female wrestlers of the 70s
Lou Thesz was one of those guys who came up during pro wrestling’s carnival/vaudeville era. Combine that with a great physique and you had a star. We have to give it up to Wild Bill. He is also one of the guys who put the hair vs. mask trope on the map, which continues to be the greatest stipulation in wrestling history. "I never really retired," said Green, who current resides in West Columbia, S.C., and operates a wrestling school. He was the Wrestling Machine, but he could also inject a career’s worth of emotion into a single ankle lock. "It's almost a bittersweet blessing," Green said. It’s weird to think that nobody in the industry has ever captured the “handsome prick” mystique since–and sorry, no, Batista doesn’t count. The risk of a riot was too great. The evening's "Main Event" features Bailey teaming with Cousin Elmer as the "Giant Hillbillies" to go against the "Bass Brothers," who will be managed by former Gulf Coast wrestling standout Don Bass. Once upon a time, The Undertaker was a stiff. Dustin Runnels could’ve had it a lot easier, but instead he got over as an androgynous, non-binary sex robot thing. John B. Connally to allow Green to wrestle on weekends. Scott Hall, or Razor Ramon, was ahead of his time. In 10 years I expect to see Seth in the top 20, maybe the top 10. Frederic Meylan/Sygma/Corbis, Credit: People at Samoa Joe’s matches chant “Joe is gonna kill you” because next to Brock Lesnar, there’s frankly never been a more devastating striker in the fake stuff. Maybe that’s disrespectful, or maybe it’s just honest. Instead, one really could grow up loving wrestling and make it their life. He’s sort of hard to gauge because his greatest matches happened in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Tickets are $15 for ringside seats and $10 for general admission. No, not The Iron Sheik, though they certainly were cut out of the same cloth. But I love the weird little niche he’s carved out in wrestling. In the process, I ended up getting her in a hold she could not get out of and she said, 'I quit.'". "My parents had to go to the governor to prove it wasn't a child labor (violation)," Green said. Every monster foreign heel that’s come along since, from The Iron Sheik to Rusev, were are following in this Quebecois’ footsteps. He was a big, burly heel who spent over 1,000 days as NWA Champion. While his father was more famous, El Hijo del Santo is kind of like the Sting of Mexican wrestling. CM Punk made wrestling cool. But for the first time this year, the old wrestlers are getting together with the grapplers of today for a one-night show in Mobile celebrating a wrestling territory that saw its heyday in the 1970s under the guidance of Lee Fields and booker/wrestler "Cowboy" Bob Kelly. WWE was goofy and cartoonish, and that worked well for them, but the southern stuff carried a stronger, gorier edge. His latest return has soured us (and that’s both his and WWE’s fault) but Batista was a really good wrestler who had a lot of great matches. It was messy, but it was awesome, and all the great brawlers in the world, from Dean Ambrose to Stone Cold Steve Austin, owe something to Brody’s unruliness. He was the best promo ever, and a core influence on guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, etc. He turned a legendary run in the ‘60s to a prodigious film career, and entwined his soul around Mexican pro wrestling. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Bailey said adding a wrestling show was a way to give the old timers - some who have been retired from wrestling since the 70s and 80s; others who still sparingly compete - something to do when they arrive for the reunion. I will never get tired of watching him stalk around the ring and hit clutch RKOs. "So we put this together to try and get the folks out.". Personal issues sunk his in-ring career before it should have, but there’s no question that the Razor Ramon character was groundbreaking. "And they are all blindfolded.". But over 25 years, Taker has morphed into the single-most respected person in the wrestling industry. I don’t like how people have turned Benoit’s murder-suicide into a sympathetic tragedy just because of how messed up his brain was after all those concussions. The guy threw himself into anything he was involved with, which is what’s kept him around for so long. Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe and A.J. Pro wrestling is a place of imagination and fantasy, but sometimes it’s at it’s best when the art imitates life. Triple H was never truly great, but through three decades of his very good matches and very good promos, we have to give credit where credit is due. Let’s pour one out for the man who turned a gold medal into a sniveling heel icon. Cena is still better on the mic than anyone in the company, and capable of turning into a parody of himself in Trainwreck, and a genuinely surreal character on Total Divas. She said she enjoyed her occasional visits to Mobile, Dothan and Pensacola. Maybe, but there’s no question who is the biggest success story in wrestling history. But still, nobody is exactly exploring his back catalog. She continued wrestling on a regular basis until suffering a broken neck and back in 1979. Born in Birmingham in January 1920, Gladys Gillem wrestled just about everything she could other than her fellow female wrestlers including men, bears, alligators and more at carnival shows. But beyond his prodigious in-ring career, this is also the man who founded New Japan Pro Wrestling—providing a mecca for talent all over the world. He’s also responsible for one of the more noteworthy shoot fights in the industry, after he refused to job to an aging Andre The Giant. Aside from the tag-team match, the reunion show will feature what is perhaps one of the more unique matches someone can book: An over-the-top blindfolded all-female battle royale. That counts for something. In the late ‘70s, he’d put over Ric Flair, making him the new “nature boy.” Yeah, the most legendary wrestler of all time got his start from a Buddy Rogers rub. We hope you agree with the choices. "Lee Fields was one of the greatest