So Long, Pencil-Neck – Pro wrestler Freddie Blassie dies at 85

OK, here’s where I lose some of you…

When I was a kid, Saturday night was “rasslin’ night.” After the 11:30 news, my dad would sit back in his recliner with some odd midnight snack and watch the WWF. Not the over-the-top, blow-your-head-off, superstar WWF of today…but cheesy, greasy, black-and-white TV brawls. You know. RASSLIN’!

I wasn’t a big fan of it (especially in my teen years when I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live like all the cool kids), but it was one of those “Dad” moments that has stuck with me. It would be so cool to sit with him one more time and yell at Fred Blassie, Chief Jay Strongbow, the Grand Wizard of Wrestling and Captain Lou Albano, while gnoshing on some sardines or Vienna sausages, some reeeeeally sharp cheddar cheese, some crackers (Ritz or saltines) and milk. That’s not something I would have bet on missing several years ago, that’s for sure!

For those of you who remember rasslin’ (or the curious few who are still trying to figure out why I am the way I am), check out the photos and bios at The Professional Wrestling Online Museum.

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7 Responses to So Long, Pencil-Neck

  1. gnome-girl says:

    wow you’re old! *ducks*


  2. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Nicely done. I, too, remember those Saturday nights. What most people don’t realize (and maybe you don’t, either, Solly) is that we were watching Vince McMahon, Jr., get his feet wet in the business. His dad, Vince, Sr., owned and ran the WWWF at that time (when you and I were lad’s) and when his son wanted to get into the biz, his dad made him go to the furthest, most remote part of his territory to learn the business from the ground up, to see if he really wanted to do it that badly. That was, of course, Bangor, Maine. Setting up the rings, making all of the arrangements at The Auditorium, taping the promo’s that were localized, referring to the next time that they would be comng to Bangor. So while it seems completely natural that we grew up watching Vinnie Mac all the time on wrestling, that wasn’t the case for everyone in those days… Crazy stuff, in retrospect. And Classy Freddie Blassie was one of the great heels, someone a young boy could get caught up in cheering against. RIP, Mr. Blassie.

  3. Scott says:

    Chief Jay Strongbow! Hee! Ahh, those were the days. Sorry to hear that Fred Blassie has passed on.

    Kids today, they have no idea what we watched, back in the day, and in black and white!

  4. Tracy says:

    Wow…that sure took me back to my own childhood, when I used to watched my brothers jump up in the air to land on one another’s tracheas. *big sigh* Dusty Rhodes! I can almost picture them now, cutting off each other’s air supply while my Dad laid out in his recliner, hammered by cheap beer and Bloody Mary’s. Such is the life of an ACOA.

  5. hoopty says:

    He sure was classy. I’m gonna go with Pepper Gomez and Pat Patterson. Two of my favs.

  6. Nobody Expects the Carnival of the Vanities!!

    Fetch the comfy chair!!! And when I say you’ll need the comfy chair, I am being totally serious. I…

  7. Tiger says:

    In my house it was just the opposite. I would be watching rasslin’ and be hoopin’ and hollerin’ about one or another of the Funk boys whoopin’ on one or another of the Von Erick boys when my dad would come in and say, “What are you watchin’ that for, it is all fake.” NO WAY! Well, my dad decided to buy some front row tickets for the Friday night Sportatorium event, and he was right. It was FAKE! This one guy gets tossed out of the ring and goes back in with a folding chair, and right in front of me brings it down on his opponent’s head, only he never got close. Of course, he stomped his foot really hard and the opponent grabbed his head and fell to the floor. “Dad, I am ready to go.” I never watched rasslin’ again.

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