Monday, February 23, 2009

In and Out the Wrestling Ring with BigBoyFloyd

The man knows as The Junkyard Dog was born Sylvester Ritter on Dec. 13, 1952. Before he got his start in pro wrestling, Ritter was a star football player at Fayetteville State University, earning honorable mention for the All-American team twice and a member of The Sports Hall Of Fame. After graduating college he was selected by the Green Bay Packers organization, but knee and back surgery ended his football career.

Ritter started wrestling in 1977, and in the early 1980's he moved to Mid-South Wrestling. Booker "Cowboy" Bill Watts gave him the name and gimmack Junkyard Dog, as he would wear a long chain attached to a dog collar, and white boots. He originally came to the ring pushing a cart filled with junk called the "junk wagon" and lost most of his early matches before his character caught on and became the top faces in the company. While on top he fueded with some of the top heels in the company, including a now infamous angle with the Fabulous Freebirds where they blinded him with hair cream. At the peak of the feud JYD's wife gave birth to their first child, and since JYD now couldn't see his new daughter it increased the heat on the Freebirds to the point where they needed police escorts in and out of arenas. The feud ended with (the still blind) JYD and Freebird leader Michael "P.S." Hayes wrestling in a dog collar match. Other notable fueds Junkyard Dog has in Mid-South were with Ted DiBiase, Kamala, King Kong Bundy, and Hacksaw Butch Reed. JYD was lured to the WWF at the peak of the feud with Reed.

Late in 1984, Ritter left Mid-South for the World Wrestling Federation, where he was still an over face. While in the WWF, JYD made a habit of interacting with the growing number of young people in attendance, often bringing them into the ring after matches and dancing with them. Ritter won The Wrestling Classic tournament, often cited as the first-ever WWF pay-per-view and his most notable feuds in the company came against King Harley race, the Funk Brothers, Adrian Adonis, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and "Outlaw" Ron Bass before he left the company late in 1988.

JYD would wrestle on and off until his untimely death in 1998. In 2004, his daughter, LaToya Ritter, represented her father as he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony held on March 14, 2004.

Got most of the information on Junkyard Dog from his wikipedia page, click here to check it out.

No comments: