Greg “The Hammer” Valentine 99.9% Fine Silver Westward Ho Casino Knockout
About a half ounce of solid fine silver.
Nearly exactly the size of a “351” style pick. Perfect weight and taper!
In the course of his career, which has spanned over four decades, Valentine has held more than 40 championships, including the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship, WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and WWF World Tag Team Championship. An alumnus of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of FameClass of 2004 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.
Valentine began working on a casual basis for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), then owned by Vincent J. McMahon, in November 1978. Managed by The Grand Wizard, he was given the gimmick of a methodical wrestler who broke the legs of all his opponents, including Chief Jay Strongbow. In February 1979, he wrestled then WWWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund to a one-hour time-limit draw at Madison Square Garden.
On September 24, 1984 in London, Ontario Valentine defeated Tito Santana for the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, focusing on Santana’s injured knee throughout the match. Santana initially thought he had the match won, but had in fact only achieved a two-count. As Santana was celebrating, Valentine rolled him up for the pin and the title. Following the win, Valentine put Santana in the figure four leglock, reinjuring him. While Santana was sidelined having leg surgery, Valentine feuded with the Junkyard Dog, who he faced in an Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship Title match at the very first WrestleMania held in Madison Square Garden. Valentine pinned the JYD after using the ropes, but Santana came to ringside and informed the referee, who restarted the match. Valentine then walked out, losing the match by count-out but saving his title. Santana eventually healed and fought Valentine in many matches (after Santana returned to the ring by defeating The Executioner in the first ever match at Wrestlemania). He went on to win the title back on July 6, 1985 in a steel cage match in Baltimore, ending Valentine’s 285-day reign, the fifth-longest in Intercontinental title history. Valentine, incensed over losing the championship belt, destroyed it in the steel cage, forcing the WWF to get a new Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship belt (in reality, this was pre-planned as the WWF already had a newer, more modern Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship belt made and destroying the old title belt was seen as the perfect way to introduce the new one).
Valentine would then form a tag team with Brutus Beefcake known as The Dream Team, managed by Luscious Johnny V. Initially the team was managed by both Jimmy Hart and Johnny V, but the WWF dropped Hart from the group and he went on to manage The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart). On August 24, 1985 at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, the Dream Team defeated The U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo) for the WWF Tag Team Championship when Beefcake (kayfabe) rubbed Johnny V’s lit cigar in Windham’s eyes allowing him to be pinned. They held the titles until April 7, 1986 when they were defeated at WrestleMania 2 by The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid). At WrestleMania III, The Dream Team defeated The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond) as a result of interference by Johnny V and Dino Bravo. Upset because of a missed move by Beefcake during the match, Valentine left with Bravo and abandoned Beefcake, resulting in Brutus turning face later on in the night.
Replacing Beefcake with Dino Bravo, Valentine formed The New Dream Team. Valentine was unhappy about teaming with Bravo, who he felt he had little chemistry with. After the WWF asked him to “kidnap” Matilda, the bulldog mascot of The British Bulldogs, Valentine resigned. He was brought back soon after, with Jimmy Hart again as his new manager (while the “kidnap” angle was reassigned to The Islanders) but was used in a much diminished role between 1987 and 1990.
Valentine was entered in the WWF World Heavyweight Championship tournament at WrestleMania IV, where he defeated Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat in the first round before losing to “Macho Man” Randy Savage, the eventual winner of the tournament, in the quarter-finals.
In 1988, Valentine feuded with “The Rock” Don Muraco, who had turned face a year earlier. The feud was triggered when Valentine viciously attacked Muraco’s manager, former WWF Heavyweight Champion Superstar Billy Graham. Graham, walking with a cane, tried to intervene when Valentine held the figure-four leglock on jobber Ricky Ataki, after already winning the match. Valentine then put the figure-four leglock on Graham, who had a plastic hip. The feud was abruptly halted when Muraco was dismissed by the WWF, despite Valentine’s pleas for Muraco not to be fired so that the promising program could be allowed to run. (Ironically, kayfabe magazine Inside Wrestling had run a story on the feud, claiming that it was Muraco, yearning to personally avenge Graham’s injuries, who had begged the WWF not to dismiss Valentine).
In April 1989 he began feuding with “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin. Two weeks after WrestleMania V (where he teamed with the Jimmy Hart managed Honky Tonk Man in a loss to the now babyface Hart Foundation), he defeated Garvin in a retirement match on Superstars of Wrestling by reversing a small package and holding on to the ropes. Garvin became a referee until Valentine and Hart managed to have him fired. Garvin then became a ring announcer, and began aggravating Valentine. At SummerSlam 1989 for his match with Hercules, Garvin announced Valentine as being Hercules’ “so-called opponent” and at 249 lbs looking to Garvin like he was “overweight by thirty pounds” and as he approached the ring. Other insults by Garvin during the introduction included Valentine not knowing whether he was “coming or going” and being the only wrestler Garvin knew who had “two left feet” and that he had a “pipsqueak, poor excuse for a manager”. Following the match, Garvin then announced Hercules as the winner when Valentine cheated to win, despite the referee declaring Valentine the winner. Valentine knocked Garvin out of the ring before having a further punching match with Hercules while Garvin climbed back in the ring and nailed Valentine. The Hammer and Jimmy Hart eventually demanded that Garvin be reinstated so that they could fight in the ring.
For some time Valentine had been wearing a shin guard, which he would rotate (so it covered his calf, not his shin) in order to increase the pressure exerted by the Figure Four Leglock. He referred to the shin guard as the “Heartbreaker”. Valentine would also (illegally) attach the shin guard to his arm in order to accentuate his elbow drops. In the course of the feud, Garvin countered with a rotated shin guard of his own, which he dubbed “the Hammer Jammer”. The feud culminated in a submission match at the 1990 Royal Rumble. Garvin utilized the “Hammer Jammer” during the match, using it to “counter” Valentine’s figure-four leglock when Valentine applied it on Garvin during the match (rather than writhing in pain as normal during the hold, Garvin was smiling and making faces at Valentine). Jimmy Hart managed to remove the “Hammer Jammer” from Garvin’s leg, after which Valentine systematically wore down Garvin’s leg, but eventually lost after Garvin hit him with the Heartbreaker and applied a sharpshooter, forcing Valentine to submit.
Shortly after, Valentine formed a tag team with The Honky Tonk Man. For around eight months Valentine resisted dying his hair black (an idea of Jesse “The Body” Ventura) but eventually relented and the team became known as Rhythm and Blues and were managed by Jimmy Hart. Rhythm and Blues feuded with The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke) and The Hart Foundation, but were overshadowed by the Legion Of Doom (Animal and Hawk), who were by then dominating the tag division. Famously during the time of Rhythm and Blues, WWF announcer Gorilla Monsoon would proclaim every time Valentine got on the microphone and sang (while also attempting to play a guitar) that “if you hung The Hammer for being a good singer you would hang an innocent person”.
Valentine became a face in December 1990 and on January 19, 1991, Valentine participated in the fourth annual Royal Rumble match. He lasted forty four minutes. He was to feud with his former partner, the Honky Tonk Man, but Honky left the WWF before the feud could begin. Valentine lost to the Jimmy Hart managed Earthquake at WrestleMania VII, and was defeated again at SummerSlam 1991 by Irwin R. Schyster. He participated in the 1992 Royal Rumble for the vacated WWF Championship, where he attacked his old rival Ric Flair before being eliminated by the Repo Man.