The Legends of Wrestling: "Classy" Freddie Blassie
Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks
A child of immigrants, Freddie grew up in a working-class neighborhood in south St. Louis. At seventeen, Freddie made his wrestling debut in a carnival. Unhappy with his choice of occupation, his family persuaded him to keep his "real" job, and for a while he worked as a meatcutter. But after serving in the Navy in World War II, Freddie returned to the world of wrestling, which was at the time still something of a carnival sideshow. Here he picked up his catch phrase: "pencil neck geek."
Early in his career, Blassie wrestled on cards promoted by Jess McMahon, and would later work for both his son, Vincent James McMahon, and his grandson, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the current owner of World Wrestling EntertainmentTM. Even after his active days in the ring came to an end, he showed that he still had the power to generate heat: "Classy" Freddie Blassie became the manager of heels, transferring to a whole new generation of wrestlers the style and knowledge that had made him a legend of wrestling.
Blassie is still provoking the public, with his autobiography -- Legends of Wrestling: "Classy" Freddie Blassie -- Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks -- written with Keith Elliot Greenberg. Freddie weaves vibrant tales of his days in wrestling with the likes of Hollywood Hulk Hogan, The Rock, George "The Animal" Steele, Capt. Lou Albano, John Tolos, The Destroyer, Killer Kowalski, Nikolai Volkoff, and the Iron Sheik. He frankly chronicles his dealings with colorful members of the wrestling fraternity and the promoters, even recounting the controversies -- like the infamous "boxer vs. wrestler" match with Muhammad Ali, who was managed by Blassie. His out-of-the-ring stories are equally compelling.
Freddie details his countless sexual exploits and his three marriages. He reflects on the cult status that he gained after his song "Pencil Neck Geek" rocketed to the top of the Dr. Demento Show playlist. He recounts his touching relationship with comedian Andy Kaufman, who cast him in Breakfast with Blassie -- an underground classic in which Blassie uttered: "What the hell ever happened to the human race?"
Read an Excerpt
"Blassie, you ain't worth a bucket of cold piss!"
I scowled at the crowd squeezed into Jersey City's Roosevelt Stadium, a decaying ballpark in a grimy city. Once, the Brooklyn Dodgers used to come across the Hudson River and play a couple of home games here every year. But that was a long time ago. Now, it was 1964, the Dodgers were in sunny California, and everything about Jersey City seemed hopeless. Unless you were Italian, and loved Bruno Sammartino.
"Go back to California, you bleached blond piece of shit!"
Bruno was a bear of a man with a busted nose and cauliflower... see more