This edition of the WWE Hall of Famers Blog we take a look at perhaps wrestling's greatest villain: "Classy" Freddie Blassie!
Real Name: Frederick Kenneth Blassie
Birthday: February 8,1918
Death: June 2,2003
From: St. Louis,Missouri,USA
Weight: 220 lbs
Trained by: "Wild" Bill Longson
Inducted by: Shane McMahon
Notable Titles Held:
NWA Georgia Southern Heavyweight Championship (17x)
WWA World Heavyweight Championship (4x)
WWA World Tag-Team Championships (6x)
NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (6x)
NWA Americas Tag-Team Championships (2x)
NWA Pacific International Heavyweight Championship
Notable Promotions Wrestled:
WWE (fka: WWF)
St. Louis Wrestling Club
Georgia Championship Wrestling
Frederick Kenneth Blassie was the only child to German immigrant parents who moved to St. Louis prior to the start of World War I. He had an abusive father and promised to himself to never take alcohol in his life after seeing what effects it had to his father.
As a teenager he did some jobs such as working for a meatpacking plant but would focus more on sports, he tried boxing but would ultimately go for his dream of that being a wrestler. He began working for carnivals during his early years in the business.
During the carnival days he came up with his famous catchphrase "pencil-neck geek" which he first described a fellow carnival wrestler named "The Geek." After the US entered World War II though, Blassie stopped wrestling and was enlisted in the Navy for 42 months.
Returning from the war, Blassie went straight back into wrestling now performing as "Sailor" Fred Blassie taking advantage of his patriotism act as a Navy, but this babyface gimmick was never successful. During the early 50's he began bleaching his hair blonde and has now become a dastardly heel among the territories, he had a similar style of gimmick with the likes of Gorgeous George and Buddy Rogers at the time, but Blassie received more heat from the fans due to his constant cheating and biting of his opponents! Blassie competed for multiple territories at this time but most notably in Georgia where he held the NWA Georgia Southern Heavyweight Championship a record 17 times!
In the 60's he returned to World Wrestling Association (WWA) and at this point he was such a hated villain that police officers were needed to protect him! He held the WWA World Heavyweight Championship 4 times with a total combined days of 479! He received his first WWA World Title victory against Edouard Carpentier in a two-out-of-three falls match on June 12,1961. On July 7 of the same year he successfully defended it against former NWA World Champion, Lou Thesz and at the time, not everybody can say they beat Lou Thesz!
During his title match against Lord James Blears, a fan threw acid on Blassie's back and he had to immediately go backstage to wash it off! That's how much heat he was getting during his prime and I haven't even mentioned stab wounds and his vehicles getting bombarded by the angry fans! Blassie's first reign ended at the hands of his most famous rival: Rikidozan. He would regain it from him but just 2 days later loss to The Destroyer.
At this third reign he got defeated by Bearcat Wright, which at the time was seen as historic and a big deal due to the ongoing fight for African-American civl rights at the time! His fourth and final reign he got defeated by Dick the Bruiser.
While competing for the WWA, Blassie also frequently toured Japan and during his prime, he was one of the most well known "gaijin wrestler" in the whole country! During a high profile match against Rikidozan, Blassie filed his teeth in on the God of Puroresu, seeing their hero's face bleed, many fans received heart attacks and some were even reported dead! Even the likes of Stan Hansen and Vader could not get that kind of gaijin heat!
Not so long after his fourth WWA World Title reign ended, Blassie began working for the WWWF. Two of his high profile feuds at this time were against Bruno Sammartino and Bobo Brazil, he was a frequent challenger to Bruno's WWWF World Heavyweight Championship but was never successful in capturing said belt.
In 1974 Blassie retired as an active in-ring wrestler and began his career as a manager! Him, Lou Albano, and The Grand Wizard were dubbed as "The Three Wise Men of the East" as the top heel managers of the WWWF.
He managed many wrestlers over the years, a lot of them became successful as well, just to name a few: The Iron Sheik,Nikolai Volkoff,Blackjack Mulligan,George Steele,Killer Khan,and a young Hulk Hogan! Blassie also managed the great Muhammad Ali during his boxer vs wrestler match against Antonio Inoki in 1976, and has appeared multiple times with Ali on interviews and such.
Around the late 80's, Blassie was starting to phase out of wrestling and focused more into retirement. Due to his close relationship with Vince McMahon Sr. he remained loyal to the WWE and continously received paychecks and gifts from the McMahon family! Till the day he died, Blassie was considered an "employee" of the company. He made his final TV appearance on an episode of RAW in 2003. Three weeks later Blassie passed away due to heart and kidney failure at the age of 85.
When fans constantly talk about on who the greatest heels or villains in wrestling history, you get the usual like Flair,Piper,and DiBiase just to name a few but fans often forget about "Classy" Freddie Blassie!
Yes I understand he was way before most of our times, but if you're a real wrestling fan you should learn about the legends who paved the way for so many wrestlers today, and Freddie Blassie was unlike any other heel at the time, the term "nuclear heat" gets tossed around so easily today, but Blassie did receive tons of that in his prime as a wrestler!
Name me any other heel wrestler that received multiple stab wounds,get acid thrown at him,and put fans on heart attack after seeing their hero Rikidozan bleed! This man is the personification of a wrestling heel, he's not edy, he's not super flamboyant, he was just a bastard! A bastard you wanted to hate, Blassie perfected the art of being a true wrestling villain and I don't think anybody else will ever reach that level.
Gorgeous George may have been the bar, but Freddie Blassie took it to a whole another level! Not only he was a great heel though, but he can go in the ring as well. During his prime, Blassie was a stellar performer in the squared circle, being able to go with the best of them such as Lou Thesz and Rikidozan! He was also one of the best managers of all time, great on the mic and putting over his clients well.
Overall, Freddie Blassie still remains as one of the most influential people in wrestling history!
*"Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks" was a famous catchphrase of his and the title of his book.
*His early moniker before "Classy" was "The Hollywood Fashion Plate."
*In 1995 he was awarded "Wrestler of the Century" in Japan.
*His last recorded words on TV were "D-VON GET THE TABLES!" during his final appearance on WWE at an episode of RAW.