The WAWLI Papers No. 271...


(Sports Illustrated, December 21, 1981)

By Terry Todd

Once upon a time, in a farmhouse in France, a baby boy was born. "Such hands,"
his father said. "Perhaps he will be a man to match my father." 

"But you have told me that your father was a giant," said his wife with a
smile. "Was he truly as large as you say? A head about two meters and 250

"All that and more," the father replied sternly. "I am the son of a giant. Why
not the father of one as well?" 

And so it came to pass that as the boy did the work, ate the food and breathed
the air of rural France, he grew. And grew. And grew again, reaching a height
of 6' 3" and a weight of more than 200 pounds as he entered his 12th year.
Even then he could do the work of a man. One day as he was raking hay beside
his father, a friend of the farm's owner drove slowly past the field in a

"I will own such a car as that someday," the tall boy said quietly as he
paused to watch the elegant machine glide by. 

"Stop dreaming and start raking," his father replied. "You are a big boy, but
that dream is too big even for you." 

Two more summers passed and the boy's body as well as his dreams continued to
wax. Neither his clothes nor his circumstances seemed ever to fit. Finally,
when he was 14, the farm and the village could contain him no longer, and he
left his home and family to seek his fortune. 

Five more years went by. Then, one afternoon, while his mother was in the
kitchen preparing a quiche, she heard a knock. "*Ce grand*, who could it be?"
she said to herself as she saw a large car out the window on her way to the
door. "And me all covered with flour!" As she opened the door she beheld an
enormous man, all hands and feet, smiling enormously. She stood there dumb

"Is the man of the house at home?" the huge strange inquired, at which point
she rushed from the room, calling to her husband. Together they approached the
doorway and the man who filled it. 

"Yes, can I help you?" said the husband cautiously, looking up. 

"May I ask how you like the car?" replied the giant. He stepped aside and with
a slow sweep of his massive hand indicated a long, shining limousine. A Rolls-

"It is beautiful, but what has that to do with us?" the husband asked
suspiciously as the wife drew closer to him. 

"Do you know who I am?" the stranger asked, still smiling down at them. 

The wife hesitated, then said, "Have I not seen you on television? Are you not
the famous wrestler, Jean Ferré?" 

"Yes, I have wrestled often on television," said the colossal stranger,
continuing to smile. 

Finally, the husband looked out again at the Rolls, peered up again into the
stranger's deep-set, twinkling eyes, turned to his wife and exclaimed, "Do you
not recognize your own son come home to you at last? Jean Ferré is only a *nom
de guerre*. This man is our son, Andre, grandson of my father." 

Indeed, during the five years young Andre had been estranged from his parents,
he had grown so large that even his mother and father failed at first, and
even second, glance to recognize him, or to connect the giant they had seen on
television with the gangly dreamer who had hied himself to Paris so long

What had happened after Andre left fo rthe city was that because of his size
and strength he had been hired by a furniture-moving firm. Impressed, the firm
encouraged him to develop his already considerable skills as a rugby player.
he recalls those days in Paris as his *rite de passage*, a time in which he
not only passed into manhood by passed as a man. He laughs as he recalls
buying drinks for a member of the *gendarmerie* when he was only 14 years old.

When he turned 17, he was seen training at a gym by several professional
wrestlers. They were so taken by his size that they showed him some of their
moves, and regaled him with tales of their travel and adventures. When one of
them was injured soon after and a replacement was needed for a match, Andre
was asked to perform. As might be expected, he was, shall we say, a huge
success, and he realized he had found his calling. The Brazilian philosopher,
Paulo Freire, has observed that the education of much value is learning to
understand one's true position in the world in such a way as to act on that
understanding and improve the position. If Freire is correct, Andre graduated
with highest honors that night in his short, preliminary bout. 

In his first two years as a professional wrestler, Andre Roussimoff, a/k/a
Jean Ferré, did indeed grow -- not only in stature but in wealth and
worldliness. By his early 20s he had wrestled in Algeria, South Africa,
Morocco, Tunisia, England, Scotland, and most of non-Communist Europe. Today,
at the age of 35, he looms four inches beyond seven feet, weighs approximately
500 pounds and stands astride professional wrestling both literally and
figuratively - the largest, highest-paid and best-known performer in the game.

Frank Valois is a *Quebecois* just turned 60, and though he goes a bit slowly
now, he has a width and heaviness of bone that give evidence of the power he
had in his prime. He was with Andre the night of that first match, and for
most of those barnstorming early years. Back home now in Montreal and retired
after four decades in the ring, Valois promotes wrestling over much of Quebec.
He remembers the boy-man Andre. 

"What a thing to see he was! Like a young mastiff. He loved to frisk, to joke.
And to drink, and feel the drink. He was so happy in the game. For him the
hard travel was a joy. Eating all he wanted and drinking with us in bars and
restaurants and seeing new people and places, it was a dream for a poor boy
from the country." 

So imparadised was Andre by his circumstances that he threw himself into the
finer points of his new craft, anxious not to jeopardize his life-style. "He
was trying so hard always," Valois recalls, "and anything the other guys could
do Andre thought he should do also. In that first year or so he was around
seven feet tall and he weighed 325 to 350 pounds, but he looked skinny because
of his frame. I'm telling you, he broke up some rings and ring ropes learning
to do the dropkicks and use the ropes right." 

Asked about Andre's physical abilities, Valois hesitates for a second, then
says, "Listen, I tell you this not because Andre is almost a son to me, but
because it is true. Many men were afraid to go in the ring with him,
especially after he reached his twenties, because he was so large and strong.
For all his height and weight, he could run and jump and do moves that made
seasoned wrestlers fearful. Not so much fearful that he would hurt them with
malice but that he might hurt them with exuberance. He was *incroyable*. Even
when playing he was like that. He discovered one day in Paris that he could
move a small car by himself, and for quite a while after that he amused
himself by moving his friends' cars while they were having a meal or a drink,
placing them in a small space between a lamp post and a building, or turning
them around to face the other way. His strength was so natural to him that he
had no interest in lifting weights. He was interested in having a joke on his
friends, not in showing how strong he was. I have lived among strong men all
my life. I come from Quebec, the cradle of strongmen, home of Louis Cyr and
the six Ballargeon brothers, but I have never seen a man with the raw strength
of Andre." 

Perhaps all of this could be dismissed in light of the often hyperbolic nature
of one friend's memory of another, except for the validation of people like
Ken Patera, four-time U.S. national weightlifting champion and still the U.S.
record holder in the superheavyweight clean and jerk total. Patera was the
first American to clean and jerk 500 pounds, and many knowledgable observers
consider him to have been stronger than the Soviet Union's legendary Vasily
Alexeyev during the early 1970s, when they vied for the world and Olympic
championships. Standing 6'1" and often weighing well over 300 pounds, Patera
entered professional wrestling following the Munich Olympics. He has wrestled
Andre often and has seen him work on many cards. Patera is a rugged man from a
rugged family, and he understands strength as few men do. 

"Let's put it this way," he responded recently to a question about the
Brobdingnagian Frenchman. "I honestly believe that if Andre took a couple of
years away from the game to train like the top lifters do, and if he developed
a close personal relationship with his friendly neighborhood pharmacist, the
world powerlifting records in both the squat and the deadlift would fall. No
question. Think about it. He already weighs almost 500 pounds, with no lifting
and no help from steroids. Hell, he'd weigh 600 or 700 pounds and not be any
fatter than he is now, and let me tell you, that's not very damn fat. He's a
wonder of nature. I've seen him pick up a 250-pound guy like you'd pick up
your overcoat. I guess you know what he did to Wepner." 

Wepner. Ah, yes. That would be Charles (Chuck) Wepner, cardmate of Muhammad
Ali in that ill-advised boxers vs. wrestlers promotion back in 1976: Wepner
had the dubious distinction of facing Andre in Shea Stadium in the bout
preceding the much ballyhooed, ultimately farcical, Ali vs. Antonio Inoki
match broadcast via satellite from Tokyo. Although the clash between Ali and
Inoki turned out to be more ludicrous than enlightening, the Andre-Wepner
prelim had at least one genuinely exciting moment. Wepner had circled Andre
during the first two rounds, tapping him experimentally, as a mountaineer
might âssay the peak he or she had chosen to climb. Andre had permitted
himself to be circled, no doubt postponing for the sake of the crowd the
inevitable outcome. (The word inevitable is used advisedly, because over the
years boexers have fared poorly whenever they have disregarded the obvious
technical advantages of wrestling and engaged in a mixed bout. Most of the
boxer-wrestler matchups, in fact, have ended by a pin within a minute,
according to ring historians.) 

At any rate, in the third round, perhaps emboldened by the lack of response to
his tapping, to his tapping, to his gloves so gently rapping, Wepner really
clocked the Giant as they broke from the ropes. Whereupon Andre, in a more
than usually fell swoop, angrily snatched his smaller opponent into the air
and pitched him forthwith over the topmost rope, endning the bout. Quoth the
Giant, "Nevermore." 

Asked recently about this mismatch, Andre smiled and replied, using the work
"boss" as so many men in the game do, "Look, boss, the boxer-wrestler business
is almost a joke. After all, a man may hit me a couple of times, but if I cut
the ring off and close in, what can he do after I put my hands on him? The
boxer has no chance, since he can't even wrestle in a clinch because of his
gloves." However, lest Andre's words or his haughty dispatch of Wepner imply a
disdain for the sweet science, it should be noted that the sports figure to
whom Andre gives pride of place is Ali, a man who, with the Giant, hungers a
bit after the glittery things in life. How odd it is, then, that of these two
eminently successful men, both of whom have made more money in the last 15
years than most people could earn in many lifetimes, the one who by all rights
should be richer than a thousand kings has less to show for his athletic and
dramatic endeavours. It has been estimated that Andre earns about $500,000 a
year while Ali has made as much as $6 million for a single fight. 

The difference springs from two related factors -- management and entourage -
and their effect on the old bottom line. Ali's problems in both areas, of
course, are so well known as to require few words here, but Andre's
circumstances bear examination. He came to North America first in 1971, to
Montreal, and continued to appear as Jean Ferré, working almost entirely in
Quebec, though things didn't go all that well there. The crowds were good at
first, but then they dwindled, and even though he enjoyed the ambience of
Quebec, Andre realized that a change was in order. And so, through his friend
Valois, a meeting was arranged in New York with Vince J. McMahon, professional
wrestling's permier promoter. 

McMahon is a tall, rather elegant man in his 60s, and he has seen many rough
beasts in his time, but he recalls the day he first glimpsed Andre. "My
initial reaction was, 'My God, I never saw such a man,'" McMahon says. "I'd
seen photographs and videotapes, of course, and I knew Andre was 7'4" and over
400 pounds, but I simply wasn't prepared for how he looked up close. He was
unlike anything I'd ever seen before, and I knew he could become the number
one draw in wrestling." 

McMahon, whose father, Jess, had worked with Tex Rickard in boxing and
wrestling promotions in the New York area and whose son, Vincent K., is being
groomed to take over his father's World Wrestling Federation, concluded that
what had killed the crowds in Quebec was overexposure. "I saw right away that
Andre needed to be booked into a place no more than a few times a year,"
McMahon says. "Most of our men work one of our circuits for a while and then
move to another. It keeps things fresh. A guy may work New England for a few
months, for instance, go from there to the South and then on out to spend some
time with Verne Gagne in Minneapolis. But Andre's different. The whole world
is his circuit. By making his visits few and far between he never comes
commonplace. Now, wherever he goes, the gates are larger than they would be
without him. I book him for three visits a year to Japan, two to Australia,
two to Europe and the rest of the time I book him into the major arenas in the
U.S. The wrestlers and promoters all want him on their cards, because when the
Giant comes, everyone makes more money." 

Not only did McMahon divine the best way to showcase Andre, he also realized
that the name Jean Ferré would do little in the U.S. to pull a crowd. But what
should the big man be called? What name would produce in the fans the desired
*frisson*? It was a crucial detail. Wrestling has always been filled with
creative handles, ranging from the alliterative Whipper Watson, Killer Karl
Krupp) to the ethnic (El Mongol, Abdullah the Butcher to the ethnically
alliterative Bobo Brazil, Tosh Togo) to the mysterious (The Masked Terror, The
Mummy) to the simpy and manifestly wonderful (Whiskers Savage, Gorilla
Monsoon, Fabulous Moolah, but McMahon guessed correctly that with the
towering Frenchman, straightforward accuracy would be best. Hence, Andre the
Giant. Perfect. 

Fresh come to a land where size in almost everything has been the *terminus ad
quem* everyone aspired: a land where possession of the biggest car, biggest
farm, biggest house, biggest pool, biggest boat, biggest football team or
biggest building signified rank and worth: a land whose seemingly limitless
frontier had produced a people who went to the zoo to see the tiger rather
than the ocelot, the elephant rather than the tapir, the gorilla rather than
the gibbon, and, no doubt, the greater kudu rather than the lesser, Andre
quickly bcame the draw McMahon had predicted. 

For many years in the U.S. Andre traveled with a billingual companion, often
Valois or another francophonic wrestler, but as his English developed and he
got the hang of life on the American road, he struck out on his own,
completely free of the sort of spiritual advisers, camp followers, school
chums, and second cousins-twice-removed that have had so withering an effect
on Ali's profit and loss statement. One of Andre's advantages, of course, vis-
â-vis Ali, is that he wrestles 330 to 340 times a year, presenting the same
sort of moving target to potential hangers-on that Ali once presented to
opponents in the ring. 

Three hundred thirty to 340 times a year. Have mercy. What can life be like
for this 500-pound, peripatetic butterfly? To find out, I traveled for a time
in his company, going with him to Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, Atlanta, and
New York. Once, almost 10 years agao, I had met and spent some time with Andre
in Macon, Ga., and I was reminded again of that earlier meeting as I
approached him in the dressing room at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. As he had
been in Macon, he was standing with a group of fellow wrestlers, and again
lines from the *Iliad* describing ajax came to mind: 

Yon Achaian chief

Whose head and shoulders tower above the rest

And of such bulk prodigious

Such bulk prodigious. Exactly. In an odd way, Andre's height seems somehow
less critical to the effect he creates than do his width and thickness. There
are, after all, quite a few men these days who are seven feet tall, but they
usually weigh around 250; Andre often weighs more than twice that much. Yet
neither in his street clothes nor wrestling trunks does he appear to be
particularly overweight. No victim he of Donelap's disease, in which a man's
belly is said to have done lapped over his belt. 

This bulk prodigious results primarily from two physical peculiarities -
unusually heavy bone structure and relatively short legs. As for bone
structure, the best single indicators are the circumference of the wrists and
ankles; the circumference of the wrist, for instance, tells much more about
the overall bone structure than does the length of the hand. Consider this.
The largest wrist circumference on record of a non-obese person was believed
until recently to have been that of Cleve Dean, a 6'7", 450-pound arm wrestler
from Georgia, whose right wrist is 10 1/4" around. Seven inches is about
average from an adult male; eight inches is a very large measurement. Andre's
wrist, however, is almost a foot in circumference, far larger than most men's
ankles. His wrist, in fact, is about average for an adult male western lowland

And as for the effect of the relationship between his leg length and trunk
length on his body weight, remember than most men of 6'6" and beyond have
relatively long legs and short bodies. This produces both their comparative
lightness and their somewhat storklike appearance. Andre's proportions are
actually quite normal - for a man of about 5'6". The fact that he rises almost
two feet beyond that height accounts for much of his weight, because the trunk
of a man weighs for more per inch of height than the legs. One of the reasons
a gorilla weighs so much, in fact, is that, compared to a man, his trunk is
quite long, averaging approximately 63% of his standing height as opposed to
52% in a man. 

However, Andre's proportions, added to his height and unique bone structure,
are only part of what makes him so truly giantlike. His hands, in particular,
have always drawn attention, not only for their length and greadth but for
their massiveness. They, like his feet, are disproportionately thick, giving
them an almost pawlike appearance. His fingers are so large that he wears a
ring through which a silver dollar may easily pass. Shaking hands with him is
a humbling experience, producing memories of boyhood in the largest of men.
And his head, his enormous jut-browed head, scarred from both rugby and
wrestling and crowned with a thick shock of wiry black hair, also appears to
be larger than it ought, adding the final touch to his fearful symmetry. In
part, his capacity to fascinate must stem from the combined effect his great
height and breadth, his slablike feet and hands and his colossal head have on
oursubconscious, evoking, as they do, our formative years, years of storybooks
and fairy tales, years which Andre symbolizes as he towers among us, a living
manifestation of our childhood dreams. 

(To be concluded in WAWLI Papers No. 272)

The WAWLI Papers No. 272...


(Sports Illustrated, December 21, 1981)

By Terry Todd

(Continued from WAWLI Papers No. 271)

Interestingly, it is among children and adolescents that Andre often seems
most at ease. They swarm around him at matches and follow him wherever he
shows himself in the street, the children yelling for him to lift them high,
high into the air. He is unusually gentle and quiet with them, saying, "I try
to be very soft with children. I don't want them to fear me. Often, when I go
to the homes of people who have small children, the children will run from me
even though they have seen me on television. I understand why they do this,
but it is a sad feeling for me, even so." 

Andre's experiences with small children not only support those who argue that
television has an essentially trivializing effect, but they also help explain
how anybody feels when first in his presence. Andre never enters a restaurant
or a bar without bringing all conversations to a close, as people stop what
they are doing and simply watch him, incredulous, as he goes to a table or
stool. His visual impact is so extraordinary, in fact, that is sometimes
effects even animals. In two separate instances, one reported by Valois and
one by Roger Sembiazza, owner of a restauarant in Studio City, Calif., trained
guard dogs have turned tail and headed for cover at the first sight of Andre.
Asked about this, Andre chuckled in his *basso profundo* and said, "Boss, it
was so funny. Dogs often react to me that way if they don't know me, but these
two dogs were supposed to be so mean. So vicious. One was a German shepherd
and one was a Doberman. Both times I was asked to stand still while the owner
brought the dog in, and both times the dog got one look at me and ran the
other way as fast as he could go." 

Although a giant can apparently stop traffic and even take the starch out of a
guard dog, one of the real problems Andre shares with other of history's
giants is simply living among men. Many cultures, our own included, have
legends of a time in which giants held sway over us, only to be finally
vanquished themselves. These days, although Andre doesn't have to fear valiant
knights or enraged townspeople or Jacks of any sort, his own life among men is
not an easy one. Imagine, if you will, reading about a film like *Star Wars*
and hearing it discussed by everyone, knowing all the while that unless you
cared to stand in the back of the theatre you couldn't go, because the seats
provided would not fit neither your length nor breadth. Imagine, if you will,
passing a display window filled with handsome fall clothing, knowing that
although you could easily afford to buy whatever you pleased, not a thing in
the store would fit, except perhaps the scarves. 

Or imagine seeing a Ferrari snap around a corner, and realizing that, whereas
a good month's income would give you the title, even a shoehorn and Vaseline
could never get you behind the wheel. Many obese people, of course, are
similarly excluded, yet with few exceptions they have been partners, often
quite willing ones, in their own exclusion. When the truly fat fly they are
forced by their avoirdupois to buy a first-class ticket and pray for a slow
day along the old alimentary canal, yet they must admit to many thousands of
forkings in their lives' loads, forkings which have made all the difference
between themselves and people of a more normal size. Their plight, however,
seems to us rather more comic than tragic because they usually have the means,
if not the will, to rejoin their smaller brethren. Not so with Andre, who has
no choice but to suffer many indignities, including the ironic discomfort of a
nightly sucsession of Procrustean beds. 

Watching him squeeze into a cab is an almost painful experience. Once, in New
York City, he hailed a cab for himself and three friends, ushered them into
the back and then somehow jammed himself into the front seat, only to be
unable to close the door. The simplest things can present problems. He must
use an object such as a pencil to dial a telephone, because his fingers won't
fit into the holes in the dial. He must choose his chairs carefully. Going
through a revolving door, he must bend and take tiny shuffling steps to make
the door revolve. He is unable even to consider learning to play the piano
because he would strike three white keys with one finger. Bathing in an
average motel is an experience ranging from the unpleasant to the impossible.
And, had he become Clark Kent, he definitely would have required a more
commodious changing room. 

In almost every facet of Andre's life he is hamstrung by his size, brought low
by the Lilliputian world in which he must exist. Those few people in history
who have been Andre's physical peers have usually been able to accommodate
themselves to their fate because they could outfit their homes with special
furniture and bathrooms, and they could arrange their work spaces to fit their
special needs. Even those who traveled with fairs almost always had wagons or
trailers custom-made to suit them. But Andre is, in a very real sense of the
word, a jet-setter. He logs tens of thousands or miles each year by air and
standard auto and he stays in a different hotel or motel almost every night of
the year. He has a lovely home near Ellerbe, N.C., and it is quipped for his
unique needs, but such a home provides little balm if you're there just a week
or so each year. 

It is only when Andre works the Northeast for Vince McMahon that he has access
to a vehicle custom-made to ease the burdens of his travels. McMahon bought a
heavy-duty van, had the ceiling raised about a foot and installed an oversized
couch. Naturally, Andre loves it. After a match he can climb in through the
side doors, ease back onto his plush couch, stretch his legs and begin his
nightly assault on the beer stashed in his king-size cooler. 

Recently, as he relaxed in the van after a match in New York City, he asked
for a beer and then, as the can disappeared into his awesome fist, leaned back
and talked about the related tribulations of size and travel. "Well, boss, it
is sometimes a hard life," he said. "Many times I have to ride for several
hundred miles in the front seat of a car and my back and neck always get so
stiff. You have seen it, boss. I must bend my neck and hold my head between my
shoulders to be able to ride in a car at all. I can't see out very well, of
course, and I feel so squeezed together. And, you know, people never seem to
realize that I might get tired of being asked how tall I am or how much I
weigh. So many questions. That's why I go to restaurants in the middle of the
afternoon or late at night. I want to be polite, and to make a nice
impression, but sometimes it is hard. I would give much money to be able to
spend one day per week as a man of regular size. I would shop, and I would go
to the cinema, and drive around in a sports car and walk down Fifth Avenue and
stare at the other people for a change. Another beer, please, boss." 

Andre does love beer, and his love has a constancy seldom seen in romantic
love. Stories about Andre and his beer are legion in the world of pro
wrestling and have an appropriately Bunyanesque quality. Friends report that
he often drinks several cases during the course of a day. One of his closest
associates has sworn that, in 1969, in Mulhouse, France, he got through 117
bottles of German beer. Of course, given the amount of blood Andre's
monumental body must contain, he should be able to, in the words of the
Coneheads, consume mass quantities. 

