B. Brian Blair
|B. Brian Blair|
Blair in August 2014
|Birth name||Brian Leslie Blair|
January 12, 1959 |
Gary, Indiana, United States
|Residence||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Brian Blair
B. Brian Blair
The Killer Bee
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|Trained by||Hiro Matsuda
Brian Leslie Blair (born January 12, 1959) is an American politician and professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name B. Brian Blair as one half of the tag team The Killer Bees in the 1980s.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 2 Various promotions
- 3 Personal life
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Results
- 6 Championships and accomplishments
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Professional wrestling career
As a child, Blair wanted to be Superman and even prayed that he might somehow become a superhero. By the time he was on high school, he also worked out to help out his parents. Blair moved out of his house at age 16 and held several jobs to pay his share of the rent. Blair loved professional wrestling and wrestled and played football in high school so he could be tough enough to do it when he graduated. Blair attended the University of Louisville on a football scholarship, although he never earned a varsity letter; he majored in both business and political science.
Early career (1977-1981)
In 1977, he started training to be a wrestler with the legendary Hiro Matsuda in Florida. Blair debuted in mid-1977 with Eddie Graham's Championship Wrestling from Florida where he usually worked as a "face" (good guy). Blair made his professional debut on a singles match against Dutch Mantel in a losing effort. Blair also wrestled in a tag-team match facing Pat Patterson and Ivan Koloff in a losing effort. One of Blair's early opponents was another Matsuda student who had just begun working as "The Super Destroyer" (Hulk Hogan).
After Florida Blair moved on to Bob Geigel's NWA Central States promotion out of Kansas City around 1978 where he finally started to make a name for himself as he feuded with Jesse Ventura in 1979. Blair also teamed up with "Bulldog" Bob Brown and won the Central States Tag Team Belts. He also appeared regularly for Leroy McGuirk's Tri-State promotion, here he met and married Leroy McGuirk's daughter Michelle, aka Mike McGuirk in 1980. The marriage did not last long and ended on a bad note when Blair found out that Mike was having an affair with wrestler Doug Somers while they were estranged. He was even shot at by Leroy when he tried to talk to Mike before leaving town. While in the Tri-State promotion Blair won the Junior Heavyweight Title from Ron Starr but only held it for about a week before losing it back to Starr. The one week reign was Blair's first professional wrestling title reign.
After leaving the Tri-State promotion Blair joined up with Fritz Von Erich's World Class Championship Wrestling promotion in Texas. In WCCW he quickly gained victories over Killer Tim Brooks and former WWWF World Champion Stan Stasiak. During his time in Texas he was asked by Al Madril to be his partner in a tournament to crown new American tag-team Champions. Madril and Blair were successful kicking off a three-month run with the title. Their run with the gold was cut short by Killer Tim Brooks and Armand Hussein in September, 1981
World Wrestling Federation (1980-1983, 1984, 1985-1988)
At this point in time Blair was given a golden opportunity as he was booked by Vince McMahon, Sr. to wrestle for the World Wrestling Federation most notably on their tours of Japan through New Japan Pro Wrestling where Blair faced Japanese icons Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami. After gaining experience all over the world Blair returned to his roots, Florida Championship Wrestling. On July 11, 1982, Blair beat Jimmy Garvin for the NWA Florida Championship and defended it successfully against such legends such as Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody. After a wild match against Brody in August the title was held up and Blair soon left the promotion.
In 1983 Blair joined the WWF once again as they began to expand to a national promotion. During his first stint with the WWF his self-proclaimed highlight was a match with Paul Orndorff in St. Louis. After the short run with the WWF, Blair moved on to Georgia Championship Wrestling as well as a return to Florida Championship Wrestling. In Florida, Blair picked up another Florida title run as well as unseating "Ravishing" Rick Rude as the Florida Southern Champion.
During his run with the WWF in 1984, Blair often teamed with fellow wrestler Tony Garea. The team of Blair and Garea would dominate pure jobbers, but were unable to move up the card against more established tag teams. They teamed up until Blair left later in that same year.
