faction briefly gained control over Kane after they unmasked him, enabling Patterson to photograph his "hideously scarred" face, and threatened to "expose him to the world" if he did not comply. Kane was forced to wrestle The Rock (then his ally) in a no holds barred match. However, the film did not develop properly, and Kane turned on the Faction.

Patterson became the oldest WWF Hardcore Champion ever on June 19, 2000 after blinding reigning champion Gerald Brisco with champagne and then breaking a second bottle over Brisco's head. On June 25 at King of the Ring 2000 Patterson defended the Championship against Brisco in an hardcore evening gown match booked by Vince McMahon after Patterson and Brisco brawled in the women's locker room. In the course of the match, Crash Holly attacked both men and pinned Patterson to become Hardcore Champion.

The Intercontinental Championship, unified with the World Heavyweight Championship on October 20, 2002, was resurrected on May 18, 2003 at Judgement Day in a Battle Royale. Patterson, as the first ever Intercontinental Champion, was at ringside to present the belt to the victor. Booker T eliminated Christian for the win, but the referee was unconscious. As Patterson attempted to give the belt to Booker T, Christian attacked him, stole the belt and used it to knock out Booker T. The referee then recovered and awarded the match to Christian.

In October 2004 Patterson resigned from World Wrestling Entertainment after claiming that too much time was being devoted to Triple H, the son-in-law of Vince McMahon. This claim of nepotism reflected the beliefs of many smarks. Patterson returned to the WWE in a limited capacity in May 2005.

Patterson's alleged homosexuality is considered one of the worst kept secrets in professional wrestling. Announcer Jim Ross made disparaging remarks like "he's single, fellas", "that is the largest man that has ever been on top of Pat Patterson" (after Patterson was splashed by Viscera), and that he "does rear-end work at the Brisco Brothers Auto Body Shop in Tampa, Florida". The most recent remark came from "Sensational" Sherri Martel, who said in her Hall of Fame induction speech, "I was always jealous that Pat Patterson could keep a partner longer than me!"

He currently owns a set of Volvo and Suzuki automobile dealerships in Memphis, TN.

He is the godfather of Stephanie McMahon-Levesque.

On August 6, 2006, after experiencing acute back pain, Patterson underwent a four hour heart operation to remove an arterial cyst that was "the size of a baseball".

Championships and accomplishments:

AWA World Tag Team Championship (with Ray Stevens)

IWA World Tag Team Championship (with Art Nelson)

NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship (with Tony Borne)

NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship (2) (with The Hangman)

NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship

NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship (2)

NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship (3)

NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Amarillo version)

NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (Amarillo version)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (with Billy Graham)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (2)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (2) (with Rocky Johnson)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (3)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (3) (with Rocky Johnson)

NWA North American Tag Team Championship (with Johnny Powers)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (4)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (5) (with Peter Maivia)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (4)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (6) (with Moondog Mayne)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (5)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (7) (with Pedro Morales)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (8) (with Tony Garea)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (9) (with Pepper Gomez)

NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (with Ivan Koloff)

NWA Florida Television Championship

NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship

NWA International Tag Team Championship (with Raymond Rougeau)

NWA International Tag Team Championship (2) (with Raymond Rougeau)

NWA International Tag Team Championship (3) (with Pierre Lefebvre)

NWA International Tag Team Championship (4) (with Pierre Lefebvre)

NWA International Tag Team Championship (5) (with Pierre Lefebvre)

PWI ranked him # 110 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.

WWF North American Heavyweight Championship

WWF Intercontinental Championship

WWF Hardcore Championship

WWE Hall of Famer (inducted in 1996)

Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

1981 Match of the Year (versus Sergeant Slaughter)

Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Famer (inducted in 1996


Old Post 08-12-2006 02:24 PM
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post #32  quote:

The next inductee is a man who has drawn in fans for three decades with his outragous behavour. This is the madman from Sudan, Abdullah the Butcher.

Larry Shreve (Born Lawrence Shreve on November 2, 1936 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada), best known as Abdullah the Butcher, and also at times the Madman from Sudan, was one of the most famous heels in professional wrestling history

Shreve began his wrestling career in Canada in 1958. During his career he had bloody matches with stars like Carlos Colon, Bruiser Brody and The Original Sheik. His feud with Terry Funk is still considered one of the hottest feuds in Japan. (in which Funk claims to have a personal top 3 all time greatest match with Abdullah the Butcher) Shreve is almost always paired with a manager (most notably "Playboy" Gary Hart in Texas, Georgia, and Florida) and never speaks in U.S. territories. He has spoken in Japanese interviews, where promos aren't as important to get a wrestler over.

Abdullah the Butcher had spent time in All Japan Pro Wrestling during the 1970s where he had matches with Shohei "Giant" Baba and The Destroyer. His battles with The Original Sheik are regarded as some of the greatest hardcore matches in professional wrestling history.

Abdullah The Butcher was introduced in World Championship Wrestling when he was in a giant box with gift wrapping. This giant box full of wrapping was to be Sting's birthday gift from Cactus Jack. Sting unwrapped his gift and it turned out to be Abdullah the Butcher as both feuded with Sting after the incident and soon after he had a brief feud with his old ally, Cactus Jack, in WCW in 1992.

Abdullah often bloodied his opponents with foreign objects that he concealed in his pants (he frequently used a fork as his trademark weapon).

Abdullah worked in nearly every major wrestling promotion in the world, except WWE, but never stayed in one place for very long. He has also taken part of Juggalo Championshit Wrestling owned by the Insane Clown Posse. Even at his age, he still makes wrestling appearances and still works matches as brutal as he did in his youth accompanied by his signature fork.

Besides wrestling, Shreve owns a restaurant in southwest Atlanta called "Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs & Chinese Food." Shreve is often onhand to meet fans and sign autographs, and the restaurant has become something of a local attraction. Shreve and his restaurant make a cameo appearance in the music video for the song "Damn!" by Atlanta recording artists Youngbloodz.

Shreve knows judo and often displayed some of his judo knowledge in his matches. He also knows karate.

Canadian wrestler Vampiro considers Abdullah to be his trainer, even though he received very little training before turning pro.

He was the last person to have a match with Bruiser Brody.

According to Mick Foley, Shreve used to put gambling chips into the deep divots in his head to entertain (or scare) people at casinos.

Shreve has very large man-breasts, he has been known to hide forks and other foreign objects underneath them during matches.

Championships and accomplishments

1-Time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion (Detroit version)

1-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (Detroit version) (with Killer Tim Brooks)

1-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (Vancouver version) (with Dr. Jerry Graham)

1-Time AJPW United National Champion

1-Time AJPW International Tag Team Champion (with Ray Candy)

1-Time PWF Heavyweight Champion

1-Time PWF United States Champion

5-Time Stampede North American Champion

2-Time WCCW Texas Brass Knuckles Champion

4-Time WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion

3-Time WWC Puerto Rican Champion

3-Time WWC North American Champion

2-Time WWC Caribbean Champion

1-Time WWC Hardcore Champion

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 54 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003.

2-Time Canadian Tag Team Champion (with Dr. Jerry Graham and Armand Hussein)

1-Time NWF International Champion

2-Time NWF Heavyweight Champion

1-Time New Zealand British Commonwealth Champion

1-Time Georgia Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Georgia Television Champion

1-Time IWA Heavyweight Champion

1-Time NWA Canadian Heavyweight Championship

1-Time Canadian International Heavyweight Champion

2-Time WWA Tag Team Champion (with Ali Hassan and Jerry Valiant)

2-Time Central States Tag Team Champion (with Roger Kirby)

1-Time Tokyo Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champion (with Benkei)

1-Time Big Japan Wrestling Death Match Champion


Old Post 08-25-2006 07:43 PM
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post #33  quote:

The next inductee is not only one of the greatest living Harcore Wrestlers (right up there with the Original Shiek in Hardcore History) but is also one of the most accomplished wrestlers in history. That man is Terry Funk.

Terrence (Terry) Funk (born June 30, 1944 in Amarillo, Texas) is an American professional wrestler, known chiefly for the hardcore wrestling style he adopted in the later part of his career that inspired many later wrestlers, most notably Mick Foley. He is affectionately known as "The Funker".

Funk started out his career in 1965, working in his father Dory Funk, Sr.'s promotion in Amarillo, Texas. He and his brother Dory Funk, Jr. quickly rose the ranks and became big money wrestlers by the end of the decade. In his tenth year as a pro, Terry defeated Jack Brisco for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, then the most important wrestling championship in the business, and began a grueling fourteen-month title reign which ended in Toronto when he was defeated by "Handsome" Harley Race who won the title for the second time.

Terry Funk took some time off after his world title reign but he and his brother traveled around the country (mostly in Texas, Florida, and Detroit) looking for a fight. Terry and Dory, Jr. also made a name for themselves in Japan where they became one of the top drawing foreign acts in the history of Japan. (The Funks were the first gaijins to be considered faces in Japan.) He made a name for himself with his over the top mannerisms and sometimes colorful get-ups as well as his brawling ability.

Terry made his World Wrestling Federation debut in 1985 a memorable one. In his televised debut on Championship Wrestling he not only beat Aldo Marino, but he also beat up a ring attendant named Mel Phillips who was also at the time, one of the WWF ring announcers. Funk also had the gimmick at the time of carrying a branding iron with him to ringside and using it to "brand" his fallen opponents with it.

In in the mid 1980s, Funk teamed with Dory (Calling himself "Hoss" Funk) and Jack Funk, a storyline "brother." They were managed by Jimmy Hart.

In 1989, he feuded with Ric Flair after Flair beat Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat at WrestleWar for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Funk, who was one of three judges for the main event, challenged Flair to a title match. Flair refused, saying that Funk was "spending time in Hollywood" instead of focusing on wrestling. Funk then attacked, piledriving Flair on a ringside table. A notable part of the feud was that Funk actually used a plastic shopping bag to suffocate Flair on television. Because this was obviously dangerous to anybody and to prevent little kids to emulate the incident, it was never replayed (Although footage of the incident does appear on Viva La Bam on Mtv2)

Later in Funk's career, his style changed from wrestling traditional southern style wrestling matches to the more demanding and brutal style of hardcore wrestling. As a result, Funk started to gain a new fanbase of fans who loved his hardcore style and brawling.

In 1994, Funk promised to help the fledgling Eastern Championship Wrestling (later renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling) by lending his talent and notoriety to the promotion, which had just split from the NWA. Funk maintained a regular schedule of wrestling for ECW in its early days while also competing in Japan. He had many feuds and wrestled programs with wrestlers such as Cactus Jack, "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, The Sandman, Sabu, and Terry's own protege, Tommy Dreamer.

Terry Funk further elevated ECW by headlining their first Pay-Per-View, Barely Legal, on April 13, 1997 and winning the ECW World Heavyweight Championship from Raven. He was later defeated for the title by Sabu in a much talked about Barbed wire match at Born to be Wired, in which the ropes of the ring were taken down and replaced with barbed wire. In September of that same year, a show was held in Funk's hometown of Amarillo. It was called Template:"50 Years of Funk" and was designed to celebrate the careers of Terry, his father and his brother. Terry lost to then WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart in the main event. However, before the match, ECW owner Paul Heyman presented Terry with a belt, paid for through a collection taken up by wrestlers on the ECW roster, that declared him Lifetime ECW World Heavyweight Champion.

Chainsaw Charlie was the name used by Terry Funk in WWF for a short period in 1998. As Chainsaw Charlie, Funk won the World Tag Team Championship with Mick Foley (using the name Cactus Jack) at WrestleMania XIV, when they beat the New Age Outlaws in a Dumpster Match. The decision was reversed the next night on RAW due to a technicality; the wrong dumpsters had been used in the match.

Funk wrestled for World Championship Wrestling in 1999 and 2000 and won the WCW Hardcore Championship and the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship. He was also the WCW Commissioner at one time and the leader of the short-lived Old Age Outlaws that feuded with the nWo.

In 1999 Funk was featured in director Barry Blaustein's wrestling documentary, Beyond the Mat. He has also appeared in notable movies such as Roadhouse, "Paradise Alley" , The Ringer and Over the Top, as well as other film credits. His legendary toughness was attested to in the wrestling documentary when cameramen followed him to a doctor's visit where he was told he shouldn't even be able to walk without intense pain.

From 2002 to 2004, Terry Funk was a regular top star for the now defunct Major League Wrestling company based out of New York and Florida. Funk had several battles with the likes of the Extreme Horsemen (Steve Corino, CW Anderson, and Simon Diamond) including specialty matches such as an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match, Barbed Wire Match, and a 5 on 5 War Games match. On the last MLW show, Funk was attacked by his former manager Gary Hart and his syndicate.

Currently Funk is semi-retired (although he has claimed to be retired many times, he always seems to come back, which has become a recurring joke among wrestling fans) working some dates on the independent circuit and in Japan. In fact, Funk has wrestled self described "retirement" matches in each of the last three decades and in at least three different countries (Japan, Canada and the United States).

At Hardcore Homecoming Funk lost a 3 way barbed wire match to Sabu.

Funk wrestled at ECW One Night Stand 2006 on June 11, 2006. As part of the buildup to the event, Terry appeared on the May 15, 2006 edition of WWE RAW, his first appearance on WWE programming since 1998 (the match was held in Lubbock, about 120 miles from Amarillo). He confronted Mick Foley over the attacking Tommy Dreamer the previous week. The two argued over whether Foley's legacy was rooted more in ECW or WWE, and ended with a brawl after Funk told Foley "WWE sucks." (A similar promo was done between the two in ECW in 1995, when Foley, as Cactus Jack, was doing a pro-WCW heel gimmick.) It was confirmed on the May 22nd, 2006 edition of WWE RAW that Funk and Tommy Dreamer will take on the duo of Mick Foley & Edge (with Lita) at the ECW Pay-Per-View. Starting June 13th, Terry Funk will be a part of the ECW brand. The "Funker" was at the June 7 WWE vs. ECW Head to Head event in Tommy Dreamer's corner. Funk punched out Foley and called him a piece of ****, busting him open hardway and making him bleed from his left eye.

At ECW One Night Stand, Funk, Tommy Dreamer, and Beulah were beat by the team of Edge, Mick Foley, and Lita. Midway through the match, Funk was hit with a barbed wire board, and was taken backstage complaining of an eye injury. Funk would later come back (With a bloody cloth tied over his eye) to hit Foley with a flaming 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire. He was later thrown onto the barbed wire board with Foley, and would have to be cut out of it at the end of the match via wire cutters.

Footage of Funk's medical attention may be found on WWE.com, it appears that Funk needed 5 or 6 minor stitches. Also the eye seemed to be not harmed in any major way.

Championships and accomplishments

NWA Florida Television Championship

NWA Florida Tag Team Championship

NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship (2)

NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship

ECW Television Championship

ECW World Heavyweight Championship (2)

(Funk was the first of five wrestlers to have won both the NWA and ECW World Heavyweight Championships.)

Hardcore Hall of Fame

NWA World Tag Team Championship (Texas version) (2)

NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (2)

NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship (6)

NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship

NWA International Tag Team Championship (3)

NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship

NWA World Heavyweight Championship

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship

NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship ?

NWA World Tag Team Championship (Los Angeles version)

NWA National Television Championship

NWA North American Tag Team Championship ? with Dory Funk, Jr.

