The WAWLI Papers No. 624...

(ED. NOTE—A number of interesting anecdotes are always available at Dory Funk Jr.’s "Gunslinger Rap" page on the web. Find it at:, along with stories like the following.)


In the fall of 1972 my father, Dory Funk Sr. agreed to supply wrestling talent for Giant Baba’s new company All Japan Pro Wrestling. Wrestling for All Japan Pro Wres would be Dory Funk Sr., Myself, at the time NWA World Champion, Terry Funk, Burno Sammartino, and wrestlers from the Amarillo Territory which, at the time included a young upstart from West Texas State University, Stan Hanson. Masio Koma and Mr. Okuma who had worked Amarillo would also be working for Baba’s company. For a new company in Japan the talent was the best in the business.

In March of 1973 at the peak of my career I had held the NWA World Championship for more than four years. I had many memorable matches during that four years, with Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki in Japan, Fritz Von Erich in Texas Stadium, Black Jack Lanza at the Arena in St Louis, and Jack Brisco on many occasions.

Saturday March 28 of that year was the beginning of my week off. During my time off as NWA Champion, I would wrestle a shot or two for the Amarillo Territory. I would not be working today but was going to Channel 10 Television to see if I could be of help with the production of the weekly TV show. I would meet the new wrestler Mr. Baba had discovered who had competed in the Olympics in Munich in 1972 in Graeco Roman wrestling. Mr. Baba liked this kid, and had sent him to Amarillo to learn the finer points of professional wrestling.

As I entered the dressing room I was happy to see the familiar faces of the Amarillo territory: Larry Lane, Dick Murdoch, young Stan Hanson, Ricky Romero, Scott Casey, Sputnik Monroe, JC Dykes and his Infernos. "Mr. Funk," I heard someone say from behind. I turned and there he was, tall, lean, and wearing a crew cut. I had to look up to him even though he was slightly slumped over. He said, "Mr. Funk, My name is Tommy Tu-Tsuruta, It is easier to say than my Japanese name, Tsuruta Tomomi. I have never wrestled a professional match before in my life. This is my first time, please take care of me."

That Saturday at the TV taping, Tommy Tsuruta would be wrestling El Gran Tapia, a good wrestler out of Mexico. I didn’t know that this would be his first match but there was no changing things now. I looked right at him and said, "Don’t worry Tommy, you’ll do fine.

Tommy went into the ring scared to death, but had a great match against El Gran Tapia and captured the victory in about eleven minutes. He went on the become the best student of professional wrestling I have ever had. Tsuruta learned fast. He had the basic experience in amateur wrestling with a mix of his Graeco Roman wrestling (upper body throws) and great coordination from competing in basketball and swimming while still in school.

Tsuruta is the only wrestler ever outside the family to master the spinning toe hold, and is the only one who can throw the same forearm blow every bit as hard as I do. (Years later he showed it to Misawa.) His moves were so perfect that we did a special slow-motion production of his three best suplexes, belly to belly, German suplex, and double arm suplex to use as an open for the television show.

Though his time in Amarillo was short, Tommy Tsuruta made many friends who never forgot his kindness. He learned everything by just doing it. He told me his English was not so good and he really didn’t want to do interviews. I told him, you must, you are going to be there and the announcer is going to ask you about your opponent, "you must say something."

Tsuruta’s interview went like this. I know my opponent has a good heart, and I have a good heart too. I am going to do my best. He was wrestling our top heel Sputnik Monroe who had just said He would whup that puke just like eatin’ boardin’ house pie. I don’t know what boardin’ house pie is, but Sputnik was always going to whup somebody that way.

People in Amarillo loved Tsuruta for his sincerity, athletic ability, and kindness. He didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody and his skills in the ring were unmatched. In his first year in professional wrestling, Tsuruta became a top star in the United States, something accomplished by only a few Japanese wrestlers including his boss, Giant Baba.

*** "C’mon Junior let’s go, we got 17,000 people waiting for us"

It was my brother Terry Funk. ---My thoughts came back quick. It was October of 1992, Ni ju shu nen ki nen. Budokan Hall, twentieth anniversary of Giant Baba’s company, All Japan Pro Wrestling special match, myself, Giant Baba, and Stan Hanson against Jumbo Tsuruta, Andre the Giant, and Terry Gordy. My brother was to be in our corner.

The match was exciting, especially with seven traditional stars of All Japan Pro Wrestling there at the same time. I remember Terry Funk had words with Andre on the floor and Baba trying to separate them for fear of it getting out of hand.

I was in the ring with Jumbo at about the 20-minute mark. It was time. We were in the spotlight. Baba was now with Andre, and Hanson and Gordy were fighting on the floor. I had Jumbo down and applied the Spinning Toe Hold. As quick as I got it, he reached up grabbed my head, pulled me forward and locked a front cradle on tight. My shoulders were down. I heard the referee count One two and I reversed it. He counted One Two on Jumbo. He is a strong kid and was not to be denied. To my surprise, he pulled his shoulder up and reversed back on me and there was no escaping. I tried with all I had, but the count came one, two, three.

Twenty years later, the student beat the teacher. I walked over, shook his hand and said, Tommy Tsuruta, I am proud of you.—Dory Funk Jr.

P.S.—Of course back in the dressing room, I did tell him that if he would give it another go, this time maybe two out of three falls I think I could take him.


(Vanity Fair excerpt, November, 1999)

Adding to (Jim) Carrey’s youthful mien is his giddy enthusiasm about the final cut of his forthcoming film, Man on the Moon, in which he portrays Andy Kaufman, the late situationist comedian (and incidental star of the ‘70s sitcome Taxi). Written by the duo who brought us The People vs. Larry Flynt, Scott Alexander and Larry karaszewski, Man on the Moon attempts to explain one of the great, unknowable performers of modern times. As a stand-up comic, Kaufman did not look for laughs, preferring to test audience endurance with surreal experiments in banality: as "Foreign Man," he would tremulously tell the most hackneyed jokes, or he’d read aloud every word of The Great Gatsby. Unleashed on the network television audience, Kaufman became a fourth-wall demolition expert, famously disrupting ABC’s live sketch show, Fridays, with his refusal to complete a skit. Ultimately, in a move that was deliberately ephemeral and recklessly damaging to his career, he took to wrestling women, then became embroiled in a feud with the wrestling star Jerry Lawler. The fact that Kaufman never, never broke character or let anyone in on the gag guaranteed him cult immortality when, at 35, he died of lung cancer. In fact, many believed that Kaufman’s 1984 death was itself really just a gag.




Ted DiBiase has been involved in the world of professional wrestling his entire life. His stepfather, wrestler "Iron Mike" DiBiase, began the tradition and had a strong influence on him as a child. He died in the ring when Ted was fifteen. Shortly after, his mother slipped into a depression and turned to alcohol. Ted moved into a little town in southern Arizona to live with his grandparents. After Ted’s junior year in college at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas, he stepped into the squared circle to follow in his father’s footsteps.

After wrestling in Amarillo, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ted moved to Atlanta to continue his wrestling career. While there he met his future wife Melanie and they were married in 1981. Ted’s wrestling engagements kept him away from her, while ego, pride, and money took center stage. After the birth of their first son Teddy, the DiBiase’s moved to Mississippi where he continued wrestling for Mid-South Wrestling. Ted was hoping that the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) would take notice of his talent. The WWF did take notice. They had an idea for a new character and developed Ted into the "Million Dollar Man" and he was surrounded by money, limousines and life in the fast lane. Through hard work and much determination he quickly rose to the top of his profession were he has remained for the past twenty years.

Ted’s career as a wrestler has taken him all over the world; all over Europe, Japan, India, Canada, and all of the fifty states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Ted has held many wrestling titles over his expansive career not withstanding, "The World Championship Title." He has wrestled alone, as part of a tag team, and in recent years as the role of manager. You may also hear him at times behind the camera as he often commentates and does color commentating for World Championship Wrestling.

Due to a neck injury several years ago, Ted was forced to give up the physical side of professional wrestling. However, he still remains an active participant. He now acts as the ringside manager of the Steiner Brothers for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) on Ted Turner’s cable networks "Monday Nitro" and "Thursday Thunder" TV programs. Ted has taken on new roles outside of professional wrestling. Ted is currently a spokesperson for the Sunshine Foundation, an organization that grants wishes for critically ill children. Ted also shares his message of hope all over America in motivational assemblies speaking out against the results of drug and alcohol abuse. He warns America’s youth about the trap of being addicted to drugs and alcohol. He also encourages them to stay in school, set reachable goals and pay whatever price it takes to become the best that they can be.


Birthday: January 18, 1954

Real Name: Ted DiBiase

Height/Weight: 6’3, 290

Nicknames: The Million Dollar Man, The Million Dollar Champion, Trillionaire Ted

Finisher (as wrestler): Million Dollar Dream

Titles Held: WWF Tag Team Championship (3) with Irwin R. Shyster, and others with Mid-South/UWF and All Japan PWF

Current Status: Out of the NWO, Manager of Rick Steiner


"Trillionaire" Ted DiBiase has seemingly turned against the group he helped found after returning to WCW on the 8/4/97 edition of Monday Nitro...on the broadcast, DiBiase denounced his past by stating that he made mistakes and strayed from the path of what was right... DiBiase also promised to stand in the corner of Rick and Scott Steiner in an attempt to help them win the WCW tag team championships from the Outsiders, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at WCW Road Wild...though the Steiners did not succeed at that event, DiBiase remains their manager...

DiBiase’s betrayal of the NWO has proved to be yet another setback for the New World Order as WCW attempts to regain power...upon his WCW debut, DiBiase, formerly known as the "Million Dollar Man," made an immediate impact by siding with the NWO...joined the NWO after a controversial departure from the WWF, where he first became a manager after an injury ended his in-ring wrestling a wrestler.

DiBiase became famous after he "bought" the WWF Championship from Andre the Giant...the title was later declared vacant by WWF President Jack Tunney, to be won in a tournament at Wrestlemania IV... DiBiase lost in the final round to Randy Savage, and the match was the closest he ever came to the title again... the only major championship DiBiase held was the WWF Tag Team Title, which he shared on three occasions with IRS (now known in WCW as Mr. Wallstreet). He also shared major championship belts when he wrestled with Mid-South/UWF and All Japan PWF. (See Title History)

Upon his first WCW appearance, DiBiase promised that the NWO would grow to five the following week... the fifth member was none other than the Giant, who was later kicked out of the NWO...DiBiase, who was also pegged "Trillionaire Ted," often acted as the right-hand man for "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, a man whom he despised in the past...also often served as an announcer for the NWO; on several occasions broadcasting on Monday Nitros, alongside Eric Bischoff when NWO members took over the broadcast booth...DiBiase, rumored to be unhappy with his role in the NWO, disappeared from WCW for several months, and was said to have taken a sabbatical to preach in that DiBiase is back in WCW and against the New World Order, the former "Trillionaire Ted" is sure to be high on the NWO’s hit list.


April 28, 1976 - May 11, 1976:

December 1976 - Early 1977

May 19, 1977 - Summer 1977

January 7, 1978 - February 16, 1978

February 12, 1978 - February 26, 1978

November 23, 1978 - February 1979

--(Amarillo) International Champion

Early 1979

Early ‘79 - June 19, 1979

February 1, 1980 - September 19, 1980

November 21, 1980 - October 2, 1981

January 26, 1981 - January 31, 1981

June 10, 1981 - July 6, 1981

November 1, 1981 - March17, 1982

June 23, 1982 - November 25, 1982

October 27, 1982 - March 12, 1983

April 13, 1983 - July 24, 1983

October 14, 1983 - January 28, 1984

November 18, 1983 - February 18, 1984

July 14, 1984 - October 11, 1984

December 3, 1984 - December 25, 1984

January 16, 1985 - February 13, 1985

May 3, 1985 - August 28, 1985

September 1985 - September 29, 1985

December 26, 1985 - March 16, 1986

March 87 - July 3, 1987

July 11, 1987 - September 3, 1987

February 7, 1992 - July 20, 1992

October 13, 1992 - June 14, 1993

June 16, 1993 - June 19, 1993

September 3, 1993 - December 3, 1993


December 12, 1985

October 16, 1988



(Associated Press, October 29, 1999)

ROXBURY TOWNSHIP, N.J.—If The Body can do it, El Matador thinks he can, too.

Tito Santana, a former World Wrestling Federation champion who has bodyslammed Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Randy "Macho Man" Savage, wants to follow Ventura into politics.

Santana, who retired from wrestling in 1997, is battling for a Roxbury Township Council spot against Fred Hall, chairman of the planning board.

Local Democrats recruited Santana, who was known as "El Matador" in the ring, to run months after Ventura’s surprising victory in the Minnesota gubernatorial election.

"I’m the better wrestler," Santana told The Record of Hackensack. "But Jesse had the charisma. He was good at making people hate him. I’m just not like that. I really wrestled."

Santana, 46, who teaches elementary school physical education in Bound Brook, has taken up two issues. He opposes overdevelopment and wants to end a 20-year Republican majority in the township. Republicans hold a 5-2 majority on the council.

"I don’t think Tito has much grasp of the issues," Hall said.

Santana is not worried.

"Compared to the ring, politics is a piece of cake," he said.
The WAWLI Papers No. 625...


(Austin Chronicle, February 1, 1999)

By Jerry Renshaw

The opening frames of Night and the City show Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) running through the streets of London, pursued by an unknown man, heading toward his apartment. Fabian is on the run through the entire movie; he’s an American petty hustler and con man setting out to make a name for himself in the London underworld. Years of clipping customers in bars and pulling two-bit scams are not enough for him; true to the American way, he’s consumed with the urge to be somebody, to "live a life of ease and comfort," as he tells his girlfriend (Gene Tierney). He strikes on a scheme to become the top wrestling promoter in London, and befriends a traditional Greco-Roman wrestler, Gregorius (Stanislaus Zbyszko), convincing the old man to become partners with him. His boss at the clip joint, Nosseross (Francis L. Sullivan) agrees to put up financial backing for the venture, but the boss’ wife (Googie Withers) has a different angle. She wants Harry to come up with a liquor license for a nightclub she wants to open, at which point she’ll ditch Nosseross. Fabian uses the old man as a lever against his son Kristo (Herbert Lom), the top wrestling promoter in town. (Lom later played The Pink Panther’s Captain Dreyfus).

He goads Kristo’s top wrestler, the Strangler, (Mike Mazurki) into a match with Gregorius; after a brutal struggle, Gregorius defeats the Strangler, but dies of a stroke after the fight. Soon, all of the London underworld is mobilized against Fabian, with a 1000 bounty on his worthless hide. Director Jules Dassin infuses a great deal of noir style into Night and the City. Dassin had been blacklisted during the Hollywood Red Scare years (after being fingered by fellow director Edward Dmytryk), and Night and the City was his first film after his exile from Hollywood. He uses the alleys, slums, and factories of London to full advantage to create a world where outsiders like Fabian don’t stand a chance. In keeping with the traditions of the genre, no one really possesses a moral high ground in the story; the people who want Fabian eliminated and want his little house of cards knocked down are no better a set of losers than he is himself. Dassin often frames Fabian’s gaunt features in bars and jagged fragments of light that serve as visual metaphors for his isolation and hopelessness. Widmark, riding a career high that would continue for several more years, turns in a great performance with his hyena giggle and nervous energy. Fabian only wanted to be somebody, but at the same time he had everything, he was a dead man, running and running as the web in which he enmeshed himself slowly strangled him.


(Bergen Record, October 29, 1999)

By John Cichowski

Republicans, get ready to rumble. . . . A pro wrestling champ who once body-slammed ring goliaths such as Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Randy "Macho Man" Savage now has his Democratic sights on a Township Council seat in a hilly GOP stronghold in western Morris County.

"Compared to the ring, politics is like a piece of cake," said Tito Santana, the World Wrestling Federation’s former two-time Intercontinental champion, who is seeking a ward seat in Roxbury Township.

The personable, 245-pound Santana—known in the ring as "El Matador"—was something of an anomaly in the hard-hitting WWF, where he was pitted against bruisers such as Ventura, Savage, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, and Kodiak Bear. Two herniated discs, bursitis, a distaste for the tour, and a desire to settle down in Roxbury with his family prompted his retirement in 1997.

"Sure, the outcome of the matches was prearranged, but the blood was real," he said. "It was our job to make it look real, so people got hurt."

Local Democrats recruited Santana in the spring, several months after Ventura’s unexpected victory in the Minnesota gubernatorial election.

If Jesse could do it, Santana figured, so could he.

"But I’m the better wrestler," he said, noting that he trained under a Japanese master.

"But Jesse had the charisma. He was good at making people hate him. I’m just not like that. I really wrestled."

The charisma advantage in Tuesday’s Election Day match against 180-pound Fred Hall, the Planning Board chairman and manager of a Montvale accounting firm, belongs to Santana. Unlike most Democrats, the former wrestling star gets a warm reception when he campaigns door to door, said Santana’s campaign manager, Steve Landsfield.

"When Tito shows up, people invite him in," said Landfield. "If they miss him, they run outside looking for him. I never saw anything like it."

Santana has taken stands on two issues: He opposes overdevelopment and wants to end 20 years of Republican domination in the township. Republicans now hold a 5-2 majority on the Township Council.

Hall, 41, also wants to limit development and says he would end developers’ agreements that have led, he says, to overdevelopment.

Like many suburban towns, the issue is a hot one in Roxbury. In April, voters rejected a $21 million school expansion project that resulted from high-density housing construction.

"As a Planning Board member, Fred had a lot to say about that housing," Santana said. "People in this town have lost faith in Republicans like him."

When Santana’s response was read back to him, Hall, a patron of Santana’s salon, reacted as if sucker-punched by El Matador’s flying forearm.

"Tito really said that?" Hall asked. He insisted that the housing was mandated by a state program requiring low- and moderate-income housing.

"I don’t think Tito has much grasp of the issues," he said.

Santana admits he would have to learn on the job. The prospect doesn’t bother him.

"Democrats took a poll showing me 14 points ahead," he said, shrugging.

It wouldn’t be the first time he’s had to overcome inexperience.

As part of his early training, a young, strait-laced Santana became a WWF referee. The experience earned him the enmity of older wrestlers.

"I didn’t realize the outcomes were prearranged, so I called the fights as I saw them," he said. "Those guys hated me."

The 46-year-old father of three has more than his celebrity going for him, though. As a 14-year township resident and former substitute teacher in the Roxbury school system, his name is well known in this rural-suburban community of 21,000. He is now an elementary school physical-education teacher in Bound Brook, and he helps his wife each afternoon as manager of the family beauty salon in the Roxbury Mall.

He still wrestles sometimes on weekends for an independent circuit. This sort of hustling comes naturally to the Mexican-born Santana, whose given name is Merced Solis. As a youth, he worked in the fields with his father, a Spanish-born migrant worker who brought his family from Mexico to Texas. A high school athlete, Santana got a football scholarship, turning pro after graduation. He played tight end in a Canadian league, then switched to pro wrestling when he realized wrestlers lasted longer than football players.

His career now over, Santana looks to Minnesota for inspiration.

"I tried to reach Jesse on the phone to get his support," Santana said of his old foe. "But he doesn’t return my calls."

Maybe the governor has a long memory. In the early 1980s, when both were new to pro wrestling, Santana teamed with Hulk Hogan in Nassau Coliseum for a well-remembered bit of tag-team savagery against Ventura and Adrian Adonis.

"It wasn’t pretty, but the fans were with us and we won," Santana recalled. "Jesse says some pretty dumb things sometimes, but he never sacrificed his beliefs. I admire that. I think I’m kind of like that, too."


