Yes, you could argue about the historical veracity of the WWE’s Hall of Fame. No Lou Thesz. No Jim Londos. No Ed “Strangler” Lewis.
But Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Vince McMahon, Sr.’s driver, James Dudley, have gotten the nod.
Those arguments aside, within the WWE’s own history book, until recently no names were bigger omissions in the hall than Bruno Sammartino and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Sammartino finally got his due in 2013 after Triple H personally interceded to break the deadlock between Bruno and Vince McMahon, Jr.
And now, nearly four years after his death, the WWE will induct Savage.
Sammartino long resisted overtures into the Hall of Fame, and Savage also indicated he was against going in unless Continue reading
While 1988 wasn’t the year of the first Royal Rumble (the little-known original version was a flop in 1987), the ’88 Rumble was the first one nationally broadcast. It was a free show on the USA Network, which was great news for wrestling fans, but in reality the move to make it free was an assault against the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions (which later morphed into WCW).
The story starts in 1987, when Crockett and Vince McMahon both promoted pay-per-views on Thanksgiving night (the first Survivor Series and Starrcade ’87). McMahon made a power play Continue reading
In a recent online radio interview on the Wrestling Observer website, Hacksaw Jim Duggan remembered his feud with Andre the Giant in 1988 as the biggest point of his career. The start of the program occurred when Duggan KO’d Andre with his 2×4 on TV.
“Knocking out Andre with a 2×4 Continue reading
The WWF Slammy Awards were silly when they started back in 1986, and the modern WWE version is just as bad.
Yet there was the Slammy Awards show on Monday Night Raw this week — it just doesn’t seem like the best gimmick to fall back on when so many fans are clamoring for change.
I remember the 1987 Slammy Awards well. The show was notable because Vince McMahon gave a beyond arrogant, and fully embarrassing, performance singing his tune, “Stand Back.” When I see McMahon dancing in this clip, I’m amazed at what is allowed on TV: Continue reading
All of us who grew up as WWF fans have grown accustomed to hearing about wrestlers dying. But the death of Randy “Macho Man” Savage on May 20 was different and took the wind out of us.
Behind Hulk Hogan, Savage was among the the most well-known pro wrestlers to come out the 1980s WWF expansion (along with Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura, and Andre the Giant). Thanks to Savage’s in-ring abilties, his matches with Hogan elevated Hogan’s status as WWF Champion.
But he also transcended wrestling. His Slim Jim commercials, appearance in the 2002 Spider-Man movie with Tobey Maguire, and being named the Harvard Lampoon’s spoof Real Man of the Year in 1998 all point to his pop culture grip on people. The fact that his death briefly garnered front page news on most of the major news and sports websites was testament to how well people remembered him.
So I heard on Monday Night Raw that Hacksaw Jim Duggan is an entrant into the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame.
No Bruno Sammartino. No Randy “Macho Man” Savage. But yes, the WWE has room for Duggan.
Don’t get me wrong – Duggan had a unique charisma in the 1980s that far outstretched his limited ring skills. He played the patriotism card perfectly, carrying his 2×4 and American flag as a defender of the United States against the likes of Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. He was different than Sgt. Slaughter and a huge improvement over Corporal Kirchner.
And few will ever forget Continue reading
I’ve always loved reading the Wrestling Observer (I got hooked on it after being a fan of Dave Meltzer’s pro wrestling columns in the old National sports newspaper). An issue of the Observer this month gave me yet another reason to like it: The discussion of the first Royal Rumble, which I knew nothing about.
I was floored to read about it, because I consider myself pretty aware of WWF history from the 1980s. I, like many of you who were fans back then, remember that the first Royal Rumble was on the USA Network in 1988, which Hacksaw Jim Duggan won. Well, at least that’s what I thought history had written.
It turns out the first Royal Rumble Continue reading
This week’s Monday Night Raw will feature the return of the WWE King of the Ring Tournament, which at one point was likely the most well-known annual pro wrestling tournament in the world.
Those of us who grew up watching the WWF in Boston in the 1980s will remember that the King of Ring was actually Continue reading
I was listening to my boss tell a story the other day about meeting Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake at the Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus, MA. Many of you know that WWF and WWE wrestlers have long sought out the Kowloon for greasy Chinese food and cocktails (oops, I mean video games) after matches are held in Boston.
But then the conversation turned to Albany, NY, where my boss remembered a run-in with Randy Savage at a convenience store in the late 1980s.
Many of us could pick out moments in matches where a move is ill-timed or someone falls out of position. But these slip-ups generally are minor. A true wrestling blooper often doesn’t involve in-ring action at all, whether it’s instead an interview, skit, or even real life. The WWF had some lapses that were doozies in the 1980s, so here are my picks for the top five bloopers of that decade: Continue reading