The WAWLI Papers #753...
SAUER TO ARRIVE IN SHERIDAN SATURDAY
(Sheridan, Wyo, Daily Enterprise, June 27, 1919)
Pete Sauer, the young giant from Lincoln, Neb., who is to meet Clarence Eklund in a finish match at the Sheridan ballpark on the evening of July the Fourth, will arrive in Sheridan on Saturday. Cy Mitchell is looking for local talent to work out with his champion.
"Eklund is a great wrestler, considered by all the greatest in the world at his weight, but I do not think that he can defeat this boy Sauer," Mitchell said. "Eklund himself did not care to meet Sauer at catch-weights and he knows what he is doing. He no doubt figures that coming down to 180 pounds will weaken Sauer. When I offered Eklund a match at 180 pounds I immediately instructed Sauer to start making weight. He will have three weeks to do it in and I expect him to be as strong as ever. I do not expect him to be over two or three pounds overweight when he arrives on Saturday and will let him do some real work to keep it down.
"Eklund has wrestled here on previous occasions, but never with a wrestler of his class. They were all middleweights and did not have a chance with the champion, with the exception of Jim Londos and that was a handicap affair without a finish to it. Those who admired Eklund for the clean and clever wrestling will see him up against a man who is equally as good as he is and much stronger. I predict that the fans of Sheridan and vicinity will see Eklund's shoulders pinned to the mat for the first time on the evening of the 4th of July.
"Knowing both men I can safely say without the least fear of contradiction that the coming match will be the greatest ever seen in this city. I expect a mat struggle that will be long remembered by those who witness it."
GREAT WRESTLING EVENT, Sheridan Ball Park, July 4th, 7 p.m.
CLARENCE EKLUND of Buffalo, Wyo, Light Heavyweight Champion of the World
PETE SAUER, The Lincoln Giant, Two Falls Out of Three to a Finish
Tickets Now Selling at the Post Office, News Stand and Mission Billiard Parlor; Admission $1.10, Ringside $2.20 (including war tax)
SAUER WORKS OUT IN SHERIDAN FOR MATCH
(Sheridan, Wyo., Daily Enterprise, July 2, 1919)
Pete Sauer, the young giant from Lincoln, had his initial workout in Sheridan Monday night with John Niter, the local strong man, Albert Small and Saylor Green. The boys took turns about and kept Sauer busy for 70 minutes. This evening, at 8:00, a mat will be placed on the grass at the city park where Sauer will work out with four or five local boys. A few Eklund admirers who were present at the workout expressed themselves in this manner: Eklund has a job on his hands this time.
Sauer astonished those present with his wonderful strength and speed and remarkable wind. He is in as good condition as an athlete could ever hope to be. John Niter, who is a giant himself, tips the scales at about 228 pounds. He said following the workout:
"I can not see how Eklund can ever hope to beat this boy. He is the strongest man I ever had have a hold of me, and a great wrestler. He can twist your arm up in so many funny positions that hurts and it must be remembered that Eklund's arms are his weakest points."
Much interest is manifested in the coming 4th of July match and Cy Mitchell is busy making arrangements to accomodate the crowd and also will stage a good preliminary, possibly the two little Wade brothers.
EKLUND AND SAUER ARE READY FOR BIG MATCH
(Sheridan, Wyo., Daily Enterprise, July 3, 1919)
What is considered the greatest wrestling match ever staged in Sheridan will take place at the ball park on the evening of the Fourth when Pete Sauer and Clarence Eklund meet in a finish contest. Sauer, who has been here training for the past week, pronounces himself in great condition and is confident of victory. Eklund, who has been training on his farm near Buffalo, is expected in Sheridan today. He also is reported to be in fine condition and ready to put up the battle of his career.
Those who have been watching Sauer in his workouts pronounced him the best man they have ever seen come to Sheridan. To meet Eklund, Sauer is down to the required weight of 180 and feels as strong as ever.
The match is to go two falls out of three to a finish. Charles A. Evans of Sheridan has been selected as referee to the satisfaction of both participants. A good preliminary also has been arranged.
HOW THEY MEASURE
14 1/2................Calf.................16 3/4
BROWN GETS DRAW WITH DETTON
(Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, March 17, 1938)
By Matt Ring
From Jim Londos to Orville Brown is not an awfully big drop in the rankings of the heavyweight wrestlers, but sizable enough to produce an invigorating effect on Dean Detton.
Detton, who looked so outclassed in his losing skirmish with Londos at the Arena last week, all but tore Brown limb from limb in the windup of last night's mat show in the same ring. He plunged into the Kansas exponent of the "pile-driver" at the start and didn't let up on him the rest of the way, giving him a merciless beating before timekeeper Joe Cervino rang the deadline bell at midnight.
It was voted a draw, which was a break for Brown. He's never lost a match in this city and it was only the magnamity of the officials that saved him from his first defeat here in six years.
Orville had his moments during the encounter, but they were few and widely separated. He couldn't think fast enough to keep up with Detton's pace. Only twice, in the closing minutes, was he able to lift Dean by the waist preparatory to working the "pile-driver" on him. Both times he was too near the ropes and the former champion grabbed them to break up the hold.
In his furious assaults on Brown, Detton paid no attention to the rules. He punched, kicked, strangled, used his knees, and referee Jim Wilson had his hands full keeping him under control. Several times Wilson had to risk his own skin to break up Dean's illegal holds. Just before the bell, as he tried to separate the grapplers on the ring extension, he rolled down into the crowd, by good fortune escaping severe injury.
Detton's unruly tactics must have influenced the judges and referee in their decision. There was no other plausible reason for giving Brown a draw.
As he always does, Jesse James put on the slickest wrestling exhibition of the show when he defeated Gino Martinelli, another swift and clever grappler, to retain his light-heavyweight championship in the semi-windup.
James scored a fall in 34 minutes and 41 seconds, the match ending in spectacular style. Three times Martinelli hurled himself at James in an attempt to tackle him and each time the alert Greek caught the challenger with the broad of his back and flipped him through the air. The third time Gino fell, Jesse sprawled on him and held him down for the count.
UNFINISHED MATCH IRKS MAT FANS
(Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, March 19, 1938)
By Matt Ring
The wrestling fans were audibly disappointed when the curfew bell broke up the wild scrap between Dean Detton and Orville Brown at the Arena Wednesday, and it wasn't the first time it happened to them.
About half a dozen other matches were stopped here for the same reason since that cold February night four years ago when Jim Londos and Everette Marshall grappled more than three hours, until 2 a.m., to produce a fall.
That marathon encounter was directly responsible for the adoption of a curfew rule by the State Athletic Commission. If the board hadn't taken this action, promoter Ray Fabiani said at the time he'd have introduced a curfew himself, to save his business from threatened loss of patronage.
Many of the 13,000 spectators departed in high dudgeon before Londos finally pinned Marshall, and of those who stayed to the bitter end, a good many were resentful for having been kept up so late, especially when they tried to start their cars and found the radiators frozen solid.
The most serious outcry came from the worried families of the fans, who called the Convention Hall, City Hall and police stations all over town to find out if anything had happened to their men-folks.
The 12 o'clock deadline therefore appealed strongly to Fabiani, even though it meant an occasional disappointment to the crowd such as Wednesday's. Yet it doesn't appear right to break up a windup, scheduled for decision by a fall, before one of the principals has been counted out.
In the case of Detton and Brown, the bell sounded like an unwarranted intrustion, for the match had gone less than an hour -- 50 minutes and 38 seconds.
The athletic commission, which has made no comment on the situation, recently extended its curfew to 1 a.m. but that means only it permits no wrestling or boxing after that hour. Promoters are still free to set their own deadline ahead of that hour, and Fabiani, still recalling the Londos-Marshall experience, maintains that nobody wants to see a wrestling show continue after midnight, except on extraordinary occasions when a champion is defending his title.
The commission, if so minded, could point out to the promoter a satisfactory solution of the problem, such as the New York board found some years ago. The headline on windups in New York is 11 o'clock, but the featured grapplers must go on by 9:30 p.m. at the latest. What preliminaries are left can be run off afterwards.
Detton and Brown didn't go on until 11:10 p.m. Wednesday. Had they started at 9:30, or even 10:30, there probably would have been a fall.
The WAWLI Papers #754...
TED CHRISTY IS PUMMELED BY McGUIRK
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, November 20, 1945)
Mean Ted Christy of Sunland, Calif., unleashed all his wrestling viciousness at Phoenix Madison Square Garden last night, but he met his master in clever Leroy McGuirk, claimant to the junior heavyweight mat championship.
McGuirk not only beat him for the two of three falls necessary to win, but chased him from the ring toward the dressing room when Christy sought to continue his brawling after the final bell.
Alberto Corral of Mexico won a more interesting match from another meanie, Murzak Muratt of Turkey, who at times seemed ably abetted by referee Bob Corby. Friction between Corral and Corby grew until they came to blows, and after Corral had chalked up his victory, he issued a challenge to Corby for a mat fracas.
Talented Al Lovelock of Texas used his dropkick to good advantage in flattening Paavo Ketonen of Finland, who also leaned toward the rough-and-tumble tactics. Lovelock needed only nine minutes to win the first fall, but fell victim six minutes later to Ketonen's unorthodox assault and lost a fall. He came back to take the clincher in 13:10.
Corral spotted Muratt the first fall, being taken by surprise as the mustached Turked battered him down in jig time. But the Mexico matster put Muratt on the mat with a body hold in 13 minutes to square matters and then grabbed the decision with a third fall in 59 seconds with some flying tackles and a body slam.
Christy delighted in getting McGuirk on the mat and slugging and battering him with his elbows; thought nothing of pulling his hair or using the ropes to gain advantage. But he violently objected when McGuirk retaliated in kind.
McGuirk, after absorbing considerable punishment, caught Christy by surprise in a rolling leg split and pinned him in 13:37 after a rolling tour of the ring. Christy succeeded in taking a fall in eight minutes with an arm stretch, forcing McGuirk to concede by using the ring ropes for leverage out of sight of referee Buck Weber. Then he was pummeling McGuirk in a corner for the third fall when the title claimant leaped over his head, caught him with his legs in an "octopus" hold, and somersaulted him to defeat.
HOLD YOUR HATS AGAIN! ANOTHER TAG FRACAS DUE
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, November 25, 1945)
The explosiveness of "tag" wrestling comes back to Phoenix Madison Square Garden in tomorrow night's main-event melee, and the companion feature offers a grappling "grudge" match between Alberto Corral of Mexico and Bob Corby, former Luke Field sergeant and mat referee with whom Corral's verbal differences last week turned to solid blows.
The "tag" match, which probably is the wildest sort of wrestling conceivable, matches two "teams" of two wrestlers each.
Gorilla Ramos, most popular Spanish-American seen in action here in years, teams with a newcomer to Phoenix, Pete Mehringer of Oregon. They tangle with Mike Nazarian, rabid meanster, and another Phoenix newcomer, Turkish Ali Pasha.
Each match will be for the best two of three falls, and to each is tacked a 60-minute limit. The Corral-Corby set-to begins at 8:30 p.m.
Tag wrestling is nothing new to Ramos and Nazarian, and with any kind of cooperation, especially if his partner proves a meanie, mustached Mike will make things hot for the Ramos-Mehringer duo.
He has worked against Ramos and Corral with such stalwarts as Danny McShain, who is about as rough as they come. And though the idea of "tag" wrestling is that one member of each team remains outside the ropes on the ring apron until his partner needs help and comes over to "tag" him as a replacement, Nazarian cares little for such rules.
His idea is to hop to the rescue anytime his grappling partner is in trouble, which in the past has been often. Nazarian also has a penchant for beating up on an opponent from outside the ropes after his partner has dragged the foe into their corner. Ramos and Corral, who have little love for either McShain or Nazarian, gave them a thorough going over in their last "tag" tilt.
Ramos and Corral won a "tag" clash a month ago from McShain and Ted Christy, belligerent Californians.
The Corral-Corby fracas got its inception in continued differences between the Mexico matster and the pudgy, blond ex-physical training instructor from nearby Luke Field, now out of uniform and ready to resume a pro wrestling career. Their feud flared into actual assault last week when Corby was refereeing a bout Corral won from Murzak Muratt, Turkish bonebender.
So bitter did Corral become at Corby's apparent favoring of Muratt in his mat decisions that the Mexico grappler finally challenged Corby to a clash, and his challenge was accepted.
MAT MEANIES ALI PASHA AND NAZARIAN WIN
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, November 27, 1945)
The wrestling meanies, well represented in rabid Mike Nazarian of Cleveland and a cool, cunning newcomer known as Ali Pasha of Turkey, triumphed in a wild wrestling "tag" match at Phoenix Madison Square Garden last night, besting for two of three falls the team of popular Gorilla Ramos of Mexico and another newcomer here, Pete Mehringer of Texas.
In the companion feature, a "grudge" affair between Alberto Corral of Mexico and Bob Corby, former Luke Field sergeant and mat referee, Corby first won and then lost the verdict. He pinned Corral for two of the three falls, then saw the verdict forfeited to Corral because he brushed aside referee Pete McCoy and kept flooring the Mexican matster with blows after the match had ended.
Seemingly, Nazarian and Pasha triumphed because Ramos didn't do enough wrestling and Mehringer carried too much of the load.
Apparently unaccustomed to Nazarian's disrgard for "tag" match rules -- in which one grappler remains outside the ropes on the ring apron and goes into action to "spell" his partner only when needed and "tagged" -- Mehringer proved an easy victim of the Nazarian-Pasha style of attack. This was to drag him to their corner and work him over.