(New York Post, October 31, 1999)

By Phil Mushnick

One big difference between the nation’s two biggest pro wrestling impresarios, Ted Turner and Vince McMahon, is that when McMahon puts on his righteous face, most everyone knows it’s a con.

When Turner says he’s a do-gooder, lots of people buy it.

He has an air of respectability. He owns cable networks, international news programming, a Major League Baseball team and all kinds of things commonly found around the house. So, when he declares himself an altruist, people believe him, even salute him.

They shouldn’t.

To fully understand the modern phenomenon of pro wrestling—a systemic phenomenon that has established pornography for children as a runaway TV ratings and marketing money machine—it’s important to understand the industry’s recent history.

Not since Bruno Sammartino quit the business in disgust—he now speaks out against the drug-infested, deviant sex-fest that pro wrestling has become—has anyone in the business traveled a high road. There now are only two roads taken—lower and lowest.

Turner’s World Championship Wrestling, until two weeks ago, traveled the lower road. It’s for that reason that he was getting killed in the TV ratings war by McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation.

McMahon takes the lowest road. Shoot, as lowest roads go, he’s a pioneer, a trail blazer. The more salacious the content, the better the ratings. And McMahon beats Turner in a rout.

Sure, as pro wrestling’s popularity continues to soar, American society takes a bigger hit, but that’s of no concern to McMahon. In 1999, to provide children with the lowest imaginable form of television is to be on top.

But now Turner is fighting back. First, a little more background:

Several years ago, after the WWF’s inside drug and sex scandals (as if the content of McMahon’s current shows aren’t scandalous), Turner’s WCW seized the opportunity to unseat the WWF.

One of Turner’s first orders of business was to sign Hulk Hogan, despite the fact that Hogan’s kiddie-embracing, excessively muscled WWF character had been revealed to have been built on years of steroid use and abuse.

The signing of Hogan and other WWF ring stars—drug-ring stars, included—also revealed Turner to be a king-sized phony.

After all, Turner’s image of global altruism, as manifested through his "Goodwill Games," environmental concerns and acts of generosity such as pledging $1 billion to the United Nations for the advancement of humankind, certainly didn’t rhyme with selecting the nation’s most notorious steroid abuser as his marquee act within primetime TV programming favored by American children.

Furthermore, the content of WCW shows—negative racial and ethnic stereotyping, obscene gestures and good, old-fashioned violence for violence’s sake—was wildly inconsistent with Turner’s lofty, oft-stated goals of world harmony.

Ah, but business is business. And Turner’s WCW business was brisk. The WCW began to bury the wounded WWF.

But McMahon, as we all know by now, was hardly through. He would fight back by turning the WWF into a showcase for lascivious acts, words, and images. Porn for kids. Operating off the same marketing plan applied by the Medellin drug cartel, McMahon’s capsule explanation of his successful new strategy became, "I’m only giving people what they want."

Soon, riding a wave of unmitigated sleaze, McMahon’s WWF was back on top, and then some. The ratings were through the roof.

They still are. And network programmers threw themselves at McMahon for more.

In addition to McMahon’s longtime confederates at USA Network, the UPN Network (Channel 9 here) now regularly "entertains" American children in primetime with words so profane that they can’t be printed here and acts so vile that they can’t be described here. Oh, yes, the WWF’s transvestite oral sex angle has given way to even less describable acts.

A few months ago, in announcing that UPN was adding the WWF, UPN boss Dean Valentine told a conclave of concerned TV critics that the WWF is "incredibly mild entertainment." If that’s the case, I challenge Valentine to rise in public and repeat exactly what’s said and done on UPN’s WWF shows at 8:30 or so on Thursday nights.

Few of those concerned TV critics bothered to follow up on the content of UPN’s WWF shows, otherwise there would be a national outcry that would’ve painted Valentine a more evil TV monster than even, oh, Jim Gray.

After voicing their concerns, few of those TV critics would bother to learn that 11-year-old boys now regularly verbally and graphically abuse 11-year-old girls with exactly the same expressions and acts that the WWF teaches them. Few would bother to learn that grammar school, middle school and high school principals increasingly have declared bans on most anything that the WWF sells.

Meanwhile, what does Valentine care that every week he’s proved a liar on his own national network? He and UPN are cashing in big. Why should he care that nearly 40 percent of WWF viewers are minors, or that 15 percent of the audience is 11 years old and younger?

And so, it’s now time for Turner to fight back. The first order of business is to again meet McMahon on his turf—the gutter. If Turner beat McMahon the first time by buying up McMahon’s steroid-swollen TV characters, why not again seek to unseat McMahon as No. 1 by playing McMahon’s sexual-content game?

Two weeks ago, Turner hired two of McMahon’s top porn writers, er, script writers. Would Turner, his ratings lagging because he chose the lower road for the WCW, now choose to join McMahon on the lowest road?

You bet he would!

This past Monday night, while channel-surfing upon Turner’s latest 8 p.m. WCW show on TNT, we immediately saw a line of barely clothed young women marching toward the ring. The last in line was a woman with enormous breasts. Naturally, the live audience began to hoot as one. The ringside announcers dutifully grew breathless.

Dave Meltzer publishes the authoritative weekly, Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

"It’ll get worse," Meltzer said. "Now that it has WWF writers the WCW will copy the WWF formula: Find any excuse, or even no excuse, to go heavy on sexual content. The big draw isn’t wrestling, anymore, it’s sex. And the primary target is kids."

Ted Turner, Mr. Global Goodwill himself, has declared yet another war against Vince McMahon on the battlefield of How-Low-Can-You-Go. And, bless their hearts, they’re fighting for the hearts and minds of America’s children.


By J Michael Kenyon

Our good friends at SLAM! Wrestling ( continue to do yeoman work in the nostalgic realm of Wrestling As We Liked It. John Molinaro’s byline piece (October 27, 1999) does a fine job of detailing the lengthy career of a fellow I first saw in action back in October of 1962, in the glorious old Waco (Texas) Arena. Molinaro’s lead:

"Some fans remember him as the man who carried Governor Jesse Ventura through his first match. Others recall him as the harmless, yet loveable jobber who got paid to make the other guy look good. Cast in his role as a ‘prelim bum’ by the fans, he was always thought of as nothing more than average.

"Yet the reality was that Omar Atlas was anything but your average, run-of-the-mill, wrestler. Having spent over 30 years in wrestling, Atlas traveled the world, wrestled every major star and worked for every big name promoter. He was the archetypal journeyman, bouncing between promotions, staying in one place only a few months before he headed off to the next territory."

Atlas now lives in San Antonio, having finally retired for good from the ring in 1993. He told Molinaro, "I had a really good time in wrestling. I traveled a lot. We didn’t make much money but we had a lot of fun."
Atlas, after a brief amateur career in his native Venezuela, trained as a pro in Spain with some Argentinian and Mexican wrestlers. After eight months in the tussle-for-pay ranks there, he began traveling, first to Colombia, later Mexico, and then back to Spain. A friend named Ciclon Negro, who had achieved main-event status in the U.S., invited Atlas to join him in Houston.

After that 1962-63 stint for Morris Sigel’s famous booking office, Atlas told Molinaro, he later worked for just about all the top promoters in the game: Sam Muchnick, Nick Gulas, Eddie Graham, Bob Geigel, Jim Crockett Sr., Don Owen, Stu Hart, Vince McMahon Jr., Roy Shire, Joe Blanchard, Paul Boesch and Carlos Colon. He also made his way to Australia, Korea and Japan where he worked for both legendary Japanese promoters Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba.

He wasn’t always Omar Atlas, either. Some fans may remember him as Buddy Moreno, one of the ring aliases he used more often than others.

It was while working for Geigel’s Kansas City office that Atlas helped break "Jesse the Body" into the game. Molinaro explains:

"The two were scheduled on a card in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when the promoter pulled Atlas aside. Unsure of Ventura’s ability, he told the veteran Atlas that if he thought Ventura had promise to let Ventura throw him over the top rope and get DQd. Otherwise, Atlas was instructed to shoot on Ventura and beat him up. ‘Omar thought he was doing well and told him to throw him,’ said Charlotte, Omar’s wife of 15 years. ‘In (Venutra’s autobiography), Jesse writes that Omar, not being one of those egotistical guys in wrestling, told him "Amigo, throw me over the top." He also credited Omar with helping him start his career.’"

Molinaro concludes the piece, just one of hundreds that dot the bulging SLAM! Wrestling site, byk noting that Atlas, today, is a 61-year-old security monitor for the Bexar County Adult Probation Department, playing handball between escorting convicts to and from work details.

The WAWLI Papers No. 626...


(Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1999)

By John M. Glionna

In a city where most movie shoots are elite, off-limits affairs overseen by uniformed cops, this one was a regular free-for-all featuring those big-muscled kings of publicity, the hairy-chested he-men in black leotards from the World Championship Wrestling organization.

And like 4,000 other wild-eyed wrestling fans turned unpaid extras who filled the Grand Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles Saturday, Steve Szapiro was in head-lock heaven.

Wearing a shiny king’s crown with phony plastic jewels provided by event promoters, Szapiro joined fellow wrestling fanatics in a staged screech-hoot-and-hollering session during the shooting of a movie based on their favorite sport.

Producers for the film "Ready to Rumble" couldn’t have been happier.

Although they could have shot scenes for the movie in Toronto or Las Vegas (where the fight sequence filmed Saturday supposedly took place), they said L.A. fans captured the multiethnic roots of the sport’s fandom.

"On most shoots, the extras we attract are just average folks, not ready-made fans," said Jeffrey Silver, a producer for Outlaw Productions. "But these people are just crazy. When the wrestlers take a bump, they know exactly when to cheer. They don’t need any coaching."

Fans like Szapiro didn’t need much enticing, either.

The 26-year-old works the graveyard shift at a Unocal gas station in the San Fernando Valley. But his real reason for living? Body slams, spine-numbing throw-downs, and those high-flying pile-driver maneuvers that can turn a mat opponent’s mind to mush.

Szapiro calls himself professional wrestling’s most rabid fan. He travels the country looking for more outrageous wrestling rumbles. At home, with his satellite dish and pay-per-view TV menu, there isn’t one finger-stabbing wrestling event he misses.

"I just love professional wrestling," he said. "I know people must think there’s something wrong with me. But honestly, I can’t get enough of this stuff."

On Saturday, the fans came offering homage to their heroes. Despite free parking and pizza, and giveaways that included a new pickup, wrestling gift packs and computers loaded with wrestling-game software, the faithful who lined up outside the arena early Saturday didn’t come for any door prizes.

They came to scream their brains out for mostly large men with long hair and stage names such as Inferno, Sid Vicious and Bam Bam Bigelow.

To attract fans, organizers spread the word on various wrestling-related sites on the Internet. They placed ads in wrestling magazines and made announcements at other professional wrestling events.

"But you know what, we probably didn’t have to give away one prize to attract these people," said promotions director Tina Kerr. ‘We could have charged these people to get in here and we still would have had a line that stretched twice around the block."

The fan turnout Saturday was described by organizers as "a lot of little boys, and men who are still little boys."
With prizes offered for raunchiest costume, the crowd resembled a Halloween nightmare come one day early. Or perhaps a segment of "Let’s Make a Deal" filmed at the world’s biggest monster truck show. There were men with shaved heads, women with exposed bellies, and the occasional legitimate mask.

One fan, Anthony Dalton of Ontario, tried to explain the attraction of a sport in which most moves are choreographed. He started talking about pro wrestlers as role models, but each time he began a sentence, he’d see one of his mat idols, Diamond Dallas Page, and scream "Dallas! Dallas! Woooohooooo!"

Her eyes glued to the ring, Laura Segura had another reason for coming: "Those bodies!" she said, holding up a banner celebrating her two favorite wrestlers, Sting and a character who bills himself as Big Sexy.

"Now this is entertainment," she added. "Just to come out here and see those guys sweat. And did I mention those bodies?"

Not all the fans cheered themselves hoarse. Some were present as favors to wives, husbands or boyfriends. One twentysomething man said his girlfriend made him do it, even though she refused to accompany him to the shooting of a Kiss video.

Wincing in distaste, some called the wrestling scene the Cirque du Soleil for the blue-collar class, a screaming cry for help, perhaps professional therapy.

Said 30-year-old James Murr of Montebello: "It’s soap opera for men. You’ve got the same back-stabbing and outrageous story lines. And it’s naughty and subversive. Let me tell you, you’re not going to see this stuff on the Lifetime channel."

Producers for "Ready to Rumble," acknowledge the sport’s pedestrian appeal. The film involves two loser buddies who empty septic tanks for a living and happen to be huge wrestling fans. The pair travel cross-country to return to glory a felled wrestling idol they believe has been robbed of his rightful crown.

"Pro wrestling may be considered a lower rung on the artistic ladder, but it’s also the widest rung," Silver, the producer, said. "People live for this stuff."

They live for their sport like 6-year-old Brendon from Palmdale, who spotted his hero, a wrestler known as Goldberg, back near the makeup van.

"Hey, Goldy!" he yelled, extending a paper to be autographed.

"Hey, little man," cooed Goldberg, bending his head down to near knee-level to face the boy.

Memento in hand, the boy watched his hero walk away and admitted that he didn’t know the names of any of the wrestler’s moves inside the ring.

"But I’ll bet they hurt," he said, wide-eyed.

The WAWLI Papers No. 627...

(ED. NOTE: The New WAWLI Papers editorial board has never made a secret of the fact that a goodly portion of the material appearing in this newsletter is ticketed, in one form or another, for the forthcoming ‘On Top: The Ultimate History of Professional Wrestling in North America.’ Herein, another sneak preview of some of that accumulation, namely, just a smidgeon of what will be a vastly comprehensive list of matches featuring girls, midgets, bears, alligators and other "special attractions." Our apologies to anyone who is offended. The following was a very, very early draft of the material, which is now probably some 100 times lengthier, at a minimum.)

Newark OH—May 5, 1920

Cora Livingston vs. May Kelley

Columbus OH—April 15, 1937

Mildred Burke beat Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—April 29, 1937

Mildred Burke beat Edna Bancroft

Memphis—May 3, 1937

Clara Mortensen beat Betty McGee

San Francisco—June 29, 1937

Clara Mortensen beat Rita Martinez

Oakland—July 2, 1937

Clara Mortensen beat Rita Martinez

San Francisco—July 13, 1937

Clara Mortensen beat Mary Davis

Columbus OH—September 9, 1937

Mildred Burke beat Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—November 18, 1938

Betty Nichols beat Mildred Burke

Columbus OH—November 25, 1938

Mildred Burke drew Betty Nichols

Columbus OH—December 1, 1938

Mildred Burke beat Betty Nichols

Columbus OH—February 9, 1939

Mildred Burke beat Peggy Flynn

Reno—April 12, 1939

Clara Mortenson beat Mildred White

Columbus OH—October 26, 1939

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem

Columbus OH—November 2, 1939

Princess Rose White Cloud beat Gladys Gillem

Columbus OH—November 9, 1939

Princess Rose White Cloud beat Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—November 16, 1939

Mildred Burke beat Princess Rose White Cloud

Columbus OH—November 24, 1939

Gladys Gillem beat Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—December 28, 1939

Mildred Burke-Princess Rose White Cloud beat Wilma Gordon-Gladys Gillem

Charlotte—January 1, 1940

Gladys Gillem beat Rose White Cloud

Charlotte—January 8, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem

Charlotte—January 15, 1940

Mildred Burke-Mae Weston beat Gladys Gillem-Babe Verner

Charlotte—April 15, 1940

GINGER THE BEAR beat Whitey Govro

Charlotte—April 22, 1940

GINGER THE BEAR beat Milo Steinborn

Columbus OH—May 31, 1940

Gladys Gillem beat Lupe Acosta

Columbus OH—June 5, 1940

Gladys Gillem beat Lupe Acosta

Columbus OH—June 13, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem cor

Columbus OH—June 20, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem, Mildred Burke drew Lupe Acosta (handicap)

Atlantic City—July 8, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem

Atlantic City—July 15, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Lupe Acosta

Charlotte—July 22, 1940

Lupe Acosta beat Gladys Gillem

Charlotte—July 29, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem

Columbus OH—September 12, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Gladys Gillem

Columbus OH—December 6, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Mae Weston

Columbus OH—December 12, 1940

Mildred Burke beat Wilma Gordon, Gladys Gillem beat Mildred Burke dec (handicap)

Columbus OH—December 26, 1940

Gladys Gillem beat Patty Miller

Columbus OH—January 2, 1941

Elvira Snodgrass beat Gladys Gillem

Columbus OH—January 9, 1941

Elvira Snodgrass beat Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—January 23, 1941

Wilma Gordon beat Patsy Miller

Columbus OH—January 30, 1941

Elvira Snodgrass beat Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—February 13, 1941

Mildred Burke beat Elvira Snodgrass

Duluth—June 26, 1941

Battle royal with Mae Young, Nell Stewart, Rose Evans, Ann Miller and Kitty Duvall

Columbus OH—July 17, 1941

Mae Young beat Gladys Gillem

Atlantic City—July 21, 1941

Gladys Gillem beat Cecelia Blevins

Columbus OH—July 24, 1941

Ann LaVerne beat Mae Young

Atlantic City—July 28, 1941

Mae Young beat Cecelia Blevins

Columbus OH—July 31, 1941

Elvira Snodgrass beat Ann LaVerne

Columbus OH—August 7, 1941

Elvira Snodgrass beat Gladys Gillem

Columbus OH—August 14, 1941

Gladys Gillem beat Celia Blevins

Dayton—August 19, 1941

Mildred Burke vs. "Annie" Snodgrass

Columbus OH—August 21, 1941

Mildred Burke beat Elvira Snodgrass

Dayton—August 27, 1941

"Annie" Snodgrass vs. Wilma Gordon

Columbus OH—August 29, 1941

Elvira Snodgrass beat Wilma Gordon

Dayton—September 1, 1941

Mae Young vs. "Annie" Snodgrass

Dayton—September 3, 1941

Mae Young beat "Annie" Snodgrass

Dayton—September 10, 1941

Gladys Ryan-Mae Young beat "Annie" Snodgrass-Celia Blevins

Dayton—September 16, 1941

Gladys Ryan drew Mae Weston

Dayton—September 23, 1941

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

St. Joseph—January 22, 1943

Mildred Burke beat Betty Weston, Mae Young beat Gladys Gillem

St. Joseph—January 29, 1943

Elvira Snodgrass beat Mae Young

St. Joseph—April 23, 1943

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young, Purple Flash beat Elvira Snodgrass

St. Joseph—April 30, 1943

Mildred Burke beat Purple Flash, Gladys Gillem beat Mae Young

St. Joseph—May 7, 1943

Purple Flash beat Gladys Gillem, Rose Evans beat Mae Young

St. Joseph—September 24, 1943

Mildred Burke beat Elvira Snodgrass

St. Joseph—October 1, 1943

Mae Young beat Rose Evans, Elvira Snodgrass beat Mae Young (sub for Gladys Gillem, said out with broken leg in Minnesota)

St. Paul—June 20, 1944

Purple Flash beat Gladys Gillem, Mae Young beat Rose Evans, Nell Stewart beat Kitty Duvall

Minneapolis—June 27, 1944

Mae Young vs. Nell Stewart, Rose Evans vs. Ann Miller, Mae Weston vs. Kitty Duvall

