Tagged: Mick Foley

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka — dead at 73 — took us to emotional highs in the ’80s

So, WWF fans from the 1980s, how did the late Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka leave his mark on you? Was it the Superfly off the steel cage or the coconut?

For me, it was that moment in 1984 when Rowdy Roddy Piper smashed the coconut into Snuka’s head, and then mushed a banana in his face and whipped him. It may be the greatest angle in ’80s.

But there is not a more iconic 1980s moment in the WWE’s history than Snuka’s leap from the top of the cage onto the Magnificent Muraco at Madison Square Garden in 1983, a moment that several wrestlers a generation later — including Mick Foley — pegged as an inspiration.

That’s the reason Snuka still resonates with us all these years later: He brought a fiery emotion to his angles and matches. The heels didn’t just attack Snuka. Instead, they humiliated him — remember Muraco spitting on Snuka? — and we as fans felt it. And when Snuka was out for revenge, he was a madman.

Video: Snuka vs. Piper and the famous Piper's Pit angle

You don’t see that type of anger any more, when feuds come and go quickly. You don’t get mad for wrestlers the way we got mad for Snuka.

He will forever be burned into the brains of ’80s fans who remember his feuds with Bob Backlund, Muraco, Captain Lou Albano, Ray “The Crippler” Stevens, Piper and others.

The Superfly died on January 15 after a battle with stomach cancer. Despite his golden years in the WWF — when he was arguably the hottest wrestler in the country — it is bittersweet these days to look back at Snuka’s career because Continue reading

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

Spiders, screw-jobs, and a classic Howard Finkel line

Legendary WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel, who is also the organization’s resident historian, wrote a great article on WWE.com looking at 10 wrestlers who used alter egos. The list ranged from Dusty Rhodes moonlighting as the Midnight Rider in Florida Championship Wrestling to Mick Foley’s many WWE personas.

One person on Finkel’s list brought back a lot of memories for me: The Fabulous Moolah’s short stint as the masked Spider Lady, which allegedly was part of an in-ring screw-job of Wendi Richter. Continue reading

Tony Garea sticks his neck out for Jesse “The Body”

So my boss at work mentioned that he recently checked out an episode of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. After a few minutes, he became unimpressed with Ventura’s strange choice of people to interview.

” ‘The Body’s’ Conspiracy Theory show had about as much credibility as he did when he beat Tony Garea in 1985,” my boss wrote to me by email.

Wow. That single line sent me back in time, because while a teen, I can vividly recall watching Ventura and Garea fight on Prime Time Wrestling in June 1985.

The part of the match I remember the most is Continue reading

Remembering some of the old-school WWF jobbers

Between the classic pro wrestling video clips I’ve watched recently and some of the great comments from visitors of this blog, I’m reminded about the many, many WWF jobbers that I grew up with each Saturday morning on TV and also saw in person at the monthly shows at the old Boston Garden.

Here are some of the guys I remember well:

The Unpredictable Johnny Rodz – Rodz was one of those prelim wrestlers who was a step above the normal jobber, in that Continue reading

Vince McMahon goes nuts when Terry Funk pummels attendant Mel Phillips

On YouTube long-time fans can relive one the wildest little scenes ever from WWF Championship Wrestling: The day in 1985 on which legendary Terry Funk beat the shit out of ring attendant (later ring announcer) Mel Phillips.

The clip of Funk’s attack on Phillips is so great for many reasons. For starters, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a wrestler since then brutalize a ring attendant like this. Secondly, the angle firmly established Funk as out of control right from the start in the WWF.

But the best part comes from all the Vince McMahon-isms that pop up, meaning his one-liners Continue reading