Something is going to give at Night of Champions. It has to. The card is so uninspiring that there has to be an angle that causes excitement or despair (like Undertaker) losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX).
[adinserter block=”1″]I think (and this has been floating in my mind since my good friend Chris McLeod) discussed it on Facebook) that “We the People” may see the patriot from Silsby, Texas, Mark Henry, turn his back on Old Glory.
Watch it happen. The theme of a wrestler turning his back on his country has been a constant in wrestling circles for decades. While this angle is fresh and seems a bit awkward, it still resonates with those of us who bleed red, white and blue.
With the idea of a changing of patriotism (which may also lead to a Mark Henry/Jack Swagger feud) here are six of the most patriotic wrestlers in the history of the business.
Besides being an Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler, Angle is the only wrestler in history to be a Triple Crown winner in both WWE and TNA. He is the first man to have held the WWE, WCW, TNA, IWGP, and World Heavyweight Championships in his career. Angle is also a two-time King of the Mountain winner, winning at the 2007 and 2009 Slammiversary pay-per-view event, making him the only wrestler to have been both King of the Ring (WWE) and King of the Mountain (TNA). Between WWE, TNA, and Japan, Angle has won 12 world championships and 20 total championships. In 2010, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter named Angle the Wrestler of the Decade of the 2000s, and in 2013 he became the second inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame.
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
A southern states regional star, then a huge mega character in the WWF, Duggan came to the ring with a 2×4 and led chants of, “USA, USA.”
In the WWF, Duggan was the winner of the first ever Royal Rumble match in 1988 and in WCW, he was a one-time United States Heavyweight Champion and a one time (and the final) World Television Champion.
In late 1991, he and Sgt. Slaughter formed a tag team. At Survivor Series, the duo joined the Texas Tornado and Tito Santana in an elimination match to defeat a team led by Col. Mustafa.
Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild all over you? The canary yellow and red bacme the new version of Red, White and Blue when the Hulkster wore WWF gold in the early 1980s.
Hogan enjoyed mainstream popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as the all-American character Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), and as “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, the villainous nWo leader, in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). A regular pay-per-view headliner in both organizations, Hogan closed the respective premier annual events of the WWF and WCW, WrestleMania and Starrcade, on multiple occasions. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. He was signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2009 until 2013, where he was the on-screen General Manager. IGN described Hogan as “the most recognized wrestling star worldwide and the most popular wrestler of the ’80s”
The American Dream was as patriotic as beer and apple pie.
Rhodes is a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and during his time in Jim Crockett Promotions (the forerunner of WCW), he was a former United States Champion, and multi-time Television, World Tag Team, and Six-Man Tag Team Champion. He has also won many regional championships during his wrestling career.
He is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
Many of the gimmicks of the old NWA in Jim Crockett’s promotion were the work of his fertile mind.
The only non-American to make this list. Possibly the greatest non-American character to ever appear in the WWF. Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri is a real Iranian wrestler with the hooked boots and the barrel chest. Known for his feuds with Sgt. Slaughter and Bob Backlund. Was a regional star in the NWA and AWA, as well.
He is known for ending the near six-year World Wrestling Federation Championship reign of Bob Backlund, and for being the man Hulk Hogan defeated for his first WWF Heavyweight Championship. He was trained by Verne Gagne in the same class that produced Ric Flair.
[adinserter block=”2″]SGT SLAUGHTER
Sgt. Slaughter may have topped them all. From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, he had success in the National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association, and the World Wrestling Federation. Among other titles, Slaughter held the WWF Championship once and the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship twice. He headlined WrestleMania VII in a singles match against Hulk Hogan.
In the 1980s, an alternate version of the Sgt. Slaughter character was incorporated into the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line as well as its animated series and comic books.
[amazon_link id=”B00JHH1YAW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE The Paul Heyman Story[/amazon_link]