Originally Posted by theidealstranger
For a 5'10'' 235 pound wrestler, his achievements was far huge compared to his "Vanilla Midget" size.
Trained by Barba Rojo and debuting as a teenager in 1959, he started on a winning note moving on to west coast taking on legends like Classy Freddie Blassie and The Destroyer going on the win the World heavyweight championship from the Destroyer. He traded it with Luke Graham before moving on the tag division going on to win the WWA tag titles 4 times with 4 different partners eventually coming to WWWF.
He won the WWWF US title beating Blassie again starting his title run with WWWF. As a face, he ran parallel with Bruno Sammartino often shadowed by him before going on to win the World Heavyweight title from Ivan Koloff who ended Bruno's 7 year run holding two titles at the same time relinquishing the US title as per rules then which was taken by Bobo Brazil.
He was hugely over with the Puerto-rican community and was a ethnic champion. He popularized scientific style of wrestling coupled with Latino wrath, sort of hulking up and feuded with Classy Freddie Blassie who was the heel.
His match as a face vs face with Bruno which had a time limit draw pissed of the fans due to it being non-conclusive. After three years, he dropped the title to Stan Stasiak and within 9 days, Bruno won it from him.
He moved out and won a few tag titles from NWA before returning to WWF winning the tag titles with Bob Backlund which was stripped due to Bob winning the heavyweight championship. He went on to win the Intercontinental title becoming the first triple crown champion in WWF history going on to trade it with Muraco becoming the first guy to win the title twice before being relegated to lower mid card with WWF going national under Vince Mcmahon Jr.; eventually retiring in 1987.
With 24 titles to his name and being the first triple crown champion, he is a forgotten legend who became WWF HOFer in 1995.
Stranger, I know you are playing catch up with wrestling history so take this into account. 5'10 in those day was not small, wrestlers, and men in general were much smaller then. Fact is 5'10 is still about the meduim size height for a man today and many of the wrestlers around today hover around 6'0. The WWE just adds two inches (at least) to their height. They used to list Hogan at 6'8 (lol), Andre at 7'2 (he was closer to 6'11), and even Malenko was over billed. I am 6'0 and stand taller than a lot of the wrestlers I have met, almost a half of a head taller than Jeff Jarrett who I ran into last month.
Not sure if you understand the nickname "Vanilla" in the context it was given to Malenko and Benoit. Do you? If I remember right you are not from the States and may not understand the term. I am not trying to sound like a know it all...I just suspect that maybe you don't understand the term refers more to the lack of charisma and not stature. So when you call a guy vanilla, you are really calling them boring. You may have known that already,