Chris Taylor (wrestler)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chris Taylor
Personal information
Born June 13, 1950
Dowagiac, Michigan, U.S.[1]
Died June 30, 1979 (aged 29)
Story City, Iowa, U.S.[1]
Height 196 cm (6 ft 5 in)[1]
Weight 187 kg (412 lb)[2]
Sport Greco-Roman wrestling
Freestyle wrestling
Club Iowa State Cyclones[1]

Christopher J. "Chris" Taylor (June 13, 1950 – June 30, 1979) was an American super-heavyweight wrestler. He competed in freestyle and Greco-Roman events at the 1972 Olympics and won a bronze medal in the freestyle. At 412 pounds (187 kg) he was the heaviest Olympian ever until the appearance of judoka Ricardo Blas, Jr. in 2008.[2] (Weight limits have since been imposed).

Amateur wrestling[edit]

Taylor and Dietrich at the 1972 Olympics

The 6 ft 5 in (196 cm) Taylor, wrestled for Dowagiac High School in Dowagiac, Michigan, Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan, and Iowa State University (winning the NCAA heavyweight championship in 1972 by defeating Greg Wojciechowski), and won the bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics. He lost only to Alexander Medved, in a controversial decision – the referee felt sorry for Medved because of his much smaller size and undeservedly punished Taylor for "lack of action". In the Greco-Roman competition Taylor was unexpectedly suplexed and pinned by a much lighter Wilfried Dietrich, whom he won a week before in the freestyle contest.[1][2]

Professional wrestling[edit]

Taylor wrestled professionally in the American Wrestling Association. His début was in 1974 vs Rene Goulet. Taylor faced various wrestlers, among them future star Ric Flair. Taylor, trained by Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson, was being groomed to be a major star. Chronic health problems limited the amount of work he could do, and said problems forced him to retire from the ring in early 1977. He is often seen in video highlights shown at the AWA training camp. Most notably in the WWE DVD releases "the Spectacular Legacy of the AWA" and "the Definitive Ric Flair Collection.

Taylor's finishing move was a variation of the bearhug.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Taylor died of cardiovascular complications at his home in Story City, Iowa at the age of 29, two years after health problems caused him to retire from professional wrestling.[4] He is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Dowagiac, Cass County, Michigan. [5]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
    • Class of 2013[6]


Media related to Chris Taylor (wrestler) at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ a b c d e Chris Taylor. Retrieved on June 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Oliver, Greg. "Chris Taylor: The giant Olympian". Slam!/Canoe. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ Obsessed with Wrestling. Obsessed with Wrestling. Retrieved on June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Wulf, Steve (July 9, 1979). "A Roundup Of The Week June 25 – July 1". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  5. ^ Chris J. Taylor (1950–1979) – Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved on June 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "Flair, Watts, Taylor to enter Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame". WrestleView. October 17, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.