Independence—October 25, 1944

Nell Stewart beat Mae Weston

Independence—November 1, 1944

Nell Stewart beat Ann LaVerne

Kansas City—November 30, 1944

Mildred Burke beat Peggy Lee

Washington DC—May 2, 1945

Nell Stewart beat Ann Miller, Violet Valentine beat Rose Evans

Washington DC—May 9, 1945

Rose Evans-Nell Stewart beat Ann Miller-Violet Valentine

Phoenix—May 21, 1945

Anna Olson beat Peggy Vaughn

Salt Lake City—May 24, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

Bremerton—June 1, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

Dallas—June 12, 1945

Rose Evans beat Nell Stewart

Corpus Christi—June 14, 1945

Mae Young beat June Byers

San Antonio—June 20, 1945

Mae Young beat Nell Stewart

Corpus Christi—June 21, 1945

Mae Young beat Nell Stewart

Dallas—June 26, 1945

Mae Young beat Rose Evans

San Antonio—June 27, 1945

June Byers vs. Nell Stewart

Corpus Christi—June 28, 1945

Nell Stewart beat June Byers

Jacksonville—June 28, 1945

Dolly West beat Doris Dean

Jacksonville—July 19, 1945

Dolly West-Wally Greb beat Doris Dean-Vincent Lopez (mixed)

Phoenix—August 6, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Rose Evans

Dallas—August 20, 1945

June Byers beat Mae Young, Nell Stewart beat Violet Valentine

Tacoma—August 28, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Rose Evans

Atlanta—August 31, 1945

Mae Young beat June Byers, Elvira Snodgrass-Violet Valentine beat Nell Stewart-Evelyn Wall

Memphis—September 3, 1945

June Byers-Violet Valentine beat Nell Stewart-Mae Young, Elvira Snodgrass beat Evelyn Wall

Seattle—September 3, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Ramona Valdez

Atlanta—September 8, 1945

Nell Stewart-Mae Young beat June Byers-Elvira Snodgrass

Nashville—September 18, 1945

Mae Young beat Violet Valentine

San Antonio—September 19, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Rose Evans

Corpus Christi—September 20, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Rose Evans

Toledo—September 20, 1945

June Byers beat Nell Stewart

Dallas—September 25, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Rose Evans

Nashville—September 25, 1945

June Byers beat Nell Stewart

Baltimore—October 2, 1945

June Byers beat Elvira Snodgrass

Nashville—October 16, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

Baltimore—October 23, 1945

June Byers-Evelyn Wall beat CeCecelia Blevins-Nell Stewart

Miami—October 26, 1945

Mae Young beat Violet Valentine

Memphis—October 29, 1945

Evelyn Wall beat Mae Weston, June Byers beat Juanita Coffman

Portland ME—October 29, 1945

Nell Stewart drew Mae Young, Cecelia Blevins beat Violet Valentine

Holyoke—October 31, 1945

Mae Young beat Violet Valentine, CeCecelia Blevins beat Nell Stewart

Memphis—November 5, 1945

June Byers beat Rose Evans, Evelyn Wall beat Juanita Coffman

Holyoke—November 7, 1945

Mae Young beat CeCecelia Blevins

Toledo—November 8, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Mae Weston

Atlanta—November 9, 1945

Juanita Coffman beat Evelyn Wall

Portland ME—November 12, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

Holyoke—November 14, 1945

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

Klamath Falls—January 22, 1946

Clara Mortensen drew Rita Martinez

Medford—January 23, 1946

Clara Mortensen beat Rita Martinez

Atlanta—January 26, 1946

June Byers beat Juanita Coffman, Nell Stewart beat Mattie Bell

Medford—February 27, 1946

Clara Mortensen drew Rita Martinez nc

Klamath Falls—February 28, 1946

Clara Mortensen beat Rita Martinez

Columbus—March 14, 1946

June Byers beat Nell Stewart

Minneapolis—March 19, 1946

June Byers beat Nell Stewart

Atlanta—April 5, 1946

Dolly West beat Wilma Gordon

Phoenix—April 29, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Coffman

Yuma—May 2, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Coffman

Atlanta—May 3, 1946

Dolly West beat Wilma Gordon

Atlanta—May 17, 1946

Evelyn Wall-Violet Viann beat Ann LaVerne-Celia Blevins

St. Paul—May 23, 1946

Matty Bell beat Nell Stewart, Juanita Coffman beat June Byers

Phoenix—June 17, 1946

June Byers beat Juanita Coffman

Phoenix—June 24, 1946

June Byers-Helen Hild beat Mattie Bell-Nell Stewart

Atlanta—July 5, 1946

Cecelia Blevins beat Evelyn Wall

Columbus—July 17, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Banks

Atlanta—August 16, 1946

Ann LaVerne beat Cecelia Blevins

Atlanta—September 27, 1946

ALLIGATOR beat Gil Woodworth

Norfolk—October 3, 1946

Mae Young beat Violet Valentine

Norfolk—October 10, 1946

Elvira Snodgrass vs. Mae Young

Atlanta—October 11, 1946

Nell Stewart beat Ann Miller, Juanita Coffman beat Evelyn Wall

Atlanta—October 18, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Coffman

Atlanta—October 25, 1946

Gil Woodworth beat ALLIGATOR

Minneapolis—November 5, 1946

Ann LaVerne beat Dot Dotson

Duluth—November 11, 1946

Ann LaVerne beat June Byers

Baltimore—November 12, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Mendez

Minneapolis—November 12, 1946

Ann LaVerne vs. Gladys Galento

Minneapolis—November 19, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Coffman

Atlanta—November 19, 1946

Violet Viann beat Nell Stewart

Mankato—November 20, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Coffman

St. Paul—November 28, 1946

Mildred Burke beat Ann LaVerne

Baltimore—December 3, 1946

Mattie Bell beat Evelyn Wall

Atlanta—December 20, 1946

Violet Viann-Evelyn Wall beat Mae Weston-Nell Stewart

Mankato—March 19, 1947

Mildred Burke beat Kitty Duvall

Mankato—November 12, 1947

Mildred Burke beat Mae Young

Minneapolis—January 13, 1948

Nell Stewart beat Mae Weston

Cleveland—January 27, 1948

Nell Stewart vs. Mae Weston

Cleveland—March 16, 1948

Mildred Burke beat Elvira Snodgrass

St. Paul—March 16, 1948

Helen Hild beat June Byers

Columbus—March 31, 1948

Therese Theis beat Mae Weston

Columbus—April 7, 1948

Juanita Banks beat Therese Theis

Cleveland—April 20, 1948

Norma Robinson drew Jean Miller

Portland ME—May 11, 1948

June Byers beat Mae Weston

Minneapolis—May 11, 1948

Violet Viann beat Helen Hild

Duluth—May 14, 1948

Violet Viann beat Gladys Galento

Baltimore - May 18, 1948

Rose Evans beat Juanita Mendez

Columbus—May 19, 1948

Mildred Burke beat Dot Dotson

Baltimore—May 25, 1948

June Byers-Therese Theis beat Rose Evans-Elvira Snodgrass

Columbus—May 26, 1948

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Banks

Cleveland—June 8, 1948

Jean Miller beat Adele Spudis

Columbus—June 30, 1948

Elvira Snodgrass beat Mae Weston

San Antonio—July 14, 1948

Violet Viann beat Mae Young

San Antonio—July 21, 1948

Juanita Coffman beat Therese Theis

San Antonio—July 28, 1948

Violet Viann beat Juanita Coffman

Columbus—September 8, 1948

Violet Viann-Dot Dotson beat Nell Stewart-Mae Young

Columbus—September 15, 1948

Violet Viann-Dot Dotson vs. Nell Stewart-Elvira Snodgrass

Little Rock—October 12, 1948

Nell Stewart beat Ellen Olsen, Violett Viann beat Dot Dotson

Minneapolis—October 26, 1948

Therese Theis beat Juanita Coffman

San Antonio—October 27, 1948

Violet Viann beat Dot Dotson

St. Paul—October 29, 1948

Therese Theis beat Mae Young

San Antonio—November 3, 1948

Violet Viann beat Nell Stewart dq

San Antonio—November 10, 1948

Violet Viann-Lillian Ellison (as Ellen Ellison) beat Dot Dotson-Nell Stewart

Minneapolis—November 23, 1948

June Byers beat Therese Theis

Little Rock—November 23, 1948

Mildred Burke beat Ada Ash

Minneapolis—November 30, 1948

June Byers drew Therese Theis

Columbus—December 3, 1948

Mildred Burke beat Helen Hild

St. Paul—December 3, 1948

Therese Theis beat June Byers

Cleveland—December 8, 1948

Therese Theis-Helen Hild beat June Byers-Ada Ash

Columbus—December 9, 1948

Therese Theis-Helen Hild beat June Byers-Ada Ash

Cleveland—December 14, 1948

June Byers-Juanita Coffman vs. Therese Theis-Helen Hild

Columbus—December 16, 1948

Helen Hild-Therese Theis beat June Byers-Juanita Coffman

Cleveland—December 21, 1948

Helen Hild beat Elvira Snodgrass

(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 628)

The WAWLI Papers No. 628...

(ED. NOTE: The New WAWLI Papers editorial board has never made a secret of the fact that a goodly portion of the material appearing in this newsletter is ticketed, in one form or another, for the forthcoming ‘On Top: The Ultimate History of Professional Wrestling in North America.’ Herein, another sneak preview of some of that accumulation, namely, just a smidgeon of what will be a vastly comprehensive list of matches featuring girls, midgets, bears, alligators and other "special attractions." Our apologies to anyone who is offended. The following was a very, very early draft of the material, which is now probably some 100 times lengthier, at a minimum.)

(continued from New WAWLI No. 627)

Mankato—April 28, 1949

Mildred Burke beat Juanita Coffman

Salt Lake City—April 28, 1949

Helen Hild beat Nell Stewart

Mankato—May 11, 1949

Helen Hild beat Nell Stewart

Duluth—June 30, 1949

Violet Viann beat June Byers

Mankato—October 26, 1949

Dot Dotson beat Helen Hild

Rochester MN—November 3, 1949

Therese Theis beat Dot Dotson

Salt Lake City—November 3, 1949

Violet Viann beat June Byers

Duluth—January 4, 1950

June Byers beat Violet Viann

Mankato—January 5, 1950

June Byers beat Violet Viann

Eugene—January 28, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat George Dusette

Salem OR—January 31, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Tony Ross

Roseburg—February 4, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Leo Wallick

Sandusky—February 6, 1950

Wilma Gordon beat Nell Stewart

Grants Pass—February 7, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Jack Lipscomb

Klamath Falls—February 8, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Buck Lipscomb

Medford—February 9, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat George Dusette

Coos Bay—February 10, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Leo Wallick

Eugene—February 11, 1950

GUS THE BEAR drew Tony Ross

Sandusky—February 13, 1950

Eva Lee beat Mae Young

Portland OR—February 13, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat George Dusette

Astoria OR—February 15, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Tony Ross

Sandusky—February 20, 1950

Wilma Gordon-Eva Lee beat Mae Young-Nell Stewart

Eugene—February 25, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Jack Lipscomb-Tony Ross

Salem—March 7, 1950

GUS THE BEAR beat Jack Lipscomb-Leo Wallick

Wichita Falls—March 16, 1950

WRESTLING BEAR beat Whitey Whittler

Wichita Falls—March 23, 1950


Sandusky—March 27, 1950

RED TIGRESS-Clara Von Straus beat Lillian Ellison (Moolah)-Patsy O’Neil dq

Mankato—March 30, 1950

Mae Weston beat Ellen Olsen

Sandusky—April 3, 1950

RED TIGRESS-Clara Von Straus beat Lillian Ellison-Patsy O’Neil

Duluth—April 5, 1950

Mae Weston beat Helen Hild

Sandusky—April 10, 1950

Lillian Ellison-Patsy O’Neil beat RED TIGRESS-Clara Von Straus

Wichita Falls—April 13, 1950

Mildred Burke beat Elvira Snodgrass

Sandusky—April 17, 1950

Mildred Burke beat Mae Weston

Sandusky—April 24, 1950

Mildred Burke beat June Byers

Sandusky—May 8, 1950

GORGEOUS GUS THE BEAR beat Billy Venable

Mankato—May 11, 1950

Mildred Burke beat Mae Weston

Sandusky—May 15, 1950

Sky Low Low beat Tiny Roe

Rochester MN—May 18, 1950

Mildred Burke beat Nell Stewart

Sandusky—May 22, 1950

Tom Thumb beat Pee Wee James, GORGEOUS GUS THE BEAR beat Frank Marconi

Sandusky—June 5, 1950

Carol Cook-Marilyn Martin beat Mae Young-Millie Stafford, Millie Stafford beat Carol Cook, Mae Young beat Marilyn Martin

Sandusky—July 3, 1950

Lady Angel beat Lillian Ellison

Sandusky—July 12, 1950

Carmen Lee beat Conchita Pons

Sandusky—July 26, 1950

Muriel Fontaine beat Mattie Bell

Sandusky—August 2, 1950

Juanita Coffman beat Lady Atlas

Duluth—October 3, 1950

Sky Low Low beat Pee Wee James

Mankato—October 5, 1950

Pee Wee James beat Sky Low Low

Rochester MN—October 12, 1950

Sky Low Low beat Pee Wee James

Sandusky—October 23, 1950

Juanita Coffman beat Sandra Kowal

Sandusky—October 30, 1950

Margie Markoff (Lady Monster) beat Juanita Coffman

Rochester MN—November 1, 1950

Nell Stewart beat Carol Cook (sub for Mars Bennett)

Mankato—November 2, 1950

Nell Stewart beat Gloria Barratini

Sandusky—November 6, 1950

Lillian Ellison beat Conchita Pons

Duluth—November 10, 1950

Nell Stewart beat Mars Bennett

Sandusky—November 13, 1950

Wilma Gordon beat Juanita Coffman

Sandusky—November 20, 1950

Conchita Pons beat Lillian Ellison dq

Sandusky—November 27, 1950

Lillian Ellison-Patsy O’Neil vs. Lady Angel-Conchita Pons

Sandusky—December 4, 1950

Marilyn Martin-Margie Green beat Muriel Fontaine-Ann Rommell

Sandusky—December 11, 1950


Mankato—February 1, 1951

Mars Bennett vs. Lilly Bitter

Rochester MN—February 14, 1951

Sky Low Low beat Mighty Fritz

Rochester MN—March 3, 1951

Mars Bennett beat Mae Young

Duluth—March 12, 1951

Ella Waldek beat Ann LaVerne

Rochester MN—March 15, 1951

Ella Waldek beat Beverly Lehmer

Mankato—March 15, 1951

Mildred Burke beat Ann LaVerne

Duluth—March 19, 1951

Mildred Burke beat Ella Waldek

Mankato—April 25, 1951

Tiny Roe beat Tom Thumb

Duluth—May 15, 1951

Tiny Roe beat Tom Thumb

Rochester MN—May 17, 1951

Pancho the Bull beat Tiny Roe

Mankato—May 17, 1951

Little Beaver beat Tom Thumb

Duluth—May 21, 1951

Carol Cook beat Dot Dotson

Mankato—May 24, 1951

Carol Cook beat Dot Dotson

Duluth—June 25, 1951

Nell Stewart beat Carol Cook

Duluth—October 1, 1951

Carol Cook beat Dot Dotson dq

Mankato—October 4, 1951

Donna Marie Dieckman beat Dot Dotson

Mankato—October 11, 1951

Donna Marie Dieckman-Therese Theis beat Dot Dotson-Carol Cook

Rochester MN—October 11, 1951

Nell Stewart beat Carol Cook

Duluth—January 7, 1952

Therese Theis (sub for Mary Jane Mull) beat Ruth Boatcallie

Mankato—January 10, 1952

Ida May Martinez beat Therese Theis

St. Paul—January 11, 1952

Therese Theis beat Ruth Boatcliffe

Rochester MN—January 12, 1952

Mary Jane Mull beat Therese Theis

Duluth—January 14, 1952

Mary Jane Mull beat Therese Theis

St. Paul—January 18, 1952

Therese Theis beat Mary Jane Mull

Baltimore—February 12, 1952

Betty Hawkins-Cora Combs beat Terry Majors-Ida May (Martinez)

Baltimore—February 19, 1952

Terry Majors beat Cora Combs

Miami Beach—February 29, 1952

Therese Theis beat Mary Jane Mull

St. Paul—February 29, 1952

Lilly Bitters beat Dot Dotson

Mankato—March 6, 1952

Ramona Rundquist beat Lilly Bitter

Miami Beach—March 7, 1952

Betty Hawkins won all-girl royal from Helen Hild, Therese Theis, Anne LaVerne, Cora Combs, Mary Jane Mull

Miami Beach—March 21, 1952

Betty Hawkins beat Helen Hild

Duluth—March 31, 1952

Lily Bitter (sub for Millie Stafford) beat June Byers

Minneapolis—April 1, 1952

Lilly Bitters beat June Byers

Rochester MN—April 2, 1952

Millie Stafford beat June Byers

Mankato—April 3, 1952

Lilly Bitter beat June Byers

St. Paul—April 4, 1952

Lily Bitters beat Ella Waldek

Minneapolis—April 8, 1952

Lilly Bitters beat Ella Waldek

St. Paul—April 11, 1952

Lilly Bitters beat June Byers

Duluth—May 26, 1952

June Byers beat Terry Majors

Minneapolis—May 27, 1952

June Byers beat Terry Majors

Rochester MN—May 28, 1952

June Byers beat Carol Cook

St. Paul—May 29, 1952

June Byers beat Terry Majors

Rochester MN—June 11, 1952

Millie Stafford beat Ella Waldek

St. Paul—June 13, 1952

Millie Stafford beat Ella Waldek

Minneapolis—August 5, 1952

Nell Stewart beat Ida May (Martinez)

Minneapolis—November 4, 1952

Violet Viann beat Mars Bennett

St. Paul—November 7, 1952

Carol Cook beat Mars Bennett

Rochester MN—November 8, 1952

Carol Cook beat Mars Bennett

Minneapolis—November 11, 1952

Carol Cook beat Ruth Boatcallie

St. Paul—November 14, 1952

Violet Viann beat Carol Cook

Duluth—November 21, 1952

Carol Cook-Violet Viann beat Mars Bennett-Ruth Boatcallie

Duluth—December 21, 1952

Shirley Strimple beat Lavon Hart dq

Mankato—January 22, 1953

Shirley Strimple beat Lavon Hart

Atlanta—January 30, 1953

Tuffy McRae-Farmer Pete beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Duluth—February 6, 1953

Shirley Strimple beat Ramona Hazel

Atlanta—February 20, 1953

Kathleen Wimbley vs. Betty White

Mankato—March 5, 1953

Cora Combs beat Terry Majors

Duluth—March 6, 1953

Cora Combs beat Terry Majors

Rochester MN—March 18, 1953

Ella Waldek beat Millie Stafford

Mankato—March 19, 1953

Millie Stafford beat Ella Waldek

Duluth—March 28, 1953

Betty Hawkins beat Ella Waldek

Atlanta—April 3, 1953

Irish Jackie vs. Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete

Porterdale GA—April 11, 1953

Farmer Pete vs. Irish Jackie

Rochester MN—April 15, 1953

Mildred Burke beat Therese Theis (sub for Ella Waldek)

Mankato—April 16, 1953

Mildred Burke beat Ella Waldek

Duluth—April 17, 1953

Mildred Burke beat Cora Combs

Duluth—April 25, 1953

Therese Theis vs. Cora Combs

Mankato—May 14, 1953

Pee Wee James vs. Mighty Schultz

Duluth—May 15, 1953

Mighty Schultz beat Fuzzy Cupid (sub for Pee Wee James)