People who knew of my plans to travel with Andre warned me not to try to match
him beer for beer. But was I not myself a large and robust man? Had I not once
sat with the St. Louis Cardinals' interior linemen at Jackie Smith's place to
celebrate the season's end by drinking gin and tonics our of quart Mason jars?
Had I not knocked back successive tumblers of vodka with the previously
mentioned Alexeyev to celebrate various of his victories? Was I not, by God, a
fifth-generation Texan? Aware, of course, I probably couldn't stay with Andre
in a true contest because of the 210-pound difference in our body weights, I
nontheless felt that for a few hours after a match I would be able to keep up
with him. To be honest, I actually looked forward to the opportunity to
bellying up to the bar with the biggest professional athlete in the world and
swapping tall tales of various kinds. 

It was with this attitude that I went with him, after his bout that first
night in Philadelphia, to a local motel, where I checked in and agreed to meet
him in a few minutes in the lounge. I had been careful in our earlier talk not
to mention his fondness and capacity for beer, lest he feel obliged to put on
a show for me, and I was somewhat taken aback as I entered the lounge to
notice four freshly opened bottles before him on the bar, one of them half
gone. The other half disappeared as I walked up. 

"Come, boss," he said in his cavernous voice, "what will you have? The beer is

Not wishing to seem competitive, I only ordered two, planning to drink them
quickly and get two more and gradually catch up without him noticing. I drank
and drank and we were joined in our drinking and talking by Arnold Skaaland, a
former wrestler who is one of Vince McMahon's road managers. The talk was good
and the beer went fast and I took a few notes as the evening passed, notes
which seemed to me to become steadily more perceptive. I smiled often to
myself as I continued to drink and talk and write on my yellow note pad.
Finally the bar closed, although I have no clear recollection of going to my
room, I know I did because I woke their the next morning, fully dressed and
lying on top of the bedspread, my mouth feeling as if a cat had littered in it
while I slept. 

My first thought as my mind swam into hazy focus was of my note pad. Sitting
up with a start, I saw it, resting securely on top of the dresser. Not even
waiting to shower, I took the pad to the table, sat down and began to read.
"Not bad," I thought to myself as I went through the first couple of pages,
anticipating the material still to come. But the notes became increasingly
unclear, at last achieving illegibility. *Caveat potator*. Do not match drinks
with the Giant. This lesson learned, I spent the remainder of my time drinking
*with* Andre, not against him, and I can report with confidence that his
capacity for alcohol is extraordinary. During the week or so I was with him,
his average daily consumption was a case or so of beer; a total of two bottles
of wine, generally French, with his meals; six or eight shots of brandy,
usually Courvoisier or Napoléon, though sometimes Calvados; half a dozen
standard mixed drinks, such as Bloody Marys or Screwdrivers; and the odd glass
of Pernod. He drinks as many Frenchman drink - throughout the day - and he
takes genuine comfort in his drinking, seemingly in agreement with the line
from Housman that "Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God's ways to
man." But during the time I was with Andre, never once did I see him give any
indication that the alcohol was affecting him. Several friends who have known
him over the years say that on the rare occasion when he feels the need to tie
one on he avoids beer or wine and goes quickly through three fifths of vodka. 

Because he spends as much time as he does in various watering holes, many
people wonder how Andre avoids being singled out by the supposedly ubiquitous
drunk with a yen to take on the biggest guy in the house. Two things about
that, the first being that it's one thign for a man to get well enough bagged
to imagine himself the equal of a 6'3", 250-pound man, but 7'4" and 500
pounds? Come on. The difference is the same as that which allows an
intoxicated and/or hot-headed man to drive his fist into, and possibly
through, a wooden door but refrain from driving that same fist into a steel
girder. However - and this brings up the second thing - Andre actually *has*
had to fight a few times in bars. Skaaland was with him once in Quebec City
when a big lumberjack got so full of both whiskey and himself that nothing
would do but to try out *le géant*. "We were at this little bar after a
match," Skaaland recalls, "and I noticed this guy kept staring at Andre.
That's not unusual, except he looked like he was building up steam. And sure
enough, he walked up to Andre, tapped him on the shoulder and cursed him and
called him out. 

"We were standing at the bar, and Andre turned around to face the guy and
spoke to him softly. He told him he didn't want to fight, and he even offered
to buy him a drink, but the guy cursed him again. The words barely got out of
his mouth when Andre grabbed him by the neck and belt and drove him into the
wall across the room. I think it broke the guy's ribs." Asked about this
later, Andre shrugged and said, "I do what I can to avoid bad trouble, boss,
but I have seen enough to know when a man can't be talked out of a fight.
First I talk, but when I see the talk won't work, I want to make the first
move and I want to make it a good one. Twice I have had knives pulled on me
and I have had to use a barstool." 

Like most people who drink because they enjoy it rather than because they have
to, Andre isn't bothered overmuch by the occasional dry period. Last year, for
example, after an extended trip to Japan and Australia, he found that his
weight had reached the unacceptably high mark of 540 pounds, whereupon he put
himself on a strict diet - no alcohol, and only one meal per day. In four
weeks he dropped 80 pounds, which becomes less surprising with the realization
that he consumes approximately 7,000 calories in alcohol a day. 

As for his efforts at the table, Andre seems to eat less than might be
expected, though, of course, far more than the average person. Four eggs,
bacon, hash browns, four pieces of whole wheat toast, a pint of orange juice
and two iced coffees suffice to break his nightly fast, and his evening meal,
generally taken several hours before his match, will depend on where he is in
the world, although the quantity will be about twice that consumed by your
garden variety gourmand. Occasionally, however, he will hold back on the
alcohol and give full play to his appetite. He recently recounted an evening
spent in a small, second- rate restaurant. "I was tired, boss, and I only
wanted to have a quick bite and go to bed, but this waitress, she kept
pointing at me and talking about me to the other customers. Then she asked me
in a loud voice if a cup of soup and a cracker would be enough. And she
laughed. I told her no, that I was hungry, and wished the entire menu to be
brought, one dish at a time. It took me four hours to eat it all." 

As he globe-hops, the Giant usually avoids this kind of unpleasantness by
exercising great care in his choice of restaurants. He takes the same sort of
delight Hemingway did in scheduling his travel arrangements so as to arrive at
the time and place that will allow him a chance to have a word with the owner
and local friends and sample the speciality of the house. Although he admits
to a slight preference to French cuisine, he introduced me to a Korean
restaurant in Manhattan, a delicatessen in Montreal and an Italian place in
Albany, all of which were excellent and all of which were owned by people who
welcomed Andre as if he were family. But the spot he seemed most pleased to
show me was, understandably, a delightful Montreal restaurant, *Le Picher*,
which he owns and served a salmon mousse that was, as a friend of mine once
said about a $200 bottle of German wine, all it should have been. 

As I traveled with him, it was a pleasure to see how well liked Andre appears
to be, by people in the game and outside it. He visited the kitchen of the
restaurants he favors for a word with the staff, and wherever he wrestled he
always made a special effort to speak to all the other wrestlers on the card,
even, indeed especially, the men working the preliminary bouts. In bars he
never failed to give his attention to those who seemed to need it most,
shaking the hands of the men and touching the shoulders or the hair of the
women, many of whom seem drawn to him, as women often are to men who in one
way or other represent power or majesty. Everywhere he goes there are women,
women who range widely in socioeconomic level, age and interest in pro
wrestling, and he treats them all the same - splendidly. Andre simply enjoys
the company of women, and they enjoy his. He somehow conveys to them, as he
softly rumbles to them, *de profundis*, over a beer or four, that they will
receive no shabby treatment at the hands of the Giant. 

No doubt many people, both men and women, seeing the photographs accompanying
this article, will find Andre awful in the old sense of the word, perhaps
grotesque, a *monstre par excés*, but to see him move, to speak with him and
to watch him in the world, one is more likely to form instead the impression
that all aspects of the man cohere. 

Even his level of energy is outsized. Many of his fellow wrestlers testify to
Andre's ability to outlast them all when it comes to staying up for several
days at a time, drinking, playing cards and traveling to and from the matches.
Left by his lifestyle with no real opportunity for hobbies, Andre's primary
interests seem to be in cramming as much time, friendship, conversations and
provender as possible into his daily life. He is aware, of course, that of the
few men who have ever been his size, most have fallen far short of their
allotted three-score years and 10, but he seems outwardly unconcerned by this,
and eager for the future. "I have had good fortune," he says, "and I am
grateful for my life. If I were to die tomorrow, I know I have eaten more good
food, drunk more beer and fine wine, had more friends and seen more of the
world than most men evern will. I have had everything in life but a family,
and I hope to have that one day. For now, I know a family wouldn't work,
because of my traveling, but one day, who knows, I might myself have a giant
for a grandson." 

By all accounts, Andre's health is excellent. Until last spring, in fact, when
he suffered a broekn ankle, he had never been to a hospital. When he did check
in, however, he caused his usual stir. 

Dr. Harris S. Yett, the orthopedic surgeon at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital
who repaired Andre's broken ankle last May, said the Giant was so uniformly
large that all aspects of his hospitalization were difficult. Andre had
suffered a bimalleolar fracture of his left ankle in a bout on April 13, when
Killer Khan, a 280-pounder, mistimed a jump off the top turnbuckle. Not
realizing the ankle was broken, Andre actually finished the match and
continued to perform every evening for more than a week, until at last the
pain became almost too great for him to walk. According to Dr. Yett, unusual
surgical tools and techniques were required for the operation; the largest
screws available were needed to fix the malleolus in place, for instance. Two
tourniquets had to be used end on end to encompass his thigh, and Dr. Yett
described Andre's cast as the largest they ever had to make. 

Fortunately, the hospital did have a nine-foot bed, but Andre presented other
problems, such as the method of anasthesia and the fact that the longest pair
or crutches was not quite long enough.

The operation and subsequent confinement were not without benefit. This injury
was the first of any seriousness Andre had ever sustained, and the months he
spent recovering on his mountaintop estate, though often frustrating, made him
realize how much he had been missing because of his life of constant travel.
Before long he and McMahon hope to establish a pattern of bookings that will
allow Andre at least one week each month in North Carolina to work on his
land, to clear more pasture for his horses. Eventually, perhaps in 10 years or
so, as Andre envisions it, he will live a life in which he wrestles
infrequently, working only the biggest arenas, but is active in promotion. For
now, though, he circles the world as before, a colossus of back roads and big
cities, a *deus ex machina* for millions of fans who pray for him to descend
on their particular part of reality, lay hands on whichever evil-hearted
villian is making a mockery of fair play, and briefly assauge their many, all
too real, wounds. 


--Dwayne, Philadelphia, Pa. Age 43, janitor in a sporting goods store. Born in
West Virginia. Married, five children. 5'5", 135 pounds. "Hell, I been coming
to the rasslin' for years. I love old Andre. These damn Moondogs has got all
out of hand. Rex - that big 'un - why, he come in here a couple week ago
gnawin' on a damn bone big as my arm - hell, bigger 'n my arm. He was wavin'
it around and carryin' on, that wild hair stickin' out. It kinda got me sick,
him and that damn bone. It still had some damn meat on it. Hell, it did! But
didn't old Andre put the skids to him tonight? Snatched that Moondog up by his
damn belt and hauled him around the ring like a suitcase. I tell you, it done
my heart good." 

--Arpine, New York, N.Y. Fiftyish, employed in a doughnut shop. Born in
Armenia. Divorced, no children. 5'4", around 200 pounds. "This Khan guy, goom-
bah! I can't wait to see him get it. He broke Andre's ankle and now he's going
to pay. He's a fatbelly coward and tonight he's going to get it. I don't think
he can even talk English. All he does is scream in that high voice and puff
his lips out. Last month they disqualified him before Andre could get even,
but tonight's Andre's night. He'll go right after Khan and butt his head. And
then he'll bodydrop him. I love to see him do that. Imagine that much weight
crashing down. Goombah! I brought him some fresh doughnuts, and the policeman
down there said he'd take them back to the dressing room. Do you think a dozen
is enough? 

--Thomas, a/k/a Punkin, Atlanta. Age 23, unemployed. Born in Talbot County,
Ga. Single, lives with his grandmother. Paralyzed from the waist down and
confined to a wheelchair. "The Giant is my man. The Giant and Tony Atlas. They
be two bad dudes. *Bad* dudes. Andre, he shook my hand last time he was down
here. I got his picture at home, where he be standing so tall and holding up
these four girls. The man is bad. He ain't afraid of nobody. He rough, all
right, but he always fight clean till they mess with him. He don't talk none
of that trash like some of them do. He just stand up there like a man and put
'em all down. He the Giant, and he and Tony my two main men." 

When Andre himself was a poor country boy in France, he wanted more than
anything to travel, to make money, to be somebody. And because of his size,
his physical abilities, and a fair bit of luck, he has traveled and made money
and become, without question, somebody. In fact, with the exception of
Muhammad Ali, Andre the Giant is quite possibly the most widely recognized
active athlete in the world. 

The thing in his life of which he is proudest is that he has fulfilled his
boyhood dreams. He helps his family now. He has a grand home and possessions
and a worldwide circle of friends, and he eats and drinks of the best. In
fact, except for the inconveniences caused by his size, he has a singularly
good and happy life, a life that was made possible by professional wrestling. 

As the fans pour through the doors of the arenas where he works, the money
they pay to glory as he smites their common enemies goes to fuel his
lifestyle. Andre has the fans and the fans have Andre. The circle is complete.
Would the world be a better place if Andre drove a road- grading machine in
North Africa, as he once planned to do? Or if the Dwaynes and Arpines and
Punkins had to live without the thought of the Giant to sustain them? Let it
be. May they all live happily ever after. 

The WAWLI Papers No. 273...

MAT SCAN FROM THE 1930s AND 1940s . . . 

Scouting through old Ring magazines for wrestling items of interest:

February 1937 -- Jim Londos defeated Johannes Von Der Walt in South Africa . .
.. Charles (Spider) Mascall reports that the Red Shadow has defeated Ed Lewis
and many others in the Pacific Northwest . . . Kimon Kudo upset Sandor Szabo .
.. . Ed Don George, Ed Lewis and Joe Savoldi make Honolulu stops . .. . Vic
Christy is the Sunland Sun God . . . Phil (Popeye) Olson sighted; he'll later
become the Swedish Angel . . . Earl McCready, Ed Don George, Paul Boesch and
Joe Savoldi toured New Zealand in the summer of '36 . . . George Wilson in
South American rings . . . Hardy Kruskamp played Ohio State football
1926-27-28 . . . Steve Casey, 26, is a three-year pro . . . Cliff Olsen was
born Dec. 7, 1908 . . . George Zaharias downed Dean Detton, two falls out of
three, for Buffalo promoter Jules Cohen . . . The Texas Terror is Man Mountain
Morgan, the Dreadnaught Champion at 6-foot-2, 330 pounds. Morgan is a mere 25
years of age . . . The Original Red Shadow beat Red Shadow No. 2 (unmasked as
Sam Leathers of Winlock, Wash.) . . . Gerry Breckner is announcing wrestling
for the Columbia Broadcasting System network from Hollywood . . . Jim Coffield
was unmasked as the Masked Marvel Dec. 15, 1936 by George Koverly .. . . Legs
Langevin is also known as the Canadian Caveman . . . Harry Jacobs and Tor
Johnson are often confused for one another . . .

April 1937 -- Ed Don George defeated Earl McCready in Auckland's Carlaw Park
before 12,000 . . . Jim Londos drew John Van Der Walt three times, the last
time over 80 minutes . . . Londos beat Count Carol Nowina in 45 minutes back
in 1930, also held to a draw by him . . . Man Mountain Harry Jacobs is
6-foot-3, 338 pounds and a former USC football player. He's 26 . .. .

May 1937 -- Steve Casey downs Cliff Olsen, ending his title claim .. . . Bobby
(Kawka) Roberts played football at Dayton University . . . Earl McCready drew
Sandor Szabo in Vancouver, B.C. McCready had 130 bouts over two seasons in New
Zealand and lost only to Ed Don George, whom he beat in a rematch .. . . Man
Mountain Dean whipped Brother Jonathan, with the loser shaved, at San
Francisco . . . Dean was ref for Jules Strongbow's win over Tiny Roebuck in
Los Angeles . . . Ali Baba won from Paul Douglas (Pat) McClary in Houston.
McClary was born Mar. 24, 1908 in Roseburg, Ore., stands 6-foot-4, weighs 294,
played football at USC and made his pro debut Oct. 4, 1930 in San Francisco .
.. . Is Abe Rothberg Darna Ostapovich? (ED. NOTE--If so, he would also be
Barney "Chest' Bernard) . . . Tiny Roebuck appeared in the "Robinson Crusoe"
movie serial . . . Morris Siegel took over the Houston promotion in 1927 when
brother Julius moved his operation to Shreveport and Nacogdoches. John
McIntosh is El Paso promoter, Cal Farley and Dutch Mantell have Amarillo, Sled
Allen promotes Lubbock, Bert Willoughby is the man in Dallas, Dave Schlesinger
in New Orleans and Galveston, Harry Coffman handles San Antonio, E.L. Lemon is
in Beaumont, Jim Wakefield in Abilene and Willie Barkett in Marshall . . . 

June 1944 -- Blimp Levy appears in Wichita, Great Bend, Salina, St. Joseph,
Topeka and Kansas City during Heartland tour . . . N.B. Stauffer promotes
Wichita, Mrs. Max Yeargain promotes Topeka, Gust Karras is the man in St.
Joseph, Johnny Apt promotes Salina and Great Bend and George Simpson has
Kansas City, Kans. . . Bobby Bruns is serving two years in the Navy, mostly in
the South Pacific . . . Dirty Dick Raines is a combat instructor at Fort Hood,
Tex. . . Lee Wyckoff defeated Dave Levin for the MWA heavyweight title June
29, 1944, at Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas . . . Topeka, Kansas City and
Wichita ran regular shows throughout the summer of '44 . . . 

October 1944 -- Honolulu boys show every other Sunday in the Civic Auditorium
and every third Tuesday at Schofield Barracks Bowl . . . Leo Numa and Marv
Westenberg are appearing regularly in New Hampshire . . . Steve Casey defeats
the French Angel in San Francisco, the night before appearing in an exhibition
at Fort Winfield Scott, Calif., along with Dean Detton . . . Leslie Wolfe was
the Black-Faced Panther in Kansas City, winter of 1943-44 . . . 

February 1945 -- Ede Virag is listed as National Wrestling Association
champion . . . Ed Lewis and French Angel among those appearing at Fort Bragg,
N.C. . . . Tony Galento kayoes Jack Suzek, Chicago wrestler, in 39 seconds of
third round of a scheduled 10 before 4,000 in the Wichita Forum. He had
previously knocked out Suzek in two rounds at Sioux City on July 26, 1943 . .
.. Jack Herman and Jerry Monohan are promoting Buffalo . . . Al Karasick, 53,
took a year off from promoting Honolulu following the attack on Pearl Harbor .
.. .

January 1946 -- Arthur (Tarzan) White claims a win over Sandor Szabo and one
over Dean Detton, sometime between 1938 and 1942. He may have beaten Man
Mountain Dean, too . . . Chuck Ross played football at Rockhurst College,
Kansas City. He made his pro wrestling debut at Topeka in 1940 . .. . They were
calling Bob Russell the Texas Cyclone . . . LeRoy McGuirk whipped Dave Levin,
two falls out of three, to win a junior heavyweight title bout in California
during the fall of 1945 . . . Sandor Szabo, Ted Cox, Wild Red Berry and Danny
McShain are all in California . . . 

April 1946 -- "Stanley" -- aka Stanley Weston -- writes that Joe Savoldi is
promoting Chicago and Ali Baba has returned to the ring wars. Sez that Everett
Marshall is on his onion farm in LaJunta, Colo. . . . George Zaharias is
promoting shows at Mammoth Gardens in Denver . . . Bronko Nagurski, Dean
Detton, Steve Casey, Earl McCready, Sandor Szabo, Hardy Kruskamp, Ray Steele
and Leo Numa all appearing in San Francisco, along with Tiger Joe Marsh and
Kay Bell . . . Marin Plestina is reported dead, five years after retirement.
He was born in Chicago, became a protege of Frank Gotch . . . Professional
wrestling does $10 million at the gate in 1945 . . . Henri DeGlane said to be
in the French Underground during the war . . . Ed Don George worked as a judo
instructor in the Navy . . . Leonard (Butch) Levy played with the Cleveland
Rams . . . Paul Boesch is out of the Army . . . Chief Saunooke, 38, played
football at Haskell University in 1924-25-26, became a pro wrestler in 1935
(it says here) after being tutored by Charles Cutler. With a win over Tor
Johnson at the Boston Garden, Saunooke claimed a) super heavyweight title and
b) that he had not been beaten by a 300-pounder in ten years. He stood
6-foot-4, weighed 340 pounds . . . Frank Valois claimed a two-hour draw with
Yvon Robert at the Montreal Forum . . . Bobby Nelson played football at the
University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, then became a pro wrestler in 1934 . . .

May 1946 -- The most recent Madison Square Garden show was in August, 1937 . .
.. Stanislaus Zbyszko is retired to his farm at Old Orchard, Maine .. . . Tiger
Joe Marsh wrestling in Milwaukee, Sandor Szabo in California, Bobby Managoff
in Texas, while Frank Sexton, Billy Watson and the French Angel are headlining
Buffalo cards . . . Karl Pojello is promoting Chicago, with the French Angel
on top . . . Joe Savoldi is said to have grossed $300,000 in ring earnings
since 1931 . . . 

June 1946 -- Ernie, Rudy, Wally and Emil Dusek appear together on a card for
the first time in seven years (ED. NOTE: A silly item, we might add) . . . Kay
Bell working in Buffalo, Ted Cox in Oregon and Washington, Ed Lewis and Ray
Steele are back wrestling, Ali Baba spent the years between 1940-45 in a
Southern California orange grove . . . Bobby Bruns aka "The German Apollo, is
the son of Iotta Gunther, former Berlin opera star, and was on the 1932
Olympic water polo team . . . John Grandovich, after being hurt in Baltimore,
is pronounced dead in Providence . . . Ivan Michaeloff is the Providence
promoter . . . Henry Piers is said to have beaten Ed Don George in the 1928
Olympics . . . Buddy Rogers, Leo Numa and Danno O'Mahoney appearing in Houston
.. . . Pittsburgh promoter Allie Franks is showing Joe Savoldi . . .. Bobby
Managoff and Yvon Robert are card-toppers in Philadelphia . . . Frank Sexton
in Baltimore . . . Sandor Szabo and Bronko Nagurski are S.F. headliners, while
Marv Westenberg is a Providence stalwart . . . Michele Leone wowin' 'em in
Camden, Ed Lewis shows in Buffalo, along with Earl McCready and Lou Thesz . .
.. Jack Ganson is the Cleveland promoter, matched Frank Sexton with Kay Bell on
a card that also included Whipper Watson and Dean Detton . . .

