Ricki Starr

It's often said of wrestling that it ain't ballet but St. Louis native Bernard Hermann combined the two. Under the moniker Ricki Starr, he incorporated elements of his former profession as a ballet dancer and comedy into his wrestling style, crafting an agile, effeminate character that delivered swift kicks to his opponents. His antics infuriated his opponents and then he put his amateur wrestling skills to use. With the help of his manager Jack Pfefer, Starr got bookings around the country and was a huge attraction in multiple territories. One notable signing was a four year contract to Vincent J. McMahon for Capitol Wrestling (now WWE). Starr immediately showed his drawing power in a match against Argentina Rocca in 1957, breaking a 22-year-old attendance record in Washington D.C. Starr went on to headline Madison Square Garden multiple times, battling the likes of the Nazi villain Karl Von Hess. His routine won over even the toughest critics and earned him the respect of his fellow wrestlers (such as Lou Thesz). In the early '60s Starr left Capitol, making his foray into entertainment - recording music and acting on the show Mr. Ed.