Atlanta—June 26, 1953

Cora Combs vs. Millie Stafford

Atlanta—July 24, 1953

Mildred Burke beat Cora Combs

Duluth—October 2, 1953

Little Beaver-Tuffy McRae beat Fuzzy Cupid-Karl Krueger

Atlanta—October 9, 1953

Little Beaver-Tito Infante beat Fuzzy Cupid-Tom Thumb

Atlanta—November 20, 1953

Mildred Burke beat Millie Stafford

Atlanta—December 11, 1953

Nell Stewart beat Ida Mae Martinez

Mankato—December 17, 1953

Ramona TeSalle beat Delores DeWitt

Atlanta—December 18, 1953

Terry Majors beat Carole Carota

Duluth—December 18, 1953

Princess Ramona beat Delores DeWitt

Atlanta—December 25, 1953

Terry Majors beat Carole Carota

Duluth—January 9, 1954

Ethel Brown beat Ella Waldek dq

Atlanta—January 8, 1954

Tuffy McRae-Tito Enfante beat Fritz Krueger-Fuzzy Cupid

Rochester MN—January 14, 1954

Ella Waldek beat Ethel Brown

Atlanta—January 29, 1954

Mildred Burke vs. Catherine Simpson

Rochester MN—February 17, 1954

Hailie Selassie-Pee Wee James beat Tiger Jackon-Tom Thumb

Mankato—March 4, 1954

Pee Wee James-Tuffy McRea beat Sky Low Low-Tiger Jackson

Rochester MN—March 18, 1954

Shirley Strimple beat Delores DeWitt

Mankato—March 18, 1954

Ella Waldek vs. Ethel Brown

Duluth—March 19, 1954

Ella Waldek beat Ethel Brown

Atlanta—March 26, 1954

Mildred Burke beat Bonnie Watson

Atlanta—April 9, 1954


Duluth—May 4, 1954

Shirley Strimple beat Delores DeWitt

Atlanta—May 7, 1954

Mary Jane Mull drew Ida Mae Martinez

Atlanta—May 14, 1954

Suzanne drew Millie Stafford

Rochester MN—May 26, 1954

Shirley Strimple beat Ann LaVerne

Atlanta—May 26, 1954

Millie Stafford drew Ida Mae Martinez

Atlanta—June 5, 1954

Mildred Burke beat Mary Jane Mull

Atlanta—July 23, 1954

Millie Stafford drew Carole Yantis

Atlanta—August 6, 1954

Mildred Burke beat Bonnie Watson

Baltimore—August 10, 1954

Nell Stewart beat Judy Glover

Atlanta—August 20, 1954

June Byers beat Mildred Burke 1-0

Duluth—September 14, 1954

Shirley Strimple beat Ramona Waukazo

Duluth—September 21, 1954

Tiny Tim-Tito Infante beat Sky Low Low-Otto Bowman

Atlanta—October 1, 1954

Barbara Baker vs. Nell Stewart, GORGEOUS GUS THE BEAR beat Jerry Graham

Atlanta—October 8, 1954

Cora Combs beat Belle Starr

Atlanta—October 29, 1954

Little Beaver beat Ivan the Terrible

Duluth—November 2, 1954

Betty Hawkins beat Barbara Baker

Rochester MN—November 4, 1954

Betty Hawkins beat Barbara Baker

Mankato—November 4, 1954

Ethel Brown beat Nell Stewart

Duluth—November 9, 1954

Nell Stewart beat Ethel Brown

Rochester MN—November 10, 1954

Nell Stewart beat Ethel Brown

Atlanta—December 10, 1954

Kathy Branch beat Ethel Brown

(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 629)

The WAWLI Papers No. 629...

(ED. NOTE: The New WAWLI Papers editorial board has never made a secret of the fact that a goodly portion of the material appearing in this newsletter is ticketed, in one form or another, for the forthcoming ‘On Top: The Ultimate History of Professional Wrestling in North America.’ Herein, another sneak preview of some of that accumulation, namely, just a smidgeon of what will be a vastly comprehensive list of matches featuring girls, midgets, bears, alligators and other "special attractions." Our apologies to anyone who is offended. The following was a very, very early draft of the material, which is now probably some 100 times lengthier, at a minimum.)

(continued from New WAWLI No. 628)

Rochester MN—January 12, 1955

Penny Banner beat Millie Stafford

Duluth—January 14, 1955

Penny Banner beat Millie Stafford

Rochester MN—January 19, 1955

June Byers beat Penny Banner (world title defense)

Duluth—January 21, 1955

June Byers-Millie Stafford beat Penny Banner-Betty Hawkins

Mankato—January 27, 1955

Tiny Tim-Tito Infante beat Sky Low Low-Otto Bowman

Duluth—January 28, 1955

Tiny Tim-Tito Infante beat Sky Low Low-Otto Bowman

Mobile—February 8, 1955

Vickie Lynn beat Patty Neff

Mobile—March 1, 1955

Ethel Brown beat Judy Glover

Rochester MN—March 30, 1955

Nell Stewart beat Ida May Martinez

Duluth—April 1, 1955

Nell Stewart beat Kathy Branch

Duluth—April 8, 1955

Kathy Branch-Ida Mae Martinez beat Nell Stewart-Olga Zapata

Rochester MN—April 13, 1955

Tiny Tim-Pee Wee James beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Mankato—April 14, 1955

Pee Wee James-Tiny Tim beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Mobile—April 20, 1955

Otto Bowman beat Tuffy McRae

Mobile—May 17, 1955

China Mira beat Dot Dotson

Mobile—May 24, 1955

Ethel Johnson beat Babs Wingo

Mobile—May 31, 1955

Millie Stafford beat Lana Lamar

Mobile—June 7, 1955

Cowboy Bradley beat Tom Thumb

Mobile—July 19, 1955

Kathleen Wimberly beat Betty White

Mobile—August 30, 1955

Lord Littlebrook beat Ivan the Terrible

Duluth—September 16, 1955

Cowboy Bradley-Brown Panther beat Tom Thumb-Otto Bowman

Mobile—September 21, 1955

Belle Starr-Lee Fields vs. Dot Dotson-Mario Galento (mixed)

Duluth—October 18, 1955

Tiny Tim-Tito Infante vs. Sky Low Low-Ivan the Terrible

Duluth—October 25, 1955

Rusty Ryan (sub for Le Chon LaClaire) beat Kathy Branch

Rochester MN—October 26, 1955

Bonnie Watson beat Rusty Ryan

Mankato—November 3, 1955

Kathy Branch beat Bonnie Watson

Rochester MN—December 7, 1955

Ethel Brown beat Millie Stafford

Mobile—December 14, 1955


Rochester MN—December 15, 1955

Ethel Brown beat Barbara Baker

Mankato—December 15, 1955

Barbara Baker vs. Millie Stafford

Kansas City—January 12, 1956

Penny Banner beat Belle Starr

North Attleboro—January 13, 1956

Fabulous Moolah beat Susie Starr

Wichita—January 16, 1956

Belle Starr-Edith Wade beat Penny Banner-Millie Stafford

Rochester MN—March 1, 1956

June Byers beat Bonnie Watson (world title defense)

Mankato—March 1, 1956

June Byers vs. Kathy Branch

Duluth—March 2, 1956

June Byers-Betty Hawkins beat Penny Banner-Bonnie Watson

Duluth—March 9, 1956

Betty Hawkins beat Penny Banner

Mobile—March 14, 1956

Verne Bottoms-Les Welch beat Carol Kowalski-Stan Kowalski (mixed), Carole Kowalski beat Verne Bottoms

Mankato—March 21, 1956

Little Beaver-Pee Wee James beat Otto Bowman-Ivan the Terrible

Rochester MN—March 28, 1956

Little Beaver-Pee Wee James beat Ivan the Terrible-Otto Bowman

Duluth—March 30, 1956

Little Beaver-Pee Wee James beat Ivan the Terrible-Otto Bowman

Atlanta—March 30, 1956

Cowboy Bradley beat Fuzzy Cupid

Portland OR—April 23, 1956

Pee Wee James-Tiny Roe beat Otto Bowman-Ivan the Terrible

Edmonton—April 24, 1956

Barbara Baker beat Betty Hawkins

Vancouver—April 25, 1956

Olga Zepeda beat Millie Stafford

St. Louis—April, 1956

Mae Weston beat Bonnie Watson

Edmonton—May 1, 1956

Millie Stafford beat Barbara Baker

Kansas City—May 3, 1956

Mars Bennett beat Belle Drummond, China Mira beat Lana Lamar

St. Joseph—May 4, 1956

Belle Drummond beat Mars Bennett

Portland—May 4, 1956

Pee Wee James-Tiny Roe beat Otto Bowman-Ivan the Terrible

Boston—May 7, 1956

Judy Grable drew Fabulous Moolah

Mobile—May 9, 1956

Verne Bottoms beat Libbie Gonzalez

Columbus—May 10, 1956

Belle Starr beat Lana Lamar

Kansas City—May 10, 1956

Belle Drummond-China Mira beat Mars Bennett-Ella Waldek

St. Joseph—May 11, 1956

Belle Drummond-China Mira beat Mars Bennett-Ella Waldek

St. Louis—May 11, 1956

June Byers beat Bonnie Watson

Vancouver—May 16, 1956

Betty Joe Hawkins-Millie Stafford beat Barbara Baker-Olga Zepeda

Omaha—May 21, 1956

Shirley Strimple beat Lorraine Johnson

Little Rock—May 22, 1956

Ethel Johnson beat Marva Scott

Vancouver—May 23, 1956

Otto Bowman-Pee Wee James beat Ivan the Terrible-Tiny Roe

Detroit—May 24, 1956

Fuzzy Cupid beat Tiny Tim Girard

Mobile—May 30, 1956

Fuzzy Cupid vs. Tiny Tim

Hollywood—June 4, 1956

Irish Jackie-Tom Thumb drew Cowboy Bradley-Little Beaver

Hamilton—June 5, 1956

Fuzzy Cupid-Sky Low Low drew Lord Littlebrook-Tiny Tim

Duluth—June 21, 1956

Shirley Strimple beat Lorraine Johnson

Toronto—June 21, 1956


St. Petersburg—July 11, 1956

Millie Stafford beat Jean Wright

Vancouver—July 11, 1956

June Byers beat Bonnie Watson

Mobile—July 25, 1956

China Mira beat Dot Dotson

Portland OR—August 20, 1956

Lord Littlebrook-Tiny Tim beat Tom Thumb-Irish Jackie

Mobile—August 22, 1956

June Byers beat Penny Banner (title defense)

Mobile—September 5, 1956

June Byers beat Bonnie Watson (title defense)

Mobile—September 19, 1956

Kathy Branch beat Ella Waldek

Rochester MN—September 20, 1956

Lord Littlebrook-Tiny Tim beat Irish Jackie-Fuzzy Cupid

Rochester MN—September 26, 1956

Lorraine Johnson beat Annette Palmer

Mankato—September 26, 1956

Tiny Tim-Lord Littlebrook vs. Fuzzy Cupid-Irish Jackie

Mobile—September 26, 1956

Kathy Branch beat Penny Banner dq

Mobile—September 27, 1956

Millie Stafford beat Rusty Ryan

Mankato—October 24, 1956

Bonnie Watson beat Penny Banner

Rochester MN—October 25, 1956

June Byers-Penny Banner beat Betty Hawkins-Bonnie Watson

Duluth—October 26, 1956

Penny Banner-Bonnie Watson beat June Byers-Betty Hawkins

Duluth—November 2, 1956

June Byers beat Penny Banner (world title defense)

Rochester MN—November 22, 1956

Shirley Strimple beat Annette Palmer

Mobile—November 22, 1956

Penny Banner vs. Millie Stafford

Montgomery—November 24, 1956

Millie Stafford beat Ellen Whitnor

Mankato—December 5, 1956

Shirley Strimple beat Annette Palmer

Duluth—January 18, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Edmonton—January 22, 1957

Barbara Baker-Penny Banner beat June Byers-Betty Jo Hawkins

Mankato—January 23, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther beat sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Vancouver—January 23, 1957

June Byers beat Penny Banner

Rochester MN—January 24, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Calgary—January 25, 1957

Betty Jo Hawkins vs. Barbara Baker

Edmonton—January 29, 1957

Penny Banner-Betty Jo Hawkins beat June Byers-Barbara Baker

Vancouver—January 30, 1957

June Byers beat Betty Jo Hawkins

Duluth—February 1, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther beat Tom Thumb-Irish Jackie

Calgary—February 1, 1957

Penny Banner-Betty Jo Hawkins vs. June Byers-Barbara Baker

Vancouver—February 6, 1957

Betty Jo Hawkins-Penny Banner beat June Byers-Barbara Baker

Vancouver—February 13, 1957

June Byers-Barbara Baker beat Betty Jo Hawkins-Penny Banner

Mankato—February 20, 1957

June Byers-Barbara Baker beat Penny Banner-Betty Hawkins

Vancouver—February 20, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther beat Irish Jackie-Tom Thumb

Rochester MN—February 21, 1957

June Byers-Barbara Baker beat Penny Banner-Betty Hawkins

Rochester MN—February 28, 1957

June Byers beat Penny Banner (world title defense)

Regina—February 28, 1957

Pee Wee James-Irish Jackie vs. Brown Panther-Lord Littlebrook

Calgary—March 1, 1957

Pee Wee James vs. Lord Littlebrook, Irish Jackie vs. Brown Panther

Edmonton—March 5, 1957

Lord Clayton-Brown Panther vs. Tom Thumb-Irish Jackie

Calgary—March 8, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther vs. Irish Jackie-Tiny Tim

Duluth—March 26, 1957

Baby Doe beat Caroline Bennett

Rochester MN—March 27, 1957

Babe Doe beat Caroline Bennett

Rochester MN—April 9, 1957

Pee Wee James-Tito Infante beat Sky Low Low-Beau Brummel

Duluth—May 31, 1957

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther vs. Fuzzy Cupid-Ivan the Terrible

Regina—September 5, 1957

Ivan the Terrible-Fuzzy Cupid vs. Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther

Calgary—September 6, 1957

Lord Littlebrook vs. Fuzzy Cupid, Brown Panther vs. Ivan the Terrible

Regina—September 11, 1957

Ivan the Terrible-Fuzzy Cupid vs. Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther

Calgary—September 13, 1957

Brown Panther-Lord Littlebrook vs. Fuzzy Cupid-Ivan the Terrible

Duluth—September 21, 1957

Barbara Monroe (Baker?) beat Shirley Strimple

Mankato—October 9, 1957

Annette Palmer beat Mars Monroe

Calgary—November 1, 1957

Ethel Johnson vs. Betty Garcia, June Byers vs. Babs Wingo

Regina—November 14, 1957

Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie vs. Tiny Tim-Red Feather

Calgary—November 15, 1957

Red Feather vs. Irish Jackie, Tiny Tim vs. Sky Low Low

Calgary—November 22, 1957

Tiny Tim-Red Feather vs. Irish Jackie-Sky Low Low

Rochester MN—November 28, 1957

Red Feather-Tiny Tim beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Mankato—December 4, 1957

Red Feather-Tiny Tim beat Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie

Edmonton—December 23, 1957

June Byers beat Alma Mills

Edmonton—December 30, 1957

June Byers-Jacqueline Hammond vs. Alma Mills-Betty Garcia

(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 630)

The WAWLI Papers No. 630...

(ED. NOTE: The New WAWLI Papers editorial board has never made a secret of the fact that a goodly portion of the material appearing in this newsletter is ticketed, in one form or another, for the forthcoming ‘On Top: The Ultimate History of Professional Wrestling in North America.’ Herein, another sneak preview of some of that accumulation, namely, just a smidgeon of what will be a vastly comprehensive list of matches featuring girls, midgets, bears, alligators and other "special attractions." Our apologies to anyone who is offended. The following was a very, very early draft of the material, which is now probably some 100 times lengthier, at a minimum.)

(continued from New WAWLI No. 629)

Amarillo—January 2, 1958

Judy Grable beat Peggy Allen

Kansas City—January 2, 1958

Kay Noble beat Lorraine Johnson

Norfolk—January 2, 1958

Ethel Johnson beat Marva Scott

Toronto—January 2, 1958

Little Beaver-Lord Littlebrook beat Ivan the Terrible-Sky Low Low

Tucson—January 3, 1958

Mary Galuz-Jack Terry beat Laura Martinez-Chief Ava (mixed)

Omaha—January 4, 1958

Lorraine Johnson beat Kay Noble

Memphis—January 6, 1958

GINGER THE BEAR drew Red Roberts

Sarasota—January 6, 1958

Dot Dotson drew Kathy Starr, Mae Mastern beat Ruth Waters

Norfolk—January 9, 1958

Ethel Johnson-Lulu Mae Provo vs. Marva Scott-Babs Wingo

Atlanta—January 10, 1958

Nell Stewart beat LeChona LaClaire

St. Joseph—January 10, 1958

Lorraine Johnson vs. Kay Noble

Memphis—January 13, 1958

Therese Theis beat Princess Vampier dq

Tampa—January 13, 1958

Corinne Cordero-Tito Infante beat Irish Jackie-Kathy Starr

Regina—January 16, 1958

June Byers beat Alma Mills

Rochester MN—January 23, 1958

Lorraine Johnson beat Kay Noble

Holyoke—January 28, 1958

Lolita Valdez beat Honey Melody

Orlando—January 28, 1958

Betty Hawkins beat Ruth Waters

St. Petersburg—January 29, 1958

Ruth Waters beat Helen Hild

Chillicothe—January 30, 1958

Nell Stewart beat Elaine Ellis dq

Mankato—January 30, 1958

Kay Noble-Annette Palmer beat Lorraine Johnson-Jean Bennett (sub for Mars Monroe)

Kansas City—January 30, 1958

Dolly Paige beat Gypsy Rose

Santa Monica—January 31, 1958

Tom Thumb-Wild Red Berry beat Little Feather-Pepper Gomez (mixed)

Philadelphia—January 31, 1958

Irish Jackie-Ivan the Terrible beat Cowboy Bradley-Lord Littlebrook

St. Joseph—January 31, 1958

Doll Paige vs. Gypsy Rose

Revere MA—January

Lady Angel beat Yo Yo Hutton

Youngstown—February 1, 1958

Rita Cortez vs. Judy Grable

Memphis—February 3, 1958

Ella Waldek beat Peggy Johnson

Worcester—February 4, 1958

Lulu LaMarr beat Alma Mills dq

Holyoke—February 5, 1958

Alma Mills beat Lulu LaMarr

North Attleboro—February 7, 1958

Alma Mills vs. Lulu LaMarr

Revere—February 8, 1958

Lulu LaMarr vs. Alma Mills

Sarasota—February 10, 1958

China Mira beat Gerry Wright

Tampa—February 10, 1958

Barbara Baker-Judy Glover beat Betty Hawkins-Nell Stewart

Abilene—February 11, 1958

Doll Page vs. Gypsy Rose

Worcester—February 11, 1958

Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete beat Vinnie Garibaldi-Brother Jay

Holyoke—February 12, 1958

Vinnie Garibaldi beat Brother Jay-Robert Randall

Lubbock—February 12, 1958

Doll Page vs. Gypsy Rose

Norfolk—February 13, 1958

Peggy Allen vs. Judy Grable

Springfield MO—February 13, 1958

Ethel Brown drew Lorraine Johnson, Lorraine Johnson-Great Mephisto beat Ethel Brown-Eddie Williams