3PW Heavyweight Championship

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

1976 Wrestler of the Year

1989 Feud of the Year ? vs. Ric Flair

1997 Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year

PWI ranked him # 22 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the

PWI Years in 2003.

PWI ranked him # 9 of the best tag teams of the PWI Years, with Dory Funk, Jr.

Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2004

SCW Heavyweight Championship

SCW Tag Team Championship ? with Wahoo McDaniel)

USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship


WWF Tag Team Championship ? with Cactus Jack

WCW Hall of Fame ? 1995 inductee

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

WCW Hardcore Championship (3)

1989 Best Heel

1989 Feud of the Year ? vs. Ric Flair

1989 Best Interviews

1989 Best Brawler

5 Star Match: vs. Ric Flair (November 15, 1989, NWA Clash of the Champions IX)

1996 inductee to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame


Old Post 09-04-2006 11:48 AM
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post #34  quote:

In wrestling we remember the greats, wrestlers that have won more titles and beaten more people then anyone else, but it is important too to remember those whom the wrestling world could not do without.

Those few who dare to submit to loss after loss in the name of promoting a headline wrestler or a new talent who the writers and creative staff want to give a push to to try and get them over with the fans.

And so in this hall of fame we do not shun those who have won nothing or little to nothing, those whose legacy will seldom be remembered, for without these men wrestling would never have become the multi-million dollar industry it is today.

So, for the first time to my knowledge, a hall of fame inducts a man who has accomplished very little but still is a legend in wrestling. That man is S.D. Jones.

Conrad Efraim (born in Antigua, West Indies) is a former professional wrestler best known as Special Delivery Jones from his time in the WWF.

Before becoming a wrestler, Efriam worked at a telephone company. While there, he began training under Johnny Rodz in the sport of professional wrestling. Upon completion of his training, he quit his job and began working for NWA Mid-Atlantic under the name Roosevelt Jones in a tag team with his partner and kayfabe cousin Rufus R. Jones. While there, they had a memorable feud with the Anderson family (Ole and Gene).

In 1975, after leaving the Mid-Atlantic area for California, Jones won his first of three Tag Team Titles (first with Porkchop Cash, then with Tom Jones).

Around 1980, Gorilla Monsoon noticed Jones wrestling in NWA and brought him to the attention of the hiring corps of the WWF. They eventually signed him and after a short time of tryouts, he ended up as a jobber.

At the WrestleMania I, he lost to King Kong Bundy in less than a minute (the official match time is nine seconds but the actual time was about 24 seconds).

On April 1, 2006, Efraim inducted Tony Atlas into the WWE Hall of Fame.


Old Post 10-02-2006 08:51 PM
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post #35  quote:

The next inductee is most famous for his brilliant portrail of arguable the most sucessful Gimic the WWE have ever come up with. He is the Phenom the Undertaker.

Mark William Calaway (born March 24, 1962)is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, The Undertaker. He currently wrestles on the SmackDown! brand of the WWE.

Calaway has had considerable success as The Undertaker, an intimidating, powerful and at times supernatural character. This success has been parlayed into world title reigns, and an unmatched, undefeated streak of 14 wins and no losses at the company's flagship pay-per-view, WrestleMania.

Calaway began his wrestling career in 1984 by training and wrestling at the Sportatorium in Dallas, Texas with Fritz Von Erich's WCCW. Calaway would later go on to wrestle in the United States Wrestling Association USWA, winning the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship and USWA Texas Heavyweight Championship. During the mid to late 1980s, he used several ring names: The Commando, The Punisher, Texas Red, The Master of Pain, Punisher Dice Morgan. Mark Calaway had a short stint from late 1989 until late 1990 in the NWA Jim Crockett Promotions. The NWA became WCW during Calaway's time with them.

While there, he was known as "Mean" Mark Callous and wrestled as part of the Skyscrapers tag team along with "Dangerous" Dan Spivey and later as a singles wrestler. His most famous match in WCW was against Lex Luger for the NWA United States Championship at the 1990 Great American Bash, which he lost when Luger pinned him after a clothesline. At the end of 1990, WCW declined to renew Calaway's contract, and he signed with Vince McMahon's WWF in late October 1990.

Calaway debuted in the World Wrestling Federation as The Undertaker on November 22, 1990 at Survivor Series 1990 as the mystery partner to Ted Dibiase's Million Dollar faction. After Survivor Series, Calaway was also called Kane the Undertaker at several shows until Kane was dropped from his name, and he reverted back to simply "The Undertaker".

The appearance of Undertaker was modelled on that of a mortician from old Western movies, with the character being supposedly impervious to pain and possessing supernatural powers, such as teleportation and manipulation of flames and lightning. It was also at this time that the Undertaker switched managers from Brother Love to Paul Bearer.

In 1991, the Undertaker's popularity grew rapidly. After an "undefeated" year and high-profile feuds with Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan, he defeated Hogan at Survivor Series 1991 to win his first WWF Championship, making him at the time, the youngest holder of that belt at 26 years of age, as well as the fourteenth man in WWF history to win the championship. He would lose the title six days later to Hogan at Tuesday in Texas. Between December 1991 and September 1993, the Undertaker did not lose a single match.

In January 1994, he challenged then WWF Champion Yokozuna and met him in two of the best known casket matches in WWF history at the 1994 Royal Rumble and Survivor Series 1994. At the Royal Rumble, Yokozuna sealed Undertaker in the casket after a total of 10 of Mr. Fuji's men interfered on Yokozuna's behalf. The Undertaker's "spirit" appeared from inside the casket on the video screen, warning that he would return. This began Undertaker's first hiatus. In reality, he had a back injury that was getting worse and he needed time off. An Undertaker "clone" appeared after WrestleMania X, played by Brian Lee and led by Ted DiBiase. This led to the resurrection of the real Undertaker and an epic battle at SummerSlam 1994, where the real Undertaker was victorious.

An even more notable feud involving the Undertaker commenced when Mankind made his debut, interfering in the Undertaker's match with Justin Hawk Bradshaw. For the next few months, Mankind would ambush and cost the Undertaker several matches. He even came up from a casket to deliver his Mandible Claw on the Undertaker, costing him an Intercontinental Championship casket match with Goldust. The Undertaker faced Mankind for the very first time at the 1996 King of the Ring.

In 1997, Undertaker won his second WWF Championship from Sycho Sid at WrestleMania 13. The previous night, Undertaker won 3 awards at the Slammy Awards: Best Tattoo, Best Entrance Music, and Highest Magnitude. After Wrestlemania 13: Heat, Paul Bearer revealed that the Undertaker had burned his family's house, killing everyone except his brother. and so began the Undertaker Kane fued which cost the Undertaker two World title matches and led to the first of his many matches with the monster Kane.

The Fued would end when Mankind began a second fued with the Deaman, a fued that would lead to the most famous Hell in a Cell match ever.

The Undertaker has wrestled in the WWE/WWF for over fifteen years. In that time he has won everthing that he could, beaten everyone from Hulk Hogan right throough to Randy Orton and is still wrestling on a semi-consistant level in the WWE.

If one man sums up the WWE's greatest creative spell it is the Undertaker because here, almost sixteen year after he first stepped into a WWE ring, he still has the same gimic which still apears as fresh and exciting as it did all those years ago.


Old Post 10-26-2006 11:59 AM
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post #36  quote:

I'd like to nominate: Wahoo McDaniel

Wahoo McDaniel's story is one of the most interesting in the sport, as the Oklahoman was a standout performer not only in professional wrestling, but also as a member of several successful NFL squads. And although he didn't have to, throughout his entire career as a professional athlete, Wahoo always took his position as a role model for Native Americans very seriously. This multi-time champion was also one of the sport's most travelled, as he wrestled in virtually every territory within the NWA or AWA at one point or another. Although he was a hugely popular fan favorite throughout the majority of his 20+ year long career, Wahoo was also one of the most intense and violent. Occasionally, this intensity led fans to view Wahoo as a "heel" and he "crossed the fence" more than once during his lengthy career. Still, his drawing power and sheer popularity (whether it be as a "goodguy" or a "bad guy") was undeniable, and he wrestled most of his career as a beloved hero. As a champion, there were few who were more prolific. And as a performer, few could get their story across inside the ring the way Wahoo did. Simply put, "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel was one of the most important wrestlers of the late 20th century...

After enjoying considerable fame as a defensive player in the NFL (for the NY Jets and Miami Dolphins, among others) Wahoo decided to try his luck in the pro wrestling business. For the first few years of his "rasslin" career, Wahoo wrestled part-time, competing during the NFL's off season. The great Dory Funk, Sr. took Wahoo under his wing, and trained the young, large football player for a career in the ring. Funk also made sure Wahoo was not taken advantage of by other promoters, and taught the 260-lb. rookie about the pitfalls of the business. Wahoo learned a great deal from Mr. Funk, knowledge that would serve him for over 20 years as a pro wrestler.

Once Wahoo became a full-time wrestler, his career truly skyrocketed. Already a famous "mainstream" sports celebrity, Wahoo capitalized on his big name by demonstrating that he could wrestle as well as many of the more established veterans of the time. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, promoters were well aware of McDaniel's drawing power. After establishing himself in rings across Texas, it didn't take long for the championships to add up...

Among various titles, Wahoo won:

The Florida Heavyweight title in 1967
The Texas Heavyweight title in 1970 by defeating Johnny Valentine
2 NWA American Heavyweight championships
5 Mid Atlantic Heavyweight titles between 1975-78
3 NWA American Tag Team titles (one w/Thunderbolt Patterson, and two with former rival Johnny Valentine)
2 Southwest Heavyweight championships
1 Southwestern Championship Wrestling Tag title (with Terry Funk)
2 NWA Southern Heavyweight championships
2 Georgia Heavyweight titles
1 Georgia Tag title (w/Tommy Rich) in 1979
The Florida TV Title in 1981
5 NWA United States Heavyweight championships between 1981-84
The NWA National Heavyweight title in 1986.

His list of hated, bitter rivals is even longer than his impressive list of championships, as Wahoo (whether as a face or heel) faced off against a plethra of top competition over the years...

Johnny & Greg Valentine
The Great Malenko
Harley Race
Terry Funk
Dory Funk, Jr.
Ivan Koloff
Nikita Koloff
Sgt. Slaughter
Roddy Piper
Ole Anderson
Ric Flair
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
Nick Bockwinkle
Rick Martel
The Masked Superstar
Magnum T.A.
Paul Jones
Blackjack Mulligan
Paul Orndorff
and many others all engaged in bloody, long-running feuds with the firey Chickasaw Indian. His campaigns throughout Texas, Florida, Georgia, the Mid Atlantic, the Mid South-Tri State territory, and other regions always resulted in sold-out crowds and plenty of "traditional" tough-as-nails wrestling action. For nearly 20 solid years, Wahoo was at the top of the NWA's mammoth talent roster, and one of the biggest wrestling stars in the country, particularly in the Southeast, where he was a household name. Although he never won a World championship, McDaniel was a perenial NWA and/or AWA World championship contender.

One of the few things Wahoo never did in his wrestling career was travel North to the World (Wide) Wrestling Federation and add a WWF tenure to his resume. This was perhaps because the WW(W)F already had a Native American superstar in the form of "Chief" Jay Strongbow, and there was only room for one "Chief" in the regional (at that time) promotion. The two Indian greats were often compared, though, and fans envisioned a "dream match" between the two, allowing the imagination to determine who came out on top. To his credit, McDaniel met and defeated countless opponents while in the NWA, before they ventured to the WW(W)F. This "fact" strengthened his fans' claims that Wahoo was "better" than "Chief" Jay. Of course, with pro wrestling being "structured" the way it is, the point was moot. Still, fans of the 1970's and early-mid 1980's often argued this fruitless, but fun, debate.

Wahoo was known as the master of the Indian Strap Match, and nearly all of his many violent feuds were inevitably ended with a leather thong tied to the wrist of his opponent. The great Native American was also known worldwide for his blistering Tomahawk Chops, once a very unique and devastating move that has now become commonplace. Wahoo, along with Strongbow, truly upheld the tradition and pride of the 'indian" wrestler for nearly 30 years. Without him, men like Jules Strongbow (who wore the WWF tag title with the elder Strongbow), Jay Younblood, Mark Youngblood, Tatanka and other native American performers may not have had a place in the wrestling business. A member of the WCW Hall of Fame, he was also fiercely proud of his Chickasaw Indian heritage and always entered the ring with his trademark elaborate feather headdress.

Shortly after retiring, health problems limited McDaniel to one of his newfound passions -- golf. He lived in Charlotte, N.C., until he moved to Houston to live with his daughter and son-in-law as his health began to deteriorate. Wahoo McDaniel passed away on April 9, 2002 in a Houston hospital of complications from renal failure and diabetes. He was 63.


Old Post 11-13-2006 02:27 AM
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post #37  quote:

I am not very good at doing the wretlers biographies and stuff but may I suggest both Bret and Owen Hart for the hall of fame.

Old Post 11-13-2006 03:12 AM
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post #38  quote:

Inreview.com Wrestling Hall of Fame:

1. Andre The Giant

2. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

3. Jerry 'the King' Lawler

4. Kendo Nagasaki

5. Lou Thezs

6. The Fabulous Moolah

7. Bob Backlund

8. 'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers

9. 'Superstar' Billy Graham

10. Gory Guerrero

11. 'Polish Power' Ivan Putski

12. The Original Shiek

13. Good Ol' J.R

14. The nWo

15. 'Hot Rod' Rowdy Roddy Piper

16. Jake 'the Snake' Roberts

17. 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair

18. Les Kellet

19. Bobby 'the Brain' Heenan

20. Bruno Sammartino

21. 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka

22. Sting

23.'Ravishing' Rick Rude

24. King Harley Race

25. Gorrilla Monsoon

26. Classy Freddie Blassie

27. Pat Patterson

28. Abdullah the Butcher

29. Terry Funk

30. Special Delivery Jones

31. The Undertaker

32. Wahoo McDaniel


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post #39  quote:

In accordance with Lodgebo's post the next induct is the excellence of execution, The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Bret 'the Hitman' Hart.

Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957 in Calgary, Alberta) is a Canadian former professional wrestler, and part of the famous Hart wrestling family. In the course of his career, he was known by several monikers: Bret "Hit Man" Hart, (adopted from boxer Thomas Hearns), "The Excellence of Execution" (originally dubbed as such by Gorilla Monsoon) and perhaps the most resounding, "The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be" (derived from the 1984 film The Natural, which starred Robert Redford).

Hart justifies his claim to the latter title by citing three facts: that he never seriously injured an opponent through any fault of his own; that, in the course of his career with the World Wrestling Federation, he only ever missed two shows, both as a result of traffic and flight difficulties, and that he rarely refused to job.

Hart was born in Calgary, Alberta; the eighth child of wrestling patriarch, promoter Stu Hart. His seven brothers were either wrestlers or involved backstage with the wrestling business; his four sisters all married professional wrestlers. Two of his brothers-in-law, Davey Boy Smith, and Jim Neidhart, had very successful careers in the business. His youngest brother, Owen Hart, became a decorated wrestler in his own right before his death in 1999.

Hart is regarded by many as one of the most technically sound professional wrestlers ever to grace a ring. Once labelled "the greatest storyteller in the history of the business" by Vince McMahon, he was adept at creating tense and entertaining matches. Mean Gene Okerlund has also placed him in the top five best technical wrestlers of all time.

