Category: Wrestling

Where are They Now? Remembering the WWF Wrestlers From the 80s

Remembering the craziest, funniest, coolest, and cheesiest wrestlers of the 80’s. Here’s what they’re up to now.

Many of them will never be forgotten. Some of them will. They are the WWF wrestlers of the 80’s. Many of them transformed the wrestling federation into a dynamite entertainment spectacle. Many of them are remembered for their wrestling techniques, and many of them are remembered for their strange gimmicks, humorous catchphrases, or unforgettable sidekicks. Here’s a trip down memory lane to remember these old school wrestlers and to find out what they’re up to now.

Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan, born in 1953 as Terry Gene Bollea , has been in the wrestling spotlight since the beginning of the 80’s. He is a twelve-time world champion and in 2005 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

In the 1980’s, Hogan transformed the wrestling industry into a primetime sports entertainment spectacle for people of all ages and backgrounds. His grand entrances and theme songs such as “Eye of the Tiger”, grabbed the attention of people all around the world. He was portrayed as a real-life superhero in the eyes of his younger fans. Hogan was featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, and People magazines, while also appearing on The Tonight Show and co-hosting Saturday Night Live.

Although his roots are still with wrestling, Hogan is focusing more on television roles. He now has his own reality show, called “Hogan Knows Best”, which focuses on his own family life. In addition, he now hosts the comeback series “American Gladiators”.

Other past acting gigs include roles on Rocky III, No Holds Barred, The A-Team, Walker, Texas Ranger, and others.

Andre the Giant

Read more in Wrestling
« Wrestling Trivia 3
Learning to Understand »

Andre the Giant, born André René Roussimoff in 1946 in France,began wrestling professionally in his late teens. He made his WWF debut in 1973 and remained with the federation until 1991. He was the first to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He was one of the most famous professional wrestlers of the 70’s and 80’s and was loved by audiences and fans all over the world.

Andre was of course best known for his great size. He stood over 7 feet tall, and weighed over 300 pounds at the beginning of his career. By the end of his career he had reached a whopping 540 pounds. Andre also had an abnormally large wrist, at 13″, which is indicative of overall bone structure.

Supposedly he went 15 years without a loss by pinfall or submission before being pinned by Hulk Hogan in 1987 at WrestleMania III In 1986, André won a twenty-man battle royal that featured top NFL stars and wrestlers.

By the late 1980’s the disease that granted him his immense size started to take its toll on his body. André was in constant, near-crippling pain, and his heart struggled to pump blood throughout his massive body. When he was not in front of a camera, he was usually in a wheelchair. .André died in his sleep on January 27, 1993, in his Paris hotel room. He was in France to attend the funeral of his father. André’s body was cremated in accordance with his wishes and his ashes scattered at his ranch in Ellerbe, North Carolina.

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

The’ Macho Man’ Randy Savage, born Randall Mario Poffo in 1952 in Columbus, Ohio, made his WWF debut n 1985. Savage became instantly known by wrestling fans for his distinctively deep, husky voice, colorful attire (often comprised of sunglasses and a bandanna, gaudy robes and/or a cowboy hat), and his catch phrase “Oooh, yeah!”For much of his tenure in the WWF, he was managed by his real life wife, “Miss Elizabeth” Hulette.

Macho Man was a two-time WWF champion and a four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

Savage later became known for his rivalry with Hulk Hogan, after accusing Hogan of sleeping in Elizabeth’s bed during a road trip. Savage and Elizabeth were divorced on September 18, 1992. Savage and Hogan reportedly have a strained relationship to this day.

In 2005, Savage reported he was unable to wrestle any longer due to health concerns.

He also reported that he will star in the next season of of VH1’s The Surreal Life along with Playboy Playmate Tina Marie Jordan and rock musician Peter Steele. VH1 has not released the official cast list yet.

In 2003, Savage released a hip hop album titled: Be a Man. The album features a tribute to wrestler and friend Curt Hennig and the title track which mocks former friend Hulk Hogan.

His former wife Elizabeth Hulette was found dead in the home of professional wrestler Lex Luger on May 1, 2003 from a drug overdose.

