Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Magnum T.A.

The story of Magnum T.A. is a sad one indeed. A man destined for greatness, only to have tragedy strike right before his moment of glory. Magnum was born Terry Allen on June 11th, 1959 in Chesapeake, VA. Terry made his pro wrestling debut as Jesse James in 1977 competeing for Florida Championship Wrestling before jumping to Mid-South Wrestling. By 1984 he had made a name for himself being dubbed Magnum due to his reselmblance to Tom Selleck's character on the tv show Magnum P.I. He won his 1st championship by defeating Mr. Wrestling II for the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Championship. He would then be lured away by Jim Crockett's National Wrestling Alliance where he quickly became one of the top faces. One of his most famous bout's (which is ranked #2 on Starrcade: The Essential Collection) was his I Quit Steel Cage match at Starrcade 85 in which he defeated Tully Blanchard for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship after stabbing Tully in the head with a peice of a wooden chair that Tully had broken. During a contract signing in April 1986 Magnum was stripped of the title. Nikita Koloff insulted Magnum's mother in the ring leading to Magnum clothelineing NWA President Bob Geigel. Magnum was in line to defeat Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade 1986 until everything changed in 1 split second. On October 14th 1986 Magnum was driving in his Porche in the rain less than a mile away from his house. Magnum drove around a bend but lost control, fish tailing wrapping the car around a telephone pole. He shattered several vertibre in his back leaving him

paralyzed on left side of his body was ending his in ring carrer. While Magnum would learn to walk again, his dream of being World Champion was gone. Magnum would later become a commentator and a manager in NWA and WCW. If it would not have been for the accident, there is no doubt that Magnum T.A. would of become one of the biggest star's in history of pro wrestling.

The Fabulous Moolah

The Fabulous Moolah was born Mary Lillian Ellison on July 22nd 1923 outside of Coulumbia, SC. When Moolah was 8 years old, her mother passed away so she was sent to live with her grandmother. To help her get over the death, her father would take her to local pro wrestling show. Moolah became hooked when she saw the 1st ever Womens World Champion Mildred Burke. At the age of 14, Moolah got married and gave birth to a daughter. At the age of 15, she filed for divorce and left town to pursue her wrestling carrer. She convinced Burke's husband Billy Wolfe, who was the top womens wrestling promoter st the time, to have Burke train her. On May 26th 1949, Moolah made her debut by defeating future Womens Champion June Byers. She soon after had a falling out with Wolfe after he tried to get her to do sexual favors for another promoter, an act that was common for women wrestler's during that time period. She began dating wrestler Johnny Long. Long introduced her to a promoter named Jack Pfeffer, who gave her the name Slave Girl Moolah and made her the valet of "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. Moolah and Rogers split after Pfeffer attempted to force them into a romantic relationship. Moohlah then began managing The Elephant Boy, who was a Hispanic wrestler that had dark skin, so many people thought he was black. It caused alot of controversy when Moolah would kiss him on the cheek before his matches. During one show in Oaklahoma, a fan became so enraged she kissed him, that he attempted to stab her. In 1955, she joined Vince McMahhon Sr's Capitol Wrestling Cororation, which was a NWA affliate at the time. In 1956, she won a woman battle royal to become Womens World Champion, a reign that lasted for over 8 years. The NWA refused to reconize her as champion until 1964. The reason is because Billy Wolfe, whom she had a falling out with years before, was the top promoter in the NWA. Wolfe was said to have black mailed his way to the top by threatening to reveal that matches were pre-planned. If any promoter refused to listen to his order's. On July 1st 1972, after lobbying the New York Athletic Commission to lift thier ban on womens pro wrestling, Moohlah became the 1st woman to wrestle at Madision Square Garden. In the late 1970's, Moolah bought the rights to the Womens World Championship. She lost the title on 1978, but regained it 2 days later. She would remain champion for 6 more years. In 1983, Moolah sold the right's to the title to Vince McMahon Sr, thus becoming the 1st ever WWF Womens World Champion. She was billed as having held on to the title for 28 years and being the longest reigning champion in professional sports history. In 1984, she lost the title to Windi Ritcher as part of angle for the Rock N Wrestling Connection publicity stunt. In November of 1985 Ritcher's WWF contract expired and she held the title hostage, demading more money to renew her contract. Vince McMahon Jr. came up with a plan. He had Moolah dress up like another female wrester named Spider Lady and wrestle Ritcher. During the match Moolah wouldnt sell Ritcher's moves, which pissed her off. Moolah managed to get a quick pin on Ritcher to regain the title. After the match, she unmasked and Ritcher attempted to attack her legit but Moolah again refused to sell for Ritcher. Moolah would keep the title for another 2 years before going into semi-retirement. On June 24th 1995, The Fabulous Moolah became the 1st female to ever be inducted into the WWF Hall Of Fame. In 1998, Pat Patterson joked with her about returning to the ring, which sparked her intrest so she contacted Vince Jr. to see if it would be possible. In October of 1999, Moolah made her return to WWF by being smashed over the head with Jeff Jarrett's guitar on SmackDown. On October 17 1999, Moolah once again made history by defeating Ivory to once again regain the WWF Womens Championship at the age of 76. She became a regular on WWF programing over the next 8 years along with her longtime best friend Mae Young. On her 80th Birthday, Moolah became the oldest person to ever wrestle in a WWE ring by having a match on RAW. Moolah made her last WWE appearence in August of 2007 at SummerSlam during a segment with Vince McMahon Jr. & then RAW General Manager William Regal. On November 2nd 2007, The Fabulous Moolah passed away at home in her sleep. Over her lifetime, Moolah accomplished more than any wrester in history, male or female. She is reconized as the lonegest reigning champion in history. Many historians dispute that fact that Moolah lost the Womens World Championship due to thier being no proof. They claim her reign lasted from 1956 to 1984 for a total of 28 years. In all she was champion for nearly 32 years. A feat that noone will ever achieve again.

