Tag: wwe

A Collection of Pro Wrestling Advertisements from 1987

Being a big wrestling fan growing up, I bought all of the “Apter mags” I could get me hands on.  They were great for the news, which was already 3 months old by the time you read it, and the stories about my favorite wrestlers.  What I didn’t discover they were great for at the time was the advertisements found within.  Sure, I would see something advertised and drool over it, but I never gained the appreciation for all those ads until much later in life.

I was flipping through an issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated the other day, and it was filled with cool ads that I thought I would share with you.  So here they are, a collection of pro wrestling ads from 1987.

Pro wrestling VHS tapes were the holy grail for a young wrestling fan like myself.  I wanted both of these tapes back in the day, but could never swing the ridiculous price to own them at the time.  Fortunately, I did get an uncut, satelite feed copy of Starrcade ’86 a few years ago.

And speaking of video tapes, here is a real gem!  For just $45.20 ($98.60 in 2018 dollars) I could have owned this awesome tape.  If you don’t know what this match is, it is the legendary, riot inducing, hair vs. hair steel cage match in Memphis TN. between Jerry “The King” Lawler and Austin Idol.  If you’ve not seen it, check it out here on YouTube, and be sure to watch for the surprise ending that caused the riot. Continue reading “A Collection of Pro Wrestling Advertisements from 1987”

Looking Back at Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling Cartoon

Hulk Hogans Rock and Wrestling

Professional wrestling had been around long before television, but the mid-80’s brought new levels of popularity to the much-maligned “sport.” Due to the business savvy of Vince McMahon, pro wrestling became one of the most successful entertainment ventures in the world. Relying heavily on the “good guy vs. bad guy” storyline and giving each wrestler ample time to speak to the viewers at home, McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation became a national phenomenon. It was only a matter of time before a Saturday morning cartoon was developed based on the WWF.

The show featured any wrestler who was popular at the time (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, The Junkyard Dog, etc.), but the focus was on the WWF’s biggest star, Hulk Hogan. Hogan, who was a positive role model for all, never turned down an opportunity to help out those in need, the springboard to the plots of most episodes. In many cases, Hogan was forced to ally himself and his “good guy” cronies with the “bad guy” wrestlers in order to get things done. The bad guys were usually only looking out for themselves and reverted to their abhorrent ways immediately after solving that week’s crisis.

 

More Saturday Morning Cartoons  |  Alvin and the Chipmunks

 

The series also featured live segments in which Hogan, along with announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund, would relay a positive message to the kids, generally one that fit with the day’s episode. The show satisfied its “rock” quotient by featuring a montage of the wrestlers performing a variety of acts, backed up by popular tunes in highlight reel fashion. The concept for the series came from musician Cyndi Lauper, who often appeared in the cartoon as herself.

Amazingly enough, none of the wrestlers provided his or her own voice for the cartoon. Apparently, the eloquence they showed in pre- and post-match interviews was too difficult to capture in a voice-over studio. Hogan’s cartoon voice was performed by Brad Garrett, who would eventually find fame as Robert Barone on the popular CBS series Everybody Loves Raymond.

 

This post originally appeared on the long defunct Yesterdayland website.  We archive it here to preserve it.

Retro Round Table: Our Favorite Old School Wrestlers

Welcome back to another edition of the Retro Round Table.  This is where I get together with several of my online, retro-minded friends and we each give our opinion on the topic of choice.  With Wrestlemania coming up this weekend, what better time to talk about our favorite old school wrestlers?

I’m joined again this week by Hoju Koolander of the SequelQuest Podcast, Spyda-Man from 20 Years Before 2000, and Eric Vardeman of Eric V Music and Retro Ramblings fame.  So let’s get into the discussion, and when you’re done reading, join the discussion in the comments by telling us who YOUR favorite wrestler was back in the day.  Let’s get to it!


