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"Golden boy" Adrian Adonis argues with an old woman about pro wrestling on a TV show in 1981

3y ago


World Wrestling Federation Adonis and Ventura debuted in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) later that year, working both as a team and in singles matches. Adonis was a frequent challenger of WWF Champion Bob Backlund and Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales throughout the first half of 1982.[5] When injuries caused Ventura to stop wrestling regularly,[2] Adonis formed a tag team with the Texan Dick Murdoch, called the North-South Connection. The team debuted in late 1983. Around this time, Adonis (who had previously been a beefy but generally conditioned man) gained a large amount of fat. On April 17, 1984, The North-South Connection defeated Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship. They held the title until January 21, 1985, when they were defeated by Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. The team split shortly after the loss.[4][6][7] [edit]"Adorable" Adrian Adonis In late 1985, after being briefly managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and adopting the DDT as a finisher, Adonis' gimmick began to change. First, Jimmy Hart became his manager. With Hart in his corner, he defeated Corporal Kirchner to advance in The Wrestling Classic pay-per-view tournament in November, then lost to Dynamite Kid in the quarterfinals. In early 1986, Adonis started carrying a briefcase with the phrase "Relax with Trudi" on it and a spray called Fragrance. During an edition of Piper's Pit, Adonis gave his signature leather jacket away to host Roddy Piper (who wore it for years afterward). Adonis then became the effeminate "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, bleaching his hair blonde and wearing pink ring attire, as well as scarves, leg warmers, dresses, hats, and clownish amounts of eye shadow and rouge. Around this time, his weight ballooned, peaking at over 300 lb (140 kg; 21 st). Although his physique was unsightly, he was spry for someone of his shape. He defeated Uncle Elmer in quick fashion at WrestleMania 2 and feuded extensively with the Junkyard Dog and George "The Animal" Steele, while also unsuccessfully challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship on multiple occasions.[4] In May 1986, during Piper's five-month hiatus from the WWF, Adonis (with Hart) debuted his own talk segment, The Flower Shop. These segments were the primary backdrop for Paul Orndorff's slow-building heel turn against his friend Hulk Hogan, with Adonis relentlessly needling Orndorff about living in Hogan's shadow. In August, shortly before Piper's return, Adonis obtained the services of Piper's bodyguard, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, who took to wearing a pink cowboy hat. A feud with Piper heated up when Adonis, Orton, and Don Muraco attacked him during a "duel" between the two talk segments, injuring his leg, covering him in lipstick and damaging the Pit set. A week later, Piper destroyed the set of The Flower Shop with a baseball bat. It was never rebuilt. On the October 4 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Piper struck Adonis with a crutch, resulting in a two month absence from TV with an alleged separated shoulder. After Adonis returned in November to attack Piper on the Pit, the two agreed to a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania III. Piper won the bout with help from Brutus Beefcake, who cut off the majority of Adonis' hair afterward