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Ernie Ladd
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Football Player
    (1938-March 10, 2007)
    Wrestled for the WWE Known as 'The Big Cat'
    His wrestling career started as a publicity stunt.
    Many claim he's responsible for all the retired football players who went on to try pro wrestling, many of which failed.
    Many promoters were afraid to make him a heel, as they were afraid of having a black heel would cause riots.
    As a wrestler, he was best known for his 'loaded thumb,' which was nothing but tape wrapped around his thumb that was apparently 'loaded' with something.
    He appeared on 'That 70's Show' with The Rock, but his name did not appear in the credits.
    He was one of maybe two men to make it big in both wrestling and football.
    He got his nickname 'The Big Cat' because he was one of the largest players of his time and still had amazing quickness.
    He was a star lineman for the San Diego Chargers and he helped them win the AFL Championship in 1963.
    He appeared in four straight AFL All-Star games.
    He was one of the first black heels in wrestling and it added his influence in the black community and its involvement in wrestling.
    He was respected because he was a football player who adapted to wrestling very well, having great matches with the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Andre the Giant and especially Gorilla Monsoon.
    He's a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.
    The WWE named him one of the 50 greatest wrestlers in the history of the company.

Credit: Reo Rogerz

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