Eddie Gilbert (wrestler)

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Eddie Gilbert
Eddie Gilbert (wrestler) .gif
Birth nameThomas Edward Gilbert Jr.
Born(1961-08-14)August 14, 1961 [1]
Lexington, Tennessee, United States
DiedFebruary 18, 1995(1995-02-18) (aged 33) [1]
Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
Cause of death Heart attack
Spouse(s)
Missy Hyatt
(m. 1987;div. 1989)

Madusa
(m. 1990;div. 1990)
Family Tommy Gilbert (father) [1]
Doug Gilbert (brother) [1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Eddie Gilbert [2]
Tommy Gilbert Jr. [2]
Billed height5 ft 10 in (178 cm) [1]
Billed weight222 lb (101 kg) [1]
Billed from"Every girl's dream"
Lexington, Tennessee
Trained by Tommy Gilbert
Debut1977 [1]

Thomas Edward "Eddie" Gilbert Jr. (August 14, 1961 to February 18, 1995) was an American professional wrestler and booker, better known by his ring name, "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert. [1]

Professional wrestling entertainment form that mimics contact sports

Professional wrestling is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, that mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included to varying degrees.

A ring name is a name used for professional purposes by a professional wrestler, martial artist or boxer.

Contents

Professional wrestling career

Early career (1979-1982)

Gilbert started wrestling in 1977 in the Memphis, Tennessee-based Continental Wrestling Association as "Tommy Gilbert Jr." in honor of his father, Tommy Gilbert. [2] In 1980, he and his father won the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship.

Memphis, Tennessee City in Tennessee, United States

Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. The 2017 city population was 652,236, making Memphis the largest city on the Mississippi River, the second most populous city in Tennessee, as well as the 25th largest city in the United States. Greater Memphis is the 42nd largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 1,348,260 in 2017. The city is the anchor of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region, which includes portions of neighboring Arkansas and Mississippi. Memphis is the seat of Shelby County, the most populous county in Tennessee. As one of the most historic and cultural cities of the southern United States, the city features a wide variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods.

Continental Wrestling Association was a wrestling promotion managed by Jerry Jarrett. The CWA was the name of the "governing body" for the Championship Wrestling, Inc. promotion which was usually referred to as Mid-Southern Wrestling or the Memphis territory. This promotion was a chief NWA territory during the 1970s and early 1980s while operating out of Tennessee and Kentucky. The CWA was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance until 1986 and affiliated with the American Wrestling Association until 1989. In 1989, the CWA merged with the World Class Wrestling Association to form the United States Wrestling Association thus ceasing to exist as a separate entity. Lance Russell and Dave Brown were the television commentators and hosts for the Memphis territory, including the Continental Wrestling Association.

Thomas Edward "Tommy" Gilbert Sr. was an American professional wrestler. He wrestled for Continental Wrestling Association and throughout the South as Tommy Gilbert. He was the father of wrestlers Doug Gilbert and Eddie Gilbert.

World Wrestling Federation (1982-1984)

He spent a little bit of time wrestling in the World Wrestling Federation as an enhancement talent in 1982, before being promoted to mid-card status. He continued to work his way up the card when he was legitimately injured seriously in a car accident in 1983. He spent several months recovering before returning to the ring; upon his return, he stated on television that WWF Champion Bob Backlund had been a tremendous inspiration to him. Gilbert continued wrestling for the WWF until 1984. [1]

Bob Backlund American professional wrestler and actor

Robert Louis Backlund is an American retired professional wrestler with an in-ring career spanning over 30 years, best known for his tenures in the World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation, where he is a two-time WWWF/WWF Heavyweight Champion/WWF World Heavyweight Champion, as well as being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

Mid-Southern Wrestling (1984–1986)

Later, he began making a name for himself as Eddie Gilbert in CWA in Memphis, Tennessee. He teamed with his father and Ricky Morton in those years. In addition, he formed a team with Tommy Rich as "Fargo's Fabulous Ones", an attempt by Mid-Southern (Memphis) to bury and still cash in on the fame attained by the previous incarnation of the Fabulous Ones, Steve Keirn and Stan Lane, who walked out of the territory after a dispute. They held the AWA Southern Tag Team titles in 1984 until dropping them to Phil Hickerson and the Spoiler (Frank Morrell). The duo would break up soon after, with Gilbert turning heel. The two had a brief but intense feud, which memorably began on television when the two were presented with a "Tag Team of the Year" award by announcer Lance Russell and two guests. Gilbert, unaware his former partner was at the taping, badmouthed Rich, then the International Heavyweight Champion, until Rich came out to confront him. Rich immediately got the upper hand, running Gibert into the steel ringpost several times, bloodying him in the process before the cameras went to a commercial. After the commercial break, Gilbert told Russell he wanted Rich to come back out so he could apologize to him in person, stating he was wrong for still being bitter about the break-up of the team, and was fueled by jealousy of Rich's championship title reign and new found star status. When Rich accepted Gilbert's apology, Gilbert suddenly turned on him and, in front of a stunned audience and a speechless Russell, rammed Rich's head into the ringpost, just as Rich had done to him moments earlier. Gilbert then made his way to Bill Watts' Mid-South territory.

