Pro Wrestling Icons: Junkyard Dog

Born Sylvester Ritter, Junkyard Dog was probably my favorite pro wrestler growing up. I say probably in the sense that I pretty much looked up to all the good guys.

But JYD stood out.

I was blown away by the energy and cool factor he brought to the ring; his trademark “thump” power slam, which was also printed on the back of his trunks, his chill but fight-for-good attitude, the energetic second-line parades that led him to the ring for some of his Mid-South appearances, all of it.

JYD was my first superhero.

So it was easy to choose Junkyard Dog as the first wrestler to be featured in a series of short but informative videos, Pro Wrestling Icons.

The dude, a black dude, for example, headlined and sold out the Louisiana Superdome in an era not so distant from segregation. An era that still boils my blood. But JYD conquered it despite the racism, and I think that speaks volumes in terms of will and perseverance. JYD had an abundance of both. Those two characteristics are really what ominously drew me to him as a kid and remains to be why I admire him so much to this day nevertheless not just as an athlete and entertainer, but as an awesome human being as well.

Being an awesome human being is also what makes Junkyard Dog an icon.

So check out the short video below to learn more about Junkyard Dog, and be sure to subscribe to both our YouTube channel and this website. This is definitely not the last time we’ll be showcasing Junkyard Dog and other great people ‘round these parts. So stay tuned…

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