R.I.W Wrestling Legend: Killer Khan

Welcome back to Rotten Ink Arena, the place that we come to talk about Pro Wrestling and enjoy celebrating the legends of the sport that we all love. Today’s “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is going to be killer, and by that I mean it will be about one of the biggest, meanest foreign heels in wrestling through the 1980’s, the one and only Killer Khan, a man who broke the ankle of a giant and would challenge for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship several times terrorizing opponents and fans from America, Canada, Mexico and Japan. So let’s find our seats and order a drink or two as this update might get crazy and who knows what Killer Khan will do, and here he comes now so let’s get this update and matches started.

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Killer Khan started his pro wrestling career in 1971 and was working for Japan Wrestling Association as well as New Japan Pro Wrestling and was going under the name Masashi Ozawa and was making a name for himself as he was booked strong and was becoming a draw for New Japan as he was put into many big matched with many names that would go on to become legends of the sport. He would leave Japan in 1978 and headed Mexico for a brief sting and would have matches against the likes of El Santo and Mil Mascaras. During his time in Mexico, he was going by the name Temojin El Mongol. In 1979 he would head to America and work for Championship Wrestling From Florida and start using the name Killer Khan, and he would be put in a tag team with Pak Song, the two would even win the companies tag team titles. Khan was also being booked as a singles wrestler and was racking up the wins, gaining attention and was hated by the fans becoming one of CWF’s top heels. After his run in CWF he would head to Georgia Championship Wrestling and Universal Wresting Federation and would have good quick runs at each, and while in GCW he would have his first run in with Andre The Giant. In early 1980 he would also do a run in Mid-South Wrestling circuit and by now Killer Khan was one of the top most hated heels in wrestling as he would have wins over many popular heels and his aggressive style made fans fear and hate him. In late 1980 Killer Khan was brought into the WWF for the first time and was made a monster heel that from the start was getting wins over names like Dominic DeNucci and Rick McGraw. By early 1981, he was already getting a WWF World Heavyweight Title shot against champion Bob Backlund and would even make an attempt at the WWF Intercontinental title held by Pedro Morales. And from there his first major long feud in WWF was against Bob Backlund as the pair would square off a number of times in title matches as well as stipulation matches like a Texas Death Match. After his feud with Backlund ended, Killer Khan would stick around striking fear and gaining wins and having a match even against the likes of Bruno Sammartino and Dusty Rhodes. But in late 1981 he set his sights on Andre The Giant and the biggest feud of his career was about to start as this was a legendary as Killer Khan would break the ankle of Andre and take him out of wrestling for a short time, the heat from the fans that Khan got locked him in as one of the companies top heels at the time. And once Andre The Giant returned from his injury the two would have an epic feud and would have even a “Mongolian Stretcher Match” and in the end Andre The Giant was the winner of the feud and it was so epic that in 1981 it won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s feud of the year!

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After his feud with Andre The Giant came to an end, Killer Khan would stick around the WWF and have matches with names like Tony Atlas and would still try in failing attempts to capture the WWF Heavyweight and Intercontinental Gold. And in 1982 he would leave the WWF and head back to New Japan Pro Wrestling for a stint and then would end up back in America working for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling as well as Houston Wrestling and Mid-South Wrestling once again. In 1983 he would head back to New Japan Pro Wrestling before heading to Stampede Wrestling in Canada where he would have a feud with The Mongolian Stomper, and then he would head to World Class Championship Wrestling out of Texas and work against The Von Erichs as well as The Freebirds, that later he would later team with and teach member Terry Gordy the Oriental Spike finishing move. In 1985 Killer Khan would spread terror back in Japan this time working for All Japan Pro Wrestling and would have matches against Giant Baba as well as Giant Haystacks and The Road Warriors. Killer Khan would stick around in All Japan until 1987 and then would return back to America and work once more for WWF for a short run and this time around he was managed by Mr. Fuji and would be pushed once more as a major heel and would even take on WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan for the title at House Shows. His run in 1987 would be over by the end of that same year and while booked as a big heel he never was as big of a threat as he was his last run. During this stink in WWF he would have matches against many of the companies top baby faces including Outback Jack, SD Jones, Ken Patera, Tito Santana, Hillbilly Jim, Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff and George “The Animal” Steele to name a few. And after this run Killer Khan would quietly step away from full time work in wrestling and would retire from the sport shortly after and would open his own restaurant in Japan that he is still running to this day.

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Growing up Killer Khan was one of wrestling’s greatest foreign heels at the time as he always seemed like a major threat to any baby face that was in the ring with him, and I mean the guy broke Andre The Giants ankle! And yes I know that Andre really broke his own ankle by accident and they used Khan’s attack to write him off TV in order for the injury to heal. And in 1987 when he made his return to the WWF I can remember thinking it was a bigger deal then it really was as I always looked at Killer Khan with the notion in my head that he would one day be a major threat to Hulk Hogan and would try and take his world title away, plus adding the sneaky Mr. Fuji as his manager just made him even more of a heel in my young eyes. Something about Killer Khan made him scary to younger fans at the time, as you never seemed to know what he was going to do and if he was going to take out your favorite wrestler. It’s also very odd that Killer Khan never got a LJN WWF action figure in 1987 as apart of Series 4 as it would have been a cool one to get, but he did make it to the Topps WWF Trading cards at that time. Plus his move the Oriental Spike always seemed so devastating and was a great finishing maneuver for that time and era. And for kids of the 1990’s they might know Killer Khan for playing Ishikawa the bodyguard to Konga in the 1994 film “3 Ninjas Kick Back” and in 2006 he had a cameo on the Japanese series “Lion-Maru G”. And for fans of Killer Khan who travel he owns and runs a restaurant in Japan that is called “Killer Khan No Mise Izakaya Kanchan” and its said to be amazing food and that Killer Khan will take pictures with fans as well as sign autographs, and if I ever get the chance this would be one must stop for me if I ever get the chance to visit Japan. To sum this up I have been a fan of Killer Khan sense I was a kid and I am very much looking forward to watching his matches again as I want to see his brutal style again or see if its as brutal as I remember.

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We are now at the point of this review were we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Killer Khan for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly select matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from single matches, as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match, ** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready lets step into the ring with Killer Khan.

RIW Wrestling Legend Killer Khan DVD

Best Of Killer Khan

Match 1: Killer Khan vs. Ray Candy

Killer Khan starts the match off in charge as he knees Candy in the stomach and then body slams the big man before using his knees more to knock Candy into the corner and continues the assault on Candy who is not given a chance to fight back yet as Khan is super aggressive and wants to hurt Candy as its clear as he take him to the ground and drops several jumping knees on him over and over as well as axe handle hits. And then he puts the Iron Claw onto Ray Candy’s stomach and forces him to quite the match and Kahn wins by submission. This is a total squash match as Ray Candy is destroyed by Killer Khan who beats the hell out of him, lands some brutal movies like the dropping knee over and over and then finishes him off with a claw to his stomach. Killer Khan looks just like his name says a killer as he is super aggressive and is looking to destroy his opponent. Meanwhile on the other hand Ray Candy looks like a total jobber and does a good job of selling for Khan and being enhancement talent. Not much else to say besides Khan really is a killer in this quick squash match.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 2: Killer Khan vs. Andre The Giant

This is a stretcher match were to win your opponent must be carried out on a stretcher. As the bell rings Andre stalks Khan and once he gets his hands on him he nails a big head butt and then starts unloading massive clubbing hits. Even as Khan gets out of the ring to try and escape the beating he is grabbed by the hair by Andre and forced back into the ring and his beating continues as Andre is fired up and is a very angry giant. Andre then takes Khan down with a big boot and then sits on him with his massive weight, crushing Khan, the referee calls for the stretcher and Khan shoves it away and the match continues and Andre hits Khan with a piledriver! But Andre misses a falling headbutt and this gives Khan a chance to stomp on the head of Andre over and over, and then gets Andre’s ankle the same one he broke tied up into the ropes and starts working it over. Khan then drops a knee on the head of Andre and the referee calls for the stretcher, and Andre pushes it away and then picks it up and hits Khan over the head with it and then starts beating on and sitting on Khan again causing the hated heel lots of pain and Khan once more fights off being placed on the stretcher. Andre then starts his attack once more of sitting on Khan over and over, and like before Khan fights off being put on the stretcher. Andre this time suplexes Khan before squashing him again with his sitting assault and then lands a big splash and then Killer Khan is placed on the stretcher and taken away given the win to Andre The Giant. This was a true battle between two big men and it was mostly a one sided fight as Andre dominated most of the fight and just pounded and squashed Killer Khan throughout the match. Andre is winded pretty early one and mostly just sits on and uses clubbing hits to take down Khan who does a great job of selling for The Giant. Andre does do some moves that later in his career he could not pull off like the piledriver and suplex and while limited even at this point the fans loved Andre and I found myself as well enjoying him in this match. Killer Khan pretty much only gets off one brief moment of taking the lead in the match and he gets the crowd hot as he goes after the ankle that he had broken some months back. While not a great technical match nor even really that great of a brawling one, the stipulation, the big match feel and the story telling of Andre wanting revenge is what made this a very entertaining match.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Killer Khan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

As the bell rings both men show off and try intimidating one another and once they lock up its Bigelow that backs Khan into the corner, and once they break apart Bigelow stares down Khan. They lock up again and this time Khan backs Bigelow into the corner and this time when they break apart Killer Khan punches Bigelow in the gut and starts hammering him with punches, and then the two bounce off the ropes and clash in the middle and then they start slapping each other across the face and then Bigelow hits Khan with an atomic drop. Khan roles out of the ring to shake off the move and once back in the ring tries to shake the hand of Bigelow but of course this is a trick and Khan attacks him and even chokes him on the rope and this allows Mr. Fuji the manager of Killer Khan to hit Bigelow with his cane and Khan continues his attack and even gets a two count with a pin attempt. And Khan and Fuji continue to cheat behind the referees back. Bigelow is able to make a comeback and pull off a big clothesline, hits a body slam as well as a diving headbutt and gets a two count on Khan. As the match continues Khan is able to kick Bigelow in the face and goes for the green mist and it misses allowing Bigelow to hit him with a dropkick and a big splash and get the three count and the win. This is a match between to big guys that was just an ok match as Khan was on and hit many of his big moves and even went for the green mist spit, it was Bigelow who seemed a little off and was sluggish, looked like he was in a cocky mood and was just mediocre at best in the match. While Bigelow’s splash looked great as did a few of his moves it was clear he was not fully into the match. While Khan on the other hand tried to make the best of it and sold well for Bigelow and did what he could to get the match over. The fans in the arena seemed to enjoy it so that counts for something as Bam Bam Bigelow was a big baby face for the WWF at the time, for me though this was just an ok match between two wrestlers who have done better. And to be honest the more I think about it, Bam Bam seems like he is more worried coming off as a badass then he was getting a good match with Khan.

Grade: **

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Match 4: Killer Khan vs. Randy Savage

As the match starts its Killer Khan who takes the lead and starts hitting Savage with big hits, but Savage is able to take over when Khan misses a knee in the corner and bounces off the turnbuckle allowing Savage to start landing some punches of his own and even hits a back elbow that hurts Khan, but Khan is able to land some knees to Savage’s gut when he backs him into the corner, and as Khan distracts the referee Mr. Fuji starts choking Savage with his cane and even hits him in the small of the back. Savage falls out of the ring and almost gets counted out, but makes it back just in time and Khan continues his attack working on the back of Savage and gets him into a backbreaker. Savage is able to get out of the hold by kicking himself off the ropes and then starts punching Khan in the face and drops him with a running elbow to the head. The Savage runs to the top rope and lands an axe handle hit and then goes for the pin, but Khan kicks out and uses his kicks to knock down Savage, and when Savage stands up Khan goes to spit the green mist in his eyes and misses as Savage dodges and then rolls up Khan to get the pin. This was a good match between these two as their styles work well together and while Savage gets the win Khan does not look weak in defeat as he puts a good beating on Savage throughout the match. The backbreaker that Khan puts on Savage looks painful and while it would have been nice to see Savage land is classic elbow drop finisher on Khan, the rollup win does protect Khan in defeat. This is a good match between two top notch WWF Superstars and their styles worked well together.

Grade: ***

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Killer Khan is an awesome heel from the 1980’s wrestling scene and was one that has always stuck with me mostly due to his feud with Andre The Giant and his brawling style always made him standout from the other heels of the time in the WWF. I think the greatest thing about Killer Khan is that he could have a great match against any company’s top stars from Hulk Hogan to Kerry Von Erick to El Santo and every baby face in-between. But as you can see, the Rotten Ink Arena is closing for the night as the matches are over and the cleanup crew is out cleaning up all the thrown popcorn so before we leave these arena doors I would like to let you all know that my next update will have us coming back to the Rotten Ink Arena and this time we will be taking a look at one of the WWF’s biggest tag teams from the 80’s and early 90’s and I am talking about Demolition! So let’s head on out and let the crew clean up and until next time watch a wrestling match or three, read a comic or two and as always support your local indie wrestlers. See you next time as Demolition shows us destruction in the ring.

