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WWE: Junkyard Dog

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posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 02:21 PM

There may never have been a smoother or more successful transition from the gridiron to the ring than that of the late Sylvester Ritter.

The near 300 pound ruffian was an All American football standout from North Carolina's Fayetteville State University before trading in his helmet and shoulder pads for a pair of wrestling trunks and becoming the Junkyard Dog.

Despite his massive frame, JYD was abnormally quick on his feet and extremely durable. He seemed impervious to pain. Throughout the early '80s, the Dog was the biggest star in the Mid South Wrestling territory. When he arrived in WWE in 1984, his popularity hit an all-time peak, rivaling only that of Hulk Hogan at the time. Although he never won a title in WWE, JYD was a consistent top contender and a force to be reckoned with.

He challenged Intercontinental Champion and fellow 2004 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Greg "The Hammer" Valentine at the first WrestleMania.

In late 1985, he defeated "Macho Man" Randy Savage in the finals of a King of the Ring style tournament known as the Wrestling Classic. At WrestleMania III, he battled another fellow 2004 inductee, "The King" Harley Race.

Although he passed away tragically in 1998 as a result of an automobile accident, JYD's spirit lives on through current WWE Superstars Rodney Mack and Jazz who were trained for a career in sports entertainment under the watchful eye of the unforgettable Junkyard Dog.

WWE Hall of fame


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