Bradenton—February 15, 1958

Betty Hawkins beat Helen Hild

Modesto—February 15, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Red Feather beat Tiny Roe-Tom Thumb

Birmingham—February 17, 1958

Joan Ballard vs. Penny Banner

Tampa—February 17, 1958

Judy Glover-Cowboy Cassidy beat Barbara Baker-Sir Robert Randall

Ashville NC—February 18, 1958

Judy Grable beat Peggy Allen

Cedar Rapids—February 18, 1958

Marge Marlowe beat Harriett Hunter

Paducah—February 19, 1958

GINGER THE BEAR beat Chico Salazar

Mankato—February 20, 1958

Lorraine Johnson beat Annette Palmer

Des Moines—March 4, 1958

Rose Roman beat Ada Ash

Minneapolis—March 4, 1958

Lorraine Johnson-Millie Stafford beat Mary Jane Mull-Kay Noble

Seattle—March 4, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Little Red Feather vs. Tiny Roe-Tom Thumb

Madison—March 5, 1958

Ethel Johnson beat Babs Wingo

St. Petersburg—March 5, 1958

Mona Baker, Betty Hawkins, Alma Mills, Frankie Moore, Jerry Wright in 5-girl royal

Chicago—March 7, 1958

Ethel Johnson-Lulu Provo beat Betty White-Babs Wingo

Liverpool ENG—March 7, 1958

Black Panther-Little Beaver vs. Fuzzy Cupid-Sky Low Low

North Attleboro—March 7, 1958

Alma Mills beat Sherry Grable

Bradenton—March 8, 1958

Lady Angel beat Barbara Baker, Lord Randall beat Sonny Boy Cassidy

Chicago—March 8, 1958

Ethel Johnson beat Babs Wingo

Phoenix—March 10, 1958


Sarasota—March 10, 1958

Dot Dotson beat Lady Angel

Nashville—March 11, 1958

Peggy Johnson vs. Jessica Rogers

Seattle—March 11, 1958

Betty Allen drew Judy Grable

Worcester—March 11, 1958

Brother Jay beat Vinnie Garibaldi dq

Yuma—March 11, 1958


Tucson—March 12, 1958


Amarillo—March 13, 1958

Lord Littlebrook-Great Bolo beat Irish Jackie-Joe Christie (mixed)

Bristol TN—March 13, 1958

Betty Garcia beat Peg Johnson

Miami—March 14, 1958

Barbara Baker vs. Lady Angel

Oklahoma City—March 14, 1958

Doll Page beat Gypsy Rose

Roanoke—March 14, 1958

Fabulous Moolah beat Rita Cortez

Salt Lake City—March 14, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Little Beaver beat Tiny Roe-Tom Thumb

Bradenton—March 15, 1958

Judy Glover beat Nell Stewart

Davenport—March 15, 1958

Hillbilly Kate-Bob Barton beat Princess Dawn Eagle-Tex Ballard (mixed), Hillbilly Kate drew Princess Dawn Eagle

St. Louis—March 15, 1958

Penny Banner beat Jessica Rogers

Boston—March 17, 1958

Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete beat Vinnie Garibaldi-Brother Jay

Memphis—March 17, 1958

Penny Banner-Jessica Rogers beat Betty Garcia-Peggy jackson

Sarasota—March 17, 1958

Betty Evans beat Jerri Wright, Ella Waldek beat China Mira

Tulsa—March 17, 1958

Lord Littlebrook-Tiny Tim beat Irish Jackie-Ivan the Terrible

Waco—March 17, 1958

Babs Wingo beat Lulu Mae Provo

Dallas—March 18, 1958

Lulu Mae Provo beat Babs Wingo

Edmonton—March 18, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Tom Thumb vs. Red Feather-Tiny Roe

Nashville—March 18, 1958

Lady Angel beat Jessica Rogers, GINGER THE BEAR beat Frank Hewitt

Seattle—March 18, 1958

Judy Grable vs. Carol Von Himmler

Worcester—March 18, 1958

Alma Mills beat Mona Baker, Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete beat Vinnie Garibaldi-Brother Jay

Mankato—March 20, 1958

Annette Palmer beat Mars Monroe

Rochester MN—March 27, 1958

Kay Noble-Annette Palmer beat Lorraine Johnson-Mars Monroe

Rochester MN—April 3, 1958

Red Feather-Cowboy Bradley beat Tiny Roe-Tom Thumb

Mankato—April 17, 1958

Millie Stafford beat Mary Jane Mull

Rochester MN—April 25, 1958

Millie Stafford beat Mary Jane Mull

Toronto—July 3, 1958

Fuzzy Cupid-Sky Low Low beat Cowboy Bradley-Little Beaver

Honolulu—July 6, 1958

Beau Brummell drew Tiny Tim, Red Feather beat Klondike Jake

Calgary—July 8, 1958

Penny Banner-Lorraine Johnson beat Jackie Hammond-Laura Martinez

Regina—July 10, 1958

Penny Banner-Lorraine Johnson beat Judy Glover-Laura Martinez

Toronto—July 10, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Little Beaver drew Fuzzy Cupid-Sky Low Low

Chicago—July 11, 1958

Shirley Strimple beat Ada Ash

St. Joseph—July 11, 1958

Kay Noble vs. Kathy Starr

New York City—July 12, 1958

Tito Enfante-Little Beaver vs. Sky Low Low-Tom Thumb

Omaha—July 12, 1958

Shirley Strimple beat Laura Martinez

Honolulu—July 13, 1958

Red Feather-Tiny Tim beat Beau Brummel-Klondike Jake

Charlotte—July 14, 1958

Peggy Allen beat Rita Cortez

Ft. William—July 14, 1958


Astoria NY—July 15, 1958

Tito Enfante-Farmer McGruder beat Fuzzy Cupid-Tom Thumb

Charlotte—July 15, 1958

Peggy Allen beat Rita Cortez

Long Island City—July 16, 1958

Fuzzy Cupid vs. Tito Enfante

Washington DC—July 17, 1958

Tito Enfante-Farmer McGregor beat Fuzzy Cupid-Tom Thumb, China Mira beat Nell Stewart

Philadelphia—July 19, 1958

Farmer McGregor beat Tom Thumb

Revere MA—July 19, 1958

Alma Mills beat Penny Mannor

St. Joseph—July 19, 1958

Penny Banner drew Kay Noble

Honolulu—July 20, 1958

Beau Brummel drew Tiny Tim, Red Feather beat Klondike Jake dq

Dallas—July 22, 1958

Tona Tomah beat Peggy King

Memphis—July 22, 1958

Nell Stewart beat China Mira

Regina—July 24, 1958

Brown Panther-Lord Littlebrook vs. Ivan the Terrible-Tiny Roe

St. Joseph—July 25, 1958

Penny Banner vs. Laura Martinez

Honolulu—July 27, 1958

Little Red Feather-Tiny Tim beat Beau Brummell-Klondike Jake

Hollywood—July 28, 1958

Beau Brummel-Fritz Von Goering beat Red Feather-Haystack Calhoun (mixed)

Roanoke—July 29, 1958

Millie Stafford beat Peggy Allen

Los Angeles—July 30, 1958

Beau Brummel-Hardy Kruskamp beat Tiny Tim-Billy Darnell (mixed)

Kansas City—July 31, 1958

Lorraine Johnson beat Laura Martinez

Toronto—July 31, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Little Beaver beat Sky Low Low-Tom Thumb

North Attleboro—August 1, 1958

Penny Manner-Alma Mills beat Mona Baker-Bambi Ball

Pasadena—August 1, 1958

Red Feather-Billy Darnell beat Pee Wee James-Fritz Von Goering, Little Wolf beat Tom Thumb

St. Joseph—August 1, 1958

Lorraine Johnson drew Kay Noble

Stockton—August 7, 1958

Little Red Feather-Tiny Tim beat Bull Brummel-Pee Wee James

Chicago—August 8, 1958

Shirley Strimple beat Ramona TeSelle

Oakland—August 8, 1958

Little Red Feather-Tiny Tim beat Beau Brummell-Pee Wee James

Dallas—September 30, 1958

Penny Banner beat Kay Noble

San Francisco—September 30, 1958

(midget tag)

Tampa—September 30, 1958

Fabulous Moolah vs. Rita Cortez

Charlotte—September ??

Judy Grable beat Rita Cortez

Galveston—September ??

Kay Noble beat Penny Banner

Houston—September ??

Penny Banner beat Laura Martinez

Holyoke—October 1, 1958

Vinnie Garibaldi-Sir Robert Randall beat Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete

Washington DC—October 2, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Farmer McGregor beat Pee Wee James-Sky Low Low

Boston—October 4, 1958

Fuzzy Cupid-Sky Low Low vs. Cowboy Bradley-Scotty McGregor

Ft. Lauderdale—October 4, 1958

Fabulous Moolah vs. Rita Cortez

Revere MA—October 4, 1958

Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete vs. Vinnie Garibaldi-Sir Robert Randall

St. Paul—October 4, 1958

Shirley Strimple beat Sharon Lass

Ft. Worth—October 6, 1958

Penny Banner beat Kay Noble

Washington DC—October 6, 1958

Fabulous Moolah vs. Rita Cortez

Baltimore—October 7, 1958

Fabulous Moolah beat Rita Cortez

Columbia SC—October 7, 1958

Betty Hawkins vs. Tonah Tomah

Minneapolis—October 7, 1958

Shirley Strimple beat Ada Ash

(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 631)

 The WAWLI Papers No. 631...

(ED. NOTE: The New WAWLI Papers editorial board has never made a secret of the fact that a goodly portion of the material appearing in this newsletter is ticketed, in one form or another, for the forthcoming ‘On Top: The Ultimate History of Professional Wrestling in North America.’ Herein, another sneak preview of some of that accumulation, namely, just a smidgeon of what will be a vastly comprehensive list of matches featuring girls, midgets, bears, alligators and other "special attractions." Our apologies to anyone who is offended. The following was a very, very early draft of the material, which is now probably some 100 times lengthier, at a minimum.)

(Continued from New WAWLI No. 630)

Corpus Christi—October 8, 1958

Penny Banner drew Laura Martinez

Holyoke—October 8, 1958

Sonny Boy Cassidy-Farmer Pete beat Vinnie Garibaldi-Sir Robert Randall

Rochester NY—October 8, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Farmer McGregor beat Pee Wee James-Sky Low Low

Charlotte—October 9, 1958

Betty Hawkins vs. Toni Tonino

Cleveland—October 9, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Farmer McGregor beat Pee Wee James-Sky Low Low

Mankato—October 9, 1958

Shirley Strimple vs. Annette Palmer

Kansas City—October 9, 1958

Peggy King drew Kathy Starr

Washington DC—October 9, 1958

Fabulous Moolah beat Judy Grable

Buffalo—October 10, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Farmer McGregor beat Pee Wee James-Sky Low Low

Houston—October 10, 1958

Penny Banner beat Kay Noble

Salt Lake City—October 10, 1958

Black Panther-Lord Littlebrook beat Ivan the Terrible-Tiny Roe

St. Joseph—October 10, 1958

Joan Ballard vs. Kathy Starr

St. Paul—October 11, 1958

Shirley Strimple beat Kathy Starr

Holyoke—October 13, 1958

Alma Mills beat Mona Baker

Springfield MO—October 15, 1958

Kitty Adams beat Peggy Allen

Cleveland—October 16, 1958

Ramona TeSelle beat Rose Roman

St. Joseph—October 17, 1958

Lord Littlebrook vs. Tiny Roe

Albuquerque—October 21, 1958

Kay Noble beat Penny Banner

Mobile—October 22, 1958

Millie Stafford-Lee Fields vs. Mrs. Pancho Villa-Pancho Villa

Kansas City—October 23, 1958

Brown Panther-Lord Littlebrook beat Ivan the Terrible-Tiny Roe

St. Joseph—October 24, 1958

Brown Panther-Lord Littlebrook beat Ivan the Terrible-Tiny Roe

St. Louis—October 25, 1958

Lord Littlebrook-Brown Panther beat Ivan the Terrible-Tiny Roe

Dayton—October 28, 1958

Cowboy Bradley-Billy Cox beat Lord Littlebrook-Tiny Roe

Holyoke—October 29, 1958

Sonny Boy Cassidy beat Vinnie Garibaldi-Red Weasel

Kansas City—October 30, 1958

Laura Martinez beat Peggy King

Atlanta—October 31, 1958

Farmer McGregor beat Tom Thumb

St. Paul—November 1, 1958

Penny Banner-Lorraine Johnson beat Kay Noble-Kathy Starr

Ft. Worth—November 2, 1958

Ann Regan vs. Sylvia Torres

Phoenix—November 3, 1958

TROTSKY THE BEAR beat Don Arnold

Washington DC—November 3, 1958

Fabulous Moolah-Arlene Ratliff vs. Betty Clark-Rita Cortez

Baltimore—November 4, 1958

Fabulous Moolah-Arlene Ratliff vs. Betty Clark-Rita Cortez

Dayton—November 4, 1958

Ethel Johnson beat Martha Scott

Tucson—November 4, 1958

TROTSKY THE BEAR beat Don Arnold

Mankato—November 6, 1958

Annette Palmer beat Mars Monroe

Rochester MN—November 27, 1958

Mars Monroe-Jeannette Collins beat Annette Palmer-Raymonde Cody

Rochester MN—December 11, 1958

Shirley Stremple beat Ramona TeSelle

Waterloo -- 1958

Lorraine Johnson beat Kay Noble

Cincinnati—January 2, 1959

Ethel Johnson-Babs Wingo beat Elaine Ellis-Pattie Neff

Mankato—January 8, 1959

Lorraine Johnson beat Annette Palmer

Rochester MN—January 14, 1958

Kathy Starr-Kay Noble beat Lorraine Johnson-Princess Tona Tomah

Rochester MN—February 19, 1959

Tiny Tim-Mario Sanchez beat Fuzzy Cupid-Pee Wee James

Mankato—March 19, 1959

Mars Monroe beat Sharon Lass

Boston—August 14, 1959

June Byers vs. Lorraine Johnson, Laura Martinez vs. Jessica Rogers

Mankato—October 21, 1959

Mars Monroe vs. Sharon Lass

Washington DC—November 2, 1959

Slave Girl Moolah-Rita Cortez vs. Judy Grable-???

Mankato—November 3, 1959

Little Beaver-Tiny Tim beat Irish Jackie-Billy the Kid, Little Beaver beat Billy the Kid

New York City—November 9, 1959

Brown Panther-Pancho Lopez vs. Sky Low Low-Pee Wee James

Washington DC—December 28, 1959

Brown Panther vs. Pee Wee James, Judy Grable-Pat Lyda vs. Peggy Allen-Marge Ramsey

Commack NY—December 28, 1959

Brown Panther vs. Fuzzy Cupid

Commack NY—January 23, 1960

Brown Panther-Pancho Lopez vs. Irish Jackie-Pee Wee James

Washington DC—January 25, 1960

Brown Panther-Dandy Andy vs. Irish Jackie-Pee Wee James

Mankato—January 27, 1960

Annette Palmer beat Ella St. John (sub for Mars Monroe)

Mankato—February 10, 1960


Washington DC—February 18, 1960

Little Beaver-Brown Panther vs. Sky Low Low-Fuzzy Cupid

White Plains—February 27, 1960 (afternoon)

Little Beaver-Brown Panther vs. Sky Low Low-Fuzzy Cupid

Long Island City—February 27, 1960 (evening)

Little Beaver-Brown Panther vs. Sky Low Low-Fuzzy Cupid

Washington DC—March 28, 1960

Slave Girl Moolah-Joyce Scott vs. Judy Grable-Fran Gravette

Mankato—April 18, 1960

Brown Panther-Pancho Lopez beat Sky Low Low-Fuzzy Cupid, Brown Panther beat Fuzzy Cupid

Mankato—May 6, 1960

June Byers beat Annette Palmer (world title defense)

Mankato—October 5, 1960

Ella St. John beat Mars Monroe

Rochester MN—November 24, 1960

Mars Monroe beat Lady Atlas

Rochester MN—December 19, 1960

Cowboy Bradley beat Tiny Roe

Rochester MN—January 12, 1961

Annette Palmer-Millie Stafford beat Lorraine Johnson-Mars Monroe

Mankato—January 13, 1961

Annette Palmer-Millie Stafford beat Lorraine Johnson-Mars Monroe

Duluth—January 18, 1961

Millie Stafford-Mars Monroe beat Lorraine Johnson-Ella St. John

Mankato—January 25, 1961

Little Beaver-Juan Jiminez beat Sky Low Low-Tom Thumb

Rochester MN—January 26, 1961

Little Beaver-Red Taylor beat Sky Low Low-Tom Thumb

Duluth—April 26, 1961

Kathy Starr beat Annette Palmer, Millie Stafford beat Kathy Starr

Rochester MN—April 27, 1961

Lorraine Johnson beat Judy Glover

Duluth—June 14, 1961

Little Beaver-Bernie Burke beat Fuzzy Cupid-Pee Wee James

Rochester MN—June 15, 1961

Little Beaver-Bernie Burke beat Fuzzy Cupid-Pee Wee James

Mankato—October 16, 1961

Annette Palmer beat Mars Monroe

Rochester MN—November 23, 1961

Millie Stafford-Annette Palmer beat Jessica Rogers-Mars Monroe

Mankato—November 17, 1961

Millie Stafford-Annette Palmer beat Kathy Starr-Jessica Rogers

Duluth—November 29, 1961

Little Beaver-Bernie Burke beat Fuzzy Cupid-Irish Jackie, Millie Stafford beat Jessica Rogers

Rochester MN—November 30, 1961

Little Beaver-Bernie Burke beat Fuzzy Cupid-Irish Jackie

Rochester MN—January 25, 1962

Evelyn Stevens beat Barbara Baker

Rochester MN—March 15, 1962

June Byers beat Barbara Baker (world title defense)

Mankato—April 4, 1962

Kay Noble beat Barbara Baker

Rochester MN—April 5, 1962

Kay Noble beat Barbara Baker

Rochester MN—November 22, 1962

Annette Palmer-Christa Clark beat Mars Monroe-Adrian Ames

Rochester MN—March 10, 1963

Kay Noble vs. Annette Palmer

Duluth—May 15, 1963

Tiny Bell-Marcel Semard beat Pee Wee Lopez-Irish Jackie

Mankato—December 5, 1963

Marcel Semard beat Chico Santana

Edmonton—January 21, 1964

Princess Little Cloud-Judy Grable beat Bette Boucher-Dorothy Carter

St. Paul—February 8, 1964

Kay Noble beat Dorothy Carter

Minneapolis—February 9, 1964

Princess Little Cloud beat Bette Boucher

Mankato—February 13, 1964

Judy Grable-Princess Little Cloud beat Mars Monroe-Dorothy Carter

Edmonton—February 25, 1964

Mighty Ursus vs. WRESTLING BEAR

Minneapolis—March 24, 1964

Kay Noble beat Annette Palmer

Calgary—March 24, 1964

Tiny Tim-Irish Jackie vs. Sky Low Low-Fuzzy Cupid

Edmonton—March 31, 1964

Sky Low Low-Fuzzy Cupid-Eric the Great vs. Tiny Tim-Irish Jackie-Mighty Ursus

St. Paul—May 9, 1964

Marcel Semard-Little Boy Blue beat Pee Wee Lopez-Chico Santana

Mankato—May 13, 1964

Marcel Semard-Little Boy Blue beat Pee Wee Lopez-Chico Santana

Minneapolis—May 20, 1964

Marcel Semard-Little Boy Blue beat Pee Wee Lopez-Chico Santana

Minneapolis—May 30, 1964

Kay Noble beat Mars Monroe

Edmonton—June 9, 1964

Judy Grable-Toni Rose vs. Princess White Dove-Princess Little Cloud

Minneapolis—July 18, 1964

Kay Noble-Jean Antone beat Mars Monroe-Ann Regan

Edmonton—October 6, 1964

Doll Paige vs. Baby Cheryl, Betty Ann Spencer vs. Sweet Georgia Brown

St. Paul—October 17, 1964

Dorothy Paige beat Baby Cheryl

St. Paul—December 12, 1964

Annette Palmer beat Mars Monroe

Mankato—December 15, 1966

Little Beaver-Jamaica Kid beat Sky Low Low-Little Brutus

Mankato—October 19, 1967

Annette Palmer-Ramon Torres beat Mars Monroe-Big K (mixed)