RIW Demolition Preview Logo

R.I.W Wrestling Legend: Big John Studd

It’s WWE WrestleMania Month here at Rotten Ink. As you can see, we are once more at the Rotten Ink Arena for a big event, and for this one I really do mean big as one of the 80’s best wrestling giants is our main event “R.W.I Wrestling Legend” superstar. I am talking about the one and only Big John Studd, a man who feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant and was a true monster of the ring. So let’s find our seats order some drinks and maybe some popcorn and get ready as this is one I have been very much looking forward to doing since the start of the “R.W.I Wrestling Legend” updates. Get ready to cheer and see if any one can collect the money set as a prize for the Big John Studd body slam challenge.

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Big John Studd started his pro wrestling career in 1972. He was trained by Killer Kowalski and worked for Los Angeles NWA Hollywood Wrestling under the name The Mighty Minton and was in a short lived tag team with Superstar Billy Graham. Later in 1972, he would sign on for a short run in the WWF and go under the name Chuck O’Connor and would have a few big matches including going for the WWF World Heavyweight Title against the then-champion Pedro Morales. By early 1973 he was gone from the WWF and would end up in Mid-Atlantic and would be booked pretty strong teaming with Ken Patera. The two would capture tag team gold. And during this time starting in 1975 he would also be working for the AWA and stay around with them for around a year. Also while still doing some work in Mid-Atlantic he would also head to WWF again and wear a mask calling himself Executioner # 2. He was part of the team called The Executioners, and they would even win the WWF Tag Titles. But once more by 1977 he would leave the company again and stay with Mid-Atlantic. Throughout the 1970’s John Studd would work many of the old NWA territories. Big John Studd was a giant of the ring and was a big draw for the companies that he would have short runs in, and while he would only stay for a small amount of time, he really did leave his mark in those companies.

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In 1982 Big John Studd would return to the WWF and would be managed by “Classy” Freddie Blassie and quickly became one of the companies top heels as he would bring a stretcher to the ring and his opponents would have to be taken out on one. During this time even he would try and win the WWF World Title from champion Bob Backlund, and while he would come close to winning it, he never did. And he would also start his biggest feud of his career with Andre The Giant during this time and it was over who the real giant of wrestling was, and Studd would even offer $10,000 (later $15,000) to anyone that could body slam him! Andre of course would slam Studd several times and the two would even meet in steel cage matches as well as even broke the ring during a match due to the power of a slam. The war between the Giants raged on for a long time, and in 1984 while still feuding with Andre he would also go after the WWF Title again this time held by Hulk Hogan and like before he would come close but was not able to capture the gold. During this time as well Studd would drop Freddie as his manager and take Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as his new one and would be the first member of the stable called “The Heenan Family” that would later get members like The Missing Link, King Kong Bundy, Ken Patera, Adrian Adonis and Harley Race to name a few. During this time he and Patera even beat up Andre The Giant and cut off his hair! And Big John Studd remained one of the WWF’s top Heels and had high profile matches at WrestleMania as well as WrestleMania II and would have many big matches against other big name wrestlers and teams like The Machines, British Bulldogs, Ted Arcidi, The Islanders and Junkyard Dog. He would be paired with King Kong Bundy in a monster heel tag team and they would feud with many of the company’s top stars. But in 1986 Big John Studd decided to retire from wrestling. Before his first retirement, Big John Studd would win some titles in NWA, WWF and EWU and was always a main event star. But while Studd would be retired, he was not fully done with wrestling.

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After taking time away from Pro Wrestling for two years Big John Studd would return to the sport and the WWF in 1988 and announced his return on the Brother Love Show. Bobby Heenan came out to welcome him back into the “Heenan Family Stable” but to Heenan’s shock, Studd refused the offer due to Andre The Giant being apart of the stable now and with this he was turned face and the fans loved seeing him back. He would then start feuding with The Heenan Family and had matches against the likes of Haku and Andre The Giant and he would win the 1988 Royal Rumble and would even be the special guest referee in a match against Andre The Giant and Jack “The Snake” Roberts at Wrestlemania V and during this time fans really began to cheer and support Studd who was rising up the card as one of the company’s top baby faces. But by mid 1989, Big John Studd would leave the WWF again due to what he thought was bad payoffs. Studd would then go around and work a few Indie shows from 1989 to 1990, and his final match was against Honky Tonk Man before retiring. During this time he also had his own line of supplements for workouts and trained Ron Reese, who would work for WCW under that name as well as The Yeti, The Super Giant Ninja and Big Ron Studd. Sadly Big John Studd would pass away from lymphoma cancer in 1995 and one of wrestling’s true giants would be gone. In 2004 Big John Studd was put into the WWF Hall Of Fame, and on a side note, his son Sean Studd is also a wrestler.

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Big John Studd has always been one of my favorite Big Men of wrestling in the 1980’s and I would always be cheering him over the likes of Andre The Giant, but do have to admit that I did always turn on him when he would go after Hulk Hogan and the WWF World Title as he was so good at being a monster heel and he had the size, look and attitude to pull it off making me always think he was a big threat for the title. His time as a member of the Heenan Family was fantastic and him being in it really helped it be one of the biggest and baddest Heel Stables in the world of Pro Wrestling, only behind the Four Horsemen for me as they always felt like every baby face was in deep trouble when manager Bobby Heenan set his sights on targets and set his stable loose on them. His tag team with King Kong Bundy always seemed like a tag team that would be unbeatable as they were truly the type of heels that were larger then life and looked like they could squash you life a bug. My fandom of Big John Studd also went outside the world of pro wrestling as he was a character in the cartoon series “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” and he was also an actor in such films as “The Protector (1985)”, “Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man (1991)” and “Shock ‘Em Dead (1991) and was on such popular TV Shows as “The A-Team”, “Hunter” and “Beauty And The Beast”. And I can remember geeking out when seeing him as Officer Meak in the cheesy horror movie Shock ‘Em Dead as you all know that I am a big fan of Horror Films and seeing wrestling and that genre mix was awesome. I can remember in 1988 when Studd returned to WWF, it seemed like a big deal and when he won the first PPV version of the Royal Rumble it seemed like he was going to be a big main eventer, but I can remember being let down as he quickly went away and was off the roster. Say what you will about Big John Studd; while he might not have been the best technical wrestler and pretty much just worked the brawling big man style, he still remains one of my favorite wrestlers of the 1980’s. I should also note that growing up I had his LJN figures, all of them from the Thumb Wrestler to the Bendy and when playing with the toys he was always a main eventer. And funny enough, every kid I knew in school who was a fan of WWF had at least one figure of Big John Studd in their collection showing just how big of a star he was in the sport.

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On October 23, 2021 Juliet and I traveled to Saxonburg, Pennsylvania on a very cloudy and rainy day to visit the grave of Big John Studd that was located in the Saxonburg Memorial Church Cemetery, a very small cemetery that is located across the street from a feed store and was broken into two sections as one was older graves and the other part had newer ones. And after wandering around in the cold weather for a moment Juliet spotted his grave and we were able to pay our respects and we left a penny to let him know that we did so (as John served in the Army and is a veteran). It was very neat to see the care that was put into his tombstone and it was awesome to be able to tell him how he was one of my favorite wrestlers growing up. We stayed at the grave for around 10 minutes before heading back to the car as Juliet was getting chilly as it was in the mid 40’s. But below are some pictures I took at my visit and it really was an honor to be able to visit him.

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs, like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Big John Studd for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly selected matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from Single matches, as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean: ½ means a really terrible match, * means a bad match, ** means a below average match, **1/2 means a good average entertaining match, *** means a good match, **** means a great match, ***** means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with Big John Studd.

RIW Wrestling Legend Big John Studd DVD

Best Of Big John Studd

Match 1: Big John Studd vs. Rickey Steamboat

The match starts in progress and Steamboat has Studd locked in a figure four, and the crowd is going crazy. Studd is able to roll while in the hold and get to the ropes and the hold has to be broken. Once the hold is broken, Steamboat continues to work on the legs and knees of Studd trying to keep the big man down. And when Studd tries to fight back Steamboat cuts him off and even goes for a pin and getting a no count due to Studd’s arm on the ropes. Steamboat tries to go for a karate chop, but Studd is able to dodge it and locks on a bear hug that is draining the energy out of Steamboat, but he is able to escape and starts landing massive chops onto Studd. The two then exchange hits, and it’s clear that both men are tired and that they have been at war with each other. Studd then kicks Steamboat out of the ring and will not let him back in the ring and then even goes out after him and keeps ramming Steamboat’s head into the metal posts. And as the two are still outside the match just ends with the outcome unclear. Well this looked like it was a really good match between the crowd favorite Ricky Steamboat and the hated heel John Studd but we join the match already in progress and that already kills the mood and story telling build of the match, and then we do not even get a finish, leaving this one a little sad and not a high star match rating that I am sure it would have been incomplete. Steamboat and Studd, from what I could see, both did a great job of selling for each other as well as getting the fan all railed up and cheering and screaming like crazy, Steamboat looks like a true superstar and what we see has the upper hand most of the match until it goes to the outside and that’s when Studd is able to show his true heelish tactics. What I could see it looked like a great match, but what I didn’t get to see is why I have to only give this a two star rating.

Grade: **

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Match 2: Big John Studd vs. Paul Jones

We start the match already in progress and Big John Studd has Paul Jones on the mat and is landing massive clubbing smashes down on him, but it’s clear that Studd’s knee is hurt but he is keeping Jones down on the mat, and he even drops a massive falling chop that rocks Jones and Studd goes for a series of pins and is not able to get the win yet. Studd keeps the pressure on Jones and keeps him grounded and beat up. Studd also keeps trying to get the pin on Jones and tries to use his power and size to hold him down. Jones uses head scissors for a moment to try and get the match turned around, but its short lived as Studd is able to use his power and size to once more take over. Studd then locks in the bear hug and it looks bad for Jones as Studd has it locked in for a very, very long time, but with the fans cheers and a knee to the gut he is able to escape. And after a short comeback Paul Jones is finally pinned when he charges at Studd who dodges and slams his head hard into the turnbuckle. I have to start that at times during this match moves are clearly not connecting and at times when Paul Jones is trying to power up he looks like a kid throwing a temper tantrum as he flops around like a fish. And for some reason Paul Jones is booked super strong while he gets beat up most of the match he is able to withstand Big John Studd’s finisher the Bear Hug and has the not going down to my dying breath baby face style. Big John Studd looks like a beast and uses big power based moves and even when Jones is trying to make him look bad Studd comes off as a real giant bad ass. Paul Jones while a legend in the business I for one have never been impressed and the way he tried to make one of the industries biggest rising heels look in this match just shows you how big his flopping around ego was inflated. And its crazy when you see just how loud he is cheered by the fans and he is the definition of generic wrestling baby face. And even when pinned Jones no sells as he moves around like he was not fully phased. But with all the flaws of the match mostly Jones and his ego or I guess I should say the way he was booked the match was a great way to showcase the power of Studd even him his opponent didn’t sell it like he should. And the star rating is for Big John Studd as he had to make due with an opponent who was not very good.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Big John Studd vs. Antonio Inoki

This match takes place in Japan and Big John Studd is wearing a mask for it. As soon as the bell rings, they size each other up and its clear that Inoki is the quicker of the two but Studd towers over Inoki and is able to land some big forearm smashes and uses his power and size to land some big moves and punches keeping Inoki down and trying to limit his speed. Studd lands a body slam and goes for a pin and gets a one count before locking in a chin lock. Once out of the hold Inoki uses his fast and strong kicks to weaken Studds legs, but after a clothesline Studd is able to get the match momentum back on his side and once more locks Inoki into another chin lock. Studd really works the lock as the crowd starts cheering Inoki as he is able to get to the ropes to break the hold. Studd then lands some power moves and when he cannot get the pin he once more goes back to a chin lock and then even lands a falling elbow to try and get the pin victory. Inoki is able to roll out of the ring and try and catch his breath and once back in Studd once more starts working over Inoki and keeping the match at his pace, and even when Inoki is able to make a small comeback they end up just trading being in charge of the match with Inoki working over the arm of Studd in order to try and hurt the big man. The two want to get this win and hit moves and pin attempts on each other with both men not wanting to let the other get the victory. In the end after a ensuigiri Inoki is able to knock Studd down and get the pin fall victory. This is a great match and does a great job of showcasing Big John Studd as a world wide massive heel as he is able to really put a hurting on Inoki who was a massive star in Japan, but while Big John Studd is in charge of most of the match he still does a great job of making Inoki look great and sells for him really well making both of them look great. But to be fair both of these guys really are some of the best wrestlers in the world at the time. And while both guys use rest holds, the story they are telling is great. And yes, it’s weird that they have Studd wear a mask again. And Studd is a mountain of muscle in this match and the kicks of Inoki are great and brutal. Over all to sum this up I would say that this is a great match that is very entertaining.

