Thursday, March 22, 2012
Legendary wrestler and wrestling promoter Joe Blanchard dies
"Joltin'" JOE BLANCHARD
On Thursday morning,March the 22nd,
legendary professional wrestler
and Texas wrestling promoter
Joe Blanchard has died
at the age of 83.
legendary wrestler and
2012 WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee
posted the following on his Facebook page:
"3-22-2012 marks the end
of my Fathers life in the natural.
He passed at 8:00 AM,
Joe Blanchard stepped into Eternity
with his Lord and Savior,Jesus!"
Joe Blanchard was a rugged pro wrestler
who had success as an amateur wrestler
at Kansas State University
in the late 1940s.
One of the biggest rivals in college
was an amateur wrestler from Nebraska
named Mike DiBiase,
father of Ted Sr.
and grandfather of Ted Jr.
who (DiBiase) would also go on
to be a famous pro wrestler.
In addition to pro wrestling,
Blanchard was a successful
college football player
for the Kansas State Wildcats.
After his time at K-State,
Joe went on to play
for the Edmonton Eskimos
in the Canadian Football League
where he befriended other future wrestlers
like Wilbur Snyder,Gene Kiniski
and Fritz Von Erich.
Joe Blanchard would debut
as a professional wrestler in 1953
and soon became good friends
with Verne Gagne,
who he knew during his collegiate days
at the University of Minnesota.
By the mid 1960s,
Joe Blanchard was firmly entrenched
as a regular in Texas.
He was also a key figure in promoting wrestling
for several major cities in the state of Texas.
Eventually,Blanchard would align himself
with Fritz Von Erich and aid Fritz
in building his own powerful wrestling promotion.
By the late 1970s,
Joe Blanchard had decided
to branch out on his own
and started Southwest Championship Wrestling.
The promotion however would only last
until the early 1980s
before it became a victim
to the wrestling politics.
Although he is well known
as being the father of
Four Horsemen member
Joe Blanchard had a successful wrestling career
both in the amateur ranks
as well as in the professional ranks
winning several singles
and tag team championships.
Outside the ring,
he was responsible in assisting
many individuals entering pro wrestling
from his son Tully
to Blackjack Mulligan
and played an instrumental part
in the early careers
off Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes.
As of 2005,
Joe Blanchard operated
Exodus Christian Ministries
with his son Tully.
All of us here at Wrestling News Center
would like to express our deepest
and most sincere condolences
to the family and friends
of Joe Blanchard.