Jews constitute just 0.2% of the world’s population but if you hadn’t read our first article about wrestling’s Jewish stars, you’d probably be surprised to learn just how many wrestlers have had their Bar or Bat Mitzvas.
We have highlighted Jews of wrestling legend like ‘The Grand Wizard’, Barry Horowitz and Brian Pillman. We’ve discussed Jews of wrestling’s recent past like Howard Finkel, The Nasty Boys, Lanny ‘The Genius’ Poffo, Billy Kidman and Raven. We’ve also looked at Jews of the wrestling present like Paul Heyman, Matt Striker and Robbie E. We have queried the hereditary provenance of Kevin Nash, Kane, Kurt Angle, CM Punk, Lord Alfred Hayes and Matt ‘Evan Bourne’ Sydal. We’ve discussed and set the record straight on Kelly Kelly and Diamond Dallas Page but would you believe it, like a superstar unwilling to lie down for the three count, we’re not done yet. With Chanukah recently finished, like Adam Sandler’s Chanukah song, we have something to tide our Jewish brothers and sisters over the Xmas season.
So who could be left that we haven’t already covered? Amazingly there are some big names that have Jewish roots. Though we didn’t use this text in our interview with Chris Masters, the following was his response to our asking about his real name. “It probably was irrelevant to my career, I don’t know if many people even, I don’t know if I’ve even been asked the question more than a handful of times, in fact maybe the first is this time. But yeah that Russian or polish – my mums Jewish but I’m a mixture of a number of things. Swedish, a little Russian but obviously Mordenzky is my “shoot” last name so obviously I think it screams Polish Jew – whenever anybody hears a ‘sky’ and their attune to it, they automatically know “you’re polish aren’t you” but they don’t usually call on the Jew thing”. So there you have it.
Someone often missed off the lists of Jewish wrestlers but with family from Poland (which, we are led to believe, used to inspire support from Polish fans) is Canadian Jew and former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts. We even have it on good authority that Justin attended the annual WWE Chanukah party at the company HQ!
WWE’s NXT brand continues to excite the wrestling world and it’s worth noting that the company is also home to a top Jewish star. Matt ‘Tensai’ Bloom, better known to some as Albert/A-Train has an impressive track record as a top talent. Having given up a teaching job and moved into wrestling, he is now teaching again but this time as the head trainer at the WWE performance centre!
Whilst Bloom is Jewish, we’re happy to put some of the rumours to bed. Kane, despite having the surname Jacobs and having played the part of dentist Isaac Yankem, is not Jewish. How can we be so sure? We have it on good authority from a trustworthy source that heard it from the man himself. Want something first hand? Royal Ramblings had the chance to ask WWE main-eventer Kevin Owens about his family background. “I get asked that all the time” he said. “It’s not a Jewish name. If I’m Jewish nobody has told me about it” and there you have it, from the man himself. Kurt Angle is not a Jew and in reply to a tweeter stating that “she herself is Jewish” on 14 November Tammy Sytch (Sunny) asked the Twittersphere: “Since when am I Jewish?” Whilst there are those that haven’t converted but were asked, like Missy Hyatt, there are those that aren’t Jewish but used to be. Marc Mero tweeted us that he “Grew up Jewish accepted Jesus as Lord & Savior”. So there you have it – happy Christmas Marc!
We still have some outstanding queries though. Its not yet been properly established that Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman, Tommy Dreamer, Rhyno or Steve Blackman are of the faith and neither have RoH’s Matt Stryker and Maniac Mark Lewin been officially confirmed. However the good news for Jews is that we have another world champion to inspire young Jewish hopefuls! It wasn’t just Goldberg that reached the top in WCW but actor David Arquette was born to a Jewish mother.
Of course it isn’t just the major companies that are home to Jewish talent. Indie stars Noam Dar and Brimstone, former wrestlers Aviv Maayan, Max ‘Voltage’ Olesker (of comedy duo Max & Ivan) and Brad ‘Manny Montana’ Jacobowitz and referee and former WWE/TNA talent Mikey Batts are all part of the tribe.
From Ida Mae Martinez in the 50s, to Dean Malenko’s father Boris in the 60s and 70s and Dean and Joe Malenko in the 80s (and decades more). From WWF’s Ross Greenberg to ECW’s Joel ‘Studley Dudley’ Gertner. From managers like Eddie “the Brain” Creatchman to talents like Colt Cabana.
Jewish stars are woven into the rich tapestry of wrestling life as much as we are into wider society. We wish everyone, whatever their faith happy holidays!