• 07/26/2012 (10:37:01 pm)
  • Bob Mulrenin

How The Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling’s 1st Black Superstar…

The King of New Orleans : How the Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling's First Black Superstar:

by Robert Weir

To too many fans, The Junkyard Dog is a largely forgotten name in professional wrestling. To some, he was a late 1980's - early 1990's out-of-shape wrestler for the WWF and WCW. Greg Klein's new book "The King of New Orleans : How The Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling's First Black Superstar" documents that in the early 1980's, The JYD owned professional wrestling in the old Mid-South territory, Klein provides wall-to-wall coverage of how, and more importantly, why Mid-South Sports owner Cowboy Bill Watts and his booker Ernie Ladd turned a fairly inexperienced wrestler named Sylvester Ritter into a superstar called the Junkyard Dog.

You will read detailed stories as to how JYD became the biggest wrestler from the Louisiana gulf coast through Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas. All of the important angles, and decent thumbnail sketches of all of JYD's partners and opponents are included in this book. Of special interest is the fabulous coverage given to the JYD/Fabulous Freebird angles; how Stagger Lee made his entrance to Mid-South and the famous initial "Last Stampede" angle.

Other highlights include the real reason that JYD jumped from Mid-South to the WWF; How and why JYD became Hulk Hogan's tag team partner; JYD at Wrestlemania; his eventual firing from the WWF and his signing with the WCW to feud with Nature Boy Ric Flair over the WCW heavyweight title.

Aside from all of the particulars about JYD's life and career, Klein makes an excellent case for why JYD should be considered the true first black wrestling superstar. Included in his analysis is thoughts about the careers of fellow black wrestlers such as Bobo Brazil; Rocky Johnson and Ernie Ladd. All-in-all, a much deserved and well researched look at a wrestler who for the first half of the 1980's was one of the biggest wrestlers in America.

Available at


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