topcenter

WRESTLING COLUMNS

THE NOSTALGIA POP #4
A Picture is Worth at Least a few Words
May 16, 2004 - by Brad Dykens

How about this for a triple threat? The man in the middle is Canadian-based wrestler/manager/promoter "Crybaby" George Cannon. The two men by his side are known as the heaviest tag team in the history of professional wrestling. Billy & Benny McGuire were originally from Hendersonville, North Carolina and received their training from Gory Guerrero. They ended up as one of Stu Hart's most fascinating acts up in Calgary during the 1970s. At 814 pounds and 784 pounds, the McGuire Twins are in the Guinness Book of World Records.. They are most widely recognized in several famous photographs taken as they rode on mini-motocycles across country for a Honda promotion.. Billy McGuire died in 1979, and his brother Benny died in 2001..

Take a close look at this photo.... Do you recognise him? It's a recent photo of the well-travelled "Maniac" Mark Lewin. Lewin's biggest success came as a member of Kevin Sullivan's Florida-based Army of Darkness. Lewin managed to wrestle just about everywhere in the World, and collected a good number of enemies along the way. Many old-school stories reveal that Lewin wasn't exactly the easiest opponent to work with. It's not known exactly what happened to Mark Lewin, or even where he is, but rumors speculate that he's somewhere in Australia or possibily Japan.

If you thought the Hardcore "weapons" today are inovative, take a look at this. Hardcore wrestlers today use strategically placed weapons that just happened to have been left procariously under the ring. Oops! Somebody fire the setup crew! The oldschool wrestlers had to make due with what they had, so on this particular evening, Sgt Slaughter used a tirerod with a wheel attached, probably used to hold the rope to hold back the fans, to punish his opponent Wahoo McDaniel. Back then the weapons available would be limited to chairs, the ring bell and a well-hidden forign object. A wheel smash to the head? Imagine how much that would hurt! OUCH!

Speaking of Sgt Slaughter, there was a time he brought in a new recruit as his protege. Pictured in this photo is someone you would NEVER guess. The young private getting harassed by the Sarge in this photo later went on to become known as Boris Zukov, most notably the tag team partner or Nikolai Volkoff as the Bolshivics in the WWF. I guess the Sarge turned Pvt. Jim Nelson (as he was known) against America which led to him becoming an Anti-USA Russian!

Pvt. Jim Nelson formed a tag team with Pvt. Don Kernodle in the NWA and later teamed with Soldat Ustinov in the AWA.. Of course this was all before joining the WWF and becoming famous for jobbing to Jimmy Snuka a billion times.

This is by-far my favorite photo on the website. Before becoming NWA TNA's #1 Broadcast Announcer, Mike Tenay had a long road in the business. This is where it all began for my idol, Mr. Tenay. He began his journey in professional wrestling as the president of the Wrestling Report Fan Club. Which was essentially a newsletter, except he didn't have the convienience of the Internet to boost his success, which makes his early accomplishments so admirable.

Mike Tenay would go on to do many wrestling-related jobs before becoming employed by World Championship Wrestling. As one of the most respected historians on the planet, Tenay was often picked up for outside projects, and as a result, became a vital part of the rise of Total Nonstop Action wrestling.

On a personal note, I could only hope that by running this website, I could some day be catapulted into the business. If I achieved half of Mr. Tenay's success I would be satisfied.

Look close. Closer. You figure it out yet? I'll give you a hint: "Ooooohhhh Yeeeesss!!!!!!!!!". Believe it or not, this is an early photo of William Moody, known in the wrestling community as Percy Pringle or Paul Bearer. William Moody enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, completing basic training at Lackland AFB, in San Antonio, TX.. William Moody recieved his honorable discharge from the Air Force, and went straight into a Funeral Director/Embalmer job.. William Moody, avid wrestling fan, got his start in the business through the Gulf Coast territory, believe it or not, as a wrestler! Moody eventually made the transition into a managerial role and become famous under the name Percy Pringle III! He became even more famous in 1990 when he joined the WWE as Paul Bearer, the creepy manager of the Undertaker..

Being the 8th Wonder of the World definitly put Andre the Giant in the spotlight everywhere he went. Even when he wasn't doing a wrestling show or appearance, it was impossibly for the Giant to NOT be noticed. Unfortunately this reality was what made Andre miserable and depressed. Imagine living your life with everybody looking at you whereever you went, everything being too small to use, and people constantly bugging you for autographs or a photo. I'm afraid I'd be guilty, if I saw Andre out somewhere I would want nothing more than to get a picture with me standing beside him. Fortunately this Giant was a gentle one, and often gave a lot of himself to make the fans happen. I can only imagine how many fascinating photographs there are out there of the one true Giant of professional wrestling. Here are just a few that I enjoy:


This vintage photograph of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka nearly brought me to tears. It shows Snuka preparing to perform his famed Superfly Splash on WWF World Champion Bob Backlund. There's nothing more beautiful than a perfectly timed photograph of a classic and memorable moment.

Snuka was a villian at the time, but was still performing the move that would eventually turn him into a fan-favorite.

Here is a snapshot of a major feud that would have made a lot of money. Unfortunately, Jesse Ventura's unscheduled retirement coincided with Hulkamania's rise to immorality.

While calling many of Hulk Hogan's World Championship title defenses, Jesse Ventura often teased that he would come out of retirement to squash Hulkamania. I was quietly looking forward to that statement becoming a reality!

As we all know, Jesse Ventura was not physically able to return to serious competition so he stayed in the announce booth with Gorilla Monsoon and Hulkamania remained unsquashed for an unbearable decade!

by Brad Dykens


Isaac Noonan wrote:
What can I say? Those pics were awesome! I've been trying to find a picture of the McGuire Twins for a long time. (So THAT'S what they looked like) And, of course, the Snuka snapshot needs no explanation. Everyone love that image. So let me just give you your props for this column. Thank you.
wrote:

If you have any comments, reactions, rebuttles or thoughts on this column, feel free to send them to the email below,
If your email is intelligently written, they will be posted underneath this messege..
We at OnlineWorldofWrestling want to promote all points of view, and that includes YOURS.



© 2007, Black Pants, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

[ CHAT ROOM | FLASH | SEARCH | FORUMS | DOWNLOADS | TAPES | WRESTLINKS | GUESTBOOK | THANK YOU | CONTACT ]