On the heels of Sgt. Slaughter being laid off by Vince McMahon last week as a backstage road agent for the WWE, I’d like to rewind back to June 1984 in Madison Square Garden NY, when Sgt. Slaughter was in his prime as one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWF, if not the world.
Slaughter had recently turned good (wrestling terminology is “face”) and defended the U.S. against the evil Iron Sheik, who was one the hated men in wrestling thanks to his pro-Iran stance. The Sheik’s manager was Freddie Blassie, one of the most notorious former wrestlers.
The match is historic for a few reasons: 1) A boot camp match is a hardcore match. Back in 1984, the level of violence in the WWF was rare, and taken very seriously by the fans. Faces rarely broke the rules during the era, so this match had no rules. 2) Slaughter’s patriotism helped land him a deal with GI JOE, and become one of the most famous wrestlers of all time.
Sgt Slaughter was fired by Vince McMahon in late 1984 for working out the GI JOE toy licensing deal with Hasbro, and talking about unionizing wrestling. If Hogan never went to the WWF, Sgt may have reached his level of popularity, and taken the top spot. The Sarge got screwed by Vince. He wrestled in the AWA, was featured in the GI JOE cartoon, and eventually returned to the WWF in 1990 as an evil turncoat American who supported Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. Slaughter cheated to win the WWF World Championship from The Ultimate Warrior in 1991. Slaughter would face Hulk Hogan, who in many ways replaced Slaughter as an American icon, and dropped the title to him.
The marine at the beginning of the match is Private Jim Nelson, who was a jobber whom Sgt. Slaughter trained to be competitive and fight communists.
The time of this clip is over 20 minutes. I highly recommend this excellent match: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xuvfk_sgt-slaughter-vs-the-iron-sheik-684_street
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