Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bruno vs Buddy 1962

Bruno Sammartino came into Toronto quite early in his career and became one of the big stars of the era. After debuting at MLG in Mar 1962 Bruno earned a title bout vs NWA Champion Buddy Rogers on July 12 losing the bout when he could not continue. 

The rematch on Aug 2 saw the same result but in reverse. Bruno caught Rogers with a low blow but wouldn't accept the belt on those terms. A second rematch on Aug 30 saw the same result as the first bout. 

Bruno would also face Thesz for the NWA belt in Toronto but would ultimately end up catching Rogers in NYC with the famous 48 second WWWF Title win in May 1963. 

62/07/12 Maple Leaf Gardens , Toronto, ON
NWA TITLE: Buddy Rogers WCNC Bruno Sammartino 15:00
Sweet Daddy Siki WCOR Gino Marella 11:48
Yukon Eric W Big Bob Stanlee 9:13
Mr. Kleen W Nikita Kalmikoff 11:09
Taro Sakuro D Tony Marino 20:00
Stan Stasiak D Ray Gordon 20:00

*credit Gary Will

"Rogers Recovers-Just In Time"
Over 10,000 fans roared, cheered and jeered, and had themselves a ball as promoter Frank Tunney ended his mid-summer pro wrestling season last night at Maple Leaf Gardens with an outstanding card. World champion (NWA) Buddy Rogers recovers from the blind staggers in time to beat the ten count after he and the challenging Bruno Sammartino knocked each other out when they crashed head on. To the delight of the Italian fans, Bruno gave The Champ a rough time with his reverse headlock and body-slams. Bruno matched Rogers' recoveries with several nifty movements of his own. The Champ's ability to take it and come back, plus his experience, made the difference.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mad Dog Lefebvre

Pierre 'Mad Dog' Lefebvre is another of the Canadian Stars that may not be as well known south of the border. He spent some time in the South but found his greatest success in Quebec before being killed in a car accident in 1985. 

Pics from Quebec July 1980 just prior to him winning the International Wrestling Title from Edouard Carpentier

Mad Dog slaps the abdominal stretch on Gino Brito



Dave & The Wrestling Bear

One of the highlights of Dave McKigney's shows was the regular appearance of his wrestling bears. sometimes against regular folk from the audience. While not of the Grizzly variety , these smaller brown bears were still 400-500 lbs and stood up to 7 feet tall on hind legs. 

Dave had at least 4 through the years, Terrible Ted, Smokey (put down in 1981 after killing Dave's girlfriend in 1978), Ginger 1982, and this one Gentle Ben. Ben was de-clawed and wore a muzzle in the ring but still managed to chew part of the fingers off two opponents in PEI while on an East Coast tour in 1984

The parents of the two (one was 15, one 20) promptly attempted to launch a civil action but couldn't unless Wildman returned to the island. "Why should I go back" remarked the Wildman. 

This ultimately ended up causing him problems in Ontario when he returned, in what began an ongoing battle with the powers-that-be in Ontario Sports regulation. Pics here are from Cornwall, ON 1983 - top, and 1982 - 2 action



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ted Herbert

Herbert had a good run through Quebec and the Maritimes and success in Japan during the mid 70's. In the Maritimes he would form a tag with Pierre 'Mad Dog' Lefebvre and at one time ran a wrestling school near Toronto in Brampton, ON. For reasons unknown he never made it to MLG and I have yet to see any mention at all in Ontario.

The clip below from Montreal 1974

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ray 'The Crippler' Stevens

Veteran Ray Stevens lives up to his nickname Jan 13 1980 when a fan hit the ramp after his bout. Stevens tossed him off then went after a few others who were at the edge of the ramp.

The fan ended up charging Stevens and Stevens counter-charged. I don't have the outcome of the court proceedings if in fact there were any. This card drew 14,000 fans to see the main of Backlund vs The Destroyer (Beyer) which ended in a double count-out.

El Santos 1978

With the advent of internet message boards and the wealth of historical info available most of the 'secrets' of professional wrestling are now common knowledge. With Masked Wrestlers however, identities can still be a source of mystery, even years later.

El Santos and the tag team of El Santos I and II were a familiar sight in George Cannon's Superstars of Wrestling in the mid to late 70's. The team started with Terry Yorkston and Duncan McTavish under the white and black masks and there were others but believe this version working solo in 1978 may be Rocky Della Serra.