When Blair signed with the WWF for a third time he was not just used as "enhancement talent" any more, instead he was teamed up with Jim Brunzell to form The Killer Bees. The teaming of Blair and Brunzell was suggested by Hulk Hogan. The team had a special gimmick referred to as "Masked Confusion" where both wrestlers pulled out identical masks during the match to confuse their opponents and usually win their matches that way. The "Masked Confusion" idea was given to Blair by Billy Red Lyons who had used it in Maple Leaf Wrestling. They constantly challenged for the WWF World Tag Team Title but never won it, although the fans were thoroughly behind them. Their biggest feud in the WWF was against The Hart Foundation, Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart who they wrestled somewhere between "300 and 600" times according to Blair himself. The Bees also had a running feud with the Funks (Hoss, Terry and Jimmy Jack). They faced Hoss and Jimmy Jack Funk in front of 70,000 people at The Big Event in Toronto (A card headlined by Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff). Later in 1988, The team was split without any reason, and they both ended up competing in the singles division. Brunzell remained with the WWF into the early 1990s. In the fall of 1988, Blair left the WWF amid claims that the team had been promised the WWF tag team title three times by company owner Vince McMahon, but the promises were never kept. Blair also claims he was asked to help heel team The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) win matches. Not wanting to become a heel, Blair refused and quit instead. Brunzell and Blair later complained about WWF owner Vince McMahon who continued merchandising products of The Killer Bees without their permission or financial compensation. In 1990 thru 2002 Blair toured dozens of Countries often Teaming with Jim Brunzell. During this time Blair and Brunzell Teamed up again for Herb Abrams upstart company, the UWF where they captured the UWF World Tag-Team Titles in a Tournament. On July 12th 2015 Blair received two major honors when the Thesz/Tragos arm of the Dan Gable Museum and Hall of Fame inducted Blair into their Hall of Fame while also awarding him with the highly coveted "Lou Thesz" Award. Blair is now the President and CEO of the 501c3 Cauliflower alley Club. The Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC) gives financial assistance to people from the wrestling Industry who have fallen on difficult times. The CAC currently has about 1000 members and has a Reunion once a year... 2016 will be their 51st anniversary.<KyleKlingmanGableTheszTragosHOF&Museum>
After leaving the WWF, Blair then returned to the independent wrestling scene taking bookings all over the United States.
Rescuing of Brutus Beefcake
In the summer of 1990, Blair was present when Brutus Beefcake had a near fatal para-sailing accident, in fact Blair was the person to pull Brutus out of the water after being struck in the face by the knees of a novice parasailer.
American Wrestling Association (1990)
After leaving the WWF in 1988, Blair returned to wrestling in 1990 as Blair signed a short-term contract with Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association.
Blair challenged Larry Zbyszko for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. Blair defeated Zbyszko by disqualification meaning the title couldn't change hands that way with Zbyszko retaining the title.
One of the last match reunions he had with Jim Brunzell was in an event of the AWA in January 1994, this time wrestling under their original tag-team name of "The Killer Bees"
Universal Wrestling Federation (1990-1994)
Blair was one of the first "names" to work regularly for Herb Abrams Universal Wrestling Federation when it opened its doors in late 1990 quickly becoming a regular on the federations Fury Hour shows.
In the UWF, Blair reunited with Jim Brunzell but due to the WWF holding the trademark to the name "The Killer Bees" they were billed as "Masked Confusion". They competed on the UWF's first (and only) PPV, Beach Brawl, where they beat the Power Twins. The team was also the only UWF Tag Team champions. They won the title at UWF's last big show known as Blackjack Brawl where they beat the "New Powers of Pain" (The Warlord and Power Warrior)
The Bees would also regularly wrestle as one of the top tag teams in the UWF's Fury Hour
Blair was given was a big push in the UWF, usually defeating the UWF's preliminary talent, and even one of the top heels of the company who he also feuded with, Bob Orton, Jr..
Independent circuit (1994-present)
After the UWF folded, Blair continued to compete on the independent circuit, especially around his home state of Florida.
