By Gonzo Green:
Professional wrestling has had its ups and downs throughout the years, but thus far no era has been more popular and successful than the period from 1980 to the early ’90s – commonly referred to as the Golden Era.
And although we love or love to hate today’s faces and heels, nothing will compare to the entertainment provided by guys like Macho Man Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, André the Giant, and The Undertaker back when he was still in his prime. These characters just possessed a certain aura about that that most of today’s stars are lacking. A lot of wrestling is character driven, and while today’s quality of in-ring action is better than it has ever been, there’s a certain element missing.
I mean, isn’t it obvious? Although we at TheSportster still cover all the breaking news and current happenings of the wrestling world, a big portion of this site’s content focuses on the good old days, utilizing a hefty dose of nostalgia at every turn. Days when Raw wasn’t a thing, pay per views were scarce and WrestleMania was in its infancy.
And what’s the only thing better than reading about the Golden Age of Wrestling (other than actually experiencing it)? Seeing it. (Maybe with some words too.) With that, here are 20 awesome candid photos of all your favorite friends from the days of yore. Don’t get too sad though, one day we’ll be looking back fondly on the wrestlers of today too.
20. Andre the Giant and his giant order
Alright, alright, I’ll admit it to you right now that this list is a bit heavy with Andre the Giant photos, but can I help it the guy was always around in the Golden Era? I mean, he is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and even got elected to the Hall of Fame in its inaugural year. Plus, the guy was also one of the greatest drinkers of all time, and according to various urban legends, he once consumed 119 12-ounce beers in six hours, 156 16-ounce beers in a single sitting, and 127 beers in one night.
Here the massive man himself is seen seated at a bar with seven drinks in front of him sometime in the ‘80s. We’re going to venture a guess and say all seven are his. Those seven glasses surely didn’t last very long.
19. Ted DiBiase and Donald Trump
Current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has long been involved in the WWF and WWE world, from more recent events like shaving Vince McMahon bald at WrestleMania, back to the days when The Donald was simply trying to keep guests entertained at his hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey by booking big shows. His Trump Plaza was the sight for WrestleManias IV and V and from there, he was able to establish a friendship of sorts with Vince McMahon. He also got to rub elbows with many of the company’s biggest stars.
This backstage photo comes from the latter category, and features Trump shaking hands with a rather youthful looking “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in the late ‘80s (during Ted’s second WWE stint). I guess you could say there’s a couple of million dollar men in this snapshot.
See the rest of the gallery here.