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SLAM! Wrestling Features

Over the years at SLAM! Wrestling, we've done a number of in-depth features that just don't fit the traditional profile or interview model.

This page is our attempt to direct you further into our deep, rich archive, allowing you to enjoy our past work and learn more about pro wrestling's history.

High flying here to stay in pro wrestling
By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
Only in professional wrestling would men and women be seen walking the tops of cages like they were tightropes, soaring through the air like Superman and jumping off 20-foot ladders. And the best part is that some of the greatest high fliers of all time live to talk about it.
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    The Olympians
    From the Olympics to the Pros
    By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling
    There is a rich connection between professional wrestling and the Olympics. Many pro wrestlers have backgrounds from the various Olympiads through the years, and, of course, not all of them from the amateur wrestling competitions. There have been weightlifters, basketball players, judoka, swimmers, and even a bobsledder who turned to pro wrestling over the years. Enjoy our look back through the years!
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    Battle of the Sexes: Men vs Women tag in Atlanta

    By JEFF LEEN - For SLAM! Wrestling
    Thirty years ago two female wrestlers took part in an historic mixed tag-team match with two male wrestlers at a packed Omni Coliseum in Atlanta. This was not the usual mixed tag with the ring action strictly segregated by sex. The women were not wrestling separately on teams paired with the men but together as a team against the men. This was a true battle of the sexes, male versus female on the mat, no quarter given and no place to hide. Joyce Grable and Judy Martin put Jerry Roberts and Steve O. through their paces in a straight-up, nip-and-tuck bout that was raw, physical and deadly serious -- at times a little too serious. The crowd of 12,000 exploded at every dramatic turn. The fact that the members of the so-called weaker sex acquitted themselves so well is just one amazing part of an untold story.
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    Islanders put family first in wrestling business

    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    The professional wrestling business is certainly a lot more family friendly these days, with all wrestlers essentially belong to the same extended family. Perhaps the greatest examples of a true wrestling brotherhood are the Pacific Islanders of the business.
      "Polynesians always take care of each other, no matter if they're from the Samoan islands, or I'm from the Fiji islands," said WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. "We've always been close to each other."
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    Managers still managing to exist in today's wrestling

    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    They were the original voices of the voiceless. But it seems like wrestling managers have gradually disappeared. Or have they? The new generation thinks not.
     "I am making it my personal goal to bring managers back," said Ring of Honor's Truth Martini.
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    Tag team wrestling still alive and well

    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    Any tag team competitor will likely agree that two heads are better than one. And the current crop of tag team wrestlers certainly hope to live up to the standards of excellence, set by their predecessors, and prove that tag team wrestling isn't a thing of the past.
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    The mystery and marvel of masks

    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    Is a mask ever just a mask? For the list of professional wrestlers who have been privileged enough to wear one, it is as valuable as any World Championship.
      "We all have split personalities. We all wear masks at some point in our careers," WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio told the Houston Chronicle in a 2009 interview. "I literally wear a mask."
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    Lighthearted ribs keep life interesting

    By JASON CLEVETT - SLAM! Wrestling
    Amber O'Neal was understandably nervous. She and partner Krissy Vaine were preparing to face Jenny Taylor and their idol Sherri Martel in a tag match. Martel took advantage of the opportunity to show O'Neal and Vaine her enjoyment of practical jokes, or "ribs," along with the match.
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  • Legends love their ribs
  • Well-aged ribs from wrestling's history
  • Meaty ribs from wrestling's history
  • Prime ribs ease strain of the road

    The sale of WCW - 10 years later

    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    Perhaps the most significant date in wrestling history is March 23, 2001. It was on that date, that the future of professional wrestling changed forever. On that day, the WWE (then WWF) announced its purchase of long-time rival World Championship Wrestling.
      "It (WCW) was Ted Turner's baby. And everyone thought he was always going to support it, no matter what," said wrestling columnist Bryan Alvarez. "So the merger with AOL Time Warner and Turner being out of power, and thus, not being there to save them, was inconceivable."
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    Knocked out by the growth in women's wrestling

