Tagged: Grand Wizard

Blackjack Mulligan, known for an infamous assault by fan in 1971 at Boston Garden, has died

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

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Grand Wizard’s suit, Killer Bees mask spotted at Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame

A few months back, I took road trip out from Boston along Interstate 90 to visit the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame during its last weekend at its location in Amsterdam, NY. In 2016, the hall will reopen in Wichita  Falls, TX.

I don’t know much about Wichita Falls, but I have visited Amsterdam a couple of times, and it’s a depressing old city that used to be a center for carpet factories. Now, the downtown where the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame was resembled a ghost town on a Saturday afternoon, with only some restaurants and a used clothing store open.

Hopefully Wichita Falls brings a better vibe to the hall of fame.

Inside, the hall was a two-story journey through wrestling history, with tons of framed posters, ring robes, and arena programs.

hall of fame 1

One of the Grand Wizard’s suit coats, as displayed at the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame

Continue reading

Comparing Rusev’s rise to the Iron Sheik’s famous run in 1984

I’ve been thinking a lot about current WWE foreign menace Rusev and what his future may bring.

For eons, pro wrestling has exploited either current world situations or long-standing xenophobia to create hugely effective heel characters. But it’s been a while since the WWE has put its force behind a foreign threat like Rusev, who is alleged to hail from Russia.

When I think of bad guys from other countries, my mind immediately goes to the Iron Sheik and his successful run in the WWF in 1983 and 1984. It’s possible in ’84 that the Sheik was the most hated guy in wrestling (the irony being he is a nice guy outside the ring, having met him before briefly).

 

Can the WWE replicate the Sheik’s atmosphere with Rusev all these years later? Longtime mid-carder Jack Swagger seems prepped to take the role of the All-American hero who will fight Rusev.

I read a piece by one of my favorite blogs, Ring the Damn Bell, which Continue reading

See the Grand Wizard without his sunglasses and turban

Sorry I haven’t been super active on the blog recently; as many of you know, it can be tough following wrestling when you’ve got work and family to look after.

But I read something over the weekend that brought me way back to my youth. October 12 was the 30th anniversary of the Grand Wizard’s death.

Many of us who grew up in the Northeast watching WWF Championship Wrestling every Saturday remember Continue reading

Heenan named top manager by WWE.com, but I side with Albano, Blassie, and Grand Wizard

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was named the No. 1 manager in WWE history on the federation’s website last week.

Strangely enough, while I think you could easily rank Heenan as the greatest manager ever in wrestling, I might take umbrage with him being called the top WWE manager.

Don’t get me wrong – Heenan was menacing, funny, and effective as a mouthpiece for his various wrestlers. But his performances from the AWA may be even better than his WWF material.

Plus, being nostalgic as I am, I view the “holy trinity” of WWF managers as Captain Lou Albano (No. 5 on the list), the Grand Wizard (No. 7 on the list), and Classy Freddie Blassie (No. 4).

When I first started watching wrestling in 1981, these three Continue reading

Don’t overlook Sensational Sherri as one of the best managers

If you ask someone who was the greatest manager in the WWF, you’ll likely hear names like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Lou Albano, Fred Blassie, or the Grand Wizard.

But another person you shouldn’t leave off that list is Sensational Sherri Martel.

Martel was a former WWF Women’s Champion who transitioned to the heel manager role when ladies wrestling was phased out for a while. And she was an awesome manager who always played a character who was volatile and generated heat for whomever she accompanied.

She stayed ahead of the game by reinventing herself along the way: She initially got involved managing by briefly seconding the Honky Tonk Man during his feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage in 1987, when she played Continue reading

Big angle in 1981: Greg Valentine suplexes Pedro Morales on the concrete floor

Man, 30 years ago it didn’t take a lot to get an angle over with the audience compared to today. There may be no greater example of that than when Greg “The Hammer” Valentine taunted Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales into match on TV.

To set the stage, in late 1981 Morales had just regained the Intercontinental belt from the Magnificent Muraco, whom the Grand Wizard managed. The Wizard also tutored Valentine, and after a squash match on Championship Wrestling, Valentine issued a challenge to Morales, including calling the Puerto Rican star a “greaseball.” Yes, those of us who were fans back then occasionally have reasons to hang our heads in shame for real.

Anyway, Morales came out to the accept the challenge as long as he could fight Valentine on free TV so that everyone could see “when I kick your butt, baby!”  To this day, I so distinctly remember Valentine’s reaction Continue reading