Wrestling: Freddie Blassie
- "Pencil neck geek, grit eatin' freak
scum suckin', pea head with a lousy physique
He's a one man, no gut, losing streak
Nothin' but a pencil neck geek."
Freddie Blassie (1918-2003) was an American Professional Wrestler and manager from St. Louis, MO. He debuted in 1935 working the carnival circuit and went from there to work in the St. Louis and Kansas City promotions, since this was before there were technically even territories. He served in World War II and came back with a "Sailor" Fred Blassie gimmick that didn't get over. His first proper territory was Los Angeles, and he fell in love with the city. He also worked heavily in Georgia and in Japan. He arrived in WWE, then the WWWF, where he feuded with Bruno Sammartino over the WWE World Heavyweight Title. He retired from active competition in 1974 and became one of the original top three heel managers there, along with Captain Lou Albano (who had in fact previously managed Blassie) and the Grand Wizard. His biggest successes as a manager, though short-lived, both involved The Iron Sheik. On December 26, 1983, he was in the Iron Sheik's corner when he defeated Bob Backlund for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Blassie was there when the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff defeated the U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda) (w/Albano) for the WWE World Tag Team Titles at the first WrestleMania, March 31, 1985. He retired from managing in 1986, originally giving half of control of his stable (Sheiky, Volkoff and Hercules) to the debuting Slick, though Hercules was switched to the Heenan Family. He remained employed as a personality all the way to his passing in 2003. His last TV appearance came on the May 12th Raw. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff was about to send 3 Minute Warning (Rico, Rosey and Jamal) to attack the wheelchair-bound Blassie when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, then the co-General Manager and "Sheriff" of Raw, confronted Bischoff and told him that he had just un-suspended The Dudley Boys, who made the save. The Dudleys gave Jamal the "Whazzup" headbutt and Blassie said, "D-VON, GET THE TABLES!" The Dudleys obliged, putting Rico through the table with the Dudley Death Drop. Blassie passed away on June 2. Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 17x NWA Southern (Georgia) Heavyweight Champion and a 4x WWA (Los Angeles) World Heavyweight Champion. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996. Along with his wrestling career, he recorded a novelty song called "Pencil Neck Geek" that was popular on radio's The Dr. Demento Show, and was a recurring character in Tiger Mask.As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
"Read my tropes, you pencil neck geeks!":
- Arch-Enemy: Rikidozan or John Tolos. Outside of the ring, he is on the list of wrestlers, along with Mick Foley and Chris Jericho generations later, who had negative opinions about Mil Mascaras. He didn't think too highly of Antonio Inoki either, and even supported Muhammad Ali in his infamous "match" with Inoki.
- As Himself: On the 1962 The Dick Van Dyke Show Pro Wrestling Episode "The Twizzle."
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994.
- Blood Knight: He was notorious for his viciousness in the ring.
- Cane Fu: His Weapon of Choice
- CatchPhrase: "Listen, You Pencil-Neck Geeks". It doubles as the title of his autobiography.
- Cheap Heat: So, so much, and he'd adjust it to fit whatever audience he was in front of at the time. The cover of his autobiography even provides the page photo.
- Domestic Abuse: Not him, but his father to his mother, until he threatened to hit his father with a baseball bat when he was 13. It's why Blassie never touched alcohol.
- Finishing Move: The Southern (Swinging) Neckbreaker
- Heel: Almost always a constant. May be one of the reasons why his "Sailor" Freddie Blassie gimmick didn't work.
- Ink-Suit Actor: In Tiger Mask.
- Man Bites Man: A staple of his offense. One of his nicknames during his in-ring career was "The Vampire." His album, featuring "Pencil Neck Geek," was called I Bite The Songs.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: To the degree that his young Japanese wife had to defend him as being this to her mother, according to his book.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Some sources list his name as Fred Blassman.
- No Indoor Voice: In his book, he claimed to have a "leather lung voice."
- No Sell: In Blassie's book, Killer Khan talks about growing up watching Blassie's matches with Rikidozan and seeing Blassie do this.
- Power Trio: Was part of the unofficial Evil Trio of heel managers in the 70s and early 80s with Captain Lou Albano and The Grand Wizard.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: While he was wrestling at carnivals, he saw a geek performer with a neck that looked like a stack of dimes, leading to his "Pencil-Neck Geek" catchphrase.
- He became a manager because California law prohibited anyone over 55 from getting or having a wrestling license.
- Red Baron: "Classy"
- Retired Badass/Screw Politeness Im A Senior: As a manager.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: One of his nicknames was "The King of Men".
- Sharp-Dressed Man: One of his early nicknames was "The Hollywood Fashion Plate"
- Shout-Out: REM's "Man on the Moon", about Andy Kaufman, referenced the movie they made together, My Breakfast with Blassie."Mr. Fred Blassie and the Breakfast mess, yeah yeah yeah yeah"
- Signature Move: The Stomach Clawhold.
- The Teetotaler: If you can believe it, dirty man of clean living
- Unrelated Brothers: As Fred McDaniel with Billy McDaniel as the McDaniel Brothers.
- Viewers Are Morons: Well, at least, viewers probably weren't up on current events. This was his reasoning why he felt it would be more powerful for him to wear a keffiyeh and call himself "Ayatollah" Freddie Blassie when he was managing the Iron Sheik than if Sheiky had had the actual Ayatollah Khomeini, at the time the ruler of Iran, in the ring with him.
- Yanks with Tanks: Served as a Naval Officer in World War II