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Big Daddy (1930-1997)


Real Name - Shirley Crabtree
Lifespan - 11/14/30 - 12/2/97
6'6" 375 lbs. - Halifax, West Yorkshire, ENG

Athletic Background - Bodybuilding, Rugby

Teacher(s) - Shirley Crabtree (Sr.), George Hackenschmidt

Professional Background - Britain(`52-`61), Britain(`76-`93)

AliasesBlonde Adonis, Mr. Universe, Battling Guardsman

Groups - none

Peak Years - `77-`85


Finisher(s) - 
- Daddy Splash (Big Splash)
- Falling Backdrop

Favorites -
- Backdrop
- Shoulder Block
- Bodyslam
- Corner Whip
- Overhead Forearm to Chest


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat
 Legacy


Place in History - When you talk about pro-wrestling in Britain, you just cannot avoid mentioning Shirley Crabtree, better known as Big Daddy. A massive man with grumpy old man charisma, Big Daddy became the biggest pro-wrestling star on the "World of Sport" television show. As a young man, Shirley Crabtree was a tanned and well-muscled bleached blond heel. After leaving the sport for several years, Shirley came back this time as his brother Max Crabtree's star. Based on Burl Ives' character from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Max reinvented his aging obese brother. Initially, he was a heel and he was excellent at it. In time though, Big Daddy transformed in to a "blue eye." By 1977, Big Daddy became the "People's Champion." He feuded with the larger and just as nasty Giant Haystacks in the most memorable feud in British wrestling history. They battled on-and-off for years with Daddy having side feuds with people like Mighty John Quinn, Mick McManus and "Banger" Walsh. Daddy became famed for marching to the ring in a top hat and children alongside him to the song "We Shall Not Be Moved" (which he recorded a version of in his prime). After "World of Sport" went off television, the popularity pro-wrestling in the U.K. basically nosedived and Daddy had a couple strokes over the next few years that ended his career and life. The legacy of Big Daddy is indeed controversial. Although he was huge star and had a cult following in Britain, many feel his greed to be on top, his poor quality of work and he and his brother's inability to establish a new generation of stars killed a once great scene.
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