Greatest Wrestlers of all time
John Cena Tags: greatest wrestler all time john cena word life production new quality entertainment

Professional wrestler John Cena took home the United States WWE Championship, defeating The Big Show in March 2004 in Wrestlemania XX.

John Cena was born April 23, 1977, in West Newbury, Massachusetts. Calling himself "The Prototype," he captured the UPW title in 2000. In 2001 he signed a contract to work at Ohio Valley Wrestling. He captured the OVW heavyweight title in February 2002, then made his WWE debut that June. Two years later, he took the United States Championship. Since then he has notched many wins and titles.

At an early age, Cena showed a passion for sports and working out. By the time he was 15 he was a regular gym rat and, after graduating high school, Cena headed off to Springfield College in Massachusetts to study exercise physiology and prove his worth on the football field. At Springfield, Cena turned himself into a Division III All-American offensive lineman and team captain.

In 2000, the new college graduate left the Bay State despite his father's wishes, seeking a new life in California as a body builder. It wasn't an easy transition for the 6-foot 1-inch aspiring star. He had just $500 in his pocket to make it across country and get settled. To make ends meet, he folded towels and cleaned toilets at a Gold's Gym in Venice Beach. And because he couldn't afford an apartment, he shacked up in his 1991 Lincoln Continental.

But the turning point came in early 2000, during a casual conversation Cena had with a wrestler at Gold's who encouraged the gym employee to take classes at Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), a former World Wrestling Entertainment developmental company.

For Cena, the suggestion of making a go of it as a wrestler wasn't an entirely outlandish idea. His father, John, Sr. (a.k.a. Johnny Fabulous) made a living as a wrestling announcer and businessman. As a kid growing up in suburban Massachusetts, the younger Cena spent many hours glued to the television set as he watched his wrestling heroes such as Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Shawn Michaels go at it in the ring.

As a wrestler himself, Cena's ascension was rapid. Calling himself "The Prototype," the ambitious Cena captured the UPW title on April 27, 2000, in San Diego, California. Over the course of the next year, Cena drew the attention of WWE executives, and in 2001 the young enterntainer signed a developmental contract with the company to work at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).

WWE Debut

Cena captured the OVW heavyweight title in February 2002, then made his WWE debut that June when he signed up with the Smackdown roster. Just two years later, Cena took home the United States Championship, defeating The Big Show in March 2004 in Wrestlemania XX.

In the years since, Cena has notched many wins and titles. In 2007, he became the first wrestler to ever come up victorious against Edward "Umaga" Fatu.

Along the way Cena, whose good looks and sculpted body have earned him the title "The Marky Mark of Wrestling", has greatly increased his celebrity. Like Hogan, Cena has proven that his showmanship in the ring crosses over into venues outside of it.

Ventures Outside Wrestling

Through the production wing of WWE, Cena has starred in two action films, The Marine (2006) and 12 Rounds (2009), the latter featuring the wrestler trying to save his girlfriend from a gang of terrorists in New Orleans.

In addition, Cena, who has long had an affinity for hip-hop culture, became a recording artist when his rap album, You Can't See Me, hit record stores in 2005. The recording debuted on the U.S. Billboard chart at No. 15. His credits also include appearances on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

In 2015, Cena received critical praise for his acting skills in the hit comedy Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow and written by the film's star Amy Schumer. Cena played Schumer's sensitive muscle-bound boyfriend. “I got my chance to throw my sense of humor out into the world, and at the same time play this hulky guy who’s a softy, which in real life I’m a very emotional guy,” Cena told Business Insider.

In his personal life, Cena married his girlfriend, Elizabeth Huberdeau, in July 2009. In May 2012, Cena filed for divorce, allegedly shocking Huberdeau. Their messy separation played out in the media, but they eventually settled in July of that year.

Source: Biography.com

Roman Reigns - One of the greatest wrestlers of all time! Tags: roman reigns greatest wrestlers all time word life production new quality entertainment

Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoaʻi (born May 25, 1985) is an American professional wrestler, former professional Canadian football player, and a member of the Anoaʻi family. He is signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Roman Reigns, and he is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion in his third reign.

After playing collegiate football for Georgia Tech,[1] Anoaʻi started his professional football career with brief off-season stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) in 2007. He then played a full season for the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos in 2008 before his release and retirement from football.

Anoaʻi then pursued a career in professional wrestling and was signed by WWE in 2010, reporting to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Using the ring name Roman Reigns, he made his main roster debut in November 2012 alongside Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as The Shield. The trio teamed together until June 2014, after which Reigns started both headlining pay-per-views in singles competition and contending for world title that month. In his WWE career, Reigns is a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Rollins), and was the 2015 Royal Rumble winner and the 2014 Superstar of the Year. He also tied the WWE record for most eliminations in a Survivor Series elimination match with four in the 2013 event, and set the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match with 12 in the 2014 event.

Despite being pencilled in as WWE's future "face of the company" and being placed in the main event of numerous major pay-per-views (including WrestleManias 31 and 32), Reigns' ascendency as a world title-chasing heroic character has been marked by critics' disapproval and hostile crowd reactions; in April 2016, ESPN writer David Shoemaker described Reigns as "the most despised wrestler WWE has had since it turned Sgt. Slaughter into an Iraq-sympathizing traitor in 1990."

Anoaʻi played football for three years at Pensacola Catholic High School and one year at Escambia High School. In his senior year, he was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pensacola News Journal. He then attended Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team along with Calvin Johnson, who later became a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). Anoa'i was a three-year starter beginning in his sophomore year and was also one of the team captains as a senior. Anoa'i was named to the first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) after recording twenty-nine tackles for loss and twelve sacks in 2006.

After going undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft, Anoa'i was signed by the Minnesota Vikings in May 2007, but was released later that month. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed him in August 2007, only to release Anoa'i less than a week later before the start of the 2007 NFL season.

In 2008, Anoaʻi was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL).Wearing the number 99, Anoaʻi played for one season with the Eskimos, featuring in five games, of which he started three. Anoaʻi's most notable game came against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in September, where he tied for the team lead with five tackles and had a forced fumble. Anoa'i was released by the Eskimos on November 10, 2008, and proceeded to retire from football.

