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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Brooklyn Brawler - Yay Or Nay For The Hall of Fame


Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement…

And the latest installment of Yay or Nay for The Hall of Fame…


This week’s subject Steve Lombardi, best known the wrestling world as The Brooklyn Brawler… which was one of his various names, he was one of the guys who performed the characters of Doink The Clown and Kim Chee, and was The Boston Brawler for a brief period when The Red Sox actually won the World Series… but his most famous person is that of ‘The Brooklyn Brawler’.

Now I tried to find out about as much as I could from his pre-WWE days… but as near as I can tell… he was a WWE lifer, in fact outside of matches with independent promotions much later in his career, I can’t find any record of him performing anywhere other than the WWE going all the way back to 1983… and given that was recently released this year, that’s a 33 year stint with the company, that is only beat by the like of Howard Finkel and Vince McMahon.

But the question is this, does the Brooklyn Brawler deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Well let’s see…



For the vast majority of his career, he was an enhancement talent, he would defeat no name talent to gain credibility so that when he would lose to someone the WWE was pushing up the card, they would seem impressive. It’s really a lost art, as many guys in the world of pro wrestling had long careers and having a decent level of notoriety… this was before the Monday Night Wars and Attitude Era combined with the ‘rise’ of the internet age when a number of wrestlers started believing the message boards, killing off a vital cog in helping guys get over. And The Brooklyn Brawler was one of the best at it, as victories over him helped cement the careers of many stars.


And as mention earlier he had a number of other roles, he filled in for the role of Doink The Clown when the original person in the role was fired, served as the handler for Kamala (kind of like a manager), even had a couple of baseball themed characters one of which was to take advantage of the 1994 Major League Baseball strike…




Perhaps his most famous moments would be his involvement with Bobby Heenan in The Brain’s feud with The Red Rooster Terry Taylor in 1989, being the guy who The Rock had a tryout match with in 1996 and as part of a handicap match, pinning Triple H in 2000… so yeah two of these were on-camera bits and can be seen on the WWE Network, doubt there is footage to see how the Brawler tested The Rock in that tryout match… but since he was on the lower end of the of card, the Brawler doesn’t really have a lot of ‘great’ moments one could call upon, because that wasn’t his role.



And I almost forgot, he had a memorable surprise appearance at the WWE TLC event a couple of years ago in Brooklyn that got a huge pop...


Behind the scenes, it’s said the Brawler would run the promo-area, to help guys learn how to cut the various promos they needed to do and was a ‘go-for’ for Vince McMahon, basically if Vince wanted a club sandwich, the Brawler was the one to go and get it.

 
So taking this all into account… he did a job that no one in today's’ WWE wants to do in the ring, and that was to put guys over and worked behind the scenes… was he a draw, no… but he helped build those who did draw in large crowds… and of course that has to account for something…

Which makes the verdict this… yes The Brookyln Brawler gets a yay for the Hall of Fame…

When he’ll actually go in is another question all together, if they need a spot filled, that’s when I see him getting the call to the hall.

Next week’s case may seem like a slam dunk yay… but I’m not so sure… as I take a look at the career of one Brutus The Barber Beefcake…



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