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On this day in Wrestling history we celebrate what would've been the 71 birthday of the Sylvester Ritter. Formerly Big Daddy Ritter and starting his career as Leroy Rochester, he would achieve his biggest success as The Junkyard Dog. Before hitting it big The Dog spent time in Stampede Wrestling as Big Daddy Ritter and was apart of the first ever Ladder match on record.
Dog would achieve superstardom within the ranks of Bill Watts's Mid South Wrestling. Ultimately it was his charisma that made him the biggest star in wrestling not within WWE from his rivalries with Ted DiBiase and of course his feud with The Freebirds. Though Bill Watts would fall due to the oil crisis I believe that losing Dog was a massive loss that he never recovered from though he tried.
Sadly after making the move to WWE it was clear Dog had lost a step and wasn't the same performer he had been in Mid South. Due to this Dog would never reach the same level in WWE as he had in Mid South. One thing I had never known about Dog is that actually fought a few matches in the early days of ECW. On June 1, 1998 the wrestling world lost Sylvester Ritter in a single car accident he was only 45 years old. Thank you for the memories Dog and I know he still has smile knowing that he still has records for attendance in the old Mid South arenas.
Speaking of the Mid South region Happy Birthday to long time promoter Leroy McGuirk who had operated the Mid-South territory prior to Bill Watts taking over the region.