    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    Perhaps no other social group in history has had to work longer and harder than women to earn the rights and privileges they have today. Thanks to those who came before them, women have the right to vote, work, own property, and, of course, wrestle. But there was a time when it wasn't easy going for the female set in the ring.
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    Family matters in pro wrestling
    Following in the family business more than just a current trend
    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    It's every parent's dream to have their children follow in their footsteps and enter into the family business. It's not as common as one would think, but in professional wrestling, it happens more often than not. Years from now, wrestling fans of different generations will remember names such as Dibiase, Hart, Funk, Orton, Armstrong, Guerrero and McMahon, particularly because more than one member of each family has been there to constantly remind them where they came from.
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    School's in: An educational look at gimmicks
    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    School is now fully back in session, bringing back memories of school-related gimmicks from the past. As a part of our studies, we hunted down a Genius, a Student, a Harvard grad -- just ask him -- and a former Olympian.
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    An exploration of the art of announcing
    By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
    Pro wrestling announcers have perhaps the most challenging jobs in the business. They are the only ones required to sit at a desk for two or three hours and work from the minute that little red light on the camera goes on, to the second it goes off. SLAM! Wrestling spoke to some of today's announcers and some names from the past to get the lowdown on the art of announcing.
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    Wrestling in the Land of the Rising Sun
    Bob Kapur's Journal from Japan
    By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling
    Boarding the plane for Japan last week, I couldn't help but ask myself a few questions? Am I as crazy as people say, traveling halfway across the globe to go see a bunch of wrestling shows? Is it worth spending the money to fly this far for only a week? Did I remember to lock the front door? The following journal details the answers to those questions and more.
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    For the Love of the Business
    By RICHARD KAMCHEN - SLAM! Wrestling
      "Why the hell am I doing this to myself?"
      That has to be the question many wrestlers, especially those struggling to reach greater heights by way of the independent circuit, habitually ask themselves.
      Of the thousands who try, only a select few make it to the big stage, and fewer still become main eventers there.
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    Remembrance Day
    The ultimate sacrifice
    An honor roll of wrestlers who gave their lives for Uncle Sam
    By J MICHAEL KENYON - For SLAM! Wrestling
    When one studies the history of professional wrestling in North America, the number of travel-related deaths incurred by the boys (and girls) is staggering. While there appears to be no record of any wrestlers who ever died while traveling by train, the numbers lost in car or plane wrecks would easily fill more a sizeable book, if told in detail.
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    On Wrestling and Religion
    Today's stars wrestle with their faith
    By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
    As the battle lines between the 'religious right' and the WWF are being drawn over the content of WWF TV programming, both sides are digging in their heels.
      Caught in the crossfire are the forgotten casualties: pro wrestlers grappling with their Christian conscience and the stigma of the wrestling profession.
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    Father's Day
    2nd-gen grapplers reflect on their Dads
    By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling
    The pro wrestling world is full of second-generation wrestlers. Young men following in their father's footsteps into battle in the squared circle.
      Each got into the profession in their own way, but their stories are remarkably similar and have a common theme: Wrestling's in their blood, they grew up watching and didn't really ever think about doing much else.
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    Father's Day
    Fathers find raising wrestlers a challenge
    By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling
    As a junior in college at West Texas State, Barry Windham appeared to be headed for the NFL. He had the talent and the lineage, as his father Jack Windham had also made the NFL with the New York Jets before becoming a pro wrestler.
      But it wasn't to be for Barry. He dropped out of school to follow his father into pro wrestling. While the youngster would prove to be a star in the business, his father was hurt by his decision to leave school.
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    End of an era on TBS
    Solie, Georgia and 'Black Saturday'
    By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
    I was a gawky ten year old in July of 1984.
      Having just finished the fifth grade, I was looking forward to a summer of afternoons spent at the Centennial Community Swimming Pool, house league soccer games and wading knee high in a creek by Sherwood Forest with the Middleton brothers searching for minnows.
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  • Part 2: Crockett, Flair and 'The Clashes'
  • Part 3: Fond memories of the SuperStation
  • Feedback: End of an era on TBS: The letters

    The Wrestler
    Asner & Gagne recall The Wrestler
    By "BLOODTHIRSTY" BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling
    A wrestling promoter turns his back on the company's aging champion, and instead puts all of his promotional power behind a young up-and-comer. Sound likes a storyline that one might see on Raw or Smackdown, doesn't it? But it's also the plot of The Wrestler, a movie that some historians call one of the best movies ever made about the sport. SLAM! Wrestling talked with two of the movie's stars -- wrestling legend Verne Gagne and TV icon Ed (Lou Grant) Asner, to discuss this one-of-a-kind film.
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    July 4th - U.S. Independence Day
    Triumph and tragedy on July 4th
    By CHRIS SCHRAMM -- For SLAM! Wrestling
    Apple pie, mom and the American flag are three things many think of when you say the 4th of July. It was July 4, 1776 that the United States officially signed themselves free of Britain and became a new country.
      Professional wrestling has both celebration and tragedy on this day. Many promotions have used this day to put on a giant event to promote both wrestling and the birthday of the United States.
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    "Deadline" Lunney - Reporter to wrestler
    River City helps rookie rasslers master moves
    By DOUG LUNNEY -- Winnipeg Sun
    Graffiti is splashed on the walls behind autobody repairmen as they bang out dents and apply coats of primer.
      In the same building, Vern May climbs into a wrestling ring where he applies chin locks and cross-over toe holds to young men and women.
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  • Part 2: The land of hype & gory