They accomplished the same feat with Ramos as the victim a time or two but, even so, the clever, fast-stepping Mexican was master of the situation. He bounced about the ring like a rubber ball, at times sending both Nazarian and Pasha reeling, especially once when he used a peculiar neck-and-head twist that spun his foes like a top and sent them cowering to their corner to recover equilibrium.
Nazarian forced Mehringer to concede the first fall with a surfboard hold after 17 minutes of scrapping after both he and Pasha had battered the Texan in their corner while referee Buck Weber sought unsuccessfully to intervene. Then Mehringer pinned Nazarian in another 13 minutes to square matters, using a crab hold after Ramos had delivered a mule-kick from his corner which floored the Syrian.
Before the tilt for the final fall began, one ringside spectator became so incensed at the Nazarian-Pasha combine that he climbed up on the ropes for a personal encounter. Even after Nazarian and Pasha again had mauled Mehringer, pinning him in 9:35 to win, the spectator sought to intercept them en route to the dressing room for further combat. Police intervened.
Corby and Corral used some spectacular flying tackles on one another to gain a fall apiece, and then Corby outroughed the Mexican for the third fall. He protested loudly but unsuccessfully at forfeiting of the match to Corral, who had challenged him because of difficulties they had the previous week when Corby refereed a match Corral won.
GORILLA RAMOS TAKES BERRY IN MAT DUEL
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, December 4, 1945)
The decision of Ralph (Wild Red) Berry of California not to risk his light-heavyweight wrestling championship in meeting Gorilla Ramos of Mexico without more training stood him in good stead last night, for the matster from south of the border bowled him over for two of the three falls and a highly popular victory.
Ali Pasha, the colorful but rough Turk, took the measure of Stanley Hackney of New Jersey in the two-of-three-fall semi-windup, and Leo Wallick of Detroit, a newcomer here, battled Alberto Corral of Mexico to a 45-minute draw in which each won a fall.
Berry fell on Ramos at the opening bell with a whirlwind attack in which he kicked the Mexico grappler, butted him twice to the canvas with his head, and wrapped him up like a pretzel in a "guillotine" hold to win his only fall in 28 seconds.
Ramos bounced back from that upset to soften up the Californian with some headlocks and leg holds, meanwhile brushing aside his kicking, slugging and hair-pulling. Then Ramos caught him with a back-to-back body slam, pinned him after 14 minutes, and squared the match.
Berry changed his tactics as they began the scrap for the deciding fall, choosing to feign exhaustion and injury and waiting for Ramos to bore in. Then he attacked the Gorilla savagely, once driving one knee into Ramos' stomach and using his head to butt him to the mat.
They were exchanging blows in a corner when referee Buck Weber sought to separate them, but was knocked to the canvas by Berry. Ramos snapped out of his lethargy, floored Berry with a right by knocking him backward over the prostrate arbiter and fell on him for the third fall. Berry's protests were to no avail, Weber ignoring and the fans hooting them.
Hackney got the jump on Pasha by taking the first fall in 12 minutes with a series of flying headlocks, but the praying Turk used a pile driver to annex the second fall in 9:49, and a chin lock to sew up his victory in another 3 1/2 minutes.
Corral used flying tackles to win his fall in 7:07 after Wallick had looked like a winner by flooring him for the three-count with a pile driver hold in 27:10.
TURKISH BAD MAN TO TAKE ON McGUIRK
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 1945)
Clever Leroy McGuirk, onetime national high school welterweight wrestling champion and now claimant of the professional junior heavyweight title, tangles in Phoenix Madison Square Garden's main event tomorrow night with Ali Pasha, bad, brusk, bad man from Turkey, yet one of the most colorful masters ever to appear here.
Their tilt will be for two of three falls, with a one-hour time limit.
Over the same route will be a semifinal matching vicious little Ted Christy of California with Leo Wallick, rugged and rough exponent of the pile-driver, who nonetheless believes in keeping his wrestling on a plane above a brawl. Against Christy he likely will find that "anything goes."
Opening the three-bout card in the North Seventh avenue arena will be a 45-minute affair between Alberto Corral, Mexico grappler who has a big following here, and Jack Terry, blond, hooked-nosed Canadian with mayhem in his heart and the desire to inflict on an opponent any kind of punishment the referee will overlook.
McGuirk should be able to handle Pasha without difficulty except for one thing. The bearded, barefoot Turk is unpredictable, and clever. He's also pretty comical when opponents get to stomping on his bare feet as happened when Gorilla Ramos and Pete Mehringer of Texas teamed to meet Pasha and Mike Nazarian in a "tag" match, and went down to defeat. A week later Pasha bested Stanley Hackney of New Jersey.
McGuirk, however, at 32 is backed by 11 years of pro wrestling experience. He claimed the prep welter title in 1928, was intercollegiate midwestern champion in 1931 at Oklahoma A and M.
Corral, a few weeks ago, beat another meanie, Murzak Muratt of Turkey, but in meeting Terry tomorrow night will find the Canadian a different problem. Terry's style definitely calls for uncorking his meanness out of sight of the ring arbiter.
PASHA WINS; CHRISTY FEELS BOARD'S IRE
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, December 11, 1945)
Ali Pasha, the bearded and bald Turk, mixed a lot of meanness with his already full bag of wrestling tricks to subdue George Dusette in the main event of the grappling card last night at Madison Square Garden.
An Ali Baba Special, in ordinary language a choke hold, was used by the Turk in grabbing the deciding fall in nine minutes and 25 seconds. Up to that time, it appeared Dusette might satisfy the fans and own the villainous Turk.
Dusette, bull-shouldered Texan, was a substitute for Leroy McGuirk, junior heavyweight champ who was detained from taking on the Pasha because he was hospitalized for failed to duck a couple nights before.
The bare-footed Turk won the opening fall in 13 minutes with a Boston crab hold. Dusette took the second in four minutes and 10 seconds with a full Nelson.
Slight mayhem was committed in the semifinal -- a policeman was in the ring when the bout ended and the city athletic commission suspended one of the contenders.
Ted Christy, the California matster, identified as the boy with the Navajo haircut, was disqualified for jumping the gun on the timer in getting started for the third fall. He was fined $25 and suspended from wrestling here for six months.
Leo Wallick, Detroit, was declared the winner. Christy took the first fall in 11 minutes with a stepover toe hold. Wallick grabbed the second in 12 minutes with a drop kick and full body slam. The policeman entered the ring to hold the gladiators apart until time was in for them to get together. Christy just wouldn't wait to be flattened.
Alberto Corral, the Mexican whirlwind, took a whipping in the preliminary first fall, with Jack Terry, Canadian, going south of the border to pin the manana man in 15 minutes, pressing a choke hold. Corral became angered at Terry's tactics and won the second fall in three minutes with a body press and headlock and grabbed the third in four minutes with a Boston crab hold.
WILD RED BERRY RETAINS CROWN
(Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Dec. 18, 1945)
Red Berry retained his grandiose, silver, gold monogrammed belt as light-heavyweight champion of the world, but Gorilla Ramos, punishment consumer from Mexico, gave Wild Red a fight for it and the championship match at Madison Square Garden here last night wound up in a draw after the pair had battled a full hour without a fall.
A percentage of the gate went to Berney Park for its juvenile welfare program. When it was announced that the $25 fine assessed Ted Christy for jumping the bell after a rest period in his recent bout here would go to the Maricopa County Crippled Children's Hospital, a shower of bills and coins in the ring swelled the total to $189.07. It was the last card here until after the holidays, or January 7.
Berry and Ramos went after each other from the opening gong and kept going until the final bell, with Wild Red using shady tactics which made the balcony broil with fury and Ramos taking it and finding devious ways of holding his own.
The final five minutes of the scrap had the fans up from their seats. Ramos almost had the champ pinned a couple times, but the more wiry Berry managed to escape. Then the bout emerged into a case of one, then the other, almost winning the fall with every variety of hold being used, from airplane spin to crab hold.
Ali Pasha, the terrible Turk, gained a two-out-of-three-fall decision from the popular George Dusette, Canada, who substituted for Alberto Corral, Mexico, in the semifinal.
Dusette took the first fall in nine minutes and 10 seconds with a Boston crab hold. The Turk grabbed the last two, with his own deadly strangle hold in five minutes and 30 seconds and with a Boston crab hold in eight minutes and 15 seconds.
Mike Nazarian worked his mustache and offered a toothless grin in his own inimitable style in the preliminary, but his rough stuff, especially his eye-gouging, caused the referee to disqualify him after he split a pair of falls with Leo Wallick, Detroit. Nazarian took the first fall in 17 minutes and 10 seconds with a crab hold. Wallick took the second with a pile driver in seven minutes and was awarded the match after three minutes of the third stanza.
The WAWLI Papers #755...
FOR SHAME, EGAD!
(New York Post, Saturday, November 28, 1953)
By Al Buck
As one who has boundless faith in the integrity of wrestling, I not only hope but also trust and pray that none of those nasty old skeptics who are always knocking the game will make any sarcastic comment about the outcome of Thursday night's main event at the Garden. This brought together Killer Kowalski, the ferocious Paskudnyak, and Verne Gagne, the collegiate champ from Minnesota. Both are headliners and those who do not accept The Game with the unquestioning faith it merits say that when two such performers meet, the result is always indecisive so that neither will lose -- if you'll pardon the expression -- prestige. In this instance, each had won one fall and they were resting up for the decisive heat when Kowalski dove at Gagne while his back was turned and was disqualified. Anyone who suspects this ending is the type of person who would question the existence of Santa Claus.
Every true wrestling fan knows that Killer Kowalski is such a ferocious fellow he has to be chained up between bouts to prevent him from tearing himself (and I quote Toots Mondt) "from limb to limb." Does anyone think the Times, which publishes all the news that's fit to print, would have referred to it as "a blood-curdling exhibition" in which "Kowalski . . . proved too reckless and vicious" if this wasn't a 100 percent shooting match? I hope, by this paragraph,l that I have convinced my recent correspondent, Joseph Lasky, the literateur, that I'm not one of those smart alecks who try to make people think wrestling isn't thoroughly honest. To those who will say Kowalski's ferocity was written into the script, I join Mr. Lasky in saying: "For shame, egad!"
(New York Post, February 17, 1954)
By Al Buck
The sound and fury at the Garden Monday night was due to the fall of Toots Mondt, head of the local razzling syndicate, who went down from a punch tossed by Pedro Martinez, the Rochester promoter. Toots bounced twice, but insists it was because his legs got tangled up with his coat. There hasn't been a dressing room brawl like it since the second Rocky Castellani-Ernie (The Rockhead) Durando fight two years ago.
Martinez once aspired to take over New York City, and alleges he paid cash for the territory. He is reported to have been trying to slap a legal paper on Mondt, once a mighty grappler, when the fracas started. Toots pushed Pedro, and Pedro punched.
"Toots' legs have one back on him," sadly reported Charley Johnston, who witnessed part of the tussle. "It shouldn't have happened among gentlemen."
Martinez won a decision at least, which was more than either Antonino Rocca and Verne Gagne, who appeared publicly in the ring, could do. With Rocca and Gagne, the customers had to settle for a draw, not knowing that an authentic struggle was going on in the privacy of the dressing room. Those who saw it say Martinez and Mondt were better than the main event.
ONLY SHOOTING MATCH AT GARDEN AFTER CURFEW
(New York Daily Mirror, February 17, 1954)
By Dan Parker
That was a real shooting match at the Garden Monday night -- not the stale Verne Gagne-Antonino Rocca histrionics which the curfew stopped at 11 p.m., as predicted, after each had scored a fall, but the passage-at-arms between Pedro Mrtinez and Toots Mondt. It was a two-blow affair. Pedro hit Toots and Toots hit the deck. This unbilled feature took place in one of the dressing rooms after the curfew had tolled the knell of parting jays. Thus, with the 15,071 guys, gals and gulls spared the horror of witnessing an authentic brawl, the integrity of The Game was preserved. Martinez, a Rochester promoter, is trying to collect $20,000 he says Toots owes him but doesn't consider his one-punch kayo a paid-in-full receipt.
In wrestling the promoters always have furnished more genuine battles by fighting eadch other than they ever purveyed to their clients. They are always in a turmoiled, fighting for control of their phony empire. Television has stepped up the civil warfare in redcent years. The dominating figure in the quasi-sport just now is Fred Kohler, a German-American of Chicago, who, before going into business as a promoter at the Rainbo Arena there, was an obscure middleweight wrestler. Kohler's shortcut to the top was a Saturday night television show, now beamed from the Marigold Gardens, the small club, in which Barney Ross got his start as a professional boxer. Kohler's contract with TV brings about $100,000 a year in royalties besides providing a priceless outlet for publicizing his synthetic mat marvels.
Playing along with the act, without protecting himself with the tongue-in-cheek drolleries with which Dennis James rode to fame, fortune and a higher TV echelon, is Jack Brickhouse. The former boxing commentator has been deified by the believers, converted by television, as a St. George ready to fight all dragons of the press who so much as hint that wrestling is not the most honest of sports. What his straight-faced commentaries on the patent but harmless pretending of the heroes and villains whose antics he describes every Saturday night will do to Jack's rating for credibility if he ever brandches out into a legitimate sport is something Mr. Brickhouse himself will have to worry about as I have shouldered all the burdens I can handle. However, as a salesman for The Game, Brickhouse has no equal. Whenever he is introduced at a wrestling show here, he is cheered like a fellow who has announced he will give away $100 bills to all comers. Living so happily in this false little world of his own making, Brickhouse probably asks himself between boys, "Why should I level with these squares?"
