Ernie Ladd

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Real Name - Ernie Ladd
Birthdate - 11/29/39
6'9" 320 lbs. - Orange, TX

Aliases - none

Athletic background - Football (AFL)

Teachers - n/a

Professional background - Various(60s), NWF(`72), Los Angeles(`72-`73), Detroit(`73), Indianapolis(`73), NWF(`74), WWWF(`74-`79), Florida(`77), Mid-South(`78-`8?), Central States(`80), Indianapolis(`80), WCCW(`81)

Groups -

Peak Years - `73-`79

Career Highlights -
- Begins wrestling in the off-season and becomes an instant top star and draw
- Defeats Waldo Von Erich to win his first major gold, the NWF Heavyweight belt
- Enjoys a successful run with Bruno Sammartino in the mid-70s
- Feuds with the aging Dick the Bruiser over the WWA Heavyweight title in the last top-level feud of his career
- Becomes a booker for Bill Watts' Mid-South and helps turns the territory into a powerhouse

Finisher(s) -
- Thumb to Throat
- Big Boot

Favorites -
- Dropkick
- Shoulder Block
- Neckhang
- Uppercutts
- Chop

Ringwork Rating -
move set - 4
science - 0
aerial - 2
power - 7
strikes - 4

Intangible Rating -
entertainment - 6
selling - 5
bumping - 5
carrying - 4
heat - 8
legacy - 7

Place in History - Perhaps no pro football player turned wrestler was ever more popular and successful in both sports than Ernie Ladd. Throughout the 60s, Ladd played for several teams and was a four-time Pro Bowler as a Defensive Tackle. He was the biggest man in the league and amongst the gutsiest as he butted heads with management over his pay and his right to wear a beard. After his peak years as a football player past, "Big Cat" made the jump to wrestling full-time. Mainly a heel, Ladd and his taped thumb brawled around throughout the 70s in about every major promotion in the world. He enjoyed most of his full-time success on top working programs with all the big names of the day. Ladd began breaking down badly in the early 80s, but thankfully had a good head on his shoulders. To the fans he was a wrestler/manager, but Ladd was Bill Watts' right hand man in Mid-South. He was the man who helped Watts with the dynamic of the black hero, the formula Watts used with the Junkyard Dog, Butch Reed and later Ron Simmons with various degrees of success.