Mankato—November 28, 1967

VICTOR THE BEAR beat Jack Daniels


(ED. NOTE—The following is an excerpt from part two of an interview with Dick Beyer, who wrestled as the "Intelligent, Sensational Destroyer" and "Dr. X" during the ‘60s through the ‘80s. It may be found at the Whatever Happened to . . . ? web site, URL for which is:

So I talked to Don (Owens) and I promised, "When I finish in LA, I’ll come in for you." So when I went into LA, I went in there on a Thursday. I talked to the office and said, "You guys must not want me to come in here. I’m down here at the commission office and my name isn’t even in here to get a license." Jules Strongbow says, "Well, you’re not in here as Dick Beyer." "What the hell have you got me wrestling under?" He says, "We’re going to put a mask on you and call you The Destroyer." I said, "I don’t even have a mask." When I went in there, I went in under the impression that I was going to be ‘Dick Beyer.’ Now, while I was still in Honolulu, I had gotten heel pictures made. Five hundred copies of five different pictures. I had one with the figure four leg lock on Lord Blears, because he taught me how to do it. Buddy Rogers had just retired, so I thought, "Good, then I’ll use the figure four leg lock." So, I used the figure four leg lock in one, and had four other heel pictures. I shaved my head and went the whole nine yards. I’ve still got them in a box downstairs. The first night that I wrestled with my hood on was a Friday night in San Diego. I don’t even remember my opponent. (pause) Don Duffy ... Don Duffy might have been the guy. We checked our records and found that you worked with Seymour Koenig (aka Sid Freeman) on April 27, 1962. That might be right. Anyway, Hardy Kruskamp was the promoter. After the match, I went back to the dressing room and said, "All right, Hardy. You guys have had your rib. You go back and tell the office that I’m through as The Destroyer. That was the first and last match of The Destroyer." He looks panicked and says, ‘No, you’ve got to work for at least four weeks. We’ve booked you that far ahead.’ "Well, after four weeks, I’m taking it off." Was that because it was hard to work in? It was several things. First of all, I had no masks. The first mask I used was given to me by Vic Christy and it was a joke. Vic was the biggest ribber in the business. It was full of moth holes and was a full body outfit. It slipped down over my head. It had two eye holes, no nose, and no mouth. I said, "I ain’t wearin’ this." I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t do anything with it, and I had never worked under a hood. What changed your mind? Ox Anderson was in the dressing room that night. He says, ‘Dick, try this on,’ and he threw me a mask. It was very similar to the one I wear now. I put it on and said, "Hey, this isn’t bad. I can breathe with it ... I can eat with it ... I can see ... I have peripheral vision. What’s this made out of?" Ox says, ‘It’s made out of a woman’s girdle.’ I said, "Can I use this tomorrow night in San Bernardino," because that’s where I was wrestling the next night. He said, ‘Yeah.’ So I used it and, on Sunday, my wife and I went shopping for girdles. That’s a true story. I tell people that when I speak at banquets. My wife made them from then on. We bought what was called a panty-hose garter belt. They were kind of like a girdle and a garter belt. Women used to wear silk stockings, so they had these garters that hung down to hold the stockings up. We went into a Woolworth’s department store and I put these on upside down. Here I am, standing in the lingerie department with my wife, putting girdles on my head. Large ones ... long, narrow ones. They had them small, medium, large ... short, medium, tall ... so I took a dozen of the small-tall. Before I was through, there was about twenty people standing around, looking at me trying on these girdles. My wife’s pulling the garter belts up around my head, trying to see if she could finish off the top. She bought some bias binding ... red, blue, green. That was the start of the Destroyer. After four weeks, though, I had tripled the best income I ever made. I thought, "Well, I’ll try it for awhile." A year and a half later, Jules came into the dressing room and said, ‘We’re going to take the mask off tonight.’ I said, "Uh-uh. Uh-uh. That’s why I know how to wrestle. Nobody’s taking this off." They said, ‘We have to.’ "You don’t have to ... and you’re not going to. There isn’t anybody in this dressing room that’s strong enough or mean enough to take this mask off." They said, ‘We told the people we were going to take the mask off of you.’ I said, "Well ... not tonight." I didn’t take it off. They had about six people at ringside to keep me from getting out, but in the middle of the match, I left the ring, up the aisle, and didn’t come back. I left the (Los Angeles) territory and went to work for Don Owen, since I had promised him to come in there when I left Honolulu. The story behind that is that Don had loaned Ed Francis the money to get the promotion started in Honolulu. Don came to Honolulu and was sitting at ringside for the first live studio wrestling program. It was the first time that I had started to work heel. I didn’t just go into the ring and start kicking, stomping, and booting. I talked like I was a very educated person from the East. I said, "I went to Syracuse University, not some ‘Mickey Mouse’ University here in Hawaii. The Ivy League schools are the educated ones." I used that kind of an angle to build my heat. Don Owen pulled me aside and asked, "How about coming to Oregon?" I said, "I’d love to. Could I start at the end of April?" So, I got a date booked and planned to go to Oregon from Honolulu, then back to Syracuse. As I mentioned before (WHT #4), Blassie got me booked in LA, so I had to postpone my Oregon trip. The complete interview with Dick Beyer can be found in issues #4 and #22 of Whatever Happened to ...?

The WAWLI Papers No. 632...


(ED. NOTE: Mark Nulty and Frank Dusek have combined forces for a dandy web site at and it’s well worth the time of anyone interested in professional wrestling, past or present, to dial it up. Included, in the Lou Thesz section, you’ll find the following photographs. Also, be sure to visit the on-line store for other important items.) (Lou Thesz, referee Adnan Kaisy, Danny Hodge) (Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Lou Thesz) (Ray Eckert, Frank Brown, Lou Thesz, Mike Mazurki, Lou Plummer at Houston, Tex., training session, June, 1939) (Joe Garagiola, Lou Thesz, Hans Bernstein, Joe Louis, Stan Musial, Yogi Berra, Red Schoendienst, circa 1950) (Nature Boy Buddy Rogers, Lou Thesz, August, 1991) (Curt Hennig, Lou Thesz, Larry Hennig) (Lou Thesz, Masahiro Chono in The Champ’s Last Match, December, 1990)


(Calgary Herald, Thursday, Nov. 4, 1999)

By Bob Blakey

In the days after Owen Hart’s fatal plunge in May from a harness above a Kansas City, Mo. wrestling ring, the questions piled up.

What would make the 34-year-old husband and father of two take such a dangerous chance? What did a glorified circus trick have to do with pro wrestling?

Only the basic facts were clear at the time. Hart, set to perform in a pay-per-view match for the World Wrestling Federation, was supposed to swoop down from a height of more than 20 metres and land in the ring wearing a superhero costume—as the "Blue Blazer."

Somehow the harness sprang open prematurely, and Hart’s 230-pound body slammed to the canvas, his chest hitting a turnbuckle on the way down.

To learn more, TV viewers and wrestling fans might have had to wait for the outcome of a lawsuit launched by the Hart family against the WWF and its head, Vince McMahon.

But a new documentary from Toronto’s High Road Productions, airing this Saturday on

A Channel, tells a chilling story of show business run amok, presenting interviews with Hart’s family and friends, and the wrestler himself, taped in 1997.

That summer, Owen Hart gave a 75-minute interview for filmmakers Paul Jay and Sally Blake—taped, but not used—for their 1998 documentary Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows. After Owen’s death, Jay and Blake took another look at the interview.

"That’s what really made the (new) film possible in some ways," Jay says.

"One of the reasons we wanted to do the (new) film—and we talked to the family about it—was we had this amazing interview with Owen. It just hadn’t worked in the other film because you would have to really go into it, and if you did, we just wouldn’t have had time to tell the Bret story."

In one portion of the interview, Owen recalls the sudden death of his 13-year-old nephew, Matthew Hart, who was stricken with flesh-eating disease in 1996.

"I got to talk to him," Owen Hart says on camera about his nephew, "and as weak as he was and as disoriented as he was, the first thing he talked about was wrestling.

"I was holding his little hand and thinking, a week ago he was fine. He was wrestling. How could this happen?"

Then the wrestler makes a comment that’s eerie in retrospect.

"It kind of makes you realize that you’re living on borrowed time," Hart says.

"You’re walking along one day and you’re doing nothing wrong, playing by the rules, being a good person, and it doesn’t guarantee anything."

Blake was transfixed by the footage.

"Looking at it kind of wrenched your gut, because a year and a half or so later, it was Owen," Blake says.

The tragedy of Owen Hart makes much more sense in this documentary than any other accounts viewers have likely encountered. As the gaudily costumed "Blue Blazer," Hart was there merely to lose to one of the World Wrestling Federation’s bad guys, the key element in a spoof by the WWF that was aimed at the rival World Championship Wrestling—the new home for old-style wrestling heroes like the Hitman.

After the older Hart was forced out of the WWF by its boss, Vince McMahon, brother Owen wanted out as well but was held to his "lousy contract," as Owen describes it on camera.

Fellow wrestlers, including brother Bret, say Owen was repeatedly told he had to go along with offensive pre-match antics, which included having a buxom, scantily clad woman massage his crotch for the TV camera. Another plan would have had a woman reaching down into the front of his pants.

"He just said, ‘No. I’m not going to do anything like that,’ " recalls Bret.

"I always advised him, don’t ever sell yourself out," says his wife Martha on camera. "Don’t ever sell your morals for money because you’re going to hate yourself in the end. Money is not worth it."

Hart refused on several occasions to take part in any performances of a sexual nature. The WWF then revived the Blue Blazer character. By the time Owen Hart was ordered to do the cable stunt, he was worn out from resisting.

"They want me to do this stunt," Martha recalls him saying, "and I don’t feel right about doing it . . . but I have to."

The WWF and McMahon were asked to take part in the film but declined, Jay says.

As the documentary unfolds, we see how he had wanted a "normal" life for his wife Martha and their young children Oje and Athena.

Owen, the youngest of Stu and Helen Hart’s 12 children, grew up in a world of wrestling on the western edge of Calgary.

Stu Hart had special hopes for the baby of the family—that the boy would become an amateur wrestler, the legitimate version of competitive grappling. Owen tried it for a while during high school.

"I was living my dad’s dream of being an amateur wrestler, (aiming to be) an Olympic champion. My dad never made me amateur-wrestle. He just encouraged it," Owen says in the film.

"But I hated it. I didn’t like dieting, I didn’t like being the famous Hart boy."

One wonderful event came out of that period. He met 17-year-old Martha, and it was the proverbial love at first sight.

Determined to make his own choices, Owen attended university with ambitions that included becoming a teacher. But in his third year he was enticed into the pro-wrestling ring by the opportunity of a good standard of living for him, Martha and the family they planned.

He later quit the WWF and tried to become a firefighter in Calgary but was turned down, so it was back to the WWF.

Poignantly, we see the Harts’ partly built dream house with a view of the Rockies. Owen wanted to make enough money to finish constructing it. Then he would quit wrestling for good.


(Montreal Gazette, November 3, 1999)

By Mike Boone

Paul Jay and Sally Blake are to professional wrestling what William L. Shirer was to Nazi Germany. Someday the Toronto film-makers will use their contacts and accumulated expertise to create the definitive World Wrestling Federation documentary, a chronological portrait that will rival the insight and analysis of Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

That mammoth project will have to wait, however, until the WWF bubble bursts—but Vince McMahon’s freak show shows every sign of outlasting Adolf Hitler’s 1,000-year Reich.

Until that great day when the world comes to its senses and returns professional wrestling to its logical place amid show-business oddities such as flea circuses and bearded ladies, we’ll have to content ourselves with the first-rate reportage that Jay and Blake are able to give us. It’s not easy to penetrate the meticulously contrived PR barriers that protect McMahon’s lucrative empire from journalistic scrutiny, but Jay and Blake have peeked behind the sequined curtain.

Not a pretty sight - and it was never uglier than a night last May at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, when a WWF stunt went horribly wrong and claimed the life of a 34-year-old wrestler.

The Life and Death of Owen Hart airs tonight at 10 on TV Ontario. If you’re not one of the cable subscribers who get that channel, don’t despair: the latest wrestling film from Jay and Blake will be telecast Nov. 16 on A&E’s Biography.

Jay and Blake collaborated on Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows. Their portrait of Bret Hart, the most famous member of an Alberta pro wrestling dynasty, won Best Documentary honours (beating out the world’s best) at the Banff Television Festival and has been nominated for four Gemini Awards.

Wrestling With Shadows was a revelation. The film-makers gained unprecedented access to the Hart family, and the documentary benefited immensely from Bret Hart’s intelligence and willingness to speak candidly about pro wrestling.

The film was a riveting portrait of a complex, highly articulate man and a perceptive analysis of a 1990s entertainment phenomenon. Driven by the marketing acumen and promotional genius of Vince McMahon, the WWF and its rival World Championship Wrestling have become wildly popular TV attractions, their ratings eclipsing the numbers of many legitimate sports events.

Wrestling has come a long way from the days when Stu Hart was barnstorming in Western Canada while his wife raised a dozen children.

"Stu was born 300,000 years too late," pro wrestler Harley Race told Jay and Blake. "He would have made an excellent caveman."

The seven Hart boys endured lessons in wrestling and life administered by the old man in the legendary basement of the family home. Bret recalls the subterranean wrestling ring, in which Stu would work over his sons, as a place of "humiliation, submission and high-pitched screaming."

There was no white-picket fence around the Hart house, a ramshackle home that brought a touch of Charles Addams Gothic to Calgary. Owen’s upbringing was less Father Knows Best than Leave It to Beaver, but as the baby of the family he grew up, the narration says, "a distinctly normal man in a very strange world."

And at a Pay-Per-View wrestling show at which he was to be lowered from a catwalk 80 feet above the ring, Owen Hart "paid the ultimate price for a stardom he never really wanted in the first place."

Because they had created a portrait of Bret Hart that was scrupulously fair and sympathetic to its subject, film-makers Jay and Blake were able to get their cameras in tight on grieving members of Owen’s family. They talked to his widow, his mother, his brothers and his WWF contemporaries, notably Mick Foley, aka Mankind. They didn’t get an interview with Vince McMahon, whose company is being sued by Hart’s survivors. The promoter shows up in The Life and Death of Owen Hart as a nervous, defensive target of hostile questions at a post-tragedy press conference. McMahon doesn’t add much - but every wrestling story needs a villain.


(Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 4, 1999)

By Christine Bahls & Michael Tearson

The pro-wrestling casualty count keeps rising.

Darren Drozdov, of Mays Landing, N.J., just joined the list.

The 30-year-old "Droz," a former Broncos defensive tackle and rising star in the World Wrestling Federation, is mostly paralyzed after a match in New York earlier last month. Drozdov suffered a fractured neck after being slammed during a match against D’Lo Brown.

He joins Stone Cold Steve Austin, Taz, Owen Hart and others who suffered horrible injuries in the ring.

The list of the seriously maimed has grown—as have pro wrestling’s gate receipts and viewing audience in recent years.

In 1996, "Nasty Boy" Jerry Saggs suffered crushed vertebrae when he was slammed with a chair.

In 1997, Stevie Richards nearly ended his career with a broken neck.

In 1998, Buff Bagwell got bulldogged andfell wrong. Result: spinal shock syndrome.

In the same year, Davey Boy Smith got body-slammed and hurt his back - but it was the subsequent infection that almost killed him.

Austin, one of the most admired men on TV in a national survey of 10- to 17-year-olds, received a broken neck in 1996 when Owen Hart nailed him with a pile driver that went wrong.

This is the same Owen Hart who fell to his death last summer during a stunt in which he was sliding down a wire from the top of Kemper Arena in Kansas City.

Extreme examples? Perhaps.

But sports entertainment—pro wrestling—is all about reaching those outrageous echelons. The wildest characters are usually showcased in the largest bodies possible. It’s all about slamming the hardest, screaming the loudest, flashing the most flesh and working the audience—which loves over minute of it—into a frenzy.

"Wrestlers are on the hot seat all the time, as they can be here today, gone tomorrow," said wrestler Tom Brandi.

"They’ll go to extremes," said trainer, wrestler and former boxer Damon Feldman, of Havertown. "I have one guy who comes in with barbed wire all over his body."

ll this means is that more wrestlers will suffer the same fate as Droz, Bagwell and the others, say those who should know.

Big guys—Droz weighs 270, King Kong Bundy goes about 400 -- fall hard.

"Wrestling now is more dangerous than in the past," said Bundy, also known as Chris Pallios. "There are more spectacular moves. There’s more chance . . . for injury, even though they don’t wrestle as much."

Bill Apter, editor of World Of Wrestling magazine, said he sees more injuries now than in the past. "Every worker is trying to not only outdo the other workers but also to outdo what he has done himself in earlier shows."

Wrestlers incur no more career-ending injuries than any other physical contact profession, said Alan Sharp, director of public relations for World Championship Wrestling. But even if their spines aren’t crushed, they play with pain every day.

"Nasty Boy" Brian Knobs rattled off his many injuries: Knee scopes, shoulder surgery, broken nose, fingers that won’t bend, stitches in his head.

Ex-wrestler and now trainer Larry Sharpe’s list of injuries is just as extensive and dealt with in the same this-is-the-price-you-pay attitude.

"You’re sore all the time," said Sharpe, who’s had a fractured vertebra, has broken every finger several times, torn his pancreas, broken his shoulder twice and his ankle once.

Of the 125 WCW wrestlers under contract, 10 are sidelined for various injuries, said the WCW. Officials from the World Wrestling Federation and Extreme Championship Wrestling declined comment.

"You accept a high tolerance of pain if you’re a player . . . you play through the pain," Knobs said.

And playing it is—about the only thing real about pro wrestling are the injuries. As one industry insider said, the success of pro wrestling stems from "creative compelling story lines and tremendous athleticism."

Even the kids know it’s bogus.

"I know it’s fake," said Frank Gambino, 12, of Cherry Hill. "Me and my brother . . . we mostly like to watch. It’s fun to watch."

Experts say pro-wrestling injuries are different from those incurred in traditional athletics. "You can’t compare the injuries," said Bill Gerzabek, head athletic trainer for La Salle College. "It’s like comparing an accountant’s injuries to a carpenter’s injuries."

"Any injuries are probably miscues in choreography," said Randy Huntington, the speed conditioning coach for the Denver Broncos. "It’s like watching a ballerina get dropped."

But whether it comes off right or wrong, the extreme pays.

In July, the Nielsen ratings indicated that 60 of the 100 top-rated cable shows that aired between March 29 and June 27 were pro-wrestling programs. Of the top 30, 26 were pro-wrestling events.

