In wrestling you don’t always have to be a great grappler to make it. This was proven to be true during the ‘70s, through today. Sometimes all you need is some style and the gift to gab to become big. In this edition I will be going over some guys who made it in the business for other reasons besides ring work.
Throughout the years in pro wrestling we have had many colorful characters that have redefined the business. I thought in today’s edition we could touch up on a few of those. These guys were a lot of fun; but more importantly their persona would touch the hearts of millions.
Monsoon started is wrestling career in the 60s as an Italian babyface. He traveled all over the territories and was a huge draw wherever he went. He didn't really make a name for himself in the ring until he went heel, though. He had a graceful style that was not seen often by big men in those days.
In 1963, the WWF branched away from the NWA. Monsoon went with them and became one of their featured stars. He went on to feud with most of the top faces, which included the likes of Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino.
Monsoon later went to the booth where his key to detail and sharp wit lead him to be the voice of the WWF. He had many partners, but the two who stood out were Bobby Heenan and Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
Monsoon called most of the WWFs PPVs during his career, including the first eight Wrestlemanias. In 1994 he was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame. When he died in 1999, he left a hole in a lot of hearts.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
"The Texas Rattle Snake" made his wrestling debut in 1989 with the USWA. He didn't spend too much time there, though. He would soon jump ship to WCW in 1991, where he came upon instant success.
During his short time with WCW, he would become a two-time TV champ, US champ, and multiple tag champ. What people remember about Steve Austin though is his brutal style, and beer swilling during WWE's Attitude era.
During the mid to late 90's, Stone Cold would go on to change and redefine how we look at wrestlers. Many argue that he became the first tweener. He would go out and pull heel tactics but still stayed loved by the fans.
Austin has had many brutal feuds with the Harts, The Rock, HHH, Angle, Jericho...the list could go on forever. He would go on to grab just about every belt the WWE would have to offer. What made Stone Cold so special though, was his "I don't give a damn" attitude.
His feuds with The Rock are considered legendary, as they headlined and battled it out at many PPVs including multiple Wrestlemanias. He also had probably one of the oddest boss/employee relationships ever with Vince McMahon.
All I can say is if ya miss the toughest S.O.B. in the business, "Give me a hell yeah!"
"Superstar” Billy Graham
"Superstar” Billy Graham started in the Wrestling business during the 70s. He was scouted and trained by Stu Hart. He soon became one of Stu's favorite students. He went on to wrestle in the NWA and AWA.
While having some success in the territories, winning local NWA gold here and there. One of his most noted wins was against Dusty Rhodes for the belt. Graham didn't make his full impact until 1977 when he went to the WWWE. He was managed by the Grand Wizard.
He had a style unseen at the time in the wrestling world. He often wore flashy costumes; this is now a common thing in wrestling. With his off-the-wall heel tactics and crazy manager, he soon became the industry's top heel.
He did something thing that few stars can say they did. He took the belt off Bruno Sammartino.
Not only did he take the belt, but he held on to it for a year. At the time, that was considered a long run for a heel champ. He would go back and forth between the WWE and NWA for awhile, but he set a new trend in style for guys like HBK, Jericho, and many others.
During the height of his career he feuded with many great legends such as Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, Jerry Lawler, Bob Backlund, and Greg Valentine.
Stay tuned for volume 4!