It’s the offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers and there are so many topics to talk and write about. Free agents, the quarterback position, the NFL Draft, and breaking news will all be covered here at BTSC. But who’s going to give you little-known-facts out of the 500 Level?
Luckily, your one-stop, and non-stop, shop for everything Steelers employs a Steelers fan that was allegedly dropped on his head as a one-year-old during the Immaculate Reception. Useless and somewhat fascinating facts are his forte. So, here we are with off-the-wall thoughts from the dark side of a black-and-gold brain that nobody asked for. But the joke’s on you as you’ll be telling your peeps something you read here later.
With WrestleMania 38 going down this weekend, let’s take a look at when you put the Pittsburgh Steelers in the squared circle.
- 1996 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, two-time NCAA D-1 Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle once considered quitting Wrestling altogether. In 1994, the Mount Lebanon native tried out for his favorite team at Three Rivers Stadium as a fullback. Unable to capture the same magic that another NCAA wrestling legend, Carlton Haselrig, was able to do...Angle’s attempt to switch to football with his hometown “Stillers” fell flat and Kurt was forced to turn back to wrestling where he achieved legendary status. Kurt Angle remains a die hard twirler of the Terrible Towel. “It’s True, It’s Damn True”!!!!!
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article.)
Steel City Mat Facts & Stats
- Cam gets some love on WrestleMania Weekend
Been a big fan of @wwe for a long time. Thank you for sending this my way and getting Mr. McMahon to sign it! Good luck to all the wrestlers Wrestlemania! It’s going to be a heck of a show! https://t.co/CjExTQBWOr— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) April 1, 2022
- Ernie Holmes (WrestleMania 2) and Kevin Greene (WCW) were two of the most notable Steelers that traded their pads for tights in the professional wrestling ranks. Greene ruffled some Terrible Towels when he showed up to hang with Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage for Clash of the Champions XXXIII, a mere five days before Super Bowl XXX in January of 1996. Both gridironers-turned-grapplers led the Steelers in sacks in multiple seasons, as well as staple hair styles. Arrowhead’s 11 sacks in 1974 and 10.5 in 1975 were tops on the team, while Greene led the sack parade all three years as a Steeler.
- Kevin (pronounce Key-vin) Henry and his 90s Steelers teammates would attend many WWF/WWE events back in the day because of his connection with one of the wrestlers. No. 76 is a cousin of WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry, who was known as “Sexual Chocolate” and “The World’s Strongest Man”.
- Defenders and linemen are typically suited for a career in the squared circle, but you don’t expect a running back to be grappling. But after his career ended after two seasons as a Steeler in 2017, DeAngelo made his wrestling debut at TNA’s Slammiversary in 2017.
- The Steelers opposed newly minted WWE Hall of Famer Leon White in Super Bowl XIV. The Rams defensive lineman became the legend Vader in WCW and then WWE.
- Less than 24 hours after he led the Steelers to a 38-28 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field, Ben Roethlisberger shuffled off to Wilkes Barre, PA to appear as a guest host on the October 5, 2009 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. Reportedly unbeknownst to his coaching staff, Big Ben organized a Diva Bowl, bantered with a leprechaun and shut the mouth of the Miz. But when cornered by the behemoth Big Show and icon Chris Jericho, No. 7 called an audible and summoned his Super Bowl Champion O-line to help confront the tag-team champions. Willie Colon, Darnell Stapleton, Max Starks, Chris Kemoeatu, Justin Hartwig and Trai Essex appeared and got into a three-point stance with Ben calling signals and proclaiming, “Yeah. We’re going right at you Big Boy!”. That, in turn caused the 7’ and 440 lb. giant to retreat. Later on in the show, the seven Steelers returned to celebrate with legends DX (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) after their victory to close the show.
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
4/3 - Noah Herron - 40, Bo Orlando - 56
4/4 - Harvey Clayton - 61, Landry Jones - 33, Rick Trocano - 63
4/5 - Anthony Daigle - 52
4/6 - Chris Carter - 33, Chris Hoke - 46
4/7 - Brian Blankenship - 56, Troy Edwards - 45, Gabe Rivera - 61
4/8 - Harold Bishop - 52
4/9 - Willie Colon - 39, Chad Kelsay - 45
Middle Name Madness
We love citing the second name of members of the Men of Steel here at Behind the Steel Curtain. We always cite Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger, Christopher Lynn Boswell and Trent Jordan Watt, but who else? Hence, the “More You Know Middle Name of the Week”. This week we feature the Steelers associated at one point with professional wrestling.
Ernest Lee Holmes
Kevin Darwin Greene
James Henry Harrison Jr.
DeAngelo Chondon Williams
Kevin Lerell Henry
Although he only played three years in Steeltown from 1993-1995, Kevin Greene is a Pittsburgh Steelers icon. But seeing Greene, who led the team in sacks all three of his seasons donning the black and gold, in other uniforms and coaching attire still stung. After the Super Bowl XXX loss, Greene ended up in a Carolina Panther uniform in 1996 and San Francisco 49er duds in 1997, where he completed a trifecta of conference title games with three separate teams in three straight seasons. In 2010, Greene opposed and helped defeat his former Steelers team as a Packers assistant coach in Super Bowl XLV.
Note: No L.A. Rams photo was included due to Greene’s tenure being before his stint with the Steelers. Greene played in L.A. from 1985-1993.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
James Harrison is the latest of Steelers to crossover into the world of acting and his first significant role is in the STARZ wrestling drama Heels as a superstar that goes by the in-ring name of Apocalypse. It doesn’t matter if Deebo is on the football field or in my television, I’m always gonna be watching.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who is Brett Keisel?
The cool thing about Pittsburgh sports is the support that they give each other. In 1979, members of the Steelers would take batting practice with the Pirates throughout the entire season, including the World Series. Lynn Swann wore a Pirates warmup jacket and a cap complete with Stargell Stars on the sideline in a game against Cleveland that year, Stargell attended the AFC Championship Game and many Steelers are prominent at Penguins games. During the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, the 412 was enamored with the line consisting of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel, known as the HBK line after WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid. When #GetHBKToGame5 started trending, the Pens organization sent out a formal invite and Michaels was getting wind of the hoopla. When Steelers’ legend and fellow avid hunter Brett Keisel came a calling, Michaels agreed to attend the next home game amid a fevered fan frenzy at the arena.
So, there you have it. Anybody can spout out stat after stat, but not everybody can embrace the colorful and personal side of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, the more you know, the more you can stupefy your friends, family and neighbors with your big, black-and-gold brain.
We’ll see you right here next week. Until then keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the hypocycloids.