Grade: ***1/2

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Match 4: Big John Studd vs. Ted Dibiase

When the bell rings both men size each other up and even when Studd uses his power to back Dibiase into the ropes his speed gets him away from taking any major hits. And with his speed Dibiase is able to land some punches and even a drop kick that makes the big man stumble and then gets him into head scissors and then a headlock in order to keep Studd down on the mat and limit his size and power. But when Studd is able to get off some punches and moves, he takes over the momentum and is able to pull off a big body slam as well as some forearm smashes, and slows down the pace with a big chin lock in the middle of the ring and is draining the energy out of Dibiase, and even when he is able to get out of the hold its short lived as Studd just beats him up and places the chin lock right back on. But once out for the second time the two exchange moves and Dibiase is able to truly hurt the big man as Studd himself works over the back of Dibiase. But when being charged Studd is able to dodge Dibiase who runs into the post and falls out of the ring very hurt, and Studd will not allow his opponent to get back into the ring. But Studd by doing this leaves his own legs open for an attack and that’s what Dibiase does in order to get back into the ring and take over the match as the knees of Studd are now injured and he keeps up his attack up on his knees. And as Dibiase goes for the figure four leg lock he is kicked out of the ring by Studd, who goes out after him and the two end up brawling outside the ring with chairs even being used. And it’s ruled a double count out and even after the bell the two brawl all the way back to the locker room. This is a solid match and the fans in attendance were eating up the story they were telling in the ring. This match pitted two rising stars against each other and both had great in ring chemistry and this allowed both of them to look good in the match as they sold well for each other and each allowed the other to pull off big moves and get near pin attempts. And its great seeing Ted Dibiase as the baby face as years latter in 1988 the roles would be flipped when both were in the WWF. While the match does have some rest holds that slow the pace at times, it’s still very entertaining and both tell a great story together.

Grade: ***

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Match 5: Big John Studd vs. Andre The Giant

In this match Big John Studd is working as the face and Andre is the heel! Before the bell even rings, Studd goes on the attack on Andre and knocks The Giant into the ropes and this causes him to get tangled in them, but before Studd can take advantage of this Andre gets free and starts to choke his opponent as the referee tries to stop this illegal attack. Studd is able to escape the choke by falling out of the ring and takes a few moments in order to catch his breath. And once back in the ring Studd is quickly placed into a bear hug by Andre who also keeps landing massive chops when he breaks the hold and then starts working on the shoulder nerves of his opponent, this match once the bell rang is all Andre in control as he goes from rest hold to rest hold trying his best to bring John Studd down. Even when John Studd would try and make a comeback he is cut off by Andre who uses his massive size to his advantage, and things get worse when Haku a fellow Heenan Family member comes to ringside to help Andre and distract Studd, and when knocked out of the ring Studd is attacked by Haku behind the referees back. And this causes Hacksaw Jim Duggan to come out and help John Studd and be in his corner. And all hell breaks loose when Andre and Haku attack Studd when Hacksaw is knocked down, but once up he gets into the ring with his 2X4 and starts cleaning house. And Big John Studd wins the match by DQ and is hurt in the ring as Hacksaw stands guard until Andre and Haku leave the ring area. This is the battle of The Giants of wrestling that took place in the late 80’s with both men at the twilights of their careers and Andre The Giant looking really bad and is hardly able to move around the ring making Studd do most of the work and taking almost all of the matches bumps. Andre in this match is moving in slow motion and his moves are all pretty much rest holds, and its clear that throughout the match they wanted everyone to know that Andre is the real Giant of the WWF even when he is wrestling as a heel. Big John Studd does his best to work with the extreme limitations of Andre and does a great job of selling his moves even when they are botched by The Giant who clearly should have already been retired from the sport as he was not good in this match and clearly was in pain just moving around the ring. And the downside to this is that Studd had to be on the back end of a terrible match and sell for Andre in order to make the match not look bad, and while he won the match is was also clear that Andre did not want to put over anything that Studd wanted to do. A clunky match that had two Big Men brawling that still for some reason had a very epic feel to it. I should also note it was cool seeing the fans cheering for John Studd and booing the heck out of Andre.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 6: Big John Studd vs. Hulk Hogan

If Hulk Hogan slams John Studd in the match he will get $15,000 and Hogan has to keep an eye out as Bobby Heenan is also at ringside managing Studd. This match is for Hogan’s WWF World Title. As the bell rings the two wrestlers just stare and size each other up as the crowd is going crazy and when the two finally lock up they both attempt to body slam each other and this gets the crowd roaring even louder. The pair break apart and trade some hits and then both try and slam each other again with both getting very close to doing so. Hogan then lands some big punches that rock Studd as does a big boot to his face, Hogan goes for the slam but Studd is able to fight it off and take the momentum of the match that is until Hogan once more lands some big punches to make it swing his way once more. Hogan again goes for the slam and this once more gives Studd the chance to block the attempt as well hit Hogan with some massive hits. But like before Hogan lands some punches and a clothesline that leaves Studd to almost being slammed and he would have been if the ropes were not in his reach keeping him grounded, and the two end up brawling outside the ring and Hogan is busted open. Once back in the ring Hogan is bleeding and Studd continues to beat up on the champion as he wants the title belt, and even jumps off the top rope with a forearm smash. John Studd goes for several pin attempts and every time Hogan uses all his strength to kick out and keep the match going, but Studd is able to body slam Hogan hard to the mat and the fans are fuming with anger as Hogan is then knocked out of the ring again. Studd is also pulled outside by Hogan the fans start cheering and this makes him Hulk Up and he even body slams Studd outside the ring! As Hogan gets back into the ring Studd is counted out and Hogan wins the match and keeps his world title, but did not win the money as the slam was not in the ring. What a fun WWF Title match as champion Hulk Hogan does a fantastic job of making Big John Studd look like a major threat for his title, he sells really well for the challenger, he bleeds for him and all the while has the fans cheering and so into the match. Say what you will about Hogan and his in ring skills, but the man was a major draw and it was clear that fans loved him and paid to see him wrestle. Big John Studd looks great as well as he played the role of monster heel really well and had fans hating him and as well hit some major big power moves to make it seem possible that he could take Hogan’s belt. While it was by no means a technical masterpiece and by all means really was your typical 80’s Hogan match there is something special about his matches as you as a viewer as well just feed off the live crowds responses. A very solid match between two icons of 80’s wrestling and true WWE Hall Of Famers that you should check out if you are fans of either or both.

Grade: ***

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I need to stress that Big John Studd might not be the world’s best big man wrestler and he might not have put on Five Star matches, but what he was for sure was a believable Big Man Monster Heel who seemed like he could have beaten the hell out of every fan favorite baby face at the time and then maybe even squash a few fans in the crowd for the fun of it. His matches against the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant and Hillbilly Jim always were entertaining and brought excitement to fans. And while his face run in 1988 in the WWF was fun, I have to say I always liked him better as a heel. Well it looks like the update is over and Rotten Ink Arena is closing down for the night, but do not fret you know as well as I do that our next update will bring us right back here to the arena as WrestleMania month continues and our next update will be about Killer Khan! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local wrestling federations. See you next time cause Killer Khan is coming for you!

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R.I.W Wrestling Legend: Cowboy Bob Ellis

Welcome back to another “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” update that is taking place here at the Rotten Ink Arena. As you can see, this update has a Texas theme as our subject for this update was a true legend and major draw in the Lone Star State and was also the man who created the legendary wrestling move the Bulldog! And this wrestler is Cowboy Bob Ellis, a true Icon of wrestling who was a fan favorite his whole long career who sadly does not get the coverage nor recognition he should. So if you are ready, grab yourself a beer and maybe a steak sandwich from the snack bar as its time to talk about this Texas wrestling icon that was one of the most popular Cowboys in wrestling for decades.

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Cowboy Bob Ellis started his wrestling career in 1957 and was trained by Ed Lewis and Sandor Szabo and was a major star almost from the start and started wrestling for the NWA territories in the Texas area. He was known from the start as being the protégé of one of his trainers Ed “Strangler” Lewis and it help boost his statues on the cards as he was super skilled and was a great talent in the ring. And because of his popularity he was booked for many NWA territories like Stampede Wrestling, Central States Wrestling and even the AWA! And because the fans loved him, he was a major draw when his name was on the posters and they would come and pay to see him in action. Cowboy Ellis was a skilled wrestler who would wrestle a technical style and yet could also brawl with the best of them, and he looked liked an actor from the Western shows on TV and this made him popular with the ladies. During his time in wrestling, Cowboy Bob would win many titles and would be booked in big matches against the likes of such names as Buddy Rogers, Fritz Von Erich, Dick The Bruiser, Bob Geigel, Mighty Atlas, Angelo Poffo, The Sheik and Killer Kowalski to name a few. Ellis would create his own finishing maneuver that would be called the Bulldog, a move that is still used by many wrestlers to this day! Bob Ellis would even wrestle in World Wrestling Council out of Puerto Rico and like everywhere he wrestled, he was a draw for them. After a very long career that lasted decades Cowboy Bob Ellis would retire from in-ring action in 1982. All through his career, Ellis was respected and loved by fans, and as of this posting Cowboy Bob is still alive and is in his 90s! While never on the same level as a Ric Flair, Buddy Rogers, Hulk Hogan, Nick Bockwinkel or Bruno Sammartino, Cowboy Bob Ellis was a workhorse who was skilled in the ring and was dependable, was a draw, was loved by fans and did it all while wearing his cowboy boots.

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The strangest thing about Cowboy Bob Ellis is that he very much is a true legend of Texas Wrestling and is also the man who invented the move the Bulldog so you would think his name would be used more often when fans and promoters talk about the legends of the sport and it’s a shame that Ellis is not even in the WWE Hall Of Fame yet as he should at least be apart of the Legacy inductions. Cowboy Bob Ellis was a great face that was ready for a fight and would be cheered by young and old as his skill and for many years was considered the best “Cowboy” in wrestling and was always looked at as one of the best wrestlers in general when on a card. The sad part about Cowboy Bob Ellis’s long and very successful career is that you can hardly find any real in-depth history of his in-ring career and oddly enough he does not even have a Wikipedia page, and that’s shocking as far less Legendary wrestlers do. Another thing that I think keeps Bob Ellis from being as big as he should be is that while he won titles in many federations he has never captured gold in any of the bigger ones like AWA, WWF and the major NWA ones. Plus while he was a nice guy in the world of wrestling, he later got involved in some shady stuff dealing with Horse Racing and this tarnished him in some fans eyes, as he was convicted of fixing races with others to collect money in bets. While in real life he may have done something very crooked and wrong, you still cant not take away from his in-ring work as a wrestler as he really was a icon who worked his ass off to put on some very great matches for the fans. I can remember the name Cowboy Bob Ellis from the years of watch and reading about wrestling, but this will be the first time I get to watch some of his matches and that really cool as I am looking forward to it.

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8 of them. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Cowboy Bob Ellis for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly select matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from Single matches, as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match, ** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready lets step into the ring with Cowboy Bob Ellis.

RIW Wrestling Legend Cowboy Bob Ellis DVD

Best Of Cowboy Bob Ellis

Match 1: Cowboy Bob Ellis vs. Bob Geigel

From the start of the match Cowboy shows Geigel that he is here to fight and why they call him the Pride Of San Antonio Texas and he comes after him strong, but when Geigel gets a cheap shot to Cowboy’s kidney area the match quickly turns in his favor as the pair go back and fourth exchanging holds with Geigel trying to find ways to cheat as Geigel keeps going for kidney shots as well as aims for his neck with punches. But even with cheating Cowboy keeps the momentum in his favor, until Geigel knocks Cowboy out of the ring and delivers more cheap shots that just angers Cowboy who unleashes on him and once more takes full control over the match as the fans cheer him on. No matter what small attempts Geigel makes to turn the tide Cowboy cuts it off and keeps control, in the end Cowboy and Geigel fight to a time limit draw. This is a classic style match with two guys that knew how to entertain as well as work the fans into massive cheers. Geigel is a perfect chicken heel who does dirty moves, begs not to be beat up and has the fans hating him, well mostly the ladies as they love Cowboy and during the match stand at ringside to cheer him on as well as even wipe the sweat from him as he walks by! Cowboy Bob Ellis really impressed me with his old school style and I would also like to see more of Bob Geigel matches. Over all a very good match!

Grade: ***1/2

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Match 2: Cowboy Bob Ellis vs. Bobby Heenan

The match starts with Cowboy Bob and Heenan fighting before the bell rings with Cowboy even wanting to bash him with a chair that the referee stops. Once in the ring, Heenan uses an object to hit Cowboy in the eyes given him a small advantage over his bigger opponent, and Heenan then keeps on attacking the eyes making Cowboy blind and swinging wildly at anything that is moving. Cowboy finally turns the momentum of the match when he rams Heenan’s crotch into the post buying him some time to try and get his site back, but Heenan cuts him off again and goes for the eyes several more times. Cowboy finally has had enough and just goes crazy on Heenan and finishes him off with a massive hit to the face, knocking him out and giving the Cowboy the three count. This match is more about the art of selling then pulling off moves as both guys do a great job with selling for each other with Heenan almost being over the top cartoonish in nature and Ellis selling that he cannot see for a bit will remind fans of how Shawn Michaels use to sell in the 90s. Cowboy is great and delivers a brawling style match, while Heenan might be the greatest Manager of all time, his wrestling in this match is not great as his punches look very weak and 98% of the match his him cheating and bumping around the ring. Over all, a very silly match that had the crowd yelling and screaming so it did its job as its clear fans live Cowboy Bob Ellis.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Cowboy Bob Ellis vs. Jimmy Ford

Jimmy Ford jumps Cowboy as he is getting into the ring and does not even have his entrance gear off and lands some massive hits to him in the corner. Cowboy has enough real quick and beats up Jimmy and puts him into a sleeper hold and puts him to sleep and wins the match in 27 seconds! Wow, this was a total squash match and Jimmy Ford is the biggest jobber we have ever seen in one of these reviews, as he looks like a total curtain jerker, and Cowboy Bob looks like a million dollars as he shrugs off being jumped as the bell rings and then destroys the guy attacking him. Barely a match but was entertaining if you like Cowboy Bob as you see him set a company record. Can’t give it any higher of a score and only reason I gave it two is cause it made Cowboy look good and put him in the history books for a fast win.

