||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2008)|
|Birth name||Michael Sharpe|
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Iron Mike Sharpe|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Billed weight||282 lb (128 kg)|
|Trained by||Dewey Robertson|
Sharpe comes from a family legacy of wrestling, as his father and uncle were a successful tag team in the 1950s, recognized as champions from San Francisco to Japan. He grew up in California, but moved with his father back to Canada as a teenager. In high school, he dabbled in boxing and weightlifting before choosing to follow in his father's footsteps.
Dewey Robertson trained him for the ring at age 25 and shortly thereafter Sharpe made his mark wrestling for promotions around Canada such as Gene Kiniski's NWA All Star Wrestling. He became a two-time NWA Canadian Tag Team Champion, partnering first with Moose Morowski and later with Salvatore Bellomo, and also won the Pacific Coast Heavyweight title. His career picked up steam after moving to Louisiana, where he became a fan favorite and won two different Mid-South Wrestling belts - Louisiana champion (two times) and the Mississippi title (also two times) along with a Brass Knucks title in 1979.
In January 1983, Sharpe entered the World Wrestling Federation where he would spend the rest of his in-ring career until his retirement in 1995. He was a regular of WWF programming throughout the mid-1980s and early 1990s. He was announced and self-proclaimed as "Canada's Greatest Athlete" (a nickname taken from Kiniski) and was further distinguished by his near-constant yelling and grunting throughout a match, as well as a mysterious black brace on his right forearm, supposedly protecting an injury but more widely believed to contain a foreign object. Initially in his WWF career he was managed by Captain Lou Albano and received a sizeable push, regularly defeating jobbers after smashing them with said forearm. This culminated on April 30, 1983 with a match against world heavyweight champion Bob Backlund at the Philadelphia Spectrum, but Sharpe was defeated and would never reach such main event heights again. In fact, Sharpe would never hold a title for the promotion, and was primarily used as a jobber to rising WWF stars in television tapings.
While Sharpe's television appearances were always as the role of a jobber, and victories even at house shows were rare, he chalked up quite a few untelevised victories between 1984 and 1988. While the victories listed below were not his only wins, they do give a good indication of the types of wrestler Sharpe occasionally defeated off camera, despite his near-100% loss record on television.
Sharpe had a few more memorable moments over his WWF career. He appeared on Piper's Pit in 1984, provided the opposition in Ivan Putski's 1987 comeback match at Madison Square Garden, and pinned Boris Zhukov to reach the second round of the 1988 King Of The Ring tournament. And though he wrestled as a heel in the WWF, Sharpe was also the tag team partner of none other than Hulk Hogan during a tour of Japan against stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling in early 1984 (Hogan was heel in Japan). His last televised match was on June 6, 1995 in a losing tag-team effort against the Smoking Gunns
For some time after his retirement Sharpe had made his living teaching aspiring wrestlers at 'Mike Sharpe's School of Pro-Wrestling' located in Brick, New Jersey and later Asbury Park, New Jersey (the school has since closed down). Among the better known of his protégés are Mike Bucci (b.k.a. Nova and Simon Dean), Chris Ford (a.k.a. Crowbar and Devon Storm) and the Haas brothers, Charlie and Russ.
Sharpe is described in at least three books by former wrestling personalities Tom "Dynamite Kid" Billington, Hulk Hogan and Gary Michael Cappetta, and by long time WWF wrestler/commentator Gorilla Monsoon, as having shown characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder, as evidenced by a preoccupation with cleanliness that caused him to spend hours washing his hands or showering at arenas and meticulously folding and re-folding his clothing. According to Cappetta, Sharpe's behavior earned him the nickname "Mr. Clean" among his co-workers. At a televised house show in the Boston Garden in March 1986, Monsoon even joked to fellow commentator Lord Alfred Hayes that Sharpe had the first match of the night at a previous Boston show, and was still in the showers when they locked up later that night forcing him to spend the night in the Garden. During the match (which he lost to Corporal Kirchner), Monsoon also pointed to Sharpe's known dedication to fitness and looking after his body and noted that "If more people took care of themselves like Iron Mike Sharpe, then about 20 million more Americans per year would live past the age of 65".
As a top jobber in WWF, he regularly set up a Double Axe Handle overhead strike, which was almost always countered in televised matches. In my opinion, despite being defeated regularly, his character and professional behavior made him stand out, even more than others who went on to more successful careers. I remember him to this day when countless other winners are forgotten.
- Finishing moves
- Iron Bomber (Running forearm smash)
Championships and accomplishments
- Five Star Wrestling
- FSW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with I.C. Glory
- NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (1 time) - with Salvatore Martino
- NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (Vancouver version) (1 time)
- NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (3 times)
- NWA Tri-State Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)
- Professional Organization of Wrestling
- POW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA International Tag Team Championship (Calgary version) (1 time) - with Jim Wright
- WWWA Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- "1984". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1985". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1986". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1987". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1995". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1989". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1990". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1992". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1994". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "1995". Thehistoryofwwe.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.