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Inreview Wrestling Hall of Fame post #1  quote:



Throughout wrestling history there have been wrestlers that have stood out above all others. In this place we will remember them.

Every year, from now on, wrestlers will be inducted into this wrestling Hall of Fame. It will be nothing to rival the WWE's hall of fame mind you but it will give Wrestlers forgotten by newer fans a place to be remembered on this site.


Last edited by White Tiger on 03-22-2006 at 10:38 PM |
Old Post 03-22-2006 10:23 PM
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post #2  quote:

The first inductee into the Inreview Wrestling Hall of Fame was the First real international Superstar of Wrestling: Andre the Giant.

At 7'4" and 500 pounds, Andre the Giant could have been famous for his size alone. His drive, talent and ambition, however, proved to be as big as Andre himself, and the wrestler became legendary for his achievements in and out of the ring.

Andre was born Andre Rene Roussimoff in Grenoble, France on May 19, 1946. His parents, Boris and Marian Roussimoff, and four siblings were of average size. Andre, however, suffered from acromegaly, a disease that results in an over abundance of growth hormones. Also known as Giantism, this disease caused Andre's body to continue growing his whole life, and by the time he was 17 he stood 6'7".

Due to his immense stature it seemed inevitable that Andre would excel in the wrestling world. He had just started to make a name for himself in the ring as "Monster Eiffel Tower" or "Monster Roussimoff" when French-Canadian wrestler Edouard Carpentier first laid eyes on him. Carpentier was impressed with Andre's raw talent and decided to bring him to North America. Andre began wrestling under the name Jean Ferre in Canada for Grand Prix Promotions. In a short time Andre went from the undercard to being a headlining name. Inspired by the movie King Kong he acquired the nickname, "The 8th Wonder of the World," which stayed with him for the rest of his career.

By the time Andre had performed in front of 20,000 wrestling fans in Montreal, his legend had reached Vince McMahon, Sr. at the World Wide Wrestling Federation's (WWWF) headquarters. McMahon would forever alter Andre's life. In 1972, McMahon signed Andre to wrestle for the WWWF and changed his name to capitalize on his colossal size. "Andre the Giant" became one of the most recognizable names in wrestling. Andre performed under his new name at Madison Square Garden, where he easily defeated his opponent Buddy Wolfe without breaking a sweat. Before long, Andre's venues were sold out and wrestlers lined up to perform in his shadow. As Andre's fame grew to stardom, he was featured in Sports Illustrated in the largest feature they had ever published.

In 1987 Andre drew the biggest crowd in WWF (formerly WWWF) history thus far. A record 90,000 fans packed the Pontiac Silver Dome in Detroit, Michigan to watch Andre wrestle fellow legend Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania III. In all, Andre participated at six WrestleManias and faced some of the toughest opponents in the business, including Big John Studd and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. For many years he was known as the "Uncrowned Champion," until he found his place in infamy and held the WWF title for the shortest reign in history. This wasn't the only championship Andre captured - he also won titles in the (NWA), (IWA) and the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Andre's fame also opened the door to Hollywood. He made his acting debut in 1975 as "Big Foot" in The Six Million Dollar Man. Andre enjoyed the experience and went on to appear in television shows including B.J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy and The Greatest American Hero, and movies such as Conan the Destroyer, Micki and Maude, and Trading Mom. His favorite role, and the one for which he is best remembered, was the lovable giant "Fezzik" in Rob Reiner's classic The Princess Bride.

Andre's last television appearance was on a celebration of 20 years of NWA/WCW wrestling on TBS. Sadly, over the years the effects of acromegaly had continued to wear down his body. Eventually his immense size was just too much for his heart, and Andre the Giant died in Paris, France in his hotel room on January 27, 1993. His ashes were later taken home and spread over his North Carolina ranch.

Though professionally Andre will always be remembered as The 8th Wonder of the World, he is known and loved by fans across the globe as The Gentle Giant.


Old Post 03-22-2006 10:29 PM
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post #3  quote:

The Second inductee into the Inreview Wrestling Hall of Fame is the man who, with Vince McMahon Jr, revolutionised the world of Wrestling: Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan, was born Terry Gene Bollea, on August 11, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia. Bollea is the youngest son of Pete Bollea, a construction foreman and Ruth Bollea, a homemaker and dance instructor. Bollea acquired an interest for wrestling in high school. He also had a love for music, skilled in both electric and bass guitar.. He went on to study at Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida. However, in spite of his education, his interests remained in the ring, and he never received his degree. Instead, he chose to devote his time to working out in a local gym, owned by wrestlers Jack and Jerry Brisco. Encouraged by these two brothers, Bollea spent a few months wrestling on some small circuits in the Southeast and in New Japan Wrestling.

In 1979, Bollea?s talent caught the attention of Vincent McMahon Sr., the legendary promoter/owner of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, then known as the WWF), the most prominent wrestling league in the Northeast. McMahon gave Bollea an opportunity to join the WWE - along with a new identity. Because of his massive physique (he stood 6?8? and weighed 303 pounds) and resemblance to the comic book hero the Incredible Hulk, McMahon suggested that Terry assume the name Hulk Hogan.

In 1980, Hogan had his debut bout against the fierce Andre the Giant. Hogan won the match, along with the respect and support of wrestling fans throughout the country. Actor Sylvester Stallone was so impressed by Hogan?s performance that he cast him as ?Thunderlips the Ultimate Male? in his 1982 movie Rocky III.

In 1984, Hogan was awarded the WWE championship belt for his memorable defeat of the Iron Sheik and Hogan, along with the related phenomena of ?Hulkamania,? rose to super-stardom. Hogan would hold this title for three more years during which his success continued to bolster public fascination with professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan and ?Hulkamania? was running wild everywhere across the world. Hulk Hogan sold out the very first historic and infamous Wrestlemania3 in 1987. His match against Andre the Giant is still held as one of the greatest matches of all time. Wrestlemania3 still holds the attendance record with a draw of over 93,000 fans. No one could escape the question ?Whatcha gonna do when ?Hulkamania? runs wild on you??

By 1985, Hogan had acquired tremendous popularity. His image was marketed to sell a multitude of products, and he began to take on leading roles in a number of films. In 1989, Hogan starred in a wrestling movie titled No Holds Barred. Hogan was seen in a number of box office films, which included Mr. Nanny (1993) and Santa with Muscles (1996). Hogan didn?t care about box office money, but quality entertainment for families. Children have always been Hogan?s main concern and love. During his career he has spent countless hours helping charities around the world.

The success Hogan enjoyed in the 1980s was counteracted by turbulence he endured through the early 1990s. Accused of providing anabolic steroids to its wrestlers, the WWE underwent a painful trial in which Hogan was called to testify against his former boss Vince McMahon Jr., (who succeeded his father as the WWE owner). Hogan?s admission of his steroid abuse put a major damper on both his wrestling and film careers. By the time this trial came about Hogan had cleaned up his act and gone legit. Many wrestlers if not all of them used steroids in the 80?s/early 90?s. At the time few knew the harmful affects of steroid use. Worn out and tired of the spotlight Hogan surprised the WWE fans one last time. At Wrestlemania8 he won back the title from Yokozuna (a last minute decision). This led many to believe that Hulk Hogan had decided to stay with the WWE and work through their problems. Unfortunately, it was the last time wrestling fans would see their invincible hero for quite some time.

Hogan surprised everyone by making a remarkable comeback to the wrestling arena in 1996 as his red and yellow character in Ted Turner's WCW. He later re-invented himself as ?Hollywood? Hogan, established himself as a villain and, once again, secured his popularity among wrestling fans. Hogan joined the NWO, (New World Order) a wrestling team that paired Hogan with two other wrestlers, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. This infamous chain of events gained immense support from wrestling fans and, ultimately, returned Hogan to the success of his past. In the summer of 2000, Hulk Hogan was in midst of yet another controversy. At Bash at the Beach Hogan had appeared to be ?fired?. This event is still debated as whether it was a work (fixed event) or an actual happening. After the infamous Bash at the Beach, wrestling fans were yet again left without their wrestling icon.

Miraculously, Hulk Hogan resurfaced yet again after a bold move by Vince McMahon. McMahon and Hogan held meetings and came to an understanding settling all past problems between the two. This act let fans see the reemergence of the bad boys known as the NWO. Hogan, Hall, and Nash rocked the WWE in February of 2002 at No Way Out. Hogan and the NWO?s first move was to destroy the current popular wrestler, The Rock. Hogan did manage to put The Rock out of action. However, The Rock returned right before WrestlemaniaX8 to challenge ?Hollywood? Hulk Hogan to a match. Hogan accepted and the rest is history. WrestlemaniaX8 put Hogan back on top with yet another historic wrestling confrontation. Despite Hogan?s heel status he was the fan favorite with overwhelming crowd pops during his match entitled ?Icon vs. Icon?. He managed to do something unimaginable. He turned the crowd against The Rock. Although he didn?t win the match he did however solidify the fact that ?Hulkamania? is forever. Hulk Hogan left the NWO and returned to the red and yellow (but with a Hollywood twist). With the crowd behind him once again, Hogan is proving that Hulk still rules and ?Hulkamania? is running wilder than ever. Hulk Hogan truly is immortal in the hearts of all his fans around the world.

Hogan?s career as a professional wrestler has spanned over two decades, and he remains to be one of the sports's most recognized figures. He is most noted for his accomplishments in bringing the WWE to the public masses. He is also largely responsible for the immense popularity of wrestling as a form of family entertainment. Hulk Hogan and wrestling is one. There is no separation of the two. Hogan is married to Linda Bollea, and they have two children, Nicholas and Brooke. Hogan?s influence to return to the spotlight can be notably credited to his Son and Father. Hogan?s Father had a heart felt talk with Hogan before his passing and asked him to return and set his career straight. Father knows best.


Old Post 03-23-2006 11:39 AM
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post #4  quote:

The Third inductee into the Inreview Wrestling Hall of Fame is, quite simply put, The King.

Jerry O'Neil (The King) Lawler (born November 29, 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee, United States) is a professional wrestler and wrestling commentator. He currently works for World Wrestling Entertainment as a color commentator for its RAW brand (with Joey Styles and Jonathan Coachman), and still infrequently wrestles for the promotion.

He is perhaps best known not for his considerable wrestling skills, but for a much-publicized feud with Andy Kaufman that was later revealed to be completely contrived ("a total work" in wrestling parlance). This feud included a widely-seen confrontation between the two on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Lawler unified the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title (defeating Curt Hennig on May 9, 1988) with the WCCW World Heavyweight Title (defeating Kerry Von Erich on December 13, 1988), creating the United States Wrestling Association Unified World Heavyweight Championship. He was a co-owner, along with Jerry Jarrett, of the now-defunct promotion. From its start in 1989 to its end in 1997, Jerry Lawler held the USWA heavyweight title a total of 27 times. Of course, this statistic must be interpreted in the light of how professional wrestling operates. He left the Memphis-based USWA for the WWF (now WWE) in 1993.

Jerry Lawler has made history as being the wrestler with the most championship reigns of all time. He has had more than 200 titles in his career. This includes the USWA title.

In 1999, perhaps inspired by fellow wrestler Jesse Ventura's successful run for the governorship of Minnesota, Lawler ran for mayor of Memphis, finishing third in a field of 12 candidates.

Earlier in his career, like many wrestlers, Lawler took his turns as both face ("good guy") and heel ("bad guy"). Perhaps the best gimmick of this period was his on-and-off feud with an erstwhile tag-team partner, Aussie wrestler "Superstar" Bill Dundee. A celebrated "grudge match" between the two at Memphis' Mid-South Coliseum represented a rare example of theatrical make-up blood actually being found in use at a pro wrestling event, since the match was being taped for an NBC television program documenting the rise in popularity of pro wrestling. Most blood in professional wrestling has traditionally been real, the result of "blading."

Jerry Lawler is responsible for Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart entering professional wrestling. Lawler wanted to record a wrestling album with him singing and, since they had gone to school together, he called Hart and asked him to be a part of it. So close are the two men that on April 2, 2005, when Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Lawler performed Hart's induction.

Throughout most of his stay in World Wrestling Entertainment, he has served as a color commentator, first with the promotion's syndicated programs and later on WWE RAW. Like many professional wrestling color commentators, Lawler often roots for the heel wrestlers. However, there are several heels Lawler despises and often shows a code of morality in his commentary--that is, unless one of the WWE's valets are involved, in which case he often uses innuendo to hype the valet (e.g., "Puppies!") and has been nicknamed "Puppy Patrol." Lawler's commentary began as far back as 1988, while with the CWA, and during the time, Lawler was responsible for some of the most hilarious one-liners in recent wrestling memory.

His son Brian, who has previously wrestled in WWE, is now performing in independent promotions. His ex-wife Stacy "The Kat" Carter also made a few in-ring appearances.

For those of you who are interested this is Jerry the King Lawler?s titles list:


American Wrestling Association
1-Time AWA World Heavyweight Champion
2-Time AWA World Tag Team Champion (with Bill Dundee)
4-Time AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion

Mid-Southern Wrestling
36-Time Mid-Southern Heavyweight Champion
11-Time Mid-Southern Tag Team Champion (with Jim White twice, Plowboy Frazier/Uncle Elmer twice, Bill Dundee 4 times, Jos LeDuc once, Austin Idol once and Big Bubba once)
3-Time Mid-Southern International Champion
2-Time Mid-American Heavyweight Champion

United States Wrestling Association
1-Time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion
27-Time USWA Heavyweight Champion
1-Time USWA Texas Heavyweight Champion
5-Time USWA Tag-Team Champion (with Jeff Jarrett 3 times and Bill Dundee twice)
2-Time USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion

World Class Championship Wrestling
2-Time WCCW Heavyweight Champion
1-Time WCCW Texas Heavyweight Champion

Continental Wrestling Association
1-Time CWA Heavyweight Champion
Winner of 1988 CWA Lord of the Ring

Maryland Championship Wrestling
1-Time MCW Tag-Team Champion (with Bruiser)
1-Time MCW Heavyweight Champion

Memphis Championship Wrestling
2-Time MCW Southern Heavyweight Champion

Smoky Mountain Wrestling
2-Time SMW Heavyweight Champion

Other Titles
1-Time Pacific Polynesian Wrestling Heavyweight Champion
1-Time Power Pro Wrestling Tag-Team Champion (with Bill Dundee)
1-Time Southeast United States Junior Heavyweight Champion
1-Time JAPW Heavyweight Champion


Old Post 03-24-2006 02:03 PM
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post #5  quote:

The forth inductee into the Inreview Wrestling Hall of Fame is, to date, the only English wrestler in any wrestling hall of fame: Kendo Nagasaki

A true enigma of the British wrestling scene, the man known as Kendo Nagasaki was a part of the industry for nearly 40 years and, in that time, cultivated a legend that endures to this day. Hidden behind a red mask lined with white stripes to simulate the imposing visage of the headgear worn in a formal kendo match and maintaining a stony silence, Kendo Nagasaki was an intimidating sight to behold both in and out of the ring. This combined with a genuine understanding of the theatrical aspect of professional wrestling and a certain degree of athleticism made him an effective performer and a superb villain.

Actual details as to the identity of the man behind the mask of Kendo Nagasaki are exceptionally hard to come by as the aura of mystery surrounding the character has been well maintained over the years. Some sources claim that he was born on the 14 October, but they then strangely neglect to pin down the exact year or even the location in which the event took place. Some even name the man as one 'Peter Thornley', which is a perfectly average moniker, but add nothing more of the mysterious Mr Thornley's biography. And the man himself obviously never spoke, instead leaving the talking to his manager 'Gorgeous' George Gillette whose verbiage was more than enough for the pair of them together.

The duo of Kendo Nagasaki and Gillette went to great lengths to mystify their audience devising complex pre-match rituals echoing Oriental rites of purification and religious tribute. These rituals they would perform in the ring before the audience and the opponent, often assisted by hooded acolytes and tossing around powdered 'salt' much like the formalised preparations surrounding a bout of sumo wrestling (the same variety of 'salt' which has long been a favourite option for a villainous manager to throw in the eyes of the good guy when his charge is in imminent danger of losing the match). The masked wrestler also carried with him a Katana, the sword traditionally carried by Japanese Samurai warriors. In all it was a powerful combination of over-the-top pantomime and genuine intimidation.

One thing that can be documented however, is the exploits of Kendo Nagasaki in the wrestling ring. Nagasaki made his professional debut in November, 1964, in a match against 'Jumping' Jim Hussey at Willenhall Baths. Eight years later he crossed the Atlantic to work for the legendary Stu Hart (father of Bret 'Hitman' Hart and the late Owen Hart) in his Stampede Wrestling promotion on a tour of Canada and North America.

Like many wrestlers before and since, Nagasaki also made the transition from sports-entertainer to actor. Nagasaki played the role of 'Death Angel' in a drama penned by the Barnsley-born wrestler turned thespian Brian Glover titled The Wild Bunch produced by Granada Television. He again appeared on the small screen in a non-wrestling capacity as a guest on the edition of the long-running television show This is Your Life which paid tribute to his in-ring adversary Big Daddy.

One of the enduring themes of Kendo Nagasaki's career was, of course, his mask and exactly what lay beneath it. It has to be said that in general masked wrestlers in North American and European pro-wrestling have been as popular as Vaseline on toast. Unlike the luchadors of South America, whose masks form an integral part of their style and identity in the ring, a masked wrestler in the West usually has his face hidden away due to the fact that he is simply too mundane and boring to elicit any reaction from the audience without it. In the case of British wrestling in particular many promoters used to stick a mask over the head of a particularly nondescript wrestler after his first match of the night, give him a change of ring attire and send him out to work a second match as the mysterious masked grappler. Masked wrestlers like Mick Foley's Mankind character, Kane, The Hurricane and Kendo Nagasaki himself are few and far between.

The fact that Kendo Nagasaki was almost never seen without the mask was of course one of the most intriguing aspects of the character and as a result his matches often featured an attempt on the part of his opponent to remove it. Only Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks can boast of having actually achieved this feat. Big Daddy did so on TV in December, 1975; Giant Haystacks pulled off the mask in October, 1991, in an effort to relieve Nagasaki of the CWA world title.

But none were more aware of the insatiable curiosity as to what lay beneath the mask than Nagasaki and Gillette themselves. Playing on this in the late 1970s, the pair let it be known that the time had come for Kendo Nagasaki to reveal his face to the world. So in December, 1977, at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, the audience bore witness to an elaborate ceremony involving all the theatrics for which Nagasaki and his entourage were famous. Attended by hooded acolytes and to the backing of a droning chant, Kendo Nagasaki's mask was slowly removed to reveal... a man with the shape of a star tattooed upon his forehead and a top-knot of black hair atop a head which had been otherwise shaved bald. As for his face, this seemed perfectly average to a world which might have been expecting a scarred or otherwise terrible visage to be hiding behind the mask.

Maybe the unmasking failed to elicit the reaction that Nagasaki had hoped for, or perhaps he realised the importance of the mask to the character that he was portraying. Either way, Nagasaki wrestled for a short time without the mask, but eventually donned it once more and continued to do so for the rest of his career in the ring.

Like many other pro-wrestlers, Kendo Nagasaki announced his retirement from sports-entertainment only to be lured back into the ring more than once by the draw of the business. In the spring of 1978 Nagasaki retired on medical grounds and devoted his attention to the world of rock management. But he was back in the ring by December, 1986. He remained active in the ring until 1993 when he retired once more, this time to 'pursue his role in commerce'.

Still alive and well at the time of writing, Kendo Nagasaki began work on his autobiography in 2002.


Old Post 03-26-2006 11:30 PM
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post #6  quote:

The fifth inductee into the Inreview hall of fame is pehaps the greatest champion to ever grace the squared circle: Lou Thesz

Lou Thesz. That name has been synonymous with professional wrestling since the late 1930?s. With over 19 world titles, 936 consecutive wins, and if you count the total number of days he held all of his world titles, it would be 4,938 straight days, a total of 13 years. The most in wrestling?s history. He was/is the youngest man to ever win a world title (21)......

Lou was born on April 24, 1916, to a Hungarian-dissented family. Lou made his wrestling debut in St. Louis, Missouri at the age of 16. The legendary George Tragos first trained Lou; a wrestler with a large reputation for legitimately crippling people, who he felt didn?t shoe enough respect for the game. Later, Ad Santel, one the greatest pure wrestlers the world has ever seen, took Lou under his wing. It was with Santel, that Thesz would learn the art of hooking. Hooking is a style of wrestling where wrestlers apply certain ?hooks? to their opponents causing extreme pain, and can be potentially life threatening. In the pyramid of hierarchy in wrestling, a hooker, the man who is the master of the array of hooks, is on the top of the scale. But there were very few hookers, so the top was rather small. Most people get confused with the difference between a shooter and a hooker. Hookers are shooters, but not all shooters are hookers. It took a little more knowledge of crippling body maneuvers to become a hooker. Get it? They were the elite group of real wrestlers. Lou admitted that knowing these hooks got him out of many predicaments.