Just as the I.B.C. has used TV to build up boxing idols whose feet and entire bodies (save for their glass jaws) turned out to be made of clay, Mahout Kohler and his associates have taken advantage of their far-reaching video outlet and prize hucksters to mould mastermen out of mediocrities. For example, Guy Le Rose of the La Vie En Roses, is a French Canadian wrestler who never got anywhere playing straight mat roles around New York where he developed resin burns on both shoulders from being pinned like his namesake. But, converted overnight into Hans Schmidt, a German who, as reports from the German language press found out, couldn't sprechen a void of Deutsch, Hans has become one of the best villains in the business, whose success is measured by the amount of hatred he has engendered.
Yukon Eric, the Klondike sourdough, one of Montreal Eddie Quinn's creations, is really a nice lad named Eric Holmback whose theme song is "Tanks for the Memories." Tanking was Eric's role until Explorer Quinn discovered the Yukon for him.
Before Kohler's star performer, Gagne, became the superman and American champion, he was a junior heavyweight whom the likes of Danny McShain, a 180-pounder, threw with the greatest of ease. Now, because of Kohler's television-acquired power, Gagne is played up on a par with Lou Thesz, the St. Louis shoemaker, who is the world's champion. In fact, Brickhouse announced to Monday night's crowd that Gagne was the world's champion. Actually, Thesz has thrown Gagne five times. Sam Muchnick, Lou's manager, is also president of the National Wrestling Alliance and at the moment he is campaigning to have the Burpers' Academy Award, a triple Mickey Finn in an old tomato can, given to Jack Pfefer, as the man who has done most to help The Game.
Another Kohler performer is Pat O'Connor, a New Zealander. Whether he is related to the bewhiskered gentleman of the same name who was billed as a sculptor in his incarnation in the wrestling world, I couldn't say, but if this Pat doesn't become a carver of statues, it won't be because he isn't associated with the finest bunch of chiselers extant. Killer Kowalski, who couldn't kill a cricket, and Barefoot Boy Rocca round out the cast of headliners.
Cutting in on Kohler's pork pie are Monsieur Quinn, the pseudo-Canuck from South Boston and Frank Tunney of Toronto. Kohler's Man Saturday, a newcomer named Jim Barnett, accompanies the Chicago baron's wrestlers wherever they go to see that nobody, especially K.O.'d Mondt, pays them off in the Russian rubles of the Czarist regime he always gives greenhorn wrestlers in $500 bundles when they put the bite on him. The roubles can be converted into Toots' new issue of Barren Island Gold Mine stock printed in purple ink with yellow borders and bearing a likeness of Pedro Martinez, the par value of which is minus 10. Watchdog Barnett is already putting on the dog by staying in a Waldorf suite instead of at the Holland where Toots and the local wrestling mob make their headquarters. Kohler's crowd takes 60 percent of every show. Toots is now reduced to the role of booker and cuts only Rocca's purses.
Rocca, whose 15 per cent share of the gate is split equally by Mondt, Kohler and the wrestler, has had to post $10,000 to guarantee that he will tank when ordered to, which will be often from now on. In Montreal a few weeks ago, he had to "take a lose" to Killer Kowalski. The Killer "belongs" to Thesz, who leases him out to Kohler for a consideration. That's how the Chicago gang has The Game sewed up. All the wrestlers and promoters not in on the deal are up in arms over conditions and a revolt impends that should produce more shooting matdches like Pedro's one-punch kayo of his stout friend, Toots, which the customers missed Monday night.
COPPER NAILS YUKON ERIC OFF BEAT
(New York Daily Mirror, December 23, 1954)
By Dan Parker
Christmas -- in fact life itself -- isn't going to be the same for wrestling fans after what happened in Ballston Spa, N.Y., a village near Saratoga Springs, on SD Day.
SD Day, as everyone should know by now, was the day last week set aside by President Eisenhower for safe -- you should pardon, already, the expression -- driving. Everyone behind the wheel of an automobile was to be on his best behavior, obeying the rules even with no cops in sight, and being polite to truck drivers who shout "Why doncha move over, yuh creep, yuh, and give us a piece of the road?"
The day had passed without fatalities in Ballston Spa and Patrolman Charles Thompson, unaccustomed to the silence that prevailed in the absence of horn-blowing and the song of burning tires, had all he could do to keep awake that evening when up the pike came what appeared to be one of the cars that had strayed off the course in the Mexican road race and was trying to make up lost time.
A shrill blast rent the air as Patrolman Thompson played the obligato from "L'Apres-Midi d'un Faun" on his flaiolet. With a sound of screaming breakes, the car pulled up short, the tires cutting a groove two inches deep in the pavement.
"Wither away, varlets?" demanded Charley. "Where's the fire? Let's see your license."
An extremely polite chap who loomed in the frontg seat like an Alp that had lost its range produced a license bearing the name of Eric Holcomb of Buffalo, N.Y.
"Yukon Eric, you know!" he added timidly "and tis is Antonino Rocca, my rassling partner in a tag team match we're booked for in Saratoga Springs tonight."
"Let's see your feet, you!" commanded Patrolman Thompson, turning to the other. The man sitting next to the driver lifted a well shod airedale, whereupon Thompson roared: "Why you phony! You ain't Rocca. He goes around barefoot. Who are you?"
"Se habla Espanol!" replied the gent, throwing out his chest and producing identification as the authentic barefoot boy from the pampas.
"And who are these two kroavneys in the back seat, your opponents?" demanded the cop.
The 275-pound driver breathed a sigh of despair and moaned: "Ah woe is me! Why do you question the honesty of wrestling? What do we have to do to convince you it's on the level? Do I have to bring Jack Brickhouse, the announcer, here in person and let him brief you on The Game?"
"Well, if they ain't your opponents, who are they?"
"I, for one, am Reginal Fotheringale Lisowski, scion of an old Polish noble house," replied the first.
"And as for me," quoth the other, "I bane Art Nielson -- yust a poor matman, trying for to earn an honest living."
"A fine lot of stumblebums!" snorted officer Thompson. "Don't you know what day this is?"
"Of a certitude we do," said the driver, mildly. "It's Wednesday because yesterday was what Mrs. Murphy died of -- a Chewsday."
"It also happens to be Safe Driving Day," snapped Thompson, now debating with himself whether to clamp a headlock on Holcomb and toss him into the middle of the road, just as a lesson to him. "Didn't you read in the papers that the President had set aside today as Safe Driving Day? What do you think SD stands for, anyway?"
"Sure, I knew it was SD day," replied Eric. "But I thought it meant 'Saratoga-Disqualification.' That's how our orders read."
"If the lockup was big enough, I'd throw the whole bunch of you bums in there for a long rest, to teach you a lesson," said Officer Thompson, disgustedly. "Now, stop blocking traffic and be on your way. But if hear of you exceeding the speed limit by so much as one foot an hour -- and this goes double for you, Mr. Goody Two Shoes Rocca -- I'll have the law on you like it never was had on you before and it won't be one of them phony Indian deathlocks. Now am-scray, um-bays before I change my mind and give you a sample of Ballston Spa knotty pine! And as for you, Holcomb, let's have no more of your hokum!"
Off into the night rolled the cargo of wrestlers en route to Saratoga, further up the pike, and it's a good thing they were out of earshot of Patrolman Thompson's flagiolet when a sudden thought occurred to him.
"Why, that big lummox in the front seat said he was Yukon Eric and it says on his license he's from Buffalo!" roared Charley. "I know Buffalo is an ice box in winter but since when is it in the Yukon? Lemme at that impost-iator!"
The newspapers next day repoorted that the tag team of Yukon Eric and Antonino Rocca had been disqualified in their match with Art Nielson and Reggie Lisowski at Saratoga Springs because "the 275-pound "Alaskan" had gone (a) berserk and (b) to work on Referee Moon Smith -- and all this, mind you, in the presence of Jack Brickhouse, Chicago's TV wrestling commentator who was acting as guest announcer on this -- shall we say suspicious? -- occasion.
Mr. Brickhouse has a natural guest for his next Saturday night program in the person of Patrolman Thompson, to whom Yukon Eric, to his eternal discredit, Gwendolyn, and you, too, Murgatroyd, told a white lie when he said the gentlemen in the back seat of the car were not their opponents. The Ballston Spa copper now knows they aren't gentlemen, either. But Officer Thompson will have to admit that Yukon Eric told him a straight story on what he thought "S-D" meant. Just as their orders read, it meant "Saratoga-Disqualification."
THE CUSTOMERS ALWAYS WRITE
(New York Daily Mirror, January 13, 1955)
By Dan Parker
Charles Thompson, the Ballston Spa, N.Y., policeman who not so long ago stopped a speeding car in which he found Yukon Eric, Antonino Rocca and two other wrestlers named Art Neilson and Reggie Lisowski whom they met in a team tag match later in the evening in Saratoga Springs, tells of another hilarious adventure he had with practically the same group of "rivals":
"In your column last week, you said Mr. Rocca was claiming that the story about beingt stopped in Ballston Spa was untrue. You are correct in saying that it is Rocca's story that is untrue. Now, you can ask him if he can deny the following sory. On Wed., Jan. 5, Mr. Rocca and Roy McClarity put on their show in Convention Hall, Saratoga Springs. Their opponents, of course, were Art Neilson and Reggie Lisowski. After the show, I followed Neilson and Lisowski out the side door of the hall and across the street to Neilson's car, a yellow converitble with Georgia registration N-85-88. As they crossed the street, Neilson said to Lisowski: 'Where are we supposed to meet them, over in back?' Lisowski answered, 'Yes.' As Neilson and Lisowski got into their car, I got into mine and turned around in back of them.
"As I started to pass Neilson, I tooted my horn and Neilson answered with a short toot and then started to follow my car. Neilson followed me at a slow rate of speed through many of Saratoga's side streets, then out Union Ave. to the Saratoga Raceway. As I started in the driveway, Neilson followed me. The guard on duty, William Arndt, noticed me and waved me on but stopped Neilson's car. Neilson said that he wanted to get to Route 9.
"As the guard was directing him, I parked my car and walked over to the gate. I then asked Neilson if they had been beaten that night. He said 'No" and asked us if Rocca and McClarity were with me. I said 'No.' Neilson then said, 'We are supposed to pick Rocca and McClarity up and that is why were followed your car out here. I thought you were bringing them here to meet us.' As they turned and started out, they stopped at the gate and Lisowski said: 'If they come out here, hold them and we will be back to pick them up.'
"I then followed them back to South Broadway, which is Route 9 and only two blocks from Convention Hall. As Neilson waited for a traffic light, Rocca and McClarity came from a parked car and got into Neilson's. The four of them then turned south on Route 9. If you see Mr. Rocca, tell him that the car that Neilson and Lisowski followed to the Saratoga Raceway is owned and was driven by the patrolman who stopped Yukon Eric in Ballston Spa on S.D. Day."
A knockout blow has been dealt the Chicago Wrestling combine. On March 12, it's $100,000 per year contract with television expires and there will be no more Saturday night video shows from Marigold Gardens with Jack Brickhouse telling how honest The Game is. The TV people have a library loaded with films of the same old hokum that's repeated week after week so they decided to stop paying for live shows . . . Incidentally, what foul plot were Jim Barnett, Czar Fred Kohler's "lobbygow," and Jack (Hassen) Pfefer hatching as they conspired in a corner of the St. Nick Tuesday night?
WRESTLING 'BUGS' ENTITLED TO THEIR FUN
(New York Daily News, February 6, 1957)
By Jimmy Powers
When one of the largest crowds (19,300) in a quarter of a century braves a rather miserable night and slushy gutters to storm into Madison Square Garden to watch a wrestling show, the time has come for a little soul searching.
Are the critics off the beam so far as the customers are concerned? Are we in for a returning of interested in the beloved buffoons who snort and glower, roll and tumble their hilarious way through a mellow evening?
The card Monday night featured an Australian team match, with Antonino Rocca and Verne Gagne against Hans Schmidt and Karl Von Hess. The show was not televised.
It jammed traffic all along Eighth and Ninth Aves. Crosstown traffic was bumper to bumper on 49th and 50th Sts. Parking lots in the area all boasted "Sorry-Full" signs.
I checked with box office heads and Ned Irish. All agreed a good 5,000 were turned away . . . "If we had the room we could have put 25,000 ticket-buyers into the place," said Irish. "The advance sale was away ahead of Robinson-Fullmer."
Curbstone analysts have a dozen different explanations for the revival of wrestling and its bigtime box-office smash. Offhand, I'd say the surprise turnout was the result of several different factors.
1. People are starved for wrestling.
2. Those oldtimers who love it are still alive and eager to see their pet acrobats in action. No one, not even the lowliest village idiot, believes wrestling is anything but an "exhibition." It is so billboarded.
3. It could only be a periodic promotion. It couldn't do that well ($61,250) that often.
It is a phenomena of sports that wrestling "bugs" exist and are entitled to their fun just as there are golf addicts, lovers of kelly pool, and mountain climbers.
We all cannot, and should not, be poured into the same mold.
I find it hard to relish the performance of a blondined giant who continually butts his bareskulled opponent into the press row, but if I am sitting in that press row and I hear thousands of hearty laughs, ribald cheers and a continuing fanfare of excitement, I am not going to tell those citizens they are NOT having a good time.