Hart's introduction to professional wrestling came at an incredibly early age. As a child, he witnessed his father training with future wrestling stars like Billy Graham in the Dungeon, his household basement which served as possibly the most notorious training room in the world of athletics. Before school, Hart's father, also a wrestling promoter, would have him hand out flyers to local wrestling shows. At Ernest Manning High School, Hart would gain experience in the amateur wrestling division. Despite being "skin and bones," as Hart refers to his teenage physique, he won significant championships. This would later offer credibility to his career in professional wrestling as being legit. However, rather than directly following his father's foot steps, Hart pursued a college degree.

Hart enrolled in Mount Royal College with aspirations of becoming a director. At the age of 19, however, Hart began working for his father's Stampede Wrestling promotion in Calgary, with his father serving as his manager for a time. Hart first began helping the promotion by refereeing matches, but at one fateful event, a wrestler was unable to perform his match. This forced Stu to request his son stand in as a replacement, paving the way for Hart's very first match in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Before long, he became a regular contender. At this point, however, he was still unsure he wanted to make a career of professional wrestling and continually contemplated the idea.

Hart would gain some of his most exceptional experience from Japanese combatants and, before long, was amazing crowds with his high-impact matches against The Dynamite Kid. In the midst of wrestling alongside his brothers and even his aging father, Hart made a point not to ride on the shoulders of his elder as other sons of promoters have. Hart faithfully jobbed as requested of him, taking pride in the believability of his performances. As he said himself, "no one could take a **** kicking like Bret Hart."

Although he dreaded doing interviews and speaking in front of a crowd, Hart went on to win the promotion's top titles including two British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championships, five International Tag Team Championships, and six North American Heavyweight Championships. Hart also wrestling the famous Tiger Mask in New Japan Pro Wrestling and remained one of Stampede's most successful performers until the promotion, along with several wrestlers, was acquired by the World Wrestling Federation in August 1984.

In an aside to Hart claiming to have never injured anyone during his career, Bad News Brown in his shoot interview debunks that myth by claiming Bret inflicted two concussions on him due to being overzealous with a chair in their matches.

Hart rose to fame in the WWF in the late-1980s, winning the WWF World Tag Team Championship twice as one half of the Hart Foundation. Hart's technical style created an intriguing contrast with his partner Jim Neidhart's strength and brawling skills. The duo were originally a heel team managed by "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart and actually wore blue and black, as opposed to the more recognizable pink and black color scheme which they later adopted. Eventually, they turned face, adopting the nickname "The Pink and Black Attack." Their most notable feuds were with the British Bulldogs and Demolition.

Following a loss to The Nasty Boys at WrestleMania VII, the Foundation split and Hart went on to pursue a singles career. He won his first of two WWF Intercontinental Championship reigns by defeating Mr. Perfect with the Sharpshooter at SummerSlam 1991.Hart was then placed in a fued with the Mountie. This fued came about when the Mountie's manager, Jimmy Hart, threw water on Hart. Then the Mountie proceded to shock Hart with a cattle prod. When Hart lost the WWF Intercontinental Championship to The Mountie, he was supposedly suffering from a fever; however, this was a work to protect his character when he lost the title. In reality, Hart was booked to lose the title because his current contract was expiring. Following the loss, Roddy Piper (who is a friend of Bret himself) defeated Mountie with a sleeperhold at the 1992 Royal Rumble, and Bret would later pin "The Rowdy One" for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania VIII later that same year.

In July 1992, Hart defeated Shawn Michaels in what is believed to be the first ever ladder match in the World Wrestling Federation. While many remember Michaels as the main innovator of the ladder match due to his later success in those matches, it was actually Hart who initially won the first match of this type.

He won the WWF Championship from Ric Flair at Saskatchewan Place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (the hometown of his father, Stu Hart) in October of that year in an untelevised event. Hart dislocated one of the fingers on his right hand during the match and popped it back in himself so it would not affect the rest of the match. Hart became the sixteenth man to win the WWE Championship as well as only the second WWE Triple Crown winner. Hart lost the title to Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX after interference from Mr. Fuji, only to have Yokozuna immediately challenge Hulk Hogan and lose. Shortly after, however, Hart won the original televised King of the Ring tournament in 1993, defeating Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and Bam Bam Bigelow. After being crowned as the King of the Ring, Hart was attacked by announcer Jerry "The King" Lawler. Lawler claimed he was the rightful King and began a barrage against Hart and his family. The feud culminated in a match between the two at SummerSlam 1993, where Hart originally won the match by submission, via the Sharpshooter. Hart, however, would not let go of the hold and the decision was reversed to a Lawler victory by disqualification.

Hart would leave the WWF in bitter circumstance as Vince McMahon screwed him out of the title match he was suposed to without telling Bret his intention before the match against Shawn maicheal. This episode is commonly refered to as the Montreal Screwjob.

Hart would then join WCW and have a sucessful career in Ted Turners wrestling federation, never loosing any title he held in that company but being force to forfit them instead. The Hitman was forced to retire after a mtch with Goldberg when his opponant injured him so badly that he could no long continue to wrestle, ironic as Hart had never injured badly injured anyone in his entire career.

In June 2002, Hart suffered a stroke after a bicycle accident. The Calgary Herald reported that Hart hit a pothole, flew over the handbars of the bike and landed on the back of his head. Hart suffered partial paralysis after the stroke, which required months of physical therapy. Hart has since recovered much of his mobility and is in good health, although he still suffers from an emotional imbalance.

In 2006 he was inducted into the WWE hall of Fame and alledgely has since been linked with a move to TNA/NWA. On July 15, 2006, Bret Hart was also inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, at the International Wresting Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa. The induction took place in an immensely crowded and humid display room showcasing one of Hart's ring entrance jackets.


Old Post 11-14-2006 09:51 PM
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post #40  quote:

The next inductee is one of the great wrestlers of the WWF in the 90's. The King of Harts, the Black Hart more commonly know as Owen Hart.

Owen James Hart was a Canadian-American professional wrestler. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, the youngest of 12 children, all of whom were involved with wrestling in some way; the most famous of his brothers being Bret Hart. His father was wrestling promoter Stu Hart.

Owen entered wrestling by working for his father's Stampede Wrestling. Wrestling however was not Owen's first choice for a career; as Martha Hart, his widow, would explain in her book Broken Harts, Owen tried numerous times to find a profitable living outside of wrestling. Those attempts were unsuccessful, and Owen began his first WWF stay as The Blue Blazer in late 1988. Even though Owen wrestled and didnt have much personal time he like to keep intouch with his friends. They called themselves the EastSideShockers or ESS for short. He said these friends are what helped keep him grounded through all his years as a pro-wrestler.

The Blue Blazer was at that time a generic masked wrestler gimmick who was a high flying technician. The most notable match for Owen as the Blazer came at WrestleMania V, when he was narrowly defeated by Mr. Perfect. Owen/Blazer quickly left soon afterwards to wrestle worldwide and in 1991, the Blue Blazer lost the mask versus the Mexican wrestler El Canek in a mask vs mask duel.

Around this time, Owen wrestled briefly for World Championship Wrestling, and was in the process of contract discussions, but was not willing to move to Atlanta, the company's headquarters. Following the breakup of the WWF's popular The Hart Foundation tag team of his brother Bret and real-life brother-in-law Jim Neidhart, Owen returned to the WWF and formed the 'New Foundation' with Neidhart. Famed more for their bizarre 'baggy pants' attire than anything else, the team disbanded within a few months. Owen would later team alongside Koko B. Ware as High Energy.

In late 1993, with rumors circulating that Owen was on the verge of leaving the WWF due to a lack of success, he was eventually pushed as a 'heel' singles competitor and feuded with his brother Bret. They competed in the opening match at WrestleMania X and later in a memorable steel cage match for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam 1994. They are both considered two of the greatest matches of the 1990s. Owen combined high flying and technical mat skill for a very sound style.

He was also quite adept at playing a sneaky, smarmy heel, as evidenced by his King of Harts gimmick (he took the nickname after winning the 1994 King of the Ring). One example of his character came during the 1994 Survivor Series, where, during Bret Hart's WWF Championship match vs. Bob Backlund, fought under "submission match" rules, he feigned concern over Bret's physical condition after Bret became trapped in Backlund's crossface chickenwing. He convinced his mother, Helen, to throw in the towel, thereby costing Bret the match and title. Owen celebrated gleefully after the match ended and, during a post-match interview, declared that he had "tricked" his mother into throwing in the towel.

Owen's WWF career included winning the Intercontinental, Tag Team and European championships; he teamed with the 600-pound Yokozuna; brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith, and Jeff Jarrett at various points in his career. He was also infamous at this time for an errant piledriver at 'SummerSlam 1997' which injured Steve Austin, and lead to Austin's temporary retirement in 2003. When his brother Bret lost his WWF Title in controversial fashion at the 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal, Smith and Jim Neidhart responded by joining Bret in WCW. At the time all were a part of the new Hart Foundation stable in storylines along with Brian Pillman. Owen tried this as well, but elected to stay put in the WWF when faced with breach of contract issues. This caused friction between the brothers for a brief time, though they would reconcile shortly before Owen's death.

Owen returned at the PPV following Survivor Series, running out to attack Shawn Michaels during his world championship match, turning face and adopting the "Black Hart" gimmick in the process. Over the next few months, Owen developed a rivalry with both D-X members at the time and won the WWF European Championship from Triple H. Owen would later have a ankle injury and during a match involving Triple H in which Hart joined the commentary at ringside Triple H regained the title in a controversial fashion, with Hart submitting to Triple H in an impromptu match.

Owen continued his rivalry with DX for a while after that, but Shawn Michaels' departure from the company after WrestleMania XIV, coupled with DX's face turn shortly thereafter, left Owen floundering in midcard.

Four weeks after Wrestlemania, during a tag team match with Ken Shamrock taking on D'Lo Brown and The Rock, Owen Hart turned on Shamrock, "snapping" his ankle and "biting off his ear" in the process. He joined the Nation of Domination with Brown and Rock, and stayed there through the rest of the year, when the Nation broke up. Hart would go on to wrestle Shamrock twice that summer, with an even record. He and the Rock also contended for the WWF Tag Team Championship losing to The New Age Outlaws. They were scheduled to be in a fatal four way main event RAW match with the Outlaws, Kane & Mankind, and Austin and Undertaker but a returning Shamrock attacked Rock with the anklelock and took him out of the match. D'Lo replaced him, but the Nation team proved unsuccessful.

In early 1999, Owen began teaming with Jeff Jarrett and again captured the WWF tag team title. This included a storyline involving the revived Blue Blazer character, which would regularly appear alongside goofy denials from Jarrett and Hart that it was actually Hart under the mask.

Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri on May 23, 1999, during the WWF Over the Edge PPV event. He was being lowered into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a scheduled WWF Intercontinental Championship win over The Godfather.

In keeping with the Blazer's new 'buffoonish superhero' character, Owen was to be lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would release himself from the safety harness and then comically fall flat on his face. He had performed the stunt only a few times before, and was worried about performing the stunt at Kemper Arena due to the height involved (Owen had a fear of heights).

Owen performed a practice stunt earlier in the day, and the stunt went forward on the show as scheduled. His wife Martha suggests that, by moving around to get comfortable with both the harness and his cape on, Owen unintentionally triggered an early release and fell 78 feet into the ring, smashing his chest on a padded but still tough ring turnbuckle.

TV viewers at home did not see the incident or its aftermath, as the WWF was transmitting a promotional video package for the match, and only showed the audience while Owen was being worked on by medical personnel inside the ring while WWF television announcer Jim Ross repeatedly told those watching live on pay-per-view that what just transpired was not a wrestling angle or storyline and that Hart was hurt badly.

Owen was transported to the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, where he was pronounced dead on arrival (he actually died about six minutes after the fall, while still lying in the ring). The cause was later revealed to be internal bleeding from blunt chest trauma. He was only 34 years old. The WWF chose to continue the event, which drew a great deal of criticism over the following weeks, especially as the main event of the evening involved The Undertaker also known as the "Deadman" winning the WWF Title.

The next night on Monday Night Raw in St. Louis, Missouri, a two-hour televised tribute was broadcast in which WWF wrestlers and officials paid tribute to Hart. The Over the Edge event name was retired.

Owen left a widow, Martha, and two children, Oje Edward and Athena. Martha Hart settled her wrongful death lawsuit against the WWF for approximately $18 million and used the funds to establish the Owen Hart Foundation. Martha wrote a book about Owen's life in 2002 called Broken Harts.

On the October 4, 1999 edition of WCW Nitro, Owen's brother Bret Hart wrestled Chris Benoit in an Owen Hart tribute match at Kemper Arena.


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post #41  quote:

The next inductee is 'the man' as far as Japanese wrestling is concerned. Antonio Inoki.

Antonio Inoki (real name Kanji Inoki) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist who now resides in New York City. His stage name was inspired by Antonino Rocca, a professional wrestler. In his career as a wrestler and later New Japan owner, Inoki is an icon in professional wrestling.

Kanji Inoki was born in an affluent family in Yokohama in 1943. He was the sixth son and the second youngest of the seven boys and four girls. His father, Sajiro Inoki, a businessman and politician, died when Kanji was 5 years old.

Inoki entered the Higashidai Grade School. By the time he was in 7th grade at Terao Junior High School, he was 180 centimeters tall, and joined the basketball team. He later quit and joined a track and field club as a shot putter. He eventually won the championship at the Yokohama junior high school track and field competition. Inoki was taught karate by an older brother while in 6th grade, and was scouted for a career in professional sumo while in junior high school.

The family fell on hard times in the post-war years, and in 1957, the 14 year-old Inoki immigrated to Brazil with his grandfather, mother and brothers. His grandfather died during the journey to Brazil.

Inoki won regional championships in Brazil in the shot put, discus throw, and javelin throw, and finally the All Brazilian championships in the shot put and discus.

Inoki met prominent Korean-Japanese wrestler Rikidozan at the age of 17. He was brought back to Japan for the Japanese Wrestling Association as Rikidozan's disciple. One of his dojo classmates was Giant Baba. After Rikidozan's death, Inoki worked under the taller Baba's shadow until he joined the original Tokyo Pro Wrestling in 1966. Returning to JWA in late 1967, he was made Baba's partner and the two dominated the tag team ranks as the "B-I Cannon", winning the NWA International tag team belts four times.

Fired from JWA in late 1971 for planning a takeover of the promotion, Inoki founded New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972. His first match as a New Japan wrestler was against Karl Gotch.

Antonio Inoki was amongst the group of professional wrestlers who were tutored in the art of hooking and shooting by the professional wrestler Karl Gotch. Inoki then went on to stage a series of mixed martial arts matches against champions from numerous other disciplines of martial arts. Inoki named his method of fighting Strong style professional wrestling. This method of professional wrestling as taught to Inoki by Karl Gotch, which borrowed heavily from professional wrestling's original catch wrestling roots, is one of the most important influences of modern shoot wrestling.

Antonio Inoki was a pioneer of mixed martial arts and has faced many opponents from all dominant disciplines of combat from various parts of the world, such as Akram Pahalwan in Pakistan, Willie Williams of Kyokushin Karate, Olympic judo gold medalist Willem Ruska and the 6-time WBA and WBC World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali.

