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Classic Wrestling Images from the WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION

The World Wrestling Federation started as the World Wide Wrestling Federation and was the founded by Vince McMahon Sr. and a group of Northeastern promoters who broke away from the NWA in 1962 over a disputed World Title change (Lou Thesz defeated Buddy Rogers in a one-fall match, which they contended was not legal because the World Title could only be contested in three-falls). Beginning in 1983, McMahon's son Vince Jr. took it to unprecedented heights through shrewd marketing and a certain athlete named Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan). It was from that point on many families gathered around their TVs to watch a man who would become a household name.

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Andre the Giant (seen above) at 7' 4" - over 500 lbs. was arguably the greatest big man to ever wear the tights.

"Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase was a very talented wrestler longbefore a neck injury forced his retirement from the ring and led himto become a successful manager. Here he threatens to smother Bret Hart. In real life DiBiase is a devout Christian and is nothing like his ring personna.

Dino Bravo was arguably the most powerful wrestlers to evercompete in the sport. Here he punishes Tito Santana in a reverse chinlock.

George "the Animal" Steele in a way invented the type of character portrayed by modern wrestlers like "Mankind" and "Jason the Terrible". His seeming mental instabiltity masked an animal cunning and ferocity.

"Leaping Lanny"Poffo, the younger brother of the "Macho Man" Randy Savage, was a face wrestler when this shot was taken. Later he remade himself into "The Genius". Rumor has it that he will soon re-surface in WCW as "Gorgeous George III" (who George II was I don't know).

Maurice "Maddog" Vachon was considered a holy terror in the ring. A gentle man in real life, he delighted in punishing his opponents inside the ring and out. Here he grinds a chair into his opponent's midsection, then back in the ring he chokes his opponent then delivers a pile driver. As usual, he gets the duke.

Pedro Morales held both the Intercontinental and the World Titles in the WWF. His right hand was considered deadly.

"Iron" Mike Sharp is the son of a wrestlers who used the same name. He is probably one of the most famous mid-card wrestlers in the world because of his numerous TV appearances.

Tito Santana is a personal favorite of mine. I met him for the second time in an autograph line at Universal Studios. I will never forget how charming and personable Tito was that day.

Jesse "the Body" Ventura, who claimed to have been the Rolling Stones bodyguard is seen here during his first wrestling comeback just before he embarked on his highly successful career as a color commentator for both the WWF and later WCW. Ventura is seen here applying his finishing hold, the Torture Rack backbreaker to his opponent Tony Garea (Note: the referee in these scenes is Joey Morrello - deceased son of WWF President Gorilla Monsoon.

"Maddog" Buzz Sawyer was an amazing athelete. Here he leaps right out of the television field of view to splash a hapless Salvitore Bellomo.

"Adorable" Adrian Adonis (seen here choking "Cousin Jr.") shocked the wrestling world when he came "out of the closet". He started wearing dresses tothe ring!

I haven't seen two of these guys in a long time, although Greg Valentine recently appeared again inWCW. Has anyone heard anything abou Dick Whirley or B. Brian Blair lately?

Check out Early Wrestling on TV and Solie's Classic Wrestling Images
The Illustrated History of the Four Horsemen

Back to the Main page This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

Copyright 2005 Jump City Productions