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Bruce and Wrestling


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Huge fan of the Boss but also a fan of Professional Wrestling and currently working on a book about the first Wrestlemania. At the first Wrestlemania, the Tag-Team of The US Express, entered the ring to Born In The U.S.A. This has since been edited out of broadcasts, I assume WWF/WWE never had the rights to use this although I am convinced Bruce is, or at least was, a fan of the WWF. We know he mentioned King Kong Bundy and Hulk Hogan in his song I'm A Coward but recently I read Captain Lou Albano's (the big bearded Wrestling Manager and Cyndi Lauper's Dad in the Girls Just Want to Have Fun video) book who mentioned a young Bruce Springsteen used to show up at WWF shows in New Jersey and used to wait at backstage doors to carry the wrestlers bags. We also saw Bruce provide the soundtrack to the closing of the movie The Wrestler. Now, I know most wrestler stories carry a lot of embellishment but just wanted to know peoples thoughts or any stories they could share on the subject?.

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6 minutes ago, Jsgunnell said:

just wanted to know peoples thoughts or any stories they could share on the subject?.

I've messaged somebody who might know. I'll let you know if he replies.

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I became a wrestling fan in 1981 literally the same week that MTV came on the air and for four years I hardly watched anything but MTV and pro wresting.  So when rock & wrestling "merged" in '84 I was at a great vantage point to observe it.  I remember Tommy "Wildfire" Rich, who they had always touted as a country boy and a big Willie Nelson fan, now saying things in his promos like  "Just like Bruce Springsteen said, ya gotta stay hungry!"   But by 1987, I thought both rock and wrestling had lost their way and lost interest in keeping up with either. 

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CWA, a wrestling promotion active up until the mid 90s mostly in Europe and Asia, annually set up camp in my hometown Vienna for the whole summer. Their biggest stars were Austian local hero Otto Wanz, Bull Power (aka Vader), Fit (Dave) Finlay, Owen Hart and Chris Benoit, before they became stars in the WWF or WCW.

Every year the promotion would hire an American "star", like The Warlord or the Million Dollar Man, to come to Vienna and fight for the CWA title (and lose). Every American wrestler had the same entrance music: Born in the U.S.A.

Being somewhere between 10 and 12 years old, that was my first contact with Bruce Springsteen music. 

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I've heard back from Albee - a Laker - who used to play … actually, occasionally still plays with Bruce.

He reckons he never heard Bruce, or any of them, talking about wrestling … they'd all 'grown out of that' around the age of 14.

He can't say what Bruce got up to before 1970 but, as he never mentioned going to any shows, he doubts it.

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Him carry the bags must have been when he was a small kid. I'd be very surprised if Bruce were a wrestling fan even in his yearly teens. To me show wrestling is quit the opposite to what he is about. He mentions  some wrestlers and a boxer by name in that song and adds "bring 'em and I'll show them what a real man can do!"It's not like he's tipping his hat for them. ^_^

Edit: Did't see the reply from Eileen. I guess her reply sorts it out.

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2 hours ago, LeoGetz said:

Austian local hero Otto Wanz,

 

The only reason I (and most Americans) know of Otto Wanz is because he paid a promoter to become the American Wresting Association champion for a month or two in the early 1980s.  Anyway, don't want to digress further off the topic. 

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2 hours ago, Eileen said:

I've heard back from Albee - a Laker - who used to play … actually, occasionally still plays with Bruce.

He reckons he never heard Bruce, or any of them, talking about wrestling … they'd all 'grown out of that' around the age of 14.

He can't say what Bruce got up to before 1970 but, as he never mentioned going to any shows, he doubts it.

Albee Tellone?

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3 hours ago, TheBoss said:

Him carry the bags must have been when he was a small kid. I'd be very surprised if Bruce were a wrestling fan even in his yearly teens. To me show wrestling is quit the opposite to what he is about. He mentions  some wrestlers and a boxer by name in that song and adds "bring 'em and I'll show them what a real man can do!"It's not like he's tipping his hat for them. ^_^

Edit: Did't see the reply from Eileen. I guess her reply sorts it out.

I dont see how show wrestling is the opposite of Bruce. I mean each wrestler creates their own personna that they want to portray to the audience like Bruce. Bruce has described his shows as a sort of magic trick. The same could be said for pro wrestling when a small, diminutive wrestler defeats a much larger opponent but makes it look believable.

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9 hours ago, Eileen said:

I've heard back from Albee - a Laker - who used to play … actually, occasionally still plays with Bruce.

He reckons he never heard Bruce, or any of them, talking about wrestling … they'd all 'grown out of that' around the age of 14.

He can't say what Bruce got up to before 1970 but, as he never mentioned going to any shows, he doubts it.

That's pretty impressive Eileen... didn't realize you were so well connected!

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5 hours ago, rockaway88 said:

I dont see how show wrestling is the opposite of Bruce. I mean each wrestler creates their own personna that they want to portray to the audience like Bruce. Bruce has described his shows as a sort of magic trick. The same could be said for pro wrestling when a small, diminutive wrestler defeats a much larger opponent but makes it look believable.

I see it this way. Bruce is a live performer with a rather basic approach. It's not a lot of gadgets, costumes, mirrors, elevators, dancers, on-screen films, pre-recorded stuff. It's pretty much plug in and play. If Bruce is like a real wrestler then the "pro wrestlers" are like an heavily dressed up artist lip-synching and doing choreography to pre-recorded music. Nothing wrong with pro wrestling but it's theater about wrestling.

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1 hour ago, mariasbed said:

That's pretty impressive Eileen... didn't realize you were so well connected!

He occasionally comes back here if I tell him we're on about the good old days. He's on FB, too … and keeping very well at present.

Did you not hear the story of me being driven round Asbury Park/Ocean Grove/loads of places by Vini … and visiting the surf factory and dining with Vini and Tinker at that Highlands place with the lighthouse …?

Eeeeee, those were the days, eh? ;)

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