Wrestling has been burlesqued so often, and so many of our leading theatrical clowns, Hope, Skelton, Button and Berle, have ridiculed the grunt and groan clowns, that you would think a sensitive mat fan would long ago have turned to boccie or dry fly trout fishing. But evidently not. There were faces in the Garden lobby Monday old ushers had not seen since the days of Jimmy Londos, Jim McMillan, Ray Steele and Gus Sonnenberg.
Those were the days when the police reserves were called out -- as they were Monday night. The delighted crowds had the doors squeaking from sprung hinges.
At one time wrestling bouts ran three times a week on local TV channels. Shows were piped in from Chicago and Philadelphia. But, like the roller derby, there is too repetitive a theme and the ratings dropped. You need fresh faces and legitimate competition. This, of course, is impossible in modern day "exhibition" wrestling. Actually, the longer a hero endures, the fonder the hard core of mat fans become of him. Londos went on long past his physical peak. So did Stanislaus Zbyszko and the celebrated Dusek brothers.
The show Monday night, if reviewed by a vaudeville critic, would have to be called fast, well-paced and with the proper change of style in the routines.
Rocca and Gagne won their tag match in two out of three falls in the feature. Skull Murphy of Ireland was flattened by Ricki Starr of Hollywood. Miguel Perez of San Juan threw Len Rossi of Utica. Cowboy Don Lee of Del Rio, Tex., and Jimmy Szikszay of Toronto rolled and threshed themselves into a draw.
Cowboy Bradley and Red Feather beat Tiny Roe and Sky Low Low in a midget team match, while Wild Man Fargo, Charlotte, N.C., pinned Lou Klein of Detroit.
It was the same old formula that wowed them in the past, the intriguing nicknames, "Skull", "Wild Man", "Nature Boy" and "The Beast," the frank appeal to racial segments of a big melting pot, the Irish, the Puerto Ricans, the Germans and the Poles, all intermingled in a big night that apparently sent the huge crowd away perfectly satisfied.
The next wrestling show is set for March 11. Whether you are tolerant enough to like wrestling fans, or not, the show will go on and, like Monday's, it probably will draw more paid admissions to the Garden than have turned out in the past 25 years to see a championship fight, the circus, rodeo, tennis matches or the best efforts of our Knickerbockers and Rangers.
The WAWLI Papers #756...
BEARDED GRUNTER PUTS ARM LOCK ON FALL GUY
(New York Daily News, date unknown)
Albert Alexinis, 35, known to wrestling fans as Ivan Gorky, found himself pinned to the legal mat yesterday in Ridgewood Felony Court, where he was accused of roughing up a few patrons of a Queens Village tavern who twitted him about his luxuriant black beard.
According to defense attorney Thomas P. Corliss, of Valley Stream, the groan artist stopped in for a beer at the Track Bar and Grill, 103-02 Springfield Blvd., a few minutes after the wrestling matches ended on television six nights ago.
A happy party of men and women was talking about the honesty of wrestling when one of the ladies spotted the bearded Alexinis at the bar. She giglgled, then shrieked and made her way to the wrestler's side.
She began stroking the beard playfully, giggling all the while, and saying with admiration:
"Look at you! Just look at that!"
Getting into the spirit of things, Alexinis, who lives his wife and two children at 55 Landau Ave., Floral Park, laughingly put his arms around his newfound friend. Then the unscheduled bout on the night's card got under way.
An Army sergeant, recently returned from Korea, ordered Alexinis to unhand his wife and allegedly was told to get lost. A second patron intervened on the sergeant's behalf, taking a roundhouse swing at the wrestler, and was shoved halfway down the bar.
John Klapp, 45, a 200-pound brewery truck driver of 223-41 - 105th Ave., Queens Village, decided this was the moment for him to enter the fray. One double wristlock and one minute later, Krapp found himself writhing on the floor near the shuffleboard with a fractured arm.
Krapp's arm was put in a cast at Queen's General Hospital and patrons gave police a description of the bearded battler. Alexinis was arrested at his home Monday night. He was released on $1,000 bail pending grand jury action on the assault charge after his attorney told Magistate Horn:
"They shouldn't have twitted my client about his beard."
(ED. NOTE -- The WAWLI editorial board does not recall Alexinis using the sobriquet, Ivan Gorky, while wrestling in the East. More often, and for a good number of years after he split with longtime tag partner Walter Allen aka Soldat Gorky, John Smith to Alexinis' Al Smith -- get it? the Coughdrop Bros. -- and The Wolfman, he worked for the New York office as Jolly Cholly.)
DEFEND WRESTLING AGAINST HONESTY
(New York World Telegram & Sun, February 14, 1957)
By Joe Williams
As long as we've got such admirably forthright citizens as John Heim on our side, wrestling is going to be hokay. Mr. Heim, a Milwaukee promoter, is aggressively hostile to introducing honesty in any form in the grunt and groan game.
"There hasn't been an honest wrestling match in this country in fifty years," he proudly maintains. "You can't sell 'em."
Nevertheless, the Wisconsin state athletic authorities, ostensibly seeking an increased tax take, have been toying with the idea; they profess to utter disbelief that anyone would prefer the counterfeit to the legitimate, even in wrestling.
Mr. Heim has frequently packed immense Milwaukee auditorium with the flamboyant fakeries of the Mad Matters . . . "But if I made 'em play it straight it would be so dull nobody would ever come back to see another show."
The gentleman is dead right about that, even if he is wrong about it being 50 years since wrestling was last exposed to the withering blight of honesty. We remember watching Strangler Lewis and Ray Steele level in a Madison Square Garden match in the early '30s and it was just plain dreadful. It may have been art but it wasn't fun. Wrestling is like burlesque. Clean it up and what have you got? Yawns unlimited.
Wisconsin is not the first state in recent months to indicate dissatisfaction with the present, sure-fire box office format, which directs that good, no matter how grotesquely garbed, or absurdly expressed, must infallibly prevail over evil. To be sure, this is not a totally accurate reflection of life, but we still have to doubt that the deviation explains this expanding movement to enforce character and rectitude upon the muscular mummers.
We would not go so far as to suggest that this may be the sly, furtive work of anti-America groups, subversive forces, Red agents, or even illicit spit ball pitchers (and what ever did become of Preacher Roe?). Yet the consistency of the pattern makes one wonder.
Wherever the hammerlockers enjoy their highest prestige, there the missionary exertions to destroy wrestling's bad, but immensely profitable, name are unfailingly the most vigorous. Thus, it is not easy to tell whether this is a crusade against the sham heroics in the ring, or the addlepates in the ringside seats.
A week ago we were among the most discriminating connoisseurs of esoterica who overwhelmed the Garden in a mad stampede to welcome the return of some of our favorite G and G Men. More than 5,000 others, poor souls, were turned away. Mixed reaction followed a column devoted to the affair.
"A mother of three" in Jackson Heights wrote: "I am sure that if you had stopped to consider the great harm with which these monstrous 'matches' are fraught, you would not, as a responsible reporter, have written about them with such seeming ardor. I say 'seeming' because I cannot believe that your 'taste' really is so coarse. I positively refuse to allow my two older boys to watch the 'matches' on TV. One is 7 years old and the other is 9. I would suppose you to be a bit older and therefore to have better sense."
Maybe so. Around our house, as we've mentioned before, TV grapplers get their most loyal support from Nanny (86) and No. 3 son (12). That's quite a long stretch in years to excite a common interest, with or without filtered tips.
Another reader, J.P.F., 3932 Bedford Ave., Bklyn., wrote: "I have been interested in your comments on the wrestlers. A few years ago Mr. and Mrs. (Harry) Truman were on Ed Murrow's Person to Person program.
"Mrs. Truman remarked she was disappointed because certain wrestling programs out of Chicago had been dropped. It so happened that my wife and I suffered also on that score. Now, however, we get them out of Washington.
"My wife gets angry at the 'villains' but I find them all entertaining, and some hugely amusing, this newcomer, Ricki Starr, for example. Though I'm in my late '70s, I had planned on going to the Garden the other night. Just as well I didn't. From what I read, it was vastly more dangerous outside than inside the ring.
"P.S. -- Never liked Truman, but became very fond of Mrs. T. the night she came to the defense of us woefully benighted and helpless wrestling addicts."
A shortie from J.J. Slattery: "To paraphrase W.C. Fields, 'any man who hates children and loves wrestling can't be all bad.'"
It takes all kinds, doesn't it?
WHEN JIMMY BRONSON FOUND FACTS OF MAT LIFE
(New York Daily Mirror, February or March, 1957)
By Dan Parker
Rule No. 1 of the Ancient and Prevaricating Order of Wrestling Promoters is: "Never admit The Game isn't on the level -- and why should we when it is?" The interrogatory part of the rule is supposed to cover cases where the promoters might, in a moment of frank soliloquizing, admit it to themselves.
Impresario Jack Pfefer, the only backslider in the ranks, has consistently mocked his brethren for their hypocrisy and has been cast out like a devil, for his apostacy. It is small wonder, therefore, that when Honest John Heim, the Milwaukee mat mahout, blurted out the unvarnished truth about his dodge recently in saying an honest wrestling match would kill the game by boring the customers to death, there were exclamations of pious horror from promoters of the type of Fred (Coca) Kohler, Chicago's entrepeneur de burp, who think everyone else was born yesterday.
Far more amusing to me than any act I ever saw on the wrestling mat is the dead-pan expression on a promoter's face when he tells you that there is nothing phony about wrestling. Even the late Jadck Curley, a high-class gentleman, would look his best friend, Gene Fowler, in the eye and tell him not to let his faith in the classic Greek sport be shaken by the loose talk of professional iconoclasts who gloried in tearing down anything as beautiful as wrestling.
Yet, there was one occasion when Curley broke the rule. As one of wrestling's patron saints, Jack will probably be forgiven by the faithful when it is explained that he fell from gracde only as a last resort to punish a young whippersnapper of a promoter who wasn't rendering unto Caesar the things that were Julius'.
Of all the unlikely persons to fill such a role, the man in question was Jimmy Bronson, one of the most respected men in boxing. This happened at Joplin, Mo., early in the century when Jimmy, who ran a boxing club on a monthly rental basis in one of the public halls, decided to take a flier at wrestling promotion on alternate weeks to his semi-monthly boxing shows which usually featured Jeff Clark, the Joplin Ghost. For his first attraction he was able to book Dr. Roller, biggest name in the mat world at that time, against Yankee Rogers, the American Apollo. The day before the show, Promoter Curley arrived in town and broke the news that Dr. Roller wouldn't be able to wrestle.
"Well," said Jimmy, glumly reaching for the phone, "I guess I'd better call the papers and tell them it's off."
"Why should you do that?" asked Jack. "I can arrange for Rogers to wrestle any three men in the house and if he doesn't throw each twice within 30 minutes, give them $100."
"But there aren't any wrestlers here," said Jimmy.
"Don't worry," Jack assured him. "There will be."
Sure enough, next night when Yankee Rogers announced from the stage he would throw any three men who volunteered, twidce each, with a half hour allowed for each match, or pay them $100, three huskies stepped up and begged for the chance. They were strangers to the home folk. The first two lasted about a minute each with the American Apollo. The third, a strapping fellow introduced as Jim Asbell, was made of sterner stuff. Yankee Rogers tried every trick on Jim, but couldn't pin his shoulders to the mat.
When promoter Bronson, who doubled as referee, looked at his watch and announced that only a minute remained, Rogers went to work and inch by inch, forced Asbell's shoulders toward the mat. As the seconds ticked off, the Apollo forced one of Jim's shoulders to the canvas, then, with a groan, grunt and burp, pinned the other one. Referee Bronson, counting three, slapped Rogers on the back as the winner. But the crowd, which had taken to the underdog, let out a roar, arose en masse and swarmed toward the ring, bent, it seemed, on making a noose out of the ring rope and slipping it over the promoter-referee's head. Just in time to save Jimmy for the golden fruits of the I.B.C. reign in boxing several decades later, Asbell, the man for whom they were ready to cdommit at least mayhem, shouted: "Stop! This man is the squarest referee I ever wrestled under. I was pinned fairly and he called it as he saw it. You ought to be proud of having such a sportsman in your community."
With that the local yokels' wrath was turned into civic pride and they gave both Jims a rousing ovation. But that was nothing compared to the one Asbell got when on the second time around he stayed the limit with Rogers and was declared winner of the $100 prize. The gate for that first show was $160. After the money had been counted up, Jack Curley insisted that Bronson keep $100 as his share and said he would take care of all the other expenses, including the $100 prize, out of the $60 left. Later, Jimmy discovered how Jacdk was able to stretch money so far.
This was after such interest was worked up in Jim Asbell as a Joplin hero that, with the approval of the Ministerial Alliance, Promoter Bronson was permitted to arrange an open-air wrestling match on Sunday afternoon, the following summer, between Asbell and one Gus Schoelein of Baltimore, advertised as the American champion. It drew an amazing gate of $12,500. "It was such a success that I let it go to my head," said Jimmy, recalling the incident the other day. "I started to tell Curley how to do things if he wanted to be as great a success at wrestling promotion as I was."
Jack listened to Jimmy for a while and then lost his temper. "Just a minute, son," he said. "You think you've built Asbell into a big attradction. Who do you think brought him here? Who do you think is his manager? Who do you suppose coached him to come to your rescue when I helped to stir up the crowd against you that first night? Who paid him his $100 prize in stage money? Who has supplied all your wrestlers and given them their orders? I'm the guy. Furthermore, you haven't seen a single on-the-level match! Everything was arranged in advance. So snap out of it!"
