By Paul Stratoti, Contributing Writer

The Junkyard Dog was born Sylvester Ritter on December 15, 1952. He was a college football player turned pro wrestler, and he got his ring name from his job working in a wrecking yard.

He was loved by legions of fans everywhere and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2004 following a stellar babyface career which saw him train WWE’s Rodney Mack and Jazz and was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012. Sadly, he was returning home from his daughter LaToya’s high school graduation where it is assumed that he fell asleep at the wheel on June 1, 1998, preceding a single-car accident on Interstate 20.

January 30, 1985 at Cleveland Convention Center Big John Studd & Ken Patera vs Andre the Giant & JYD went to a double disqualification Here, in the following photo JYD flings Ken Patera into the ropes as Big John Studd looks on:

Andre the Giant looks on as JYD expresses his disdain for the Heenan Family:

In a test of strength, Greg Valentine yells in pain at the quick table turn


A couple of Cleveland fans with JYD and Promoter Demolition Ax:

Graveyard photo taken by ove

By X-Man IV – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Article and photos by Paul Stratoti unless otherwise noted


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