Bruno Sammartino

He is the man Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock could only strive to be. When you talk about legends at the top of that list is Bruno Sammartino. No doubt the greatest wrestler of all time. Bruno Sammartino was born on October 6th 1935 in Pizzoferrato, Italy the youngest of 7 kids. He had four older siblings pass away during his time in Italy. During the later stages of World War II Bruno's family hid from German soldiers in the mountains. His mother would sneak into German occupied
towns and where she was once caught and shot in the shoulder. In 1951 he moved to the United States and settled in Pittsburgh, PA. He was bullied in school because of his poor english so he began lifting weights to get stronger and working out with the University of Pittsburgh wrestling team while still in highschool. He became known for performing strongman stunts until a carny wrestling promoter recruited him to wrestle a Organgutan. During a match Bruno became frustrated by the injuries he was sustaining so he punched the ape getting DQ'ed. In 1959 he began doing studio wrestling for a Pittsburgh promotion that aired on WIIC Channel 11 and quicky became popular. In 1966 Bruno bought the promotion which also had Gorilla Monsoon, Bill Watts, George Steel, Bobo Brazil Johnny Valiant and The Crusher. In 1971 he sold the promotion and began booking wrestling events for out of state promoters until 1974 when Vince McMahon Sr's WWWF (WWE) purchased the Pittsburgh territory. Within 6 months from debuting in WWWF, Bruno was headling Madison Square Garden teaming with Antonino Rocca. He left WWWF a year later but would later return when the promotion he jumped to folded. Due to not being booked and low pay He once again told Vince that he was leaving causing the athletic commission to suspend him due to him missing a match in Baltimore that he didnt even know he had. He then found out he was booked in Chicago that same night. Vince Sr had set him up by double booking him as a way to punish him. Promoter's Toots Mondt and Vince Sr cleared it up with Sammartino by paying his fine. Bruno then took off to Canada to wrestle in Toronto where he won his 1st championship, the NWA International Tag Team Championship. In Febuary 1961 Bruno wrestled a match against Chick Garibaldi. During the match
Bruno bodyslammed Chick and noticed his eyes roll to the back of his head. By the time the refree checked on him he was already dead in the ring of a heart attack. This still haunts Bruno to this day. Vince Sr called Bruno several times begging him to return after a few weeks he was promised a shot at Buddy Rogers' WWWF World Heavyweight Championship. He agreed and on May 17th, 1973, Bruno beat Rogers for the championship in just 48 seconds. Bruno would hold on to the title for 7 year's, 8 months and 1 day. Still to this day he is the longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion in history. In 1965 he was picked by the NWA to defeat Lou Thesz, which would of made him the 1st and only wrestler to hold both the NWA and WWWF World Heavyweighg Titles at the same time. Bruno was already doing to many bookings and knew that taking on NWA along with WWWF bookings would have him wrestling for several months without any time off so he turned them down. In September of 1965, Bruno went into a restaraunt in Times Square. When he came out he found his car window shattered and his suitcase containing the title missing The title, which was valued at $10,000 was uninsured but was quickly replaced by WWWF. On Ivan Koloff. After the pin the crowd stayed completely quiet sunned. The announcer came into the ring with the belt but didnt give it to Ivan. Ivan left the ring while Bruno stayed in the ring to distract the fans away from him. As Bruno left people began crying. In 1972 he left WWE again and went to Los Angeles, CA where he won a battle 22 man battle royal that was named the 1st ever Pro Wrestling Illustrated .Match Of The Year. In 1973 Vince Sr called him up again wanting him to return. At 1st Bruno refused but he later agreed after being promised a percentage of all gates and a decreased work load. On December 10, 1973, Bruno captured the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship for the 2nd time by beating Stan Stasiak. He remained champion for 3 year's, 4 months and 20 days. His 1976 match with Stan
