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  1. #1
    Swinging in the hammock Ilikai's Avatar
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    "Classy" Freddie Blassie

    News just in: Pro wrestler Freddie Blassie dies at 85. We're going to miss the "Pencil-Neck Geek!"

    LOS ANGELES (AP) Professional wrestler Freddie Blassie, who became a cult figure to fans by playing the villain inside the ring during the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was 85. Blassie died of heart failure June 2 in Hartsdale, N.Y., former wrestling publicist Jeff Walton told the Los Angeles Times.

    Blassie is survived by his wife, Miyako, and three children.

    Here's Fred's Story: Fred Blassie, born Fred Blassman, was one of the most important figures in professional wrestling throughout his entire 40+ years in the wrestling business. During his incredible career, Blassie was a true trendsetter, and an incredibly influential performer. As "evil" as they came, the nickname "The Vampire" was often associated with Blassie during his wrestling days because of his incredibly sharp teeth (he often claimed to have sharpened them with a file) and his propensity to use them to draw blood from his opponents' forehead during his invariably brutal matches. "The Fashion Plate of Wrestling" was also one of the sport's most famous wrestlers, and a constant champion. After injuries ended his ring career, Blassie went on to become one of the premier wrestling managers of all-time, and once again influenced a generation of wrestlers, managers, and fans in the process...
    He entered the sport very early in life, when he was a teenager and he paid his dues for years during the early part of his career. But eventually Blassie acquired the experience and skill to rise up the ladder, and after struggling during his first years in the sport, he reached the top of his profession.

    In 1954 he won the very prestigious N.W.A. Southern Heavyweight title. It was an omen of things to come, because Blassie would go on to win the Southern Heavyweight title a total of 14 times between 1954-1960, and at the same time became -- by far -- the most hated wrestler in the southeast. After conquering that region of the country, the controversial Blassie headed to Los Angeles and the World Wrestling Alliance...

    Once in Los Angeles, Blassie again established himself as the territory's most hated wrestler. In fact, during this time period, the self-proclaimed "King of Men" stretched the boundaries of how hated a wrestler could become. Blassie's wrestling fame helped him become a true celebrity among celebrities while in L.A. and he was among those wrestlers personally responsible for the large rise in popularity of wrestling in The Garden State during the 1960's and 1970's.

    He won the W.W.A. (Los Angeles) World Heavyweight title 4 times between 1961-1964, defeating elite wrestling legends like Rikidozan, Eduard Carpentier, and The Destroyer for the title. He also wore the W.W.A. World Tag Team title twice, winning the belts with Mr. Moto in 1964 and Buddy Austin in 1967. Among Blassie's other titles were five N.W.A. America's Heavyweight championships (which he won by defeating the likes of The Sheik, Bobo Brazil, and John Tolos), the Georgia Heavyweight title, and the "Beat The Champ" TV Title. He also held the N.W.A. America's Brass Knuckles championship for 5 years between 1969-1974, defeating every "Pencil-neck geek" (a term he coined) that he came up against. Without a doubt, "Classy" Fred Blassie was one of the most prolific champions of his era...

    After conquering the entire West Coast, Blassie headed east to the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Once there, he was teamed with Lou Albano (who had just begun his managerial career) and once again established himself as the area's top heel through a reign of violence, cheating tactics, and bloodshed like few others. He engaged in an absolute classic series of matches against W.W.W.F. World Champion Bruno Sammartino, coming incredibly close to winning the title on several occasions. Later, he would also push W.W.W.F. World Champion Pedro Morales to the limit, again often coming within an eyelash of becoming WWWF World Champion. But soon Blassie's knees, which were in terrible condition, forced him to retire from the wrestling ring after decades of being a top competitor. However, Blassie's career in the business was far from over...

    After his in-ring career was over, Blassie became one of the WWF's "Evil Trinity" of managers (Blassie, Albano, and The Grand Wizard) and guided some of the meanest and most vicious men in the sport. The three rulebreaking managers guided virtually every heel who came into the WWF, with Blassie eventually gaining a reputation for specializing primarily in evil, anti-American foreign wrestlers like Spiros Arion, Victor Rivera, Mr. Saito, Peter Maivia, Killer Khan, Mr. Fuji, Nicolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, and others. However, he also managed many top "American" wrestlers as well...men like Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Adrian Adonis, Stan Hansen, George "The Animal" Steele, Dick Murdoch, and many others.

