By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
While listening to the most recent episode of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, I learned an interesting fact about Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. The topic for the show is WrestleMania IV and the tournament for the WWF Championship. Co-host Conrad Thompson mentions during the episode that Valentine had competed for all three championships (at the time) in the first three WrestleManias.
That statement got me to thinking. Of course, Conrad is right. Looking back Valentine was the Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania. He defended against the Junkyard Dog and was counted out. I really, really wanted JYD to win the belt that night and thought he was going to do it.
|Valentine, Johnny V and Brutus Beefcake|
A year later, he and Brutus Beefcake were the unlikely WWF Tag Team Champions. They lost those belts to the British Bulldogs. Then at WrestleMania IV, the Hammer was part of the WWF Championship Tournament. He beat Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (he had a thing for opponents with an animal name) in round one. Then in the second round, he lost to the eventual winner "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
|Valentine vs. Savage|
Valentine was a bad guy when I was growing up and a good one at that. Therefore I wouldn't have called myself a fan of him. However, as an adult, you can look back and understand the contribution wrestlers made to the business and judge them independently of just their persona in the ring. This is quite an accomplishment for Valentine and a WrestleMania fun fact that is overlooked.
I scoured the internet and racked my brain to determine if anyone else has wrestled for the three primary champions at WrestleMania. I came up blank. But I did find this cool site that offers up more WrestleMania fun facts. If I've missed someone who has competed for all three titles at WrestleMania, let me know. None-the-less though, Valentine is the first to do it. It's Hammer Time!