Though many of inoki's matches were dismissed by the skeptics as worked by some, there has been little or no proof at all to suggest the validity of the worked theory and Inoki's mixed martial arts opponents have never stated that the matches were "fake", till now he has confirmed of engaging in only one worked MMA match, that being Antonio Inoki vs Renzo Gracie. Most of the skepticism arose from the fact that Inoki was a professional wrestler, which automatically led to an assumption that the matches must have been worked. This has yet to dent the image of Inoki in the eyes of the Japanese fans, where he is still viewed as a very legitimate wrestler.

The worked theory also arises from Inoki's match with Muhammad Ali. Inoki initially promised Ali a worked match to get him to fight in Japan, when the deal materialized Ali's camp feared that Inoki would turn the fight into a shoot, which many believe was Inoki's intention. Ali visited a professional wrestling match involving Inoki and witnessed Inoki's grappling ability. This led Ali's camp to restrict the fight to striking rules only, with grappling disallowed.

In the match, Ali landed a total of six punches to Inoki and Inoki kept to his back in a defensive position almost the full duration of the match, hitting Ali with a low kick repeatedly. The bout ended in a draw, 3-3. Ali left without a press conference and suffered damage to his legs as a result of Inoki's repeated leg kicks. Inoki's other MMA-style matches are widely thought to have been worked, although many believe them to have been legitimate.

Inoki's retirement from professional wrestling matches came with the staging of the "Final Countdown" series in 1998. This was a special series in which Inoki re-lived some of his mixed martial arts matches under professional wrestling rules, as well as rematches of some of his most well known wrestling matches. Inoki faced Don Frye in the final match of his professional wrestling career.

One of the few professional wrestlers whose career lasted longer than 35 years, Inoki established the "strong style", using stiffness and realistic maneuvers borrowing from professional wrestling's original catch wrestling roots. Shoot style wrestling arose from Inoki's "strong style".

Many of Inoki's disciples, including the original Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama, Masakatsu Funaki, Nobuhiko Takada, Minoru Suzuki, Akira Maeda, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuyuki Fujita, among others, have had success in mixed martial arts, and the roster of NJPW is known to have pioneered mixed martial arts federations including RINGS, Shooto, PRIDE, and Pancrase.

It is due to Antonio Inoki that fighters like Naoya Ogawa, Josh Barnett, Walid Ismail and Ryoto Machida have actively represented NJPW in mixed martial arts events giving notoriety to it and professional wrestling.

Inoki continues to bring fighters like Mark Coleman, Quinton Jackson, Dan Bobish to the professional wrestling ring for organizing of professional wrestling events like HUSTLE.

Antonio Inoki also organizes Mixed Martial Arts events like "NJPW Ultimate Crush" and "Jungle Fight", showing traditional professional wrestling matches and mixed martial arts matches on the same card. Some of the major attractions of these events involve the best of NJPW vs. world renowned fighters in mixed martial arts matches.

Many Of Inoki's events are co-promoted by mixed martial arts federations like K-1, most notably the Inoki-Bom-Ba-Ye as a combination of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts side by side at the same card.

Antonio Inoki's Inoki Dojos are also known to have cross-trained wrestlers like Ken Shamrock, Kazushi Sakuraba, Chris Benoit and Samoa Joe.

Inoki is now the ambassador for the International Fight League's Tokyo entry, the Sabres


Old Post 11-21-2006 12:09 PM
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post #42  quote:

The next inductee is the Boogie Woogie man himself, Handsome Jimmy Valiant.

Jimmy Valiant (born James Fanning in Franklin County, Tennessee) started wrestling in 1964 as Big Jim Vallen. He went to the World Wide Wrestling Federation in the 1970s as Handsome Jimmy Valiant and formed a team with Johnny Valiant that would dominate the tag team scene for awhile.

In the early 1980s, Valiant went to the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions as "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant and called his fans "The Street People". His theme music around this time was "Boy From New York City", by The Manhattan Transfer. He feuded heavily with Paul Jones and his "Army" of wrestlers that included The Barbarian, Shaska, Baron Von Raschke, Teijho Khan and Manny Fernandez. Valiant, Jones and Whatley all had their heads shaved during this 3 year long feud. Valiant had help from Hector Guerrero, Junkyard Dog, Pez Whatley (before he turned and became Shaska), Manny Fernandez (his partner in the B and B Connection until he turned on Valiant) and Ron Garvin.

In the late 1980s, he teamed with Guerrero (who was then masked as Laser Tron) and Bugsy McGraw and feuded with The New Breed. When Jim Crockett Promotions became WCW, Valiant left and wrestled in the USWA and WCCW.

Since then, Valiant has primarily wrestled in the independents and has managed to wrestle in 5 decades, his last match occurring on January 29, 2005 at WrestleReunion. He is now happily retired from professional wrestling and enjoys his time with his wife Angel and training anyone wanting to be involved in wrestling at Boogie's Wrestling Camp located in southwestern Virginia.

Championships/Accomplishments

2-Time WWWF World Tag Team Champion (with Johnny Valiant)

Member of WWE Hall of Fame (inducted 1996)

3-Time NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Champion

1-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (San Francisco version) (with Johnny Valiant)

2-Time USWA Heavyweight Champion

1-Time USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion

1-Time All-American Heavyweight Champion

7-Time Mid-Southern Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Mid-American Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Mid-Southern Tag Team Champion (with Rocky Johnson)

1-Time NWA Florida Tag Team Champion (with Johnny Valiant)

1-Time NWA Florida United States Tag Team Champion (with Johnny Valiant)

3-Time WWA Tag Team Champion (with Johnny Valiant)

1-Time WWA Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Georgia Tag Team Champion (with Johnny Valiant)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 274 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.

Jimmy also won the PWI Tag Team of the Year Award in 1974 with Johnny Valiant.


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post #43  quote:

The next inductee is one of the most sucessful wrestlers of all time, multiple time NWA heavyweight champion the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (born Virgil Riley Runnels, Jr. on October 12, 1945) is an American professional wrestler. Rhodes currently works with World Wrestling Entertainment as a creative writer for the Smackdown! brand.

Rhodes started his career as a rule-breaking heel, tagging with fellow Texan Dick Murdoch to form the tag team The Texas Outlaws in the American Wrestling Association. Many wrestling fans do not know that the beloved "American Dream" was once the hated "'Dirty' Dusty Rhodes". In 1974, Rhodes turned face after turning on tag team partner Pak Song and manager Gary Hart during a match in Florida against Eddie and Mike Graham, leading him to break out as a solo babyface superstar, primarily in Florida, referring to himself as "Stardust", the "White Soul King", and the "American Dream", a working class hero. Rhodes ascended to the top of several National Wrestling Alliance promotions in Florida (where he also wrestled wearing a mask as The Midnight Rider), Georgia, and eventually with Jim Crockett Promotions in the Mid-Atlantic, which was the forerunner of World Championship Wrestling. Here, he formed teams with Manny Fernandez, Magnum T.A. as "America's Team" and Nikita Koloff as The Super Powers. Rhodes was a World 6-Man Tag Team Champion with the Road Warriors. Actually, Rhodes work as a booker in the World Wrestling Entertainment.

Rhodes had legendary feuds with stars such as Abdullah The Butcher, Kevin Sullivan, Blackjack Mulligan, Nikita Koloff, Harley Race, "Superstar" Billy Graham, "Crippler" Ray Stevens and most notably, The Four Horsemen (especially Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard). Rhodes, Flair, and Race each fought each other many times over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Rhodes won the NWA World Title three times; twice by defeating Race (in 1979 and 1981) and once by defeating Flair (1986).

Rhodes also was a booker for WCW (which was then known as Jim Crockett Promotions) while they were competing with the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment) in the mid-1980s. He is credited with inventing many of the WCW pay-per-view names and gimmicks, such as War Games, BattleBowl, and Lethal Lottery.

The term Dusty Finish refers to one of Rhodes' favorite techniques, ending a match in controversy after the referee is knocked unconscious.

He was fired from Jim Crockett Promotions because of a taboo on-screen bloodletting during an altercation with The Road Warriors. Rhodes bladed himself while Road Warrior Hawk took a spike from his outfit and "jammed" it in Dusty's eye. It looked very vivid at the time (even though it was planned out), and it infuriated then-owner of WCW, Ted Turner. Rhodes was then fired from WCW. Following this, Rhodes returned to Florida to compete in Florida Championship Wrestling, where he captured the PWF Heavyweight title, and also returned to the AWA for a few appearances.

Rhodes came to the WWF as the yellow polka-dotted "Common Man" Dusty Rhodes, a gimmick some felt was intended to humiliate him. He was managed by Sapphire. During his time in the WWF, Rhodes was embroiled in a heated feud with Randy Savage and his manager/partner Sensational Queen Sherri who in turn found a rival in Sapphire. After a particularly intense confrontation between the two couples, Savage's girlfriend Miss Elizabeth allied herself with Rhodes and Sapphire and was instrumental in helping them win the WWF's first mixed tag-team match during WrestleMania VI. However, Sapphire left Rhodes during SummerSlam 1990 for The Million-Dollar Man's money, which resulted in a feud with the latter.

Rhodes later returned to WCW and joined the broadcast team, usually working with Tony Schiavone on WCW Saturday Night. He would be paired with Schiavone and Bobby Heenan on pay-per-views.

Rhodes was originally on the side of WCW in its battle with the nWo. At Souled Out in 1998, Larry Zbyszko asked Rhodes, who was working the PPV broadcast, to accompany him to the ring for his match against Scott Hall. Zbyszko won the match by disqualification due to interference by the nWo, but in the postmatch melee Rhodes turned on Zbyszko and joined the nWo in a shocking moment that actually forced Schiavone off the broadcast in shock; he would later return, ripping Rhodes for his actions for most of the rest of the night (kayfabe).

He eventually left WCW and went to ECW where he put over former ECW Champion, "King of Old School" Steve Corino. Rhodes returned once more to WCW, re-igniting his feud with Ric Flair.

He appeared on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling shows, becoming the Director of Authority at their November 7 pay-per-view, TNA Victory Road 2004. At the same time, Rhodes became a true powerhouse behind the scenes of TNA, acting as head booker and writer. In May 2005, TNA President Dixie Carter asked Rhodes to move onto a creative team, which would have included several other names, including Jeremy Borash, Bill Banks and Scott D'Amore. Rhodes balked and resigned as booker, waiting out the rest of his contract with TNA, which expired soon after.

For several years, Rhodes operated Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, a small Georgia-based promotion. Rhodes' son, Virgil Runnels III, known in wrestling as Dustin Rhodes, followed his father into the business, most notably as the eccentric WWE character Goldust.

In late 2005, Rhodes signed a WWE Legends deal and was brought onto the Creative Team as a "creative consultant", starting on September 8, 2005. He made an appearance on WWE Homecoming in which he, along with other legends, beat up the young and cocky Rob Conway, to whom Rhodes delivered a Bionic elbow.

He made sporadic televised appearances after Homecoming, including one on June 19, 2006 to promote his recently released DVD teasing him becoming General Manager of RAW. On October 23, 2006 he returned to television to be in the corner of Ric Flair during Flair's match with Kenny of The Spirit Squad.

He was among the three choices of tag team partners for Ric Flair in his match at Cyber Sunday against the Spirit Squad for the World Tag Team Championship. In the end Roddy Piper was picked and won the title with Flair.

On the November 20, 2006 episode of "RAW," Rhodes defeated Spirit Squad member Nicky with an elbow drop in a short bout.

At Survivor Series 2006, he participated in a 4 on 4 Survivor Series match which pitted himself along with Ron Simmons, Sgt. Slaughter, and Ric Flair, against the Spirit Squad. Rhodes team was victorious.


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post #44  quote:

The next inductee is an inovator of wrestling and was the first African-American wrestler to hold a World Heavyweight title. This man is Bobo Brazil.

Houston Harris (born July 10, 1924, Little Rock, Arkansas ? died January 20, 1998), known professionally as Bobo Brazil, was an African-American professional wrestler who was known for breaking down barriers of racial segregation in professional wrestling. Bobo Brazil is considered one of the first successful African-American professional wrestlers, and is often referred to as "the Jackie Robinson of professional wrestling."

Originally, Houston was to be known as "Boo-Boo Brazil", but a local promoter misprinted his first name as "Bobo" in a print advertisement and it stuck.

Early in his career, some wrestling promoters would match Brazil against fellow African-American wrestlers. Fans clamored to see Brazil face opponents of any type and Brazil would have many matches with competitors such as Killer Kowalski, Dick the Bruiser, Johnny Valentine, and The Sheik, who feuded with Bobo over the course of several decades.

These and other rivals would all fall victim to Brazil's finishing maneuver, the Coco Headbutt. Brazil also once wrestled Andr? the Giant to a draw, and challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Championship in a battle of two top babyface competitors.

On October 18th, 1962 Bobo Brazil made history by becoming the first African American to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title by defeating "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. Although Bobo Brazil initially refused the title (because of an "injury" that Rogers had claimed to have), Brazil was awarded the title the next day after doctors had found nothing wrong with Rogers. However, this title change is not recognized by the NWA.

Bobo Brazil served as a mentor to wrestler "Soulman Rocky Johnson."

Brazil's manager was James Dudley, the first African-American to be in charge of a major arena in the United States. Dudley would run to the ring waving a towel, as Brazil followed behind.

Bobo Brazil was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1994. He died on January 20, 1998, aged 73.

Championships and accomplishments

Florida Tag Team Championship (2 times) ? with Sweet Brown Sugar and Dusty Rhodes

IW North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA International Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

MWA Ohio Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

MWA Ohio Tag Team Championship (3 times) ? with Frankie Talaber

NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (Detroit version) (8 times) ? with Art Thomas, Bill Miller, Athol Layton, The Stomper,
Tony Marino (3) and Fred Curry

NWA Canadian Open Tag Team Championship (1 time) ? with Whipper Billy Watson

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Detroit version) (9 times)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (1 time)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (1 time)

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Toronto version) (1 time)

NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (3 times)

NWA "Beat the Champ" International Television Championship (1 time)

NWA International Television Tag Team Championship (4 times) ? with Wilbur Snyder (2), Sandor Szabo, and Primo Carnera

NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (Los Angeles version) (1 time)

1998 PWI Editor's Award (posthomous)

SoW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

WWA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

WWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) ? with Chris Carter

WWA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

1994 inductee to the WWF Hall of Fame


Old Post 01-10-2007 08:42 PM
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post #45  quote:

The next inductee was not only the biggest name in wrestling in his day but was one of the biggest celebrities of his day as well. Gorgeous George.

George Raymond Wagner, or Gorgeous George (March 24, 1915 - December 26, 1963) was a professional wrestler. He was born in Nebraska, but his family moved to Texas while he was a boy

Wagner was a wrestler with an undistinguished career until he recreated his professional image in the early 1940s as the flamboyant Gorgeous George. His famed "Human Orchid" persona was created in part by growing his hair long, dyeing it blonde, and putting gold-plated bobby pins in it.

He had a valet accompany him in his ring appearances, and was the first wrestler to have entrance music, Pomp and Circumstance, played during his appearances, as he entered the ring, followed by his valet and a purple spotlight. He wore costly sequined robes and the air had to be sprayed with perfumed disinfectant "GG" referred to as "Chanel #10" ("Why be half-safe?" he was famous for saying,) before he would start wrestling.

