Rip Chord was a legend in the business during the 1970s and 1980s, delivering incredible matches every night and winning a multitude of titles. Unfortunately, years of heavy drinking left him a shell of his former self in the 90's, and his resulting sloppy ring work may have tarnished his own legacy. He eventually retired in October 2005, and went on to form Mid Atlantic Wrestling, a promotion designed to train the next generation of stars, his way of giving back to the industry that made him a star.
Debuting shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Rip Chord quickly impressed with his natural talent for the wrestling business. Beginning his career in the All-American Florida Wrestling, he won the company's premier title twice in his first six years. Branching out, he also worked at the time for the American Pro Wrestling Federation, winning the company's main title for the first time during his first AAFW championship reign.
Over the next year, he would alternate his time between the two companies, before committing to the APWF in late 1973, when he began a nearly year-long second reign as APWF champion. However, shortly after his second reign ended, he displayed the nomadic instincts that would drive his career, moving to Texas and the Texas Wrestling League where he would make his name as one of the superstars of the regional system at that time dominated the sport in the United States. Rip would spend three years in Texas, where he would enjoy two TWL Championship reigns, spanning nearly two-and-a-half years. However, after his second reign ended, he would soon move on again.
Working in CanadaEdit
In 1978, Rip ventured north to Canada, where he signed on with the Canadian Wrestling Federation. Here he would cement his status as a star, defeating Dan Stone Sr. for the National title, a belt that he would hold for more than two years before he fell to George DeColt. The loss was hardly a cause for concern, however, as he swiftly moved back across the border, where a date with destiny awaited in the form of Richard Eisen, and his Supreme Wrestling Federation.
Chord was seen by Eisen as the missing piece for his company in its bid for national - and, eventually, global - domination. Appearing on Supreme TV in April 1981 as a special guest commentator, Rip made his presence felt when he ambushed reigning SWF champion Sam Strong from behind. In a shocking display of violence, Rip would use his patented Rip Chord DDT on the concrete arena floor, inflicting a serious injury to Strong just two months into his first World title reign. In July of that year, Strong and Chord finally met before a massive, white-hot crowd and a record pay-per-view audience that still stands today. The match was okay, as the two were still working out the kinks in their respective styles, but the crowd boosted it to greatness. Strong won out with a trio of piledrivers, and went on to reign as champion for four years. Rip would dog his footsteps all along the way, however, as their feud raged for more than a decade, the SWF World title switching hands between the two men five times between 1985 and 1992. Behind the scenes, the two men developed a strong friendship that survives to this day.
For Rip, however, the success of his professional life was not matched in his personal life. In May 1990 he became a father for the first time, with his son Jay the product of a relationship that did not last. This was as nothing, however, in comparison to his spiralling problems with alcohol and recreational drugs. Eventually recognising that his behaviour was out of control, he arranged to book himself into rehab. On his way out of the SWF in September 1992, he lost to the debuting Bruce the Giant in a match that saw the massive newcomer defeat the veteran with shocking ease. Released from his contract, Rip entered rehab - a period in his life that would last for more than two years.
Return to WrestlingEdit
Re-emerging in the business several years later, Rip's nomadic instincts again took hold, driving him to Japan and a lengthy spell with Golden Canvas Grappling. Clear of his troubles and far from the old temptations, Rip rehabilitated his reputation with a GCG World title reign that only lasted a few months, but showed that Rip still had the ability to compete. This impressed J.K. Stallings Jr, the fledgling billionaire and owner of the newly formed Hollyweird Grappling Company (soon to become Total Championship Wrestling), who aproached Rip and convinced him to return to America. Convinced by the money on offer and presence of his friend Sam Strong, Rip returned to the States and was quickly in the main event mix, possibly due to Strong's position as head booker at that time.
Rip would hold the HGC World title on two occasions, including a pair of switches with Strong, and was the man who passed the torch to Tommy Cornell in 2000 for the emerging superstar's first World title reign. Rip would also hold the HGC International title during a feud with Peter Valentine.
Rip's run in HGC/TCW would mark his last major run as an active wrestler, and he gradually faded into the background, appearing mainly as a special attraction in the last few years before finally hanging up the boots in 2005 after a stint as head booker of TCW.
In October 2005, Rip announced the launch of Mid Atlantic Wrestling, his own company that he set up to train the profession's future stars. As 2008 dawns, it is rumoured that Rip's son Jay is looking to make his debut in the near future, and it is considered likely that he will make his break in the business with MAW.
- Height: 6'1"
- Weight: 225 lbs
- Birth Date: April 1949
- Birth Place: Tampa, Florida
- Resides: Baltimore, Maryland
- Billed From: Baltimore, Maryland
- Debut: April 1967
Rip Chord DDT (Arm wrench into a DDT)
- AAFW Champion - November 1972 to February 1973
- APWF Heavyweight Champion - January 1973 to June 1973
- AAFW Champion (2) - August 1973 to December 1973
- APWF Heavyweight Champion (2nd) - December 1973 to September 1974
- TWL Champion - January 1975 to December 1975
- TWL Champion (2) - July 1976 to November 1977
- CWF National Champion - October 1978 to December 1980
- SWF World Heavyweight - October 1985 to August 1986
- SWF World Heavyweight (2) - February 1988 to December 1988
- SWF World Heavyweight (3) - January 1990 to January 1992
- GCG World Heavyweight - April 1996 to August 1996
- TCW World Heavyweight - May 1997 to Novembr 1997
- TCW International - February 1998 to August 1998
- TCW World Heavyweight (2) - August 1999 to April 2000
- Inductee into Hall of Immortals