As British Wrestling Returns To Our Screens Let’s Look Back At What Made It Great!
There is a new show starting this week on ITV, and it’s harking back to a classic time in the 1980s when wrestlers actually wrestled and Big Daddy was the housewives’ favourite and an all-round good guy!
British wrestling is making a big come back with the return of the sport to terrestrial TV with The World of Sport Wrestling, but will it have the same impact that the classic wrestling shows had back in the day? It’s hard to say, but the cynical me wants to say how can it possibly measure up?
So what better time to look back at some of the classic wrestling stars of the 70s and 80s that made the sport so popular? From Big Daddy to Kendo Naksaki, they aren’t all British, but they were certainly very popular on TV screens over here at the time.
Anyone who laughs at the fact that his first name was Shirley will certainly be in trouble. Big Daddy was the gentle giant who was loved by fans the land over and was really the favourite of all of the wrestlers. He used his fame to lend his name to some commercials at the time, too. Big Daddy was a true great, he had the charisma and the character to back up his character, and also the moves to back it all up!
He was known as the housewives’ favourite and could do no wrong in the eyes of the fans, so when he was getting beaten in a match, the other wrestler would face a tirade of screams and abuse from Big Daddy’s fans!
The other big star of the day, Giant Haystacks was like a man-mountain and was simply enormous! He had the physique and the size and the strength to back it all up.
Whilst not as popular as Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks had a legion of fans, and although he was sometimes seen more as the bad guy of the wrestlers compared to Big Daddy, he was still insanely popular at the time – were you team Big Daddy or team Giant Haystacks?
While not as big in terms of build and physique, Adrian Street had a big personality and so still won plenty of fans. He often wore more eye-catching outfits, many of which he actually designed himself, so he wasn’t just a talented wrestler!
Another favourite with the fans, Rollerball Rocco also wrestled as the original masked Black Tiger in Japan. One famous photo of Rollerball Rocco shows just how intense some of the fights could get, especially against Giant Haystacks!
Big Jim Harris
Although he was American, Big Jim Harris was more popular on the British Wrestling scene and he soon garnered a big audience and fan base over here, making him a firm fan favourite as a real alternative to the likes of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks!
The original International Man of Mystery, Kendo Nagasaki was a massive favourite with the fans who really took to the elusive wrestler and loved to see other wrestlers who would try to pull off Kendo’s mask during a fight. As famous for his ability as a wrestler as he was the mystery of the mask!
Who was your favourite of the old-school British wrestling scene? Do you think the new British wrestling will be able to hold a candle to them and will you be watching the new show? Let us know all of your thoughts and memories on this classic sport in the comments as always!