Grade: **

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Match 4: Cowboy Bob Ellis vs. Tony Romano

The start of the match has Cowboy and Romano testing each other and not being two aggressive as they want to make sure that they do not underestimate each others skills, and at one point when the action starts to be pressed by Cowboy Romano goes on the run! But Cowboy tracks him down and takes it to Romano who is being out worked in the ring. After a small comeback from Tony Romano, Cowboy makes the comeback and places him into the sleeper hold and puts him to sleep for the win. This match is clearly Cowboy Bob facing a lower mid-carder for International Championship Wrestling and was pretty much a squash match with Tony at least being able to have some moves thrown in to not make him a total jobber. Cowboy wrestles his more brawling style in this match and is great like before, but one thing I did notice is that he does not get the big cheers like he normally does from the crowd and it makes me wonder if they were just sick of seeing him every week, or if it was just a bad crowd that night. Over all a good match that was quick and straight to the point of getting Cowboy Bob another win on TV.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 5: Cowboy Bob Ellis vs. Wildman Watson

It’s the battle of Texas as these two Lone Star State wrestlers square off in the ring with them at first exchanging hits, but Cowboy Bob ends up getting the upper hand first as he out wrestles Wildman who ends up showing Cowboy that he as well as some skill, and even sneaks in some cheating moves like biting Cowboy’s hand. Once Cowboy gets a chance to collect himself he takes back over the match and once more out wrestles the Wildman by getting him in all types of holds and does so fast and flawless. Wildman gets frustrated and starts attacking Cowboy’s eyes with his fingers causing him major pain, but by cheating and making Cowboy mad becomes Wildman’s undoing as Cowboy finishes him off with the bulldog and the three count for the win. A good match that mixed hard hitting and technical styles and pitted two Texas wrestlers against each other that worked well in the ring. While it was very clear that Cowboy Bob was the more skilled of the two, Wildman did a good job of putting up a fight and looking like a threat. I also liked that Wildman would cheat every chance he could and all it ended up doing was making Cowboy mad and making Wildman’s beating worse. While this was clearly just a match that pitted a popular veteran against an enhancement talent but the work the two did made it feel bigger than that. A good match that told a story and the fans loved to cheer for Cowboy Bob as he was on that night.

Grade: ***

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After watching this DVD, I can say that I am a fan of Cowboy Bob Ellis now as he was a classic career long fan favorite who was skilled in both technical moves as well as could brawl like a slugger and when on could chain his moves together and they looked smooth and flawless. It’s crazy that he never got a good run in the WWF in the 70’s as I think he could have been a big star for them and could have had some great matches against their talent. And I would say if you like old school wrestling way before the Sports Entertainment fully took over, you should go to YouTube and watch some of his matches and see if you agree that he should be in the WWE Hall Of Fame via the Legacy. Well the this update is winding down and Rotten Ink Arena is closing up for the night so before we go I should let you know that our next update will take us to The Rotten Ink Ranch as it’s time for another Wild West Roundup so that means we will be talking a classic western film released by Alpha Video as well as enjoying a big bowl of chili. The film we will be talking about is the 1943 film The Law Rides Again that stars Ken Maynard and let’s be honest keeps up the western theme we have had this month! So as we exit the doors I want to say read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local wrestlers. See you next update for some chili and classic movie talk.

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R.I.W Wrestling Legend: Buddy Rogers

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. We are here at the Rotten Ink Arena as its time for us to once more take a look at a “R.W.I Wrestling Legend.” This is a very special update as we will be talking about one of the biggest icons of the Golden Age of wrestling and was the first Nature Boy to step foot in the squared circle. I am sure you all know who I am talking about, but for those of you fans who do not, it’s Buddy Rogers! Buddy is a true legend of wrestling and is a name that almost every fan knows due to his legacy and impact on the sport. And this update, as you can see, has packed the arena with fans and with the update about to start, we should find out seats order some drinks and watch The Nature Boy do what he does best, and that’s cheat to win.

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Buddy Rogers started his Pro Wrestling career in 1939. He was trained by Joe Cox and Fred Grubmeyer and from the start was a NWA guy working his first match for them by beating Moe Brazen. He would be sent around the NWA Territories, and when in Texas, he would win his first of many world titles as he captured the NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship title, a belt he would win a total of four times and during this run is when his life long feud with Lou Thesz started. He then would leave for Ohio and was given the nickname “Natural Guy” that would later be changed to “Nature Boy” and with this he would become a very hated heel as he would be featured on TV and would have a massive ego that rubbed the fans the wrong way. Even for a short time he had Fabulous Moolah going as Slave Girl Moolah as his valet! Buddy Rogers proved to the NWA that he was a major draw and brought fans to the arena to watch him wrestle the fan favorites as the crowds wanted to see him lose so badly as they really disliked him. Roger’s draw was so massive that he even got two promotions in Missouri to merge and in 1961 the NWA placed him in an NWA World Heavyweight title match against Pat O’Connor that seen him capture the title and set a NWA attendance record that was in place until 1984! During his run many NWA Territories as well as fellow wrestlers were not a fan of the cocky Nature Boy Buddy Rogers so they forced him to lose the title to Lou Thesz, a wrestler he really did not like in real life, but was a shooter and would take the belt off Roger forcefully in needed. But while the NWA did not want him as their World Champion he would go on to capture Tag Team Gold for them and was still used as a major draw to bring fans him who love to hate him, but they still respected him for his in ring work. But Buddy Rogers would leave the NWA in 1963 for New York as the WWF was calling his name and Vince McMahon Sr. had some big plans.

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Vince McMahon Sr. withdrew from the NWA after they took the belt off Buddy Rogers and put it on Lou Thesz as he did not think the later was a big enough draw for New York so he created the WWF and Nature Boy Buddy Rogers became the company’s first WWF World Heavyweight Champion! Buddy Rogers was a huge draw for the new company and he was packing the houses but sadly his run with the title was cut short as he would suffer a heart attack that would take him out of action for some time. Once he returned his in-ring performance went down slightly and this caused them to have him lose a quick title match against Bruno Sammartino so they could get the belt off him, and Bruno then became the main face of the WWF. Buddy Rogers, who was still a draw, stayed around the WWF and would wrestle short matches and would even “retire” at one point only to take on a few matches on the indies, and by 1969, it was clear that Buddy Roger’s health was declined and that he need to step away from the world of wrestling and try and get better.

In 1978, to wrestling fans’ shock, Nature Boy Buddy Rogers returned to wrestling while in his late 50’s and started his comeback in Florida and was cheered and loved by the fans this time as who don’t love a good comeback story! He then went to Jim Crockett Promotions and became a heel manager and had such names as Big John Studd, Jimmy Snuka, Ken Patera, Gene Anderson and Dewey Robertson under his stable! While working for Crockett he also put over Ric Flair, who was now using the Nature Boy nickname, in an almost passing of the torch moment in mid 1978. He would then head to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling before heading back to the WWF this time as a Face Manager as well as a part time wrestler, but after breaking his hip, he once more claimed he was done and retired, but he would stick around WWF making appearances up until 1984. In 1992 Buddy Rogers was going to step out of retirement for one more match that would have had him facing Buddy Landel who was also calling himself Nature Boy for Tri-State Wrestling Alliance…but they went out of business in 1992 before the match took place. On June 26, 1992 after suffering from several strokes Nature Boy Buddy Rogers passed away at the age of 71 and the world of wrestling lost a true legend.

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Buddy Rogers is a name that I knew even as a very young wrestling fan thanks to my Dad as well as of course the Wrestling Magazines who spoke about his legacy, and over the decades when friends of mine who are into wrestling talk about the true legends, Buddy Rogers always comes up. Over the years, thanks to wrestling trade tapes as well as later on YouTube, I have been able to watch many of his matches and can see why he is considered one of the best in the business as well as why at one point he was one of the world’s most hated as he was the perfect heel who just always seemed so damn cocky! Plus let’s be 100% honest, without Buddy Rogers the world of wrestling would not have Ric Flair as we know him as he took almost all of Rogers’ gimmick and then added his own flare to become one of the biggest names in the sport, and even Buddy Landel, who was a skilled worker, owes his success to Rogers! Both Flair and Landel took the Nature Boy name and style from Rogers and they both owe him so much for making them stars. And let’s not even get started on Indie “star” Nature Boy Paul Lee who is a copy of a copy of a copy…yeah. I think the thing for me that makes me a fan of Buddy Rogers is not just his great in-ring skill but his work making the fans hate him so bad. He is one of the masters of Heeldom and the mold of that super cocky heel was broke after him. And I am so happy that Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing had this two disc Best Of set available as when I started these R.W.I Golden Age Of Wrestling updates I knew Buddy Rogers was one that I had to cover! While I did not grow up watching him in his prime, over the many decades of being a fan I have always been a fan of Buddy Rogers as he really was the true Nature Boy!

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8 of them. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Buddy Rogers for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly select matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from single matches, as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean: ½ means a really terrible match, * means a bad match, ** means a below average match, **1/2 means a good average entertaining match, *** means a good match, **** means a great match, ***** means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with Nature Boy Buddy Rogers.

RIW Buddy Rogers DVD

Best Of Buddy Rogers

Match 1: Buddy Rogers vs. Cyclone Anaya

This is a best two out of three falls match. At the start of the match, Anaya is able to get Rogers into an arm lock and holds it with lots of pressure. And Rogers is able to get out and locks Anaya into a headlock. Anaya escapes and gets Rogers back into his arm lock and really cranks it in. Once out of the lock Rogers and Anaya try to truly size each other up as both want to take this first round, and then Anaya starts working on the leg of Rogers. Once out, the two exchange locks, holds and punches until Anaya locks in a abdominal stretch and Rogers gives up and the first round goes to Anaya. The second round is much like the first as they both just exchange holds, punches and locks and this time around Rogers even tries a few cheap shots. But after a piledriver, Rogers gets the three count and locks the second round. The third and final round goes to Rogers from the start as Anaya was so injured from the pile driver that he could not continue. A classic style match that is really lots of rest holds, but yet it is telling a story in the ring and is entertaining. But I also need to say that the rest holds do get a little boring as they are kept on way to long and are just chained together. Buddy Rogers, as always, plays a great heel in the match and his over selling at times is fantastic work as it fires up the crowd who think he really was in such pain. And Roger’s pile driver looks great and very devastating. As for Cyclone Anaya, while a skilled golden age wrestler, he mostly did basic rest holds and turning over the third round made him kind of look like a jobber as he was to beat up to continue. The crowd loved the match and were very much into it and the commentator was also fun and had weird phrases and calling methods. A great classic match that showcases Buddy Rogers well and shows how he was a mix of heel and in some people’s eyes a baby face.

Grade: ***1/2

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Match 2: Buddy Rogers vs. Hans Schmidt

As soon as the bell rings Hans is on Rogers and grabs him by the hair and flings him across the ring and as Rogers rolls out of the ring Hans chases him around ringside. Once back in, Hans gets Rogers in a wrist lock and then whips him around and goes for a pin and only gets a two count. And after a cheap shot, Rogers takes control of the match and starts working on the neck of Hans who in turn is able to take back over the match with a big hit, and once more Hans gets the two count on a pin attempt and it was Rogers getting his leg on the rope that breaks the pin. And this angers Hans who starts stomping on Rogers and then works on his knee. Hans is not done torturing Rogers as he also starts choking him and keeping him down on the mat. And after Hans goes for a top rope knee drop that he misses, Rogers is able to get his figure four leg lock on Hans who is forced to tap out. This is a good match but it clearly was edited for TV, as the match is fast paced and edited very oddly in spots as they use cuts to fans in order to edit the match down. Buddy Rogers in this match is a total chicken heel who begs, cheats and runs from his opponent but when he needs to be he is sneaky and gets the win. Hans Schmidt is very aggressive in the match and stomps and even does heelish moves in order to take down Rogers, and comes very close to winning if not for that failed top rope move. The match is good, and I am sure it could have been great if not chopped down so short, but even with the poor editing, it was an entertaining match and that’s why I have to give it two and a half stars as its above average even in the chopped down version.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Buddy Rogers vs. Pat O’Connor

Best of three for the World Title! When the bell rings, the two lock up with Pat being able to back Rogers into the turnbuckle, only for Rogers to sneak in a quick punch. After a second lock up and another cheap shot punch from Rogers, Pat is able to answer the hit with a punch of his own. The two then lock arms and are both pretty even on strength, but Rogers cheats and grabs Pat’s hair and takes him to the mat with an wrist lock. Once out of the hold Pat gets Rogers in a wrist lock and takes him down to the mat, making him taste his own medicine. Once out of the hold Rogers tries to take the momentum of the match back, but is taken down and Pat puts him in a spinning arm bar. The fans are cheer as they clearly want Pat O’Connor to win this match. Pat keeps on working on the arm of Rogers looking for a submission and he keeps the hold locked for a long time as Rogers tries to break free. And when Rogers does break free, he is able to hit Pat in the face and then tries for a submission hold that is stopped and Pat tries for a piledriver, but both men just fall into the ropes and are separated by the referee, and Rogers is able to get Pat into a headlock and tries to wear down his opponent. Pat breaks the hold and gets Rogers in the corner and starts punching him in the stomach and jaw and Rogers falls to the mat. Pat picks him up and throws him to another corner and as he charges in Rogers is able to knee Pat in the face and get the three count and the first pinfall victory. The second round starts, and Pat is angry and is going after Rogers, and of course once locked up Rogers starts to cheat by choking him and works him to the mat, but then Pat is able to switch the tide and works the leg of Rogers. After going back and fourth exchanging moves and punches it’s Pat who gets the pinfall win via a roll up. And the third round goes to Rogers via pinfall due to Pat missing a dropkick that causes him to hurt his stomach, and with that Rogers became the World Heavyweight Champion! This is a very classic style wrestling match with big punches being thrown and lots of locks be placed on one another as the fans in the arena are losing their minds for the match. And while the match has lots of rest holds, these two were telling a story and neither held onto the holds long enough to make the match feel boring or bogged down. Buddy Rogers is a great heel in the match as he takes cheap shots and takes any chance to get in punches. While Pat O’Connor is a great baby face who hits some big moves and gets the crowd drawn into the match. There is one botched moment in the patch when Pat goes for a piledriver on Rogers and they just can of fall into the ropes very awkwardly, and it’s so noticeable the commentator tries to make it sound like it was part of the match. Over all, a great classic match that was not overly long and showcased both wrestlers very well as neither looked weak and both came out looking strong.

