Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fred Blassie (born Frederick Kenneth Blassman; February 8, 1918 - June 2, 2003) was an American professional wrestler and 1994 WWF Hall of Fame inductee who was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a popular wrestling villain. Based on his success, Blassie was brought back to Los Angeles, California by promoter Jules Strongbow .
Blassie made his professional wrestling debut in 1935 after training with Billy Hanson . His first match was against Don McIntyre in Birmingham, Alabama for the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title on his 36th birthday. As he became one of NWA's top wrestlers, Blassie bleached his hair and adopted his trademark rulebreaking style. In Japan, his penchant for drawing blood earned him the nickname "The Vampire" because he had filed down his teeth to sharp points so he could cause bloody massacres. Every time the fans saw him, they would run away in terror.
Blassie had been wrestling many competitors like The Destroyer (Dick Beyer), Bearcat Wright, Mr. Moto, Mil Mascaras, Bobo Brazil , to name but a scant few. The "Blassie Cage" matches then flourished. The best remembered moment in his life is his legendary feud with John "The Golden Greek" Tolos, which dates back 4 decades, and set new levels for violence in the wrestling ring.
With his recording of the song "Pencil Neck Geek" and the bizarre film My Breakfast with Blassie (co-starring comedian Andy Kaufman), he maintained a devoted cult following, which was only heightened by his wrestling appearances throughout the 1980s in the World Wrestling Federation. Even after he retired as an active performer in 1986, Blassie was still one of the most popular wrestling personalities in the world.
He appears as a lyric in the R.E.M. (band) song "Man on The Moon". "Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess", with "breakfast" referring to the title of his movie.
Before his death, he released his autobiography, Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks . Even as his life was ending, he was still involved in wrestling. His last appearance on WWE television was six weeks before his death, when he came out to ringside in his wheelchair and participated in a storyline with The Dudley Boyz, climaxing his appearance by telling the Dudleys to "get the tables!"
He died on June 2, 2003 from heart and kidney trouble. He is survived by his wife Miyaka. From "The Hollywood Fashion Plate" and "The King of Men" to "The Vampire" and just plain "Classy" Freddie Blassie, he will always be remembered.
The arrangements for his funeral were as follows:
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