For long-time wrestling fans in Massachusetts, the death of Blackjack Mulligan brings up an incident 45 years ago at the old Boston Garden that has lived in infamy since then.
Video tribute to Blackjack Mulligan released by Highspots.com, via Youtube
On May 15, 1971, Mulligan challenged new WWWF Heavyweight Champion Pedro Morales. During the bout, a fan jumped into the ring Continue reading
When I started watching pro wrestling in February 1981 (I can’t believe it’s been 31 years), Captain Lou Albano was known as the WWF manager of tag teams.
The first tandem I saw him guide was Rex and King, the Moondogs (Spot later joined the team after King was stopped at the Canadian border in real life and not allowed into the United States). Most of Albano’s teams, the Moondogs included, held the WWWF or WWF Tag Team Title.
Albano’s start in tag teams happened well before the ‘80s, as he managed several teams in the 1970s. Here is who I can remember Albano managing (and if I’ve got anything or missed a team, let me know): Continue reading
The babyface turn of Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 1987 wasn’t known for a particularly inventive angle or hot feud, but rather for a series of shots that were brutal by even old ECW standards.
And the incident actually legitimately injured Roberts.
At the time, Roberts was hosting an interview segment called the Snake Pit. Original, huh? Typical of wrestling, after the runaway success of Piper’s Pit, the WWF went back to that well over and over. We had the Snake Pit, the Body Shop with Jesse Ventura, the Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis, Blackjack Mulligan’s BBQ Pit, and the Brother Love Show.
Back to my original point: Roberts had the Honky Tonk Man as a guest, and during the skit Continue reading
As some of you may have heard, former WWF Tag Team Champion Barry Windham has run into some serious health problems.
Windham was found collapsed on his family ranch by relatives on October 26. He had a heart attack, and may have suffered a stroke, also. Wrestling columnist Mike Mooneyham interviewed Blackjack Mulligan, Windham’s father, who noted, “It was a very close call … we almost lost him.” Windham is now facing a long recovery at a rehabilitation facility.
I would have thought most WWF fans would remember Windham from his two reigns at Tag Team Champion with Mike Rotundo in 1985, but I’m surprised to say Continue reading
The WWE likes to make a big deal of its second- and third-generation wrestlers. WrestleMania 27 at the Georgia Dome was no exception, as the event saw four multi-generational superstars appear, including the Rock (grandson of “High Chief” Peter Maivia and son of Rocky Johnson), Alberto Del Rio (son of Mexican star Dos Caras), Cody Rhodes (son of “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes), and Randy Orton (grandson of Bob Orton, Sr., and son of Cowboy Bob Orton).
But sons of pro wrestlers are nothing new. Did you know if you go all the way back to the first WrestleMania in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, there were also four second-generation wrestlers who competed? Here’s a list of them: Continue reading
There’s been an awful lot of talk about how some longtime pro wrestling stars, such as the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry “The King” Lawler, have swooped into angles on WWE Monday Night Raw and delivered promos better than anyone else on the current roster.
Let’s face it: The on-the-job training for interviews was a lot better in yesteryear. In the 1980s, the WWF had a lot of wrestlers and managers who could talk well on the microphone. People like Roddy Piper, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Hulk Hogan, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts understood how to push matches and angles.
However, more than a few promos in that decade were stinkers, which made me ponder the worst ones I had heard during the ‘80s. One of my qualifications here is that it had to be an interview that anyone could have seen (so house show promos really can’t count). And a bad segment doesn’t mean you gave a bad promo, as plenty of gifted talkers have been saddled with lousy circumstances (think about some of those corny Saturday Night’s Main Event skits).
Instead, my choices are reserved for those who truly butchered the art of the pro wrestling promo. With that, below are my five lamest promos from the ‘80s: Continue reading
Bob Backlund gets a bad rap these days. Most fans either remember him as the nutty heel who turned on Bret Hart in 1994 and briefly won the WWF Title before losing it to Diesel (better known as Kevin Nash), or worse, they remember his tenure acting as a kook for TNA Wrestling.
But for those of us who grew up watching pro wrestling in the early 1980s, Backlund was one of the biggest stars. Continue reading
Those of us watching WWE Monday Night Raw have seen that Husky Harris (the son of Mike Rotundo and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan) has joined Wade Barrett and crew in Nexus.
Watching Harris try to fit into that group just doesn’t seem natural to me. When Harris was in WWE NXT, he had an unusual charisma that got him noticed beyond his less-than-great-genetics look.
I couldn’t help but think that Harris has the appearance and likely the personality to pull of the next wildman character in the WWE. In fact, Harris reminds me of a gimmick I haven’t thought of seriously in a long time: The Moondogs.
Harris actually resembles Continue reading
Does anyone remember Barry Windham’s brief WWF run as the Widowmaker? It seemed like a very cool gimmick — a tall, tough cowboy, similar to Windham’s father, Blackjack Mulligan — but it never caught fire.
Prior to becoming the Widowmaker, Windham had many years of success in the NWA and WWF (he appeared at the first WrestleMania 1985 with Mike Rotundo, losing the Tag Team Titles to the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff). I remember seeing him debut as the Widowmaker in Continue reading
I ran across one of those corny WWF interviews from 1986 that Mean Gene Okerlund conducted with the Machines, who initially comprised Andre the Giant under a mask and Bill Eadie, the former Masked Superstar (and Bolo Mongol, for those really going back in time).
Giant Machine and Super Machine were part of a fairly short-lived plotline during which Andre the Giant was suspended in the midst Continue reading