Junkyard Dog

My favorite WWF/WWE wrestler of all time has to be Junkyard Dog! He was so crazy and I will never forget his snarling face as he would enter the ring to the sounds of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” while barking at his opponent and swinging that badass chain around his neck. My introduction to JYD was in the form of the animated Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestlingcartoon. Out of all the iconic characters in that show JYD’s character just stood out to me and I was hooked. The one match of his that stands out more than any other to me is when he gave Macho Man Randy Savage a beat down to win the WWF Wrestling Classic in 1985. I didn’t see it live since it was Pay-Per-View, but I had friends who were wrestling junkies, so I borrowed their VHS tape of the event. Unfortunately, I never got to see Junk Yard Dog wrestle in person and I will never have that chance. In 1998 JYD was in a car accident after leaving his daughter’s high school graduation. He passed away at the age of 45. For his contributions to wrestling Sylvester Ritter aka Junk Yard Dog was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2004 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012.

– Spyda-Man

You can check out Spyda-Man’s retro home on the web at 20 Years Before 2000.  You can also follow him on twitter @20_Years_Before.


Mean Gene Okerlund

When it comes to wrestling, I’ve always been hooked more by the peripheral personalities in the business over the “Superstars”. It’s weird that the muscular bodies slamming into each other in the ring that were being celebrated by everybody else often took a backseat to Sensational Sherri, Jimmy Hart or Mr. Fuji when I was watching a WWF show. None had more glory in my eyes than the man, the mustache, the tuxedo, Mean Gene Okerlund. Though he did once train very comedically for a tag team match alongside his partner, Hulk Hogan, Gene was primarily a backstage interviewer, which meant he was given audience to the wackiest turns of phrase to come out of the mouths of the Macho Man Randy Savage or the Ultimate Warrior. His reactions to the madness were just fantastic. Gene was that familiar face I could always count on during my early days as a wrestling fan, so this golden voiced, balding man was the glue that held the federation together in my eyes. Just think about it, everybody had to pass by Mean Gene’s microphone to state their reason for beating up their opponent that night or at the next Wrestlemania. He was in a way, my idol. Not being very athletic as a kid, I instead pretended to be an interviewer like Gene Okerlund, running up and down the basketball court at recess getting sound bytes from my classmates during the game. Most common were the phrases, “Shut up” and “Get out of here”. In the 90s I even got to eat at the short-lived fast food chain, Mean Gene’s Burgers and have cherished the napkins, placemats and t-shirt purchased that day. I hear Mean Gene even announces for weddings now, so maybe when my wife and I renew our vows he can break out the tuxedo one more time for me to cut a promo on my beloved, brother!

– Hoju Koolander

You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved!  And if you haven’t checked it out yet, Hoju recently did a review for us of the cheesy 80’s movie, Body Slam.  Check it out here!


Kerry Von Erich

My favorite old school wrestler, without a doubt, is “The Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich. He was a part of the WCCW out of Dallas/Fort Worth. Their syndicated show was on in my home town every Saturday night from 10 to midnight and I watched it religiously. He feuded with Gentleman chris Adams, Gino Hernandez, “Iceman” King Parsons and even wrestled against Jerry “The King” Lawler and Ric Flair. He and his brothers were in an ongoing feud with the Fabulous Freebirds that was always entertaining. While all the Von Erich’s used the move, nobody perfected the Von Erich “Iron Claw” like Kerry.

– Eric Vardeman

Give Eric a follow on Twitter at @Eric_Vardeman, and you can find his retro memories right here on Retro Ramblings!  His new weekly feature here on Retro Ramblings, Music Mondays, is awesome too.  He looks back at the songs gracing the Top 40 list from 35 years ago in 1983!  He’s also a talented singer/songwriter, and you should check out his music at EricVMusic


Rock and Roll Express

The very first time I came across professional wrestling on television, I saw what would go on to become my favorite act.  It was late 1985 on a Saturday afternoon while I was scanning the channels.  I flipped through and saw smoke, flashing lights, and heard rock music.  I went right on past it, but stopped and backed up, and watched as two men clad in bandanas strode through a crowd of people.  It was the Rock & Roll Express on their way to the ring for a match.  I had never seen or heard of wrestling before, but was instantly intrigued.  I watched their match and was blown away by what I saw.  And then, when they hit one of their helpless opponents with their patented double drop kick, I came out of my seat.  I was instantly hooked.