Grade: ***1/2

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Match 4: Buddy Rogers vs. Ric Flair

This is the battle of The Nature Boys! And from the start Flair stars hammering Rogers with some big fists as the fans are going crazy, as Rogers rolls out of the ring. Once back in Rogers is able to pull of a slam on Flair who in returns slams Rogers in response. Flair then gets him in a headlock and then starts pounding on the head of Rogers, and Flair keeps the attack on Rogers going. Rogers is bleeding now and is worn out, and Flair just turns up the heat keeps beating up Rogers. But the tide changes as Rogers then starts hitting big punches on Flair and works him over with body shots in the corner. Flair is able to make a comeback with an atomic drop and once more Rogers starts begging Flair to stop the butt kicking. The two exchange punches and once more Flair takes control of the match, and Rogers knocks Flair into the referee and as he is knocked out Flair gets the figure four locked in, and Rogers reverses it and the hold has to be broke. And after a bad edit, it appears Flair is bloody and is counted out and Rogers has won the match. Sadly this match is edited in a strange way and the cuts are harsh and really kills the story telling of the match and also does not draw you in as a fan as it feels more like a highlight reel then a match. With that said, what you do see is that Ric Flair is who the fans want to win and it looks like Flair hits all his big spots, and Rogers looks like the heel who also plays the coward who will cheat to win. I am sure if this film was not terribly cut, this would have been an amazing match, but the way that it is I would say it’s an okay highlight reel.

Grade: **

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The Nature Boy Buddy Rogers is one of wrestling’s best heels and had a long an great career in the ring and was able to capture many titles as well as always got fans involved in his matches. And while Ric Flair is the Nature Boy that most modern fans know, Buddy Rogers is the original and is the true inspiration for all cocky heels that followed. Well as you can see, the Rotten Ink Arena clean up crew is out and it’s time for us to make our exit, but as we make our way to the doors I would like to tell you all that our next update will take us to the old west and I will be covering TV Show Shotgun Slade as well as the comic book from Dell that was made about it. So until next time, watch a wrestling match or three, read a comic or two and as always support your local wrestlers. See you next update for a Jazz filled good time in the west.

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R.I.W Wrestling Legend: George “The Animal” Steele

The doors are open at the Rotten Ink Arena, and the fans are pouring in as this “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is one that will please the young and old. Our main event is the missing link wild man known as George “The Animal” Steele who in the 80’s was a major star for the WWF, and as you can see at the merchandise table, his shirts and Mine Dolls are selling like crazy. And it looks like in George Steele’s honor they are serving green drinks and food at the snack bar, so let’s grab some green hotdogs and a Mountain Dew and find our seats as this update event is going to be a crazy one. The lights are dimming and the matches are about to start, so let’s get ready to cheer on the one and only George “The Animal” Steele. Oh and we should keep an eye out as who knows if we will see Mine or even if George himself will go wild and run crazy in the crowd!

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George “The Animal” Steele started his pro wrestling career in 1960 and was trained by Bert Rubi and started working the indies around Detroit, Michigan under the name The Student that was a masked wrestler as he wanted to hide who he really was as he was also a high school teacher at the time. During his run as The Student, he would be managed by Gary Hart who also acted as his mouthpiece and would hype of his brute strength. Around 1967 The Student would be no more and he would be called up to wrestle for the WWWF (that later would be WWF/WWE) and would also work a few other NWA territories and would be called George Steele and would be booked as a solid heel who would even challenge Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Heavyweight title. He would feud with Bruno and many other of the federations’ top baby faces and would headline matches in Madison Squared Garden and would have a small run against Chief Jay Strongbow before taking a small time away to work more on his crazy wild man persona. And once back George “The Animal” Steele was fully wild and would rip up and eat the turnbuckles, had a green tongue and would have a strange wrestling style that had his arms wiggling around, which confused and worried his opponents. And his heel persona continued and allowed him to feud with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, Ivan Putski and Jimmy Snuka to name a few. And while he would never win a title, he did get many chances at them as a heel. During this time his interviews would be him loudly speaking a string of words, or yelling much like a young child would who is learning to speak. And I should also note during this time as a heel, he would also capture a few title from smaller NWA companies before he went to the WWF.

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On May 11, 1985 on NBC was the first every Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the opening match George Steele teamed with Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in a losing effort against The U.S. Express and Ricky Steamboat. But after the match, George is blamed for the loss and is attacked and this makes baby face manager Lou Albano save him and in this moment Steele went from heel to face. And very quickly George became one of the company’s top faces as fans loved this wild man who would put on silly cartoonish matches. In 1986 George Steele would start to get a crush on Miss Elizabeth, the manager of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and the two would have a feud and this would last well into 1987 with Steele even managing Ricky Steamboat as he went for Savage’s intercontinental title at WrestleMania III, but in the end Steele would be on the losing end of the feud and would never get the affection of Elizabeth. And keep in mind, Elizabeth was so nice to George and it was Savage, who was one of the company’s top heels, who hated the attention George was trying to get. During this time as well Steele would be getting big wins against such names as Hercules Hernandez, Iron Mike Sharpe, Iron Sheik and Bob Orton Jr. to name a few. In 1988 George Steele would introduce the fans to his stuff doll friend named Mine and he would bring him to the ring to watch his matches as well as would have the doll in his promos. He would be involved at WrestleMania IV and would be in the Battle Royal, but due to a real life knee injury he would just stay outside the ring and annoy the heels in the match. It was also starting to be clear that George was falling down the card and also his health was starting to be an issue and by late 1988 he would retire from the ring for the first time and would become a road agent for the WWF working backstage. He would be let go in 1990 and a short time later hired back, and he would hold that job until around 1997 when he left the company.

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After leaving WWF in the late 90’s as a road agent George Steele would start working the indies taking bookings and appearances. He even returned to WWF for an episode of Monday Night Raw in order to team with Taka Michinoku against Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher. And again in 1998 he would work for WWF as apart of The Oddities and would leave again in 1999. He would make a big mistake and be a part of the disaster wrestling PPV called “Heroes Of Wrestling” and was managed by Sensational Sherri and would face Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and this was in late 1999. At the start of 2000, he would have a match against Jeff Jarrett on an episode of WCW Monday Night Nitro. His last match took place in late 2000 at an ACW event against Sgt. Medallion. And even late in his career, he was very loved by fans and he helped many indies draw when his name was on the card. But while George Steele’s in ring work came to an end in 2000, he still made appearances for federations in including Impact in 2008 and WWF in 2010. And even all through his time working the indies, he was also working wrestling themed conventions. Sadly George “The Animal” Steele would pass away from kidney failure on February 16, 2017 at the age of 74. As some of you might know, George battled Crohn’s Disease starting around the late 80’s and battled it for much of the rest of his life. He also was an actor in such films as Ruthless People (1986), Ed Wood (1994) and Small Town Conspiracy (2003) to name a few. And he also was inducted into the WWF Hall Of Fame in 1995 and has appeared in a small amount of wrestling video games.

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Growing up through the 80’s and 90’s was a great time to be a wrestling fan as Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in the sport and business was great and so many icons stepped foot into the ring as we also still had stars from the 60’s and 70’s competing. And one older star that I was a fan of was George “The Animal” Steele, the crazy man who would yell, chase around his opponent and would eat the turnbuckles all the while showing his green tongue. And yeah I know what you are thinking and you would be right, George Steele might not have been the world’s greatest wrestler and by all accounts he was just a gimmick wrestler who put on comedy matches, but man when I was a kid it worked. I had the George Steele LJN figure as well as his Bendy toy, and I always wanted a Mine doll and still do want one to this day. The best part of George Steele is that he was a heel that people believed could rip a person apart with his brute strength, and when he turned baby face, he was loved as people thought he was simple and misunderstood and fun loving. And let’s be honest, everyone in the stands and watching at home would mark out when George would eat and rip apart the turnbuckle having the stuffing go all over the ring. Also his cartoonish nature when wrestling, as a face would cause fans to laugh at his odd style of waving his hands around and silly faces that he would make at his opponents. When booked as a heel I have to say that George Steele really did come off as a threat as he would be totally wild and his hairy missing link look seemed to scare the fans as well as would through his baby face opponent off their game as he would wiggle his arms around and come off as a total crazy man. George “Steele” is also a wrestler I would pop for even way after he was winding down his in ring career but when he would show up on WWF or WCW I would cheer as seeing him in the ring brought back memories of my youth. Plus on a side note, Tim Burton and his team did a fantastic job of hiring George Steele to play Tor Johnson in the 1994 cult classic film Ed Wood based on the filmmaker’s life. Also the first ever WWF Ice Cream bar I ever got had George Steele on it and inside had a trading card of George as well! With that said George might not have been the most skilled in ring worker but he sure as hell was a very entertaining one.

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank George Steele for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly selected matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from single matches, as I want to break down the matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match, ** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with George Steele.

RIW Legend George Steele DVD

Best Of George Steele

Match 1: George Steele vs. Hulk Hogan

As the match starts, George starts by wiggling your hands around and Hogan stops his antics by flexing and stopping George in his tracks and as George gets out of the ring Hogan goes out after him and beats him up as the fans go crazy. Once back in the ring Hogan and George size each other up and neither wants to make a mistake and its George who makes the first move and with a wrack to Hogan’s eyes he takes the lead of the match by working over his eyes and even biting him. George takes the padding off of a turnbuckle and tries to ram Hogan’s head into it before he reverses it and rams Georges into it and then Hogan takes the match momentum and even bites the head of George! The two exchange hits and punches and with the help of brass knuckles George hurts Hogan and keeps using it to keep the Hulkster down. But after a while Hogan has had enough and after Hulking Up and some punches and a big boot to the face of George and when going for the legdrop, Mr. Fuji cheats and trips Hogan and as George distracts the referee he throws powder into the eyes of Hogan blinding him and causing him to fall out of the ring and is counted out and the fans are very mad by this. This is a match that on paper should not work well as both Hogan and Steele are wrestlers who work their own styles with Steele’s really being more of a gimmick and yet the two made it work as they blended both together and really got the crowd into it. No big moves are thrown and nothing really fancy is delivered, but the way Steele cheats and gets the heat from the crowd and the way the fans pop for Hogan at every move really does make the match feel big. I was also really surprised when Steele is the one who gets the win via pinfall. Over all a good match that had a big fight feel and showed that George Steele could have been a big heel even in the 80’s if booked right.

Rating: ***

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Match 2: George Steele vs. Pete Mitchell

George Steele is managed by Freddie Blassie in this match and as soon as the bell rings, the weird movements of George throws of Pete and George moves in and attacks the face and head of Pete even biting him. George then destroys the turnbuckle and keeps his attack on Pete going who is helpless at this point and is just being destroyed. George even tosses Pete out of the ring and Blassie even delivers a kick to him, and George will not let him back in the ring. Once back in the ring George starts working on both arms of Pete stomping on them, and at this point Pete has not even landed one punch or move in the match. George continues beating up and tossing Pete around and in the end with a lifting hammerlock George gets the win when Pete is forced to give up. And after the bell George still beats up on Pete and Blassie loves it. This match is a total squash match and has George Steele destroying Pete Mitchell by just biting, knocking him out of the ring and stomping on him. George looks great as a heel in this match as he is vicious and does not allow his opponent to even fight back and his lifting hammerlock is fantastic looking. Poor Pete Mitchell looks like a total jobber and does nothing in the match besides sell like crazy for Steele. Not much more to say besides this is a very one sided match that while entertaining of seeing George be mean heel, is not much of a match.

Grade: **

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Match 3: George Steele vs. Adrian Adonis

George starts the match by chasing Adonis around the ring and causes him to escape by getting out of the ring. Once back in the ring George charges at Adonis who is able to land a punch first and even chokes him with his scarf, and even uses the ropes to try and take the breath away from George. But with a quick punch to the face George makes his comeback that allows him to unleash a series of stomps and punches. George even slams Adonis on the entry ramp as the fans cheer with joy. But while hurt Adonis is able to land a few punches to the gut of George and then gives a few stomps, but George as well brawls his way back to being the one on top of the match momentum for a moment until Adonis takes back over for a brief moment with some punches. Adonis climbs the top rope and George crotches him and Adonis then elbows the referee knocking him out for a moment, George gets Adonis into the hammerlock and causes him to tap out but there is no referee to see it. George goes to check on the referee and when doing so Adonis rolls him up and gets the pin and the win. This is a brawling match that is kind of bland as Adrian Adonis is very lazy in the match and spends most of its short time resting on the mat or ramp and throwing very sloppy moves. This clearly was during a time when Adonis just stopped caring about the quality of his matches and he and George’s style just did not mix well at all. I do feel that he did sell really well for George throughout the match. George as well does his basic punches and stomps with his lifting hammerlock to Adonis being the most impressive move in the whole match. Over all it’s a very sloppy match that George Steele did his best to try and make it look good and entertaining and while he tried it just was not a good match.

