Cause of Death: Heart Disease
Yokozuna (Rodney Anoa’i)
Cause of Death: Heart Attack
Goldberg spears the ringpost and knocks himself out
Scott Hall Knows How To Work A Tag Match
Carmen Basilio (right) celebrates with his cornermen after knocking out Tony DeMarco (left) in the 12th round for the world welterweight title, Nov. 30, 1955
Eagles at Giants, Nov. 20, 1960 | Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik celebrates after laying out New York Giants running back Frank Gifford at Yankee Stadium. The hit forced Gifford to temporarily retire from football.
Some have called it the most brutal sporting event in the world. Once a year in the middle of Florence, rival teams duke it out in a violent, body-to-body match played on a sand-covered playing field as fans wildly cheer on their neighborhood squad.
Although the pre-game festivities are elaborate, the game itself is rather simple: players use hands, heads, and feet to get the ball over four-foot high wooden fences at either end of the field. They hurl themselves and block their opponents by punching, kicking, and wrestling them to the ground, sometimes so violently that it leads to bloodshed. There’s sand-throwing, elbowing, and choking in the 50 minutes of combat, with no substitutions and no timeouts.
Local police have had to step in to make the game less thuggish: a few years ago they barred convicted criminals and players who were considered too violent. Referees in plumed hats scramble to enforce the few rules inside the field, but their role is limited, and players pay little heed in the mayhem. One rule seems to be adhered to, however: no kicks to the head.
At the final cannon shot, players are caked in blood, sweat, and sand, their shirts ripped to shreds. The triumphant winning team takes home the prize: a much-coveted Chianina breed cow.
By Brian Damage
“There are 3 types of men: tough men, wrestler-tough men, and then there’s Meng.”- Arn Anderson
Very few men in the history of pro wrestling has garnered fear…legitimate fear for a single individual than Tonga Fifita. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, he was also known as Meng in WCW and Haku in the WWF. Regardless what you call him, make sure you do it with a smile and respect…because Tonga Fifita has one heck of a reputation.
The stories you hear or read are that of legend. Whether it’s gouging another wrestler’s eye out or breaking off someone’s bottom teeth in a brawl…Fifita has been called one…if not the toughest wrestlers in the business. A man who was truly feared and respected for his brute strength and unprecedented intensity. All it took was a certain look or glance from his eyes and you knew if you were going out of bounds.
“If I had a gun and was sitting inside a tank with one shell left and Meng is 300 yards away, he’s mine, right? Well the first thing I’m going to do is jump out of the tank and shoot myself because I don’t want to wound that son of a bitch and have him pissed off at me.”
“The toughest man I’ve ever met in my life. “He took his two fingers on his right hand, his index finger and trigger finger, and he reached into a guy’s mouth and he broke off the guy’s bottom teeth.” Heenan added, ‘I wouldn’t have believed it, if I didn’t see it for myself.’ Bobby Heenan also claimed that Andre the Giant wasn’t afraid of anybody…except for Harley Race and Haku.
In one of the strangest REAL moments in Pro Wrestling history, a drunken Andre the Giant (wrestling in Japan) showed what happens when you legitimately don’t want to cooperate with your opponent.
Andre’s opponent, Akira Maeda, was a true tough guy. Known as a “shoot fighter”, Akira would often compete in MMA styled bouts. (This was in 1986; long before MMA became popular.)