Saturday, February 24

Forgotten 1980s Wrestlers Everybody Loved

WWE would change professional wrestling forever in the 1980s. As Vince McMahon turned the sport into sports entertainment and turned the territories into popular culture, wrestling experienced a boom period. The AWA and NWA would compete with WWE for supremacy during the decade. As those promotions battled, unforgettable stars would rise to the top of the industry. Names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Nick Bockwinkel, Dusty Rhodes and the Road Warriors would reign supreme.


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With cable television and pay per view events, these stars would etch their place into the minds of fans. Yet, not every 1980s star became as memorable as the names listed above. Many stars would be loved during the decade, but forgotten as time moved on.


Corporal Kirchner: From Paratrooper To Forgotten Fan Favorite

Kirchner Won A Flag Match At WresleMania 2

Wrestling Career

Debut 1980

Last Match January 26, 2010

Major Accomplishments

Ranked 286 In PWI 500 1991

Famed Feud with Nikolai Volkoff

Corporal Kirchner would become a professional wrestler after meeting Hulk Hogan in a gym. The former paratrooper would be an enhancement talent in WWE during 1984, but eventually moved into his military gimmick. Many historians suggest that Corporal Kirchner’s gimmick was as a replacement for Sgt Slaughter, who left WWE for AWA. Kirchner’s American patriot gimmick would make him a babyface among the WWE fans in the 1980s. Kirchner would defeat Nikolai Volkoff (evil Russian gimmick) at WrestleMania 2 in a Flag Match.

Iceman King Parsons: From Gift Of Gab To Forgotten

Parsons Came To The Ring To We Are Family

Wrestling Career

Debut 1979

Last Match September 1, 2018

Major Accomplishments

249 of top 500 Wrestlers in the PWI Years (2003)

1x NWA American Heavyweight Champion

Iceman King Parsons brought as much charisma and attitude to the ring as any performer in the 1980s. Parsons routinely danced in the ring and used head butts and butt bumps just as routinely to excite the crowd. At 5’10 and 250 pounds, Parsons was compact and powerful. Parsons would be a popular babyface in the mid 1980s teaming up with the Von Erich brothers. Parsons popularity would drop when he turned heel in 1987 and battled the Von Erichs, Yet, at many points in the 1980s, Iceman Parsons was hugely popular, unfortunately the Iceman is only memorable to diehard fans.

Outback Jack: From Australian Bushman To Forgotten

Jack Was Brought In Due To The Success Of The Crocodile Dundee FIlms

Wrestling Career

Debut November 1986

Last Match May 15, 1988

Major Accomplishments

PWI listed as 371 out of 400 WWE wrestlers in 2003

Has Wrestling Action Figure

Outback Jack came to life in 1986 for WWE. Jack shot vignettes of him in the Australian countryside, drinking beer with cows. Jack would win most of his debut matches against WWE jobbers at the time (Barry O, Mike Sharpe, Steve Lombardi) but never had any notable wins against the mid carders of WWE. Jack wrestled a match with Greg Valentine May 15, 1988 and quickly departed WWE. Jack was a popular character, before just disappearing.

Superfly Afi: From Debuting Cousin To Bodyguard

Afi Would Be Burt Reynolds Bodyguard

Wrestling Career

Debut 1974

Final Match 1997

Major Accomplishments

PWI listed as 384 out of 400 WWE wrestlers in 2003

1x NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Champion

Samoan Sivi Afi would sign with WWE in 1986, yet he started wrestling in 1974, after 2 years of training with High Chief Peter Maivia. Before WWE, Afi would wrestle Ric Flair to a one hour time limit draw for the NWA World Title in Hawaii. In WWE he would be dubbed Superfly Afi, kayfabe cousin of Jimmy Superfly Snuka. Afi would start with a significant winning streak that included pinning Bret Hitman Hart. While an initial babyface, fans started to turn on Afi as the replacement for Jimmy Snuka. By 1988, he was teaming with Haku as part of the Islanders and would soon be forgotten from WWE history.

