The Transition To The Steroid Era — World Champion Superstar Billy Graham
“The big cat,” Ernie Ladd; “Handsome” Harley Race! My two favorite wrestlers of all time. I forgot about how much as a kid I tried to develop an attitude like Ernie Ladd. I would ride around on my skateboard, announcing to everyone, that I was the big cat! Thanks to YouTube, I came to realize how great Harley Race was, even though I did not like him as much as a kid growing up (I see him as being what a man is supposed to be; a man’s man!). I see him as being a real tough guy who wanted to get into wrestling only to prove how tough he was (isn’t that what it is supposed to be about?). Today, I see most of the wrestlers wanting a six-pack, and afraid to say what’s really on their mind. It is so corporate, it’s pathetic! An example, is Harley Race, an old-school wrestler from the territories, confronting the “new steroid style” of wrestler that started becoming mainstream in the 80’s. The wrestler he confronted in the video is Superstar Billy Graham. In the interview, Superstar Graham confronts Harley Race from out of nowhere, while Race is giving an interview. Superstar proceeds to start flashing his huge steroid induced arms. I love it when Race says to him; “I don’t need that pumped up bologna, I’m a real man,” and said it rather calmly. Superstar waived his hand and walked away in discuss without saying a word.
That is exactly what I’m talking about. Wrestlers of the late 60’s and 70’s were easily tougher men than you see coming out of the curtains today; big fireworks, and glitzy, neon-colored clothes. Harley Race had an old school tattoo; no coloring, just black ink — he was tough! Today’s wrestlers are loaded up with colored tattoos and pumped up, steroid induced physiques. It is enough to want to make me puke! Ernie Ladd gave an interview where he called Chief Jay Strongbow a drunk Indian, and he called Manny Fernandez a “wetback.” He said he would beat all the black off “greezy” Bubba Douglas. Ernie happened to be a great black athlete. He was 5-time all-pro with the Chargers and Chiefs. Without a doubt, he was my favorite wrestler growing up. He was a proven great athlete, and you can tell in his younger matches that he moved like a great football player would. He ended up with bad knees when the 80’s rolled around.
Check Out Some Full Episodes Of Old School Wrestling On YouTube
As I said, I don’t seem to be alone in this thinking. If you look specifically at YouTube comments, for shows like CWF (Championship Wrestling From Florida), hosted by Gordon Solie, you will see nothing but mostly admirable comments from all people, young and old alike. But if you look at wrestling, post 2005 or so, you will see a lot of people that say that wrestling today is pathetic. That was another point I wanted to make; announcers like Gordon Solie used actual wrestling moves in their commentary: “high hip-toss”; “belly-to-belly suplex”; “catch as catch can wrestler”; “lockup – collar and elbow.” Those are just some of the phrases that lend credibility to the whole wrestling experience. I can remember vividly when I was a kid, attending the Tuesday night taping at the old Ft. Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa. Those were times I will never forget.