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Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

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6' 0"


Finishing Move

Figure Four Leglock

Professional Debut: 1968

Trained By:

Johnny Valentine
Stu Hart
The Original Sheik

Born in Seattle, Washington, Valentine travelled around Texas in his teens with his father. During a summer vacation, John Wisniski, Jr. decided to drop out of college and become a wrestler. His father initially tried to deter him, but eventually ceded to his wishes and sent him to Canada in 1970 to train under the legendary Stu Hart in Calgary. Wisniski remained in Canada for a year, wrestling his debut match in July 1970 against Angelo "King Kong" Mosca (he lost in around five minutes). Six months later, Wisniski relocated to Detroit to complete his training under The Sheik.

The Fargo Brothers

Initially reluctant to take his father's ring name, Wisniski wrestled as Baby Face Nelson before becoming Johnny Fargo, one half of The Fargo Brothers with Don Fargo between 1971 and 1974. The Fargo Brothers initially competed in the Buffalo and Cleveland based National Wrestling Federation before moving on to Texas. In 1974 they split and Wisniski went to Florida, where he began performing as Johnny Valentine, Jr., hopeful that he could live up to his father's legacy. He later changed his ring name to Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, and was billed as Johnny Valentine's brother, not his son, because of fears that the elder Valentine would be thought of as too old to be a legitimate threat. Greg Valentine remained in Florida for a year while also working in Los Angeles and in Japan under Antonio Inoki in 1975 and early 1976.

National Wrestling Alliance

In August 1976, Valentine debuted in George Scott's Mid-Atlantic promotion, an affiliate of the National Wrestling Alliance based in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Valentine was hired to replace his father, who had been force to retire after he broke his back in a plane crash in 1975. He immediately began feuding with Johnny Weaver, who he "retired" with a top rope elbow drop. Valentine's elbow drop was promoted as a deadly move, with tapes of him breaking wooden boards with his elbow shown to the audiences before his debut.

Valentine then formed a tag team with Ric Flair, with whom he twice won the NWA World Tag Team Championships and held the Mid Atlantic Tag Team Championships (between June 30 and August 22, 1977). They first defeated Flair's "cousins" Gene and Ole Anderson on December 26, 1976 in Greensboro, injuring Gene so badly that he had to be stretchered out. They held the titles until May 8, 1977, when the Andersons defeated them in a steel cage match in the Charlotte Coliseum. Flair and Valentine regained the tag titles from the Andersons on October 30, 1977, this time leaving Ole unable to leave under his own power. The team split after they were stripped of the titles in April 1978 by NWA president Eddie Graham as a result of their "unprofessional conduct". Flair then set his sights on the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, while Valentine held the NWA World Tag Team Championships once more with Baron Von Raschke in 1978.

At the same time, Valentine feuded with Chief Wahoo McDaniel over the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship. Wahoo had cost Valentine and Flair their first tag team championships (Wahoo, the then-nemesis of Flair, had been the special referee in the steel cage match), so Valentine was eager for revenge. On June 11, 1977 in Raleigh he defeated Wahoo, breaking his leg in the process. Though Wahoo's legs were too thick for Valentine to apply his signature Figure Four leglock, he managed to break Wahoo's ankle using a Leg/Ankle Suplex. The heel Valentine then began wearing a T-Shirt with the slogan "I broke Wahoo's leg" on the front and "No more Wahoo" on the back. Wahoo returned on August 9, 1977 and took back the title. Valentine would hold the title once more, defeating Wahoo again on September 10, 1977 and losing to Ken Patera on April 9, 1978.

World Wide Wrestling Federation

Valentine began working on a casual basis for the World Wide Wrestling Federation, then owned by Vincent J. McMahon, in 1979. Managed by The Grand Wizard, he was given the gimmick of a methodical wrestler who broke the legs of all his opponents, including Chief Jay Strongbow. In his debut match, he faced WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund and fought him to a one hour draw.

Valentine returned to the WWWF, now known as the World Wrestling Federation, for a year in 1981 and continued to pursue the title. On October 19, 1981 he was pinned by Backlund, but then handed the title belt by the dazed referee. The title was held up, and Backlund defeated Valentine cleanly in the November 23 rematch. He also feuded with Pedro Morales, who he "injured" by suplexing him on the floor of the arena


Championships and accomplishments

American Wrestling Association
AWA Midwest Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jerry Miller

American Wrestling Federation
AWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Tommy Rich

Independent Association of Wrestling
IAW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
International World Class Championship Wrestling
IWCCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Midwest Wrestling Federation
MWF Tag Team Championship (1 time)
National Wrestling Alliance
NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
NWA Canadian Heavyweight Championship (Toronto Version) (1 time)
NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (1 time)
NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Tri-State version) (2 times) - with Bill Watts (1) and Gorgeous George Jr. (1)
NWA "Beat the Champ" Television Championship (1 time)
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Ric Flair
NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship (4 times)
NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Don Fargo
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (4 times) - with Baron Von Raschke (1), Ray Stevens (1), and Ric Flair (2)
National Wrestling Federation
NWF Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Don Fargo

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year award in 1975
PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year award in 1979
PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year award in 1983
PWI ranked him # 119 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
PWI ranked him # 51 of the best tag teams of the PWI Years with Ray Stevens.
PWI ranked him # 94 of the best tag teams of the PWI Years with Brutus Beefcake.

Southern Championship Wrestling
SCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Windy City Pro Wrestling
WCW League Championship (1 time)
World Championship Wrestling
WCW United States Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Terry Taylor
World Wrestling Council
WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
World Wrestling Entertainment | World Wrestling Federation
WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2004)
WWF Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
WWF World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Brutus Beefcake
Other Titles
IWA Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
NSWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with The Honky Tonk Man,