the world of professional heavyweight wrestling, there are
the "good guys" and the "bad guys."
Some of the latter group is "nasty bad," and others,
"dirty bad." Freddie
Blassie (B-13) is probably both rolled into one.
villains in recent years have quite reached the level of
the hatred that is held for Blassie. Most opponents could
do without him; most fans despise him. In fact, there was
once a poll which labeled Blassie as the most hated of all
reason for the fans hatred of Blassie is obvious.
For Fred, its not enough merely to vanquish an opponent.
He has said many times that he wants to send them to the
hospital. And on many occasions he has gotten his wish.
has now seen action in parts of four decades. But not all
of his ring experience has been in wrestling. For a while
back in the 1940s, he was considered a possible contender
for boxings heavyweight crown.
there was the Fred Blassie, the actor. As expected, Blassie
has always played the heavy in films and a number of television
shows. Back in the 50s, he appeared regularly
on such shows as I Love Lucy, Boston
Blackie, and Racket Squad. Later he
began to make the rounds of the many West Coast talk shows.
graduating high school in St. Louis, Blassie became a star
athlete at St. Louis University, where he was a five-letter
man. Then came a stint in the Navy where he won naval boxing
and wrestling crowns.
was primarily a boxer in the mid-forties, although warned
by some that his arms werent long enough to carry
him to the championship. It took a crude beating at the
hands of a Two-Ton Tony Galento in 1943 to finally
convince him that maybe the experts were right. Shortly
thereafter, he devoted his entire professional career to
back in the 1950s, Freddie
Blassie (B-61) was considered to be a "good guy."
He rarely resorted to dirty tactics, and hardly ever was
booed by the galleries.
then he noticed that it was the villains that were receiving
the bigger paychecks. It was then that Blassie dyed his
dark hair blond, and began changing his tactics. And hes
been the villain ever since.
spent most of his career in the South and Far West, generally
avoiding the Eastern arenas. Back in his younger days, he
held the Pacific Coast Belt, as well as the Texas, Florida
and Southern titles. In fact, no wrestler has held the Southern
crown longer than Blassie.
did come eastward later in his career, and a memorable match
Sammartino drew a packed house at Madison Square
Garden. The 21,000 fans were there for two reasons:
to cheer their beloved Bruno, and to boo the hated Blassie.
Needless to say, the crowd was in for a happy and
most recent share of the headlines came again on the West
Coast, where he and his long-time tag-team partner, Buddy
Austin, had developed a feud of feuds. It seems that
Blassie had accused his partner of chickening out in tight
spots, leaving him to be pounded by the opposition.
a fink," said Blassie, referring to Austin. "He
has never learned that in a tag team match, partners depend
on each other. I damned near got killed because he was too
scared to do what he was supposed to do."
was considered bad box office to break up the team, but
Blassie felt that he had something to prove. Consequently
a tag-team was arranged between Blassie and Thunderbolt
Patterson against Austin and Bobo
Brazil. The match was called a tag-team, but thats
not the way it wound up.
it was a grudge match between the two former teammates.
The two continued to claw at each other, until Blassie had
finally bloodied and disabled his opponent. Austin refused
to leave the ring until he had signed a contract for a return
bout. As far as the match that evening was concerned, Patterson
and Brazil felt that they had the best seats in the house.
has been Blassies calling card. Yet insiders realize
that he is still one of the most skilled matmen in the ring.
Under all that evil, has been a truly talented wrestler.
of Fame Wrestling, Fall, 1974, Myron Fass/Stanley R. Harris,
Publishers. HALL OF FAME series is published quarterly by
Modern Day Periodicals, Inc., 257 Park Avenue South, NY,
NY 10010. Copyright 1974 by Modern Day Periodicals, Inc.