Grade: *1/2

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Match 4: George Steele vs. Greg Valentine

As the match starts, Greg tries to attack George from behind and it backfires, as George is able to see the attack coming and lands a punch to his gut and then starts beating up Greg more and more even ramming his head into the turnbuckle. But Greg makes a comeback after George botches an attempt at a bulldog headlock and Greg drops chops and elbows onto the down Animal and then unloads many elbows onto him as George tries to get up. After trying to land a top rope axe handle that misses Greg finds himself getting beat up by George who is now worked up with some anger and the fans are clearly behind him. And George then goes after Jimmy Hart the manger of Greg Valentine and starts to chase him to the back as Greg ends up going out after George to try and save his manager. And with that George Steele is counted out by chasing Hart around the ring and Greg wins the match via count out. This is another sloppy brawl that showcases two powerhouse wrestlers from the WWF from the 80’s slugging it out and showing once more that when pitted against the right opponent Georges limited move set can work and Greg was a good opponent for him to be working. Greg also does a great job of selling for George and does a good face flop when hitting the turnbuckles. George pretty much does his normal stomping, punching and acting weird while limited the fans love every second of him in the ring. The end being a count out was a little of a letdown but it did at least make both wrestlers look strong with Greg Valentine getting the win and George Steele still looking like a top baby face in his loss as he was not pinned and even was able to scare Jimmy Hart who was a hated heel manager. Over all super sloppy but entertaining for such a quick throwaway match that was clearly just a way to give Greg a win.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 5: George Steele vs. Gorilla Monsoon

We start the match already in progress and Gorilla is down on the mat and is injured as George starts to work over his arm by stomping on it and keeps the pressure on Gorilla and even almost gets a three count on him. George starts working on the shoulders of Gorilla, who then ends up getting out of George’s hold and locks in a big bear hug as the crowd starts cheering for Gorillas comeback, George lands a big punch to his forehead and both men crash to the mat. Once back up George starts using an object to punch Gorilla who is very injured and weak by now, and George almost tosses Gorilla over the top rope and once Gorilla gets back in the beating continues as George uses an object to punch him in the head over and over. And after a sloppy comeback Gorilla locks on a bear hug again and like before George uses an object and the hold is broke and the pair fall to the mat. In the end Gorilla gets ahold of the object and George leaves the ring and gets himself counted out and Gorilla wins the match via count out. This is a very slow paced match and Gorilla Monsoon spends most of the match on the mat sweating like crazy and kind of so-so selling for George who is doing all the work and trying to make this match at least somewhat good. The match has the most basic moves thrown with most of them coming from George who is doing his normal brawling style that is mostly throwing punches. This match is really bad and many spots in the match happen several times making them very uninteresting. Not much more to say then George Steele looks good in the match and does his best to work with a clearly out of shape Gorilla Monsoon and while George has a limited style it was clear Gorilla was even more limited at this time. And really silly that they gave the count out win to Gorilla when they should have given George the win as he was becoming a great heel.

Grade: *

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Match 6: George Steele vs. Mike Powers

As the bell rings, George Steele rushes Mike Powers and lands some clubbing blows and tosses him over the rope and goes after him and rams his head into the rails, and George will not even let Mike back into the ring. Once back in the ring Mike is placed in an arm bar and his arm is even bitten by George. And then George gets Mike into his lifting hammerlock and Mike quits and this give George the very quick win. Wow, this was 100% a squash match as George Steele busts out his brawling moves and his finishing move the hammerlock to make Mike Powers look like a jobber as he is unable to even land one move. The only move that stands out in the whole match is once more George Steele’s lifting hammerlock. And I have to say Mike Powers does a good job of selling for Steele throughout this quick match. Nothing special here but did its job of building George Steele.

Grade: **

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So as you can see while George “The Animal” Steele was a wrestler who had a brawling gimmick style that could get fans to cheer when a face and boo him like crazy when heel and while not a technical wrestler he was one hell of an entertaining one that was one of my favorites growing up cause he made Pro Wrestling fun. And that brings me to this, in 2023 I feel like doing something very fun and will be a major treat for fans of wrestling like myself as I think every month this year I will have a “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” update! Remember back in 2021 we did this same thing for “Horror Host Icons”, but in April, what our household calls WWE WrestleMania Month, I will deliver two updates showcasing wrestlers! Again I know you fans of the squared circle are looking forward to seeing who we cover, now with that said our next update will take us out of the Rotten Ink Arena and back to the world of Star Comics as we go on adventures with Royal Roy one of the companies most popular original characters. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local wrestlers. And yes the land that Royal Roy rules over is called Cashelot…just think about that.

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R.I.W Wrestling Legend: Papa Shango

The Rotten Ink Arena doors are open and as you can see, it’s really spooky in here as fog is all over and Halloween decorations are hanging all around as this “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is about a wrestler who had the power of voodoo on his side and who could put curses on his opponents and make fans look on in fear! And I am of course talking about Papa Shango who terrorized the WWF as well as a few indies in the early 90’s and who is going to be coming down this aisle with his smoking skull and will shock, scare and entertaining this packed house. And while he grab some candy corn and spooky punch from the snack bar and find our seats I am also here to say that from time to time in the month of October we will have some “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” updates about these spooky themed wrestlers. But as you can see, the house lights are going down and the smoke is pouring in so that mush mean Papa Shango is on his way to the ring and our update is about to start.

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Charles Wright started his pro wrestling career in 1989 and was trained by Larry Sharpe and came from background of working for bars and would first start working for Jerry Lawler in the USWA and go under the name The Soultaker and would even capture the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship title his rookie year and held it for two weeks. While working for USWA he would also get chances to work a few matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling and this helped him learn more moves and skill sets. The Soultaker would also start working other smaller indie feds during this time and by 1991 he would get the call to come work for the WWF. And when first working for the WWF in Dark Matches and House Shows as Sir Charles and was not a character with a future. But in 1992 Sir Charles would become Papa Shango a voodoo master who would chant curses, wear face paint to make him look like a skull, would carry a skull that would smoke and he even could control the arena lights. Kids in the crowd was scared of this creepy guy as he would be pushed fast from the start and would get wins over name mid-carders and would also be pushed in big stories as he would feud with Ultimate Warrior that had him curse the Warrior and cause him to bleed and vomit black goo. He would also get a WWF World Heavyweight Title shot against Bret Hart at Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXI and even entered the 1993 Royal Rumble. But while he started out being a big heel for the company he quickly found himself falling down the card and loosing matches against names like Tito Santana and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. And by mid 1993 Papa Shango would be faded away from TV and the WWF. But he would be sent back to USWA by WWF as the two companies worked together and Papa Shango would win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship title for a second time. And would even in 1994 wrestle for the German company Catch Wrestling Association as Papa Shongo would go for the company’s world title but would loose. Papa Shango would fade away due to Pat Patterson not being a fan of the spooky character. But during his short run he would have some big matches against some big names like The Undertaker, The Road Warriors, Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Big Boss Man, British Bulldog, Kamala and Bob Backlund to name a few. Papa Shango really did scare the kids in the crowd and even some adults was spooked by his voodoo ways but his time to scare was short.

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In 1994 Papa Shango would be no more and in 1995 Kama “The Supreme Fighting Machine “ would appear and be a shoot fighter who loved to fight and would feud with The Undertaker and even steal the Dead Mans urn and turns it into a gold necklace and would join the Million Dollar Corporation a stable of heels lead by Ted DiBiase. And Kama was a short-lived character that would be gone by 1996 after entering that years Royal Rumble. Kama Mustafa would return to WWF in 1997 and would no longer have the nickname The Supreme Fighting Machine and would be apart of the Nation Of Domination stable that was lead by Ron Simmons and would have fellow members over the years like The Rock, Mark Henry, D’Lo Brown, Owen Hart and PG-13. And after a good run with the stable he in 1998 would become The Godfather a pimp who would have hos come to the ring with him and the fans would love him and his larger then life persona. The Godfather would be a very popular mid-carder who would be in the WWF Intercontinental title picture from all the way up to 2000 and would even capture the title once. In mid 2000 The Godfather would become The Goodfather and would stop his sleazy ways and join the stable known as Right To Censor and would capture WWE Tag Team Gold along with partner Bull Buchanan. In 2002 he would return to The Godfather character with his ladies and all. But by the end of 2002 he would be let go from the company. From 2005 on The Godfather would make special appearance off and on for the WWF via Royal Rumble matches and even backstage segments. And even in 2007 Charles Wright would start working the Indies as well as doing conventions and at many would be both Papa Shango and The Godfather. In 2016 The Godfather was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame and still remains a beloved semi retired wrestler.

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Papa Shango almost made two big returns to the WWF over the years but the plans just never seemed to work out. Like in 1994 a plan was in place that would have Papa Shango be the one who put a voodoo spell on Bob Backlund to explain his crazed heel turn, but they decided to bring Charles back as Kama The Supreme Fighting Machine. And in 1997 they had plans to bring back Papa Shango and even update his look and character and once more he was instead Kama on his return. I am not going to lie as I would have loved to have seen either of these returns happen as I feel that the WWF did not fully do Papa Shango justice as the character was really cool and was a favorite of mine in the early 90’s and his feud with The Ultimate Warrior was one I enjoyed. And on a side note I still think WWF could bring back Papa Shango even now and have him involved in a story with The Fiend, and he could even have a none wrestling role and it still would work. But check out the first two pictures below to see what Papa Shango would have looked like in 1997 if he had returned.

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Growing up a wrestling fan I have always liked the creepy and horror themed wrestlers and Papa Shango was one of my favorites as how can you go wrong with a wrestler who looked creepy and would put voodoo curses on his opponents and scare the hell out of the kids in the crowd. I mean he would make black goo pour from peoples heads, make them get sick and puke up that same black goo, he would mess with the arena lights and even set peoples feet on fire! He even once put the black goo curse on Mean Gene Okerlund and caused his arm to have pain and drop the microphone as the goo ran down his arm. And I always marked out for his matches against the likes of The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior and Kamala. And I even had his Hasbro figure and would play him in the video games on the Sega Genesis. And in these modern times it seems that Papa Shango is finally getting some respect and love as the character was loved by many and hated by many when he first appeared, and now it seems like more people have discovered just how awesome the character was and how much potential he had as they really could have used him as a monster heel and could have had him in the World Title picture. If you can see Charles Wright at a convention at times you can get photo ops and he will dress as Papa Shango complete with smoking skill prop! I should also note that when Papa Shango disappeared off WWF TV I was pretty bummed and when he showed back up as Kama I was disappointed as while I like Kama and The Godfather the best gimmick in my eyes for Charles hands down was Shango. While he is none active for the most part from in ring action I for one hope that he does return at some point to the WWF as I think they could do some cool stuff with him in the over all story arch of The Fiend.

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We are now at the point of this review were we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Papa Shango for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly select matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from Single matches, as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match,** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with Papa Shango.