promoters, and I loved working that territory," said Don Bass, who wrestled throughout the world when he was in his prime. He has had a bona fide Hall of Fame career, and even when he’s given nothing—like that Roman Reigns match from last year—he still puts a unique spin on things. Yeah he’s never going to be great in the ring, but Miz is a fantastic heel who has reinvented himself a number of times over his 12 years in the WWE. Out of all the retired legends in wrestling, I think Bret Hart is the guy I wonder about the most. Lance Staedler/Corbis Outline, Credit: It’s amazing it took so long for Rey Mysterio to get real main event chances. General admission $10. Sigh. When people talk about the golden era of NWA, they’re talking about the 35-minute cage matches between Harley Race and Ric Flair. When you get to NXT, you’re instructed to watch this match between Regal and Benoit. Whether he’s an emasculated corporate shill or tagging with Daniel Bryan, he’s always serving a role. But there were never any questions about his ability, and a list like this wouldn’t be complete without him. And honestly, after watching Liger for three decades, none of us are all that surprised. He had neither the underdog fighting spirit of Chris Benoit nor the undeniable charisma of Eddie Guerrero, which means that Malenko was always left on the outside looking in when it came to big pushes. This came at a time when The Goon was still in the company. On to the list. Green's heyday in the 1970s coincided with the rise of the Gulf Coast promotion that featured regular competitors like Kelly, "Hippie" Mike Boyette, Don Fargo, Bobby Fields, Blue Yankee, Wrestling Pro, Ken Lucas and others. When Ivan Koloff beat Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF title 1971, the referee waited until he was back in the locker room before awarding him the title. Brock Lesnar has probably worked fewer wrestling matches than anyone else on this list, but there’s something to be said for stakes. Close to the top! It’s hard not to imagine that if things went differently, Owen could’ve been one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and beyond. Entertainment Weekly is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation All Rights Reserved. He bit, carved and bled—happily and viciously—to a legion of shocked Americans. Lesnar turned a Roman Reigns match into one of the best WrestleMania main events ever. Hats off. Verne was one of wrestling’s first stars in the burgeoning TV boom back in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and he perfected a style of wholesome mat-wrestling that’d be super influential for a number of internet darlings today. Not that it matters though, because Malenko could wrestle circles around 95 percent of the people on this list, and for a certain type of fan, that’s all that mattered. Liger works his usual high-flying style, and at one point my then-girlfriend asked “so when is this guy getting called up?”. What a weird career Triple H has had. Barely Legal: 30 Nearly Pornographic Mainstream Films Full-frontal nudity, steamy threesomes, one-for-the-money shots — these movies pushed the envelope and still played multiplexes This industry is dangerous, but if you embrace that, it can make you pretty undeniable. Yeah he hasn’t innovated much since 2002, but his ECW work stands tall. Next to Randy Orton, nobody has filled his father’s shoes better. Dusty Rhodes’ eldest son trades in his one-in-a-million pedigree for a ballgag and facepaint and accidentally invents the Attitude era. "We're a brotherhood, so this is kind of a legends night," said Richard Bailey, who wrestles as "Mountain Man" in independent promotions around the region and who also operates Suncoast Championship Wrestling, which is sponsoring Thursday night's event. Just… think about that for a second. The opening match is Tyler Breeze vs. special guest Jushin “Thunder” Liger. He was a heel, which is professional terminology for "bad guy," as a member of a tag team with his brother, Ron Bass. People like Rey Mysterio might be more famous in the long run, but when Mil Mascaras went to work for Vince McMahon Sr. in the ‘70s, he introduced the world at large to a fertile lucha style. He was one of the first guys to ever go top rope, which was obviously a pretty huge innovation. If not, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully as time goes on, we give JBL the Lawler treatment, where we forgive his sins in the announcer’s booth for his talent in the ring. A bald-headed everyman with a chip on his shoulder and a whole lot of contempt for limp-wristed authority. And yeah, it certainly doesn’t hurt that everybody in the business has an amazing drunk Andre story. Years of frightening back bumps and unprotected chair shots have left him semi-crippled, but his legacy is untouchable. "There were many times when (my parents) traveled to see me wrestle that it cost them more than I made.". He’s not even the one who did it best, (that designation probably belongs to Brock Lesnar.) Rick’s legacy got lost in the shuffle once the mid-’90s came around, but the Frankensteiner lives forever. Eddie was one of the most likable people to ever enter the business, and he’s perhaps the only guy who could cheat to win and get a huge babyface pop. In Mobile, they don't expect you to dress up. Big Show, The Undertaker and even Brock Lesnar all walk the path The Giant paved. What a crazy risk, and somehow it worked. But more than anything, I’ve never seen someone have as much fun with his or her character as Rowdy Roddy Piper. Edge is the sort of guy we’ve learned to appreciate more after he retired. Styles eventually made it to WWE, but Christopher Daniels is one of the few remaining standouts of his generation yet to make it to the main event. We have to include one guy from the carnival era, and that guy is Frank Gotch. That feeling is few and far between in this industry, but between his groundbreaking promos, erudite wit, excellent ring psychology and, yeah, a great sense of style, Punk is responsible for one of the most unique runs in the history of WWE.
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