That was when Jimmy Bronson decided he would stick to boxing. But he didn't know that, in 1919, when he was in charge of the AEF boxing in France at the Cirque de Paris, his assistant would sneak in a wrestling show in his absence one night. Jimmy fired the assistant by wire from Rome when he read about it -- but hired him back again when he found out it outdrew his boxing shows. Just as it's doing to I.B.C. boxing at the Garden now.
TINIEST WRESTLER IS THE U.S. CHAMP
(New York Post, October 23, 1957)
By Sidney Fields
The smallest wrestler in the lady wrestling business is pretty Bobby Baker. And Bobby is the U.S. champ. She stands five-foot-two, and weighs 127 pounds.
"Which is a little more than I need," she said, "but that mat can be awfully hard."
Bobby has taken on five-foot-eight, 170-pound amazons and bested them. Recently, wrestling in Charleston, West Virginia, her home town, the head of one such giant snapped back right into Bobby's almost perfect teeth.
"I felt a piece of one tooth chip off," said Bobby, "and I sat down in the middle of the ring and cried -- just enough to get mad. A couple of minutes later I pinned her. Pinned her good."
Lady wrestling is outlawed in some six states, including New York. But in all the others and in Western Canada, Cuba, and Mexico it is a flourishing world with about 150 to 200 muscular dames each wrestling two or three times a week.
"They all eat good," said Bobby. "They can make from $6,000 to $30,000 a year, according to how wrestling is going that year. No, I never made over $25,000 so far, but I will, now that I'm the champion."
Bobby is a quiet, well-spoken girl of 25, but we backed away a bit for safety when we asked: "Is lady wrestling fixed like men wrestling?" She didn't swing. She didn't even glare. She just said softly:
"No. There are some girls we call outlaws, who can't wrestle and put on a big show and give our trade a phony label. But legitimate girl wrestlers all belong to the National Wrestling Alliance and if we put on some fancy stuff it isn't extreme like Gorgeous George. Though he made a million with his curls and all, so knock him if you want to. We're not phony, and . . . Listen, even if we were, do you think I'd tell you?"
Wearing her wrestling suit and darkest scowl, Bobby looks as menacing as a housewife battling a pile of dishes. In street clothes she's so chic and shapely that a panel of experts last Tuesday on TV's "To Tell the Truth" couldn't guess her trade.
Bobby is her nickname. She wrestles under her real name, Barbara. Barbara Baker. Back in Charleston, where her father is a real estate broker, she spent six months in nurse's training, but gave it up after a bad auto accident.
"I burned up two cars and a filling station and came out of it without a scratch," she said. "My girl friend was hurt, and was never the same. She committed suicide with sleeping pills. Her parents still blame me. I do, too."
For the next year she was a file clerk, secretary, worked in a drive-in, and sold pillows on buses. She frequented a restaurant where lady wrestlers ate, got interested, went into training. In her first match she was knocked out, got $50, and a fradctured chest bone which still gives her trouble.
In the seven years she's been in the grunt and groan business, she's had about 1,000 bouts, and as nearly as she can remember has won about 800. Nine months ago, after a tournament of 30 wrestlers, she pinned Janet Carr of Des Moines and won the U.S. championship, according to the National Wrestling Alliance.
Her toughest opponent is June Byers, the world champ. Bobby and June have tangled four times, and Bobby has lost four times.
"I don't know if I'll ever get a chance at the world title again," Bobby said. "But I'm after it."
When she first told her parents she was going to be a wrestler her father threw a fit, and in purple language expressed the equivalent of "only fast girls would wrestle."
"Nonsense," Barbara countered. "A girl is no faster than she wants to be."
What did her mother say?
"Do anything, as long as it makes you happy. And I'll never forget that."
Are you a happy wrestler.
"Truthfully? No, I'm tired. I want to settle down; get married, and have a bunch of kids."
Any willing males around?
"I met a Spanish boy who believes in long engagements," Barbara sighed. "Like two or three years. Then, I recently met a ball player who doesn't believe he wants to get married. But he figures I'm the kind of girl you have to marry. So I've got all my best holds ready. But he's running, and I'm chasing like mad."
(ED. NOTE -- Barbara Baker later married Roy "Ripper" Collins, a professional wrestler.)
(New York Post, November 19, 1957)
By Jimmy Cannon
The wrestler has never participated in an honest match but he considers himself an athlete. It depresses him that he weighs 220 and he is ashamed of his obesity but he deliberately wears his trunks a size too small to accentuate his grossness. He asks the publicity men to use a picture taken of him when he was a tackle on the football team of a small Midwestern university. The press agent sends the sports editors the one with the beard and the uncut hair. He poses with his mouth open to show his missing teeth. They were knocked out by the Bears in a playoff game.
He regrets his college years but they are still the brightest of his life. He often wonders why he didn't get an education when he could. It also depresses him because he attended a football plant instead of one of the respectable colleges that made him offers. But the assistant coach who recruited him made it clear that scholastic excellence wasn't necessary at the school he eventually chose.
He had given his word to a guy from his home town that he would go to the state university but he welshed. At first the wrestler pacified his conscience by telling himself he couldn't afford to turn down the recruiter's offer. It was the first unethical act of his life and he thinks about it when he's drinking. It prepared him for his trade of professional wrestler. But he has never forgiven himself and it makes his sad comedian's existence harder to endure. It is as if all the deceit that followed is minor.
It was easy at first. Wrestling hurts no one. People don't bet on it. Every one knows it's phony. That's what the promoter told him. You're just an actor, the promoter explained, except you perform in rings. But he's still not convinced. It is against all his instincts when he goes into the tank. He feels disgraced every time he does it and he wrestles five nights a week.
The wrestler was a second-line tackle when he played in the National Football League. He was slow but enthusiastic. He played as if he was still in college. The guys on the team kidded him about it. The purity of competition delighted him. He played one season with a chipped rib because he refused to go to the trainer for treatment. It was his theory that a man must make sacrifices for the team. Guys who complained were yellow by his standards. Often he thought what he would do if a gambler ever approached him and offered him a bribe. He believed at that time he would kill him.
He was 35, fat and broken in many places. He didn't have a job when he was released. He deluded himself that he was a famous athlete because he played with a big-league football team. It shocked him when he discovered that even people in the town where he played didn't remember second-team linesmen. He was driving a truck when he ran into a football player who had turned wrestler.
The promoter wasn't eager because he wasn't handsome. He needed a gimmick and his friend suggested he cultivate a beard and allow his hair to grow. He did that and the promoter suggested that he work toothless. It was a shock when he realized he was being put to work only because he was an ugly man. He drank more.
He was strong but clumsy and the instructor in the gym where the wrestlers trained became exasperated with his awkwardness. But then it was decided they would put his ineptness to work for him. He rehearsed flops and silly lunges. This hurt him because he thought that his body was his obedient servant as a football player. He dieted and got on the wagon. The promoter tolod him that if he lost weight he would be unemployed. He was a villain.
It was like traveling with a football team except the guys he hung out with were the opponents and not his teammates. He had been a fierce competitor and used to rouse himself into a wild anger before every game. It was difficult for him to like the guys he wrestled. It was especially hard when he knew he had to lose to them. They won because they were younger, handsomer, more dashing. He was a stooge and he worked to be hated by the spectators. No matter what he tells himself, he is ashamed of himself when they boo him.
There are times when he thinks he is a good wrestler. He has a cauliflower ear behind which he puts a rose which he hands his second when the match begins. His nose was smashed when he miscalculated the width of a ring apron and fell onto the reporters' work bench. He was laid up for a month with an infection after a woman stuck him with a hat-pin. His vision has been impaired by resin dust. There is a scar over his left eye where he was struck by a bottle in Florida.
The money is small because he is booked into hick towns. In the big cities he wrestles in the preliminaries. There is no future for him and he knows this. It's just a humiliating living. He could make more doing manual labor but the illusion of being an athlete still flatters him. He doesn't talk about playing football to the guys in the troupe because he bored them with it. Most of them were football players, too. They go to games every Saturday and, if they are near a big town, attend the pro contests.
It was agony at first when he was interviewed by the rube sports editors. He protested that wrestling was an honest sport. They ridiculed him but most of them printed what he said. It took him a year to find out that some of them were on the promoter's payroll. Some night he would like to go out and wrestle on the level. He won't, though. The wrestler intends to be a wrestler as long as he can.
WRESTLING FARCE SMASH HIT -- WHY?
(New York World Telegram & Sun, November 19, 1957)
By Joe Williams
In the days when the squirrel-cage classic, or six-day bike race, packed the Garden nightly, catch-as-catch-can brain masseurs composed interpretive articles in psychic jargon to explain its curious appeal.
Being an avid addict ourselves, it never occurred to us that a scrambled mind had anything to do with our rather constant attendance; in our ignorance we thought we were drawn by the excitement, the fun, the color of the round-the-clock race to nowhere.
The head shrinkers are back, this time their scholarly curiousity challenged by repeated capacity crowds for wrestling at the Garden where the last six shows lured 116,000 and an aggregate gate of $360,000, with thousands turned away.
Astounding as they are, the turnstile and box-office figures are much less disconcerting to researchers in mental idiosyncrasies than the reactions of the patrons; the wild emotional clamor and unmistakable faith with which they embrace the palpably contrived heroics of the men in the ring.
Since by now practically everyone must be aware that wrestling as it is practiced today is nothing more nor less than specialized acrobatics, as completely unrelated to competitive reality as shadow boxing, what is the answer to the current frenzy?
Again we speak as an addict. Admittedly our taste in esthetics is very low. In passing, we found "Abie's Irish Rose" so enchanting we went back to see the play again. We like wrestling for the same basic reason we found the six-day bike race irresistible. It's a good show. And the protagonists are experts.
Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't take considerable skill to be a performing wrestler. Honesty of effort is not the product of training. But to bring a convincing note of realism and theater to the spurious demands craftsmanship of high order.
Escapism is a tired word but it fits here. And it seems to us that the same processes which enable a reader to lose himself in an absorbing novel or a stirring stage drama apply to wrestling addiction. When Othello does Desdemona in -- nobody calls the cops . . . unless the performers happen to be spectacularly inferior.
Officially, at least, wrestling here makes no more pretense to reality than "a visit to a small planet." By commission ukase the matches are explicitly billed as "exhibitions." Notwithstanding, the patrons defiantly nourish the delusion of actual conflict . . . and our head shrinker, for one, just doesn't know what to do about it.
Ironically, the commission decision to strip wrestling of professed authenticity grew out of rarity among rarities . . . an honest wrestling match involving Strangler Lewis and Ray Steele at the Garden in the '30s. Friction between two rival promotional groups and personal vanities combined to produce the extraordinary setting.
Two mistakes were made. First, the rash recourse to honesty, since nothing can be more boring than legitimacy in wrestling. Second, Steele's audacity, for the Strangler was as good a wrestler as anybody ever saw, probably anytime, anywhere. As a show it was a miserable bust, the sellout crowd was outraged and a wise commission acted promptly to guard against any future recurrence of such nonsense.
Wrestling has always been a nationality sport, and according to Vic Scutari, who doubles as Bert and Harry in the local ballyhoo, the current hysteria owes much to Spanish-speaking races (mostly Puerto Ricans) in our midst.
"Take Antonino Rocca," advises Mr. Scutari. "A good man and a good card, but in 10 years he never sold out the Garden until we put him in with Miguel Perez of Puerto Rico." Naturally, both are featured on tonight's Garden bill, which will almost surely invoke another capacity response.
Mr. Scutari is singularly uncommunicative on the subject of competitive validity as regards to performing colossi. His attitude toward perplexed mental analysis is no more cooperative . . . "Our people know what they want and they get it," he says.
We sure do.
The WAWLI Papers #757...
PFEFER DEMANDS CHICKEN CAGE FOR ZUMA
(New York Daily Mirror, January 8, 1960)
By Dan Parker
A crisis looms for General Melvin Krulewitch, fighting Marine, battling barrister and dauntless chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. To forestall it, he will have to call upon all his legal knowledge, his vast store of military strategy and his fighting heart.
The question he must find the answer to is whether the Bill of Rights, Section 362-B of the consolidated but not fumigated boxing rules of the State of New York, or recent amendments to the Sewage Disposal Laws, contain any provision that would either authorize or prevent the use of a chicken-wire screen around the Garden ring in the inevitable once-and-for-all but not positively final match between Antonino Rocca and Argentine Zuma, for the barefoot wrestling championship of Hell's Kitchen, the Pampas and the fifth precinct of Dneptodzerzhinsk.
Impresario Ivan (Jack) Pfefer has raised the question in behalf of Zuma, his caviar provider from Cordova, Argentina, who, in his first Garden match with Rocca on Nov. 13, was thrown out of the ring by Antonino and landed kerplunk on a Castilian aficionado in the fifth row, with irreparable damage to the senor's pride.
As Count Pfefer puts it, "Is it for me to get a suit case bringed aginast me, I should be paying the damages doned y Zuma, maybe to the concrete floor or to some Sponiard ven he is throned out of the ring? Ven I wrote Zuma about it, he replied, 'Don't write, vire me!' So vire it should be! Tsicken coop vire already!"
The Rocca-Zuma rivalry has zoomed into the biggest thing in wrestling since Jimmy Londos, the Golden Greek, and Joe Savoldi used to turn them away 25 years ago.
Last Saturday night, Rocca and Zuma, meeting at the Garden for the second time in six weeks, set an all-time high of $64,680, which in turn boosted the mark they had notched on Nov. 13, when the gate was $56,750. A month before that, in Newark, they played to an all-time New Jersey record gate of over $25,000. The burps business is zooming with Zuma.