Jake’ the Snake’ Roberts

Jake “the Snake” Roberts was born Aurelian Smith, Jr. in 1955. His nickname comes from being thin and snake-like. He often would slide into and out of the ring on his belly under the bottom rope. By the time he reached the WWF in 1986, Roberts was bringing a huge, live Burmese Python, named Damien, to ringside in a canvas bag. After executing a DDT, Roberts would coil the constrictor around the opponent’s neck, and the snake would slither around on top of the fallen wrestler, sometimes appearing to strangle him.

Roberts made his initial WWF debut in 1986. He later left in 1992, but then returned again in 1996. He was always known for his dark charisma, his extensive use of psychology in his matches, and has been credited for inventing the DDT, though that has been challenged. He is also credited with training wrestlers and teaching wrestling psychology to famous wrestlers Steve Austin and the Undertaker.

Jake “the snake” is still involved with professional wrestling today. However, his long bout with alcoholism and drug abuse has caused him some troubles over the years. In December, 2007, the WWE placed him in a nine-week rehab program.

The Ultimate Warrior

The Ultimate Warrior (born Brian James Hellwig in 1959) was a WWF superstar from the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s and was known for entering the ring at full speed and violently shaking the ropes up and down with extreme energy. He was also known for the distinctive patters of face paint.

His tenure at the WWF was characterized by several feuds with the federation owner, Vince McMahon.

The Ultimate Warrior had three runs with the WWF. His WWF debut was in 1987 and continued until 1991. He left in 1991 over a pay dispute with owner, Vince McMahon. He then returned to the WWF, as Dingo Warrior, in 1992. Rumors began that Dingo Warrior was not the original Ultimate Warrior and that the original Ultimate Warrior had died. These rumors were shown on several occasions not to be true. The Ultimate Warrior left WWF, again, in late 1992 after yet another feud with the federation, this time over the legal rights to the name “Ultimate Warrior”. The WWF cited steroid use as the reason for firing the Ultimate Warrior from the WWF.

In 1996, he returned again. This time the WWF fired him for taking time off to grieve his father’s death. McMahon stated that the Ultimate Warrior didn’t have a close relationship with his father and hasn’t seen him in over ten years. Warrior claimed that the real reason why he was a no-show to the WWF events was a breach of contract by McMahon.

In 1993, Jim Hellwig legally changed his name to Warrior in order to retain the legal rights to use the name outside of the WWF. His children carry the Warrior name as their legal surname

In 1996, Warrior a comic book entitled ‎WARRIOR, featuring himself as the main character. The comics sold well in the first two months. The sales slowed and the book was taken out of circulation in early 1997.

After officially retiring from professional wrestling in 1999, Warrior began a new career as a conservative speaker and commentator, denouncing left-wing politics. Specifically, he has made comments against homosexuality, stating that “the human race would die out if everyone were a homosexual.”

Brett “Hitman” Hart

Bret Sergeant Hart, aka Brett “Hitman’ Heart, was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1957. Known for his fluid technical skills and agility and for his ability to create tense and entertaining matches, he is thought to be one of the most popular and gifted technical professional wrestlers of his generation.

>Hart was a seven-time world champion through his career in World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Federation. In 2006, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He was also placed in the top five best technical wrestlers of all time.

He made his first televised WWF debut in August 1984. In 1985, he partnered up with Jim Neidhart to build the tag team known as The Hart Foundation. The partnership lasted a few years but eventually split up.

Hart wrestled with most of WWF’s infamous wrestlers. Notable opponents include his brother, Owen Hart, and wrestling legend Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hart also had an on-air rival, “announcer” Vince McMahon, who at the time was being exposed as the owner of WWF.

Hart retired from professional wrestling in 2000.

On June 23, 2002, Hart suffered a major stroke after hitting his head in a bicycle accident. He suffered total paralysis on his left side, which required months of physical therapy. He has since recovered much of his mobility and is in good health.

In late 2007, Hart released an autobiography, titled Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. The book is an honest look into the world of wrestling as he describes in detail the chronic abuse of drugs and alcohol he witnessed during his tenure. He also discusses his own infidelities and personal struggles. The book reached number one on the Globe & Mail bestseller list.