S.D. Jones: From Special Delivery To Unknown

Jones Wrestled 305 Times In 1984

Wrestling Career

Debut 1971

Last match 1995

Major Accomplishments

WWE Hall of Fame 2019

Wrestled At WrestleMania 1

Special Delivery Jones stood 6’1 and weighed 260 powerful pounds. SD Jones would be a WWE workhouse in the 1980s, wrestling on average 240 matches a year. Jones’ most famous (infamous) moment would be his 9 second squash lose to King Kong Bundy at the first WrestleMania. Jones would remain a mid card babyface throughout the 1980s. Jones wrestled his last WWE match in October 1990, losing to Iron Mike Sharpe at Madison Square Garden.

The Killer Bees: A Forgotten WWE Duo

Hulk Hogan Suggested the Killer Bees Combination As A Tag Team

Wrestling Career

Debut 1985

Disbanded 1994

Major Accomplishments

3x WrestleMania participants

UWF Tag Team Champions

Jumping Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair would form the Killer Bees in 1985. The Bees were a popular face tag team that feuded with the heel teams such as the Hart Foundation and Dream Team. The duo would wear masks and use a heel tactic (Masked Confusion) to get the upper hand or out right win matches. Masked Confusion would be popular with the fans, even if the babyfaces were cheating to accomplish it. The Killer Bees were an exciting Golden Era team, but many fans have forgotten them.

Jay Youngblood: Forgotten Second Generation Star

Youngblood Was Also Known As The Renegade in Jim Crockett Promotions

Wrestling Career

Debut 1975

Last Match 1985

Major Accomplishments

Wrestling Observer 1983 Tag Team of the Year (Ricky Steamboat)

Second Generation Wrestler (Ricky Romero)

Jay Youngblood had all the dynamics to be a memorable once in a lifetime professional wrestler. The second generation star took on a Native American gimmick that connected with fans. His tag team with the legendary Ricky Steamboat was both amazingly popular and yet ahead of its time during the 1980s.

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Youngblood was destined to have a major wrestling career until getting sick on a tour of Australia. Youngblood would suffer a series of heart attacks and pass away after being in a coma for 2 weeks. Jay Youngblood was only 30 years old.

Rockin Robin’: Forgotten Women’s Champion

Sister of Jake Roberts And Sam Houston

Wrestling Career

Debut 1986

Last match 1992

Major Accomplishments

1x WWE Women’s Champion

1x UWF Women’s Champion

Rockin Robin is a second generation superstar that joined WWE in 1987. By late 1988 she was the promotion’s women’s champion, defeating Sensational Sherri Martel. She would hold the title until she left the company in 1990. Robin would be a popular character in WWE, but due to their lack of attention to the women’s division, Robin has been forgotten by many fans. Her brother Jake Roberts, would tell Robin that she “killed” women’s wrestling when she left WWE in 1990. Robin would also be crowned the first UWF champion in 1991.

Uncle Elmer: Forgotten 1980s Giant

Member of WWE’s Hillbillies Stable

Wrestling Career

Debut 1960

Retired 1989

Major Accomplishments

2x CWA Superheavyweight Champion

1x NWA National Tag Team Champion (Ted DiBiase)

Uncle Elmer would find fame in professional wrestling during the 1980s as a simple-minded, square dancing, pig farmer in WWE. Uncle Elmer would legitimately marry his wife on Saturday Night’s Main Event 2 in October 1985. This was a big time television event at the time, with the NBC special scoring 8.3 in the ratings. Elmer also won a 12-second match against Jerry Valiant at the same event. Elmer would appear at WrestleMania 2, in a losing effort to Adorable Adrian Adonis and would leave the company after a loss on Saturday Night’s Main Event 6 to King Kong Bundy.

Tommy Rich: A Forgotten Legend That Is Still Wrestling

A Former NWA World Champion

Wrestling Career

Debut 1974

Still Active

Major Accomplishments

1x NWA World Champion

PWI Rookie of the Year (1978)

Wildfire Tommy Rich was a bright shining star in the 1980s. Coming off a PWI Rookie of the Year Award in 1978, Tommy would have a very memorable 1980s decade. On April, 27 1981, Rich would shock the world by winning the NWA Heavyweight Championship from Harley Race.

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While Race would win the title back 4 days later, Rich was cemented in the legacy of professional wrestling. Rich would continue to wrestle and win championships through the 1980s. Rich would team with Ricky Morton in WCW during the early 1990s, and that duo still teams today.

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