He was instantly a standout on various pro wrestling circuits and won his first title world in 1937. Ed ?Strangler? Lewis, the man whom Lou considered to be the greatest wrestler of all time, and who certainly is a top candidate, managed Lou early in his career. Lou would later go to win the NWA World title six times. A record at the time. In fact, a record until the great Harley Race broke it in the 80?s. Among those world titles, Lou would go on to win:

MWWA Heavyweight Title,
AWA (Boston) World Heavyweight Title,
National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title(2),
AWA (Montreal) World Heavyweight Title (3),
Texas Heavyweight Title,
National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title(6),
AWA (Boston) World Heavyweight title,
AWA (LA) World Heavyweight title,
AWA (Ohio) World Heavyweight Title,
NWA International Heavyweight Title,
WWA (Los Angeles) World Heavyweight Title,
TWWA World Heavyweight Title,
NWA Southern Heavyweight Title(2),
Junior US Heavyweight Title ,
UWA World Heavyweight Title,
US Heavyweight Title(MI).. Including the world?s FINAL Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

During his reigns as NWA World Champion between 1949-1965, Thesz went on a quest to unify the different World titles being recognized at the time, with the idea of making the NWA title into pro wrestling's ONLY World Championship. He actually succeeded; he unified the AWA (Boston) title, the WWA (Los Angeles) version of the World Title, and the AWA World (Ohio) title.

Lou was also indirectly involved in the creation of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). When promoters refused to recognize Thesz's 1-fall victory over Buddy Rogers, they formed the WWWF and named Rogers the first champion. Of course, that?s only one side of the story about how the WWF (E) was formed. Years later, Thesz went on record stating in reality, the match with Rogers never took place! Another example of the frequent deception in wrestling?s history.

Lou last ruled the mats in the 1960?s, but did go on to wrestle in the 70?s and 80?s. In fact, Lou wrestled his last match in Japan on Dec. 26, 1990 at the age of 74! Losing to Japanese wrestler, and his own student, Masahiro Chono. On April 28, 2002, wrestling lost its most incomparable wrestler. Lou died after complications from bypass surgery, he was 86. Lou Thesz is record-holding champion, statesman, teacher, and pro wrestling legend; and arguably the greatest of all time. . .


Old Post 03-27-2006 07:22 PM
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post #7  quote:

The sixth inductee into the Inreview Hall of is a true great of womens wrestling: The Fabulous Moolah

Lillian Ellison, known in the ring as the Fabulous Moolah, is one of wrestling's pioneering veterans and heroines, both in and out of the squared circle. When wrestling first caught the attention of the public, Moolah had a ringside seat. Appearing on the scene in 1949 as a "valet" for some male wrestlers, she was introduced to the crowd as a "slave girl" dressed in revealing leopardskin. But the woman who got into the business for the "moolah" wouldn't remain a valet for long, and soon Moolah turned her humble beginnings into a successful and long-lived career.

Growing up in Tookiedoo, South Carolina, Moolah was the youngest of thirteen children -- and the only girl. Surrounded by twelve rambunctious brothers, she had to be tough from the get-go. After the death of their mother when she was just ten years old, Moolah and her father spent Tuesday nights at local professional wrestling matches. At first she was just excited to do something special with her father. But everything changed when Mildred Burke (one of the most popular "lady rasslers" of the day) came to town. After years of being surrounded by boys, Moolah had finally found a woman she could look up to.

From that night on, Moolah was hooked. She stayed in the ring throughout the 1950s and 1960s, even though technically women were banned from wrestling "for their own good." When the Women's Division of the National Wrestling Alliance was failing, Moolah started training girls at her home base in South Carolina, and by the late sixties the girls she had trained at Girl Wrestling Enterprises represented the single largest group of female wrestlers in the country. Soon the National Wrestling Alliance recognized her as the undisputed Women's Champ, a title she would hold for the next twenty years.

The Fabulous Moolah is friends the infamous Jerry Lee Lewis and had a marriage proposal from country-music legend Hank Williams Sr. Moolah dishes plenty of wrestling dirt as well and relates hilarious moments from her decades long friendship with her in-ring cohort Mae Young.

After more than half a century of wrestling, Moolah still trains girls for the ring and even manages to get into the ring herself now and again. She is a role model for strong women everywhere, and she will go down in history as one of wrestling's all-time greats.


Old Post 04-01-2006 01:54 PM
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post #8  quote:

I would like to nominate Bob Backlund as the 7th inductee

When compiling a list of the greatest wrestlers the world has ever seen, it is essential to include Bob Backlund on that list. Growing up in Princeton, Minnesota, Bob first became involved in wrestling during high school and then later at North Dakota State University where he attended college. Although he played some football as well, Bob knew his future definitely involved professional wrestling.
Bob started off working for several independent companies in Missouri and Georgia, winning several titles including a tag team reign with the legendary Jerry Brisco and another with Steve Keirn in the Florida branch of the NWA. However, true talent could not be held back for long. In 1978 Bob got a call that would change his life forever. Vince McMahon Sr. got in touch with Bob and not long after, Bob was wrestling in the WWWF, the fastest growing and most well known company in the world. Bob can still recall the memory of traveling to New York City for the first time and being very intimidated. He was leaving his small town of Princeton and moving up to the "big time" where all his hard work would pay off.

It wasn't long before the fans were completely in love with Bobby Backlund. He brought forth a personal that appealed to fans across the country. He was an ideal American with the "boy next-door" looks. Backlund was the ultimate "good guy" and the fans loved everything about Bob, and McMahon realized it. On February 20, 1978, Backlund defeated "Superstar" Billy Graham to win the biggest prize in wrestling. Bob was crowned the WWWF Heavyweight Champion, perhaps the greatest and most memorable night in his illustrious career. Over the next 5+ years, Backlund defended the title night after night. Backlund set a tremendous streak by holding the title for approximately six years without being pinned. He defeated challengers such as Jimmy Snuka, Killer Khan, Adrian Adonis, and Jesse Ventura. Backlund was at the top of his game.

But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and that time came for Bob in December of 1983. Vince McMahon Jr. had taken over the company and decided it was time for a change. He wanted to take the WWF in a different direction, and the men who would lead it would be Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, and others. It was quickly becoming a "big man's" sport where the bigger and badder you were, the better. Backlund preferred to stick with his good-guy image and quickly found that he didn't have a place anymore. He lost the title in controversial fashion to the Iron Sheik at Madison Square Garden. With the camel clutch applied, Backlund's manager, Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel which resulted in victory for the Iron Sheik. The fans were stunned, and so was Backlund. It wasn't long before he disappeared from the wrestling world.

But nearly 10 years after his departure, the fans were stunned once more when Backlund, at the age of 43, decided it was time to make one more run at the business he loved so much. Backlund returned to the ring with the same ethic he had from the previous decade. He worked hard to please the fans and did it without any gimmick or silly cartoon character persona that many other wrestlers of the time had. He proved he was in great shape when he broke a record and lasted over 1 hour in the 1993 Royal Rumble. Bob competed in his first Wrestlemania that year as well, facing off against Razor Ramon. Bob competed against the likes of Doink the Clown, Rick Martel, and Shawn Michaels, doing very well and getting victories over them all. Bob competed in the 1994 Royal Rumble as well, but it wasn't long after that he disappeared from the scenes. He was actually training hard that spring for the match of his life against then World Champion, Bret Hart. The match took place in the summer of 1994, and it was a tremendous contest....easily a match of the year candidate. After the referee made a mistake, Hart managed to wrap up Backlund for the 3 count. Backlund appeared very frustrated after the match, and for the first time in his career, he snapped! He applied his patented "chicken wing" submission maneuver and refused to release Hart. Afterwards, Backlund looked at his hands in astonishment, apparently pleased at what he had done. After that, Backlund became the most hated heel the WWF had seen since Sgt. Slaughter earlier in the 90's.

And Backlund loved every minute of it. What pleased him the most was that he could get a tremendous crowd reaction and still preach the things he believed in so much. He told the fans to stand up straight, not to use swear words, and to carry their own dictionary around with them so they could understand the complex words he used in his speeches. The fans basically despised Backlund because he was telling them how they should behave, but not how they wanted to behave. The gimmick proved so successful that Backlund received a World Title shot against Hart at the 1994 Survivor Series. In one of the most memorable nights in his career, he defeated Hart with the chicken wing, capturing the WWF title at the age of 45....the same title that had been taken away from him a decade earlier. Fans were in shock as the man they loved to hate was now their heavyweight champion!

Although the title reign didn't last long, Backlund had once again made his mark in the wrestling world and attained his goal of reaching the top once again. Backlund remained active in the next year, competing at the 1995 Royal Rumble and facing Bret Hart in a classic match at Wrestlemania 11 in Hartford, CT. However, the WWF had other plans for "psycho" Bob as some called him. He began a campaign in late 1995 where he announced he would be running for the presidency of the United States the following year. The angle was perfect for Backlund, as the WWF made him out to be a lunatic running for the nation's highest office. He had campaign rallies and buttons all around the arenas.

The presidency angle ran its course the next year, which is when Bob went back to the drawing board. The WWF was in the process of repackaging Fatu, former Headshrinker. They shaved his head and called him the Sultan. Who would get the job of managing this madman? Who else but Bob Backlund and the same man who defeated Backlund in late 1983 for the World Title....the Iron Sheik! The trio didn't have any chemistry which made them entertaining to watch. Backlund and the Sheik tried to communicate to each other while at the same time barking out orders to the Sultan. He received an Intercontinental Title shot against Rocky Maivia at Wrestlemania 13, but was defeated and fell out of prominence afterwards. Backlund finally disappeared from the WWF scene after a solid 6 year comeback run.

As many fans know by now, Bob Backlund spent the following2 years brushing up on his education while preparing a run for a seat in the United States Congress. He went from coast to coast, campaigning and raising funds for his run in the First District of Connecticut. He even managed to squeeze in a quick WWF return as he helped Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle on his way to stardom. His hard work paid off as he ran in November of 2000 as a Republican. Despite strong opposition from the press and the heavily Democratic population, Backlund managed to garner 30% of the popular vote. Pretty impressive for a man with no previous political experience and who received very little press in newspapers. Bob is currently relaxing and enjoying some much needed time off at home with his wife and daughter. However, you can rest assured that it won't be long before Mr. Backlund is out making a difference. Whether it be in the wrestling ring, a television show, or your local elementary school, Bob Backlund attracts attention wherever he goes.


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post #9  quote:

The next indutee into the Inreview Wrestling Hall of Fame is..........The Nature Boy

Before the great Ric Flair donned the title of 'the Nature Boy' there was another, one whose name is still remembered today, the original Nature Boy, Buddy Rogers

Buddy Rogers was born Herman C. Rohde Jr., but later legally changed his name to Buddy Rogers. The son of German immigrant parents, Rogers was discovered by a local promoter and soon became a top wrestler using his real name around his hometown where he gained his first major win over the legendary Ed "Strangler" Lewis. He continued his career in Houston where he assumed the name "Buddy Rogers." Rogers would get his first major taste of gold in during his tenure there, winning the promotion's Texas Heavyweight title four times, one time from a man he would have an interesting history with, the legendary Lou Thesz. After his time in Houston he went to Columbus, Ohio and the final pieces of his character were added. He bleached his hair and was given the moniker "Nature Boy" by promoter Jack Pfeffer after the popular jazz song.

With the advent of television, Rogers' flashy look, great physique and bombastic personality instantly caught the ire of audiences. The first sign of Rogers' impact was his involvement in Sam Muchnick's opposition promotion in St. Louis, Missouri, a major wrestling market at the time. He was pitted against the well respected Lou Thesz as a draw. In the end, Muchnick's promotion was powerful enough with Buddy Rogers as its main star that the two promotions merged. Rogers continued control of the Midwest as a booker and wrestler, most notably in Chicago, frequently selling out the 11,000 seat arena. In the 1950's, Rogers also expanded into Vince McMahon Sr.'s Capitol Wrestling Corporation.

In 1961, the National Wrestling Alliance voted him NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He took the belt off of Pat O'Connor on June 30 in front of 38,622 fans at Comiskey Park, the largest crowd for an NWA and a wrestling attendance record that would not be matched until Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome. To many promoters, it seemed that Buddy Rogers favored northeastern promoters over other territories. Promoters and noted shooters Karl Gotch and Bill Miller confronted Rogers in Columbus and broke his hand. Another injury in Montreal in a match against Killer Kowalski kept Rogers on the sidelines. On his return, the heads of the NWA voted to switch the title back over to Lou Thesz, who made it public that he did not like Buddy Rogers. On January, 24, 1963, the match took place in Toronto. Promoter Sam Muchnick put used two safeguards to guarantee Rogers' cooperation. First, the match was only one fall, out of the ordinary since most title matches were two out of three falls until the mid-seventies. The second safeguard was his threat to give Rogers' bond away to charity. Thesz took the belt for his last run with NWA championship.

Northeast promoters, led by McMahon and Toots Mondt, withdrew their membership from the NWA and formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) since Thesz was not a strong draw in the area. Soon, Rogers was awarded the WWWF World Title as its first holder in April 1963. However, his reign was cut short by a mild heart attack that greatly hindered his endurance. He finally dropped the title to Bruno Sammartino on May 17 of that year in a match that lasted 47 seconds. Legend says that Toots Mondt dragged Rogers out of his hospital bed and forced him into the match, but it was obvious that Rogers could not take the burden of a world championship in his condition. By the end of the year, he was retired and only wrestled an occasional show for The Sheik's promotion in Detroit and Montreal.

In 1978, Rogers returned to wrestling as a babyface in Florida although he was in his late 50s. He later moved up to Jim Crockett Promotions in the Carolinas as a heel manager managing wrestlers like Jimmy Snuka, future WWE Intercontinental champion Ken Patera, Gene Anderson of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew and Big John Studd. His most notable achievement during his run in the Carolinas was his feud with the new "Nature Boy," Ric Flair. The two had a hot feud until Rogers was finally defeated on July 9, 1978. Ric Flair would use this legitimacy to further his career and follow in Rogers' footsteps, becoming the second and last person to win the WWE World title, which he would do in 1992, and the official NWA World title, Rogers' being the first. After his time in Mid-Atlantic, he moved back into WWF where he was a babyface manager and part time wrestler who also hosted the interview segment "Rogers' Corner." During a feud teaming his old prot?g? Jimmy Snuka against Lou Albano and Ray Stevens, Rogers broke his hip and retired from wrestling for good.

He was set to wrestle yet another "Nature Boy," this time Buddy Landell, in a comeback match early 1992 but the promoter went out of business and the match never happened. Later in the year, Rogers was weakened by a severe broken arm and suffered three strokes, two on the same day. He was put on life support and died a short time afterwards on July 6, 1992.

Rogers was not well liked during his prime years because he had a habit of taking advantage of opponents in the ring. With age he mellowed and became a very respected veteran. Rogers was considered the first total package wrestler. He had all the looks, physique, personality and ability promoters wanted. He is often attributed with developing the psychology that several heels went on to use with great success and inventing the "Figure Four Grapevine" (later renamed the Figure-Four Leglock). He had one of the longest consistent top drawing periods of any main eventer, 15 years, and the ability to draw in several different territories successfully. In 1994, he was posthumously inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame.


Old Post 04-05-2006 08:29 PM
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post #10  quote:

Just to recap. The Inductees so far are:

1.Andre the Giant

2.Hollywood Hulk Hogan

3.Jerry 'the King' Lawler

4.Kendo Nagasaki

5.Lou Thesz

6.The Fabulous Moolah

7.Bob Backlund

8.'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers


Old Post 04-05-2006 08:32 PM
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post #11  quote:

For the next inductee I have to go for the man of the hour, the man with the Power, too sweet to be sour, the Superstar Billy Graham.

Billy Graham, who grew up Wayne Coleman in Arizona, was not an amateur wrestler. He was a track and field star in high school, and he was training for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. He threw shot-put, discus and developed his awesome physique early in his life.

He had no real goals out of high school. He moved to Los Angeles, but he could never find a steady job.

He was never a real fan of wrestling. He watched it back in the 1950s, but he never thought of getting involved in the sport.

He remembered Sky High Lee when he was growing up. Lee used to take darts to his back on television. "Long before Mick Foley," Billy Graham said.

He found out after he met his wife, Valerie, in 1976 that Lee was Valerie's second cousin.

His first connection to wrestling came, though, while he was working in California during late 1969. Bob Lueck who played for the Calgary Stampeders asked Graham to come with him back to Calgary and give wrestling a try.

Graham had no idea who he was getting involved with when Stu Hart invited him to train in the infamous Dungeon.

"He had no fat and looked like he was holding regulation footballs in his arms," Stu Hart recalled. "He was the most impressive specimen I've seen in my life."

"I felt this was for me," Graham recalled about his first days there.

His first gimmick was more of a toughman. Coming from a weightlifting background, Graham was thrown into challenge fans in an arm-wrestling match. Anyone who could beat the Superstar would win $1,000.

Hart knew Graham had a future. "I've wrestled with a lot of strong fellows and never seen a fellow that muscular and that strong. I was impressed with his strength," Hart recalled of his brush with the Superstar. "He was officially the strongest man in the world at the time. He could benchpress 650 pounds and could lie on a bench and (lift) 350 pounds over his head. That was almost unheard of, no question about it."

When it was time from Graham to head into the ring for action, he started under his real name Wayne Coleman.

It was the summer of 1970 that he met a wrestler named Dr. Jerry Graham.

Graham, who was an established wrestler across the world, asked Coleman to become "a brother." Wayne Coleman then took the name Billy Graham based off Jerry Graham's last name and the famous evangelist Billy Graham.

The nickname Superstar came in 1972 based from the rock opera that was really huge at the time, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Fans watch Pat Patterson every week on WWF RAW, but too few know Patterson's rich wrestling history that dates back to the 1960s. Graham and Patterson teamed to defeat Ray Stevens and Peter Maivia (The Rock's grandfather) for the NWA Tag Team titles in July of 1971 in San Francisco.

That match was the first turning point in Graham's career and it really changed Graham's career.

"Patterson was my mentor," Graham said about his tag team partner. Graham learned a lot during his early days from the in-ring knowledge of stars such as Patterson, Stevens and eventually The Rock's father, Rocky Johnson.

Verne Gagne saw the power and ability of Graham and decided to get Graham to work for the AWA out of Minneapolis.

"I hated working against Verne Gagne because of his old school style of wrestling, and I was not a wrestler," Graham said about his stay with the AWA. "I was more methodical. It was physically difficult."

Graham did not complain about the crowds and money that came with his stay, but the coldness of the north really got to the Arizona native. He left the AWA for one reason -- the cold.

Verne Gagne expressed his displeasure and amazement in Graham's decision to leave. The choice was a wise one because an even bigger call came.

Vince McMahon Sr. called Graham up in 1975, and Graham was anxious to work for the WWWF. He was quickly accepted by the fans and by the wrestlers.

Bruno Sammartino had ruled the WWWF for fifteen years, and McMahon Sr. was looking for a man to give him a run for his money. Graham was his choice.

"It was the easiest match I could have," Graham said about his legendary bouts with Sammartino. Sammartino's strength and similar style really helped Graham-Sammartino matches go very smoothly.

March 30, 1977, McMahon Sr. has made the decision to give Graham the World title from Sammartino. The Baltimore crowd was split on who their favourite was, and a lot of confusion came when Graham used the ropes to pin Sammartino.

It was over. Billy Graham had become the WWWF World champion. But it was the interesting way in which the crowd reacted that made Graham an innovator. Graham become the first major "tweener" for the WWWF, and his model was the same way in which stars like Steve Austin and Degeneration X were split. No matter how evil, how much of a rulebreaker he was, the crowds were booing and cheering him at the same time.

Graham remembered getting motivation to carry this split fan reaction to a new gimmick. He wanted to have a feud with Ivan Koloff, the WWWF's biggest heel wrestler, and Graham believed that would get him over greatly with the fans. He was hoping for a long run as champion.

McMahon Sr. had a different idea. At the same time a young amateur wrestler was being pushed by the name of Bob Backlund. McMahon Sr. planned two years ahead to eventually give the title to Backlund.

Graham knew the day would come 10 months later to lose the title, but Graham had a very successful run. He sold out 19 of 20 New York City's Madison Square Garden main events he headlined, a percentage not met by any other wrestler in WWWF or WWF history.

Graham, along with many other wrestlers, was not sure if giving the title to Backlund so soon was the right decision. McMahon Sr. made what some say was a mistake. He had told Backlund and others of the decision to give Backlund the title. He could not back out.

When Graham did lose the title to Backlund eventually in early 1978, Graham was very discouraged with the sport. He had a bloody feud with Dusty Rhodes, but then Graham was gone.

"I got burnt out. I went back to Phoenix and I became a recluse."

His absence started rumours in the Philadelphia Enquirer that he had passed away. Graham admitted that Dusty Rhodes started that rumour as a joke.

Graham rejoined the renamed WWF in 1982 with a new look. He had a shaved head and martial arts pants. He immediately was thrown into a feud with Backlund, but the World title that Backlund held was never to come back to him.

"I shouldn't have used that (martial arts) gimmick," Graham said. The Graham name helped sell out arenas still, but Graham was sitting on a gimmick that was not working for him.

His own personal problems with his life and steroids were the main reason for the absence of another World title reign.

Graham moved to Florida to work for Kevin Sullivan, and then moved onto work for the NWA and the Crocketts.

Dusty Rhodes was the booker for the NWA at the time, and he invited Graham to work for them for a while. Graham worked huge stadium shows with the group, but he never got the push he felt he deserved.

It was when he was with the NWA that he dumped the martial arts gimmicks, bleached his beard, put on the tie-dye and felt pain.