September 1946 -- Dean Detton turned pro in 1931 after playing football for
the University of Utah between 1926-30. He's toured both Australia and New
Zealand . . . Lou Thesz and Buddy Rogers warring in Houston . . . Duke Keomuka
is in Providence . . . Michele Leone in Philadelphia . . . Ali Baba and Ray
Steele in Columbus, Ohio . . . Abe Kashey and Ted Cox in Portland, Ore. . .
Dean Detton in Buffalo . . .

October 1946 -- Dick Raines scored a win over Bronko Nagurski, says he beat
Earl McCready in New Zealand before the war, earned a judo Black Belt in
Seattle and appeared in Honolulu before downing Dean Detton in Atlanta. Raines
was discharged from the service March 10, 1946. He claims 1,243 wins in 1,500
matches, having been disqualified 128 times, hence his "Dirty Dick" monicker .
.. . It's a banner season in Calgary, Edmonton, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Prince
Albert, Medicine Hat and Swift Current, up on the Canadian prairies. Darby
Melnick promotes Calgary, Lloyd Camyre and Dave Palmer Saskatoon. Ray Steele,
Jim Londos, Bronko Nagurski, Earl McCready, Ted Cox and Abe Kashey have all
showed there . . .

November 1946 -- Orville Brown still holds the MWA heavyweight belt . . . John
Pesek, ageless wonder, still making appearances at Columbus, Ohio .. . . Floyd
Musgrave is said to be the promoter at the L.A. Olympic Auditorium. Recently
did $12,000 from a crowd of 10,400 . . . Bill Longson, Bobby Managoff and Lou
Thesz appearing in eastern Canada . . . 

December 1946 -- Ray Steele claims to have had 3,000 matches . . .. Tony
Martinelli played football at Fordham University . . . Everett Marshall
offered to put up a stake of $10,000 for a mixed match with heavyweight champ
Joe Louis . . . Strangler Lewis set to referee a match between the French
Angel and Danish star Paul Martinson . . .

January 1947 -- Primo Carnera tour hits New York, where 5,000 are turned away
from his debut at St. Nicholas Arena. Carnera flopped Bobby Bruns in less than
20 minutes, with 4,325 paying $10,905 to see the show. Carnera is making a
$2,000-a-week guarantee . . . Scarlet Pimpernel was Ben Sherman in Hawaii . .
.. Stanislaus Zbyszko was born in Galicia . . . 

February 1947 -- Primo Carnera's 70th match since launching his U.S. wrestling
career was in Chicago Nov. 22 versus Fred Von Schacht . . . Jim Londos, in
Australia, scores a win over Seelie Samara . . . French Angel (aka Maurice
Tillet) was born Oct. 23, 1903 in St. Petersburg, Russia . . . Ernie Dusek
injures Fred Blassie's head during a Cleveland match . . . Bulldog Danny
Plechas matched with Danno O'Mahoney in Kansas City . . . Bob Wagner claims
wins over Ed Don George, Ed Lewis and Danno O'Mahoney . . .

March 1947 -- Ed Lewis said to have wrestled Oki Shikina in Cheyenne, Wyo. . .
.. Remembering: Jack Curley, promoter, posted his all-time rankings in 1931,
whereby George Hackenschmidt was No. 1, Jim Londos No. 2, Tom Jenkins No. 3,
Frank Gotch, Dick Shikat, Stanislaus Zbyszko, Hans Steinke, Ed Lewis, Yussif
Mahmout and Earl Caddock rounding out the Top Ten . . . Londos lost a 1924
decision to Joe Stecher; also lost Aug. 23, 1929 to Dick Shikat in the Philly
ballpark. Londos got revenge in the same venue on June 8, 1930 . .. . Jack
Sherry said to be headed for matches in Paris and London . . .

April 1947 -- Jim Londos reported to have set gate records in Honolulu and
Australia . . . Blimp Levy has a 58-inch chest, an 82-inch waist and an
84-inch, er, bottom. His thighs are 39 inches around . . . Between 1934 and
1937, Jim Londos drew houses totaling $600,000 . . . Primo Carnera downed Joe
Dusek in 32 minutes at Detroit . . . Steve Casey reported suffering a partial
paralysis in Boston . . . Londos whipped both Abe Kashey and Lee Grable in
Hawaii . . . Lord Blears appeared in Paris on June 14, 1946, in London on June
16 and in New York June 18 . . . 

May 1947 -- Jack Terry is a 19-year-old pro. Frank Sexton topping Buffalo
cards in April and May . . . 

June 1947 -- Ed Don George is the Buffalo promoter . . . George Temple,
Shirley's brother, debuted as a wrestler on March 22, 1946, in Santa Monica,
Calif. . . 

July 1947 -- Tony Galento's debut as a wrestler occurs April 29 in Baltimore,
where he pins Herman Rhode (aka Buddy Rogers) in 10 minutes flat .. . .

August 1947 -- Paul Boesch touring New Zealand . . . Primo Carnera buys a
place in the San Fernando Valley . . .

October 1947 -- Raoul Paoli, promoter at the Palais Des Sports in Paris, has
Henri DeGlane, Charles Rigoulet and Ivar Martenson appearing for him . . .
Albert Van Auwers is a Brussels headliner, while Bert Assirati packs him over
in England. Assirati downed Martenson in the finals of the World Open at
Harringay Arena, London, in March 1947, after Assirati topped Gaston Ghevaert
of France and Martenson pinned Bert Mansfield in the semifinals . .. . Fred
Blassie turned pro in California, spent 42 months in the U.S. Navy and is now
24 years old . . . Tor Johnson came out on top of Johann Richtoff of Sweden
after a series of battles at Harringay Arena . . . 

November 1947 -- Man Mountain Dean sighted at the U.S. Army recruiting booth
in Times Square, New York City . . . Sandy Ordford defeated Danno O'Mahoney
via DQ in Dublin, with Steve Casey refereeing . . . Buddy Rogers, 24, said to
be a six-year pro en route to Australia and New Zealand during the summer of
19 48 . . . 

December 1947 -- John Pesek appears in Brisbane, Aust., while the French Angel
tours Italy, France and England . . . Marin Plestina, before he died, claimed
he took two falls in 46 1/2 minutes from Ed Lewis at Lexington, Ky., when he
was managed by the notorious Joe Carroll Marsh of McMinnville, Ore. . . .
Primo Carnera draws Tony Galento at Newark in front of 2,500 . . .. Carnera did
$17,341 vs Jules Strongbow . . . 

February 1948 -- Lee Wyckoff was born March 10, 1902 in Mayetta, Kansas . . .
Ivar Martenson downs Bert Assirati in Paris . .. . Gerald Eagan is a major
Irish promoter; George Callaghan an English promoter of note . . .. Karl
Pojello, Chief Saunooke, Stan Karolyi, Ruffy Silverstein and French Angel set
to tour Europe in the summer . . .

March 1948 -- Now on the scene: Abdul the Turk . . . Daniel Boone Savage, 44,
turned pro in 1933, stands 6-foot-4, weighs 250 and lives on a Crestview,
Fla., farm. He shaved his whiskers for a $500 pledge to British war relief . .
.. Frank Sexton, 32, has a 47-inch chest . . . Ed Lewis, Gus Sonnenberg and Jim
Browning all downed Marin Plestina at Los Angeles in 1933 . . . 

May 1948 -- Gorgeous George touring the eastern U.S. . . . Frank Sexton draws
8,844 to see his win over Bob Wagner in Buffalo . . . Primo Carnera's only
loss to date, via disqualification to Lou Thesz . . . Michele Leone in Europe
.. . . Promoting in the north of England is George de Relwyskow . .. .

June 1948 -- Bronko Nagurski claims a title win over Sandor Szabo .. . . Ed
Lewis, 55, his license revoked in California, is running a Los Angeles gym . .
.. French Angel draws 45,000 for a London appearance . . . Carnera is known as
the Italian Behemoth . . . Sandor Szabo back from Australia . . . 

July 1948 -- French Angel in Canada . . . Stanislaus Zbyszko drew Great Gama
in three hours, 47 minutes at Sheppard's Bush, London, on September 10, 1910 .
.. . Dick Raines Down Under to Australia and New Zealand, en route to South
Africa, after recovering from broken back incurred at San Antonio in 1947;
Bobby Bruns, Earl McCready and Dean Detton on the same tour . . . Frank Sexton
claims 1,300 bouts since 1932 . . . Jesse James' real name is Chris Pappas . .
.. Dick Raines beat Bruno Smolinski in Brisbane and Jack Claybourne in Sydney .
.. . 

October 1948 -- Paul Boesch goes into business with Morris (Mo) Siegel in
Houston . . . Abe Stein appears in the movies "Naked City" and "Kiss of Death"
.. . . Stanislaus Zbyszko wrestled Ike Robin to a curfew draw for the world
title many years ago in New Zealand . . . Earl McCready's visit to New Zealand
is his eighth, courtesy of the New Zealand Wrestling Union . . . French Angel
vs. Bert Assirati at Tottenham Hotspurs stadium in London draws 12,000 . . .
Ede (Don) Virag and Stan Karolyi in Belgium . . . Chief Little Wolf beat Dick
Raines via disqualification in Melbourne. Raines and Dutch Hefner engage in a
no contest affair at Melbourne, Raines gains revenge over Little Wolf, also
via DQ, in Melbourne . . .

December 1948 -- Dick Raines whipped Dutch Hefner at Newcastle when the latter
could not continues. Arjan Das defeated Raines is Sydney . . . Primo Carnera
in Rio de Janeiro . . . . Joe Lynam, 31, dead in a plane crash Sept. 25, 1948,
near Bend, Ore. He was promoting shows in Idaho Falls and St. Anthony, was en
route to Eugene when he hit Horse Ridge, 500 feet below the summit . . . 

January 1949 -- Jerry Meeker is promoting two cards each week in Billings,
Montana . . . Steve Casey and Yvon Robert headline a pair of shows in
Manchester, N.H. . . . Dick Raines gets the nod, via DQ, over Patr Fraley in
Sydney; downs Chief Little Wolf in the same place . . . 

February 1949 -- Pierre Lassartes used to be Herbie Freeman . . . Frank Sexton
broke Bronko Nagurski's shoulder . . . Leo Garibaldi is making a comeback from
a bout with polio . . . Abe Kashey appearing in the Central States area . . .
Gorgeous George and Sexton are big-time draws in Buffalo . . . Ed Lewis to
draw $25,000 salary as chairman of the Wrestling Promoters' Association of
America (and allied countries) . . . Dick Raines won the Hawaii championship
in 1940. He lost just three times in 63 bouts on his recent Australian tour .
.. . Earl McCready is in the Pacific Northwest . . . Yvon Robert beat Gorgeous
George in Montreal before a record $21,000 house . . . Ray Steele working as a
referee in California . . . Ali Baba to make another comeback . . ..

March 1949 -- Flash Gordon played football with the Los Angeles Bulldogs . . .
Jack Claybourne won the Hawaii belt from Hisao Tanaka after six months in
Australia . . . Laurence LeBelle, aka Ali Aliba, died in a car crash Dec. 18,
1948 near Napoleon, Ohio, en route to Toledo . . . Sam Muchnick drew 10,176 to
Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis on Nov. 26, 1948, and another 8,343 on Dec. 10 .
.. . Blimp Levy appearing on the West Coast . . . Primo Carnera in Venezuela,
said to be making $175,000 a year . . . Frank Sexton said to be making $75,000
a year . . . Jim Londos and Ed Don George went four hours and seven minutes to
a Fenway Park draw in Boston on July 19, 1934 (it says here); the bout drew
30,000 who paid $60,110 . . . 

May 1949 -- Gorgeous George defeated Ernie Dusek in Madison Square Garden
before a tiny house of 4,197 who paid just $13,966. The match lasted 26:51,
with George paid $1,867 and Dusek $1,067. Promoter William Johnston lost
$1,500 . . . French Angel has returned to the U.S. . . . After being out three
years with a broken back, Rasputin wrestling again, as is Hans Steinke . . .
Primo Carnera and Fred Von Schacht attracted a $10,000 house in San Francisco
.. . . Pedro Godoy was the Masked Terror in Miami in 1948 . . . Chief Little
Wolf making his seventh trip to Australia . . . Antonino Rocca is 26 . . .
Primo Carnera and Jim Londos do $18,061 in Detroit . . .

August 1949 -- The Cardiff Giant defeated Ben Morgan, Buddy Baer refereeing,
with the loser being shaved afterward . . . Yukon Eric is in New Zealand . . .
Jim Londos still has his title belt from Jan. 24, 1931 in New York . . .

September 1949 -- Bobby Bruns headed for South Africa a third time . . . Verne
Gagne flops Abe Kashey in his pro debut with Jack Dempsey as referee . . .
Kashey said to have promoted in Compton, Calif., about this same time . . .
Owens brothers running Portland, Salem, Astoria, Roseburg, Klamath Falls,
Eugene and Pendleton in the state of Oregon . . . Kola Kwariani claims he saw
Rocca the first time in 1939 at Buenos Aires . . . Bert Assirati drew Primo
Carnera over one hour at Charlton Greyhound Stadium in London, before 4,500 .
.. . 

October 1949 -- Mike Mazurki is in London to make "Night and the City" . . .
Fred Atkins defeated Billy Watson in Toronto . . . Members of the British
Promoters Association are Norman Morrell, Douglas De Relwyskow, Globe
Promotions, Wyrton Promotions and Dale-Martin Promotions . . . Ivan Maximovich
Poddubney is dead at 78 on Aug. 10, 1949. He defeated Wladek Zbyszko Jan. 18,
1926, at the 71st Regiment Armory in NYC, then lost to Joe Stecher in the same
building Feb. 1, 1926, in one hour, 38 minutes and 47 seconds -- said to be
his first loss in 25 years . . . Gorgeous George already has banked $124,000
in 1949 . . . Wladislaw Talun is known as the Polish Angel . . . Ray Steele,
49, is dead . . .

December 1949 -- Max Baer says he'll start wrestling in January . .. . Jimmy
Cagney and George Raft are said to have been born in the same New York
apartment house as Man Mountain Dean . . . Bobby Managoff defeated Jack
Claybourne before 5,500 in Honolulu . . . 

The WAWLI Papers No. 274...


(ED. NOTE -- I have been corresponding with one of the world's premier
wrestling historians, Mr. Fred Hornby of Port Washington, N.Y., for in excess
of 20 years. Naturally, in that time, some of the old correspondence tends to
stack up. In it, though, are some items that may be of interest to WAWLI
readers. To wit, I share some random notes and thoughts that went from my
typewriter to Mr. Hornby in the winter of '94-'95. Hornby is perhaps best
known as the creator of the prodigious Buddy Rogers record book, as well as
similarly wonderful scans of the career records of Argentina Rocca, Gene
Stanlee, Primo Carnera and others. Next up: Career scans of Dangerous Danny
McShain and Sandor Szabo.)

Oct. 3, 1994--Here's what I have in the computer on French
Angel...incidentally, this five-foot-nine, 280-pound strongman (he pulled a
300,000-pound locomotive in St. Louis as a publicity stunt the day before his
first match there in March 1940) had, for my money, one of the more remarkable
records in the game's history. I mean, night after night, almost without
exception, he was up against the top men in the game...and going over them. In
his first 25 months in North America, Tillet met and defeated world champions
galore (Gus Sonnenberg, Danno O'Mahoney, Leo Numa, Marv Westenberg, Bobby
Managoff, Steve Casey, Bill Longson, Yvon Robert, Joe Savoldi, Dean Detton and
Ed Lewis) plus all four Duseks and a host of other headliners...he beat Casey
(whom I regard as the REAL world champion at the time, stemming from his win
over Thesz in Feb. 1938) and didn't lose for another two years, finally giving
the strap up to Casey (Frank Sexton's title claim stretches from Casey's
claim, thus eliminating Bronko Nagurski, Ray Steele, Yvon Robert, Bill
Longson, Bobby Managoff, Orville Brown, et al, from the "legitimate" title
history...and inserting Don Eagle and Gorgeous George in it, before Thesz
"consolidated" the whole business in 1950...). In other words, wrestling
history ought to be a little more attentive to the French Angel...who was
2-1-1 in matches with Thesz himself (and only lost to him in an out-of-the-way
spot like Bremerton, Wash.!!).


Jan. 24--Boston--W Luigi Bacigalupi; Jan. 30--Worcester--W Leo Lefebvre; 

Feb. 2--Philadelphia--W Emil Dusek; Feb. 6--Providence--W Bull Martin; Feb.
7--Boston--W Rudy Dusek; Feb. 14--Boston--vs. Bibber McCoy (ppd. snow);
Feb. 15--Hartford--W Gene Bowman; Feb. 16--Philadelphia--W Joe Cox; Feb.
21--Boston--W Bibber McCoy; Feb. 24--Brooklyn--W Joe Cox; Feb.
26--Worcester--W Jim Coffield; Feb. 28--Boston--W Dutch Hefner; Feb.
29--Hartford--W Leo Lefebvre;

Mar. 7--Toronto--W Jerry Monohan; Mar. 11--New Haven--W Charlie Strack; Mar.
13--Boston--W Gino Garibaldi; Mar. 19--St. Louis--W Leo Lefebvre; Mar.
20--Chicago--W Rudy Dusek; Mar. 21--Milwaukee--W Gus Sonnenberg; Mar.
22--Cleveland--W Dutch Hefner (ANGEL SAID TO BE 27-0 AT THIS POINT); Mar.
26--Baltimore--W Joe Dusek; Mar. 28--Boston--W Danno O'Mahoney; Mar. 30--New
York--W Abe Coleman;

Apr. 2--Montreal--W Ernie Dusek; Apr. 4--Toronto--W Joe Cox; Apr.
8--Worcester--W Leo Numa; Apr. 10--Boston--W Marv Westenberg; Apr.
11--Hartford--W Gus Sonnenberg; Apr. 12--New Haven--W Frank Judson; Apr.
17--Newark--W Kola Kwariani; Apr. 18--Toronto--W Rasputin; Apr.
22--Pittsburgh--W Ted Cox; Apr. 24--Boston--W Bobby Managoff; Apr.
25--Chicago--W Gus Sonnenberg; Apr. 26--Milwaukee--W Danno O'Mahoney; Apr.
30--Indianapolis--W Rudy Kay;

May 1--Boston--W Jim Casey; May 2--Hartford--W Dutch Hefner; May 6--Camden--W
Ernie Dusek; May 9--Hartford--W Marv Westenberg; May 13--Providence--W Jean
Pusie; May 14--Baltimore--W Golden Terror; May 15--Boston--W Steve Casey
(FRENCH ANGEL WINS TITLE HERE, I BELIEVE); May 16--Toronto--W Bill Longson;
May 22--White Plains NY--W Reb Russell; May 24--Waterbury CT--W Jim Casey; May
28--Portland ME--W Bill Bartush; May 29--Boston--W Steve Casey; May
30--Toronto--W Danno O'Mahoney;

June 5--Montreal--W Yvon Robert; June 6--St. Louis--W Emil Dusek; June 7--St.
Paul--W Abe Kashey; June 13--Toronto--W Elmer Estep; June 17--Indianapolis--W
Joe Savoldi; June 18--Hamilton--W Killa Shikuma-Jerry Monohan (hdcp); June
27--Stockton CA--W Rudy LaDitzi; June 29--Salinas CA--W Dick Lever;

July 2--San Francisco--W Dean Detton; July 4--Salinas CA--W Willie Davis; July
9--San Francisco--W Bob Wagner; July 11--Stockton CA--W Rudy LaDitzi; 

Aug. 12--Detroit--W Gus Sonnenberg;

Sept. 14--Brooklyn--W Gino Garibaldi; Sept. 23--Charlotte NC--W Ben Morgan;
Sept. 24--Columbia SC--W Gus Sonnenberg; Sept. 25--Hempstead NY--W Lou

Oct. 5--Brooklyn--W Rudy Dusek; Oct. 8--Indianapolis--W Joe Dusek; Oct.
21--Omaha--W Red Ryan; Oct. 22--Minneapolis--W Jack McDonald; 

Dec. 5--Hartford--W Rudy Dusek;


Jan. 9--Hartford--W Leo Numa; Jan. 10--Jamaica NY--W Lou Plummer; Jan. 11--New
York--W Paul Boesch; Jan. 22--Boston--W Joe Cox; Jan. 23--Hartford--W Steve
Casey; Jan. 24--New Britain CT--W Bibber McCoy; Jan. 28--Minneapolis--W Dick

Feb. 11--Worcester--W Marv Westenberg; Feb. 13--Hartford--W Joe Cox; Feb.
17--New Britain CT--W Leo Numa; Feb. 22--Brooklyn--W Ernie Dusek; Feb.
25--Worcester--W Leo Numa; Feb. 27--Hartford--W Joe Cox;

Mar. 1--Camden--W Joe Cox; Mar. 5--Hempstead NY--W Warren Bockwinkle; Mar.
7--Jamaica NY--W George Linehan; Mar. 27--Hartford--W Abe Kashey;

Apr. 4--New Britain CT--NO SHOW; Apr. 10--Hartford--W Ben Morgan; 

May 16--New Britain CT--W Marv Westenberg;

June 3--Minneapolis---W Hans Kampfer; June 17--San Francisco--W Rasputin; June
18--San Jose--W Tom Rice; June 30--Hollywood CA--W Rudy LaDitzi;

July 1--San Francisco--W Pantaleon Manlapig; July 7--Pasadena CA--W Mayes
McLain; July 14--Pasadena CA--W Hard Boiled Haggerty (Pat McClary); July
18--San Bernardino--W Willie Davis; July 22--San Francisco--W Pantaleon
Manlapig; July 23--San Jose--W Rasputin; July 28--Pasadena CA--W Danno

Sept. 9--Manchester NH--W Marv Westenberg;

Oct. 6--Charlotte NC--W Ray Villmer; Oct. 14--Columbia SC--W Joe Marsh;

Nov. 4--Indianapolis--W Dorve Roche; Nov. 18--Providence--W Marv Westenberg;
Nov. 20--Boston--W Rudy LaDitzi; Nov. 27--Toronto--W Lone Wolf (unmasked as
John Grandovich); Nov. 28--New Britain CT--W Gus Sonnenberg;

