Wilbur Snyder
Snyder in 1969
Born(1929-09-15)September 15, 1929
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
DiedDecember 25, 1991(1991-12-25) (aged 62)
Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Wilbur Snyder
California Comet
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight235 lb (107 kg)
Billed fromWoodland Hills, California
Trained byWarren Bockwinkel
Sandor Szabo

Wilbur Snyder (September 15, 1929 – December 25, 1991) was an American football player and professional wrestler.

Wrestling career

Snyder's wrestling debut occurred during football's 1953 off-season. He was trained by Sandor Szabo and Warren Bockwinkel in Southern California.[1] In 1954, Snyder retired from football completely to pursue a full-time career in wrestling. Part of his in-ring persona included the use of many football tactics, and it garnered Snyder a lot of national attention. He had already been a regional champion in Montreal, Quebec, Canada when he made a name for himself by defeating Verne Gagne and winning the United States Championship at Marigold Arena in Chicago on April 7, 1956.[1]

Snyder was a regional champion in a myriad of territories that were affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).[2] One of those championships was an offshoot of the world title that he won from Verne Gagne on November 15, 1958 in Omaha, Nebraska.

After the departure of Jim Barnett, Snyder bought into the Indianapolis territory with Dick the Bruiser. The enterprise was known as Championship Wrestling Inc. on April 27, 1965.[2] Snyder's wife Shirlee was listed as the registered agent. Snyder and Dick's mother, M.A. (Margaret) Johnston were listed as directors of the company, to keep the wrestler's ownership of the territory private.[2]

The defeat of Mitsu Arakawa in September 1967 added the WWA title to Snyder's list of accomplishments.[2] The victory resulted in a two-year run as WWA Champion for Snyder. Between 1956 and 1962, he was a ten time United States Champion.[2] Snyder was also involved in long in-ring feuds with Dick the Bruiser and Hans Schmidt. Another accomplishment of Snyder's was his reign as 13-time WWA Tag Team Champion. During a tour of Japan in 1969, Snyder teamed with Danny Hodge to claim the Japan Pro-Wrestling Alliance's NWA International Tag Team Championship.[2]

Snyder was often billed as "The World's Most Scientific Wrestler". On Bret Hart's greatest hits video Wilbur Snyder also gets a mention by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Heenan claiming Snyder basically invented the abdominal stretch.

Snyder's legacy was cemented by WWE announcer Jim Ross who would refer to "shades of the late Wilbur Snyder" anytime somebody used the abdominal stretch for most of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Personal life

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Wilbur Snyder" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Wilbur married Shirlee Ann Hanson in 1948. His son in law is Steve Regal. He died on December 25, 1991, aged 62, in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b National Wrestling Alliance, The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling, p. 237, Tim Hornbaker, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 1-55022-741-6
  2. ^ a b c d e f National Wrestling Alliance, The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling, p. 238, Tim Hornbaker, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 1-55022-741-6
  3. ^ "Wilbur Snyder | National Wrestling Hall of Fame". nwhof.org. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  4. ^ Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2000). "Texas: NWA World Tag Team Title [Siegel, Boesch and McLemore]". Wrestling title histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  5. ^ "National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Title [E. Texas]". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  6. ^ "W.W.A. World Tag Team Title (Indianapolis)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  7. ^ "International Television Tag Team Title (Los Angeles)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.