He called Vince McMahon Jr., who had taken over as the head of the WWF during Graham's absence with the WWF, and offered his abilities for the WWF once again. McMahon liked the idea, and Graham was scheduled for his first match back with the WWF in Baltimore.

"I walked into the building limping," Graham said about his match back. McMahon Jr. saw this, and questioned if Graham was even in shape to wrestle. Graham said he was fine, and took some cortisone shots to get through the match.

The medicine wore off, and Graham knew it was not just a pulled muscle that was giving him pain. His hip socket was in amazing pain forcing Graham to undergo a $30,000 operation for the hip injury.

The WWF used the real surgery and recovery in an angle. The surgery was real. Graham had a titanium hip placed on his right hip.

Graham wanted back in the ring, mainly for the money.

"It was a big mistake."

He blames steroids. "Steroids made you both psychologically and emotionally intense. They make you feel you can never be hurt."

Managing Don Muraco, commentating and wrestling a few matches was all that was left in wrestling for Graham.

The last match was with Butch Reed in Madison Square Garden. The sell-out crowd saw a legend wrestle a bloody cage match.

Vince McMahon Jr. promised Billy Graham that there was always a job for him with the WWF. Graham's hip surgery and 1990 ankle fusing injury forced Graham off the road, and it also forced Graham out of his job with the WWF.

"I became bitter at that point, and after the ankle surgery," Graham said. "I began to tell the world about the dangers of steroids, the pain, suffering I was having because of use and talking about the people who use it."

Graham started a smear campaign against the WWF. He ridiculed Vince McMahon for allowing Dr. George T. Zahorian to sell steroids to wrestlers. He ridiculed Hulk Hogan following Hogan's infamous Arsenio Hall Show appearance where Hogan dismissed allegations he took steroids (something Hogan would contradict that statement in a 1984 trial).

"I was such in a state of rage," Graham said after watching Hogan's appearance. "I said, 'He is lying.'"

Steroids were part of Graham's life for over two decades. It was around 1965 that Graham was first introduced to steroids. The drugs were legal at the time.

The dangers were not very well known at the time. Graham knew of some dangers, but not all of the future complications were portrayed to him.

He followed with some unsuccessful lawsuits with steroids distributors and the WWF that he later called mistakes.

Superstar Billy Graham made an incredible impression on the wrestling world.

"I was a prototype for Hulk and Jesse Ventura and even today Scott Steiner."

Graham has had numerous surgeries in the last few years to the point where there seems no end. Two artificial hips and a fused ankle might be all Graham will take. He recently passed on the recommendation to have his other ankle fused.

Steroids may have killed his health, but his memory in wrestling will be immortal.


Old Post 04-13-2006 08:28 PM
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post #12  quote:

The next inductee into the Wrestling Hall of Fame is a legend of the Lucha Libre style of Wrestling, the great Gory Guerrero

Gory was born in Ray, Arizona but his family moved shortly thereafter to California where he went to an English school. His family moved to Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico and Gori used his language skills at a pottery shop. In Guadalajara, he joined the local "Box y Lucha" club and was trained by the legendary trainer Diablo Velasco as one of his first prot?g?s. He made his debut shortly after in 1937 in Guadalajara.

Over the next few years, he would make important friends, learn more about the tricks of the trade and amateur wrestling. He made his debut for the Mexico City promotion Empressa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre in 1943. He quickly rose the ranks, being named "Rookie of the Year" and winning two titles in 1945, the National Welterweight title (which he never lost) and the National Middleweight title. His feud with Cavernario Galindo is considered to be one of the first true blood feuds in the history of professional wrestling. The feud later evolved into a tag feud with El Santo on the side of Gori Guerrero, forming the legendary tag team La Pareja At?mica, and Black Shadow teaming with Galindo.

He continued his success, defeating Tarz?n L?pez for the NWA Middleweight title and even wrestling a match with NWA World Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz. He broke away from EMLL and worked as an independent in the mid-sixties, also beginning to branch out into booking. As he got older he was wrestling less and less until he retired in the 1980s. He passed away at the age of 69 in 1990 in El Paso, Texas.

Gori is best remembered for his aggressive technical style and he is credited with the invention of La de a Caballo (or "Camel Clutch" as it is known in the U.S. since it was used by Middle Eastern heels like The Sheik) and the Gori Special, a back to back stretch hold which has been modified into a facebuster move (Gori Bomb) or a neckbreaker/backbreaker (Widow's Peak). He was well respected by several generations of luchadores for his toughness and ability.

A key part of his legacy are his children, Chavo Guerrero Sr. (whose son Chavo Guerrero Jr. is also a wrestler), Hector, Mando, and the recently deceased Eddie Guerrero (1967- 2005). He also has two daughters, Cuqui and Linda. His wife Herlinda was the sister of Mexican wrestler Enrique Llanes (born Enrique Ya?ez). He was a born-again Christian and raised his children in the Baptist Church.

Titles/Accomplishments

1-Time Mexico National Welterweight Champion

1-Time Mexico National Middleweight Champion

1-Time NWA World Middleweight Champion

1-Time NWA World Welterweight Champion

1-Time Southwest Championship Wrestling Junior Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Texas Tag Team Champion (with Cyclon Anaya)

1-Time Pacific Northwest Tag Team Champion (with Luigi Macera)

1-Time America's Tag Team Champion (with Chavo Guerrero)

1-Time Oklahoma Junior Heayweight Champion

2-Time NWA Light Heavyweight Champion


Old Post 04-18-2006 07:50 PM
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post #13  quote:

The next inductee is an old favorite of mine, Polish Power Ivan Putski.

WWF Hall of Famer Ivan Putski was one of the most popular wrestlers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His chiseled physique and great charisma made him a fan favorite for years. His Polish heritage made him especially popular with the immigrant population of the northeast parts of the country, where he wrestled for the WW(W)F for many years. Putski was born in Krak?w, Poland, in 1941. His family moved to the United States when he was 9 years old. He originally aspired to be a football player, but an injury forced him out of that sport and helped open the door to his wrestling career. He started out in the wrestling business in the early 1970s, sporting a beard and a less impressive physique. While still extremely powerful, being mostly a power-lifter during these years, he did not sport the ripped body that he was known for later in his career. His strength gained him the moniker "Polish Power". He won several titles throughout the country earlier in his career, many of which were won by using his patented finishing move, the Polish Hammer.

He joined the ranks of the then WWWF in the late 1970s, winning the Tag Team Titles with a young Tito Santana on 22 November 1979. They held the titles for several months before losing them to the Moondogs in 1980. Putski then concentrated on his singles career, feuding with the likes of Ivan Koloff, Iron Sheik, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura during the next couple of years. He remained one of the WWF's most popular stars throughout the early 1980s. Though he never wrestled at any of the early Wrestlemanias, Putski did participate in the Wrestling Classic in the fall of 1985. This was the WWF's first Pay Per View, which was built around a 16 man tournament. Putski lost in the first round to newcomer "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who pinned Putski by illegally using the ropes for leverage.

Putski wrestled off and on during the years after his WWF career. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1995. He was also included in a special magazine released by the WWE profiling the top 50 WWWF/WWF/WWE superstars of all time. His son, Scott Putski, also became a wrestler, wrestling for WCW in the late 1990s.

Ivan Putski is currently a security guard for Hays High School in Kyle, Texas, a suburb of Austin.

1-time WWF World Tag Team Champion (with Tito Santana)

1-time NWA American Tag Team Champion (with Jose Lothario)

1-time NWA Texas Tag Team Champion (with Jose Lothario)

1-time Southwest Championship Wrestling Tag Team Champion (with Wahoo McDaniel)

1-time USWF Tag Team Champion (with Scott Putski)

Member of WWE Hall of Fame (inducted in 1995)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 170 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003. He was also ranked # 92 of the best tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Tito Santana.

Putski won the PWI Tag Team of the Year Award in 1979 with Tito Santana


Old Post 04-24-2006 07:29 PM
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post #14  quote:

The next entrant is the man who can claim to have invented Hardcore wrestling. The original Shiek.

Edward Farhat was born to a family of Lebanese immigrants in Michigan. He was a star football player in high school and college for the University of Michigan and served in the army during World War II before he became a foreign heel as "The Sheik of Araby" or later, just "The Sheik." He started out wrestling in the Midwest and later in Texas but his biggest match was one he didn't wrestle in. He was set to face NWA World Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz in Chicago for his title but Thesz had a reputation for exposing and embarrassing "gimmick" wrestlers so Farhat bailed from the ring and hid under a bus. The publicity from the event helped push the Sheik character to a more prominent level. He went to New York for Vincent J. McMahon where he teamed with Johnny Valentine and Bill Curry in feuds against Mark Lewin and Don Curtis as well as the team of Antonino Rocca and Miguel P?rez in Madison Square Garden. He would return when McMahon formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation to feud with Bruno Sammartino in the WWWF's major markets in the late 1960s.

The Sheik's wrestling was centered around his character of a rich wild man from Syria. He would lock on normally mundane holds and refuse to break them, leading to submission. He used hidden pencils to cut open his opponent's faces. Often, the tactic would backfire and the opponent would get the pencil, leading to the extensive scarring on Farhat's forehead. The other illegal move was his fireball that he threw into his opponents faces and they would sell as if their face was burnt severely. He didn't speak on camera and had two different managers during his career to cut promos on his behalf. His first manager was Abdullah Farouk but when he managed full-time in WWWF, the Jewish Eddy Creatchman became his manager. He kept in character even around his own family, only breaking character around business partners. The character was very easy to go from territory to territory with and Farhat was often brought in as a special attraction for big shows or by NWA promoters who were fighting opposition promotions.

His biggest feud was his seemingly career long feud with Bobo Brazil in the Sheik's main territory, which he would later become the owner of, Detroit. The two feuded over Sheik's version of the United States Championship, frequently selling out the Cobo Arena. This is seen briefly on the "documentary" movie, I Like to Hurt People. The two would take the feud to several markets, most notably Memphis, Tennessee and Los Angeles. His other major opponent in Los Angeles was Fred Blassie. Sheik and Blassie faced off several times, including cage matches in the Grand Olympic Auditorium. He also wrestled regularly in Toronto, where he was undefeated for over 109 matches at the Maple Leaf Gardens. He defeated the likes of Pampero Firpo, Jack Brisco, Dory Funk, Jr., Gene Kiniski, ?douard Carpentier, Ernie Ladd, Jay Strongbow and even Andr? the Giant during his first extensive tour of North America in 1974. Tiger Jeet Singh was the first to defeat him but around that time, business starting going in decline in Toronto because of a few Sheik no-shows and repetitive matches, many of them under ten minutes.

He was brought to Japan by the Japan Pro Wrestling Association to help put over Seiji Sakaguchi after Shohei Baba and Antonio Inoki jumped to start their own promotions. His run was successful but management squandered all the money so when the company went bankrupt, Sheik jumped to Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling. He jumped a year later to Inoki's New Japan Pro Wrestling but had a falling out and left Japan to work full time in Detroit. He returned in 1977 for All Japan, teaming and feuding with Abdullah the Butcher. His match with Abdullah the Butcher against Dory Funk, Jr. and Terry Funk where Terry fought off Butcher and Sheik with his arm in a sling is credited for turning the foreign Funks into faces in Japan.

After his promotion went bankrupt, he wrestled for various independent promotions throughout the United States and Japan through the 1980s. In 1994, he had a brief run in Extreme Championship Wrestling where he teamed with Pat Tanaka against Kevin Sullivan and Taz. He wrestled his last match in Japan in 1998 at the age of 74. He retired to his own home and was in the process of writing his autobiography when he died on January 18, 2003.

As a promoter, he was somewhat ahead of his time. He had a production truck travel with him to tape the main events in an era when arena shows were almost never taped. He also paid wrestlers while they were out due to injury which didn't come into common practice until recently. When business was bad however, he would get desperate going as far as having his son tell the boys that someone had robbed the ticket office of that nights gate. However, he never groomed a successor so when he stopped drawing crowds, there was no one to fall back on. He was one of wrestling biggest box office attractions and he is seen as a pioneer of "hardcore wrestling" which would become a major part of professional wrestling in the 1990s. He also trained other popular wrestlers from Michigan like his nephew Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Scott Steiner, and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

Championships and Accomplishments

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

3-Time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion (Toronto version)

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

1-Time NWA America's Heavyweight Champion

1-Time United National Heavyweight Champion (Tokyo)

2-Time ICW United States Heavyweight Champion

1-Time WWA Martial Arts Champion

1-Time NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Champion

1-Time NWA International Heavyweight Champion

1-Time NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him #368 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.

He also won the PWI Most Hated Wrestler Award in 1972.

He was featured in the film "I Like to Hurt People".

He has a illegitiment son by the name of Tarik Farhat.


Old Post 04-26-2006 09:12 PM
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post #15  quote:

The next inductee is, in my opinnion, the best commentator that Wrestling has ever had, Good Ol' J.R.

James W. (Jim) Ross, also known as J.R., or Good Ol' J.R. (born January 3, 1952 in Westville, Oklahoma), is a professional wrestling executive and a now occasional play-by-play announcer working for World Wrestling Entertainment on WWE Saturday Night's Main Event. Ross made his WWF debut at WrestleMania IX in 1993. Despite being hailed by fans and critics for many years as one of the best announcers in wrestling, Ross was "fired" on air by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon (or you could say it was the WWE CEO Linda McMahon who kicked him in the groin) in the storyline of the October 10, 2005 edition of RAW. The reason for this was because Ross was in need of Colon Surgery. Ross did commentary at Saturday Night's Main Event in Detroit on March 18, 2006. Ross was also the lead announcer for all but one of the RAW brand matches at Wrestlemania 22.

He is known to be a sufferer of Bell's palsy, which sometimes results in temporary paralysis of Ross' facial muscles. In early 1999, Ross was absent from RAW following the death of his mother. The effects of Ross' grief reportedly worsened his Bell's palsy, thus SmackDown! host Michael Cole filled in for Ross for the time being. Ross though, was well enough to call the main event at WrestleMania XV. Despite his condition, Ross has established himself as one of the all-time greatest wrestling commentators, often compared to the legendary late Gordon Solie. Ross has his own brand of barbeque sauce and his own selection of cookbooks. To many peers, Ross is considered to be one of the best wrestling announcers in history.

Ross started as a referee for Leroy McGuirk's Tri-State Wrestling in the early to mid 70's. When McGuirk's booker Bill Watts split the territory and started Mid-South Wrestling in 1979, McGuirk made Jim Ross his lead announcer on the show. He stayed there until 1982, when Watts bought out McGuirk. Shortly after, Ross went to work for Watts in Mid-South.

In 1986, Ross became the company's lead play-by-play man. It would be re-named Universal Wrestling Federation in the spring of 1986. The first World's Title match that he called was between Ric Flair and Ted DiBiase. When Jim Crockett bought the UWF and merged it with his Jim Crockett Promotions group, Ross joined the new company and eventually supplanted Gordon Solie and Tony Schiavone as lead play-by-play man for the National Wrestling Alliance. Ross continued to hone his skills and build his legacy until his eventual falling out with the NWA.

Ross left World Championship Wrestling in 1993 following a conflict with the upper management. Besides his play-by-play work, Ross had worked his way up to the job of Executive Vice President of Broadcasting for WCW. According to Ross, Eric Bischoff, who had reported to him, had done a really good job selling himself to executives at WCW's then ownership Turner Broadcasting. According to Bischoff, Ross mistreated him and once Eric was promoted to executive producer in 1993, he justly fired Ross from the company. Either way, Ross had an air-tight three year contract with Turner Broadcasting, yet took the buy-out for fear that McMahon wouldn't hire him after a long hiatus.

Having been fired on-screen several times before, Ross was "fired" once and for all as a commentator on RAW on October 10, 2005, as part of a storyline on that night's live RAW broadcast. Vince McMahon had beckoned Ross and co-announcers Coachman and Lawler to the ring to demand an apology for their inaction during Austin's Stone Cold Stunner rampage against the McMahon family on the WWE Homecoming broadcast a week earlier. He accepted apologies from Coachman and Lawler, but refused to accept Ross' apology. Instead, Vince called Stephanie McMahon to the ring so Ross could make an in-person apology. Afterward, Linda McMahon came to the ring, seemingly to admonish Vince and Stephanie for publicly reprimanding Ross, only for her to make her surprise heel turn.

He claimed off-air (after RAW ended, footage is on WWE's unlimited service) that he was fired because Vince did not have the "balls" to fire Stone Cold, but did not harbor ill feelings toward Stone Cold for being scapegoated that way.

It was revealed on WWE.com, that Ross underwent surgery to remove a blockage from his colon recently, which might lend credence to the entire "firing" being a work as Ross would need time to recover from the procedure. Ross has been mentioned or parodied on recent RAW shows (such as Jonathan Coachman mocking Ross by wearing his traditional black cowboy hat, and Vince McMahon's "surgery" on Ross' colon), and wrote a tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero on WWE.com, which would further lend credence to this being a work. However one could be confused as previous superstars, like Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage, have been mocked on air after a departure from the company.

TV shows leading up to the November 1, 2005 pay-per-view Taboo Tuesday indicated that Stone Cold Steve Austin would face Jonathan Coachman with Ross being "re-hired" if Austin won the match. However, Austin allegedly backed out when WWE decided he would job to Coachman and Mark Henry. Coachman (along with new allies, Goldust and Vader) faced Batista at the PPV instead with Batista winning, but nothing was said about Ross.

On March 13, 2006, WWE.com announced that Ross would be returning to television to be a commentator for WWE's NBC Special, WWE Saturday Night's Main Event on March 18. Despite this, it is not believed he will be brought back as a full-time announcer for RAW or SmackDown, although he remains under WWE contract.

It was reported on March 27, that Ross would be announcing the RAW matches at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago [1]. It had be announced earlier that Ross would only have one match to be announcing, which J.R. believed to be McMahon vs HBK. Prior to this he was the originally planned to emcee the Hall of fame. However the plans changed, and Jerry Lawler became the one to emcee the Hall of Fame. Ross claimed to be "excited and exhilarated." However he felt some apprehension regarding Joey Styles. Styles learned he would not be announcing at WrestleMania 22 when he arrived at RAW on March 27, 2006. Styles claimed to feel upset at first but later acknowledged the fact that Jim Ross was more experienced than he and that he was sure he would host just as many WrestleManias in the future. However, in a last minute decision, it was decided that Styles would announce one match at WrestleMania. Styles would call the Edge vs Mick Foley hardcore match. This was due to Styles' previous experience during his time in ECW, after considering Styles request to call this match.

Oklahoma:

Oklahoma was an on-air wrestling character portrayed by former WWE head writer Ed Ferrera when Ferrera was working for rival company WCW, the purpose of which was to mock Ross, down to imitating his Bell's Palsy. The Oklahoma character was eventually retired, but not before winning (in an obvious jab at Ross' obesity problem), the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. Ferrera and Russo later apologized to Ross for the impersonation, some years after Ross's friend Jim Cornette had spat in the face of Ferrera in a show of contempt.

Job titles:

WWE Executive Vice President of Business Strategies

Former WCW Executive Vice President of Broadcasting

Former WWE Executive Vice President Of Talent Relations

Former WWE Pay-Per-View Play-By-Play Announcer

Former WWE RAW Play-By-Play Announcer

Former WWE SmackDown! Play-By-Play Announcer

Former WWF LiveWire Show Host

Former WCW Saturday Night Play-By-Play Announcer

Former UWF/Mid-South Play-By-Play Announcer

Former XFL Play-by-Play Announcer

Championships and accomplishments:

Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (inducted in 1999)

1988 Best Television Announcer

1989 Best Television Announcer

1990 Best Television Announcer

1991 Best Television Announcer

1992 Best Television Announcer

1993 Best Television Announcer

1998 Best Television Announcer

1999 Best Television Announcer

2000 Best Television Announcer

2001 Best Television Announcer

January 24, 2005 was officially named "Jim Ross Day" in Oklahoma by Governor Brad Henry


Old Post 04-28-2006 08:37 PM
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post #16  quote:

The next induction is not one man but a group that gave wrestling a major fan appeal when it was out of style in the 90'. The nWo.

The nWo was both a professional wrestling storyline and the stable of wrestlers who were its central players. The nWo storyline, run by WCW, began at the 1996 Bash at the Beach PPV. This storyline involved a faction from "outside" WCW (originally Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan (who would change his name to Hollywood Hogan while a member of the nWo)) "invading" WCW. This proved to be a turning point in the history of wrestling, as it drew millions of new fans to WCW, and helped bring pro wrestling back into mainstream entertainment.

According to the storyline, the nWo were representitives of another wrestling organization (alluded to, but not actually mentioned, as the WWF, since its three founding members all formerly wrestled there), and planned to take over WCW. Scott Hall appeared first on Memorial Day of 1996 interrupting shows by harassing the announcers. He promised a "big surprise" which ended up being Kevin Nash. Hall & Nash were collectively referred to as "The Outsiders." Both men then took to showing up unexpectedly during Nitro broadcasts, usually jumping wrestlers backstage, distracting wrestlers by standing in the entranceway of the arenas, or walking around in the audience. Within a couple of weeks, they announced the appearance of a mysterious third member (Sting was asked to play this part, but he wasn't enthusiastic about becoming a heel). Bret Hart was actually the first choice for the third man, but WCW wasn't able to acquire him from the WWF (at least not for another year, after the Montreal Screwjob).