Anoa'i made his first venture into wrestling in July 2010, when he signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was later assigned to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). He debuted on September 9, 2010, using the ring name Roman Leakee (often shortened to Leakee), in a loss to Richie Steamboat in a singles match. Further losses to Idol Stevens and Wes Brisco ensued, before he gained his first win on September 21 over Fahd Rakman. He continued competing in FCW throughout the remainder of the year, wrestling mainly in tag team matches. On the January 16, 2011, episode of FCW television, Leakee was a competitor in a 30-man Grand Royal, but was eliminated. Later in 2011, Leakee formed a tag team with Donny Marlow and the pair unsuccessfully challenged Calvin Raines and Big E Langston for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on July 8.

In 2012, Leakee pinned FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger during a tag team match on the January 8 episode of FCW television. On the February 5 episode of FCW television, he defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match to become the number one contender to the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. He failed to win the championship when he lost to then champion Kruger the following week. Leakee later won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship with Mike Dalton and would drop the titles to CJ Parker and Jason Jordan shortly after.

After WWE rebranded FCW to NXT, Anoaʻi, with the new ring name of Roman Reigns, made his debut on the October 31, 2012 episode of NXT by defeating CJ Parker. After defeating Chase Donovan two weeks later, Reigns wrestled his last match on the December 5 episode of NXT by defeating Gavin Reids.

Reigns made his main roster television debut on November 18, 2012, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, assaulting Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to retain the title. The trio declared themselves "The Shield" and vowed to rally against "injustice". They denied working for Punk, but routinely emerged from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries, including Ryback and WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).This led to a six-man tag team Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC pay-per-view, in which Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match. The Shield continued to aid Punk in January 2013, attacking both Ryback and The Rock. On the January 28 episode of Raw, it was revealed that Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them.

The Shield then indistinctly ended their association with Punk while beginning a feud with John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus that directed to a six-man tag match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which The Shield won. The Shield had their first Raw match the following night, where they gained success against Ryback, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho. Sheamus then formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show to face the trio at WrestleMania 29, where The Shield emerged victorious in their first WrestleMania match. The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were stopped by Team Hell No. This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, which The Shield won. On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Shield's undefeated streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended in a disqualification loss in an elimination tag team match against Cena, Kane and Bryan.

On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Reigns and Rollins defeated Team Hell No in a tornado tag team match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. They made their first televised title defense on the May 27 episode of Raw, defeating Team Hell No in a rematch. On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, The Shield's unpinned/unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag team matches came to an end at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton, when Bryan submitted Rollins. Reigns and Rollins defeated Bryan and Orton at Payback to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. Further successful title defenses followed against The Usos on July 14 during the Money in the Bank pre-show and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) at Night of Champions.[55][56] On the September 23 episode of Raw, Reigns was pinned for the first time while on the main roster courtesy of The Usos when The Shield participated in and lost an eleven-on-three handicap elimination match.

In August, The Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H and The Authority. On the October 14 episode of Raw, Reigns and Rollins lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a no disqualification match, following interference from Big Show. At Hell in a Cell, Reigns and Rollins failed to regain the tag team title in a triple threat tag team match.The first seeds of dissension were sown in The Shield (especially between Ambrose and Reigns) with Ambrose's boasting of being the only member left with a championship. At Survivor Series, Reigns was the sole survivor for his team in the traditional five-on-five elimination tag team match after eliminating four opponents. After losing to Punk in a handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Reigns defeated Punk in a singles match following a distraction from Ambrose on the January 6, 2014 special episode of Raw Old School, making him the only member of The Shield to have beaten Punk. At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Reigns entered the Royal Rumble match at number 15, and set the record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble with 12, as he eliminated both his Shield teammates, and was the runner-up in the match after being eliminated by Batista. The next night on Raw, The Shield competed in a six-man tag team match against Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and John Cena, with all three members of the winning team qualifying for the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which The Shield lost via disqualification after The Wyatt Family interfered and attacked Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus. The Shield wanted revenge and a six-man tag team match for The Shield against The Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was arranged, in which The Shield lost. Despite more dispute, The Shield reconciled in March.

In March, The Shield began feuding with Kane, which turned all members of The Shield into fan favorites in the process. Over the next few weeks, The Shield continued exchanging assaults with Kane, who was joined by The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn), leading to a match between the two teams at WrestleMania XXX, which The Shield won. The feud with Kane also prompted The Shield to sever ties with Triple H, who reformed Evolution to counter them. The Shield defeated Evolution at both Extreme Rules and Payback. After Batista "quit" WWE the following night on Raw, Triple H initiated his "plan B" which involved Rollins turning on The Shield and aligning himself with Triple H and The Authority.

After the dissolution of The Shield in June 2014, Reigns (now a singles wrestler) was quickly inserted into world title contention that month, and he headlined the next two pay-per-views; the first when, two weeks after Rollins' betrayal, Reigns won a battle royal on the June 16, 2014, episode of Raw to gain a spot in the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at Money in the Bank, but failed to win the title during the main event match. The second pay-per-view was July 20's Battleground, where Reigns again unsuccessfully challenged for the world title, this time in a fatal four-way main event match (also involving Kane, Randy Orton and defending champion John Cena). The following night on Raw, Reigns started a feud with Randy Orton, which led to a match between the two, on August 17, at SummerSlam, where Reigns defeated Orton. Meanwhile, Reigns' former team-mates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had been feuding over Rollins' betrayal; with Rollins beating Ambrose in five matches, and ultimately injuring Ambrose in the storyline. This led to a feud between Rollins and Reigns, where a singles match was set up for Night of Champions. However, six days before the pay-per-view, Reigns cleanly defeated Rollins in a singles match on Raw. Then, Reigns developed a legitimate incarcerated hernia which required surgery a day or two prior to Night of Champions, and as a result, Rollins was declared the winner via forfeit, while Reigns was ruled out of action indefinitely.

Reigns returned to WWE television on the December 8 episode of Raw, accepting the 2014 "Superstar of the Year" Slammy Award. Six days later at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, when Big Show interfered in John Cena's match against Seth Rollins, Reigns attacked both Big Show and Rollins, helping Cena win. This started a feud between Reigns and Big Show, in which Reigns defeated him multiple times by countout and disqualification.[88] On January 25, 2015, Reigns, entering at number 19, won the 2015 Royal Rumble match by eliminating the other entrants in the final four: Big Show, Kane and lastly Rusev. The following night on Raw, Reigns acknowledged being part of the Anoaʻi family for the first time on WWE television. On the February 2 episode of Raw, Reigns suffered his first pinfall loss in a singles match on the main roster when Big Show defeated him after interference from Rollins. Reigns was then forced to defend his WrestleMania title shot against Daniel Bryan at Fastlane and succeeded in doing so after beating him via pinfall. Post-Fastlane, Bryan and Paul Heyman endorsed Reigns with "two shockingly transparent promos... attempting to illustrate Reigns' greatness". On March 29, at WrestleMania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract while Reigns' match with Brock Lesnar was in progress, turning it into a triple threat, which Reigns lost when he was pinned by Rollins.