Tonight the WWF is taping the UPN show SmackDown at the First Union Center. The show’s been sold out for a month.

The pace seems unstoppable, because it’s the public that wants more. The more drama, the better.

The philosophy is, "you should leave them wanting more," said Sharpe, also known as "Pretty Boy," who owns the Monster Factory training facility in Mantua, N.J.

"People demand it so you have to give it to them," Bundy said.

Today, pro wrestling is not only mainstream, it’s ubiquitous. Toys, magazine covers, Pay Per View. It reaches all markets, all ages.

And the money lures.

Recently, an 11-year-old wanted to train with Feldman. A decade ago, Sharpe interviewed 100 wannabes, and accepted 25. Today, the number of applicants has grown to 150; the number trained hasn’t changed.

Between the WWF and WCW, there’s about 200 wrestlers under contract—few slots for so many who want them. Why are they willing to risk their necks?

"Sometimes, it’s better than sex," said Dan Cage, 25, a trainee.

"They’re more than willing, they’re begging to do it," Bundy said. "People are basically boneheads."

"Nasty Boy" Knobs - 6 foot-3, 305 pounds, bright blond hair - loves the life. At 36, he’s been wrestling for 14 years.

But he hurts.

"Everything doesn’t work the same," he said.

Is this true for all wrestlers? "Yes, some more than others . . . You get fixed, rehabbed and get back in the game," he said. He said he works 250 nights a year.

Sharpe said he tells his trainees about what’s ahead of them, but they don’t want to listen.

"No one is forced to perform in a situation that will jeopardize their safety," said the WCW’s Sharp.

A full-time trainer travels with the WCW wrestlers.

Wanting to make good money is a good thing in pro wrestling because medical insurance might be difficult to come by, said Cliff Stein, attorney and agent for Droz, who’s currently at the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital on Race Street.

All professional wrestlers are independent contractors. They receive no benefits, Stein said.

"If a professional wrestler calls an insurance company and says he’s a pro wrestler, they give him a hard time," he said. An industry insider said wrestlers who are hurt on the job are "taken care of," but declined to elaborate.

All of this seems irrelevant to the fans.

At a recent TNT Nitro event at the First Union Spectrum, kids as young as 3 were in the seats. The audience watched Nitro girl Kimberly Page proposition a young wrestler and Torrie Wilson flash her scantily clad self from ringside, trying to distract her man’s opponent. Dads and sons shared bonding moments.

Patricia David, a prison guard for the Gloucester County sheriff’s department, is a Goldberg worshiper. David, who was with a large crew of fellow guards, said she’s been watching the Big Boys for years. David said she loves the "men, sweat and bodies . . . I love it—the action."

Bill Kellam, a New Jersey State Police sergeant, was with his two boys, Alexander, nearly 10, and Nick, 13.

Kellam said he has no problem with his boys seeing the show.

"Absolutely not. I wrestled in college and high school. I coached. It’s entertainment. It’s a guy thing. I bring my boys, we have fun."

Brothers Matt and Michael Holman, 25 and 26 respectively, were cruising the Spectrum concourse, decorated with black and white face paint, a la rappers-turned-wrestlers the Insane Clown Posse.

They too, have watched the Big Boys for years.

Injuries, Mike Holman said, "are part of the game."

The WAWLI Papers No. 633...



(ED. NOTE—Prompted by the recent death of Paul Baillargeon, SLAM! Wrestling guru Greg Oliver went to work and stitched together an extraordinarily fact-filled biography of the largest collection of brothers ever to achieve stardom in the professional wrestling ring. The entire story is available at the SLAM! site, noted above. The following is excerpted from the piece, just another in the many which are gracing this most timely and thorough of all professional wrestling web sites.)

Their names were Jean, Charles, Adrien, Lionel, Paul and Antonio. Greg Oliver, in the SLAM! tribute, observes that the death of Paul, at age 77, "was barely mentioned in the Canadian English media. It’s a shame."

The family hailed from Saint-Magloire-de-Bellechasse, Quebec. Before entering wrestling in 1949, they were nationally known for their incredible feats of strength, which they displayed on coast-to-coast exhibition tours. Charles would pull a bus with his teeth, or Paul would lift a horse.

According to the book, "Hommage aux celebres freres Baillargeon," by Rejean Levesque (La Plume D’Or, 1997), Jean—the eldest—challenged a wrestler to a weightlifting challenge in 1946. After a couple of years’ traveling with their feats-of-strength roadshow, the brothers grew a little tired of the grind. A piece in the Montreal Herald, dated Jan. 26, 1950, noted:

"The three Baillargeon brothers, members of a family of six whose grocery bills you would hesitate to under-write, made their debut in a Montreal ring, all three won, and in so doing, showed a good deal of wrestling talent, plenty of bulging muscles, and a great deal of physical strength.

"Brother Jean gave fine display in beating tough Les Ryan, of Boston, using a head-hold which prompted Ryan to say "Uncle" or reasonable facsimile of same. Brother Adrien had too much power for Joe Christie, of Detroit, and pinned him with a body-press in 16:24. Mayes McLain, the former All-American, a big, rugged chap, gave the family most trouble. He wrestled Paul, who has a head of hair like Samson possessed before Delilah clipped him ... they went at it hammer and tongs, Paul seeking continually for a body-scissors. When McLain got real tough, Paul gave him the old heave-ho right out of the ring and McLain landed with such a jolt that he couldn’t beat the count back to the ring."

The youngest brother, Tony, wrestled the longest, from 1949 to 1976. Jean lasted 15 years, Adrien and Lionel only eight and nine years, respectively, while Paul worked 11 years. Charles’ career was cut short by a car accident at just six years. Ironically, he is the sole surviving brother today.
Maurice (Mad Dog) Vachon, who wrestled all six of the brothers at one time or another, said many wrestlers were intimidated by their sheer strength. He added: "The average wrestler could say that they were dangerous because they were unorthodox, to say the least. Especially Jean, who weighed 250 pounds. He could lift 500 pounds with his small finger. How on earth anyone could do that! It’s incredible the stuff they could do."
Information capsules on the six:

JEAN BAILLARGEON (b. 5-2-15, d. 3-2-94) 6-foot-2, 238 lbs., debuted in Saint-Damien, 1949, with win over Hassan Bey; CHARLES BAILLARGEON (b. 7-8-17) 5-foot-11, 190 lbs., debuted 1949 in Loretteville, beating Charlie Guilman; 1955 car accident ended his mat career, later joined Paul in operation of Hotel Baillargeon in Quebec City; ADRIEN BAILLARGEON (b. 10-26-18, d. 5-9-95) 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., "Le grand Francais," debuted as pro in 1949, settled in French-speaking Southwest Louisiana, circa 1957, upon his retirement fromt he ring; lived in Lafayette, La., until his death; LIONEL BAILLARGEON (b. 7-4-21, d. 6-19-82) 6-foot-3, 215 lbs., debuted 1949 vs. Willie Dubeau in Loretteville, held a version of Canadian jr. heavy title, retired 1958; PAUL BAILLARGEON (b. 7-19-22, d. 10-18-99) 6-foot-3, 230 lbs., "Le colosse de Saint-Magloire" and "The French-Canadian Bear," debuted 1949 vs. Paul Lortie in Saint-Damien, retired from ring 1960, biggest of the brothers in terms of wrestling stardom; ANTONIO (TONY) BAILLARGEON (b. 11-22-28, d. 3-14-97) 5-foot-10, 195 lbs., debuted 1949 vs. Charlie Guilman in Saint-Damien, wrestled in all Canadian providences and 45 U.S. states, engaged in more than 3,000 matches before retiring in 1976.


(Los Angeles Times, Sept. 6, 1934)

Howad Cantonwine, the Iowa mat menace, last night outroughed Leo Numa in the three-fall wrestling main event at the Olympic Auditorium before 7,000 fans.

Cantonwine won the first and third falls with slugging tactics to gain the verdict. Numa used a hammer throw to win the second fall in 8m. 25s.

The Iowa giant proved himself well versed in a pugilistic way by uncorking several well-aimed but ill-meant blows that flattened Numa. After Numa had taken the second fall, Cantonwine ran into another storm after action was resumed. He caught Numa unawares, however, with a right to the chin that ended the match.

Paul Boesch, the 220-pound Jewish Juggernaut, made Rudy Skarda surrender in 26m. 9s. of the semi-windup. Skarda substituted for Nick Lutze, who had an infected hand. Boesch used a terrifying Indian leg death grip to force his opponent to yell "kamarad." Boesch applied much leverage by dropping Skarda on his back and then folding both of Rudy’s legs under him.

Pat O’Shocker, the rugged Irishman, pinned Bonnie Muir in 11m. 25s. with a series of body slams. Billy Hoolihan resorted to several drop kicks and a body pin to flatten Hank Oswald in 11m. 26s. Harry Jacobs, the 310-pound grappler, body slammed Pat McCleary into submission in 4m. 25s. Abie Goldberg subdued Mike Strelich in 12m. 42s. with a Japanese hiplock.


(Los Angeles Times, Sept. 13, 1934)

Man Mountain Dean won over Howard Cantonwine in two straight falls in a riotous wrestling match at the Olympic Auditorium last night. A capacity crowd witnessed the slugfest.

Dean, the 317-pound Georgia farmer, won the first fall in 6m. 42s. when Cantonwine was disqualified for getting just a bit too rough. Cantonwine, after slugging Dean mercilessly, wrapped the ropes around Dean’s neck, threatening to choke the giant. Referee McDonald finally extricated Dean and sent the rivals to their corner. A doctor was called to revive the Man Mountain.

Dean won the second fall in 1m. 48s. with two body slams followed by an overhead backward body slam.

Nick Lutze won over Paul Boesch in the semi-windup in what was described by announcer Charlie Keppen as a recoil on a flying mule kick. Boesch kicked Lutze into the ropes, injuring his back in so doing. Lutze promptly pounced on Boesch to win the fall in 49m. 16s.

Joe Savoldi used a drop kick to the chin and a flying tackle to flatten Mike Mazurki in 9m. 38s.

Pat O’Shocker applied an airplane spin on Jack Ganson to dump the latter in 10m. 43s. Abie Goldberg, substituting for Rudy Skarda, was pinned by Ray Steele in 4m. 22s. Steele used a triple overhead backward body slam. Leo Numa dropped Jack Donovan with a hammer throw in 11m. 53s.


(Los Angeles Times, Sept. 20, 1934)

Man Mountain Dean, the 317-pound Georgia juggernaut, kept his wrestling winning streak intact last night at the Olympic Auditorium, polishing off George Zaharias in short order. A capacity crowd of 11,500 raving mat maniacs witnessed the proceedings. Several thousand were turned away for the second straight week.

Dean used his "running broad jump" hold to take all the fight out of Zaharias in 8m. 42s. The Man Mountain allowed himself to be buffeted about for the better part of this time before he finally swung into action on his own hook.

Zaharias missed a flying tackle, falling heavily on his stomach. Dean backed off, surveyed the prone Coloradoan critically, and then leaped on his back with the full impact of his 317 pounds. The Man Mountain repeated this procedure, then hoisted Zaharias high over his head and slammed him tot he mat. Dean used two more slams before he finally draped his massive frame over the unconscious Zaharias for the fall.

Zaharias collapsed in his corner and was unable to continue.

Howard Cantonwine and Nick Lutze wrestled twenty minutes to a thrilling draw in the special event. The two gladiators went the gamut of grappling holds, also managing to provide some variety by slugging each other about freely. They received encouraging applause for their exhaustive twenty minutes of effort as they left the ring.

Ray Steele body slammed Ivan Mannagoff into submission in 16m. 30s. Jagat Singh, who does his grunt and groaning in Hindu, flattened Cy Williams in 10m. 25s. Singh went through all the folderol of bowing down to his celestial gods and imploring the almighty Allah for strength with which to annihilate Mr. Williams. Singh used a series of flying mares to pin his foe. In the opener Dick Daviscourt and Abie Goldberg wrestled twenty minutes to a draw.


(Los Angeles Times, Sept. 27, 1934)

Man Mountain Dean came back after being pinned for the first time in his local mat career last night and flattened Joe Savoldi in the third and deciding fall to win the main event at the Olympic Auditorium. A crowd of 11,500 spectators witnessed the thriling match and approximately 10,000 were unable to get into the arena.

Dean won the third fall in 55s. after Savoldi missed two flying drop kicks. The Man Mountain crushed his foe by just falling on him.

The Man Mountain won the first fall in precisely 5m. 35s. Savoldi opened the match by circling Dean very cautiously. "Jumping Joe" then launched a flying tackle, but Dean sidestepped, Savoldi landing on his head. The Man Mountain clipped his adversary with several rabbit punches and then flattened him with a body pin.

Savoldi created a furor, to say nothing of an earthquake, by kicking the Man Mountain into the second press row to win the second fall in 1m. 10s. Savoldi used two drop kicks to send Dean out of the ring, the Man Mountain sending chairs and typewriterss spinning all over the floor. It took fifteen men to haul the 317-pound giant back into the ring.

Nick Lutze, the epitome of righteousness and justice in a wrestling match, came through in heroic fashion to pin Howard Cantonwine, a very convincing villain, in 27m. 41s. of hair-raising action. Lutze, after being given a two-minute rest to recover from his opponent’s foul tactics, battered Cantonwine out of the ring. Nick then applied a headlock, pulling the bad man over the top strand of the ropes and bounced him off the floor several times to settle the issue.

Ray Steele and Paul Boesch wrestled to a thrilling 20m. draw in the special event. Sammy Stein and Pat O’Shocker also grappled to a 20m. draw.

Jagat Singh pinned Tex Wright in 6m. 48s. with an Indian leg death grip. Dick Daviscourt subdued Abie Goldberg with a backward body slam in 14m. 25s.


(Los Angeles Examiner, Oct. 10, 1934)

By Maxwell Stiles

Forty years in the show business, at first as a professional strong man and the last 22 as a promoter, Lou Daro tonight reaches the seventh heaven of his promotional dreams. Tonight’s all-star cast supporting Jim Londos and Man Mountain Dean constitutes the zenith of "Carnation Lou’s" career.

No wrestling promoter has ever staged a show quite as big as this one. It is the biggest show of his life, not in money but in talent and—he hopes—in attendance. Four years ago at Wrigley Field Gus Sonnenberg and Everette Marshall drew $79,000 at prices ranging from $2 to $7.50. There were 25,000 fans present.

Daro expects 40,000 tonight, but because of the popular prices -- $1 to $3 -- the gate in dollars and cents will not equal that of Sonnenberg and Marshall. But in the matter of talent it is a peerless program of the pounce and pin.

In 1917 Daro put on one of the biggest sports shows in Boston. He was variously engaged in promotional activity throughout the East for a number of years. In 1920 he came to Los Angeles and staged his first local show at the Orange Grove Theater, seating about 300 people.

Oddly enough, Jim Londos, who tonight defends his championship under the promotion of Lou and his brother, Jack Daro, was featured in the main event on that first program in the dingy old Orange Grove Theater. Londos met and defeated a wrestler named Henry Weber in straight falls. They took in $110. Compare that with the $79,000 that Daro took in for Sonnenberg and Marshall, the 300 attendance with the 40,000 expected tonight.

The infant wrestling racket was moved up to the Philharmonic, where Daro put on his shows for a year. Stanislaus Zbyszko and Ed Lewis were his headliners in those days. Joe "Toots" Mondt met Lewis in a handicap match at the Philharmonic, the handicap being that if Lewis didn’t throw Mondt twice in an hour the verdict went to Mondt. Lewis didn’t do it, and the show was so big a hit that Daro put the two men on in a finish rematch at Washington Park, no handicap being given. The battle drew $31,000.

The next stamping ground for the beeg, strong fellers was the Exposition Armory. Here Stecher met Wladek Zbyszko and Browning was a featured performer.

Daro took over wrestling at the Olympic in 1926. His biggest gate there was $42,000 for Sonnenberg and Stecvher. Daro had a monopoly on wrestling in California for many years, but now there are fifty or sixty clubs in the state putting on shows.

In the last three years Lou has turned over most of the promotional work to his brother, Jack, fresh out of Columbia University and now 32 years old. Jack is rated a right smart young man among the grunt and groan fraternity and he has been a most astute and successful promoter.

"I do nothing in this business now without consulting my younger brother first," Lou said yesterday. "I give him all the credit for the success that wrestling has had here these last three years, and he has played a major part in this show at Wrigley Field."


(Los Angeles Examiner, Oct. 10, 1934)

By Maxwell Stiles

Two men this evening glare fierce challenge at one another across the electric blaze of floodlights in Wrigley Field.

One, a tufted, tumid Titan from the hillbilly haunts of Georgia. The other, best described as the wrestling champion of the world. King Kong versus an Adonis of ancient Argos.

Man Mountain Dean comes at last to close grips with Champion Jim Londos.

They meet tonight for the championship. They meet at the stroke of ten under the steady glare of perhaps 40,000 pairs of eyes, eyes of the pack on the hunt. Eyes waiting for the kill, eyes intent on seeing one of these bitter foes slammed down to the mat.

It is the bout that wrestling fans of this city have been waiting for ever since they first saw Man Mountain Dean several months ago. It is the bout that Dean has been trying to secure in a two-year chase of Londos from one end of the land to another. And it is the bout that Londos has finally consented to engage in as a means of ridding himself of his most bothersome pursuer, a man whom he has been dodging for reasons of his own but who—now that they are to meet—he has promised to toss so hard upon the canvas that he will bounce.

Dean, bearded, ponderous and possessing one of the world’s really choice "bay windows," will weigh in at 317 pounds. Londos, lithe and possessing a physique that would have been the glory of his ancient country of Greece, will show 202 pounds. A difference of 115 pounds!

And yet, strangely enough, the Londos reach exceeds that of Dean by a quarter of an inch. The champion’s biceps measure within two inches of those of Dean, ditto the forearms. Their calves and ankles measure the same, their thighs but an inch in favor of Dean. The great difference is to be found in the waist, where Londos measures but 33 inches, Dean 48. There lie those 115 pounds.

Dean stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, Londos 5 feet 8 inches. As strangely a matched pair as ever met for any championship in any sport.

Supporting them there is a card that is the pride and joy of the two promoters, Lou and Jack Daro. In point of talent it is the greatest supporting cast that has ever accompanied a world’s championship match in this country. It is the culmination of Lou Daro’s dreams, a perfect card on which appear, including the main eventers, five of the nine ranking grapplers in the game—Londos, Dean, Jim Browning, Ray Steele and Joe Savoldi, the four others of the top racket not on the program being Don George, Everette Marshall, Gus Sonnenberg and "Strangler" Ed Lewis. Five out of nine, and at popular prices ranging between $1 and $3.

Daro’s greatest outdoor show to date, that held at Wrigley Field in 1930 between Marshall and Sonnenberg, drew 25,000 people who paid $79,000. Princes then were $2 to $7.50, hence, while tonight’s crowd is expected to exceed that other by from ten to fifteen thousand, the gate in dollars and cents will not come up to the record set by Sonnenberg and Marshall.

Beginning at 8:30, and with the championship bout at ten o’clock, to be followed by two others, the program lines up as follows:

Jack Ganson vs. Pat O’Shocker.

Matros Kirilenko vs. Abe Goldberg.

Dick Daviscourt vs. Jagat Singh of India.

Sammy Stein vs. Casey Colombo.

Emergency bout, to be used when and if necessary: Paul Boesch vs. Ernie Dusek.