At Bash at the Beach, Hall & Nash were scheduled to team with their mystery partner against Lex Luger, Randy Savage and Sting. Hall and Nash came out without a third man. "Mean" Gene Okerlund came to the ring confused, demanding to know where their mystery partner was. They simply said he's in the building, but they didn't need him right then. Shortly into the match, Sting hit Nash with a Stinger Splash in the corner. However, Nash happened to be holding Luger at the time, and the splash knocked Nash into Luger, thus crushing Luger in the corner. Luger was knocked to the outside, and paramedics came out and took Luger away, reducing the match to Hall & Nash vs. Sting & Savage. Towards the end of the match, Hulk Hogan appeared, then shocked wrestling fans worldwide by attacking Savage & Sting to help Hall and Nash, with the match ending in a no-decision. Hogan claimed the reason for the turn was that he was tired of fans that had turned on him. Hogan labeled the new faction a "new world order of professional wrestling" and began a long and bitter feud between WCW and the nWo. During one Nitro broadcast from the Disney-MGM Studios, Hall & Nash covered up the free-standing WCW logo with 3 spraypainted bedsheets. When the deed was done, the bedsheets read "nWo" where the WCW logo had once been.

It was around this time that the World Wrestling Federation filed a lawsuit, alleging that the nWo storyline implied that Hall & Nash were invaders sent by Vince McMahon to destroy WCW. The lawsuit would drag out for several years before being settled out of court. The settlement eventually led to the WWF having the right to bid on the assets of WCW should it ever be offered for sale, which happened in March 2001.

The odds were too much to bear for WCW, and soon Rowdy Roddy Piper surfaced in WCW to battle old nemesis Hogan. He shocked WCW further by exposing WCW President Eric Bischoff as the mastermind behind the nWo, one of the reasons the stable had such incredible clout. Piper gained a victory over Hogan, but could not capture the title.

In November 1996, the nWo lost its first member. The Giant won the 60-man battle royal at "World War III," earning a title match against Hogan. Because The Giant insisted on his title shot, he was expelled from the nWo. In January 1997, the nWo made great strides when they held their very own PPV titled Souled Out. In the main event, Hogan faced The Giant and defeated him thanks to shady officiating by Nick Patrick. Nash & Hall lost their tag titles to the Steiner brothers, but the next night, Bischoff gave the belts back to the nWo, claiming that Randy Anderson was not a sanctioned referee for the event. In February 1997, Randy Savage returned and shocked WCW by joining the nWo. Through 1997, the nWo controlled the power in WCW. WCW scored a major victory on an episode of Nitro in August 1997, when Lex Luger won the title from Hogan, despite massive interference from the rest of the nWo. But Hogan won the belt back at the 1997 Road Wild PPV, again benefitting from outside nWo interference.

In September 1997, the nWo faced the Four Horsemen at WarGames, gaining the victory when the late Curt Hennig turned on his Horsemen breathren and joined the nWo. This was essentially the end of the Four Horsemen until August 1998.

After being absent from the ring for over a year, Sting returned to action to face Hogan, this was the most anticipated match in WCW history.

After September 1996 the old Sting had vanished. Then a change began. A new Sting began to appear in the rafters at WCW events. This was not the Sting of old with Sgt. Pepper jackets, blonde spiked hair, and an insatiable need to speak. This Sting was silent, brooding, and dark. He had a long black trenchcoat, white facepaint making him look like a mime, long wet dark hair, and the white siloutte of a scorpion on his black shirt. This new Sting would carry a black baseball bat with him, the only weapon he needed other than his own abilities.

Eventually Sting began to assault members of the nWo, including his clone, the Imposter Sting. He also had new ways of getting the drop on his prey, appearing from underneath the ring.

Sting and the nWo finally clashed on the big stage at Uncensored 1997. The main event was a three way team brawl featuring the nWo, WCW, and Team Piper. After the nWo won Sting came down with his baseball bat and laid waste to Hall, Nash, and the other nWo members. With only Hogan left Sting raised his baseball bat into the invader's face and then obliterated him. The message was clear: Sting wanted to destroy the New World Order at it's very core: Hogan.

The stalking did not stop there. Sting would appear at arenas, haunting Hogan and his henchmen. The mind games came to a head at Halloween Havoc when in a cage match between Hollywood Hogan and Roddy Piper several Sting clones appeared around the cage, encasing Hogan inside. This distraction along with Hogan's fear of Sting, cost him the match with piper.

Eventually the match was signed for Starrcade 1997.

In a controversial finish, special referee Bret Hart proclaimed Sting the new WCW Champion. But the title was soon held up, and Hogan and Sting fought again at Superbrawl 1998, where Sting captured the belt. For the first time, the nWo was having problems within. Savage was having problems with Hogan, and the two fought in a cage to settle the difference. Savage would defeat Sting at Spring Stampede 1998 to become the "WCW/nWo World Heavyweight Champion." Hogan was angered that another member of the nWo had captured the World Title and challenged Savage the following night on Nitro. In a shocking turn of events Hart assisted Hogan and helped him recapture the title.

On the May 4, 1998 WCW announced that nWo had split into two "factions." On one side was the nWo Wolfpac faction, which was headed by Kevin Nash and included Lex Luger, Sting, Konnan, and Randy Savage. Scott Hall, the late Curt Hennig, and the late Rick Rude were originally Wolfpac members as well, but they later betrayed the 'Pac and joined nWo Hollywood, which was headed by Hogan, and included Brian Adams, Buff Bagwell, Eric Bischoff, the late Miss Elizabeth, The Giant, The Disciple, Scott Norton, Dusty Rhodes, Dennis Rodman, Scott Steiner, Vincent, and referee Mark "Slick" Johnson. Stevie Ray and Horace Hogan joined several months later. The nWo Hollywood faction was sometimes also referred to (originally) as "nWo black and white" (as opposed to the "red and black" Wolfpac). During this part of the storyline, WCW wrestlers like Goldberg were presented as faces, the Wolfpac wrestlers were presented as tweeners, and the nWo Hollywood faction as heels. To this day, the nWo Wolfpac is regarded as one of the most popular stables in pro wrestling history.

On July 6, 1998, Hogan lost the title to Goldberg at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and the nWo slowly started to lose focus. It seemed that the nWo had beaten WCW by splitting in two?they had no one left to fight but each other. But splitting in two also destroyed the nWo. They never again had the power that they originally had. By October 1998, Hogan left the nWo and went on hiatus. As 1999 started, Nash was the WCW Champion, and he and Hogan conspired a huge nWo comeback in January. The storyline ended on the January 4, 1999 episode of Nitro with a now-infamous match in which Nash would lay down for Hogan, and allowed Hogan to pin him after merely poking him with a single finger?a finish that fans nicknamed the "Fingerpoke of Doom." The nWo reigned again, with the nWo elite (Hogan, Nash, Hall, Buff Bagwell, Scott Steiner, Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth) reunited under the Wolfpac label, while the undercard wrestlers in the nWo (Curt Hennig, Stevie Ray, Vincent, Horace Hogan and Brian Adams) continued in the "black and white" faction. This short-lived group was sardonically labeled the nWo B-Team by fans and commentators.

By mid 1999, the nWo had disappeared. In late 1999, the nWo came back for one more run as the silver and black, consisting of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, the Harris twins, Don and Ron, and they even got a new referee, Mark "Slick" Johnson. They brought along several fitness models who would come to ringside and Jarrett would order them to the back. This nWo lasted into early 2000, but soon faded away, in great part due to the injury and retirement of Bret "The Hitman" Hart, the leader of the group. By this point the entire WCW, had lapsed into what seemed to be an inevitable and permanent decline, constantly bettered by the WWF and relegated to a permanent second-place status, a situation many longtime WCW fans blamed on WCW management having stayed with the nWo storyline for entirely too long. In late 2000, the nWo reunited one more time but was quickly forgotten.

After the WWF bought WCW in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall, & Nash as the nWo, at the No Way Out PPV on February 17, 2002. Ironically No Way Out's initials are nWo. In this storyline, the nWo was brought in as McMahon's allies in an attempt to "kill" the WWF so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWF "co-owner" "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. However, Hogan left the group after he lost his WrestleMania X8 match with The Rock and was assaulted after that match by Hall & Nash. Hall & Nash brought in two nWo members afterwards, X-Pac (formerly known as Syxx, who was also a former nWo member whilst in WCW), on March 21, 2002, at SmackDown! in Ottawa and The Big Show (formerly known as The Giant), on April 22, 2002.

The nWo reunion in the WWF would not last long, however. Hall was released in May due to drinking problems during a UK tour. Flair later became a semi-member of the nWo after turning on Stone Cold Steve Austin. As owner of RAW, Flair set up a lumberjack match with Austin against the newest member of the nWo, which turned out to be Booker T. Booker had just finished a silly skit with Goldust minutes earlier, where he had been wearing a lumberjack costume and fake beard, all but destorying his "tough" momentum going into the match.Nash introduced Shawn Michaels into the nWo on June 3, 2002. Michaels then "kicked" Booker out of the nWo(he literally hit Booker with his Sweet Chin Music superkick finish) one week later.

Abruptly, the nWo was disbanded by McMahon on July 15, 2002, after he regained full control of WWE from Ric Flair. The final nail in the nWo coffin was X-Pac fainting on July 15 before the show and Nash tearing a quadricep muscle during a match one week prior to the disbanding, taking him out of action for several months. Ironically, the nWo disbanded on the same night that Eric Bischoff, the man who was often credited for creating the nWo, made his debut in WWE as the general manager of RAW. At the time of the nWo's demise, Michaels was offering Triple H membership in the nWo. After the nWo broke up, Michaels turned face once more by befriending his long time fans and attempted to reunite with Triple H under the DX name, but Triple H turned on Michaels.

Today, another new version of the nWo looks unlikely, at least with the current state of the WWE rosters. Only 3 former nWo members are still active wrestlers in WWE: Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, and Booker T, and only The Big Show was an actual nWo member in it's classic WCW form. Hulk Hogan only makes occasional appearances nowadays, and all as the classic "red and yellow" Hulkster. An nWo reunion would probably have to depend on WWE resigning Kevin Nash or Scott Hall, though Nash now appears in rival promotion tna and Hall seems to be inactive from wrestling at the moment.

The nWo was at its strongest from July 1996 until March 1998. Their reign forever changed the face of wrestling, and the effects are still felt today. The nWo pushed the old Rock and Wrestling gimmicks aside in favor of more edgy and adult storylines. Their presence made WCW appear a more "adult" promotion, compared to the childish gimmicks the WWF was promoting. The Attitude Era which eventually led to the dominance of the WWF is considered by some fans to have been a direct result of the nWo's presence.

Some fans were critical of the WWF's handling of the nWo. From No Way Out until WrestleMania X8, the nWo storyline was handled in accordance to what the fans wanted. Post WrestleMania however, with Hogan back with his "Hulk" persona, the nWo in the opinion of many fans, was ruined by poor storyline, problems between wrestlers and some nWo members, and a general lack of interest by the WWF. Some believe that McMahon's speech in which he declared the nWo dead, was an attack on the years in which his promotion was placed second behind the then-hot WCW.

General credit for the "invasion" storyline is given to Paul Orndorff, with obvious inspiration drawn from both the UWF invasion of New Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan's Heisei Ishingun stable. The name, "third man" storyline, and Hogan heel-turn were all ideas of WCW boss Eric Bischoff. Other details such as merchandise, hand-signs and the attitude of the nWo is mostly credited to Terry Taylor though Scott Hall had done the '4 life' gesture during his time as Razor Ramon in the WWF as early as 1994.


Old Post 05-11-2006 01:04 PM
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post #17  quote:

The next inductee into the Wrestling Hall of Fame is the Hot Rod, Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Roderick George Toombs (born on April 17, 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), best known by his ring name of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, is a Canadian professional wrestler of Scottish descent. He was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. His alter ego hails from Glasgow, Scotland, which included wearing a kilt and walking to the ring to bagpipe music. The Scottish surname Piper refers to one who plays the bagpipes. He earned the nickname "Rowdy" by displaying his trademark "Scottish" rage, spontaneity and quick wit, and is also called "Hot Rod".

After being expelled from junior high and having a falling out with his father, Toombs hit the road and stayed in youth hostels wherever he could find them. By the age of 15, he started to become a pro wrestler and had his first ever match, with Larry Hennig. He lost the match in ten seconds.

Piper entered the WWF in 1984 as a manager, but soon started wrestling full-time. Later that year, he was given his own interview segment called "Piper's Pit," in which he talked to other superstars, and which would frequently end in a fight between Piper and his guest.

The "Piper's Pit" segments were very popular and helped create the feuds Piper would have with other wrestlers. He even went as far as insulting superstars, such as, Andr? the Giant, Mr. T, and preliminary wrestler Frank Williams.

In one Piper's Pit, Piper had an infamous interview with "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. Piper started insulting Snuka's heritage by bringing out pineapples, bananas, and dropping coconuts onto the table. Snuka took offense to this, and Piper then attacked Snuka by hitting him over the head with a coconut, and shoving a banana in his face. He followed this up by whipping Snuka with his belt. Piper then left before Snuka could fight back. This incident led to a long feud between the two.

Another feud, this time between Piper and Hulk Hogan erupted soon after, and became what was at the time the highest-profile feud in wrestling history, thanks to the involvement of pop singer Cyndi Lauper.

In 1985, MTV broadcast "The War To Settle The Score", featuring a main-event matchup between Piper and Hogan. This event set up the very first WrestleMania, which pitted Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff against Hogan and Mr. T. Piper would once again face Mr. T in a boxing match at WrestleMania 2 in 1986.

Following a leave of absence from the WWF, Piper returned to find his "Piper's Pit" segment replaced by "The Flower Shop", a segment hosted by effiminate wrestler Adrian Adonis. Piper (by now a face) stormed the set of Adonis' show, and destroyed it. This led to their Hair versus Hair match at WrestleMania III, which was billed as Piper's retirement match. Piper won the match, with the assistance of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake.

Piper would return to the WWF with a live "Piper's Pit" at WrestleMania V. He also wrestled part-time, while serving as an on-air host and commentator.

At the 1992 Royal Rumble, Piper defeated The Mountie for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, but lost it soon after to Bret "The Hitman" Hart at WrestleMania VIII. Disappearing from the WWF, he soon re-emerged at WrestleMania X as guest referee for the WWF Championship match between Hart and Yokozuna. Notable during the course of the match, was commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler, remarking that he hated Piper. Lawler would continue to taunt Piper on his "King's Court" segment on Monday Night RAW, eventually culminating with Lawler bringing out a skinny teenager in a Piper T-shirt and kilt and forcing him to kiss his feet. Enraged, Piper agreed to wrestle Lawler at the King of the Ring, where Piper emerged victorious.

Leaving the WWF again, he soon returned at WrestleMania XI, once again in a referee capacity, for the submission-only match between Hart and Bob Backlund. The appearance would turn out to be a one-time-only deal.

In 1996, Piper was named as interim WWF President, following Vader's malicious assault of Gorilla Monsoon, following the Royal Rumble. As president, Piper had become the object of affection for Goldust. Enraged, Piper claimed he would "make a man" out of Goldust, and would do so at WrestleMania XII, in a "Hollywood Backlot Brawl." While the contest began in an alleyway behind the Arrowhead Pond, Goldust would jump into his gold cadillac and run Piper over, ultimately escaping (allegedly) onto the highways of Anaheim. Piper pursued in his white Ford Bronco, which when viewed from aerial footage, looked amazingly similar to the O.J. Simpson "slow-speed" chase from two years prior. (The WWF had attempted to be humourous and recycle the footage with Vince McMahon quipping on commentary, "This footage looks awfully familiar.") The two would eventually return to WrestleMania XII, where Piper disrobed Goldust, effectively ending the confrontation. With Gorilla Monsoon back in control of the WWF by the end of WrestleMania XII, Piper would once again leave the Federation.

Later in 1996, Piper joined WCW. He appeared at Halloween Havoc to "break Hogan's monotony." In his first appearance, Piper famously asked Hogan, "Do you think they would've loved you so much if they hadn't hated me?

Piper's WCW tenure is best remembered for his long-running feud with Hogan-at the time a heel-over which of them was wrestling's true icon. Piper and Hogan wrestled in a non-title match as the main event of 1996's Starrcade, WCW's biggest pay-per-view event of the year. Piper defeated Hogan with a sleeper hold. Piper was featured prominently in WCW, and later received a title shot against Hogan, but he never held the WCW Championship.

In the fall of 2000, WCW terminated Piper's contract.

In November 2002, Piper's autobiography, "In the Pit with Piper: Roddy Gets Rowdy", was released. At WrestleMania XIX in Seattle, Piper ran in during the Hulk Hogan-Vince McMahon bloodbath, and turned heel again by attacking Hogan with a steel pipe. He brought back "Piper's Pit" on the April 10, 2003 edition of "SmackDown!", and after alligning with Sean O'Haire, Piper smashed a coconut over the head of Rikishi, a realtive of Snuka. At the Backlash PPV that month, Rikishi returned the favor to Piper. Around the same time on Monday Night RAW, Chris Jericho started "The Highlight Reel" a show similar to "Piper's Pit." In June 2003, WWE officially released Piper from his contract, after a controversial interview with HBO in which Piper discussed the darker side of the wrestling business.

In 2004 Piper appeared for the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling promotion, hosting several "In the Pit with Piper" interview segments. He interviewed former rival Jimmy Snuka at the company's first three-hour pay-per-vew, Victory Road, where he dared Snuka to get revenge by hitting him with a coconut. Instead, TNA wrestler Kid Kash eventually used the coconut on Sonjay Dutt. Piper also served as one of their NWA Championship Committee members, culminating in refereeing a match at their Final Resolution pay-per-view event.

On February 21, 2005, it was announced that Piper was to be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.

Piper held an edition of "Piper's Pit" at Wrestlemania 21 where he interviewed Stone Cold Steve Austin. The interview was interrupted by Carlito, who was promptly beaten up by both Piper and Stone Cold.

In April 2005, Piper co-presented "Celebrity Wrestling" in the United Kingdom on ITV. This Saturday evening reality show saw celebrities learn wrestling and compete in challenge matches. After a few weeks the programme was to be cancelled, due to a huge drop in TV ratings but instead was moved to Sunday mornings to finish its final episodes.

Piper continues to make periodic appearances on WWE TV, occasionally wrestling but usually hosting Piper's Pit segments.

He is currently married with four children.

On April 4, 2006 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Piper was issued an award by the Mayor, Sam Katz.

Roddy Piper is currently on the road for a spoken word tour based upon his autobiography.

He will be starring in the motion picture, Sin-Jin Smyth as US Marshal Trent Polly. The film is due for release in October of 2006.

Quotes

"Just when they think they got the answers, I change the questions."

"Real men wear kilts."

"You don't throw rocks at a man with a machine gun!"

"I am your reality check!"

"Ric Flair, the Slim Whitman of Pro-Wrestling."

"I'm the reason Hulk Hogan lost his hair!"

"Russia gives us Nikolai Volkoff, and we give them MTV and 2 Live Crew. Fair trade, huh?"

"Nature Boy, what's that? Do you run around the forest like Euell Gibbons, eating bark or something?"

"Jerry Lawler walks in here with his crown - DA DA DUM - Imperial Margerine - and talks about what he's going to do to me. Lawler, if you think you're going to beat me, if you think you can do ANYTHING to me, than you really are the king. King of FOOLS, jack!!"

"Rowdy Roddy cut his locks; but don't worry woman, he's still a fox."

"I'm so quick, I could spit in the wind, duck, and let it hit the old lady behind me."

"I don't need to know how tough I am to know how tough I am."

"Ric Flair, you once called me a woman. Well how does it feel to get beat by a woman?"

"I walk so fast, I talk so fast, I could turn the light off and be in bed before the room's dark!"

"Your stupidity is something you're born with."

"The boss is back."

"My name is Rowdy Roddy Piper and you ain't seen nothin' yet!"

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum."
"Rowdy Roddy Piper"

Piper's Pit

Piper's Pit was an interview segment featuring Rowdy Roddy Piper which was mainstay on WWE (then WWF) television from 1984 to 1987, although Piper also hosted similar segments while wrestling for other promotions.

Piper's Pit returned during Piper's short return to the WWE in 2003, and also in 2005 at Wrestlemania 21 and in a 2006 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown!, interviewing John Layfield and The Boogeyman.

In the Pit with Piper was introduced to TNA Wrestling after leaving the WWE.

Several memorable Pit moments:

Piper smashes a coconut shell over Jimmy Snuka's head.

Piper interviews jobber Frankie Williams, tells him that he's worthless and beats him up.

Andr? the Giant turns heel on Hulk Hogan and challenges him to a match at WrestleMania III.

Piper "extinguishes" Morton Downey, Jr.'s cigarette with a blast from a fire extinguisher at WrestleMania V.