In April, Reigns re-ignited his feud with Big Show, which culminated in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules, where Reigns defeated Show. In May, at Payback, Reigns once again failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Rollins in a fatal four-way match that also involved Orton and Ambrose. On June 14, at Money in the Bank, Reigns competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which he failed to win after Bray Wyatt interfered and attacked Reigns while he was trying to retrieve the briefcase. Month later, Wyatt defeated Reigns at Battleground, after former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper attacked Reigns. On the August 6 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt accepted Reigns' challenge to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper. Reigns pinned Wyatt at the event,[103] and the following night on Raw, in a rematch, the two would be attacked by the debuting Braun Strowman. In September, at Night of Champions, Reigns and Ambrose teamed with Chris Jericho and were defeated by Wyatt and his teammates.[105] The feud between Reigns and Wyatt ended after their Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on October 25, in which Reigns was victorious.

On the October 26 episode of Raw, Reigns won a fatal four-way match (also involving Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens) to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, on November 4, then champion Seth Rollins legitimately injured his knee and vacated the title, which led to a tournament to crown a new champion. Following this, Triple H attempted to persuade Reigns into joining The Authority by offering him a bye into the tournament finals which Reigns declined. He then defeated Big Show in the first round,  Cesaro in the quarterfinals, Alberto Del Rio in the semifinals and Dean Ambrose in the finals at Survivor Series, to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Triple H attempted to offer congratulations, but Reigns hit him with a spear and Sheamus then cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and pinned Reigns, thus ending Reigns' reign at only 5 minutes. Reigns then failed to regain the title from Sheamus in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at TLC, after being helped by his fellow League of Nations members Alberto Del Rio and Rusev; subsequently, Reigns would attack the trio and also Triple H, who came out to stop him.

The next night on the December 14 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon granted Reigns a title rematch against Sheamus, with Reigns' career on the line, and after overcoming McMahon, Del Rio and Rusev's interferences, Reigns defeated Sheamus and regained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On the January 4, 2016 episiode of Raw, Reigns successfully defended his title against Sheamus, despite McMahon acting as the special guest referee. Reigns was then slated to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, where Reigns scored a total of five eliminations after entering first, heading backstage for much of the match after an attack by The League of Nations, and was eliminated upon his return by eventual winner Triple H. At Fastlane, Reigns pinned Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match also involving Brock Lesnar, to receive a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Triple H at WrestleMania 32, where he defeated Triple H in the main event to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for a third time.

While in NXT in 2012, Roman Reigns' character was a "businessman" who was "always dressed to impress" and viewed himself as "the most valuable commodity in WWE". After transferring to WWE's main roster, his character was changed to the "powerhouse" and "heavy hitter" of The Shield, as well as an "exceptional athlete". Noted as the least talkative of The Shield members, in mid-2013, Reigns' character was tweaked from "the quiet muscle" to being an "ultra-confident" source of leadership with "quiet strength" and only needing "a few words to make his point". CM Punk revealed that he was constantly reminded to make Reigns look "really, really strong" during his match with The Shield at the December 2013 TLC event, despite The Shield being scripted to lose. Reigns was voted the 2013 "Most Improved" by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. At the 2014 Royal Rumble match, Reigns broke the record for most eliminations and finished as the runner-up. The live crowd cheered for Reigns over eventual winner Batista, despite Reigns being a heel. Anoa'i later acknowledged the positive crowd reaction as a "cool situation" and a "surreal moment". In mid-2014, Stone Cold Steve Austin said that he saw great potential in Reigns, while David Shoemaker of Grantland wrote that Reigns had "mystery and intensity", as well as "superstar written all over him".

After The Shield disbanded, Reigns (unlike the other former Shield members) retained much of The Shield's aesthetic including ring attire, theme music and ring entrance. It was noted in July 2014 that Reigns was receiving a "vocal seal of approval" from live audiences, but suffered "continually fading reactions" each week by September. Reigns' win of WWE's 2014 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award garnered surprise to the point of accusations of vote-rigging, but both PWInsider and Dave Meltzer stated that the fan vote was legitimate. Reigns then finished in second place for Wrestling Observer Newsletter's "Most Overrated" award in 2014, a feat repeated in 2015. Writers from the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter criticized Reigns in 2014 and 2015, for a "very limited" in-ring moveset, "forced promo delivery" and a "petulant and annoyed" attitude ill-befitting of a top babyface. Fellow pro wrestler Mikey Whipwreck said Reigns was "trying to be like John Cena", who was "very polarizing".

From late 2014 to early 2015, various critics raised concerns that Reigns, despite being "not fully ready", was "being pushed too hard, too soon" while WWE tried to make him their next "flagship star", "no matter how fans reacted”. Dave Meltzer was asked if there had been anyone less over than Reigns while main-eventing WrestleMania: Meltzer answered, "No, there has never been". Several WWE personnel defended Reigns; Triple H said that no one could be really ready to be thrust into the company's top spot, while Paul Heyman said that the "talented" Reigns "has adapted to this business as fast as anyone I've ever seen".

At the 2015 Royal Rumble, Reigns was booed heavily after his victory despite portraying a heroic character and being endorsed by The Rock. Going into WrestleMania in 2015, A'noai declared to the media that WWE "is my ship now, I'm the captain here". Saying that all his critics "weren't wrestlers", A'noai stated that "it really does pop me" when non-wrestlers who cannot "lock up" critique wrestlers. On another occasion, A'noai ignored dissatisfaction based on him not doing "what Daniel Bryan or your other favorite wrestlers did", and told crowds that "when I'm talkin', shut the hell up and let me talk". Lastly, A'noai reminded "smarter fans" to "think about the kids, think about what kind of example you're setting", since WWE is rated PG and targeting families.

