Professional wrestling is simply the best, which is a claim that probably doesn’t need to be substantiated if you’re reading this article. So, any excuse to give kudos to some of the greatest to have ever stepped foot inside the squared circle is always a fun pastime.
There are a handful of former World Champions that will celebrate their 50th birthdays in the coming year. Not all of these acclaimed competitors are among us today, but they have all achieved the pinnacle of this business in either WWE, WCW, ECW, or a combination of the three.
Only one former World Champion is full-time active among these five, which is a credit to his longevity. The other living greats on this list are still in the business, contributing with their knowledge in equally productive ways. They either announce or have podcasts or even try to start up new promotions.
There’s one entry among the following that will forever be controversial, so maybe saying that we’re “celebrating” all of these half-centennial birthdays is a poor choice of words. Regardless, he still fits the criteria and his accomplishments are etched in history. So bust out the birthday cake, light up 50 candles, and make sure the batteries are fresh in your smoke detectors as we see who’s hitting this huge milestone in 2017.
In the original run of ECW, there was one Human Suplex Machine that had a presence like no other. Tazz didn’t have the height of many other top stars of the time (he’s only billed at 5’9’’), but he was built like a fridge and could hurl wrestlers of any size, with the greatest of ease.
Tazz won the ECW World Heavyweight Champion twice during his years in the Philadelphia-based company. That number doubles if you also include his ECW FTW Heavyweight Championship victories. His most trivia-buzzing title reign came after he already left Paul Heyman’s company for Vince McMahon’s WWF.
He was given permission to go back for the sake of defeating the newly signed to WCW Mike Awesome for his title. This reign had lasted for only ten days before he dropped it to Tommy Dreamer, but there was an episode of SmackDown sandwiched in the middle, in which he carried the belt to the ring for a match against WWF Champion, Triple H.
Expectedly, Tazz lost that matchup. Tazz celebrates the big 5-0 later in 2017. On October 11th, he’ll be cutting his cake, while presumably preparing for an interview on his hit podcast.