In little more than a year Ox Baker felled two wrestlers with his "hurt punch" a direct punch to the heart and both were no longer in this world. In June of 1971 Baker gave the "hurt punch" to Alberto Torres and he passed away three days later. In August of 1972 Baker used the "hurt punch" on wrestler/promoter Ray Gunkel and Gunkel collapsed and died in the locker room right after the match. Baker was feared the land over and the "hurt punch" was banned in some states, considered the most deadly move in the history of professional wrestling.
In 2013 the legend of Ox Baker and the debilitating "hurt punch" continues vicariously through his son Ox Baker Jr. who has used the maneuver on two distinguished indie legends causing both the require extensive and very serious heart surgery.
Percival Friend, a long-time manager and sometimes commentator was the first victim to fall to Baker Jr. and the "hurt punch." Friend was on the receiving end of the move and had repeated trouble with his heart which eventually resulted in open heart surgery coming close to costing him his life.
Bull Miller, who is a mainstay on the indie scene, especially in the Ohio area, squared off against Baker Jr. and after falling to the "hurt punch" had to undergo a triple bypass which left the legendary grappler clinging to life for a number of days.
"I don't get in the ring to sing or dance, I get in the ring to hurt people," Baker Jr. said. "If there is one thing I love, just like my father before me, it is hurting people."
The "hurt punch" is a variation of the "heart punch" made famous by Stan Stasiak who used the move to debilitate a number of opponents over the course of his career. Baker modified not only the name but also the move placing it closer to the heart in order to cause more damage.
"People think Stan "The Man" was upset because I was using his move and maybe he was because I made it better, I perfected it, just ask Torres, ask Gunkel," Ox Baker said. "Stasiak just ended matches with the thing, I ended careers and more."
Baker Jr. is quickly making a name for himself on the indie scene with the "hurt punch" with a number of promoters leery of signing him to a match because opponents are afraid to get into the ring with him.
"I don't care if I win or lose, I am just out to hurt people in any way I can as bad as I can," Baker Jr. stated. "I use the 'hurt punch' to end the match, to make a statement and because I like to see my opponents fall to the mat, clutch their chest, wonder if they will be taking their last breath."
"Percy Friend, Bull Miller, they are just the beginning. Everybody is sympathetic to them but stop and think, maybe they just didn't have the heart to be in the ring to start with, especially with me," Baker Jr. added.
The difference between the "hurt punch" used by Baker and by Baker Jr. seems to be the longevity of the effects. While the Baker punch had a definitive end, Baker Jr. has modified the move to cause further damage over a period of time.
"I like to see people suffer so I do something a little different than dad did," Baker Jr. smiled. "What I do with the punch, it causes more pain, does more damage not only to the heart but also mentally and that makes me happy."
Baker Jr. has had a long running feud with another legendary son in the business, Bobo Brazil Jr. who has been on the receiving end of a number of "hurt punches" and who suffered a stroke after one match with Baker Jr. Bull Miller and Ox Baker Jr. have been feuding for years and it appears that after their last match, which saw Miller left in dire straits after receiving the "hurt punch" that Miller's career may be over.
"I am not afraid to step back in the ring with that bum," Miller said. "Yeah I had a triple bypass probably due to that punch but the mistake he made was not finishing me. I will be back sooner or later and you can believe me when I say this you bum Ox Baker Jr. you are going to wish the worst thing you will have to go through is a triple bypass."
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