I was shocked, along with many of you, to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart died suddenly on August 13. Neidhart, who was only 63, will always be remembered by 1980s WWF fans as part of the great Hart Foundation team with Bret “Hitman” Hart.
The Wrestling Observer reported the Neidhart died from complications after suffering a seizure, and that Neidhart also had Alzheimer’s Disease, which I did not know.
In an era of larger-than-life gimmicks and personalities, Neidhart easily still stood out with his crew cut, long goatee beard and pink tights. His interviews were nuts, and always peppered with his maniacal cackle.
Neidhart and Hart — who were brothers-in-law in real life — came the WWF in 1984-85 along with the Bristish Bulldogs as part of a weird deal where Vince McMahon tried to buy Continue reading
With the 2017 WWE Survivor Series coming up, I decided to watch a match I had not seen in a long time: The epic, 10-team Survivor Series elimination contest from 1988.
The bout culminated in a rare double turn, as Mr. Fuji — “the devious one,” said Gorilla Monsoon during commentary — betrayed Tag Team Champions Demolition and instead sided with opponents The Powers of Pain.
Ax and Smash of Demolition had been heels since their arrival, but Fuji’s actions made them babyfaces, and the opposite happened when the Powers of Pain — Warlord and Barbarian — lifted Fuji on their shoulders after winning the match.
The other notable thing that many long-time WWF fans remember about the match is Continue reading
This year marks the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania 2, a lousy card that took place on April 7, 1986.
I’m not sure what to say about this show. Having just rewatched it recently on the WWE Network, Mania 2 was just as bad today as I remembered it back in the day. Even by 1980s standards, the matches felt rushed and there was no showstealer that you’d expect to see today.
This may have been the worst WrestleMania ever, with the only possible competition being WrestleMania IX.Embed from Getty Images
The event — which took place on a Monday night — emanated from three arenas: Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY; Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena) outside of Chicago; and Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Vince McMahon — who clearly believed 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
There is some interest about where the WWE plotline is heading with crooked referee Brad Maddox, who gave Ryback a low blow at Hell in the Cell, leading to a CM Punk victory.
Maddox brings back memories of perhaps the most infamous heel ref, Danny Davis, who peaked in 1987 with the gimmick.
Davis, who is from New Hampshire, was a longtime referee in the early 1980s for the WWF, often working the house shows at the old Boston Garden. He got wrestling experience in the ring by competing under a mask as Continue reading
For a brief period, Brock Lesnar appeared to have kidnapped Shawn Michaels this week on Monday Night Raw, before showing up at ringside with a broken Michaels over his shoulders.
The kidnapping angle brought back memories of perhaps the most famous heist in WWF history in 1988, when Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and the Islanders stole Matilda, the canine mascot of the British Bulldogs.
Heenan is hilarious during the Continue reading
I guess every wrestling TV commentator has his sayings that take on a life of their own. Certainly, Jim Ross’ “slobber knocker” phrase is well-known to WWE fans, as is Jerry “The King” Lawler’s penchant for racy suggestions during diva matches.
But no one had more well-remembered one-liners than the chairman himself, Vince McMahon, back when he was the lead commentator on WWF Championship Wrestling in the 1970s and ’80s. Here is a collection of McMahon-isms that I bet many of you can still hear in your mind: Continue reading
It struck me after watching Monday Night Raw this week just how enduring Bret “Hitman” Hart is as a WWE star.
Hart and, ironically, Shawn Michaels, are probably the only wrestlers who grew out the tag team ranks of the 1980s to become huge singles stars (granted, the WWF tag team division Continue reading
This week on Monday Night Raw, we saw Dolph Ziggler retain the U.S. Title against Kofi Kingston in a two-out-of-three falls bout, which is a match not often seen these days in the WWE. Wasn’t that a surprise to see fans vote for that option?
In the 1980s, it was more common to see two-out-of-three falls, particularly when the WWF would displace Saturday Night Live on NBC with Saturday Night’s Main Event.
All of the three-fall contests on Saturday Night’s Main Event occurred in Continue reading
Earlier this month we hit the 25th anniversary of the original King of the Ring, which took place July 8, 1985, at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, MA, then the home field of the New England Patriots.
The tournament had a mix of major stars and curtain jerkers Continue reading