Ravishing Rick Rude

Ravishing Rick Rude, born Richard Erwin Rood in 1958, was known for his over-confidence and arrogance in the WWF. Before a match he would make a show of removing his robe while running down the males in the crowd. After a successful match he would kiss a girl from the audience. On one occasion, he tried to get Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ real-life wife, Cheryl, to comply, which upset Roberts. On another memorable occasion Rude came to the ring with a picture of Cheryl stenciled on the front of his tights. A furious Roberts charged the ring and stripped Rude naked (he appeared as naked to TV viewers but was in fact wearing a thong).

Rude departed from WWF in October 1990 to later enter the WCW (World Championship Wrestling). After injuring his back during a fight in 1994, Rude did not return to wrestling until 1997. He came back to the WWF as an “insurance policy” and assisted with several sneak attacks on The Undertaker. Rude was not signed to a full-time contract with WWF, he was performing on a “pay-per-appearance”. Later that year he departed to return to the WCW.

In 1999, Rude died at the age of 40 after suffering heart failure. An autopsy report showed he died from an overdose of “mixed medications.” At the time of his death, he was planning on opening a wrestling school in Rome, Georgia, where he and his family resided.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, born James Stuart Duggan in 1954, is best known for his gimmick as an American patriot with his favorite weapon, the 2×4.

Duggan was signed to the World Wrestling Federation, in 1987. He was the winner of the first Royal Rumble in 1988.

Although he did not win any major titles in the seven years, he was a consistent fan favorite with his patriotic gimmick. His character was mainly comical, as he rarely was in major contention for titles.

Duggan left the WWF and signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1994. During his employment with WCW, Duggan was diagnosed with kidney cancer. His real-life struggle with the disease was very public and his comeback to wrestling after fighting off the ailment was a triumphant.

Duggan is still wresting. He returned to the WWE in 2005.

The British Bulldogs

The British Bulldogs were the team of cousins Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid who joined the WWF in 1984. They are considered one of the top tag-teams of all time.

Their first and probably most well known feud was with the Hart Foundation. . In 1987, the British Bulldogs lost the titles to the Hart Foundation in a match that saw Dynamite Kid so debilitated that he was carried to the ring by Davey Boy Smith. They left the federation for a while. When they returned to the WWF, they had a real live bulldog, Matilda. They quit the federation in 1988 as a result of backstage altercations between Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau.

After leaving the WWF, the Bulldogs returned to their old “home” in Stampede and also resumed touring with the AJPW (All Japan Pro Wrestling), but years of steroid abuse made them too large and Dynamite Kid’s back injury limited his movement. In 1990, Davey Boy Smith abruptly withdrew the Bulldogs from AJWP by returning to the WWF, fabricating a lie that Dynamite was in a serious car accident and couldn’t compete. Dynamite went on to form the British Bruisers with the AJWP but the years of steroid abuse, working a high-impact style and cocaine usage caught up with the Dynamite Kid.

In 2002, Davey Boy Smith died of a heart attack while vacationing in Invermere, B.C. Dynamite Kid is now confined to a wheelchair.

WWE – Music for the Masses

WWE Music and the importance of it

Music is a way to communicate with people. It’s a way to get the audience pumped up. A wrestler’s theme song is an extension of their characters and a way for them to help connect to their audiences. The World Wrestling Entertainment uses a huge variety of music, and not just in their Superstars and Diva’s entrance music, but in a way to sell a Pay-Per-View, a way to pay tribute to some one special. I want to take a look at some of the contributers to the music in the WWE as well as some talents own mixes.

Jim Johnston is the musical genius behind hundreds of WWE superstars and diva’s entrance music. He’s been working in the WWE since the 1980’s and has composed themes for The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, and the theme to the 1988 movie No Holds Barred, starring Hulk Hogan. Johnston began his career working for MTV and VH-1 creating bumpers and commercial cues. He has admitted to suffering from stage fright as well as a fear of live audiences. Johnston is still pumping out some of the awesome theme songs for the superstars and divas, and producing the WWE’s many soundtracks for the fans.

