In this week’s instalment of Bandpicked, we ask Andy Williams of hardcore legends Every Time I Die for his favourite wrestlers from the 80s, the true golden age of wrestling.
Every Time I Die aren’t just one of my favourite bands they’re also a band that contains the guitarist I would least like to tussle with. The veritable man mountain Andy Williams is not just a top shelf riff-monger he is also, as of March this year, a pro-wrestler.
Andy Williams entered the ring under the banner of Smash Wrestling to take on Tarik. Although he lost his debut via chokeslam Williams will no doubt be back inside the squared circle once the touring cycle for Every Time I Die’s new album Low Teens is over.
So with all that in mind, here’s a wrestling themed Bandpicked courtesy of Andy Williams, with a few extra facts thrown in for ‘historical context’ (or something less wanky)…
10 best 80s wrestlers
1) Ric Flair
Andy Williams: “Cuz he’s untouchable.”
The nature boy is still an amazing wrestler at the age of 67. Known for his flamboyant dress sense and figure four leglock. He also has the world’s greatest delayed fall down. From forming the four horsemen in the WCW to feuding with Hulk Hogan in the WWF, he provided some of the decade’s most memorable in and out of ring action.
2) Bruiser Brody
Andy Williams: “Cuz I always wanted to be him.”
Massive in Japan and a pioneer of the brawling style that would go on to be known as hardcore. If ever there was a wrestler that would have fitted in perfectly in ECW it was Brody. By Jove, did he not look the part?
3) The Raging Bull Manny Fernandez
Andy Williams: “He’s everything I want in a wrestler.”
Trained by Terry Funk and paired up with Dusty Rhodes, Manny captured the NWA tag team title. Still wrestling to this day at the ripe old age of 62. This list could be seen as a list of old guys not to be messed with.
4) Hulk Hogan – Circa ’83
Andy Williams: “I hate Hulk Hogan, but in ’83, he toured Japan and was a completely different wrestler. ’83 Hogan, is ’16 Andy Williams.”
Hulk Hogan needs no introduction. Possibly the biggest wrestler ever and partly responsible for wrestling becoming the entertainment juggernaut it is today. He was the face of wrestling throughout the 80s. The man responsible for more torn vest tops than anyone else in existence.
5) Macho Man Randy Savage
Andy Williams: “I still wanna be him.”
Randy Savage was one of the first wrestlers to excel at both the in ring action and out of ring interviews. From the flying elbow drop to “can you dig it?” he has left an indelible imprint on the minds of wrestling fans of my age.
6) The Great Muta
Andy Williams: “The reason I started watching wrestling.”
Every wrestler that has ever spilled blood in the ring has this man to thank for the idea. He was turning canvas crimson when Mick Foley was still breast feeding. In fact, they now measure the bloodiness of matches on the Muta scale.
7) Dynamite Kid
Andy Williams: “The most revolutionary wrestler of our time.”
The Dynamite Kid was the prototype for modern wrestlers. He displayed levels of athleticism and bravado unheard of at the time. A true technician and master of his trade, he was a true wrestlers’ wrestler.
8) Arn Anderson
Andy Williams: “Pick a body part and destroy it.”
Arn The Enforcer Anderson came to the fore as a member of the four horsemen along with the previously mentioned Ric Flair. Not only was he a fantastic technical wrestler but his improvisational skills on the mic were superb. He even improvised the name The Four Horsemen during an interview.
9) Steven Wright
Steven Wright was way before his time in terms of the shear number of highly complicated moves he could string together. Just take a look online at his match with Tiger Mask and witness ridiculous moves that flow seamlessly into one another.
Update: in a previous version of this article we made an erroneous claim about Steven Wright not technically being an 80s wrestler… we were wrong…
@MethodsUnsound Steven Wright wrestled until ’91!!!! He’s an 80’s wrestler! He just had a long career is all!!
— Garbage Toby Keith (@andycomplains) September 28, 2016
10) Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
Andy Williams: “There’s still no one cooler to me.”
Eddie Gilbert was one of the most charismatic men to ever be hit with a folding chair. Often teaming with the likes of the Steiner Brothers, Gilbert fought in and booked for many of the biggest wrestling organisations. Once again, look for Gilbert’s fight with The Great Muta online to see what made these guys so ahead of their time.
Every Time I Die’s new album Low Teens is out now and catch them on their UK tour in December on the following dates:
8/12/2016 – Southend, Chinners
9/12/2016 – Norwich, Owl Sanctuary
10/12/2016 – London, Brooklyn Bowl
11/12/2016 – Brighton, Haunt
12/12/2016 – Cardiff, Globe
14/12/2016 – Derby, The Venue
15/12/2016 – Doncaster, Vintage Bar
16/12/2016 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
17/12/2016 – Manchester, Gorilla
18/12/2016 – Glasgow, King Tut’s
19/12/2016 – Newcastle, Riverside
20/12/2016 – Huddersfield, Parish