    Blassie was also credited as the man responsible for bringing the young Hulk Hogan into the WWF for the first time back in 1979, although former WWF owner/promoter Vince McMahon Sr. was the man truly responsible for Terry Bollea's debut in the WWF back in `79. Still, Blassie helped lend an air of credibility to the massive young Hogan, and the duo was very successful together.

    Blassie was a key figure in the WWF for a generation of wrestlers and fans, and a primary participant in WW(W)F storylines and angles as a manager for over a decade, up until he retired in the mid-1980's.

    In 1994, after some 50 years of involvement in pro wrestling, "Classy" Fred was inducted into the World Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame after a truly legendary career. The Ring Chronicle also salutes this all-time pro wrestling great by inducting him into T.R.C.'s Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" -- Steve Parker

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  2. #2
    Swinging in the hammock Ilikai's Avatar
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    From the LA Times via Philly Inquirer

    Here is another obit, I just added it cause it has some other info about him.





    Pro wrestling villain Freddie Blassie, 85
    By Jon Thurber
    Los Angeles Times

    Freddie Blassie, the silver-maned professional wrestler with a voice from the depths of the earth who made himself a hero to mat fans in the 1950s and '60s by playing the villain, has died. He was 85.

    Blassie, who became a cult figure outside the ring and starred with comedian Andy Kaufman in the film My Breakfast With Blassie, died of heart failure Monday in Hartsdale, N.Y., according to Jeff Walton, a onetime wrestling publicist in Los Angeles who knew Blassie well.

    A fierce competitor in the ring known for unorthodox methods and a penchant for bloodletting, Blassie was verbose and boastful. Fans might recall his interviews with announcer Dick Lane in which he would proclaim his vast superiority over a number of lesser opponents, branding them all "pencil-neck geeks." Those colorful interviews helped make him a celebrity in the newly expanding medium of television.

    Born Fred Blassman in St. Louis, Blassie played baseball and football in high school. He also reportedly excelled as a boxer. He joined the Navy at the start of World War II and started wrestling initially under the name of Sailor Fred Blassie.

    After the war, Blassie returned to the Midwest and continued wrestling professionally. Using a variety of names, he wrestled the top performers of the day, including Lou Thesz and Gorgeous George, but did not reach their level of popularity.

    After a move to the West Coast, he tried a different promotional scheme - that of a villain. The nastier he was in the ring, the more popular he became to fans.

    Sportswriter Jim Murray called him "the worst villain since Hitler" in a 1961 column in the Los Angeles Times. Blassie held various regional titles, Walton said, including the WWA world title on five separate occasions, the Americas heavyweight title nine times, and tag-team belts with various partners over the years.

    By the 1970s, Blassie had relocated to the East Coast, where he successfully pursued his mat career. He was popular in Japan as well.

    He retired from competition in the late 1970s to manage a new generation of gladiators such as Hulk Hogan.

    Blassie worked for Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment. He did an advice segment on the Tuesday Night Titans TV program, made personal appearances, and did radio interviews.

    My Breakfast With Blassie, which came out in 1983, was a spoof of My Dinner With Andre. The camera followed Blassie and Kaufman as they ate breakfast and discussed life.

    Blassie is survived by his wife, Miyako, and three children.

    Here is a link to another article that has some more info that isn't covered by these two.
    http://www.pro-wrestling.com/articles/4173.php
    Last edited by Ilikai; 06-09-2003 at 01:58 AM.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" -- Steve Parker

    Help feed a dog or cat http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/c...s/CTDSites.woa

  3. #3
    FORT Fogey joeguy's Avatar
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    truely one of the greatest "villians" in wrestling. but how many can claim a guest shot on a t.v. show, not counting saturday night live. he did a scene in "the dick van dyke show" from the early 60's. plus have a song on Dr. Demento that is a major hit?

    He was a veteran of the "bloodbath" era of wrestling before they toned it down cause of the kids all watching it starting in the 80's

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