Joe Savoldi vs. George Zaharias.

Jim Londos vs. Man Mountain Dean.

Ray Steele vs. Joe Malcewicz.

Nick Lutze vs. Howard Cantonwine.

Of these, six have been felled by the gigantic Dean—Ganson, Daviscourt, O’Shocker, Zaharias, Cantonwine and Savoldi. So incensed are Savoldi and Zaharias over the treatment which they received at the hands of Dean in recent bouts that both are clamoring for another chance at his ponderous form. The Daro brothers have promised the winner of tonight’s Savoldi-Zaharias match an early bout with the Man Mountain regardless of whether Dean wins or loses his match with Londos.

Box office remains open all day today at the Olympic Auditorium, 39 Spring Street Arcade, and Wrigley Field. At 5:30 this evening 10,000 general admission tickets go on sale at Wrigley Field, plus 5,000 at $2 and 5,000 at $3. All are choice seats. The gates open at 5:30. There will be twenty-five ticket booths. Police, firemen, ushers, ticket sellers and takers, in addition to private officers, total close to 1,000 persons handling this huge crowd quickly and efficiently.

How They Tape

Jim Londos, Argos Greece—Frank Stonemountain Dean, Tucker Georgia

38 - Age - 35

202 - Weight - 317

5-8 - Height - 5-11

74 inches - Reach - 74 inches

46-51 inches - Chest - 56-61 inches

18 inches - Neck - 23 inches

18 inches - Bicep - 20 inches

15 inches - Forearm - 17 inches

9 inches - Wrist - 10 inches

33 inches - Waist - 48 inches

25 inches - Thigh - 26 inches

18 inches - Calf - 18 inches

11 inches - Ankle - 11 inches


The WAWLI Papers No. 634...


(Los Angeles Examiner, Oct. 11, 1934)

By Maxwell Stiles (appeared on Page One)

Upon the ruthless reefs of championship the grizzly galleon that was Man Mountain Dean last night lay—a beached an battered hulk.

Wrecked by the buffeting meted out to him by that Adonis of ancient Argos, Champion Jim Londos, this ponderous pirate of the realms of wrestling, 317 pounds of paunch and beard, and as burly a buccaneer as ever swept the Spanish Main, ended his cruise of plunder outside the ring at Wrigley Field.

While 37,756 fans roared their thunder from the far corners of the ball park, Londos subdued the mastodon of the mountains in two straight falls in the gigantic battle for the heavyweight wrestling championship of the world.

After securing the first fall in 21 minutes and 12 seconds with a body pin, following a Man Mountain broad jump that went wrong, Londos, in 1 minute and 22 seconds of the second fall, threw Dean over the ropes and out of the ring with such force that the Georgia hillbilly had to be carried out of the park on a stretcher.

As 317 pounds of flesh were thrown over the ropes into the press row, he came down with such force that he simply lay there, unable to return to the ring inside the required 20 seconds. The prostrate form of the once-mighty Man Mountain, after several minutes of wild confusion, was lifted back into teh ring, then out the other side, where it was possible to secure an exit.

As Dean was lowered from the ring into the arms of press row occupants and police, he was groaning about his injured back. He was able to walk a few steps, then fell back into an ambulance stretcher, to be hauled, a battered and desperately injured man, to a hospital.

Examinations upon arrival at the hospital showed nothing seriously wrong with the Man Mountain, but a badly bruised hulk of flesh.

Thus ended the challenge of the man who has been the greatest drawing card in the wrestling history of Los Angeles. And in this manner "Jeemy" Londos retained his precious title that means so much in gold and glory to the 200-pound man who gave away 117 pounds in its defense.

Don McDonald was named as the referee. They posed for pictures—the two antagonists, their managers, seconds and Promoter Lou Daro—then they were off.

As Dean edged toward Londos, the champion backed away momentarily, but soon they were once more in the center of the ring. Each man was a furtive figure, nerves tense, every sense alert.

Londos lugged his head against Dean’s beard and book and elbow to the chin in retaliation. A knee to the champion’s groin followed and then Dean backed Londos into the ropes.

Back they came to the center of the ring and then the Man Mountain secured a head lock with which he rolled Londos onto the canvas, the first time either man had been off his feet. They lay on the mat for a number of minutes and then just as the pressure of Dean’s weight began to force the champion’s shoulders to the floor, Londos wriggled loose. He wiggled right back into another similar hold, however, and once more Dean brought all of those 317 pounds into play in a desperate effort to pin the champion’s shoulders.

Londos managed to keep his left shoulder off the mat until some more wiggling on his part found him securely clasped in a head scissors. It took Jim about two minutes to break this one, but presently they were erect again, glaring at each other.

Londos secured a head lock, but Dean simply raised up and got out of it.

Much to the surprise of everyone, they were really wrestling instead of cuffing and roughing one another, as many had expected them to do. Londos was taking no chances on knocking himself out, as most of Dean’s local opponents have done in a vain effort to halter the big fellow into submission. And Dean was moving around the ring like a big, contented cow rather than like the furious bull that he has been in previous appearances here.

Dean clamped a hammerlock on Londos, and there was so little action at this point that the bleachers began to clamor. Londos broke the hold. Then, as twenty minutes were told off, things began to happen.

Dean was picked bodily off the floor by Londos, but fell on top of Jim. Sensing his opportunity, as Londos stopped in a groggy condition, Dean turned on the heat. Rabbit punch after rabbit punch he rammed on the neck of his fallen opponent.

Then he swept into action with that running broad jump of his which has sent so many men to the hospital, but when Dean landed Londos wasn’t there. While Dean was in the air, Londos, lithe and quick as a cat, twisted out of the way. Dean came down with all that weight of his onto the canvas. He was badly hurt.

Londos saw it, and in a flash he was on the prostrate form of Dean, battering his face and securing the fall in 21 minutes and 12 seconds.

Jack Ganson, well-named San Francisco rougher, went fifteen minutes through blood and resin to a draw with red-headed Pat O’Shocker in the opening bout. The popular Patrick sailed through all of Ganson’s rough stuff despite the fact that his face was a smear of scarlet after the first few minutes of action. O’Shocker had all the better of the argument.

Matros Kirilenko, billed as the wild Cossack, entered the ring clad in blue trunks covered by a leopard’s skin. His opponent was Abe Goldberg, Jewish boy. Just before the bell, the Cossack doffed his Tarzan regalia, but as a leopard cannot changed his spots, he thereupon executged a lot of limb to limb maneuvers that gained him the victory in 6 minutes, 24 seconds, with a series of body slams.

Just for the sake of diversity, and maybe a few laughs, the costumer now changed from leopard skins to turbans as Jagat Singh, the Hindu snake charmer from the Punjab, stalked into the ring to face "Rough and Ready" Dick Daviscourt. The barrel-chested Californian took keen delight in yanking at the Indian’s mustachio and that had all the effect of an infidel pulling the beard of the prophet, for Singh retaliated with some Oriental torture of his own until finally he secured his famed "Indian leg death grip."

It seemed there was no breaking this hold, which is modeled after a form of Indian torture, in which they leave their victims to die with their legs, wrapped in some grotesque pretzel-like manner around a post, but Daviscourt managed to wiggle under the ropes forcing Referee Mickey McMasters to untangle the avocado grower’s legs and prolong the bout.

A few minutes later, Singh secured the same hold, this time in the center of the ring and, after a few seconds of vigorous writhing, Daviscourt gave up. The time was 13 minutes 56 seconds.

Sammy Stein, who disputes Paul Boesch’s claim to the Jewish heavyweight title, required 13 minutes of scientific wrestling to subdue Casey Colombo with a scissors and jackknife. The two really wrestled and the bout was utterly devoid of all rough stuff.

Frank von Mohr substituted for Ernie Dusek in the emergency bout, opposing Boesch. The Brooklyn boy, Boesch, who is steadily working up toward the main event class, won with a reverse headlock that followed a series of Savoldi drop-kicks. The time was 6 minutes, 23 seconds.

Joe Savoldi met George Zaharias in the semi-windup. The two men, both beaten by Dean here recently, were wrestling it out for a return bout with the Man Mountain.

The contest was a series of punches, kicks and gouges. With one minute to go, Savoldi for the first time unleashed his famous drop-kick. Three of these to the body and then one wild last one to the jaw had Zaharias groggy and all but in a state of collapse. The bell saved him from further punishment and it went down as a draw that will probably pack them in as a main event at the Olympic at an early date.

Two bouts followed the main event, and to see them the entire crowd stayed to the bitter end. In the first of these, Ray Steele and Joe Malcewicz tossed each other around for twenty minutes to a draw. You will probably see them against next week during an all-star show at the Olympic. In the final bout of the evening, Nick Lutze and Hangman Howard Cantonwine met for the third consecutive time and the battle was just as rough as the other two had been. Again, as last time, Lutze won. The time was 12 minutes, 43 seconds, and the winning hold, a backward body slam.


(Charleston Post & Courtier, Nov. 7, 1999)

By Mike Mooneyham

A recent incident involving Tammy Sytch following an ECW show in Philadelphia has raised more concerns about a performer once dubbed the "queen of professional wrestling."

Sytch, 26, passed out in a chair in the ECW Arena locker room after the company’s Oct. 23 event. Sytch, whose troubled past involving substance abuse has been well-documented, has denied taking drugs that evening and believes she may have grabbed someone else’s non-alcoholic drink by mistake.

"She was sitting down in a chair, put her head on top of her makeup case, and that was it. She was out," ECW executive producer Paul Heyman told The Post and Courier last week.

Speculation was that the designer drug GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate), or a derivative thereof, was involved. The drug, which has been linked to a number of wrestling performers, is a potent substance that has become the controversial designer drug of the late ‘90s. The drug slows down the heart rate and burns fat while a person sleeps, but also has been blamed for causing unconsciousness, comas and convulsions.

Heyman said that Sytch, who has been on probation with the company, will not be fired because she passed a court-ordered drug test, adding that he was unwilling to accuse her of knowingly taking the substance because "the facts don’t match up."

"She had a (urine) test done by the court of New Jersey on the Tuesday after the incident, and they found nothing in her system," said Heyman.

Heyman said he believes Sytch’s story.

"Everybody drinks from each other’s Gatorade bottles or Coke bottles (in the locker room)," said Heyman. "Is it a possibility that someone else had GHB in their drink and she unknowingly picked up that drink? Yes, to the point where it raises enough reasonable doubt that I have to at least judge this from the perspective that there’s reasonable doubt not to fire her, and it convinced a judge in the state of New Jersey who has been monitoring her situation now for about eight months."

Heyman said that Sytch readily complied with a request to do interviews following the ECW show.

"At 12:15 a.m. I pulled her aside and asked her if she was up to doing promos," recounted Heyman. "She had already changed and was actually leaving the building when we came up with the idea of a doing a promo. She said she didn’t mind and that she would get dressed. Now getting dressed requires her to redo her hair, put on her clothes, redo her makeup. She would need at least 45 minutes. She goes upstairs, washes and blow-drys her hair, she does the curls, puts on a new dress. If she was going to get screwed up, why not just come to the studio on Monday, which was an option we gave her."

Heyman also pointed to a lack of evidence.

"I don’t even know if she deserves the benefit of the doubt, but I will say this. I’m the son of a lawyer, and I know the difference between substantial evidence and no evidence. There’s no evidence there. If you find a dead woman’s body outside of O.J. Simpson’s house, it doesn’t mean he killed her. You can look at the track record, but that doesn’t mean that he killed her. Just because this girl who has acknowledged her problems at 1 o’clock in the morning put her head down on her case and admittedly had all the symptoms of taking GHB, the question remains: Why would she take it if she knew she had to do promos and get ready for promos? I can see it if she was a chronic user and this was her new substance and she was hooked on it. If she’s hooked on GHB, why hasn’t she lost more weight?"

Heyman, however, doesn’t deny that the drug was in her system.

"I would assume it’s in her system," he said. "I don’t have any delusions about that. I just don’t think she took it knowingly or willingly. I’m unwilling to convict her on this little amount of evidence simply because if she was a user of GHB, why hasn’t she lost more weight? Everyone is so willing to talk about her weight, but if she was on GHB, she wouldn’t be that heavy. She would have lost a lot more weight."


(New York Post, November 8, 1999)

By Don Kaplan

Instead of fighters and body-slammn’ ear-biters, the most sought-after people in the world of pro-wrestling are—writers.

The drama, tragedy and comic relief are all just part of the show when it comes to pro-wrestling—a fake sport where the phony fights aren’t the only things that are scripted.

"The storylines are constantly setting up everything," said wrestling aficionado Jay Brachman, 31, of Bayside, Queens. "You’re always watching to see who is going to turn evil next—it’s a soap opera."

It’s also no secret that almost everything in wrestling except the circus-like acrobatics is fake—and always has been.

But it is the elaborate stories—the giant vs. underdog battle—that keeps viewers coming back.

Years ago the "script" may have been worked out between two fighters in the dressing room minutes before a match. Today, like any TV sitcom or drama, there are highly paid writers to decide who wins, loses or gets smacked in the head with a steel chair.

Those behind-the-scenes people who write the dramatic-sappy stories that fuel the bouts are now the hottest stars of the sport.

"What we are is the most successful variety show on television," said World Wrestling Federation chief Vince McMahon, who directs the federation’s team of wrestling writers (whose job includes writing an evil version of McMahon into many of the WWF bouts).

"What we do is borrow from all these other elements—in terms of comic books, action/adventure shows, soap operas and comedies—but we don’t subscribe to the Hollywood formulaic way of writing or producing television."

Whatever it may be, the recipe works.

For years, the lesser-rated World Championship Wrestling, owned by Ted Turner, has raided the WWF’s older, popular wrestlers. For just as long, McMahon regularly talks trash about the WCW.

"They copy everything that we do," McMahon gleefully notes. "Ted Turner has made a living out of copying things."

But last month, in a stunning turn-around move worthy of the sport’s best wrestlers, the WCW snatched away two of the WWF’s top writers.

Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara - known for injecting some of the racier (and, hence, most-watched) elements into pro-wrestling -- are reportedly getting close to $1 million each to write the WCW’s storylines, according to informed sources.

"Vince and Ed are the creative team that will develop WCW storylines," a WCW spokesman said in a prepared statement.

The Turner wrestling outfit will say no more - refusing to let WCW officials or its writers be interviewed for this story.

At least initially, the addition of Russo and Ferrara seems to have boosted the WCW’s ratings-though not enough to overtake the WWF.

Since Russo and Ferrara joined the WCW, their impact has been especially visible on Mondays, pro-wrestling’s most competitive night.

A porn star appeared on one WCW show, and suddenly the top female wrestlers wear much skimpier outfits.

The WCW’s "Nitro" on TNT has seen a marked improvement. A few weeks after the new writers joined the Turner-owned league last month, the audience for "Nitro" jumped nearly 25 percent—to more than 2.5 million homes.

By comparison, the WWF’s rival "Raw is War" averages an audience 4.7 million homes on the USA Network.

McMahon dismisses the writer’s defection as a cheap—or not so cheap -- shot.

"For [WCW] to think that [Russo and Ferrara] were the reason that we are successful is laughable," McMahon said. "They were part of a much larger creative team."


(Cal Law, November 10, 1999)

By Alison Frankel

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart partner Jerry McDevitt will never forget the day that Randy "Macho Man" Savage marched out of the firm’s elevators. The 280-pound bruiser was sporting his trademark white-sequined jacket, stretch pants, bandanna and muscle shirt, and had his wife—one of the World Wrestling Federation’s premier starlets, "The Lovely Miss Elizabeth"—in tow.

Needless to say, Macho Man, who was seeking McDevitt’s help combatting an assault suit, was not a typical Kirkpatrick & Lockhart client. "Let me tell you," recalls McDevitt, chief outside counsel to the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. "A lot of people around here were looking at them like, ‘What the hell?’" Kirkpatrick lawyers have gotten used to the sight of garishly garbed gladiators. In the past decade a whole parade of wrestling studs has trooped through Kirkpatrick’s Pittsburgh offices. This fall the firm mingled even more with the pro wrestling set, as a team of five Kirkpatrick securities lawyers held the WWF’s meaty hand through the tricky process of going public. When 10 million shares of stock were sold in the WWF’s Oct. 19 initial public offering, Kirkpatrick lawyers—who have represented the WWF and its performers in everything from trademark disputes to criminal defense—watched with pride. The company’s stock closed at just over $25 per share Oct. 19. The WWF’s new billion-dollar market valuation places it in respectable company on Kirkpatrick’s client list, alongside the likes of Alcoa Inc., United Technologies Corp., and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

How did a nice, old-line firm like Kirkpatrick get mixed up in a business whose main product is sweaty testosterone-fests with names like "Smackdown" and "Raw is War"? McDevitt’s ties to the WWF date back to 1987, when WWF wrestler Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart was arrested by FBI agents in Pittsburgh after allegedly beating a USAir flight attendant in a dispute over a drink. McDevitt, a 49-year-old general litigator, had gotten the referral through one of the WWF’s outside lawyers at the time.

McDevitt not only got Neidhart off, he then turned around and successfully sued the airline for malicious prosecution. That verdict caught the eye of WWF impresario Vince McMahon. McMahon hired McDevitt to represent the WWF in a grand jury investigation of illegal steroid distribution, and WWF wrestler Hulk Hogan retained him when the Hulkster was subpoenaed to testify. "This was before Hulk Hogan got all old and worn-out," McDevitt says. "The government was trying to make a show trial of it." McDevitt got the subpoena quashed.

He followed up that bravura performance with a stunt that earned McMahon’s lasting gratitude. In 1993, federal prosecutors in New York indicted McMahon and the WWF as part of another overlapping investigation into illegal steroid distribution. McDevitt got three of the six charges thrown out before the trial and two more after the government presented its case. The jury acquitted McMahon and the company on the remaining count.

McMahon says he usually has nothing but contempt for attorneys, whom he calls "parasites preying upon the ills of society." But he says McDevitt is a breed apart: "If he’s your advocate, he will fight side by side with you like you’re in some foxhole together."

In the past several years, the WWF—which grossed $251.5 million last year in broadcast and pay-per-view shows, live spectacles, videos, computer games, CDs and assorted merchandise—has been steering a steady stream of work to Kirkpatrick.

In all, 20 or 30 Kirkpatrick lawyers work on WWF matters in a given year, and according to Kirkpatrick management committee chair Peter Kalis, the firm now counts the WWF among its top 20 clients. This year alone, the firm’s WWF cases have included enjoining Playboy magazine from using the WWF’s intellectual property (namely, an image of a WWF star named Sable), defending a wrongful death suit brought on behalf of a wrestler who died in an onstage accident, and continuing the WWF’s death-battle with Ted Turner’s rival outfit, World Championship Wrestling. And Kirkpatrick securities lawyers worked with partner Michael McLean in drafting the IPO prospectus and helping the WWF through the offering process.

"The WWF—as well as the McMahons—are great clients," says management chairman Kalis. "They’re very loyal to this firm, and we’re very loyal to them." Kalis declines to put an exact value on the firm’s WWF billings, but WWF general counsel Edward Kaufman says they typically exceed $1 million a year.

There are also less tangible benefits to representing the WWF. Kalis, for instance, notes that the WWF work has greatly enhanced the credibility of Kirkpatrick lawyers with their adolescent kids.

It’s also done wonders to liven up the firm’s reception area. "Put it this way," McDevitt says. "I represented [Clinton adviser] Dick Morris. When Dick Morris came to the office, nobody noticed. You can’t get a wrestler into this building without people noticing."