Hansen was named the 1976 PWI Match Of The Year. His 2nd title reign was only sopposed to last a year but every year WWWF kept offering him bigger payoff's to stay on. In early 1977, after suffering a broken neck and several other injuries he informed Vince Sr. that he was done with his 2nd reign. On April 30th 1977 he lost the title to 'Superstar' Billy Graham in a controversial ending. Graham had both feet on the ropes while pinning Bruno. After losing the title he traveled the world wrestling, even wrestling then NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race to a 1 hour draw. He would later return to the WWWF, now called the WWF, where he had a huge fued with his student Larry Zbyszko in late 1980's. He retired from wrestling full time in 1981 but later returned to WWF to help launch the career of his son David Sammartino. David relized that he was being used by Vince Sr to get his father to wrestle and draw huge crowd. He became angry and quit WWF. Bruno kept wrestling in hopes of getting Vince Sr to take David back. Bruno then found out that Vince Sr cheated him on the gate percentages that he was promised so he filed a lawsuit. Vince Sr died and Vince McMahon Jr took over WWF and settled out of court. The settlement included Bruno doing commentary for WWF. He was once again brought out of retirement in 1985 in hopes of David getting a push. Bruno and David fueded with Brutus Beefcake and in the WrestleMania 2 battle royal. His last fued was in the summer of 1985 when Bruno fueded with The Honkey Tonk Man. IN Bruno's final WWF match he teamed with Hulk Hogan to defeat King Kong Bundy & One Man Gang. He continued doing commentary for WWE until March of 1988 when he left to do commentary for the UWF as they attempted to go national and compete with WWF and NWA. In July of 2004,
Bruno met with Vince McMahon Jr in Pittsburgh about doing a WWE released dvd about him and havin him do commentary for WWE 24/7. Bruno declined telling Vince he didnt want to be a part of the current product. Vince invited him to RAW later that night but Bruno declined because he didnt want to be seen endorsing WWE after learning the main event was going to be Chris Benoit vs Triple H. He told Triple H that he would of stayed if Benoit would of been wrestling Kurt Angle. During his career Bruno had his share of backstage incidents In the 1960's he attacked PA Athethic Commissioner Joe Cimino after Cimino critisized the finish of a match he had in McKeesport, PA. Also he was in a infamous fight with a pro football player backstage. Bruno saw 6 men backstage in a restricted area and they would get in trouble if security spotted them. Pittsburgh Steeler Rooster Fleming extended his hand. When Bruno shook it, Rooster squeezed his hand and called him a washed up old man. Bruno said he isnt to washed up to take care of him Rooster swung at him, Bruno blocked it and punched Rooster knocking him out cold. The other 5 men jumped on Bruno. The Iron Shiek came out of the showers, hearing the comotion and jumped in helping Bruno clean house. While at the arena for his 2004 meeting with Vince, Bruno claims that Ric Flair, who insulted Bruno's wrestling ablity in his book, saw Bruno coming down the hall so he quickly turned and rushed away. Flair claims that Bruno refused to shake his hand. From being the longest champion in history, holding up Vince Sr for money, beating up pro football players, and scaring away the Nature Boy, Bruno has had a career that todays top star's can only dream about.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Tragedy Of The Von Erich's

In thier heyday the Von Erich's were big star's in wrestling until thing's took a quick tragic turn. Only 1 of the 5 brother's that wrestled lived to see
35 *David Von Erich died in1984 while on tour with All Japan at the age of 26. Report's say that he died of a heart attack due to a rupture of his intestines. Ric Flair claimed in his autobiography that David died of a drug overdose & that Bruiser
Brody hid the evidence *Mike Von Erich contracted Toxic Shock Syndrome and underwent surgery that ended his career. Depressed he took
his own life in 1987 by a self- induced drug overdosed *Chris Von Erich became 
depressed by his brother's death's and not 

able to make it as a wrestler. In 1991 he commited suicide by shooting himself at the age of 21 *Kerry Von Erich was by far the most secessful of the 4 brother's. The former NWA World Heavyweight and WWF Intercontinential Champion overcame losing a foot in a 1986 motorcycle accident and continued his carrier. Sadly it all came to a end on Febuary 18, 1993. One day after be indicited on cocaine possesion charges, Kerry used a shot gun to end his own life at his father's ranch in Texas 