At WrestleMania 31, Pro Wrestling Torch described Reigns as needing security for his entrance while receiving "universal boos" and middle fingers. Reigns was also booed on the post-WrestleMania Raw. WWE reportedly confiscated a number of anti-Reigns fan signs both pre and post-WrestleMania 31. Despite the fan backlash in early 2015, Reigns' performances at Fastlane, WrestleMania and Extreme Rules were widely praised by reviewers as having "delivered" and "exceeded all expectations", including "a star-making performance" at WrestleMania. Yet, Reigns continued to face negative crowd reactions at 2015 PPVs such as Money in the Bank and SummerSlam.

In November 2015, Forbes wrote that "WWE continues to manufacture Reigns as a hard-luck underdog" chasing the world title. At the 2015 Survivor Series event, Reigns received mixed reactions from the crowd on his way to winning and losing his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In December, a Rolling Stone writer argued that WWE writers "spent an overwhelming amount of time" on Reigns "at the expense of almost everyone else on the roster... basically bending over backwards to create new obstacles for him to overcome". However, at the Raw after TLC, Reigns got a pop after winning his second WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Wrestling Observer then complimented WWE's booking of TLC and the following Raw, saying they "pressed the right buttons" with Reigns when he "beat up two of [fans'] biggest targets: Vince [McMahon] and HHH". Yet, a Wrestleview writer reflected in March 2016, "From that one December night when finally everything went right for [Reigns], it's been do During the 2016 Royal Rumble match, Reigns was booed again, over eventual winner Triple H; with a similar negative reaction at Fastlane. Dean Ambrose being cheered over Reigns not only happened at Fastlane, but also during two previous world title matches (Payback and Survivor Series in 2015). Even a prolonged, bloody attack on Reigns on the post-Fastlane Raw led to Reigns' adversary Triple H being cheered, including "Yes!" chants. CNET described a "fan rebellion" against WWE "moving heaven and earth" to make Reigns "the face of the company... for the next decade"; as despite Reigns being the storyline "ultimate underdog... forced (and routinely able) to overcome increasingly insurmountable odds", "many fans are aware" that Dean Ambrose "is the true dark horse, both on camera and behind the scenes". On March 29, pro wrestling journalist Wade Keller concluded that Reigns has been an "utter failure" in his top babyface role. Around March 2016, Reigns changed his ring entrance from through the crowd to the (default) entrance ramp, due to WWE wanting him to "get to that ring as fast as possible". wnhill ever since... Reigns got to the mountaintop once and immediately lost all of his steam".

WrestleMania 32 ended with a chorus of boos when Reigns won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the third time. Leading up to that event, Anoa'i gave several interviews due to his starring role; acknowledging fan backlash, but still claiming "a lot of supporters". Declaring that WWE is a "kids show"; Anoa'i said he was "in this business for the families" and "not really" for "grown men" who boo him. Then, Anoa'i defiantly taunted his critics: "There's nothing that anybody can say negatively to me that will make me believe you are correct. It's just your opinions... If you’re going against me, we're sorry for what's going to happen next". He went on to advise detractors to "continue to be ready to boo. You're going to be mad a long time. I'm not going away". ESPN reported that WWE muted the WrestleMania crowd's negative reaction to Reigns, and described that "WWE started building Roman Reigns as the next great hero of the company about 18 months ago", but Reigns instead became the "most despised wrestler WWE has had since" 1990's Sgt. Slaughter.

On the Raw after WrestleMania, Reigns declared that he was now not a "good guy" nor a "bad guy", but "the guy"; while this supposedly indicated a morally ambiguous tweener character turn, The A.V. Club reported Reigns lacked heroic attributes with a condescending attitude. Also in April, Pro Wrestling Dot Net reported that WWE "went out of their way to use [the charity] Make A Wish in hopes of getting [Reigns] over as a good guy".

Source: Wikipedia

 

Arn Anderson - One of the greatest wrestlers of all time Tags: arn anderson greatest wrestling all time word life production featured blog

Martin Anthony Lunde (born September 20, 1958) better known by his ring name Arn Anderson, is a former American professional wrestler and author. His career has been highlighted by his alliances with Ric Flair and various members of the wrestling stable, The Four Horsemen, in the NWA/WCW. He currently serves as the senior producer for WWE's Raw brand. On March 31, 2012, Anderson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Horsemen.

Lunde began his career in early 1982,trained by Ted Lipscomb(Allen) spending much of the year wrestling in various independent wrestling companies across the United States.[2] By the middle of 1983, he made his way to Southeastern Championship Wrestling, an NWA affiliated promotion operating out of Tennessee and Alabama. Taking the name of "Super Olympia", Lunde soon became a member of Ron Fuller's Stud Stable before the year was out. Lunde saw success in the tag team ranks by winning the NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship three times with Mr. Olympia and once with Pat Rose throughout 1984. It was also here in this promotion that Lunde met and began what would become a lifelong friendship with Flair. By the end of the year, however, Lunde left the company and joined Mid South Wrestling based out of Shreveport. Lunde's time in Mid South was coming to an end and during a TV taping the Junk Yard Dog mentioned to Bill Watts, the owner of Mid South Wrestling, that Lunde looked like an Anderson. Watts called Jim Crockett and convinced him to book Lunde.

Lunde made his way to Jim Crockett, Jr.'s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling based in the Virginias and the Carolinas. By this time, the company extended its range into Georgia after rival promoter Vince McMahon purchased Georgia Championship Wrestling. There was a strong physical resemblance between Lunde and Ole Anderson, who had achieved legendary status in the Georgia and Mid-Atlantic territories as a tag team wrestler. Ole noticed that Lunde's style was a no nonsense approach in the ring and specialized in working over a part of an opponent's body throughout the match, much like Ole himself. Anderson agreed to work with Lunde, helping to hone his capabilities, and re-formed the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with Lunde replacing Gene Anderson and taking on the name of Arn Anderson, Ole's kayfabe nephew. The team quickly became a force in the territory by capturing the NWA National Tag Team Championship in March 1985.[2] Arn and Ole defended the titles throughout the year, with their highest profile match being part of the card for Starrcade '85 on Thanksgiving night. The Crew successfully defended the titles against Wahoo McDaniel and Billy Jack Haynes.