I tuned in to wrestling every chance I got after that, looking to see more of the Rock & Roll Express.  They were the reason I begged my Dad to take me to the matches when they came around the next time.  I had their shirts, their gloss 8×10’s, their magazine, was a member of their fan club, and wore bandanas on my wrists to school.  It was an intense fandom.  As the years rolled on, and their star started to fall a little, I still followed them in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and to this day, I still enjoy catching Ricky Morton in action on local shows.

– Retro Rambler

As you know, you can find me right here at RetroRamblings, and you can follow me on Twitter, check out my Facebook page, and subscribe to my YouTube channel!


So what about you?  Who is your favorite old school wrestler, and why?  Join in the conversation in the comments section below.

Wax Pack Flashback: 1987 WWF Wrestling Cards from Topps

WWF Trading Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Memories of Wrestlemania

WrestleMania is just days away, and as always, hopes are high that it is a blow away show.  Through the years, the “sports” biggest event has left lasting memories on millions of fans world-wide, and I’m no different.  So with that in mind, here are five of my favorite memories from Wrestlemania’s gone by.

 

#5:  WWF vs NFL Battle Royal, WrestleMania 2, 1986

As a kid who was a huge wrestling fan, battle royals always held a special intrigue with me.  Maybe it was having so many guys in the ring, or the possibility that any of them could win, I’m not sure.  But what I do know, is that to an 8-year-old, when you put some of the biggest and best wrestling stars and some of the biggest and best football players from the NFL in the same ring, anything can happen!

I was so pumped to see this affair heading into the event, that it was really the only match that I talked about at school.  While all of my wrestling friends wanted to see Hulk Hogan get his revenge against King Kong Bundy in a cage, I wanted to see if Superbowl Champion William “The Refrigerator” Perry could be the last man standing in the big battle royal.

Wrestlemania 2 William Perry

With an impressive lineup of WWF talent including Andre the Giant, Big John Studd, Bruno Sammartino, The Hart Foundation, The Killer Bees, Pedro Morales, the Iron Sheik, King Tonga and NFL stars like Jimbo Covert, Bill Fralic, Russ Francis, Harvey Martin, and William Perry, the ring was filled with star power.  And if that wasn’t enough, NFL legends Dick Butkis and Ed “Too Tall” Jones patrolled the ringside area as referees for the match.

Wrestlemania 2 Battle Royal

The most interesting part of the match was when Big John Studd and William Perry got to square off.  Perry held his own until Studd tricked him into running into his big elbow.  He then simply beeled Perry over the top rope to eliminate him.  But once on the floor, Perry wanted to shake Studd’s hand and congratulate him.  When Studd reached down to shake his hand, Perry gave a big tug and pulled John Studd over the top rope to eliminate him too!

Andre the Giant went on to win the match, last eliminating both members of the Hart Foundation.  Andre was always referred to as the king of Battle Royals, so it was fitting that he took home the top honor in this mammoth match.

Continue reading “My Favorite Memories of Wrestlemania”

The Rock & Roll Express to Be Inducted into WWE Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Express To Be Inducted to WWE Hall of Fame

The WWE Hall of Fame will be welcoming in one of wrestling’s greatest tag teams this year when it inducts Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, collectively known as the Rock & Roll Express.

The Rock & Roll Express started teaming together in 1983 in the Memphis area battling duos such as The Galaxians, Koko Ware and Norvell Austin, and the team of Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo.  From there the duo headed to Louisiana and Bill Watt’s Mid-South Wrestling.  There they matched up for the first time with the team who would go on to be their biggest rivals in the mat wars, The Midnight Express with their manager Jim Cornette.

After time spent there, Ricky and Robert took another step up in the wrestling game as they moved to Jim Crockett’s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, and instantly became mega stars, defeating Ivan and Nikita Koloff to win the NWA World Tag Team titles their first night in the promotion in 1985!

The team’s popularity continued to skyrocket, and in 1986 they were greeted and treated like rock stars at every arena in the south.  Rock & Roll Express merchandise was everywhere, look alike contests were held in many places, you could join their fan club, and Ricky Morton even recorded and released a song.  Their popularity was unrivaled for a while.  Check out the video below to get a feel of just how popular they were.

Continue reading “The Rock & Roll Express to Be Inducted into WWE Hall of Fame”