Movies

Sin-Jin Smyth {2006}

Three Wise Guys (2005)

Cyber Meltdown (2005)

Code Black (2005)

Shut Up and Shoot! (2005)

Jack of Hearts (2000)

Legless Larry and the Lipstick Lady (1999)

Shepherd (1999)

Hard Time (1998)

The Bad Pack (1998)

Last to Surrender (1998)

Dead Tides (1997)

First Encounter (1997)

Sci-Fighters (1996)

Jungleground (1995)

Marked Man (1995)

Terminal Rush (1995)

Tough and Deadly (1995)

Back in Action (1994)

Immortal Combat (1994)

No Contest (1994)

Tag Team (1991)

The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage (1990)

Buy and Cell (1989)

They Live (1988)

The Highwayman (1987)

Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987)

Body Slam (1987)

The One and Only (1978)

Championships and accomplishments

2-time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion

1-Time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion (San Francisco version)

4-time NWA World Tag Team Champion (2-time with Ed Wiskoski, 1-time with Keith Franke, 1-time with Ron Bass)

1-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (San Francisco version) (with Ed Wiskoski)

3-time NWA Americas Champion

6-time NWA Americas Tag Team Champion (2-time with Crusher Verdu, 1-time with Adrian Adonis, 1-time with Chavo Guerrero, 1-time with Kengo Kimura, 1-time with The Hangman)

1-time NWA Canadian Tag Team Champion (with Rick Martel)

3-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion

2-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion (with Big John Studd)

2-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Television champion

2-time NWA Pacific Northwest Champion

4-time NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Champion (1-time with Killer Tim
Brooks, 3-time with Rick Martel)

WWF Intercontinental Champion

WWE Hall of Famer (Class of 2005)

World Championship Wrestling

WCW United States Champion

World Class Championship Wrestling

1-time WCCW Tag Team Champion (with Bulldog Brower)

Other Titles

Manitoba Amateur Wrestling Championship (167lb)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 17 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.

Piper has won several PWI Awards over the years. He won Most Inspirational in 1982, Most Hated Wrestler in 1984 and 1985, and Most Popular Wrestler in 1986. He was also involved in the Match of the Year in 1985 (Piper & Paul Orndorff vs. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T)
.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter

He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (inducted in 1996)

1981 Best Interviews (tied with Lou Albano)

1982 Best Interviews

1983 Best Interviews

1984 Best Heel

1985 Best Heel


Old Post 05-15-2006 01:07 PM
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post #18  quote:

For my next inductee I have only two words to say..."Trust Me"

Aurelian Jake Smith, Jr. (born May 30, 1955 in Gainesville, Texas), better known by his ring name of Jake "The Snake" Roberts, is an American professional wrestler. Roberts played a notorious heel in the World Wrestling Federation throughout the 1980s. He was known for his spellbinding promos and dark charisma, his extensive use of psychology in his matches and for inventing the DDT finishing maneuver.

Roberts derived his nickname from being thin and snake-like. Once he reached the WWF, Roberts would bring a huge, live python (though various snakes were used over the years, most were named "Damien") to ringside in a canvas bag. After hitting a DDT on his opponent, Roberts would coil the constrictor around the opponent's neck, with the snake then appearing to strangle the victim senseless. It was a masterful show of kayfabe, as the wrestler lay flailing and foaming at the mouth with the monstrous snake squeezing the life out of him.

Roberts later became a popular face and engaged in a long feud with Andr? the Giant; in this storyline, Roberts used his snake to gain a psychological edge over the ophidiophobic Andr?, to nullify the Giant's overwhelming size and strength advantage. However, Roberts' fame diminished throughout the 1990s as drug addictions and depression increasingly dominated his life. His storied career was documented in the 1999 documentary film Beyond the Mat and again in the WWE-produced, 2005 DVD set Pick Your Poison.

Jake Roberts is credited with training Diamond Dallas Page and Raven. Roberts and fellow wrestler Vader appeared on the ABC sitcom Boy Meets World for one episode.

Roberts started his career in 1975 in the Georgia area and made his name in the NWA as part of Paul Ellering's heel stable The Legion of Doom. He feuded with Ron Garvin in the 1980s over the NWA World Television Championship.

One of the more memorable moments in his career was when he had Alice Cooper in his corner during WrestleMania III in 1987. Jake's WrestleMania III opponent the Honky Tonk Man brutally attacked Jake with a guitar on Jake's interview segment "The Snake Pit." In reality, The Honky Tonk Man's guitar shot legitimately injured Jake's neck. Jake admitted in interviews that the shot was prior to the use of breakaway guitars, so when Honky clubbed him, he really got hit hard. Jake started using pain killers following the injury.

Perhaps his best-known feud was against "Ravishing" Rick Rude, who was doing a gimmick where he would select a woman from the audience to kiss after each match. Rude inadvertantly chose Jake's real-life wife Cheryl, who refused the kiss; Jake rescued her before Rude could attack. At another event, Rude wore a pair of tights emblazoned with a visage of Mrs. Roberts, which an irate Jake tore off, sending Rude running apparently naked from the ring.

Jake also began a brief feud with Hulk Hogan, but the angle was dropped when Roberts started receiving cheers from the crowd (even though Jake was initially intended to be a heel). This was seen as bad for business considering that Hogan was the top box office draw for the WWF. Jake was also supposed to wrestle the Ultimate Warrior after SummerSlam 1991, but due to a financial dispute that the Warrior had with the WWF around this same period, nothing was fully materialized.

Roberts had an extremely intense feud with "Macho Man" Randy Savage (around 1991), in which Jake famously used a cobra to bite the Macho Man's arm. WWF president Jack Tunney reinstated Savage, who had lost a retirement match earlier that year, as an active wrestler to get revenge for the attack, and he and Roberts feuded for the next few months.

Jake feuded with The Undertaker in early 1992, following his run with Savage, but he left the WWF after WrestleMania VIII, upset that WWF chairman Vince McMahon didn't offer him a position on the writing staff despite being promised previously. After Pat Patterson stepped down from his the writing staff, Vince decided that out of respect for Patterson, the spot would be left vacant. Jake felt that he was not only lied to but also betrayed. In response, Jake threatened to no-show WrestleMania VIII if he wasn't given a release from his contract.

Jake went to work for World Championship Wrestling alongside his father, Grizzly Smith, where he aligned himself with The Barbarian and Cactus Jack to feud with Sting and Nikita Koloff. His one WCW pay-per-view match, against Sting at Halloween Havoc 1992, was the company's top-selling PPV for several years, but Jake soon left WCW after his wife gave him an ultimatum to either focus on his career or his family. The two would divorce not long afterwards.


Jake returned to the WWF in 1996, as a Bible-reading face (his new snake was named ?Revelations?). Roberts claimed to be a changed man who regretted his past, though some in the industry felt he was holding religious seminars as a way to make money rather than out of genuine faith. Roberts was pushed as a "Cinderella story" and faced Stone Cold Steve Austin in the final match of the King of the Ring tournament. Austin won, and as Roberts was helped to the back, Austin mocked the Snake's recital of the biblical passage John 3:16, saying "Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!" "Austin 3:16" became a catchphrase that helped propel Austin to the top of the WWF and pro wrestling for the next three years.

Jake later feuded with Jerry "The King" Lawler, who went to great lengths to ridicule Jake's past bouts with alcoholism. Roberts later said this angle was personally uncomfortable; at one point Lawler spat real whiskey at Roberts.

Roberts was fired from the WWF in 1997 for failing to show up for work during a series of house shows. He competed briefly in Mexico, where he was shaved bald by Konnan, and began appearing in the indepedent circuit in the U.S. and Great Britain.

Jake's career was derailed by problems with drugs and alcohol. He still wrestles on the independent circuit, though along with his drug and alcohol abuse (well chronicled in the documentary Beyond the Mat) his career has also been hampered by a series of legal problems. In one notorious 1999 PPV show, Heroes of Wrestling, he cut a rambling, incoherent promo in which he heavily slurred his words. Minutes later, he staggered toward the ring, apparently drunk, for his scheduled match with Jim Neidhart. During the match, when his snake wriggled free from the bag, he waved the snake toward the audience while it was protruding from his crotch.

On October 20, 2002, Jake Roberts became the NWA (UK) Hammerlock Heavyweight Champion in Maidstone, Kent, England by defeating "Vigilante" Johnny Moss. Moss defeated him for the title the next night in Ashford, Kent, England though. In November 2002, Jake started his own wrestling promotion in the UK, called Real Stars of Wrestling. Jake's legal troubles continued, after he was accused of animal cruelty for leaving the snakes at his house unfed for several days.

Jake made a WWE appearance in March 2005, where he confronted Randy Orton. He worked with the company to create a DVD retrospective of his career, which was released later that year.

Jake is the son of wrestler Aurelian "Grizzly" Smith, with whom he has a strained relationship. He has a half-brother Michael (Sam Houston) and a half-sister Robin (Rockin' Robin), both of whom also became wrestlers. He has an ex-wife Cheryl Roberts who was actually involved in WWF storylines in the late 1980s.

He also lived in London Colney, UK for some time.

Championships and accomplishments:

1-time AWF Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion

2-time Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion

1-time Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Champion

1-time Mid-South Television Champion

2-time NWA National Television Champion

1-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion (with Jay Youngblood)

PWI ranked him # 100 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.

PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler Award (1996)

1-time SMW Heavyweight Champion

1-time Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight
Champion

1-time WCCW Television Champion

1-time WCCW Six Man Tag Team Champion (with Chris Adams
and Gino Hernandez)

World Wrestling Association

1-time WWA Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion


Old Post 05-19-2006 09:05 PM
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post #19  quote:

These are the hall of fame inductees so far:

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


Old Post 05-22-2006 08:23 PM
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post #20  quote:

next inductee is arguably the dirtiest player in the game, The Nature Boy Ric Flair.

Richard Morgan Fliehr (born February 25, 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee), better known by his ring name "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, is an American professional wrestler currently with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its RAW brand. He has been one of the leading personalities in professional wrestling since the mid 1970s and is considered to be among the elite names in the history of the industry. For almost the entire run of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) he was considered their flagship wrestler.

After three years with the American Wrestling Association (AWA), Flair joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) affiliated Jim Crockett Promotions based in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. On the rise as a promising young power based brawler, he suffered a severe back injury in a October 4, 1975 plane crash in Wilmington, North Carolina. Doctors told Flair that he would never wrestle again, but Flair proved them wrong by returning to active wrestling the next year. The crash did force Flair to change his wrestling style, ironically forcing him to create the Nature Boy style and persona that would make him a legend.

Ric Flair won the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship 4 times, then won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time by defeating Dusty Rhodes on September 17, 1981. Harley Race won the title from Flair in 1983. Flair regained the title at StarrCade 1983 in Greensboro, North Carolina in a steel cage match. Flair would go on to win the NWA title six more times. As the NWA champion, he defended his belt around the world, including frequent stops in the Carolinas, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. Flair lost the title to Race and won it back in the span of three days in New Zealand in March 1984. At the first David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions at Texas Stadium, Flair was pinned by Kerry Von Erich in front of over 43,000 fans. Flair regained the title 18 days later in Japan. He then reigned for two years, two months, and two days, losing his title to Dusty Rhodes on July 26, 1986 at the Great American Bash card in Greensboro, North Carolina. Flair regained the title two weeks later. His loss to Ron Garvin on September 25, 1987, marked a low point in NWA history as nobody was willing to lose to Garvin since word was that Flair would win the title back at Starrcade 87. Garvin thus held the title for over two months and lost his only title defense to Flair in Chicago on November 26, 1987.

In 1991, Flair had a contract dispute with WCW head Jim Herd while still NWA/WCW champion, Flair left WCW, a group run by Ted Turner which had just separated from the NWA, in July. Flair was offered a fifty percent pay cut and would no longer have the option of booking power. Herd wanted to make Lex Luger the top star and wanted to make Ric Flair a midcard star despite the fact that he was still a huge draw. Flair disagreed, and a week before the 1991 Great American Bash, Herd fired him. According to Flair, Herd also wanted him to change his appearance (i.e. by cutting his hair and wearing a diamond earring) in order to "change with the times".

Flair proceeded to show up at WWF shows with the WCW World Title belt around his waist, calling himself "the Real World Heavyweight champion." NWA sued Flair in an attempt to reclaim the belt, but the law actually states that the title belt is property of the champion, so Flair had the right to walk around with it as he saw fit. Before winning the WCW title, Flair had to give a $25,000 deposit to the NWA. Eventually, Flair returned the belt, but not until the NWA paid back the deposit plus $13,000 interest.

Led by his manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and his "Executive Consultant" Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig), Flair scored victories against the likes of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Tito Santana, but his biggest win came at the 1992 Royal Rumble, when he won the Rumble Match to claim the WWF Championship. The title was then vacant, so instead of earning a shot at the title at WrestleMania VIII, Flair was directly awarded the belt. Flair drew number three in the Rumble match, lasted an hour in the ring, and outlasted 29 other superstars, last ejecting Sid Justice (later Sid Vicious and 'Psycho' Sid) thanks to some help by Hulk Hogan, who had just been eliminated by Sid.

Shortly after the Rumble, In February and March, Flair battled Rowdy Roddy Piper on two occasions in steel cage matches. Thanks to the Sid/Hogan rivalry, the number one contender spot was vacant, and was awarded to 'Macho Man' Randy Savage. Despite all Flair's illegal tactics, featuring Heenan and Perfect, Savage was able to win the WWF Title.

Flair returned "home" to WCW in February 1993, hosting a short-lived talk show in WCW called "A Flair For the Gold" as a compromise to work around a no-compete clause in his previous WWF contract. He could appear on TV but not wrestle. Arn Anderson would sit at the bar, and Flair's maid Fifi, would always be cleaning or bearing gifts. Flair would briefly hold the NWA World title once again before WCW finally left the NWA in September 1993.

Later in 1993, WCW planned to have Sid Vicious win the WCW World title at StarrCade 1993, but following Sid's firing for his part in a violent altercation with Arn Anderson, Flair was inserted into the role and defeated Big Van Vader for the title.

Flair later feuded with Hulk Hogan upon Hogan's arrival in WCW in June 1994 and lost a retirement match to Hogan at Halloween Havoc 1994. Flair took a few months off before returning as a wrestler and part-time manager in 1995. Flair would have several more title reigns in the subsequent years, beating Hulk Hogan at Uncensored 1999, and winning the title two times in 2000 and the United States Championship in 1996, defeating Konnan. Flair would continue to be a key player in the dying days of WCW until its demise in March 2001.

When WCW was purchased by the WWF, Flair was the leader of the heel group called the Magnificent Seven with Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Road Warrior Animal, Rick Steiner, Lex Luger, and Buff Bagwell. Flair lost WCW's final match on the March 26, 2001 edition of Nitro to his longtime rival Sting in a very emotional match.

After a brief hiatus from pro wrestling, Flair returned to the WWF in November 2001 as the on-camera co-owner of the company. He turned face by joining forces with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Flair reappeared on the Monday Night RAW following the end of the "WCW/ECW Invasion" that culminated in a "Winner Take All" match at Survivor Series 2001 that the WWF won. Flair's new on-screen role was that of the co-owner of the WWF, after Shane and Stephanie McMahon had sold him their stocks prior to purchasing WCW and ECW. On his RAW debut, Vince McMahon had been playing the role of the face, but, when Flair made his surprise appearance at the end of the show, McMahon turned heel and Flair became the dominant face. As co-owner of the WWF, he sought to make right all the wrongs that the evil Mr. McMahon was up to. Culminating with Flair being responsible for McMahon kissing The Rock's rear end on an episode of SmackDown!, Mr. McMahon apparently snapped and refused to share the WWF with Flair anymore. He proposed to "kill the WWF" and his planned to do it with the help of the nWo. However, the nWo storyline failed to really captivate audiences and Flair was soon thrust into a feud with The Undertaker, culminating in a match at WrestleMania X8. The WWF board of directors refused to sanction the match and gave full control of the WWF back to Vince McMahon. . .or so it seemed. In actuality, it was a prelude to the WWF Brand Extension; which split the WWF into two separate entities, with Vince McMahon in control of all things SmackDown! and Flair in control of all things Monday Night RAW. Eventually, McMahon challenged Flair to a match for exclusive ownership of, now re-named, WWE. Flair lost the match when Brock Lesnar charged the ring, gave Flair an F-5 and allowed McMahon to make the cover. Flair remained on RAW as an occasional wrestler and eventually turned heel by betraying Rob Van Dam and joining forces with World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, with whom he later formed the stable Evolution.

During 2003, Flair had a short-lived feud with Shawn Michaels which began when Michaels took Kevin Nash's side against Triple H, his archrival. The two would go at it whenever they were accompanying their friends to the ring, and this led to a legendary confrontation at Bad Blood 2003, which led to Flair winning thanks to Randy Orton's interference. In 2004, Flair lost to Shelton Benjamin at Backlash 2004, in an effort to avenge several losses by Triple H to Benjamin. Later that year, Flair lost to Randy Orton, who had been violently kicked out of Evolution, in a steel cage match at the first Taboo Tuesday

Several months after Batista left Evolution, Flair returned to RAW on August 22, 2005. He was interviewed on "Carlito's Cabana" and turned face by attacking the host Carlito. Flair would align himself with Shawn Michaels in a feud with Carlito and Michaels's new rival Chris Masters. After Flair was brutally attacked by Carlito backstage, the two had a match at the 2005 WWE Unforgiven event for Carlito?s Intercontinental Championship, a belt Flair had never won. Ric Flair made Carlito tap out to the figure four and won his first Intercontinental Championship.

Things between the two didn't end at Unforgiven though as Carlito continued to come at Flair with the help of his friend Chris Masters. The feud culminated at WWE Homecoming where Ric Flair teamed with his returning best friend Triple H to take on Carlito and The Masterpiece. Flair and Triple H won the match but the real fireworks took place following when Triple H attacked his best friend and idol.

At Taboo Tuesday the fans were given a choice of three matches for Triple H and Ric Flair to do battle in. The cage match was chosen and in a classic bout Ric Flair clawed his way to a succesful title defense.

The innevitable re-match took place at Survivor Series in a Last Man Standing match. Despite another gutsy performance, in which he took 3 consecutive Pedigrees and was still standing, from the Nature Boy, a sledgehammer shot from Triple H was enough to win the match for The Game.

On February 20, 2006, Flair lost the Intercontinental Championship to Shelton Benjamin after being hit twice with an oxygen tank and a T-bone suplex.

On February 27, 2006, Flair defeated Carlito in a qualifying match for the "Money in the Bank" ladder match at WrestleMania 22. Carlito was the one who suggested the "Money in the Bank" contest, but was pinned by Flair after choking on an apple due to a kick to the face by the Nature Boy. Flair used the ropes and got a secure pin. The other five participants involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match were Rob Van Dam and Shelton Benjamin from the RAW brand along with Matt Hardy, Bobby Lashley and Finlay from the SmackDown! brand; however, Rob Van Dam ended up grabbing the briefcase with the guaranteed WWE championship title shot, within the next year. The following night on RAW, Flair was assaulted by a new wrestler named Umaga who is managed by Armando Alejandro Estrada.

On April 24, 2006, after Umaga finished his match against Steve Lewington, he was attacked by Flair, setting up a match between the two at WWE Backlash in which Flair lost.

Flair, never one to hesitate showing a bit of "crimson" in a fight.Despite his age and his less-than-chiseled physique, Ric Flair can still take on wrestlers half his age, at least in kayfabe. Even though he is long past his prime as a "main-eventer," he is still able to get in the ring and make younger wrestlers look good. Flair became over with the crowd, often due to his in-ring antics, including cheating ways (earning him the distinction of being "the dirtiest player in the game"), his trademark strut and his legendary shouting of "Wooo!"

In a tradition started by the vocal fans of ECW during a time when the WCW management was thought to be unjustly holding Flair down, anytime a wrestler delivers a hard back hand chop to the chest of his opponent, fans yell "Wooo!" in tribute to Flair, whose stiff chops often made his opponent's chest raw or even bloody. This tradition long outlived any controversy it was meant to protest and has carried over to WWE and almost all other North American promotions.

Flair released his autobiography, To Be the Man, in July 2004. The title is taken from one of his catchphrases, "To be the man, you gotta BEAT the man!" Flair is an icon in the Carolinas on a par with Michael Jordan and Richard Petty, and he has made the Charlotte area his home since the days of the Crockett promotion. His name has been mentioned from time to time as a possible candidate for governor of North Carolina.

WWE promotes Flair as a 16-time world champion, but many records show that he has held 23 world titles. Although a little controversy still surrounds this, Ric Flair still holds the record of the most world titles held by an individual in professional wrestling.

In 2004, Flair engaged in an off-screen rivalry with Bret Hart, in which both claimed to be the best wrestler of all time and accused each other of performing the same routines in most of their matches. Hart responded that Flair had spent the majority of his career in the NWA/WCW which he stated "is and always has been second rate to the WWF." Flair spent two years in the WWF prior to 2001, losing the WWF Championship title to Hart in 1992.

Flair does not know his full birth name. In a chapter of his autobiography titled "Black Market Baby," he notes that his birth name is given on different documents as Fred Phillips, Fred Demaree, and Fred Stewart. The future Ric Flair was adopted when he was six weeks old by a physician (father) and a theater writer (mother). At the time of his adoption, his father was completing a residency in gynecology in Detroit. Shortly afterwards, the family settled in Edina, Minnesota, where the young Richard Fliehr lived throughout his childhood.

The pilot of the private aircraft (a Cessna 310) involved in Flair's 1975 plane crash languished in a coma for a year before dying. It was discovered after the accident that the pilot was flying on a suspended license. Flair later sued the pilot's estate for damages and won.

