As an young man in Calgary in the 1950s and '60s, Archie Gouldie didn't have many options for becoming a professional athlete.

As wrestling historian Greg Oliver told Eyeopener host David Gray, the choices were football with the Stampeders, or the growing Hart family Stampede wrestling enterprise.

A skinny guy, Gouldie knocked on the door of Stu Hart's so-called 'Dungeon' to prove himself in the ring.

Hart didn't think they'd ever see Gouldie ever again, but the lanky youth kept coming back for more punishment, working his way up in the business until he became a wrestling superstar, selling out venues across North America and in Puerto Rico.

Bad guy persona

According to Oliver, Gouldie's wrestling persona changed depending which side of the border he was performing.

"What I always found fascinating about Archie is he was really two different people," Oliver said. 

"He was Archie Gouldie the Stomper when he was in Calgary and he was talking and giving these great promos. But yet when he worked down in the States...he was the Mongolian Stomper and he would have a manager who did all his speaking for him, so he was this silent bad guy that was just a threatening figure."

Oliver also noted that in those days, the wrestlers came up with their own speeches, so their personas developed over time.

"So much of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) is scripted, and the guys aren't allowed to be themselves," Oliver said.

"It's frustrating for old school fans like I am that you don't get to see these guys develop as personalities. And Archie was a great example."

Physically fit and active well into his 70s living in Tennessee, Gouldie died following complications from hip surgery.