Dec. 3--Holyoke MA--W Marv Westenberg; Dec. 4--Hartford--W Steve Casey; Dec.
9--Providence--W Rudy LaDitzi; 


Jan. 7--Holyoke MA--W Leo Numa; Jan. 8--Hartford--W Steve Casey; Jan.
22--Toronto--W Steve Casey; Jan. 23--Buffalo--W Joe Cox; Jan. 26--Camden--W
Lou Plummer; Jan. 27--Baltimore--W Pat Fraley; Jan. 28--Hempstead NY--W Emil
Dusek; Jan. 29--Washington--W Ernie Dusek; Jan. 30--Philadelphia--W Gino
Garibaldi; Jan. 31--New York--W Joe Cox;

Feb. 11--Boston--W Ed Lewis; Feb. 13--Hartford--W Lee Henning;

Mar. 19--Toronto--W Ed Lewis; Mar. 27--New Britain CT--W Steve Casey;

Apr. 6--Camden--W Tommy O'Toole; Apr. 7--Brooklyn--DREW MICHELE LEONE (lst
time he didn't win, if this is right); Apr. 10--Buffalo--W Yvon Robert; Apr.
11--Brooklyn--W Gus Sonnenberg; Apr. 16--Hartford--W Yvon Robert; Apr. 17--New
Britain CT--vs. Wladislaw Talun; Apr. 23--Toronto--W Nanjo Singh; Apr.
24--Buffalo--W Lou Thesz; Apr. 28--Hamilton--W Earl McCready; Apr. 29--Holyoke
MA--W Steve Casey;

May 1--New Britain CT--vs Hans Kampfer; May 13--Boston--LOST STEVE CASEY
(LOSES TITLE, FIRST LOSS); May 14--Hartford--W Bull Curry; May 15--New Britain
CT--W Yvon Robert; May 28--Hartford--W Bull Curry;

June 9--Hamilton--W John Katan; June 23--Hamilton--W Marv Westenberg;

July 13--Detroit--W Rudy Strongberg; July 21--San Francisco--W Joe Savoldi; 

Aug. 4--San Francisco--DREW SANDOR SZABO (CURFEW); Aug. 11--San Francisco--W
Sandor Szabo; Aug. 25--San Francisco--W Ed Lewis;

Sept. 4--Oakland--W Ed Lewis;

Nov. 12--Hartford--W Danno O'Mahoney; Nov. 20--New Britain CT--NO SHOW;

Dec. 1--Baltimore--W Gino Garibaldi; Dec. 11--New Britain CT--W Leo Numa; Dec.
17--Toronto--W Swedish Angel;


Jan. 14--Hartford--W Marv Westenberg; Jan. 22--New Britain CT--vs. George

Feb. 9--Baltimore--W Wladislaw Talun; Feb. 16--Baltimore--W Golden Terror;

Mar. 19--New Britain CT--W Wladislaw Talun;

Apr. 8--Toronto--LOST RED SHADOW (LEO NUMA) 20:00; Apr. 15--Hartford--W Earl
McCready; Apr. 16--New Britain CT--W Andre Vadnais; Apr. 22--Washington--W
Canadian Angel (presumably Jack Rush);

May 6--Hartford--W Andre Vadnais; May 14--New Britain CT--W George Linehan;
May 19--Washington--W Wladislaw Talun; 

June 17--Toronto--W John Katan; June 23--Montreal--W George Koverly;

July 28--Portland OR--W Cliff Theide; 

Aug. 3--San Francisco--W Hans Schnabel; Aug. 10--San Francisco--W Abe Kashey;
Aug. 18--Portland OR--W Ted Cox;

Sept. 7--San Francisco--W Rasputin; Sept. 15--Portland OR--W Rasputin; 

Nov. 10--Minneapolis--W Ras (Seelie) Samara; Nov. 18--Hartford--W Ben Morgan;
Nov. 30--Baltimore--W Michele Leone;

Dec. 2--Washington--W Blue Streak (Bill Bartush);


Feb. 3--Hartford--W Yvon Robert; Feb. 8--Baltimore--W Babe Sharkey; 

Apr. 10--Portland ME--W Golden Terror (unmasked as Bobby Stewart); Apr.
13--Hartford--W Golden Terror; Apr. 17--Buffalo--LOST MARV WESTENBERG;

May 1--Bronx NY--W Michele Leone; May 2--Baltimore--W Don Evans; May
3--Rochester NY--W John Katan; May 8--Portland ME--LOST SANDOR SZABO; May
10--Washington--W Michele Leone; May 31--Hartford--W Leo Numa;

June 13--Baltimore--NC SANDOR SZABO (DCOR); June 14--Washington--W George
Macricostas; June 21--Montreal--W Marv Westenberg;

July 26--Portland OR--W Ray Steele; July 27--Vancouver BC--W Cliff Thiede 2-1;

Aug. 23--Portland OR--W Bill Bartush; Aug. 30--Modesto CA--LOST DEAN DETTON;


Jan. 23--Manchester NH--W Marv Westenberg; Jan. 30--New York--W Dutch Rohde; 

Feb. 7--Washington--W Michele Leone;

Mar. 2--Buffalo--vs Frank Sexton; Mar. 12--Cleveland--W Rasputin; Mar.
15--Hartford--LOST STEVE CASEY; Mar. 26--Cleveland--W Bob Wagner;

June 5--Detroit--W Wladislaw Talun;

July 13--Spokane WA--W Lee Grable; July 16--Seattle--W Jim Wright; July
17--Tacoma WA--W Ted Christy; July 18--Portland OR--W Lou Thesz; July
19--Vancouver BC--W Ted Christy; July 20--Bremerton WA--LOST LOU THESZ; July
24--Tacoma WA--NC LOU THESZ (DCOR); July 25--Portland OR--W Seelie Samara;
July 27--Spokane WA--W Jim Wright; July 30--Seattle--LOST SEELIE SAMARA; 

Aug. 1--Portland OR--W Seelie Samara; Aug. 14--Spokane WA--W Seelie Samara;

Sept. 10--Seattle--W Chief Little Wolf; Sept. 12--Portland OR--LOST AL MILLS;
Sept. 19--Roseburg OR--W Chief Little Wolf; Sept. 24--Seattle--NO SHOW;


Feb. 14--Cleveland--W Man Mountain Dean;

May 23--Springfield IL--W Chief Little Wolf;

June 7--Canton OH--W Harold Starr; June 28--Atlanta--W Jack Dillon;

Sept. 13--Atlanta--W Jim Coffield; Sept. 23--North Bergen NJ--W Abe Coleman;
Sept. 25--New York--W George Linehan; Sept. 28--Brooklyn--W Michele Leone;

Oct. 3--Boston--W Ivor Martinson; Oct. 7--Bronx NY--W Frank Hewitt; Oct.
8--Baltimore--W Benny Rosen; Oct. 9--Washington--W Babe Sharkey; Oct.
10--Brooklyn--W Herb Freeman; Oct.11--Jamaica NY--W Curtis Nack; Oct. 14--Des
Moines IA--W Emil Dusek; Oct. 19--Omaha--W Joe Dusek; Oct. 24--Cleveland--W
Joe Marsh; Oct. 31--Springfield IL--W Nick Elitch;

Nov. 5--Baltimore--W Jules Strongbow; Nov. 6--Philadelphia--W Babe Sharkey;
Nov. 7--Wilmington DL--W Gino Garibaldi; Nov. 12--Worcester--W Hooded Terror;
Nov. 13--Hartford--W Ivor Martinson; Nov. 25--Detroit--W Miguel Torres;

Dec. 2--Chicago--vs. Wladislaw Talun; Dec. 16--Chicago--vs. Frank Maniaci;


Mar. 26--Hartford--W Chief Saunooke; 

Apr. 2--Cicero IL--W Danno O'Mahoney; Apr. 29--Cleveland--W Willie Davis;

May 6--Cleveland--LOST FRANK SEXTON;


Feb. 9--Ashland OH--vs Fred Wright; Feb. 12--Toronto--W Lee Henning;

Apr. 1--Toronto--W Willie Davis; Apr. 15--Toronto--LOST MASKED MARVEL (LEW
RHYNEER); Apr. 21--Montreal--W Karl Davis; Apr. 28--Montreal--W DickRaines;
Apr. 30--Buffalo--LOST FRANK SEXTON;

June 2--Los Angeles--LOST GORGEOUS GEORGE; June 4--Huntington Park CA--W Vic
Christy; June 15--New York--W Chief Little Wolf;

July 1--Milwaukee--W Don George;

Aug. 4--Vancouver BC--W Yukon Eric;


Feb. 18--Buffalo--W Billy Hansen;

Mar. 1--Cleveland--W Ed Meske; Mar. 23--Buffalo--W Frank Valois;


Jan. 4--Milwaukee--vs. Man Mountain Dean Jr; 

Mar. 15--Milwaukee--W Cyclone Cobb;

May 31--Milwaukee--vs. Tiny Milano;

Aug. 4--Buffalo--LOST GORGEOUS GEORGE; Aug. 24--Toronto--LOST YUKON ERIC; 


June 27--Chicago--W Ed Slake;

Oct. 18--Toronto--LOST ZEBRA KID; Oct. 19--Buffalo--W Mike Paidousis; Oct.
26--Buffalo--LOST LORD BLEARS;

Dec. 4--Minneapolis--LOST VERNE GAGNE; Dec. 7--St. Paul--LOST BUTCH LEVY;


Jan. 8--Baltimore--W Golden Terror; Jan. 10--Wilmington DL--LOST BEN MORGAN;
Jan. 15--Baltimore--LOST GOLDEN TERROR; Jan. 30--Brooklyn--LOST ARGENTINA

Oct. 1--Montreal--W Carl Van Duyck; Oct. ??--Portland ME--??????



Aug. 21--Los Angeles--W Tommy O'Toole;

Sept. 9--Phoenix--W Willie Davis; Sept. 13--Tacoma--W Leo Numa; Sept.
16--Seattle--W Babe Sharkey; Sept. 20--Tacoma--W Bob Wagner; Sept.
23--Seattle--W Tor Johnson; Sept. 25--South Gate CA--W Pat Fraley; Sept.
26--Long Beach CA--W Bobby Bruns; Sept. 30--Phoenix--W Pat Fraley;

Oct. 1--Tucson--W Willie Davis; Oct. 4--Atlanta--W Chief Saunooke; Oct.
11--Atlanta--W Jules Strongbow; Oct. 22--New York--W Bobby Bruns; Oct.
23--Washington--W Jules Strongbow; Oct. 24--Brooklyn--W Babe Sharkey; Oct.
25--Jamaica NY--W Jules Strongbow; Oct. 28--Bronx NY--W Abe Stein; Oct.
29--Baltimore--W Babe Sharkey (CARNERA SAID TO BE 51-0 AT THIS POINT); Oct.
30--Hartford--W Lee Henning; Oct. 31--Wilmington DL--W Benny Rosen;

Nov. 5--New York--W George Macricostas; Nov. 7--Brooklyn--W Milo Steinborn;
Nov. 8--Philadelphia--W Reb Russell; Nov. 12--Providence--W Marv Westenberg;
Nov. 14--Boston--W Babe Sharkey; Nov. 19--Baltimore--W Hardy Kruskamp (CARNERA
SAID TO BE 65-0 AT THIS POINT); Nov. 21--Cleveland--W Jules Strongbow; Nov.
22--Chicago--W Fred Von Schacht; Nov. 27--Philadelphia--W Gino Garibaldi; Nov.
28--Wilmington DL--W Babe Sharkey;

Dec. 3--Worcester--W Jules Strongbow; Dec. 6--Buffalo--W Wladislaw Talun; Dec.
10--New York (check date)--vs. Babe Sharkey; Dec. 12--Toronto--W Karl Davis;
Dec. 13--Jamaica NY--W Gino Garibaldi; Dec. 14--Bronx NY--W Babe Sharkey; Dec.
17--New York--DREW FRANK SEXTON; Dec. 19--Boston--W Olaf Olson; Dec.
26--Rockford IL--W Jules Strongbow; Dec. 27--Ft. Wayne IN--W Jules Strongbow;
Dec. 28--Milwaukee--W Bobby Bruns; Dec. 29--Detroit--W Joe Dusek;


Jan. 6--Benton Harbor MI--W Jules Strongbow; Jan. 7--Louisville--W Jules
Strongbow; Jan. 9--Brooklyn--W Dave Levin; Jan. 16--Cleveland--W Joe Savoldi;
Jan. 21--Baltimore--W Blimp Levy;

Feb. 15--Detroit--W George Macricostas; Feb. 19--Chicago--W Fred Davis; Feb.
22--Chicago--W Fred Von Schacht; Feb. 26--Washington--W Jack O'Brien; 

Mar. 11--Baltimore--W Ben Morgan; Mar. 31--Milwaukee--W Willie Davis;

Apr. 3--Springfield IL--W Willie Davis; Apr. 5--Bronx NY--W Dave Levin; Apr.
9--Montreal--W Emil Dusek; Apr. 12--Bronx NY--W Ben Morgan; Apr.
18--Buffalo--W Willie Davis; Apr. 22--Cleveland--W Ernie Dusek; Apr.
24--Toronto--W John Katan; Apr. 30--Philadelphia--W Herman Rohde;

May 1--Brooklyn--W Herman Rohde; May 5--Trenton NJ--W Herman Rohde; May
6--Baltimore--W Laverne Baxter; May 9--W Fred Von Schacht; May 17--CARNERA
DENIED CALIFORNIA LICENSE; May 19--Vancouver BC--W Laverne Baxter;

July 1--Baltimore--W Gino Garibaldi;

Aug. 20--Montreal--LOST YVON ROBERT; Aug. 27--Montreal--NC YVON ROBERT; 

Sept. 4--Long Island City NY--W Ben Morgan; Sept. 9--Baltimore--W Wladislaw
Talun; Sept. 11--Long Island City NY--W Wladislaw Talun; Sept.
18--Toronto--LOST WHIPPER WATSON; Sept. 22--W Gino Garibaldi; 

Oct. 1--Philadelphia--W Wladislaw Talun; Oct. 2--Toronto--NC WHIPPER WATSON;
Oct. 29--Colorado Springs--W Roland Meeker;

Nov. 4--Baltimore--W Ken Kenneth; Nov. 6--Newark NJ--DREW TONY GALENTO; 

Dec. 7--Miami--W Ed Lewis.

October 15, 1994

.....Ah, inspiration strikes me! I'll create a bulletin board in my computer
for notes to Master Fred Hornby! Eureka!!!

Boy, I feel out of place correcting the Buddy Rogers record book, but I've
noticed a few passages that don't make sense. One reason the 1954 record
doesn't make sense is this (correct results):

Mar. 13, 1954--Hollywood TV--Buddy Rogers def Sandor Szabo 2-1
Mar. 15, 1954--Hollywood--Buddy Rogers def Mario deSouza 2-0
Mar. 17, 1954--Los Angeles--Buddy Rogers NC Billy Varga 1-1 dcor
Mar. 20, 1954--Hollywood TV--Buddy Rogers def Bill Longson 2-1

Rogers came out, apparently, to make two Saturday afternoon appearances on the
CBS live television shows from Hollywood Legion Stadium. He made at least two
other appearances. You had all four, but only one of them (deSouza) with the
correct date and place.

Here's a theory I've developed through careful study of the World War I and
post-WWI era, with regard to the heavy title...I maintain that JOE STECHER
lost the title when he broke down (neuritis attack) in a match at Springfield
MA in either late Nov or early Dec 1916 vs JOHN OLIN. The referee gave the
match to Olin, who naturally began claiming the title...he did so for six
months (of course, Stecher went on claiming it, too, until he failed to come
out for the third fall against Caddock in April 1917)...until ED LEWIS pinned
Olin in Chicago on May 2, 1917...

From there, the title history takes a far different course than the
traditional STECHER-CADDOCK-STECHER-LEWIS course between 1916-1920 that we
were taught as school children...again, I fear "history" lies to us. Follow

May 2, 1917--Chicago--ED LEWIS def John Olin;
June 5, 1917--San Francisco--WLADEK ZBYSZKO def Ed Lewis 2-0;
July 4, 1917--Boston--ED LEWIS def Wladek Zbyszko 1-1 cnc;

(at this juncture, the dying Frank Gotch sez Lewis can be even better than
Stecher and Caddock)

Nov. 27, 1917--Boston--WLADEK ZBYSZKO def Ed Lewis;
Dec. 17, 1917--New York--ED LEWIS def Wladek Zbyszko 1:24:33;
Dec. 22, 1917--New York--WLADEK ZBYSZKO def Ed Lewis 1:47:37;

(these two bouts took place as the wrap-up to the big Lexington Theater
international tournament, billed for world title honors)

(Earl Caddock won a 2 1/2 hour decision from Zbyszko in Des Moines Feb. 7,
1918 but...if you apply the modern rules where a man must be pinned or unable
to continue in order for a title to change hands...throw this one out)

(Ditto the wild and woolly brawl Mar. 19, 1918 at New York where Ed Lewis won
from Zbyszko via disqualification at 37:28 when Zbyszko head butted him

(and toss out another Earl Caddock "decision" win over Zbyszko May 8, 1918 in
Chicago...this goes into my book, like the Feb. 7 match, as a draw)

May 10, 1918--Louisville--ED LEWIS def Wladek Zbyszko

(throw out the Earl Caddock win over Lewis at Des Moines June 18, 1918, since
it came when Lewis was disqualified)

March 19, 1919--New York--WLADEK ZBYSZKO def Ed Lewis 1:34:37;
May 9, 1919--Louisville--JOE STECHER def Wladek Zbyszko 1:45:15;
December 13, 1920--New York--ED LEWIS def Joe Stecher 1:45:34

So, here, we have an entirely different title history...OLIN-LEWIS-ZBYSZKO-
is already a FOUR TIME champ!!!!

And that's not all...again, looking for pinfalls...we have Lewis dropping the
belt to STANISLAUS ZBYSZKO during the rolling pinfall controversy of 1921,
winning it back in March of 1922 at Wichita. But, by modern rules (made a
permanent part of wrestling protocol when Thesz was DQd against Leo Nomellini
in the 1950s) Strangler Lewis doesn't lose to Big Munn or to Gus Sonnenberg,
at least not in January of 1929...he was counted out of the ring in both those
bouts...GUS SONNENBERG eventually pinned Lewis in a 1929 rematch, then held
the strap until ED DON GEORGE pinned him, and then ED LEWIS became a six-time
champ when he pinned George. 

Now we throw out the DQ loss to Henri DeGlane in Montreal (May 1931) and see
where the title goes...Lewis consolidates Illinois recognition with a win over
Wladek Zbyszko in Chicago early November 1931, gains NY recognition with the
June 1932 win over Dick Shikat and thus holds the belt until losing to JIM
BROWNING in February 1933...


Question: After all these years, I still can't figure out who Johnny Boesch
was, except that he floated through your territory in 1946-47, originally as a
partner to Paul Boesch.

Note: Besides Ezra, Tex, Charles, Ben and Bull, do you have any other first
names for Big Ben Morgan? I recall Dan Parker referring to him as Five Names
Morgan, or some such, but, boy, he must have changed monickers on a daily
basis. My favorite: Ezra (The Elephant) Morgan.

Note: On Feb. 17, 1949, when Whipper Watson unmasked the Masked Marvel as Lou
Reynheer (Ed Lewis referee) the Globe & Mail account said "Reynheer" reminded
someone of Benny Rosen. Could he have been Rosen? He was under the hood in
Toronto throughout all of 1948 and into 1949...(ED. NOTE: Reynheer, indeed,
was Benny Rosen).

Question: How many Cardiff Giants were there and who were they?

Ditto: Hardboiled Haggertys, especially the one who was back East in the
1949-50 period, before the modern-era HB Haggerty (Stansauk, Sparrow, etc.)
took the name? Pat McClary was the first one, on the Pacific Coast, in the
late '30s, early '40s...did he continue with the name back East? Also, Hardy
Kruskamp, from time to time, was known as Hardboiled Hardy...

(To be concluded in WAWLI Papers No. 275)
The WAWLI Papers No. 275...


Tuesday, November 8, 1994

Time to launch another "bulletin board" for you. Been extraordinarily busy in
the libraries, working on various projects, and have found some wrestling
material we fiends have overlooked. Gracious! Today I found four Ed Lewis
results, from L.A.'s Olympic Auditorium no less, that nobody has told me about

June 18, 1947 (Los Angeles, beat Lee Henning)
June 25, 1947 (Los Angeles, lost Enrique Torres)
July 23, 1947 (Los Angeles, beat Jules Strongbow)
Sept. 3, 1947 (Los Angeles, beat Vic Holbrook)

And, for a few weeks, here is Gene Stanlee in SoCal...

Sept. 22, 1947 (Hollywood, beat John Cretoria
Sept. 29, 1947 (Hollywood, lost Abe Kashey
Oct. 6, 1947 (Hollywood, beat Jack Terry)
Oct. 13, 1947 (Hollwood, lost Ali Pasha) 
Nov. 10, 1947 (Hollywood, beat Bob Corby) 
Dec. 8, 1947 (Hollywood, lost Paavo Ketonen) 
Dec. 22, 1947 (Hollywood, drew Bob Corby) 
Dec. 29, 1947 (Hollywood, beat Lucky Simunovich)
Mar. 29, 1948 (Hollywood, beat Speedy LaRance, lost to Jack McDonald in
Apr. 5, 1948 (Hollywood, w/John Cretoria, lost Jack McDonald-Speedy LaRance) 
Apr. 12, 1948 (Hollywood, lost Jack McDonald)
May 10, 1948 (Hollywood, w/Ivan Kameroff lost Gorilla Ramos-Morris Shapiro
aka Mighty Atlas) 

Hard to imagine this guy, a year later, would begin firmly implanting himself
as a main eventer in the East, a status he would retain for the better part of
a decade in some of the biggest markets in the land.