Once the match began, he would cheat in every way he could. His credo: "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!" This flamboyant image and his showman's ability to work a crowd were so successful in the early days of television that he became the most famous wrestler of his time, drawing furious heel heat wherever he appeared.

Gorgeous George attained his wrestling peak in May 1950 when he won the AWA (Boston) world title by defeating Don Eagle. While George Wagner may have been considered a mere gimmick wrestler, he was actually a very competent freestyle wrestler, having started learning the sport in amateur wrestling as a teenager, and he could handle himself quite well if it came to a legitimate contest.

The great Lou Thesz, who would take this AWA title away from Wagner, and who was probably the best "legit" wrestler in professional wrestling during the 20th century, displayed some disdain for the gimmick wrestlers. Nevertheless, he admitted that Wagner "could wrestle pretty well," but added that, "he could never draw a fan until he became Gorgeous George."

Wagner wrestled for another ten years. In one of his last matches he was defeated by the up-and-coming Bruno Sammartino. As his wrestling career wound down he raised turkeys and owned a cocktail lounge in Van Nuys, California, which he named "Gorgeous George's Ringside Restaurant".

Wagner invested $250,000 in a 195-acre turkey ranch built in Beaumont, California, and the wrestler used his showman skills to promote his prized poultry at his wrestling matches and sport shows, popular during his heyday.

He appeared in one motion picture, "Pardon My Toehold", aka Alias the Champ, made in 1949.

He was married twice, first to Betty Hanson in the late 1930s (they were married in the ring). They had two children (adopted). In 1951, after divorcing Betty, he married Cherie Dupr?. They had one son, Gary.

Although Gorgeous George earned a lot of money during his career, he died nearly penniless. His funeral was attended by many notable people from the show business and the sports world; his fellow-wrestlers and those who promoted his matches chipped in and paid for some the expences, Georges second wife Cherre Dupree would have to work for years to pay of the debt from the funeral. A plaque at his gravesite reads "Love to our Daddy Gorgeous George".

Wrestling historians give differing accounts of the inspirations for the Gorgeous George gimmick; according to Thesz, Wagner admitted he got the initial idea from another wrestler, Lord Patrick Lansdowne.

In any event, the Gorgeous George persona has had an extensive direct and indirect influence on entertainers since. Muhammad Ali and James Brown acknowledged that their own approach to flamboyant self-promotion was influenced by George's.

The Looney Tunes wrestling character "Ravishing Rono" is modeled after Gorgeous George. Musical performers such as Liberace, Little Richard, and Elton John show signs of the George meme. Some consider George to have been an early advancer of camp. Without doubt, uncounted numbers of dyed-blonde professional wrestling heels in the decades since can all trace their heritage back to Gorgeous George.

Championships and accomplishments

2-Time Pacific Coast Light Heavyweight Champion

1-Time AWA (Boston) World Heavyweight Champion

1-Time NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion

1-Time GCCW Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Northwest Middleweight Champion

Charter member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame


Old Post 01-17-2007 09:25 AM
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post #46  quote:

The next inductee was the patriach of one of the greatest wrestling families of all time. Fritz Von Erich.

Jack Barton Adkisson (August 16, 1929 - September 10, 1997) was an American professional wrestler under the ring name Fritz Von Erich, better known today as a wrestling promoter and the patriarch of the Von Erich wrestling family.

Jack attended Southern Methodist University, where he threw discus and played football. He played one season of pro football for the Dallas Texans, and then tried the Canadian Football League. While in Edmonton, he met legendary wrestler and trainer Stu Hart, and Hart decided to train and book Jack in his Klondike Wrestling promotion.

By the end of the 1950s, Fritz Von Erich relocated to Buffalo, New York and would be a top drawing heel throughout the country due to his large size, ring skills and interview ability. However, in 1959 his oldest son Jack Jr. died of an accidental electrocution (his son was actually knocked unconscious after touching an exposed electrical wire and drowned when he landed face first in a puddle of melting snow), and he stopped traveling to the east coast, allowing former partner Waldo Von Erich to use the Von Erich name in the World Wide Wrestling Federation. The death hit Fritz hard, and he blamed himself for the incident, reasoning that he could have prevented the incident had he not been on the road so much. He had five other sons who eventually wrestled under the Von Erich name: Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike and Chris.

His major circuit was Sam Muchnick's NWA territorial stronghold in St. Louis, Missouri. He was even considered a top contender to be voted NWA World Heavyweight Champion, but then-champion Lou Thesz was very vocal in his dislike of " gimmick" wrestlers and the board of directors did not want the champion to have an obviously fictional ring name. Jack offered to wrestle under his real name when he was up again for a possible title reign in the 1970s but again, the board of directors voted it down.

In 1975, Adkisson became president of the NWA even though he continued to wrestle in his own promotion, which other members of the board of directors found as a conflict of interest. His time as president was seen as the time when the World Heavyweight Championship was devalued and unity within the NWA was damaged.

Fritz was a huge star in Japan as well, and was a major part of rebuilding Japanese wrestling after the stabbing death of Rikidozan. He became a star due to his feuds with Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba, and his "Iron Claw" hold, which became one of the most popular wrestling moves in Japan.

In 1982, he held his first retirement match against King Kong Bundy in the newly renamed World Class Championship Wrestling promotion, based in Dallas. The promotion was known for its high production values, use of entrance music and the use of television syndication. The promotion was one of the most successful territories in the United States, with major draws like his sons, the Fabulous Freebirds, Christopher Adams, Abdullah the Butcher, Bruiser Brody, Gino Hernandez and Rick Rude. By the end of the eighties, the promotion's talent pool was thin and it was eventually merged with Jerry Jarrett's Memphis promotion to create the United States Wrestling Association.

Within a 10-year span, four of the remaining five Adkisson sons died premature deaths:

David, 25 years of age, died in 1984 under circumstances that are still debated today. His cause of death was officially listed as acute gastroenteritis, but many believe, despite considerable evidence supporting the official cause, that he actually died of a drug overdose. Ric Flair implies this in his autobiography To Be The Man, stating that Bruiser Brody destroyed evidence pointing to an overdose.

Mike died of a self-inflicted drug overdose in 1987 at the age of 23. He had apparently never completely recovered from a near-fatal bout with toxic shock syndrome, a condition very rarely seen in men, in 1985.

Chris, depressed over his brothers deaths and his inability to excel as a wrestler, committed suicide in 1991 at the age of 21.

Kerry, the most successful in the ring, also committed suicide in 1993 after well-documented substance abuse problems. He was 33 years old.

Kevin is the only survivor of the Adkisson sons.

Fritz's wife Doris divorced him in 1992, and he died of brain and lung cancer on September 10, 1997 aged 68.


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post #47  quote:

Inreview.com Wrestling Hall of Fame:

1. Andre The Giant

2. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

3. Jerry 'the King' Lawler

4. Kendo Nagasaki

5. Lou Thezs

6. The Fabulous Moolah

7. Bob Backlund

8. 'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers

9. 'Superstar' Billy Graham

10. Gory Guerrero

11. 'Polish Power' Ivan Putski

12. The Original Shiek

13. Good Ol' J.R

14. The nWo

15. 'Hot Rod' Rowdy Roddy Piper

16. Jake 'the Snake' Roberts

17. 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair

18. Les Kellet

19. Bobby 'the Brain' Heenan

20. Bruno Sammartino

21. 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka

22. Sting

23.'Ravishing' Rick Rude

24. King Harley Race

25. Gorrilla Monsoon

26. Classy Freddie Blassie

27. Pat Patterson

28. Abdullah the Butcher

29. Terry Funk

30. Special Delivery Jones

31. The Undertaker

32. Wahoo McDaniel

33. Bret 'the Hitman' Hart

34. Owen Hart

35. Antonio Inoki

36. 'Handsome' Jimmy Valiant

37. 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes

38. Bobo Brazil

39. Gorgeous George

40. Fritz Von Erich


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post #48  quote:

The next inductee is a man who made the Japanese wrestling business, a man who can only be challenged in Japan as a wrestler by Antonia Inoki. That man is the legendary Rikidozan.

Rikidōzan (November 14, 1924 - December 15, 1963) was a professional wrestler, known as the "Father of Puroresu" and one of the most influential men in wrestling history. He was credited with bringing the sport of professional wrestling to Japan at a time when the Japanese needed a local hero to look up to.

Born Kim Sin-nak (or Kim Sin-rak) in South Hamgyong, North Korea, he travelled to Japan and trained to be a sumo wrestler. Due to the discrimination against Koreans by the Japanese at the time, Sin-rak claimed that his name was Mitsuhiro Momota (Momota being the surname of the family from Nagasaki which adopted, but later disowned, him), and used the shikona of Rikidozan.

Frustrated with neverending discrimination in matches and in his dojo, he gave up sumo in 1950 and made his professional wrestling debut in 1951 with a ten minute draw against Bobby Bruns. He established himself as Japan's biggest wrestling star by defeating one American wrestler after another. This was shortly after World War 2, and the Japanese needed someone who could stand up to the Americans.

Rikidozan thus became immensely popular in Japan. His American opponents assisted him by portraying themselves as villains who cheated in their matches. Ironically, Rikidozan was always booked himself as a villain when he wrestled in America.

Rikidozan gained worldwide renown when he defeated Lou Thesz for the NWA International Heavyweight Championship on August 27, 1958. In another match, Thesz willingly agreed to put over Rikidozan at the expense of his own reputation. This built up mutual respect between the two wrestlers, and Rikidozan never forgot what Thesz did. He would go on to capture several NWA titles in matches both in Japan and overseas.

Rikidozan also trained professional wrestling students, including soon-to-be wrestling legends Kanji "Antonio" Inoki, Ooki Kintaro, and Shohei "Giant" Baba.

His signature move was the karate chop, which was actually based on sumo's harite, rather than actual karate. It is rumoured that he had been coached by fellow Korean Masutatsu Oyama, but he is more likely to have been coached by another Korean karateka, Nakamura Hideo.

With his success in pro wrestling, Rikidozan began acquiring properties such as nightclubs, hotels and boxing promotions. He established the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance, Japan's first professional wrestling promotion, in 1953. His first major feud was against Masahiko Kimura, the famous judoka who had been invited by Rikidozan to compete as a professional wrestler. Other famous feuds included those against Thesz in 1957-58, against Freddie Blassie in 1962, and against The Destroyer in 1963.

Two of his matches are still (as of 2002) in the top ten rated television programs of all time in Japan. His October 6, 1957 sixty-minute draw with Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship drew an 87.0 rating, and his May 24, 1963 sixty-minute two out of three falls draw with The Destroyer drew a 67.0 rating, but a larger viewing audience (the largest in Japanese history) than the previous match, since by 1963 more people had television sets.

In 1963, he ran afoul of a rivalry between his friend Nicola "Nick" Zapetti, a yakuza boss who helped him fund the JWA, and a warring crime family. On December 8, 1963, while partying in a Tokyo nightclub, Rikidozan was stabbed with a urine-soaked blade by gangster Katsuji Murata. Reportedly, Rikidozan threw Murata out of the club and continued to party, refusing to seek medical help. He died a week later of peritonitis at the age of 39 on December 15.

One of his sons, Mitsuo Momota, followed his father into the ring in 1970 and still competes in Pro Wrestling NOAH, but was never able to earn the recognition that once made his father famous.

Championships and accomplishments

1-Time Japanese Heavyweight Champion

1-Time All-Japan Heavyweight Champion

1-Time All-Japan Tag Team Champion (with ?)

1-Time NWA International Heavyweight Champion

1-Time WWA Heavyweight Champion

1-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (San Francisco version) (with Koukichi Endoh)

1-Time Pacific Coast Tag Team Champion (with Dennis Clary)

4-Time All-Asia Tag Team Champion (with Toyonobori)

2-Time Hawaiian Tag Team Champion (with Koukichi Endoh and Azumafuji)


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post #49  quote:

The next inductee is the only man who was ever too extreme for ECW. Flying Brian Pillman.

Brian William Pillman (May 22, 1962 ? October 5, 1997) was an American professional wrestler and American football player. Pillman was born with throat cancer and underwent some 36 operations to remove it, leaving him with his signature raspy voice.

While attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Pillman played football for the Miami Redhawks as a linebacker where he set records for "tackles for loss". He went undrafted to the National Football League, joining the Cincinnati Bengals (his home town team) as a free agent in 1984 and later the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders in 1986. He also played for the Buffalo Bills in preseason action in 1985, but was the last player cut before the start of that season. His attempts to make the roster of the Bengals were covered in a series of articles in The Cincinnati Enquirer. During his football career, Pillman began taking steroids and painkillers in order to perform, resulting in him having problems with drug addiction for the rest of his life.

Following the end of his football career, Pillman remained in Canada and began training as a wrestler under Stu Hart and his sons. He debuted under his real name in 1986 in Hart's Calgary, Alberta-based Stampede Wrestling promotion.

Pillman quickly formed a tag team with Hart's son Bruce known as Bad Company. In April 1987, Bad Company won the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship, defeating Ron Starr and the Cuban Assassin in the finals of a tournament. Their reign lasted until October 1987, when the titles were held up following a controversial ending to a match between Bad Company and their opponents, Jerry Morrow and Makhan Singh. Bad Company defeated Morrow and Singh in a rematch in November 1987 to regain the titles, eventually losing them to Morrow and the Cuban Assassin in July 1988.

While in Stampede Wrestling, Pillman used his girlfriend at the time, Beulah McGillicutty, to get him over as a face by seating her at ringside and having heel wrestlers taunt her so that he could rescue her.

In 1989, Pillman returned to America and began wrestling for World Championship Wrestling, where he was known as "Flyin'" Brian Pillman due to his athletic ability and variety of aerial maneuvers. He held the WCW United States Tag Team Championship with Tom Zenk and also held the short-lived WCW Light Heavyweight Championship, feuding with Brad Armstrong, Jushin Liger, Richard Morton, and Scotty Flamingo. Pillman later feuded with Barry Windham, who he harassed while dressed as the masked Yellow Dog after losing a retirement match (Pillman was eventually reinstated).

In 1992, Pillman turned heel, forming a tag team with "Stunning" Steve Austin known as the Hollywood Blondes. In March 1993, the duo won the WCW World Tag Team Championship, which they held for five months. The team quickly became popular for their brash attitudes, pithy catchphrases and critically acclaimed matches with Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. They also feuded with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, mocking their ages and parodying Flair's interview show "A Flair For the Gold," with their own "A Flare for the Old."

After the Hollywood Blondes separated, Pillman became a tweener, feuding with wrestlers such as Brad Armstrong, Eddie Guerrero, Alex Wright and Marcus Bagwell. In late 1995 at Fall Brawl 1995, Pillman formed a team with Arn Anderson, and began feuding with Ric Flair and Sting. At Halloween Havoc 1995, Flair betrayed Sting and reformed the Four Horsemen with Pillman, Anderson and Chris Benoit.

In 1995 he wrestled the first match on the very first WCW Monday Nitro defeating Liger.