Brian Pillman

Brian Pillman was trained by Stu Hart and began his career in 1987 in Stampede Wrestling. In 1989 he joined WCW and went on to win the WCW Light Heavyweight Title. In 1993 he won the WCW World Tag Team Titles with partner Steve Austin as The  Hollywood Blondes and even competed on the 1st WCW Nitro shortly after that Eric Bischoff fired him. Eric came up with a plan to have Pillman go to ECW and perfect his Loose Cannon gimmick then return to WCW. It backfired as Pillman never intended to return. He immedately debuted in ECW making several appearences. In one interview he threatened to pull his penis out and piss all over the ring and ended up being stabbed with a fork by a planted fan. In April 96 he fell asleep while driving and crashed, leaving himself in a 1 week long coma with a shattered ankle. He was the 1st person to sign a guarenteed deal with WWF a tradition started to prevent WCW from signing away star's. On October 5th 1997 during the In Your House Badd Blood PPV pre show, Vince

McMahon announced that earlier in the day Pillman was found dead in his hotel room at the Budget Inn in Bloomington, MN. A autotopsy concluded that he has a undiagnosed Arteriosclerotic heart disease that was exceled by his addiction to painkillers. The day after his death fans were outraged and disgusted by WWF trying to capitalize on his death by having Vince McMahon conduct a live interview with Pillman's widow Melanie Pillman on RAW. Sadly Brian died before finding out that that Melanie was pregnant with thier 3rd child. 

The Death Of Crash Holly

Mike Lockwood began his career in 1988 under the name Johnny Paterson. In 1996 he wrestled in Japan as The Leprechaun. After a brief stint in ECW he was signed to WWF and sent to PPW where he won the PPW Tag Team & Young Guns Championship's. He debuted on RAW on 4/6/99 as Crash Holly, the cousin of Hardcore Holly who claimed to weigh in at over 400 lbs. Crash & Hardcore won the WWF World Tag Team Championships. They lost them and ended up fueding for the WWF Hardcore Championship, a title that Crash would hold 22 times. He also won the WWF European & Light Heavyweight Championships. WWE released him in June of 2003. He debuted in TNA on July 23rd 2003 as Mad Mikey. On November 6th 2003, he was found
 dead at the home of his friend, TNA's Stevie Richards, who was on the road at the time. He was partialy clothed with a vomit around his face. Empty prescription pill bottles and a half drank bottle of alcohol were found near by. He had just recieved divorce paper's from his wife. His autopsy determined that he died after choking on his own vomit

Ravishing Rick Rude

Richard Roode aka Rick Rude went to high school with Curt Hennig, Barry Darsow, Nikita Koloff and
Brady Boone. Rick began his wrestling carrier in 1983 under the name Rickey Roode in Vancouver's NWA All-Star's. He bounced around between GCW, Mid South and WCCW before joining Jim Crockett's NWA. Rude was one half of the NWA World Tag Team Champions, along with Manny Fernandez. In 1987, while they were still champion's, Rude was signed by WWF. Crockett just aired a old non-title match that they lost to the Rock N Roll Express on NWA tv and claimed that they lost the titles. Rude had a run in WWE with Bobby Hennan as his manager. He left in
October 1990 and debuted in WCW on October 27th 1990 as The Halloween Phantom. He unmasked later that night. He defeated Sting for the WCW United States Championship and fueded with Rickey Steamboat, even breaking kayfabe during one
incident and breaking Steamboat's nose in a shoot gang fight. He had to forfeit the title due to a injury. In 1993 he defeated Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship but due to WCW withdrawling from NWA he became the WCW
International World Champion and went on to hold the title on 3 seperate occasions. He won the belt the 3rd time in a match with Sting. During t he match he seriously injured his neck and had to give up the belt. He retired from active competition shortly after. He signed with ECW and was a announcer, spending most of his time
harassing Shane Douglas and The Triple Threat before joining them. During a ECW vs 
WWF/USWA interpromotional match he helped Jerry Lawler
defeat Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman. He returned to WWE as DX's insurance policy. He still appeared on ECW the entire time. On the night of
the Montreal Screw Job he called Eric Bischoff from Bret Hart's hotel room and set up a deal. The
next day he appeared on both RAW and WCW Nitro. RAW was taped 6 hour's earlier. On RAW he had a beard but on Nitro he was clean shaven. He also appeared on ECW that weekend becoming the only person to appear for all 3 major promotions in 1 week. On April 20th 1999 Rude died of a heart failure due to overdosing on pain pills & steroids.