Selective Discography For Jim Johnston

  • The Wrestling Album -1985
  • Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2 -1987
  • WWF Full Metal -1996
  • WWF Aggression -2000
  • WWF The Music Vol. 5 – 2001
  • WWF Forcible Entry -2002
  • WWE Anthology -2002
  • WWE Originals – 2004
  • WWE Theme Addicts: Vol. 6 – 2004
  • WWE Wreckless Intent -2006
 Another master of the wrestling themes is a man that everyone knows and loves. A man who not only worked as a manager of many successful staples in wrestling history, but he also started off in his own band, The Gentry’s. Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart has composed many of the 80’s superstars theme music. He worked on the Honky Tonk Man’s, Shawn Michaels, Bret Harts, Legion of Dooms, The Fabulous Rougeaus, Hulk Hogans and many more. The Gentry’s had a million selling record with “Keep On Dancing” from the 1960’s. Jimmy Hart was inducted in the 2005 WWE Hall of Fame.

Another one of the talented musicians in the wrestling family is RAW’s ring announcer, the lovely Lillian Garcia. She has recorded Torrie Wilson’s theme for the WWE Anthology album in 2002, and has also recorded a song for the WWE Originals album in 2004. She is often singing the American National anthems at the beginning of shows. I have actually even seen her sing the Canadian National Anthem at a RAW a few years back, and I have to say, she could have out done any other Canadian musician Her voice is full of power and emotion. After September 11th, Lillian sang an emotional rendition of the American National anthem at the September 13th edition of SmackDown. She is also currently working on her own album which will hopefully be released this year. Lillian has worked along side Latin recording artist Jon Secada, as well has co-wrote songs with writer Meridith Brooks. To check out more on Lillian check out her website;

Jeff Hardy has a unique sound all his own. After leaving the WWE in 2003 he worked with the band Burnside 6 and together formed the band Peroxwhy?gen alongside fellow wrestler Shannon Moore. A band with a unique sound, a mix of punk and electronica. While working in TNA, Jeff Hardy used his own music as his entrance theme called “Modest”. The song is an original mix, just like the wrestler himself. Peroxwhy?gen currently has their own myspace page.

Amy Dumas, formally known to the wrestling world as Lita, has her own musical project, a band called the Luchagors. You can check out this aspiring Punk band on myspace. They are currently working on their first CD. Good luck to Amy!

You can’t mention wrestling and music without mentioning Fozzy. Former WWE superstar, Chris Jericho is the front man of a heavy metal band. They have a total of 3 albums, the first one mostly covers, the second one a mixture of covers and their own music, and the third album is completely their music alone. I personally own all three Fozzy Cds and they are some of my favorites. Chris Jericho left the WWE to ncentrate on outside projects, including Fozzy, as well as acting. Chris Jericho and Fozzy have their own MySpace pages.

And what list would be complete without the current WWE Champion, John Cena. On May 10, 2005, the first CD of John Cena was released. “You Can’t See Me” debut on the Billboard Charts at Number 15, and at number 3 on the rap charts. The album released three singles, “Bad Bad Man”, “Right Now”, and “The Time Is Now”. Also the song “If It All Ends Tomorrow” was featured in Cena’s first ever movie, The Marine. Despite the fact that his talent in the ring suffers greatly, his musical ability shows greater promise.

Many well known names in music have contributed in the entrance and Pay-Per-View music. Artist like, Lil Kim, P.O.D., 3 Six Mafia, Boy Hits Car, Finger Eleven and Eighteen Vision all contribute to a long list of outstanding musicians. All songs are still written and composed by Jim Johnston.

Many bands have contributed multiple times. Saliva, Motorhead, Drowning Pool, are among the top contributers.

Saliva was first heard back in 2000 when they lent their song “Click Click Boom” for the WWE Pay-Per-View “Unforgiven”. Then they not onlygot to share their sond “Always” for the WrestleMania 18 theme with Drowning Pool, they also performed live at the event in Toronto. When the album, WWF Forcible Entry came out in 2002, Saliva lent their voices and musical talent to perform the new song for the Dudley Boyz, called “Get The Tables”. It didn’t stop there with entry themes as recently as 2006 when reckless Intent came out had them doing Batista’s entrance music, “I Walk Alone”. At “Unforgiven” in 2004, their song, “Survival of the Sickest” was the Pay-Per-View theme. This year at WrestleMania 23, Saliva has tag teamed once again with the WWE to promote their new album, “Blood Stained Love Story” with the song “Ladies and Gentlemen” as the theme song.