Flair has appeared in three motion pictures: The Wrestler (1974), Body Slam (1987), and Sting: Moment of Truth (2004).

Flair's son David Flair is also a professional wrestler. Flair's younger son Reid Fliehr is an accomplished high school wrestler and made several appearances on WCW television along with his sister Ashley and half-sister Megan.


Old Post 05-26-2006 08:45 PM
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post #21  quote:

My next inductee is an unknown entity for American Wrestling fans but for the fans of British wrestling he was one of the most popular wrestlers and entertainers of the sport.

If ever you get the chance to see one of his matches I strongly suggest you watch it.

This man is Les Kellet.

Yorkshireman Les Kellet was born in Bradford in 1915. After completing an engineering apprenticeship and travelling the world as a merchant seaman Les returned to Bradford following the Second World war and established himself as one of the most successful and popular British wrestlers of all time. His wrestling trainer, Len Pickard, and promoter George de Relwyskow Snr., are the two men credited with cajoling the reluctant Kellet to follow a professional career

Having turned professional in 1938, the outbreak of war soon curtailed Les's wrestling career. Returning to Britain after the war, and living in Manchester, it was a chance encounter with wrestler Joe Hill which resulted in Les moving back to Bradford and devoting his energies to a full time professional wrestling career. By 1946 he was travelling the country and attracting new fans wherever he wrestled.

Every fan of the Mountevans era has a favourite memory of Les, whether it be his spectacular spin through the ropes (falling backwards through the ropes and then hooking his feet on the top rope and propelling himself back into the ring), or making his opponent look foolish by feigning semi-consciousness and then sidestepping a blow at the last minute. It was this abilty to humiliate his opponent that gave Kellet his unique flair for pleasing the fans.

Les Kellet was British cruiserweight champion in the early 1950s, until the newly created Joint Promotions re-organised the weight divisions and ended his reign. Frankly, Les's huge charisma and popular appeal meant that the loss of the title was of no great consequence.

Outside of the ring Les Kellet had the reputation of being a very hard man with a high pain threshold. Stories abound of his no-nonsense approach to life, which he publicly admitted led to him being disliked by some in the profession. Personal contentment came from running a small holding and caf? with his wife, Margaret. There was tragedy for Margaret and Les in 2000, with the untimely death of one of their two sons, David, who wrestled as Dave Barrie.

Although Les's career continued until he was well into his sixties he remained a crowd pleaser until the very end. A distinguished occupant of the Hall of Fame, Les Kellet died on 9th January, 2002.


Old Post 05-29-2006 04:28 PM
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post #22  quote:

The next inductee is the weasel himself. Bobby 'the Brain' Heenan.

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan (born Raymond Louis Heenan November 1, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois), is an American professional wrestling manager and commentator. He is legendary in the business for his skill in drawing heel heat for himself and his wrestlers, and for his masterful on-screen repartee with Gorilla Monsoon as a color commentator.

Always a fan of wrestling, Heenan started in the wrestling profession early on, carrying bags and jackets for the wrestlers, and selling refreshments at the events. Heenan entered the wrestling business as a wrestler in 1965 as "Pretty Boy" Bobby Heenan, a cowardly heel. Self-taught, he was a gifted wrestler but did not have the drive to stay in "wrestling shape", however his talent for giving promos led to some early success. He quickly found that his talent was not as a wrestler, but as a manager. At the time, heels were often given managers to speak for them in interviews, rile up the crowd during matches, and cheat on their behalf. Heenan, dumping the "Pretty Boy" moniker for Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, went on to manage some of the most successful wrestlers in the world, creating The Heenan Family, a stable that would exist (in several different reincarnations and wrestling promotions) for over 20 years.

Heenan started in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) as a manager for Nick Bockwinkel and Ray "The Crippler" Stevens, a duo which became several-time AWA Tag Team Champions under Heenan's leadership. The AWA was the starting point for Heenan's first Heenan Family, which consisted of Bockwinkel, Stevens, Bobby Duncum Sr., and Blackjack Lanza. In 1975, with Heenan in his corner, Bockwinkel captured his first of several AWA Championships, ending the 7-year reign of perennial champion Verne Gagne. While Bockwinkel was AWA champion, in 1976, Lanza and Duncum captured the AWA Tag Team Championship, making Heenan the first manager in history to simultaneously manage both a major promotion's singles and tag team World Champions.

In early 1979, Heenan left the AWA to work in the National Wrestling Alliance's Georgia Championship Wrestling group. He returned in late 1979 and resumed managing Nick Bockwinkel to renewed championship success, including against a young up-and-coming challenger named Hulk Hogan in 1983.

In 1984, Vince McMahon, Jr. lured Heenan away from the AWA to manage Jesse "The Body" Ventura; however, after Ventura contracted blood clots in his lungs, he was forced to end his active wrestling career. Heenan instead became Big John Studd's manager for his feud with Andr? the Giant, and he soon reformed the Heenan Family. Over Heenan's WWF career, the Heenan Family included Studd, Ken Patera, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, King Kong Bundy, Andr? the Giant, The Brain Busters (former Horsemen members Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Harley Race, The Islanders (Haku and Tama), Hercules, The Barbarian, Mr. Perfect, Terry Taylor, and The Brooklyn Brawler. As a manager, he was always one of the most hated men, often the most hated man, in the promotion.

Heenan and the Heenan Family had a monumental feud with wrestling icon Hulk Hogan in the 80's, and Heenan managed two WrestleMania challengers to Hogan's title, "King Kong" Bundy in 1986, and Andr? the Giant in 1987. The 1987 edition of WrestleMania, WrestleMania III, set a record for the largest indoor attendance of a sporting event in the world. Andr? did not win the title at that time, but later bested Hogan for the championship in 1988 in a controversial win after he aligned himself with "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.

Heenan eventually managed several WWF Tag Team Champions, including The Colossal Connection (Andre the Giant and Haku), and the Brain Busters. He also managed Rick Rude and later Mr. Perfect to the Intercontinental Championship, and introduced the "Real World Heavyweight Champion" (then-NWA World Champion) Ric Flair to the WWF in 1991. He acted as an advisor and sometime manager to Flair during his first WWF run (and coined the phrase, "That's not fair to Flair").

In 1986, Heenan became a color commentator in addition to his managing duties. He replaced Jesse Ventura on Prime Time Wrestling, aired on the USA Network, teaming up with Gorilla Monsoon. He also replaced Ventura to team up with Monsoon on the syndicated All Star Wrestling.

That show was replaced in the fall of '86 with "Wrestling Challenge." Heenan and Monsoon's usually-unscripted banter, with Heenan as the instigator and Monsoon as the voice of reason was very entertaining, and inspired many classic moments. Heenan, calling himself a "broadcast journalist" despite his obvious slant toward heel wrestlers, referred to his audience as "humanoids."

Heenan left the WWF towards the end of 1993, both to lighten his travel schedule and because Vince McMahon asked him to take a 50% pay cut. He was given an on-air farewell by Gorilla Monsoon who, pretending to be fed up by Heenan's insults, threw him and his belongings out of the arena.

He soon signed on with World Championship Wrestling.

In WCW, Heenan ended his managing career to focus on commentary full-time. He served as color commentator on WCW flagship shows Monday Nitro and Thunder, as well as the Clash of the Champions specials and many pay-per-views. Heenan was largely uninspired in WCW due to the negative work environment, which he would later describe as night and day compared to the WWF. However, Heenan was still engaging in his Brain persona. At one notable Clash of the Champions event broadcast live on TBS in 1996, Heenan screamed, "What the f*** are you doing?" when Brian Pillman grabbed him by his injured neck during Pillman's "loose cannon" gimmick. Heenan would return to the air later on and apologize for his audible cursing on air. The language was edited out of all WCW tapes, and can only be heard if one taped the actual event that aired. Heenan made one brief return to ringside at the 1996 edition of the Great American Bash, leading Ric Flair and Arn Anderson to victory over Steve McMichael and Kevin Greene.

Toward the end of 1999, WCW began replacing Heenan on its weekly telecasts, as well as on pay-per-views. WCW management then declared Heenan was working too infrequently for his salary, and he was released by WCW in November 2000.

Heenan kept busy after being let go by WCW, providing commentary to the Gimmick Battle Royal match at WrestleMania X-Seven and lending his talents to smaller promotions. In January 2002, Heenan announced on his website that he was battling throat cancer:

"I just want to let all the wonderful "humanoids" out there know how grateful I am for the good wishes...

Yes, I do have throat cancer, but I plan on beating this too.

If the late, Great Gorilla Monsoon couldn't shut me up, Cancer isn't going to either.."

Heenan has since largely recovered from throat cancer, but lost a great deal of weight, dramatically changing his appearance, and suffered a drastically changed voice.

He has written two career memoirs, 2002's Bobby The Brain: Wrestling's Bad Boy Tells All, which includes an introduction by Hulk Hogan and 2003's Chair Shots & Other Obstacles: Winning Life's Wrestling Matches. Both books were co-written by Steve Anderson.

In 2004, Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame shortly before WrestleMania XX. In his acceptance speech, he paid tribute to his late broadcast partner, saying "I wish Monsoon were here."

Heenan is still involved in wrestling on a limited basis, giving interviews and making sporadic appearances. In 2004 he returned to the spotlight, feuding with fellow managerial legend Jim Cornette in Ring of Honor. He is widely believed to be one of the greatest wrestling managers ever, and one of wrestling's unique personalities.

On April 2, 2005 Heenan inducted his former protege Paul Orndorff into the WWE Hall of Fame and on April 1, 2006 Heenan inducted Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza into the WWE Hall of Fame. On the same night he also pulled an April Fools day joke on the live audience by claiming that there was a backstage pass for the following nights Wrestlemania 22 beneath one of the seats.

Bobby Heenan appeared for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) in November 2005 on TNA iMPACT! in part of a segment where Chicago White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski and coach Dale Torborg presented TNA wrestlers A.J. Styles, Chris Sabin, and Sonjay Dutt with autographed gifts from the team. They were interrupted by Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper, and David Young (collectively known as the Diamonds in the Rough), which led to a second appearance.

Wrestlers managed

Nick Bockwinkel

Ray "The Crippler" Stevens

Bobby Duncum Sr.

Blackjack Lanza

Dick Warren

Jesse "The Body" Ventura

Big John Studd

King Kong Bundy

Andr? the Giant

Arn Anderson

Tully Blanchard

"Ravishing" Rick Rude

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff

Harley Race

The Islanders (Haku and Tama)

Hercules

The Barbarian

Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig

Terry Taylor

The Brooklyn Brawler.

Ric Flair

CM Punk

Heenan's most prolific nickname was "weasel," a term that crowds across the world chanted incessantly at the loathed Heenan. Face commentator Roddy Piper referred to him as "boobs" or "boobsy."

Heenan broke down in tears when he and Tony Schiavone announced the death of Gorilla Monsoon on the October 11, 1999 live broadcast of WCW Monday Nitro. Monsoon died on October 6. He reportedly insisted that they announce the death of his friend.

Heenan revealed that he and Hulk Hogan are actually friends in real life despite being sworn adversaries on-camera. Throughout most of his career in the WWF and WCW, Heenan would stay "in character" and lead people to believe that he and Hogan never got along and he hated him. Heenan said that it was all "good acting".

Championships/Accomplishments

Heenan won four Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Manager of the Year Awards during his career. He won in 1972, 1976, 1989 and 1991.


Old Post 06-10-2006 07:31 PM
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post #23  quote:

The next inductee is arguably one of the greatest champions in Wrestling History, Bruno Sammartino.

Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino (born October 6, 1935 in Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, Italy), is a former professional wrestler, known most for being the longest-running champion of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, holding the title across two reigns for over 12 years in total.

"The Italian Strongman" has often been called "The Living Legend" of professional wrestling and is considered one of the greatest performers professional wrestling has ever known. Sammartino's actual wrestling ability was somewhat limited compared to "real" pro wrestlers like Lou Thesz, but his brawling style, power moves, and personal charisma, plus the fact that he came across as a genuinely nice guy, won him many fans, especially on the East Coast. During his career, Bruno was also known as "The Original Italian Stallion." Bruno weighed in at 245 - 285 pounds (he took off some weight in his later years) and he stood 5'10".

As a child Bruno and his family hid in caves from German soldiers during the latter stages of World War II; around 1951 he came to the United States, settling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Sammartino started wrestling in 1959. He won the WWWF World Championship title on May 17, 1963, defeating "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in just 48 seconds. He kept this title for an incredible seven years, eight months, and one day; it still stands as the longest continuous world title reign in wrestling history.

Sammartino was undoubtedly the most popular wrestler in the Northeastern United States during the 1960s and 1970s. He headlined cards that filled Madison Square Garden on a monthly basis, and over 200 times overall, the most of any individual. He battled the top heels of his time, including Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon, and George "The Animal" Steele. Finally, on January 18, 1971, Sammartino lost the title at Madison Square Garden to Ivan Koloff. The crowd was so stunned into silence that Sammartino thought his hearing had been damaged.

In between his two title runs, on September 30, 1972, Sammartino battled then-titleholder Pedro Morales to an over one-hour draw in a scientific title match at Shea Stadium in New York. Eventually, on December 10, 1973, Sammartino regained the WWWF Championship, defeating Stan Stasiak. His second title run lasted over three years.

During this time, on April 26, 1976, Sammartino suffered a neck fracture in a match against Stan Hansen at Madison Square Garden, when Hansen improperly executed a body slam. After two months of recovery, Sammartino returned, and faced Hansen in a rematch on June 25, 1976 at Shea Stadium. Sammartino scored a decisive count-out win, after Hansen ran from the ring. This was rated 1976 Match of the Year by a number of wrestling magazines.

His second WWWF Championship reign ended on April 30, 1977 when he was defeated by Superstar Billy Graham in a controversial ending when Graham had both feet on the ropes while successfully pinning Sammartino.

One of the most emotionally-charged feuds of Bruno's career started on January 22, 1980, when his former student Larry Zbyszko violently turned against him during a scientific exhibition, broadcast on the World Wrestling Federation's Championship Wrestling show. Bruno, shocked and hurt by Zbyszko's betrayal, vowed to make Zbyszko (whom Bruno described as a "Judas") pay dearly. Their series culminated on August 9, 1980, in front of 36,295 fans at Shea Stadium. As part of the Federation's Showdown At Shea card, Bruno defeated Zbyszko inside a steel cage.

After retiring from wrestling full-time in 1981, he spent the greater part of his time managing his son David, and wrestled only occasionally. His most notable feud during the mid-1980s was vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage, which began when Sammartino attacked Savage during a TV interview after Savage bragged about injuring Rick Steamboat by driving the timekeeper's bell into Steamboat's throat from off the top rope during a televised 1986 match. Sammartino often teamed with Tito Santana and even old enemy George "The Animal" Steele to wrestle Savage and "Adorable" Adrian Adonis; Sammartino also defeated Savage (via disqualification) in a lumberjack match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

In recent years Sammartino has publicly criticized the direction professional wrestling has taken, making reference to lurid storylines, over-the-top theatrics, steroid abuse, and the like. He disowned his son David along with the other side of his family, his brother Paul Sammartino and sister Maria Di Matteo and has not spoken to them in well over 17 years. In particular he has been on bad terms with Vince McMahon, saying that McMahon has despoiled the organization that McMahon's father started. As such Sammartino has refused to provide commentary on WWE-produced retrospectives of his career, instead participating in a series of independently-produced documentaries on his career, including Bruno Sammartino's Legends Never Die, La Roccia, The Passing of the Belt, and The Boys are Back.

Sammartino has also refused entry into the WWE Hall of Fame; however he is a founding inductee into the unrelated Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and is an inductee of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

Championships/Accomplishments


World Wrestling Federation

2-Time WWWF Champion

1-Time WWWF United States Tag Team Champion (with Spiros Arion)

1-Time WWWF International Tag Team Champion (with Dominic DeNucci)

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

1-Time NWA International Tag Team Champion (Toronto version) (with Whipper Billy Watson)

1-Time WWA Tag Team Champion (with Dick the Bruiser)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 200 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
Wrestling Magazine Awards

Bruno won several Awards from Wrestling Magazines in his career. He won Wrestler of the Year in 1974, Most Inspirational Wrestler in 1976 and the Editor's Award in 1981. He was part of 5 Match of the Year Awards: 1972 (won Battle Royal), 1975 (vs. Spiros Arion), 1976 (vs. Stan Hansen), 1977 (vs. Superstar Billy Graham) and 1980 (vs. Larry Zbyszko).

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (inducted in 1990)

1980 Feud of the Year (vs Larry Zbyszko)


Old Post 06-16-2006 02:43 AM
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post #24  quote:

The next inductee is the Superfly Jimmy Snuka.

James Reiher (born May 18, 1943 in Fiji) is an American professional wrestler, especially popular in the 1980s as Superfly Jimmy Snuka.

His nickname "Superfly" apparently came from his acrobatic skills and moves, including his signature wrestling move, where Snuka would leave his stunned opponent laying on the mat, and then Snuka would climb on to a corner of the ring's ropes, stand up, and dive face down, landing on the opponent in pin position (unless the opponent revived and moved out of the way).

Jimmy Snuka (the character), like Reiher, was from Fiji. He would wrestle barefoot. He popularized the "I Love You" gesture, which he displayed as he jumped from the ropes in his signature move.

Equal parts athlete and showman, he was a favorite in professional wrestling. He was also successful, winning the Pacific Northwest Wrestling (PNW) Heavyweight title five times and the PNW Tag Team Championship six times. Snuka went on to wrestle in several other National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) regions.

In March 1980 Snuka entered the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as a heel under the guidance of Captain Lou Albano. Snuka received several title shots at WWF champion Bob Backlund, the final being a famous steel cage match in which Snuka leaped from the top of the cage barely missing Backlund who managed to escape for the win. Even though Snuka was a heel, the Northeast fans started to cheer on Snuka and his athletic style. Eventually, Snuka and Albano split ways and Snuka became a face . Albano would bring in Snuka's former Mid Atlantic tag team partner Ray Stevens, to feud with him. Former Champion "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers became Snuka's manager. Rogers had also managed Snuka in the Mid Atlantic. Snuka was the top draw at the beginning of Vince McMahon's expansion and was a candidate for what would become Hulk Hogan's role in the company, but out of the ring issues and lack of mic skills relegated him to the midcard.

In 1983, Snuka encountered a personal crisis that would haunt him for many years to come. On May 10, 1983, after finishing his last match at the WWF TV taping at the Lehigh County Agricultural Hall in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Snuka became the focal point of an investigation regarding the suspicious death of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino. In the early hours the morning after the Allentown event, Argentino was discovered semi-conscious in a hotel room next to a sleeping Snuka. Various accounts of the cause came to light from alleged abuse to a slip and fall caused by intoxication. Argentino was taken to nearby hospital and later died of a skull fracture. The death was ruled accidental.

After a few months of recovery from the loss of his girlfriend, Snuka's most famous career moment occurred in October 1983 when he fought longtime rival "Magnificent" Don Muraco in a steel cage match in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The match ended in a loss for the Superfly but he managed to drag Muraco back into the ring and this time connect with his most famous Superfly Splash ever off the top of the steel cage at MSG. This single act cemented Jimmy Snuka as the top WWF wrestler of 1983 as well as lead the way for today's generation of high fliers in the squared circle. WWE superstar Mick Foley and ECW Star Tommy Dreamer were both in attendance at the event and both attribute this match as the reason they decided to aggressively pursue professional wrestling.

The following year began another highlight in his career with his fan favorite year long feud with "Rowdy Roddy Piper". After a segment on Piper's Pit where Piper was berating Jimmy by calling him a "big shot" and "monkey", Piper proceeded to smash a real coconut on Jimmy's head when he turned his back momentarily. This was followed by a beating with a belt and further humiliation before the WWF cut to a commercial. It was truly the birth of an excellent storyline and feud between Piper and Snuka. Their matches were played out over venues across the US and concluded with Snuka managing Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Piper and Paul Orndorff (with Bob Orton in their corner) at the first ever WrestleMania in 1985.

After a stint in alcohol/drug rehab, Snuka resurfaced in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) replacing the injured Jerry Blackwell as Greg Gagne's partner in a tag team match against Bruiser Brody and Nord the Barbarian at WrestleRock '86. Snuka would split his time between the AWA and Japan throughout 1986 and 1987. His most notable feud in the AWA during that time was with Col. DeBeers (Ed Wiskoski).

Like many aging veterans before him, Snuka re-emerged to the WWF in 1989 to help put over younger stars, like Curt Hennig and Rick Rude. In 1991, he was the also first PPV singles opponent for The Undertaker who would be a top contender in the WWE for many years to come.

After leaving the WWF in 1991, Jimmy toured with various smaller organizations in the early 90's and played a role in the formation of Paul Heyman's ECW (Eastern Championship Wrestling) organization along with Don Muraco and Terry Funk. Snuka was ECW's first heavyweight champion and toured with the company in arguably the best shape of his life.

He was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1996. He also continued to spend much of his time with East Coast wrestling organizations through the late 1990's and into the 2000's. Snuka received a lifetime achievement award from the WWE in 2002 at Madison Square Garden and began to be thrust into skits by the WWE in 2004/2005.

