Growing up a Philadelphia Phillies fan in Whitehall, Pa., Brian Yandrisovitz dreamed of making it to the show.
Years later he did -- just a different kind of show.
Yandrisovitz became a professional wrestler, and he, better known to wrestling fans as Nasty Boy Knobbs, reached the pinnacle with WCW and WWF (now WWE). Since 1986, The Nasty Boys (childhood friends Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) won the Florida Championship Wrestling tag team titles five times, AWA Southern tag team titles twice, WCW tag team titles three times and the coveted WWF tag team titles once.
“It was WrestleMania 7, and I called my dad [Ed], and he gave me a big pep talk,” Knobbs recalled. “He would say we hadn’t made it until we won the WWF tag titles. Jimmy Hart was our manager, and we beat The Hart Foundation [Bret The Hitman Hart and Jim The Anvil Neidhart], who Jimmy used to manage, for those tag team titles.”
The Nasty Boys with a little help from Jimmy Hart’s helmet defeated The Hart Foundation for the WWF tag team titles at WrestleMania 7 on March 24, 1991 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. It marked the final match of the Hart Foundation and the WrestleMania debut of The Undertaker, while The Nasty Boys had arrived.
“That kind of cemented us in the wrestling business [and at home],” Knobbs said. “Before being in the WWF, each time I would call home to my dad and even though we were on ESPN with the AWA, he would always say, ‘You’re not in the WWF, yet, kid. You’re not in the WWF.’
Dad pro WWF (now WWE).
“Then, all of a sudden, we finally got to WWF and got a WrestleMania 7 spot. So I called my dad at home, and I said, ‘This is my chance,’ and he gave me a good speech. My brother [Ed Jr.] came out to see it live, and we won the match. That was great. I was holding the WWF tag belt, yelling, ‘Dad. Dad. Dad.’ He was watching it at home, and he had tears in his eyes. He knew, we knew, we finally made it to the top.”
The Nasty Boys and The Hart Foundation are reuniting during the Legends of Wrestling Night on Saturday, Aug. 24 when the Miami Marlins host the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park.
Who will Jimmy Hart join?
“We are wrestling that night, and Jimmy will be walking us to the ring,” Knobbs said. “So since he’s walking with us, he might be signing autographs with The Hart Foundation.”
The Nasty Boys respect Jimmy Hart.
“I call him the hardest working man in show business,” Knobbs said. “He’s still doing it. He’s still running around. He’s got the energy of a 20-year-old kid.
“By far, he was our greatest manager, our best manager we ever had. He taught us the game, be yourself out there and do what you got to do.”
The Nasty Boys battled many tag teams including the best like The British Bulldogs, The Steiner Brothers, The Road Warriors, Harlem Heat, and of course, The Hart Foundation.
Knobbs said: “That’s what’s missing in today’s wrestling. There are no tag teams like that anymore, like those...and The Bushwhackers and The Rockers...It’s a lost art.”
Knobbs added: “Bobby the Brain Heenan to Slick to Jimmy Mouth of the South Hart and Mr. Fuji, they brought a little spice and character to the matches. How can you beat it.”