Throughout 1995, Pillman developed his "Loose Cannon" gimmick, cultivating a reputation for unpredictable behaviour. He frequently blurred fact and fiction with his worked-shoots, and outed Kevin Sullivan as booker during the February 1996 Superbrawl VI pay-per-view. During a live episode of WCW Clash of the Champions, Pillman grabbed commentator Bobby Heenan by the collar, causing Heenan (who had a history of neck problems) to blurt out "What the **** are you doing?" on air. Pillman was fired by WCW President Eric Bischoff in early 1996. In Eric Bischoff's autobiography he said that Pillman was fired for a reason.

Immediately following his departure from WCW, Pillman debuted in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion, appearing at the annual ECW Internet convention, Cyberslam, on February 17, 1996. During an interview conducted in the ring by Joey Styles, Pillman insulted Bischoff, calling him a commentator, a "gofer" and a "piece of ****". After Styles attempted to end the interview, Pillman threatened to "whip out [his] Johnson" and urinate in the ring. Pillman was confronted by ECW owner Tod Gordon and wrestler Shane Douglas, who had him removed from the ring by security guards. While being dragged from the arena, Pillman attacked a plant sitting in the audience with a fork he produced from his boot. Although he did not wrestle for ECW, Pillman made several further appearances with the promotion, engaging in a war of words with Douglas.

On April 15, 1996, Pillman was badly injured after falling asleep while driving his Hummer H1 in Kentucky and driving into a tree trunk, flipping the vehicle. He was in a coma for a week and suffered a shattered ankle, forcing doctors to fuse it together in a fixed position. This injury severely limited his mobility, forcing Pillman to abandon his high-flying ring style and adopt a more conservative mat based style, and elevated his addiction to painkillers.

Pillman signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation on June 10, 1996, with the signing announced in a press conference. He acted as a commentator while recovering from his broken ankle, transitioning to a wrestling role after attacking a "fan" during an episode of WWF Shotgun Saturday Night.

Following WrestleMania 13, Pillman aligned himself with Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart as part of the anti-American Hart Foundation, all of with whom he was familiar from his Stampede Wrestling roots. He began feuding with his former partner, Steve Austin. In the course of the feud, Austin was given on-screen credit for damaging Pillman's ankle after placing it in between the seat and backrest of a folded chair and then jumping on the chair. (This particular style of attack has since been dubbed "the Pillmanizer," in honor of this incident.)

On the November 4, 1996 episode of Monday Night Raw, Pillman took part in the infamous "Pillman's got a gun" angle with Steve Austin. Austin and Pillman had been feuding for several weeks, and Austin had finally decided to take matters into his own hands and visit Pillman, whom he had already injured, at home. Meanwhile, WWF interviewer Kevin Kelly sat in Pillman's house with a camera crew and the Pillman family, while Pillman's friends surrounded the house to protect him. Austin was attacked by Pillman's friends as soon as he arrived but soon subdued them. He then proceeded to break into Pillman's home and advance on his nemesis. Pillman responded by producing the same 9 mm Glock that he had displayed earlier and pointing it at a hesitant Austin, while Kelly and Pillman's wife Melanie screamed for help. The camera feed was then disrupted, with the scene fading to black. The on-scene director contacted commentator Vince McMahon and reported that he had heard "a couple explosions." The transmission was restored shortly before the end of Raw, and viewers witnessed Pillman's friends dragging Austin from the house while Pillman aimed the gun at him and announced his intention to "kill that son of a b----!" Pillman also slipped up by making the mistake of saying "f---" on live television, which meant that it could not be edited out. The WWF (and Pillman personally) eventually apologized profusely for the entire angle, with Pillman claiming that the profanity "just slipped out".

Pillman wrestled sporadically throughout 1997, aligning himself with the Hart Foundation and feuding with Goldust. Some time during the night or early morning prior to the October 5, 1997 In Your House: Badd Blood pay per view in St. Louis, Pillman died in a Minnesota hotel room. He was 35 years old. While he had a documented history of abuse of prescription drugs, an autopsy found that a previously undetected heart condition - arteriosclerotic heart disease - had led to his death. Pillman did not know that he was about to become a father once again when he died.


Old Post 01-25-2007 11:32 AM
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post #50  quote:

The next inductee is one of the greatest heels wrestlers of all time. He is the Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase.

Theodore Marvin DiBiase Sr. (born Theodore Marvin Willis on January 18, 1954, Omaha, Nebraska) is an American former professional wrestler who wrestled as the "The Million Dollar Man". He worked for World Wrestling Entertainment's SmackDown brand as a booker and Producer until 2006. He is also a Christian minister.

Both DiBiase's mother, Helen Hild, and his famed stepfather, "Iron" Mike DiBiase, were wrestlers: Mike's sudden death in the ring in 1969 sent his mother into a deep depression, and necessitated DiBiase's moving to live with his grandparents in Arizona. (Later storylines had Ted's fortune coming from his father's will, but this was largely forgotten over time)

After graduating from high school, DiBiase was offered and accepted a scholarship at West Texas State University. While there he was trained by Dory Funk, Jr., and quickly dropped out of school to become a full-time grappler in Oklahoma.

DiBiase spent the bulk of his early career in Mid-South Wrestling, and also had a brief try-out run with the WWF in the late 1970s.

In the early/mid 1980s DiBiase participated in memorable angles in various territories with the likes of Dick Murdoch, Ric Flair, The Fabulous Freebirds, Jim Duggan, One Man Gang and the Junk Yard Dog. He also held various championships and made frequent trips to All-Japan Pro Wrestling until his eventual departure from Mid-South Wrestling (which by this point was now the UWF).

While locked in talks with the NWA in 1987, DiBiase received an offer from the WWF. DiBiase was eventually convinced by the WWF to sign up despite the fact that he wouldn't be told his gimmick until after he agreed, under the promise that it was something that would receive a serious push, punctuated by WWF official Pat Patterson informing DiBiase that if owner Vince McMahon could go out to wrestle, which he did much later, then this would be the gimmick that he'd give himself.

DiBiase is considered by some, if not most, pro wrestling fans as one of the greatest "heel" wrestlers of all time. This view is mainly due to his work in World Wrestling Entertainment. He was known as "The Million Dollar Man," a millionaire who wore a gold-studded, dollar-sign-covered suit and, later on, a custom-made "Million Dollar Belt" around his waist as he entered the ring. He claimed, "Everybody has a price," demonstrating his "power" through a series of vignettes in which he did things such as bribe the manager of a local swimming pool to close for the day so he could have the pool to himself. Other skits featured DiBiase traveling in limousines, giving $100 tips to waiters, and using $100 bills in convenience stores for small purchases like chewing gum.

In reality, DiBiase's road travel was booked first-class for flights, 5-star hotels for accommodations and was given a stipend of petty cash from the WWF Offices so that he could throw money around (i.e. pick up tabs and overtip, buy drinks for entire bars, actually pay for small items with a $100 bill, etc) in order to get the gimmick over.

In other promotions, DiBiase would invite fans into the ring or to the interview platform to perform humiliating acts for money. One of the more infamous of these skits was when he invited a young boy onto a stage and told him if he bounced a ball 15 times in succession, DiBiase would pay him $500. After the 14th bounce, DiBiase kicked the ball away, sending the boy home without pay.

DiBiase was a skilled technical wrestler, and many fans desired that he turn face. His finishing maneuver was the 'Million Dollar Dream'. After putting his opponents to sleep with this maneuver, he stuffed $100 bills down their throats, uttered his signature lines, and gave his signature demonic laugh. The memorable "Money, Money, Money" was used as his theme song.

DiBiase hired Virgil, whom he treated like a slave. Virgil would eventually grow tired of DiBiase's abuse and made an inspirational face turn at the 1991 Royal Rumble.

On an episode of "WWF Superstars of Wrestling," he announced his plan to buy the WWF Championship and offered Hulk Hogan a large sum to surrender the belt. However, Hogan refused and said that DiBiase would have to defeat him in the ring for the belt; this sparked a memorable feud between the two. Hogan got the upper hand in a series of matches, and a frustrated DiBiase approached Andr? the Giant to win the belt for him.

On February 5, 1988, on "The Main Event" (which aired live on NBC), Andr? defeated Hogan in a very questionable decision for the WWF Championship Andre then announced he was surrendering the belt and handed it to DiBiase. The WWF refused to acknowledge DiBiase as the champion (since the title cannot be bought or surrendered) and declared the title vacant. A tournament was announced to crown a new WWF Champion. DiBiase was runner-up in the tournament held at WrestleMania IV to fill the vacancy, defeated by "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

In late June 1988, DiBiase was revealed to be the benefactor of then-newcomer Brother Love, a corrupt televangelist and host of the Brother Love Show interview segment.

He was later involved in popular feuds with Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Big Boss Man and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. In 1990, he broke the then-"Iron Man" record by lasting over 40 minutes in the Royal Rumble after entering as the #1 entrant. He was eliminated by The Ultimate Warrior.

DiBiase has the distinction of introducing The Undertaker for the first time to the WWF at the 1990 Survivor Series as his "mystery teammate," claiming the Taker as his protege (Taker, however, had Brother Love as his manager when he came out).

In later years, DiBiase formed a very successful tag team, Money Inc., with Irwin R. Schyster (IRS). The duo were three-time WWF World Tag Team Champions. DiBiase wrestled until late 1993 when back and neck injuries forced him to leave active participation in the ring for good, but he remained on as a manager in both the WWF and later its rival, WCW.

In 1994, DiBiase tried his hand at commentating, announcing the 1994 Royal Rumble along with Vince McMahon. He was also a color commentator alongside the likes of Stan Lane and Gorilla Monsoon on WWF Wrestling Challenge. In addition, DiBiase also lent his announcing skills on matches that were taped exclusively for Coliseum Video releases.

Later in 1994, DiBiase, now acting as a manager, "purchased" the services of many wrestlers for his Million Dollar Corporation stable in the WWF, which over time included I.R.S., Bam Bam Bigelow, Nikolai Volkoff, Kama, King Kong Bundy, Sycho Sid and, in a most surprising heel turn, Tatanka. DiBiase also renewed his connection with the Undertaker after the latter's six-month hiatus after the January Royal Rumble. Saying that he had brought the Undertaker to the WWF, and he was going to bring him back, DiBiase debuted a new Undertaker under his control. (This Undertaker however proved to be a fake Undertaker played by Brian Lee and was subsequently defeated by the real Undertaker at SummerSlam.)

As a manager, DiBiase would also later introduce "The Ringmaster" Steve Austin to the WWF.

DiBiase's millionaire gimmick later influenced the characters of Tiger Ali Singh and John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

In WCW, DiBiase managed the nWo immediately after their formation in 1996, claiming to be financing the group (thus playing on his "Million Dollar Man" gimmick which WCW could not legally use outright; instead, he was referred to as "Trillionaire Ted", a play on the "Billionaire Ted" nickname of Ted Turner). Less than a year later, he left the nWo and made a shocking face turn, managing The Steiner Brothers against the nWo until Scott turned heel and joined the group. DiBiase also managed Ray Traylor for a while as an ally to the Steiners but eventually stopped managing altogether.

Despite playing a character fans badly hated, DiBiase is fondly remembered, so much so that he was chosen as a legend fans wanted to see in the SmackDown! games, during a poll survey done by THQ.

In April 2005, DiBiase was hired as a creative consultant and road agent for the SmackDown! brand of World Wrestling Entertainment.

On October 3, 2005, at WWE Homecoming to the USA Network, DiBiase appeared with other WWE legends in a special legends ceremony. He eventually led the attack on Rob Conway who had come down to the ring to insult the legends. He was also seen in a segment involving Mae Young where he offered her money to stop "flashing" backstage.

DiBiase has lately been trying to get the copyrights to his original theme music "It's All About The Money". The reasons for this have not been revealed.

DiBiase inducted his former manager Sensational Sherri into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1, 2006, and made a cameo at WrestleMania 22, offering Eugene $1000 to dribble a basketball 100 times backstage. In typical fashion he kicked the ball away at the last second.

DiBiase also appeared on RAW on April 17, 2006, after an Unlimited segment. The segment included Goldust and Gene Snitsky asking Candice Michelle to do "things" with a big chunk of Jarlsberg cheese. DiBiase was shown behind a newspaper doing his famous evil laugh as the camera went off air.

DiBiase also appeared at the RAW Family Reunion on October 9, 2006 aiding Ric Flair in his match with the Spirit Squad. On October 26, 2006, Ted DiBiase was released from his WWE contract by World Wrestling Entertainment.


Old Post 01-26-2007 03:52 PM
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post #51  quote:

The next inductee is the most popular wrestler in British wrestling history, Big Daddy Shirley Crabtree.

Shirley Crabtree, Jr., better known as Big Daddy (November 14, 1930 ? December 2, 1997) was an English professional wrestler known for his record-breaking 62 inch chest.

Crabtree, a former rugby player for league club Bradford Northern who never made an appearance for the first teams due to his fiery temper often forcing him off the pitch early[1], would have stints as a coal miner and with the British Army's Coldstream Guards before following in his father, Shirley Crabtree, Sr.'s footsteps and becoming a professional wrestler in 1952.

Crabtree, Jr. became a big hit in the late 1950s and early 1960s with heel gimmicks, calling himself The Blonde Adonis, Mr. Universe and The Battling Guardsman. Crabtree won two titles in the British Wrestling Federation before he quit out of frustration and retired for roughly 15 years.

With the rising popularity of the spectacle on television (World of Sport on ITV), Shirley's brother, Max Crabtree, one of the most powerful wrestling promoters in British history, brought Shirley back to wrestling with All Star Joint Promotions under the persona he would best be remembered for.

Based originally on the character of the same name played by actor Burl Ives in the 1958 screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Big Daddy was first given life by Crabtree in 1976, playing the good guy. A firm fan favorite, Big Daddy came to the ring in his signature Union Jack jacket and top hat to a theme tune in the form of "We Shall Not Be Moved" by The Seekers, in 1980 Shirley Crabtree recorded his own version on EMI Records backed by rock guitarist Legendary Lonnie.

Big Daddy feuded with Mick McManus and Giant Haystacks among others and would also be noted as the first man to remove the mask from Kendo Nagasaki during a televised match.

As Big Daddy, Crabtree would often team with many rising stars within the country including Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, and Steven Regal. Crabtree was also instrumental in starting the pro wrestling career of former Judo great Christopher Adams in 1978.

Though Big Daddy's weight and age precluded many more unique wrestling moves; making him a frequent user of many generic wrestling throws, body slams etc. he would be met by cheers whenever he wrestled. Big Daddy's more famous attacks would involve his large abdomen to great effect often using "Belly-Butts" (thrusting his pelvis forward to slam his belly into an oncoming opponent) before finishing off opponents with his "belly-splash" in which he jumped vertically down onto the body of a fallen opponent. These more memorable moves in Daddy's arsenal were often met with chants of "Easy, Easy" from the crowd.

In August 1987, Big Daddy bowed out of the professional wrestling spotlight after a tragic turn of events during the final moments of the match against Mal "King Kong" Kirk. After Big Daddy had delivered his belly-splash, rather than selling the impact of the finishing move, Kirk turned an unhealthy color and was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. Despite the fact that the inquest into Kirk's death found that he had a serious heart condition and cleared Crabtree of any responsibility, Crabtree was devastated and nevertheless blamed himself for Kirk's death. He continued to make sporadic appearances into the early 90s, but eventually retired from wrestling to spend the remainder of his days in his hometown of Halifax.

