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Junkyard Dog (1954-1998)

      
    

Real Name - Sylvester Ritter
Lifespan - 12/13/54 - 6/2/98
6'2" 235 lbs. - Baton Rouge, LA

Athletic Background - Football (NFL)

Teacher(s) - Sonny King

Professional Background - GCCW(`77), Nashville(`77), Knoxville(`77), Memphis(`77-`78), Stampede(`78-`79), Mid-South(`79-`83), WWF(`83-`88), WCW(`90)

AliasesSylvester DeRitter, Leroy Rochester, Sylvester Ritter, Big Daddy Ritter, Stagger Lee

Groups - none

Peak Years - `80-`84


Finisher(s) - 
- The Thump (Powerslam)

Favorites - 
- Side Russian Legweep
- Football Tackle
- Crawling Headbutt
- Headbutt
- Punch


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes



Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment10 
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat10 
 Legacy



  
Place in History - In the early 80s, there were few regional stars as popular as the Junkyard Dog. In Bill Watts wanted to push a blue-collar black superstar to open up the fan base in the company he was building. Mid-South came alive with JYD's push and it's no surprise. A charismatic brawler with a good entrance, gimmick and innate ability to connect with the fans. The Dog was placed in some of the best angles of the day and turned Mid-South into one of the best territories in the country. However, the success didn't come without a price. A ballooning drug addict was getting trickier to keep on top, but Watts was doing it well. In `83 though, the Junkyard Dog left the company with no notice and became the #2 babyface in the WWF. The run was reasonably successful, but Dog didn't have genius booking pushing him hard and his game was dropping off further. While he remained a popular undercarder the WWF pushed people by him and let him go due to his drug abuse. Bar a short, forgettable stint in WCW, the JYD became a ghost in the wrestling world before his untimely death. Possibly the last huge regional star, the Junkyard Dog had what it took to make it as a bigger star on the national scene and even though he didn't many still remember him as a the great black hope that turned Mid-South around in the early 80s.
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