In the latter half of 1985, the Andersons formed a loose knit alliance with fellow heels Tully Blanchard and Ric Flair, as they began to have common enemies. The foursome frequently teamed together in six and, sometimes, eight-man tag matches or interfered in each other's matches to help score a victory or, at least, to prevent each other from losing their titles. The alliance quickly became a force within the territory, working in feuds against some of the biggest stars in the company like Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A., the Road Warriors and the Rock 'n' Roll Express. Anderson also saw success as a singles wrestler on January 4, 1986 by winning the vacant NWA Television Championship.[2] Simultaneously, Anderson was still one half of the NWA National Tag Team Champions and, even though Crockett promotions abandoned the National Tag titles in March, Anderson's success as a duo champion elevated his status within the territory. It was also during this time (in 1986) that the Andersons, Blanchard, and Flair began calling themselves Four Horsemen with James J. Dillon serving as the group's manager.[2] Anderson also had a tremendous ability to do interviews to further the storylines he participated in. His ability to improvise in interviews allowed him to coin the "Four Horsemen" moniker for the stable, as he likened their coming to wrestle at an event and the aftermath of their wrath as being akin to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the name stuck. Anderson continued his reign as NWA Television Champion for most of the year, holding the championship for just over 9 months before losing it to Dusty Rhodes on September 9, 1986.

The first real setback with the Horsemen occurred at Starrcade '86 after Anderson and Ole lost a Steel Cage match to The Rock 'n' Roll Express, with Ole getting pinned. The subsequent storyline positioned Ole as the weak link within the team, possibly attributed to his age. Ole's position with the group was only further weakened after he decided to take two months off after Starrcade. After Ole's return in February 1987, the other Horsemen turned on him and threw him out of the group, resulting in Ole incurring numerous attacks over the next several months. Afterwards, Ole was replaced with Lex Luger and the Horsemen resumed their dominance of the company.

As a member of the Horsemen, Anderson continued to be involved in high profile angles within the company. By mid-1987, Anderson and fellow Horsemen Tully Blanchard began regularly competing as a tag team and rose quickly through the tag team ranks.[2] The duo faced the Rock 'n' Roll Express for the NWA World Tag Team Championship on September 29, 1987 and were victorious.[2] This win further solidified the group's dominance in the company as Lex Luger was the reigning NWA United States Heavyweight Champion and Ric Flair spent most of 1987 as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, losing it to Ron Garvin in September, only to regain it at Starrcade '87 on Thanksgiving night. Anderson and Tully continued to feud throughout the rest of the year and first few months of 1988 with the Road Warriors, the Rock 'n' Roll Express and the Midnight Express being their most frequent rivals.

By December 1987, Luger had defected from the Horsemen and began a heated feud with the group, with Ric Flair especially. In early 1988, Luger formed a tag team with Barry Windham and began challenging Anderson and Blanchard for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. The bigger, stronger team of Windham and Luger were eventually successful, winning the titles on March 27, 1988. The reign would be short lived, however, as Anderson and Blanchard regained the titles less than a month later after Barry Windham turned on Luger during their match and joined the Horsemen. Though Anderson and Blanchard were two of the biggest stars in Crockett's company, they were frequently in dispute with Crockett over their pay. Despite the fact that the two, along with the Horsemen, were helping to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the company, they considered themselves to be underpaid. Their last contracted match with the company took place on September 10, 1988 when they dropped the NWA World Tag Team Championship to the Midnight Express before leaving for the WWF.

Arn Anderson once described his style and that of Blanchard's on national TV: 'I'm his strength, and he's my speed.'

Anderson and Blanchard left Crockett's company to join Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation. Upon being named the Brain Busters, the team took Bobby "The Brain" Heenan as their manager and quickly began rising through the tag team ranks, eventually coming to challenge Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Championship. On July 18, 1989, the Brain Busters won the titles, ending Demolition's historic reign of 478 days; the match would air on the July 29 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event. Although they would lose the titles back to Demolition just over three months later, the Brain Busters continued to be a force in the WWF's tag team division.

In December 1989, Anderson left the WWF and went back to his old stomping grounds.[2] Blanchard was slated to return as well but WWF accused him of testing positive for cocaine. Crockett's company was now called World Championship Wrestling and was under the ownership of billionaire mogul Ted Turner. Anderson helped to reform the Horsemen and he quickly found success in the company, winning the NWA World Television Championship an January 2, 1990.[2] Anderson remained the champion almost the entire year before dropping it to Tom Zenk. Zenk's reign would be short lived, however, as Anderson regained the title, having been renamed the WCW World Television Championship on January 14, 1991.[2] His third reign with the title was also considered successful as he held the title a little more than five months before dropping it to "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton on May 19, 1991. Afterwards, Anderson entered the tag team ranks of WCW.

In the summer of 1991, Anderson formed a tag team with Larry Zbyszko and they called themselves The Enforcers. After competing for several months and moving up in the tag team ranks, they successfully captured the WCW World Tag Team Championship on September 2, 1991. The reign would be short lived, however, as they lost the titles roughly two and a half months later to Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes. Anderson and Zbyszko went their separate ways shortly afterward. Anderson quickly rebounded from his split with Zbyszko and formed a tag team with Beautiful Bobby Eaton, a long-time friend and best known for his time as one half of the Midnight Express. At this point, they were members of Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance. They quickly moved up the tag team division and were soon a threat to Steamboat and Rhodes. Anderson and Eaton quickly won the titles on January 16, 1992 and defended the titles against all comers for the next four and a half months before losing the titles to The Steiner Brothers in May.

In May 1993, Anderson joined Ole Anderson and Ric Flair to re-form the Four Horsemen. The Horsemen introduced Paul Roma as their newest member. Although athletic and a skilled in-ring competitor, Roma had spent much of his career as a jobber in the WWF. As part of an interview segment for the Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen DVD, Triple H stated that he thought the addition of Roma made the membership the weakest in the history of the group, and Arn himself referred to Roma as "a glorified gym rat". Although Anderson and Roma won the WCW World Tag Team Championship in August, the group quickly split and was seen as a dismal failure by WCW.

Anderson remained a regular, on-screen performer in WCW over the next few years. He rejoined Col. Rob Parker's Stud Stable in 1994 with Terry Funk, Bunkhouse Buck, "Stunning" Steve Austin and Meng.[3] The Stud Stable feuded heavily with Dusty and Dustin Rhodes until late 1994 when Funk left. In early 1995, Meng left (eventually to join the Dungeon of Doom).

Anderson went to rejoin Ric Flair. Anderson's last championship run began on January 8, 1995 after winning the WCW World Television Championship. Anderson helped restore the prestige of the title, which he held for just over six months before dropping it to The Renegade. He briefly feuded with long-time friend Flair, and was assisted by Brian Pillman in his efforts. However, it was a swerve to reunify the Horsemen with Flair, Anderson, Pillman, and a partner to be named later (who ended up being Chris Benoit).