RIW Papa Shango DVD

Best Of Papa Shango

Match 1: Papa Shango vs. Tatanka

Shango jumps Tatanka from behind just as the bell rings and unloads some punches and throws Tatanka into the ropes but misses a dropkick, given Tatanka a chance to fight back with some massive chops. Papa Shango takes the chops for a short time but once more takes control of the match and even delivers a big jumping head butt that knocks Tatanka down, and allows Shango to keep up his assault and even choke the Native American superstar on the ropes. Shango then gets Tatanka in a nerve hold trying to make him submit and he really digs it in with all his size and power, but as the fans start cheering Tatanka starts to war dance and use his elbows to Shango’s gut in order to break the hold and take the momentum of the match. Tatanka climbs to the top rope and drops a chop to the head of Shango, and is able to get a two count. Shango goes outside the ring and grabs his voodoo stick and tries to hit Tatanka with it as sparks shoot out of the top of it and the referee has seen enough and disqualifies Papa Shango and gives the match to Tatanka. This was a good solid match that was sadly a very lame ending as both guys were being pushed at the time so they just did a DQ ending so neither had to take a pin. The match for the most part is all brawling styles mixed with some moves and a dash of rest holds. While the styles of Tatanka and Papa Shango did not blend all that well they both did a great job to make the best of the match that the fans at the arena seemed to enjoy as they popped for Tatanka throughout. It was also nice to see Papa Shango try and pull off a dropkick and Tatanka’s top rope head chop looked good. And also the commentators did a good job of putting both men over in skill as well as Shango’s gimmick. Over all a good upper mid-card match that had Shango trying to use his voodoo to win and it backfiring and causing him to loose by DQ.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 2: Papa Shango vs. Kamala

Before the bell rings Papa Shango shows Kamala the smoking skull, and as Kamala stares at it and the bell rings Shango makes the skull shoot fire from the top and this scares Kamala who tries to leave the ring and is only being stopped by his manager Slick. Shango then attacks Kamala from behind and even starts biting him, and splashes him into the corner. When Shango whips Kamala into another corner and tries for a splash again Kamala is able to move and makes a comeback complete with a chop to the top of Shango’s head. Kamala misses a big splash and Shango is able to once more take control of the match and attacks the eyes of Kamala and then starts choking him on the ropes. Shango keeps up the attack on Kamala and tosses him out of the ring, and then starts to attack his manager Slick. Kamala sees the attack on his manager and gets back into the ring and is able to save him and then the two go outside the ring and get counted out. First thing I have to say is that Kamala’s selling of looking at and being freaked out by the smoking skull is fantastic! Kamala is such an under rated wrestler and his comedy aspects are great when he wants to be funny. This match is pretty much a brawl as Shango and Kamala throw punches and hit basic movies like body slams and yet for some reason it really works as both guys have gimmicks that mesh well and they play off each other so well. In fact when selecting the matches for this update, this was the one I was most looking forward to. Neither men throw out any moves that standout or are that impressive, but the comedy between the two is what makes this match work so well. I was a little disappointed in the count out ending though. To sum it up, I would have liked for this match to go a little longer and would have had one of them winning the match. And Shango is the prefect heel in the match as he uses dirty moves and trues his best to scare his opponent silly.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Papa Shango vs. Mr. Perfect Curt Henning

Papa Shango jumps Curt Henning as the bell rings and lays in some big punches, and then tosses Henning out of the ring. Shango even rolls out of the ring and attacks Henning before he can even get back into the ring and even once he is able to get back into the ring. Henning makes a comeback and dropkicks Shango out of the ring and then goes out after him even ramming him into the post. Once back in the ring Henning and Shango exchange hits and moves each trying to cut the other off from getting to much momentum. Shango ends up getting Henning in a headlock and cheats to get leverage by putting his feet on the ropes and almost puts Henning asleep with the hold. But Henning is able to get out of the hold and land some big clotheslines, and after a missed move Shango is put into the Perfect Plex and Henning gets the win. This is a good match as Curt Henning was one of the all time best and he was able to work well with the style of Papa Shango who throughout the match looked like a major threat. Henning also really sells for Shango well and makes him look like the monster heel they were building him up to be. The ending was great and having Henning quickly hit the Perfect Plex was a great way to give Henning the win and also not damage Shango in the process. Over all this was a really good match and again have to stress just how good Henning was at this time in making everyone in the ring with him look like a true superstar.

Grade: ***

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Match 4: Papa Shango vs. Repo Man

Before the match its clear that Repo Man is a little scared of Papa Shango as is many of the young kids in the crowd. As soon as the bell rings Papa Shango is all over Repo Man and throws and batters him around the ring before getting an arm bar and working over the wrist joint of his opponent. But Repo Man is able to make a comeback and after a few bit punches he uses a clothesline to take Shango off his feet. Repo Man then gets an arm bar of his own and starts working over the arm of Shango who gets out of the hold by picking him up and body slamming him hard to the mat, and locks in a chin lock on Repo Man who is clearly in lots of pain. Shango breaks the hold and pushes Repo Man into the corner and starts biting him as the referee yells at him. Repo Man tries to make a small comeback but is cut off and after a double clothesline Shango gets mad and grabs his voodoo stick and shoots sparks into the face of Repo Man who in turn grabs his rope and hook and the referee disqualifies both me and neither get the victory. What a strange match for the WWF to have as both men are heels and the fans have no idea who they should cheer as they both work a brawling style with each throwing big punches and hitting your most basic wrestling moves. And because they wrestle a semi same style the action in the ring was solid and it was clear that Shango is who was being pushed and he is in control for most of the match. And Repo Man does a great job of selling as well as acting scared of Shango, and on the other side Shango does a good job of selling for Repo man when he makes his comebacks. But like before the finish is a little of a letdown as once more is a DQ as both men grab weapons and the referee has seen enough and throws it out, it should have had a clear winner of the match. This is a weird booked match but at least a very entertaining one.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 5: Papa Shango vs. Marty Jannetty

From the start of the match Papa Shango out powers Marty and gets him into the corner and starts throwing punches and even works over Marty’s eyes. Shango makes a mistake and tries to axe handle hit Marty who is able to jump kick Shango in the face. Shango then challenges Marty to a test of strength, but Marty is to smart for him and just as they are about to lock up he gets Shango in an arm bar, Shango gets out of the hold and they pull off a chain of moves against each other and Marty ends up back to having the arm bar locked in on Shango. Marty ends up knocking Shango out of the ring and goes out after him, but Marty misses a move and hits the guard railing and this gives Shango the chance to stomp on Marty outside the ring, and then tosses him back into the ring and drops an elbow and stomps on his face and then tosses Marty back out of the ring. Marty gets back in and rolls up Shango for a pin, Shango kicks out and hits Marty with a massive clothesline and is only able to get a two count on the Rocker. Shango starts arguing with the referee and Marty roles him up for a one count. Shango then starts punching Marty who bounces off the ropes and rolls up Shango again and this time gets the three count. What a good match that had to solid mid-card draws entertaining the fans as Marty of course worked a fast pace as Shango brought the brawling style. The two really worked well together and the quick surprise pin was a great finish for the match as if gave Marty a win and also didn’t make Shango look weak in defeat. The crowd was behind Marty and he does a great job of playing the crowd and getting them involved in the match. And the fans do not like Shango as they boo for his moves. Over all really a good quick match and both guys look great and both guys work well together and made for an entertaining match.

Grade: ***

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Match 6: Papa Shango vs. The Undertaker

The bell rings and The Undertaker and Papa Shango stand in the middle of the ring face to face and stare each other down and the electricity is filling the arena and Shango makes the first move and grabs Taker by the throat and backs him into the corner. But Taker then grabs Shango by the throat and backs him into the corner. Once the choke is broke Taker starts landing good hits on Shango and even walks the top rope and clubs the arm of Shango who tries to make a comeback but is body slammed for his attempt, but taker misses a dropping elbow and Shango is able to knock Taker out of the ring who lands on his own feet, but Shango will not let him into the ring. Once Taker gets back in the ring and behind the referee’s back Shango uses his voodoo stick to shoot sparks into the eyes of Taker who falls out of the ring blinded and Shango goes out after him and starts pounding on him and hits him with a chair and even throws him into the steel steps. And once back in the ring Shango continues to beat up on Taker who keeps sitting up and after a serious if big elbow drops Shango waits to see if he rises, and as the manager of The Undertaker Paul Bearer lifts the urn he carries into the air The Undertaker sits back up and hits Shango with a leaping clothesline and then choke slams him and gets the three count and the win. This is a match that features two of the best wrestling gimmicks that were in the WWF at the time as both had horror themes and these two should have had a much bigger feud than they did. I mean imagine a story that had Papa Shango using voodoo to control The Undertaker and turning him into a heel, and Paul Bearer having to figure out a way to get Taker back, but that for another topic. The match is slow passed as both work a brawling style but their styles cause very similar mix very well and The Undertaker does a great job of selling for Shango even when sitting up like Michael Myers from the Halloween movie series. While Shango does great selling and watching The Undertaker as you could tell he wanted to bring him down. The Undertaker walking the top rope in a movie that is now called Old School is great and got a pop from the crowd. In fact the crowd was really into this match and it was clear they wanted The Undertaker to win. The stare down between the two at the start of the match was great and really set the mood for the match and when Shango landed all those elbows and watched to see if Undertaker would sit back up was great creepy heel stuff. A great entertaining match as I enjoyed the story telling in the ring as well as the slow moving brawling action, really do wish these two got a longer and more flushed out feud.

Grade: ***

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Match 7: Papa Shango vs. Bret Hart

This is match is for the WWF World Heavyweight Title. As the bell rings Papa Shango starts landing clubbing blows to the back of Bret and takes control for a moment, but then Bret is able to pull off a monkey flip and hits some big punches and goes for the pin after a flying body press, but only gets a one count and with the kickout Bret is thrown to the outside, Bret slides back in and hits Shango with an atomic drop and then clotheslines Shango over the top rope as the fans go crazy, as Bret dives out and lands a big punch to the downed Shango. Once back in the ring Shango is able to take control of the match when he whips Bret chest first into the turnbuckle, and then start beating up Bret with punches and moves and even gets Bret into a massive bear hug, Bret escapes the move by biting Shango on top of his head, but Shango keeps the momentum in his favor and shows just how powerful he is, and then goes for a never hold on Bret. And anytime Bret tries to make a comeback Shango uses his power to cut it off and stop it. Shango misses a top rope elbow drop and Bret takes over the momentum of the match and keeps hitting Shango with moves and going for the pin only for the Voodoo Man to kick out. But Bret is able to get Shango in the Sharpshooter and Shango gives up and this gives Bret the win. This was a great WWF title match and like always Bret Hart gets a great match out of his opponent with this one being Papa Shango. Bret does a great job of not only flawlessly pulling off his moves, but also makes Shango look like a top heel contender for his title and like the true superstar he is gets the fans really into the match. Shango as well does a great job of hitting massive moves and stays on Bret making it look like the title is in jeopardy of switching hands. And even in loosing Shango still looked strong throughout the match. A really good match and shows that Papa Shango could work with every style of wrestler on the WWF roster at the time as he could work jobbers as well as top of the federation like Hart and have good matches with them all.

Grade: ***1/2

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Match 8: Papa Shango vs. Bob Backlund

From the start of the bell Backlund is able to use his speed and technical style to trip up, out maneuver and take down the much bigger Papa Shango who ends up talking the momentum when he beats Backlund in a test of strength. Bob is able to gain control again and this time shows Shango that he as well has power. But Shango is able to land a massive backbreaker and take Backlund down, and then the two battle outside the ring with Shango being the one in control and rams Backlund’s back into the apron, and even back in the ring Shango keeps up the attack keeping Backlund down with a headlock. Even when Backlund is able to use an arm drag to get out of the headlock Shango keeps up his attack not giving him a moment to catch his breath, and after pounding on him locks in another headlock and cheats to get leverage by putting his feet on the ropes. Shango lets go of the hold and starts to torture Backlund a little more, but the veteran out smarts Shango and is able to roll him up with a small package and get the win via pinfall. This was a good match that was for the most part very one sided as Papa Shango was in control for most of the match and just beat the heck out of Bob Backlund and event used submission moves to try and wear the old veteran down, and Shango looked like a beast doing so and really got the fans worked up as they were on the side of Backlund. And speaking of Backlund he does a good job of selling for Shango, getting the crowd to cheer and his for his age at the time showed that he had speed. Bob Backlund was super skilled in the match and while he and Shango have very different in ring style the match comes off very good and both come out looking like the superstars they are. Also should note this was a match of the past meeting the then generation of WWF wrestling.

Grade: **1/2

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Papa Shango was one of my favorite heels in the WWF in the early 90’s and is truly one that I wished would have stuck around as he could have had good matches and feuds with many of the wrestlers at the time and the years after he was gone. I mean I would have loved a full feud with The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and later Mankind and Vader. While Papa Shango might not be the most skilled wrestler of all time his gimmick, look and skills made him a stand out for me and he was one of the best horror themed wrestlers at the time only behind the likes of The Undertaker. But as you can see the ghosts, goblins and vampires have started to fill the Rotten Ink Arena for the after midnight monster bash so I think that’s our cue to leave, but before we do I would like to tell you that our next update will have us hanging out with Horror Host Icon Sammy Terry as we celebrate Halloween! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local indie wrestlers. I wonder if the Great Pumpkin will show up for the next update?

Sammy Terry Preview Logo

R.I.W Wrestling Legend: The Missing Link

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, my micro part of the web, where I share my love for media, from comic books all the way to horror hosts and even sports mascots! One thing that I feel I have been lacking in for my blog is my love for wrestling even though over the 10 plus years that I have been doing this blog I have covered wrestlers that have had comics like The Road Warriors, Kevin Nash, King Kong Bundy, Chyna and Sunny The California Girl as well as my love for Lucha Libre with my Top 60 countdown and even delivered my first “Indie Luchador” update that was about El Incredible Hulk earlier this year! And now I want to present a new update series that I will be calling “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” and will be like my “Horror Host Icon” updates showcasing a wrestler that I have gotten a Best of DVD set of. I will mostly be talking about the wrestler themself and not their personal lives as these update will be all about the squared circle grapplers, will be semi-short and sweet and will highlight why they are a wrestling legend. I will also be covering some modern superstars as well as indie guys and even jobbers! And all of the updates of course will be brought to you from the Rotten Ink Arena that is right next door to the Rotten Ink Theater, both of which are across the street from the Rotten Ink Stadium and a few miles away from Rotten Ink Ranch. The first wrestler I have chosen is one that has always captured my imagination and one that I have always been a fan of, the one and only Missing Link! So let’s find our seats and sit back and relax and talk about this should-be WWE Hall Of Famer ,the green face painted, own hair pulling, head butting madman himself Missing Link.

