Bam Bam Bigelow was trained as a wrestler by "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and then at Larry Sharpe's "Monster Factory" in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. He debuted in Memphis in 1985, and was named Crusher Yurkov by Fritz Von Erich. Upon leaving Memphis, Bigelow adopted the name Bam Bam Bigelow.
In late 1987 he was hired by the World Wrestling Federation, and wrestled there for a year before leaving to have knee surgery. He then went to Jim Crockett Promotions briefly to challenge Barry Windham for the NWA United States Championship, and then to Japan to work for Antonio Inoki in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he formed a tag team with Big Van Vader, and won the IWGP Tag Team Championships. In 1992 he left NJPW and wrestled for several other Japanese promotions, such as WAR.
In late 1992 Bigelow returned to the WWF and took on Luna Vachon as his manager a few months later. He feuded with Tatanka and Doink the Clown. In mid-1994, he joined Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation and engaged in a highly-publicized feud with American football player Lawrence Taylor. Bigelow was defeated by Taylor at WrestleMania XI in a match where Bigelow was paid $250,000 and Taylor $1,000,000. Shortly after, Bigelow quit Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation, turned babyface, and teamed with Diesel.
Bigelow left the WWF in 1995 and made a few appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling in early 1996, feuding with Tazz. In November 1996 Bigelow competed in "U-Japan" Mixed Martial Arts event against Kimo Leopoldo. Bigelow was dominated throughout the match being mounted within the first 10 seconds. Bigelow lost to a rear naked choke in the first round.
He returned to ECW, in 1997, where he eventually joined the reformed The Triple Threat with Chris Candido and leader, Shane Douglas. He was a dominant force in ECW, carrying out feats of strength such as hurling Spike Dudley out of the ring and into the audience and slamming Tazz through the ring. He held the ECW Television Championship and the ECW World Heavyweight Championship during his stay there.
In November 1998 Bigelow debuted in World Championship Wrestling. He initially feuded with WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg before competing in the WCW Hardcore Division along with fellow ECW alumni Raven and Hardcore Hak. He formed a stable with Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon known as The Jersey Triad in May 1999. After the Triad disbanded, Bigelow began feuding with Mike Awesome, who defeated him in an Ambulance Match at StarrCade 2000.
Bigelow remained with WCW until the company was purchased by the WWF in 2001, then waited until his Time Warner contract expired in June 2002. Bigelow announced his retirement in November 2002 but returned to the ring, making several appearances for USA Pro Wrestling, before finally retiring in November 2004.
Diving Headbutt/Diving Moonsault 1
Decorating himself in royal blue and gold attire accompanied by his famous crown, Jerry "The King" Lawler is one of the most accomplished color commentators and Superstars in sports-entertainment history. Lawler is a favorite among WWE fans for his historic career and weekly contributions on Monday Night RAW with broadcast partner Jim Ross.
A self-proclaimed king, this excitable and outspoken RAW color commentator from Memphis has been dishing it out with the microphone and in the ring dating back 30 years. He got his original break back home in the Memphis wrestling circuit. It's his gift of gab and southern pride that have on occasion led to "The King" lacing up the boots and getting in the ring again.
While "The King" has scored victories over legends such as Terry Funk and Hulk Hogan during his career, he is perhaps best known for his rivalry with entertainer Andy Kaufman. This led to a role alongside Jim Carrey in the hit film, "Man in the Moon." The Lawler-Kaufman battles raged not only in the ring, but on television as well. Lawler's incident on "Late Night with David Letterman" where he slapped Kaufman is considered one of the most memorable moments in that show's history.
Lawler brings a unique brand of commentary to RAW that draws millions of followers around the world each week. The King has become so popular that he even wrote an autobiography. "It's Good to be the King... Sometimes," was released in late 2002 to critical acclaim and is still one of the best sellers in the WWE autobiography series.
Diving Fist Drop/Piledriver 1
Bret "Hitman" hails from the first family of pro wrestling and was trained in Calgary in the infamous Hart family dungeon by his promoter and father, Stu Hart (who was awarded the Order of Canada for a lifetime of contributions to charity and community). It was in this humanitarian spirit that Bret traveled the globe for two decades as World Champion of both major wrestling organizations (WWE and WCW), while brightening the lives of sick and dying children, who he met one on one while seriously taking his position to live up to being a role model to millions more watching on TV.
