Pro Wrestling Now Compared To When I Was Older – Now It’s A Show That Must End

The Transition to the Age of Steroids — World Champion Superstar Billy Graham

“The Big Cat”, Ernie Ladd; “Handsome” Harley Race! My two favorite fighters of all time. I forgot how much I tried to develop an attitude like Ernie Ladd as a child. I’d ride my skateboard, announcing to everyone that I was the big cat! Thanks to YouTube, I realized how cool Harley Race was, even though I didn’t like it as much as a child (I see it as what a man is supposed to be; a man’s man!). I see him as a really tough guy who wanted to get into wrestling just to show how tough he was (isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about?). Today, I see most of the fighters wanting a six-pack and afraid to say what they really have in mind. It’s so corporate it’s pathetic! An example is Harley Race, an old-school fighter from the territories, taking on the “new steroid style” of fighter that began to become mainstream in the 80’s. The fighter he faced in the video it’s superstar Billy Graham. In the interview, superstar Graham takes on Harley Race out of nowhere, while Race is giving an interview. Superstar proceeds to start showing off his massive steroid-induced arms. I love when Race tells him; “I don’t need that pumped bologna, I’m a real man,” and he said it quite calmly. Superstar waved his hand and argued away without saying a word.

That’s it exactly what I’m talking about. The wrestlers of the late sixties and seventies were easily tougher men than you see coming out of the curtains today; big fireworks and dazzling neon-colored clothing. Harley Race had an old school tattoo; no coloring, just black ink — it was tough! Today’s fighters are laden with colorful tattoos and a lively, steroid-induced physique. Just wanting to make me vomit! Ernie Ladd gave an interview in which he called Chief Jay Strongbow a drunk Indian and Manny Fernandez a “wetback.” He said he would beat all the blacks from “greezy” Bubba Douglas. Ernie turned out to be a great black athlete. He was five professional times with the Chargers and Chiefs. Without a doubt, he was my favorite fighter growing up. He was a proven great athlete, and you can tell in his younger games that he moved like a great soccer player would. He ended up on bad knees when the 80s rolled around.

Check out some full old-school fighting episodes on YouTube

Like I said, it doesn’t seem like I’m alone in this thought. If you look specifically at YouTube comments, for shows like CWF (Championship Wrestling From Florida), hosted by Gordon Solie, you will see nothing but commendable comments from all people, young and old alike. But if you look at wrestling, after 2005 or something like that, you will see a lot of people who say that wrestling today is pathetic. That was other point I wanted to make; Announcers like Gordon Solie used real wrestling moves in their comments: “high hip throw”; “belly to belly suplex”; “catch as you can catch fighter”; “lock – neck and elbow”. Those are just a few of the phrases that lend credibility to the entire wrestling experience. I can vividly remember as a kid, attending the Tuesday night taping at the old Ft. Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa. Those were times that I will never forget.

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