Theodore "Ted" Arcidi is a former professional wrestler, actor and powerlifter from the United States. He is known to be the first man in history to bench press over 700 pounds in competition.

Early life

The son of a nurse and doctor and one of seven children, Ted was born in Buffalo, New York, and took a different route from the family's academia tradition. He left Tufts University dental school to pursue the sport of powerlifting. When Ted graduated high school, he claims to have weighed in at 165 lbs. As he put it, "I was not born big".

Powerlifting/Bench press world record

Ted Arcidi bench pressed 705.5 pounds (320 kg) on March 3, 1985 at Gus Rethwisch's Budweiser World Record Breakers in Honolulu, Hawaii for an APF & USPF world record, to become the first man to bench 700 pounds in an officially recognized powerlifting competition. Then, after being 5 1/2 years away from competition due to his wrestling career, he made the comeback of the decade. Weighing 291 pounds, Arcidi set another world record with an amazing 718.1 lbs bench presss at the APF Bench Press Invitational on September 30, 1990, in Keene, New Hampshire. On September 14, 1991, at a Mr. Olympia contest, he squared off face to face with his greatest rival Anthony Clark to determine who the greatest bench presser of the world was. Arcidi defeated the much bigger Clark (5'8", 375 lbs) by pressing 725 pounds off his chest to establish yet a new, but controversial, world record. That attempt was later disqualified after it was revealed that Arcidi had failed to lock out his arms due to bone spurs in his elbows which he had corrected with surgery.

Arcidi's 705 pound all-time world record bench press was performed in one of the earliest bench shirts - an original prototype supportive bench press shirt, which was 50% polyester and 50% cotton and only one layer thick. It was thus later categorized as "equipped", although it didn't improve his bench by much, if anything. In 1984 Arcidi had benched an official 666.9 pounds (302.5 kg) at 286.0 pounds bodyweight completely raw, without a bench shirt in Honolulu, Hawaii as well. He can be considered as arguably one of the greatest bench pressers of all time.

Professional wrestling career

Arcidi lifted for several years and eventually was sought by and debuted in Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in late 1985. Arcidi faced other "strongmen" such as Big John Studd and Hercules Hernandez during his stint and made a single appearance at WrestleMania 2 in the WWF/NFL Battle Royal. He was released upon the return of Ken Patera (who incidentally was instrumental in his signing with Titan Sports-WWF) as Vince McMahon did not want to have issues with having two men billed as the "World's Strongest Man". Although his tenure was brief, Arcidi did have an action figure produced by LJN for their Wrestling Superstars toy line, long after Arcidi was gone from the company.

After his WWF run, he went to Calgary and briefly worked for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling. After that, Arcidi moved on the World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas, Texas, where he was known as "Mr. 705" (referring to his world record bench press). He was managed by Percival Pringle III and was part of a stable of wrestlers including Rick Rude, the Dingo Warrior and Cactus Jack Manson. Arcidi captured that organization's Texas Heavyweight Championship on August 31, 1987 and held it until he lost to Matt Borne on November 10 that same year. Arcidi left the organization in 1990 to pursue other endeavors. He made several appearances in the Caribbean but never came back to national stature.

Business ventures

Arcidi has several ventures outside of his wrestling and bench press careers. Among these are his ownership of New England's largest women's gym in Manchester, New Hampshire, a supplement company called Arcidi Strength Systems, and a gym equipment company called Weightlifters Warehouse. He is also heavily involved in real estate. He is also focusing on an acting career with parts in such shows as Law & Order and has appeared in several commercials. In the early 1980s, he was a part-time Physical Education teacher in a Massachusetts middle school. He was instrumental in the initial strength coaching of both Paul "Triple H" Levesque and Joanie "Chyna" Laurer and assisted them in contacting Killer Kowalski, who trained them for wrestling.

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • "The World's Strongest Man"
    • "Mr. 705"
    • "The Boss of the Bench Press"

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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