Tri-Fitness Honors World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Famers 2008
Wrestlemania XXIV – March 30, 2008
By Al Rosen
I am asked very often about the origin of the Women’s Tri-Fitness. My background was in athletics, coaching, owning a health club and promotion. In addition, I had the fortunate opportunity to wrestle professionally in the late seventies and early eighties. This opportunity presented itself as the health club I owned (Boddy Shoppe Gym) in Tampa was the home to professional wrestlers in the seventies and eighties (those living in and passing through Florida). This is a special year for me with the WWE Hall of Fame about to induct their 2008 class of Ric Flair, Rocky Johnson, and High Chief Peter Maivia. Friendships with all three, Rocky, Ric and the Chief were formed in the seventies and they continue today. Rocky Johnson was one of the most athletic wrestlers of all time. Having a bodybuilders physique, the Soul Man, had a gymnastic and boxing background. One minute he was shuffling like Ali while the next he was doing a kip up off the mat and high back extensions coming off tackles. Being a black man in the seventies in this sport was not easy. There were times we were together where he ignored racial comments. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Rocky married into a wrestling family when he wed Ata Maivia. I was fortunate to be the best man. This marriage produced the most electrifying wrestler/entertainer of all time – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. When speaking of Ric Flair I speak of class. To the billions of spectators from Manitoba to Miami, from Europe to Australia, people will always remember the “WOOO” from the Nature Boy from Minnesota. This 35 year veteran and of the square circle as well as the greatest wrestler of all time has been my friend for over thirty years. We met at the Boddy Shoppe Gym and I soon found myself doing squats and pushups to a deck of cards. I know I can call on Ric for anything and he will be there for me as he was at the 2007 Tri-Fitness Fall Challenge in Tampa. I was ecstatic when he married Tiffany Vandermark, one of the athletes I had trained for the Tri-Fitness.