Tagged: Paul Orndorff

Mr. T — the newest member of the Hall of Fame — clicked because fans believed he was a tough guy

Mr. T is finally on his way into the WWE Hall of Fame — and deservedly so — as he was a large part of the reason that the first WrestleMania was a success and the WWF became a household name in the 1980s.

On March 31, 1985, in Madison Square Garden, T and Hulk Hogan defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff in the main event of Mania. This match stemmed from the War to Settle the Score match that Hogan and Piper fought a month earlier at MSG.

That earlier battle was broadcast live on MTV, and Mr. T, who was in the audience, stormed to the ring to save Hogan from a beatdown by Piper, Orndorff, and Cowboy Bob Orton (Randy Orton’s father). What a brilliant opportunity to shoot a big angle.

Embed from Getty Images

At the time of the first Mania, Mr. T was a cast member of a popular NBC show called The A-Team, which was about 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

Am I the only one who doesn’t remember Lou Thesz appearing on Tuesday Night Titans?

Sometimes YouTube really surprises me when I unearth gems from wrestling’s past that either I never knew existed or had completely forgotten about.

I was shocked to see this clip from the old Tuesday Night Titans show with all-time legend Lou Thesz.

(For those who never saw TNT, imagine Vince McMahon acting like Jay Leno interviewing wrestlers.)

I thought I had probably seen every episode of TNT, yet I was floored here in 2013 to see that Thesz Continue reading

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

In a new post, Camel Clutch Blog deconstructs Snuka’s claim about fighting Hogan at Mania

The great Camel Clutch Blog gave yet another example of something I had written about recently: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka making some strange recollections of his heyday in the WWF.

I talked about Snuka’s claim that Rowdy Roddy Piper ad-libbed the famous coconut angle in 1984 and that Jimmy didn’t know that was coming. The Camel Clutch Blog piece got even better, referring to Continue reading

The WWE had low-brow angles and gimmicks long before CM Punk mocked Lawler’s heart attack

A certain segment of the pro wrestling community was up in arms after Monday Night Raw featured an angle that played off the real-life heart attack and near death of Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Some said the angle was in poor taste, particularly when Paul Heyman feigned his own heart attack and WWE Heavyweight Champion CM Punk pretended to administer CPR.

But such garish actions on wrestling aren’t exclusive to 2012. Unfortunately for all of us, the McMahon family has set a low bar at least since the early 1980s about what types of angles and heat are appropriate.

Here are some less-than-stellar moments that I can recall growing up Continue reading

On this day in 1984, Hogan and Piper fought their last singles match in Boston

It was 28 years ago today – on November 3, 1984 –that  Hulk Hogan fought Rowdy Roddy Piper at the monthly Saturday night house show at the old Boston Garden.

Not surprisingly, the match drew a healthy 15,635 fans to the Garden, according to the Boston Globe sports section, which used to run the results and attendance on Sunday morning. I took notes on the results back when I was in my teens, and still have them today in a notebook.

This was a rematch from the prior month, when Piper Continue reading

Bundy’s five count, Rude’s gyrations, and other heel traits from the ’80s

Man, I don’t know if it’s just nostalgia blinding me or if things really were different way back when, but it seems like heel mannerisms — the little actions or details that set one wrestler apart from another — are a lost art these days in the WWE.

Sure, Daniel Bryan has his “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant, and sometimes Dolph Ziggler does a handstand during his matches. But I can remember the trademark mannerisms of so many more bad guys from the 1980s WWF scene. For example:

  • “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff flicking the sweat off his brow onto a vanquished opponent. Continue reading

New photos of the Ultimate Warrior, Paul Orndorff, and others ’80s WWF stars

The Slam! sports site ran a cool photo slideshow from the Legends of the Ring 14 convention, which took place earlier this month in New Jersey.
Among the great current photos you can see of 1980s WWF stars are:
  • Ultimate Warrior (who’d you’d probably never recognize these days without his face paint) Continue reading