Icons of Wrestling #5 – The Red Rooster


Jamie LithgowRed Rooster

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 225 lbs
Hometown: Vero Beach, Florida
Years Active: 1988 – 1990
Fun Fact: At just 31 seconds The Red Rooster is owner of the seventh fastest Wrestlemania victory…. seriously, he is.

In the third quarter of 1988 legendary manager Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan claimed that he could manage anyone to a championship in the WWF. The fact that nobody in the Heenan Family actually held a title at this time was inconsequential; The Brain had a point to prove. The first person he saw after making these remarks must have been the recently debuted Terry Taylor, because that’s who he picked. Having only just made his debut Heenan decided that his new man’s name didn’t matter and that he was like a “little red rooster”. With nothing else to go with that was the name that announcers and commentators stuck with. Despite being an accomplished 10 year pro, The Rooster was a clumsy, rough around the edges rookie who needed Heenan to talk him through his matches. Sick of being belittled the Rooster turned babyface a few months later by slapping his manager upside the head after he had lost to wrestling legend The Brooklyn Brawler. Ignoring the chance to become Terry Taylor again, the babyface version of The Red Rooster set the WWF on fire. Adding the rooster strut and styling his hair to look like a rooster’s comb, the new good guy Rooster had Hulk Hogan shaking in his boots! However, unlike The Hulkster our man actually saw the benefit in putting others over; in fact Rooster would rarely take a win for himself. Having already achieved the highest of highs by defeating his nemesis Bobby Heenan at Wrestlemania 5, he would spend the rest of his days in the WWF kindly helping others by lying flat on his back in the middle of the ring, what a pro.

You can find all the pieces from the ‘Icons of Wrestling’ series here.


2 thoughts on “Icons of Wrestling #5 – The Red Rooster

  1. Man, people who talk about back gimmicks in 2013 need to read up on the Red Rooster, which was one of the dumber characters from the 1980s (and worse, Terry Taylor was a good worker). I wrote on my own blog recently about the origins of the Red Rooster name as told by John Layfield (more here if you’re interested: http://tinyurl.com/p3kvygw ). As a wrestler, I don’t think Taylor ever recovered from this gimmick.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bruce Pritchard to this very day, still defends the gimmick, saying it worked and that it specifically Tailored ( pun intended) to Terry Taylor’s real-life personality of being an arrogant, cocky guy. At least that’s what Vince felt at the time.
    Regardless, it really was a shitty gimmick, but hey it was the 80’s, that sort of thing happened a lot back then.

    Liked by 1 person

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