After months of speculations and internet rumors it has been confirmed that the “Living Legend” Larry Zybszko will be a part of the 2015 Hall of Fame class. One of the most storied careers ever in the business will get acknowledged in front the WWE Universe. Zybszko’s career began in 1973 and has taken him to every major wrestling promotion around.
Spending most of his early career in the WWWF (WWE), he came into the business as a baby face and learned under the great Bruno Sammartino. During his time working for the company he became a tag team champion with Tony Garea. What really took off Larry’s career was his feud with his mentor Bruno. Being tired of the label as just Sammartino’s protégé, Zybszko was looking to establish his own identity.
This conflict is one of most intense and profitable in history of the organization. During this time professional wrestling fans loved their heroes and believed what they saw was real. Zybszko’s turning on the biggest face of the era made him the subject of many attacks outside the ring. During this time is when he picked up the moniker of “The New Living Legend” since Bruno was referred to as “The Living Legend”. The feud ended in 1981 in a sold out Shea Stadium in the famous “Showdown at Shea” where two had a steel cage match won by Sammartino.
After leaving New York, Larry’s career took him all over the country where he had stints in the NWA wrestling in Georgia Championship Wrestling. Down in Georgia Zybszko had a notable feud with Paul Orndorff over the National Heavyweight title.
After leaving Georgia in 1984 the “Living Legend” would go work for Verne Gagne in the AWA where he had feuds with Sgt Slaughter and Nick Bockwinkel. After 3 years in the promotion he went back to the NWA for a brief period only to come back to the AWA in 1989 where he became their World Champion. He held that title until he was stripped of the belt in for leaving the company in 1990.
In 1990 Larry went to work for WCW where he stayed at for almost until the company closed. His was part of one of the most memorable tag teams of that era as he and Arn Anderson made up The Enforcers. Zybszko at this time went by the moniker as the “Cruncher” as he and Arn wrecked shop on the tag team division. They both went on to be a part of Paul E. Dangerously, Dangerous Alliance that included Bobby Eaton, Rick Rude and a young Steve Austin.
In 1996 Zybsko moved over to commentary and remained there until 2000 when he left the company. Around 2001 there were rumors he was going to take Jerry Lawler’s spot on RAW after Lawler briefly left the company but that spot was filled by Paul Heyman. Since that time Larry has worked the Indies and been a big part of the wrestling community. His Hall of Fame induction is well deserved.
Keith B. Holt
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