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Dewey Robertson started training for wrestling in the 1960’s and was trained by Jack Wentworth and Al Spittles.  Like all wrestlers of his time, he started working in the territories, mostly in Canada, and was well liked by fans as he was very much a classic baby face and wrestled that style. Dewey would make his mark on Canadian wrestling and would start a run in America and Australia for a year before returning to Canada as The Masked Crusader whose mission was to make the world of wrestlers have to wrestle a scientific style and was anti brawling and would start a feud with The Sheik who would unmask him and this would also cause Dewey to team with Billy Red Lyons to form the team The Crusaders. In the early 70’s he started to work for federations that had ties to the NWA and would even win NWA Tag Team Gold with partner Dennis Stamp who is known for being the “Not Booked” guy from the documentary Beyond The Mat, and would also later get more gold with partner Billy Red Lyons. Dewey would really have a great run being in tag teams as he was a draw and the crowds seemed to enjoy his style and this would also allow him to wrestle in Japan. Dewey’s career started to gain steam and he would go on to wrestle in Jim Crockett Promotions and would be involved with matches for not only the NWA but also the AWA, Mid-Atlantic and Central States Wrestling and had many great matches with names like Nick Bockwinkel, Harley Race, Ken Patera, Mr. Fuji, Jerry Valiant and Manny Fernandez. But in 1983, Dewey would have a major change to his career and this change would also bring the world of wrestling a true Wildman!

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In 1983 Dewey changed his gimmick to a crazed man that acted weird and was calling himself “Max The Missing Link”! But when he would go to WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling) in Texas, the territory that was ran by Fritz Von Erich, he would drop the Max from his name and just call himself The Missing Link and would be managed by the dastardly Skandor Akbar and would feud with the Von Erich’s and would be totally booed as the Wildman would try to bring down the likes of Kevin, Kerry and Mike. During this time with WCCW is when his career really started to grow as the area was a hot bed for wrestling, and by becoming The Missing Link, he stood out from the other heels in the territories he would wrestle in. After his stay in WCCW, he would go for a while to wrestle in Championship Wrestling In Florida and once more was a draw due to his odd behavior and crazy look.

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In 1985 he would be signed to WWF and was a heel again that was managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. The amazing part is that his debut was at Madison Square Garden where he beat S.D. Jones in a squash match building in the fans eyes that this Wildman was a threat to all their fan favorite wrestlers. But WWF lead by Vince McMahon had other ideas for The Missing Link as he would spend most of his time beating up jobbers and when he was placed in a bigger match he was on the losing end of it, showing that the WWF used him as an attraction but had no real plans to push him as a mega star as they just didn’t see it in him. He did have matches against an older Bruno Sammartino as well as George “The Animal” Steele with his Bruno match almost getting the WWF banned from Buffalo, New York after Missing Link broke the chairs that the commissioners were sitting in! In late 1985 Heenan would trade The Missing Link and Adrian Adonis to Jimmy Hart in order to get King Kong Bundy under his Heenan Family Stable and he would only stay around for a short amount of time with his last story being that a bounty was on the head of Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff and Jimmy Hart and The Missing Link went for it and lost, and just like that The Missing Link was gone from the WWF. It’s said that he was Future Endeavored due to a real life drug issue.

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After being let go from WWF The Missing Link would return for a short time to WCCW and would be managed by Percy Pringle who WWF fans would know as Paul Bearer and would later turn Face and feud with the likes of The Great Kabuki and Rick Rude. In 1986 The Missing Link would then wrestle for Universal Wrestling Federation for a short time and then would also go back to WCCW as well as World Wrestling Council and would “retire” for a short time. Missing Link would not give up his in ring career and from time to time would still wrestle a match for indie federations and would also be at wrestling conventions meeting and greeting with fans. He would also write a book, do a few Shoot Interviews, get clean from drugs and alcohol and would travel around speaking about the power of God as well as being drug free. Outside of the ring they say that Dewey was a strange man who enjoyed smoking pot, was a nudist, had a violent temper, tried to stab a booker and later in life had very bad things to say about the WWF. Dewey “The Missing Link” Robertson had been battling lung cancer for a while and sadly lost his battle on August 16, 2007 at the age of 68.

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The Missing Link is one of those wrestlers that to this day wrestling fans talk about as he made such an impact on fans who grew up watching this Wildman in the ring. Growing up I knew of Missing Link thanks to the old wrestling magazines my brother Bryan had as well as all the young reader books based on wrestling that were released at the time, and he had always caught my attention as his wild look and green face made him standout. Wait, I almost forgot that he was also featured on the WWF Wrestling Album that we had as kids as well! And sadly back when I was a kid, YouTube was not a thing and in order to watch matches of Wrestlers you had to find old VHS releases or track them down on the grey and trade tape market, and that’s how I first seen a very small amount of his matches when I was a teenager as I was a tape collector and use to buy so many wrestling tapes, and guys like Missing Link and Tiger Mask were on my buy and trade lists. The thing that always made me a Missing Link fan is that for the most part he was a horror themed wrestler who acted like a crazed wild man in the ring, but also could wrestle with the best of them as he was super skilled and a topnotch performer. I feel that Missing Link does not get the credit he deserves when it comes to his in-ring work as I think he could get a good match out of just about anyone and yet could also have brawls with the best of the brawlers. It’s a shame that in real life Missing Link lead a life of drugs and alcohol and made him very bitter toward the WWF. After you read this update, do yourself a favor and head to YouTube and look up Missing Link matches and you will see what I am talking about.

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Missing Link for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly selected matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from singles matches as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean: ½ means a really terrible match, * means a bad match,** means a below average match, **1/2 means a good average entertaining match, *** means a good match, **** means a great match, *****means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with Missing Link.

RIW Missing Link DVD

Best Of Missing Link

Match 1: Missing Link vs. Mike Jackson

The Missing Link looks crazed and is jumping around the ring and poor Mike Jackson looks like a lamb lead to the slaughter as when the bell rings Link goes after him causing him to have to dodge the attack. And Mike Jackson then goes on the attack landing some amazing drop kicks and causes Missing Link to roll out of the ring in frustration, but once back in Missing Link goes on a rampage and manhandles Mike who tries to mount a small comeback before Mike eats two diving head-butts and is pinned in what clearly was a squash match. This match was clearly a way for Mid South Wrestling to put over Missing Link and showcase his crazy brawling style as well as to allow his character to grow in the eyes of the fans, as they kept bringing up that Missing Link has never been locked up in a asylum! Over all, a fun quick match that had Link make quick work of a jobber.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 2: Missing Link vs. Rip Rogers

When the bell rings both Missing Link and Rip Rogers look ready for a fight, but sadly for Rip Rogers he is no match for Missing Link who dominates the start of the match and is wrestling both as a brawler as well as landing some very classic holds and moves. Rip tries to make a comeback with punches and elbows, but its short lived as Missing Link quickly takes back the match and ends it by putting Rip Rogers in the camel clutch and causes him to tap out! Another squash match to showcase the skill and character of Missing Link, this match besides talking about him never being in an asylum they also talk about him never being in a cult…weird.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Missing Link vs. Junkyard Dog

This big feel main event TV match has Missing Link having to test his power against the fan favorite Junkyard Dog who is jumped from the start before the bell even rings by the Wildman. Missing Link unloads on JYD hitting him with his flying head butts and even puts him in the camel clutch trying to end the match and put as much damage on the Dog as he can. But Junkyard Dog still has plenty of fight in him and the pair exchange hits and movies before JYD gets the tide to change in his favor and uses his head butts and power moves to hurt and keep Missing Link at bay. When Link gets the match back in his favor he makes a big mistake when he misses the second rope diving head butt and JYD uses that mistake to hit his finishing move The Thump and gets the three count and the win. A very slower paced match with lots of rest holds and mat work, but one I really enjoyed as it held a classic wrestling feel. I would also say that Missing Link does most of the work in this match and their styles clash really badly, but I feel that is what makes this match so interesting. I will say I do wish for less stalling.

Grade: ***

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Match 4: Missing Link vs. Magnum T.A.

Another big feel match as Missing Link takes on Magnum T.A. and the match starts very technical with both showing each other their classic skills and neither are getting the upper hand. Finally the Missing Link nails a dropkick that also allows him to use his falling head butt to hurt Magnum, but as Missing Link climbs to the second rope to deliver his flying head butt he is caught in midair and slammed by Magnum T.A. who gets the three count! This is a short match but is really good as both Link and Magnum showcase their skills and both are very technical in the match. Little shocking on how fast Missing Link looses, but its clear Magnum T.A was being built up as a top star. I would have given a higher star count if the match had been a little longer.

Grade: ***

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Match 5: Missing Link vs. Mr. Wrestling II

The two start off at a very slow pace and exchange holds with Mr. Wrestling II doing many stall movies like headlocks and sizing up his opponent as Missing Link tries to push the pace the veteran keeps the speed that he wants and that’s slow and gets the Link in more rest holds. Much of the match is also Mr. Wrestling II threatening to hit Missing Link with his Knee Lift finisher and Link acting scared of it and being frustrated by Mr. Wrestling II’s antics. And even when Link gets the upper hand Mr. Wrestling II is able to turn the tide back to his favor. Finally Missing Link hits an atomic drop and after missing the head butt from the second rope, Mr. Wrestling II nails Link with the Knee Lift and gets the three count. This was a strange match that was filled with lots of rest holds, a wrestling legend moving in slow motion, a wrestling legend doing almost comedy spots and Missing Link doing the job when he should have won, what a weird slow match.

Grade: **

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Match 6: Missing Link vs. Kerry Von Erich

The match starts with Kerry and Missing Link exchanging moves with Kerry dropkicking Link out of the ring and once back in they exchange moves again with Kerry always slightly getting the upper hand. Kerry is showing that he is the more skilled wrestler as even when Link deals out some damage, he is able to fight back as the crowd lose it and cheer for everything Kerry does. Finally Missing Link is able to hurt one of Kerry’s knees as he head butts it over and over and this gives the heel a chance to work it over and cause Kerry pain and puts him in danger of loosing the match. As Kerry fights back, Missing Link’s manager Percy Pringle III smacks Kerry with his cane and causes a DQ and after the bell Kerry hits the Link with a tornado punch and knocks him out of the ring and Link and Percy head to the back. A great WCCW match that was a way to showcase the power of Kerry Von Erich as well as the strangeness and raw power of Link and a finish that didn’t make either look bad. I think Link and Kerry’s styles worked well together and seeing Link take the Tornado Punch as the end was really cool. Solid TV match for sure and I would like to see more matches between these two.

Grade: ***

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Match 7: Missing Link vs. Jack Victory

Jack Victory tries to start the match off hot by throwing massive hits at Missing Link who does not feel the effects and makes Jack pay for his attack and man handles him throwing him around and landing big hits. Jack is able to make a small comeback and lands some big moves on Link that stuns him for a short bit but a head butt turns the tide in favor of Link once more. The Missing Link lands a great jumping dive onto Jack and then lands a great head butt that knocks Jack out of the ring. Link wins the match after a second rope diving head butt. But after the match, Link’s former manager Percy Pringle III and Rick Rude attack him as he is out of their stable and they want him to pay for leaving, Link is saved by valet Sunshine. This was a squash match that was a way to show the turn of Missing Link from Heel to Face and the crowd are really behind him. Jack Victory does a great job of selling for Link as well lands a few great moves showing that he was not a total jobber. Plus I think Link and Jack worked well together even if it was a throwaway match. Good stuff and WCCW clearly knew how to book Missing Link right.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 8: Missing Link vs. Rick Rude

This match is a total grudge match as Missing Link has Sunshine in his corner and his ex-stable mate and world champ Rick Rude has Percy Pringle III and all sides want to win! When the bell rings Missing Link takes it to Rick Rude and does a great job of keeping Rude on the defense as he lands massive hits and moves to the champ. But Rude only takes the beating for a short time before taking control and unleashing a flurry of punches and moves on Link. Once Link is able to find his energy the two exchange blows and the tide goes back and fourth with each getting the upper hand on each other for small bits of time. Rick Rude is able to get some chin locks on Link and this is draining the big man of strength, but thanks to the fans cheering and Sunshine’s support he is able to break free and start to fight back. But Percy interferes with the match and causes Rude to be disqualified and Missing Link is given the victory. After the bell Link and Rude fight as Percy tries to attack Sunshine, but in the end Link and Sunshine stand tall as the crowd goes crazy for them. What a great match as Rude and Link had great chemistry against each other and they had the fans rabid by the end of the match. Link showed that while he is a Wildman he still can wrestle a very solid match with the right opponent, Rude is great as a heel as his in-ring skill was top notch and his heat with the fans is how all heels should be booed and hated. Great storytelling as well with Sunshine being the beauty that is help taming the beast, only downside is the DQ finish as they should have allowed one to score the pin. To sum this one up a great match and another example of why World Class Championship Wrestling was a great company and is truly missed today by fans of wrestling.

Grade: ***

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The Missing Link, as you can see, was a great wrestler with a great gimmick who would have been a great opponent for the likes of The Undertaker, The Fiend, Kane and Abyss in more modern times. I mean imagine a match at a Wrestlemania that would have The Undertaker taking on Missing Link with the streak on the line that would have been a great one as both men could show that they could wrestle behind the personas. Missing Link also was a great one to start off my “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” updates as he is a wrestler that I have wanted to talk about for a while but never had the chance to. And this will be the first of many of these updates to come as I have been hard at work selecting who is to come in future updates and there are some really fun ones coming up. For me The Missing Link will always be a great wrestler that I am a fan of and as I have said before in this update, WWE needs to wake up and put him into the Hall Of Fame. Well the Rotten Ink Arena is closing and it’s time for us to leave, but before we do I would like to let you know that our next update for Rotten Ink’s Ten Year Celebration will be a look at a Horror Host Icon that is known as Baron Daemon! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local wrestlers.

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