Jerry Lawler's Memphis foes

Dutch Mantell

Old hands trade war stories about veteran grappler “Dirty” Dutch Mantell with the reverence and zeal normally reserved for folk heroes, pioneers and Bill Brasky.

Just how tough was the rugged bullwhip-carrying Yosemite Sam lookalike?  In 1985, Mantell took then–NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair to the limit in a Steel Cage Match, and a year later, he teamed with Jerry Lawler in a Tag Team Texas Death Match in Memphis, Tenn., that went an astounding 28 falls before the winning fall was counted. Mantell was a regular in "River City," though he also gained notoriety in territories such as Florida, Puerto Rico and WCW. (WATCH)

Mantell’s lone stint on WWE TV came in the mid-1990s when he managed a rookie Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, who would eventually go on to greater fame as JBL. JBL chose his company wisely: The sagacious Dutchman was instrumental in putting Superstars such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Ultimate Warrior and Sting on the map. – JOHN CLAPP