Bret earned numerous amateur wrestling awards before turning away from Olympic-style wrestling and towards its more theatrical counterpart. He is widely considered by his peers to be the most technically proficient pro wrestler of this generation. But when Bret confidently asserts his slogan proclaiming that he "Is the best there is, was or ever will be," it's not because he's the toughest or the strongest... but because in all those thousands of hard hitting action-packed bouts, what Bret is really so prideful about is that he never actually hurt even one opponent!
It's the ultimate irony then, that Bret Hart's wrestling career was abruptly ended by an errant kick to the head during a pay-per-view match that caused a severe concussion -- followed by a major stroke! The Hitman battled back from this one-two punch and is looking forward to writing the story of his life (and to explore new adventures like Aladdin: The Magical Family Musical, which is his first foray into live theater). Bret's prior acting experience includes a recurring role on Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years for which he received a Gemini nomination, as well as numerous sitcoms and adventure series.
In the fall of 2004 Bret was voted one of the top 50 Canadians of all time on CBC's Greatest Canadian. Bret says he doesn't yet know how he's going to live up to such an honor, but that it'll be great fun to try. And try he did when he was admitted to the WWE Hall of Fame not too long afterward.
A former National Football League player who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders, Neidhart traveled to Calgary to train with Stu Hart after being released by the Cowboys. A talented shot putter, he earned his nickname -- "The Anvil" -- from his skill in the sport of anvil tossing.
He worked for Stampede Wrestling, Hart's Calgary based promotion, for several years, during which time he married Ellie Hart, one of Stu's daughters. He thus became the brother-in-law of fellow wrestlers Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Ross Hart, Keith Hart and Davey Boy Smith, and the uncle of wrestlers Teddy Hart and Harry Smith.
Neidhart eventually joined the World Wrestling Federation, and formed a highly successful tag-team, "The Hart Foundation", with Bret. They were managed by "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, who led them to their first Tag Team Championship while interfering to effectively end their second championship reign at WrestleMania VII. After Bret split off into singles competition, Neidhart teamed with Owen as "The New Foundation", and also briefly competed under a mask in 1996 as "Who?"
He later reunited with Bret as part of his stable of Canadian sympathizers. After Bret left the company on bad terms in 1997, Neidhart followed him to World Championship Wrestling where he formed a tag team with Davey Boy Smith, who also followed Bret there. Although this was his first true big-money deal, they were rarely utilized by WCW head Eric Bischoff. They achieved little in-ring success, and he was eventually released and returned to the independent circuit.
Neidhart continues to wrestle on the Canadian independent circuit, and is pursuing a career in real estate. His daughter, Nattie Neidhart, is also a wrestler.
Powerslam 4/Shoulder Block 2
He is the most electrifying man in sports and entertainment. He is quickly becoming one of the most recognized faces on the planet and one of the hottest celebrities in all walks of life.
Call him whatever you want, but to the millions -- and millions -- of fans around the world, there is no substitute for The Rock.
A third generation WWE Superstar, The Rock at first did not plan to follow in the family tradition of sports entertainment stardom, but instead used his athletics heredity on the gridiron where he starred for the University of Miami. After a very brief professional football career, The Rock decided to give WWE a shot -- a choice that would prove to begin a new era in the entertainment world. In only a few years, The Rock was a multi-time WWE Champion and one of the most celebrated superstars to ever set foot in the ring.
But it was more than his ability to layeth the smacketh down in the ring that made The Rock a Superstar. His quick wit, charisma, and ability to talk smack earned such raves that "The People's Champion" was asked to speak to the people over and over again. Among his many famous public appearances were stints hosting Saturday Night Live in 2000 and a speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention.
By 2001, The Rock became a multi-media superstar, having starred in the feature film, "The Mummy Returns," and its highly successful prequel, "The Scorpion King." His autobiography, "The Rock Says..." was a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.
The Rock may have earned his biggest box office break to date with a starring role in "Walking Tall," an action drama based on a true story that is expected to be even more successful than his previous hit, "The Rundown." While many consider The Rock to be Hollywood's next great superstar, he still believes that World Wrestling Entertainment is his home and is ready to return to the ring when duty calls. When Mick Foley suffered injury and humiliation at the hands of Evolution, Rocky returned to RAW to reform the Rock 'n' Sock Connection and the two competed as a team at WrestleMania XX. While Evolution walked out as the winner, The Rock proved that he has not lost his touch in the ring and at the microphone and is as beloved as a WWE Superstar now more than ever!
Rock Bottom/The People's Elbow
Besides being one of the most popular, dangerous and rebellious Superstars in the history of WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin is also a six-time WWE Champion, the only three-time Royal Rumble Match winner and a King of the Ring winner, among many other distinctions. He has also won the WWE Championship at WrestleMania on three separate occasions.
