This edition on the WWE Hall of Famers Blog we will talk about "The Golden Boy" Arnold Skaaland!
Name: Arnold Skaaland
Birthday: January 21,1925
Death: March 13,2007
From: White Plains,New York,USA
Weight: 240 lbs
Inducted by: Bob Backlund
Notable Titles Held:
WWWF United States Tag-Team Championships
Cauliflower Alley Club Honoree
PWI Manager of the Year (1978,1979)
WWF Lifetime Achievement Slammy Award (1997)
Notable Promotions Wrestled:
WWE (fka: WWWF)
Maple Leaf Wrestling
Arnold Skaaland served in the US Marines during World War II. After a short lived attempt at a boxing career, he decided to pursue professional wrestling instead.
He debuted in 1946 under his real name. During his early years though he was billed from Norway instead of his actual hometown of White Plains,New York. He was given the nickname of "The Golden Boy" due to his speed,wits,and toughness despite being a relatively small wrestler in comparison to the competition.
In the late 50's he wrestled in the Georgia territories as "Bobby Weaver." Around the 60's Skaaland's fame rose up in wrestling by being involved in the NWA World Heavyweight Championship picture, unsuccessfully winning the belt from Pat O'Connor and Buddy Rogers. He also had high profile matches in Japan against Rikidozan and Freddie Blassie.
Arnold Skaaland would then join the newly created World Wide Wrestling Federation in 1963. On June 1,1967 he gained his first and only championship title as one half of the WWWF US Tag-Team Champions when Tony Parisi gave his half of the title to Skaaland, he was tag-team partners with "The Golden Greek" Spiros Arion.
The exact reign of Skaaland and Arion as tag-team champs is still unclear to this day, many believe it lasted for 10 to 39 days before they dropped it to The Sicillians (Lou Albano & Tony Altimore.)
Skaaland wasn't only working as a wrestler for the WWWF, he was also a shareholder for Capitol Wrestling Corporation which was the parent company of the WWWF and a business partner to Vince McMahon Sr. He was responsible for producing shows in the Westchester County Center and also served as an agent to Andre The Giant in his time with the company.
Around the late 70's Skaaland wrestled sporadically and had the role of a manager. Despite only managing two wrestlers in total, they did become World Champions under his tutelage those men being: Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund!
In 1978 he retired from regular wrestling though occasionally would still put on the boots for wrestlers that couldn't make a show.
Even after retirement Skaaland remained loyal with the WWE, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994. After a long well lived life, Arnie sadly passed away in March 13,2007 with his wife Betty by his side.
I'm gonna be honest, I do not know much about Arnold Skaaland as an in-ring performer since he was way before my time but from the facts I've gathered, he was a reliable worker in the ring.
After all you ain't getting into high profile matches against the likes of Rikidozan and Buddy Rogers if you're a slouch in the ring!
I was more aware of him during his later years and re-watching old clips from YouTube during his time as a manager. He wasn't a flashy manager like say a Jimmy Hart but he was still one of the best ever despite only managing two wrestlers.
He managed Bruno and Backlund, two of the greatest World Champions of all time and that alone puts him above a lot of managers!
I admired the fact that he stayed loyal to the company till the end. I never heard any bad word a wrestler would say about Arnie, so he was definitely one of the few universally respected legends in wrestling.