Crabtree died of a stroke in Halifax General Hospital, leaving his second wife of 31 years, Eunice, and six children, after retirement in Halifax, at the age of 67 in December 1997.

Big Daddy had his own comic strip in Buster during the early 80s drawn by Mike Lacey.

Crabtree's 64 inch chest earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was publicly linked to being a fan of Big Daddy, as was then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Known for wearing his various Big Daddy leotards, Crabtree's original one was emblazoned with just a large "D" and was fashioned by his wife Eunice from their chintz sofa.

While scouting Britain for talent, Bruce Hart (the son of Stu Hart) observed the "Big Daddy" gimmick and reused it for a wrestler in Stampede Wrestling, Sylvester Ritter, who subsequently became "Big Daddy" Ritter.

Shirley Crabtree's nephew Eorl Crabtree plays prop position on the Huddersfield Giants team of the rugby league.

The European version of the multiformat game Legends of Wrestling II featured Big Daddy as an exclusive extra Legendary Wrestler.

Championships and accomplishments

British Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

European Heavyweight Championship (2 times)


Old Post 02-09-2007 08:30 AM
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post #52  quote:

The next inductee is the magnificant Don Muraco.

Don Muraco (Born Don Morrow on September 10, 1949), also known as The Magnificent Muraco is a retired Hawaiian professional wrestler who was a dominant figure in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Muraco wrestled in the AWA, and several NWA territories (including Vancouver-based NWA All-Star Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions). His greatest success was in the early 80's in the WWF where he held the Intercontinental Championship twice for a combined period of almost 18 months.

The hugely muscular and genuinely intimidating Don Muraco had bloody feuds with Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Rocky Johnson and Jimmy Snuka. Muraco's character was based on being an incredibly arrogant heel, and in one of his more famous moments, he brought a sandwich to the ring and ate it during the match as a show of disrespect to his opponent.

During his tenure in the WWF, Muraco had several colorful managers (The Grand Wizard, Captain Lou Albano, Mr. Fuji, and Superstar Billy Graham). Fuji and Muraco debuted Fuji Vice, a soap opera starring them (and parodying Miami Vice) on Tuesday Night Titans in 1985 (Fuji General Hospital, a parody of the ABC soap General Hospital, followed soon after).

It is rumored that Muraco was fired from the WWF in late 1988 after supposedly "disrespecting" booker Nick Bockwinkel; after that, Muraco split his time between Stampede Wrestling (where he defeated Makhan Singh to win the North American Heavyweight title), the AWA and Herb Abrams' UWF, where he feuded with a young Cactus Jack.

In the early 90's Muraco was one of the first to hold the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, before it became Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Although Muraco wrestled mostly as a heel, his intensity, charisma and cockiness won him many fans, especially in New York and Philadelphia. Along with Ric Flair, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage, Muraco was a precursor to the 90's Attitude era, when lines were blurred between Heels and Faces.

He was the first wrestler to be known as The Rock, originally simply as a play on his name and his finishing maneuver, which The Undertaker would later call the Tombstone Piledriver, was the infamous reverse piledriver.

After retiring from the ring, Muraco returned to Hawaii. In 2003 he co-founded Hawaii Championship Wrestling along with local Hawaii TV producer Linda Bade. He served as the Director of Operations and Commissioner of Hawaii Championship Wrestling until 2006 where due to a falling out with management obtained his release.

In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Mick Foley, who, like other such as Tommy Dreamer, Bubba Ray Dudley ans D-Von Dudley, credits the famous WWE Intercontinental Championship match between Muraco and Snuka he attended at Madison Square Garden as his inspiration for breaking into professional wrestling.

Championships and accomplishments

ECW Heavyweight Champion (2 times)

NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA Florida Television Championship (1 time)

Stampede Intercontinental Champion (1 time)

WWF Intercontinental Champion (2 times)

First WWF King of the Ring (1985)

American Title


Old Post 02-17-2007 04:42 PM
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post #53  quote:

The next inductee is one of the great wrestlers of the WWE's early day. Pedro Morales.

Pedro Morales (born October 22, 1942) is a retired, Puerto Rican professional wrestler. He began his wrestling career as a teenager in 1959 and continued through the mid-1980s. Notably, Morales was the first man in wrestling history to win all three major men's titles in the World Wrestling Federation: the WWWF Heavyweight Championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Pedro debuted in 1959 at the Sunnyside Gardens, beating Buddy Gilbert. Morales was the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Champion from February 8, 1971 until December 1, 1973. He also held the World Wrestling Association Championship in California circa 1965, the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship on two occasions, and the WWF World Tag Team Championship with Bob Backlund. Morales made his only WrestleMania appearance in 1986 when he was a part of a 20-man invitational battle royal at WrestleMania 2.

Pedro Morales was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1995.

Championships and accomplishments

NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (Hawaii version) (3 times)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (1 time) - with Pat Patterson

NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Bing Ki Lee (1) and Ed Francis (2)

NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA Florida Television Championship (1 time)

NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Rocky Johnson

WWA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

WWA Tag Team Championship (4 times) - with Luis Hernandez (1), Mark Lewin (1), Ricky Romero (1), and Victor Rivera (1)

WWC Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Carlitos Colon

WWC North American Championship (2 times)

WWWF World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

WWF Intercontinental Championship (2 times)

WWF World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Bob Backlund

WWWF United States Championship (1 time)

Member WWE Hall of Fame (inducted in 1995)

First Triple Crown Champion

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Ranked #111 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years (2003).
PWI Wrestler of the Year (1972)

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

1981 Most Overrated Wrestler

1982 Most Overrated Wrestler


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post #54  quote:

I have a few I think belongs on the list. Although not a single wrestler "THE FOUR HORSEMEN" deserve a mention.
The "MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW" OLE AND GENE ANDERSON. Also Paul Jones.


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post #55  quote:

The next inductee is a legendary faction in wrestlings history, a faction that has had many great wrestlers involved. The faction is the Four Horsemen.

The Four Horsemen were a popular professional wrestling stable in the NWA and later WCW. The original group featured Ric Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson have been constant members in each incarnation of the group.

The Four Horsemen formed in January 1986 with Flair, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew consisting of Arn and Ole Anderson, and Blanchard, with James J. Dillon as their manager. They feuded with Dusty Rhode, The Rock 'N Roll Express, Nikita Koloff, and The Road Warriors. They always had most of the titles in the NWA, and they often bragged about their success (in the ring and with women) in their interviews.

The Four Horsemen moniker was not planned from the start. Due to time-constraints at a TV taping, production threw together an impromptu tag team interview of Flair, the Andersons, Blanchard and Dillon. It was during this interview that Arn said something to the effect of "The only time this much havoc had been wreaked by this few a number of people, you need to go all the way back to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!" Nevertheless, Arn has said in an RF Video shoot interview that he, Flair and Blanchard were as close as anybody could be away from the ring while they were together. They lived the gimmick outside of the arena, as they took limos and jets to the cities they wrestled in.

In February 1987, WCW newcomer Lex Luger was made an associate member of the group after he expressed his desire to become a Horseman. The others started to leave Ole out of things and eventually he was kicked out in favor of Luger. The fact that Ole missed a show to watch his son Brian wrestle was used against Ole in the split as Blanchard and Dillon questioned Ole's loyalty and Tully called Brian a "snot-nosed kid."

During this time, they wrestled Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering in a series of War Games matches. These matches were brutal and ended up with all 5 members of each team in the cage at the end trying to make somebody submit. During the first match, Dillon suffered a separated shoulder from a botched attempt at the Warriors' finishing move, the Doomsday Device. Dillon landed directly on his right arm and shoulder, and was replaced for the series of matches by the masked War Machine.

Luger was kicked out for first blaming Horseman manager J.J. Dillon for costing him the U.S. Title, when his attempt to help him win by cheating backfired, and subsequently, not allowing Dillon to win a Bunkhouse Stampede match as the Horsemen had agreed to among themselves. In January 1988 he teamed with Barry Windham to feud with the Horsemen. The pair even defeated Anderson and Blanchard for the NWA World Tag Team Championship at the inaugural Clash of the Champions. In April 1988, Windham turned on Luger and took his spot in the Horsemen during a title defense against Anderson and Blanchard. This group of Horsemen has been called the greatest as far as technical wrestlers goes. It was also in this year when the Horsemen held all of the major NWA titles at once, with Flair as the World Champion, Windham as the United States Champion, and Arn and Tully as the Tag Team Champions. This feat would not be duplicated until the 2000 reformation of the nWo, which had 7 rather than 4 members.

In September 1988, Arn Anderson and Blanchard left to join the WWF dropping the tag titles at the very last minute to the Midnight Express. Flair, Windham, and Dillon continued to refer to themselves as "the Horsemen" and the NWA even flirted with the idea of bringing in new members. Butch Reed was signed to wrestle solo matches with Dillon as his manager. Then in February 1989, Barry's brother Kendall Windham appeared to have joined them and even held up the 4 fingers after turning on Eddie Gilbert during a tag team match. Then Dillon left to take a front office job with the WWF, and they dropped the Horsemen name, hiring Hiro Matsuda as their new manager. Shortly thereafter, Windham would lose the US Title to Lex Luger and he too would depart for the WWF.

The Horsemen concept helped define the NWA in the mid to late 1980's. The departure of Anderson and Blanchard was huge at the time and despite numerous revivals over the coming decade, things would never quite be the same.

The Horsemen reformed in December 1989 in the NWA. Flair, Arn & Ole Anderson, and long standing rival Sting formed the group in a shocker. They were faces and feuded with Gary Hart's J-Tex Corporation of Terry Funk, Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer and The Dragonmaster. At the culmination of this feud the group returned to being heels, kicking Sting out for daring to challenge Ric Flair for the World Title. Woman soon became Flair's valet. They feuded with Luger, Sting, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner and El Gigante during this time.

In May 1990, Ole became the manager and they added Barry Windham and Sid Vicious to fill out the group. They feuded with the Dudes With Attitudes which consisted of Sting, Luger, the Steiner Brothers, Paul Orndorff and Junkyard Dog. By the end of 1990, Ole and Woman left the NWA. Ted Turner had bought Jim Crockett Promotions, the largest faction of the NWA, and turned it into WCW.

In October 1990, another Horsemen legend occurred. Barry Windham dressed up as Sting and attempted to get pinned by Sid Vicious for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. It completely backfired as Sting ended up winning the match.

The Horsemen line-up of Flair, Anderson, Windham and Vicious eventually broke up and went their own ways. In May 1991, Sid left for the WWF. Flair would also join the WWF in August of that year. Windham turned face during a feud with soon-to-be WCW Champion Lex Luger. Anderson started teaming with Larry Zybysko; the duo soon joined Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance
The next incarnation was from March 1993 to December 1993. Flair returned from the WWF to WCW to rejoin Arn and they promised a Horsemen reunion at the Slamboree PPV. WWF superstar Paul Roma replaced Blanchard who could not work out a contract to show up. Ole was on hand as the adviser but made only one appearance on A Flair for the Gold. This group of Horsemen is considered the weakest group. They were good guys again and feuded with Barry Windham, Steve Austin and Brian Pillman. This group ended with Roma turning on Arn to join Paul Orndorff as the tag team of Pretty Wonderful.

In 1995, Flair and Arn (back to being heels) were teaming with Vader to torment Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. After Vader lost to Hogan in a steel cage match at Bash at the Beach, Flair entered the cage and lambasted him. Vader snapped and attacked Flair, and Arn came to his rescue. This led to a handicap match at Clash of the Champions XXXI, in which Vader defeated the team of Flair and Arn. Flair and Arn began to bicker, as Arn always felt he was doing Flair's dirty work; a feud developed that led to a match at the Fall Brawl PPV on September 19, 1995 in Asheville, North Carolina. Arn defeated Flair with the help of Brian Pillman. Flair begged Sting to help him against them but he did not trust Flair. After weeks, Sting agreed and Flair ended up turning on him at the Halloween Havoc PPV to reform the Horsemen with Arn and Pillman. They quickly added Chris Benoit to fill out the group. This version of the Horsemen feuded with Hogan, Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger. Flair eventually took Miss Elizabeth and Woman from Hogan and Savage, and they were his valets for the next 6 months.

In early 1996, Pillman started his infamous "Loose Cannon" storyline and started a feud with Kevin Sullivan. He ended up leaving WCW for the WWF in February and Benoit took over to create one of the most talked about feuds of all time. In this feud, Woman (Nancy Daus), who was really married to Sullivan, left him for Benoit. However, life imitated art, as Daus did in fact leave Sullivan for Benoit. This feud got heated and it is a common belief that some of the matches were shoot fights rather than the pre-planned matches.

In June 1996, former football player Steve "Mongo" McMichael turned on Kevin Greene in a "gimmick match" and joined them. Debra was chased to the back by Woman and Elizabeth. She came back with them and a briefcase. Mongo opened it to reveal a shirt and money. He took the case and hit Greene. That gave the group another ringside valet, as Mongo's then-wife Debra came with him. The online rumors pages said that Debra and Woman did not get along behind the scenes. This quickly played out on TV too, as they constantly bickered and Benoit and Mongo would have to step in.

When the nWo invaded WCW in 1996, the Horsemen became babyfaces again to feud with them. Miss Elizabeth left the Horsemen for the nWo.

Flair let Jeff Jarrett join in February 1997 but the others did not want him. He bickered with Mongo over Debra's attention and in July he was kicked out by Flair. Uncharacteristically of the Horsemen, Jarrett was allowed to literally walk away, instead of receiving a classic Horsemen beatdown, as was expected. He eventually took Debra from Mongo but Mongo took Jarrett's United States Title. To this date, amongst fans and members of the Four Horsemen, there is still debate whether to include Jeff Jarrett as a Horsemen. In his biography, Arn Anderson clearly states that "Jeff Jarrett was never a Horseman". His "membership" and his easy departure leaves the situation ambiguous. The Four Horsemen usually pick their own members, but at the time, WCW held extreme control over story lines and this may have forced them to accept a member for those purposes only and not by choice.

In August 1997, Arn Anderson retired due to a neck/back injury that would not allow him to wrestle. Curt Hennig took his spot as "The Enforcer." In September, Hennig turned on the Horsemen and joined the nWo. Flair disbanded the group and they went their separate ways.

The last incarnation came in September 1998. Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit kept going to Arn about reforming the Horsemen. He kept saying no. JJ Dillon, back in WCW's front office, even made a request. Arn eventually gave in and they reformed the Horsemen with Mongo and Flair and Arn was the manager. They feuded with the nWo and Eric Bischoff, who Flair had some real backstage problems with.

In early 1999, the Horsemen turned heel again. Mongo had recently departed the wrestling world and they were down to Benoit, Malenko, Flair and Arn as the manager. They also had a biased referee for them, Charles Robinson. David Flair started hanging around with Torrie Wilson and Flair had the Horsemen help David keep the US Title that Flair had given to him. Flair was the (onscreen) President of WCW at this time, and had stripped Scott Steiner of the title. Flair started being selfish and ignoring Benoit and Malenko in favor of other wrestlers so they left him in May, which effectively ended the Four Horsemen.


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post #56  quote:

They invaded the WWF at one point although I think they had dropped the 4 Horseman name. Flair, Benoit. Arn and one other if I'm not mistaken.

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post #57  quote:

The next inductee is a legendary manager who brought about the greatest fusion of Celebrities and Wrestling, he is Captain Lou Albano.

