That’s Just A Fact of Life: Pro Wrestling Facts and Stuff

Brian Damage

Who doesn’t love facts, stats and trivia questions revolving around pro wrestling…..errr I mean Sports Entertainment. Well if you do hate them, then this piece isn’t for you…at all. For everybody else, here is yet another round of this stuff. So sit back, relax and let’s learn!

The 1975 to 1986 version of the AWA world title was nicknamed “The Inmate title.” It was called this, because the belt was made inside an actual penitentiary by prisoners in Denver, Colorado in 1973/74. The inmate belt was held by wrestlers such as Verne Gagne, Otto Wanz, Jumbo Tsuruta, Rick Martel, Stan Hansen and Nick Bockwinkel. In fact, Bockwinkel had his own nickname for the belt, he called it “The Big License Plate” referring to where it was made.

The WWE has had over 351 pay per view and network specials since they entered that market. Kane leads all in pay per view matches with 172. It is the Undertaker, however, that has the most PPV victories with the “Dead Man” notching his 100th at WrestleMania 34.

Gerald Brisco is currently a talent scout for the WWE. Brisco has successfully scouted and turned a number of individuals into professional wrestlers during his years in the business. Brisco discovered Hulk Hogan at a local dive bar in the Tampa, Florida area where Hogan was playing the bass guitar for a local band called “Ruckus.” Brisco convinced Terry Bollea (Hulk) to give wrestling a try and guided him to Hiro Matsuda for training. He also scouted and eventually signed Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin.

For the weekend of April 27 – 29, three former or current WWE wrestlers have movies that are in the top 10 at the box office. Dave Bautista is currently number 1 with Avengers: Infinity War, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at number 4 with Rampage and John Cena at number 8 with Blockers.

According to Alicia Webb aka Ryan Shamrock, there were plans for Debra McMichael to be revealed as Shamrock’s biological mother. Those plans were thankfully scrapped.

Viscera was the first African American wrestler to win a title at Wrestlemania. Viscera won the WWF Hardcore title at WrestleMania 16 but only held the championship for a little less than seven minutes.

Brock Lesnar is the first wrestler in WrestleMania history to win a world title at a previous ‘Mania and successfully defend it on the next one.

A part-timer has main-evented WrestleMania for seven consecutive years.

Charlotte Flair is the first woman to main event Raw, Smackdown and a WWE pay per view (Hell in A Cell)

When Big Time Wrestling changed its name to World Class Championship Wrestling, it was not Fritz Von Erich who came up with the new name. It was a television producer named Mickey Grant who decided on the name World Class.

The original WCCW world title is on permanent display at a mall in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Von Erichs and World Class was extremely popular in Israel as WCCW was shown on Israeli TV.

Before Alexa Bliss became a star in the WWE, she was on the cover of ‘American Cheerleader’ magazine in 2008 as a 17-year-old.

In 1990, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura teamed up together for a possible television series for ABC creatively entitled: ‘Tag Team.’ It was a show about a couple of former pro wrestlers who would become cops. The pilot was not sold and the one episode eventually aired almost a year later in January of 1991.

Speaking of unsold television pilots, in 1984, Hulk Hogan co-starred in a pilot called ‘Goldie and the Bears.’ Hulk played a character named Mac Mckenna a former football player. Here is the synopsis for the show: Following the death of a former football player turned private investigator, his daughter, his former coach, and three of his players take over his PI business.

Before embarking on a career in pro wrestling, WWE announcer Byron Saxton aka Bryan Kelly was a traffic reporter for WJXT TV in Jacksonville, Florida.

Shinsuke Nakamura appeared in the Japanese version of the music video for Pharrell Williams song ‘Happy.’ He was one of two New Japan Wrestlers to have appearances in the video. The other was ‘The Rainmaker’ Kazuchika Okada.

Shinsuke Nakamura also faced off against Kurt Angle in Japan in a title unification match for the IWGP and IGF titles back in 2008. Nakamura defeated Angle to unify both championships.

In 1981/1982, Bret Hart would challenge Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA world title a couple of times when the AWA was touring Canada.

Dusty Rhodes’ WWF theme song “Common Man” was written and produced by Jimmy Hart.

The WWWF/WWF/WWE title is 55 years old. Bruno Sammartino held the title for 11 of those years. That means that Bruno held the title for over 20% of its history.

Female wrestling star, the late Penny Banner, once dated a young Elvis Presley.

Rob Van Dam initially made his WWF debut in 1987 at the age of sixteen. He was involved in a segment on WWF Wrestling Challenge with the ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted Dibiase. Just three years later, Van Dam would make his pro wrestling debut.

In 2012, Seth Rollins became the first ever NXT champion by defeating Jinder Mahal in the tournament finals. Jinder was already a main roster wrestler for over a year when he competed in this tournament.

Former WWE star Danielle Moinet was originally named ‘Kylie Summers’ before Dusty Rhodes stepped in and changed it to ‘Summer Rae.’

Puerto Rican wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Carlos Colon started his wrestling career here in the states under the name of Carlos Belafonte.

Move over Jim Ross, former TNA and Ring of Honor wrestler/valet ODB (One Dirty Bitch) has her own line of barbecue sauce.

Ron “R-Truth” Killings hosted a game show pilot in March of 2017. It was filmed and picked up as a series for late summer on the WWE Network. The name of the game show was never revealed because the pilot episode never aired. It was canceled due to cost-cutting measures.

The legendary promo on WCW Monday Nitro where Chris Jericho claimed he was the “Man of a 1,004 holds” (a parody of Dean Malenko’s Man of a thousand holds) was not from the mind of Chris Jericho or Eric Bischoff. The segment was the idea of none other than The Disco Inferno Glenn Gilbertti.

The Iconic Duo of Peyton Royce and Billy Kay attended the same high school in Australia called Westfields Sports High School. Billy Kay is three years older than Peyton Royce.

Koko B. Ware’s mascot “Frankie the macaw” was a big part of Ware’s gimmick for his time in the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980’s. Frankie remained with Koko after his WWF career ended. Frankie died tragically during a fire in Koko’s house in 2002.

Before the Road Warriors put on their trademark face paint, Mohawks and spiked shoulder pads, they were dressed as members of a biker gang.

WWE Hall of Fame personality Teddy Long was the in-ring referee for two tragic events in WWE history. He was the scheduled official for the match at Over the Edge when Owen Hart died from his fall. He was also the official in the match between Darren Drozdov and D-Lo Brown when Droz was paralyzed during the match.

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler was the booker in the Memphis territory in 1983 and was responsible for pairing Robert Gibson with Ricky Morton to form one of the all-time greatest tag teams called ‘The Rock N Roll Express.’

By winning the WWE United States title, Jeff Hardy becomes a Grand Slam champion and the only wrestler to win the WWF/E tag team, WCW tag team (WWE version) Intercontinental, Raw tag team, European, WWE championship, world heavyweight championship, Hardcore and Light Heavyweight titles.

Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard was digitally scanned to provide the look of Kratos in the new God of War video game. Gaspard also provided the hand to hand combat and fight scenes via motion capturing for the game.

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