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Credit: Wrestling

by Garry Wolfe

Wrestling's Greatest Family: The Gilbert's

In my opinion The Gilberts, Tommy, Eddie and Doug, have to be one of the greatest wrestling families ever. Tommy Gilbert was an exceptional wrestler with all the tools of the trade. I grew up watching Tommy perform in the Mid-South area and he was one of my favorite stars of all time. His classic matches with Lou Thesz were matches you will never ever see again in this sport. He had great interview skills and was the all time favorite face in the business. I attended every USWA match in the Mid South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee every Monday Night. I followed Tommy's career from the very beginning.

Tommy had two sons, Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert and "Dangerous" Doug Gilbert. I watched these two young men's career start in Memphis. Eddie was a photographer at all the matches back in his younger years. It's rumored that Eddie missed his own graduation to perform his first match. At that time Jerry Lawler was the big star in Memphis and remained the big attraction for many years to come. But in my own opinion, Lawler couldn't carry Eddie Gilbert's jock strap. It seemed like Memphis and Lawler always overlooked Eddie's booking abilities, along with his wrestling abilities. The big promoters like Vince McMahon Sr. noticed the talent that Eddie Gilbert had while the small promoters like Jarrett and Lawler couldn't realize the true talent and skills of Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert. Even as a fan, you could tell that Eddie truly loved the sport of wrestling and it showed in every match he did and with every interview also. All the writers and reporters in this business have always overlooked the greatest wrestler of all time: Eddie Gilbert. Just stop and look at all the accomplishments he has made in his career: WWF superstar, WCW superstar, ECW superstar and the best booker in the business. While he was in Bill Watts' promotion, he helped the careers of Sting, Ultimate Warrior, Rick Steiner and many many more stars that would have probably ended up nowhere without all the brains and ring savvy Eddie had.

The untimely death of Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert was possibly the biggest shock the wrestling business has ever seen. I certainly miss Hot Stuff and for a few years after his death, I actually quit watching wrestling.

The youngest of the Gilbert's clan is Dangerous Doug Gilbert. Doug had some big shoes to follow and he has certainly proved to the wrestling world that he has succeeded in filling those shoes. He is indeed a great wrestler and has a totally different style from Tommy or Eddie. I think this is one of the reason's he has had such success in the business. Doug usally wrestled in the same promotions as Tommy and Eddie, but you could tell from his first few matches that he was a man of his own. I still love to watch Doug perform and he is still carrying the Gilbert name in high respect. He is one of the biggest stars in Japan and is actually considered an icon in that country.

I know I will probably catch a lot of slack by writing this article, because a lot of people think there are a lot more wrestling families like the Fuller's, The Rhodes, The Brisco's, The Funk's, and now even The Flair's that deserve more reconition than The Gilberts, but in my opinion The Gilberts were the best.

Tommy Gilbert..... The Technician
Eddie Gilbert........ The Flamboyant One
Doug Gilbert......... The Enforcer

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