In 2005, he appeared at the WWE Homecoming, in which he delivered a Superfly Splash to Rob Conway. He also took part in a backstage skit, chasing after a partially disrobed Mae Young with a wad of Ted DiBiase's money. He was a part of the 2005 Taboo Tuesday pay-per-view, where fans voted for him (ahead of Kamala and Jim Duggan) to team with Eugene against Rob Conway and Tyson Tomko. Snuka won the match, pinning Conway after a superfly splash.

Snuka continues to work in nostalgia bits for WWE as well as work for U.S. independent shows and conventions well into his 60's and seems to have no plans to retire. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Carol.

From what history has shown the wrestling world, Jimmy Snuka was indeed the founding father of modern-day extreme level ring intensity. This is not one's point of view, but is also proven through the entire list of Snuka's very intense matches with Bob Backlund and Don Muraco he had between 1982 and 1983. If you watch these matches, you will see that Snuka did indeed take ring performances to levels they had never even been before and showed himself to be the founding father of modern day ring intensity- which is the kind of ring intensity Paul Heyman based ECW to be- from the risky-business moves he displayed in the ring, and could probably even out-master a giant, tree-climbling gorilla in some ways to from what he had shown to the fans in these matches, such as still performing with great speed and velocity against Bob Backlund and Don Muraco- whom he could even splash and defeat after even building suspense with the fans by flashing them the "I love you" sign- even after he got injured after barely failing to splash Bob Backlund from atop a steel cage in 1982. It is not only through one's point of view, but is proven logically after watching many various old wrestling videos and studying their every move, compared to now-a-days Mick Foley and Terry Funk risky actions, where it is proven that Jimmy Snuka indeed was the Founding Father of Modern Day Ring Intensity and its concept. Snuka proved this by giving Bob Backlund the matches of his life with modern-day ring intensity, speed, and energy after he even got greatly injured after barely failing to splash Bob Backlund. Snuka still continued to show this great intensity, that ECW later followed, in his 1983 list of successful matches with Don Muraco too, and boasted it further by splashing Don Muraco from atop a steel cage on October 17, 1983. Snuka didn't win this cage match, but his feud with Don Muraco also showed that the intensity he used against Bob Backlund in 1982 was now even more dominant over his opponents and was now also shown to be at a greater energy performance level then it ever was before, and explained why the Rowdy Roddy Piper character had a good reason to envy Snuka the following year on Pipers Pit as well.

Snuka was the first ECW World Heavyweight Champion.

Snuka is the uncle of Rikishi and Umaga

Championships/Accomplishments

1-Time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion

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

2-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (with Paul Orndorff and Ray Stevens)

1-Time NWA National Tag Team Champion (with Terry Gordy)

5-Time NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion

6-Time NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Champion (with Dutch Savage)

1-Time American Wrestling Association (AWA) Southern

International Tag Team Champion (with J.T. Southern)

1-Time WCCW Texas Heavyweight Champion

1-Time WCCW Texas Tag Team Champion (with Gino Hernandez)

2-Time ECW Heavyweight Champion

1-Time ECW Television Champion

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

1981 Tag Team of the Year (with Terry Gordy)

1981 Best Flying Wrestler

Other titles

1-Time WWWA Heayvweight Champion

1-Time USA Pro Heavyweight Champion

1-Time Tri-State Heavyweight Champion

1-Time USA New York Champion

Member of WWE Hall of Fame (inducted in 1996)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him #29 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003. He was also ranked #41 of the best tag teams during the "PWI Years" with Ray Stevens.

Snuka won the PWI Tag Team of the Year Award in 1980 with Ray Stevens and the 1983 PWI Most Popular Wrestler Award. He was involved in the 1982 Match of the Year (vs. Bob Backlund).


Old Post 06-19-2006 09:10 PM
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post #25  quote:

The next inductee is the man who kept WCW running in the early years. The only big name wrestler never to wrestle for Vince McMahon Jr. The man they call Sting.

Steven James Borden (born March 20, 1959 in Omaha, Nebraska), better known by his ring name, Sting, is an American professional wrestler, currently wrestling for TNA/NWA.

Sting has consistently been pushed as a main event wrestler since the the late 1980s. He is perhaps best known for his 14 year career with WCW, where he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on six occasions. He is one of the few prominent American professional wrestlers of the modern era to have never worked for the WWE.

Steve Borden trained as a wrestler under Bill Anderson and debuted in November 1985 as Flash. He initially wrestled as a member of Power Team USA, a stable headed by Red Bastien and containing Borden and three other former bodybuilders.

Power Team USA disbanded in 1986, and two of the members, Borden and Rock, formed a tag team known as the Blade Runners. The Blade Runners wrestled in the Oklahoman Universal Wrestling Federation until Rock left the promotion in mid-1986. Adopting the ring name Sting, Borden joined Hotstuff and Hyatt International, a stable headed by Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt. He won the UWF Tag Team Championship twice with Gilbert in 1986, and a third time with Rick Steiner in 1987.

In late 1987, the Universal Wrestling Federation was purchased by Jim Crockett Promotions. Quickly rising through the ranks, Sting began a lengthy feud with then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair in 1988, with he and Flair wrestling one another to to a 45-minute time limit draw at the inaugural Clash of Champions in 1988. The feud was put on hold later that year when Sting and Flair joined forces to repel Keiji Mutoh and his allies. When Flair formed the Four Horsemen in late 1988, Sting was quick to join.

In November 1988, Jim Crockett sold Jim Crockett Promotions to Ted Turner, who renamed the promotion "World Championship Wrestling".

Sting was thrown out of the Four Horsemen on February 6, 1990 at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout after demanding a title shot from Flair, this restarting their rivalry. Later that evening, Sting suffered a knee injury while interfering in a steel cage match featuring the Four Horsemen. Sting's injury forced WCW bookers to find a new opponent for Flair for the forthcoming WrestleWar pay-per-view. Sting was eventually replaced by Lex Luger, who unsuccessfully challenged Flair for the title in a series of matches while Sting recuperated.

Upon his return, Sting and his allies, the Dudes With Attitudes, continued to feud with the Four Horsemen, and Sting finally defeated Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on July 7, 1990 at the 1990 Great American Bash. He went on to feud with title contenders Lex Luger and Sid Vicious. Vicious appeared to defeat Sting in a title match at Halloween Havoc 1990, but the "Sting" who he pinned was revealed to be an impostor, played by Horseman Barry Windham. The real Sting appeared soon after and pinned Vicious to retain his title when the match was restarted. His reign ended on January 11, 1991 when he was defeated by Flair. In the same month, WCW seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance, in the process recognising a WCW World Heavyweight Championship and a WCW World Tag Team Championship.

At the end of 1991, Sting became embroiled in a feud with the Dangerous Alliance, headed by manager Paul E. Dangerously. The stable targeted Sting because he was the so-called "franchise" of WCW, and vowed to destroy both him and the promotion that he was the face of. Sting engaged in many memorable matches with Dangerous Alliance members, especially "Ravishing" Rick Rude, who was the group's main star. It was during this feud that he won the first of his six WCW World Heavyweight titles, defeating Lex Luger at SuperBrawl II on February 29, 1992. The feud ended when Sting and his allies, named Sting's Squadron (consisting of himself, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham, and Nikita Koloff) defeated the Alliance (Rude, "Stunning" Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, and Bobby Eaton) in a brutal War Games match at WrestleWar in May of 1992.

Near the end of Sting's battles with the Dangerous Alliance, the seeds were sown for what would arguably come to be the most famous feud of his career. In April 1992, he defended his WCW World title at The Omni in Atlanta against a 450-pound bull of a wrestler named Big Van Vader. During the match, Vader splashed Sting, cracking three of his ribs. Sting recovered and defended his title against Vader at The Great American Bash in July, dropping the belt to him after missing a Stinger Splash, hitting his head, and receiving a brutal powerbomb. After beating Cactus Jack in a falls-count-anywhere match at Beach Blast and newcomer Jake "The Snake" Roberts in a "Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal" match at Halloween Havoc, Sting again faced Vader in the "King of Cable" tournament final at StarrCade. Once again, Sting endured a harsh beating, but this time emerged victorious.

The Sting-Vader feud continued into 1993, with Vader defeating Sting in a bloody strap match at SuperBrawl III. Sting exacted revenge by beating Vader for the World title on March 11 in London, England, but lost it back to him six days later in Dublin, Ireland. Sting then teamed up with newcomer Davey Boy Smith to beat the team of Vader and Sid Vicious at Beach Blast, a match that was set up by an atrocious mini-movie that saw an evil midget blow up Sting's boat. At the end of the year, Sting was one of the first people to congratulate the newly-returned Ric Flair after his title victory over Vader at StarrCade.

Sting would feud with Vader and Rude through the first half of 1994, defeating Vader in a match for the vacant NWA World title (referred to as the WCW International World title) at Slamboree after Rude was forced to vacate due to his suffering a career-ending injury against Sting in Japan. Soon afterwards, Flair turned heel and defeated Sting in a title unification match at Clash of the Champions XXVII. Sting would spend the second half of '94 and most of 1995 teaming with new arrival Hulk Hogan in his battles against the Three Faces of Fear and, later, the Dungeon of Doom.

In October 1995, Flair convinced Sting to team with him in a tag match against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman at Halloween Havoc, as Anderson and Pillman had attacked Flair earlier in the night. Flair was unable to come out for the first part of the match and Sting fended off both Anderson and Pillman alone. Finally, Flair came out, but eventually turned on Sting and reformed the Four Horsemen with Anderson, Pillman, and later Chris Benoit. Sting would close out 1995 by feuding with the Horsemen. His alliances with Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage led the Horsemen to attack them as well.

The first part of 1996 had Sting teaming with Lex Luger (who had returned to WCW in September of '95) to win the WCW World Tag Team titles from Harlem Heat. When Luger became temporarily unavailable in March of '96, Harlem Heat member Booker T teamed up with Sting on one memorable occasion to successfully prevent the titles from changing hands. A rematch between Harlem Heat and the team of Luger & Sting then came the following night, in which a mutual respect was displayed between Sting and Booker T. Harlem Heat eventually won the titles back on the June 24, 1996 edition of WCW Monday Nitro.

Sting also received a World title shot against The Giant at Slamboree, but lost after accidental interference from Luger. In the summer of 1996, Sting stood up against The Outsiders and in an eventful match at Bash at the Beach 1996, Sting, Luger and Savage fought to a draw with Nash, Hall, and their third ally, which turned out to be Hulk Hogan.

Sting in a 1999 CNN show about wrestling The nWo soon introduced an imposter Sting (eventually nicknamed 'Stink' by some fans of the real Sting; he was played by Jeff Farmer, and later by Chris Harris), which led the crowd to believe that Sting had turned his back on WCW. When the real Sting returned he was upset by the crowd's reaction and by the fact that many people believed that he had in fact betrayed WCW, and so he left WCW. However, at certain events, he appeared mysteriously in the rafters; his new silent persona was quite obviously inspired by The Crow. He also began using a baseball bat as his signature weapon.

At the end of Clash of the Champions XXXV on August 21, 1997, during Sting's new entrance music, the following message was spoken to the nWo embedded in the melancholy music:

When a man's heart is full of deceit it burns up, dies, and a dark shadow falls over his soul. From the ashes of a once great man has risen a curse, a wrong that must be righted. We look to the skies for a vindicator, someone to strike fear into the black heart of the same man who created him. The battle between good and evil has begun. Against an army of shadows comes the Dark Warrior, the purveyor of good, with a voice of silence, and a mission of justice. This is Sting.

He would shortly return to WCW, showing his true colors and helping to fend off the nWo with a title match against "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan at StarrCade 1997, winning controversially due to a decision by special guest referee Bret Hart. He later lost the title to nWo member Randy Savage at Spring Stampede in April 1998, due to interference from Kevin Nash, who jackknife powerbombed him and placed Savage on him for the pin.

Later in 1998, nWo split up owing to differences between Hogan and Nash. Nash formed the nWo Wolfpac, which Sting joined two months later. Sting would go on to win the tag titles as part of Nash's stable. When nWo recombined and went fully heel again after the Fingerpoke of Doom incident that started 1999, Sting left the stable and went out on his own once more. he returned in april for spring stampede but was unsuccessful in winning the world belt at spring stampede.

Sting unsuccessfully tried to turn heel in 1999 when he defeated Hogan to win the World Title, but this heel turn was poorly received by fans and he was soon turned face once again. He then went on to defeat Lex Luger. In 2000, Sting had an intense feud with the newcomer Vampiro, which sparked Vampiro's popularity. He was "injured" by Scott Steiner in 2000, leaving WCW TV for good. However, he would return for the last episode of WCW Monday Nitro, on March 26, 2001 and defeated his long time rival Ric Flair in what turned out to be the very last WCW match ever.

Sting was one of the few high profile wrestlers in WCW who did not work for the WWF at any point throughout the 1990s, or 2000s and remained with WCW in the late 1990s and early 2000s when dozens of other wrestlers "jumped ship" to the WWF.

Sting returned to professional wrestling in late-2002, touring Europe with the World Wrestling All-Stars throughout November and December. His first match with the WWA was on November 28, 2002 in Dublin, Ireland, and saw Sting team with Lex Luger to defeated Buff Bagwell and Malice. On December 6, 2002 in Glasgow, Scotland, Luger defeated Sting in a match for the vacant WWA World Heavyweight Championship following interference from Jeff Jarrett. On December 13, 2002 in Z?rich, Switzerland, Sting defeated Luger to become the WWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Sting toured Australasia with the WWA in May 2003. On May 21, 2003 he successfully defended the WWA World Heavyweight Championship against Rick Steiner and Shane Douglas in Sydney, Australia, and on May 23, 2003 in Melbourne, Australia he retained the title in a match with Disco Inferno, despite interference from Chris Sabin and Konnan. On the last ever WWA show, on May 25, 2003 in Auckland, New Zealand, Sting lost the WWA World Heavyweight Championship to NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett in a championship unification bout following interference on Jarrett's behalf by Rick Steiner. This last show aired on pay-per-view in the United States on June 8, 2003.

Sting is currently contracted to TNA/NWA.

Borden is married to Sue, with whom he has two sons, Garrett and Steven, and a daughter, Gracie. He has been a born-again Christian since August 1998, and is a church deacon. He occasionally appears at religious wrestling shows hosted by fellow born-again Christians Ted DiBiase and Nikita Koloff.

Sting appeared in the 1998 film The Real Reason (Men Commit Crimes), the 2000 film Shutterspeed and the 2000 film Ready To Rumble. He has also made guest appearances in several television series, including Thunder in Paradise, Walker, Texas Ranger, The Upright Citizens Brigade, The Nightmare Room, The Nick Cannon Show and MADtv. In 2004, a biographical film entitled Sting: Moment of Truth about Sting's life was released direct-to-video. The scripted film features numerous wrestling personalities, with Sting reprising his role as a seasoned wrestler, and Donnie Fallgatter playing the role of Sting as a rookie wrestler. Sting has also hosted the Trinity Broadcasting Network's flagship program Praise The Lord on two separate occasions.


Old Post 06-26-2006 03:07 PM
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post #26  quote:

The next inductee is the man who work the hardest with the Ulitmate Warrior to make the Warrior appear to be a proper wrestler and was one of the founding members of D-X.

Ravishing Rick Rude.

Richard Erwin Rood (December 7, 1958 - April 20, 1999), better known by his ring name of "Ravishing" Rick Rude, was a professional wrestler who performed for many promotions, most notably World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, in the 1980s and 1990s.

After graduating from Anoka Ramsey Junior College with a degree in Physical Education, Rood began wrestling in 1983 as Ricky Rood, a babyface jobber. He started with Vancouver's NWA All Star Wrestling before moving on to compete for Georgia Championship Wrestling and later Memphis-based Mid-Southern Wrestling. He later left and joined the National Wrestling Alliance affiliate Jim Crockett Promotions where he and a variety of tag team partners feuded with The Road Warriors. He returned to Memphis Championship Wrestling in 1984, this time as "Ravishing" Rick Rude, an overconfident, arrogant heel managed by Jimmy Hart. Rude feuded with Jerry Lawler and later his former partner, King Kong Bundy.

Rude was hired by Florida Championship Wrestling in December 1984 where he was managed by Percy Pringle and feuded with Billy Jack Haynes and Wahoo McDaniel, while teaming with Jesse Barr. After a year, he jumped to World Class Championship Wrestling along with Pringle, where he feuded with Kerry Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich and Chris Adams. After losing the WCCW Championship to Adams in July 1986, he fired Pringle and briefly replaced him with his sister, Raven. He formed a short-lived tag team with The Dingo Warrior, but the Warrior turned on him and became a face.

In September 1986, Rude returned to Jim Crockett Promotions and joined Manny Fernandez and his manager Paul Jones in their rivarly with Wahoo McDaniel. Rude and Fernandez won the NWA World Tag Team Championships on December 6, 1986 from the Rock 'N Roll Express, and began an epic feud that ended only when Rude left the promotion for the World Wrestling Federation in April 1987. To explain the sudden departure, Jim Crockett, Jr. aired a pre-taped non-title match where the Express defeated Rude and Fernandez and claimed that Rude had been injured as a result.

In the WWF, Rude was managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and feuded with "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff before starting one of his most famous feuds with Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Rude had a routine where he would kiss a girl (that Heenan picked from the fans) all the way down to the mat. He tried to get Roberts' wife, Cheryl, to comply, aggravating Roberts. On one memorable occasion, Rude came to the ring with a picture of Cheryl stenciled on the front of his tights. A furious Roberts charged the ring and stripped Rude, appearing to leave him naked.

Rude's next big feud was with The Ultimate Warrior and began in January 1989. With a little help from Heenan, Rude won the Intercontinental Championship from the Warrior at WrestleMania V, before dropping it back to the Warrior at SummerSlam 1989 due in large part to interference from "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Rude then feuded with Piper, before resuming his conflict with the Warrior in the summer of 1990 after the Warrior had won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. The two battled in a cage at SummerSlam 1990, in the only Pay-Per-View Rude would ever headline as a solo wrestler. Rude failed to win the title and departed the WWF in October 1990.

Rude returned to Jim Crockett Promotions, now known as World Championship Wrestling, as The Halloween Phantom at Halloween Havoc on October 27, 1991. He founded and led The Dangerous Alliance, consisting of himself, Paul E. Dangerously, Madusa, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Larry Zbyszko and "Stunning" Steve Austin. Rude won the United States Championship from Sting and feuded with Ricky Steamboat, at one point breaking his nose in a gang attack.

In 1992, Rude and Madusa left The Dangerous Alliance and feuded with Nikita Koloff. Rude challenged reigning World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons on several occasions but did not defeat him. He was injured in December and was forced to forfeit the United States Championship. Rude returned alone in April 1993 and tried to reclaim the title from Dustin Rhodes, who had won it while he was injured. The title was eventually held up after several controversial finishes to matches between the two.

Rude switched his sights to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, making his intentions clear on August 28, 1993, when he was the guest on then-champion Ric Flair's "A Flair For the Gold" talk show. Rude went on to defeat Flair for the title in September 1993 at Fall Brawl. However, as WCW had recently withdrawn from the NWA, the title could no longer be called the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (WCW had purchased the belt itself, however). The title was renamed the WCW International Championship, which Rude lost to Hiroshi Hase on March 16, 1994 in Tokyo, Japan. Rude regained the title just eight days later in Kyoto, Japan. After dropping the title to Sting on April 17, Rude pinned Sting on May 1 to become a three time champion. However, Rude was stripped of the title as he was found to have used the title belt as a weapon in the course of the match. Rude retired shortly after due to a back injury suffered while wrestling Sting.

Rude collected on an insurance policy and did not compete in wrestling again until 1997, when he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling as a masked man who harassed Shane Douglas, at one point spanking Francine. He eventually unmasked and became a color commentator. He would later align himself, for a short time, with Shane Douglas and his Triple Threat. During the ECW versus USWA / WWF inter-company competition, Rude helped Jerry "The King" Lawler defeat ECW mainstays, Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman.

Rude later returned to the WWF as an "insurance policy" of D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna). He assisted with several sneak attacks on The Undertaker. He left the WWF after the Montreal Screwjob at the 1997 Survivor Series. According to Bret Hart, Rude stayed in the locker room during Bret's confrontation with Vince McMahon. Rude then called Eric Bischoff and informed him what had happened was in fact real. As Rude was not signed to a full-time contract with WWF, and was performing on a "per appearance" basis, Rude was able to negotiate a deal with Bischoff and WCW, in part due to his anger over the Montreal Screwjob. Then, in a memorable evening causing much embarrassment to the WWF, Rude appeared on both RAW is WAR and WCW Monday Nitro on November 17, 1997. A clean-shaven Rude appeared on Nitro, which was live, and proceeded to criticize the WWF, calling the company the "Titanic" (a reference to Titan Enterprises, as the WWF's parent company was then known, as the "sinking ship"). An hour later on RAW (which had been taped six days earlier), Rude then appeared with a beard. Also of note, Rude appeared on ECW's Hardcore TV during that weekend (November 14-16 as the show was syndicated differently depending on the market). Rude was still making ECW appearances while in D-Generation X.

Rude became a member of the New World Order, managing his friend Curt Hennig. When the nWo split, Hennig and Rude joined the nWo Wolfpac and tried to motivate Konnan to defeat Goldberg, who was undefeated at the time. When Konnan was defeated by Goldberg, Rude and Hennig attacked him, later joining nWo Hollywood, the rivals of the Wolfpac. By late 1998, Rude had left WCW amid rumors that he was training for a comeback to full-time wrestling. He briefly appeared with the WWF as a commentator on their pay-per-view pre-shows.

