Jonathan Anthony Wisniski (born September 20, 1951) is a semi-retired American Professional Wrestler from Seattle, WA as Greg Valentine. He debuted in 1970 as Baby Face Nelson due to his original unwillingness to take the last name of his father, Johnny Valentine. He also worked as Johnny Fargo, an Unrelated Brother of Jackie Fargo. He changed it to Johnny Valentine Jr. when he debuted in Florida in 1974 before changing the first name to Greg, though he was billed as Johnny's brother, not his son. He arrived in Mid-Atlantic in 1976, after his father had to retire due to injuries in a plane crash. Valentine was pushed immediately as a Heel, with his elbow drop being sold as a devastating move. Valentine found success teaming with Ric Flair and feuded with Chief Wahoo McDaniel and with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. After some on-and-off trips to WWE from 1978 to 1981, he started there full-time in 1984. He was successful there, holding the IC and tag titles, before getting demoted and leaving in 1992. He had a brief run in WCW before going off to the independents. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, a former WWE World Tag Team Champion with Brutus Beefcake, a former 3x NWA (Mid-Atlantic) United States Heavyweight Champion, a former 4x NWA World (Mid-Atlantic) Tag Team Championnote and a 1x WCW United States Tag Team Champion with Terry Taylor.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
"The Hammer's Tropes":
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
- Arch-Enemy: Most noteably, with Chief Wahoo McDaniel.
- Badass Longrobe: Often throughout his career.
- Bash Brothers: With Ric Flair and the Honky Tonk Man.
- Blasphemous Boast: His "I Broke Wahoo's Leg" shirt.
- Blood Knight: His character was built on the idea of his being out to injure his opponents.
- Boring, but Practical: His finishing move, the Elbow, a basic move for almost every wrestler, but built up around Valentine as being unusually devastating, to the point where they aired vignettes of him training by breaking boards by smashing them with his elbow.
- Butt-Monkey: For J and Shaggy's jokes on Insane Clown Posse Theater on Fuse. At the same time though, they do put him over as a Badass Grandpa.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': He originally defeated the Junkyard Dog at the first WrestleMania by pinning him with his feet on the ropes. Then Tito Santana came out and told the ref what happened, leading to the ref restarting the match...and Valentine getting himself counted out.
- Commuting on a Bus: Did some jobs and weekend show appearances for WCW in 1996-1997.
- Cool Mask: As the Blue Knight at the 1993 Survivor Series.
- Disco Dan: After Jimmy Hart arrived in WWE in 1985, he and Valentine appeared on WWE's talk show Tuesday Night Titans. Valentine talked about Hart's musical career with the Gentrys back in the 1960s and spoke negatively about the "punk rock and roll" of Cyndi Lauper.
- Dream Team: Well, duh. It was only the name of his Tag Team with Beefcake.
- The New Adventures: The New Dream Team, with Dino Bravo. Valentine apparently hated teaming with Bravo as they didn't get along in real life and recalls his team with Beefcake much more fondly. They still team on the indy circuit on occasion.
- Four Is Death: His finisher, the Figure-Four Leglock.
- Instrument Of Destruction: The guitar while in "Rhythm and Blues".
- Also Jimmy Hart's megaphone and the shin guard he wore for a while.
- Mighty Glacier: Doesn't quite look the part but his wrestling style is pretty much based around slowly, methodically breaking down his opponent while being able to withstand way more damage than them. Any time Lord Alfred Hayes called his matches he usually threw in a comment about how Valentine likes to deliberately take offense from weaker opponents in order to tire *them* out.
- Older Than They Look: Like his former manager Jimmy Hart, Valentine has aged very little since his prime, other than the occasional wrinkle. He even still has his long blonde hair.
- Phrase Catcher: Gorilla Monsoon always reminded us that it takes a good 15-20 minutes for Valentine to get warmed up. Unfortunately most of his later matches didn't last that long and the results showed.
- Power Stable:
- Red Baron: "The Hammer"
- For a time, his infamous leg brace, which he would use to amplify the effects of his Figure-Four leglock had it's own - the Hart Breaker (named after his manager, Jimmy Hart.)
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Flair's red, as he was presented as methodical and vicious. However, like Flair, he was famous for his technical ability and his endurance, the latter of which inspired Gorilla Monsoon's observation about how "it takes the Hammer 15 minutes to get warmed up." The number could increase at any time.
- Redemption Demotion: Turned face in early 1991 and broke away from Jimmy Hart's stable...leading to him jobbing to Earthquake at WrestleMania VII, IRS at SummerSlam 1991, and spending most of 1992 in the WCW midcard.
- Ring Oldies: He's in his 60s and still appears on independent shows.
- Stay in the Kitchen: All the women wrestlers should be taken to a strip club and fired for taking jobs away from those who need to support their families.
- Unnecessary Roughness: He and Flair were stripped of the NWA World Tag Team Titles after defeating the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Gene and Ole Anderson) for "unprofessional conduct" due to Ole being unable to leave under his own power.
- Wrestling Family: The son of Johnny Valentine and Brother-In-Law to Brian Knobbs.