In February 2003, a brand new band was featured for the No Way Out Pay-Per-View in Montreal. Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” was the first band the WWE promoted who had a female lead singer, Amy Lee. Shortly after this Pay-Per-View, Evanescence boomed all over the air waves, and quickly became one of the top selling bands of this era. Although they only lent that one song to the WWE, Evanescense was well worth the mention.

Another multiple-contributer band is Drowning Pool. With the use of the bands break-out song “Bodies” used for the theme to the 2000 Summer Slam Pay-Per-View in Raleigh, North Carolina, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley’s theme during the Invasion year, and now it is currently the new ECW opening song. Their song “Sinner” was the theme song to the December Pay-Per-View, Vengence. In 2002 on the Forcible Entry CD, Drowning Pool did a cover of Motorhead’s “The Game”, which was the theme song for Triple H. That same year at WrestleMania 18 they shared the stage with Saliva performing their song “Tear Away”. Two years later they contributed again at WrestleMania 20 with “Step Up”. Currently the band supplies the WWE with SmackDown’s opening theme song, “Rise Up”.

Thanks to Randy Orton, the band Mercy Drive made and impact in 2004 when they supplied the music “Away” for a tribute video for Orton after he won the World Championship in Toronto. The band is currently doing Orton’s theme song “Burn In My Light”.

You can’t talk about music of the WWE without mentioning this legendary band, Motorhead. At WreslteMania 17 in the Houston Astrodome, Motorhead performed Triple H’s theme, “The Game” live while Triple H walked to the ring. When Triple H recruited one legend, and two rookies to form the faction “Evolution”, there was no one better to perform the theme song “Line In The Sand” then Motorhead. That theme song is one of the best WWE theme songs in history. That ticking of the clock always indicated that Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton were on their way to the ring to cause trouble. At WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, Triple H’s entrance became a questionable yet highly talked about part of 2006. He entered the event clad in a Conan The Barbarian type get up, complete with him perched on a throne. Motorhead supplied the new, kick ass theme song approperately titled “King Of Kings”.

Kid Rock has also supplied nuerous pieces of his music. The Undertaker used Rocks’ “American Bad Ass” in 2000 when he returned from a lengthy hiatus at Judgment Day. The music helped “Taker morph his image from the dead man to the biker bad ass that closely resembles the real Mark Calloway. Kid Rock”s song “Cocky” was the Pay-Per-View theme for The Royal Rumble in 2003. Stacy Keibler also used his cover of the ZZ Top classic, “Legs”. One of the best historical video packages that played tribute to the ever changing WWE was a series of emotionally charged momentes througout the years of the WWWF/WWF/WWE done to Kid Rock’s “Lonely Road Of Faith”.

There has just been so many incredible bands and artist who have contributed over the years. Rob Zombie contributed “Feels So Numb” for a Pay-Per-View and “Never Gonna Stop” for Edge’s theme song. Other bands who also deserve an honorable mention are:

  • Finger Eleven – Kane
  • Our Lady Peace – Chris Benoit/Jeff Hardy Tribute
  • Lil Kim – Trish Stratus
  • Naughty By Nature – Shane McMahon
  • KillSwitch Engage – CM Punk
  • Alterbridge – Edge
  • Marilyn Manson – The SmackDown theme/Tribute to the Brother’s of Destruction
  • The Union Underground – RAW Theme
  • Papa Roach – Current RAW Theme
  • Fozzy – No Way Out
  • ShineDown – WrestleMania
  • Peter Gabriel – WrestleMania
  • Limp Bizkit – Undertaker/WrestleMania
  • Creed – tribute videos
  • Garbage – Torrie Wilson
  • No Doubt – Diva’s Tropical Pleasure UPN Special
  • Sheryl Crow – Trish Stratus

Thanks to the World Wrestling Entertainment, my music tasts have broadened. I was introduced to so many awesome bands in the 21 years I have been a fan. It will forever keep changing. With the promotional tool that the WWE hs become, many up and coming artists could sky rocket to stardom with this incredible company behind them. The music that we hear each week on television or in person, gets our heart pumping and our excitement bursting to get out. So whether it’s the first few bars of Jeff Hardy’s music, or the “You Think You Know Me’ just before Edge bursts through the steam, you anticipate your favorite superstars. I guarantee you, the next time you are watching wrestling, (especially TNA) muted on your television, you will find that your heart doesn’t pound quite the same.