Goodness, even some more Buddy Rogers, circa 1955:

July 2, 1955, East L.A., beat Ray Stern
July 11, 1955, Hollywood, beat Ray Stern
July 13, 1955, Los Angeles, beat Gene Kiniski
July 15, 1955, Santa Monica, beat Danny McShain DQ
July 20, 1955, Los Angeles, beat Bob McCune
July 27, 1955, Springfield, O., drew Chief Big Heart NC
Aug. 3, 1955, Springfield, O., w/Jerry Graham lost Stan Holek-Chief Big Heart
Aug. 8, 1955, Hollywood, beat Ray Stern
Aug. 10, 1955, Los Angeles, lost Johnny Valentine
Aug. 13, 1955, East. L.A., drew Bob McCune

And some Gorgeous George (additions, corrections, et al)

(Something I was unaware of...George's hair was "brunette" when he flattened
Reginald Siki in 12 seconds at the Olympic Dec. 3, 1947; next week, Dec. 10,
he was a "flaming redhead" while opposing Jim Mitchell; when he came back on
June 2 to dispatch the French Angel and, again, on Friday of that week at
Santa Monica, the LA Times described his new hair color as "indigo blue"--the
virtue of all this being, of course, that history does nothing but repeat
itself repeat itself repeat itself repeat itself repeat itself...copy to
Dennis Rodman)

Dec. 10, 1947, Los Angeles, Jim Mitchell (LA Times sez this was a 30-minute
draw, not a win for George...unless he was given a decision...which they
seldom, if ever, gave out at the Olympic)

Dec. 26, 1947, Santa Monica, Enrique Torres, no result available

Jan. 7, 1948, Los Angeles, Bomber Kulkovich (George originally booked for this
bout, but Sandor Szabo wound up with Kulkovich and George not on the program)

Jan. 30, 1948 , Santa Monica, Ernie Dusek? (George was billed versus Ernie,
and Sandor Szabo was billed in the semi vs. Emil Dusek; next day's paper said
only that Szabo drew Ernie Dusek in the main event)

Feb. 25, 1948, Los Angeles, beat Dutch Hefner (NOT teamed with Hefner vs.
Duseks, who had left town; George took straight falls from ol' Ernest, while
Szabo & Gino Garibaldi drew with Manny Garza & Mitchell in the tag semi-
windup, Ed Lewis refereeing)

Mar. 5, 1948, Santa Monica, Jan -- not Lord yet -- Blears, no result available
Mar. 12, 1948, Santa Monica, Jan Blears, no result available
Mar. 19, 1948, Santa Monica, Tony Martinez (aka Tony Martinelli), no result
Mar. 26, 1948, Santa Monica, Gino Garibaldi, no result available

Apr. 2, 1948, Santa Monica, lost Gino Garibaldi
Apr. 9, 1948, Santa Monica, Gino Garibaldi, no result available
Apr. 16, 1948 , Santa Monica, lost Kimon Kudo (jiu jitsu)
Apr. 23, 1948, Santa Monica, drew Kimon Kudo (one hour time limit)
Apr. 24, 1948 , Los Angeles, Tony Martinez, no result available (Ed Lewis
refereed this special Olympic Auditorium show-topper for annual Los Angeles
postal letter carriers' annual sports night)
Apr. 30, 1948, Santa Monica, Tony Martinez, no result available

May 7, 1948, Santa Monica, Dave Levin, no result available
June 4, 1948, Santa Monica, Dave Levin, no result available

(As you can see, almost every week GG was in SoCal, Ocean Park Arena in Santa
Monica was a regular stop...he headlined week after week in this first full
burst of glory as the Gorgeous One...)

Question: I notice a fellow billing himself as "The New Look" on a few Monday
evenings in Pasadena early 1948...flopped Jules Strongbow Feb. 2, then teamed
with Strongbow to lose a tag match Feb. 16, then teamed with Butch Levy to
lose a tag bout Feb. 23, then teamed again with Levy to win a tag bout Mar.
1.... wonder who this might have been?

--Max von Sydow character, "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986)

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 1994

Okay, now some notes on Washington DC, circa August 1942 thru August
1943...or, in other words, about the first full year of Buddy Rogers' career.

Promoter in DC is Joe Turner, oldtime middleweight wrestling champ, turned
building operator-boxing and wrestling promoter. The larger, draftier Uline
Arena is run by Goldie Ahearne, who also promotes boxing (and, this winter,
with some encouragement from the redoubtable Jack Pfeffer, gets into the
wrestling game with a series of not-too-well attended shows)

I am rather startled to find that Rogers wrestled even LESS in Washington
during this span than the Record Book gives him credit for...the Dec. 30, 1942
match with Iron Talun never happened, or if it did, it was ignored by the
Washington Post....Golden Gloves boxing occupied Turner's Arena on the night,
and I do believe they shut down the wrestling promotion over the would have been an awfully large leap for young Herman Rhode to
land in main event company at that early stage, too, especially with Turner as
the promoter.

I would have to guess one of two things from studying the 1942-43 Rogers'
record: either he had some war-related day job that kept him confined to the
immediate NYC-Brooklyn area between March 1943 and March 1944 (unlikely, as
trains ran regularly back and forth between NYC and Wash DC-Baltimore-Philly,

OR: Joe Turner must have completely missed the boat when it came to
identifying Herman Rhode as an up-and-comer. No wonder Vince McMahon Sr. was
able to get the promotion away from Turner's survivors and establish the
empire that would become today's vaunted WWF.

Allow me to quote from the Post regarding the future Nature Boy's Washington

Aug. 12, 1942 -- "the Camden Adonis is to be unveiled in the opener"

Result: "Herman Rhodes (sic), a handsome newcomer, made short work of John
Vansky with a series of slams and a crab hold in eight minutes"

That is the only time he was SCHEDULED to work Turner's Arena. But he did come
in as a late sub Sept. 23, 1942 (ironically, he replaced an absent Vansky
versus Ace Freeman) and the paper's coverage reported that "the fans liked"
his opening draw

Now, he doesn't appear again (despite repeated appearances in nearby
Baltimore, which generally hosted shows the night before) until Mar. 10, 1943.
The paper refers to him as "Adonis like" and he is put in a preliminary with
Michele Leone, who is DQd after 20 minutes. (Turner, for the most part,
completely missed the boat with Leone, too...seldom using him on top, when he
had to be the greatest showman the town had ever seen...surely until Rohde-
Rogers got into the picture...not until Leone got to Los Angeles did anyone
ever use him properly...I guess, like George Wagner, television was a
tremendous boon to his career...but you didn't need that to know he was a
superb worker.)

Now, more than a year goes by before young Herman comes back to work for Joe
Turner. Again, he has been working in Baltimore (but not in Washington) and
shows up at Turner's Arena on April 26, 1944 and is billed in the Washington
Post advance as "a touted newcomer from California" (as though he had never
before appeared in D.C.!!) He was Herman (Dutch) "Rhodes" in the advance, but
"Rohde" in the next-day story, which had him dispatching Henry Piers in 12
minutes with a "kangaroo kick." This was later described as an "impressive
manner" which earned him in a semifinal spot versus Cliff Olson on the May 3
card. He whipped Olson and, as a sub for Nick Campofreda, also worked a
30-minute draw with George Macricostas and was finally "over" in Washington,
where Turner used him regularly until he went to Texas a little over a year
later, in 1945.

Now for something completely different...noticed a big, front sports page
story in the Chicago Tribune of Friday, Jan. 4, 1946, announcing that Joe
Savoldi had rented the Coliseum for the next 16 Friday nights, at $650 per
night...Savoldi, who is said to have spent 19 months in the OSS (Office of
Strategic Services, World War II predecessor to the CIA), had been back
working the mat for most of the previous year, the article said. Said he had
grossed $27,000 over that year and that, for his final 1945 match, versus Dave
Levin in New York, he had been paid $375. (If these figures are accurate,
Jumpin' Joe was in the chips . . . makes you wonder why he'd want to promote,
especially in a town where Fred Kohler was already going on Monday and
Wednesday nights each week). Savoldi told the Trib each show would cost $1,400
BEFORE he paid the wrestlers. Said he was freelancing, wasn't part of a trust.
Kohler confirmed this, saying, "Joe's bucking the Paul Bowser-Tom Packs
group." (Savoldi always had good relations with Rudy Dusek, with Tony Stecher
in Minneapolis and the guys out in Kansas City -- and it was from those groups
that he drew his talent.) Kohler said he wouldn't cooperate, but Karl Pojello
-- promoting a show that night (Jan. 4) in the Falcon Auditorium, featuring
French Angel vs. Joe Dvorak -- said he would. 

Savoldi said he'd bring the best available talent in and charge a little more
($1-2-3 before taxes, $1.30, $2.60 and $3.90 including tax)..."I believe fans
are tired of the acrobats in wrestling...If I'm wrong, I can always return to
my tights." (Odd thing for the guy who introduced the flying dropkick to be
knocking "acrobats in wrestling")

Trib story said his first show, Jan. 11, drew 3,000. Clif Gustafson was on
top, defeating Fred Bozik (Ed Lewis may have been in Gustafson's corner), Ede
Virag drew Jim Coffield, Roy Dunn drew Bing Hall and Joe Pazandak flopped Carl

Next week, Friday, Jan. 18, the Trib story (actually a tiny paragraph) said
the show drew 500...Gustafson def Bing Hall, Chief Don Eagle def Bozik, Virag
drew Dunn and Coffield drew Al Rocco (Rococo?)

And the next week, the Trib sports guys must not have gotten their payoff from
Savoldi, cuz there was no advance or result blurb, just an ad billing Don
Eagle as the main eventer (with no opponent listed).

By early February, Savoldi had the trunks back on, wrestling in Cleveland. But
he kept at the Friday night shows, eventually winding up wrestling Don Eagle
himself in the Coliseum ring April 12...but he gave up the promotional game
and went back fulltime to wrestling. At least, in the Chicago Tribune story, I
learned something about his work with the OSS . . . imagine, Joe Savoldi as a
spy! The 19-month tour dovetails pretty nicely with my records, which show
him working the West Coast (LA and SF wheels) until April 1943 and then
nothing until September 1944 when he's got a couple of bouts with your man,
Buddy Rogers, in Baltimore. Most of the guys with "regular" service jobs
(Raines and Thesz to name a couple) managed to find time to wrestle, but I
guess there was no leisure for covert operators.

Hope you noted that French Angel bout (Jan. 4, 1946) up above . . ..

Now, some observations on the Carnera record sheets...

Carnera was said to have arrived in Toronto Aug. 16, 1947 "from North
Carolina" before his 8-18-47 bout in the Canadian city...I doubt whether he
worked with Gino Garibaldi on either side of the river (Philly and Camden) on
back to back nights...I show that match as Aug. 22 in Camden.

And then these Carnera additions, alterations, etc:

Aug. 23, 1946--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera def Reb Russell
Aug. 26, 1946--Hollywood--Primo Carnera def Ted Christy
Sept. 4, 1946--Los Angeles--Primo Carnera def Reginald Siki
Sept. 5, 1946--Whittier CA (not Los Angeles)
Sept. 6, 1946--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera def George Becker
Sept. 17, 1946--Spokane WA--Primo Carnera def Hardy Kruskamp
Sept. 18, 1946--Bremerton WA--Primo Carnera def Frank Jares (working as Frank
Jarvis aka Tuffy Jarvis, cuz NW promoters didn't think the crowd would
understand the name "Jares")
Aug. 6, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera vs Willie Davis
Aug. 18, 1948--Los Angeles (not Hollywood)
Aug. 20, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera def Fritz Schnabel 16:00, drew
Hans Schnabel 14:00 (thus lost 30-minute handicap)
Aug. 25, 1948--Los Angeles--Ernie-Emil Dusek def Primo Carnera-Sandor Szabo (a
tag team, not a handicap)
Aug. 27, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera-Dave Levin vs. Hans- Fritz


Nov. 10, 1948--Los Angeles--Primo Carnera def Black Panther
Nov. 12, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera vs Gino Garibaldi
Nov. 17, 1948--Olympia WA--Primo Carnera booked
Feb. 1, 1949--Syracuse--(I show this date, not Feb. 5)
Feb. 10, 1949--Milwaukee--(this match was shown on live TV)
Feb. 14 in Brooklyn, then jump to SF Feb. 15 is suspicious...
Feb. 28, 1949--Pico CA--Primo Carnera vs Tiger Joe Marsh
Mar. 4, 1949--Santa Monica CA--Primo Carnera vs Lord Blears
Mar. 9, 1949--Los Angeles--Primo Carnera def Karl Davis
Mar. 14, 1949--Hollywood--Primo Carnera drew Buddy Rogers (1-1)
Mar. 25, 1949--One book has ROCCA beating Longson, not Carnera
Apr. 20, 1949--I show this to be a New York bout
Apr. 26, 1949--Baltimore--I think this is the correct date
May 20, 1949--I show a loss to Rocca
May 25, 1949--I suspect this is the March 25 bout (with Longson)
July 1949--I believe Carnera appeared in Edmonton, then left on tour of South somewhere he had 42 wins on that tour, including one over Max
Orlevia at Rio de Janeiro
Oct. 19, 1949--Hartford CT--Primo Carnera def Marv Westenberg (is correct)
Dec. 9, 1949--New Britain CT--Primo Carnera def Green Terror (the Bibber McCoy
must be 1948)
Dec. 28, 1949--Los Angeles--Argentina Rocca def Primo Carnera

Question: Who was Buddy Rogers' Slave Girl (a blonde) during the summer of
1948 in Hollywood?

Add Gene Stanlee collection:

June 28, 1948--Hollywood--Gene Stanlee def Paavo Ketonen
July 12, 1948--Hollywood--Super Swedish Angel def Gene Stanlee
Aug. 2, 1948--Hollywood--Red Berry def Gene Stanlee
Aug. 9, 1948--Hollywood--Gene Stanlee-Frank Gonzales def Paavo Ketonen-Prince


Add Gorgeous George:

July 9, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Gorgeous George vs Bobby Becker
Sept. 17, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Gorgeous George vs Emil Dusek
Sept. 24, 1948--Santa Monica CA--Gorgeous George vs Lord Blears

Add Orville Brown as NWA champ:


Aug. 25, Columbus, O., beat Ruffy Silverstein 
Sept. 17, St. Louis, beat Otto Kuss 
Sept. 22, Columbus, O., beat Lucky Simunovich
Sept. 30, Kansas City, beat Otto Kuss
Oct. 11, Wichita, beat Don Eagle
Oct. 12, Cleveland, beat Bobby Bruns
Oct. 15, Columbus, O., beat Ivan Rasputin 
Nov. 1, Hollywood, beat Buddy Rogers
Nov. 4, Kansas City, drew Don Eagle
Nov. 8, Hollywood, drew Buddy Rogers
Nov. 16, Cleveland, beat Ali Baba
Nov. 18, Columbus, O., beat Don Evans
Nov. 25, Kansas City, beat Don Eagle
Nov. 29, Detroit, beat Wladek Kowalski
Dec. 10, St. Louis, beat Don Eagle
Dec. 14, Minneapolis, drew Len Hall
Dec. 20, Wichita, beat Buddy Rogers DQ
Dec. 21, Cleveland, beat Ed Meske


Jan. 3, Wichita, drew Buddy Rogers
Jan. 4, Cleveland, beat Buddy Rogers DQ
Jan. 11, Des Moines, beat Don Eagle
Jan. 13, Kansas City, drew Buddy Rogers
Jan. 25, Cleveland, beat Bob Wagner
Jan. 27, Kansas City, beat Don Eagle
Feb. 1, Des Moines, beat Don Eagle
Feb. 2, Cleveland, drew Bobby Bruns
Feb. 8 Cleveland, beat Bobby Bruns
Feb. 15, Cleveland, drew Buddy Rogers
Mar. 4, St. Louis, beat Bobby Bruns
Mar. 7, Des Moines, drew Bobby Bruns
Mar. 8, Minneapolis, drew Dick Raines
Mar. 15, Cleveland, drew Frank Sexton
Mar. 17, Winnipeg, beat Bronko Nagurski
Mar. 18, St. Joseph, beat Lucky Simunovich
Mar. 24, Columbus, beat Don Lee
Apr. 1, Louisville, beat Ron Etchison
May 2, Des Moines, beat Bobby Bruns
May 5, Kansas City, beat Dean Detton
May 13, St. Louis, beat Buddy Rogers
May 30, Edmonton, beat Laverne Baxter
Sept. 2, Houston, beat Ruffy Silverstein
Sept. 9, Houston, beat Vic Holbrook

1950 (short-lived comeback, while promoting Wichita)

Oct. 9, Wichita, appeared in tag team bout
Oct. 23, Wichita, beat Joe Pazandak

January 24, 1995

One of my (many) fields of preoccupation is to put together a list of former
world heavyweight and lightheavyweight boxing champions and their involvement
in wrestling...mainstream sports audience probably has no idea that these guys
made a ton of dough in the grapple racket, beginning, principally, with Jack
Johnson....Jess Willard, Jack Sharkey, Max Baer, Jim Braddock, Joe Walcott,
Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis of course, Rocky Marciano, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore,
right on up to Muhammad Ali at the Hulk Hogan-Ric Flair match in Detroit
October 23, 1994 (ED. NOTE--A list since expanded to include Mike Tyson's
involvement in Wrestlemania).

But the all-time participant has to be Jack Dempsey.... 
gad, he refereed a lot of wrestling matches ... and, by noting his various
tours, one can get a better grasp of the existing circuits of the time, and
know where we lack cards and results...

For instance, Mr. Dempsey comes in for Fred Kohler in the fall of 1949,
Chicago Tribune sez he is to get a $2,000 guarantee for a Chicago show, and
should make between $7 and $10Gs for eight dates (which is doubtless, some
exaggeration, cuz that was a lot of money in 1949, maybe close to $100,000 in
terms of today's bucks) but anyhow he was there...

Friday, Oct. 28 -- Chicago (Amphitheatre, Don Eagle vs Hans Schnabel)

Saturday, Oct. 29 -- Libertyville IL

Monday, Oct. 31 -- Milwaukee

Tuesday, Nov. 1 -- Peoria

Wednesday, Nov. 2 -- Joliet

Thursday, Nov. 3 -- Columbus OH

Friday, Nov. 4 -- Rockford IL

Saturday, Nov. 5 -- Waukegan IL

Natch, at same time, Kohler was running two or three shows a week in Chicago,
at the Midway, Marigold Gardens, etc., plus the spot shows, so we get a fair
picture of his little territory at the time . . . 

The WAWLI Papers No. 276...


Web Site:

The following is a list of celebrities and professional athletes that have
been involved and/or associated with the wild sport of professional wrestling.


Steve Allen--Comedian-songwriter played the piano along side The Bolsheviks at
Wrestlemania VI 

Ronna Barrett--Gossip reporter interviewed Miss Elizabeth at Wrestlemania VI 

Cab Calloway--One of the judges for the Piper-T boxing match at Wrestlemania 2

Ray Charles-One of the judges for the Piper-T boxing match at Wrestlemania
2...opened up Wrestlemania 2 with a stirring rendition of "America the

Ray Combs-The late "Family Feuds" talk show host was the guest ring announcer
for the eight-man tag match between Big Boss Man, Sgt. Slaughter, Duggan,
Virgil and Nast Boys, Mountie, Repo Man at Wrestlemania VIII 

Robert Conrad-Tough guy actor guest refereed the Hulk Hogan-King Kong Bundy
match at Wrestlemania 2 

Alice Cooper-Shock rocker seconded Jake Roberts for his match with Honky Tonk
Man at Wrestlemania III 

Cathy Lee Crosby-Famous actress was a guest commentator for the Wrestlemania 2
matches in Chicago's Rosemont Horizon 

Morton Downey Jr.-Comedic actor was a guest on Piper's Pit at Wrestlemania V 
Elvira-Horror queen was a guest commentator for the Wrestlemania 2 matches in
the Los Angeles Sports Arena 

Aretha Franklin-Kicked off Wrestlemania III with a rendition of "America the

Jennie Garth-90210 princess was the guest timekeeper for the Bret-Yoko match
at Wrestlemania IX in Las Vegas 

Robert Goulet-Sang "O Canada" at Wrestlemania VI in Toronto 

Mary Hart-Entertainment Tonight personality was the guest commentator for
Wrestlemania III 

Insane Clown Possee-Upstart rap act performed at ECW's Hardcore Heaven PPV. 

Susan St. James -Famous actress was a guest commentator for the Wrestlemania 2
matches in New York's Nassau Coliseum 

Jenna Jameson-Queen of porn appeared at ECW's Hardcore Heaven PPV. 

Andy Kaufman-The late stand-up comedian was involved in a memorable feud with
Jerry Lawler back in the 80s. 

