No, you havn’t stumbled upon a Grizzly Adams tribute site. Despite his looks, this rugged mountain man is no TV Land supporting character. He is A.J. Petruzzi, this week’s Jobber Of The Week.
Hailing from the Pocona Mountains in Jim Thorpe,PA, A.J. desended from the mountain-top and by the mid-80’s he could be seen on a weekly basis getting his tail kicked on WWF programming. Things were going nowhere for a few years until he got a call from no less than the almighty Hulk Hogan. It seemed the Hulkster needed a hand in teaching the basics to newcomer Hillbilly Jim. All you loyal Wrestlecrappers know this could mean only one thing.
In RD’s update this week he showcased all kinds of workouts and training but they all lack the one thing the Hulkster always brought to the table (Just
ask Mean Gene): HOMOEROTICISM!!!
With basic training like this, its no wonder why Hillbilly Jim is more noted for his later intimate encounters with his hound-dog than anything he ever accomplished in the ring.
Despite the unneeded male bonding, thanks to A.J.’s help, Hillbilly turned pro and a few months later the stage would be set for the teacher vs. student match-up only rivaled by Vader-Kenobi in Episode IV. In early 1985 on WWF Championship Wrestling, A.J. faced off against Jim. And just like Kenobi before him, the teacher would get struck down. OK, not really struck down as A.J. weakly submitted to a boring bearhug. And unlike Obi-Wan, who in defeat became more powerful than we could possibly imagine, A.J. became lamer than we all thought possible.
In late 1986, A.J. was set to face a newly turned face version of Roddy Piper. Piper however, so unimpressed with his enhancement opponent, decided to face
Petruzzi with one hand tied behind his back. Sure enough,our bumbling mountain man was defeated by Piper, and in the process giving hope to Zach Gowen and countless other amputees that a career in wrestling was possible, as long as they were wrestling him. His career never recovered and by 1987 Petruzzi disappeared from the mainstream.
Believe it or not though, A.J. went on to make history. In the early 90’s,along with Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco and a few other WWF old-timers, he made his way to the early version of ECW. As one half of the masked Super Destroyers, in 1992 A.J. would became the co-holder of the first ever ECW tag-team championship. They even held onto the belts for the better part of the year.
Finally acheiving title glory and ceasing to be the butt of handicap jokes, a proud A.J. vanished and has not been seen to this day, although rumor has it he is back in the mountains training for a comeback as the mascot for Brawny Papertowels.
God knows he could totally kick that new Brawny guy’s ass.