Yo Joe! You had to know that host Karl Stern was going to include Sgt. Slaughter in his list of favorite wrestlers for this year's July Classic Wrestling Marathon.
Karl is a massive G.I. Joe collector and pro wrestling fan, and Sgt. Slaughter was a major character in both! Slaughter was a top star in the NWA, WWF, and AWA during his career, and had a run as WWF champion in the early 1990s, headlining a WrestleMania against Hulk Hogan.
Slaughter started his career out for Verne Gagne working several different gimmicks. Once he hit on Sgt. Slaughter, however, his career forever changed for the better.
Slaughter had a great run in Jim Crockett Promotions doing the brutal drill instructor gimmick with subordinates like Jim Nelson (later the known as the Russian Boris Zhukov) and Don Kernodle. Slaughter and Kernodle's matches with Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood in the Carolinas remain some of the most fondly remembered battles from that area.
Slaughter had a big run in the WWF against people like Pat Patterson and Iron Sheik. But he had a falling out with the WWF over an action figure and left the promotion, signing a huge mainstream deal with Hasbro for his voice and likeness to be used in the G.I. Joe franchise across television, movies, and action figures. It was during this time that he had a less than memorable run in the AWA.
Slaughter returned to the WWF where an ill-advised gimmick change netted him the WWF title, but also won him scorn and controversy.