Rick Rude died on April 20, 1999 at the age of 40, after suffering heart failure. His death has been attributed variously to alleged steroid abuse and the cumulative effect of the bumps he took throughout his career.


Old Post 06-30-2006 10:03 PM
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post #27  quote:

The next inductee is the WWE's first King of Wrestling. Harley Race.

Harley Leland Race (born April 11, 1943 in Quitman, Missouri), is an American professional wrestler and promoter. During his career as a wrestler, he amassed eight NWA World Heavyweight Championship reigns at a time when wrestlers rarely repeated as champion, and worked for all of the major wrestling promotions, including the NWA, the AWA, WWE, and WCW. His ring skill, legitimate toughness, and classic matches with the icons of professional wrestling make him a legend in the business.

Race was an early fan of pro wrestling, watching programming from the nearby Chicago territory on the DuMont Network. He began training as a pro wrestler as a teen under former world champions Stanislaus and Wladak Zbyszko, who operated a farm in his native Missouri. At age 15, while in high school, an altercation with another classmate led to the principal kneeing Race in the back of the head as he tried to break up the fight. Enraged, Race attacked him, resulting in his expulsion. Already 6'1" and 225 pounds, Race decided to get his start in pro wrestling.

Race was recruited by St. Joseph wrestling promoter Gus Karras, who hired Race to do odd jobs for his promotion. Eventually, Race started wrestling on some of his shows, and some of Karras' veteran wrestlers helped further Race's training. At the age of 18, he moved to Nashville and began wrestling under the alias of "Jack Long", forming a tag team with "brother" John Long. The duo quickly captured the Southern Tag Team Championship. Race was seen as a rising star in the business with a bright future, until a car accident left him temporarily paralyzed. Although he recovered from his paralysis, doctors told him that he might never walk again, and his wrestling career was over. Undaunted, Race endured grueling physical therapy for several months and made a full recovery. He returned to the ring in 1964, wrestling for the Funks' Amarillo, Texas territory. This time, he wrestled under his own name, after his father told him that he shouldn't work to make anyone else's name famous. Race never used a different ring name again.

In Amarillo, Race met fellow up-and-coming wrestler Larry Hennig (later Larry "The Axe" Hennig and father of Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig). The two formed a tag team and moved to the American Wrestling Association.

Race and Hennig branded themselves as "Handsome" Harley Race (which was actually moniker given to him by fans in Japan) and "Pretty Boy" Larry Hennig, a cocky heel tag team with a penchant for breaking the rules to win matches. They quickly become top contenders, and in January, 1965, they defeated the legendary tandem of Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher to capture the AWA Tag Team Championship. Race and Hennig continued to feud with the Bruiser and Crusher and other top teams for the next several years, amassing five title reigns. Verne Gagne, in particular, was a hated rival of the team, and recruited many different partners to try to defeat Race and Hennig during their AWA run.

Despite his tag team success, Race left the AWA after several years at the top of the division to pursue a singles career in the NWA. Although he would return at WrestleRock 86' (against Rick Martel) and challenge Larry Zbyszko for the AWA World title in October of 1990 in the main event of an AWA broadcast on ESPN.

Race jumped from territory to territory in the early 70's, renewing his rivalry with Terry Funk in Amarillo and winning a regional title. He was seen as a gifted territorial wrester, not quite ready for the worldwide spotlight, until 1973.

In 1973, Race faced NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dory Funk, Jr. in Kansas City, Missouri. Race emerged from the battle as the new World Champion in a stunning upset, a match Race considers the best of his career. Though Race held the title for only a few months, losing it to Jack Brisco in Houston, Texas in July, he became a worldwide superstar and perennial championship contender.

Race was determined to eventually regain the World Championship, often moving between territories and collecting several regional titles, including eight Central States Titles, seven Missouri Titles, the Georgia Heavyweight Championship, the Stampede North American Title in Canada, the Japan-based NWA United National and PWF Titles, and becoming the first-ever holder of the Mid-Atlantic U.S. Title, still defended today as the WWE United States Championship. This kept Race in contention for the World Championship, and Race vowed that he would only need one chance against the champion to regain it.

Race finally got his wish in 1977, facing familiar rival Terry Funk, who had become the champion since their previous encounters, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Race won the title by submission with the Indian Deathlock, a rarely-used submission move but one that put great pressure on Funk's injured leg. The NWA Champion once again, Race this time established his dominance, defending the title up to six times a week and holding it for four years (excluding extremely short reigns by Tommy Rich, Dusty Rhodes, and Giant Baba). At the time, the NWA, AWA and WWF were on good terms, and Race engaged in title vs. title matches with WWF Champions "Superstar" Billy Graham and Bob Backlund, as well as AWA Champion Nick Bockwinkel. Race toured extensively all over the country and the world, including many stints in Japan, where he was already well-known from his visits with Larry Hennig.

Race finally lost the title to Dusty Rhodes in 1981, and despite many attempts, could not regain it from the popular fan favorite. Rhodes lost the title to up-and-coming star Ric Flair, though, and Race was able to defeat Flair in St. Louis in 1983 for his seventh reign as champion, breaking the record previously held by Lou Thesz. What followed was one of the classic angles of the 80's, which led to the first-ever NWA Starrcade event.

Determined not to lose the title again, Race offered a $25,000 bounty to anyone who could eliminate Flair from the NWA. Bob Orton, Jr. and Dick Slater attacked Flair, inflicting what appeared to be a career-ending neck injury, and collecting the bounty from Race after Flair announced his retirement. However, Flair's retirement was a ruse, and he eventually returned to action, much to Race's surprise. NWA officials set up a championship rematch, to be titled "NWA Starrcade: A Flair for the Gold." The match was to be held in Flair's backyard, Greensboro, North Carolina, which enraged Race. Race lost the title to Flair in the bloody and memorable Starrcade cage match in November, 1983. He would regain the NWA title for a quickie two-day reign in New Zealand in 1984 (a change not recognized by the NWA in the US until 1999, making Race an eight-time champion), but his loss to Flair at Starrcade was largely seen as the torch-passing from Race to Flair, who would go on to an unparalleled 16 reigns as World Heavyweight Champion (8 of those reigns as NWA World champion) and largely credits Race for igniting his legendary career.

Earlier in his career, Race became involved in the ownership side of wrestling, buying a portion of the Kansas City and later St. Louis territories. St. Louis was a stronghold of the NWA, and around this time in 1984, WWF owner Vincent K. McMahon began his invasion of NWA territories, including St. Louis, in his ambition to build a truly national wrestling promotion. Race was enraged, famously confronting Hulk Hogan at a WWF event in Kansas City. Race lost over $500,000 as an owner of the St. Louis territory, and despite his championship years being at an end and wishing to retire from active competition, was forced to rely on continuing to wrestle to make a living. He continued to travel in the US and abroad, and in an ironic turn, signed with McMahon's WWF in 1986.

Race entered the WWF managed by longtime friend Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, bleaching his hair blond and billing himself again as "Handsome" Harley Race. During a time when feds did not recognize the existence of other feds and the accomplishments a wrestler made there, WWF officials came up with a solution to recognize his wrestling pedigree by renaming the WWF Wrestling Classic to the King of the Ring Tournament and making Race the eventual winner. After winning the 1986 King of the Ring tournament, however, he referred to himself as "King" Harley Race, coming to the ring in a royal crown and cape, to the ceremonial accompaniment of the classical music piece Pictures at an Exhibition, by Modest Mussorgsky.

He participated in a notable feud with the Junkyard Dog, culminating in a match at WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome. While Race never won the WWF Championship (at the time dominated by Hulk Hogan), his career was notable enough to earn him an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. He left the WWF in 1989 (after dropping the crown to Haku at the Royal Rumble), following a brief comeback from hernia surgery. He continued to wrestle until the Spring of 1991, most notably with WWC in Puerto Rico and the AWA. After retiring from competition, Race joined WCW in July 1991 as an adviser/manager to Lex Luger.

Race excelled as a manager as he had as a wrestler, immediately leading Lex Luger to the WCW World Championship. Later, he led Vader to win the title as well. During his managership of Vader, Race met with racial controversy when Vader was feuding with WCW wrestler Ron Simmons when saying during a promo, "When I was World Champion, I had a negro like you to carry my bags!". This was actually part of the booking strategy of then-WCW head Bill Watts to build support for Simmons, who he would eventually make champion. The wily veteran was popular among the young WCW talent, and developed close friendships with Mick Foley and Steve Austin, among others. However, as his early wrestling career had been nearly derailed due to a car accident, another car accident forced Race out of the wrestling business altogether. Race required hip replacement surgery, which, along with injuries accumulated after years in the ring, prevented him from even being a manager.

In October of 1999 he had the honor of introducing Bret Hart and Chris Benoit to the ring for their tribute match for Owen Hart.

Race spent several years away from the business, working briefly as a process server before retiring with his wife in small-town Missouri.

In 1998 another individual named Harley Race committed suicide. The news led to reports on Internet wrestling sites that Race the wrestler had taken his own life.

In 1999 he started World League Wrestling, an independent promotion which runs shows near Race's hometown of Kansas City. A year later, he started Harley Race's Wrestling Academy, which seeks to train up-and-coming wrestlers who will benefit from Race's unique experience and prespective on the wrestling business. Race's events are family oriented, and usually raise funds for local charities. As well as featuring his students, legends like Mick Foley, Terry Funk, Bret Hart, and even Mitsuharu Misawa make guest appearances. WLW has a working agreement with Misawa's Japanese promotion, Pro Wrestling NOAH. He is credited with training former world tag team champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.

Harley is also famous for his barbeques, to which he invites current and former wrestlers and friends. He and his wife, BJ, live in Eldon, Missouri.

Harley's autobiography, King of the Ring: the Harley Race Story (ISBN 1582618186), became available in 2004.

Harley Race has said in numerous interviews that he thinks he has what it takes to have at least one more career match, but doubts he'll ever return to the ring.

Along with Ricky Steamboat and Les Thatcher, Race is author of The Professional Wrestler's Workout and Instructional Guide.


Old Post 07-05-2006 08:30 PM
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post #28  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


Old Post 07-10-2006 07:43 PM
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post #29  quote:

The next inductee i8s one of the greatest Superheavyweights in Wrestling history. Gorilla Monsoon.

Robert Otto Marella (June 4, 1937 ? October 6, 1999), better known by his stage name of Gorilla Monsoon, was an American professional wrestler, play-by-play announcer, and booker. He is a legend in the business, famous for his run as one of the great super-heavyweights, and later as the voice of the World Wrestling Federation as announcer, on-screen President, and backstage manager during the 1980s and 1990s. In professional wrestling, the staging area just behind the entrance curtain at an event, a position which Marella established and where he could often be found during WWF shows late in his career, is named the Gorilla Position in his honor.

Marella attended Jefferson High School in Rochester, New York, becoming a standout athlete in football, amateur wrestling, and track and field. At the time, he weighed over 300 pounds (136 kg), and was affectionately called "Tiny" by his teammates.

Marella was also a standout athlete after high school at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. He continued to wrestle, now weighing over 350 pounds, and took second in the 1959 NCAA Wrestling Championships. He also held several school athletic records, including an 18-second wrestling pin, and several track-and-field distinctions. He was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1973.

Marella's size and athletic ability attracted the attention of New York promoter Pedro Martinez, and he went to wrestle for Martinez after graduating from Ithaca in 1959.

Marella originally billed himself as Gino Marella, a proud Italian-American babyface who would sing in Italian prior to his matches. Even after changing his stage name, "Gino" stuck as Marella's nickname among friends and colleagues, including Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who would call Marella "Gino" on the air. Marella garnered moderate popularity, but soon realized that fans paid more attention to outlandish monster heel gimmicks, and they therefore made more money. Marella totally revamped his image, growing a long beard and billing himself as Gorilla Monsoon, a terrifying giant from Manchuria. Supposedly born on an isolated farm, "Monsoon" traveled across the countryside with a gypsy caravan wrestling bears, spoke no English, ate raw meat, and drank his victims' blood. The Monsoon character was infinitely more successful, and fans were genuinely afraid of him, sparking a huge financial windfall for Marella. In the ring, Monsoon dominated opponents with vicious chops, the dreaded Manchurian Splash, and his signature move, the Airplane Spin.

In 1963, Vincent J. McMahon reformed the Capitol Wrestling Corporation into the World Wide Wrestling Federation, breaking his territory away from the National Wrestling Alliance in an attempt to create a new national powerhouse. At the time, the WWWF was the dominant wrestling promotion in the Northeast U.S. Marella formed a friendship with McMahon, and became a 1/6th shareholder in the WWWF, controlling bookings in several WWWF territories. He also became one of the promotion's top heels, feuding with popular babyface champion Bruno Sammartino in sellout arenas across the country. Despite his huge size, which was now in excess of 400 pounds, Monsoon had great agility and stamina, often wrestling Sammartino to one-hour time-limit draws. He also feuded with the legendary Andr? the Giant.

In the 70s, Monsoon became a babyface, now feuding with popular heel champion "Superstar" Billy Graham among others.

In 1976, a very famous incident occurred involving boxing great Muhammad Ali. Ali, preparing for his upcoming crossover match with Antonio Inoki in Japan, jumped into the ring while Monsoon was preparing for a match, ripped off his shirt, and started screaming at him. Monsoon, not missing a beat, grabbed Ali in his Airplane Spin and slammed him to the mat. Marella would never reveal whether the incident was preplanned. In an interview, he commented, "I never saw him before and haven?t seen him since."

In the late 70's, Marella's in-ring career wound down. He retired from the ring in 1980 and began the next phase of his career, as the voice and backstage manager of the WWF.

In the early 1980's, Vincent J. McMahon's son, current WWE owner Vincent K. McMahon, began assuming the reins of the promotion from his father. The elder McMahon asked his son to take care of long-time employees that had been loyal to him. The younger McMahon agreed, and in 1982, Vince bought Marella's shares in the company in exchange for a guarantee of lifetime employment. As he had been to his father, Marella became a close confidant of the younger McMahon, and assumed a prominent backstage role. In addition, McMahon needed a new, engaging announce team to head up his television programming, and installed Marella as Monsoon alongside fellow recently retired wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura as the new announcing team. Marella and Ventura had great chemistry, with Ventura as the pro-heel color commentator and Marella as the voice of reason. Marella and Ventura called five of the first six WrestleManias together. Monsoon was also paired with villainous manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, a duo that subsequent wrestling commentary teams have often tried to emulate. The two also formed a real-life friendship which Heenan recalls fondly. One of Monsoon's catch phrases was his (mis)use of the word "literally", such as "the fans are literally hanging from the rafters in here!". Presumably, this was done for humor, as Monsoon's announcing character was quite entertaining and popular. Monsoon to this date holds the record for most consecutive WrestleMania events on the commentary team, calling each event from 1985-1992.

Marella stepped down as lead announcer in 1993 for WCW recruit Jim Ross. Marella remained in his backstage role and appeared on-air frequently, becoming the storyline WWF President in 1995 (replacing the retiring Jack Tunney). The WWF President's role was to arbitrate disputes between wrestlers and make matches, similar to the current RAW and SmackDown! General Managers. Health concerns forced him to relinquish his role in 1997 (as Marella was subsequently replaced by Sgt. Slaughter), and Marella's health deteriorated from there. He made his last public appearance as a judge for the Brawl for All in 1999 at WrestleMania XV. Marella died of heart failure on October 6, 1999. He was 62.

Despite a 20-year-plus career as one of wrestling's most feared bad guys, most fans remember Gorilla Monsoon fondly as one of its most beloved and engaging personalities. He was one of the first inductees into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1994, and his voice brings back good memories to legions of fans. He has been sorely missed by his fans and friends, characterized by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan during his 2004 WWE Hall of Fame acceptance speech, in which, visibly shaken, he said of his old broadcast partner, "I just wish... that Monsoon was here."

Gorilla's personalized license plate read "KAYFABE," a reference to pro wrestling's code of secrecy.

Monsoon was Vincent J. McMahon's original choice to succeed him as company owner.

Fellow wrestler Hard Boiled Haggerty played a fictionalized version of Gorilla Monsoon in the 1984 comedy Micki and Maude.

Gorilla's son, Joey Marella, was a WWF referee. Joey was killed in an automobile accident and friends say his father never fully recovered from that tragedy.

Championships and accomplishments

2-Time WWC North American Champion

1-Time IWA World Heavyweight Champion

2-Time WWWF United States Tag Team Champion (with Killer Kowalski and Bill Watts)

2-Time WWA Tag Team Champion (with Luke Graham and El Mongol)

1994 WWE Hall of Famer

WWE President, 1995-1997

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

1985 Worst Television Announcer

1991 Worst Television Announcer

1992 Worst Television Announcer

1993 Worst Television Announcer

1994 Worst Television Announcer

1995 Worst Television Announcer


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post #30  quote:

The next inductee is one of the great characters of wrestling. The late, great Classy Freddie Blassie.

Fred Blassie was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in nearby Normandy, Missouri. He excelled at baseball, football, and boxing while in high school. After school he chose professional wrestling over boxing as a career, while working as a butcher for his day job; Blassie claimed to have made his pro wrestling debut in 1935 after training with Billy Hanson. He joined the United States Navy at the onset of World War II, and earned titles in boxing and sport wrestling while in service in the Pacific Theater. He also continued professional wrestling under the name Sailor Fred Blassie when in port.

His first match was against Don McIntyre in Birmingham, Alabama for the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title on his 26th birthday. As he became one of NWA's top wrestlers, Blassie bleached his hair and adopted his trademark rulebreaking style. In Japan, his penchant for drawing blood earned him the nickname "The Vampire" because he had filed down his teeth to sharp points so he could cause bloody massacres. He was also stabbed 23 different times, had his car set on fire, had acid poured on him, and became blind in the right eye when a fan threw a hard-boiled egg at his face. Every time the fans saw him, they would run away in terror. Based on his success, Blassie was brought back to Los Angeles by promoter Jules Strongbow.

Blassie had been wrestling many competitors like The Destroyer (Dick Beyer), Bearcat Wright, Mr. Moto, Mil Mascaras, Bobo Brazil, to name but a scant few. The "Blassie Cage" matches then flourished. The best remembered moment in his life is his legendary feud with John "The Golden Greek" Tolos, which dates back four decades, and set new levels for violence in the wrestling ring.

Blassie retired as a wrestler at the end of 1973 and focused on being a manager. Here he was equally successful at drawing heat, especially during his run as part of the World Wrestling Federation's Evil Trinity of managers with "The Captain" Lou Albano and The Grand Wizard of Wrestling.

With his recording of the song "Pencil Neck Geek" and the bizarre movie My Breakfast with Blassie (co-starring comedian Andy Kaufman), he maintained a devoted cult following, which was only heightened by his continued wrestling appearances throughout the 1980s in the WWF. Even after he retired as an active performer in 1986, Blassie was still one of the most popular wrestling personalities in the world.

He appears as a lyric in the R.E.M. song "Man on The Moon": Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess, with "breakfast" referring to the title of his movie.

In the early 1990s, the wrestler starred in a bizarro documentary directed by Jeff Krulik, titled Mr. Blassie Goes To Washington. In it, Blassie is picked up at the Washington DC airport by a limo full of young women, escorted around the nation's capitol, gives his opinions and confronts tourists. When meeting someone, he would ask where they were from, and no matter their response, he would reply with, "Oh, that's God's country!"

Before his death, he released his autobiography, Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks. Even as his life was ending, he was still involved in wrestling. His last appearance on WWE television was exactly three weeks before his death, when he came out to ringside in his wheelchair and participated in a storyline with The Dudley Boyz, climaxing his appearance by telling the Dudleys to "get the tables!"

He died on June 2, 2003 from heart and kidney trouble. Blassie was 85 years old. He is survived by his wife Miyako. From "The Hollywood Fashion Plate" and "The King of Men" to "The Vampire" and just plain "Classy" Freddie Blassie, he will always be remembered by fans.

Wrestlers Managed:

Kamala

Hulk Hogan

The Iron Sheik

Nikolai Volkoff

Adrian Adonis

Triva:

The modern style of Cage match, where competitors must escape the cage, was developed for Blassie in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

A popular urban legend has it that Blassie's real last name was Blassman and that he was Jewish. Both are untrue.

Blassie's name is dropped in the REM song "Man on the Moon"

In 1965, Freddie Blassie had one of his kidneys removed. During an operation to remove a kidney stone in Hawaii, the doctor performing the operation punctured his bladder, and he had to be administered a blood transfusion. He returned to the ring too soon, and upon returning to the doctors, was diagnosed with hepatitis and, as a result of the botched surgery, had to have one of his kidneys removed. For most of 1966, he worked as a car salesman in Decatur, Georgia, while rumors circulated among fans about his demise. However, he would make a full recovery and return to the ring by the next year.

Blassie made a special appearance on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show called "The Twizzle". He also made occasional appearances on The Tonight Show, Dragnet and many other shows.

Championships and accomplishments:

1-Time NWA Florida World Tag Team Championship (with Tarzan Tyler)

2-Time NWA Georgia World Tag Team Champion (with Bill Blassie)

1-Time NWA Hawaii United States Champion

1-Time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion


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