Freddie Blassie

Freddie Blassie
Real Name: Fred Blassie

Stats: 6' 0" 220 lbs.
Born: 1921

Some wrestlers choose to play a villain as a way of promoting their career, while others are forced to by their promoters. For Freddie Blassie, there was no question why he took on a villian's persona - he loved it. And the fans loved to hate him.

Blassie first gained notoriety by wrestling in the Navy, holding the 7th Naval Division championship. A few years later he began wrestling professionally, learning a great deal from those with greater skills and more experience until 1954 when he won the NWA Southern Heavyweight championship. Over the next six years, Blassie would reclaim that title 14 times while becoming the most hated wrestler in the Southeaster territory. Blassie employed every ruthless tactic and technique at his disposal to antagonize the fans and to brutally attack his opponents. His most feared and reviled weapons were his teeth, which he often claimed to file down to razor sharp points. Nicknamed the vampire, he would often use his fangs to rip open the forehead of an opponent.

Having struck fear into the hearts of his opponents and made an enemy of all of the fans in the southeast, Blassie set out in 1960 for the sunny skies of the west coast. His success was immediate as he captured the World Wrestling Alliance title in 1961. Blassie seemed to take his villianry to new heights once he arrived in California and created such a s buzz that the popularity of wrestling surged as spectators came in droves to see him defeated. More often than not, they went home unhappy as he won the WWA title several times, defeating such notable opponents as Edouard Carpentier, the Destroyer and the legendary Rikodizian. He also held the WWA tag team title with partners Mr. Moto and Buddy Austin. He was also a holder of the NWA American Heavyweight title on five occasions (including wins over BoBo Brazil and the original Sheik) as well as the Georgia Heavyweight championship and the innovative "Beat the Champ" television title. As if these accomplishments alone did not prove how tough and capable he was, Blassie also reigned as the NWA American Brass Knuckles champion for five straight years from 1969 to 1974.

Blassie, perhaps more than anyone before or after, seemed to thrive on gaining the hatred of the fans. With his wild-eyed, crazed look and with his razor-sharp fangs, Blassie attempted to either scare the fans to death or to drive them stark-raving mad. He was always successful at one or the other, often inciting the crowd to riot. On more than one occasion he was attacked by fans and was beaten, choked and even stabbed. In perhaps the greatest gauge of the rage he provoked from the crowds, a mob of irate fans, after one of his appearances, attacked Blassie's brand new Cadillac, turned it over and lit it on fire. Blassie, true to fashion, sneered at the actions of the "pencil-neck geeks."

Having conquered the southeast and west coast, as well as many of the Midwestern regions, Blassie decided it was time to take his act up north and moved to the Northeastern region, enteRing the WWWF. Classy Freddie Blassie retained the services of manager "Captain" Lou Albano and issued a challenge to all heavyweight competitors. He took Bruno Sammartino to the limit, almost defeating the world champion on several occasions and did the same later with then champion Pedro Morales. Unfortunately, after thirty years of wrestling, Blassie's kneed had worn out and he was forced to retire from active performing.

Rather than gracefully drift away into the background, Blassie turned to the role of manager, competing against Albano and the Grand Wizard of Wrestling for the services of the WWWF's top rulebreakers. Eventually he was able to put together a stable of "heel" wrestlers, including foreigners Mr. Fuji, Mr. Saito, Killer Khan, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkolff and Americans such as Jesse "the Body" Ventura and Adrian Adonis. Perhaps the most famous wrestler that he brought into the WWWF was a young heel named Hulk Hogan in 1979.

Blassie eventually retired from wrestling in 1986 as his health began to suffer but would often make appearances at gatheRing s and conventions and is now loved and respected by fans all over - and he probably hates every one of those "pencil-neck geeks."

For more biographical information on Classy Freddie Blassie,
check out the Ring Chronicle Hall of Fame
Tribute to Fred Blassie

Search Google for more info on Freddie Blassie



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