Gladys Knight-Opened Wrestlemania IV with a rendition of "America the

Cyndi Lauper-Famous rock singer seconded Wendi Richter for her Women's title
match with Leilani Kai at Wrestlemania...longtime friend of managing great
Captain Lou Albano 

Robin Leach-"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" host...official presenter of
the WWF Championship belt at the Wrestlemania IV world title tournament 

Pamela Anderson Lee-Universal sex symbol and Playboy playmate...special guest
for the 1995 Royal Rumble... accompanied then-WWF World Champ Diesel to the
ring at Wrestlemania XI in Hartford 

Liberace-Guest timekeeper for the Hogan/T-Piper/Orndorff match at Wrestlemania
in New York 

G. Gordon Liddy-Involved in the festivities of Wrestlemania 2 

Little Richard-Rock 'n' Roll pioneer gave a special rendition of "America the
Beautiful" at Wrestlemania X 

Mad Cow-Chicago radio personality was a presenter at the 1997 WWF Slammy

Marla Maples-Beautiful actress was the guest timekeeper for the Hogan-
Slaughter match at Wrestlemania VII 

Cindy Margolis-Pin-up supermodel and the queen of the internet was Rocky
Maivia's special date at the 1997 WWF Slammy Awards 

Jenny McCarthy-MTV star and Playboy playmate accompanied Shawn Michaels to the
ring at Wrestlemania XI 

Reba McIntire-Sang "Star Spangled Banner" at Wrestlemania VIII 

Willie Nelson-Opened Wrestlemania VII with a stirring rendition of "America
the Beautiful" 

Leslie Nielson-Spoof detective investigated the sightings of the Undertaker
during his sabbatical from the WWF 

Chuck Norris-Was in attendance at Wrestlemania VII in LA 

Ozzy Osbourne-British rock wildman seconded the British Bulldogs in their tag
title match against "Dream Team" Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake at
Wrestlemania 2 

Clara Peller-Involved in the festivities of Wrestlemania 2 

Regis Philbin-Involved in the festivities of Wrestlemania VII...often had WCW
and WWF wrestlers on his show "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" 

Burt Reynolds-Guest ring announcer for the Luger-Yoko world title match at
Wrestlemania X 

Joan Rivers-Famous actress was a guest ring announcer for the Wrestlemania 2
matches in New York's Nassau Coliseum 

RUN-D.M.C.-Legends in pioneering hip hop...performed a special "Wrestlemania"
rap at Wrestlemania V 

Salt 'n' Pepa-Female rap stars performed a special "pro-Lawrence Taylor" rap
before the LT-Bigelow main event at Wrestlemania XI 

Ricky Schroeder-Guest timekeeper for the Hulk Hogan-King Kong Bundy world
title cage match at Wrestlemania 2 

William Shatner-Star Trek star appeared on King's Court on RAW and decked
Jerry Lawler after taking some of the king's insults 

Rhonda Shear-Guest timekeeper for the Lex Luger-Yokozuna WWF World Title match
at Wrestlemania X in New York...USA Up All Night talk show host 

Mr. T-Famous TV tough guy teamed with Hulk Hogan to beat Orndorff/Piper at
Wrestlemania...beat Roddy Piper by DQ in a boxing match at Wrestlemania
2...was in the corner of Hulk Hogan for his WCW world title match with Ric
Flair at Bash at the Beach '94 and for subsequent title defenses...refereed a
match between Hogan and Flair at Halloween Havoc '94 

Jonathan Taylor Thomas-Home Improvement star...Guest timekeeper for the
Diesel-Shawn Michaels match at Wrestlemania XI 

Alex Trebek-Jeopardy host was the guest ring announcer for the Hogan-Slaughter
match at Wrestlemania VII 

Donald Trump-In attendance at Wrestlemania IV, V, and VII 

Nicholas Turturro-NYPD Blue star...Guest ring announcer for the Diesel-Shawn
Michaels world title match at Wrestlemania XI 

Bob Uecker-Mr. Baseball was the guest commentator for Wrestlemania III...and
the guest ring announcer for the world title tournament finals between Randy
Savage and Ted DiBiase at Wrestlemania IV 

Donnie Wahlberg-Guest ring announcer for the Luger-Yoko world title match at
Wrestlemania X in New York...New Kids on the Block fame 

Vanna White-Wheel of Fortune personality...guest timekeeper for the world
title finals at Wrestlemania IV between Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase 
Henry Winkler-Was in attendace at Wrestlemania VII...Happy Days star


Muhammad Ali-Boxing legend...fought to a draw with Antonio Inoki...guest
refereed the Hogan/T vs. Orndorff/Piper match at Wrestlemania...great friend
of Antonio attendance at the massive double card wrestling event in
Pyongang, North Korea 

Carl Banks-Cleveland Browns football star was a member of Lawrence Taylor's
"All-Pro team" at Wrestlemania XI that supported LT at ringside for his match
with Bam Bam Bigelow 

Dick Butkus-Chicago Bears' immortal was a guest referee in the 20-man Battle
Royal at Wrestlemania 2 

Jim Covert-NFL star battled in the 20-man Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 2 
Darryl Dawkins-Ex-basketball star was one of the judges of the Piper/Mr. T
boxing match at Wrestlemania 2 

Buster Douglas-Guest refereed a world title match between Hulk Hogan and Randy
Savage at a special Friday night live event 

Lou Duva-Legendary boxing coach coached Roddy Piper in his boxing match with
Mr. T at Wrestlemania 2 

Bill Fralic-NFL star battled in the 20-man Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 2 

Russ Francis-NFL star battled in the 20-man Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 2 

Joe Frazier-Legendary boxer coached Mr. T in his boxing match with Roddy Piper
at Wrestlemania 2 

Kevin Greene-49ers' linebacker teamed with Steve McMichael to wrestle Ric
Flair & Arn Anderson at Bash at the Beach '96...teamed with Ric Flair and
Roddy Piper to defeat Nash, Hall, and Syxx at Slamboree '97...pinned Steve
McMichael at Great American Bash '97...made several Nitro appearances for WCW 
Thomas Hearns-Boxing legend decked Jim "Anvil" Neidhart after getting into an
argument over the "Hitman" nickname with Bret Hart on RAW 

Ernie Holmes-Famous NFL star battled in the 20-man Battle Royal at
Wrestlemania 2 

Ricky Jackson-49ers football star was in the corner of Lawrence Taylor as part
of his "All-Pro team" at Wrestlemania XI 

Ed "Too Tall" Jones-Refereed the 20-man Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 2 
Tommy Lasorda-Famous Dodgers' manager was a guest ring announcer for the
Wrestlemania 2 matches at the Los Angeles Sports Arena 

Karl Malone-1997 NBA MVP did a basketball promo with Mr. Perfect back in
Hening's early years with the WWF 

Harvey Martin-NFL star took place in the 20-man Battle Royal at Wrestlemania

Billy Martin-The late New York Yankees managing great was the guest ring
announcer for the Hogan/T-Orndorff/Piper match at Wrestlemania 

Steve McMichael-Former Chicago Bears linebacker and future NFL Hall of Famer
now a regular professional wrestler in WCW...was in the corner of Lawrence
Taylor at Wrestlemania XI as part of LT's All-Pro Team, back when he was with
the Green Bay original commentator for WCW Monday Nitro 
Warren Moon-Future hall of fame quarterback did a football promo with Mr.
Perfect a few years back during Hennig's early WWF years 

Michael Moorer-Former boxing world heavyweight champion ....knocked Rockabilly
out on RAW when Rockabilly hit him 

Ken Norton Jr.-49ers football star was in the corner of Lawrence Taylor as
part of LT's "All-Pro team" at Wrestlemania XI 

Shaquille O'Neal-Presented the WCW World Belt to Hulk Hogan at Bash at the
Beach '94 in Orlando...good friend of Hulk Hogan 

William "Refrigerator" Perry Famous NFL star battled in the 20-man Battle
Royal at Wrestlemania 2 

Dennis Rodman-Accompanied Hulk Hogan to the ring at Bash at the Beach '95 for
his steel cage match with Vader...teamed with Hulk Hogan to battle Lex Luger
and The Giant at Bash at the Beach '97 

Chris Spielman-Detroit Lions football star was a part of Lawrence Taylor's
All-Pro Team that was in his corner at Wrestlemania XI for his match with Bam
Bam Bigelow 

Lawrence Taylor-Legendary linebacker for the New York Giants got into a
shoving match with Bam Bam Bigelow at the 1995 Royal Rumble...pinned Bam Bam
Bigelow at Wrestlemania XI in Hartford 

Chuck Wepner-Defeated by Andre the Giant in a boxer vs. wrestler match 

Reggie White-Pinned by Steve McMichael at Slamboree '97...part of Lawrence
Taylor's All-Pro team that was at ringside at Wrestlemania XI

Web Site:
GOLDEN AGE TAPE #1: Matches from 1920 - 1967: 
JOE STETCHER v EARL CADDOCK, from MSG, January 30, 1920- not a misprint,
that's 1920. Stetcher wins the NWA title. It's about 22 minutes of grainy old
film. Unbeleivable that this would even exist! 
ED "STRANGLER" LEWIS v DICK SHIKAT from Long Island City, NY, June 9, 1932.
Lewis wins the NWA title. 
LOU THESZ v TOM RICE from Chicago, 1948. Thesz defends the NWA title. 
LOU THESZ v DON LEO JONATHAN from Chicago, February 26, 1955. Thesz defends
the NWA title. 
LOU THESZ v GENE KINISKI, 8mm film from 1967. Kiniski defends the NWA title. 
LOU THESZ v RUFFY SILVERSTIEN (not sure on that name) from 1951. 
2 hours and 15 minutes, all matches are in black and white, very good video.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #2: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
NIKOLAI VOLKOFF v JOHNNY GILBERT, 2 out of 3 falls. - This is not the same
Nikolai Volkoff that was in the modern WWF. 
ANTONINO ROCCA v HANS SCHMIDT, 2 out of 3 falls. 
JIM LONDOS v PRIMO CARNERA, 2 out of 3 falls. 
2 hours, 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #3: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
BUDDY ROGERS v KILLER KOWALSKI, 2 out of 3 falls. 
DORY DIXON, 2 out of 3 falls. 
MOOSE CHOLAK v LARRY CHENE 2 out of 3 falls. 
GORGEOUS GEORGE v JESSE JAMES- George's pre-match ritual is hilarious, even
2 hours, 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #4: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
BUDDY ROGERS v PAT O'CONNOR, 2 out of 3 falls from Comiskey Park in Chicago,
1961. Rogers win the NWA title. 
DICK THE BRUISER v PEPPER GOMEZ- about 4 minutes shown. 
JOHN & CHRIS TOLOS v BOB NANDOR & CHET WALLACH, 2 out of 3 falls. A terrific
TV studio brawl! 
ILIO DIPAULO v CYCLONE SMITH, 2 out of 3 falls. 
AN INTERVIEW with a VERY young Lou Albano, then part of the tag tandem of The
2 hours and 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #5: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
ANTONINO ROCCA v JOHNNY VALENTINE- about three minutes of highlights. 
NICK BOCKWINKEL v GREAT JOHN L.- Bockwinkel is pushed hard as a heartthrob
2 hours and 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #6: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
of highlights. 
JOHNNY VALENTINE v CRUSHER LISOWSKI- Lisowski gets DQed literally seconds into
the match! This angle got lots of live heat, as the crowd chants for Crusher
to return. 
2 hours and 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #7: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
LOU THESZ v ANTONINO ROCCA, 2 out of 3 falls. 
DON EAGLE v DANNY McSHANE, 2 out of 3 falls. The first fall of this match has
a minor tracking fault and some screen shake. 
2 hours and 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #8: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
MAN MOUNTIAN MONTANA v PAUL BUNYAN- Bunyan has to be a legit seven feet tall. 
DICK BEYER v BOBBY BROWN- Beyer had a big career in Japan as The Destroyer. 
PAT O"CONNOR v LEGS LANGEVIN- this match has occasional screen shake. 
2 hours and 40 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #9: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
ALI PASHA v PAT MIHAN, 2 out of 3 falls. 
2 hours and 35 minutes. Very good black and white picture.

GOLDEN AGE TAPE #10: WRESTLING FROM JAPAN from the 1960's and 1970's: 
GIANT BABA v GENE KINISKI- Kiniski defends the NWA title in a 2 out of 3 fall
match from 1968. 
RIKDOZAN v THE DESTROYER, 2 out of 3 falls from December 2, 1963. 
ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER v KANTARO OKI from 1975- Abby is at his maniacal best in
this bloodbath. 
GIANT BABA v FRITZ VON ERICH from December 3, 1966. 
GIANT BABA v THE DESTROYER, highlights from December 19, 1972. 
GIANT BABA v JACK BRISCO- Brisco defends the NWA title, highlights from
December 2, 1974. 
GIANT BABA v DICK THE BRUISER, highlights from April 10, 1975. 
GIANT BABA v FRITZ VON ERICH, highlights from July 25, 1975. 
GIANT BABA v ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER, highlights from May 8, 1976. 
GIANT BABA v HARLEY RACE, highlights of Baba winning the NWA title, October
10, 1979. 
2 hours, excellent / very good video throughout. 
GOLDEN AGE TAPE #11: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
JOHNNY VALENTINE wins a quick squash, then has a confrontation with Crusher
Lisowski. Good stuff! DR. JERRY GRAHAM & EDDIE GRAHAM do an interview. FRED
BLASSIE v THE HANGMAN- Blassie does a funny interview before the match. BUDDY
ROGERS v ABE JACOBS- Haystacks Calhoun runs in and chases off both Rogers and
manager Bobby Davis- pretty wild stuff for it's era. DICK THE BRUISER & HANS
KOWALSKI v YUKON ERIC- this is not the match where Eric lost his ear. LOU
VALENTINE v TOM JONES DICK THE BRUISER does a promo for an upcoming match in
this is a two out of three fall match, which is joined in progress in the
middle of the second fall. DICK THE BRUISER v MIKE GALLAGHER
2 hours and 40 minutes, very good black and white picture. 
GOLDEN AGE TAPE #12: Matches from the 1950's and 1960's:
2 hours, 40 minutes, generally very good black & white picture.

The WAWLI Papers No. 277...


(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Friday, February 5, 1988)

By Jerry Berger

For the first time, a professional wrestling card will be presented on stage
at the Fox Theatre, at 8:30 p.m. March 4, after which promoter Sam Muchnick
will crown the winner of ''Super Wrestling Wars.'' 

The main event will be between King Kong Brody and 460-pound crusher
Blackwell. To accommodate the ring, the Fox orchestra pit will be made level
with the stage, improving sight lines for the entire audience. There will be
ringside seating. 

Other matches will feature Kimala, the Ugandan giant, against Gentleman Chris
Adams of London, and the Fantasticks in a tag team with Nord the Barbarian and
Spike Huber, plus midget wrestlers. . . . 

Then there's Wendell Emrick, who, like Muchnick, has been presenting indoor
attractions for more years than anyone can remember. Emrick said that he and
Jerry Davis, along with other stockholders, have sold their interest in the
St. Louis All Sports Show to the New York-based National Marine Manufacturers
Association, which presents the big Chicago Boat Show each year. Observers say
Emrick and his colleagues were paid almost $1 million for the show. 

Emrick, 75, said he will retire and move with his wife, Marge, to Marathon,
Fla. Asked if he is offended when someone refers to him as a promoter, Emrick
said with a chuckle, ''We always called ourselves promoters, until we became
big shots and preferred being called producers!'' 


(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Thursday, October 12, 1989)

By Thom Gross

An hour before the first match, the South Broadway Athletic Club is already
teeming. But this looks less like a fight crowd than a church social. 

Adults outfitted in their Saturday night best sit at tables and chat quietly.
Some tend babies. Older children chase each other around the well-scrubbed,
brightly lit room. Most people enter, greet friends and take their places with
a comfortable familiarity. 

At 8 p.m. sharp, all rise and pay somber heed to a recorded version of the
national anthem. 

Seconds later, as the night's first contestants make their opening feints
toward each other, the air is filled with some of the vilest epithets you can
expect to hear in public, expressed with simultaneous rage and delight. 

The kids come up with the pithiest and most printable cheers. 

''Cheater!'' shout the younger ones. ''No fair!'' 

One boy, about 12, inspires others in the peanut section to take up his taunt
for an obese participant: ''Hey mister, get a bra!'' 

Fan interaction is the key to this entertainment called professional
wrestling. The wrestlers spend equal amounts of time inside and outside the
ring. Big Daddy, the ''manager'' for most of the villains, spends less time
counseling his clients than hissing at the crowd. 

If professional wrestling is less than a sport, it's also more. It's also a
psychedelic melodrama with real-life comic-book heroes, a morality play with a
theme of a narchy. 

Evil triumphs over good, and good is forced beyond the rules to retaliate.
Authority, in the form of the bumbling referee, is incompetent and impotent. 

The ring contains no middle ground. Every color is the brightest, every sound
the loudest, every feeling the strongest. 

The appeal is undeniable. Professional wrestling keeps ascending to new
heights of popularity. According to the World Wrestling Federation, 70 million
Americans watch its televised matches each month. Its superstars, Hulk Hogan
and Randy ''Macho Man'' Savage, are more widely known than the principals of
the national pastime. 

When Hogan and Savage get together these days to vie for the Beautiful
Elizabeth - blending the comic-book motif with another popular literary genre,
gothic romance - they can pack any arena in the country, as well as several
satellite auditoriums carrying the closed-circuit broadcast. 

But here at the South Broadway Athletic Club, the bouts constitute the minor
leagues of pro wrestling. On this night, about 200 people turn out to watch
aspiring Hulks mix it up with has-beens and never-wills. 

Contestants arriving in the dressing rooms segregate themselves into Good Guys
and Bad Guys. 

Don't let their names deceive you. The Freedom Team is composed of bad guys.
The Giant Assassin is a good guy. 

The Assassin has dressed early and is hunched in a quiet corner, looking dark
and unapproachable. But downstairs, the seats bearing his name make up the
biggest reserved section ringside. 

This contrast of imagery and popularity is no mystery to wrestling fans. The
Assassin represents a well-established wrestling hybrid, the anti-hero. His
attraction is that he apparently cares so little how we feel about him. So
fiercely independent is he that he adopts as a ring persona the thing we most
loath - the assassin, slayer of our real heroes. 

''One day they like you, and one day they hate you,'' says the Assassin, also
known as Joseph Zakibe, 29. ''Right now I'm kind of getting cheered, but for
years --I mean, this is the first time in my life I've been getting cheers.
They can cheer for me or boo me, it doesn't matter, it's all about winning and
making some money.'' 

The Giant Assassin, a St. Louis native, has wrestled in bigger leagues and in
locales as widespread as Hawaii and New York. Asked whether it was possible to
make a good living at the local level, he responds, ''Hell, yes,'' but
declines to give figures. 

''I invested in some property here awhile back. I like to stick around and see
that people pay their rents on time,'' he said. They do. 

The Assassin is 6 feet 5, 320 pounds. ''Raw speed, buddy'' he says. ''I
started out the Assassin. The Giant part came later.'' 

The Assassin is paired in a tag-team match tonight with Ron Powers, a handsome
young up-and-comer from St. Charles. 

They will fight Bronk Larson and Pit Bull Pruett to a no-decision, halted by
the referee after 10 minutes 57 seconds, when the bad guys pull out a 20-foot
tow chain. 

Powers, 23, has trained hard for this since he was 14. ''I wanted to be a pro
wrestler ever since I was old enough to turn on the TV,'' he recalls. His
goal? ''To be the youngest world heavyweight champion,'' he says, earnestly. 

Meanwhile, he makes ends meet with a job as a union electrician's apprentice.
He admits that he gets teased on the job a bit, but his wrestling also helped
him get the job. 

''People say that to get in the union, you have to have a relative in it or
something. But I just went down to the union hall, and they said, 'You're a
big guy - you play football or something?' I said, 'No, I'm a professional
wrestler.' That kind of broke the ice.'' 

Powers is 6 feet 1, 250 pounds, tanned, freshly barbered, with a clean-shaven,
boyish face and an easy smile. Besides the musculature, the only menacing
thing about him is the diamond stud in his left earlobe. 

''Why a good guy? I could go either way - I mean it's money, now. But I guess
I always wanted to be a good guy, a crowd favorite, pick up the women, you
know,'' he says. 

''I mean, I could go bad guy real easy - just act cocky. But right now I'm
just being a good guy and acting confident, and that's pretty much my gimmick,
the all-American boy kind of act.'' 

Powers turned pro at 18 and admits being slightly disillusioned. ''I always
took it for just a sport. Until you get into it, then you find out it's an
entertainment,'' he said. ''There's a real fine line between balancing
entertainment and sport. You have to be athletic, but you have to be a
favorite for the crowd, too.'' 

The big issue in pro wrestling is not whether it's an act --everybody knows
it's an act-- but whether the results are pre-determined. 

On that, the participants are adamant. 

Tony Casta, promoter and matchmaker for the South Broadway events, also
wrestles on the side. 

He is suiting up for a junior heavyweight title bout against the Executioner.
The title belt represents the championship of the Mid-Missouri Wrestling
Association and Southern Illinois Champions hip Wrestling. 

Is the result pre-arranged? ''No. You may have some wrestlers who outside the
ring talk to each other and associate a little bit. But it's like boxing -
once you get in the ring, there's no friendships. You don't want your
reputation to go down the drain. You give it your all. 

''The people out there who come to these matches month after month or week
after week can tell if you're trying to pull something, so you've got to be at
your best.'' 

As it turns out, Casta gets incapacitated for long stretches in his match by a
sleeper hold put on his neck by the Executioner. The crowd grows restless
because the sleeper, while effective, is also boring. 

Perhaps in response to the boos, the Executioner abandons the hold and begins
bouncing Casta back and forth off the ropes. As he flies by, Casta tries to
snare his opponent in a grapevine move, misses, but recovers with a beautiful
reverse roll-up cradle and immediately gets the pin for the belt. 

The sudden result, like a homer in the bottom of the ninth, leaves the crowd

Pre-determination? The Assassin, of course, doesn't care what critics think.
''If they don't watch it and don't get any enjoyment out of it, leave it
alone. But don't spoil it for somebody else and don't try to ruin my

''But I'll guarantee you, 99 percent of the people that are saying it's fake
and fixed and that, let them get in the ring, and I'll kick the [stuffing out
of them.'' 

But he offers this: ''I won't tell you one way or the other. But if the
average person has a 100 IQ, a person with a 100 IQ ought to be able to figure
it out for themselves. You don't have to ask me.'' 

Over in the Bad Guys dressing room, Big Daddy is pulling his pink-checked
tuxedo jacket over his pink, sleeveless, spandex T-shirt. He stands about 6-4
and weighs close to 400 pounds. His red beard is neatly cropped, and his red,
heavily dressed hair trails to his shoulders. 

He is as much a participant in the matches as any of the wrestlers he manages,
and the crowd keeps an eager eye out for him until his entrance before the
fourth match. 

His role? ''A lot of people say I interfere with the matches and cheat and
stuff like that, but nothing could be further from the truth. All's I'm out
there for is to show my men, to give them guidance. I don't want to say help
them, but like if there's something I see they're doing wrong, I can take them
outside the ring and tutor them and send them back into the ring with a little
bit more of Big Daddy's vast wrestling knowledge.'' 

But to a spectator, Big Daddy's guidance seems to consist largely of dirty
tricks, like pulling down the opponent's trunks and poking him with a cane. 

''These people down here, the phrase is that they love to hate me. If they
come down here because they hate me, that's fine. If it sells tickets, that's
fine, and I don't care, because I hate them, too. They're a bunch of pencil-
headed geeks.'' 

''What I think of Big Daddy you could never print,'' says Diane Baumgartner,
51, of south St. Louis. ''There wouldn't be any cheating if it weren't for

She was introduced to the local matches four years ago by the Assassin, who
was tending bar at her favorite bingo parlor. ''He's neat; he's just the
best,'' she says. 

Now, she says, ''I live for wrestling.'' 

Baumgartner has left her ringside seat to get an autograph, along with a big
hug and kiss, from Jeff White. He is 21, a women's favorite who dresses in an
all-white, fringed cowboy ensemble. 

She admits favoring the young, clean-cut types. ''But they wouldn't be any
good without the bad ones,'' she says. 

Future wrestling dates at the South Broadway Athletic Club, 2301 South Seventh
Street, are this Saturday, Oct. 14, and Dec. 1, Jan. 20, Feb. 17 and March 24.
Bouts begin at 8 p.m.


(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunday, February 19, 1989)

By Calvin Trillin

According to a front-page story in The New York Times, the World Wrestling
Federation has asked the New Jersey Senate to pass a law defining professional
wrestling as ''an activity in which participants struggle hand-to-hand
primarily for the purpose of providing entertainment to spectators rather than
conducting a bona fide athletic contest.'' This is more or less the equivalent
of the toy industry asking a state legislature to define Santa Claus as ''a
long-standing but purely fictional parental device.'' In other words, however
strong the factual basis for the sentiment expressed, is it the sort of thing
we ought to be discussing openly in the newspapers? 

