Category: Pro Wrestling

Dick the Bruiser

For some reason, the image of an obviously enraged Dick the Bruiser all dressed up in a suit and bow tie and sporting stitches in his head seems such an odd combination, that every time I see the picture I smile.

Dick the Bruiser, whose real name was Richard Afflis, was a real-life tough guy. He played professional football and developed a reputation as a bar room brawler. Bruiser was 6′ 1″ and 260 pounds of muscle, so when his football career ended, it was only natural that he turn to professional wrestling.

Bruiser started his wrestling career in the 50’s and wrestled into the 80’s! Even after he retired, he worked as a talent scout for the WCW. Bruiser died in 1991 at the age of 62. He left behind a legacy as one of the most popular wrestlers to ever step into the ring.

I was fortunate to see the Bruiser wrestle live many times when I was growing up. Those memories bring an even bigger smile to my face than the picture.

Bobby the Brain

Heenan spent nearly 40 years in the world of pro wrestling. He wasn’t your typical wrestler. He wasn’t gigantic. He wasn’t musclebound. He didn’t fly through the air [unless being thrown by the Bruiser or some other good guy].

Fans loved or hated him, but no one was neutral about Bobby Heenan. He could “rassle” with anyone and make them look better. No one could work a crowd like “the Brain.” And Bobby Heenan was witty. His one-liners and off-the-cuff comments were at times more entertaining than the matches themselves.

Bobby Heenan has written a book and he “tells all the stories, names all the names and doesn’t care who gets mad about it.” Hulk Hogan, Andre “The Giant,” and Vince McMahon are just a few of the many colorful characters that Heenan discusses.

Heenan‘s book is available now [and at a 30% discount]. So call him what you want… BrainWeaselEntertainer… but be sure and add author to the list!

Bobby the Brain rates an A

Bruno Bows Out

I never saw Bruno Sammartino wrestle. Still I agree that he is, perhaps, the greatest star from the golden age of pro wrestling.

Bruno will be among the first 13 inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame this weekend. They’ll have to have the ceremony without him. Bruno refuses to attend.

“Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it’s over. I don’t want anything to do with it anymore,” Bruno was quoted as saying earlier this week.

Despite a long reign as world champion, selling out Madison Square Garden over 200 times (the most ever) and his immense popularity, Bruno was blackballed from wrestling when he spoke out about, “Drugs, steroids, all the sexual stuff, bizarre things” that he saw going on in wrestling in the 80’s. Click here for the full story.

I never saw Bruno wrestle. That’s sad for me. No one will see Bruno at the ceremony as he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s sad for all fans of the sport.

Blackjack Mulligan

I received word from an old buddy that I hadn’t heard from in nearly 30 years… back when I was 8th grade in Terre Haute, Indiana. [He found me through classmates.com.] At any rate, as we fondly remembered the “good old days,” we began to talk about tv wrestling.

My favorite wrestler was a huge Texan named Blackjack Mulligan. Yeah, that’s him pictured above. He was usually teamed with Blackjack Lanza [they held the “world title” on a couple of occasions and were managed by Bobby Heenan]. I used to watch pro wrestling on tv several times a week, and would go to see it live when it came to town or when my dad would take us to Indianapolis to see the “big” matches. I was a die hard wrestling fan until 9th grade. As I grew older I would occasionally catch it on the tube… later, as my sons got into it I found myself watching it more often as they enjoyed it. Still, the Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the rest of today’s “Superstars” would have had their hands full facing Mulligan and Lanza managed by “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan!