Joe biden wrestling
Joe Biden, right, squares off against Pepe Pasquale. Biden lost the match via Pasquale’s signature sleeper hold, and thus was born Biden’s nickname “Sleepy Joe.”

Much ado has been made in the political press about Donald J. Trump’s status as a WWE Hall of Famer, but many fans of sports-entertainment don’t realize that Trump’s presidential opponent, Joe Biden, was briefly a rising star of wrestling’s “territorial era” in the 1960s.

For nearly two years in the early sixties, while also earning a law degree at Syracuse University, Biden wrestled all over the continental US, Mexico and Puerto Rico, typically competing in high-flying bouts with cruiserweights and luchadors. 

Back in his heyday, Biden frequently portrayed a masked heel called “The Scranton Strangler” (an homage to a long court case in Biden’s hometown, may have sent the wrong man to prison, according to one source who asked to be identified only as TF). 

Wrestling historian Oliver Gregg listed Biden’s best matches as follows:

  • Joe Biden vs. Dory Funk, Amarillo, TX, Aug. 3, 1966 (Funk wins with stepover toehold)
  • Joe Biden vs. The Sheik, Detroit, Big Time Wrestling, April 22, 1966. A notorious bloodbath that Biden won by disqualification after the Sheik threw a blinding white powder (cocaine) into Biden’s eyes
  • Joe Biden vs. Roddy Piper, AWA Wrestling, Winnipeg, April 17, 1967. Biden wins by sunset flip, 3 minutes 18 seconds. 

Biden made sporadic appearances in the NWA in the late 1960s, but usually as a commentator, since he was then he was running to represent the 4th district on the New Castle County Council with a liberal platform to help poor people — and he won by 2,000 votes in a district that usually voted Republican. Incidentally, that was the same year Donald Trump got bone spurs to avoid serving for his country. 

Many pundits believe Joe Biden belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame, but inside sources say Trump has forbidden such an induction.

But perhaps it could be put to a vote of wrestling fans — who should be in the WWE Hall of Fame, Trump or Biden? Perhaps a fair democratic vote would decide. 

If such a vote were to happen, our money would be on Biden, even though his entire wrestling career was a fictional daydream by a guy sitting around just waiting for the furnace repair guy to show up. 



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