Full Book Review: Listen, You Pencil Nek Geeks; Classy Freddie Blassie


Earlier today, I was reading a Facebook post of a wrestling site I tend to enjoy, The Wrestling Roundtable. Most of the posters consider themselves knowledgeable young turks, but their naivety struck hard when I read their replies to this simple quandary: Name the top five heels in wrestling history. Most lists were littered with the normal detritus, Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Rick Rude. All good answers, admittedly. Some mentioned Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, which I found almost comical. And those mentioning Triple H, well, that was farcical. None of these pencil neck geeks mentioned one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, heel of all time, “Classy” Freddie Blassie.

Its as if these guys have never heard of wrestling pre-1980. I will not lie, I was not privy to Blassie’s wonder years. Hell, I never even saw his managerial career. You see, I became a wrestling fan in 1989, which came after Blassie had “sold his wrestlers contracts” to the “Doctor of Style” Slick. (Another underrated pro wrestling talent.) But i had ways and means. My local video store (remember them?) was fully stocked with Pro Wrestling tapes. I mean, this place had every fucking tape you could fathom. Jim Crockett promotions? Got it. AWA shitfests? Had them. And the VHS leader of the times, WWF? Had them all. And I mean ALL. Remember those old “Best of the WWF” videos put out by Coliseum Video? You know, the ones with this intro:

Well, my video store had them ALL. And I soaked it all up. Eventually, once that store closed, I bought their full wrestling library for pennies on the dollar. My childhood was in those video cassettes. And one man stood out in particular on a great many of those VHS tapes: Classy Freddie Blassie. Blassie stood out to a young, impressionable fan. While none of his epic bloodbaths from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and sixties were not shown, it was his managerial style that impressed me. The man OOZED with…something. Charisma was not a word I yet understood. Blassie was a cut above, though. During that period of WWF, the mid to late 70’s to mid 1980’s, Blassie was easily the best manager the organization had to offer. Better than The Grand Wizard, better than Captain Lou.

“Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks” is Blassie’s autobiography, ghostwritten by WWF Magazine alum Keith Elliot Greenberg. And may I say, simply put, of all of the wrestling biographies I have read over the years, this one is BY FAR the most vulgar. To call Blassie’s language salty is both an insult to sodium and Blassie.

Freddie Blassie was born to, as he would put it, a saint of a mother and a degenerate fucking alcoholic of a father. Blassie never much cared for his delinquent pops, and this is a theme that permeates much of the book, as Blassie was never one to partake in booze or drugs. No, his vice was women. This is probably both the most discerning and refreshing part of the book. Blassie married at a young age and had three children, but his gimmick allowed for him to sleep with as many women as he could. As someone who has never cheated on a girlfriend, well, knowingly, at least, this fact pisses me off. He admits to his infidelities in graphic detail throughout, even giving some “Freddie Blassie Bedroom Tips. ” And those tips are covered in lubrocaine, if you catch my drift. In case you don’t, a recurring theme of the book is Blassie’s praise of a numbing agent called lubrocaine, which is a hybrid lubricant and numbing agent that allowed him to last longer in bed with ring rats. This is the level of discourse we are dealing with in this tome. And, as a wrestling fan, it is EXCELLENT. You thought Flair’s book was dirty? To quote a movie, sort of, “Ric Flair ain’t got SHIT on Freddie Blassie.”

Once again, I want to state that this book is, in a word, PROFANE. To the nth degree. Blassie pulls no punches. Just look at the marriage that ended up working for him: he met a kimono girl in Japan, talked her up one night, then, TWO YEARS LATER, came back to Japan, found her, wooed her, married her. Sounds to me like someone had to go to great lengths to lay some pipe. That is Freddie Blassie in a nutshell.

Obviously, we get a good look into the trials and tribulations of the man’s career: his feud with Rikidozan, the father of Japanese wrestling. That feud lead to the deaths of a number of Japanese fans, as they were not used to seeing an American staging such brutality on a Japanese opponent. Anywhere from five to fifty fans died watching Blassie-Rikidozan matches on the new technology of television in Japan. I hope to god most fans know of Blassie’s habit of filing his teeth…on camera…so his incisors would be pointed like a vampire when he bit into bleeding opponents. Many may think of CM Punk as quite the dick heel these days (and he is…the man is on the run of a lifetime right now). But no one, NO ONE, was quite as effective a heel as Blassie was in his heyday. I am a big time wrestling geek, guilty as charged, but during WWF’s recent 1999 heyday with Stone Cold leading the charge, a bunch of people asked me “Is there anyone but Stone Cold who could head this ratings surge?” I answered in the affirmative. Freddie Blassie. Transfer the bloodlust of his character with his outstanding promo ability, and he would have been thrust to the forefront of the Attitude era. Hell, Steve Austin and Fred Blassie basically had the same body composition. Only Blassie was better on the stick. Chew on that for a second.

Blassie was a star primarily on the west coast, but had some good runs in New York with Vince Sr. It was with Senior’s son that he would achieve his greatest notoriety. Blassie, who amazingly was still a draw at an advanced age of well over fifty, realized his body would no longer allow him to maintain that type of career. So he became a manager, and, may I say, there was no better manager in wrestling history, aside from Bobby Heenan, in this observers eye. Heenan could talk and bump better than any manager ever, but Blassie had this rare trait of being able to transfer the heat he had acquired through his years in the ring wars to his charges. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, etc, et al. Ayatollah Blassie, Freddie with the Iranian headdress? That was BRILLIANT for the time.

Eventually, Blassie had to retire, and became a front office monkey. That was not a role suited for a man of his talents, and Vinnie Mac realized it. So, if you were a fan weaned on 1990-2004 WWF wrestling, every package on wrestling’s past included Blassie: This was the only one I could find on youtube or dailymotion. Blassie became a living legend, rightfully so. Classy Freddie Blassie was one of a kind. And, in the spirit of the man, and the spirit of the book, if you know not of the man, you can suck my lubrocained covered cock. Enjoy the video, and Rest in Peace Freddie.


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