© 2015 Rob. All rights reserved.

The Great Wojo

greatwojo

Acrylic on 24″ x 24″ wood

The Great Wojo has the distinction of beating a legend for their final World Title run, and losing to another for their first. Greg Wojciechowski was born in 1951 Toledo, Ohio and by the age of five began weightlifting and strength training. He won the Ohio State Heavyweight Championship in 1967 and 1968 while in high school, then wrestled for the University of Toledo. While there he won the 1971 NCAA Division I and All-American Heavyweight Championship, and also a runner-up in 1970 and 1972, in addition to being a 4-time AAU Heavyweight Champion in 1970, 1971, 1974 and 1975. He made the 1980 US Olympic Wrestling Team, but was unable to compete due to the US’ boycott of the Summer Games.

During the time of the boycott, Wojciechowski began wrestling for the World Wrestling Association as The Great Wojo. He had a notable long-running gimmick known as ‘The $10,000 Challenge’ where he would bet that no one could beat him in a ‘shoot style’ match, with ten thousand dollars on the line. In July 1984 he defeated Stormy Granzig for the WWA World Heavyweight Championship and held it until being defeated by Dick the Bruiser on January 29, 1985. Wojo regained the title from Bruiser in September, ending Dick the Bruiser’s final world title run. The Great Wojo held the title for nearly a year before losing it to a young upstart on August 14, 1986 by the name of Scott Rechsteiner, who became more well-known as Scott Steiner. Wojo defeated Steiner on May 3, 1987 for the title, before losing it for the last time to Calypso Jim a year later.

After making appearances around the Midwest, in Canada and Japan, The Great Wojo retired from in-ring competition and began coaching high school and middle school wrestling. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015.

About the piece: I enjoy pushing myself stylistically and technically in different directions, which was what I did here. I applied the paint with a palette knife, and before it dried I would go over it with a wet sponge brush, letting it drip wherever it wanted, creating a haunting and ethereal effect. A fun way to work that I look to experiment more with in the future.

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