By the end of 1996, Anderson rarely competed in the ring as years of wear and tear on his body finally started to catch up with him. On the August 25, 1997 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Anderson formally announced his retirement from the ring.[2] While standing in the ring, surrounded by Ric Flair and newest Horsemen members Steve McMichael and Benoit, Anderson declared that his last official act as the "Enforcer" for the Four Horsemen was to offer his "spot" in the group to Curt Hennig, as he was forced to retire due to extensive neck and upper back injuries. He would work one or two tag matches officially since then, including teaming with David Flair on an episode of WCW Thunder, but his physical involvement was extremely limited in those bouts.

On the September 14, 1998 edition of Nitro, alongside Steve McMichael, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit, Anderson ceremoniously reintroduced Ric Flair to WCW after his 12-month hiatus. In doing so, they reformed the Horsemen who then feuded with WCW President Eric Bischoff. Flair would win the presidency of WCW from Bischoff on the December 28, 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro followed by winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Uncensored '99 and turn heel in the process. Anderson remained Flair's right-hand man during this time as he attempted to keep Flair's delusional hunger for power at bay.

In 2000, Anderson was a member of the short-lived Old Age Outlaws. Led by Terry Funk, the group of veteran wrestlers battled the revived New World Order. WCW would be purchased by the World Wrestling Federation in 2001, ending Anderson's tenure there.

Not long after the closing of WCW, Anderson became a road agent for WWF, renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in May 2002.[2] He occasionally appears on WWE television trying to, with the help of other WWE management, pull apart backstage brawls. Soon after the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline, Anderson took up color commentary for a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match between Booker T and Buff Bagwell, WCW Cruiserweight Championship match with Billy Kidman and Gregory Helms as well as another WCW Championship match between Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T, which would be his only appearances as a commentator in WWE. He made an appearance on Raw in 2002 delivering a video to Triple H before he was supposed to renew his wedding vows to then-heel, Stephanie McMahon. Anderson was also assaulted on Raw by the heel gimmick of The Undertaker leading up the Undertaker vs. then-babyface, Ric Flair match at WrestleMania X8. During that bout, Anderson made a brief in-ring appearance, delivering his signature spinebuster to The Undertaker. He would later turn heel once again by helping the heel gimmick of Ric Flair in his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, leading to Austin literally urinating on him. Several months later he became a face once again and attempted to help a then-babyface Flair gain (kayfabe) sole ownership of WWE during a match with the heel gimmick of Vince McMahon, but backed down from a confrontation with Brock Lesnar, who entered the ring to assist McMahon.

Anderson made a special appearance at the October 2006 Raw Family Reunion special, in which he was in Ric Flair's corner for his match against Mitch of the Spirit Squad. Anderson was in the corner of Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes, and Ron Simmons at Survivor Series 2006, where the four faced the Spirit Squad, but was ejected from the arena during the match.

On the March 31, 2008 Raw, Anderson came out to say his final goodbye to Ric Flair and thank him for his career. In October of that year, at the No Mercy event, he was backstage congratulating Triple H for retaining the WWE Championship in a match with Jeff Hardy.

Anderson and his wife Erin have two sons, Barrett Anthony (born 1985) and Brock (born 1997).

Although he was billed as such at various times, Arn is not related to Gene Anderson, Lars Anderson, Ole Anderson, C.W. Anderson or Ric Flair. He was given the Anderson name and was originally billed as Ole's brother, and then later billed as Ole's nephew, because of his resemblance to Ole in appearance and wrestling style and billed as Ric Flair's cousin. Flair is not related to any of the Andersons, but he is a longtime friend of Arn.

In 1993, Anderson was involved in a brutal stabbing incident during a WCW tour of Europe. On October 27, 1993, in Blackburn, Lancashire, Anderson and Sid Eudy were involved in an argument at a hotel bar. After being sent to their rooms by security chief Doug Dillinger, Eudy later attacked Anderson with a chair leg. A pair of safety scissors was introduced into the brawl by one of the participants, with Eudy receiving four stab wounds and Anderson receiving twenty, losing a pint and a half of blood. The fight was broken up by WCW wrestler Too Cold Scorpio, who was credited with saving Anderson's life. Neither man pressed charges against the other, and British police declined to do so since both men were leaving the country. Eudy was later fired over the incident.[4]

As stated in his biography, in a match in 1994, Arn was thrown into the ring ropes. The top rope broke from the turnbuckle, but he was able to land on his feet. Six months later, the same event happened again, but this time he landed full-force on to the concrete and hit his head, neck, and upper back. He never took time off to heal. As time passed, with no down time, the injuries worsened. In his biography, Anderson states that the first sign of problems was, during a match, his left arm suddenly went numb and unresponsive. Later on, they found a rib, possibly torn away from the spine during the accident, was popping in and out of joint, causing shoulder discomfort and weakness.

Upon seeing his chiropractor in Charlotte, North Carolina, and consulting medical experts in Atlanta, Georgia, the damage was found to be much more severe and surgery was deemed the only option to keep his left arm functioning at all. Surgery occurred in Atlanta in late 1996 (resulting in a left posterior laminectomy of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th cervical bones and a fusion of the 7th cervical and 1st thoracic bones) and was successful in repairing most of the damage, but there does remain some muscle weakness, loss of fine motor control, and loss of muscle mass in his left arm. He spent many weeks in the hospital during that time, crediting his recovery to his wife, his physical therapist, and the fact he did not want his children to be fatherless. However, he would be readmitted in March 1997 with symptoms akin to cardiac arrest and pulmonary failure, but was released soon afterwards.

In July 1997, while working out, a friend saw him at a gym and gave him a hearty slap on the back (he recounts this in his retirement speech). He dropped the water bottle he was carrying and could not regain use of his left arm for several hours. He realized that to step back in the ring and take another injury to the neck could leave him paralyzed or worse. Hence, his retirement and subsequent speech on WCW  programming.

The Comedy Central series Tosh.0 has referred to Anderson on a regular basis beginning with its October 15th, 2009 episode featuring a backyard wrestler redemption. Host Daniel Tosh stated that real wrestling is all about "showmanship and tights", and that if "being a great technician were all it took, then Arn Anderson would be the most famous wrestler in the world". Tosh has continued to "call out" Anderson, even referring to a gap between mentions as "(going) easy on you". Tosh's March 6, 2012 memorabilia dump included a signed Arn Anderson action figure.