With cabbage like that being crammed into the Garden's coffers, while the boxing department produces gates such as Friday night's $5,334, the matmen have taken precedence and now rate two salutes from Generals Krulewitch and Kilpatrick instead of cold stares which formerly were their lot. That is why Count Pfefer demands respectful attention and a three-gun salute from Chairman Krulewitch when he petitions for a chicken-wire screen around the ring for the upcoming fourth exhibition of bare-footed skulduggery between these skilled thespians. It's not because he fears they will lay an egg that Hassen Pfefer demands the chicken-wire screen. In rfact, he is so confident the house will be sold out "a veek in adwance" aain that he is thinking of changing Zuma's name to Mazuma. In any event, Pfefer wants respect. The way he put it was: "Boxing? Pfui! Honest wrestling is de big attraction now. Dey should be playink alonk vit us or maybe I shall order the match transferred, already, to Nijninovgorod or Siberia. Dese Argentines, spashilly de barfeeted vons, are werry temperamental. Dey vant it should be a screen test next time and I shall see dey vouldn't fly the coop."
"Will this be positively the last match?" I asked the Count.
"Dese guys never wrestle only once and for all," he replied. "But after dey are havink positively one more retoin matdch it shall maybe go to another."
"What's so exciting about these positively the last matches?" I asked the refugee from Rasputin's second last purge.
"My gimmicks in my farevel address over telewision knocked dem all over the head. I told dem it should be a tsicken coop vire around the ring so Rocca shouldn't hoit anybody ven he throwed Zuma over the ropes. Maybe the General vouldn't allow it next time but ve still can ask up to him, is it?"
"You man 'ain't you.' But what about the gimmick?"
"Vell, all the Puerto Ricans vich dey didn't could understood my voids, on telewision vas asking last Saturday night, 'Vere's the tsickens you promised in the ring, you faker?' Dey tauted I vas going to put on a cock fight, already."
"Where did you dig up Zuma?"
"I am responsible for him to come to dees country. Such a nice little fellow! Not von of dees wogrants or tall monster guys. He's short like Dzimmie Londos. And such a nice boy, too! He never hitted his grandpa with a hax or maybe took a poke at his olderly fodder and mudder, vich he supports dem vith a svimming pool and real fresh vater. To him I'm like a fodder. But I don't forget myself ven I pay off. He knows I am honest. Ten cents for him and 90 for me. Such an arrangement you couldn't beat. Before every match I tell him, 'Jump,' I give you wontrobi. Dat's Polish liver. Dis barfeeted boy is not a Dos Vidanya but a Ztrastvuite wrestler, which it means he's not a goodbye but a hello guy. So it swhall be lots of retoin bouts, vich dey'll all be 'vonce and for all.' But Gen. Krulewitch should give us a tsicken coop vire screen next time."
Another gimmick Pfefer proposed to introduce is the costume he wore in the Russian opera 40 years ago just before fleeing from a pogrom.
"After all dese years, I still got it my welwet suit. I vas a beatnik 40 years ago, so tsu whom does dese bums tink dey are now, vit viskers on their chin?"
It is reported by survivors of Czar Nicholas' court that when the Czarina saw Count Pfefer's welwet suit with knee breeches, displaying the shapeliest calf in all St. Petersburg, she swooned and missed the entire second act. By that time, Pfefer was on his way to Shanghai, a gesture in recognition of the puissance of the Cossacks hot on his trail. Through all his trials and tribulations, Count Pfefer has preserved his opera costume against the designs of a million moths. His greatest ambition now, next to raking in a million on his barefoot boy, is to introduce either Toots Mondt or Eddie Quinn, the Montreal monster, from the Garden ring dressed in the welwet suit as a prelude to one of the many once-and-for-all matches between Rocca and Zuma. But first, already, must come the "tsicken coop vire screen" around the ring. So it behooves General Krulewitch to get on his horse and prepare for this coop de main -- main event, that is. Those of us who admire the General for his gallantry know he will not chicken out.
(ED. NOTE -- For more than 20 years, Tom Burke -- now firmly ensconced back in his hometown of Springfield, Mass., published Global Wrestling News Servidce, a tidy four-to-eight page monthly bulletin devoted to professional wrestling news, clippings and results. The following materials come from Global News #91, for April, 1983.)
SUCCESS FORMULA: LET VILLAIN WIN
(Detroit Free Press, September 26, 1963)
By Lyall Smith
It has been something like 54 months since the first trap was set with tender care in a local television studio.
The bait consisted of several very large hunks of human ham, plus plenty of ripe cheese.
See if you remember:
There was this studio rasslin' show at CKLW with a handful of spectators. In the ring was good old Wilbur Snyder and his wily adversary, one Angelo Poffo.
They bounced each other around for a while . . . just as they had done in rehearsal. Then Poffo slugged the referee. While that poor fellow faked a knockout, Snyder -- a righteous man this day -- legally pinned Poffo.
Through the ropes bounced Bronko Lubich, the villainous manager of Poffo, to kick Snyder off his mealticket. When this was done, both Lubich and Poffo jumped on Snyder and rendered him hors de combat, which as everybody knows is very bad indeed.
Lubich then jumped back out of the ring and at that very instant the referee just happened to regain consciousness. Seeing Snyder out cold, he awarded the match to Poffo.
This so enraged the viewers out there in televisionland that the station's telephone switchboard was jammed for hours with angry calls of protest.
The bait had been grabbed. The trap had snapped. Poffo and Snyder were promptly scheduled to rassle at Olympia Stadium and 16,226 seekers of justice paid $40,394 to see Snyder, the good guy, conquer Poffo, the no-goodnik.
That was the start of a fantastically successful rassling series in these parts under the promotional canopy of Jim Barnett and Johnny Doyle.
Come this Saturday at Cobo Arena, they'll put on their 77th show over a 4 1/2-year span when lovable Dick the Bruiser embraces Lord Athol Layton, some guy named the Masked Terror takes on Fritz Von Erich, and 10 other characters pair off to match grunts, groans and villainy.
It figures they will do well at the gate. They almost always do. The previous 76 shows pulled in an astounding total of 771,447 customers who shelled out $1,833,930 for the privilege.
This is big business. It averages out at almost 10,000 fans per show and a take of about $25,000 a night.
Amazing thing about the deal is that it has lasted so long. Fans in these parts have been gripped by the rasslin' mania before.
But it was something that came and went like a case of chickenpox. The Barnett-Doyle "attack" is the lingering type.
Closest thing to the modern crazy was the decade of the 1930s when Jim Londos, the Golden Greek, wrestled in these parts.
He appeared here 29 times and jammed Olympia twice against Joe Stecher. Attendance was estimated at 17,000 but eggs must've been cheaper then.
The dollar-count was only 16,139 and it stood as an Olympia wrestling record until Dick the Bruiser and somebody named Hercules Romero set the present money mark of $43,578 three years ago.
The Bruiser was Mr. Box Office here for the first three big years. He slipped a little a while back and Layton was imported with practically no effort at all.
Handsome where the Bruiser was not, gentlemanly where the Bruiser looked like he would kick small dogs and little old ladies, Layton took up the slack.
But the Bruiser made a comeback when the customers decided they needed somebody to boo.
It's ham and corn and cheese. But it sells. Maybe it's a sign of the times.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, WRESTLING RESULTS
1961 (Hippodrome, promoter Nick Gulas, Roy Welch)
January 3 -- Jackie Fargo-Don Fargo (Don Kalt) beat Don Fields-Luke Fields, Les Welch-Joe Scarpa beat Kurt Von Brauner-Karl Von Brauner, Jesse James drew Corsica Joe
January 10 -- Jackie Fargo-Don Fargo beat Luke Fields-Don Fields, Joe Scarpa beat Saul Weingeroff cor, Les Welch beat Red Roberts, Sonny Fargo beat Ricky Ray
January 17 -- Jackie Fargo-Don Fargo beat Luke Fields-Don Fields, Joe Scarpa-Les Welch beat Al Greene-Don Greene, Red Roberts vs. Ricky Ray
January 24 -- Jackie Fargo-Don Fargo drew Les Welch-Joe Scarpa nc, Len Rossi beat Don Greene, Tex Riley drew Jesse James, Red Roberts beat Jerry Miller
January 31 -- Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo (Louie Tillet) beat Les Welch-Joe Scarpa, Don Green-Al Greene drew Tex Riley-Len Rossi, Jesse James beat Frankie Cain
February 7 -- Danny Hodge beat Red Roberts, Les Welch-Joe Scarpa-Jesse James beat Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo-George Harris aka The Blimp, Don Greene beat Farmer Jones
February 16 (Thursday) -- Don Greene-Al Greene beat Les Welch-Joe Scarpa (later Chief Jay Strongbow), Danny Hodge beat George Harris, Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo beat Len Rossi-Tex Riley, Len Rossi beat Sonny Fargo dq
February 21 -- Jackie Fargo-Don Fargo beat Don Greene-Al Greene, Danny Hodge beat Corsica Joe dq, Tex Riley-Joe (Flash) Gordon drew Mario Milano-Red Roberts
February 28 -- Les Welch-Joe Scarpa beat Jackie Fargo-Don Fargo dq, Danny Hodge beat Charro Azteca, Tiny Bell beat Pee Wee Lopez, Len Rossi beat Ray Duran, Joe Gordon beat Pat Clancy
March 7 -- Sonny Fargo-Jackie Fargo drew Les Welch-Joe Scarpa nc, Sputnik Monroe-Rocket Monroe beat Danny Hodge-Jesse James, Len Rossi beat Joe Gordon dq, Mario Milano beat George Harris
March 14 -- Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo beat Les Welch-Joe Scarpa (referee Billy Garrett), Pat O'Connor beat Mario Milano (NWA title defense), Sputnik Monroe drew Silento Rodriguez, Rocket Monroe beat Pat Clancy (sub for Herb Welch)
March 21 -- Joe Scarpa-Les Welch beat Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo, Danny Hodge beat Sputnik Monroe dq, Rocket Monroe beat Larry Hulin, Silento Rodriguez drew Joe Gordon
March 28 -- Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo-Joe Gordon beat Les Welch-Joe Scarpa-Silento Rodriguez, Sputnik Monroe beat Greg Peterson, Rocket Monroe drew Mario Milano
April 4 -- Sputnik Monroe-Rocket Monroe beat Corsica Joe-Corsica Jean, Don Fields-Luke Fields drew Don Greene-Al Greene, Joe Scarpa beat George Harris
April 11 -- Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo beat Les Welch-Joe Scarpa dq, Sputnik Monroe-rocket Monroe beat Luke Fields-Don Fields, Joe Gordon beat Greg Peterson
April 18 -- Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo beat Les Welch-Joe Scarpa, Sputnik Monroe beat Luke Fields, Don Fields beat Pedro Zapata, Rocket Monroe drew Jesse James
April 25 -- Les Welch-Joe Scarpa beat Ray Duran-Joe Gordon, Sputnik Monroe-Rocket Monroe beat Jackie Fargo-Mario Milano, Frenchy Semard beat Farmer McGruder
May 2 -- Jackie Fargo drew Joe Scarpa nc, Sputnik Monroe-Rocket Monroe drew Tex Riley-Len Rossi, Les Welch beat Charro Azteca, Sonny Fargo beat Charlie Keene
May 10 (Wednesday) -- Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo-Joe Fargo beat Roy Welch-Les Welch-Joe Scarpa dq, Tarzan White beat Carlos Mendoza, Joan Phillips beat Mae Goodner
May 16 -- Roy Welch-Les Welch-Joe Scarpa beat Jackie Fargo-Sonny Fargo-Joe Fargo dq, Tex Riley drew Sputnik Monroe, Al Smith beat Scotty Williams
May 23 -- Sputnik Monroe-Rocket Monroe beat Len Rossi-Tex Riley, Joe Scarpa drew Jackie Fargo (10-round boxing match), Les Welch drew Al Smith, Joe Fargo beat Scotty Williams
May 30 -- Pat O'Connor beat Joe Scarpa (NWA title defense), Tex Riley-Ray Duran beat Rocket Monroe-Ray Duran, Mae Goodner-Pat Lyda beat Joan Phillips-Ann Regan, Jesse James beat Pat O'Brien
June 6 -- Pat O'Connor vs. Jackie Fargo (NWA title defense), Joe Scarpa-Les Welch vs. Al Smith-Pedro Zapata, Sputnik Monroe-Rocket Monroe vs. Tex Riley-Len Rossi
June 13 -- Jackie Fargo beat Joe Scarpa (boxing, 7th-round kayo), Don Fields-Luke Fields beat Sonny Fargo-Joe Fargo dq, Les Welch beat George Grant, Pedro Zapata drew Frankie Cain
June 20 -- Sonny Fargo-Joe Fargo beat Les Welch-Buddy Fuller dq, Don Fields-Luke Fields beat Don Greene-Jack Benard, El Olympico beat Scotty Williams
June 27 -- Jackie Fargo-Joe Fargo-Sonny Fargo beat Don Fields-Luke Fields-Les Welch, Pee Wee Lopez beat Frenchy Semard, Buddy Fuller beat The Matador, George Grant drew Rocky Smith
The WAWLI Papers #758...
(La Gaceta, Friday, April 8, 1983)
By Harry Russo
When thinking of colorful sportscasters, one most certain to come to mind is Gordon Solie, the frail, mild-mannered commentator who gets shoved around, taking constant verbal abuse by arrogant gargantuans on Championship Wrestling each week. His name is synonymous with professional wrestling, and his involvement as one of the most popular (whether you love him or hate him) sportscasters around.