Ricky Morton American professional wrestler

Richard Wendell Morton is an American professional wrestler who has worked for such wrestling organizations as Jim Crockett Promotions, the American Wrestling Association, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Tommy Rich American professional wrestler

Thomas Richardson is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, "Wildfire" Tommy Rich. He is a one time former National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion. He primarily appeared in Georgia Championship Wrestling and Memphis throughout the 1980s, as well as World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling throughout the 1990s.

Stephen Paul Keirn is an American retired professional wrestler. He is a graduate of Port Tampa's Robinson High School. He is best known for his appearances in multiple National Wrestling Alliance territories as one-half of the tag team The Fabulous Ones, as well as his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name Skinner.

Universal Wrestling Federation (1986-1987)

In 1986, Gilbert went to work for Bill Watts at Universal Wrestling Federation, Eddie added the "Hot Stuff" to his name. He started a heel stable of wrestlers called "Hot Stuff International, Inc." and he managed it and wrestled. His stable included Sting, Ultimate Warrior and, Rick Steiner before they were stars. He was always a ladies' man and he stole Missy Hyatt from John Tatum in 1987, with his stable being renamed "H & H International, Inc." He married Hyatt in 1988. Iceman Parsons and Dick Murdoch would also join his stable later on at different times as well. Sting would eventually leave "Hot Stuff International, Inc." and feud with them.

Universal Wrestling Federation (Bill Watts) American professional wrestling promotion

The Universal Wrestling Federation was owner Bill Watts' attempt at taking his Mid-South Wrestling promotion to a national level in 1986. The attempt failed and in 1987, Watts sold the promotion to Jim Crockett Promotions and it became part of what would later be known as World Championship Wrestling. The promotion had started out as an NWA Territory known as NWA Tri-State founded by Leroy McGuirk in the 1950s. Tri-State promoted in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, the same area that Watts's Mid-South wrestling ran in before attempting to go national. In 1990, Herb Abrams started an unrelated wrestling promotion with the same name.

Rick Steiner American professional wrestler

Robert Rechsteiner is an American real estate broker and semi-retired professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Rick Steiner.

Missy Hyatt American professional wrestling valet

Melissa Ann Hiatt is an American professional wrestling valet, better known by her ring name, Missy Hyatt. She gained the majority of her fame working for World Championship Wrestling, before joining Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Eddie also worked as a booker, who came up with the famous Battle of New Orleans angle in late-1987 involving Chris Adams, Terry Taylor, Sting, and himself. Following a match in which Taylor defeated Shane Douglas due to interference by both Gilbert and Rick Steiner, Adams told referee Randy Anderson of the interference. As Adams pleaded his case with Anderson, Gilbert and Taylor attacked him, and Sting eventually evened the sides. The angle eventually spilled outside the ring into the stands, and near the concession area, featuring a huge brawl involving beer kegs, chairs, trash cans, tables, popcorn machines and other objects. Gilbert was awarded Best Booker of 1988 by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter . He would stay with the Universal Wrestling Federation until the Purchase from Jim Crockett Promotions

Shane Douglas American professional wrestler

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Randy Anderson American professional wrestling referee and amateur wrestler

Randall Anderson was an American professional wrestling referee and amateur wrestler who worked for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)'s Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON) is a newsletter that covers professional wrestling and mixed martial arts.

Continental Wrestling Federation (1988)

From there, Gilbert worked in Alabama's Continental Wrestling Federation (CWF), where he reformed Hot Stuff Inc. Gilbert also served as booker, with Paul Heyman as his assistant. The CWF was broadcast nationally on the Financial News Network, and Gilbert's creative work was widely praised by wrestling journalists. [3] However, Gilbert left due to conflicts with management.