Source: Wikipedia

Andrea the Giant - One of the greatest wrestlers of all time Tags: andrea giant greatest wrestler all time word life production new quality entertainment feature blog

At 7'4" and 500 pounds, Andre the Giant could have been famous for his size alone. His drive, talent and ambition, however, proved to be as big as Andre himself, and the wrestler became legendary for his achievements in and out of the ring.

Andre was born Andre Rene Roussimoff in Grenoble, France on May 19, 1946. His parents, Boris and Marian Roussimoff, and four siblings were of average size. Andre, however, suffered from acromegaly, a disease that results in an over abundance of growth hormones. Also known as Giantism, this disease caused Andre's body to continue growing his whole life, and by the time he was 17 he stood 6'7".

Due to his immense stature it seemed inevitable that Andre would excel in the wrestling world. He had just started to make a name for himself in the ring as "Monster Eiffel Tower" or "Monster Roussimoff" when French-Canadian wrestler Edouard Carpentier first laid eyes on him. Carpentier was impressed with Andre's raw talent and decided to bring him to North America. Andre began wrestling under the name Jean Ferre in Canada for Grand Prix Promotions. In a short time Andre went from the undercard to being a headlining name. Inspired by the movie King Kong he acquired the nickname, "The 8th Wonder of the World," which stayed with him for the rest of his career.

By the time Andre had performed in front of 20,000 wrestling fans in Montreal, his legend had reached Vince McMahon, Sr. at the World Wide Wrestling Federation's (WWWF) headquarters. McMahon would forever alter Andre's life. In 1972, McMahon signed Andre to wrestle for the WWWF and changed his name to capitalize on his colossal size. "Andre the Giant" became one of the most recognizable names in wrestling. Andre performed under his new name at Madison Square Garden, where he easily defeated his opponent Buddy Wolfe without breaking a sweat. Before long, Andre's venues were sold out and wrestlers lined up to perform in his shadow. As Andre's fame grew to stardom, he was featured in Sports Illustrated in the largest feature they had ever published.

In 1987 Andre drew the biggest crowd in WWF (formerly WWWF) history thus far. A record 90,000 fans packed the Pontiac Silver Dome in Detroit, Michigan to watch Andre wrestle fellow legend Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania III. In all, Andre participated at six WrestleManias and faced some of the toughest opponents in the business, including Big John Studd and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. For many years he was known as the "Uncrowned Champion," until he found his place in infamy and held the WWF title for the shortest reign in history. This wasn't the only championship Andre captured - he also won titles in the (NWA), (IWA) and the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Andre's fame also opened the door to Hollywood. He made his acting debut in 1975 as "Big Foot" in The Six Million Dollar Man. Andre enjoyed the experience and went on to appear in television shows including B.J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy and The Greatest American Hero, and movies such as Conan the Destroyer, Micki and Maude, and Trading Mom. His favorite role, and the one for which he is best remembered, was the lovable giant "Fezzik" in Rob Reiner's classic The Princess Bride.

Andre's last television appearance was on a celebration of 20 years of NWA/WCW wrestling on TBS. Sadly, over the years the effects of acromegaly had continued to wear down his body. Eventually his immense size was just too much for his heart, and Andre the Giant died in Paris, France in his hotel room on January 27, 1993. His ashes were later taken home and spread over his North Carolina ranch.

Though professionally Andre will always be remembered as The 8th Wonder of the World, he is known and loved by fans across the globe as The Gentle Giant.

 

Source: Official Website

The World's Strongest Champion - Mark Henry Tags: strongest champion mark henry greatest wrestler all time word life production new quality entertainment

Mark Jerrold Henry (born June 12, 1971) is a retired American powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, strongman, and professional wrestler who is currently signed to WWE. He was a two-time Olympian in 1992 and 1996 and a Silver, Gold and Bronze Medalist at the Pan American Games in 1995. As a power lifter, he was WDFPF World Champion (1995) and a two-time U.S. National Champion (1995 and 1997) as well as an all-time raw world record holder in the squat and deadlift. Currently, he still holds the WDFPF world records in the squat, deadlift and total and the USAPL American record in the deadlift since 1995. He is credited for the biggest raw squat and raw powerlifting total ever performed by a drug tested athlete, regardless of weight class, as well as the greatest raw deadlift by an American citizen.

In weightlifting, Henry was a three-time U.S. National Weightlifting Champion (1993, 1994, 1996), an American Open winner (1992), a two-time U.S. Olympic Festival Champion (1993 and 1994) and a NACAC champion (1996). He holds all three Senior US American weightlifting records of 1993-1997. In 2002 he won the first annual Arnold Strongman Classic.

Since joining the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in 1996, he has become a one-time WWF European Champion and a two-time world champion, having held the ECW Championship in 2008, and the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011.

Henry was born in Silsbee, Texas. As a child, Henry was a big wrestling fan and André the Giant was his favorite wrestler. While attending a wrestling show in Beaumont, young Henry tried to touch André as he was walking down the aisle, but tripped over the barricade. André picked him up out of the crowd and put him back behind the barricade. Henry played football in high school until his senior year, when he strained ligaments in his wrist during the first game of the year and scored below 700 on the SAT. When Henry was 12 years old, his father, Ernest, died of complications from diabetes. When he was 14 years old, Henry was diagnosed with dyslexia.

By the time Mark Henry was in the fourth grade, he was 5'5" and weighed 225 lb (102 kg). His mother bought a set of weights for him when he was 10 years old.[27] During Henry's freshman year at Silsbee High School, he was already able to squat 600 lb (270 kg), which was well over school record. As an 18-year-old high school senior, Henry was called "the world's strongest teenager" by the Los Angeles Times, and made it into the headlines in early 1990 for winning the National High School Powerlifting Championships and setting teenage lifting world records in the squat 832 lb (377 kg) and total 2,033 lb (922 kg). By the time Henry finished high school, he was a three-time Texas state champion with state and national records in all four powerlifting categories—the squat at 832 lb (377 kg), bench press at 525 lb (238 kg) and deadlift at 815 lb (370 kg) as well as the total at 2,033 lb (922 kg).

