Pure Strength 1987
Geoff Capes (2 x World’s Strongest Man, 5th Place in the Shot Put at the 1980 Olympics, 1981 World Heavy Events Champion) VS Bill Kazmaier (IPF Powerlifting World Champion, USPF Powerlifting National Champion and 3 x World’s Strongest Man) VS Jon Pall Sigmarsson (4 x World’s Strongest Man) in a three man battle to determine who was the best out of all the events dreamed up by the U.K. promoters. Though Capes was a bit past his prime this was still a historic showdown as these three super strong athletes were three of the most dominant of all time in their chosen athletic pursuits.
Pure Strength 1988: Change the contest to a 2 man team event, strap some oversized shoulder pads to the show’s host, bring a now retired Geoff Capes back as the head official and the Europeans, European Americans and European Australians get set to battle for the aptly named Mighty White (laundry detergent) championship title.
Pure Strength 1989: The inspiration for one of the cheeziest weight lifting theme songs of all time. Add a flying eagle with a King Arthur sword and some insurance premium doubling tests of strength and power and get ready for showtime!
Pure Strength 1990: I think this was this promotion’s final year. I’m not sure why it disbanded but my guess is that the sport of strongman is an individual test of might and the team concept, while novel, didn’t appeal to the athletes and fans as much as the individual shows like the World’s Strongest Man did and does. Also, like The World’s Strongest Man TV Show, in comparison with The Arnold Strongman Classic, Pure Strength was more focused on repetitive lifting ability with sub maximal weights than on tests of absolute limit strength. This meant that lighter and less explosive athletes could be competitive with the giants and that took away from the appeal of determining who the strongest men in the world were (in the most popular definition of the word.) The mulleted British competitor trying to belly bop a timber log in half alone makes this competition worth watching.
Rest in Peace Jon Pall Sigmarsson and O.D. Wilson.