CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) —Cleveland is the home of champions, from UFC to NBA, from CHL to MLB. With the gold flying around Ohio lately, it is time that we take a look at the WWE, and Ohio’s contribution to the squared circle.
Obviously not all representatives could make the top five, so right off the top I give you some rapid fire home towners. Dana Brooke was recently the sidekick of Charlotte Flair, but hales from Seven Hills, Ohio, just south of Cleveland. That is the same city that Abyss calls home, however while the masked former tag team partner of A.J. Styles was once rumored to be offered a contract from WWE, he never signed. The current Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss is off to a great start by earning the gold, but still too soon for an all-time great. Taking you deep into the archives, Dr. X was a Fremont native, who lettered at Ohio State and would go on to win the WWWF tag championship and challenge Bruno Sammartino for the World Title in the mid 60’s. Perry Saturn saw much of his success in WCW and ECW, although he would go on to hold the WWF Hardcore and European Championships. Cincinnati’s Dean Ambrose is one of the most over wrestlers in WWE right now and is part of one of the great trio’s in history with The Shield, however he has simply not had the tenure just yet to make our top five. With that, it is on to the show!
Memorable Heel: Carmella DeCesare (Avon Lake)
Before the modern Carmella would be FABULOUS, there was Carmella DeCesare, and she was notorious for heat with the WWE Universe as a part of the 2004 Diva Search. Although she would finish the competition as a runner-up, DeCesare was indeed hired along with Candice Michelle, Maria Kanellis, Michelle McCool, and winner Christy Hemme. She would fall short in a Pillow Fight Lingerie match against Hemme, and was released a few weeks after that match at Taboo Tuesday. Her short time will be remembered for the tremendous heat received. Since leaving the company she married for Cleveland Browns quarterback, Jeff Garcia.
Next Big Name: Johnny Gargano (Cleveland)
Johnny Wrestling (a play on Johnny “Football” Manziel) is brand new to the WWE scene. Those familiar with NXT may recognize him as one half of the current NXT Tag Team Champions. He has not yet gotten the call up, but to quickly give a nod to his illustrious indy background, he has won titles in; Chikara, Dragon Gate, AIW, Cleveland All-Pro, IWC, and was ranked #51 in pro wrestling illustrated’s top 500 singles wrestlers.
TOP FIVE WWE WRESTLERS TO COME OUT OF OHIO:
5. Brian Pillman – (Cincinnati)
For eleven years, Brian Pillman, was a Lunatic Fringe very similar to Dean Ambrose (ironic they share a home town.) In a time that the company was transitioning to the Attitude Era, Pillman was at the center of some of the company’s most controversial story lines. Prior to his time in WWE the “Loose Cannon” was an NWA Tag champions with then Stunning Steve Austin (Stone Cold.) In fact it was a rivalry with Steve Austin in which the story line called for Pillman to pull a gun on Stone Cold that caused much controversy in the 90s. For his pivotal role in the attitude era, pillman lands at number five.
4. Dolph Ziggler – (Cleveland)
No shock here. He is a proud North East Ohioan that is visible at Cavs games, Browns Games, and rocks local hoodies on air often on WWE programming. Ziggler is an adamant advocate for his two alma maters, St. Eds and Kent State University (fun fact, Dana Brooke is also a graduate of Kent State) Ziggler left Kent as the all time winningest wrestler in program history. Since entering WWE Developmental in 2004, Ziggler can boast almost every major title: World Heavyweight Champion 2x, Intercontinental Champion 5x, US Champion.
3. The Miz – (Parma)
Love him or hate him, The Miz has quietly piled up one of the most decorated careers of any superstar on the active roster today. (WWE Champion, 6x Intercontinental Champion, 2x US Champion, 4x Tag Team Champion, PWI #1 singles wreslter of the year 2011) Mike Mizanin is a graduate of Normandy High School and attended Miami of Ohio University. His appearance on The Real World in 2001 lead Miz to national fame. Since beginning his wrestling career on the indy scene (rarely talked about) in 2003, Miz has gone from Ultimate Pro Wrestling to Wrestlemania headliner. Miz is entering his 13th year with the WWE and still holds prominent role in the company.
2. Al Snow – (Lima)
What does everybody want? Yes, the man that carried around a mannequin head (in a strange way the original mannequin challenge?) is a native of the Buckeye State. Tenure alone has Al Snow in a rare air. Before joining ECW in 1995, Al Snow had already been in the business for thirteen years, starting with Ohio’s Midwest Championship Wrestling in 1982. He would garner much of his attention early on in the mid 90s with ECW. Snow remained with WWE on and off from 1995-2007, winning various titles: European Champion, Hardcore Champion 6x, and Tag Team Champion (with Mick Foley). He is still active in the business today and is currently signed with TNA.
1. “Macho Man” Randy Savage – (Columbus)
Widely regarded as one of the best wrestlers of all time, macho is undoubtably one of the biggest names from the golden era of WWE. Savage grew up in Zanesville and was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals out of High School to play baseball. He gave up baseball in 1974 to pursuit a career in the squared circle. During his 32-years in pro wrestling, Macho Man won 29 championships and headlined Wrestlemania’s 4, 5, and 8. Although Savage passed away in 2011, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. His superstar inside the ring translated in fame outside as well, acting in movie’s including Spider-Man and Bolt. As well as television appearances on Baywatch, Walker Texas Ranger, and Mad About You. His real life wife Miss Elizabeth was adored by the WWE Universe as well, with their on-air marriage one of the most memorable moments in WWE history.
WAIT ONE MOMENT: So there you have it! We here at That’s My 216 are major pro-wrestling fans and are looking to bring pro-wrestling coverage to the forefront of our site here in Cleveland, OH. Please support our efforts by allowing us to E-mail you our latest posts once per week, just enter your email when you click here! After that, we love to talk wrestling! Like and a share, commenting on our posts and being involved. Thanks! (FACEBOOK or TWITTER)
(photo couresty twitter: @TheQArena)