Born in Minnesota, Solie, 54, does not appear as fragile in person as he does on TV when he is surrounded by huge gladiators waging war upon each other inside and outside the ring. His voice seems an octave lower when he is not behind the microphone. "I've learned over thye years to speak with a slightly higher pitch when announcing," he said, "because the words project better."
Solie always had an interest in radio announcing. So, around 1950, he headed south for Florida to begin his career. "I heard that Florida was a tough state for people who wanted to break into radio," he said. "Station owners were looking for broadcasters with less of a southern drawl." Solie explained that coming from the midwest, where peoplle are essentially accentless, gave him an advantage in Florida.
He set out to find employment with a combined two years at the University of Minnesota and the University of Tampa and met Elmo B. Kittes, owner of WEBK, a trilingual radio station in Ybor City. "Kittes hired me to do a rhythm and blues segment called 'Long Gone,'" he said.
A few years later, he was hired by Championship Wrestling to be the man beside the ring. He has become a familiar face through the sport, which is broadcasted worldwide. "The show has even been pirated in Iran," he said. This discovery was made when an Iranian student asked his son, who was attending the University of South Florida, about him, Solie said.
Though he is known mostly from his work with professional wrestling, Solie said that the sport is no longer the most important part of his career. He is involved with a children's book publishing company and a non-broadcast video company which, he said, deals with the taping of such things as weddings, depositions, wills, etc.
He has been married for 21 years to his artist wife, Irene, has five children and three grandchildren, with another one on the way.
When there is room in his busy schedule for relaxation, Solie said he enjoys indulging in the arts, theatre, sports and spending time with animals.
As a man who has been involved with the media for most of his life, Solie said he is very concerned about ethics in journalism.
"There has been a morality breakdown in the business," he said, claiming that the media has lost its sense of right and wrong. "One of the biggest catalysts to this problem," he added, "was the deregulation of the Federal Communication Commission by the federal government. Deregulation allows newspapers to editorialize on the front page without labeling it as such. It allows journalists to sway opinion. Since deregulation, the media has lost much of its integrity."
He accused local radio station WRBQ-105 of practicing sensationalism during their morning "Q Zoo" show. "I don't believe you should take recorded words, which someone has spoken in a certain context, and edit them so that their meaning is something completely different," he said. "The things they have done to public figures are reprehensible. I think they're amateurs."
He also criticized the Tampa Tribune for its coverage of the recent runoff election for city council between Perry Harvey and Rubin Padgett. Because of Harvey's involvement with the Longshoremen's Union, Solie said, the Tribune claimed Harvey would be biased in a city which is essentially non-union. "Mr. Harvey's vote would be a small cry in the wilderness, so how can they speak intelligently about the union issue," he said.
Solie claimed that this kind of journalism is indicative of the media in general and can be threatening "because people would rather believe lies than the truth." He cited incidents with Barry Goldwater and Cambodia as examples of the hazards of inaccurate journalism.
One wonders how a man involved with such a suspected sport as professional wrestling can justify this kind of criticism. But, Solie approaches his role as a wrestling commentator with a different philosophy. "The thousands of fans (who go to the matches each week) deserve coverage of the sport," he said.
Gordon Solie has made a career out of one of the most unique jobs a man can have. He has learned about every aspect of his business and has grown and prospered. His advice to those wishing to make it in the business world is simple. It is a philosophy which he said he has gone his best to practice all his life. The answer to the question came without hesitation -- "Make your word your bond."
GLOBAL WRESTLING #91 NOTES
(Global Wrestling, April, 1983)
By Tom Burke
The wrestling war is about to blast. Several major organizations will be moving into other areas that are out of their geographic area. Notably the Georgia Championship Wrestling office will be coming into WWF land in the very near future . . . The mat scene in Phoenix gets worse and worse with the circus promotions down there. We have decided that GWNS will no longer carry info or results on the drek that Mr. Barry Bernstein calls wrestling . . . Southwest Championship Wrestling is holding a world title tournament in Houston on May 21 . . . Eddie Gilbert, the upcoming wrestler in the WWF circuit, has had a major setback. He was involved in a serious auto accident on May 10th. He has a number of fractures and other injuries. He will be out for some time. Our prayers are with you, Eddie . . . Mil Mascaras making another movie down in Mexico. Also, speaking of movies, if you ever view the Quest of Fire two well known mat men are in the flick -- the Great Antonio and Danny Lynch . . . Tiger Mask was hurt and has been inactive. His WWF-NWA Jr Heavyweight belt has been taken. A tourney will be formed to find a new champion . . . Wrestling was the biggest drawn in Tacoma's (Wash.) arena in 1982 . . . As we go to press (May 16) there has not been any release from WFIA headquarters about a convention this year. We understand that Bert Prentice is trying to organize something for Mobile, Alabama. Speaking of Bert, he puts out a great weekly bulletin titled "Wrestling Weekly." Try a copy for only $1.25. Address is PO Box 9289, Pensacola, Fla. 32513 . . . Florida tapes (Global aka Graham) are being seen in Southern California. Mrs. Ann Gunkel is their promoter . . . Interesting!
WRESTLING KEEPS FIRM HOLD ON GEIGEL
(unknown source, early spring, 1983)
By Rick Peterson
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former Central States champion Bob Geigel didn't leave professional wrestling when he retired from active competition in 1976. He just moved outside the ring to do his work.
"I like to be around wrestling. I never gave leaving wrestling a thought," said Geigel, now the president of the National Wrestling Alliance and the guiding force behind All Star Wrestling, the area pro wrestling organization which will present a program at Ottawa High School Wednesday night.
Instead of wrestling 230 matches a year, as he did for 26 years as a professional, Geigel and his cohorts now promote some 32 matches a month in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
"We have a good organization we feel," Geigel said Thursday. "I've surrounded myself with some awfully nice people, and they're progressive people."
Geigel is now in his fourth decade of involvement, in one form or another, with professional wrestling -- but his initiation to the sport came many years before his February, 1950, professional debut.
The 58-year-old Iowa native was a football and wrestling standout in high school and continued to excel in both sports at the University of Iowa from 1946 to 1950.
Following his graduation from Iowa with a degree in physical education, Geigel forsook a $4,800 contract with the National Football League's then-Chicago Cardinals to enter pro wrestling -- a decision he said he has never regretted.
"I was really better off going into wrestling . . . it was better for me," Geigel said.
In his first year as a pro, Geigel wrestled out of Amarillo, Texas, where he still owns a farm, while also acting as superintendent of Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.
He then embarked on an odyssey that took him all over the United States and Canada. A good deal of his professional career was spent in the Kansas City area, where he and Bulldog Bob Brown, who will wrestle in Ottawa Wednesday, reigned as tag team champions for an extended period.
Finally, in 1975, seeing that age was getting the best of him, Geigel started making plans to enter front-office work full time.
"My bones were starting to creak, it hurt to get out of bed sometimes, and I thought it was time (to quit)," commented Geigel, the father of three daughters.
And, although saying he was "very happy" with his current work, Geigel said he still misses life inside the ring.
"When I watch matches I start perspiring -- I still have that need yet.
"When you do something for as long as I did, then quit, it really puts a void in your life . . . I really miss it. I think I liked it better in the end than I did when I started."
Geigel, an avid fisherman, said that most of his time now is spent trying to bring popular wrestlers to this area.
"We're always on the lookout for new wrestlers, and wrestlers that have been successful in other parts of the country."
The ex-champion has been imminently successful in those endeavors, attracting current world champion Ric Flair and former champion Harley Race to the area for extended visits, as well as the ever popular Brown, Manny Fernandez and newcomer Bruiser Brody, who will headline Wednesday's card.
"I think there's more wrestlers available and wanting to come all the time. We've been pretty successful," admitted Geigel.
That should come as no surprise. Bob Geigel seems to have a knack for being "pretty successful" -- no matter what he does.
(Tom Burke adds: "The above clip is on the current president and promoter of the Mound City, or St. Louis. Big news came out of St. Louis in late April with the announcement that a new organization named the Greater St. Louis Wrestling Club has opened. Larry Matysik is the president and promoter. Their first show will be in June at the Checkerdome with Bruiser Brody in the main event. Should be interesting . . . ")
WRESTLING RESULTS FROM GLOBAL WRESTLING #88
Compiled by Tom Burke
Jan. 1 - St. Louis-Mo-NWA . . . Manny Fernandez & Mark Romero W Kim Duk & Jerry Brown. Rick Martel W Roger Kirby. Bobby Duncum W Mike George. Greg Valentine & Bob Orton Jr. W Dick The Bruiser & Bob Brown. King Kong Brody W Crusher Ayala. Kerry Von ERich W Harley Race-dq. Ric Flair W Butch Reed . . . Portland-Or-NWA . . . Ric Oliver & Assassin W Stan Stasiak & Billy Jack. Chris Adams W Tapu. Tommy Rogers drew Great Tio. Ron Ritchie W Chris Colt. Brent Sawyer W Chris Colt-dq. Ali Hassan W Billy Whitecloud . . . Tokyo-Jp-NWA . . . Inoki W BJ Mulligan. Tatsumi Fujinami W Jesse Ventgura-dq. Tiger Mask & El Gran Hamada W Jose Estrada & Black Tiger. Mr. Saito & Ricki Chosyu W Kengo Kimura & Osamu Kido. Killer Khan & Seiji Sakaguchi DCOR Rusher Kimura & Isamu Teranishi. El Texano, El Singo & Negro Navarro W Kuniaki Kobayashi, Black Cat, Isamu Teranishi. Jim Neidhart W Yoshiaki Fujiwara . . . Springfield-Mo-ICW . . . Rip Rogers W Tony Falk. Kabooki W Angelo Poffo. Pez Whatley & Rip Rogers W Jerry Anderson & Gadabra Sohota. Leaping Lanny W Ronnie Garvin. Randy Savage W Ratamyus. A-1000.
Jan. 2 - Mexico City Mexico-UWA . . . Lola Gonzales & Rosie Moreno & Rosa Maria W Irma Gonzales, Irma Aguilar & Chelsa Salazar. Rizado Ruis & Ruddy Reyna W Brazo De Oro & Brazo De Plata. El Canek & Baby Face & Khoas W Dory Dixon, Enrique Vera & Villano 3. Scorpio W Batman . . . Tokyo-Jp-NWA . . . Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta W Tor Kamata & Ray Hercules Hernandez. Mil Mascaras & Ultra 7 W Mighty Inoue & Takashi Ishikawa. Gypsy Joe & Dream Machine W Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma. Rocky Hata & Yoshihiro Momota W Shiro Koshinaka & Mitsaharu Misawa. Atashi Onita W Rocky Jones. Akio Sato W Steve Bolus. Mil Mascaras won battle royal. Ashura Hara & Tenryu W Mr. Ito & Goro Tsurumi . . . Tokyo-Jp-NWA . . . Inoki W Jesse Ventura. Fujinami & Khan DCOR Saito & Chosyu. Tier Mask & Hosino & Hamada W Texano, S Signo & Navarro. Rusher Kimura & Hamaguchi W Kido & Fujiwara. BJ Mulligan & Jim Neidhart W Kengo Kimura & Sakaguchi. Black Tiger W Isamu Teranishi. Ryuma Go W Nobuhiko Takada. Jose Estrada L Kuniaki Kobayashi. Note: The first card in Tokyo was held in the afternoon, the other in the evening, both at the same venue.
Jan. 4 - Mexico City-Mx-UWA . . . El Canek W Dos Caras. Tawa Vera W El Huicho 1. Rizado Ruiz & Ruddy Reyna W Brazo De Oro & Brazo De Plata. Estella Molina & Rosie Moreno W Pantera Surena & Vicky Carranza. Ultraman & El Monarcda & Mano Negra W Luis Marascal & Abdullah Tamba & Rokambole . . . Tampa-Fla-NWA . . . Ric Flair W Barry Windham. Ron Bass & Rufus Jones & Mike Graham W Angelo Mosca, Jim Garvin & Jake Roberts. Midnight Rider W The Texan. Terry Allen & Scott MdcGhee drew Fabulous Kangaroos. Brian Blair W Yoshi Yatsu.
Jan. 5 - Koshigaya-Jp-NWA . . . BJ Mulligan, Saito & Chosyu W Inoki, Fujinami & Kengo Kimura. Tiger Mask W Jose Estrada. Sakaguchi & Khan W Rusher Kimura & Hamaguchi. Jesse Ventura W Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Black Tiger W Ryuma Go. Kuniaki Kobayashi W Jim Neidhart. Black Cat W Masanobu Kurishu . . . Miami-Fla-NWA . . . Ric Flair W Rufus Jones-dq. Kangaroos W Barry Windham & Ron Bass. Mike Graham W Kevin Sullivan. Angelo Mosca W Midnight Rider. Snake Roberts W Terry Allen. Scott McGhee drew Jim Garvin. A-3284.
Jan. 6 - Beckley WVA-ICW . . . Pez Whatley W Tony Falk. Leaping Lanny W Johnny Reece. Great Kabooki W Angelo Poffo. Rip Rogers & Pez Whatley W Hoot Gibson & Mike Doggendorf. Randy Savage W Ratamyus.
Jan. 7 - Rock Hill-SC-IND . . . Brute Bernard DDQ Mr. Wrestling. Buddy Shane W John Savage. Princess T-Cloud drew Lisa Darnell. Jerry Eagle & Chief Bladck Eagle W Hardrock Johnson & Ken Ruff. George Becker Jr. W Gary Austin.