For instance, there's the matter of my Aunt Flo, in Kansas City. Aunt Flo
happens to find great happiness in hating a professional wrestler who's called
something like the Beast from the Primordial Goo (I can't remember the exact
name, but I do know she calls him Goo for short.) She doesn't hate Goo because
she believes he has faults as an entertainer. She hates him because in
carrying on an athletic contest he cheats at every opportunity - just the sort
of behavior she'd expect from someone from his background. 

Apparently, the wrestling people were moved to make their confession by the
prospect of being freed from the control of the State Athletic Commission,
which now requires licensing for wrestling officials and physical examinations
for wrestlers (''Well, everything looks OK, Mr. Man Mountain, although it
wouldn't hurt you to take off a foothill or two.'') But they must surely know
the risk they're taking with people like my Aunt Flo. I would expect
proponents of less government to use this turn of events as confirmation of
their argument that the average businessmen would do almost anything to escape
the burdens of bureaucratic regulation. 

It's possible that they're right. It may be that if pharmaceutical
manufacturers were promised freedom from all of that paperwork the FDA
requires before licensing a new drug, they'd be perfectly willing to carry a
notice on aspirin labels saying ''Listen, aspirin is aspirin, so don't take
those ads seriously.'' It may be, for that matter, that if congressmen were
told they would no longer have to register campaign donations with the
appropriate agency, they would agree to state, for the public record, their
true feelings about, say, abortion.JtsN 

Naturally, I'm in favor of freeing small businessmen from government
interference. You could say that I'm a small businessman of sorts myself -
''of sorts'' in this case means exceedingly small - and I would certainly
welcome less government interference in my affairs. To be absolutely blunt
about it, I'd prefer not to pay my taxes.tFcs 

Also, I'm obviously committed to candor in matters of public policy. When
Black History Month comes around each February, for instance, I keep thinking,
as I read the speeches and watch the television programs, that what I'd really
like to hear discussed is whether it's simply a coincidence that the blacks
were given the shortest month. I have always thought that using the word
''honorarium'' to describe the payment a congressman gets for showing up at a
lobbyist's function bears about as much connection with reality as those pre-
match interviews that feature one professional wrestler or another saying, in
effect, ''I'll moider da bum.''ubahlomsb$ 

Still, I can't help thinking about my Aunt Flo. A lot of people in my family
believe that if Aunt Flo didn't have the Beast from the Primordial Goo to hate
for his unethical and thoroughly despicable behavior, she'd transfer a lot of
her animosity to her husband, my Uncle Eddie, who has been known to cut a few
corners himself. Uncle Eddie might be putting the last creative touches on the
tax deductions he's taking for depreciation on his sump pump when Aunt Flo
bears down on him, swinging her purse and yelling ''Scoundrel! Goo-monger!'' I
know that the members of the New Jersey Senate want to do the right thing, but
it's not always absolutely clear what the right thing is. It's at times like
these that I'm relieved not to have the burden of public office. 


(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunday, February 19, 1989)

By Kevin Horrigan

Eight-fifteen Friday night and I am sitting in my car, trying to get into The
Arena parking lot, thinking that the solution to St. Louis's arena problem
should begin with a small tactical nuclear device. 

I have never seen traffic like this at a St. Louis sporting event. I sit in my
car, creeping forward, and I am proud. Just when you thought St. Louis was
sliding into the backwaters of American sports cities, along comes an event
like the one at The Arena Friday night to restore hope to the burg. 

We may not have pro football any more. We may not have pro basketball any
more. We may not even have indoor soccer any more. But, by golly, when the
World Wrestling Federation needed a place to continue the epic confrontation
between Hulk Hogan and Randy ''Macho Man'' Savage, the WWF knew where to turn.
Kind of brings a lump to your throat. 

Many thoughts come to your mind when you are stuck in traffic outside The
Arena with three boys in the back seat. How much is tuition at those military
schools? Why did writing a rassling column seem like a good idea? Why is the
city so eager to turn The Arena site into a ''mini-Clayton?'' Isn't the real
Clayton enough? 

I am thinking, six years ago I met Vince McMahon when he was just getting the
World Wrestling Federation into the big time. I should have quit my job and
signed up, because Vince McMahon is a genius. He turned pro wrestling from a
series of local jokes into a major national joke. He got it onto prime-time
television and cable TV pay-per-view. He licensed toys and games and pre-
ripped Hulk Hogan T-shirts. Vince McMahon is the Pete Rozelle of the '80s. 

Finally, at 8:45, we get into the building for the 8 o'clock card for which I
left my home, 10 minutes from The Arena, at 7:30. Going in, we pass dozen of
disappointed fans, turned way from the sold-out building. I have never seen
such a crowd here, not for Missouri-Illinois, not for the Final Four, not for
the Stanley Cup playoffs. But then this is not your ordinary sporting event. 

This was Hulk Hogan, the symbol of rasslin's new era, the former title holder,
former celluloid sparring partner of Rocky Balboa, star of stage, screen and
little plastic action figures littering the nation's family rooms, in the same
building with Randy Savage, his good friend and heir apparent, the only man
the Hulkster had deemed worthy to hold the Championship Belt when he was
cheated out of it by the perfidy of Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase. 

The Hulk and Macho Man wouldn't exactly be wrestling each other, but they
would be breathing the same foul Arena air for one of the first times (they've
staged this act in other towns) since their tragic falling out on NBC Prime
Time two weeks ago in Milwaukee. Surely, you've heard the sad details. 

Hulk and Macho, wrestling as the tag-team ''The Mega-Powers,'' were pitted
against the Twin Towers, Akeem and Big Boss Man. The Lovely Elizabeth, Macho's
constant companion and manager, was felled outside the ring by a falling body.
The Hulk rushed to her rescue, carrying her in his arms to a first-aid room,
leaving Macho to be pummeled mercilessly by the Twin Towers. 

Luckily, there was a TV cameraman who just happened to be in the right place
to capture every step of Hulk's frantic rush to the first-aid room. We viewers
at home got live pictures of the sweating Hulkster holding Elizabeth's hand,
saying, ''Ohgodohgodohgodohgod'' for approximately 15 minutes. 

When Macho finally appeared, he was not very happy. Hey, you wouldn't be happy
either if you'd been left alone with the Twin Towers. Amazingly, he didn't
have a single bruise. But Macho's real concern was that the Hulk had tried to
steal his woman. They don't call him Macho for nothing. 

Well, ever since then the bad blood has been bubbling. Elizabeth -
miraculously, she survived her wounds - was at ringside Friday night when
Macho clobbered Bad News Brown with a chair to successfully defend his
championship. And because she's Hulk's manager, too - her management style
seems to consist of wearing a revealing dress - she was there when Hulk
climbed into a steel cage with Big Boss Man in the main event. 

But lo, just as Hulk was about to climb out of the cage and win the event, who
should appear to claim his woman but the Macho Man. Hulk, perplexed by his old
pal's jealous rage, climbed down from the cage and immediately was clobbered
by Big Boss Man. 

Hulk recovered, handcuffed Big Boss Man to the ring ropes, and won the bout.
But his heart was broken. It's become obvious to even the thickest wrestling
fan that he and Macho Man are going to have to duke it out. Nobody knows
exactly when, though April 2 on national pay-cable for ''Wrestlemania V''
might be a good guess. 

Just a guess. And, just think, St. Louis was part of it. My eyes are getting


(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Friday, October 2, 1992)

By John Sonderegger

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If professional football avails itself to Jim Pesek, he
might consider it. 

But his real goal is professional wrestling. When a guy stands 6 feet 4
inches, weighs around 300 pounds, and has the ability to run and block,
football is a good occupation. 

But Pesek, a senior offensive guard at Illinois, has this other quality, a
latent desire to perform in the absurd theater of pro wrestling. 

Although his favorite athlete is The Ultimate Warrior, Pesek says he is
beginning to like The Undertaker and his sidekick, Paul Bearer. 

Pesek is open to suggestions for a nickname, but now teammates call him ''The

''As a kid, most people want to be a fireman or something,'' he said. ''I
always wanted to be a professional wrestler. I always thought they were bigger
than life, and they were my super heroes. Now that I'm their size, they don't
impress me as much. But if the opportunity presents itself, I might give it
chance for a while.'' 

Pesek grew up in Indianapolis, and he says ''I had the whole bit'' in
professional wrestling toys - miniature Hulk Hogans, etc. 

''Way back when I was a kid, I liked Dick The Bruiser, and it progressed from
there to the guys in the WWF,'' Pesek said, who attends as many events as he
can. ''It's kind of like the circus for me,'' he said. 

Asked if he had taken any acting classes, Pesek said, ''No, I haven't. It
comes natural.'' 

Pesek has four brothers and four sisters. Jim said one had to learn to act and
have a sense of humor in that setting. 

So what would Pesek's specialty be if he gets into pro wrestling. ''I always
liked the pile-driver,'' he said. ''I've done that before for a class skit. I
put a video thing together and did all the moves. I got an 'A' for the

Pesek said he competed in REAL wrestling in junior high and always was
wrestling around the house with his brothers. 

He quit amateur wrestling, however, when he got a little older. ''I wanted
ropes around the ring, and they wouldn't do that for me,'' he said, chuckling.

Most competitive wrestlers don't want anything to do with professional
wrestling. They find it offensive and don't want their sport confused with the
routines of guys like The Undertaker, Jake The Snake, The Mountie or The Repo

''They feel threatened by it or something,'' Pesek said. ''I see it as a
circus and theatrics type of thing. It's a totally different sport, and it's
enjoyable for the fans and little kids. '' 

Illini quarterback Jason Verduzco, a serious type, was a great high school
wrestler in Antioch, Calif. Verduzco was named first team All-American by
Amateur Wrestling News, and he compiled a 160-12 record over four years. He
was a state champ in California at 165 pounds as a senior. 

''I've talked to Jason about it,'' Pesek said. ''He thinks it's fun, too.'' 

Verduzco isn't going to be calling Pesek a clown now, because the quarterback
needs all the help he can get from his offensive line. Verduzco was sacked
eight times in his last outing, at Houston. 

When Pesek talks pro wrestling, he does so with tongue planted firmly in cheek
and his lip curled in a snicker. 

When Pesek talks Illini football, the smile disappears. He's all business. 

The offensive line is one of the strengths of this Illinois football team, and
Pesek plays on the strong side with left tackle Brad Hopkins, who also weighs
300 pounds. 

Pesek said he feels he is much stronger at run blocking this year and ''I
don't think anybody can stop our ground game. I see us getting 200 yards every
game if we can cut down on the procedure penalties.'' 

The last two weeks now, Illinois has been working on doing just that. The
quarterbacks have changed signals. During practice sessions before, the
offense always would spring into action on the first count. Now, the cadence
is going to two or three or four, so the linemen get used to that for games. 

The Big Ten Conference opener Saturday evening in the Metrodome is a vital
game now for Illinois, the serious Pesek said. 

''If you're 2-1 at this point, then your fourth game is a must game if you
want to get any respectability,'' he said. ''There's going to be a whole lot
of 2-2 teams out there. If we want to go to a bowl game, the Rose Bowl or any
other bowl, then we pretty much have to have this game. If we lose, then we go
into Ohio State and Iowa and we'll be down.'' 

The WAWLI Papers No. 279...


(Deseret News, Sunday, July 5, 1998)

By Brad Rock

It was the dead of a Detroit winter, the wind chill factor holding steady at
minus-35, as I got on the Jazz team bus. Karl Malone had an amused look as he
tapped me on the shoulder.
"I heard some weird things about you today," he said. "I heard you went out

He glanced at the frozen landscape in mock horror.

"Well, yeah, I did," I said.

"Out there?" he said. "In that?" Then he shook his head. "I always thought
there was some weird stuff goin' on inside that head of yours, and now I

Which brings me to my point: Five years later, I have company.

Malone took a major step in the direction of weird three weeks ago when he
announced he will wrestle July 12 with Diamond Dallas Page in a tag-team
affair against Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan.

And so from sea to shining sea, Malone fans are asking the obvious question:
What is he THINKING? How could a man who has been a ferocious but dignified
performer in the NBA sink so low? Pro wrestling? Why doesn't he just become a
carnival barker? For someone who is all business in basketball - no trash-
talking, no rim-hanging, no multicolored hair - to step into the ring is as
strange as it gets.

Still, as one who has done a few weird things myself, for no apparent reason,
I can only reiterate what I said that day in Detroit: Why not?

What's wrong with Malone goofing around in the off-season? What's wrong with
carving out a second career? If I could get, say, $1 million for a side job
I'd mud wrestle a porcupine. I'd mud wrestle Dennis Rodman.

Make that $2 million.

This is a man who has repeatedly said he looks forward to the day his
basketball career ends. A man who is clearly tiring of the grinding 100-game
seasons. Why not change gears?

The most common remark I hear is that Malone will hurt his image by
participating in an obviously bogus sporting event. But Muhammad Ali ended his
boxing career fighting a Japanese kick-boxer and it didn't change his status
as a fighter. He still lit the torch at the Atlanta Games, is still regarded
as "The Greatest." Michael Jordan didn't diminish his basketball status by
taking two years off to try baseball. Failing at baseball won't keep him out
of the Basketball Hall of Fame, I promise. Joe Louis embarrassed himself doing
exhibition fights at the end of his boxing career, but that was because he
continued doing something long past his prime. Even so, he's still considered
one of the greatest fighters ever.

The only way Malone can truly embarrass himself is if he stays in basketball
long after his skills have failed, or if he gets in trouble with the law.

The final concern I keep hearing is: "What if he gets hurt?" So when was the
last time you saw someone actually get hurt in pro wrestling? I'm not talking
about that silly, punch-drunk look they all give after being slammed into one
of the ring posts. I'm talking about actually being hurt. Malone's in more
danger wrestling his kids.

Malone has always been underpaid by superstar standards. He has lived in a
smaller market and missed some of the endorsement deals he would otherwise
have received. Why not cash in on wrestling? He isn't carrying guns, dealing
drugs, driving drunk or beating up his wife. He's doing it for the same
reasons people appear on "Family Feud" - money, attention and fun.

People have done silly things for much less than what Malone's getting. I
once let Thurl Bailey talk me into demonstrating how to shoot free throws at
his camp. Not only was it embarrassing, I didn't even get paid. I almost sang
a few bars of "New York, New York" for the Cougar Club on a dare.

Malone has done little if any self-promoting over the years. Why not promote
himself as a wrestler? This isn't a broken-down basketball player, hanging on
to the game long after his prime. It's the second-best player in the sport
taking advantage of his notoriety. It's no less dignified than Michael Jordan
starring in a cartoon or Grant Hill hawking French fries. And it's more
dignified than throwing people through bar windows like Charles Barkley.

I'm all in favor of the Mailman getting in the ring. I want to see him smash
a chair over Rodman's head and twist his neck in the ropes. I want to see Hulk
Hogan toss Malone out of the ring.

So go ahead, Mailman, do your job. Threaten Rodzilla with a tire iron. Tear
your shirt off in mock rage. Flop on the mat like a fish out of water while
the Hulkster twists your leg. The worst that can happen is a case of
cauliflower ear. From one slightly strange guy to another, I say start the


(Santa Rosa, Calif., Press Democrat, July 19, 1998)

By Robert Rubino

Let's pretend for a moment that Karl "The Mailman'' Malone actually thinks
about what he did last week when he appeared on a pay-per-view pro wrestling
extravaganza called "Bash at the Beach,'' teaming with Diamond Dallas Page in
a match against Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Malone's NBA nemesis, Dennis
"Rodzilla'' Rodman. 

And let's pretend for a moment that Malone submits to questions about this new
layer of his personality and he is ingenuous with his answers. It might go
something like this: 
Question: You were selected as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
You've won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. You have a reputation as a
classy athlete. Why pro wrestling? 

Malone: I can't think of a better way than pro wrestling to sharpen my skills
at faking contact and pain -- skills that have served me well in a long and
illustrious NBA career but now need honing. 

Question: Do you take special pride in the fact that a lot of wrestling fans
say they immediately embraced you because your NBA work ethic has made you a
working-class hero? 

Malone: Now don't get me wrong. I'm very flattered. But as an NBA player, I
get paid $5.2 million a year for working eight months, and those eight months
consist of a lot of chartered jet flights and hanging around in the best
hotels. And the work, if you want to call it that, consists of an hour or so
of basketball practice and then a two-hour game. In the big scheme of things,
that lifestyle has more to do with a charmed existence than work ethic. If you
want to talk work ethic, talk about the millions of Americans who put in eight
hours a day or more for about 50 weeks a year and take home a bit less than
$5.2 million. 

Question: What about purists who say you're not really a wrestler?

Malone: I don't hear too many people criticizing Kevin Greene for wrestling.
And believe me, if anyone deserves criticism, it's Kevin Greene, who really
stunk it up last week against The Giant. Because he's a crazy NFL linebacker,
he gets a free pass? And why does everyone get a chuckle out of Rodman
wrestling? Because he's wacky Dennis, the guy with the rainbow hairdo who gets
to be as bad as he wants to be? 

Question: But do you have one, clear, compelling reason for turning to pro

Malone: For Bash at the Beach, I had 900,000 reasons, pal, all of them in

Question: Do you have genuine animosity for Dennis Rodman? And if so, why? 

Malone: Yes, I do, because he was given 1.5 million reasons for Bash at the

Question: But the enmity between you and Dennis on an NBA court, that's all
hype, right? 

Malone: That's got nothing to do with hype. That's got to do with Rodman
making $10.45 million to my $5.2 million in the NBA last season. And the guy
doesn't even score. 

Question: After Hogan and Rodman were declared the winners over you and Page,
you grabbed the referee by his neck and slammed him face-first to the canvas.
Then you spit at the crowd. What's up with that? 

Malone: I'm sick of the Karl Malone Mr. Quiet Good Guy image. You know how
many times I've wanted to get an NBA ref's head between my massive arms and
give him the old diamond cutter? Plenty. It felt sooo freakin' good to do
exactly that to the pencil-neck, pea-brain wrestling ref last week for giving
Hogan and Rodman the win even though they cheated. 

Question: You're referring to Hogan's bodyguard sneaking into the ring and
clobbering Page so that Hogan could pin him? 

Malone: No, I'm talking about the ridiculous purple latex pants I wore. Rodman
swore that he would also wear purple latex pants but he comes in wearing jeans
and a T-shirt like he's Mr. Normal. I ended up looking like a geek. That's
serious cheating, pal. 

Question: Now that you've revealed the pro wrestling side of Karl Malone, is
there another layer to your personality that the public is unaware of? 

Malone: Yeah. No more stone-face cliches. I want to tell jokes. Here's one.
Why was France victorious in the World Cup? Because the players were promised
a Jerry Lewis film festival if they won. Why did Brazil lose? Because the
players were promised a Jerry Lewis film festival if they won. 

Question: What's on your wrestling horizon? 

Malone: Maul at the Mall, Fake at the Lake, and Death Before Dignity. 


Subj: Re: [HISTORY] The WAWLI Papers No. 252
Date: 8/15/98 9:34:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time

I can't believe that you printed this!!!  Your newsletter is one of the best
on the net, and you print bogus stuff like Flair's title reigns and how
inaccurate they are.....

Ric Flair's 14 title reigns 

14???  Nay, Nay.....

>as World Heavyweight champion have spanned 15 years and two wrestling
federations. He  held the belt at least once >every year from 1981 to 1996.

>Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes on 9/17/81 in Kansas City
>Harley Race defeats Flair on 6/10/83 in St. Louis, MO 
>Flair defeats Race on 11/24/83 in Greensboro, NC 

Are you forgetting that Race d. Flair in New Zealand on 03/21/83?? and then
Flair d. Race again on 03/23/83 in Kallang, Singapore??

>Kerry Von Erich defeats Flair on 5/6/84 in Dallas, TX 
>Flair defeats Von Erich on 5/24/84 in Yokosuna, Japan 
>Rhodes defeats Flair on 7/26/86 in Greensboro, NC 
>Flair defeats Rhodes on 8/9/86 in St. Louis, MO 
>Ronnie Garvin defeats Flair on 9/25/87 in Detroit, IL 
>Flair defeats Garvin on 11/26/87 in Chicago, IL 
>Ricky Steamboat defeats Flair on 2/20/89 in Chicago, IL 
>Flair defeats Steamboat on 5/7/89 in Nashville, TN 
>Sting defeats Flair on 7/7/90 in Baltimore, MD 
>Flair defeats Sting 1/11/91 in East Rutherford, NJ 

Dont forget Tatsumi Fujinami d. Flair on 03/21/91  in Tokyo and Flair d. Fuji
on 05/19/98 in St. Petersburg, FA.  This is recognized by the NWA as a title
change, so we have to recognize it as well.....

>Flair signs with the WWF and is stripped of title. 

Flair is stripped of WCW version on 07/01/91
He maintains NWA recognition until Sept.,1, 1991

>Lex Luger wins title in tournament final. 

What tournament? He beat Barry Windham for the vacant title!!

>Flair wins WWF title in Royal Rumble on 1/19/92 in Albany, NY 
>Randy Savage defeats Flair on 4/5/92 in Indianapolis, IN 
>Flair defeats Savage on 9/1/92 in Hersey, PA 
>Bret Hart defeats Flair on 10/12/92 in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Flair moves
back to WCW 

>Flair defeats Barry Windham for NWA International Title on 7/18/93 in Biloxi,

WTF? NWA International title? This was the NWA WORLD title..The NWA
International title is in All Japan, a part of the Triple Crown with the NWA
United National Championship and the PWF title.  After Sept.,1, 1993, the
title was not the NWA World title anymore and became the WCW International

>Rick Rude defeats Flair on 9/19/93 in Houston, TX 

For the WCW International title...not a real world title...

>Flair defeats Vader for WCW Title on 12/27/93 in Charlotte, NC 

>Flair defeats Sting to unify WCW/NWA >Title on 6/23/94 in Charleston, SC 

NOOOOO....He unified the WCW World title and the WCW International title.  The
WCW World title belt was abandoned and replaced with the NWA title belt know
known as the WCW International title

>Hulk Hogan defeats Flair on 7/17/94 in Orlando, FL 
>Flair defeats Randy Savage on 12/27/95 in Nashville, TN 
>Savage defeats Flair on 1/22/96 in Las Vagas, NV 
>Flair defeats Savage on 2/12/96 in St. Petersburg, FL 
>The Giant defeats Flair on 4/22/96 in Albany, GA 

I am very disturbed that you would recognize this...This is one of the most
informative newsletters on the net, And I would have thought you would have
known all of this!!!


