Freddie Blassie is Born: February 8, 1918

Freddie Blassie

Frederick Kenneth Blassman, better known by his stage name Freddie Blassie, was born in St. Louis on this date in 1918. Freddie was a legendary professional wrestler famous for playing a heel or villain, referring to opponents as “pencil-necked geeks.” His career spanned five decades with his debut in 1935 and retirement in 1986. And he earned the nickname “Classy” Freddie Blassie for his charismatic and flamboyant persona inside and outside the ring.

Blassie’s wrestling journey began in the 1930s, and he quickly gained recognition for his unique style and theatrical presence. He was known for his villainous character, drawing the ire of fans with his arrogant demeanor and sharp wit. Blassie’s in-ring prowess and ability to generate heat with the audience made him a sought-after talent in various wrestling promotions.

Blassie’s parents were German immigrants who moved to the US in 1912. His childhood was a traumatic one and he witnessed his father’s addiction to alcohol which fueled frequent bouts of domestic abuse. Sometimes he would live with his grandparents or other family members when there was trouble at home. Blassie became interested in boxing and wrestling after graduating high school, and he supported himself by working at a meat-packing plant as he learned his new craft. He began wrestling in bouts staged at carnivals and traveling shows and was hired by established local promoters in St. Louis and Kansas City. When the US entered World War Two, Blassie served in the navy and it was only after that time that his career truly took off.

In addition to his achievements as a wrestler, Blassie transitioned into a managerial role, guiding the careers of other wrestling talents. His managerial skills further solidified his status as a key figure in the industry. Blassie’s impact extended beyond the ring, as he became a pop culture icon, appearing on television shows and even releasing a popular autobiography which was titled after his catchphrase: “Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks.”