Stone Cold Steve Austin broke into the world of sports-entertainment in 1990 in Texas, where he was trained by "Gentleman" Chris Adams. It was against Adams that Stone Cold had his first heated rivalry. It only fanned the flames when Steve took on Lady Blossom, Adams' ex-wife, as his manager. Stone Cold's USWA tenure lasted about a year before he moved on to WCW. There, he won the WCW Television Championship immediately under the moniker of "Stunning" Steve Austin. It would be the first of two TV championship reigns while in WCW.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat would wrest the Television Championship from Stone Cold at Clash of the Champions, and the Alliance split up not long after. But this series of events had a silver lining, as Stone Cold found chemistry and substantial success teaming with Brian Pillman as "The Hollywood Blondes." The two would strut to the ring, taking turns playing the role of film director and movie star under the lights and before the attentive crowd.
Later on Steve suffered a knee injury and was written off by WCW. Head of WCW Eric Bischoff fired Steve over the phone. Injured and unemployed, Steve went home to rehabilitate his knee and drink plenty of beer. While recuperating, he received an unexpected phone call from ECW owner Paul Heyman, his former WCW manager. Heyman offered Steve a forum to air his grievances about WCW. He gave Steve a microphone and told him run wild with it. What followed were a series of scathing commentary segments, including "Monday Nyquil" mocking WCW's Monday Nitro television broadcast. When "Superstar" Steve Austin let his passion and personality out, he struck a chord and caught on with the fans like never before.
In January 1996, Steve received an opportunity to join WWE as Ted DiBiase's "Million Dollar Champion." Using the moniker of "The Ringmaster," Steve battled Matt Hardy and Marty Jannetty before experiencing his first WrestleMania (XII) in a win over Savio Vega. But at the In Your House event titled "Beware of Dog," Steve lost a special Strap Match to Vega. As a result, DiBiase was forced to leave WWE. Without DiBiase holding the reins, Steve had the opportunity to strike out on his own. He promptly declared that he lost to Vega on purpose to get rid of the overbearing DiBiase. Now, he was his own man in WWE, and would be known as "Stone Cold Steve Austin."
A defiant Stone Cold won the 1996 King of the Ring tournament in June, defeating Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the finals. He began badmouthing Bret Hart soon thereafter, who was on hiatus from WWE, but eventually Bret Hart answered the longstanding challenge. Their rivalry continued through Royal Rumble and into WrestleMania 13. Stone Cold refused to tap to the Sharpshooter, but he eventually passed out from excessive blood loss, ending the bout. The image of Stone Cold caught in the Sharpshooter will forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history.
Thereafter, Stone Cold's claims to fame are many, but he is perhaps best remembered for his battles with WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon that began in 1998. The rivalry led to Stone Cold occupying many unique roles outside the ring, including a stint as WWE CEO. In fact, it was Mr. McMahon who spoke out against Stone Cold's return during a meeting with the WWE Board of Directors to decide The Rattlesnake's reinstatement -- yet another battle against Mr. McMahon that Stone Cold won.
While a neck injury may have forced Stone Cold to stop competing in the ring after WrestleMania XIX, he continues to be a star. And since he recently signed a three-picture deal under the WWE Films banner, he will soon be thrust back into the international spotlight. But whether it's Hollywood or in the WWE ring, Stone Cold will always be a trash-talking, beer-swilling, finger-gesturing, ass-kicking son of a bitch... and he, and the millions of WWE fans around the world would not have it any other way.
Stunner 1/Stunner 3
After providing color commentating on SmackDown alongside Michael Cole, Tazz returned home to ECW where he spices up the booth with Joey Styles.
Known as "The Human Suplex Machine," Tazz was among the most feared and respected athletes to ever step into an ECW ring. Perhaps no one was a more dominant ECW Champion than this tough-as-nails native of the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York. His kata hajime hold, known as the Tazzmission, was among the most dangerous submission maneuvers ever displayed in the ring.
Tazz first came to prominence in 1993 when he joined ECW. In almost seven years in ECW, Tazz became an icon in Philadelphia and beyond. Using his football and judo backgrounds to his advantage, Tazz won every championship the promotion had to offer. He held the ECW Tag Team Championship three times and the ECW Television Championship twice, even creating his own FTW Championship at one point.
After a lengthy rivalry with Sabu that is regarded as one of ECW's most bitter, Tazz reached his zenith in ECW in 1999 when he won the ECW World Title, which he held for nearly a year.
Ground Tazzmission/Back Tazzmission 2