Through the mid-1990s, Blair also travelled to Japan regularly and wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling usually as "Brian Blair" or "The Killer Bee"
In 1998, Blair won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship with Steve Keirn holding the title from November 13, 1998 to August 15, 2000 when the title was vacated following a match with the Bushwhackers. Blair and Keirn faced off in a singles match to determine who got to pick a new partner; Blair won and picked local star Cyborg The Wrestler (Kevin Donofrio) as his partner. The two held the tag team titles until July 10, 2001 where they were forced to forfeit the title due to injuries.
On March 31, 2012, Blair returned to the ring as he teamed up with Carlos Colon, Lanny Poffo, and Mike Graham as "Florida Team" to defeat the team of Gary Royal, Larry Zbyszko, Ron Bass, and The Masked Superstar (as "Georgia Team") in an eight-man tag team elimination match on an event held on his home-state of Florida. Blair and Graham were the sole survivors.
On April 14, 2013, Brian Blair faced Matt Riviera for the Vendetta Pro Wrestling annual event "Pro Casino Royale" edition of 2013.
On August 5, 2014, B. Brian Blair faced wrestler "The Tokyo Monster" Kahagas for American Pro Made Wrestling promotion in a winning effort for Blair.
On September 3, 2014, Blair faced former rival Matt Riviera for the annual National Wrestling Alliance event "Mid-Atlantic Legends Fanfest" edition of 2014. Riviera said some days before the match he would "humble" Blair. This was a reference to many of The Iron Sheik's remarks towards Blair. Blair was defeated.
On October 26, 2014, Blair faced The Cuban Assassin for the annual NWA "WrestleFest" in a winning effort for Blair.
Smarten Up! Say It Right!
Blair is married to Toni Lloyd and they have two sons, Brett (named after professional wrestler Bret Hart) and Bradley. Brian Blair owns and manages four Gold's Gym fitness centers in the Tampa Bay area with fellow wrestler, Steve Keirn.
Brian Blair's first attempt for a seat on the county commission was against Pat Frank but he lost in the 2002 race by a narrow margin. In 2004, Blair ran again and was elected County Commissioner, District 6 (countywide) for Hillsborough County defeating former city councilman Bob Buckhorn. The race was one the closest county commission races in the history of Hillsborough County with Blair winning with 216,430 votes to Buckhorn's 214,062. In 2008 Blair ran for re-election winning the Republican primary against Don Kruse on August 26, 2008, then lost to Hillsborough County's first openly gay candidate Kevin Beckner in the November 4, 2008 general election.
Blair built, owned and operated 4 Gold's Gym's. Sold in 1999 for 2.1 million <HillsboroughCountyPublicRecords>
- WWF All-Star Wrestling 1/28/84 - B. Brian Blair def. Charlie Fulton
- WWF All-Star Wrestling 2/4/84 - B. Brian Blair def. Bill Dixon
- WWF All-Star Wrestling 2/11/84 - B. Brian Blair def. Tony Colon
- WWF All-Star Wrestling 2/18/84 - B. Brian Blair & Tony Garea def. Butcher Vachon & Ron Shaw
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Lou Thesz Award (2015)
- NWA Tri-State
- NWA Tri-State Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- National Wrestling League
- NWL Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Paul Orndorff
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Most Underrated Wrestler (1984)
- World Wrestling Federation
- Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament (1987) - with Jim Brunzell
- Online World of Wrestling. "Brian Blair Profile". Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- "All-Time Letterwinners" (PDF). 2013 Louisville Cardinals Football Media Guide. University of Louisville Athletics. pp. 185–88. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- Chad Bonham (2001). Wrestling with God. RiverOak Publishing. ISBN 1-58919-935-9.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Brianblair.com webmaster. "B. Brian Blair Biography". Retrieved 2007-04-03.
- "B.Brian Blair Chat". May 2001. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Shields, Brian (2006). Main event – WWE in the raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6.
- "B.Brian Blair believed in his book". 2003-05-01. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Oliver, Greg (2004-06-26). "B. Brian Blair runs again". Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Makropoulos, Georgiann (2004-11-03). "1Wrestling Newsline". Archived from the original on November 4, 2004. Retrieved 2007-04-07.[unreliable source?]
- Johnson, Mike (2014-10-07). "Brian Blair to be awarded 2015 Lou Thesz Award". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2014-10-08.