I was shocked, along with many of you, to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart died suddenly on August 13. Neidhart, who was only 63, will always be remembered by 1980s WWF fans as part of the great Hart Foundation team with Bret “Hitman” Hart.
The Wrestling Observer reported the Neidhart died from complications after suffering a seizure, and that Neidhart also had Alzheimer’s Disease, which I did not know.
In an era of larger-than-life gimmicks and personalities, Neidhart easily still stood out with his crew cut, long goatee beard and pink tights. His interviews were nuts, and always peppered with his maniacal cackle.
Neidhart and Hart — who were brothers-in-law in real life — came the WWF in 1984-85 along with the Bristish Bulldogs as part of a weird deal where Vince McMahon tried to buy Continue reading
Those of you who ever wondered where Rex, King, and Spot — the Moondogs — got their gimmick from can thank Vince McMahon, Sr., the father of the current Vince and prior owner of the WWE and WWF.
In 1972, McMahon brought in Lonnie Mayne, an established star from the West Coast, to wrestle Pedro Morales, who at the time was the WWWF Heavyweight Champion.
“McMahon, Sr., named him Moondog Mayne, because Continue reading
It was 25 years ago today in 1988 that the WWF Heavyweight Title tournament took place at WrestleMania IV.
The tournament came about after the infamous title switch during which Andre the Giant pinned Hulk Hogan and then attempted to bequeath the belt to the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Then-WWF President Jack Tunney ruled that while Andre had indeed won the title, he could not hand it over to someone else, and thus had vacated the belt. Tunney ordered the champion to be determined at Mania IV.
These days, title tournaments are commonplace, but in 1988 in the WWF, there had not been a championship tourney Continue reading
As those of us in New England get ready to dig out of 20+ inches of snow from the Blizzard of 2013, my memories take me back to 1991, when some friends and I trekked out in the midst of another strong storm to head to the old Boston Garden for the monthly WWF show.
It wasn’t a blizzard on January 12, 1991, but it was a snowy, windy storm in the middle of the day — and naturally, we had a matinee card at the Garden to get to.
I was 19 at the time and still living at home, and I remember my mother going, “What? You’re still going?” as I was getting my jacket on. To me, at that age, there wasn’t even a question I was going. It’s amazing the shit you’ll travel in when you’re in college.
It was pretty rough ride into Boston. As we often did, we parked in Malden Center and hopped onto the MBTA Orange Line subway for the trip into Boston. And sure enough, there were plenty of other wrestling fans on the Continue reading
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
I stumbled across an interesting six-man tag team match on YouTube, the result of injury and legalities.
The two-out-of-three falls bout took place in May 1981 in Madison Square Garden. On one side, you had Tony Garea and Rick Martel teaming with Gorilla Monsoon, a WWF official behind the scenes at this point who came out retirement for this match. Monsoon replaced Andre the Giant, who suffered a legitimate ankle injury that in the storyline was attributed to an attack by Killer Khan.
That team was opposed by Stan “The Lariat” Hansen, Moondog Rex, and Captain Lou Albano, the latter of whom substituted for Moondog King. It was likely just weeks or even days before this match that King, who Continue reading
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
I guess every wrestling TV commentator has his sayings that take on a life of their own. Certainly, Jim Ross’ “slobber knocker” phrase is well-known to WWE fans, as is Jerry “The King” Lawler’s penchant for racy suggestions during diva matches.
But no one had more well-remembered one-liners than the chairman himself, Vince McMahon, back when he was the lead commentator on WWF Championship Wrestling in the 1970s and ’80s. Here is a collection of McMahon-isms that I bet many of you can still hear in your mind: Continue reading
This week on Monday Night Raw, we saw Dolph Ziggler retain the U.S. Title against Kofi Kingston in a two-out-of-three falls bout, which is a match not often seen these days in the WWE. Wasn’t that a surprise to see fans vote for that option?
In the 1980s, it was more common to see two-out-of-three falls, particularly when the WWF would displace Saturday Night Live on NBC with Saturday Night’s Main Event.
All of the three-fall contests on Saturday Night’s Main Event occurred in Continue reading
Demolition debuted as a tag team 25 years ago this month at the old Boston Garden, defeating the Islanders (Haku and Tama, a.k.a. the Tonga Kid).
The face-painted team comprised Ax (Bill Eadie, a.k.a. the Masked Superstar and Super Machine) and Smash (originally Randy Colley, a.k.a. Moondog Rex, but quickly replaced by Barry Darsow, a.k.a. Krusher Krushchev). They were Vince McMahon’s imitation of the Road Warriors, who had taken the NWA and AWA by storm. But Demolition became a good tag team in its own right, because with Continue reading