Louis Albano, better known as Captain Lou, is an American professional wrestler and manager. With an over-the-top personality and a penchant for making boisterous declarations, Albano was the epitome of the antagonistic manager that raised the ire of wrestlers and incited the anger of spectators. Throughout his forty year career, Albano guided 15 different tag teams and 4 singles competitors to championship gold. A unique showman, with an elongated beard, rubberband facial piercings, and loud outfits, he was the forefather of the 1980s Rock 'n' Wrestling explosion. Collaborating with Cyndi Lauper, Albano helped usher in wrestling's crossover success with a mainstream audience. Capitalizing on his success, the Hall of Famer later ventured into Hollywood with various television, film, and music projects.

Captain Lou was born Louis Albano in Carmel, New York to Dr. Carmen and Eleanor Albano. After briefly attending the University of Tennessee on a football scholarship, Albano left school to join the Army. During his tour, Albano became interested in WWWF when he was working at a bar as a bouncer when he met two WWWF superstars. Albano made his professional wrestling debut by defeating Bob Lazaro in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1953.

Albano achieved moderate success as a tag team performer with partner Tony Altimore. Dubbed The Sicilians, Altimore and Albano drew considerable heat competing as a stereotypical Italian gangster combo. Their realistic depiction of their characters caught the attention of actual mafiosi. The two were approached by local mafia members who requested that the duo tone down their act. Over the next few years, The Sicilians continued their success by winning the Midwest tag team titles and later the WWWF United States Tag Team Championship from Arnold Skaaland and Spiro Arion.

Following the encouragement of fellow wrestler Bruno Sammartino, Albano transformed himself into the brash, bombastic manager Captain Lou Albano. With a quick wit and a grating personality, Albano delivered memorable promos that made him wrestling's most villainous manager. He earned the scorn of the wrestling audience as he attempted to dethrone World Wide Wrestling Federation superstar and WWWF champion Bruno Sammartino. In 1971, Albano achieved his objective when "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff ended Sammartino's seven year reign as champion. Koloff's reign marked the only time that Albano would manage a World Heavyweight champion. For the remainder of the seventies Albano's cadre of loyal henchmen were unable to resecure the championship.

Notwithstanding, Albano guided singles wrestlers such as Pat Patterson, Don Muraco, and Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine to the Intercontinental Championship. Furthermore, Albano carved a prolific legacy that remains unmatched by guiding over a dozen teams to the WWWF World Tag Team Championships. Under his tutelage, Mr. Fuji and Mr Saito, The Valiant Brothers, Wild Samoans, The Moondogs, and The British Bulldogs were a few of many that solidified Albano as wrestling premiere tag team manager. By the end of his career, Albano managed over 50 different wrestlers that won two dozen championships.

By the 1980s, Albano appeared in pop sensation Cyndi Lauper's wildly popular Girls Just Want To Have Fun music video. Parlaying the venture, new WWWF owner Vince McMahon devised the Rock n Wrestling storyline, a collaboration and cross-promotion between the newly renamed WWF and elements of music industry. Albano was the catalyst that launched professional wrestling into the stratosphere with mainstream America. During a public appearance at Madison Square Garden, the treacherous manager made sexist comments that outraged the singer and non-wrestling fans. Furthermore, on WWF television, Albano made the audacious claims that he was Lauper's manager and that he was the architect of her success. The two settled their differences on the MTV/WWF special "The War To Settle The Score". Following Lauper's victory at the event, Albano apologized to Lauper and instantly became a fan favorite and the voice of Rock n Wrestling. The crossover storyline, coupled with the Hulkamania phenomenon and the first WrestleMania, triggered a period of unprecendented success for not only the WWF, but for the professional wrestling industry as a whole. Moreover, Albano helped cement wrestling's place within pop culture. Following the colossal success of the Rock N Wrestling Connection, Albano left the WWF in 1986 to focus on various projects. Except for a brief return in 1994 to manage The Headshrinkers, Albano has since retired from the wrestling industry.

Capitalizing on his new found celebrity, Albano began appearing in a vast array of television and film projects. Throughout the late eighties, Albano appeared in "227", "Miami Vice", "Hey Dude", Brian De Palma's Wiseguys and the 1987 wrestling movie Body Slam. Expanding into music, Albano managed and performed with rockers NRBQ. He was immortalized in the song "Captain Lou" on their Lou and the Q album.

In 1989, on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee", Albano shaved his trademark beard to star as the iconic video game character Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. The one-time villain hosted live action segments during interludes of the Mario cartoon, as provide the voice of his animated counterpart.

During the 1990s, Albano became a vegetarian and shed 150 lbs. following a health scare. In May 2005, Albano suffered a heart attack, but later recovered. Despite his health issues and foray into mainstream entertainment, Albano continues to be involved in the wrestling industry. He continues to appear on independent and reunion shows. Also, Albano co-authored the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pro-Wrestling. In 1996, Albano was enshrined into the WWF Hall of Fame.


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post #58  quote:

Inreview.com Wrestling Hall of Fame:

1. Andre The Giant

2. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

3. Jerry 'the King' Lawler

4. Kendo Nagasaki

5. Lou Thezs

6. The Fabulous Moolah

7. Bob Backlund

8. 'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers

9. 'Superstar' Billy Graham

10. Gory Guerrero

11. 'Polish Power' Ivan Putski

12. The Original Shiek

13. Good Ol' J.R

14. The nWo

15. 'Hot Rod' Rowdy Roddy Piper

16. Jake 'the Snake' Roberts

17. 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair

18. Les Kellet

19. Bobby 'the Brain' Heenan

20. Bruno Sammartino

21. 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka

22. Sting

23.'Ravishing' Rick Rude

24. King Harley Race

25. Gorrilla Monsoon

26. Classy Freddie Blassie

27. Pat Patterson

28. Abdullah the Butcher

29. Terry Funk

30. Special Delivery Jones

31. The Undertaker

32. Wahoo McDaniel

33. Bret 'the Hitman' Hart

34. Owen Hart

35. Antonio Inoki

36. 'Handsome' Jimmy Valiant

37. 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes

38. Bobo Brazil

39. Gorgeous George

40. Fritz Von Erich

41. Rikidozan

42. 'Flying' Brian Pillman

43. 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase

44. 'Big Daddy' Shirley Crabtree

45. 'The Magnificent' Don Muraco

46. Pedro Morales

47. IV Horsemen

48. Cpt. Lou Albano


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post #59  quote:

The next inductee is a true Icon of Wrestling and a WWE great. The legendary Chief Jay Strongbow.

Joseph Luke Scarpa was a professional wrestler who was best known by his famous ring moniker, Chief Jay Strongbow. Scarpa portrayed a Native American wrestler (he is an Italian American) who wore a traditional headdress to the ring, and would "go on the warpath" when the fans started cheering him on against an opponent.

Strongbow's career started in 1947, using his given name Joe Scarpa. Scarpa was a standout in the Georgia and Florida territories of the National Wrestling Alliance throughout the '50s and '60s, winning several championships and becoming a solid fan favorite. By 1970, he was working for Vincent J. McMahon's World Wide Wrestling Federation, and was now known as Chief Jay Strongbow. Strongbow's greatest success was found in the tag team ranks of the WWWF. Strongbow held the World Tag Team Championship on four occasions. The first came on May 22, 1972, when Strongbow partnered with Sonny King to take the titles from the team of Baron Mikel Scicluna and King Curtis Iaukea. Strongbow & King held the titles for about a month.

Four and a half years later, on December 7, 1976, Strongbow again won the World Tag Team Championship, this time with partner Billy White Wolf. The team won the titles in a three-team tournament, defeating The Executioners and Nikolai Volkoff & Tor Kamata. The team of Strongbow and White Wolf was one of the most popular of the era, but their reign was cut short in 1977 when the belts were vacated due to White Wolf suffering a neck injury at the hands of Ken Patera's Swinging Full Nelson.

Strongbow's last two World Tag Team title reigns came with his "brother", Jules Strongbow. On June 28, 1982, the Strongbows won the titles from Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito in New York City's Madison Square Garden. The match was controversial at the time; special guest referee Ivan Putski counted the winning fall, but did not see Fuji's foot draped over the bottom rope. Fuji and Saito would regain the titles a short time later, but would lose them back to the Strongbows on October 26.

The Chief also had a storied singles career in the WWWF. He feuded with the likes of "The Golden Greek" Spiros Arion, "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant, and Superstar Billy Graham. His most famous feud was against Greg Valentine, who broke Strongbow's leg in 1979. The two waged war all over the WWF circuit, most famously in a violent "Indian Strap Match" in Madison Square Garden, on July 30, 1979.

Strongbow also competed for The Sheik's Big Time Wrestling promotion in Detroit. He had a memorable feud with "Bulldog" Don Kent, which culminated in a bizarre "shark cage match" in 1977. Strongbow and Kent fought inside of a small shark cage, with the first man to escape being declared the winner. With an assist from fellow fan favorite Mark Lewin, Strongbow was able to escape the shark cage victorious.

Strongbow retired in 1985, but would still step back into the ring from time to time, most notably for a legends battle royal in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 1987. In retirement, Strongbow became a WWF road agent and worked in the company's front office. He also participated in a 1993 storyline in which he mentored Tatanka, in his feud with Irwin R. Schyster. Chief Jay Strongbow was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, by his protege Tatanka, in 1994.

Championships and accomplishments

Missouri Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Title (2 times)

Northern Alliance Wrestling Tag Team Championship (with Don Curtis) (1 time)

NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Championship (2 times)

NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA Florida Southern Tag Team Championship (3 times)

NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (1 time)

NWA World Tag Team Championship (Florida version) (1 time) - with Don Curtis

NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (3 times) - with Lester Welch (2) and Alex Perez (1)

PWI ranked him # 214 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.

PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year award in 1973

PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award in 1979.

WWWF | WWF World Tag Team Championship (4 times) - with Sonny King (1), Billy White Wolf (1), and Jules Strongbow (2)

WWF Hall of Fame (Class of 1994)


Old Post 05-10-2007 01:39 AM
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post #60  quote:

The next inductee is a wrestler who career spanned the majority of the 70s, 80's and early 90's. This man is Tito Santana

Merced Solis (born May 10, 1953) better known by his ring name Tito Santana, is a semi-retired Mexican-American professional wrestler whose career spanned from the late 70s to the early 90s. Despite his Mexican heritage, he rarely competed in Lucha Libre promotions, being more accustomed to the American style of professional wrestling.

Before becoming a wrestler, Santana played tight end for West Texas State University. The quarterback for the team was future professional wrestler Tully Blanchard. After he graduated, he tried out with the Kansas City Chiefs but was cut during training camp. He played one season for the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League in 1976, appearing in 13 regular-season games. After one season with the Lions, he became a professional wrestler.

He worked briefly in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the American Wrestling Association (AWA), but gained his fame by wrestling in the World Wrestling Federation.

On October 22, 1979, he earned the Tag Team Championship with the Polish superstar Ivan Putski.

In 1984, he feuded with the Magnificent Don Muraco for the Intercontinental Championship, which he won on February 11 (becoming the first-ever Mexican-American wrestler to have ever won the WWF Intercontinental Championship). He then entered into a historic and bitterly contested feud over the Intercontinental Championship with Greg Valentine. Valentine captured it from Santana in September, 1984 in London, Ontario. The rivalry intensified with Valentine injuring Santana's knee with his dreaded figure four leg lock putting Santana out of action for several months.

Tito returned at WrestleMania, and in the opening match defeated a masked wrestler known as The Executioner. Tito and Greg Valentine would go on to wrestle a memorable series of singles and tag team matches with neither gaining the upper hand. During these matches they would wrestle in a variety of different type of matches from regular title matches, to no disqualification matches, to lumberjack matches.

Tito would also employ a variety of partners in attempt to gain the upper hand. These regular partners included the Junkyard Dog and Ricky Steamboat. In these tag matches Tito would even force Valentine to submit to his own version of the figure four leg lock and this earned Santana another series of title shots at the Intercontinental Title.

In July, 1985, Tito Santana regained the Intercontinental Title in a steel cage match in Baltimore. With both men trying to escape the horrors of the cage, Tito over the top and Valentine through the door, it appeared that the champ would retain his title. However with Tito climbing over the cage, he was in a position to kick the door closed into "the Hammer" as he tried to escape, climbing to the floor and winning the match. Valentine proceeded to throw a tantrum and smashed the title belt repeately into the cage, destroying it, which led to the creation of a new belt design that would remain until 1998. Santana held the title for another 7 months before losing it to "Macho Man" Randy Savage in a hard-fought match at the Boston Garden. Savage would win the title by hitting Santana with a foreign object, which would lead to a series of rematches where Savage would intentionally get himself disqualified in order to keep the belt, resulting in a series of no-disqualification matches where Savage barely managed to escape with a win.

In late 1987, Tito Santana formed a tag team with former AWA World Champion Rick Martel named Strike Force. The team quickly won the Tag Team championship from the Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) in October, 1987. They successfully defended it until WrestleMania IV (March 1988) where they lost it to Demolition (Ax & Smash).

Due to a neck injury suffered by Martel shortly after WrestleMania, the team was inactive until WrestleMania V in 1989. In a match against the Brain Busters (Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson), Martel turned on Tito during the match, leaving Tito to face both opponents alone.

Santana remained a singles wrestler and feuded with Martel for a time. After the Ultimate Warrior won the WWF Championship from Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI (effectively vacating the Intercontinental Title) Santana took part in the tournament to name a new Intercontinental Champion. Santana made it to the finals, and lost to Mr. Perfect. In an attempt to keep his career going, he later adopted a Spanish bullfighter gimmick and the nickname "El Matador" in 1991, which he wrestled under until leaving in 1993.

He won the ECW Championship in August 1993 by defeating Don Muraco but forfeited the championship later that year to Shane Douglas.

Tito's favorite finisher was the "The Flying Forearm Smash." The move was referred to as "The Mexican Hammer" while he was partnered with Ivan Putski (Putski's finisher was "The Polish Hammer"). It was later called "The Flying Jalapeno" by WWF color man Bobby Heenan (who, at times, also referred to the maneuver as "Extra Hot Paste Picante" and "El Salsa de So-So"), and later referred to mockingly by Jesse Ventura as "The Flying Burrito." By the time Santana wrestled in the AWF, commentators appropriately referred to it as "The Flying Burrito" or simply "The Burrito."

As "El Matador" he added a variation of his forearm smash called "El Paso del Muerte" (translated to English: "The passing of the death")- after punching his opponent in the gut and then raising his arms like a bull's horns, Tito would bounce off the ropes and deliver a flying elbow to the back of his opponent's head.

During his legendary feud with Greg Valentine, Tito appropriated the figure-four leglock as a secondary finisher, and kept it for the remainder of his WWF tenure.

In 1998, Tito also served as spanish commentator alongside Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich at WrestleMania XIV in Boston.

On January 10, 2000, Santana made a one time appearance in WCW. He beat Jeff Jarrett in a Dungeon Match on Nitro. After that he claimed to be invincible and gave Kevin Nash the big boot and broke his nose.

Solis is now a Spanish teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury Township, New Jersey where he lives with his wife Leah and their three sons Matthew, Michael and Mark. He owns Santana's Hair Salon in Succasunna.

In 2004, Tito Santana was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame although he still makes occasional appearances for independent wrestling promotions.


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