At the Texas high school powerlifting championships in April 1990, Terry Todd, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin and former weightlifter, spotted Henry and persuaded him to go to Austin after he graduated to train in the Olympic style of weightlifting. In July 1990 at the USPF Senior National Powerlifting Championships, 19-year-old Henry came second only to the legendary 6 time World Powerlifting Champion Kirk Karwoski. While powerlifting relies primarily on brute strength and power, which Henry obviously possessed, Olympic weightlifting is considered more sophisticated, involving more agility, timing, flexibility and technique. There have been few lifters in history who have been able to be successful in both lifting disciplines. Mastering the technique of weightlifting usually takes many years of practicing. But Henry broke four national junior records in weightlifting after only eight months of training. He attempted to compete in powerlifting and weightlifting at the same time, and quite successful at that: In April 1991, he won the United States National Junior Championships; 20 days later he placed fourth at the U.S. Senior National Championships, and finished sixth at the Junior World Weightlifting Championships in Germany two months later. Only few weeks afterwards, he became 1991's International Junior Champion in Powerlifiting as well. In Henry's first year of competing in weightlifting, he broke all three junior (20 and under) American records 12 times, and became the United States' top superheavyweight, surpassing Mario Martinez.

At the age of 19, Henry had already managed to qualify for the weightlifting competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics, where he finished tenth in the super heavyweight class. Ten months before the 1992 Olympics, Henry had begun training with Dragomir Cioroslan, a bronze medalist at the 1984 Summer Olympics, who said that he had "never seen anyone with Mark's raw talent". After the Olympics, Henry became more determined to focus on weightlifting and began competing all over the world. In late 1992 he took the win at the USA Weightlifting American Open and further proved his dominance on the American soil by winning not only the U.S. National Weightlifting Championships, but also the U.S. Olympic Festival Championships in 1993 and 1994. At the 1995 Pan American Games Henry won a gold, silver and bronze medal.

Having reached the pinnacle of weightlifting on a National and continental level, he competed again in powerlifting and shocked the world by winning the ADFPA U.S. National Powerlifting Championships in 1995 with an earthshattering 2314.8 lb raw Powerlifting Total. Despite competing without supportive equipment in contrast to the other competitors, Henry managed to outclass the lifter in second place by an incredible 286 lbs defeating not only 5 time IPF World Powerlifting Champion and 12 time USAPL National Powerlifting Champion Brad Gillingham, but also America's Strongest Man of 1997 Mark Philippi. In the process he set all-time world records in the raw deadlift at 903.9 lbs (410 kg) and the squat without a squat suit at 948.0 lbs (430 kg) as well as the all-time drug tested raw total at 2314.8 lb (1050 kg). Later that same year in October, he competed in the drug-free Powerlifting World Championships and won again, even though he trained on the powerlifts only sparingly—due his main focus still being on the 2 Olympic lifts. He not only become World Champion by winning the competition but also bettered his previous all-time squat world record to 953.5 lbs (432.5 kg) and his all-time drug tested world record total to 2336.9 lbs (1060 kg).

One year later, with the '96 Olympics already in sight, he became the North America, Central America, Caribbean Islands (NACAC) champion.[6] He earned the right to compete at the Olympics by winning the U.S. National Weightlifting Championships in the Spring of 1996 for a third time. During his victory Henry became Senior US American record holder (1993–1997) in the Snatch at 180.0 kg (396.8 lbs), Clean and jerk at 220.0 kg (485.0 lbs), and Total at 400.0 kg (881.8 lbs), improving all of his three previous personal bests. This 400 kg total, in the opinion of many experts in track field of international lifting—including Dragomir Cioroslan, the '96s coach of the U.S. team—was the highest ever made by an athlete who had never used anabolic steroids—who was lifetime drugfree. By that time, at the age of 24, Henry was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the world, even by many of the Eastern Block athletes who outrank him in weightlifting. No one in the history of the sports had ever lifted as much as him in the five competitive lifts—the snatch and the clean and jerk in weightlifting—the squat, bench press and deadlift in powerlifting. To this day, his five lift total is still the greatest in history by a fair amount—making him arguably one of the strongest men that ever lived and stamp him, according to lifting statistician Herb Glossbrenner, as history’s greatest lifter.

In the months prior to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Henry received more attention and publicity than any lifter in recent US history. He guested at Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Oprah Winfrey Show and was featured on HBO Inside Sports and The Today Show. He was also featured in dozens of magazines including U.S. News & World Report, People Vanity Fair, ESPN The Magazine and Life where he was photographed nude by famed artist Annie Lebowitz. During this period he connected with WWE owner Vince McMahon for the first time, which led to him signing a 10-year deal as professional wrestler.

Henry improved his lifts to 407 lb in the snatch and 507 lb in the clean and jerk during his final eight weeks of preparation for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Henry at 6-foot-4-inches tall and 414 lbs bodyweight, became the largest athlete in Olympic history and was voted captain of the Olympic weightlifting team. Unfortunately, he suffered a back injury during the competition and was unable to approach his normal performance level. Due to the injury he had to drop out after his first clean and jerk attempt and finished with a disappointing 14th place. His appearance at the Olympics proved to be his last official competition in Olympic weightlifting, as he retired from weightlifting, vowing never to return unless the sport is "cleaned up" of anabolic steroid use.

Since his career start as a professional wrestler shortly after the Olympics, he broke his leg in the Fall of 1996. But by the summer of the following year he had rehabbed it enough to be able to compete at the USAPL National Powerlifting Championships 1997, where he won the competition to become the U.S National Powerlifting Champion in the super heavyweight class again. He had planned to continue heavy training in powerlifting, although his travel schedule as a professional wrestler with the WWF (now WWE) has made sustained training difficult. Mark’s WWF contract was unique in many ways, allowing him at least three months off each year from wrestling, so he can train for the national and world championships in weightlifting or powerlifting. Barring injury, Mark had originally hoped to return to the platform in late 1998, to lift for many more years, and to eventually squat at least 1100 lbs without a “squat suit” and to deadlift 1000 lbs.

Although in early 1998 he was still able to do five reps in the bench press with 495 lbs, three reps in the squat with 855 lbs (with no suit and no knee wraps), and three reps in the standing press with 405 lbs in training, while traveling with the World Wrestling Federation, he never returned to compete again in official championships in favor of his wrestling career. He weighed 380 lbs at that time, and his right upper arm was measured at 24” by Terry Todd. By basically ending his lifting career at the age of 26, it is probable that he never reached his full physical potential as a professional lifter. Henry remains the youngest man in history to squat more than 900 pounds without a squat suit as well as the youngest to total more than 2,300 pounds raw - he's the only person ever to have accomplished any of these feats at under 25 years of age.

Source: Wikipedia

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