Jim Crockett Promotions / NWA World Championship Wrestling(1988–1989)

Gilbert went to the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) -- which had purchased the UWF—and brought Hyatt, Heyman and his brother Doug Gilbert with him. Eddie teamed with Rick Steiner to feud with Kevin Sullivan and his Varsity Club. He also became involved in a feud with Ric Flair and Barry Windham in which he teamed with Ricky Steamboat and Lex Luger. Near the end of his stint there, JCP was renamed World Championship Wrestling, and Gilbert was featured in the first WCW video game.

USWA and various promotions (1989–1995)

Eddie left WCW in late 1989 and also divorced Hyatt. He went back to the independents where he could book again. He worked for the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) in Memphis (where he feuded with Jerry Lawler) [4] and the Global Wrestling Federation (GWF), as well as Philadelphia's Tri-State Wrestling Alliance promotion. Gilbert also married Madusa at this time after having hit it off with Madusa on TWA promoter Joel Goodhart's radio show, but the marriage was brief.

Gilbert's most famous feud in the Memphis territory involved an angle between himself and Lawler in 1990. Eddie and his brother Doug were "fired" from the promotion, and in retaliation hit Lawler with their car and fled the scene. Numerous home viewers, fearing for Lawler, immediately called the police to report what they had just seen as a legitimate vehicular assault. Lawler had to inform the police what was going on and Lawler was forced to appear on television (while selling his "injuries") sooner than intended out of concern that Gilbert would have been legitimately arrested if he didn't show on TV that he was all right.

Due to a pay dispute, Gilbert, along with his brother Doug (who wrestled under a mask as the Dark Patriot) left the GWF in 1992. Eddie Gilbert took with him the GWF North American Heavyweight Championship belt. He made a few defenses of the title in the USWA as the GWF World Heavyweight champion, despite being stripped of the belt and not being recognized as such by the GWF.

He wrestled in (and booked) the successor to Tri-State Wrestling.

Gilbert then returned to the USWA until early 1995 when he worked one night for Smoky Mountain Wrestling before traveling to World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico to wrestle and book.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993)

In 1993 he wrestled for NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, where he again teamed with Doug. He also served as head booker, but gave up his position in September 1993 to Paul Heyman, who eventually took the company national under the name Extreme Championship Wrestling. He would have a feud with Terry Funk.

Looking For Mr. Gilbert Shoot Interview

Shortly after leaving ECW in late 1993, Gilbert sat down with Bob Barnett and conducted a filmed shoot interview titled "Looking For Mr. Gilbert." Gilbert spoke openly about his life and career at a time when professional wrestlers rarely appeared on film out of character and almost never spoke publicly about the behind-the-scenes machinations of the wrestling business. The footage from the interview was later marketed on home video and sold through wrestling newsletters, as well as at independent wrestling shows, the first of its kind. "Looking For Mr. Gilbert" is now considered the first professional wrestling "shoot video", and in the decades since, countless professional wrestlers have conducted sit-down shoot interviews, most notably in RF Video's Shoot Interview series and Kayfabe Commentaries' YouShoot interview series.

Personal life

Gilbert married wrestling valet Missy Hyatt in October 1987. The couple divorced in 1989. Gilbert was also briefly married to Debrah "Madusa" Miceli in 1992.

Death

On February 18, 1995, Gilbert died of a heart attack in his apartment in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. [5] Ken Wayne and Jason The Terrible found Gilbert in his apartment. His father, Tommy Gilbert, stated that injuries to Eddie's chest and heart muscle had occurred in a serious car crash in 1983 and could have been a factor; Eddie's alleged use of painkillers since the accident could also have contributed to his heart condition. The Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl was held in his memory from 1996 to 1999.

Championships and accomplishments

Gilbert's Hardcore Hall of Fame banner in the former ECW Arena. Gilbert and Candido HHoF.jpg
Gilbert's Hardcore Hall of Fame banner in the former ECW Arena.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Harris M. Lentz III (2015). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed. McFarland & Co. p. 124. ISBN   978-1-4766-0505-0.
  2. 1 2 3 Thom Loverro (2007). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Simon & Schuster. p. 18. ISBN   978-1-4165-1312-4.
  3. Profile of Eddie Gilbert, part 1. EddieGilbert.com
  4. Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 88. ISBN   978-0-7566-4190-0.
  5. Power Slam Staff (January 1999). "Power Slam". This Month in History: February. SW Publishing. p. 28. 55.
  6. "Legends of the Arena Results 6.27.09".
  7. "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  8. "Memphis Hall of Fame". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved April 15, 2012.