Jan. 8 - Brook Park-Oh-IND . . . Ivan Duko W JW Hawk-dq. Jim Jett W Thunder Lucas-dq. Zoltan The Great W Don Red Cloud. Candi Devine W Sherri Martel. Luis Martinez & Bobo Brazil DDQ Bobby Colt & Jerry Valiant . . . San Antonio-Tx-SCW . . . Steve Regal W Ninja Warrior. Eric Embry W Ali Bey. Ivan Putski W Bobby Jaggers. Tully Blanchard W Scott Casey. Ken Lucas & Ricky Morton W The Grapplers 1 & 2. Bob Sweetan DDQ Adrian Adonis . . . Landover-Md-WWF . . . Eddie Gilbert drew Curt Hennig. SD Jones W Johnny Rodz. Salvatore Bellomo W Charlie Fulton. Superfly Snuka W Ray Stevens-cor. Superstar Graham W Pat Patterson. Magnficent Muraco W Bob Backlund-cor. Pedro Morales W Mr. Fuji. Tony Garea W Pete Sanchez. Strongbows W Samoans-dq. Rocky Johnson W Playboy Buddy Rose. A-19,800.
Jan. 9 - Santo Domingo-NWA . . . Jack Veneno W Ric Flair-dq. Victor Jovica W Roddy Piper-dq. Angel Maravilla W Pufio De Herro-dq. Caballero Negro W Relampago Hernandez. Sabu & El Buitre & Astroman 3 W Scorpions & Kina. Dominican Kid W Kid Bugaloo. El Angel Blanco W El Condor . . . Toronto-Can-NWA . . . King Parsons W Jerry Bryant. Pvt. Nelson W Nick DeCarlo. Rudy & Terry Kay W Frank Monte & Ken Timbs. Salvatore Bellomo W Buddy Rose-dq. Ray Stevens W Jimmy Snuka-cor. Leo Burk W Johnny Weaver. Angelo Mosca W LeRoy Brown.
Jan. 10 - Vancouver-BC-NWA . . . Bulldog Brown W Moose Morowski. Buzz Tyler W Sgt. Tomko. Bruiser Costa W Diamond Timothy Flowers-dq. Mighty Igor W Terry Adonis. Grizzly Evans W Mike Kovacs. Mr. Pro W Verne Siebert. Jerry Morrow W Ed Moretti . . . Memphis-Tn-NWA . . . Nick Bockwinkel W Jerry Lawler (regained AWA heavyweight title with help of Jimmy Hart & Andy Kaufman). Jesse Barr drew King Cobra. Dutch Mantell W Apocalypse-dq. Sabu W Bobby Fulton. Sabu won six-man elimination tag; Bobby Eaton W Jacques Rougeau. Terry Taylor W Sweet Brown Sugar. Bill Dundee & Jerry Calhoun W Adrian Street, Jim Cornett & Miss Linda-dq. Fabulous Ones W Sheepherders. A-8,208.
Jan. 10 - Birmingham-Ala-NWA . . . Robert Gibson W Norman Frederick Charles III. Judy Martin W Velvet McIntyre. Mongolian Stomper W Kostia Korchenko-cor. Mr. Olympia W Bill Ash. Jimmy Golden DCOR Bob Armstrong. Jimmy Golden & Tom Jones W Midnight Express . . . Karatsu-Jp-NWA . . . Baba, Tsuruta & Tenryu W Singh, Kamata & Ito-dq. Ultraman 7 W Misawa. Dream Machine & Rocky Jones L Onita & Hara.
Jan. 11 - Portland-Ore-NWA . . . Ali Hassan W Brent Sawyer. Billy Jack & Stan Stasiak W Great Tio & Chief Tapu. Ron Ritchie drew Rick Oliver. Chris Adams W Tiny Anderson. Chris Colt drew Billy Whitecloud.
Jan. 12 - Quebec City-Can-WWF-IND . . . Billy Robinson W The Destroyer-cor. Ed Carpentier & Ray Rougeau NC The Hangman & Gilles Poisson. Jos LeDuc W Mr. Hito. Tony Parisi W Tommy Russo. Tito Senza W Jerry O. Gilles Poisson won 16-man battle royal. Note: That Jerry O is Jerry Ho.
Jan. 13 - Salt Lake City-UT-AWA . . . Bobby Heenan drew Buck Zumhoff. Wahoo McDaniel W Sgt. Jacques Goulet. Jesse Ventura W BV Raschke. Jerry Blackwell & Sheik El Kaissy W Steve O & Rick Martel. Hulk Hogan W Ken Patera-dq. A-10,000.
Jan. 14 - Houston-Tx-NWA . . . Tim Horner W Buddy Landell. Tiger Conway Jr. W Kelly Kiniski. Steve Williams W Marty Lunde. Dick Murdoch & Tom Prichard W Grapplers. Chavo Guerrero W Gino Hernandez. Tony Atlas & Mr. Wrestling 2 & Stagger Lee W Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne & Hacksaw Duggan . . . Phoenix-Az-IND . . . Cherokee Willie W Smiling Bill. The Maniac W Cherokee Billy. Eli Hernandez NC Beast. Tiny Testa W Miss Bambi.
Jan. 15 - Dillon-SC-IND . . . Buddy & Mike Shane W Jerry Eagle & Chief Black Eagle. Brute Bernard W Mr. Wrestling. Jackie Jones W Cindy Ritcher. Gary Duster drew Hardrock Johnson. Super Rocker W Executioner . . . Chicago-Ill-AWA . . . Buck Zumhoff W Tom Lintz. Wahoo McDaniel W Sgt.Goulet. Tom Stone L Jerry Lawler. Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum W Rick Martel & Steve O. Hulk HOgan W Jesse Ventura-dq. Sheik El Kaissy & Jerry Blackwell W Mad Dog Vachon & Jim Brunzell-dq . . . Indy-Ind-WWA . . . Patriot W Bulldog Daniels. El Bracera W Blackie GTuzman. JR Hogg W Wild Buerrio. Bobo Brazil W Jerry Valiant. Bruiser & Spike Huber DDQ Bobby Colt & Abdullah the Great . . . Tampa-Fla-NWA . . . Ric Flair W Barry Windham. Bad Leroy Brown W Midnight Rider. Mike Graham W Jim Garvin. Rufus Jones W Angelo Mosca. Jake Roberts W Angelo Mosca. Kevin Sullivan W Terry Allen. Scott McGhee & Charlie Cook drew Fabulous Kangaroos.
Jan. 16 - Hampton-Va-NWA . . . Bob Orton Jr. L Greg Valentine. Jack Brisco drew Dory Funk Jr. Jimmy Valiant W One Man Gang. Sweet Brown Sugar W Dizzy Hogan. A-1000 . . . San Antonio-Tx-SCW . . . Ali Bey W El Santos Negro. Juan Reynosa W Terry Daniels. Steve Regal W Ninja Warrior. Bob Sweetan & Jerry Lawler DDQ Tully Blanchard & Adrian Adonis. Ken Lucas & Ricky Morton W Grapplers. Scott Casey W Bobby Jaggers . . . Sherbrooke-Can-IND-WWF . . . Gilles Poisson & Hangman W Jerry Ho & Tony Ricco. Billy Robinson L Destroyer-dq. Gino Brito W Tito Senza. Tony Parisi W Tommy Russo. Louis Lawrence W Andy Moreuir . . . Poughkeepsie-NY-WWF . . . Jimmy Snuka W Ray STevens-cor. Eddie Gilbert W Mac Rivera. Pedro Morales DDQ Don Muraco. Mr. Fuji drew SD Jones. Rocky Johnson W Buddy Rose.
Jan. 17 - Memphis-Tn-NWA . . . Bobby Eaton & Sabu W Jerry Lawler & Sweet Brown Sugar-dq. Bobby Fulton W Carl Fergie. Dutch Mantell W The Angel. Jesse Barr W Ken Raper. Sheepherds L Fabulous Ones. Stan Lane W Jonathan Boyd-dq. Bill Dundee & Terry Taylor W Adrian Street & Apocalypse. A-5690 . . . Calgary-Can-NWA . . . Bret Hart W Leo Burk-dq. Duke Myers & Kerry Brown NC David Shultz & Honkytonk Wayne. Great Gama W Davey Boy Smith. Mr. Hito NC Dan Davis. Keith Hart W MX #1-dq. Mike Miller W Don Kolov. Goldie Rogers & Scott Ferris W Randy Webber & Mike Hammer.
Jan. 18 - Joplin-Mo-NWA . . . Convict W Omar Atlas. Mark Romero drew Roger Kirby. Kim Duk W Manny Fernandez. Bob Brown & Buzz Tyler W Dewey Robertson & Crusher Ayala-dq. Ric Flair DDQ Harley Race . . . Grand Rapids-Mich-WWL . . . Anton Rojak W Bad Brian Lucas. Amarillo Kid W Golden Messiah. Sebastian Stone W Jim Snow. Buddy Wolfe W Lars Anderson for WWL title. A-1,600.
Jan. 19 - Longmeadow-Mass-WWF . . . Jimmy Snuka W Ray Stevens. Rocky Johnson DDQ Don Muraco. Pete Sanchez W Pete Dougherty. Eddie Gilbert W Fred Marizino. Swede Hansen W Curt Hennig. A-600.
Jan. 20 - Sioux Falls-SD-WWL . . . The Flash drew Bad Brian Lucas. JY Dog W Killer Duggan. Cousin Jedd L Mr. Z. Lars Anderson & Rich Winters DDQ Sebastian STone & Golden Messiah . . . Kansas City-Ks-NWA . . . Ric Flair drew Bruiser Brody. Kim Duk W Harley Race. Roddy Piper & Bob Brown & Buzz Tyler W Crusher Ayala, Dewey Robertson & Roger Kirby. Manny Fernandez W The Ox. Convict W Brad Armstrong. Mr. Fuji & Beast W Mark Romero & Omar Atlas.
Jan. 21 - St. Louis-Mo-NWA . . . Spike Huber & Brad Armstrong drew Beast & Kim Duk. Rick Martel W Ox Baker-dq. Greg Valentine W Bobo Brazil. Bulldog Bob Brown & Dick the Bruiser W Crusher Blackwell & Crusher Ayala. Bob Orton Jr. W Brad Armstrong. King Kong Brody W Bobby Duncum. Kerry Von Erich W Harley Race-dq. A-5525.
Jan. 22 - MSG-NYC-NY-WWF . . . Johnny Rodz W Pete Sanchez. SD Jones W Baron Scicluna. Swede Hansen L Superstar Billy Graham. Pedro Morales DDQ Magnificent Muraco. Samonas W Tony Garea & Eddie Gilbert. Ray Stevens W Jules Strongbow. Bob Backlund W Big John Studd. Curt Hennig W Mac Rivera. Jimmy Snuka W Buddy Rose. Salvatore Bellomo W Charlie Fulton. Rocky Johnson W Mr. Fuji.
Jan. 23 - Houston-Tx-NWA . . . Andre the Giant vs. Kamala. Mr. Wrestling 2 & Stagger Lee vs. Ted DiBiase & Mike Borne. Dick Murdoch vs. Hacksaw Duggan. Kevin Von Erich & Brian Adidas vs. Kabuki & King Kong Bundy. Steve Williams & Art Crews vs. Kelly Kiniski & Tom Renesto Jr. Chavo Guerrero vs. George Hernandez . . . Mexico City-Mx-UWA . . . Rosey Moreno & Rosa Maria & Lola Gonzales vs. Chelz Salazar, Pantera Surena & Reyna Gallegos. Perro Aguayo & El Canek vs. El Solitario & El Villano 3. Mr. Saito, George Takana & Hirata vs. El Faraon, Baby Face & Luis Mariscal. Dory Dixon, Enrique Vera vs. El Olymp;ico & Honaga . . . Mexico City-Mx-NWA . . . Fishman vs. Ringo Mendoza . . . Greensboro-NC-NWA . . . Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle W Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood. Jerry Brisco & Roddy Piper W Greg Valentine & Dick Slater. Jack Brisco, Mike Rotundo & Sweet Brown Sugar W Dory Funk Jr., Paul Jones & Larry Lane. Tiny Tom W Little Tokyo. One Man Gang W Jimmy Valiant (afternoon card) . . . Toronto-Can-NWA (evening card) . . . Billy Red Lyons W Jerry Bryant. Johnny Weaver W Tim Gerrard. Destroyer & Bobby Bass W Rudy & Terry Kay. Tony Parisi drew Leo Burk. John Studd W Tony Garea. Jimmy Snuka W Ray Stevens. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood W Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle-dq.
Jan. 24 - Vancouver-BC-NWA . . . Bruiser Costa W Verne Siebert. Mike Allen W Mike Kovac. Dean Ho & Moondog Moretti W Tim Flowers & Terry Adonis. Jerry Morrow W Grizzly evans. Al Tomko & Moose Morowski W Igor Volkoff & Mighty Igor.
Jan. 28 - Calgary-Can-NWA . . . Bret Hart W Leo Burk-dq. David Shultz &
Honkytonk Wayne NC Duke Myers & Kerry Brown. Great Gama DDQ Dynamite Kid. MX
#1 & Dan Davis W Keith Hart-Mr. Hito-cor. Mike Miller W Davey Boy Smith-dq.
Goldie Rogers W Bruce Hart. Scott Ferris L Jim Neidhart. Mike Hammer L Randy
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