Junkyard Dog

Oct 15, 2009 - by Steve Gerweck


Real name: Sylvester Ritter
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 325 lbs.
Date of birth: December 13, 1953
Date of death: June 2, 1998
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Pro debut: 1977
Trained by: Sonny King
Finishing move: The Thump


– On December 1, 1978, JYD, wrestling as Big Daddy Ritter, defeated Alo Leilani for the Stampede North American title.
– In August 1979, Ritter reclaimed the North American title from Jake Roberts in Calgary, Alberta.
– Ritter moved onto the hot Mid-South territory. It was short after that he adopted the entrance theme of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”
– On March 14, 1980 in Shreveport, LA, the Junkyard Dog won the Louisiana title by defeating “The Big Cat” Ernie Ladd.
– On April 6, 1980, the Junkyard Dog and Buck Robley defeated the Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy and Michael Hayes) for the Mid-South Tag Team title.
– The Junkyard Dog defeated Freebird Hayes on August 2, 1980 in a “steel cage dog collar” match.
– In September 1980, the Junkyard Dog and Terry Orndorff regained the Mid-South Tag Team title from the Freebirds.
– Junkyard Dog and Bill Watts beat Ernie Ladd and Leroy Brown on November 27, 1980.
– On January 29, 1981, JYD and Killer Karl Kox downed Ladd and Brown in Biloxi, MS for the Mid-South Tag Team title.
– On March 30, 1981, the Junkyard Dog and Dick Murdoch defeated Ladd and Brown for the Mid-South Tag Team title.
– The Junkyard Dog defeated Paul Orndorff in a “lights out” match on July 4, 1981.
– The JYD and Murdoch combo teamed up to capture two more Mid-South Tag Team titles in 1981.
– The Junkyard Dog defeated the Great Kabuki on December 7, 1981 to regain the Louisiana title.
– On May 5, 1982, the Junkyard Dog and Mr. Olympia defeated the Samoans for the Mid-South Tag Team title in Jackson, MS.
– The Junkyard Dog beat Bob Roop on June 21, 1982 in New Orleans, LA to claim the Mid-South North American title.
– After losing a “loser leaves town match,” JYD returned as the masked Stagger Lee, and on November 25, 1982, Lee defeated Ted DiBiase for the Mid-South North American title.
– The Junkyard Dog claimed his third Mid-South North American title on April 16, 1983 by defeating Mr. Olympia, and his fourth on October 26, 1983.
– On April 7, 1984, Stagger Lee and Bill Watts wrestled The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey) in a “lights out” match
– Junkyard Dog beat Butch Reed in a “ghetto street fight” on June 16, 1984.
– When Vince McMahon Jr. began his territorial talent raids, Junkyard Dog moved to the World Wrestling Federation.
– On November 7, 1985, the Junkyard Dog defeated the Iron Sheik at the event dubbed as “Wrestling Classic.”
– By the end of the 80’s, the Junkyard Dog was out of the WWF.
– On January 27, 1990, Junkyard Dog defeated Paul Jones in a “dog collar” match.
– At Halloween Havoc ’90, the Junkyard Dog defeated Moondog Rex.
– At the 1991 Great American Bash, JYD downed Black Bart in a dark match.
– The Junkyard Dog was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 13, 2004.
– On September 7, 2014, JYD was voted into the GERWECK.NET Hall of Fame.

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