TV viewers definitely know Todd Bridges as Willis from the hit '80s series Diff'rent Strokes. They might also recognize him as a commentator for The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest on Tru TV or as the author of his recent memoir Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted. But, did you know that Bridges has also worked as a professional wrestler?
Last year, I randomly ended up at DNA Lounge in San Francisco for Fog City Wrestling. It was an event that sort of blew my mind upon the realization that one of the wrestlers was, in fact, Todd Bridges (after, of course, spending way too much time wondering, "Is that him?"). He was good, really good, and he nailed the balance between athleticism and entertainment that is crucial to professional wrestling.
When we saw Bridges signing autographs at Los Angeles Comic Book and SciFi, we had to ask about wrestling. Bridges describes his character, Mr. Not So Perfect, as being part "antagonist" and part "good guy."
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"Once you find a character, you stick with it and use it," he said.
"It's a lot harder than people realize," he said. "Professional wrestling is one of the most physical sports there is. It's up there with football. It's physical all the time. You're moving around, jumping around."
To hear Bridges talk about professional wrestling, it sounds like he's a fan as well as a participant. "I give props to those guys. They work hard and they do it 365 days a year sometimes. They're doing show after show after show. It's a really brutal, tough sport."
The TV star is currently taking a break from wrestling due to an injury, but hopes to return to the ring early next year. In the meantime, you can catch him on The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest.