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  #11  
Old 04-11-2012, 12:25 PM
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Default Thump!

First of all, great topic. Just the other night, I had my husband looking at a YouTube vid of Stagger Lee vs. Ted DiBiase. For those who don't know, The Dog lost a loser leave town match and came back in full mask with a full body suit. He was slim, as far as JYD goes, and quick in the couple of minutes with DiBiase. Another poster said everytime they hear Another One Bites the Dust, he thinks of the Dog. Whenever I see someone execute a running powerslam, I yell out "Thump!"

In addition to reading about the Dog in Tony Atlas' book, take a look at Cowboy Bill Watts book. He takes some time to tell how much of a chance he was taking with having a black wrestler at the top of the card in his organization. And what about Roddy Piper's promo telling how black people have just been out of slavery over 400 years and now the Dog shows up wrapped in chains.

And yes, I do think the lack of WWF/E championships has hurt him in the history books as we'll never see his name for anything beyond King of the Ring of which he played to the hilt!

Oh, and don't forget he had his own song on the first Rock and Wrestling Album, "Grab Them Cakes," in which you could onlyl make out about half of the words. Excuse me, it's time to get up and dance now.

Last edited by jbwphoto1 : 04-11-2012 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Added info re: titles
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2012, 12:59 PM
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JYD never gets the credit now that he deserves. He was very over and he was loveable. Part of the reason why he's not remembered or respected could be the fact that he didn't have any notable title runs, but also because his character had a racist element to it. Like Slick's first promo where he was eating fried chicken, JYD comes from an era where it's okay to take shots at the racial stereotypes. It's embarrassing for the wrestling industry to now show a black man with chains and a dog collar around his neck.

I loved JYD when I was a kid, and now, looking through this thread full of memories, I realized that he was my first favourite wrestler. There was some moment on the hourly show in the 80s where he was beat down outside the ring, lying on the mats. I don't remember what exactly happened, but I remember I was shocked and stunned that whoever it was could have done that to my favourite wrestler. If anyone can fill me on what I'm referring to (around 1986 or 1987?) I would absolutely appreciate it.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2012, 01:11 PM
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JYD was definitely my favorite wrestler behind Hogan in the mid to late 80's. I wish I could've seen him in the southern territories; from what I've read he's held quite a few titles. His was my favorite figure to play with whenever my older cousin and I played with his figures. He definitely had charisma, and while I wished he had won a title or two in WWF, it wasn't needed (much like with Piper until he got the IC belt). Tough as they come yet endearing to the fans, especially kids. I was saddened when he got killed, but its great to know that he isn't an afterthought in the eyes of wrestling fans.
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  #14  
Old 04-11-2012, 02:42 PM
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JYD might have been the #2 babyface behind Hogan in 85-86. The guy was over, because everything about him was just fun.

I wish I could have seen more of his work with Watts in Mid-South. From all accounts, he was over huge during his run there.

It's unfortunate that he isn't remembered as much as he should be. Probably because he never won gold in the WWF. Ridiculous, but in this era where everyone has multiple title reigns to their credit, people seem to be conditioned to think less of anyone that doesn't. I even saw someone on here earlier today saying that Piper didn't mean much in WWE history because he was only IC champ once.

Dog was at the top of a hot territory; he was one of the biggest stars of the original expansion. He had a great career, and thank you to the OP for putting this thread up.
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2012, 04:14 AM
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Now it's time to offer a slightly different perspective -- that of someone who grew up in Houston, TX, watching Mid-South (later UWF) Championship Wrestling. As a kid, The Junkyard Dog was ridiculously popular in the region. It really was an anomaly, because it was a pretty racist environment. Still, JYD was someone it seemed everyone could rally around/behind.

During that era, he held tons of regional titles, the top championships in Mid-South. He feuded with all the top heels, going over most every one. I'd give you an idea of who his contemporaries were, but you would only remember those individuals as they eventually came to be seen through the lenses of the WWF (now WWE).

For fans of Mid-South, we were very excited when our local boy jumped to "the big time." WWF definitely knew they had something good in JYD, which is why they allowed him to become a top name in the company, but the argument was he "didn't need a title to get over." That's true. He was definitely over with fans. And he had an incredible early run in WWF.

It was after that first year or so that people like me started to be turned off by him. I remembered JYD as a legit tough guy. He kicked serious ass in Houston. Then he got to the WWF, and they turned him into a cartoon. Literally AND figuratively. Next thing you know, he's barking and wearing chains and "funky dancing" to "Grab Them Cakes."

I was embarrassed for him. Seriously. And I was only like 12 years old. But even a 12-year-old knows when someone is being made into a fool!

The worst part is that I watched WWF do that to a whole string of my Mid-South favorites! One-by-one, Vince McMahon bought out the top talent from my hometown wrestling company, turning each into ridiculous caricatures and reducing each to shadows of their former selves.

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan -- who shared top face/tough guy duties with JYD in Mid-South -- came in pretty close to his basic character. Then, before long, he was also a tool being used to sell styrofoam 2x4s.

Kamala was a killing machine in the Mid-South. Though he got a great build-up against Hogan, afterward, he couldn't figure out which side his opponents had to be on to get the pinfall.

One Man Gang mowed through the competition in the South. He was unstoppable. Even Duggan couldn't secure a solid victory over him. When he went north, after a fairly impressive run, he became the soul-dancing, Akeem the African Dream. I wanted to curl up and die.

Butch Reed, Dick Slater, Terry Taylor... One after another, the Mid-South's best were destroyed by the WWF. It was horrible to watch! Each time, I would get my hopes up, then they would be dashed.

The only one who came to WWF, got a makeover & succeeded in a way that was NOT humiliating was "Million-Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. In Mid-South, he was hard-working, evil -- and occasionally good -- but also a tough guy. He is so incredible on the mic, though, he gave 110% to his new identity and became a legend.

Junk Yard Dog, though, didn't fair as well. Sure, the kids loved him. He sold merchandise. He had some impressive victories -- like winning a Cadillac in some giant battle royal. He had some good feuds. But when it comes down to it, the reason people don't talk about him is the WWF didn't give him anything truly memorable to distinguish his tenure in the company.

JYD came to WWF in an era where titles changed hands FAR less often than they do today. It made the reigns mean something. And, if the industry were still like that, people would discuss him. Unfortunately, it's not.

Today, nearly everyone on WWE's roster is a former champ of some sort. Everyone gets rewarded, even if only briefly, during their time in the company. JYD wasn't so fortunate. For the most part, popularity is great, but it's fleeting. It's achievement people recall, and where the WWE is concerned, he didn't have much to claim.
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