Matt Striker's Wrestling Lesson of the Week for 10/5/07
Students, I shake my head in pity at all of you. I have received more than 2,000 e-mails, and it seems to me that many of you don't understand a thing that I say or do to try and help you!
Many of you sent e-mails saying, "How can you forget this person for this letter?" THIS IS NOT A "BE ALL END ALL" LIST! I have chosen specific names due to their obscurity or relevance. (Read part one and part two now.)
I did not "forget" Bret Hart or Hulk Hogan for the letter "H," but they are obvious -- something that you apparently all need, otherwise you are lost.
Secondly, as for your assignment for the letter "O," I was not a loss for an "O" nickname, but I felt that prompting you to do research on your own would be beneficial to you. I already know these things, folks; it is my job to impart wisdom onto you!
I received many great answers for "O" nicknames, most of them being "Outlaw" Ron Bass and "One Man Gang" related, but the best "O" nickname of them all was: "Ox" Baker.
As a lad growing up in parts unknown, Ox used to frighten me whenever he came upon the TV screen or leapt off the pages of a wrestling magazine. The master of the heart punch is truly a legend.
Here is some trivia: Which current WWE Superstar employed the heart punch in his arsenal at the beginning of his career BEFORE arriving in WWE?Contact the Extreme Educator
While I am afraid my efforts are futile, let us continue with GREAT WRESTLING NICKNAMES:
S - The letter "S" can provide us with hours of options from "Superstar" to "Stunning" to "Stone Cold." The letter "S" is arguably the most used letter in nickname history. I choose "Sensational" as the choice for this letter for the woman it represents so well. Sherri Martel has appeared on this list earlier under "Q," but she deserves double billing. With respects to the ladies of the 1950s, Sherri Martel took women's wrestling to new heights throughout the 1980s and beyond. Women's wrestling would not be what it is today with so many talented and beautiful athletes if it were not for Sherri Martel.
T - The letter "T" is a difficult letter to analyze due to the many nicknames that start with the word "The": The Heartbreak Kid, The Phenom, The Game, The Modern Day Warrior, and so on. Therefore, we will attempt to go to the class again and have YOU, my students, come up with your choices for a "T" nickname. NOT because I cannot think of any, but because I challenge you to do so.
U - Quite simply one of the most descriptive and fearful nicknames of our time, Undertaker is not really a nickname; it is more of a description. Before you lambaste me for leaving arguably the greatest wrestler of all time off the list, let me preface it by saying that his name is not a nickname, so do not e-mail crying about it.
An example of a nickname using the letter "U" would be "Ugandan Giant." A description for one of the most unorthodox wrestlers of any generation, Ugandan Giant Kamala spearheaded his way into wrestling history with great wars with the likes of Jerry Lawler and the aforementioned Undertaker. His signature belly slap is still used to identify this mammoth beast.
Another good "U" name belongs to the "Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz. A WWE Hall of Famer, Johnny entertained crowds throughout the 1970s and ‘80s with his vicious style and uncanny ability to react to a crowd. Probably Johnny's greatest accomplishments came as a trainer where he was responsible for giving the wrestling world names such as Tommy Dreamer, Tazz, Bill DeMott and, yes, Matt Striker. The wrestling world owes a debt of gratitude to the Unpredictable one.
V - Dare we need an explanation on this? It is more than a nickname; it is a letter and a symbol of something much different and much larger. It can and will mean only one thing: Big...Daddy...V!!!
W - This letter takes us all the way back to a legend who has not been duplicated: "Whipper" Watson. A great technician and genuine tough guy, the likes of Watson has not been repeated since his heyday. I implore you to do some research. E-mail me a fact or two about this great wrestling legend.
X - This is an interesting letter and I am sure I will get e-mails referencing X-Pac and others, but when one thinks of the letter "X," we cannot help to think of the lineage of great masked men known as Dr. X!
At any given time a hooded heathen with this moniker could show up and throw an entire wrestling landscape into disarray. No one knows where these men came from or where they went after, but we all knew that when a Dr. X showed up on the scene, there was surgery to be done.
Y - Coming to the end of this great session, we happen upon the letter "Y." As a child, I recall watching one of the last great wrestling territories fight for its existence. The World Class area in Texas, which gave us great wrestling names such as Michael Hayes and JBL, was one of the last bastions of a wrestling time forgotten.
One man who diligently fought to the bitter end for the heart of World Class Championship Wrestling was "Yellow Rose of Texas" Eric Embry.
Embry battled the likes of Scandor Akbar and countless others until that fateful night where he bled all over the Dallas Sportatorium in a valiant effort to save wrestling history. Somewhere in the great state of Texas, Embry's blood has dripped into the soil and blowing in the warm Texas wind waves a single yellow rose…
Z - Finally, we come to the letter "Z." I must say I have had a ball recalling all these great wrestling nicknames and I am fully aware that there are countless others. Perhaps we can do this theme again. Until then, I leave you with one of the most recognizable Z nicknames in wrestling: "Z-Man" Tom Zenk.
A charismatic, handsome, young man, Zenk was popular in the World Wrestling Federation as well as NWA, capturing numerous tag team titles with the likes of Rick Martel and others. Zenk was a hit with the ladies for his good looks as well as wrestling fans across the globe for his potent dropkicks and unmatched charisma. (Sounds like me.)
Students, look these people up. They are integral parts of this great sport that I have the privilege of being a part of now.
All my life, I have been a fan and I will never stop loving this sport more than anything in the world (with the exception of my faith). Wrestling was shown to me by my father and still remains a bond between he and I to this day.
Love this sport for what it is and what it can do for you. Whenever you need a smile, wrestling will always be there. As will I, Matt Striker...your teacher!
Look at the stars.
They are the same stars as last week.
When we were kids.
When we weren't even born.
In a hundred years, no one may ever know who we were...
They'll know those same stars.