Tagged: Muhammad Ali

Transcript of my interview with John Cena, Sr. about the first WrestleMania and Bruno Sammartino

I recently posted a podcast with John Cena, Sr. — the father of WWE superstar John Cena, who headlines WrestleMania 29 against the Rock — who talked to me about the first WrestleMania in 1985, Bruno Sammartino going into the WWE Hall of Fame, and his memories of the wrestling cards at the old Boston Garden. For those of you who were unable to hear the podcast or didn’t have time, below is the complete transcript of the interview. Continue reading


“They’re literally hanging off the rafters” is my favorite of many Gorilla Monsoon quotes

A while back, I got a kick out of listing some of the great one-liners that Vince McMahon user to utter during his play-by-play announcing days, and since then I have looked forward to the day I also review Gorilla Monsoon’s memorable quotes.

So here goes, with a nod to Monsoon as an announcer and as co-host of Prime Time Wrestling (the precursor to Monday Night Raw on the USA Network): Continue reading

Before WrestleMania, there was Showdown from Shea

Before the first WrestleMania ever hit Madison Square Garden in 1985, the WWF ran a series of outdoor supershows over an eight-period that were known as Showdown from Shea.

The venue was the old Shea Stadium in Queens, NY (former home of the New York Mets), and in all three events, Bruno Sammartino was the headliner: Continue reading

Muhammad Ali turns 70 — he was a special guest ref for the first WrestleMania

Happy birthday to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who turns 70 today.

It’s easy to forget that Ali was a big part of the promotional machine behind the first WrestleMania in 1985. He served as a special guest referee for the Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff main event.

I don’t know if the WWF’s intent was to ever allow Ali to actually be in the ring officiating the match; what I do know is that Ali stood outside the ring for most of the bout, with WWF official Pat Patterson serving Continue reading