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Wilbur Snyder
200px
Ring name(s)Wilbur Snyder
California Comet
Billed height6 ft 2 in
Billed weight235 lbs.
Born(1929-09-15)September 15, 1929
Santa Monica, California
DiedDecember 25, 1991(1991-12-25) (aged 62)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Trained byWarren Bockwinkel
Sandor Szabo
Debut1955

Wilbur Snyder (September 15, 1929 - December 25, 1991) was an American football player and professional wrestler.

Wrestling careerEdit

Snyder's wrestling debut occurred during the 1953 offseason. He was trained by Sandor Szabo and Warren Bockwinkel in Southern California.[1] In 1954, Snyder retired from football completely to pursue a full-time career in wrestling. Part of his in-ring persona included the use of many football tactics, and it garnered Snyder a lot of national attention. He had already been a regional champion in Montreal, Canada when he made a name for himself by defeating Verne Gagne and winning the US Championship at Marigold Arena in Chicago on April 7, 1956.[1]

Snyder was a regional champion in a myriad of territories that were affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance.[2] One of those championships was an offshoot of the World Title that he won from Verne Gagne on November 15, 1958 in Omaha, Nebraska.

After the departure of Jim Barnett, Snyder bought into the Indianapolis territory with Dick the Bruiser. The enterprise was known as Championship Wrestling Inc. on April 27, 1965.[2] Snyder's wife Shirlee was listed as the registered agent. Snyder and Dick's mother, M.A. (Margaret) Johnston were listed as directors of the company, to keep the wrestler's ownership of the territory private.[2]

The defeat of Mitsu Arakawa in September 1967 added the WWA title to Snyder's list of accomplishments.[2] The victory resulted in a two year run as WWA Champion for Snyder. Between 1956 and 1962, he was a ten time US Champion.[2] Snyder was also involved in long in-ring feuds with Dick the Bruiser and Hans Schmidt. Another accomplishment of Snyder’s was his reign as 13-time WWA Tag Team Champion. During a tour of Japan in 1969, Snyder teamed with Danny Hodge to claim the Japan Pro-Wrestling Alliance's NWA International Tag Team Championship.[2]

Snyder was often billed as "The World's Most Scientific Wrestler." On Bret Harts greatest hits video Wilbur Snyder also gets a mention by Bobby the Brain Heenan and Macho Man Randy Savage. Heenan claiming Snyder invented the Abdominal Stretch.

Snyder's legacy was cemented by WWE announcer Jim Ross who would refer to "shades of the late Wilbur Snyder" anytime somebody used the abdominal stretch for most of the late 90's and early 00's.

Personal lifeEdit

Wilbur married Shirlee Ann Snyder in 1948. He died on December 25, 1991 in Pompano Beach, Florida.

In wrestlingEdit

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • American Wrestling Alliance
  • AWA World Tag Team Championship (Indiana version) (2 times) - with Dick the Bruiser
  • NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Ohio version) (1 time) - with Dick the Bruiser
  • World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles)
  • Other Titles

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 National Wrestling Alliance, The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling, p. 237, Tim Hornbaker, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 1-55022-741-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 National Wrestling Alliance, The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling, p. 238, Tim Hornbaker, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 1-55022-741-6
  3. "W.W.A. World Tag Team Title (Indianapolis)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/in/wwa/in-wwa-t.html.
  4. "International Television Tag Team Title (Los Angeles)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/ca/la/nwa/int-tv-t.html.

External linksEdit

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