Mudcat Café message #2206806 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106708   Message #2206806
Posted By: catspaw49
02-Dec-07 - 10:53 AM
Thread Name: BS: Wrestling in the 50/60/early 70ties
Subject: RE: BS: Wrestling in the 50/60/early 70ties
I dunno' how you can talk about the early days of "Big Time Wrestling" without mentioning Gorgeous George. Before there was Buddy Rogers or Ric Flair, leading the way for an entire crop of over-the-top characters, there was Gorgeous George. He perfected his act before there was TV and when TV came along he was ready. Oh gawd he was ready. The outrageous robes and tights, entrance music, rose petals spread at his feet, the bright blonde curly hair, his valets and attendants spraying down the ring, refs, and opponents with his Chanel "No.10".............he was totally outrageous and he heralded in the gimmick wrestlers unlike the many at the time who considered themselves "serious" wrestlers.

A lot of pro football players wrestled back then as well. Pro ball didn't pay all that well and most players had off season jobs. Alex Karras for instance toured with Dick the Bruiser.

There were a few tragic cases as well. After being re-tried, found not guilty, and released from prison after 10 years, Dr. Sam Sheppard had no success in trying to re-enter his former life as a Doctor.   Already in his mid forties he got into pro wrestling. He was also strung out on drugs. He married the teenage daughter of his "manager" but died soon thereafter. Nothing in there for the State of Ohio to be proud of.

I too watched back then for the entertainment, but I really got hooked on it in the early 80's, fascinated by the spectacle. I would have loved to write the scripts! Watching the crowds became my main focus. I have said here before that if I were going to write a masters thesis in Sociology I would do it on the lockstep rise and decline of Big Time TV wrestling and Big Time TV religion. I think they may have shared a sizable portion of the same audience.