10

July

The Final Chapter: The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: List of All Packers With Wrestling Connections

Clay Matthews raises Edge's hand after a match on WWE Smackdown.

We continue our “Sunday Storytime” with chapter 4 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. This is the final chapter in the series. The introduction to the series can be read here. Chapter 1 can be read hereand Chapter 2  can be read here. Chapter 3 can be read here.

The final chapter in our look at the connection between the Green Bay Packers, the NFL and professional wrestling is a database of wrestlers with ties to the Packers. I know I am probably missing some names, so if you know of anyone that I omitted, let me know in the comments section and I’ll add them.

With the lockout (hopefully) ending this week, you probably won’t have to put up with any more pro wrestling posts from me. I had a lot of fun putting this series together and I hope at least a few of you found something a little worthwhile in each chapter.

A friend of mine manages a popular Minnesota Timberwolves blog and is posting about his return to distance running as the NBA lockout drags on. I also recently started running and probably could have put together some amusing posts about my struggles for this site. But seriously, would you rather read about me — a 240-pound blogger trying not to die of a heart attack while running a mile — or Dick the Bruiser?

I’d take Dick the Bruiser every time.

Pro Wrestlers With Connections to the Packers

Vern Gagne
Gagne was a 16-time world heavyweight champion and owner/promoter of the American Wrestling Association (AWA) based in Minneapolis. Gagne never actually played for the Packers, but tried out and was cut during training camp. To help himself get over with wrestling fans in the Wisconsin and Green Bay regions, Gagne would often bill himself as a former Green Bay Packer.

Lex Luger
Luger (real name Larry Pfohl) is a former member of the famous Four Horseman stable and the groundbreaking NWO. Luger spent the entire 1982 season on the Packers injured reserve and was released before the start of the 1983 season.

26

June

The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: Chapter 2 — Kevin Greene, Steve McMichael and the 4 Horsemen

The legendary Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Kevin Greene.

We continue our “Sunday Storytime” with chapter 2 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. The introduction to the series can be read here. Chapter 1 can be read here.

Watching Kevin Greene sack quarterbacks was sort of like watching a pale, blond-haired Tasmanian Devil chase Bugs Bunny. Of course the main difference was Greene often caught the quarterbacks he chased. Taz typically ended up getting an anvil dropped on his head.

Greene played with the type of energy and attitude some may have considered reckless if he wasn’t so damn good. His mouth moved almost as fast as his legs. He flung his body around without fear of injury. And you could usually find him before the game high-fiving the mascot, kissing his wife or banging his head against something.

Greene brings that same energy to the Packers as a linebackers coach. Who can forget Greene’s “It’s Time” speech to Clay Matthews moments before Matthews forced a key fumble early in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLV?

Given Greene’s personality, it’s easy to see how Greene ended up in professional wrestling.

Teaming with McMichael
Greene made his in-ring debut for WCW at the Great American Bash on June 16, 1996. His first angle involved former Chicago Bear and Green Bay Packer Steve McMichael, McMichael’s real-life wife Debra Marshall, the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen.

Flair was hitting on Marshall, and naturally, McMichael was mad. McMichael brought in Greene to team up against Flair and his longtime partner in the Horsemen, Arn Anderson. The stage was set for the gridiron greats to meet the squared circle legends in a make believe fight to the finish. (Note: Marshall eventually divorced McMichael and became the real-life wife of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.)

WCW was extremely popular in the South, especially in the Carolinas. Since Greene played for the Carolina Panthers at the time, bringing him in to team with McMichael seemed like a good fit. The actual match was nothing memorable, but the swerve at the end led to a blip in wrestling history that angered many passionate (geeky) wrestling fans like me.

12

June

The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: Introduction — Blame Aaron Rodgers and the Title Belt

I hope Aaron Rodgers keeps the title belt celebration for a while.

Like most Packers fans, I have a list of favorite Packers moments that will remain etched in the green and gold portion of my brain forever. The list includes the Packers Super Bowl titles in 1996 and 2020, my first game at Lambeau and watching the Packers win the NFC title live and in-person in Chicago.

The full bank of memories are too numerous to list here, but there is one particular memory that is probably unique to my brain and my brain only: I remember the first time I noticed Aaron Rodgers do the championship belt.

(Editor’s Note:  Today begins a very different and interesting series by Adam Czech, a self-professed professional wrestling geek and Packers fanatic. For the next month of Sundays, we’ll be having a “Sunday Storytime” with new installments of this series. Even if you’re not that into wrestling, I think you’ll find plenty of interesting Packers stories that you will enjoy (I know I have).  So, as the Monty Pythoners’ used to say, “And now for something completely different…)

It was 2008 and my wife and I were watching the Packers play the Titans on a snowy TV in a friend’s basement in Madison. Rodgers scrambled for a first down, dashed out of bounds, let the ball fall to the ground, then gave a quick title belt before jogging back to the huddle. I kept asking myself if I really saw what I thought I just saw. Did the quarterback of my favorite football team just pretend that he was the WWF world heavyweight champion?

Rodgers might have done the title belt before and I just didn’t notice it, but it doesn’t matter. I noticed it on this particular day, and I have noticed it ever since. It’s my favorite sports celebration ever and probably always will be.

Read on and maybe you will understand why (maybe).

Obsessed with wrestling
Some people take the NFL too seriously. Others let shopping, home projects or rebuilding cars take up too much of their lives. I’m obsessed with professional wrestling – specifically wrestling from the 1980s and early 90s. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I am a 29-year-old man that still watches old-school professional wrestling.