Subj: Re: FYI
Date: 8/16/98 12:47:42 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Bryce Burnet)

At 10:51 PM 8/15/98 EDT, you wrote:
>This is excerpted from a letter I received from one of my subscribers today.
Thought you might be interested....Regards, JMK
>Subj: Re: [HISTORY] The WAWLI Papers No. 252
>Date: 8/15/98 9:34:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time
>From: (ZEKE TRWC)

This is very interesting, but I have a few things to add in my defense.

>Are you forgetting that Race d. Flair in New Zealand on 03/21/83?? and then
Flair d. Race again on 03/23/83 in Kallang, Singapore??

While I understand Zeke's point here, these are highly obscure matches. Even
some of the more knowledgeable wrestling fans out there (of which I
like to think I am) would not know about two matches that occured in the
Pacific Rim 15 years ago.  And since the NWA probably didn't recognize it,
then I don't see why I should.  

>>Kerry Von Erich defeats Flair on 5/6/84 in Dallas, TX 
>>Flair defeats Von Erich on 5/24/84 in Yokosuna, Japan 
>>Rhodes defeats Flair on 7/26/86 in Greensboro, NC 
>>Flair defeats Rhodes on 8/9/86 in St. Louis, MO 
>>Ronnie Garvin defeats Flair on 9/25/87 in Detroit, IL 
>>Flair defeats Garvin on 11/26/87 in Chicago, IL 
>>Ricky Steamboat defeats Flair on 2/20/89 in Chicago, IL 
>>Flair defeats Steamboat on 5/7/89 in Nashville, TN 
>>Sting defeats Flair on 7/7/90 in Baltimore, MD 
>>Flair defeats Sting 1/11/91 in East Rutherford, NJ 

>Don't forget Tatsumi Fujinami d. Flair on 03/21/91  in Tokyo and Flair d.
Fuji on 05/19/98 in St. Petersburg, FA.  This is recognized by the NWA as a
title change, so we have to recognize it as well.....

This was around the time when I wasn't watching much wrestling.  I thought the
reason for the rematch was because the title was held up.  

>>Flair signs with the WWF and is stripped of title. 

>Flair is stripped of WCW version on 07/01/91. He maintains NWA recognition
until Sept.1, 1991

That's all well and good, but he wasn't with the company any more.

>>Lex Luger wins title in tournament final. 

>What tournament? He beat Barry Windham for the vacant title!!

Again, wasn't watching much wrestling.  PWI refers to this as a tournament

>>Flair defeats Barry Windham for NWA International Title on 7/18/93 in
Biloxi, MS 

>WTF? NWA International title? This was the NWA WORLD title..The NWA
International title is in All Japan, a part of the Triple Crown with the NWA
United National Championship and the PWF title.  After Sept.,1, 1993, the
title was not the NWA World title anymore and became the WCW International

This I have to contend.  At the time, the powers that be were making the NWA
out to be an international governing body, of which WCW was apart. This angle
didn't last long, but it did happen. The big gold belt which is currently the
WCW World Title and which was bought back from Flair when he bolted to the WWF
was referred to as the NWA International Title. The WCW World Title belt, at
that held by Vader, was the crappy looking belt modeled after the then WWF

>>Rick Rude defeats Flair on 9/19/93 in Houston, TX 
For the WCW International title...not a real world title...

WCW considered the the International title a legitimate world title.  Watch
Starrcade 93 if you dispute this.

>>Flair defeats Vader for WCW Title on 12/27/93 in Charlotte, NC 

>>Flair defeats Sting to unify WCW/NWA >Title on 6/23/94 in Charleston, SC

>>NOOOOO....He unified the WCW World title and the WCW International title.
The WCW World title belt was abandoned and replaced with the NWA title belt
now known as the WCW International title

OK, I can't verify whether or not they referred to the International title as
NWA or WCW at this time.  The NWA name was dropped around this time, becoming
completely seperate of WCW.  The current WCW title belt was dropped in favor
of the "big gold belt" that is still seen today. Presumably, the WCW belt that
was dropped was thrown into the river because it sucked badly.

>I am very disturbed that you would recognize this...This is one of the most
informative newsletters on the net, And I would have thought you would have
known all of this!!!

I would have to say that Zeke might have a little too much time on his hands.
The information I culled here was drawn from sources that I deemed to be
legitimate and accurate.  


The WAWLI Papers No. 280...


On February 6th, at the age of 31, William Muldoon takes two straight falls
from the French Champion, Christol, in 10 minutes and 17 minutes respectively,
to win the World Greco-Roman Championship, thus earning the right to being
recognized as the first professional World Wrestling Champion.

On January 19th, before more than 3,000 fans at New York's Gilmore's Gardens
(later site of Madison Square Garden), returning World Greco-Roman Champion
William Muldoon tops Thebaud Bauer in a best two out of three falls match to
continue his claim as "World Champion."

In the very first clash in what is now known as the classic Wrestler versus
Boxer match, World Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion William Muldoon squares off
against World Boxing Champion John L. Sullivan, in Gloucester, Massachusetts
USA. The match is stopped when some in the crowd of 2,000 rush the ring after
Muldoon bodyslams Sullivan.

On March 14th, Evan "Strangler" Lewis (the Original Strangler Lewis) defeats
Joe Acton in Chicago, Illinois USA, to win the American Catch-as-Catch-Can
Championship. Note: Details are sketchy at best as to whether or not William
Muldoon had previously retired as champion, or if he was defeated somewhere
along the line to enable Joe Acton to claim the 'world' title.

On March 3rd, Evan "Strangler" Lewis defeats American Greco-Roman Champion
Ernest Roeber in a best three out of five falls contest in New Orleans,
Louisiana USA to unify the two titles. Each fall of the match is alternated
between Greco-Roman and Catch-as-Catch-Can rules.

On April 20th, in Chicago, Illinois USA, Martin "Farmer" Burns defeats Evan
"Strangler" Lewis, in a best three out of five falls contest to capture the
unified "American" Heavyweight Wrestling Championship.

On October 26th, Dan McLeod beats Martin "Farmer" Burns in Indianapolis,
Indiana USA, to take the "American" Heavyweight Wrestling Championship.

On November 7th, Tom Jenkins defeats Dan McLeod.

On December 26th, in Worcester, Massachusetts USA, Dan McLeod regains the
"American" Heavyweight Wrestling Championship by topping Tom Jenkins in a best
two out of three falls victory, but the win is tainted. Jenkins takes the
first fall in 59 minutes, while McLeod takes the second fall in 24 minutes.
Twenty minutes into the third and final fall, Jenkins forfeits the match due
to a leg injury, which is later revealed to be food poisoning.

On April 3rd, in Buffalo, New York USA, Tom Jenkins regains the "American"
Heavyweight Wrestling Championship by defeating Dan McLeod in two straight
falls of 1 hour 17 minutes and 14 minutes 30 seconds respectively.

On January 27th, in Bellingham, Washington USA, Frank Gotch captures the
"American" Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, as he defeats Tom Jenkins in
two straight falls. While Gotch wins the first fall with a pin, the second
fall results in a controversial victory for Gotch as Jenkins is disqualified
for fouling him.

On March 15th, at New York's Madison Square Garden, Tom Jenkins overcomes bad
press from an unsuccessful title challenge in Cleveland the month before, to
regain the "American" Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, taking the third and
final fall from Frank Gotch in 10 minutes and 31 seconds.

On May 5th, World Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion George Hackenschmidt takes
two straight falls from "American" Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Tom Jenkins
at New York's Madison Square Garden, in a match billed as the World Catch-as-
Catch-Can Heavyweight Championship. Despite the overwhelming loss, Jenkins
continues to call himself the "American" Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, while
Hackenschmidt now claims the "World" title, thus splitting the world title's
lineage for the first of what will become many times.

On May 23rd, Frank Gotch recaptures the "American" Heavyweight Wrestling
Championship from Tom Jenkins, despite losing the first of the best two out of
three falls contest in 26 minutes. Gotch recomposes himself to defeat Jenkins
in 14 minutes and 17 minutes in the second and third falls.

On December 1st, in New Orleans, Louisiana USA, Fred Beell stuns the wrestling
world with an upset win over Frank Gotch. Sixteen days later, on December
17th, in Kansas City, Missouri USA, Gotch takes the title back in a lopsided
two straight fall victory. 

On April 3rd, at Dexter Park Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois USA, Frank Gotch
beats George Hackenschmidt to win the undisputed World Heavyweight title that
some say was three years in the making. The victory, however, has its share of
controversy as Hackenschmidt accuses Gotch of oiling his body in an effort to
avoid being grabbed, and after two hours and three minutes, quits the match,
forcing the referee to award the title to Gotch.

On September 4th, three and a half years after their controversial first
meeting, Frank Gotch and George Hackenschmidt square off again at Chicago's
Comiskey Park, with Gotch dominating the match and taking two straight falls,
as Hackenschmidt injured his knee in training for the match. The live gate of
$87,053 is the biggest ever at the time.

On April 1st, Frank Gotch announces his retirement in Kansas City, Missouri
USA, as World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, following a successful title
defense against George Lurich.

Charley Cutler defeats Henry Orderman and Jesse Westegard in a tournament to
fill the vacant title. 

On July 4th, Joe Stecher defeats Charley Cutler in Omaha, Nebraska. 

On April 9th, Earl Caddock takes the World Championship from Joe Stecher in
Omaha, Nebraska USA on a forfeit. Stecher, who wins the first fall in one hour
twenty two minutes and five seconds, argues so much that he didn't lose the
second fall to Caddock in one hour forty minutes and ten seconds, that he
refuses to wrestle the third fall and thus loses the title.

On January 30th, Joe Stecher regains the World Championship from Earl Caddock
in two hours five minutes and thirty seconds at New York's Madison Square

On December 13th, Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeats Joe Stecher in one hour forty
one minutes and 56 seconds in New York City at the 71st Regiment Armory.

On May 6th, Stanislaus Zbyszko defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis in 23 minutes
seventeen seconds in New York City at the 22nd Regiment Armory.

Ed "Strangler" Lewis regains the title from Stanislaus Zbyszko. 

On January 8th, Wayne Munn upsets Ed "Strangler" Lewis in Kansas City,
Missouri USA to take the World title. Later that year, Stanislaus Zbyszko
takes the World Championship for the second time as he defeats Wayne Munn. And
still in another title change, Joe Stecher regains the belt as he defeats
Stanislaus Zbyszko in a match at the old Federal League Field in St. Louis. 

On February 28th, Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeats Joe Stecher at the Coliseum in
St. Louis, taking two out of three falls in just under two and a half hours.

Gus Sonnenberg defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis in Boston. In the meantime, Dick
Shikat defeats Jim Londos in Philadelphia on August 23rd and claims the World
title, gaining recognition from the New York and Pennsylvania State Athletic
Commissions, who had withdrawn their recognition of Sonnenberg. 

On June 6th, Jim Londos defeats Dick Shikat in Philadelphia to win the New
York and Pennsylvania version of the World title.

Ed Don George defeats Gus Sonnenberg in Boston. 

On April 13th, Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeats Ed Don George in Los Angeles. On
May 4th, the "World" title picture became even more confusing as Henri DeGlane
defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis in Montreal on a disqualification where the
referee awarded the title to DeGlane. As a result, DeGlane was recognized as
the World champ in parts of New England and Canada, while Lewis still claimed
the title in other territories.

Later that year, Ed Don George defeats Henri DeGlane in Boston. 

On October 10th, Ed "Strangler" Lewis pins Dick Shikat in New York, in a match
billed as the "World Championship." 

Jim Browning defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis in New York. 

Jim Londos defeats Jim Browning in New York. 

On June 27th, Danno O'Mahoney upsets Jim Londos at Boston's Fenway Park to win
the New York version of the World title. 

On June 30th, Danno O'Mahoney defeats Ed Don George in Boston. Ed Don George had been claiming the title
since his 1931 win over Henri DeGlane. By his two victories, O'Mahoney becomes the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion. 

Dick Shikat defeats Danno O'Mahoney in New York.
Ali Baba defeats Dick Shikat in Detroit. On June 26th, Everett Marshall
defeats Ali Baba in Columbus, Ohio. 

On December 29th, Lou Thesz defeats Everett Marshall in St. Louis. 

On February 11th, Steve "Crusher" Casey defeats Lou Thesz in Boston. On
September 14th, the National Wrestling Association, at its annual convention
in Montreal, decides to recognize Everett Marshall as the new World Champion
for two reasons: Steve "Crusher" Casey, the previous champion, is out of the
U.S. and nowhere to be found, and Everett Marshall had been disqualified in
his bout with Casey because Casey had been thrown out of the ring. The Board
of Directors reverse the decision because Marshall's manager, Billy Sandow,
points out, "the action was not deliberate." 

On February 23rd, Lou Thesz defeats Everett Marshall in St. Louis. On June
23rd, Former Pro Football Great Bronko Nagurski defeats Lou Thesz in Houston. 

On March 7th, Ray Steele defeats Bronko Nagurski in St. Louis. 

On March 11th, Bronko Nagurski defeats Ray Steele in Minneapolis. On June 5th,
Sandor Szabo defeats Bronko Nagurski in St. Louis. 

On February 19th, "Wild" Bill Longson defeats Sandor Szabo in St. Louis. On
October 7th, Yvon Robert defeats "Wild" Bill Longson in Montreal. On November
27th, Bobby Managoff defeats Yvon Robert in Houston. 

On February 19th, "Wild" Bill Longson defeats Bobby Managoff in St. Louis. 

On Fegruary 21st, "Whipper" Billy Watson defeats "Wild" Bill Longson in St.
Louis. On April 25th, Lou Thesz defeats "Whipper" Billy Watson in
On November 21st, "Wild" Bill Longson defeats Lou Thesz in St. Louis. 

On July 14th, the National Wrestling Alliance is formed by Professional
Wrestling promoters throughout North America in order to avoid stringent U.S.
anti-trust laws. Although run as separate "territories," promoters agree to
work with each other under the NWA banner. The first President is P.L.
"Pinkie" George, while Orville Brown, the reigning Midwest Wrestling
Association World Heavyweight champion, is recognized as the first NWA World
champion, as the MWA is absorbed into the NWA. On July 20th, Lou Thesz
defeats "Wild" Bill Longson in St.Louis to capture the National Wrestling
Association World Heavyweight title. 

On November 1st, Orville Brown is injured in an automobile accident and is
forced to retire from the ring, thus relinquishing his claim to the title. On
November 25th, the unification match between Orville Brown and Lou Thesz in
St. Louis is cancelled. Two days later (November 27th), the National Wrestling
Alliance awards the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Lou Thesz at its
annual convention in St. Louis. 

On July 27th, Lou Thesz defeats "Gorgeous" George Wagner in Chicago, to merge
the old Boston-based American Wrestling Association version of the World title
into the NWA World title. 

On May 21st, Lou Thesz defeats Baron Michele Leone in Los Angeles, to merge
the California version of the world title (also referred to by some historians
as the Olympic Auditorium version of the World title) into the NWA World
title. The match draws a record $103,277 gate, the first gate of $100,000 or
more in U.S. history. 

On March 15th, Whipper Billy Watson defeats Lou Thesz in Toronto via a count
out. On November 9th, Lou Thesz defeats "Whipper" Billy Watson in St. Louis. 

On June 14th, Edouard Carpentier defeats Lou Thesz in Chicago, when Thesz
cannot continue due to a back injury. The NWA Board of Directors, however,
rule that the title cannot change hands through an injury and gives the belt
back to Thesz. Despite the reversed decision, Carpentier remains recognized as
World champion in both Omaha and Los Angeles by the World Werstling
Association in order to legitimize the lineages of their respective world
titles. On October 7th, Lou Thesz faces Rikidozan, the father of Japanese
Professional Wrestling in Tokyo, for the first ever NWA World title match held
in Japan. The match ends in a 60-minute time limit draw. On November 14th,
Dick Hutton defeats Lou Thesz in Toronto. 

On January 9th, Pat O'Connor defeats Dick Hutton in St. Louis. 

On June 30th, "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers defeats Pat O'Connor in Chicago's
Comiskey Park. 

On August 2nd, Bruno Sammartino is awarded the NWA World title after defeating
"Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in Toronto, Ontario Canada, but refuses to accept
the strap because Rogers had wrestled with an injury. 

On January 24th, Lou Thesz defeats "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in a one fall
contest in Toronto. Promoters in the Northeast U.S., however, refuse to
recognize the one-fall decision and form the World Wide Wrestling Federation
with Rogers as their first World Heavyweight champion. Rogers would later lose
the title to Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden, a rematch of their
1962 Toronto bout. The WWWF would eventually become the World Wrestling
Federation (WWF). On February 7th, Lou Thesz defeats "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers
in a return two out of three falls match in Toronto. The result has largely
been forgotten in the annals of wrestling history, primarily because of the
result of the first match: which was the creation of the WWWF. 

On January 7th, Gene Kiniski defeats Lou Thesz in St. Louis. 

On February 11th, Dory Funk Jr. defeats Gene Kiniski in Tampa, Florida, USA.
For more information on Dory Funk Jr. check out his "Official" home page at On December 2nd, Dory Funk Jr. wrestles Antonio
Inoki to a 60-minute draw, in the first NWA World title match in Japan in 12
years. Inoki's strong showing makes him a international superstar. Note: A
rematch was never held and video tapes of this bout are still sold in Japan. 

On March 24th, Harley Race defeats Dory Funk Jr. in Kansas City. On July 20th,
Jack Brisco defeats Harley Race in Houston. 

On December 2nd, Giant Baba defeats Jack Brisco in Kagoshima, Japan. On
December 9th, Jack Brisco defeats Giant Baba in Toyohashi, Japan. 

On December 10th, Terry Funk defeats Jack Brisco in Miami. 

On February 6th, Harley Race defeats Terry Funk in Toronto. 

On January 25th, Harley Race wrestles WWWF Champion "Superstar" Billy Graham
to a one-hour draw in a best 2-out-of-3 falls contest in Miami's Orange Bowl,
each taking one fall with the third going to a draw. The match includes
special guest referees Gorilla Monsoon and Eddie Graham. 

On August 21st, Dusty Rhodes defeats Harley Race in Tampa. On August 26th,
Harley Race defeats Dusty Rhodes in Orlando. On October 31st, Giant Baba
defeats Harley Race in Nagoya, Japan. On November 7th, Harley Race defeats
Giant Baba in Amagasaki, Japan. 

On September 4th, Giant Baba defeats Harley Race in Saga, Japan. On September
9th, Harley Race defeats Giant Baba in Ohtsu, Japan. 

On April 27th, "Wildfire" Tommy Rich defeats Harley Race in Augusta, Georgia,
USA. On May 1st, Harley Race defeats "Wildfire" Tommy Rich in Gainsville,
Georgia, USA. On June 21st, Dusty Rhodes defeats Harley Race in Atlanta. On
September 17th, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes in Kansas City. 

On February 9th, The Midnight Rider (Dusty Rhodes) defeats Ric Flair in Tampa,
but returns the belt when asked to indentify himself by NWA president Bob
Geigel, as it is ruled by the NWA Board of Directors that a masked man cannot
wear the championship. Ric Flair continues to be recognized as the champion.
On July 4th, Ric Flair wrestles World Wrestling Federation (WWF) World
Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund to a 20-minute double disqualification in
Atlanta's Omni. 

On June 10th, Harley Race defeats Ric Flair in St. Louis. On November 24th,
Ric Flair defeats Harley Race in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. 

On March 21st, Harley Race defeats Ric Flair in Wellington, New Zealand. On
March 23rd, Ric Flair defeats Harley Race in Kallang, Singapore. \On May 6th,
Kerry von Erich defeats Ric Flair in Irving, Texas, USA. On May 24th, Ric
Flair defeats Kerry von Erich in Yokosuka, Japan. 

On October 2nd, Ric Flair wrestles American Wrestling Association (AWA) World
Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel in a title versus title match in Tokyo. The
bout ends in a no decision as both champions are counted out of the ring. 

On July 25th, Dusty Rhodes defeats Ric Flair in Greensboro. On August 7th,
Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes in St. Louis. 

On September 25th, "Hands of Stone" Ronnie Garvin defeats Ric Flair in
Detroit. On November 26th, Ric Flair defeats Ronnie Garvin in Chicago. 

On February 20th, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat defeats Ric Flair in Chicago.
On May 7th, Ric Flair defeats Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat in Nashville. 

On July 7th, Sting defeats Ric Flair in Baltimore. 

On January 11th, Ric Flair defeats Sting in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA.
With all but a few of the regional NWA "territories" no longer operating, the
title begins to be referred to as the World Championship Wrestling World
Heavyweight title by WCW television announcers as they make the two names
interchangeable. On March 21st, Tatsumi Fujinami defeats Ric Flair in Tokyo.
Although Fujinami is recognized as the only NWA World Heavyweight Champion,
the WCW World Heayweight title is given to Flair after the decision was
changed by WCW to a disqualification, thus splitting the championship. On May
19th, Ric Flair defeats Tatsumi Fujinami in St. Petersburg, Florida to re-
unify the two belts. On September 8th, Ric Flair is stripped of the NWA World
Heavyweight Championship when he enters the World Wrestling Federation as the
"Real World Champion." 

On August 12th, Masahiro Chono defeats Rick Rude in Tokyo during the final
match of a tournament to fill the vacant NWA title. 

On January 4th, the Great Muta defeats Masahiro Chono in Tokyo. On February
21st, Barry Windham defeats the Great Muta in Ashville, North Carolina, USA.
On July 18th, Ric Flair defeats Barry Windham in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA. In
September, WCW withdraws from the NWA over a dispute revolving around an
upcoming Pay-Per-View match between Ric Flair and Rick Rude. The result has
the NWA no longer recognizing Ric Flair as its champion and WCW renaming the
title the WCW International title. 

Despite all the controversy with WCW in 1993, the NWA continues uninterupted
as a legal entity, but without national television exposure and holds another
tournament for the vacant World Heavyweight title on August 27th. Shane
Douglas defeats Too Cold Scorpio in the tournament final in Philadelphia but
refuses the belt saying the NWA is a dead organization; Eastern Championship
Wrestling immediately announces their withdrawal from the NWA and changes
their name to Extreme Championship Wrestling. On November 19th, Chris Candido
defeats Tracy Smothers in yet another tournament final in Cherry Hill, New
Jersey, USA to fill the vacant title. 

On February 24th, Dan "the Beast" Severn defeats Chris Candido in Erlanger,
Kentucky, USA. 

On January 5th, NWA President Howard Brody and NWA Executive Vice President
Dennis Coralluzzo show up on WWF TV in New Haven, Connecticut to award the NWA
North American title to the winner of a match between Jeff Jarrett and Barry
Windham. It marks the return of the NWA to international television for the
first time after a nearly five year absence. Three months later, Dan "the
Beast" Severn makes his television debut.